Vernon, B.C. RCMP searching for woman missing over a month

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a woman who has been missing for over a month.

Police are searching for Selina Peters, who was last seen in Vernon, B.C., on Jan. 4.

The 32-year-old is described as five-feet-two-inches tall and about 130 pounds.

Peters has blonde hair, however, it may currently be dyed.

Anyone who has seen or heard from Peters is asked to contact local police or Crimestoppers.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Woman, 69, dies after being hit by SUV in crosswalk on northeast Calgary street

A 69-year-old woman who was hit by an SUV while crossing a street in northeast Calgary on Tuesday morning later died of her injuries.

The collision happened around 7:40 a.m. at the intersection of 68 Street N.E. and 12 Avenue N.E., between the neighbourhoods of Abbeydale and Marlborough Park.

Calgary police believe the woman was in a marked crosswalk, going across 68 Street N.E., when she was hit by a southbound a Mitsubishi Outlander driven by a 62-year-old man.

The scene of a fatal pedestrian collision at the intersection of 68 Street N.E. and 12 Avenue N.E. In Calgary, Alta. on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

The scene of a fatal pedestrian collision at the intersection of 68 Street N.E. and 12 Avenue N.E. In Calgary, Alta. on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

Global News

The SUV came to a stop on the south side of the crosswalk and the driver remained at the scene, police said.

The woman suffered serious injuries and was taken in life-threatening condition to hospital, where she later passed away.

Neither excessive speed or impairment are considered to be factors in this collision, but police said the driver failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk is.

No charges have been laid. The Calgary Police Service Traffic Section continues to investigate the collision.

The Calgary Police Service Traffic Section investigating a fatal pedestrian collision at the intersection of 68 Street N.E. and 12 Avenue N.E. on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

The Calgary Police Service Traffic Section investigating a fatal pedestrian collision at the intersection of 68 Street N.E. and 12 Avenue N.E. on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

Global News

Anyone with information or dashcam footage is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Biden highlights economy, spars with Republicans in State of the Union speech

WATCH: State of the Union: Biden urges Republicans to work with him to 'rebuild the backbone of America'

U.S. President Joe Biden sought to overcome pessimism about the country’s direction — and his own political prospects as he stares down a re-election bid next year — in his second State of the Union address to Congress and the nation Tuesday night.

But his optimistic vision faces stiff headwinds from Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, who the president called on to help him “finish the job” of rebuilding the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic and record inflation at home and abroad.

“The people sent us a clear message. Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere,” Biden said. “That’s always been my vision for the country: to restore the soul of the nation, to rebuild the backbone of America — the middle class — to unite the country.

“There is no reason we can’t work together in this new Congress.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, sitting behind the president for the first time since he took on the role, appeared unmoved by Biden’s pitch for bipartisanship and the listing of his administration’s accomplishments during two years of Democratic control of Congress.

McCarthy — who vowed to be “respectful” during the speech earlier Tuesday — is leading negotiations with Biden and Democratic leaders on raising the nation’s debt ceiling, which Republicans say must be tied to significant government spending cuts. Biden has pushed for a “clean” debt ceiling increase without cuts to future spending or existing programs like Social Security and Medicaid, longtime targets of fiscal conservatives.

Biden faced boos and shouts of “liar” during his speech when he mentioned some Republicans were eying changes to those programs. That led to what appeared to be an ad-libbed response from Biden, and led to a seemingly vocal pledge from members of both parties that the programs would remain untouched.

“I tell you, I enjoy consensus,” he said with a grin.

The president on Tuesday made the case that targeted government spending found in major bills he has signed like the US$1-trillion infrastructure act will achieve results in the coming months and years.

“Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of the choices we made in the last two years,” he said.

The speech showed Biden has shifted his focus from pushing for a flurry of major legislative victories to accepting more limited action with a divided Congress. House Republicans have vowed to undo many of those achievements while prioritizing investigations into allegations against Biden’s family and administration.

