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Thumbs up: Ebb Valley Elementary School students learned about Epilepsy, which effects a handful of their classmates, with a visit from volunteers from the Epilepsy Foundation Chesapeake Region Wednesday, which was Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness. The foundation put on a puppet show featuring a character having a seizure and another confronting her fears about the situation. Principal Robert Mitchell said these kinds of educational events are important for such young students.

Thumbs down: A report released this week highlights a problem many renters in Carroll are already way too familiar with. A single person residing in Carroll County needs to earn $24.08 per hour at a full-time job - more than $5 an hour above the national average - in order to afford to rent an average two-bedroom apartment, according to "Out of Reach 2014," making Carroll County one of the most expensive places to live in the country.

Thumbs up: Congratulations are in order for the eight individuals who received Outstanding Teacher Awards at the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce's 25th annual Teacher Awards. The winners, selected from a pool of more than 300 nominees, were: Teresa Adkins, agriscience teacher, South Carroll High School; Nicole Heinlein, third-grade teacher, Carrolltowne Elementary School; Ashley Lillard, third-grade teacher, Charles Carroll Elementary School; Melissa Madison, English-language arts teacher, Northwest Middle School; Gayle Sands, English-language arts teacher, Crossroads Middle School; Jeffrey Sharp, art teacher, Century High School; Tina Thomen, English Teacher, Manchester Valley High School; Jennifer Wennell, Spanish teacher, Manchester Valley High School. The Carroll County Teacher of the Year will be chosen from these eight finalists April 29.

Thumbs down: Phone scams involving people claiming to work for the Internal Revenue Service telling you that you owe the government money are becoming more prevalent as the deadline for filing taxes approaches. Victims are told they owe money and must pay promptly over the phone via a prepaid debit card or arrest warrants for delinquent taxes will be served. Police say red flags should go up any time someone calls seeking money and claiming to be from a government agency, well-known business or charitable organization and to never give out personal information over the phone unless you've made the original call, no matter how legitimate the calls may seem.

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