THUMBS UP: Thanks to the combination of a savvy teenager doing what students are told to do when they receive an unwanted social media request, a school’s administration following protocol, and law enforcement investigating and taking quick action, a Wisconsin sex offender was arrested last week after trying to solicit explicit photographs.

Police: Wisconsin sex offender charged after soliciting explicit photos from Carroll students

A Wisconsin sex offender has been arrested and faces multiple charges related to child pornography after a Carroll County Public Schools student reported that he tried to solicit explicit photographs of her on social media.

A Manchester Valley High School student in late September reported to school administration that an unknown individual, claiming to be a fellow local student, had been contacting her via Snapchat, requesting that she send him photos of herself, according to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. “It was smart and brave of her to do,” Sheriff Jim DeWees told us. Indeed it was. After that, administrators involved Deputy Kyle Barget, the on-duty school resource officer, who determined several students from county schools had received similar messages and requests. Det. Jill Bankard of the Carroll County Child Advocacy and Investigation Center identified the owner of the Snapchat account sending the messages, and traced the account to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office then contacted Wisconsin authorities who continued the investigation. On Oct. 25, a search warrant was executed on the Wisconsin home of David D. Drummond, 35, who is a registered sex offender. Drummond is charged in Wisconsin with 10 counts of possession of child pornography, three counts of solicitation of child pornography from juveniles from Maryland and one count of violating the terms of sex offender registration, according to the Sheriff’s Office. This is the world we live in, where a middle-aged man half a country away can easily contact a teenager claiming to be a fellow student and making lewd requests. And this is exactly the way the situation should be handled. Kudos to all involved in making sure this offender is no longer hiding behind a fake social media identity, but, rather, behind bars.


To celebrate veterans, Wreaths Across America expands throughout Carroll County cemeteries

Last year the Deer Park Methodist Cemetery in Westminster became the first Carroll County cemetery to take part in the nationwide tradition that is Wreaths Across America Day.

THUMBS UP: Wreaths Across America Day will have a much larger presence in Carroll County this year. That’s a good thing. It also brings with it some challenges and a need for volunteers and donations. Last year, the Deer Park Methodist Cemetery in Westminster became the first Carroll County cemetery to take part in the nationwide tradition that is Wreaths Across America Day. This year, eight more cemeteries, including the historic Ellsworth Cemetery, are joining in the tradition, which celebrates veterans by placing wreaths on their graves at the same time, on the same day each December. And that means instead of the 140 wreath donations the Deer Park Cemetery received in 2017, there will be demand for almost 1,000. “Last year I think we had around 250 people come to lay the wreaths,” said Deer Park Cemetery board of trustees President Mel Blizzard, noting that some 1,500 cemeteries across the country participate in this program. The ceremony at Deer Park Methodist Cemetery will take place at noon Dec. 15. Ellsworth will hold a Wreaths Across America ceremony at 11 a.m. Dec. 15. The New Windsor Babylon Vault Company is an organizer for ceremonies across Carroll County. The cemeteries recruited by Babylon include the Meadow Branch and Mt. Joy cemeteries in Westminster; the St. Luke’s (Winter’s), St. James (formerly known as Strawbridge) and Pipe Creek cemeteries in New Windsor; St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery in Union Bridge and Church of God Cemetery in Uniontown. To cover all the veteran graves at the cemeteries, Babylon needs to collect 850 wreaths. Anyone interested in donating wreaths can drop them off at the Babylon Vault Company, located at 925 Wakefield Valley Road, New Windsor, and call 410-848-0393 for more information.

Temporarily blinded in a crash, Carroll County native relies on Apple Watch — and ends up in ad campaign

Kacie Anderson, a Carroll County native and Winters Mill High School graduate, used her Apple Watch to call 911 after being involved in a car crash. She is now a part of an advertising campaign for the Apple product.

THUMBS UP: Kacie Anderson made great use of technology to get emergency personnel on the scene as soon as possible after she was in an accident and wound up in an Apple advertising campaign. We hope everyone will take some time to formulate plans, incorporating whatever technology is at their disposal, in case of an emergency at home, at work or on the road. Anderson, a Winters Mill High School graduate, had her 9-month-old son, Parker, in the back seat of her car last December when a driver, that police would later determine was impaired, struck the vehicle behind Anderson’s, which then slammed into hers. “It happened so quick. I actually lost my vision for about 60 seconds,” she said. “All I could hear was Parker screaming. So of course I am panicking.” She wanted to call for help, but couldn’t find her phone. “I felt around and my hand hit my Apple Watch. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, my watch! I used my watch … so Siri actually called 911 for me.” Maryland state trooper Derek Eckhardt responded to that Siri-mediated 911 call. Any smart watch that can connect by Bluetooth to a smartphone could be a useful tool in an emergency, Eckhardt said, especially in the event of an accident on one of the less-traveled back roads of Carroll County. Anderson and her son were located quickly and taken to the hospital. Almost six months into their recovery, Anderson was contacted by Apple wanting to know if she would be willing to let them tell her story in a commercial. Anderson and several others who used their watches in close brushes with tragedy appear in an ad can be found at