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Dec. 22 in Merced history: Pole fires touched off by light rain

December 22, 1958: The Merced County Fire Department on Sunday answered calls to a number of power pole fires touched off by the light rain.

The first of four pole fires was reported at 11:13 a.m. at Fruitland Ave., across from Atwater High School. The second was at the Los Banos city limits at 1:40 p.m.

The city of Gustine saw power pole fires, rolling up their hose form one and racing to the second, four miles away.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was notified regarding all four fires. Damage was minimal.

December 22, 1983

MERCED AIR SERVICE MAY BEGIN IN FEBRUARY

Wings West Airlines might get services off the ground beginning late February. Final approval for the carrier is winging its way through the Civil Aeronautics Board.

A Merced city official said the CAB is working to receive a final decision from board members by the end of the month on the selection of West Wings. This would mean that all details could be wrapped up by Jan. 11. Wing West officials say that flights could begin 45 days later.

The CAB at one point did not plan to meet again until after mid-January but recently that planned changed. Now plans are to get board members to "sign off" on approvals before the end of December.

December 22, 1998

THE BIG CHILL

Arctic blasts brings Minnesota weather to mellow Merced. The frigid weather was caused by a dip in the jet stream carrying an Arctic blast into the region, the National Weather Service said.

Merced residents were greeted with snow on the ground Monday morning. The wintry conditions sent many residents scurrying to wrap newspapers and duct tape over pipes. Residents were also advised to disconnect garden hose, cover outdoor faucets, place protective coverings over outdoor plants, and to keep their thermostats set at 68 degrees.

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