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Most Redlands City Hall offices will be closed between Christmas and the beginning of 2014. Essential City services, including public safety and utilities as well as the A.K. Smiley Public Library will be in full operation.

City facilities, including City Hall, the Redlands Community Center and both senior centers, will close on Friday, Dec. 20, and reopen Monday, Jan. 6.

In addition to public safety, utility customer service and billing, solid waste and recycling pickup, Hillside Memorial cemetery, and City parks will remain open and in operation.

The Redlands Community Senior Center’s “Christmas Winter Formal” dinner and dance will be held from 3-6 p.m. Dec. 10.

Thomas Catering is creating a wonderful dinner that includes ham, scalloped potatoes, mixed vegetables, dinner roll with salad and apple pie for dessert. Live entertainment will be provided by Dan Damon. Raffle prizes will be awarded throughout the dance.

ABC7 and Southern California Firefighters are celebrating the 21st Anniversary of the Spark of Love Toy Drive. Over the past two decades, the Spark of Love Toy Drive has successfully collected more than seven million toys. The campaign collects new, unwrapped toys and sports equipment for under-served children and teens in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Ventura and Riverside counties. Toys collected in the respective counties are distributed locally.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians recently donated $28,000 to support the Redlands Emergency Services Academy. For the past five years San Manuel has supported the program, which mentors young high school graduates.

Each year, some two dozen local teens with an interest in a public safety career attend the annual Redlands Emergency Services Academy.  The participants share temporary quarters for one week on the campus of the University of Redlands, are exposed to hands-on training exercises in fire and police operations, and are introduced to state of the art simulators.  This program stresses the importance of a well-rounded education, as well as the value of an extended education to each of the teens in attendance.

The City of Redlands Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off facility will be closed during the Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday, Nov. 30. Normal hours for the site, Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will resume Saturday, Dec. 7.

The A.K. Smiley Public Library is pleased to announce a special book signing for the new Redlands history book “Images of America: Early Redlands,” by Ann Cordy Deegan and Maria Carrillo in the Assembly Room at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24.

If you have ever seen a 100-year-old photograph and marveled at its clarity and composition, it is likely that you were noticing the work of a professional photographer. In the days before personal cameras were commonplace, professional photographers were essential members of communities. From promotional photography for tourism or businesses, to family portraits or school photography, the work of early professional photographers documented the growth of cities and the lives of the people who lived there.

“Images of America: Early Redlands” explores Redlands through the lens of the professional photographers who lived and worked here between 1880 and 1920. Utilizing images solely from the Archives of A.K. Smiley Public Library, this book examines the work of the 34 professional photographers who captured Redlands in its formative years.

The Redlands Police Department will again offer a personal self-defense and safety seminar designed especially for women, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Redlands Community Center Gymnasium.

The seminar, part of the Redlands Police Department’s Street Smart program, is designed to increase participants’ level of awareness and minimize their risk of victimization.

No one was injured in a fire that damaged a portion of a kitchen Thursday morning.

Firefighters responded to the residence in the 300 block of Doyle Street shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. A Redlands Police officer used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze prior to firefighters’ arrival.

Redlands City Council members will hold their last Coffee with the Council for 2013 this Saturday, Nov. 16, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Olive Market, 530 W. Olive Ave., with Mayor Pete Aguilar and Mayor Pro Tem Paul Foster.

As part of the City’s continuing efforts to increase interaction with residents and promote transparency in City affairs, the City Council began a monthly “Coffee with the Council” in February 2011.

Redlands Fire Department firefighters and paramedics freed an injured driver following an early morning collision on the 210 freeway Thursday, Nov. 14.

Firefighters and paramedics responded to the 2:15 a.m. collision on the freeway at San Bernardino Avenue after a small car rear-ended a semi-truck, trapping the car’s driver. It took 12 firefighters approximately 25 minutes to free the driver who was then transported to the hospital with injures to his face and legs.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.

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