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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.”

Jeanne Kelly’s Encore Chorale proves music can reverse aging

Silence falls. All eyes are focused on Jeanne Kelly. At her signal, the Encore Chorale bursts into song. Senior citizens one and all, the singers are primed, vibrant and ready for adventure.     “Is that your best?” Kelly asks. “Can you give me more excitement?” Of course they can, and they do; Jeanne Kelly brings out the best in every singer.     But is it true what she says? Can performance singing truly slow down the aging process?

Hunting license fees add 126 acres to ­Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Conservationists have reason to celebrate at funding for Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge’s growth by 126 acres.     Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, in Dorchester County on the Eastern Shore, is home to one-third of Maryland’s tidal wetlands, earning its ranking as a Wetland of International Importance.

Anne Arundel County Library adds bilingual children’s books

To inspire love of reading in every child, the Anne Arundel County Public Library has added bilingual children’s materials, dividing 500 copies of 100 titles among the county’s libraries at all 15 branches. The World Languages Collection supplements the library’s Spanish bilingual books with new board books in Urdu, Chinese and Vietnamese, the top four languages spoken by families in county public schools.