The year is almost at an end, which means it's time to take a look back at some of the stories that made headlines in 2018. It's time for Year in Review 2018, where we'll be taking you through the biggest stories, season by season.
Before last Christmas, the community was hit with the tragic murders of a local women and her two young daughters. Jacob Forman, her husband and father to the two girls, faces three charges of first-degree murder and made some court appearances in the New Year before the case was eventually moved to the Supreme Court. The court case is still ongoing.
During the first week of January, two Kelowna men went missing at Boulder Mountain. Roommates Taylor (TJ) Dumonceaux and Andrew Macleod, both 24, had gone up to Boulder Mountain to snowmobile, planning to spend only a day there. However, they ended up being in the backcountry a lot longer than expected — and were unprepared for their extended trip. The two young men went missing on Jan. 7, 2018, and were not found until the next day by the Revelstoke Search and Rescue team. The team spent a total of 10 hours searching for them before they were eventually located at 1 p.m. on Jan. 8, 2018.
In January the visitor centre just outside Merritt officially closed down, much to the dislike of travellers of the route. The popular pit stop closed on Jan. 16, 2018, after the tourism industry reported steadily declining use of the building for visitor information.
At the end of February, Tristin Croteau,a 21-year-old Kelowna local sadly passed away after an accident while snowboarding at Big White Ski Resort. The loss deeply affected the community and a GoFundMe was set up for his family to help pay for funeral expenses. His family ended up asking that the money be given to a charity that helps children who can’t afford to snowboard to be able to do so, in memory of Croteau.
On Feb. 17, 2018, 20-year-old Ryan Shtuka went missing from Sun Peaks after attending a party. He had left to start the short walk home early in the morning, but was not seen or heard from again. News of Shtuka’s disappearance quickly made its way across the province, with outlying communities such as Kelowna organizing volunteers to help find him. Shtuka has still not been found almost a year later.
Stay tuned for the next Year in Review, which will cover the top stories from the spring of 2018.