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Editorial: Thumbs up 'Nope to Dope' walk, Tech Center project moving forward, farmers market season

THUMBS UP: This morning at 9, those in recovery, friends, advocates and supporters will gather at Triangle Recovery Club at 2 N. Court Street in Westminster, listen to a speaker and then trek all the way down Main Street and back for the fourth annual “We Say Nope to Dope Walk,” a walk of hope, defiance, and celebration of recovery, according to event organizer Tim Weber. It’s one of several events coming up related to prevention and recovery and the timing is apt. On Friday morning, the Carroll County Health Department sent out an alert regarding five suspected overdoses in a 24-hour period. That came on the heels of 11 overdoses over the weekend of May 4. There were 17 fatal drug or alcohol overdoses over the first four months of 2019. “We are tired of the overdoses, we are tired of the drugs on the corners, and we are tired of the deaths,” Weber told us. After the round trip of Main Street, there will be food and music from Baltimore musician B-RAiN, who provided music for the recent “Heroin Still Kills” film. Linda Auerback, substance use prevention supervisor at the Carroll County Health Department, called it a “coming together, a kind of community block party.” She said some 200 people turned out last year to Say Nope. Also coming up will be the fifth annual Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office Overdose Vigil, to be held Tuesday, May 21, at Carroll Community College, and on Wednesday, May 22, the Health Department will host its annual first responders dinner, a thank-you to the law enforcement, fire and emergency medical professionals that save the lives of people battling addiction in Carroll County. The week of May 12 is National Prevention Week while the week of May 19 is National EMS week. Kudos to all involved in these efforts.

THUMBS UP: The Carroll County Career and Technology Center’s makeover is getting closer. The Board of Education on Wednesday heard an update on plans for the $70 million project that will include renovating some 102,000 square feet of the existing Tech Center and a three-story addition that will be more than 91,000 square feet. Everything is moving forward as expected, with only minor changes since the last update in November, which is a good thing given how important the Tech Center is to Carroll County Public Schools and how many more students will be able to attend once completed. A few design changes are being made based on findings from engineers, changes to funding and meetings with Tech Center educators. For example, the second story of the addition is now smaller in order to save money on reinforcements for snow loads. Another change was moving the Computer Resources Center and the Career and Technology Service Team into the center of the building on the first floor where they can be more easily accessed by everyone in the building. Plans are for the auto shop to take up a large portion of the lowest floor of the addition. The main level or first floor, where there is a public entrance, will host cosmetology, culinary, fashion and similar programs that bring in outside customers. Above that, health and allied services, and print and video production will share the second floor in separate suites. Next steps are submitting the schematic, which is set to finished in June, to the state to bring them on board and learn how much they will participate for funding. It is estimated that construction will take 48 months.

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THUMBS UP: The weather hasn’t been all that great this spring, but the Mount Airy Main Street Farmers’ Market was granted a sunny and warm afternoon on Wednesday for not only the opening of their farmers market but for the unofficial opening of the farmers market season in Carroll. In addition to Mount Airy, Finksburg, Hampstead, Sykesville, Taneytown and Downtown Westminster, as well as the Carroll County Agriculture Center and Carroll Hospital, all host farmers markets that run from late spring throughout the summer. We encourage residents to buy local and take advantage of the benefits of farm-to-table eating. In Mount Airy on Wednesday, Secretary of Agriculture Joseph Bartenfelder gave a speech during the opening ceremony and spoke about how farmers markets like this one are thriving. “We’ve seen the Mount Airy farmers market grow, just like products in the field, from its infancy just a few years ago when there was only a few vendors in here to now being more than a dozen vendors here, more than 20 throughout the season,” he said. Market master Alice Settle-Raskin is hoping to reach 600 patrons per market day, having progressed from 50 or 60 in 2015.

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