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Company looking at building first Canadian ethanol plant in Merritt, also looking at the possibility of operating a housing manufacturing plant.

The idea is in the initial stages but, I.E.S Inc. president Mike Heron says the plan is to build pre-fabricated homes, using non-concrete foundations, in partnership with NVIT.

"It allows for a more effective way to build a foundation. The requirements, make inspection a lot easier, than the traditional concrete foundations. And, thirdly it makes a lot more sense for some of the communities we are looking to help with housing issues, especially in First Nations communities."

Heron says by using non-concrete foundations, the amount of time before "lock-up" is shortened to two days.

A feasibility study is about to get underway, and if the numbers align, Heron says they could start construction of the plant within a year, operating on the closed Tolko sawmill site.

School District 58 proceeding with sale of the old Nicola Lake School.

Secretary-treasurer Kevin Black says the Ministry of Education has signed off, and the next step is to get the former school along Nicola Lake listed.

"We are now in the process of sending out a request for proposals to the local real estate firms. When they come back with there offer, we will approve one. And, then move forward with listing and selling the property."

Once the sale is complete, Black says the school district will receive 100% of the funds, but they will be split; 75% will go into a restricted fund, and 25% will be allocated to a local capital fund.

Purchases through the restricted fund would need approval from the Ministry of Education.

Snowfall warning remains is effect for the Coquihalla and Okanagan Connector this morning.

As much as 8cm of snow accumulated overnight at the highest elevations.

And, Environment Canada's Mike Gismondi says more snow should fall before changing to rain this afternoon.

"Most places at the higher elevations will see between 5 and 15cm of snow total. The snow level will rise throughout the day, so the snow ill change to rain at lower elevations, but snow at higher elevations could continue until later this afternoon."

The snowfall warning is also in place for HWY 3, Hope to Princeton via Allison pass.

More flooding this morning within the City of Merritt.

The overnight rain has once again lead to the Nicola River seeping onto the north end Garcia St this morning, just as it did last week.

The flooding comes despite the 'flood watch' for the Nicola Valley being down graded to a HIGH streamflow advisory yesterday by the BC River Forecasting Centre.

At this point, it's unclear if the river has begun to breach at any other places within the city limits.

Merritt woman facing charges after allegedly setting fire to a home on Coldwater Ave last week.

Merritt RCMP Cst Ryan Dell says a 30-year-old local female has been arrested and charged with arson, after deliberately setting fire to a home in Merritt Wednesday.

"The general duty members responded, and they were able to arrest the accused quite quickly. And she's being held in custody. And we have gathered evidence form witnesses, and evidence from the scene, and it's now before the courts."

Dall says the fire was able to be extinguished before it could spread.

The accused made her first appearance in court in Kamloops last week, where she was also charged with uttering threats, after stating to witnesses she was going to burn down the house earlier in the week.

She is expected to be back in court Tuesday, where it will be determined if she is granted bail.


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