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Staffing issues forcing School District 58 to cap French immersion kindergarten registration in Merritt.
With 27 students already registered for kindergarten at Collettville Elementary this fall, superintendent Stephen McNiven confirms trustees have voted to cap registration at 28.
"It's a precautionary measure. We are not sure if we can get the staffing to open enrollment beyond that. To do that we would need to add another division into the school, which we could physically do, but with the way recruiting staff, in particular French immersion teachers is going right now, it's very difficult."
A wait list will be created once the last spot is filled, but McNiven assures if the district is successful in recruiting another teacher, another class could be added.
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School District 58 trustees won't be bringing the rainbow crosswalk proposal back to the City of Merritt.

Superintendent Stephen McNiven says trustees feel it would be counter productive, having already brought a proposal to Mayor and Council last month that was denied.

Instead, the district plans to work with students at Merritt Secondary School to create a rainbow crosswalk, or another 'pride' themed project on school grounds.

"I'm very pleased to see the board continuing to support students, and their want to have a symbol of inclusion, and diversity in our community. We are happy to pursue that in the district, and follow the students lead on how they want to have that done."

Trustees also voted to officially cover the cost of installation and maintenance of a rainbow themed display on school grounds at last night's regular meeting.

McNiven says the hope is to have something completed by the end of the school year.


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Bass Coast Festival selling out again in 2018.

Co-founder Liz Thomson confirming today that the 4,500 tickets made available for the annual summer electronic music and arts festival in Merritt are sold out.

Now in the tenth year, she says they are extremely proud of what the festival has become, and looks forward to many more years in the Nicola Valley.

"We've come through a lot of hurdles, and are now enjoying a very successful event. If anything, everything we are doing this year is filled with so much joy, pride, and support."

Bass Coast 10 is scheduled for July 6th to 9th.

This year's theme is 'Prism'.

For more information go to
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City of Merritt to eliminate all road blocks for potential downtown revitalization effort.

The notice of motion from Councillor Deanna Norgaard approved at Tuesday's regular meeting aims to create a pedestrian destination downtown, by amending any bylaws that currently prevent the city from closing off one block, one day per week, from April to the end of November.

Doing so would provide the opportunity for area businesses to host different events, drawing more people to the downtown core.

"This is a proactive action. It doesn't intend to say we are going to close the street down. However, if the downtown merchants, in an effort to revitalize our downtown, want to do that, or an event comes up, I don’t want them running into any kind of road blocks."

Through the notice of motion, administration will also ensure there are no current bylaws preventing buskers, artists, artisans, venders, street cafes and other initiatives from taking place in the downtown core.


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Provincial investigation into the extensive flooding last year in the Merritt area complete, shows Nicola Lake was managed appropriately.

A Review of 2017 Flood Response: Okanagan Lake Regulation System and Nicola Dam, contains 65 recommendations for the Okanagan Lake Regulation System and Nicola Dam, regarding staffing levels, experience and training, and streamflow forecasting models in the face of climate change.

Provincial Drought Response coordinator Valerie Cameron says the overall findings conclude both were managed professionally and appropriately by ministry staff, and that the decisions made by staff were operationally sound.

"Consultants that looked at the report felt that the experience of the dam operators, both in the Okanagan and the Nicola, were really what was able to manage the systems. If they weren't so skilled, it could have been a heck of a lot worse."

The ministry has already started implementing some of the report's recommendations and is developing an action plan to address the remaining recommendations.

To view the report, CLICK HERE.


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