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Five Things You Need to Know Today: Nov. 3

A special event with a Newton Police K-9, an art/craft festival and a (fake) hostage situation.

1. "The sound of gunfire, off in the distance. I'm getting used to it now." [Can you name that tune?] If you hear shots near Cleveland Circle today, don't be alarmed. A group of police departments (including Brookline and Boston) will be participating today in a 24-hour full scale training exercise known as Urban Shield. This is practice for major events, incidents and emergencies. The Cleveland Circle training exercise will simulate a bank robbery and hostage situation. No real bullets will be used.

2. Best of Newton Juried Art Fest. Newton Open Studios’ annual "Best of Newton" Juried Fine Art and Craft Show and Sale will take place today and tomorrow, Nov. 3 and 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Newton Cultural Center. This year, there are more than twice the number of participants compared to previous years -- 77 local, juror-selected artists will have their artwork and crafts on display and for sale. 

3. Burying grounds clean-up. Join Historic Newton today from 9 a.m. - noon for a late-fall cleanup of one of Newton's most historic locations, the East Parish Burying Ground. Those who are interested can meet at the corner of Centre Street and Cotton Street. 

4. Newton K-9 'Vesting' Ceremony. Mount Ida College has donated a bullet-proof vest to Newton's new K-9 Unit dog, Dakota. A "vesting ceremony" will take place today at Mount Ida along with a demonstration from Dakota and Officer Dan Valente. The event will start at 9 a.m. in the veterinary technology building on Mount Ida's campus.

5. Compost! Help out the Newton South High School's Sustainable Agriculture Group by dropping off your old pumpkin at Whole Foods Four Corners today from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. On top of helping out the community, you can also try out maple snow cones and other free food samples.

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