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Separated from Earth by four billion miles, the ­New ­Horizons spacecraft explores the outer limits

     Stakes were high and tension palpable New Year’s Day at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, as Sarah Hamilton and her colleagues waited for a long-distance radio transmission confirming either a successful mission or a failure.

Bay Trust honors local Irish restaurateurs

       When Irish natives Michael Galway and Anthony Clarke aren’t serving authentic Irish fare, they’re helping keep Chesapeake Country green.          Every year, the Chesapeake Bay Trust — a nonprofit grant-making organization — honors local environmental stewards with awards or scholarships. Galway and Clarke won this year’s Commercial Stewards Award for their outstanding environmental work throughout Chesapeake Country.

Join AACo Plan2040

      Seeking to be more engaged in your community and to help shape your county’s future? You can do both by serving on Anne Arundel County’s Plan2040 Citizens Advisory Committee.          The committee is now accepting applications from county residents who want to commit to helping shape the next draft of Anne Arundel’s General Development Plan. The committee meets twice a month in Annapolis.

Magothy River Association teaches its ­ecosystem on placemats

     “Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” –Winston Churchill         It’s a scientific fact: If learning isn’t fun, it won’t be effective.          The creative folks of the Magothy River Association believe fun has a permanent place in environmental education.

Submit stories to pamper winners

      Do you know a woman who deserves some pampering? A woman who goes above and beyond for family, community and career? If so, nominate her in Style and Tranquility Studio’s Most Deserving Woman contest. The Annapolis salon will award one lucky winner a full day of luxury beauty treatments.

Allison Colden tweaked oyster reef balls to help break up dead zones

      A fiction writer imagining a character destined to become a key figure in Bay oyster restoration could save much time by basing the depiction on real-life Allison Colden, a fisheries scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. 

‘Chi Chi’ Ukeje aims for Poetry Out Loud title

     Indian Creek High School senior Chinyere Ukeje (or Chi Chi, as she prefers) has a title to defend.       Last year, fellow Indian Creek student Cayla Turner represented Maryland at the Poetry Out Loud national finals.      Now it’s Ukeje’s turn. She takes the stage Saturday, January 19, in the Poetry Out Loud regional finals. She will be up against 39 other Maryland high school students competing to win this prestigious national contest.

Fourth-generation apprentices in clock repair 

          As an apprentice in grandparents Rick and Doris Grahams’ clock repair shop in Davidsonville, Noah Kline combines his loves of tinkering and family.          Kline began his clock repair apprenticeship at Maryland Clock Company this summer at his grandfather’s 65th birthday.          The former auto mechanic now considers himself both a “car and clock doctor.” 

People, commerce suffer

      It’s Groundhog Day early for the many federal workers in Chesapeake Country. Unless they had booked time where warm ocean breeze blows, no good news continues about ending the government shutdown.       A report this week by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot gets beneath the rhetoric to show the impact not just on people but also on Maryland taxpayers and businesses.

Ornithologist Bruce Beehler delves into his northward journey with spring’s songbirds

     Traveling via car, canoe, bicycle and on foot, Bruce Beehler, a Smithsonian ornithologist, wildlife researcher and lifelong adventurer, followed migrating birds for four months. Starting in late March 2015, he watched birds as they crossed into the U.S. at the southern border and as they traveled through the American heartland to their nesting grounds in the north woods of Ontario.