Front Page News - Kelowna Daily Courier Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:25:40 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Tax hike almost 3% kelowna@courier.none (Kelowna Daily Courier) Front Page News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 02:00:00 +0000 Firefighters, students work for same cause About a dozen firefighters descended on Bankhead Elementary School Wednesday, but this was no ordinary call. ]]> kelowna@courier.none (Kelowna Daily Courier) Front Page News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 02:00:00 +0000 Recess doesn't need to be cancelled - BCTF kelowna@courier.none (Kelowna Daily Courier) Front Page News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 02:00:00 +0000 Rugby player makes full recovery from broken neck By Ron Seymour

A young Kelowna man has made a remarkable recovery from a serious rugby injury that left him facing a lifetime of total paralysis.

Six month’s after Judah Campbell’s neck was broken, he no longer even requires any rehabilitation therapy at Kelowna General Hospital.

“I’m doing really well,” Campbell, 25, said Tuesday. “I’m pretty much back to normal, function-wise, but I probably only have about 60 per cent as much strength as I did before the injury.”

Doctors gave Campbell’s family a grim assessment in the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 5 injury. A member of the Kelowna Crows rugby team, his neck was snapped during a routine tackle in a game against a team from Surrey.

“Right after the accident, I was basically a quadriplegic,” Campbell said. “We were told there was something like a five per cent chance I could get back to where I was.”

Campbell has high praise for everyone in the medical community who’s helped him in his recovery, from the match-day medics who quickly realized the severity of his injury and immobilized him, to the doctors who performed surgery, to the physiotherapists he worked with for several hours a day. “The care I’ve received has been amazing,” he said.

Both of Campbell’s parents are ministers, and his recovery page on Facebook has many comments from people who said they were praying for him after his injury.

“I know there’s a group of people who are sort of seeing this as a miracle, but I wouldn’t go that far,” he said. “But it definitely helps keep your spirits up knowing so many people are thinking of you and praying for you. Psychologically, that really helps.”

In the aftermath of Campbell’s injury, a fundraising drive on his behalf netted about $60,000, with donations coming locally as well as from rugby clubs around the world.

The money poured in as it emerged he likely wouldn’t benefit from the mandatory insurance coverage he and all rugby players in organized leagues are required to carry. He has received a payment of just $280 from the insurer.

Campbell graduated from UBC Okanagan with a degree in human kinetics in 2012, and hopes to study medicine or pursue a career in physiotherapy. He was named the Crows most valuable player in two successive seasons and remains a passionate fan of the sport.

“I love rugby and would like very much to be able to play again eventually, but it’s just not worth the risk,” he said. “I got my (rugby) refereeing certificate a few weeks ago so, one way or another, I’ll stay involved with the game.”

]]> (Jon Manchester) Front Page News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:38:52 +0000
Schools close early, starting next week By Don Plant

Kids will come home from school 15 minutes early starting next week.

Teachers are refusing to supervise elementary students as part of a job action that begins today, forcing the Central Okanagan school district to cancel afternoon recess beginning Monday.

Senior administrators can help watch the children before and after school, but overseeing them during

afternoon recess is one extra duty too many, said superintendent Hugh Gloster.

“We lose about two hours of management staff time a day to fulfil those duties. If we add recess, we have to deploy these same people three times a day and it just becomes really challenging.”

Principals, vice-principals and senior district staff begin filling in for teachers on the playground today. They’ll cover the half-hour before class begins, recess and the half-hour at the end of the school day through Friday to give parents time to make arrangements for the earlier dismissal next week.

“We’ll go through the last three days this week covering the three time blocks — before-school, recess and after-school. But our feeling is it’s not really sustainable for us to keep doing that if this is going to carry on for a long period,” Gloster said.

B.C. teachers issued 72-hour strike notice last week. As part of their contract dispute, they’ve stopped

carrying out duties considered non-essential by the B.C. Labour Relations Board.

Paid supervisors will continue patrolling the school grounds at noon hour.

Teachers normally take turns supervising children during recess and before and after school. They’ll arrange activity breaks for their students around mid-morning as usual, Gloster said.

The district is one of several in B.C. opting to cancel recess. Two to five administrators are needed to provide supervision for each elementary school, depending on its size and field layout.

Starting Monday afternoon, buses will pick up children 15 minutes earlier than normal. If a parent or caregiver fails to pick up a student within 30 minutes of classes ending, the child will wait at the principal’s office.

“We never leave a little one unattended,” Gloster said.

A letter explaining the changes goes home this afternoon and a notice will be posted to the district website. Middle and secondary schools are not affected.

Teachers will continue doing voluntary activities during the first phase of the job action. They’re still taking attendance, assessing students and marking their work, writing report cards and communicating with parents.

They refuse to attend staff meetings with principals and administrators except to discuss health and safety. They won’t read memos or emails from administrators.

