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Think holiday fire safety
The period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day is typically the most fire-deadly week of the year in Minnesota. Cooking, candles, decorations and fireplaces are the main culprits, but in every case, lack of caution plays a role. When holiday traditions add fire threats and we fail to take additional precautions, the outcome can quickly turn a holiday into a disaster.

As your state fire marshal, I ask you to read the information below, clip it out and review it with your family. Perhaps you’ll hang it on the refrigerator with other special reminders and tokens of affection for your loved ones.

Cooking: This is the number-one cause of residential fires because distracted cooks forget to watch the stovetop. Never leave a hot burner unattended; grease fires start in seconds. Keep clothing, clutter and children away from the stove, and your kitchen will be more fire-safe.

Candles: Candles belong in sturdy containers or holders, far from curtains, greenery, paper, gifts, and children’s reach. Never leave them burning unattended.

Decorations: Water your natural tree every day. A fresh, green tree will hardly burn; a dry one can ignite an entire room in seconds. Be sure light cords are in good condition and don’t overload electrical sockets. Finally, keep greenery and heat sources three feet apart — and no fresh greens on the fireplace mantel!

Fireplaces: Never burn wrapping paper in the fireplace; it’s a frequent cause of chimney fires. If you haven’t had your chimney inspected for a year or more, do it before you light that crackling holiday fire and the creosote build-up turns it into something very unpleasant.

Please share these tips with the people you love. Your Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division wishes you peace and joy during the holidays and throughout the year.

Yours in fire safety,
—Jerry Rosendahl
Minnesota State Fire Marshal

Hooray!
I was so delighted and touched that Dan Hampton included that beautiful Arabic prayer last night in the holiday concert of the high school choir and band programs. Hooray!

Hooray for speaking up for the love that unites all people by our one creator. Hooray for speaking of unity. Hooray for reminding people that Muhammad’s message was one of love. It made me so very happy and proud to be a part of this community.

Sincerely and with many thanks,
—Emily Wright
Montevideo

Tip of the hat
On behalf of the Chippewa County Historical Society Board of Directors, a sincere thank you to the residents of Chippewa County for their continued support, volunteerism, and generosity to the society in 2011! 

This past year the society, with the help of numerous volunteers, hosted several successful events including our 75th anniversary party, annual banquet, Heritage Week, Mission Sunday, Horse Power Event, and Christmas in the Village.  Maintenance issues were also addressed at all three of our sites, including two new metal roofs on the Ag Building and Buggy Shop at Historic Chippewa City.

We invite each of you to visit Historic Chippewa City, the Swensson Farm Museum and the Lac qui Parle Mission in 2012 to experience what we have to offer in our own back yard.

Again, thank you and Happy Holidays!
—June Lynne
Executive Director, Chippewa County Historical Society