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Solar, wind and energy-efficient upgrades on the way

Sandy Point State Park is a fine place to soak up the sun. Soon those rays will be turning into energy.     The Board of Public Works approved a $535,870 contract with Baltimore-based Bithenergy to evaluate, design and install park upgrades, reducing total energy consumption by an estimated 45 percent.     “Once installation is complete, Sandy Point will be the first state park to host alternative energy projects of this size and scale,” says parks superintendent Nita Settina.

Take a trip back to Tudor England at this annual royal affair.     Perhaps you’ll meet King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and their royal court in Revel Grove. Their highnesses, dressed in their finery, arrive in the village to meet distinguished foreign visitors, including the Imperial Ambassador Jehan Jonglet, Georg von Frundsberg, victor at the Battle of Pavia and captor of  France's King Francis and the Queen's sister, Juana of Castile, also known as Juana the Mad.

There’s a lot involved in getting our kids to and from school safely

Starting next week, 800-plus big yellow school buses take to Anne Arundel and Calvert county roads. Throughout Maryland, some 7,500 10-ton behemoths join the traffic flow.     Hauling kids back and forth to 12 grades in 23 public schools in Calvert and more than 110 in Anne Arundel — all with staggered schedules — keeps school buses on the roads pretty much all day. Indeed, bus drivers work from 4am to 6pm, according to Anne Arundel County transportation administrative specialist Sharon Whitcher.

Once retired, school buses go to auction.     Who would want to buy an old school bus? If you’re thinking the Partridge Family, you’re warm. Thousands of Partridge families around the country buy retired school buses and convert them into RVs, dubbed Skoolies.     The appeal of Skoolies runs deeper than the 1970s TV show. School buses are stout enough to handle rollovers, have a superior ground clearance and are often equipped with diesel engines, which can run on biodiesel or even vegetable oil.

In Deale, Petie Greens lives on

Petie Greens is a name worth money.     Along with the building bearing the nameplate, a third Petie Greens Bar and Restaurant is scheduled to open in Deale in fall.     Petie Greens earned popularity for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout southern Anne Arundel and northern Calvert counties under the ownership of Sam ‘Petie’ Petro, who restored the rundown site and reputation  early in the century. Bobby Crane took ownership a few years later, keeping a moniker that was money in the bank.

$6,000 Raised at Breakfast at Sniffany’s Dogs from across Southern Maryland and their two-legged companions breakfasted at the Holiday Inn Select Solomons to raise funds for Calvert County animal rescue groups. The diverse canine crowd ranged from a four-pound Chihuahua to a 170-pound Newfoundland.

60 years later, this Chesapeake shipwreck remains a cautionary tale

Much has changed in the maritime world in the 60 years since the sinking of the Levin J. Marvel topped the Chesapeake’s disaster charts. The key to maritime safety hasn’t changed — aboard the Levin J. Marvel in 1955 or the recreational craft we use today.

Annapolis Solar Park tops old landfill

The future for the region’s energy needs is being built upon the trash heaps of our past.     This week, Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides signed a 20-year lease for Annapolis Solar Park, giving the green light to build an 80-acre solar project at the site of a closed and capped landfill in Anne Arundel County.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail prepared him for his next journey as a Navy SEAL

Evan Metz’s awakening came on the Appalachian Trail.     To be exact, 125 awakenings. One each morning as he hiked the trail in the 41⁄2 months after his 2014 graduation from Calvert High School. Each morning and every mile brought the 19-year-old closer to embodying the values he sought to reach his goal of becoming a Navy SEAL.     With his Navy ship-out postponed, Metz had chaffed. To pass the months, family friend Steven Vilsack challenged Metz to an Appalachian Trail hike.

World’s biggest crab feast August 7

Thanks to hard work and hungry stomachs, the Annapolis Rotary Club’s 2014 crab-cracking shared $62,000 among 29 local non-profits.     With this year’s 70th annual crab feast coming up Friday, Aug. 7, you can prepare to eat all the crabs you desire in good conscience, anticipating the good works to come from your good appetite.