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The up and down temperatures have seen the snow come and go a few times over this winter, but there's no need for concern over whether the snow pack is being affected.

Tom Lacey, Merritt's Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, is keeping an eye on snow levels.

Lacey is also keeping a close eye on river levels after this week's scare on the Nicola and Coldwater Rivers during the brief warm spell.

Residents along the river were given an ice jam and flood warning, but colder temperatures have rectified that situation.

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The season series between the Merritt Centennials and Vernon Vipers is even at two wins apiece after the Snakes humbled the Cents 6-0 in BCHL action yesterday.

Merritt mustered just 19 shots at Vipers goaltender Blake Voth while defenceman Ryan Renz had a goal and two assists in the win as four of Vernon's six goals came from defencemen.

Tyler Steel made 30 saves for the Centennials in the loss.

Merritt kicks off a three game weekend in the Cariboo Friday in Quesnel.

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The City of Merritt is not in favour of a Provincial proposal that would require both Ambulance and Fire to respond to First Responder calls in the City.

Mayor Susan Roline says it would be a major expense for taxpayers.

Roline says if the City moved to the full program it would cost more in wages, raising First Responder costs from just under $700,000 annually to close to $1,000,000 a year.

The Mayor was responding to a presentation by First Responders director Randy Shaw who addressed Council last night at a Committee of the Whole meeting.

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While a warning has been issued from City Hall that ice jams and flooding on the Nicola and Coldwater Rivers is a concern, there is now a positive. 

Merritt's Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Tom Lacey says the water flows increased to about 30 percent of capacity, but it's actually an ideal situation because the running water is channeling through the ice and helping to break it up.

Lacey says the colder temperatures overnight have helped to balance the river flows, and things are expected to proceed again as normal.

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Special event policing plans are already underway as the head of the Merritt Detachment of the RCMP sees the number of events in Merritt growing this year. 

Staff Sergeant Scott Tod says he's planning for at least six major events this year which need additional policing -- a poker run in June, Mountainfest and the Great Canadian Bike Rally in July, a tentative Adult Contemporary Rock festival in August, plus the Electric Mountain Music Festival and a mud racing event in September.

Tod says he's already been in active discussions with Active Mountain Entertainment and will meet regularly with all groups throughout the year.

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