For Kelowna city councillor Tracy Gray has won the Conservative Party nomination for the Kelowna-Lake Country riding. (Capital News file)

Lake Country’s year in review – April 2019

A look back at the biggest stories of the year for the month of April

Gray wins conservative nomination

Former Kelowna city councillor Tracy Gray was chosen as the new federal Conservative candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country riding.

Gray was chosen on April 6, 2019, after party members showed up in droves to cast their ballots and created a line that extended down the hallway at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre.

She said it was a number of factors that led her to win the nomination, including living in the community for a long time and spending months with boots on the ground, visiting businesses and door-knocking.

“Al of that leg work, we knew it was going to be a marathon,” said Gray.

Man charged with killing his wife

The 2016 death of a Lake Country woman was upgraded from a tragic lake accident to a suspected murder.

The Southeast District Major Crime Unit revealed that the investigation into the June 26, 2016, death of Arlene Susan Westervelt, 56, had resulted in the arrest of her husband, Bert, 63.

In the days that followed her death, RCMP said that Arlene was canoeing with her husband when their canoe capsized. He was rescued by a passing boater, but Arlene could not be found.

Arlene’s body was found in 35 feet of water the following day, around 100 feet from the shores by trained divers of the RCMP.

After a lengthy police investigation Lambertus (Bert) Westervelt was formally charged with second-degree murder for the allegedly killing his wife.

New Cannabis regulations approved

To prevent cannabis producers from eating up valuable agriculture land reserve with permanent structures, Lake Country council endorsed new zoning amendments for cultivating marijuana.

Mayor James Baker said there was little discussion over the zoning amendments during councils regular meeting, but there was some concern raised over the smell of cannabis production facilities.

“The cannabis production on our border in the City of Kelowna says there won’t be any smell once they get their operation closed in and once their filters are working properly,” said Baker.

The new zoning amendment proposed by district staff removed buffer requirements between cannabis stores from 400 to 300 metres, as well as removed a provision for permanent foundations as ALC is now regulating that.

Homeless man back on Lake Country streets

Maurice, a well-known homeless man in Lake Country, is back on the streets despite the best efforts of a community member who offered him shelter.

He spent the first four months of the year living in a barn next to the home of Lake Country woman who answered a social media call for help.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said he refused to get help for his mental illness when she asked him numerous times and she had concerns for her own safety after a few incidents.

Though things didn’t work out at the home she provided and that he is no longer living in the barn, the woman said she doesn’t want others to be deterred from helping him.

Multiple vehicles stolen over the past few weeks

Several vehicle thefts over the last week in Lake Country had residents on high alert.

Rob Cairns had his 2006 Chevrolet stolen on April 10 as part of a spree of stolen vehicles in Lake Country.

According to Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers reports, three vehicles were stolen between January and February, one on Sherman Drive, one near Shanks Road and another near Glenmore Road.

On April 9, the theft of a black trailer was also reported on the Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers website.

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