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Carroll Hospital Center recently received its first multimillion dollar donation in its history, a $5 million gift from the Kahlert Foundation. As a result, the Kahlert name will be displayed on the hospital's new cancer facility slated to open in mid-2014. Greg Kahlert, the foundation's president, has experienced cancer's crippling effects firsthand. His father, William Kahlert, died last year from liver cancer - a disease he battled for about a dozen years, according to the news release. That's why he's making a gift to help with cancer and hospice care. The Kahlert Foundation donation launched the community-giving phase of the hospital's "Campaign to Cure & Comfort, Always." Including the recent gift, the campaign has raised $15.5 million toward its $22 million goal through philanthropic donations.

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Eric "Merlin" Hanson, a mechanic from Gamber, will be featured in an upcoming episode of the new National Geographic Channel show "Family Guns." The show is the life of Christian Cranmer and his son Alexander, the duo behind International Military Antiques, which has one of the largest antique gun and military collections in the world. In the third episode, premiering Wednesday, the two will approach Hanson to restore a World War II-era Jeep. Hanson is the librarian at the Boy's Latin School, and also teaches theater and wood shop. He said he has been working on antique cars since he was a kid, and started getting more into Jeeps after he began working at a private school.

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Snowy weather might not be at the forefront of many people's minds, but that isn't stopping employees of the Carroll County Bureau of Roads Operations from getting prepared. The department had its annual snowplow "Roadeo" Thursday. As winter weather nears, the bureau spends a day each year training its approximately 95 truck operators on ridding streets of piles of snow. It serves as a refresher course for veterans of the department. For rookies, it's a first-time learning experience that's important because the bureau sees about 10 new hires a year.

Employees went through several stations includes navigating vehicles through an obstacle course, a session on putting chains on a tire to provide extra traction and nutrition lectures in order to be prepared for the worst this winter.
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The parents of 5-year-old Nathan Baker are trying to turn personal tragedy into something positive for their community. Nathan always wanted to be playing outdoors rather than lounging inside watching television or doing some other sedentary activity, according to his father Justin. So when the Westminster boy died in a drowning accident Sept. 2 in Smith Mountain Lake, Va., his parents thought there was no better way to pay tribute to the memory of their son than to ask donations be made in his honor to the Mechanicsville Elementary School playground fund. The playground safety team within Carroll County Public Schools determined that both of the playgrounds at the school - the kindergarten playground and the one for first- through fifth-graders - required replacement because they were worn out and aged. They will cost $75,000 to replace and no work can be done until the school raises the entire sum.

The Baker family is amazed at the donations that have come in so far. On their donation website, donations have passed $25,000. To contribute funds toward the purchase of new playground equipment, donations can be sent to Mechanicsville Elementary School, ATTN: Playground Fund, at 3838 Sykesville Road, Sykesville, MD 21784. To donate online, visit: http://www.nathanchrisbaker.com.
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