Tom Cochrane performing at CannaFest 2018 in Grand Forks. (Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

Presenting a Year in Review: Part Three

The third installment in the Gazette’s Year in Review series.

Every year, the Grand Forks Gazette presents our Year in Review issue, a look back at some of the best, important, and compelling stories in our pages this year. This is the third installment of this series, in print on Jan. 2, 2019.

July

The Boundary Community Food Bank officially opened the doors to the public at its new home Tuesday morning. The food bank will be permanently relocated to 7816 Donaldson Drive, after leaving its former location on Second Street following May’s flooding. A bevy of volunteers were on hand to celebrate the opening at the new location, which was marked with a ribbon cutting.

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Over $150,000 has now been raised through a GoFundMe through the Grand Forks Credit Union, staff announced last week. The fund initially went to renters and homeowners who had been displaced by floods, said Jeff Fero of the Grand Forks Credit Union, before the focus switched to small businesses and people who were unable to work. The vast majority of funds have been distributed, though the fundraiser remains open online and through the credit union.

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From human to cat and even to a tarantula, members of Grand Forks Search and Rescue were instrumental in making sure everyone, from the family pet to the neighbours, made it out safely during the extreme flooding that gripped the Boundary in early May. The volunteer organization of 37 members primarily works in ground search and rescue, a vital service in the Boundary.

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Countless discs flew through the air at City Park last weekend, as a record 61 players participated in the third annual edition of the Settle Down Ultimate tournament, formerly known as the Kettle River Classic. Ultimate, formerly known as Ultimate Frisbee, is a non-contact, seven-a-side sport, played with a flying disc. The teams score points by passing the disc to a teammate in their opponents’ end zone.

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The Grand Forks government liquor store was one of the top five in the province to collect donations for flood relief going to the Canadian Red Cross. In a press release issued last week, the BC government confirmed that $66,000 was raised for the Red Cross through the till donation program.

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Company blames declining ridership and increased competition from other options Greyhound is cutting all but one route in B.C. later this year, as it downsizes operations across Western Canada due to declining ridership in rural communities and increased competition with other transportation services.

August

The United Steel Workers Local 1-423, representing workers at Rockwool Industries and Interfor, was extremely proud to be able to present over $13,000 to help rebuild the community after the devastating floods this year, including two $5,000 donations made to local groups last week.

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Buyouts of high-risk homes, elevating others and building dikes are among the options being considered for permanent flooding protection according to a recent flood recovery meeting. The City of Grand Forks council is expected to make a decision on the “direction” of recovery efforts on a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood basis in early September, as is the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. The protection options being considered were outlined at a biweekly flood recovery meeting held at the Grand Forks Secondary School auditorium last week.

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Members of the long-dormant James Donaldson Park Society, the non-profit that originally founded the Grand Forks International baseball tournament, met last month to disburse the funds of the society to the Grand Forks flood relief efforts. Arlene Stooshinoff (left) and Larry Jakubowski (right) presented a cheque for $10,344.61 to Jeff Fero (centre) of the Grand Forks Credit Union, which is overseeing flood relief donations.

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It was the show of a lifetime for fans – and the performance of a lifetime for one local drummer who performed with Gene Simmons at CannaFest on Friday. Jonah Semnoff, 13, performed “Calling Dr. Love” on stage with Gene Simmons Friday night during Simmons’ CannaFest set. Simmons, known as the front man of KISS, performed with the Gene Simmons Band. Semnoff, who began drumming at age 3 and is known locally as a prodigious performer, said he reached out to Gene Simmons Band drummer Bent Fitz when he found out the band was booked for Grand Forks.

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While the gallery did well, indications are the library building will get a failing score. The local library leaves something to be desired when it comes to accessibility for all residents according to a recent audit, but there’s hope that with a bit of funding, improvements can be made.

September

Evacuation alerts have been rescinded for the last group of addresses possibly affected by wildfire in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. The RDKB announced Wednesday that on the advice of the BC Wildfire Service, evacuation alerts for 33 addresses near the Santa Rosa (Horns Mountain) fire are being rescinded.

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BC Housing announced a supportive housing project last week set to be located in downtown Grand Forks. The project, listed for 7382 Second Street on the corner of Central Avenue and Second Street, was made public last week with a page on the BC Housing website.

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As many as 100 homes could be receiving flood-related buyouts after a landmark City of Grand Forks council decision made public Tuesday night. The estimated dollar figure of the set of decisions put forward by council on Tuesday is in the range of $60-million.

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Everyone went home happy on Saturday after a Grand Forks Search and Rescue extracted a lost hunter from Granby Provincial Park. Grand Forks Search and Rescue (SAR) president Grant Burnard, who worked with logistics for this call-out with search manager Barry Savitskoff, said the team was called out mid-afternoon Saturday for reports of a missing hunter.

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