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

The ski hill is clearly marked as a no snowmobiling zone, but that hasn’t deterred sledders from ruining it for the second time this season (Patrick Gunderson photo)
Tweedsmuir Ski Hill wrecked by sledders for second time this season

The Club is respectfully requesting snowmobilers stay off the ski hill

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 cases climb to 52 as first vaccinations to begin Jan. 19

VCH has indicated vaccines will be available for off-reserve elders, but has not provided specifics

NES hosts grades 5 - 7 in Hagensborg (file photo)
COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Nusatsum Elementary School

The exposure was in grade 5 and took place Jan. 6, 2021

Jeffery Snow has been our community paramedic for the past three years and has worked as a paramedic for over three decades. He is now certified to offer COVID-19 testing to clients (Caitlin Thompson photo)
Bella Coola’s community paramedic can now test people for COVID-19

Jeffery Snow became certified to offer COVID-19 testing on Jan. 13, 2021

The first cases were reported by the Nuxalk EOC on Jan. 7 (file photo)
COVID-19 cases climb to 25 in Bella Coola

The first cases were reported by the Nuxalk EOC on Jan. 7

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

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

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read