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Two fourth-grade fire experts got to ride to school in a fire engine this week, their reward for winning an essay contest on preventing kitchen fires.

Lauren Juliette Scott Andrews, a Walker Elementary student, and Ava Daniel, Bellview Elementary student, wrote about keeping their families safe at home by preventing kitchen fires. The "Prevent Kitchen Fires" essay contest is part of the National Fire Prevention Week, said Margueritte Hickman, Ashland Fire & Rescue's division chief of fire and life safety.

An Ashland fire crew took Ava to school on Wednesday and drove Lauren to school Friday.

The Human Bean coffee locations in Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties raised $45,848.75 during its eighth annual Coffee for a Cure event last week, part of $108,822.41 the company raised at all of its locations.

Local proceeds from beverage and pastry sales on Friday, Oct. 18, were donated to Providence Medford Medical Center, Rogue Valley Women's Imaging, Three Rivers Imaging and Sky Lakes Medical Center. The money will go toward mammograms for low-income patients, treatments and follow-up care.

The coffee chain has raised $548,279 over the past eight years.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland is offering $10 rush tickets on select performances from Oct. 27 through Nov. 3 to patrons who donate a nonperishable food item.

All donated food will go to ACCESS food pantries. The $10 tickets will be available one hour before curtain on a first-come, first-served basis only, not over the phone or online. There will be no refunds or exchanges.

The following performances apply:

  • 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, "The Taming of the Shrew"
  • 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, "My Fair Lady"
  • 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, "A Streetcar Named Desire"
  • 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, "King Lear"
  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, "The Tenth Muse"
  • 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, "My Fair Lady"
  • 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, "King Lear"
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, "The Taming of the Shrew"
  • 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, "A Streetcar Named Desire"
  • 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, "King Lear"
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, "My Fair Lady"
  • 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, "The Taming of the Shrew."

The Jackson County Clerk's Office is accepting Board of Property Tax Appeals petitions for the 2013-14 filing period.

Those wishing to file an appeal will be charged a $30 fee. The filing period ends Dec. 31. Only the clerk's office will accept the petitions. Cash, check and bank card payments will be accepted. Those wishing to send their appeal by mail should send it to: Jackson County Clerk, BOPTA, 10 S. Oakdale Ave., Room No. 114, Medford, OR, 97501.

The appropriate forms are available at the clerk's office or online, either at www.jacksoncounty.org/clerk or at the Oregon Department of Revenue website, www.oregon.gov/DOR/PTD/Pages/BOPTA.aspx.

Call 541-774-6151 for information.

The fourth annual Zombie Walk will start at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29, on the lawn in front of the Ashland library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd.

People dressed as zombies will walk to the Ashland Plaza. Participants are encouraged to bring canned food to be distributed at Ashland food banks. Call 541-622-9483 or email jason@kskq.org for more information.