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Students like Aba Bondarchuk and 80 others with special needs participated in the 24th annual Tournament of Champions Thursday at McDaniel College's Gill Center in Westminster. Aba went around to each activity at the Tournament of Champions Thursday with not only his one-on-one buddy from McDaniel College, but also all of his classmates from Val Thompson's second-grade class at Parr's Ridge Elementary to support him. His peers wore "Team Aba" buttons and waved flags that said, "We think you rock, Aba!" Children from schools in counties such as Carroll, Frederick, Baltimore and Montgomery, as well as York, Pa., participated in the activities set up to make sure every student was successful.

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Lillian Lowery found herself in Eldersburg earlier this week for her first visit to a Carroll school as Maryland's state superintendent of schools, a position she took last April. She wasn't there to debate lesson plans or budgets, but rather to do the fun part of her job. Lowery attended a pep rally commemorating Century High School's achievement as a Maryland Blue Ribbon School. Century is one of six Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools for 2013. There are more than 1,400 public schools in the state. Students at Blue Ribbon schools perform in the top 10 percent on state assessments in reading and mathematics. Lowery called celebrations like this one the best part of her job.

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An entry inspired by the Statue of Liberty won the most votes in the sixth annual Peep Show, a fundraiser for the Carroll County Arts Council. "The Statue of Peeperty," by Sydney Blaxton, received 3,746 votes and earned grand prize honors at the Peep Show, the annual spring Westminster event features art that is made of or inspired by marshmallow Peeps. Visitors could vote for their favorites from the show of 192 entries. The Peep Show raised $43,000 for the Arts Council.

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For the 32nd year, hundreds of adults and children alike participated in the annual Main Street Mile in Westminster. The annual event occurs rain or shine. This year, it was an 80-degree day, barely a cloud in the sky, as the timed first heat of runners took off Wednesday. As has been tradition since the beginning of the race, participants celebrated with ice cream at the end of the run. Many who participated in the race as children are still actively involved as runners or, like Sandy Montgomery, organizers of the race. Montgomery, the Main Street Mile director, said it's an event she never wants to see end.

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