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Stolen SUV from Saskatchewan found burning along the Okanagan Connector.

Merritt RCMP Cst Tracy Dunsmore says the beige 2013 GMC Terrain was discovered near the highway maintenance yard at the Loon Lake exit on Saturday around 5pm.

She says the smoke was visible from the highway.

"Somebody driving by saw it, then pulled into the maintenance yard and found it on fire. It was actually related to a stolen vehicle file in Kelowna."

It's unclear whether they are related, but Dunsmore does add a 2003 grey Nissan Maxima was stolen in Merritt, from a home on Spring St the same evening.

Anyone with information about either vehicle is asked to contact Merritt RCMP or Crime Stoppers.


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City of Merritt in position to keep property taxes the same as 2017.
Despite Mayor and Council leaving basically all the recommendations from staff in the 2018 budget, director of Finance Sheila Thiessen says it is still possible residents won't see an increase to their property tax this year.
Revenues cover all but $270,000 of the capital projects included, but she says surplus, or reserves for future expenditures could be used to make up the difference, as opposed to raising taxes.
"We are in pretty good shape. Staff put together a list of things thverat need to be done, so there is not a lot to be cut from it. And, council saw that."
Thiessen will present all the options at next week's regular meeting, at which Mayor and Council are expected to set the tax rates for 2018.
In 2017, the property tax rate increased by 1.5%.
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Special officer appointed to improve relations between the Highland Valley Copper Mine and the United Steelworkers Union.
USW Western Regional Director Steve Hunt confirms their request was met by the BC Labour Relations Board, and the move is expected to help solve several issues, including a number surrounding the safety of workers.
"When you have a breakdown over health and safety, to me, it's indicative of a total break down between the parties. I believe, for one, we should never argue over health and safety at a work place like Highland Valley."
Hunt says there is a lack of trust between the two sides, and is hopeful the special officer can help bridge the divide.
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Winter not quite over for area mountain passes.

Environment Canada issuing a special weather statement this morning.

Forecaster Gregg Pierce warning travellers there is potential for snow on both the Coquihalla and Okanagan Connector starting tomorrow afternoon, through the evening.

"It's going to rain tonight, then by late afternoon the snow level will drop from around 1,500m, to as low 800m. So, there is the potential for snow, which is not uncommon for this time of year."

Pierce is expecting between 10 and 15cm of snow to fall.


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Six months in, the First Nations Court is working as advertised in Merritt.
Kika Mowry is one of ten local elders, trained in the court system, that have presided over roughly 50 cases since the Nicola Valley Indigenous Court began sitting back in October.
She believes the restorative approach to justice is proving effective.
"It works with Elders, because its people in the community. The community is very much pulling together to assist those in conflict with the law, to help them start to head down the right path. We know who they are. We know their families, and we know their strength and weaknesses."
The Nicola Valley Indigenous Court is one of five First Nations Courts in the province, with others operating in New Westminster, Duncan, Kamloops and North Vancouver.
It sits the third Wednesday of every month at the Merritt Court House.
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