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Merritt's Communities in Bloom Committee yesterday held it's first meeting since a positive evaluation by judges in July.

City Councillor Shelley Sanders says the group reviewed that evaluation during the meeting, going over the criteria they recommended the City work on.

Sanders says the plan is to increase the size of the Committee, but they are working right now on their terms of reference, which will give a good idea exactly what the Committee is responsible for.

Sanders asks interested parties to contact City Hall at 378-4224.

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Work on the 441-thousand dollar revitalization along Garcia Street and Granite Avenue is on schedule.

The work is described by the City as a successful partnership between the province and the City, with 300-thousand dollars provided through the "Towns For Tomorrow" grant program and the City leveraging the balance of 141-thousand dollars.

The project, due for completion by November 30, fulfills the 2005 City Centre Plan to improve the walkways and roadways in the downtown core.

The addition of trees, garbage bins, street lighting and a wider intersection are expected to improve safety and encourage more traffic to the downtown area of the City.

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Following the recent resignation of the City of Merritt Financial Services Manager, the search is on for a replacement person.

Mayor Susan Roline says Marlie Worrin has accepted a position with the City of Kamloops in their financial services department.

Roline says the new Financial Services Manager will be hired in plenty of time to start work on next year's budget.

The Mayor says the first budget talks are expected to begin in December, with serious budget planning uderway in January.

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A guilty plea from a Merritt youth charged with manslaughter in the 2009 stabbing death of Nasir Ahmed Khokar.

After entering the plea in Kamloops Provincial Court, the 17-year-old boy, who can't be named because he's a minor, was told he could be sentenced as an adult.

Khokar was found dead in Voght Park in Merritt in September 2009 after suffering at least 34 stab wounds, two of which partially severed his jugular veins.

The teen admitted to stabbing Khokar three times.

An adult is charged with Khokar's second degree murder - his trial is set to begin next April but no other details can be released because of a publication ban.

Court heard that the youth, the victim and the adult were in an altercation before Khokar was stabbed.

The youth, who lived across from the park where Khokar was found, will be kept in custody until his sentencing hearing, likely in the New Year.

(With files from CHNL)

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The application for crown land to provide a more suitable location for Angel's Animal Rescue and a new animal shelter is moving through the government channels.

T-N-R-D Area "M" Director Randy Murray says there's been a certain amount of controversy regarding Angel's Animal Rescue and the current location in the Petit Creek-Sunshine Valley area.

Murray says he's pleased that the T-N-R-D board got behind Angel's Animal Rescue 100 percent in their application for the Crown Land.

He says the 100 thousand dollar Pepsi Challenge fund they won has to be used by the end of next summer, so the land --wherever it is -- has to be in place to facilitate the expansion.

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