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The judges’ rule: Don’t overcook — or overwhelm — the oyster

On an ideal October weekend, up to 20,000 people thronged the 50th anniversary St. Mary’s Country fairgrounds for the U.S. Oyster Festival, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lexington Park. Festival-goers stood in long lines to gobble oysters raw and steamed and — if they were lucky — to sample the inventive recipes competing in the National Oyster Cook-off.
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It’s official; We have a new seal

Steve Schuh moved into the executive’s office in December of 2014, determined to change the image of Anne Arundel County. Now he’s done it.
    He’s redesigned the official Anne Arundel County seal. The problem, said Schuh, was that over the years, the design approved in the County Code has evolved into multiple versions.
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New plates replace War of 1812

Have you noticed? Maryland is showing a new face to the driving world.
    The Maryland Proud license plate, on the roads since September 26, has shoved the bicentennial War of 1812 plate to the curb. There’s still a flag, but Maryland’s heraldic black and yellow, red and white replace the Stars and stripes. We also lose, with few regrets, the industrial-looking structures that to all the world looked more like a prison than Fort McHenry.
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Beekeepers political activism rewarded

Buzzing through the halls of the Maryland Statehouse during the 2016 legislative session were some distinctive lobbyists: beekeepers, dressed in full regalia, advocating for a Maryland ban on home use of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides.
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For $1,000, maybe you should try

Could you write a play? It’s a tough job, as you’ve got to create plot, characters and conflict. Tougher still, you’ve got to do it all in dialogue.
    Would winning a $1,000 cash prize make the challenge any easier?
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Every half-shell you save makes a home for 10 baby oysters

Oysters don’t like to live alone. “They are very social,” says Oyster Recovery Partnership executive director Stephan Abel.
    They also like to be close to their families. Oysters grow up together, indeed bonded together, on reefs constructed by generations before them. With the destruction of reefs through centuries of all-out harvesting, new generations of oysters depend on us to supply new reefs of old shell for them to grow on.
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Award-winning cakes are this third-grade teacher’s sideline

When Terry Tuttle went back to school, his third-graders at Shady Side Elementary had to settle for map studies instead of cake frosting.
    Tuttle’s cake work begins after the kids run free at 3:40pm. Then, after his own children are settled into their after-school routine in his Churchton home, he creates masterpieces out of batter and frosting.
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Fall’s the time to get to work

Warm days and cool nights, combined with shorter daylight hours, are what the doctor ordered for the favorite grasses of Chesapeake Country: bluegrass and fescues. They’re called cool-season grasses because they germinate, produce roots and lap up nutrients once summer’s heat shuts down. So now’s the time to get to work on next year’s perfect lawn.

Test Your Soil
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Compost, mulch or recycle — but not in plastic bags

As summer’s gardens die and trees begin de-leafing, it falls to you to figure out what to do with tons of vegetation.
    The best solutions: recycle, compost or mulch.

Recycle — But Not in Plastic
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Anne Arundel’s 32nd cartop boat launch opens at Discovery Village

You’ve got one more place to launch your paddle craft in Anne Arundel County.
    On October 7, paddlers and county reps cut the ribbon on a car-top boat launch for kayaks, SUPs and canoes at Discovery Village in Shady Side. Discovery Village is the county’s ninth new small boat launch since 2012, for a total of 16. The county maintains only one boat ramp for trailering, in the north at Fort Smallwood Park.
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