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Carroll County’s top stories of 2019

Looking back at 2019, the Times has put together a list of the biggest stories from four categories based on significance as well as online readership. We’re presenting, in roughly chronological order, a look back at the 10 stories that shaped the year in Carroll County business, education, government and breaking news.

From the initial customers arriving at Carroll County’s first cannabis dispensary to the last customers served at a beloved restaurant in Westminster, openings and closings dominated the business landscape in Carroll.

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There were big changes at McDaniel College, a new era began at Carroll Community College, and a contentious budget season ended harmoniously with Carroll County Public Schools teachers getting a hefty raise. But the education story that dominated the year was the oft-asked question of the past several years: “What to do about East Middle School?” Finally, there is an answer.

Municipal and county government boards and councils were in the news for a lot more than the usual battles over budgets or zoning issues in 2019. From the county beginning one lawsuit and ending another while contemplating a change to charter government, to a city passing a pair of controversial ordinances to a youth movement in one of the municipal elections, elected officials kept it interesting.

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As much as anything, 2019 in Carroll County was defined by the relentless onslaught of breaking news, often involving the loss of life, from the fire at a historic house in Sykesville that left two dead, to the Mount Airy man killed at the Great Frederick Fair, to the aggravated animal cruelty case in which 27 dogs were found dead and two Hampstead residents pleaded guilty.

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