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Buy Local This Holiday Season

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Buy Local This Holiday Season

So years ago, my family and I decided ‘No more endless shopping’ for the holidays.  We felt like we lost the holiday spirit, not to mention our future savings at the local mall…but more than anything…we had lost the true meaning of Christmas.  Yes, we still have fun when it comes to the kids, but as adults, we sponsor a family at our church and just get together over our favorite meal and celebrate as a family without gifts.

Now, convincing all of your friends to do the same is not always as easy!! : )  So this year I made a true commitment of when and where I can, I will be doing my holiday shopping at small local stores and boutiques here in Meridian.  I’ve made a true commitment to it and I hope you’ll join me in doing the same.  There are so many benefits to you and to our community.

  • Your dollars keep the community full of thriving businesses and local shopping centers full and festive in the holiday spirit and it keeps our communities prosperous and sustainable.


  • You’re keeping Meridian’s small businesses thriving !  Nearly 80 percent of the jobs created in the community are by small businesses.  While you buy their goods, they’ll do they’re printing at the local printing shop, buy gas on the way to work and in return eat at the local restaurants.


  • You are reinforcing the value of becoming a business owner. Entrepreneurship is really hard, especially in these times, so show your support! 


Just remember though, sometimes you may spend a little teenie bit more than said big box stores, but you’re building our local economy and generating great karma! Our Meridian small businesses are the ones who support your church, volunteer for many community organizations or functions, and donate to charitable causes that help many people.  These are local people working in the area, working in their shops, their farms and it sure helps stimulate our economy!


Now back to my first thought, in the true spirit of the holidays, be sure to remember those less fortunate in our communities.   My father always told us while growing up that most families are one paycheck away from being without a home.  Especially at this time of year and in these economic times, we should be thinking of things we can do to help.  The best gifts come from the heart so consider giving a gift of yourself or your time.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting small business and shopping local. 

Happy local shopping and Merry Christmas!


Meridian Police 2011 Achievements

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By Tracy Basterrechea, Meridian Police


Christmas and the New Year are quickly approaching. This is a very festive time of year and we want it to be a positive holiday season for our community.  With that we would like to offer this tip: Please, please, please remember to lock your vehicles. We deal with a great deal of vehicle burglaries and the vast majority of them are the results of unlocked cars. If we would all take a few seconds to make sure our vehicles are locked, yes even in our own driveways, we would deter a large number of vehicle burglaries. Also don't forget to lock your packages and valuables in your trunk when you are out shopping. Make sure you keep your valuables out of sight.
On a more positive note, I would like to tout the achievements and work of our Officers and our Impact Team. This Team was formed with the help of a federal COPS grant. We developed this team to help us focus on quality of life issues in our neighborhoods and on specific crimes which are causing our community problems. Some of these issues and crimes include things like burglaries, drugs, vandalisms, etc.. In the last three months our Team has served search warrants and made several arrests for burglaries and arrests. This includes the recent arrests of four people and seizure of 34 pounds of marijuana and $1,000.00 in U.S. currency. Our Officers are also currently working very credible leads in other burglaries, which include the burglary of a local church.
The Impact Team was designed to make a difference and in the short time they have been operating they are showing a great deal of promise. If you have a problem or a tip for the Impact Team you can contact them at impact@meridiancity.org.
Meridian Police Department is also pleased to announce our participation in Alive at 25.  Alive at 25 is a 4 ½ hour educational course developed by the National Safety Council and instructed by law enforcement.  Knowing that vehicle crashes are the number 1 killer of teens, this course is designed to help young drivers become defensive drivers. The first course was held on December 10, 2011 and was a great success.  To find enroll at future classes go to http://aliveat25.us/id/location-info?id=320.
The Meridian Police Department anticipates offering Alive at 25 classes a twice a month.  The class is intended for drivers between the ages of 15 to 24.
Some quick facts about young drivers:
Ø In Idaho, there were 43 young adults 15-24 years old killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2009.
Ø Of those Idaho young drivers or passengers in motor vehicles killed during 2009, only 29% were wearing a seatbelt.
Ø Nationwide, seatbelt usage for 16-24 year olds is the lowest for any age group.
Ø Studies have shown that when young drivers are involved in crashes, it is the result of one or more of the following:
Ø Distraction
Ø Inexperience
Ø Lack of awareness of risk-taking behaviors and their consequences
Ø Impaired driving Speeding
Funding for Alive at 25 is provided by the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety. 
For more information visit http://aliveat25.us/.
Please have a Merry Christmas and a safe Holiday Season!
Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea



Christmas Tree Fires

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By Pam Orr, Fire Education/Prevention Specialist Meridian Fire Department  



The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) warns us that festive lighting, windowsill candles and ornamented Christmas trees are staples of the holidays, but these decorative items also pose a fire risk if handled improperly. In 2005-2009, on average, one of every 18 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 141 total home fires.

Holiday lights and other decorative lighting were involved in an estimated average of 150 home fires per year during the same time. These fires caused an average of eight civilian deaths, 14 injuries, and $8.5 million in direct property damage per year.

December is an exciting time where almost every home on the block is accented with decorations and seasonal lighting, said Lorraine Carli from the NFPA. Though decorations such as candles or Christmas trees certainly spread holiday cheer, it is important to follow basic safety steps so celebrations go off without a hitch.

Here are NFPA s tips for safe holiday decorating:

  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Check the packaging; some lights are only for indoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
  • Use clips, not nails, or staples to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.

For proper Christmas Tree safety:  See Meridian Fire Website for a Christmas Tree Fire Demonstration Keep your tree well watered.  A dry tree can be extremely dangerous. 

  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Get rid of the tree when it is dry. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.