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LOCAL BRIEFS: Sheriff's Citizens Academy, Bounty volunteers, Christmas lights

Sheriff’s Office opens Citizens Academy signup

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office is now accepting applications for the 2023 Sheriff’s Citizens Academy beginning Jan. 31, Sheriff Lowell Griffin announced.

The objective of the Citizens Academy is to educate the public on the duties, requirements, and responsibilities of the office of sheriff. The class is for every citizen in the county that seeks to enhance his or her knowledge of our county’s law enforcement and thus become a more supportive citizen.

All classes will take place 6-9 p.m. Tuesday evenings at the Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Center training room. Class size is limited to 30 students. Classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Class topics include, but are not limited to criminal investigations, STAR program & school resource officers, crime prevention techniques, frauds & scams, personal safety, 911 communications, K-9 teams, Animal Enforcement, Bomb Squad & SWAT teams, Detention Center, civil courts process, gang information and drug prevention programs.

The class will tour law enforcement facilities, observe hands-on demonstrations and get a close-up look at the vehicles and gear used in the daily operations. Participants will also meet professional officers, office personnel and the leadership team. The class fee of $30 includes a binder, handouts, graduation meal and class recognitions at the final session.

Interested persons must pass a background check and may pick up an application at the Sheriff’s Office, 100 N. Grove St., or download one from the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy page on the Sheriff’s Office website. For more information or questions contact Citizens Academy Director Barry Brown

Bounty of Bethlehem has volunteer openings

Got Spirit of Christmas? Bounty’s got an outlet for that. Anyone who would like to participate in the Bounty of Bethlehem Community Christmas Dinner is invited to sign up for a volunteer job.

If you love Christmas — love to spread joy and love to serve — Bounty of Bethlehem can use some additional volunteers starting Dec. 17 through Dec. 26. Bounty issues a big thank you to the many individuals and families that have already signed up but there are many positions still open — from cooks’ helpers, to decorators, drivers, carpenters, strong men to move and stack materials, meal-servers and everything in between.
This Christmas, Bounty of Bethlehem expects to feed 2,500 people through the free Sit-Down-Christmas-Day-Dinner at the Salvation Army, the Pick-Up-And-Take-Home-Dinners and the Meals-On-Wheels deliveries to shut-ins. You can help them reach this goal by being part of the Spirit of Christmas Volunteer Team. Here’s how: Go to the Bounty of Bethlehem Facebook page. Scroll down to the evergreen photo. Click on Sign Up Genius. There you’ll see a list of volunteer opportunities, with dates and times. You can choose where and when you’d like to serve and sign up right then. Other ways to support the Bounty of Bethlehem are by donating a turkey or dessert, or through a financial gift by mailing a check to P.O. Box 742, Horse Shoe, NC, 28742. Check out Bounty’s Facebook page to learn more.

Christmas lights voting ends Friday

Love Christmas lights? You’re in luck.

Voting is under way in the Home Holiday Decoration Contest and the Merchant Holiday Decoration Contest. The Henderson County Tourism Development Authority, the contest sponsor, invites the public to vote for the best in each category. Voting is open through Dec. 16. To vote go to