Local News

Former Shawnigan Lake School teacher accused of sex crimes

A man who taught at a Vancouver Island private school faces sex assault charges.

Andrew Olson is accused of four counts of sexual exploitation against a minor and is no longer employed at Shawnigan Lake School.

Olson is also charged with one count of luring a child and one count of assault causing bodily harm.

Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie says the alleged...(For full story click on title)

Not enough being done to clear forest fire fuels in B.C.

We've got lots of work to do.

That message from the chair of the B.C. Forest Practices Board, who says not nearly enough is being done to clear out hazardous forest fire fuels throughout the province.

Tim Ryan says only about 10% of high hazard areas surrounding B.C. communities have been treated since they issued a report and recommendations five years ago.

He says their...(For full story click on title)

Backyard burning banned in Coastal Fire Centre

Increased burning restrictions come into effect at noon Wednesday.

The Coastal Fire Centre's Donna MacPherson says category 2 open fires will be prohibited.

She says it just isn't safe anymore to have those larger piles burning, so this is sort of a mid-sized pile, it's what they commonly call a backyard burn, they are allowing campfires but are asking people to be very...(For full story click on title)

Cash stolen from Westwood Lake Campground

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a man in connection with a theft from the Westwood Lake Campground.

Constable Gary O'Brien says the suspect is white, in his late 20's, wearing jeans and a green or grey hoodie.

He says the theft occurred at 5:54am on Monday, it was caught on surveillance video, the male was seen approaching on a stolen yellow...(For full story and a picture click on title)

Casino Nanaimo urges council to extend conference centre hotel deadline

The operators of Casino Nanaimo are throwing their support behind a proposed conference centre hotel for downtown.

Chuck Keeling, a Vice President with Great Canadian Gaming Corp., spoke at a Nanaimo council meeting this week, urging councillors to extend a deadline for SSS Manhao to begin construction of the hotel.

Keeling says they think the project would have significant...(For full story click on title)

Province says 3 Lantzville Councillors constitutes a quorum

The provincial government has made up its mind on how to handle local governance in Lantzville.

Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Coralee Oakes, has decided that the remaining three members of council will constitute a quorum and can now pass laws.

Mayor Colin Haime says a by-election to fill four vacant positions at the Lantzville council table could happen in about...(For full story click on title)

VIU loses thousands of dollars in equipment during two break-ins

A significant break and enter at VIU's Nanaimo campus.

There were two separate break-ins: the first at the Arts and Humanities building Monday at 5pm and then the bookstore was hit early Tuesday morning.

Thousands of dollars worth of valuable equipment, including laptops and cameras, was stolen.

VIU's Janina Stajic says they are assessing what happened.

She says they do have...(For full story click on title)

Search and Rescue brought in to help look for Jason Burns

Nanaimo Search and Rescue were out Tuesday night helping RCMP look for a missing 42-year-old man.

Jason Burns has not been seen since May 4th when he left his assisted living facility on Rosstown Road.

Police say Burns is known to walk everywhere and does not use buses or cabs.

Anyone with information on Jason Burns can call the Nanaimo detachment.

Lantzville council loses quorum as 4th Councillor quits

District of Lantzville council can no longer make decisions.

This after councillor Graham Savage resigned Monday night, citing problems with the current council.

Savage is the fourth councillor to quit, meaning Lantzville no longer has quorum with just three councillors remaining, one short according to B.C.'s Community Charter.

Mayor Colin Haime says there will now be a...(For full story click on title)

City wants input on E&N Trail expansion alignment

The city of Nanaimo is looking for public input as they consider options to extend the E&N Trail south.

The city's Gord Foy says they are looking at options for extending the trail from the downtown Train Station to Seventh Street, a roughly 2KM stretch.

He says unlike the other sections to the north which are in much bigger right-of-ways and less constraints, this section's quite...(For full story click on title)

CMHC expecting good year for housing starts

Some good numbers for the mid-island in the latest forecast from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

They have released their second quarter outlook.

Senior market analyst Eric Bond sees a double digit improvement in new construction.

He says they expect a 20% increase in housing starts this year and that is composed of single detached homes, where they're expecting an...(For full story click on title)

Big improvements on the way for Departure Bay beach

Signs are going up around Departure Bay Beach as the city of Nanaimo takes another step towards improving the area.

The signs include project information on work that will include installing new pedestrian access ramps, better lighting, upgrades to the seawall walkway, improved parking and replacing an old storm drain on Loat Street.

Work is scheduled to start this fall.

Warm weather generally brings increase in B&E's

It's a crime of opportunity that increases in the region this time of year.

Nanaimo RCMP say they typically notice a surge in residential break and enters since many people leave their windows and doors open when the warm weather comes.

He says thieves will knock on the door to see if someone is home and if they don't get a response they'll walk around and find an open window...(For full story click on title)

Mayor not concerned about using city water for private company's water slide

Nanaimo's mayor isn't concerned about using around 80,000 gallons of city water to run a giant water slide for a private company.

This week, council endorsed the 'Slide the City' event, which would see a U.S. based company bring a 300 metre water slide to Nanaimo this summer.

Bill McKay says he doesn't see a problem with using the water...(For full story click on title)

Mayor Haime says residents should consider actions of those who have left

Lantzville's mayor is criticizing the three councillors who've quit.

Colin Haime says vague references related to bullying, democracy and a lack of direction were made by former councillors Negrave, Millbank and Scott and given as reasons for their resignations.

Haime says nobody in the community has asked him to step down, and doesn't believe any of the remaining councillors...(For full story click on title)