Local News

Police ask for help finding driver in hit and run



Police in Nanaimo are putting out the call for help after a speeding driver ran a red light, hit two people in a crosswalk and took off.

RCMP Const. Gary O'Brien says it happened around 10:45 at night on April 27th, at Terminal Avenue and St. George Street.

O'Brien says a man and woman were both hit, noting the man suffered a significant spinal injury and spent some time in...(for full story click title)

Tree removal will close portion of popular trail



A group of trees near the trail at Westwood Lake Park are being chopped down this week.

BC Hydro's Ted Olynick says a dozen dead trees on the trail's far side, near their power lines, are a danger to the public.

“These have been identified by the city as a hazard to the public that use the trail. They're dead trees, they're snags, it wouldn't take much of a wind...(for full story click title)

Core Review finds Nanaimo lacks corporate structure



A highly anticipated report aimed at creating a more efficient Nanaimo City Hall is done.

The Core Services Review, prepared by a consultant, has 11 key recommendations, many of which revolve around in-house efficiencies. The core review was identified as a top priority by council when they were elected in November 2014.

Western Management Consultants national director...(for full story click title)

Goodall leaving city for Ladysmith job



Yet another senior staffer is on the way out the door at Nanaimo City Hall.

The town of Ladysmith has announced that Geoff Goodall will be joining the town as their director of infrastructure services in July.

Goodall is the current director of engineering and public works for the city of Nanaimo.

Goodall joined Nanaimo in August of 2014.

He becomes the 16th senior level manager to...(for full story click title)

Nanaimo officer charged with off-duty sexual assault



A Nanaimo RCMP officer is facing a charge of sexual assault.

Const. Ben Caram has been charged and suspended with pay and an internal code of conduct investigation is ongoing.

It's alleged Caram inappropriately touched someone while off-duty at a party in November 2015.

He's due back in court on June 21. In a release, Nanaimo RCMP Supt. Mark Fisher says there will be no further...(for full story click title)

Liberals finally commit to removing derelict boat from Ladysmith harbour



The decaying vessel Viki Lyne II is finally going to pulled out of the harbour in Ladysmith.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith New Democrat MP Sheila Malcolmson says she's been assured by the Liberals that the ship will be gone by this August.

She says the removal ends a long campaign.

“It was four years ago that the federal government towed it into Ladysmith harbour and community leaders...(for full story click title)

Refugees adjusting well to island life, with more on the way



It's been nearly two months since nine Syrian refugee families arrived on the mid-island.

The Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society is helping those families integrate into the community, and learn local laws and customs.

Executive Director Hilde Schlosar says their resources are being spread thin, as nine government sponsored families amounts to about 45 people.

“We...(for full story click title)

1,000 litres of fuel sitting at bottom of ocean after tug sinks



Crews are watching closely to see if any more fuel will leak from a tug boat that sank between Duke Point and Gabriola Island.

The "Albern", a 9 metre tug owned by Jones Marine, sank Tuesday evening in the Northumberland Channel after it ran into a larger tug boat.

The Nanaimo Port Authority's David Mailloux says there was an initial release of fuel from the crash, but...(for full story click title)

RDN will create fire services coordinator role



The Regional District of Nanaimo is moving ahead with plans to hire a fire services coordinator.

The RDN has fire service contracts with a number of volunteer departments, as well as municipal departments, like Nanaimo Fire Rescue.

RDN finance director Wendy Idema says the coordinator would work with all of these departments to ensure service and training requirements...(for full story click title)

Nanaimo fisher does third stint in jail for violations



It's three strikes for a commercial crab fisher from Nanaimo.

Scott Steer had already spent time in jail for two fisheries violations when he broke his bail conditions in April.

He was arrested at-sea on April 10th by fishery officers.

He wasn't allowed on any vessel other than BC Ferries, wasn't allowed to have any fishing gear, and had a nightly curfew.

The breach of...(for full story click title)

Harmac president says corrections have been made after waste spill



The president of Harmac Pacific Pulp Mill says steps have been taken to prevent a pollution spill from happening again.

An estimated 3.75 million litres of untreated liquid waste spewed into the ocean between Duke Point and Gabriola Island in June of 2013.

Harmac plead guilty last month in B.C. Provincial Court to the spill and was hit with a $135,000 fine.

Levi Sampson says a...(for full story click title)

Deadline nearing to apply for free invasive plant treatments



The Regional District of Nanaimo board has agreed to pay for the cost of destroying two invasive plants on private property.

The RDN decision to treat giant hogweed and knotweed is also offered by municipal governments in Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum Beach.

However, requests to the Coastal Invasive Species Committee to get the work done this summer must be made by Tuesday, May 31...(for full story click title)

Increased ridership triggers early move to BC Ferries' summer schedule



The summer schedule for BC Ferries is kicking in a little earlier this year.

The company reports that vehicle traffic is up 6 percent this year, while passenger numbers have increased by 5 percent.

BC Ferries vice president of customer services Corrine Storey says extra sailings in June have been added.

“For the Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route we will be increasing...(for full story click title)

Public shaming not the way to go with pets in hot vehicles



The BC SPCA wants to get the message out early about not leaving pets in hot vehicles.

Nanaimo and District SPCA Branch Manager Leon Davis says it only takes a few minutes to injure or even kill a pet left in a hot vehicle.

He reports a clear increase in public concern over the last few years for pets in these situations.

“Whether you think it's fair or not that people are...(for full story click title)

Funding will allow Schizophrenia Society to add resources to mid-island



More support for families dealing with mental health issues is coming to the mid-island.

The province has announced three million dollars worth of funding over five years for the BC Schizophrenia Society.

Executive Director Deborah Conner says that will allow them to add 10 to 12 regional educators across the province, including one in the Oceanside region.

“This is going to be...(for full story click title)