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The Merritt Centennials added a veteran presence to their line-up this morning by acquiring 20-year-old forward Blaine Bokenfohr from Dawson Creek of the North American Hockey League for future considerations.

Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce says Bokenfohr solidifies his forward group.

Meanwhile, Bokenfohr describes himself as a versatile player.

Bokenfor, who had four points in 17 games with Dawson Creek this season, is not expected to play tomorrow night against Victoria, but should be in the Centennials line-up Friday against Penticton.

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Merritt has representation this week at the BC Federation of Labour's annual convention in Vancouver.

Bylaw Enforcement Officer Marguerite Kempin, the Chair of CUPE 900 in Merritt says it's always good to be brought up to speed on what's happening around the province.

About 13-hundred people are attending the Convention at the Vancouver Convention Centre this week.

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A ex-gang member has been invited to speak this week at both Merritt Secondary School and Coquihalla Middle School.

Constable Tracy Dunsmore of the Merritt RCMP says James Coulter is addressing the students all this week.

Dunsmore says Coulter wants to talk to the students about how they may perceive gang activity as something great with lots of money and glory.

But, he wants them to hear what it's really like and some of the things that happened to him and a lot of his friends in the gang.

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Results from the judging of this year's Country Christmas Parade Friday night show winners in six categories from a total of 64 entrants this year.

Parade Coordinator Gail McKee says in the Best Lights category the winner was Phoenix Ready-Mix.

The Best Theme award was presented to the Upper Nicola Band.

The Best Originality went to Mar-King Logistics.

Enthusiasm and Best School Categories were both presented to the Lower Nicola Indian Band School.

And the award for Best Overall went to Norgaard Ready-Mix.  The runners up in that category were the Upper Nicola Band, Mar-King Logistics, Phoenix Ready-Mix.

McKee says there was also a group of close contenders in the Best Overall category.  They were Arrow Transport, Wal-Mart and Kolors Cutting Lounge.

In all it's estimated there were about six hundred people taking part in the parade.

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Officials of the Merritt and Area Transit System had hoped to receive word on a request for expanded service by today or tomorrow but so far there's no word from BC Transit.

Merritt City Councillor Alastair Murdoch says in the meantime, people have been taking advantage of the temporary expansion to Saturday service for the Christmas period.

Murdoch says what Merritt Transit is asking for is a continuation of the Saturday service year round.

They've also asked to have the one hour gap over the lunch hour covered in order to offer continuous service from 6:20 am to 6 20 pm Monday to Saturday

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