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Flooding situation within the City of Merritt not getting any worse over the long weekend.

The flooding remains in isolated areas, and major roadways and commercial areas are not impacted.

The City of Merritt was successful in it's application to Emergency Management BC for funding to have workers help with sand bagging over the weekend.

18 workers filled sandbags, which are available to residents, the past two days at the Merritt Civic Centre.

Meanwhile, a 'flood watch' remains in effect for the Nicola River at Merritt and upstream, including Nicola Lake and tributaries, and a HIGH streamflow advisory downstream of Merritt.

Civil trial over access to area lakes, making onsite visit to Douglas Lake Ranch today.

Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club director Rick McGowan is hoping today's visit to the Douglas Lake Ranch will show the judge that the Douglas Lake Cattle Company is illegally blocking public access to both Minnie and Stoney Lake.

"The Douglas Lake Cattle Company is claiming #281 Stoney Lake Rd is not a public road, they're claiming the lakes are theirs to do what they want with, and they've put private fish in there and claim they own them."

The contentious civil trail began in BC Supreme Court in Kamloops back in January,

The judge's ruling in the case, will set precedent for about 30 lakes on the Douglas Lake Ranch, as well as a number of others throughout the province.

Update 5:30am: Northbound lanes of the Coquihalla between Merritt and Hope have reopened, and the southbound lanes are expected to reopen by 8am.

The Coquihalla remains closed south of Merritt, following an incident involving a burning semi-trailer truck carrying dangerous goods.

The highway has been closed between Merritt and Hope since just after 4am yesterday.

The Ministry of Transportation confirms a hazardous materials team responded to contain the situation, though no information was released about what dangerous goods the truck was carrying.

Interior Health put out an air quality advisory for the area, but it's still unclear whether anyone was injured in the blaze.

Highland Valley Copper mine and the United Steelworkers union could resume contract negotiations at the end of next month.

USW Local 7619 president Kyle Wolfe says the union has asked Teck Resoruces to get back to the table June 30th with Mediator Vince Reddy.

Wolfe says a strike vote has not been ruled out as they are not prepared to give up contract language, which took years to achieve.

"When we get back to the table we have a position for the company. We're going to have to wait for their response, and there's going to be a series of events. That should happen at the end of June. It's something we don;t want to see or do, but if the company wants to continue to make their billions of dollars off our backs, then they are going to have to pay for it."

The current contract for workers at the mine expired at the end of September.

Spring enrollment numbers falling just short of expectations at NVIT.

President Ken Tourand confirms just under 1,400 students took classes this spring, which comes in around 93% of their projected enrolment.

"The biggest drop we had was in our Community Education deliveries, where we go out into remote First Nations communities across the province. The actual enrolment at both are Merritt and Vancouver campuses, pretty much stayed the same."

Tourand expects the number of students taking courses through the Community Education program to increase again in the fall, stating the numbers seem to be cyclical, depending on funding available.

 

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