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Regional News

Closure of sex infection clinics may leave people at risk

Nurses in BC's Interior are decrying the closure of the five public health clinics that test and treat sexually transmitted infections (STI).

The decision by the Interior Health Authority (IHA) has shocked public health nurses in the region who are struggling to understand how officials could choose to cut these services to already vulnerable populations.

The cuts, for clinics in Grand Forks, Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Cranbrook, leave the need for access to services with a gap.

Climate action commitments now focus of future RDCK decisions

A green fleet and green purchasing policy have been adopted at the Regional District level, helping mark another rung up the ladder of the Carbon Neutral Kootenays project.

Sustainable considerations will now come into play when it concerns vehicle acquisition, replacement and usage decisions under the new policy — replacing the existing RDCK Vehicles Policy.

Council moves forward with bylaw for Hydro borrowing

Council has taken the first step in authorizing the City to borrow up to $6 million toward Nelson Hydro infrastructure projects.

The first three readings of the loan authorization bylaw passed at a special Council meeting on Monday afternoon.

This is the first of several steps before borrowing moves forward. Next the bylaw must be approved by the Inspector of Municipalities, then by the community through an Alternative Approval Process and finally by the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

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).