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Shaping up to be another record setting year for the Merritt Fire Rescue Department when it comes to call-outs.

Chief David Tomkinson confirms the department was called into service 189 times through March 31st, 40 more than the first three months of 2015.

"Looking at the stats, there are a number of motor vehicle incidents which can be attributed to the inclement weather we've experienced. There are also a number of false alarms, and few more first responder calls that have increased the call outs. However, it was not unexpected, and we have the personnel in place to deal with the increase."

Operating under the computerized E-link software for dispatch services for the first time in 2016, the Merritt Fire Rescue Department attended a record 616 calls.

School District 58 on board with Phoenix Society's "Take A Hike" program, but funding needs to be stable before it will be offered in Merritt.

"It seems like it would be a good fit for the community, and a good fit youth that are at-risk in our school district."

With an 80% success rate, Superintendent Stephen McNiven believes the program that aims to help high-risk youth graduate from high school could have the same effect in Merritt, but is very much still in the exploratory stages.

"It has to be sustainable. And we have to have the capacity in the community to fund the program."

The Phoenix Society's "Take A Hike" program is built around four pillars; academics, adventure based learning, therapy and community involvement.

It's currently offered in Vancouver, Burnaby and Trail, but is looking to expand around the province.

Lower Nicola Indian Band heading to the polls this weekend.

Shorthanded the last couple months, Chief Aaron Sam says he believes anyone of the seven candidates running in the by-election to replace Nicolas Peterson, who moved from the community.

"The candidates all seem to be qualified. And, I'm excited about getting a new councillor on Saturday night. It will allow our Council to work in a productive way for the benefit of our members."

Seven candidates are vying for Peterson's now vacant spot on council; Richard Jackson Jr, Stuart Jackson, Connie and Hroulfe Joe, Clyde Sam, Robert Sterling Jr, and Molly Toodlican.

Members can vote tomorrow from 9am to 8pm at the Lower Nicola Band Hall.

The District of Logan Lake intends to spend $3-million on a number of projects this year.

Chief administrative officer Randy Lambright says the to build a new campground office, and spend $1.1-million to service the next phase of the Ironstone Ridge development, which the district has partnered with the Lower Nicola Indian Band on.

"One of the bigger projects, we received $1.4-million in provincial and federal money from the Clean Water and Waste Water Fund, to do water upgrades. We are adding $300,000 to that, so there will be $1.7-million in water upgrades this year as well."

Lambright says the District of Logan Lake is currently benefiting from increased tourism, and an influx of Lower Mainland residents.

A number of records set at the Sun Peaks Resort this season.

Tourism Sun Peaks CEO Arlene Schieven indicates that room bookings were up a whopping 12% this year, and April's numbers haven't even been calculated yet.

The demand is certainly welcomed, but is putting a strain on availability.

"We're definitely seeing pressures during peak periods. Weekends in February, and holidays especially. We do have a few more units that are in the works though."

Also, Schieven confirms that over 390,000 skier visits were recorded this season, smashing the previous record of 360,000 set in 2015/16.

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