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Eldersburg native Charles Harrison was sworn-in Tuesday as the next judge for the Orphans' Court of Carroll County. Harrison, 66, is a former FBI agent, and will serve as an associate judge, filling the void left when former Judge Ronald Brewer died last year after a bout with cancer. The Orphans' Court is the state's probate court and it also has jurisdiction over guardianships of minors. The main job of the Orphans' Court is to supervise the handling of estates of people who have died - with or without a will - while owning property in their sole name. Harrison called the opportunity to serve on the bench an "opportunity of a lifetime."

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Kristen Wilson, of Eldersburg, and her horse The Midnight Ride, which she calls Ryder, were recently awarded the "Touch of Class" award for equine excellence at last weekend's Horse World Expo at the Maryland State Fair Grounds in Timonium. The Maryland Horse Industry Board started the "Touch of Class" awards, which are named after a Maryland-bred mare who won two Olympic gold medals in showing jumping in 1984, in September 2011 to honor Maryland horses and people from different equine disciplines who achieve national and international success. Ryder, a Tennessee walking horse, has won 15 national championships and was the National Walking Horse Association's overall high point champion of 2012, winning 50 first place ribbons and 77 percent of the classes in which she was entered.

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New Windsor teenager Noah "Biingo" Gray is getting to watch his journey to becoming healthier as it airs on national television every week. Biingo, 13, is a contestant on "The Biggest Loser: Challenge America," which premiered Jan. 6 on NBC. For the first time in 14 seasons, the show aims to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic by featuring kid participants, such as Biingo, in addition to adult contestants. Biingo, a student at New Windsor Middle School, still describes the experience of being picked for the show as "surreal." New Windsor Middle principal Erin Brilhart said while Biingo has always been a very good all-around student, his involvement in the show has definitely had a positive impact on his self-confidence and has helped the school start an after-school sports and activities program to promote a more active lifestyle.

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More than 200 children gave back to their communities Monday by making bagged lunches for a soup kitchen, creating cards for the elderly and performing other service projects as part of the second Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The Day of Service, which was hosted by the St. Joseph Catholic Community in Eldersburg, included a dozen service stations spread throughout the facility for kids to participate. The wide variety of projects included everything from making security blankets for children to compiling toiletry kits for people. Some kids were joined by their parents, who also wanted to help spread the message of community and volunteerism.

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