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Merritt's location is one of the contributing factors to a mounting concern over Lower Mainland gangs moving into the community. Merritt City Councilor Dave Baker feels the benefits that bring new business are the same that are attracting the gangs.

The Merritt Centennials continue to tweak their roster after signing 18-year-old forward Brent Fletcher. The New Westminster product has played three games with the Cents as an affiliate player, notching two goals. Fletcher, who was one of the last cuts from Merritt's training camp, was with junior 'B' Ridge-Meadows to start the season where he posted four goals and three assists in 12 games. 20-year-old goaltender Jared Andersen's days as a Centennial are coming to an end. The Cents are trying to trade Andersen after acquiring 18-year-old Lino Chimienti last week from the AJHL's Grand Prairie Storm. Chimienti and 17-year-old Tyler Steel are set to be the Cents goaltending duo going forward. Meanwhile, goaltender Cole Holowenko, who played with the Cents last season, has been cut by the WHL's Chilliwack Bruins. He won't be returning to Merritt, but the Centennials still hold his junior 'A' rights and will try to find a place for him to play.

Interior Health hopes to get the majority of the vaccinations done during two mass clinics in Merritt at the end of the month. Public Health Nurse Marg Sanders says people can also make arrangements with their pharmacies for flu shots. Sanders says during the mass clinics October 27 and November 3 at the Civic Centre, pneumococcal immunizations will be available free of charge for people over 65 who have not yet received them.
It looks like a cold winter is on it's way to the Nicola Valley. Jim Steel of Environment Canada says there's an El Nino pattern that will have an influence on our weather over the next four months. Steel adds that it won't be quite as balmy as last winter.
Two of three suspects in a home invasion in Merritt this morning are being treated in hospital for injuries sustained when they rammed a police vehicle while trying to escape a police pursuit on the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt. The pursuit began when the three fled the scene of a home invasion on Houston Street at about 9 o'clock this morning. The men assaulted a woman in the home, and, after a brief struggle fled when the family dog intervened. One RCMP officer involved in the collision sustained minor injuries. In all, two police vehicles and the suspects' van were damaged in the collision. The incident is still under investigation and no further information is available at this time.

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