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Merrittonian Payton Schaefer is in Fernie for the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League's all-star weekend.

Schaefer, who plays for the Kamloops Storm, will take part in tonight's Top Prospects game.

The 18-year-old has four goals and 16 assists in 37 games this season, his first of junior hockey.

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Former Merritt Centennials goaltender Brad Thiessen, who now plays for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, has been named a starter for the American Hockey League all-star game at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, former Cents forward Chris Shudo, who played 39 games in Merritt during the 2005-06 season, has signed with Lulea of Sweden's Division One League.

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The call has gone out for nominations for this year's Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

Chamber President Etelka Gillespie says nomination forms are available now, for both Chamber members and non-members alike.

The Chamber will be hosting the 21st Business Excellence Awards Gala at the Civic Centre on February 12.

Q101's own Brian Wiebe is the night's Master of Ceremonies.

Tickets will be available at the Chamber Office, located at City Hall on Voght Street.

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Merritt's Bylaw Enforcement Officer is working to enforce the snow removal bylaw as one of the biggest snowfalls of the winter so far has hit the City.

Marguerite Kempin says any snow removed from your driveway has to stay on your property and cannot legally be pushed out onto a public right of way.

Kempin adds that snow on sidewalks is considered "city" snow and doesn't have to be piled on your property.

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Gold Country is still holding out hope that the City of Merritt will buy into local area taxation and remain a member after this year.

City Councillor Mike Goetz says there are concerns of what it could end up costing the taxpayers of Merritt.

Councillor Goetz says some of the suggestions to Gold Country would be to approach the Hotel-Motel Association, restaurants and gas stations.

He says these are the people who really benefit from Merritt being a member.

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