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Merritt RCMP officers ready should they need to assist with fighting wildfires in other areas of the province.
 
More than 560 fires are burning in BC, and RCMP resources from across the province are now being deployed to assist communities that are being most affected.
 
Currently, S/Sgt Lorne Wood says they have a single officer assisting with the Evacuation Order issued for Murray Lake, but it's likely more will be heading elsewhere very soon.
 
"As far as deployment to the North District or Central Interior, I haven't been advised of any yet, but I fully expect that to happen in the next few days, or within the next week."
 
Wood says officers being deployed will man checkpoints or provide relief to local detachments.
 
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City of Merritt Councillor calling for increased police presence downtown.
 
Mike Goetz says incidents are on the rise, and to keep the downtown core viable for business he wants to see officers walking the beat.
 
He says a local business owner contacted him last week after five people were arrested for being intoxicated in a single day outside his store.
 
"We need some RCMP presence downtown. We've been told we could have a bike patrol, but nobody that knows how to ride the bike. I learned to ride a bike when I was five-years-old. There is just too many things happening, too many things going on, not to have increased enforcement."
 
The Community Policing Office is currently conducting foot patrols in the downtown core, but they are limited to observing and reporting.
 
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The National Energy Board has given Trans Mountain the green light to start construction on four segments of its pipeline expansion project.

The national energy regulator says the company has met all applicable pre-construction condition requirements for sections one to four from the Edmonton terminal to its Darfield pump station near Kamloops.

Trans Mountain can now begin construction, including clearing right of way, subject to other government permits and regulations.

 The National Energy Board says two active hearings remain for these segments and construction for work that relates to the hearings is not permitted while they're pending.

 

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Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce looking for participants to help usher in the 60th Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo.
 
Executive Director Meagan Preston confirming they are once again in charge of the parade. 
 
Resurrected in recent years, she is hoping to have as many as 50 floats participate.
 
"We have had people come in inquiring earlier this summer whether it was going to be a go this year, so the interest is there. It's something the chamber is very committed to. It's the 60th year for the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo, so it's a big year. So, we are hoping that a lot of people will want to participate, show their community spirit, and be apart of it."
 
The parade, which was revived by the chamber back in 2014, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept 1st starting at 11am.
 
It's $25 to enter, and entry forms can be picked up and dropped off at the Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce office.
 
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RCMP investigating possible fire bug in Merritt.

S/Sgt Lorne Wood says the latest fire occurred last night at Nicola Ave and Chapman St.

"At 8:40pm we got a call from Merritt Fire Rescue department to attend a suspicious fire on Nicola Ave. A stump was set and left to burn in a parking lot."

Wood says its the third suspicious fire in that area in recent weeks.

"We are investigating. They were just small fires, but realistically the potential is there for something dangerous to happen, especially with all the homes in that area."

At this time there are no suspects.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Merritt RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

 

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