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Law Enforcement Charity Hockey Challenge looking to raise $20,000 for the BC Children's Hospital foundation.
 
This year's tournament will feature a record ten teams, with roughly 175 RCMP officers, firefighters and conservation officers taking part this weekend at the Nicola Valley Memorial area.
 
Organizer Vida Ferris confirms nearly $50,000 has been raised in the first four years of the tournament, all of which has gone to the BC Children's Hospital foundation.
 
"It has all gone into their general operations. They had asked us if we wanted it to go into anything specific, and we simply have told them to put the funds where they are most needed." 
 
Many participants have personally benefitted from the foundation, including Ferris, who's daughter spent the first six-months of her life at BC Children's Hospital due to complications with her heart.
 
To view the tournament schedule, or a list of the silent auction items, CLICK HERE.
 
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Merritt Youth and Family Resource Society believing they will finally be issued a permit for new building.

Executive Director Lenora Fletcher says they have been attempting to get the permit approved for their new building at 1914 Quilchena Ave since the summer, and following a meeting with the City of Merritt last week, have been assured if they file their application with the necessary adjustments this week, it will finally be green-lit.

"I sent the first part to the city yesterday. And, the second part, which our designer is currently adjusting, will be going out to them by the end of the week."

The new two-storey, pre-fabricated Merritt Youth and Family Resource Society building must be completed by the end of April, as per the rules of the $235,000 Ministry of Child and Family Development grant they received back in 2016.

If the permit is approved at next week's regular meeting of Council, Fletcher says they will be able to meet the deadline.

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Local musician hoping national music competition can be his "big break".

Merritt's Bobby Garcia has entered his song, 'Not My Fault Not My Problem' into CBC Music's Searchlight 2018.

The competition allows Canadian musicians of any genre to submit an original song and compete for prizes courtesy of the Juno Awards and the National Music Centre.

"It would be a huge jumpstart to my music career if I got that far. It's recording time, playing at the Juno Awards, and studio time in Toronto. Really, it’s a once in a lifetime break. Hopefully, I can get some local support along the way."

Voting to narrow down the competition to 100 artists takes place up until Feb 28th.

To vote for Garcia, CLICK HERE.

 

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School District 58 in better shape financially than originally predicted.

Secretary treasurer Kevin Black confirms the deficit in the district's amended 2017-18 budget has shrunk by well over a third from the original estimate.

"The amended budget has been passed with an overall operating budget of $31,782,883. It carries an overall deficit of $803,673, which is a reduction from our original budget by over $477,000. The main reason is additional revenues, and increased efficiencies identified by staff. So, we are in good shape overall. Yes, we are still operating at a deficit, but we are moving in a better direction."

The deficit, as always will be covered by district reserves.

Black says the district will now turn its attention to next years budget, with deliberations getting underway in the coming weeks.

 

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School District 58 officially putting solar power plans on the shelf.

Secretary-treasurer Kevin Black says currently there is just too much uncertainty surrounding the return on investment to pursue potential solar power projects at high schools in both Merritt and Princeton.

"It's a combination of the technology, the cost, where utility rates sit, and on top of all that general funding. We will keep watch for future funding from the Ministry of Education, but at this time the projects just aren't feasible."

A report was presented to trustees in January that indicated on paper, potential projects at MSS and PSS would pay for themselves before the 25-year warranty of the systems expired.

That was based on the systems preforming at optimal levels, which was next to impossible during the winter months in both Merritt and Princeton.

 
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