Highland/Fulton: Get ready for food and fun and kick off October at the annual Highland Days festival

Highland Day 2011 is Saturday, Oct. 1 (rain date is Sunday, Oct. 2) and everything starts at 11 a.m. The event continues until 4 p.m. and a few of the planned highlights include Little Shoppe of Horrors at Highland Groomery, a Halloween costume parade and contest, pony rides and a hay ride.

This year more than 85 exhibits and crafters are planned for the festival, put together by the Greater Highland Crossroads Association. It's a wonderful time to get out and meet others in the community.

For more information, go to the GHCA website at http://www.highlandmd.org.

When was the last time you went to the Howard County dump in Marriottsville? It's been a couple of months for me, but one thing that always amazes me is what county residents throw away. Truth be told, I've intercepted a gas grill, or three, in my day so that I could recycle the aluminum clam-shell.

One item that is tossed out, but is in good working order, in most cases, is an unwanted bicycle that has been cluttering up a garage or basement. It's too bad that there isn't some way to recycle a bicycle.

But wait! There is! Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 10751 Scaggsville Road, in Scaggsville, will be holding its annual community-wide recycling and "Bikes for the World" collection Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. until noon.

Bikes for the World is an independent nonprofit charitable and educational program and provides a receipt good for tax purposes for all donations. The organization also collects portable sewing machines which, along with the bikes, are sent to developing countries.

When you drop off your items, also consider a $10 donation which helps defray the shipping costs associated with sending these items overseas. You can go to the group's website at http://www.bikesfortheworld.org for more information. Goodwill Industries will also be on-site to collect electronics in any condition (except televisions) and other household items. Make sure you clean them off before you bring them in, or at least wipe them off.

Emmanuel UMC is also accepting rigid plastic, household batteries, styrofoam, packing peanuts and eye glasses. Do not drop off any hazardous household waste such as paint, cleaners, chemicals, etc. — take them to the Howard County dump.

For more information about this project, call Liz Feighner at 301-661-7087 or email eumcgreenteam@gmail.com. For more information about Bikes for the World, call Perry Wilson at 301-362-1154 or email at perrywwilson@verizon.net.

Lime Kiln Middle School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2011-2012, one of six Maryland schools to receive this prestigious award.

"Lime Kiln (Middle School) is an excellent example of a stimulating, creative learning environment and we are not surprised that the school has been recognized with this national honor. Congratulations to the entire Lime Kiln community," Superintendent Sydney Cousin said.

Lime Kiln Principal Scott Conroy's sentiments echoed Cousin's.

"Lime Kiln Middle School is one of the school system's highest achieving middle schools, with more than 94 percent of its students proficient and above in mathematics and 96 percent proficient and above in reading. (The school) has been designated as a Green School by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education and won the Maryland Junior Envirothon Competition for five out of six years. Lime Kiln is proud of its award-winning teachers including the Agnes Meyer Teacher of the Year for 2009 and the 2010 Maryland Art Education Teacher of the Year," he said in a email. "The Lime Kiln staff and students work very hard and the parental involvement and support is terrific. It is wonderful to have that effort recognized at the national level."

Congratulations, Lime Kiln.

Well, that's all for this week. Commit a random act of kindness. Look in on your neighbors. Say a prayer for our troops who are serving in harm's way and remember their families, too.

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