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The province is rolling back the speed limit on the Okanagan Connector.
 
Minister of Transportation Claire Trevena announced today that speed limits are being dropped on 15 different highways across the province.
 
Locally, Hwy 97C from Merritt to Aspen Grove has been lowered to 100km/h, and from Aspen Grove to Peachland to 110km/h.
 
There will however be no change to Hwy 5, which will remain at 120km/h from Hope to Kamloops.
 
"There hasn't been an increase in accidents the last three years on the Coquihalla, which is why there is no roll back. But we are doing a lot more winter enforcement; increasing chain-up requirements and there is also more regulation to where trucks can pull out."
 
Throughout the province, speed limits have been lowered on 570 km of highway.
 
 
 
 
 
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The City of Merritt's new Mayor and Council are on the clock.
 
An official swearing in ceremony was held last night at City Hall.
 
In her inaugural address, Mayor Linda Brown pledged to work for the people of Merritt.
 
In addition to finding a solution to the recent spring flooding, she says Council will be focused on increasing development and making it easier for businesses to operate and relocate to Merritt.
 
"So, changing our development process and policies so it makes it easier for businesses to relocate here."
 
Brown also says Mayor and Council are focused on delivering a zero percent increase in municipal taxes for the second straight year.
 
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No bears were euthanized in the Merritt area this summer.

Other than a warning being issued about a sow and her cubs on the Tom Lacey Trail in June, BC Conservation Officer Tyler Kerr confirms there has been very little bear activity within city limits.

"It could have to do with there still being lots of food out in the bush. But, we are also seeing homeowners being more responsible when it comes to garbage not being left out and fallen fruit being promptly cleaned up. All those factors are key in limiting bears within city limits."

Statistics released last week by the province show the number of black bears destroyed across BC this summer was also down.

Kerr says 137 problem bears were euthanized, compared to 243 last year.

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BC Housing is expecting to see overnight stays at Merritt's emergency cold weather shelter drop this winter.

The shelter at 2038 Nicola Ave is now open 24/7 through to the end of March.

In recent years more than 700 overnight stays have been recorded over the winter months, but BC Housing Regional Director Anne Howard is hoping to see the number drop now that Juniper House has opened.

'I had hoped there wouldn’t be a need this winter, and we'll see what the need is because we did add subsidized units for people in Merritt in August. We certainly know that we have decreased the number of people that are homeless in Merritt, and we will see how this winter turns out."

Juniper House is run in cooperation with the Ask Wellness Society.

The new subsidized housing devlopment on Quilchena Ave contains 27-units.

 

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Fraser-Nicola MLA on board with the new direction chosen for the BC Liberal Party.

Despite the BC Liberals winning the most seats in the 2017 Provincial Election, the NDP and Green Party combined to form a minority government.

Moving forward, Jackie Tegart says, "Opportunity for all of BC" is the message the BC Liberals are pitching, as the party unveiled a new logo, slogan and brand at their annual convention in Vancouver on Saturday.

"Because we represent people from Vancouver Island, up to the Peace Country, and over to the Kootenays. We are the party that represents all of British Columbia."

The new branding was unveiled prior to new BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson's first keynote speech to party members.

"He recognizes that we have work to do, and that winning takes work. The feeling in the room was that we are ready to do the work, and ready to present a new vision for British Columbia."

Wilkinson told members the party is still working to define who it is, the message it will convey and the platform it will put forward before another election is called.

 

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