THUMBS UP: Turnout and participation was excellent for the first community forum of this campaign season as the candidates for Board of Education gathered to give their positions on the major issues the BOE has faced and will face going forward, Thursday at the Community Media Center. Nine of the 10 candidates were in attendance in front of a nice-sized crowd that contributed many of the questions asked.

Teacher salaries, school safety among priorities for Carroll school board candidates

Over two hours, nine of the 10 Carroll County Public Schools Board of Education candidates tackled topics from school safety to redistricting and closures to teacher salaries to equitable education in the first forum leading up to the June primaries.

We're sure many other interested parties watched on cable access or the stream on the media center's website, Other questions came earlier via email. We encourage continued community participation as the various campaigns continue ahead of the June primary elections. This week, two more candidate forums are scheduled: On Tuesday, candidates for county commissioner in District 4 will convene at the Mount Airy Senior Center, 703 Ridge Avenue, Mount Airy, at 7 p.m. and, on Wednesday, commissioner candidates in District 5 will be at the South Carroll Senior Center, 5928 Mineral Hill Road, Eldersburg, at 7 p.m. We hope voters will email questions to and listen to what the candidates have to say, either in-person or via stream or cable TV.


Two recognized for efforts during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Detective Richard Harbaugh of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and Elizabeth Klinger, Assistant State’s Attorney, were recognized Friday morning during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week for their work emphasizing the rights of victims.

THUMBS UP: The Carroll County State's Attorney's Office honored a county prosecutor and a detective from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office last week not for meeting a quota for convictions or arrests or anything like that, but, according to the State's Attorney's Office, for showing compassion and diligence in exercising victims' rights. Detective Richard Harbaugh and Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Klinger were recognized April 13 as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week. State's Attorney Brian DeLeonardo said it's important to recognize prosecutors and law enforcement that go out of their way to help connect victims with services when it's often easier to say "that's not my job." The three victim's advocates for the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office — Katie Ritter, circuit court victims advocate; Gabby Butler, district court victims advocate specializing in domestic violence; and Shannon Zepp, juvenile victims advocate — chose this year's recipients. Ritter told us, from personal experience, that Harbaugh not only cares about what he does, but he genuinely cares about the other person as well. Butler praised Klinger her for "going the extra mile, practically doing our jobs for us, making it easier on us."

History of emergency communications in Carroll celebrated

Fifty-two years to the day after the fist centralized emergency communications went on the air in Carroll County, members old and new gathered to celebrate its history.

THUMBS UP: Today, it is taken for granted that when there's an emergency — be it a fire or an accident or a crime in progress — we simply need to call 911 and help will be on the way. It didn't always work that way and, earlier this week, Carroll County Central Alarm, the predecessor to today's Carroll County Emergency Communications Center, was recognized, more than half a century after taking its first call. Monday afternoon, guests gathered in the John Street Quarters to celebrate the history of Central Alarm, formed by the Carroll County Fire Chief's Association, 52 years to the day of that first day on air. Carroll County Commissioner Stephen Wantz gave the keynote address and noted that in the early days of Carroll fire dispatching, emergency calls went to a "party line" of homes within running distance of the fire house. When a call came through, the recipient would write down the address where the fire was taking place and sprint to the fire house to pull to the siren. "The names have changed. The venues and the procedures have changed," Wantz said. "But just like the past 52 years, we remain proud of all who have and currently serve our citizens as the first line of defense as they bravely serve their communities every hour of every day."

The Brass Hat Cafe celebrates one year of free meals with a community cookout

The Community Spring Fling Cookout was planned in order to celebrate one year of the Brass Hat Cafe in Westminster, which has been providing free meals to people, no questions asked, since it opened in April 2017.

THUMBS UP: On Wednesday, the sights, sounds and smells of a nice barbecue filled the Salvation Army building in Westminster as the organization celebrated one year of the Brass Hat Cafe, which has been providing free meals to people, no questions asked, since it opened in April 2017, with a Community Spring Fling Cookout. "We've done almost 12,000 meals in this past year and the community has taken to it so well. We've had so many great comments on how having this meal three times a week has been such a help financially," Nina Christian, service unit manager at the Salvation Army of Carroll County., told us. From 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, people can come to the cafe to be served a free, hot meal, just as they would pay for in any restaurant. People can even order carry out. Five people came out the first day, a year ago. By last summer, the cafe was averaging 100 people per night, according to Christian. Many of those who came out to the Spring Fling Cookout spoke about how much the occasional meal at the Brass Hat Cafe has helped. For more information or donate, visit