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February 2 is too important a day to sleep through

February 2 is halfway through winter, so what better time to gather with friends and neighbors to eat good food, drink heartily and look ahead to the coming spring?
    The Pennsylvania Dutch descendants of German immigrants did just that. Among the first celebrants of Groundhog Day, they partied hardy in Punxsutawney, Penn., as far back as 1887.
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For Michelina Scotto, raising $10,000 is easy. It’s the 24 hours of cold water that has her worried

For Michelina Scotto of Stevensville, the easy part is raising the $10,000 qualification fee for joining the Super Plunge Team of the 17th Annual MSP Polar Bear Plunge benefitting Special Olympics Maryland.
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I may be crazy, but I know what I’m wearing

With several inches of snow on the ground and more steadily falling, I watched from the sidelines of the 2010 Polar Plunge. Who, I wondered, would be crazy enough to run into the Chesapeake Bay in the middle of winter?
    For the 2013 Plunge, I’ve answered that question. I am.
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Celebrate at the annual Trade Expo

Maryland Watermen’s Association celebrates its 40th birthday at the association’s annual East Coast Commercial Fishermen’s and Aquaculture Trade Exposition Jan. 18 to 20 in Ocean City.
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CSM honors the child victims of Terezin

Think spring by creating a handcrafted butterfly to help the College of Southern Maryland stage I Never Saw Another Butterfly.
    The play tells the story of Raja, one of 132 survivors from the 15,000 kids who went to Terezin. Nazis disguised the World War II concentration camp with flowerbeds and concert venues to deceive International Red Cross inspectors.
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Student-artists show why turtles and balloons make a bad couple

When the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response team found Kermit washed ashore, the small green sea turtle was wasting away. X-rays showed balloons and plastic bags blocking Kermit’s throat.
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After two members survive cardiac arrest, music keeps Telesma alive

Last spring, Ian Hesford dropped to the stage from cardiac arrest while playing a show with his band, Telesma.
    After 93 minutes of CPR, a hypothermic treatment and stents in his heart, Hesford survived. Knowing CPR saved their friend’s life, band members and dedicated fans took classes.
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Winter Cauliflower

I am at best a haphazard gardener. To my delight, I recently discovered these cauliflower, which I had given up for a loss, the leaves a lacy design after the insects had eaten their fill. I am amazed and feel the thrill of the winter gardener. I made cauliflower-cheese soup with this small head.
    –Gail Martinez, Fairhaven

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By the glass, water’s cheap. Not so when you have to drill 260 feet for it

Water is pretty cheap in the United States: 61 cents a day supplies each of us with our daily ration of 123 gallons of water. Cheap enough that we take it for granted, until the well runs dry. That’s the day dreaded by every well owner, and there are lots of us.
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Your photos of weekend high tides will help CoastSmart see into the future

January 9 thru 13, Maryland’s tides will rise higher than usual due to the alignment of sun, moon and earth. CoastSmart Communities wants you to illustrate the rise.
    Snap photos showing high water and submit them to www.flickr.com/groups/
MarylandKingTide.
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