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September’s low humidity feels good, but it can spark fires

Was the Sunday shower of .66 inches of rain enough to extinguish the “critical fire weather conditions” blanketing over half of Maryland? The rain “wasn’t enough to alleviate the drought conditions,” according to Monte Mitchell, the State Fire Supervisor with the Maryland Fire Service. “Until we start getting in a regular pattern of rainfall,” drought — and with it the danger of wildfires — is here to stay. 

You have until Sept. 20 to nominate three for awards

Calvert County is taking local to a higher level with its new annual Sustainable Agricultural Awards Program. Emphasizing the once-rural-county’s continuing pride in its agricultural heritage — and to preserve that heritage — the Calvert County Board Commissioners seeks nominations for three new awards. Two will recognize businesses that make it their priority to support local producers; one will recognize a local farmer who makes good on the promise of sustainable farming practices.

For Pride of Baltimore II, every vote counts

The Pride of Baltimore company’s Pride II historic tall ship is sailing into the world of grants. The clipper ship is attempting to beat out 1,000 other candidates for a $50,000 grant from Pepsi. Pride II wants the money for boating-safety courses to teach under-served students in American port cities. The grant will fund supplies and travel. To pay for all that good work, Pride II needs your vote.

Who’s who on your September ballot — and why you should care, whether or not you’re a September voter

We understand. We’ve all had so much on our minds. election day is upon us. Indeed, early voting — brought to us by last year’s General Assembly — gave us six days to vote (September 3-8, except Sunday) before traditional Election Day, September 14. So you’ve come to your last chance to interview the people you’ll be hiring to manage your public — and as often as not, very private — life.

Government officials learn how to prepare for such unexpected and budget-busting events as this year’s record snowfall

You expect the people working for your local government to be in the know and up to the minute on all the issues you care about. So to get a head start in working for you, officials from Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore city go to summer school. From August 18 to 21, while you’re soaking up the last rays of summer, they’re taking classes at the Maryland Association of Counties’ Summer Conference.

These high-tech floats monitor conditions on the Chesapeake, sharing its findings and the Bay’s history with cruisers on the water and on the Internet

A flotilla of big, yellow buoys bobs in Chesapeake Bay. The smart buoys of NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System do more than help boaters steer a safe passage — though they do that, too. With their monitoring equipment and advanced satellite technology, these smart buoys give scientists, boaters, educators — anyone interested in the Bay — daily real-time data about the estuary.

Exhausted learning to fly, this young fish hawk needed many helping hands

At 7:45am on Tuesday, July 21, my phone rang. Rosemary Roberts, who lives down the road in Chesapeake Beach, announced she’d found an osprey in the middle of the road. “It can’t fly. It needs help,” she screeched. Roberts had read my book, Oscar and Olive Osprey (www.oscarandolive.com) so she was sure “the osprey lady” would know what to do. I didn’t, but I knew who would.

You don’t have to travel out of state to meet a dinosaur

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Archaeological find is biggest news Jefferson Patterson Park team has ever been part of

Something good has come out from under the World Trade Center. Near the site of so many grim finds, excavators working on the new trade center unearthed a treasure — an ancient wooden ship buried beneath modern lower Manhattan. Its remains were discovered about 20 feet under street level, in an area that had not been dug out for the original World Trade Center.

At Heavenly Ice Cream, butter fat is next to godliness

“There’s ice cream in heaven.” Really? You bet says, Harry Felder, owner of Heavenly Ice Cream. Arriving in Southern Anne Arundel County as pastor of the Living Waters Bible Church, the Baptist minister wanted to reach out to the community and bring God in. But how?