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A semi-retired independent businessman from Ashcroft will represent the Liberals May 2 in Okanagan-Coquihalla, in an effort to replace retiring Conservative Stockwell Day as M-P.

John Kidder, who has had various roles in the Liberal Party of Canada over thirty years of involvement, says he's confident that he would be an effective voice in Ottawa.

He says the Federal Liberals in Okanagan Coquihalla are geared up and ready to go.

A constituency office is setting up in Penticton this week, with satellite offices in West Kelowna and Merritt.

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Former Merritt Centennials defenceman Jim Ingram is back in the B-C Hockey League.

Ingram, who stepped down as coach and G-M in Trail earlier this month, is the new associate coach and G-M of the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

He takes over the G-M role from Dale Purinton, who remains on-staff as Ingram's associate coach.

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The City of Merritt is giving notice there will be implementation of a hazardous fuel removal project that consists of burning a large slash pile of pine beetle killed trees at the reservoir located off of Grimmett Street, also known as Allan Road.

Tentatively scheduled for the second week of April, the slash pile burning is expected to be completed in a day.

Residual smoke may exist throughout the day of the burning and through the night including early morning hours of the following day.

As temperatures increase during the day, smoke impacts will significantly decrease.

There has been a noted increase in illegal dumping of refuse and yard debris at this site.

Residents are advised to utilize the T-N-R-D Landfill Site to dispose of their waste or be subject to penalties pursuant to Environmental Management Act and Local Bylaw.

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It's hard to think of a drought as Spring begins and rains are in the forecast, but it's something environmentalists are thinking about a lot in the Nicola Watershed.

Elizabeth Solomon-de-Friedberg says there's still a lot of snow in evidence along the Coquihalla, especially at the summit.

Solomon-de-Friedberg says she's watching for the latest report early in April from the River Forecasting Centre in Victoria, to continue monitoring the snow pack.

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The public will have a chance to see the new budget and discuss it within the week after City Council put a lid on it last night.

City Councillor Mike Goetz is pleased with the outcome of a lot of number crunching in past weeks.

The increase will be in at about the three per cent mark on a budget that just exceeds 10-million dollars.

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