Aldergrove’s 67-year-old Sharlene Brunjes, a grandmother, recently took gold at the Canadian national powerlifting championships after an overall weight of 568 pounds lifted. (Mava Brydges/Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Aldergrove’s 67-year-old Sharlene Brunjes, a grandmother, recently took gold at the Canadian national powerlifting championships after an overall weight of 568 pounds lifted. (Mava Brydges/Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Not COVID-19: Here’s what else happened this week in B.C.

A powerlifting grandma, a dolphin rescue, a custody battle over a caboose and more

The evolving story of the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated headlines in recent weeks, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the news cycle has been put on hold. Here are Black Press Media’s top stories unrelated to the novel coronavirus from this past week.

1. Aldergrove grandma deadlifts twice her weight for the gold

Sharlene Brunjes proved she’s not your typical senior when she stood atop the podium at the Canadian national powerlifting championships earlier this month. The 67-year-old South Aldergrove resident took gold at the events after lifting 270 pounds – double her weight – into a standing deadlift for her first national title.

The grandma’s competition lifts totalled 568 pounds as she shattered three provincial records.

Brunjes, who picked up her first barbell three years ago, said after the championships, “it’s never too late to get strong.” Now she’s encouraging others over 40 to follow her lead. See more >

2. Residents rescue dolphins stranded near Powell River

About 20 people came to the rescue of a stranded pod of dolphins that had been chased to shore by transient orcas near Powell River Monday, March 16. Rescuers believe the orcas had herded the 16 Pacific white-sided dolphins into an old fishing trap close to shore.

Susan MacKay, founder of Whales and Dolphins BC, praised the community members who used tarps and blankets to save the dolphins trapped in the shallows. “They jumped in right away,” she said, adding the majority were from the Tla’amin Nation. See more >

3. Coldstream kid claims world record

A Coldstream student made a record-breaking discovery while on holiday in Mexico.

Neko Wong, a Grade 4 Beairsto Elementary student, found a sand dollar bigger than her head on a beach in El Sargenta. Coming in at 16.5 cm, Wong’s find has made it into the Guinness World Record books as the largest known sand dollar in the world. See more >

4. Five day trial needed to resolve custody of small town caboose

The Town of Princeton is engaged in an unusual custody battle with the Vermilion Trail Society. The town and trail society are expected to begin a five-day trial to decide who owns the Princeton caboose, which is currently parked near Highway 3.

The conflict arose in May 2017, when the VTS accused a previous town council and administration of train robbery, lodged a complaint with the RCMP and filed a lawsuit against the municipality. The town had placed newspaper ads seeking a partner who might use the rail car to host a tourism-based enterprise. The original lawsuit estimates the caboose’s value at $60,000. See more >

5. Downtown Vernon graffiti upsets heritage building owner

A Vernon realtor says he’s “really frustrated” after learning he is responsible for removing a piece of unsolicited artwork painted on the side of his downtown heritage building. Reiner Stass was alerted by a tenant of the building that sometime overnight on March 5 and 6, somebody climbed onto the roof of the neighbouring business and drew some graffiti on Stass’ antique brick building.

The city’s graffiti bylaw says owners and occupants are required to maintain graffiti-free walls, fences or other structures on their property, meaning Stass is responsible for its removal. He figures the cost will be around $2,000 to $3,000. See more >

READ MORE: ‘It was a stupid mistake’: Lake Country couple regretful of panic purchase, donate $1,000


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A grass fire west of Williams Lake, seen here Tuesday, is considered to be being held by members of the BC Wildfire Service. (Photo submitted)
Bella Coola Valley Arts Council’s (BCVAC) Ida Eriksen enjoys a full life since retiring to the Bella Coola Valley Coola in 2013. She volunteers for BCVAC and likes to carve out time for art, gardening and hiking. (Photo submitted)
Art House Gallery keeps community connections close during COVID times

An art sale of the artwork of Ernest and Jill Hall will take place this weekend

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

A black bear tries to get at a bird feeder at a home near Williams Lake. (Laura Ulrich photo)
Managing bear attractants a top priority in B.C. for 2021: Conservation Officer Service

Garbage, fruit trees, bird feeders, compost and livestock are common attractants for bears

B.C. Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. (B.C. Cattlemen’s Association photo)
COVID, BSE, water access and private land rights: B.C. Cattlemen’s general manager weighs in

Kevin Boon said positive aspect of pandemic is more people interested in where their food comes from

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

New HousingHub financing funds will encourage developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

Most Read