(Mars / Douglas) Port Alberni Mayor John Douglas says the city lobbied the provincial government last year to maintain its contract with Coulson Flying Tankers to keep the Martin Mars water bombers working, but the die has been cast. The city convinced the members of the Union of BC Municipalities to unanimously pass a motion last September supporting the Martin Mars. The motion was even supported by the city of Abbotsford - home to Coulson's chief BC competitor Con-Air. An online petition started by Chris Alemany has garnered almost 17,000 signatures. He has printed off the first 15,000 signatures collected in the first 4 days of the campaign and plans to deliver the 400 pages to Premier Christy Clark's constituency office in West Kelowna on Thursday. Alemany says its fitting to deliver this petition not to her office in Victoria, but to her office in the heart of her constituency which just went through a major evacuation due to the dangerous Smith Creek fire.
(fire) City firefighters were called out to a small fire on the Tseshaht Reserve this morning. A smokehouse fire on Muh-qui-at Drive spread to the surrounding grasses, and was almost at the treeline when fire crews arrived. They were able to quickly extinguish the fire but little was left of the smokehouse or its contents which had quickly turned to ash.
(sign destroyed) A billboard welcoming visitors to Hupacasath Territories was destroyed during the weekend, and police are looking for help in finding the vandals. Port Alberni RCMP say a chainsaw was used to bring down the massive billboard at the back of Alberni Toyota's property along Highway 4, which had been the source of some renewed tensions between the two local First Nations. Witnesses report seeing a white pickup truck with three First Nations males parked close to the sign late Friday night. Hand prints on a vehicle parked by the sign was analyzed but produced no results. Police are asking anyone with information on this senseless crime to come forward and contact the local detachment or crime-stoppers
Alberni Valley Track Club runner Oliver Speagle picked up a Gold medal as part of the 4X100 relay team at the Summer Olympics games in Nanaimo, while the Alberni Wrestling Club also came home with a bunch of hardware, including a Gold medal for Team Vancouver Island in the team competition. Individual gold medals were picked up by Isaac McDonald, Aaron Badovinac, Dean Leyland and Nolan Badovinac, while Johannes Kulich and Emma McGowan picked up Silver medals and Michel Kurucz brought home a Bronze.
Representing Alberni Wrestling at the North American Indigenous games are wrestlers Russell David and David along with Coach Aaron Keitlah and Manager Wilma Keitlah.
Also representing the Alberni Valley at the Indigenous games are Colby Felsman and Memphis Dick for Baseketball, Kenna Harding for Volleyball and Tiffany McCarthy for Badminton.