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The Nicola Valley Theatre Society has long been planning to build in downtown Merritt. The plot of land is picked, and recently the design was completed. Q101 spoke with Rich Hodson from the Society about what exactly the next steps are.

“We have been busy at work, we’ve been working on the design and the parking requirements. There is current encumberments on our lot that we have to abide by, and we’ve been working on those,” said Hodson. “We pretty much have finished the design. We haven’t done the engineering yet, so there is about four engineering pieces to do yet, but we want to make sure we satisfy all these encumberments before we proceed and spend another $130-thousand on engineering.”

“We’re required by the contract on the land to provide 51 parking spots. So, we have that in our plan now but that has to be approved by Manulife and Overwaitea as well. So, that’s the next step, is to get those approvals in place,” said Hodson.

While receiving approval will be a massive step, so too will be finding out about a grant.

“We have an application into the Canada BC infrastructure program for some money. We expect that it will be announced before the next federal election,” said Hodson. “If we were fortunate enough to get the grant, that’s for about 2.4 million. So, we’d have to see where we are, we’d still be a bit short.”

Hodson did mention how some locals are considering donating but the Society wanted the individuals to hold onto their funds until they were farther along.

“That (grant funding), and approval by Manulife, who owns the mall, and Overwaitea. Those are big steppingstones, so if we can get those approvals done, then we can focus more on just the fundraising part of it,” said Hodson. “The plans are looking good to me, so we’ll go from there once we get those approvals in place.”


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“We always say that BC is bear country. No matter where you are bears are quite prevalent, black bears in particular in our area,” said Andrew Roebbelen from the TNRD.

With summer officially in full swing wildlife sightings are going to become a more regular occurrence. But what Roebbelen hopes is that the wildlife in the area stays wild.

“We really want to be able to manage our attractants, particularly in the communities. We don’t want bears coming in, looking for food and becoming habituated. When they become habituated to food sources they are going to keep coming back and the more they come back the more likely that they’re going to pose a risk to public safety,” said Roebbelen.

“Managing things like your garbage,” began Roebbelen. “Managing that garbage, keeping it in a secure location, not setting it out until the morning of collection. If you have a bear resistant container, using the latches correctly. It’s all going to keep the bear from getting a food reward if they do come into town and it’s going to keep them from coming into populated areas in the first place.”

He continued to mention how garbage isn’t the only attractant, speaking to pet food and dirty BBQs as well.

“A lot of people don’t think about the bird feeders,” said Roebbelen. “When we move into bear season it’s actually more of an attractant to bears. In a kilogram of birdseed there’s about 8,000 calories and bears are very food motivated.”

Roebbelen also highlighted the importance of reporting any sightings.

“We want to make sure any sightings of bears, particularly around people, are being reported. Even if the bear isn’t causing a problem,” said Roebbelen. “We can track that bear and encourage that bear to leave. We don’t want them encountering people. Wild bears need to stay wild and communities need to say safe.”


To report a sighting call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277

You can also monitor sightings on -


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Fire Map July 3

A small spot blaze has sparked along the side of the Coquihalla (HWY 5) just north of Hope.

The approximate location is Caroline Mine road, and the 0.01-hectare fire is suspected to have been human caused.

The fire falls into the Coastal Fire Centre where there are currently 13 active wildfires, making it the busiest centre in the province along with the Northwest.

The Northwest Centre was bombarded with lightning strikes over the long weekend, including over 23,000 on Sunday alone.

Here in the Kamloops Fire Centre there are only two active fires. One is down near Osoyoos and the other is up by Clearwater Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park, both are under control.


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The Forest Practices Board will examine the forestry activities of Tolko Industries Ltd. in the Cascades Natural Resource District during the week of July 8, 2019.

Auditors will examine whether harvesting, roads, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning carried out by Tolko between June 1, 2018, and July 12, 2019, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.

The audit area is located in the Merritt timber supply area, near the communities of Merritt and Princeton. The area has a diverse landscape that provides habitat to a variety of wildlife.

Once the audit work is complete, a report will be prepared and any party that may be adversely affected by the audit findings will have a chance to respond. The board's final report and recommendations then will be released to the public and government.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.'s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board audits forest and range practices on public land, as well as appropriateness of government enforcement.


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Lane closures will be in effect on Highway 5, approximately 25 kilometres north of Hope, beginning July 3, 2019, and continuing through to the end of October.

Crews will rehabilitate the 30-year-old Carolin Bridge. Work will involve concrete repairs, bearing replacement and deck resurfacing.

On Sundays from 8 p.m. until Fridays at 8 a.m., traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. An additional counterflow lane will be in place from 8 a.m. Fridays until 8 p.m. Sundays, with the extra lane for northbound traffic on Fridays and Saturdays, and southbound on Sundays. To accommodate the counterflow, the width of the travel lanes will be narrowed from 5 metres to 3.8 metres.

Drivers can expect delays of up to 30 minutes, and if possible, should plan to travel outside these peak times:

* Southbound: Fridays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; holiday Mondays noon to 6 p.m.

* Northbound: Fridays noon to 4 p.m., or 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on long weekends.

For up to the minute road conditions click on the road report section under the community tab.


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