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Every weekend Q101 will revisit the most talked-about stories of the week in Merritt and bring them to you all in one place. As well as my favourite story of the week.

This week Merritt was buzzing about a proposed relocation of the dog park, the theatre project, and cameras installed on school buses.

This week my favourite story was about the impacts of the holiday season on people with mental illnesses.

New Dog Park Proposed

During this week’s committee of the whole meeting focused on the 2020 capital budget, the relocation of the dog park was proposed.

Full Story

Theatre Project Takes Step Forward

The Nicola Valley Theatre Society has long been working on the dream of bringing a theatre to Merritt.

Recently the project took a step forward in the form of a verbal agreement, Rich Hodson joined Q101 to discuss.

Full Story

Four People Caught Passing School Buses

Since the installation of the cameras this fall, the district has already passed along footage of four vehicles to the RCMP. The District is reporting that all four drivers have since received fines.

Full Story

Holiday Depression

While the holiday season has the ability to bring happiness and joy to many, it can also be an incredibly hard time on those battling mental illnesses.

Full Story

 

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Logan Lake RCMP is reminding parents to speak to their kids about not getting into strangers' vehicles after an older male suspect attempted to lure young girl yesterday.

“On December 12, at approximately 3:30 pm a 10-year old girl was asked to get into a grey SUV,” wrote Cst. Al L’abbe.

It occurred near the Logan Lake Elementary School and the suspect is reported to have offered the girl candy.

Police are asking the public to keep an eye out for a clean grey SUV. The suspect is described as an older, balding male, with a mustache and possibly a grey jacket.

If approached, please contact the police immediately.

Anybody with possible information about the case is asked to contact the Logan Lake RCMP or Crimestoppers if you wish to remain anonymous.

 

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Vaping

Since the beginning of the school year, there has been one constant on the school board meeting agenda, vaping.

The board has been reviewing current policies and looking at how they could combat the issue at schools across the district.

Superintendent Steve McNiven said that work has led the district to look for consistency.

“What we found is our current policy connected to vaping references school codes of conducts and school procedures. I think the bottom line is there is a want to have more consistency across the district around what those procedures look like, and clarity. So, that’s what this work will support, I’m not completely sure it will change the overall policy, but it will help support that work,” said McNiven.

Assistant Superintendent Jameel Aziz has also been working on the issue from the provincial level.

“We’re working with BCSTA legal support around building some procedures. That work is being done through Jameel Aziz who sits on the school protection plan committee for the province. It’s an opportunity to look at procedures not only for our district but for the rest of the province,” added McNiven.

It’s expected that work will be back on the table in February.

 

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This week, Public Works Superintendent Charlie Henderson was presenting his 2020 capital budget for deliberations.

The biggest ticket item on the list was an upgrade to the Kengard Well, budgeted at $4.5 million. If the project gets approved by Council, the City will be looking into grant opportunities to help offset the price.

The reasoning behind the project is two-fold, first to satisfy an Interior Health regulation and second to improve pumping capacity during future Coldwater droughts.

“Interior Health has changed manganese from an aesthetic objective to a MAC (maximum acceptable concentrate) of 0.12, we constantly come in at 0.199 and have failed twice,” said Henderson.

The manganese is the mineral that turned some Merrittonians water yellow over the summer when the City switched wells.

A portion of the project would be to install a better filtration system to remove the manganese before it can react with the chlorine, keeping the water clear.

The second half of the project would be to install a bigger pump.

“Our Kengard Well takes its water from the Nicola aquifer. At this point it can only pump 50 litres per second, however, our peak water demands are 195 litres per second. We’re looking to increase that capacity,” said Henderson.

Increasing the capacity would allow the City to better react to drought conditions along the Coldwater.

City Council has not yet voted on this proposal. 

 

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Merritt RCMP Cpl. Brock Hedrick has provided Q101 with an update on last weekend’s successful arrest of two suspects on Swakum Mountain. The arrest was made by a police dog unit who tracked the suspects for six kilometres. 

“Ronald Gerald Karlson, 33, of Merritt has been charged with possession of stolen property, namely a Dodge truck and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. Karlson remains in custody, his next court appearance is scheduled for January 6th,2020,” stated Hedrick.

It was also confirmed that the female suspect has been released from custody as the BC Prosecution Service has elected not to approve charges. 

 

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