Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm and has been blasting the state all night even as the winds weakened. All weekend coastal residents were told that much of the life-threatening danger could come from a storm surge as high as 10-15 feet, but as it moved inland the predicted levels dropped. Millions lost power and as it becomes safe, rescue crews will resume operations. Hydro crews from as far away as Canada and California are in the state to help.
The BC Liberals kicked Abbotsford South MLA Daryl Plecas out of the party after he agreed to become Speaker of the legislature. Liberals say all party members had agreed not to become Speaker because that would have given the NDP and Greens a larger majority. With the Kelowna West riding vacant, there are 41 Liberal, 41 NDP, three Green MLAs and Plecas sitting in the legislature.
Here’s something you can plan ahead for if you’d like to get a team together. On Saturday, September 30th, downtown Kelowna will be taken over by decorated shopping carts competing in the 6th Annual “Arthur Cottie Memorial” Push To End Homelessness. This is an annual awareness and fundraising race for Inn from the Cold. For info, check out www.innfromthecoldkelowna.org
Firefighters were able to get a good grip on the Findlay Creek Fire on the weekend thanks to the cooler and damper weather and a number of backburns. While the size is still around 2,200 hectares, it is about 50% contained. Meantime BC Wildfire says the Philpott Road fire is 85% contained and is being classified as “held and they won’t be providing any further updates on it.
It will be a little tricky driving along the downtown waterfront for a bit. Tonight and tomorrow, Water Street will be closed between Sunset Drive and Cawston Avenue for milling and paving work from 5pm to midnight. The city says every effort will be made to minimize disruptions for motorists, residents and businesses.
ELLISON FIRE DEPT
The Ellison Fire Department is recruiting new members and any area residents who’d like to serve their neighbours are invited to apply. They have to live within eight kilometers of the Ellison fire hall Station 61 on Old Vernon Road, be between 19 and 65 and in good shape. Anyone interested can stop by the fire hall Monday evenings between 6 and 9 to learn more and pick up an application package.
A big honour for a local organization. Project Literacy Kelowna Society has been awarded the Council of the Federation Literacy Award for its work to develop literacy skills and build community ties throughout the Central Okanagan. The Society provides free tutoring in reading, writing, language, digital, math and financial literacy, with the help of 150 volunteers.
The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce took advantage of a meeting with the federal Liberal caucus to discuss its concerns. First and foremost was the changes proposed for the business tax. The chamber wants it shelved. It also wants more Federal help to stop the spread of invasive mussels and improvements to the foreign worker program which is so important in the Okanagan.
The NDP Throne speech focused on three priorities…. making life more affordable for British Columbians, improving services such as funding to schools and healthcare and building an economy where everyone benefits from resources. The NDP also promised to establish a commission to work towards a $15 an hour minimum wage, although no timeframe for that was given.
The Okanagan Sun are still undefeated this season after playing the Vancouver Island Raiders to 31-31 tie at the Apple Bowl yesterday. Their next game is on Saturday against the Valley Huskers in Chilliwack.
The BC Lions moved out of the CFL West basement on the weekend as they beat Montreal while Saskatchewan lost to Winnipeg in the Banjo Bowl. The other weekend games saw Hamilton win its second straight beating Ottawa and Calgary made it two in a row in the Battle of Alberta, scoring a last minute touchdown to take the Eskimos.
In the NFL, the Seahawks began the season in Green Bay losing 17-9 to the Packers. Two Monday night games, New Orleans is in Minnesota at 4, then its the Chargers at the Broncos at 7:20.
Local hockey on the weekend. The WHL Rockets wrapped up their preseason with 2 wins over the Kamloops Blazers. The two teams will have a home and home series to begin the season on the 22nd at Prospera Place.
And the West Kelowna Warriors began their BCHL regular season splitting a home and home set with the Trail Smoke Eaters.
On the LPGA Tour, Canada’s Brooke Henderson finished tied for 5th at the Indy Women in Tech Championship, winning $60-thousand.