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Lily Fisher-Flaherty is the first woman jousting champ in 55 years

Kicking up dirt, a girl and her horse gallop hard through three arches in a dusty field. The girl’s lance, six feet long and chiseled to the point of a needle, is aimed at a ring that may as well be a dust speck.     The girl is Lily Fisher-Flaherty, a 19-year-old college student who lives in Lusby. Her horse is Sunny, a spirited palomino American Warmblood. Together, they are the winners of the 2016 Maryland State Jousting Tournament.

Harriet Elizabeth Brown portrait puts a face to the name that helped earn equal pay for teachers of all races

Equal pay for Maryland teachers across the races was a battle quietly fought and won in Calvert County 80 years ago, thanks to the efforts of a young, determined African American teacher, Harriet Elizabeth Brown.     We all know the name Thurgood Marshall, the lawyer who helped her prevail and went on to great things, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Careless use of pocket lasers is dangerous and potentially criminal

For a couple of hundred dollars, you can buy the world’s most powerful handheld laser. “It’s stunning to behold, magnificent to wield and absolutely wicked to own,” according to its online advertisement.     What would you do with such a tool?     According to the manufacturer’s website, you’d wonder “how can you use this power in the most awe-inspiring way imaginable?”

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.

An all-American chain of monuments to peace

What are these blue stars? Whizzing along Rt. 3, we see them here and there along the roadside. Just off Rt. 3, there’s another in the front garden of the Crofton Library. This blue star is mounted on a bronze plaque in a large stone. Stop a moment in the library safe space, and you read that it is a Blue Star Memorial By-Way marker paying tribute to the Armed Forces of America.

Are you weather-ready?

What are you going to do if a hurricane comes your way? Pairing technology and smart planning can help keep you prepared for whatever Mother Nature dishes out this hurricane season, which officially begins June 1. Peak season in Chesapeake Country is generally mid August to late October.     First, get your technology set up. Prepare Me Annapolis, the city’s free mobile app, which offers information on approaching weather, traffic, closings and important notifications from the city. Find it in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

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.

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.

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.     “I have an app,” he says, “that calculates how many steps I’ll walk in each pair of shoes.”

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.”