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New moon blots out much of the sun in ­Chesapeake Country
     With the great buildup to what is being called “the celestial event of the century” come a lot of questions about the Great American Eclipse. Here are some answers.   What is the Great American Eclipse?

New stamp carries important message

      A Chesapeake Country photographer is helping to spread the word to protect pollinators in a new medium: stamps.       Karen Mayford, of Glen Arm, is a featured photographer on the U.S. Postal Service’s new Protect Pollinators forever stamp series. 

Christmas in April starts now

     Helping families live in warmth, safety and independence is a gift that lasts a lifetime. That’s the goal of Christmas in April Calvert County.       Whether Christmas comes in December or April, planning starts much earlier. Applications are now open for April 2018. On the last Saturday of that month, the non-profit makes no-cost repairs and renovation on homes of people and families, especially military veterans, with special needs because of low income, age and disability.

Confessions of a Jay Fleming pupil

After my ninth grade photography teacher’s put-down, I have shied away from taking any photos but snapshots — and definitely no Snapchats. “You manage to capture something that is already beautiful, but you fail to create it as a picture.”

Bob Evans Seafood’s story continues — with a surprise turn

If you were Eliza or Lori Evans, daughters of renowned Maryland waterman and single father Bob Evans, waking in the pitch of night to go crabbing was par for the course. From the age of three or four, the sisters, two years apart, were all but destined to work in the seafood industry.     Their part of the industry is Bob Evans Seafood, the family business since 1972, in Churchton since 1994. With customers from Virginia, D.C., Charles and Calvert counties, it is almost an institution in southern Anne Arundel County.

Two prize-winning July recipes — and the people behind them

July is a sizzler this year, running to set the record of the hottest. It’s also the month that explodes with the fresh foods we love best: berries and basil, corn, crabs, cantaloupe and cucumbers, peaches and perch, rockfish, tomatoes, watermelon.     You want to eat local, especially July 22 to 30, when the Buy Local Challenge ices the cake with prizes and recipes. But spend much time at the stove, and you could end up like a stick of butter left out in summer — melted.

Fame and fortune could be yours at the National Oyster Cook-off

Can you create an oyster recipe worth $1,300?          Suit the taste of this year’s judges at the 38th Annual National Oyster Cook-off, and that grand prize will be yours.     Last year, Tammy Davis of Chesapeake Beach earned all that money and enduring culinary fame for her Coconut Curry Oyster Soup.

In one of its many lives, it was the cool place to be

Millersville resident Joe Campbell and his high school buddies have fond memories of the former Harundale Mall in Glen Burnie, touted as the first enclosed mall on the East Coast.     “It was the go-to place on the weekends,” says Campbell, now 66 and the owner of a driving school. “We’d head straight for the soda fountain at G.C. Murphy’s five and dime store for ice cream sodas and 50-cent subs.”

Your old books benefit local libraries

Finding a taker for old books can be a challenge. Anne Arundel County Public Library now offers a solution.     Novels, children’s books, fiction, nonfiction, hardback, paperback, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks are all given new life after you donate them at the Discover Books blue collection bins at all county library branches.     Your books will be resold, redistributed or recycled by charitable organizations. Your library also makes a bit of profit.

Enjoy smart family fun at Anne Arundel County’s big regional parks

Summer is all about kicking back and enjoying extra time together as vacations begin and the weather warms.     But so many summer activities can mean trouble for the family budget. With some smart planning, a fun-filled summer doesn’t have to break the bank. In Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks, I’ve found good, affordable fun for the whole family, even the dogs.