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Our View: Thumbs up to a young cyclist trying to make a difference; a local mentalist trying to make it big; and a teen pilot making special deliveries | COMMENTARY

THUMBS UP: Brody Reppe, an 8-year-old from Westminster, learned to ride a bike during the coronavirus pandemic. Now he’s riding for a cause, trying to help preserve C&O Canal trails. He has pledged to ride 50 miles in single day to support improving part of 150-mile stretch from Pittsburgh to Cumberland. Brody’s father, Dan, is an avid cyclist, who said he’s immune compromised. That led him to teach Brody how to ride amid the pandemic as a way to get outdoors while being careful not to risk exposure. Brody went from a complete beginner to doing 5-mile rides to cycling more than 30 miles along the York Heritage Trail in Pennsylvania. After having to cancel a pair of family vacations, the Reppes opted to ride along the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile trek that connects to the C&O Canal and stretches from Pittsburgh to Cumberland to Washington, D.C. Brody rode all 150 miles of the trail, splitting it up over a few days, and Brody wondered why some parts of the C&O Canal path weren’t surfaced the same way. So Brody came up with the idea to ride 50 miles in one day, his longest so far, and try to raise money so the C&O trail can be improved. Brody’s online fundraiser page is hosted by C&O Canal Trust, which raises money for the C&O Canal Historical Park in Washington. As of Thursday, Brody’s fundraiser page showed he had raised more than $3,500. “We tried to teach him that it can be difficult for one person to make a difference, but if a lot of people collectively do small acts it can make a really big difference.”

THUMBS UP: A Carroll County native has advanced to the quarterfinals of the popular NBC competition “America’s Got Talent.” Max Major, who grew up in Woodbine, who performed locally at the Carroll County 4-H and FFA Fair and graduated from South Carroll High School, is a mentalist and mind reader. The 36-year-old describes it as a marriage between a magician’s showmanship and psychology, mixed with science and hypnosis. Major has already been on the show twice, wowing judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara, and host Terry Crews. On July 28, he impressed Cowell by reading his mind during a card trick. “Tonight, I wanted to go not just for improbable, but impossible,” Major said before reaching for an envelope that had sat on a table throughout the performance as he asked Cowell questions. Inside the envelope were handwritten responses that matched Cowell’s answers. Cowell gave Major a virtual high-five. Forty-four acts will compete in quarterfinal live shows, according to a spokesperson for “AGT.” Major is slated to perform Aug. 25. It’s up to viewers to vote for their favorite acts and move them forward. We’re guessing Major will fare quite well with viewers from Carroll.

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THUMBS UP: TJ Kim, a 16-year-old McLean, Virginia, native is working on getting his student pilot’s certificate by spending as much time as he can in the cockpit. As long as we was going to be fying anyway, Kim figured he might as well bring along some cargo that could help people. Kim started Operation S.O.S — Supplies Over Skies — to deliver supplies to hospitals. His first 18 deliveries were made in his native state. His 19th came Monday, when he landed at Carroll County Regional Airport with eight boxes filled with more than 3,700 pieces of hospital supplies to be given to a waiting group from Carroll Hospital. It was his first mission in Maryland. The boxes included masks, gloves, shoe covers, gowns and sanitizer. Carroll Hospital was also set to receive a ventilator, a first for Kim and his Operation SOS. Hospital President Garrett Hoover said that while Carroll doesn’t have a shortage of supplies, “to have someone that has some interest in serving the community in this fashion is just phenomenal. I’m so impressed by this young man’s efforts.” We are too. And we’re glad his first Operation S.O.S. flight to Maryland landed in Carroll County.

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