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Lonny Miller is leaving his post as Chief Administrative Officer to assume the same position with the District of Tumbler Ridge.

In a brief letter of resignation to Mayor Bernice Magee, Miller wrote that working for the village “has been exciting, challenging and rewarding...[but] I consider this to be a great step forward in my municipal career and look forward to the challenges and opportunities it will present.”

The resignation was made public at last week’s council meeting.

A BC Supreme Court jury has found Vincent Sam guilty in the first degree murder of Burns Lake resident Helena Jack. The conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. He may apply for parole in 15 years under the Faint Hope Clause, and again under regular hearings after 25 years.

The Smithers jury deliberated for three days before delivering their verdict to Judge Thimersingh Singh on March 1.

Sam was arrested in August, 2004, shortly after Burns Lake Fire and Rescue discovered the severely beaten body of Helena Jack in a burnt-out shed on the 600-block of highway 16.

Helena Jack was a well known resident of Burns Lake, and member of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation.

Police believe Sam followed her into the shed on the night of the assault where he robbed and beat her.

They believe he tried to wash his body of evidence linking him to the crime, before returning to his residence later that night.

Investigators found DNA in the hotel room that matched DNA found at the crime scene. It belonged to Vincent Sam.

Sam was charged with Helena Jack’s murder on September 4. The trial began on January 23.

The Village of Burns Lake has hired long-time village clerk, Michael Riis-Christianson, as its new Chief Administrative Officer.

“We chose to hire him because he has been an employee within the village office for [many] years, so he knows what the projects are,” says Mayor Bernice Magee. “He is a highly competent man.”

There were no other candidates for the position.

Riis-Christianson has been serving as Acting CAO since mid-March, when former CAO Lonny Miller announced his resignation.

Lonny Miller’s original departure was set Apr. 15. Officially, he is on paid vacation until that date.

Riis-Christianson took the title of village CAO on Apr. 3.

He says of his new post: “I want to ensure that the village provide the best possible service to the tax payers at the most reasonable price possible,” says Riis-Christianson.

Riis-Christianson has served as village clerk since 1998.

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