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The Merritt Fire Department responded to a small spot grass fire near the dike along the Coldwater River off Spring Street early this morning.

Crews were called out shortly after 3 a.m. and were able to control the fire quickly.

Ministry of Forests Fire Information Officer Travis Abbey says crews were also called out earlier this month to a large grass fire in Lower Nicola and to another near Kelowna and both were a result of controlled burns that were fanned by high winds and got away.

Fire season officially began April 1 and with numerous controlled burns, officials are keeping a watchful eye.

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There's now only two weeks less a day before the May 3 Big Bike for Heart and Stroke hits the streets of Merritt.

And, Teresa Moore of the Heart and Stroke Foundation is rallying riders to help make Merritt's objective of ten thousand dollars from the Nicola Valley.

People may make pledges or register to ride on the Big Bike by going online to

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All five candidates for Okanagan-Coquihalla in the May 2 Federal Election will take part in a Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce All Candidates Forum tonight in Merritt.

Chamber Manager Karen Irving says Chamber members get first dibs on the seating.

The Forum is set for 7 o'clock tonight at the N-V-I-T Lecture Theatre.

The doors will open at 6:30 and parking is free.

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Another semester is coming to a close as students are now in final exams at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.

Looking ahead to the fall semester,l N-V-I-T President Ken Tourand says enrollment continues to be strong.

Tourand says N-V-I-T is offering the certificate in early childhood education as well as the diploma in early childhood education which is done about once in every four or five years.

Other courses and enrollment information is available online at

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Even though the partnership between the City of Merritt and Community Futures expires at the end of June and won't be renewed, Community Futures will move ahead.

Patrick Flanagan says other partnerships will continue, and, he says there are always requests for proposals coming up for different agencies that C-F can tap into.

The City has contributed 120-thousand dollars a year to the partnership, which began ten years ago, but said last week they intend to employ the services of an in-house Economic Development Officer.

In the meantime, Flanagan says Commuity Futures will continue to work with the City until the end of June.

Flanagan adds that C-F is not planning on leaving the Community.

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