If you are not already aware, a recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the community should serve as a reminder to everyone just how serious this pandemic is. It is extremely important to follow scientific recommendations. Wear a mask and social distance.

This is not difficult or political — it could save someone's life. You may be contagious without showing symptoms. The rise in cases has caused some changes in plans:

– The Varney Thrift Store will be closed until further notice. Please DO NOT drop off any donations (this has caused problems and additional work in the past).

– The fundraising tea scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 25, has been canceled. If you have purchased tickets and would like a refund or would like to donate the amount to the Brooks Historical Society, please call Ralph's Cafe at 722-3236. You may also contact me.

– Since door-to-door trick or treating has been suspended, the plans for our Halloween celebration are now pending. We are awaiting decisions from the Rec Department and the Varney regarding the outcome. Stay tuned.

The Regional School Unit 3 School Board has approved its updated green model plan to phase in the return of all students back to school four days per week (Monday-Thursday) and remote one day (Friday): K-5 beginning Nov. 2; 6-8, beginning Dec. 7; 9-12, beginning Jan. 11, 2021.

This is the current plan, but if COVID-19 cases increase in the area, or if Waldo County shifts to yellow or red, the plan will be postponed.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Voting in Brooks will be at the Town Office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. They ask that you check your information prior to that date due to a large expected turnout.

Registered Maine voters do not need to show ID to vote. You should bring ID and proof of your address if you are a first-time voter, you have moved or you need to register to vote on Election Day. No eligible voter can be turned away and you may vote as long as you are in line (if there is one) by 8 p.m.

The people at the Town Office are more than happy to help if needed. Another great resource is the League of Women Voters of Maine. Their contact information is 622-0256 or info@lwvme.org.

Congratulations to Carol Hegstrom as she celebrates the 15th year anniversary of her shop, Roaring Acres Smoke Shop & Ceramics, on Oct. 21. Raffles and prizes will be available. Spend $15 and get a free gift from the 420 table. The shop is located just south of the railroad tracks on Route 7 on the left.

Until next time…peace. Stay healthy and do your part to get this virus under control.