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Carroll Community College's theater department's production of "Our Town" is one of eight regional productions to be showcased at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Jan. 16. The festival represents the best of regional college theater in the past year, and the distinction is even greater because Carroll Community is only the third two-year college to be selected for the festival performance in the past 10 years. About 1,000 theater students and professionals will attend the four-day festival at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, in West Chester, Pa., to view the selected productions and to attend workshops and auditions. The group will give one public performance of the play at 7:30 p.m. Monday to raise funds to support the trip.

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Mike "Maddog" Sater was named 2014 Maryland Veteran of the Year by the state's Joint Veterans Committee. He will be honored at the Veteran of the Year banquet in March. Sater, a Hampstead resident and Vietnam veteran, is a chapter service officer for the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 22 and spends his days meeting with veterans to help them fill out paperwork that enables them to receive service benefits and health care. Many veterans don't realize the benefits to which they're entitled, and Sater was trained to help veterans with a paperwork process that many do not understand.

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Greg Day, of Manchester, returned a lost class ring to 99-year-old Ethel Lydia Gouge Harrell Monday after a two-year search to find the owner of the piece of jewelry he found using a metal detector on his property. Day found the ring in the lawn, engraved with the letters ELG. After cleaning it up, he saw that it indicated the owner was a 1932 graduate from Tipton Hill High School, formerly in Bakersville, N.C. But he didn't need to travel that far to return it. Harrell lived less than two miles away in Manchester, but it took Day several years to figure that out, tracking down her son via social media. Harrell had lost the ring when living in the farmhouse from 1968 until 1970.

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Approximately 75 new jobs will be added over the next five years with the opening and expansion of branches of the Tom James Company in Westminster. English American Tailoring Company and Carlisle Etcetera LLC will open a new distribution center in the area. Carlisle Etcetera is a direct seller of ladies' apparel, much in the same way English American makes custom-tailored men's clothing. Tom James owns both Carlisle Etcetera and English American Tailoring. The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development approved a $250,000 conditional loan based on job creation and retention and Carroll approved a $30,000 job-training grant to assist in training new employees.

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