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Saskatoon kids play Secret Santa for a day

At Target inside the Mall at Lawson Heights, kids wearing Santa hats and reindeer antlers carefully walk up and down the toy aisles, standing on tippy-toes to pull items like lego and craft kits off the shelves.

"We came here to buy gifts for children who are less fortunate in the city," 10-year-old Wyatt Hunt said.

Hunt and his Grade 5 class from Lawson Heights School spent part of Wedneday shopping for gifts for a Secret Santa program in Saskatoon.

Mr. Hockey, Gretzky headline Kinsmen dinner

Hockey fans mark your calendars because two of the sport’s all-time great are set to headline the biggest sports celebrity dinner in the county.

Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe and the Great One Wayne Gretzky will be in Saskatoon on Feb. 6 for the 2015 Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon Sports Celebrity dinner.

Rhode resigns as Saskatoon Health Region chair

The Chair of the Saskatoon Health Region has announced he is stepping down as of next month.
 
Jim Rhode has been chair since 2009 and said he wants to dedicate more time to his business, Davis Machine Company.
 
Rhode said he wanted to wait until "strong leadership" was in place at the health region before stepping down.
 
An acting board chair will be announced before Rhode departs on Jan. 10, 2015.

ckomnews@rawlco.com

Regina charities falling short on Christmas donations

When you hear the bell ring while you're Christmas shopping, the Salvation Army asks you to consider donating your change.

With eight days left until Christmas, the charity is falling behind from where it normally is this time last year in its kettle campaign.

The 2014 goal is to raise $210,000. Only $113,000, or about 54 per cent, has been raised so far. That's down $10,000 from this time in 2013.

SaskPower confirms White City smart meter fire

Smart meters are being removed across the province, but yet another one has sparked a fire.
 
SaskPower said the fire happened in White City on Tuesday. The company described it as similar to the other nine fires with melting or smoke seen on the meters, but no damage to the house. Other fires have varied in size from some just melting, to others that charred the siding on a home.
 
SaskPower said it will inspect the meter and investigate.
 

Holiday Sherlock Holmes: finding gift-hiding spots

Parents are working to hide gifts this time of year. For kids, that means it’s time to seek.

“I ruined my own Christmas,” admitted Premier Brad Wall.

Wall was in Grade 3 when the Big Driver Dashboard topped his wish list. He says he rummaged through his mom’s closet (of course) and found it.

The toy was a dashboard where kids could pretend to drive. Wall says he specifically wanted the police car version.

Wall suspects his mom knew he had discovered it but says she wrapped the gift anyway. But he says the surprise and magic was gone.

North Battleford hotel gives families a free Christmas stay

In the spirit of Christmas, the Super 8 Motel in North Battleford is making sure there's room at the inn for those visiting loved ones in the hospital or nursing home.

The Free Rooms and the Inn program gives families a free night at the hotel on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

"All they do is tell us that they're going to visit somebody in the hospital, we ask them who they're going to visit, we take the reservation, when they come here their first night is free," explained hotel manager Tom Schwab.

Analyst says Saudis driving low oil prices

A Canadian petroleum analyst says it's going to be up to Saudi Arabia to decide how low the price of oil is allowed to slide.

More Regina apartments available

It appears that finding a place to live in Regina is getting easier.

The average rental apartment vacancy in Regina was at three per cent in October 2014, up from 1.8 per cent in October 2013 according to a report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The rate varied depending on the area of the city - the northeast had the most vacancy and the area with the least vacancy was around the University of Regina.
 
The CMHC said it's thanks to a high supply of purpose-built apartments, and a lower demand.
 

Sally Ann Kettle Campaign: a Regina man's Christmas tradition

In the rush of the holiday shopping season, there's one familiar sight no matter where you go - people like Dwayne Pearce dressed in vibrant red with a bell in hand, ringing it for the Salvation Army.

It's the 24th year Pearce has volunteered for the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign.

“A lot of people this time of year, they’re looking for the Salvation Army kettles to find them and donate,” he said during a busy afternoon at Regina's Northgate Mall. “It’s just a tradition with a lot of people. It’s just like part of Christmas for them.”

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