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The crowds were large and enthusiastic and the organizers put together a great kick off to the Christmas season with the Country Christmas weekend that started last Thursday night with the Christmas Concert.

Charlotte Martin of the Country Christmas Committee says that enthusiasm continued through the entire weekend.

The final day of the weekend was highlighted yesterday morning with the ever popular Breakfast with Santa at the Civic Centre.

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The much anticipated heavy snowfall on the Coquihalla Highway didn't materialize on the weekend, but freezing temperatures on top of daytime thawing still caused havoc on the highway.

Emergency personnel were kept busy south of Merritt yesterday afternoon attending several accidents.

The worst crash involved about six vehicles just south of town, but fortunately the number of injuries was few and none were reported to be life threatening.

Driving conditions will continue much the same throughout the days ahead and motorists are advised to slow down to the conditions.

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The Merritt Centennials closed out the November portion of their schedule in a big way, with back to back wins over Prince George and Trail on the weekend.

On Friday, the Cents built a 3-1 lead and hung on to beat the Spruce Kings 4-3.

On Saturday, they went 3-for-7 on the power play to erase a 2-0 deficit and topped Trail 3-2 to finish November with a 6-and-5 record.

Merritt's next game is Wednesday at home against the Victoria Grizzlies.

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With time winding down on 2010, Merritt's Bylaw Enforcement Officer is reminding residents that all permits and tags available through City Hall have to be renewed before the new year.

Margurite Kempin says the City hopes to see more dog owners complying with the licencing bylaw for 2011.

Kempin says she does try to give warnings before fines are issued.

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Diamond drilling is now underway on the Prospect Valley epithermal gold property west of Merritt.

Plans call for approximately 1,500 metres of drilling in 8-10 holes that will target the recently identified gold values.

The Prospect Valley mineralized structure has been extended to approximately three kilometres, with the outcropping itself traced for 135 metres across a width of up to 32 metres.

Altair Ventures Incorporated and Consolidated Spire Ventures Ltd made the announcemeent, describing it as a large mineralizing system.

It could potentially continue for at least two kilometres beyond the Northeast Extension Zone. This area will be a high priority for future exploration programs.

A map showing proposed drill targets can be found on the Company website at

The Prospect Valley Gold Project is situated within the Spences Bridge Gold Belt, about an hour west of Merritt.

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