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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.

Water quality up to D+

Slight improvement with a long way to go to in water quality. That’s the news in the just-released 2014 West/Rhode Rivers report card.     The annual report, funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, once again flags the rivers’ health with a D+. Water clarity, dissolved oxygen and nutrient levels were all slightly better or the same as last year’s. But the rivers are still failing in restoring underwater grasses.

Colonial Players awards $1,000 to 2015 contest winner Mark Costello

Over 67 years, The Colonial Players of Annapolis has made its reputation by producing top-quality plays and musicals like The Liar, which earned the British Embassy’s 2015 Ruby Griffith Award as the best overall community theater production in the Washington-Baltimore area.     The all-volunteer company also encourages new works. Since 1973 it has sponsored a biennial Promising Playwright competition. 2015’s winner was in the spotlight last weekend.

Slow speed ahead

The honchos of the Chesapeake region met last week to decide if the Bay is still worth saving.     The good news is that the heads of state and policy in the Chesapeake watershed reaffirmed the commitment made by their predecessors in 1983 to restore the Bay.