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The RCMP in Merritt is now investigating after a man allegedly discharged a firearm during an apparent neighbour dispute Saturday evening in Kane Valley south of the Nicola Valley city.

On January 9, 2021 just before 8 p.m., Merritt RCMP responded to a 9-1-1 emergency call after a Sun Valley resident allegedly fired a non-restricted firearm towards a neighbouring residence during a dispute. The Southeast District Emergency Response Team was immediately deployed to Merritt to assist, while front line officers responded to the scene to assess the situation.

"Our local front line officers worked quickly to tactically extract a man and a woman from the home that had been fired upon," states Sgt. Josh Roda of the Merritt RCMP. "The pair were unable to safely escape from the potential danger on their own."

Merritt RCMP was aided in their extraction by front line officers of both Central Interior Traffic Services and the Kamloops RCMP Integrated Road Safety Unit each a part of the BC RCMP Traffic Services, who also assisted with the containment of the property.

The suspect, a 44-year-old Merritt man, was taken into custody at approximately 2 a.m. by the RCMP Southeast District Emergency Response Team without further incident. A further search of the man’s residence led to the seizure of a shot gun.

The BC Prosecution Service has approved criminal charges against Christopher Jonathan Skidmore including uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, careless use or storage of a firearm, and unlawfully discharge of a firearm.

If you witnessed this incident, or you have any additional information and have not yet spoken to police you are asked to call the Merritt RCMP at 250-378-4262.


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Road Closed

The City of Merritt is informing residents that Cleasby Street will be closed today (Monday, January 11) between 7 am and 7 pm.

The closure will run between Nicola and 1st Avenue.

The road is closed to allow BC Hydro crews to install new underground utilities.


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Murray groundbreaking

(Rev. Elaine Diggle conducts the ground breaking ceremony in October of 2020)

The Murray Church Fundraising Challenge goal was to raise $15,000 by January 11, 2021, two years since the arson which destroyed the historic church.

“With matching funding, we have reached that goal,” announced Richie Gage. “The Trinity United Church congregation, Church Board, Trustees, and The Murray Church Fundraising Committee wish to offer our thanks and appreciation to all the donors in the Nicola Valley and surrounding communities.”

With the funds now raised to rebuild what was the oldest building in the Nicola Valley, Gage provided Q101 with an update on the construction.

“Construction is ongoing, weather permitting, to be completed in spring 2021,” said Gage. “Future plans include providing a toilet facility, memorial display, furnishings, and landscaping around the church.”

Donations can still be made by mailing a cheque payable to Murray Church Project, address, Box 175, Merritt, BC, V1K1B8, or by deposit at any branch of CIBC.


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School District 58 Nicola-Similkameen is informing parents that a positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed among the community at Merritt Secondary School.

“A member of the Merritt Secondary community has tested positive for COVID-19. They are self-isolating at home with support from local public health teams,” reads the release from Superintendent Steve McNiven.

“We are supporting Interior Health Authority as they undertake contact tracing to determine if any other members of our Merritt Secondary community were in contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19, and if any additional steps are required,” continues the release.

“Only the health authority can determine who is a close contact. If you are contacted by the Interior Health Authority, please follow their advice. If you are not contacted by the Interior Health Authority, it has been determined that your child is not at risk of developing COVID-19,” added McNiven.

The district will not be providing any more information on the positive case.

“The safety and well-being of our students, families, and staff remains our highest priority. Please be reassured that Merritt Secondary will continue to implement the strict protocols and procedures we have in place so that children can continue to attend school as safely as possible,” said McNiven.

This is the first confirmed case in a school community in the Merritt area. There was a case confirmed in a school district employee last year however that individual did not interact with students.


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RCMP logo w Bldg and logo

The Merritt RCMP is informing citizens of a rash of thefts from vehicles over the weekend.

“On January 9th, 2021 at approximately 2:00 am, an off-duty RCMP officer noted a male checking vehicle's door handles in the Bench area,” said Cpl. Brock Hedrick.

Surveillance video of the suspect was obtained by police and distribute to all on-duty members.

“Patrols of the area located several vehicles that had been obviously broken into. A short time later a report was received from one of the vehicle owners that his credit card had been used at a local petrol station,” said Hedrick. “Additional patrols were made and a male was taken into custody after he briefly tried to run from police.”

The suspect was found to be in possession of multiple identification and credit cards from Merritt residents.

“The male who is a well-known property offender is being held for court and the police will be recommending a laundry list of charges,” added Hedrick.

If you have any information in relation to this incident, please contact the Merritt RCMP at (250)378-4262.

“The public is reminded to remove valuables from their vehicles and lock up the same before retiring for the evening. It is much easier to take one's wallet and other valuable out of our vehicles than having to replace one's identification, credit cards after a theft has occurred,” said Hedrick.


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