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Woman reported to be driving erratically on the Coquihalla crashes vehicle into a home in Kamloops.

Kamloops RCMP Corporal Jodi Shelkie says a 59-year-old Prince George woman was taken to hospital with head injuries sustained after she allegedly drove her vehicle into a residence in the Pineview neighbourhood.

"Last night at around 10pm we started to receive numerous complaints of an erratic driver travelling northbound on the Coquihalla. As our officers were driving to the location, more reports came in that the vehicle had exited the highway near Copperhead Dr at a high rate of speed and had then entered the Pineview area. The vehicle travelled down Foxtail Dr, striking three parked vehicles, before colliding with a residence."

Impaired driving is suspected to have been a factor in the crashes and Shelkie confirms charges are likely.

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Results of the 2018 Municipal Election are now final in the City of Merritt.

Despite one ballot being unaccounted for, Chief Elections Officer Sean Smith says the results of the vote were finalized this morning.

"As to which one it is, we don’t know because the ballots are not numbered or marked. That being said, we are moving forward with declaring the results official. All of the other ballots are accounted for, and it appears both machines were working as designed throughout the different voting opportunities."

Smith says despite only four votes separating Melvina White, who was elected to Council, and Elijah Mack who was not, there was no need for a recount with the results being compiled mechanically.  .

The new Mayor and Council will be officially sworn in on Nov 5th at a ceremony being held in Council Chambers.

 

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Man charged with the 40-year-old murder of Merritt youth allegedly confessed to undercover officers.

Garry Handlen faces a first-degree murder charge for his alleged role in the killing of 12-year-old Monica Jack, who went missing while riding her bicycle along Highway 5A from Merritt to her Nicola Lake home back on May 6th, 1978.

Handlen's trial in BC Supreme Court in Vancouver began yesterday.

During proceedings, Crown attorney Mark Sheardon told jurors he allegedly confessed, and should be found guilty.

He says Handlen gave details about abducting Jack while she was riding her bike, sexually assaulting her and then killing her to undercover officers posing as members of a crime group.

A video of the alleged confession is expected to be played for jurors during the trial, which is scheduled to last for 10-weeks.

Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge.

 

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Busiest quarter ever for the City of Merritt's Baillie House.

Tourism manager Will George says 13,294 visitors stopped at the visitor information centre in the third quarter of 2018, up more than 27% from last summer.

With the BC Visitor Centre at Exit 286 closing in 2018, the increase was expected, and George believes adequately handled by the city.

"This year was a trial run to see what worked and didn't work. We'll review the findings ahead of 2019 and determine what is needed. And, not only at the Baillie House, but with all the other tourism programs we have in place."

George says staff and volunteers at the Baillie House have noted that restaurants, sports stores and the Nicola Valley Museum are also experiencing an upswing in visitor traffic and sales since the start of 2018.

During the third quarter, the Merritt visitor information centre was open for 736 hours and all statutory holidays.

 

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Class sizes at, or below provincial averages across the board in School District 58.
 
The average class size at the primary level is 19, from grades 4 to 7 it's 24, and at the high school level it sits at 17.
 
Speaking to the numbers, Superintendent Stephen McNiven says the district has placed an emphasis on keeping class sizes manageable for many years.
 
"There has been a good history of supporting class sizes by our board fro a number of years. It's looked this way from probably the year 2000 and beyond at least."
 
Overall, McNiven says 2,077 students are enrolled in the district this year.
 
That number is 43 higher than originally projected.
 
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