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The first of the Big Bike rides for Heart and Stroke in the Thompson-Cariboo region is being held today in Merritt with a goal of raising eight-thousand dollars of a 210-thousand dollar objective in the region.

Speaking for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Teresa Moore says there's room for more riders right up to the first ride at 5:30.

The Big Bike weighs over a ton and seats 30 riders, so there's lots of room for anyone who wants to take part right up till this evening.

The only prerequesite is to meet the minimum donation level of 50-dollars.

Province wide the ride expects to raise over a million dollars for heart research.

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Dan Albas has successfully replaced Stockwell Day as the Conservative MP in Okanagan-Coquihalla, but says he has no intention of gunning for the Treasury Board and Asia-Pacific Gateway portfolios left open by Day's departure.

Albas says he will champion the issues of job creation and health care when he gets to Ottawa as well as continuing to grow the youth vote.

Now retired MP Stockwell Day won the last election with 28,765 votes for 58.1 percent. Albas received 53.59 percent of the vote, with 28,525 ballots in his favour.

The strongest gain came from the New Democrats as candidate David Finnis got 24.15 percent with 12,853 votes.

Liberal candidate John Kidder received 5,815 votes for 10.92 percent.

Dan Bouchard of the Green Party finished with 4,997 votes for 9.39 percent.

Independent Sean Upshaw came in with 1.62 percent on 860 votes.

And independent candidate Dietrich Wittel received 179 votes for 0.33 percent.

(With files from CHNL)

 

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It's looking good for Angel's Animal Rescue of Merritt in the $100,000 Pepsi Challenge, but it's not over yet.

Angel's Animal Rescue co-founder Judanna Caros says she thought the final round of voting was to end on Saturday..

Caros urges people continue to vote and vote often until June 30.

Angel's Animal Rescue is hoping to win the Pepsi Challenge top prize of $100,000 in order to complete a major expansion at the Animal Rescue Centre.

Vote online at www.angelsanimalrescue.ca.

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With the month of May already upon us its' all hands on deck for the B-C Forest Service at the Kamloops Fire Centre.

It's another wildfire season with initial attack crews, unit crews, and managers reporting for duty.

Manager Steve Shell says that totals 257 firefighters and 50 fire management officials with air support arriving this past weekend.

The 268 wildfires last year and 39-hundred hectares burned in the Kamloops Fire Centre were well below the ten year average.

(With files from CHNL)

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This week's annual Southern Interior Local Governments Association Convention will be a boost to the City of Merritt's economy.

One of the organizers, City Councillor Mike Goetz says it's designed to allow the 150 plus delegates to find their way downtown.

The S-I-L-G-A convention will be at the Merritt Civic Centre Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week.

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