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United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo making a sizable investment in Merritt youth.
Director of Marketing & Communications Geralyn Alain says they are providing $18,000 to the Merritt Teen Centre, which will expand services currently being offered on Thursday and Friday nights at the former Coquihalla Middle School, creating a safe and supportive social space for teens to access outside of school hours.
"When kids have a regular place to go, they can build relationships. Not only with the adults there acting as support workers, but also the other kids there who are all in the safe environment. We feel having those connections will help them succeed later in life."
A ceremonial cheque presentation is being made at the Merritt Teen Centre today at 3:30pm.
Alain says the funds will allow Interior Community Services to expand programming by an extra evening a week, and round out programming for LBGTQ youth.
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Pacific Forest Rally continues to be one of the most beloved stops on the Canadian Rally Championship series. 
Organizer Paul Westwick says this year marks the 40th anniverasary of the race, with the majority of the races taking place in the Merritt area.
"Certainly the teams love it, and the volunteers love it. It's a fantastic site, and we always get a fantastic welcome, so its easy for me to say we are here to stay."
With as dry as it was this summer the race was nearly cancelled, but Westwick says the two week delay has made a big difference.
"We've had to mix is up a bit this year. There is one all new stage, and have had to put in an extension at the top of Helmer."
33 drivers are competing this weekend.
All the times, and locations for the race can be found at
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Ask Wellness searching for answers, as the number of fatal overdoses in BC this year is already eclipsing what was a record setting 2016.
Executive director Bob Hughes says the 1,013 deaths in just eight months this year is  staggering number only made worse by the fact four more months of numbers are coming.
"The amount of naloxone kits that have gone out into communities in the province is absolutely breathtaking. They have thrown just about everything they could at this, and we are still seeing increases, which is shocking considering the resources being thrown at this."  
While Hughes is applauding the provincial government for opening the doors to other options like hydromorphone or prescription heroin, he says there is no magic solution to the overdose crisis and it must be attacked using a multitude of strategies to try and stem the number of lives lost. 
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MP Dan Albas in Merritt today to discuss proposed tax reforms.
The Member of Parliament for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola is concerned about the newest tax reforms being proposed by the Liberal government, and the effect it will have on small businesses, and is hosting a roundtable to engage with residents of the Nicola Valley.
"Recently I was named shadow minister for small business. So, my job is to work with small business to hear their concerns and bring them to Ottawa, so we are not just opposing some of the bad policies the Liberals are bringing forward."
Albas says the Liberal government's proposals to eliminate several tax incentives will directly affect the small business community, farmers, and professionals like doctors and lawyers. 
This afternoon's roundtable is scheduled for 1pm at the Desert Inn.
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Open burning ban set to lifted in the Kamloops Fire Centre.

Information officer Justine Hunse says as of tomorrow at 5pm, Category 2 and 3 fires are once again permitted in the region.

"After your fire is a half metre tall and a half metre wide it's considered a Category 2 fire, and after a fire is beyond three metres wide and two metres high, it's then considered a Category 3 fire. And, anyone wanting to have a Category 3 fire needs a permit.

After months at EXTREME or HIGH, Hunse says the Fire Danger Rating in the Merritt Fire Zone now sits at LOW.

The ban was originally scheduled to be lifted on Sunday.


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