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Features (News)

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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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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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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Jeanne Kelly’s Encore Chorale proves music can reverse aging

Silence falls. All eyes are focused on Jeanne Kelly. At her signal, the Encore Chorale bursts into song. Senior citizens one and all, the singers are primed, vibrant and ready for adventure.
    “Is that your best?” Kelly asks. “Can you give me more excitement?” Of course they can, and they do; Jeanne Kelly brings out the best in every singer.
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Remembering when at Mayo beaches

Anne Arundel’s little known Beverly Beach and Triton Beach were once some of the largest resorts on the East Coast. Vacationers came to the popular Beverly Beach Club to swim, play, dance and gamble.
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Calvert protects 100-plus more acres

Calvert County has a plan to get people back to nature. The county comprehensive plan sets 40,000 acres of prime forest and farm as its preservation goal.
    More than 28,000 acres is already preserved or protected. That total includes property protected by the county and state as well as land privately owned by American Chestnut Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy.
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Captain Preston Hartge keeps Smith Bros. tugboats chugging along

Drive down Galesville Road, and everything seems unassuming and in its proper place. The old churches, the auto shop, the town hall, the post office, the country bungalows and older homes, the boats in yards: the ambiance is old-school and peaceful.
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Tail-wagging fun at annual fundraiser

Thousands of humans and their canine companions hit the trails at Quiet Waters Park Sunday for the 26th annual Anne Arundel County SPCA’s Walk for the Animals. The unseasonably warm weekend made for some thirsty pups and their people. But that didn’t stop them from joining the 5K run and walk.
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