Ellicott City: Hear rising jazz singer Christina Bagley on New Year's Eve

Have you heard Christina Bagley sing? If not, you can catch a glimpse of this raising jazz star when she sings live with the Ed Meyers Trio on New Year's Eve at Jesse Wong's Asean Bistro.

The Towson University music student seemed destined for a musical career, considering her family is no stranger to the performing arts.

Her mother, Centennial High school gifted-and-talented resource teacher Michelle Bagley, performed in "Godspell" on Broadway and in the hit TV soap opera "Ryan's Hope."

Her dad, Chuck Bagley, directed shows in college and has appeared in many local shows including Howard County Summer Theater's recent "Hair Spray."

And her sister was a theater minor who performed in college productions.

"They gave me my love of music," said the soulful singer.

Although Bagley always had a passion for music, she found her love of jazz after a brief college stint studying nutritional science. She realized she "didn't feel connected to nutrition" the same way she "had a passion for music."

Once she studied jazz in college and discovered jazz greats Melody Gardot and Jane Monheit, she knew she wanted to follow in their footsteps.

In addition to performing at various music venues in Maryland and Pennsylvania, the 2010 Wilde Lake High School graduate is busy recording her second album. Her first album, self-titled "Christina Bagley," consists of seven songs and can be found on iTunes, including my favorite, her rendition of Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why".

Live recordings of the jazz vocalist's performances can also be found at her website http://www.christinabagley.com. Keep up the good work. Christina!

Speaking of New Year's Eve, here are a few family friendly events in Ellicott City to enjoy,

Open bowl at Brunswick Zone Normandy on Baltimore National Pike starts at 9 a.m. and continues late into the evening. Or, a pay visit to the B&O Museum Ellicott City Station, where the holiday festival of trains and exhibits are on display from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you want to end the year on a philanthropic note, take the family for a walk through the Symphony of Lights in Columbia. The show's New Year's Eve program includes a warm bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors and a fireworks display at 7 p.m. All proceeds are donated to Howard County General Hospital.

I would be remiss if I let the new year begin without thanking a hero in our community — Howard County police officer Cpl. Lisa Fisher.

Earlier in the year, my husband and I were driving home late one night on Route 40. About half way between the wooded stretch of road between the Shanty Grille and the Enchanted Forest shopping center, something caught our eye laying in the middle of the two-lane road.

At first glance, it looked like a dead deer. With our hazard lights blinking, we slowly approached the object. We quickly realized it was not a deer, but a largedog and it was very much alive. While its body was laying motionless, it was holding its head up looking at us as if to say, "Help, I'm alive!"

I immediately called the police to help us. Traffic was zipping by. It was almost impossible to assess the dog's condition. Soon, the first police officer arrived to direct traffic around the dog.

Fortunately, there was an emergency vet nearby. But when I called, I was informed they didn't pick up injured animals. We would have to bring the dog in. By then, another two police cars pulled onto the scene. One of them was Cpl. Fisher.

While Fisher and I we were trying to assess the dog's injuries (there was blood but we didn't know the source), the dog became startled, got up, wobbled on its legs and attempted to run back into the woods. Fisher grabbed the dog in her arms and placed it in the back of her police car. With her lights flashing and sirens blaring, Fisher, followed by one of the other police cars, took off to the emergency vet. My husband and I followed.

Fisher waited with us to get the initial doctor's report. Upon first examination, the doctor thought the dog had internal bleeding, a brain injury and dehydration. He wasn't sure the dog would survive the night. Without any identification, the dog was classified as a stray. The vet did a search of missing dogs on Craigslist.com. It yielded a photo of a missing Ellicott City dog resembling the one we found. Within an hour, the dog's owners were located and rushed over to be with him.

The story ends on a happy note. The dog survived without any major injuries. It turns out the owners recently adopted him from Small Miracles Cat and Dog rescue (coincidentally located just doors away from the vet). Within a few days of bringing the dog home, he escaped out of his leash. The owner had been frantically searching for him without success.

So, a long overdue public thank you Cpl. Lisa Fisher, who went beyond the call of duty. Your act of kindness that night embodies what is special about Ellicott City.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe New Year.

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