Mainers are reminded to safely dispose of ashes after a fire in Old Town that destroyed a house on Stillwater Avenue. Investigators say the careless disposal of ashes sparked the fire that quickly spread to the attached garage. Fire officials say ashes should be placed in non-flammable, lidded containers and set away from any structure

With families gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday, health officials are warning about the risk of getting sick. They advise keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer readily available and washing hands often. Clean cooking surfaces frequently throughout the day and don’t leave the leftovers sitting out for more than an hour or two.

The Warden Service is warning residents that, although some waterways appear to be frozen, the ice is very thin and dangerous this time of year. Corporal John MacDonald says the biggest concern this time of year is kids on vacation who may venture out onto the ice. He says the best way to make sure the ice is safe is to use a chisel or other tool to check its thickness.

The city of Waterville will kick off the Christmas season with its annual Parade of Lights on Friday night, tree lighting, and the opening of Kringleville. Santa’s mini-village features a gingerbread-style house large enough for kids to enter and Arctic animals, all in Castonguay Square.

A website that will go live the day after Thanksgiving will help provide a nicer Christmas for children with a variety of challenges, like risk of homelessness, mental and physical health needs. Christmas is for Kids collaborates with several local agencies to enroll the children and channels the gifts through Penquis.