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Carroll County Special Olympics' soccer team ages 21 and up will participate in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey next June - the first Carroll soccer team and possibly the first ever Carroll team selected to compete in the national games. They'll be competing in the 21 and up unified division, meaning the team will comprise both Special Olympians and participants without intellectual disabilities. To many of the athletes, participating in the national games is the pinnacle of their Special Olympics experience.

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Westminster resident and Franklin High School history teacher Bruce Lesh was recently shadowed by a four-person delegation from the Japanese Ministry of Education. The group decided to spend Monday observing Lesh's classes after reading his book "Why Won't You Just Tell Us the Answer? Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12." The idea behind the book is that history should not be taught through a teacher lecturing and students memorizing what he tells them for a test. Rather, it should be an interactive experience in which students are presented with multiple outlooks from many sources in order to reach their own answers.

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The Sykesville Little Theatre, a new theater company in the county, is showing its first play, "The Trip to Bountiful," at the Fairhaven Continuing Care Retirement Facility this weekend. The theater group's director and one of the founders, David Pagano, said he wanted the company to cater toward adults. The 70-seat theater in Fairhaven is entirely sold out for the five-day run of the show, which began Thursday and runs through Sunday, with a final performance Sept. 20.

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North East Social Action Program's thrift store in Hampstead is continuing with its $1 sale for all spring and summer clothing, with a few exceptions, through Tuesday. Proceeds will help fund NESAP's community assistance program that helps needy county residents with their food, clothing, energy, utility, medical, transportation and housing needs.

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The group has helped about 900 families so far this year and also gave out book bags with supplies to 199 school children before the start of school.
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After the sale ends, the store will hold a sale that allows customers to fit whatever clothing they can into brown grocery bags that will cost $5. That sale will last until Sept. 22. The store will be closed from Sept. 23 to Sept. 25, as it gets ready for its fall and winter clothing collections.

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