]]> (Jon Manchester) Front Page News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:37:41 +0000
Medical pot could help toddler By James Miller

When Chris and Elaine Nuessler became semi-retired after careers in policing and business, the last thing they ever imagined being was marijuana advocates.

But life dealt this Summerland couple a cruel blow when their only granddaughter, Kyla, was born with epilepsy.

Since then, the two-year-old’s parents, Jared and Courtney Williams, along with the Nuesslers, have been researching, surfing the Internet constantly, speaking with experts and building what’s unofficially known as “Kyla’s medical team.” They’ve also discovered a ton of red tape along the way.

What they really want for Kyla is medical marijuana.

While the idea of providing a toddler with weed sounds preposterous, it has been known to help children in the U.S.

Charlotte’s Web, as it’s commonly known, contains realm oil and alepsia, which is never used by recreational drug users because it doesn’t provide the buzz pot users crave. Named after a little girl who suffered a form of epilepsy, the strain of marijuana limited the severity and frequency of her seizures and allowed her to develop and enjoy a more normal life.

The problem is it’s illegal in Canada. The only form of legalized medical marijuana at the moment is dried, meaning Kyla would have to smoke it.

“The laws are so convoluted right now,” said Chris. “Everybody’s interpreting the laws to the way it works for them.”

Kyla appeared to be a healthy, little girl for the first six months of her life until her mother noticed she wasn’t progressing at a normal rate. The infant had unusual eye movements. She visited a pediatrician locally and within 24 hours she was rushed to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver where she was diagnosed as having retractable seizure disorder.

Over the next year, Kyla was placed on a series of prescription drug mixtures, received steroid shots and was given a high-fat diet. Some of the drugs had brutal side-effects. She was averaging 100 seizures per day.

Some things worked briefly, but their effects didn’t last.

“The drugs aren’t really working and we were told there’s really nowhere she can go. She’s down to her last drug. She may seizure for the rest of her very short life,” said Elaine.

In March, Kyla’s mom and grandmother made a trip to Vancouver and received the news they never wanted to hear. Kyla’s life expectancy would be short.

“We both cried all the way home from Vancouver,” said Courtney.

The next day, Courtney’s 91-year-old grandfather called.

“Did you see that CNN report?” he asked, referring to a story on Charlotte’s Web and how it has been known to help children who suffer cancer and epilepsy.

“Her development was so similar to so many of the kids who have been helped by cannabis,” said Elaine.

With Jared working for long periods in Fort McMurray, the Nuesslers have become incredibly active in Kyla’s life. Courtney, who was trained as a health care aid, is a stay-at-home mom. The Neusslers are in the selling their home to accommodate the baby and her parents.

Briefly, they considered moving to Colorado where the drug is available. (“Our entire support network is here,” said Courtney.)

Growing it themselves is not an option because it requires detailed chemistry.

They explored the possibility of Kyla being a test case, but that would require a doctor quitting a practice and devoting their life to the project.

Many people have helped the family seek information and through contacts they’ve spoken to leading experts in the field including Charlotte Figi’s (of Charlotte’s Web fame) doctor.

Nobody’s view on marijuana has changed more than Chris who was a cop for 25 years.

“For me it was back to the 1980s and 1990s mindset when I was busting people. I had to do a 180 (degree turn) and start researching this,” said Chris.

The family agrees there’s no guarantee the medical marijuana will cure Kyla, but believe it’s worth a chance.

“Why not? It can’t be any worse for her than some of the horrible drugs she’s been put on and the side effects her little body has had to endure,” said Elaine. “I’m not saying it would be a miracle, but even if it alleviated some of her pain, that would be good. It’s said to work 85 per cent of the time.

“Our main thing is access, awareness and acceptance not only for Kyla, but for other children in her situation. In my opinion you should be able to go to your doctor, get a prescription and then go to a pharmacy or dispensary and get exactly what you need.”

Kyla’s story has been set to music and video and may be viewed on YouTube at: Quest for Kyla.

]]> (Jon Manchester) Front Page News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:24:27 +0000
House, MLAs office destroyed in Oliver fire OLIVER - Three explosions jolted Jim Hoffman awake. Then he noticed the flames. ]]> kelowna@courier.none (John Moorhouse) Front Page News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:00:00 +0000 Nowhere to go, but under truck An SUV came to a stop crumpled under a delivery truck carrying lumber Monday on the Bennett Bridge. ]]> kelowna@courier.none (Steve MacNaull) Front Page News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:00:00 +0000 Sustainability expert to lead new program Amy Vaillancourt, an expert in sustainability assessment, has joined Okanagan College as the lead instructor and program chair for the College's new Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) program. ]]> kelowna@courier.none (Kelowna Daily Courier) Front Page News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:00:00 +0000 Veterans returning to Veendam for 70th anniversary of war's end There's little chance Ed Dickins will have an encounter on his next trip to Holland like the memorable one he experienced in 1971. ]]> kelowna@courier.none (Ron Seymour) Front Page News Mon, 21 Apr 2014 02:00:00 +0000