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Today's ousting of BC Energy Minister Bill Bennett from the Liberal caucus is no surprise to the NDP MLA in Fraser-Nicola.

Harry Lali says the worst thing about the move is the chaos it causes.

Lali says the BC Liberals are more focused on the party leadership race and in his opinion are not addressing the issues which actually matter to British Columbians.

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While food banks across the country are claiming a rising need for donations, the Nicola Valley & District Food Bank had a successful food drive on Saturday.

Food Bank Manager Karen Flick thanks people for their generosity, but they're not done canvassing just yet.

Flick says anyone willing to donate after the fact may either drop non-perishable items off at the Food Bank at 2026 Quilchena Avenue on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays, or call 250-378-2282.

3,969 lbs. of donations along with $379 in cash actually bettered last year's drive, without the areas missed.

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While a formal review is about to get started in Victoria to investigate the possible health hazards of wi-fi wireless services, officials in School District 58, Nicola-Similkameen are aware of the concerns.

District Superintendent Bob Peacock says local authorities have been aware for some time.

Peacock says a laptop computer program is in place at both Coquihalla Middle School and Merritt Secondary School for all the students, so wi-fi is quite extensive in the District.

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While the 8th annual Country Christmas Santa Claus Light-Up Parade is nine days away, the deadline to register is now.

The parade lines up at the Civic Centre parking lot next Friday evening and heads down Chapman to Quilchena at 7 o'clock.

From there it'll head east on Quilchena to Charters where it makes a right and heads to the Railyard Mall where it ends.

The Parade is $25 to enter and application forms are available right now at Merritt City Hall and the Merritt Herald office.

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The City of Merritt is receiving it's annual tax kick back from the Provincial Government again this year.

City Financial Services Manager Marlie Worrin says Merritt receives a portion of $16.2-million through the Ministry of Citizen's Services.

For 2010, the amount is $27,039.47.

The remainder of $32,764.54 will be transfered to the Regional District as per the legislation.

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