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Carroll County Times

Editorial: Thumbs up

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The Arc Carroll County will officially create an adult autism program - a need in the county that officials said is currently going unfulfilled - now that funding has been secured. A $40,000 grant to hire an autism services assistant director was netted from the Knott Foundation, a Maryland-based Catholic family foundation dedicated to strengthening the community.

As Arc officials were in the midst of finalizing a blueprint to renovate its building at 180 Kriders Church Road in Westminster they evaluated what services they could add that were needed in the community, settling on an adult autism program.

Interviews for an autism services assistant director will take place in a few weeks and, once a person is hired, the program's beginnings will be hammered out, using parental input as a guideline.

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Russ Chandler is attempting to turn his personal tragedy into something positive. Chandler, whose daughter Tori died last fall after a car crash on her way to class at Stevenson University, is organizing a daddy-daughter dance Saturday, April 5, at the American Legion Post 31 in Westminster. The dance will benefit the Tori Chandler Foundation, a scholarship fund in her honor. Russ Chandler said the foundation scholarships will go to students who attend Carroll Community and transfer to Stevenson to major in human services - just like Tori. The foundation has other fundraisers planned for this year, including a motorcycle ride, golf tournament and 5K run.

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Alan Lyons, a senior from McDaniel College and a Carroll County native, recently garnered the John and Edythe Portz Award for Outstanding Honors Student at a four-year college. Started in 2004, it's an annual award from the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council. Lyons is the third McDaniel student to receive it. Lyons has used his time at McDaniel to delve into the world of his two majors: political science and international studies. He's lobbied delegates in Annapolis, served as a political science teaching assistant, presented at a conference on the Muslim World in Morocco and received several honors during his college career.

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Eldersburg musician Jim Hiltz is at it again, this time inspired to write a song condemning cyberbullying after hearing about the suicide of a 15-year-old Glenelg High School student. The girl's mother was a classmate of Hiltz's and he wanted to do something to help curtail the type of abuse that led to the death. Hiltz is working with the group Rhythm Surf Monkeys on his second CD, which features the song "Pen of Cowards," which he said describes the Internet when people hide anonymity online, saying anything they want, even when what is said humiliates or terrifies another person. Hiltz wrote the songs "Where were you when my dad became a hero," about 9/11, and "Failure Is Not An Option," following the Newtown shootings to benefit the charity Healing Newtown.


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