HUGS go to ... the half-dozen or so students who each year don the feathers and clawed feet of the University of North Texas’ beloved mascot, Scrappy. Sarah Shirley recently completed her 3½-year stint in the role. Shirley and her friends bring joy to children and help boost school spirit. Here’s a tip of the hat to the students who anonymously fill the role for the good of the university.

HUGS go to ... Denton County Transportation Authority bus operators and rail conductors who on Thursday sounded their horns in tribute to those who provide transportation service so that first responders and other essential workers can get to work during the coronavirus pandemic. The DCTA crews joined other public transit agencies in North Texas and across the country in saluting front-line transit heroes.

HUGS go to ... Denton County Public Health for organizing drive-thru testing for COVID-19. Denton County has made it clear to residents when and where to access testing, as well as clearly stating that eligibility includes people who are symptomatic and those who work in critical infrastructure. To be tested, register in advance by calling Denton County Public Health at 940-349-2585 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

SHRUGS go to ... whoever’s removing the caution tape and taking down signs indicating that Denton’s playgrounds are closed. They are still closed to protect children, as recommended by nearly every health official and parks expert. These unilateral actions damage the community in two ways: requiring parks crews to go out multiple times per week at taxpayer expense to replace the signage, and confusing other children and parents who don’t know how to interpret the missing signage and tape. Children are uniquely vulnerable to rare and sometimes deadly complications with COVID-19 infections. Knock it off.

HUGS go to ... the Guyer athletic program for winning the Eastbay “Never Not an Athlete” contest. Guyer was announced as the winner on Wednesday night, taking home the $10,000 grand prize. Guyer beat out schools from California, Mississippi and Pennsylvania to claim the title after having the most exercise-related social media posts over the past month.

HUGS go to ... Denton musicians Dunashay Thomas and Issac Hoskins, who took on the first two livestreams for the 27th season of Twilight Tunes. The popular free concert series has gone online so that the Denton Main Street Association, which presents the seasonal series, could comply with mass-gathering prohibitions during the pandemic.

HUGS go to ... Interfaith Ministries of Denton for its donation from AmerigroupTX in recognition of Interfaith’s “working endlessly to meet the needs of the community during the COVID-19 crisis.” (Submitted by reader Sandy Swan of Denton)

Send us your Hugs & Shrugs: We’re always looking for contributions to this editorial from readers like you. If you wish to share your praises or concerns, email them to

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