Halloween

Marsha Halper / Miami Herald

A junior at a Doral high school started an online petition in October that got nearly 185,000 signatures. The cause? A day off from school after Halloween.

After a series of viral petitions like his and requests from students and parents, a Miami-Dade County state senator filed a bill to keep sleepy, sugared-up kids home on Nov. 1 after a night of trick-or-treating.

Screenshot MDX

Halloween night traffic is about to be hell.

Starting at 11 p.m. Thursday, all lanes and ramps on westbound State Road 836/Dolphin Expressway from Northwest 57th Avenue to Northwest 72nd Avenue will be shut down for asphalt placement. The closure will last until 5 a.m. Friday.

Read more about alternate routes and road closures at our news partner the Miami Herald.

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On a school night, Nicolas Ayala's curfew is usually 9:30 or 10 p.m.

"But on Halloween, it's different," he said.

Ayala, 17, is a junior at Ronald Reagan Senior High School in Doral. On Oct. 31, he usually stays out until 1 or 2 a.m., trick-or-treating and hanging out with his friends.

When Halloween falls during the week, that means a tough next day at school.

Orange, black — and now teal? Yes, teal. There are teal plastic pumpkins, paint-your-own pumpkin kits, and trick-or-treating buckets. It's all part of a campaign to make the culmination of Halloween festivities, trick-or-treating, more food-allergy friendly.

Having a teal pumpkin on the doorstep (teal being the color of food allergy awareness) is a way to signal to people with food allergies that this is a safe home for trick-or-treating, says Jennifer Norris, president of the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET), which started the project.

Halloween is around the corner and guess what that means? Someone will metaphorically step in it with an insensitive or straight up racist costume.

Some people say New Orleans is haunted because of witches. Others say it's haunted by vampires, or ghosts, or all those swamps. But if you were around between 1817 and 1905, you might say the city was haunted by death. And that death, in large part, was caused by yellow fever.

Adrienne Arsht Center

Name three of the most infamous villains of literature or pop culture in the last century and it's likely that you'll mention, or at least think about, Dracula.

The 19th-century character, though not as popular in its early years, has spawned a love-affair with the dark and mysterious creatures, vampires. They are, today, widely celebrated in books, television shows and movies more than 100 years after Bram Stoker brought the character to life in the pages of his novel.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

More than a million cubic yards of debris has been hauled out of the Florida Keys since Hurricane Irma — but there’s still enough wreckage along the sides of the roads to make trick-or-treating a scary prospect in some neighborhoods. And not in a good way.

So Monroe County came up with an alternative: Two debris-free trick-or-treat parties at county parks, one in Bay Point in the Lower Keys and one in Key Largo.

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For the past six years, Dr. Marisabel Olivera has had hundreds of kids bring shopping bags filled with Halloween candy into her office, Journey Kids Dental, in Fort Lauderdale.

This may not be good news for your waistline, but your sweet tooth might appreciate it: Halloween candy sales are crackerjack this year.

"Consumer confidence is riding high, so consumers are likely to splurge a little more on edible goodies," David Deull, a senior economist with IHS Markit, said in his analysis of 2017 Halloween spending.

Halloween candy sales are expected to rise 4.1 percent from last year, reaching a seasonally adjusted $4.1 billion, he said.

The “Up and Away” campaign is underway for the Halloween Season. Health officials are warning parents to keep medicines away from their kids to avoid confusing pills with candy.

At a Halloween happy hour recently in Washington, D.C., a small crowd gathered to celebrate the relationship between bats and spirits.

Not spooky spirits. Instead, think tequila and mescal.

"We're here at a bar tonight to talk about [bats], because they are intimately tied to agave," announced Mike Daulton, the executive director of Bat Conservation International, a nonprofit devoted to the well-being of bats.

Candy is not a food known for its use of wholesome ingredients. In fact, it barely qualifies as a food at all. But Jami Curl, the confectioner behind Portland's Quin candy shop, is trying to change that.

So, you're at your friend's elaborately decorated Halloween party. There are cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, bloody handprints on the wall, a frothing potion brewing on the stove. It's creepy! And scary! But is it ... spooky?

Never mind ghosts and goblins, zombies and vampires.

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