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Cimino: Shining light on bright Carroll happenings

I’ve been thinking about … a couple of things.

This is the 50th time I’ve sat at my computer to write for the Carroll County Times’ opinion page. I thank the publisher and editor of the newspaper for suggesting that I give it a try. I find that I can do it and that I enjoy hearing people actually read it. Who knew I could do such a thing?

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Two very good things happened in Carroll County this month that I would like to bring to people’s attention. You may have seen the article in the Times about the local celebration of Wreaths Across America. Mel Blizzard, president of the historic Deer Park Methodist Cemetery, chaired the very first Carroll County participation in this national program. Every grave at Arlington National Cemetery received a wreath, and the 140 veterans buried at Deer Park got them as well.

Babylon Vault Company provided a tent and chairs. The colors were presented by an honor guard from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. Once the flags were fixed in place, four Cub Scouts held them in place throughout the whole ceremony. I was privileged to sing the national anthem. Maryland Del. Haven Shoemaker and Carroll County Commissioner Richard Weaver offered a few remarks. Pastor John Dean of Deer Park Methodist Church spoke as well. The Maryland Store near the cemetery offered refreshments to the participants after the event.

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Seven Carroll County veterans placed special wreaths representing all branches of our armed services — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard and Merchant Marines — plus one for those soldiers who are reported missing in action or are prisoners of war. Blizzard reported that he had 160 volunteers sign up to place the wreaths and most of them showed up in spite of the bitter cold and raging wind. This event occurred in 1,300 different places all across America on the same day at the same time. It was outstanding.

The other thing I would like to shine a light on (pun intended) is something Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. did on Dec. 15 here in Carroll County. BGE has been a longtime community partner through their Emergency Response and Safety Grants, now in its sixth year. BGE employees showed up at the Manchester volunteer fire company with fire protection gear that included coats, pants, boots, helmets and gloves along with several self-contained breathing apparatus for both the Manchester and the Lineboro volunteer fire companies. Lineboro had purchased some of the self-contained breathing gear but not enough for all their firefighters. Now they have what they need.

Megan Eaves, a Carroll County resident and BGE external affairs manager, said, “These nonprofit public safety and emergency response organizations are the foundation of our community, and this is BGE’s way of thanking them.”

Eaves also heads up a Carroll County/BGE committee of nonprofits that meets from time to time to ensure that BGE is fully aware and up-to-date on the needs and concerns of our community. Good communication is key to good customer service.

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I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year. Bring it on, 2018.

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