Brian Taylor is the new mayor of Grand Forks following elections on Oct. 20. (Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette

Presenting a Year in Review: Part Four

The fourth 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 fourth and final installment of this series, in print on Jan. 2, 2019.

October

Grand Forks has a new city council and mayor, following elections on Oct. 20. Brian Taylor is the new mayor of Grand Forks, narrowly beating our Everett Baker by 56 votes. The Boundary Integrated Watershed Authority Referendum also passed.

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In a surprisingly twist, BC Housing announced in a letter addressed to members of council it had drastically changed the scope of the Second Street supportive housing project. The letter, dated Oct. 2 and signed by associate vice-president of development Armin Amrolia, informs council that BC Housing intends to change the project from 50 studio units to 50 one-bedroom units, and use a “security lock off for 10-15 units for a hard to house population as required” to give other people needing affordable housing access to the rest.

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Just over a week after the reduction in the Danville Border crossing hours, American officials are advising there will be a second town hall meeting next week to discuss the impact of the reduced hours. A notice presented to media this week advises there will be a town hall meeting on Oct. 19 at the Republic Elementary School gym from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

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Habitat volunteers, community members and friends gathered at the site of the Habitat for Humanity Southeast BC homes on 72nd Avenue last week for the dedication and key ceremony for the three newly-completed homes.

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The fall weather has arrived, and just in time for the Kettle Valley Food Co-op’s fifth annual Harvest Fest at the Boundary Museum on Saturday. The festival showcases local farmers and producers, offers games and entertainment and plenty of good food to choose from.

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Rugby players from Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS) shone over the weekend at a 60-team rugby tournament in Kamloops. Eight players from GFSS went to the annual Kamloops Rugby Sevens tournament, playing on a mix of Kootenay and Okanagan U16 and U19 teams. The U16 team with two GFSS boys onside took home a gold medal for their efforts.

November

A year of fundraising efforts have wrapped up for the Grand Forks Rotary Club with the donation of $12,300 to the Grand Forks BMX Club for the club’s safety gate and starting hill project. The funds, proceeds from the Rotary Club’s popular WestJet raffle ticket sales, will be used to replace the starting gate at the hill with a safer model.

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The new City of Grand Forks council got its start on Monday night, with the appointments of councillors to committees and other administrative business. The inaugural meeting began with the swearing-in of the new council, starting with Zak Eburne-Stoodley and concluding with Mayor Brian Taylor. Councillor Chris Moslin was unable to attend.

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Sing it! A local music teacher has been provincially recognized for her outstanding teaching and contributions to music education. Kirsten Rezansoff, a music teacher at Christina Lake Elementary, was presented with the Outstanding Professional Educator (Elementary) award from the B.C. Music Educators’ Association at the association’s annual general meeting in Richmond.

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The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary board of directors re-elected Electoral Area D/Rural Grand Forks Director Roly Russell as board chair and Electoral Area C/Christina Lake Director Grace McGregor as vice-chair at the Nov. 14 board meeting.

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The Metis community invited Grand Forks and the Boundary to join them in honouring the life and achievements of Louis Riel on Friday, Nov. 16 – Louis Riel Day. For the first time, the City of Grand Forks raised the Metis flag for the weekend, and local politicians joined the community in a ceremony at Gyro Park. Following a prayer from elder Joyce Rumble, Metis association president Jean Lloyd offered remarks and Jacqueline Lessard spoke about the life and history of Louis Riel Day.

December

Small businesses in the Boundary could be receiving as much as $18,500 in flood-relief funding after a provincial announcement Monday morning, the most significant announcement of business relief to date. The announcement comes seven months after catastrophic flooding in May 2018.

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The Christina Lake Healthcare Auxiliary (represented by President Sandi Gniewotta) presented Rachel and Gabe Warriner with a $1,000 donation to the River Valley Community Church to be used for flood relief at its annual Christmas tea earlier this season. Within its mandate to support local health care organizations and causes, the auxiliary presented the donation to the Warriners, who have been instrumental in flood recovery.

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Balance your way along the trestle, take a dive into Cascade Falls and swim with the salmon – all are features of the updated and improved three-dimensional mural being painted on the flood of the Christina Lake Welcome Centre this week.

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The City of Grand Forks council, most of whom were not in office during last year’s flood, heard an update on flood remediation and protection measures currently ongoing as the city gears up for the 2019 freshet.

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Tales of talking animals and faraway places – hundreds of new books will make their way into the hands of kids in time for Christmas thanks to the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy’s (CBAL) Books Under Every Tree campaign. Nearly 550 new and gently used books were presented to the Community Christmas Hamper program last week, to be included in every family hamper being distributed this season. CBAL community literacy coordinator Erin Perkins presented Dennis Tournemille, Community Christmas Hamper program coordinator with boxes full of books – and they enjoyed a story or two as well!

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Grand Forks Fire/Rescue will be getting a brand-new pumper truck at the Carson fire hall, following a Regional District of Kootenay Boundary board decision to approve the funding.

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The Phoenix Foundation of the Boundary Communities and Boundary Family Services have partnered with the Boundary Flood Recovery Team to launch a new fund for residents affected by flooding and still needing assistance.

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