Local News

Community donations will allow shelter to stay open



A well used shelter for Nanaimo's homeless will stay open until the end of the month after all.

$15,000 in donations have been raised to re-open the Seasonal Extreme Weather Shelter on Townsite Road, after it closed for the first time since November 1st on Sunday.

Coordinator Kevan Griffith says local media attention played a big role in quickly raising money.

He says it was...(For full story click on title)

Helijet service to Vancouver set to take off



Regular helicopter service between the downtown's of Nanaimo and Vancouver starts next week.

Helijet has been given the all clear from Transport Canada to launch flights Monday to Friday starting off with seven round trips daily between the two cities.

Helijet Vice President Rick Hill says their two, 12-passenger helicopters have a few key advantages.

He says they can fly on...(For full story click on title)

Purse snatcher makes off with woman's rent



A 56-year-old Nanaimo woman has lost her rent money after having her purse snatched.

Nanaimo RCMP Constable Gary O'Brien says the woman had just left the bank and was walking down Dufferin Crescent around 5:15 last Thursday afternoon.

He says without her knowing, a guy came up behind her on a mountain bike, knocked her over and stole her purse. He says the woman sadly lost...(For full story click on title)

Shelter closes early due to lack of funding



Nanaimo's Winter Shelter has closed a month early.

The Unitarian Extreme-Cold Wet Weather Shelter on Townsite Road could not accept the less fortunate for an overnight stay because of a lack of funding.

The shelter was planned to be open nightly from November 1st through March 31st.

Coordinator Kevan Griffith says the city's funding portion has...(For full story click on title)

Despite report, RCMP not seeing increase in bad driving with faster limits



A report from B.C. doctors says there has been an 11% increase in ambulance call outs for highway crashes, since speed limits were raised last July.

But Central Island Traffic Services RCMP Corporal Mike Elston says in the 120 kilometre an hour stretch between the Parksville weigh scales and the Cook Creek intersection, that is not the case.

He says they were all a little bit concerned...(For full story click on title)

Record hard drug seizure on Gabriola



A record drug seizure on Gabriola Island.

It all started in early December of last year, when Gabriola RCMP say they arrested a man at the Co-op Gas Bar after an altercation.

Cpl. Markus Muntener says the man, now identified as 30-year-old Terence Meyer, was allegedly found to be in possession of 11 grams of meth, packaged for individual sale.

He says it's one of the largest hard...(For full story click on title)

Province's letter tells city to get on with Colliery work



It would appear the province's patience is wearing thin when it comes to the Colliery Dams.

Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay says the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has sent a letter to the city.

McKay says the letter gives the city a deadline of March 27th to have a revised plan of action in place, with time lines.

He says the province has talked about...(For full story click on title)

New Tilray CEO eyes big expansion



Tilray's CEO hopes a large expansion of their Duke Point operation isn't far off.

Greg Engel, the newly named head of the medicinal marijuana company, says they'd like to grow their operation to be four to five times larger than it is now.

He says it very much depends on Health Canada and what that expansion time line looks like, noting the earliest they would be in line for...(For full story click on title)

Empire Days Society votes to shut down annual celebration



There won't be a Nanaimo Empire Days celebration this May long weekend.

Mayor Bill McKay says he's disappointed by the development.

He says the Empire Days Celebration Society executive held a pair of votes Wednesday night.

He says one was whether or not they wanted to run an event this May long weekend under the banner of Empire Days, and they voted not to do that...(For full story click on title)

Mobile mammography vehicle will serve rural island communities



B.C.'s first digital mobile mammography vehicle is ready to serve rural communities across Vancouver Island.

The state-of-the-art breast cancer screening vehicle was unveiled this week in Victoria by Health Minister Terry Lake.

Dr. Christine Wilson, Medical Director of Screening Mammography Program of BC, says the digital technology in the vehicle is a huge help.

She says it makes...(For full story click on title)

RDN introduces online 'Trip Planner' feature



It's designed to make it easier to get around on public transit on the mid-island.

An online Trip Planner option has been rolled out, showing riders what buses to get on to get to a desired location.

The Regional District of Nanaimo's Manager of Transit Operations Daniel Pearce says it's a handy tool, especially for people new to the area or those...(For full story click on title)

Crowder wants Coast Guard to take the lead on derelict vessels



Nanaimo-Cowichan New Democrat MP Jean Crowder's private members bill to strengthen the federal government's response to derelict vessels will be introduced in Parliament Thursday.

Crowder says the Canada Shipping Act needs to be improved, noting there isn't a single federal department responsible for responding to abandoned boats.

She says a large listless boat in the...(For full story click on title)

Man wakes up to find stranger in his bedroom



Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a man who broke into a Harewood home and gave a family quite the scare.

Cst. Gary O'Brien says it happened last Wednesday night at 11:30 on Regal Street, off Howard Avenue, when the suspect got into the home through the back door.

O'Brien says a 27-year-old man asleep in his bed woke up when the bedroom light turned on.

He says what the man saw was...(For full story click on title)

Stone says petition doesn't change his mind on ferries



Despite a petition with over 20,000 signatures, it doesn't look like BC Ferries will be back under government control any time soon.

Independent MLA Vicki Huntington presented the petition in the legislature Tuesday.

It calls on the government to take over the ferry corporation and treat the BC Ferries' route as a provincial highway.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says a...(For full story click on title)

RDN looks for volunteers for emergency prep in Lantzville



The Regional District is looking to expand on gains made in Lantzville to better prepare people in the community in case of an emergency.

The Regional District's emergency program coordinator Jani Drew says they have 25 volunteers, but need more to help in the area of emergency social services.

She says in the last year they began to build the program and...(For full story click on title)