Local News

Police release sketches of suspects in May sex assault

Nanaimo RCMP have released a new sketch of a suspect in a sex assault from back in May.

Police say a 37 year old woman was violently sexually assaulted by two men in the early morning on May 6th.

The attack happened in a grassy area between 9th Street and the Parkway.

Police have now released sketches of both suspects. Anyone with information is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP...(For full story and to see the sketches click on title)

Winter driving conditions right around the corner

Environment Canada might be predicting a no snow winter, but one RCMP member with Central Island Traffic Services is skeptical.

Cpl. Mike Elston says sometimes the weather guys get things wrong and if there is snow on the roads, especially at higher elevations, people need to be ready.

Elston says winter tires or mud and snow rated tires aren't...(For full story click on title)

SAR groups looking for more sustainable funding model

Search and rescue groups in B.C. are trying to find an improved funding formula.

A concept has been put together by the BC Search and Rescue Association for its 80 members, which includes increased funding and contingency funds for issues like spikes in call volumes.

Vice President Colin Wiebe says detailed evidence based research has been put together.

He says they're now reaching...(For full story click on title)

Black Press axes another island paper

Another Vancouver Island newspaper is shutting down.

Black Press has announced the closure of the Alberni Valley Times within 60 days.

The company cites declining circulation and ad revenue over the last few years for the move.

Earlier this year three papers on the island closed, including the Oceanside Star in Parksville, after Black Press bought 11 Glacier Media papers.

RDN moving to completely natural gas bus fleet

The Regional District of Nanaimo's entire bus fleet is going compressed natural gas.

24 of the more fuel efficient, lower emitting, quieter and cheaper to maintain buses are expected to arrive early in 2017 following RDN board approval.

The RDN's Manager of Transit Operations Daniel Pearce says it'll cost them an extra $65,000 in year one, but notes big savings will...(For full story click on title)

Weak salmon returns bring change in planned opening on Little Qualicum River

Catch and release salmon fishing only on the Little Qualicum River until further notice.

That word from the DFO, following lower than expected Chinook and Coho returns.

DFO Fisheries Officer Bryce Gillard says their staff, along with personnel from the Little Qualicum River Fish Hatchery, are watching the situation.

He says the opening that was scheduled for October 1st to retain...(For full story click on title)

Watering restrictions ended

Nanaimo watering restrictions are being lifted.

Level one measures are no more as of October 1st following a long, hot summer.

The city's Manager of Water Resources Bill Sims says the level one and two restrictions were respected by just about everybody in town.

He says the city ended up using about 20% less water than they normally would have over the summer.

Sims says the Jump...(For full story click on title)

Special Ballot Voting on now in Nanaimo

Elections Canada has a little known office open in Nanaimo where ballots can be cast prior to the October 19th federal election.

It's called Special Ballot Voting and is open daily at Dufferin Crescent Elementary for voters in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding.

The riding's Returning Officer, Donald Oliver, says traffic has been steady since Special Ballot Voting was first offered on...(For full story click on title)

Cougar attacks on people "very rare"

A recent cougar attack on a human is described as very rare.

It happened last week in Tahsis on the north island, where a two year old girl was pounced by a big cat, which was later killed by Conservation Officers.

The young girl only had minor injuries.

Mike Badry, Wildlife Conflicts Prevention Coordinator with Ministry of Environment, says these kinds of cougar attacks don't...(For full story click on title)

El Nino expected to bring warm, dry winter

Students shouldn't bank on any snow days this winter.

Environment Canada Meteorologist Matt MacDonald says a strong El Nino weather pattern is locked in for this winter.

He says typically strong El Ninos mean warmer than normal conditions through the winter period and slightly drier than normal for the south coast.

MacDonald says El Nino happens every four to seven years and...(For full story click on title)

Improvements in Old City area designed to slow traffic

A pedestrian improvement project is underway in Nanaimo's Old City Quarter.

The city's manager of engineering projects, Phil Stewart, says curb extensions on Fitzwilliam Street are being installed at Selby and Wesley Streets.

He says generally when you put those type of curb extensions in there it makes the street feel a little narrower, which makes drivers slow down a bit which...(For full story click on title)