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In observance of Election Day, all classes at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma will be cancelled Nov. 3 and university offices will be closed.

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The Oklahoma State Department of Health released today its guidance for people planning for Halloween and other fall festivities this holiday season as some traditional celebrations do not allow for proper social distancing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are a multitude of ways people can safely enjoy the holiday season this year, and connect with loved ones without putting anyone in unnecessary risk,” said Dr. Lance Frye, Oklahoma Commissioner of Health.  “Celebrate, but celebrate wisely, and continue following the three W’s: wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.”

Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses low risk for spread and is encouraged. If you have COVID-19 – or think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 – you should not participate in in-person Halloween or fall festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Guidance for those who plan to celebrate Halloween includes: avoid crowded parties and indoor haunted houses; group activities should be limited to fewer than 10 people; trick-or-treating should be done in outdoor environments only; and a costume mask is not an acceptable substitute for a cloth mask.

For those who wish to hand out Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters, consider preparing individual goodie bags for touch-free, grab-and-go trick-or-treating.

In-person gatherings with people outside your household pose varying levels of risk. Event organizers and attendees should consider the risk of virus spread based on event size and use of mitigation strategies, as outlined in CDC guidance on Considerations for Events and Gatherings. 

For those planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 alert levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees. County specific information can be found online: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/covid-19-alert-system.

School-sponsored Halloween activities should be held outdoor and staggered by grade.

Safer Halloween activities for people to consider include:•Pumpkin carving or decorating outside with members of your household.

  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space.
  • Organizing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
  • Hosting a virtual Halloween costume contest.
  • Halloween movie night with members of your household.A full list of Halloween guidance is available on the coronavirus.health.ok.gov dashboard in the Resources and Recommendations section.

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The Regional Food Bank, with the assistance of volunteers form the Chickasha Emergency Food Pantry, will be giving away 250 boxes of food on Monday, Oct. 19 at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Distribution will take place between 5 and 7 p.m. There are no qualifying requirements. 

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The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council passed legislation to revise election laws during a regular meeting Tuesday, after the council formed a work group last year to look at any changes that should be made to the election process.

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After a decade of growth in Norman, Gaberino’s Homestyle Italian Restaurant is celebrating its 10th anniversary by giving back.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — As the number of COVID-19 patients continues to grow, Oklahoma hospitals are reporting their intensive care units are feeling the squeeze.

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Back in the 1930’s, “New Deal Economics” provided major infrastructure investments across the United States. Shannon Springs Park was one of those investments built by the WPA.

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With state motorists hitting the road for fall break and remote areas as a COVID-19 precaution, AAA is warning drivers to especially watch for deer. Deer mating season is beginning, with October, November and December the most dangerous months in Oklahoma for motor vehicle collisions with an…

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President Donald Trump directed Treasury Secretary Seven Mnuchin in August to allow employers to temporarily suspend collection of payroll taxes from employees, saving the 6.2 percent of their income that goes toward Social Security.

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Fern Coster was released from Grady Memorial Hospital on her 100th birthday after surviving a COVID-19 diagnosis. 

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In the fallout of the U.S. Supreme Court’s McGirt vs. Oklahoma ruling, in which the court held the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s reservation was never disestablished, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt quickly tried to wrest jurisdiction over environmental issues in Indian Country.

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In collaboration with the “Inter’act” season of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s acclaimed Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series, the theatre arts department will present two related works in exclusive one-night-only performances on Oct. 19 and Oct. 23, at 7 p.m.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — After pledging to relocate the state’s public health lab to Stillwater, the Department of Health doubled down Monday despite growing concerns about timing and the wisdom of relocating it from the capital city.

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District Judge Kory Kirkland appointed Gina Lowe to be the Special Judge for Grady County, effective November 2, 2020. She will fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Timothy A. Brauer, who held the position for almost 23 years.

With a recent study ranking Oklahoma the fourth cheapest housing market in the United States, experts say the state is a good location to take advantage of the current low interest rates and purchase a home.

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The Amber-Pocasset FFA finished second at the Oklahoma state qualifying livestock judging contest.  The runner-up finish won them the opportunity to judge at the American Royal contest in Kansas City. Team members were Blake Janssen, Sage Schenk, Abbie Savage, and McKenzie Layton. Sage finis…

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The healthcare industry and the alphabet make good company. A new partnership has opened the door for PNs in Canadian and Grady counties to become RNs with a bachelor’s degree.

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As the pandemic rages, Oklahomans voting by mail in the 2020 primary increased exponentially compared with the same election four years prior, according to an analysis of mail-in voting data obtained by CNHI Oklahoma through an open records request.

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Given the uncertainly surrounding the current pandemic of COVID-19, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma has decided to adjust the spring 2021 semester to best ensure the health and safety of the institution’s faculty, staff and students. 

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The State Election Board reminds Oklahomans that the deadline to register to vote or make changes to their registration for the November 3 General Election is tomorrow, October 9, 2020.

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The Bedlam Blood Battle is on again this fall, and it’s time to save lives and support your favorite team with Oklahoma Blood Institute.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The state plans to spend millions to move its public health laboratory from Oklahoma City to “the middle of rural America,” officials announced Wednesday.

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Mayor Chris Mosley; Dr. R.P. Ashanti-Alexander, Ward 3 Council Member; and local student Marco Sanchez recently gathered for a proclamation signing to designate September 15 - October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month in Chickasha. Several Hispanic entrepreneurs operate businesses in Ch…

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