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The British Columbia Ambassador Program wrapped up another two days of pageantry in Merritt on Saturday.

When the final judging was done, a former Merritt Ambassador from two years ago, Sarah Simon, was selected to be a part of the team of three.

Simon says she is happy to represent our community.

Simon, along with Paris Sanesh of Kamloops and Freda Zhang of White Rock each won two thousand dollars for their accomplishments.

The program featured young men or women age 17 to 23 from around B-C, who have previously held an Ambassador/Royal title in British Columbia.

As part of their duties, they travel throughout the province promoting the Ambassadors' mandate of Education, Motivation and Self-Esteem.

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Local ranchers are applauding the Federal Government's announcement that livestock breeders now have access to an Asian market for the first time since 2003.

Judy Guichon of the Guichon Ranch at Quilchena and President of the B-C Cattlemen's Association says it's good news, but will take a little time to get the market back to 2003 levels.

Vietnam has approved the Canadian export health certificates for live cattle, sheep and goats.

Canada's first case of mad cow disease in 2003 prompted the ban by the Vietnamese Government.

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The Nicola Valley Food Security Task Group is asking people with extra fruit or vegetables in their garden to help the Nicola Valley and District Food Bank.

Constable Tracy Dunsmore of the Merritt R-C-M-P says they're asking people to help if they can.

Dunsmore says you can contact Sharon at 250-280-0407 to arrange to have produce or fruit from their home to be donated to the food bank.

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Although there have been incidents of stages collapsing at major concerts in last couple of years, such as one in Indiana that killed five people Saturday, the Merritt Mountain Music Festival stage, which started as a scaffolding stage, was upgraded years ago.

Claude Lelievre, president of Active Mountain Entertainment, says they built the permanent structure to withstand the elements.

Lelievre says many of the large stages can become over sized kites or sales in heavy winds and storms.

(With files from CHNL)

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Miracle Treat Day surpassed last year's total in Merritt on Friday by well over 20-per cent.

Swarn Sekhon, owner of Dairy Queen in Merritt says all contributions stay local.

Sekhon extends thanks for the public's support for DQ Miracle Treat Day.

He called it a mind-blowing contribution of $6,314.94 for the BC Children"sHospital.

Last year's total was about five thousand dollars.

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