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Counterfeit American currency passed in Merritt.

Merritt RCMP Cst Tracy Dunsmore says at least eight counterfeit American $20 or $50 bills were used at businesses in the city last week.

"Three were at gas stations and one was from a vender in town. They are going into businesses and purchasing smaller items and they will have a $50-bill and get Canadian change, and then walk away with real money."

Dunsmore says its believed the same persons responsible for passing counterfeit bills in Princeton were behind the scams in Merritt, as well as others in Hope.

Any business that may have been passed a counterfeit bill last week is asked to contact Merritt RCMP or Crime Stoppers.


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Two lakes down, many others to go.

That's the word from Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club Director Rick McGowan following the ruling from the BC Supreme Court on Friday that the Douglas Lake Cattle Company must take down the gate on Stoney Lake Rd blocking public access to both Minnie and Stoney Lake.

It's a major victory for the club, but McGowan cautions there are still many other lakes where access is being blocked, meaning there is still lots of work to be done.

"It all comes down to what the BC government is going to do, or not do. This case revolved around the Stoney Lake Rd, which the judge ruled is, and always was a public road. Now, what about every other road in BC? Does it mean we have to go to court to determine it? The judge did ask the government lawyers to go back to the province and say it is their job to determine what is public roads and make it known certain roads are now open. And, to tell the private landowners they can no longer block those roads."

Friday's ruling has the potential to set precedent for up to a thousand lakes in the province, including Corbett Lake east of Merritt, where a separate lawsuit to ensure public access against the Corbett Lake Lodge, Douglas Lake Cattle Company and province was filed by the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club earlier this year.


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City of Merritt residents can expect to see property assessments rise again in 2019.
Deputy Assessor at BC Assessment in Kamloops Graham Held says the 2019 Tax Roll is based on the real estate market as of July 1 this year.
At that time, the assessed value of a home in the city was up by an average of 8%.
"We use the sales leading up to and just after July 1st to inform the values we put on the roll. In addition to physically assessing the properties, to ensure what the current condition is."
2019 assessments will be mailed out Jan 1st.
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Fraser-Nicola MLA hoping to see a local bus company get off the ground.

The Merritt Shuttle Bus Service Ltd now has until January 7th to get started, or else it loses it license from the Passenger Transportation Board.

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart says the service is needed and she has lobbied the province after she was approached by the company's director of operations Gene Field, asking for financial support.

"He's talked to people throughout the region who are looking for this service. So, hopefully we can get some clarity through the minister of Transportation and confirm what, if any funding may be available."

Merritt Shuttle Bus Services Ltd has been granted approval by the BC Passenger Transportation Board to provide service to Kamloops, Logan Lake, Spences Bridge, the Highland Valley Copper mine, Kelowna, Prince George and Langley.

Field says start-up costs are about $200,000 dollars.


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Counterfeit dollars being peddled in Princeton.
A warning from the RCMP in Princeton has been issued after there were at least nine instances last week where counterfeit American $20 and $50 bills were used to purchase goods.
According to police, the incidents happened on Dec 5th.
A younger couple and older couple bought small items with American bills to receive Canadian change or paid for big ticket items with American bills and returned the items for Canadian currency.
Pictures of three suspects have been made available.(see above)
It's believed, but not yet confrimed the suspects attempted the scam in Merritt as well, so area merchants are being warned to keep an eye out for them and potential counterfeit American $20 and $50 bills.
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