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Regional News

Teen dance sees five kids arrested; two likely to face charges

A teen dance at the Element Sunday night has caused upset in the community after five kids between 15 and 17 years of age were arrested for drug and alcohol offences.

This, during a teen dance that drew as many as 400 kids, according to Element owner Florio Vassilakakis.

Castlegar RCMP Sgt. Laurel Matthew said five kids were arrested at the dance: two for public intoxication and three for drug possession. Police are only recommending charges be laid against two 17-year-olds in the wake of the event.

The figures are in: enrollments slipping in local schools

Enrolments are declining across the region in both School District No. 8 and in Selkirk College’s regional campuses, but respective administrations aren’t ready to push the panic button.

The first enrolment total of the year for SD8 (as of Sept. 30) was 5,086 by a “head count,” a number that was down from initial estimates for the 2011-12 year.

However, some students take more than a full course load, and others take less than a full course load, a situation that makes the numbers misleading, said SD8 superintendent Jeff Jones.

This Christmas, Rossland gives the gift of freedom to six Burmese refugees

The Mi family: grandmother Mya, daughter Layi Pon, and mother May.

 Two families of Mon refugees from Burma will soon move to Rossland thanks to the efforts of the West Kootenay Friends of Refugees (WKFR), a community group formed this summer by Rossland residents. Now WKFR will focus on raising funds to support the families for one year after they arrive in 2013.

Black Jack to host NorAms this weekend

This weekend the Black Jack Ski Club will be hosting a NorAm/Teck Sprint Series race. According to a press release from the club, the event will “bring in about 120 athletes, with a total of 400 people including coaches and families.  This is the top level of Cross Country skiing in North America and attracts skiers from the US and Canadian National teams including several 2010 Olympians.”

RDCK improves transit system

Service to the North Shore and to Castlegar just got a little better.

The RDCK board of directors approved changes to the region’s transit system in consultation with BC Transit, expanding the transit fleet to include a 40-foot Nova bus for the Nelson to Castlegar transit route.

This bus is expected to provide expanded capacity and greater comfort for transit users. An extra run was also added to that route to accommodate commuters. The Nova began service on Monday, Dec. 12.

B.C. invests over $13M in new skills training programs

From software systems development and auto refinishing, to underground mining, shellfish aquaculture and a host of other programs, the B.C. government is investing over $13 million in new employment skills training in regions throughout B.C.

As part of 'Canada Starts Here: The B.C. Jobs Plan', over 50 skills training programs are being delivered by 20 post-secondary institutions throughout the province under the government's Employment Skills Access Initiative (ESA).

The Rossland Aquatic And Leisure Centre? Hey, why not! Mayor considers grant to create four-season pool

Stranger things have happened...but only in science fiction!

Rossland may soon apply for a grant of roughly $400,000 to turn the town's pool into a four-season facility, Mayor Greg Granstrom said this morning.

"It's a possibility," he said. "We don't know if there's funding there, or if we can get it, but we've done some preliminary estimates and talked to some people who may be willing to partner."

Bringing it back: curriculum covers range of environmental topics

A three-year contract for environmental education was awarded by the regional district to Wildsight for their Beyond Recycling program to support environmental education in local elementary schools.

Worth $20,000, the decision was a renewal of a program that had been considered “extremely successful” by RDCK staff and school district representatives.

Each year, the program delivers 20 weekly lessons to five schools in the RDCK. The list of participating schools is adjusted each year to ensure regional representation.