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Substitute teachers are always on call

    For the 31st time in his post-retirement second act as a substitute teacher, Billy Keyes will report for duty August 25 at South River High School.
    “I’m going in the first day,” says Keyes, who at age 93 is the oldest active substitute teacher in Anne Arundel County, and likely on this planet.
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Summer after summer, you’d hear of some unlucky swimmer, waterman or shellfish eater. Then it happened to me

     On and in, I’ve swum, fished, crabbed, eeled, sailed, canoed, kayaked and written about the Patuxent River — from both sides — since 1960. When you live with a place for over 60 years, you think you know it.
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Local coffee shops serve ­individual experiences

    If mocha is your mistress or black coffee is your morning muse, there is a place for you. Local coffee shops don’t skimp on quality and cater right to you.
    Locally owned coffee shops offer freshness, friendliness and community.
    Don’t get me wrong. Starbucks is my usual go-to for coffee. The chain is easy to find, I know what to expect and I have been a gold card member for two years.
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Writing the story of our species

Wonderful things about our species have been discovered by scientists in the last 30 years. We are so much more important to each other than we knew, more a gift to each other, more a needed comfort. Scientists are reporting their work, but the meaning of their work to our everyday lives is just becoming known to the general public. Spreading the news is what I try to do with my writing.
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Help fill a backpack for kids in need

    The best part of summer’s winding down is the acquisition of new school supplies.
    Opening the full bag is as thrilling as opening a treasure chest. Abundant new and fresh, here is everything you need to make this the best year ever. Then comes the rush as you sharpen new pencils, use an unmarred eraser and crack open a pristine notebook to write on the very first page.
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1939-2014

     Whitey Schmidt said many of his books were about secrets. He traveled to hundreds of crab houses, some off the beaten path (read: far off the beaten path) to write about the well known and the unknown. He talked to locals around the Chesapeake on how they prepared blue crabs and to owners of roadside stands about their favorite ways to prepare an Eastern Shore tomato, cucumber or peach....

How to train your dog to do what you want

How do I teach my dog to come when called?
What does your dog love? Success depends on finding a reward that’s more fun than what the dog is doing instead of coming when called.
    Irresistible rewards include yummy treats, lots of praise and petting, playing with a favorite toy, belly rubs, playing a chase game or whatever suits your dog. But it’s got to be more satisfying than whatever is distracting the dog from coming back to you.
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Celebrate the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a toy, not a turtle

It may surprise you to know that 99.9 percent of turtles have little to no ninja skills. Yet thousands of small turtles have already been purchased for children by parents anticipating the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. On the eve of the film’s release, Maryland Natural Resources Police begs parents to stick to reptilian action figures and skip buying baby turtles.  
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