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Team Slovakia began their World Junior Championship this morning with a matchup versus Kazakhstan.

While not a marquee matchup, some pundits felt the loser of the contest could end up in the relegation series, playing for their World Junior berth in 2021.

Last year, the two squads met in Victoria, BC, in what was an 11-2 thumping by the Slovaks.

This year would be a different story. The game was scoreless through a penalty-filled first frame, which saw Merritt Centennial Daniel Tkac take a pair of minors, slashing and high-sticking.

In the second period, the teams would trade powerplay goals and head to the final stanza all knotted up at ones.

The stalemate would continue in the third, with the Slovaks killing off some crucial Kazakhs powerplays.

Then with less than three minutes left on the clock, the Cent played the hero. A bouncing puck would find Tkac at the side of the net, and he would make no mistake putting it into the roof of the net for the game-winning goal.

The Slovaks would add an empty netter for a 3-1 final.

Team Slovakia is back in action tomorrow morning (Saturday) at 6 am to face the defending champions from Finland.

 

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2019 Year in Review

Over the next week, Q101 will be highlighting the biggest stories from 2019 here in Merritt and the Nicola Valley.

We roll on with May and June.

May began with watering restrictions being implemented across the City. The restrictions would be the first of many throughout the summer put in place to protect the Coldwater. The restriction led to various conversations at City Hall about our aquifers and how to be better prepared for drought conditions

The month of May also slowly brought more details to light in the death of a young girl from Merritt

On May 10, the BC Ambulance Service recognized six local heroes for their work during a terrible accident along the Coquihalla.

That same day a suspicious death led to the Merritt RCMP calling in the Southeast Major Crimes Unit. 

May 31 marked a sad day for forestry in Merritt as Aspen Planners was forced to announce a shift curtailment. The mill remained on a single shift until recently, when they brought back the second shift temporarily.

And the community was split on whether or not the 4010 Walters Street development should be approved. Recently the ground was broken on the 75-unit building.

In sports, the Merritt Centennials hired Barry Wolff as the new Head Coach and GM for the departing BCHL Coach of the Year Joe Martin. Wolff’s tenure in Merritt would be short-lived as he was fired in October and replaced with Derek Sweet-Coulter.  

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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Kelly Fraser

Kelly Fraser has passed away at the age of 26.

The Inuk singer-songwriter who was born in Sanikiluag, Nunavut was found dead at her home in Winnipeg.

In 2015, Fraser began studying at NVIT in the field of Indigenous Studies.

The cause of her death has not been announced.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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CITYOFMERRITT

Recently, Craig Gray presented to City Council his idea to combat the current crime situation in Merritt.

“When I lived in Nelson, they have their own police force, which works so much better than the RCMP for two communities, Castlegar and Trail which are about the same size. The reason it does is that the Mayor is the head of the police commission and the Mayor can request police foot patrols and request special services and the community has some control over what happens,” said Gray.

While the idea was not debated by the council, Coun. Tony Luck did briefly raise two immediate concerns with the idea.

“You know the cost of a municipal police force and you can see the trouble they’re having in Surrey right now because they want to go to a municipal police force?” questioned Luck.

Later that evening Council did approve a motion to move a long-term crime reduction strategy to a top priority within the Council’s strategic plan.

 

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Kekuli Christmas 2019

Christmas means a lot of different things to different families, for Elijah and Cella Mack and the rest of the family at Kekuli Café in Merritt, it means giving back to the community.

For three years now, the family has opened its doors on Christmas day to welcome any and all. Whether somebody is less fortunate or maybe just away from family and friends, they're welcomed with a smile and a hot meal.

Elijah spoke with Q101 about the inspiration behind the day of giving.

“Me and mom were sitting at home on Christmas day, with my three younger brothers, dad goes to work, and we are just sitting there doing nothing,” began Elijah. “We live 900 kilometres away from our family in Bella Coola, so we said I wonder how many other families are sitting at home alone, how many other people don’t have an opportunity to have dinner.”

“We were not so fortunate growing up, we couldn’t afford a Christmas dinner, could barely afford presents, so one day we just said let’s pay it forward,” added Elijah.

While those who stopped by for breakfast or dinner were not asked to pay, some did provide a donation that Elijah said was heading to the Nicola Valley Shelter Society.

Elijah also had to give thanks to the leadership team at Merritt Secondary School for their donation to the cause.

“Right now, there’s a family, and they just said thank you so much for doing this, it’s better than what we have at home. And for me, that means the world because I’ve been there before and I know what it’s like. So now that I have the opportunity to give back, it makes the entire day worth it,” said Elijah.

Three years in, giving back has become a family tradition, one that Elijah hopes to continue for many years to come.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

 

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