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High-risk designation and charter challenge rulings for murderer Allan Schoenborn expected this month.

According to Dave Texeira, a spokesperson for his ex-wife, the BC Supreme Court Judge will now issue his ruling on August 31st, instead of September 15th, which was previously reported.

The question is whether the man found not criminally responsible for killing his three children in their Merritt home back in 2008 will be considered high-risk accused and restricted in accessing day passes from the forensic psyche unit in Coquitlam, where he now resides.

The former Conservative government used Schoenborn as an example in 2014 to introduce the new designation, which can be applied to people found not criminally responsible because of mental disorder.

If designated a high-risk accused, it would also extend the time between his annual review hearings up to three years.

 

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As the fires continue across BC, the state of emergency has been extended again until Sept 1st..

This is the third time the state of emergency has been extended.

Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek says the state of emergency is an important step.

"It does allow for a freer movement of resources around the province and allows the office of the fire commissioner to access local fire departments for assistance as well. It streamlines a lot of things because of the scale of this emergency. Just having a local state of emergency simply isn't enough just given its across such a huge area."

Environment Canada has also issued a special weather statement for the BC Interior.

A cold front developing over the interior today is expected to bring strong winds of up to 60km/h.

 

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Windy conditions hampering BC Wildfire Service efforts to fully extinguish wildfire burning west of Merritt.
 
BC Wildfire Service information officer Melanie Morin says the fire that sparked Wednesday afternoon near the Dot Ranch cut-off on the Nooaitch reserve is under control, and not expected to grow. 
 
"The fire is still not out, but is still estimated at 6.2 hectares. It's fully contained, and under control at the moment, and three firefighters and an initial attack crew are working on extinguishing hot spots again today."
 
However today, Morin says Mother Nature isn't doing firefighters any favours.
 
"A dry cold front is moving through the region this afternoon. It's not expected to increase the size of the Nooaitch fire, but some of the larger ones in the region could see growth. With that in mind, and the Fire Danger Rating in Merritt once again at EXTREME, we are asking people to remain vigilant, and respect the open burning, and ATV prohibitions still in place." 
 
Morin is also reminding anyone that discovers a wildfire, to report it immediately by calling *5555 on their cell phone.
 
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New wildlife-exclusion fencing being built along the Coquihalla.

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena says the 10km of fencing being built along Hwy 5 south of Merritt will increase safety for motorists by preventing wildlife-vehicle collisions.

“Wildlife on our highways present a potential hazard to motorists and can catch drivers off guard. Increasing the length of exclusion fencing along some of our busier routes, such as the Coquihalla, will keep our wildlife populations, and motorists safe.”

The 10km of fencing will be built 22km south of Merritt, from the Kane Valley Overpass to Rusty Pitt, and will add to the 160km of fencing that already exists along the Coquihalla.

Work will begin in the fall.

 

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Ministry of Transportation still developing a plan to repair Mill Creek Rd.
 
District Manager Trent Folk they have spoken to residents along the road east of Merritt, and will provide more information about the plan to repair the road washed out by flooding back in May soon.
 
"Mill Creek Rd was one of the larger flooding sites we had within the Merritt area. There is a hand full of complex projects involving structures that need to be finalized, and we have staff still working to try and identify the best way to restore permanent access to the area." 
 
Mill Creek Rd runs through both the TNRD, and Lower Nicola Indian Band reserve.
 
Approximately one kilometre of road washed out entirely and many culverts were damaged from flooding back in May, which left a number of residents landlocked for weeks before temporary access was created.
 
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