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Christmas arrived early at the Nicola Valley and District Food Bank this year. 

That's not only because the holiday closure got underway Tuesday, but manager Karen Flick says they received a full grant of $40,000 for 2011.

$30,000 of the grant goes to the actual operating of the food bank, $9,000 is dedicated to Christmas Hampers, and the last $1,000 goes to next year's Winter Outerwear Program. 

The Food Bank reopens after the break on Tuesday, January 4.

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The President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway says Canada is now receiving more incoming investments than any other country in the world.

Stockwell Day, the MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla, says a lot of the investment is from the Asia-Pacific.

Day says whenever there's investment dollars injected into Canada's economy it spells more jobs and he expects it'll continue through into next year.

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The NDP MLA for Fraser Nicola isn't buying what Forests Minister Pat Bell is selling.

While Bell says 4500 new jobs have been created in Forestry this year, Harry Lali says that's not the real story.

Lali, who's considering a run for his party's leadership, also blasted the Liberals for spending on mega projects in the Lower Mainland while abandoning rural BC.

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Highway 5 north of Merritt will be closed most of the morning after a truck fire.

Hundreds of motorists remain stranded on the Coquihalla Highway 20 kilometers north of Merritt after a semi tractor trailer truck caught fire late last night.

The truck, carrying a load of plywood, tires and some grocery supplies caught fire about 11:30 last night closing the north bound lanes of the Coquihalla Highway.

Nobody was injured in the fire.

Traffic will be detoured at Merritt along the old Highway 5A through Quilchena to Kamloops until about 11 o'clock this morning.

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The Manitoba Junior Hockey League's Neepawa Natives have extended the contract of former Merritt Centennials coach Bryant Perrier through the 2012-13 season.

Perrier, who coached the Cents for two seasons in the mid-1990's, is in his second season as coach and GM of the Natives.

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