Biden promised he would veto any bill that would raise the cost of living for average Americans.

Biden has walked a delicate tightrope over the past two years, balancing the need to work with Republicans on some matters while criticizing the party’s positions. He began his term two weeks after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol to disrupt the certification of his victory over Donald Trump, who remains a force within the Republican party.

Although he celebrated on Tuesday that democracy remained “unbowed and unbroken” two years after that Jan. 6, 2021, attack, Biden’s address showed his continued efforts to appeal to “America First” conservatives aligned with Trump’s policies while continuing to pursue Democratic priorities.

He announced new standards that will require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in the U.S., an expansion of his Buy American policy that has alarmed key trading partners like Canada.

“On my watch, American roads, bridges, and American highways are going to be made with American products as well,” he said.

A request for comment from Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng’s office was not immediately returned Tuesday night.

Biden’s focus on the U.S. economy came after an unexpectedly strong jobs report last week that found unemployment fell to a 53-year low of 3.4 per cent, and over 517,000 jobs were added in January.

The White House is using those numbers and other signs of economic improvement, including falling gas prices, to counter Republican attacks and recent polling that found a majority of Americans are unsatisfied with the country’s direction and don’t want Biden to run for re-election.

Biden has not officially announced his re-election bid for 2024, which could pit him against Trump once again.

Among Biden’s guests for the State of the Union was the mother and stepfather of Tyre Nichols, a Black man who died last month after being beaten by five police officers who are now charged with second-degree murder and other crimes.

Biden called for more action on national policing standards in response — a slim prospect in the divided Congress, although both parties rose to their feet to applaud the president’s remarks and Nichols’ family.

He also urged lawmakers to pursue meaningful immigration reform that would tighten border security, offer a path to citizenship for migrants who cross into the U.S. legally, and crack down on fentanyl trafficking that has led to a surge in fatal opioid overdoses.

Another guest, former House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi — who was brutally attacked inside the couple’s San Francisco home last year — was introduced by Biden as an example of the need to reign in domestic extremism and political violence.

“We must give hate and extremism in any form no safe harbour,” he said. “Democracy must not be a partisan issue. It’s an American issue.”

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who gained a national profile as Trump’s press secretary, delivered the Republican response to Biden’s speech, which he alleged was full of falsehoods.

She focused much of her remarks on social issues, including race in business and education and alleged big-tech censorship of conservatives.

“While you reap the consequences of their failures, the Biden administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day,” she said. “Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn’t start and never wanted to fight.”

Sanders also criticized Biden’s foreign policy that she alleged has made America less safe from threats posed by China and other hostile actors.

—With files from the Associated Press

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Edmonton Oilers motor to victory in Detroit with 5-2 win over Red Wings

Warren Foegele scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers toppled the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 Tuesday night.

The Oilers are 8-0-1 in their last nine games. Jack Campbell made 30 saves. He’s won his last eight starts.

The Oilers played well in the first few minutes of the opening period but the Red Wings were strong after that.

They broke through on a goal by Tyler Bertuzzi halfway through the session.

It looked to be a 2-0 edge not long after as Robby Fabbri was staring down an open net. However, he didn’t get much on his shot and watched the puck nudge off the post.

Philip Broberg set up Ryan McLeod for his ninth early in the second, then Foegele finished off a two-on-one with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins just 36 seconds later.

Foegele made it 3-1 when Vincent Desharnais’ point shot ticked in off his pants. The Red Wings got a big goal from Joe Veleno with nine seconds to go in the period.

Head coach Jay Woodcroft said this game was one of the best performances he’s seen out of Foegele.

“He should feel real good about himself. There’s nobody more happy for him than his teammates and his coaching staff.”

Jack Campbell came up with a big glove save halfway through the third, denying Jonatan Berggren on a breakaway. He stopped Dominik Kubalik in tight a couple of minutes later.

