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The BC RCMP Southeast District Major Crime Unit has been deployed to Merritt BC to take carriage of an investigation into the homicide death of a man early Thursday morning.

On October 15, 2020 shortly before 1 a.m., Merritt RCMP responded to a report of a shooting in the 2600-block of Granite Avenue. Front line officers responded to the area where they discovered an adult man in medical distress.

The victim, a Merritt man in his 20’s, was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services where he was later pronounced deceased.

"Merritt RCMP has secured a scene and major crime investigators will be in the Coutlee Avenue area as it continues its investigation into this incident," states S/Sgt. Scott Aschenbrenner, Unit Commander of the Southeast District Major Crime Unit. "Although the investigation is in its infancy, this occurrence appears to be targeted in nature, and police do not believe there is any further risk to public safety."

Anyone with any additional information is asked to contact the Southeast District Major Crime Unit information line at 1-877-987-8477.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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Merritt City Council has voted to approve the hiring of a new community planner.

“Currently, when development applications increase beyond manageable levels, staff work additional hours in evenings and weekends and/or contract files out to a consulting firm. The acquisition of a Community Planner would reduce consultant costs and improve the mental health of existing staff,” wrote Planning Manager Don McArthur.

The proposed role would be an exempt position, reporting to the Planning and Development Services Manager. While a final job description has not been completed, it is anticipated that this position would be responsible for processing development applications, reporting to Council, answering planning related inquiries from the public, overseeing the business licence application process, maintaining the GIS system, and working with the Development Services Clerk to update informational materials.

CAO Sean Smith also addressed the need.

“In my opinion, the City has a critical need to hire an additional planner in order to process the increasing number of applications, while maintaining excellent service. In 2020, the Development Services team has done phenomenal work to advance Council’s plans, but their pace, and in particular Don’s hours of work, cannot be maintained without great personal cost,” said Smith.

It was noted that some of the costs of the new hire would be offset by the reduction of consultants being used for planning projects. This year the City is estimated to spend $35,000 on planning consultants.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

 

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Diversity Logo

 The City of Merritt has adopted a new symbol of diversity and inclusion following a round of public consultation.

The idea which began as a notice of motion from Councillor Travis Fehr during the summer was officially adopted earlier this week.

“I would just like to say I’m pleased with the options that staff came up with and that a portion of the community weighed in. I’m happy to see this moving forward,” said Fehr.

“I’m glad we got a symbol,” added Mayor Linda Brown.

The public had an opportunity to vote on their preferred version with the winning selection receiving 26% of the vote and winning by just one vote over two other options.

Overall, 51 votes were cast in the online vote with just 53% of respondents being in favour of the symbol and 41% not in favour of adopting the symbol.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

 

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The main concern around the Trans Mountain Pipeline for the local Coldwater Band has been protecting their aquifer. The Band felt the route of the expansion would possibly harm the community's main source of drinking water.

When the expansion project was approved, Chief Lee Spahan told Q101, “For us water is life. We continue to do everything in our power to ensure our sole source of drinking water is protected from the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.”

Now, Trans Mountain has applied to reroute the pipeline to the west of the Coldwater River.

The new route would add about three kilometres to the overall route, and no financial costs were provided for the change.

More to come

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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Elections BC

British Columbians prepared to cast a ballot in the provincial election can begin voting in advanced polls starting today.

Advanced polling will begin today and run 8 am- 8 pm every day until October 20.

Merrittonians looking to cast an early ballot can do so at the Merritt Civic Centre. 

The advance voting period is seven days this election, up from six in the last provincial election in 2017. An extra day has been added to give voters more opportunities to vote and to help reduce numbers in voting places as a pandemic response measure.

Voters voting in person will see many protective measures including:

  • Physical distancing
  • Voting place capacity limits
  • Election officials wearing personal protective equipment including face masks and visors
  • Protective barriers at voting stations
  • Hand sanitizing stations at the entry and exit of voting places
  • Frequent cleaning of voting booths and high-touch surfaces
  • Election officials trained on safe workplace guidelines and pandemic safety protocols

Other options for voting including vote by mail, and waiting until election day (October 24) to cast your ballot in-person.

 

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