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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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For the second and final time this season, the Merritt Centennials open a stretch of five straight road games tonight in Cowichan Valley against the Capitals.

Centennials coach and G-M Luke Pierce says they can't take the Caps lightly, despite the fact that Cowichan is last in the Coastal Conference.

The Cents saw their three game winning streak snapped Saturday with a 3-2 loss to Penticton.

Lino Chimienti is set to get the start in goal for Merritt.

Our Q101 broadcast starts with the pre-game show at 6:30.

In the B-C-H-L last night, Salmon Arm edged Penticton 5-4 and Victoria needed overtime to beat Quesnel 4-3.

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BC's child protection watchdog will investigate the killing of three Merritt children by their father in April of 2008 to determine if government action or policy contributed to their deaths.

A report today says John Greschner, the chief investigator for BC's representative for children and youth, says the investigation into the deaths of 10-year old Kaitlynne Schoenborn, her 5-year old brother Max, and 8-year old brother Cordon will take months.

When it is completed a public report will be issued, possibly with recommendations.

Although not concluded, it's possible the policies or practices of a public body may have contributed to the deaths of children.

Allan Schoenborn was found guilty in February of the first-degree murder of his three children, although it was ruled he was not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.

The children were found by their mother Darcie Clarke.

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The Merritt Centennials have added 19-year-old defenceman Lee Muir of the KIJHL's Princeton Posse to their reserve roster and it's likely he'll see some action on their upcoming road trip.

Cents coach and G-M Luke Pierce says Billy Marshall might be out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury.

Muir, who was with the Cents in training camp, has 17 points in 21 games with the Posse this season.

Merritt's in Cowichan Valley tomorrow night. Our Q101 pre-game show starts at 6:30 pm.

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