What’s happening in Whatcom County for Sept. 22

A scarecrow guards (well, kind of) Stoney Ridge Farm south of Everson in 2014.
A scarecrow guards (well, kind of) Stoney Ridge Farm south of Everson in 2014. The Bellingham Herald

It’s a giant pumpkin

Glenn Snodgrass of Lynden grew a pumpkin that weighed in at a whopping 535 pounds, big enough for seventh place in the Giant Pumpkin Contest at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. The winner, from a Puyallup guy, weighed an unbelievable 1621.5 pounds. (At that weight, do you need to include the extra half pound?)

Connection Day

Western Washington University’s Associated Students has put together some festivities for students on Wednesday, Sept. 23, before the first day of school Thursday. The activities will be held in Red Square and will include ice cream, a water balloon toss, button-making, and a free concert from hip-hop artist Mostafa.

Pope notes

Pope Francis arrives in Washington, D.C., Tuesday for a visit. Did you know he was once a bouncer at a bar? Here are 10 things you didn’t know about this pope. And check out this cool Lego version of the Vatican.

Avoid Highway 20

Late-night drivers hoping to travel over the North Cascades should prepare for full closures of Highway 20 in the Newhalem area Tuesday night, Sept. 22 and Wednesday night, Sept. 23. From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., Seattle City Light will close both directions of the highway between mileposts 120 and 123 to repair fiber optic control cable damaged by recent wildfires. Use US 2 to travel over the mountains.

Local tweet of the day

(Well, it was yesterday, but we saved it.)

Whatcom unemployment down

Whatcom County’s unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in August, down from 6 percent in July, according to the latest data from the Washington State Employment Security Department. The construction industry continues to post significant job growth: The number of people employed in construction locally last month was estimated at 6,900; that’s up 700 people compared to August 2014.

Get out the vote

Today marks National Voter Registration Day, which encourages all eligible citizens to register to vote. The nationwide effort comes ahead of the upcoming 2016 presidential elections. Here are voter registration rates and turnout by state in 2012. (Data is curated by insidegov.com and sourced from the U.S. Census.)