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Southern Maryland’s Heinz Thomet is making whole wheat loveable

The delectable, slightly tart and yeasty smell of baking bread wafts through the open door of Heinz Thomet and Gabrielle Lajoie’s farmhouse in rural Charles County. The aroma is fitting: The grains in the family’s bread are their farm’s staff of life.     The couple’s 86-acre Next Step Produce farm is one of only two ­organic farms in Maryland growing grains specifically for bread and food production (the other is Land’s End in Chestertown).

League of Conservation Voters wants your photos

“It’s a great feeling to see my neighbors and fellow Marylanders enjoying our state — from the mountains in western Maryland to the wetlands in Southern Maryland to the beaches on the Eastern Shore,” says Danielle Lipinski of Maryland League of Conservation Voters. “We truly have a little bit of everything here in Maryland, and I’m grateful to raise my family here.”

In a dramatic turn, playwright’s dreams come true

A million may or may not be an exaggeration. Strictly speaking, Andrea Fleck Clardy was chosen Colonial Players’ Promising Playwright from a talent pool of 230 applicants in the theater company’s biennial competition.     But when you consider all the twists and turns of chance that led to this singular moment, the odds rise.     Clardy, a writer in life’s eighth decade, took up playwriting only after three or four careers.

Don’t you wish you could join in?

Feeling sticker shock after seeing your first summer electricity bill? You aren’t alone. Even the state of Maryland feels the pain. But the state has more leverage than you and I. Enough leverage to trigger a bidding war for lower rates.     At the center of it all is a reverse auction. In a typical auction, prices rise for the seller’s benefit. In a reverse auction, prices drop in a bidding war, benefitting buyers.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan discusses fatherhood, politics and compromise

Father’s Day 2017 is Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s first without his father, Lawrence Hogan Sr., who he calls “the man I most admire.” In honor of his father, who died on April 20, Gov. Hogan spoke with Bay Weekly about his father’s influence on him as a politician and family man.

Goddard Space Center backs up Fowler’s test of Patuxent health

Bernie Fowler never gives up. On the sultry second Sunday in June, he waded for the 30th time into the brown waters of the Patuxent River. Linked hand in hand, the human chain walked into the rising water until the erect 93-year-old environmental champion at its center could no longer see his white sneakers. The measurement at that point gives the year’s Sneaker Index: 41.5 inches in 2017.     A tie with 1999, that’s the fourth highest clarity reading in 30 years.

Swimming the Bay is an endurance act of charity

Calm winds and sunny weather greeted the 650 swimmers who braved the sometimes-turbulent waters of the Bay Sunday, June 11, for the 26th Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Swim.     Just how long does that take?     Less than 90 minutes for the fastest swimmer, Andrew Gyenis, 22, of Herndon, Va., who crossed in 1:29:07. Katie Fallon, 21, of Warren, NJ, claimed the title of first female to finish, with a time of 1:40:11.

Chesapeake waters are inviting

As summer draws you to the alluring shores of Chesapeake Bay, take heed to check the waters before you splash in.     The good news is that Maryland beaches were open for swimming with no health-based advisories nearly 99 percent of the time for the fifth year in a row last summer, a Maryland Department of the Environment report shows.

These young inventors can make a robot to solve it

Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. Dillon Mandley. Kevin Lin. Everyone knows the first two names. The last two — not yet. In 1980, Jobs and Gates were a couple of 20-somethings working in their garages on what they hoped would be the next big thing. These two icons started in the west; the next two can rise anywhere, maybe even Southern Maryland.

New parents take books home with babies

First-time parents in Anne Arundel County now have another bundle to carry home from the hospital: Baby Learns to Read Bags.     The bags include board books, a library card application and activity cards for early literacy as well as guidance for parents on being their child’s first teachers.     The bags go home with parents of children born at both the Anne Arundel Medical Center and the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center.