On Tuesday, Nov. 5, residents in Belfast will head to the polls to decide who will be the city's next mayor, as well as the two board members who will serve on Regional School Unit 20's Board of Directors.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Residents in Wards 1-4 vote at the Boathouse, located at 34 Commercial St., and residents in Ward 5 vote at the Belfast United Methodist Church located at 23 Mill Lane.

Residents will be asked to choose from one of the following candidates for mayor: Walter Ash Jr., Jim O'Connor or Thomas Burpee. The mayor's term runs for a period of two years.

Voters will also elect two representatives to the RSU 20 Board of Directors for a three-year term. The candidates are Christopher Hyk, Charles Grey and Caitlin Hills.

Voters will also decide on five state bond issues seeking voter approval to apportion money to update educational facilities at state colleges and universities, as well as bonds to improve the Army National Guard centers and reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways, bridges and ports.

Halloween safety tips

Halloween is upon us and that means children will be roaming the streets in search of treats, and maybe a few tricks, but by following a few simple safety tips, parents can make sure the holiday is both safe and fun.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers a list of tips for parents. Costumes should be bright and reflective. Make sure shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame; parents should consider attaching reflective tape to costumes or trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility; and consider using non-toxic makeup in place of a mask, which can limit or block eyesight.

Other safety tips include:

Keeping homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.

Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs. Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps. Restrain pets to protect visitors and keep animals safe.

A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds. Carry a cellphone and have a flashlight for children and escorts.

If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.

Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available walk to the far edge of the road facing traffic. Never cut across yards or use alleys.

Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.

Do not assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops, does not mean others will.

By following these tips, everyone will have a safe and happy Halloween.

National Diabetes Month

Diabetes affects millions of people and November marks a month dedicated to raising awareness about the disease.

More than 100,000 adults in Maine have some form of diabetes, according to 2011 estimates from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one of every three U.S. adults has pre-diabetes. Someone with pre-diabetes is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, which increases the risk for possible complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and other health problems.

The CDC offers ways people can prevent diabetes, which include losing weight, staying physically active and eating healthier.

The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.

Direct medical costs reach $176 billion and the average medical expenditure among people with diabetes is 2.3 times higher than those without the disease.

Indirect costs amount to $69 billion (disability, work loss, premature mortality).

One in 10 health care dollars is spent treating diabetes and its complications.

The goal of National Diabetes Month is to raise awareness about the disease, its consequences and management and prevention of Type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.