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Merritt Flourish Under the Sun

The City of Merritt received $750,000 for flood mitigation work along the Voght Street corner.

The funds are from the Provincial Government which awarded $12 million in grants to 18 communities to support structural flood mitigation projects.

“We are very excited for the flood grant and are moving full-steam ahead with this project. It’s a significant grant towards some of the work we’re doing on Voght Street,” said CAO Scott Hildebrand.

The estimated cost of the project will be $3 Million.

“We do have other funding within our budget last year that we’re moving towards this project. It is a significant project for us but very much needed,” added Hildebrand.

“We’ll have new boulevards, sidewalks, bike lanes, trees, crosswalks, the walking trail will continue,” said Public Works Superintendent Charlie Henderson.

Council still needs to approve the overall project in the 2020 budget.

Council is also considering phase-2 of the Voght street project which would run from Blackwell to Belshaw.


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Fentanyl strips

As British Columbia approaches the fourth anniversary of the public health emergency related to illicit drug overdoses, the BC Coroners Service and partners are renewing calls for improved access to a regulated, safer drug supply in the province.

The BC Coroners Service reports there were 981 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2019. This represents an average of 2.7 deaths per day and will likely increase as investigations conclude. Though the 981 illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2019 represent a 36% decrease from similar deaths in 2018, the number is virtually identical to the number of those who died in 2016, the year the provincial health emergency was declared.

"More than 5,000 lives have been lost in B.C. since 2016 as a result of illicit drug toxicity. These deaths have deeply hurt families and communities across our province and represent an immense loss of potential in all walks of life," said Lisa Lapointe, B.C.'s chief coroner. "The number of illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2019 remains higher than motor vehicle incidents, suicides and homicides combined, and B.C. continues to bear the heaviest toll of the impacts of the unpredictable, profit-driven, illicit drug market.

"Collectively, we continue to urge for greater access to safe supply for those in our community who are experiencing, and struggling to live with, substance use disorder."

A continuing trend highlighted in the report is that middle-aged men are over-represented with more than three-quarters of the suspected overdose deaths involving males and 71% involving people aged 30 to 59. Eighty-seven per cent of deaths continue to occur indoors, with more people dying on the days immediately following the issuance of income assistance payments than all other days in the year.

By the local health area, the rates of illicit drug toxicity deaths were highest in Princeton, Grand Forks, Hope, Keremeos, and Merritt, from 2017 to 2019. (The rates are calculated per 100,000 people)

Merritt has seen 17 illicit drug death during that time.


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Plane Crash Feb 2020 2

Last night during a town hall meeting at the Civic Centre, the assembled crowd burst into applause upon hearing an update on the condition of the pilot who crashed a few weeks ago at the Merritt Airport.

“I had the opportunity to meet with him today, good news, he’s home and he’s recovering and he’s not giving up flying,” said Rae Robinson.

A missing persons report led to the discovery of the airplane crash in the early hours of February 10.

The pilot, who is believed to have been trapped in the cockpit for several hours before being found, was extracted by Merritt Fire and transported to the hospital.

On February 13, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) finished its assessment and decided not to further investigate the crash.


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city merritt council

Tonight, Merritt City Council will be hosting a town hall style meeting at the Civic Centre.

The town hall will take place from 6-8 pm.

It will serve as an opportunity for the public to ask questions of Council in a less formal setting than a regular council meeting.

Councillors and City Staff will be present to answers questions on everything from budget and housing, to flood mitigation work, and more.

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bc news

This morning Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, announced the province’s seventh case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

"We are announcing a seventh case of COVID-19 in B.C. The person affected was in close contact with the previously reported sixth case announced on Feb. 20, 2020. Both cases remain in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public health teams.

"The individual has been confirmed positive based on BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) testing. The individual is male, in his 40s and lives in the Fraser Health region.

"Of these seven cases, the first case has recovered, as indicated by the resolution of symptoms, followed by two successive negative test results 24 hours apart. The other six B.C. patients with COVID-19 remain in self-isolation at home and under care by public-health teams.”

Those other six cases include one person in the Interior Health Region who was diagnosed on February 14. The patient is a woman in her 30s.


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