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The seventeenth annual Samaritan's Purse Shoebox Campaign is continuing in the Nicola Valley for the rest of this week.

Sue Peachy, coordinator of the campaign in the Nicola Valley says they're to be turned in next Sunday.

The shoeboxes can be picked up, filled in the various age categories and gender and then returned again to either of Merritt's two dollar stores, Curve's Fitness for Women, Greyhound, or at most Merritt churches.

It's hoped the total of 400 shipped last year will be met or beaten this year.

For more information, call Peachy at 250-378-2717.

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How low can some thieves stoop?

During the annual Poppy Campaign last week, two Poppy donation cans were stolen from Merritt locations.

One was taken from Starbucks on DeWolf Way and the other from 7-Eleven on Nicola Avenue at Voght Street.

Maureen Dixon, President of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 96, calls it very disappointinting, saying all money collected during the Poppy Campaign goes towards veterans and their dependents, their medical needs, medical research and housing.

Dixon says the need is even greater now with the return of so many personnel from Afghanistan.

The Merritt RCMP are investigating the thefts.

Anyone with information is asked to either call police at 250-378-4262 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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Merritt competitors Ty Pozzobon and Spencer Rutherford had a tough day Friday at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton.

Pozzobon was bucked off in the bull riding event for the second straight day after winning Round One of the event on Wednesday.

Rutherford and his partner Clint Buhler of Okotoks, Alberta failed to register a time in Round Three of the team roping event.

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The Coquihalla Highway north of Merritt at the Helmer Road Exit is now completely open to regular traffic.

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Phase two of the Coquihalla Hiighway between Merritt and Kamloops is closed northbound with 30 minute delays due to two semis stuck on the hill. Updates to follow.

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