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Some of the contract demands from workers at Aspen Planers are being met.
Workers at the mill had issued 72-hour strike notice heading into the weekend, but United Steelworkers Union Local 1-417 President Marty Gibbons says there were some new developments.
He confirms Interior Forest Relations has met some of their demands.
"We were successful in getting the vast majority of concessions off the table. We're not quite there with a collective agreement yet, but we decided it wasn't really productive to continue to hammer each other across the bargaining table."
Gibbons also confirms a mediator has been appointed to help bridge the gap on the remaining issues.
Workers at Aspen Planers, and other forestry workers in USW Local 1-417 across the region voted 98% in favour of strike action earlier this month.
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A new Mayor and Council for the City of Merritt will be sworn in tonight.
The appointment of Mayor-elect Linda Brown, and Councillors Kurt Christopherson, Mike Bhangu, Adam Etchart, Melvina White, Travis Fehr and Tony Luck will be made official at a ceremony tonight at City Hall.
For Brown, she's looking forward to getting down to business.
"We're hoping to get as much done as we said we were going to get done. As to what we plan to do; development and looking at flooding is high on our list. And, those are the two we'll be looking at over the next several months."
Their first regular meeting is scheduled for Nov 13th.
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Uncertified teachers are helping to fill the teacher on call list in School District 58.
Nicola Valley Teachers Union President Peter Vogt says there are currently nine teachers that are not certified that can be used by the district to cover classes.
While he admits it helped fill the shortage the district experienced last year, Vogt says it's still not ideal with many of the certified teachers on call also providing the service to school districts in Kamloops and Kelowna.
"Up until last year we hadn't had many non-certified teachers on the list. We had a few last year, but this year we are sitting at nine, and roughly 20 that are certified."
Less than half the number of teachers on call positions needed in School District 58 were filled going into last year, but in August it was announced that numbers were again where they needed to be despite the stated concerns from the union.
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Local bus company working towards being operational on Nov 15th.
Gene Field of Merritt Bus Services Ltd says his company has been granted approval by the BC Passenger Transportation Board to provide service to Kamloops, Logan Lake, Spences Bridge, the Highland Valley Copper mine, Kelowna, Prince George and Langley.
But, to remain eligible for the license they must be up and running before Nov 21st.
"We are aiming for the 15th. So, we have two-weeks. Right now, we're planning as if we have the buses already. The only thing we need is the funding, and then we can get insurance, so I can get the buses inspected and brought here. Other than that everything else is just incidentals."
Field also says they are now planning to transport cargo, which has allowed the company to lower the cost of tickets.
Once up and running, there will be at least ten locations where Merritt Bus Services Ltd will pick up and drop off in the Merritt area.
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ICBC is giving advice to drivers following the time change.

Clocks were turned back an hour yesterday, and spokesperson Ingrid Brakop warns it can influence drivers.

She confirms crashes increase every year as the daylight hours decrease.

"It's almost double, for the number of pedestrians injured in crashes. Yes, it can partially be attributed to Daylight Saving Time. It's just getting darker, so we are just asking drivers to pay extra attention to their surroundings."

Brakop is advising drivers to take extra time to look for pedestrians before turning, to avoid distractions and to be ready to yield.


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