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Dave Newman catches some 40 games a year in his quest to see one in every Major League stadium

In our affection for America’s iconic trio — baseball, hot dogs and apple pie — we are not all equal. I am fond of baseball. You might well be fonder. Crofton’s Dave Newman is fondest.
    Newman was born a baseball fan — specifically a New York Yankee fan. The Brooklyn Dodgers and Giants had fled to California. The Mets had not yet arrived. New York was a Yankee town, and Dave’s a Yankee family.
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Once a year, Hammond Harwood House opens the gates to the ­capital city’s private gardens — and invites you to look inside
 

They are there, hiding behind impossibly small doors tucked into the crowded summer streets of Annapolis. Or perhaps they appear as unexpected splashes of color coyly winking at strollers past a secluded courtyard.
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Maryland Nurses fought death and despair in WWI France

Amid the horrors of World War I, battlefield nurses were angels of mercy. America’s battered and beleaguered doughboys knew that for certain, and you will, too, after listening to Maryland storyteller Ellouise Schoettler recount Ready to Serve: Unknown Stories of 64 World War I Nurses from Maryland.
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Clear skies forecast for this weekend’s Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival

Sarah Petska says every year that it’s her last. And every year her friends remind her that she said that the year before. Yet here she is again, prepping hard for the 16th Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival.
    “I literally work up until the Monday after the festival, when the stages are finally gone. I guess I must really love it because I keep coming back.”
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Frank Chiarelli’s walk to the Pacific will take him more than 3,000 miles

Getting the feel of his first pair of shoes five days into a walk across America to raise money and awareness for at-risk youth, Frank Chiarelli passed through Annapolis on May 6.
    “It feels like I’ve been doing this for months. That’s how my body feels,” he said of his walk to the Pacific Ocean begun May 1 in the Cape May/Lewes area.
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High school band tops in Maryland

“Welcome to the hallway nobody knows about,” a student tells me as we make our way toward Patuxent High School’s rehearsal rooms.
    In the hallway, small groups sit in circles, talking and eating lunch. One student lounges against the wall, strumming guitar, while another practices violin in a small alcove.
    This hidden hallway is where the students of the award-winning Patuxent High School band gather every day.
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Photographer Jay Fleming documents life on — and in — the water

Yes, at five-plus pounds, photographer Jay Fleming’s Working the Water makes a beautiful coffee table book. Open it up, and you see it is much more. With breathtaking photos of Chesapeake fisheries and the men and women who work them to earn a living — as the last hunter-gatherers — Fleming takes you on an eye-opening tour of nature and the human spirit from above, under and on the water.
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Joan raised me. Finding Mary took 55 years but filled me with happiness and a sense of resolution.

Among the many gifts I received as a young girl was one no one else had. The book was small, to fit a young girl’s grasp. Heavily coated white paper held an illustration of a girl being tucked in by her mother. Aloft, like a guardian angel, was a hazy drawing of a second woman, benignly observing the scene below. The title said it all: The Girl with Two Mothers.
    I was just like that girl.
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Anne Arundel County Library adds bilingual children’s books

To inspire love of reading in every child, the Anne Arundel County Public Library has added bilingual children’s materials, dividing 500 copies of 100 titles among the county’s libraries at all 15 branches. The World Languages Collection supplements the library’s Spanish bilingual books with new board books in Urdu, Chinese and Vietnamese, the top four languages spoken by families in county public schools.
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Hunting license fees add 126 acres to ­Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Conservationists have reason to celebrate at funding for Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge’s growth by 126 acres.
    Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, in Dorchester County on the Eastern Shore, is home to one-third of Maryland’s tidal wetlands, earning its ranking as a Wetland of International Importance.
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