Police academy: The Matthews Police Department will conduct the Citizen Police Academy, a nine-week program designed to build a stronger relationship between the community and the police through education. Participants will meet once a week on Thursday evenings, Feb. 2-March 29 from 6-8 p.m., at the Matthews Police Department, 1201 Crews Road. The program is free. Applications are available at www.matthewsnc.com, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the police department, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Space is limited and the deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Dec. 30. Eligibility requirements include: must be 18 years of age or older and live or work within the town of Matthews. References will be contacted and background checks preformed.
Blood drive: Community Blood Center of the Carolinas will hold a Stonecrest Community Blood Drive from 3:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at 7825 Rea Road. Free movie ticket for all donors.
Santa is coming: If you missed Santa at Pineville's Tree Lighting, you'll have one more opportunity to see him. He will be riding through town on one of Pineville's fire trucks on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, starting at 10 a.m. Make sure you're outside early - he'll be tossing candy to all good boys and girls.
Holiday help: Salvation Army donation kettles will be at the SouthPark mall's main entrance and food court through Dec. 24. For information, www.salvationarmytreeusa.org. There will be strolling carolers dressed in Victorian costumes on Dec. 24 starting at 2 p.m. Prepare for St. Nick's arrival with an afternoon of music.