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Another fatal overdose in Merritt.

Merritt RCMP Cst Tracy Dunsmore says a female in her 40's died at the Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre Saturday, after overdosing on a yet to be determined drug.

"We're still responding to drug overdoses in the community. We have had a number of known drug overdose deaths this year, three which were related to fentanyl. The death over the weekend is now being investigated by the BC Coroner’s Service."

The overdose death over the weekend is the fourth confirmed in Merritt this year, however Dunsmore says another fatal overdose was believed to have occurred in the city at the end of July, but at this time she is unable to confirm that.


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City of Merritt trails to stay closed, despite the lowering of the Fire Danger Rating. 
Following precipitation over the weekend, the Fire Danger Rating sits at HIGH in the Merritt Fire Zone.
But, Emergency Services Coordinator Sky McKeown says it is not expected to stay that way.
"That's just based off information from the Kamloops Fire Centre. They consider the moisture in ground, the forecasted precipitation, wind and a bunch of other factors. And, all signs point to conditions drying out again, and the Fire Danger Rating returning to EXTREME by the weekend."
As a result, McKeown says the Tom Lacey Memorial Trail, Windy Canyon and the Norgaard Lookout will remain closed until further notice.
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Long term health effects not expected, despite residents of the Nicola Valley spending the better part of a month engulfed in wildfire smoke.
BC's Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the health risk the smoky skies present, is not significant for most people
"We still consider the month we've had here in BC, as relatively short-term exposure. So we are not expecting people to have long term health effects from this type of exposure, like you would with ongoing air pollution in a city like Beijing." 
Henry says people with existing conditions will have symptoms or health impacts worsened when they are in the smoke resulting in increased visits to hospitals. 
She says any health impacts will be short term and usually only for those who are vulnerable with no long term impacts. 
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BC Government stopping grizzly bear trophy hunting.

Effective Nov 30, 2017, Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson says the British Columbia government is ending grizzly bear trophy hunting throughout the province, and stopping all hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest.

"This action is supported by the vast majority of people across our province. In particular, we owe it to generations past and future to do all we can to protect the beauty and uniqueness of the Great Bear Rainforest. We believe the action we're taking goes beyond the commitment to Coastal First Nations made as part of the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest agreements."

While the trophy hunt will end, hunting for meat will be allowed to continue.

There approximately 15,000 grizzly bears in BC and roughly 250 are killed annually by hunters.


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Wi-Fi connected at the Britton Creek rest stop, and at the Loon Lake rest stop by the end of 2017.

Regional Manager for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Trent Folk says the expansion of free public Wi-Fi in rest areas will allow drivers to stay connected and avoid using their phones on the road, creating safer conditions for all road users by reducing incidents of distracted driving.

"There's six of them around the province that will have free public Wi-Fi by the end of 2017. The service is in partnership with Telus and ICBC. These projects will enhance not only the experience in the rest areas, but also reduce the potential for distracted driving by providing the opportunity to stop, and connect to Wi-Fi free of charge using their mobile devices."

Folk confirms additional rest stop locations will be added to the list in the coming years.

The ministry has also added Wi-Fi to select commercial vehicle inspection centres throughout the province.


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