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October typically the worst month for accidents in the Southern Interior.
 
ICBC Community and Road Safety Coordinator Ingrid Brakop says the number of crashes in the region in October year after year are stunning.
 
Over the Thanksgiving weekend alone, she says more than 290 crashes occur annually.
 
"We know in the Southern Interior serious crashes involving injury or death quadruple in October. As compared to December, when the weather worsens in the fall."
 
Brakop says making sure you have winter tires on your vehicle, and adjusting your speed to the conditions of the road are the two main ways to avoid getting into an accident.
 
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Merritt Fire Rescue Department responding to chimney fire this morning.

Cpt Sky McKeown says crews were called to a home on Panorama Dr shortly after 7am.

"When we arrived on scene, the homeowner had pretty much extinguished the fire. We then had crews use thermal imaging to check the walls and roof area around the chimney to ensure the fire had not spread to anywhere else in the home."

McKeown says the fire serves as a reminder that chimney's need to be cleaned out, and inspected at least once a year.

"If an insurance company hears you haven't passed an inspection, they may, or may not cover you in the event of a fire."

The Merritt Fire Rescue Department does not clean or inspect chimneys, but McKeown says there are a couple companies locally that offer the service.

 

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Lower Nicola Indian Band Chief reclaiming ancestral name.
 
Chief Aaron Sam, will be known moving forward as Aaron Sumexheltza, following a naming ceremony held over the weekend.
 
"Along time ago Indigenous peoples didn't have last names. So, when the Indian agent came into communities, including our own, they gave Frist Nations first names as last names. So, I have decided, along with my family to take the last name of my great, great, great grandfather, Chief Sumexheltza."
 
Sumexheltza says he is the first in his family to take the last name.
 
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The United Steelworkers Union looking to take advantage of the short-term benefit to the more than 1.2 million hectares of land destroyed by the wildfires.
 
Local 1-417 President Marty Gibbons says even though the timber is burnt, there is value, and it will result in short term increases in harvesting.
 
"Our timber supply is declining ever year. The closure in Merritt and other areas show that. This year, although it will probably result in an initial bump, people must understand most fires seem to rip up a hill, and don't completely destroy the wood. So, a lot is usable."
 
However, Gibbons says there is worry for the future.
 
"We're talking about marketable wood, but unfortunately with a lot of the marketable wood that was burnt, the second generation of lumber and trees coming in underneath, were destroyed as well."
 
Between five and seven sawmills in BC's interior are predicted to close because of the lack of fibre, resulting from this summer's devastating wildfires.
 
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Trail date set for males accused of shooting at a group of people outside a Merritt house party.
 
Merritt RCMP Cst Brock Hedrick says both 21-year-old Michael Drynock of Merritt, and 28-year-old Kleon Pop of Williams Lake are scheduled to be in Kamloops provincial court May 28th.
 
Both face many firearms related charges following the incident at a house party on Coldwater Ave back on April 23rd, and will be tried together.
 
"That's not uncommon at all. They are co-accused. It was a very serious incident, and I'm just happy nobody was hurt."
 
Both Drynock and Pop are well known to police.
 
Their trial is scheduled to last two weeks.
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