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Editorial: Thumbs up for Sykesville's Police Auxiliary

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Sykesville's Auxiliary Police Unit is becoming increasingly more important as the town and police department continue to deal with tight budgets. The auxiliary force is made up of 10 to 12 volunteers who assist and augment the town's police force by helping out with traffic and questions at town events, as well as providing aid during town emergencies and riding along with sworn officers for police calls. Police Chief John Williams said the auxiliary officers fill the gap left by staffing reductions that has left his force with just five officers. Mayor Mike Miller said the auxiliary officers fill the resource gap and provide critical manpower help with town events or long-lasting emergencies such as storms, and saves the town money as it relates to public safety.

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Erin Dean has found new life as Westminster High School's assistant track coach as she recovers from stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer originating from white blood cells. Dean, 26, had to stop working at Carroll Hospital Center after she was diagnosed with the disease, because her immune system is too weak to be around sick patients and collect blood. Down on her luck and unable to do much while undergoing rigorous chemotherapy treatments, when Dean was approached by assistant track coach Chris Molloy about speaking to his athletes, she asked for the opportunity to coach. The former regional champion shot putter has been an inspiration to the team, and vice versa. While she has to coach by explaining, not doing, she's regaining strength and hopes to soon throw the shot put as far as she used to. She threw the shot for the first time in years earlier this week, and while it was well short of her championship throws, it was a significant achievement in her recovery.

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Carroll County Food Sunday became the first local recipient of the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award this year. The award was created by State Comptroller Peter Franchot to honor the former governor and comptroller Schaefer, who had a lifelong career in public service. The award is intended to bring attention to groups that impact people's lives and help build a stronger community, despite limited resources. That was, in fact, the one request of Food Sunday officials for the comptroller - to provide more monetary help so Food Sunday can continue to help people.

Winters Mill High School received a "Best High Schools" national silver ranking from U.S. News & World Report. The Westminster school ranked 36th in Maryland and 1,021 in the nation. It was the only Carroll County high school in the top 50 in the state of Maryland and the only one to receive a national ranking. U.S. News & World Report evaluated nearly 22,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded medals based on state proficiency standards, how well they prepare students for college, and other factors.

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