Osoyoos debates banning all marijuana operations

Osoyoos boasts of having ‘Canada’s warmest welcome,’ but not when it comes to marijuana retail shops. Instead those may continue getting a cold reception as the town considers passing a bylaw that would ban marijuana operations.

READ MORE: Town of Osoyoos orders pot shop shut down after allegations of illegal sales

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A the last council meeting, mayor and council were split on the proposal. But in a 3-2 vote, they approved the initial readings of the bylaw.

“If this bylaw gets passed, I don’t think it is incredibly harmful, I just don’t personally think it is necessary,” said councillor Mike Campol, who voted against.

“We have the right to refuse business licenses and the RCMP are, and have been, doing a great job with dealing with what we’ve been faced now with dispensaries trying to open here.”

The town said there’s been growing business interests from marijuana dispensary owners. So it sought legal counsel,  which recommended implementing a new zoning bylaw amendment.

The town said this would be a ‘short-term, interim measure’ as officials wait for the federal government to introduce new regulations that would impact marijuana dispensaries.

“Just because any zoning bylaw can be changed any time, it is just my feeling that we’re discouraging something that we don’t completely understand,” Campol said.

On Monday, people will be able to provide input at a public hearing before the issue goes for a third hearing.

Brynn Jones, an Okanagan marijuana business owner, is speaking in front of council.

His position: educate and regulate, not prohibit.

“I’m not hoping to change council, but bring information to them. We want civic council to make the right decisions for their community, no matter what they are. But we also want to make informed decisions,”Jones said.

Council will finalize a date for the third reading before the bylaw goes for adoption.

Craven Country Jamboree cleanup expected to be completed earlier than usual

A small lake of beer under the grandstand bleachers, overflowing dumpsters, questionable sleeping bags and an abandoned barbecue are just some of the sights in the annual Craven Country Jamboree cleanup.

The mess after the four-day music festival is nothing new, but it gets under the skin of some jamboree attendees.

“There’s some pretty disgusting people that come here, yeah. No regard for anybody, but themselves basically,” Jon Secuur said.

Secuur was out on Monday picking up empty cans with his daughter Megan. It’s a post-Craven tradition for the two, who capped off their experience with a run to Sar-Can and a visit to Toys-R-Us.

A small percentage of the thousands of beer cans left behind in the Jamboree hangover.

Derek Putz/Global News

However, not all the camps are filled with carelessly discarded cans. On Monday morning, there were lots of campsites where garbage was neatly collected in bags awaiting pickup.

It’s not all bad at the Jamboree clean-up. Many campsites have their garbage properly packed away.

David Baxter/Global News

Organizers said that the dry weather is a welcomed help for the clean-up efforts, which they anticipate to finish by Thursday.

“It does make everything easier. Not just for us logistically as a festival, but for everyone getting in and out of here. Certainly keeping their camp sites clean and tidy,” assistant marketing director, Gerry Krochak said.

A team of 140 workers has been hired to handle the cleanup, which includes clearing garbage for camp sites, handling dozens of dumpsters, and clearing about 300 porta-potties.

The small lake of beer underneath the Craven grandstand bleachers.

Derek Putz/Global News

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    In the meantime, residents in the village of Craven have to look at the mess. Most people Global News spoke with enjoy the festival, and see the mess as an unfortunate, but an inevitable side effect.

    “If you look at it right after the jamboree’s done it is a field of garbage out there, but it is gone within a week,” Rick Taylor said.

    “It is cleaned up and spotless within no time at all.”

    “I think it’s sad. I think it comes with any type of music festival, though,” Emily Dias said.

    “It’d be nice if people were a bit more responsible and took their own garbage out, but I do know sometimes dumpsters are over-filled and stuff blows around.”

    A wrecked tire and chair are just some of the items discarded in this pile of trash.

    Derek Putz/Global News

Orlando shooter Omar Mateen repeatedly taunted for being Muslim

ORLANDO, Fla. – The gunman who opened fire at a gay Florida nightclub last month in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history had complained he was repeatedly taunted for being Muslim in his job as a security guard at a Florida courthouse, according to records released Monday.

When Omar Mateen first started working at the St. Lucie Courthouse, one guard told deputies that “I’m a Muslim extremist and potential terrorist,” Mateen wrote in a statement to his bosses at the security firm he worked for, G4S Secure Solutions.

When boxes were delivered to the courthouse, another guard often said, “We have to be careful Omar may send us a bomb and he will get his 72 virgins,” Mateen wrote, according to the records released by the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

WATCH: Transcript of 911 calls from Pulse NIghtclub offer chilling timeline of Orlando shooting

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Another time, a deputy teased Mateen that his fingers had pork oil on them and he was going to rub them on Mateen’s shirt, according to Mateen. Observant Muslims don’t eat pork because it is considered unclean.

READ MORE: No evidence Orlando gunman Omar Mateen was seeking gay relationships, investigation sources say

According to the records, Mateen told his bosses that in response to the taunting, he told co-workers he had ties to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects and Nidal Hasan, a former U.S. Army major who was convicted and sentenced to death in a 2009 shooting at Fort Hood in Texas that left 13 people dead and 31 wounded.

That prompted an FBI investigation in 2013. But the documents show the FBI didn’t believe he was a terrorist, and an agent told a sheriff’s office major that he didn’t think Mateen “would go postal or anything like that.”

