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Every weekend Q101 will revisit the most talked-about stories of the week in Merritt and bring them to you all in one place. As well as my personal favourite story of the week.

This week Merritt was talking about Rockin’ River, the Red Dress Project and the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club.

Rockin’ River Expecting 70,000 to Descend on Merritt

With the 2019 Rockin’ River Music Festival just two weeks away, organizers are busy with last-minute preparations to make sure that everyone from concert-goers to performers has an ultimate first-class experience in Merritt.

Full story

Red Dress Project to Take Over Merritt Next Week

The Red Dress Project will take over the streets of Merritt, Sunday, July 21 to Friday, July 26 and encourages residents to place red dresses in public places to symbolize the life of a missing or murdered Indigenous woman.

Full story

Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club Band Together

On Friday, a group from the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club went out to Minnie and Stoney Lakes to put their boats in the water and do some fishing. The Club decided to take the trip after the official court ruling came down earlier in July.

Full story

This week my favourite story was about two a pair of Merritt Mounties helping the kids.

Two Merritt RCMP Members Gear Up for Cops for Kids

Merritt RCMP’s Cpl. Derrick Francis and Cst. Jon Puterbough will once again be riding 1000 kilometres for a great cause with Cops for Kids.

The ten-day ride that circumnavigates southern British Columbia is an annual event to help raise awareness and funds to continue their pledge to assist children in medical crisis.

Full story

 

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REcord Temperatures

The long-range forecast for Merritt is looking exceptional with temperatures expected to surpass 30 Celsius on four of the next six days.

With the inevitable summer heatwave upon us, Interior Health is cautioning people to remember to hydrate.

Dr. Kamran Golmohammadi, Interior Health Medical Health Officer, spoke with Q101 about the importance of proper hydration when temperatures start topping 30 C.

“We encourage people to ensure people that they are properly hydrated and to learn about the signs of heat impact and how their body responds to it,” said Golmohammadi. “It is very important to seek cooler areas, hydrate, and drink plenty of water.”

He also mentioned how after only a few minutes a child left in a vehicle will start being impacted by the heat.  

While those old enough like to enjoy an adult beverage on the patio in the summer, Dr. Golmohammadi suggested sticking with water.

“Consumption of alcohol has a significantly negative impact on all systems and makes the conditions relating to heat even worse,” said Golmohammadi.

With temperatures set to reach 34 C on Sunday make sure to pack sunscreen and water if venturing into the great outdoors.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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bc min of forests

The provincial government is accepting public input in shaping an Interior forest sector that will innovate, create jobs and support communities for generations to come.

Lower prices for lumber, pressure from foreign trade action, a shrinking timber supply due to back-to-back wildfire seasons and the end of the mountain pine beetle salvage harvest have resulted in recent mill closures and curtailments in the Interior.

Locally, Aspen Planers was forced to reduce from two shifts down to one and earlier this month confirmed to Q101 News that accepting large quantities of logs was not financially viable.

The Province is supporting impacted communities and workers through community transition and response teams that liaise with local governments, the federal government, industry, labour, employment support programs, and organizations, as well as post-secondary institutions. The teams respond to the unique needs in each impacted community, including lining up jobs and retraining, to maximize the ability of affected workers to stay in their communities over the long term and to work with impacted communities on economic development options.

Between July 18 and Oct. 11, 2019, members of the public are invited to participate in the dialogue on the discussion paper by providing written submissions or feedback through an online survey

At the same time, ministry staff are holding localized, in-person engagement on the discussion paper in various communities throughout the Interior with representatives of people, communities and organizations most deeply involved and affected by the forest sector.

The ministry is expecting to be in the Merritt area during the week of August 11-17. The exact time and location of the meeting have not yet been released.

The online survey - https://engage.gov.bc.ca/interiorforestrenewal

 

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Raw Logs

*Harry Lali’s comments are in response to the Liberal’s five-point plant released earlier this week. Full details on the plan are available here.

Harry Lali was previously the NDP MLA for Fraser-Nicola from 2009-2013. Lali ran in both 2013 and 2017 losing to current Liberal MLA Jackie Tegart. He also held office from 1991-2001 and 2005-2009 as an MLA in the riding of Yale-Lillooet.

Earlier this week the BC Liberal Rural Caucus released a five-point plan to help displaced and unemployed forestry workers in BC. The Liberals sent the plan to Premier John Horgan demanding immediate action.

Former MLA Lali sat down with Q101 News to discuss the ongoing issues facing the industry from the NDP point of view.

“We’re are at a crossroads here in terms of future of the forest industry,” began Lali. “Government can take the lead, not just the BC Government but in conjunction with the Federal Government, to try to put in a process where you bring all players together, where you figure out how everybody will work together for the future viability of forestry in this province.”

Lali called the combination of the pine beetles, forest fires, stumpage rates, and weakening lumber markets a ‘perfect storm’.

“For their efforts, the NDP is providing assistance for laid-off forestry workers and affected communities. Now, could more be done to help communities to diversify into value-added manufacturing and looking for markets? The answer is yes,” said Lali.

“Could more be done to have an honest and detailed discussion about the future of the forest industry, or a forestry summit, or round table type of discussion including industry, workers, community leadership, first nations, affected businesses, and government officials to prevent additional mill closures and more importantly to chart out a forest policy for the protection, the enhancement and the long-term viability and sustainability of BC forest industry? The answer is yes. Those things can happen but there has to be a buy-in by all vested interests.”

The NDP is expecting to be in the Merritt area in early August to discuss the ongoing forestry issues.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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Cops for kids map

(photo courtesy – copsforkids.org)

Merritt RCMP’s Cpl. Derrick Francis and Cst. Jon Puterbough will once again be riding 1000 kilometres for a great cause with Cops for Kids.

The ten-day ride that circumnavigates southern British Columbia is an annual event to help raise awareness and funds to continue their pledge to assist children in medical crisis.

The ride begins on September 5th.

The route doesn’t go through the Merritt area, but Francis and Puterbough will once again help bring a Merritt flare to the event. The 2019 ride will be Puterbough’s third and Francis’ second.

 “It has been one of the most fulfilling activities I have ever done. Seeing firsthand how much our support can change a child and a family is truly heartwarming,” said Puterbough.

Francis spoke to why he decided to take on the grueling ride once again this September.

“It was because of meeting all the families. We were able to meet 57 of the families that were helped in previous years on the ride,” he said. “There are some children out there with significant health requirements and the family’s financial needs. Just meeting the family and realizing what a good cause it is. Everything that’s donated goes to the families, for anything from traveling expenses, accommodation, right up to a girl with cerebral palsy that we helped buy a wheelchair.”

He added the specialized wheelchair was able to be steered by the young girl’s eyes.

Every rider is required to raise a minimum of $2,500, and last year the ride raised more than half a million dollars.

On July 26, the two Mounties are holding a fundraising dinner in partnership with a local bar. For $15 you can get a baron of beef with $10 going directly to the cause. Full details and tickets can be purchased at the Merritt RCMP Detachment.

Donations can also be submitted through their website - https://www.copsforkids.org/donate/ (tax receipts available)

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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