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Enrolment up this fall at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.
 
"Our numbers show us up 7% overall. That includes our Merritt and Vancouver campuses, as well as our Community Education program."
 
President Ken Tourand is happy to see the numbers rebound, after experiencing a decline in students taking the Community Education program led to a dip in overall enrolment during the spring semester.
 
"This year it seems to have rebounded quite well. Most of the courses are starting up in the coming weeks, and we are expecting some good numbers."
 
Tourand indicates more than 1,400 students are taking classes through NVIT this fall. 
 
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Unprecedented drought in the Nicola Valley could carry over into 2018.
 
Provincial Drought Response coordinator Valerie Cameron says the hope is that enough precipitation will fall before the ground starts to freeze.
 
'If we go into freeze up under the drought conditions, even if we get a decent amount of snow, that snow is going to be sitting on top of frozen dry soil. And, it will then melt off before it gets a chance to percolate down into the soil and recharge base flows."
 
Despite the recent rain, both the Coldwater and Nicola watersheds are still experiencing extremely low flows, and continue to sit at a Drought Level of 4.
 
Should the drought carry over in 2018, Cameron warns it could lead to increased flooding in the spring.
 
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Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as much as 9-months behind schedule.
 
The $7.4-billion project is off to a slower start than planned mostly because of the time required to file for, process and obtain all necessary permits and regulatory approvals.
 
However, CEO Steve Kean indicates there are ways to reduce that delay and potentially claw back the project to the scheduled December 2019 in-service date.
 
"There's work to be done on mitigation, there's work to be done on permitting, and there's work to be done with our contractors,"
 
Despite the delay, Kean says Kinder Morgan has received several priority permits and pending some further permits and approvals, it will be able to start clearing and other construction activities in Alberta and northern BC  this year.
 
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8th Ask Wellness Merritt Homeless Connect scheduled for today.
 
Coordinator of Merritt Clinical Supports Kerri Cooke believes the count, which helps the society identify and assist 'absolute' homeless individuals living in Merritt, has definitely helped spread awareness.
 
"We seem to be getting a lot of the same volunteers. Many of them when they started weren't necessarily aware of all the different populations of individuals in our community. Now they are aware, and come back year after year. And, not only just helping with the Homeless Connect, but to assist in any way they can."
 
Last year, 15 people living in Merritt were identified as 'absolute' homeless; Eight males and seven females.
 
Everyone identified today will be offered a warm meal, and free access to confidential testing and services.
 
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Thompson-Nicola Regional District eager to see early results of a three-year pilot project to combat invasive weeds in the Nicola Valley.
 
With wildfires burning throughout the summer in other parts of the regional district, manger of Environmental Services Jamie Viera says monitoring of the project announced back in May was put on the backburner.
 
"Now that the fires have died down a little bit, were resuming discussions. We are planning a field day to asses what happened with the project in the Merritt-area around the end of the month. With all the resources put towards the pilot project we are expecting to see a major difference." 
 
The $2.2-million pilot project aims to enhance current eradication efforts by co-ordinating treatments on Crown and private lands.
 
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