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Community Policing Office warning about some of the dangers surrounding online shopping over the holidays.
 
Many are now choosing to buy goods online, and coordinator Marlene Jones is offering a few tips ahead of the holiday season.
 
She says to make sure you only buy from a reputable retailer.
 
"There are things that you may get through your Facebook account, that seem way to good to be true, and you may cut some corners to make the purchase. We are telling people is to slow down, don't let the pressures of the holidays lead to a bad decision. These offers are out there, especially over the holidays."
 
Jones also says to avoid making purchases using public Wi-Fi, to meet at a public place if making a purchase through social media, and if you are expecting a package via the mail, to check regularly on its status as thefts go up over the holiday season.
 
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Merritt senior taking a unique approach with latest Christmas stories.
 
After publishing a story for children last year, local retiree Bonnie Cowan is back this Christmas with three short stories for the more mature.
 
They are all short stories. The first revolves around mentally challenged twins, the second an elderly man who regains his voice, and the third is based on an elderly man who develops leukemia. The are certainly not your tradition holiday stories, but all three stories give a different take on the miracle of Christmas."
 
Following a career as a mental health therapist, Cowan completed a course at NVIT back in 2009, hoping to spend her golden years writing.
 
Her three latest short stories have been compiled into a single book, which available locally, and will be read on Q101 over the holidays.
 
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No major damage, after a fire at the Merritt Green Energy Project.

Merritt Fire Rescue Department Chief David Tomkinson says a fire in the hog fuel pen at the biomass-fuelled power plant under construction in Merritt was reported yesterday just after 2:30pm.

It took a couple hours for the fire to be fully extinguished, but he confirms no major damage is being reported.

"It burnt for a while, but never really got out of control. It just took some time to completely extinguish all the hot spots. This was the first time we have attended a hog fuel fire at the plant.:

The cause of this fire was deemed to be spontaneous combustion.

 

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National Energy Board ruling Kinder Morgan can begin construction of its Trans Mountain expansion project without complying to City of Burnaby bylaws.

The company had filed a motion to have the NEB overrule the bylaws on a constitutional basis, claiming the city was delaying a project that Ottawa had already approved.
 
Yesterday's announcement isn't sitting well with Coldwater Indian Band Chief Lee Spahan, as his band continues to oppose the pipeline expansion, over fears that a spill would do unrepairable damage to an aquifer that provides 90% of their drinking water.
 
"We depend on that. Not only for our drinking water, but also for our ranchers. We flood and irrigate our fields with surface water from the creeks." 
 
The Coldwater Indian Band is currently challenging the National Energy Board's approval of the $7.4-billion expansion in the Federal Court of Appeal.  
 
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Grant-in-aid requests to the City of Merritt up for 2018.
 
Director of finance Sheila Thiessen says the city received 30 requests for funding assistance from non-profit groups before the November 30th deadline, up from 23 in 2017.
 
She also reminds those that have applied for funding are required to be in attendance when the grants are discussed by Mayor and Council, to answer any questions they may have.
 
"Council expressed the desire to have people show up, so any questions or concerns can be addressed. That meeting will likely take place in January." 
 
All grant-in-aid approvals are considered on a year-to-year basis.
 
This year, more than $40,000 in grants were issued.
 
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