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The tax bite won't be quite as bad as originally reported as Merritt City Council puts it's 11.2-million-dollar budget up for approval.

City Financial Services Manager Marlie Worrin says the way the taxes are being split between the different assessment classes the hike comes down from the 3.92-percent to an increase of less that 3-percent.

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B-C's attorney general is urging Ottawa to better protect victims of offenders receiving psychiatric treatment.

Barry Penner is calling for amendments to the criminal code after the B-C Review Board decided to reconsider allowing escorted leave to a man who killed his three children.

The board granted Allan Schoenborn supervised leave from his psychiatric hospital last week, but is now reconsidering upon learning his ex-wife lives in the same city.

Darcie Clarke discovered the bodies of her three children on April 6th, 2008, inside the family's home in Merritt, B-C.

Ten-year-old Kaitlynne had been stabbed, while eight-year-old Max and five-year-old Cordon had been suffocated.

Penner wants at least two psychiatrists to testify at similar review hearings, and for the board to be aware of the locations of all victims.

He says board members will re-evaluate Schoenborn's case over the next two weeks.

(The Canadian Press)

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Budget talks for School District 58, Nicola-Similkameen were on the table again last night.

District Secretary-Treasurer Bruce Tisdale says Ministry grants for 2011-12 are going to be at a comparable level to what they are for the current year, even though there's a drop of about sixty students under projections.

The current grant from the Ministry is close to 25-million dollars, and with other revenues brought in, the budget will be in the 26-million dollar range.

Tisdale says there's another public meeting in a few weeks.

He says the Board will review staffing and other budget items before the next budget is passed May 11.

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As City Council put their seal of approval on this year's budget, and, looked at the tax rate for the 11.2-million dollar budget, they also gave approvals to another new business, adding to the City's tax base.

City Councillor Dave Baker says there's a new 25-thousand square foot mini storage business moving into the Lindley Creek Road at Midday Valley intersection.

A berm will be built facing the residential side of Lindley Creek Road, helping to beautify the stretch in front of the mini storage units.

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The City is acknowledging Volunteer Week with an appreciation night for City volunteers tomorrow night.

City Councillor Shelley Sanders says it's not possible to have every volunteer in the City on hand, but every volunteer deserves a pat on the back.

Invited volunteers will be acknowledged at a volunteer appreciation tea tomorrow evening at the Civic Centre at 7 o'clock.

Councillor Sanders says hopefully next year the invitation list will be expanded considerably.

She's hoping a volunteer registgry can be extablished, making it easier to determine who should be on the invite list.

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