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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.

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.

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. 

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.” 
     Harry Potter in a museum? Hard to believe, but we’re about to hit the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Yes, those Hogwarts pupils are grown-up wizards now. The yearning for simpler magical times might be enough to draw one to the New York Historical Society, where the British Library exhibition of Harry Potter: A History of Magic is entering its final weeks.

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. 
Mobile Dental Van visits Deale
      Can a bright smile determine a bright future? Yes, say organizers of a free dental health fair Saturday in Deale.
Evelyn’s adds to its gallery of produce
      The fruits of Brandon Stalker’s labors are visible inside and outside his West Annapolis restaurant.        Inside Evelyn’s, food is organic, local and sustainably sourced.        Outside, tall stalks of asparagus shoot from Evelyn’s front lawn, a giant pear sculpture nests on the corner of Annapolis Street and Gidding Avenue and a lustrous eggplant shines in vegetative virtue.
Only 2 of 13 indicators improve for a high D 
      Record rainfall increased pollution and reduced water clarity in the Chesapeake Bay, decreasing the score in the State of the Bay report, put out by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The score dropped one point to 33, equivalent to a D+.       “Heavy rains caused extended high flows in the Susquehanna River, which flushed debris, sediment and other pollutants into the Bay,” reports Alison Prost, CBF’s Maryland executive director.