“(Detroit’s) forward group is pretty impressive and they just found a couple loose pucks. It’s my job to keep them out and the guys did the rest,” Campbell said after the game.

Nugent-Hopkins snapped in a power play with 4:22 on the clock. Evander Kane wrapped it up with a shorthanded empty netter.

Connor McDavid assisted on Nugent-Hopkins’ goal to extend his point streak to 13 games.

Woodcroft noticed some physicality during the game.

“We have people that can play that game. There was emotion in the game. We can handle ourselves in those situations.”

The Oilers, 29-18-4, will play in Philadelphia on Thursday. The 630 CHED Face-off Show begins at 3:30 p.m., puck drops at 5 p.m.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Pedestrian seriously injured in Vaughan, Ont. hit-and-run

A pedestrian has sustained serious injuries after an alleged hit-and-run in Vaughan, Ont.

In a tweet, York Regional Police said a pedestrian had been involved in a collision with a vehicle at around 8:30 p.m. in the area of Townsgate Drive and Emerald Lane.

Police said the vehicle fled the scene, adding that the pedestrian had sustained serious injuries.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Sorrento, B.C. woman wants improved highway safety after truck crashes into house

WATCH: A woman in the Shuswap is calling for improved safety measures on the Trans-Canada Highway after a semi-truck left the road and barreled into her house. The crash happened one week ago, and as Catherine Urquhart reports, the wreckage is still there.

A woman in British Columbia’s Shuswap is calling for improved safety measures on the Trans-Canada Highway after an out-of-control 18-wheeler truck slid off of Highway 1 and crashed into her house.

On Jan. 31, around 3:00 p.m. Hilda Freimuth was awoken from a nap by the truck veering into her garage in Sorrento. One week later, the truck remains lodged inside her house

Freimuth was uninjured and the driver only suffered a few minor cuts — and she says the incident could have been a lot worse.

“I heard this loud rustling, cracking noise and then a huge bang and then the whole house shook like an earthquake,” she told Global News.

“I was just in shock and I saw lots of people coming down from the highway, bless their souls, to help.”

She’s now on a mission to prevent something like this from happening again.

Freimuth believes a barrier on that particular stretch of roadway could prevent future incidents.

The Ministry of Transportation could not confirm if that is under consideration.

“Hopefully we can work with the highways or someone to see if we can get those barriers up, so we feel better about things,” said Freimuth.

“I think it needs to happen, just for everyone’s safety here.”

In the coming days, a structural engineer will try to remove the cab of the truck, which is currently jammed into her garage, which took the brunt of the impact.

The engineers have told her the roof of her house is resting on the truck, and will need to be propped up before it can be removed.

Once the rig is out, then they will do a reassessment.

Despite the close call, she hopes to move home in the coming days after spending the last seven in a hotel.

Work is scheduled to start on Wednesday.

“I am (unlucky) that this happened but lucky it turned out the way it did. Police and fire say (it was) the best-case scenario,” said Freimuth.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Luxury car stolen at gunpoint near Mississauga, Ont. mall, police say

Two young men have been arrested after an alleged armed carjacking near a mall in Mississauga, Ont.

At around 8:20 p.m. on Monday, a man reportedly drove to the Square One Drive and Hurontario Street area, near where Square One Mall is located, in downtown Mississauga.

Police said he was in the area for a business meeting.

Three people then drove up to him while he was sitting in his car, a vehicle Peel Regional Police described as “luxury.” After a brief conversation, the three allegedly demanded the vehicle at gunpoint.

Police said the three suspects drove off, leaving the victim physically unharmed.

Officers were quick to find the vehicle, locating it “immediately” near Finch Avenue and Highway 400, police said. A multi-jurisdictional operation involving Ontario, York and Toronto police led to the arrest of two of the three suspects, according to police.

Police said they found firearms in the vehicle and ammunition.

Emmanuel Ezbon, a 19-year-old man from Toronto, was charged with a list of offences including robbery with a firearm and careless storage of a firearm.

