Weapons charge nets time
A man arrested for whom police needed a flash grenade to flush out of a Black Creek public washroom was sentenced in provincial court in Courtenay.
Stephen Charles Pawlak, 44, of Campbell River was given a four-year sentence for weapons charges, but with credit for time in custody, this brought the net time down to two years less a day.
Pawlak was arrested in October 2019 after an altercation at the Black Creek General Store where, carrying a pistol, he pulled in to use the washroom.
Accolades for Comox singer
A songwriter from Comox has made her way to the international stage as a finalist in the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition, and she’s only 10 years old.
Evangeline Durupt was recently selected as a top 10 finalist in the international (age eight to 12) category in the SAYS competition for her song Colourful. Durupt ultimately placed second overall in the competition, which attracted more than 1,000 entries.
Snowbirds return to Comox
The Snowbirds returned to Comox for their usual spring training in 2021, after a one-year layoff due to travel restrictions associated with COVID-19.
While ongoing COVID restrictions limited interaction of pilots and civilians, the team flew most days during its three-week stay, offering fans plenty of photo ops. The F-18 demo team also held its spring training session in Comox in May.
14 years for shooting incident
Richard Daniel Vigneault was sentenced to 14 years for numerous charges, including four break-and-enter counts, discharging a firearm with intent, aggravated assault, two counts related to firearms possession and one for carrying a concealed weapon.
The incidents took place between March 12-15 in the Merville area, and included a vicious assault on resident Robert Scott, who found Vigneault in his home the evening of March 14.
Scott offered the intruder a drink, let Vigneault use his bathroom, and even offered him some money, to help him out.
In turn, Vigneault raised a handgun at Scott and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed at first, but then Vigneault fired the gun at the victim’s face.
The bullet entered the jaw and made a path through the victim’s head, resting adjacent to the cervical vertebrae.
Habitat auction wins award
Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North had to get creative in its fundraising efforts in 2020, due to the onset of COVID-19.
The team created its 2020 #BidtoBuild Online Auction fundraiser in an effort to keep funds rolling in, as ReStores were forced to close due to the pandemic.
The auction was a massive success and was recognized at the national Habitat For Humanity annual conference with the Habitat for Humanity Canada Epic Engagement Award.
MasterChef Canada runner-up
Comox Valley-raised Thea VanHerwaarden has earned a second runner-up finish at MasterChef Canada. The 2021 series was an all-star competition among 12 returning cooks. She first appeared on the CTV reality television show in 2017.
She primarily cooked Italian or Latin American dishes with a West Coast spin. For her final dish, she created a fish taco appetizer, drawing on memories of fishing in the Comox Valley and her family’s love of Mexican food. She used Vancouver Island venison for the main dish.
Vigils held for victims
The entire country was left reeling at the end of May, by the discovery of the remains of 215 children, buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops. The discovery led to searches at former residential schools across the country, with death tolls mounting at every search.
At Simms Millennium Park in Courtenay, a vigil was held on May 31, with more than 300 people in attendance.
“Many of us are hurting right now – there is sadness, there is anger,” said Kristy Bell, one of the speakers at the ceremony. “But today, we’re here to remember the 215 children. There is plenty of time in the days, weeks, months and years ahead to hold our government to account for what they have done. But today, please let us remember we are here for those 215 beautiful little children who are no longer with us.… we are going to be grieving and mourning together for a very long time.”
The searches continue.