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New logo and sign approved for the Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre.

Director of recreation and facilities Brad Gilbert says the old sign needed to be taken down due to the roof replacement which is still in progress, so it was the perfect time to update the pool's logo.

"The sun kind of represents the old "Flourish Under the Sun" look. The lettering for the Nicola Valley is a two-toned blue, and the "Q" in aquatic centre is also two-toned blue to represent the two rivers converging here in the Nicola Valley."

The logo will also be used for all staff uniforms, and aquatic centre letterheads.


City of Merritt signing on for three more years with Gold Country.

A notice of motion to defer from the regular one year term with the tourism organization was made last month by Councillor Ginny Prowal, and approved at last night's regular meeting.

"We are part of their area. We are part of the Canyon, and we are the largest city in the area. Not so much with TOTA (Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association). TOTA is more the Okanagan. They have hue events that for the most part we are left out of, and all the communities in Gold Country are smaller and thus deserve our support."

Both Councillors Linda Brown, and Mike Goetz voted against the motion.

Brown feels the money could be better utilized if kept in-house, while Goetz was not willing to support more than a one-year agreement.

The membership with Gold Country will cost the City of Merritt $8,400 a year.

Financial help for rural school districts to help recruit and retain teachers.

BC Education minister Mike Bernier says $2-million will be available to rural school districts.

"The two-million dollars is going to the BC Public School Employees Association, who works with school districts and actually has a recruitment retention program in place already. This two-million dollars will enhance that. Not only with marketing, but also opportunities for travel and housing allowance."

Bernier says the money will flow immediately as districts look to hire teachers after the recent class size and composition agreement.

Following last week's ratification, School District 58 was in line to add the equivalent of at least 12 full-time teachers by September.


Gas leak last night at the Quality Inn.

Merritt Fire Rescue Department Chief David Tomkinson says crews were called to the hotel on Walters St shortly after 7pm.

"The small gas leak was due to the de-commissioning of a kitchen appliance. The appliance was removed, and gas line was not capped properly. Fortis BC was called, and they stopped the leak."

Tomkinson says there was no danger to guests, and no injuries were reported due to the leak.


BC's top court believes tougher sentences need to be handed down to drug dealers responsible for the fentanyl crisis.

The BC Court of Appeal thinks the current sentencing range of six to 12 months is just not enough.

Instead, its suggesting sentences between 18 and 36 months for dealing a drug with the consequences of fentanyl, noting the "moral culpability" of those pushing the opioid especially in BC, which is believed to have the worst fentanyl problem in the country.

The judgment notes what's now accepted as a public health crisis makes the gravity of dealing fentanyl far worse than trafficking other drugs, like heroin and cocaine.

Last year saw a record number of drug overdose deaths in BC at 922, with over half of them connected to fentanyl.

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