“At the time of the offence Emmanuel Ezbon was bound by a Probation Order with conditions not to possess any weapons and a weapons prohibition order,” police said.

The second man arrested was 21-year-old Demouy Blair from Oshawa. He also faces a range of charges, including robbery with a firearm.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Burnaby Urban Search and Rescue off to Turkey to help with earthquake relief

WATCH: The volunteer Burnaby Urban Search and Rescue team is heading to Turkey to help in the desperate efforts to save people from the debris of thousands of collapsed buildings. Grace Ke reports.

The Burnaby Urban Search and Rescue Team is heading to Turkey to help in the aftermath of the deadly earthquakes that devastated Turkey and northern Syria on Monday.

As of Tuesday, the death toll from the 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude earthquakes and multiple aftershocks is now at least 7,000 and the number of injured is estimated to be in the tens of thousands.

It’s one of the most powerful earthquakes to hit the region in a century and the frigid weather is complicating the search for survivors.

Armed with medical and rescue equipment, 10 volunteers with BSAR are making the 15-hour flight hoping to aid in recovery efforts and search for buried victims.

“We are all volunteers. The reason we are doing this is because we feel lucky to live where we are, and so when we see stuff like this, we want to help,” said Ryan Berry with BUSAR.

“We’re a technical search team. We have equipment that can help locate buried victims that have been trapped in collapsed rubble. We’re bringing a whole bunch of first aid equipment. We have some recovery equipment, some water, basic supplies and some technical rescue equipment.”

The team was previously dispatched to Nepal after the 7.6 magnitude earthquake in 2015, which killed about 9,000 people and injured 100,000 others.

They also travelled to the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

Berry says the team is not sure yet exactly where in Turkey they will be assigned — but time is of the essence.

“I think there are six or seven major city centres that are really struggling for help, (we will) probably be assigned there and meet with the local people in charge and they will assign us.”

Most of them are firefighters from Burnaby and one is from White Rock.

It’s estimated more than 5,700 buildings have collapsed in Turkey, and it’s now a race against time as the global community offers assistance for a massive rescue effort.

Meanwhile, other volunteers like Shawn Mohammed are putting their home life on hold to help with the recovery.

“I am leaving my five-year-old’s birthday but I promised him a couple of really good transformers when I get back,” he said.

“I have a really understanding wife and kids so they know this is the right thing to do.”

After being given the green light by the Turkish Consulate, the Burnaby USAR will be taking off tonight (Monday) and will be there for a week, returning on Feb. 14th.

“What we witness is that the destruction, what happened in one day it’s like it’s like a war zone and it happened overnight,” said Mehmet Taylan Tokmak with the Turkish Consulate General in Vancouver.

“Right now even the remaining buildings are collapsing. But (the volunteers) make me so happy. (It is) encouraging and it makes me so emotional at the same time.”

Turkish Airlines is also carrying 11 pallets and two tonnes of donations collected in just one day from the local Turkish community.

with files from Catherine Garrett, Global News

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Charges laid in fatal B.C. tugboat sinking that claimed 2 lives

WATCH: Charges under the Workers Compensation Act have been laid in connection with a fatal tugboat sinking near Kitimat in 2021. But as Kristen Robinson reports, the victims' families say it's not enough.

Genevieve Cragg is pleased to see charges laid in the tragic tugboat incident in 2021 that claimed two lives, including her son Charley’s.

“It’s not going to bring Charley back,” she told Global News Tuesday.

But she said she will continue her fight to stop small tugboats from hauling massive barges.

“Justice and change in the name of Charley and Troy are vital. “It can’t be for nothing.”

The MV Ingenika sunk on Feb. 11, 2021, while pulling a barge through the Gardner Canal towards the Rio Tinto Kemano Generating Station south of Kitimat, B.C.

Troy Pearson, 58, and crew member Charley Cragg, 25, died in the frigid waters during a raging storm with wind gusts of more than 70 knots per hour. Only the vessel’s first mate, 19 years old, survived.

