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Year in Review: January

Avalanches, fundraisers and awards just some of the highlights
Bags await loading at the 2020 Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner - COVID-19 edition. Photo by Terry Farrell

Snowboarder rescued

A snowboarder who got stuck in avalanche conditions on Mount Washington only suffered frostbite after he was reported missing. The ski patrol searched an area in bounds at the mountain first but could not find any trace of a track heading out of bounds, though searchers believed he had left designated skiing and boarding areas. Due to high winds and potential avalanche conditions, Comox Valley Search and Rescue could not conduct a search in the evening and had to wait until the next morning. With the assistance of an RCMP helicopter, the man was spotted in the Buck’s Run area off the backside of the mountain and found in challenging terrain with a high avalanche risk.

Later in the week, a Victoria man died on Mount Washington after he fell in open intermediate terrain. Tristan Alexander, 22, had fallen and did not meet his group at the base of the lift as planned; he was found shortly thereafter by his companions, who were participating in the search.

3rd term for Chief Rempel

Nicole Rempel won her third term as chief of the K’ómoks First Nation following an election on Jan. 3.

Personal touch to Christmas

Dinner organizers for the annual Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner sent out more than 600 bags containing meals to people throughout the Comox Valley. Local students helped give a personal touch to the bags that were distributed to people. About 90 students help design the decorative bags over three days.

Stotan Falls development dead

3L Developments declared an end to all negotiations, claiming it no longer has any interest in building a residential community in the area northwest of the city of Courtenay. The property package known as Riverwood includes 300 acres of land surrounding the Puntledge River, including Stotan Falls. The total 500-acre property has a 2020 assessed value of $4.22 million. 3L states due to liability issues, public access to Stotan Falls remains prohibited.

Torched cars

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a Black Creek residence at the 7900 block of Island Highway. Two vehicles were completely engulfed when fire chief Bruce Green arrived on scene. A total of 15 firefighters and two engines attended the call, and the fire was knocked down within five minutes of their arrival on scene.

Former Comox councillor dies

John Marinus, a five-term Comox councillor, volunteer, Comox Fire Rescue member and long-serving Rotary member died. Mayor Russ Arnott made the announcement about his passing, and held a moment of silence with fellow councillors and staff at a strategic planning meeting.

Ace wins award

Courtenay-based Ace Brewing Company’s Jet Fuel IPA was chosen for second place in the 2020 Canadian Brewing Awards. The medal is a widely recognized symbol of Canadian brewing excellence.

New conductor

Island Voices chamber choir brought on a new conductor, Dr. John Hooper. Hooper joined the choir following time conducting at Concordia University. He founded Sine Nomine, a choir composed of Concordia alumni.

McLean coaches Wild

After three seasons of coaching in a minor developmental league, Brett McLean stepped up to the highest rung of professional hockey. On Jan. 14, the Comox Valley native stood behind the bench for the first time, as an assistant coach of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.

Courtenay’s Ace Brewing Company’s Jet Fuel IPA was chosen for second place in the annual Canadian Brewing Awards. Photo submitted
Former town councillor and long-time volunteer John Marinus was presented with the Freedom of the Town in 2017 by then-Mayor Paul Ives. Facebook/Town of Comox photo
Brett McLean of Comox played for the Colorado Avalanche in the 2005/06 and 2006/07 NHL seasons. He is now an assistant coach of the Minnesota Wild. Photo supplied

Erin Haluschak

About the Author: Erin Haluschak

Erin Haluschak is a journalist with the Comox Valley Record since 2008. She is also the editor of Trio Magazine...
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