Section of Main Street downtown to close for costumed crowd Friday

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Attention downtown shoppers: If you park Friday on Main Street in the late afternoon, there's a good chance you may be temporarily stalled.

As a reminder about the Downtown Trick-or-Treat event, Main Street from Second Avenue to Palouse Street will be closed to traffic between 3 and 5 p.m. Friday.

That's when the area's little costumed boys and ghouls will be making the rounds at businesses to pick up treats in a fun-filled event coordinated by the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation. Parked vehicles along that stretch are welcome to stay, but downtown officials ask that for the sake of public safety, vehicles remain in place until the annual trick-or-treat event is over.

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Wilcox Furniture will welcome trick-or-treaters to its Milton-Freewater stores Sunday.

The store and its neighboring clearance center on Highway 11 just past the state line will offer candy from noon-5 p.m.

As an added treat for the eyes, the stores' staff will be dressed as witches, and shoppers will be invited to vote for their favorite "witch."

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A local hospital and grocery store are joining together to help those with diabetes find healthy food.

Walla Walla's Harvest Foods, 905 S. Second Ave., and the Walla Walla General Hospital Diabetes Center are partnering during the month of November in honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month.

Their partnership will be reflected in a new food label program designed to help educate customers with diabetes and others at-risk about healthy food choices, according to a joint announcement.

More than 100 canned and boxed items have been identified as low-carbohydrate and high-fiber products based on criteria set by the Diabetes Center and the American Diabetes Association. Those particular items are marked with a royal blue identifier on the shelves next to the products. A special display will also showcase many of the healthy foods throughout the store.

"Our goal is to raise awareness in the community and help those who might not know they have diabetes to prevent it, as well as help those who do," said Kathleen Lockwood, who co-owns Walla Walla's Harvest Foods with her husband, Nolan.

She said store operators hope to identify and stock more items to help with the effort.

"Over the years there have been many attempts to make shoppers aware of various health risks," Nolan Lockwood said, "but they often fail because of a lack of commitment, lack of communication and lack of local involvement. The Diabetes Center can help us overcome all three of these roadblocks."

Throughout November, diabetes educators will be onsite to provide glucose screenings and blood pressure checks. Dates for those appearances are Nov. 2, 2-4 p.m.; Nov. 16, 10 a.m.-noon; and Nov. 23, 4-6 p.m.

"We'll still provide screenings, classes and helpful literature on an ongoing basis, even after this special awareness month ends," Eva Saldana, diabetes educator at the center, said in the announcement. "With the power of knowledge you can prevent diabetes and if you already have diabetes you can control the disease and prevent complications."

For more information about the Diabetes Center call 522-0100 or Harvest Foods at 525-7900.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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