Cragg said her son dreamed of working for the Coast Guard and had no training before he boarded the tugboat that fateful day.

Nearly two years later, the tug’s owner, Wainwright Marine Services and James Geoffrey Bates were charged with eight offences under the Worker’s Compensation Act, including failing to ensure the health and safety of workers, failing to maintain protective equipment, devices or clothing in good condition, failing to provide workers with necessary training and supervision and failing to ensure young or new workers were properly trained on personal protective equipment.

“Without criminal charges, the message that’s going out to industry and marine workers is that death in the workplace is the cost of doing business,” Cragg said.

Transport Canada has already issued $62,000 in fines to the Ingenika’s owners but the union representing tugboat workers said more needs to be done to ensure industry safety.

“When the price of business currently is $62,000 for two fatalities, that does not act as a deterrent for employers to start doing better,” Jason Woods, ILWU Local 400 Marine Section president said.

Tugs under 15 gross tons are exempt from certain federal regulations.

Judy Carlick-Pearson, who lost her husband Troy, also wants better and properly enforced safety rules.

“From day one, it was the importance of carrying on the legacy and doing right by Troy and Charley because of how diligent and honourable they were as mariners,” she said.

“Two years have passed since these two men were killed in this incident on our coast and yet not a single safety measure has been strengthened,” Taylor Bachrach, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP and NDP Transport Critic said.

Both Cragg and Carlick-Pearson said they will keep fighting until changes are made.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Okanagan real estate feeling the impact of higher interest rates

The real estate numbers are out for January, and they show single-family home prices are down around the Okanagan compared to this time last year. Higher interest rates are being blamed. But that's not the whole story. Megan Turcato gives us a deeper look at the data.

The Okanagan single-family home market appears to be feeling the impact of higher interest rates.

The Association of Interior Realtors released data for January, showing that benchmark home prices were down in January throughout the region.

Prices dropped between five and nearly eight per cent compared to January 2022.

“Last year when a client could afford a purchase of let’s say $380,000, at an income of $80,000 for their year, this year it is only about $340,000 so it is a big difference,” said Deb White, owner of White House Mortgages in Vernon.

Single Family Home Benchmark Prices January 2023.

Benchmark prices for single-family homes compared to January 2022.

While the detached home prices are down, they haven’t plummeted and aren’t expected to.

“In the Okanagan we are probably not going to see a massive plummeting of home prices because we are one of the most desirable areas to live in climate-wise in Canada and demographically there is a large section of the population that is ready for retirement and will probably look to the Okanagan,” said real estate agent Maria Besso.

White paints a similar picture, saying the Okanagan real estate market is continuing with people just finding more creative ways to buy a home in the higher interest rate climate.

“Whether they sell a vehicle for their down payment, or they are borrowing money from their family, they are finding it more affordable to buy a home rather than rent,” said White.

Meanwhile, trends in condos and apartments are mixed depending on where in the region you look.

In January, benchmark prices dropped four per cent in the Central Okanagan while rising almost six percent in the North Okanagan.

January 2023 benchmark prices for condos and apartments in the Okanagan compared to prices in January 2022.

January 2023 benchmark prices for condos and apartments in the Okanagan compared to prices in January 2022.

In the North Okanagan specifically, with interest rates up, there appears to be a clear trend of buyers opting for smaller more affordable properties. Detached home prices were down in January while condo and townhouse prices rose.

“What we are seeing is seven percent stress tests and so there is a finite amount of money that people can qualify for and so there is more demand in the lower part of the price ranges,” said Besso.

“Also there is competition because the retirees are also coming here, maybe wanting to downsize, and also looking under $800,000. So they are competing for the same houses perhaps as the younger generation.”

January 2023 benchmark prices compared to January 2022.

January 2023 benchmark prices compared to January 2022.

A variety of trends to watch out for as the Okanagan heads into the traditionally hotter spring real estate market.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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