The FBI investigated Mateen again in 2014 because of his ties to a Syrian suicide bomber who went to the same mosque, but that case also was closed without the agency taking action.

WATCH: Emotional eulogies at funeral of Orlando shooting victim who died shielding her son

Mateen opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando during “Latin Night” on June 12 in a rampage that left 49 dead and 53 wounded. It was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Mateen, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during a call with police dispatchers amid a three-hour standoff, died in a hail of gunfire after police stormed the venue.

READ MORE: Islamic group: Muslim man beaten outside mosque Omar Mateen attended

FBI spokeswoman Amy Pittman on Monday referred questions to the FBI’s Miami office, which did not respond to an email.

Mateen’s comments to co-workers about having terrorist ties in 2013 caused enough concern with the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office that they asked G4S Secure Solutions to have him reassigned, away from the courthouse.

Mateen was born in New York and his family came from Afghanistan. In the letter to his employer, he expressed his patriotism to the United States and said he loved his job.

“I love the United States. The boasting I did it just to satisfy the gang of co-workers who ganged up against me,” Matten wrote. “I’m 1,000% pure American. … I’m against these terrorists anyone of them.”

Worried about travelling? Steps you can take to increase your security

The federal government says it continues to closely monitor events world-wide that could affect Canadians and their interests aboard.

All non-essential travel to Turkey is being advised against and advisories are being sent out to ensure the personal safety as well as security of Canadians overseas.

Notifications of an attack in Nice, France were also issued on July 14 after a truck sped through a crowd killing at least 84 people. At that time, Canadians in the area were advised to be in touch with family and friends to confirm their well-being.

READ MORE: Must-have travel apps for your next vacation

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    It’s videos like the one above, and graphic images similar to it, that are enough to make anyone apprehensive to about travelling especially abroad.

    “The nature of terrorism is that it tends to strike when we least expect it. It is very difficult for security services to know in advance, often they may have some indications but whether they know enough specifics to preempt those attacks is another question,” said Colleen Bell, a terrorism expert at the University of Saskatchewan.

    “At the same, I would say there is always a danger.”

    In fact, Bell says you’re more likely to be killed by your own furniture than in a terrorist attack.

    Saskatoon travel advisers who have received calls from concerned residents about to take a trip say there are things you can do to make yourself safer while overseas.

    “Everyone should register on the government site and just register where they’re going to be, when they’re going to be there,” said Shammi Rathwell, a travel adviser with Ixtapa Travel.

    “That way you leave contact information if they need to get a hold of any of your family but also they will send you travel advisories when things are happening.”

    READ MORE: Are your vacation pictures putting your home at risk of robbery?

    Click here to register for an upcoming trip.

    Leading up to your trip, Rathwell suggests watching the news before departing for your destination and access how serious a situation is in the area you’re going to.

    “Was this an isolated incident? Do they seem to be targeting somewhere more than other places? Was it contained in area or wide-spread?”

    Rathwell says she can’t understate the importance of travel protection as well, saying it’s a must-have.

    “I know people don’t always like buying insurance and it’s an added cost onto a trip but I wouldn’t go anywhere without travel protection,” she said.

    “People have employer plans that maybe have medical make sure your cancellation and interruption is enough to take if something happens.”

    It still might not cover everything says Rathwell but will get you out of an area – quicker.

    You’re also advised to avoid travelling to places where there is unrest and use caution when visiting others.

    “I think there’s a lot of credibility to the idea that people should be concerned but not allowing these kinds of attacks to control their lives,” Bell said.

    “If we live according to fear then often we make decisions that can be extremely short-sighted and potentially produce injustices towards other people that live within our societies.”

    For more information on travel advice and advisories, click here.

‘It’s beautiful’: elderly woman grateful after volunteers restore her fence

Some volunteers helped out a southern Alberta woman on Monday after her white picket fence had fallen into disrepair.

“It’s an eyesore, it’s not nice looking,” Ailene Vandermolen said of her fence.

The elderly woman has lived in her home for over 60 years and says she has worked hard to keep her house in good condition.

“There were only two owners who have lived in this house,” she said. “My husband’s parents and ourselves.”

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Keeping her house in top condition is important to Vandermolen, as it was to her late husband, Dick.

“He passed away three years ago,” she said.  “Otherwise he would be doing the fence.”

Unable to take on the restoration project herself, she enlisted the help of the not-for-profit organization, Project Paintbrush.

“It has to be nice looking,” she said. “When something wears out you have to make it look good.”

Monday morning, volunteers from Edenbridge Family Services arrived to donate their time to help Vandermolen. They started with the hard work – scraping and sanding.

Hard work is something Vandermolen said her late husband instilled in their six children, and something that has served them well their entire lives.

“It’s done a lot of good,” she said. “They don’t have to have a maintenance man come over to do it for them.”

Vandermolen said she was extremely grateful for the help of the volunteers.

“I think it’s beautiful that they’re willing to do this for nothing,” she said.” Just because they feel like doing something worthwhile – it really means a lot to me.”

The young volunteers also gained a sense of pride, work ethic and acquired new skills.

“It’s not just painting,” Project Paintbrush’s Jason Cousin said. “You learn new skills, you make new friends and you better your community.”

“It gives you a chance to learn new things and help out around the community” volunteer Angelica Nash said.

After sanding hundreds of boards and applying two layers of paint, the exhausted volunteers could be proud of their accomplishment knowing that Ailene and Dick’s fence is restored to its former glory.