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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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Close to 50 Merritt Centennials hopefuls and their families will converge on the city in just over three weeks for this season's training camp.

The Cents announced yesterday that camp runs from August 28th to September 1st.

The team plans to carry about 30 players, including eligible returnees, into the exhibition season.

Complete Training Camp Schedule

Sunday, Aug. 28
1 – 2 p.m. - Camp Orientation @ Nicola Valley Memorial Arena
3 – 4:15 p.m. - Team Red Fitness Test
4:30 – 5:45 p.m. - Team White Fitness Test

Monday, Aug. 29
8:30 – 10 a.m. - Red Practice
10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. - White Practice
12 – 1 p.m. - Lunch (Arena Mezzanine)
1 – 2:30 p.m. - Player Interviews (with select players)
7– 9:30 p.m. - Red vs. White Inter-squad Game

Tuesday, Aug. 30
10 – 11 a.m. - Losing Team Practice
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. - Winning Team Practice
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. - Lunch (Arena Mezzanine)
7 – 7:45 p.m. - Team White 3 on 3
8 – 8:45 p.m. - Team Red 3 on 3

Wednesday, Aug. 31
9 – 10:15 a.m. - White Practice
10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. - Red Practice
12 – 1 p.m. - Lunch (Arena Mezzanine)
1 – 3 p.m. - Player Interviews (with select players)
7 – 9:30 p.m. - Red vs. White Inter-squad Game

Thursday, Sept. 1
9 – 10 a.m. - Losing Team Releases
10 – 11 a.m. - Winning Team Releases
12 – 12:30 p.m. - Lunch (Arena Mezzanine – Remaining Players Only)
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. - Group Meeting with Remaining Players
3 – 5 p.m. - Practice
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. - Team Run

Friday, Sept. 2
10 – 10:45 a.m. - Pre-game Skate
11 – 11:45 a.m. - Skate for Players Not Dressing
1:30 p.m. - Depart for 100 Mile House
3 p.m. - Pre-game Meal in Clinton
7 p.m. - Exhibition Game in 100 Mile House vs. Prince George Spruce Kings


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