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Our View: Thumbs up to ‘Kent Menace,’ Hospice Heroes, COVID testing for CCPS | COMMENTARY

THUMBS UP: In a world of superheroes, it’s cool to see someone from Carroll County make his presence known. Thanks to Westminster native Scott Braden, we will soon have a hero to call our own. Kent Menace is Braden’s creation, along with artist Mike Malbrough, and he’s set to make his debut in May with “Kent Menace #0: The Director’s Cut,” courtesy of American Mythology Productions. Kent Menace has a back story that encourages readers to think of watery depths, infernal fighting techniques, a pirate king father, and a Tritonblade imbued with the power of time travel, all leading up to an epic battle on which the fate of the world depends, according to an AMP news release. Braden conceived the character of Kent Menace and his back story while working for a comic distributor. Readers can expect to see Kent Menace face mythological foes and struggle with making an ultimate sacrifice. They will also be introduced to other characters that were brought to life by Malbrough. Braden said the original 16-page comic was limited to 200 copies and the Director’s Cut will be 32 pages long, and have a significantly larger print run. Kent Menace will be available in stores on May 12 and can be purchased at Gotham Comics in Westminster or at Cards, Comics and Collectibles in Reisterstown. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” he told us. “We’re just trying to make a funny comic that people can look at and go, ‘That’s a fun read.’ ”

THUMBS UP: Carroll Hospice is recognizing six “heroes” for going above and beyond to provide quality care and bereavement services to hospice patients and their families. Malika Acker, Mark Blacksten, Melissa Bonbrest, Betty McGuire, Lindsay Sisler, and Kelly Yudt are the recipients. The Hospice Heroes are usually honored at the annual Taste of Carroll, but this year’s event will take place in a different format because of the coronavirus pandemic. The fundraiser will be held from April 26, 2021 to April 25, 2022 as a one-year road trip to explore the tastes and delicacies the Carroll County culinary scene has to offer. “To be a Hospice Hero is a great honor,” Acker told us. Sisler told us she dreamed as a little girl of one day becoming a nurse, then dealt with caring for her mother when she was diagnosed with cancer years later. Sisler said her mother has been able to manage her cancer, and the support she received from doctors, nurses, and social workers helped her realize how much she wanted to carve out a similar path to caregiving. “Hospice is the type of nursing where you can be fully supportive and fully caring to patients,” she said. “That is usually the most difficult time for them.”

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THUMBS UP: It’s good to see Carroll County Public Schools preparing to conduct on-site COVID-19 testing. Cindy McCabe, chief of schools, told the Board of Education on Wednesday that CCPS will soon implement COVID-19 testing for students and staff. Superintendent Steve Lockard said they are looking at offering rapid and PCR tests at regional schools, so if a person shows symptoms, they can go to an area of their school or be sent to another building, take a test and wait for the result. Testing will be voluntary and only with parental approval. But Ed Singer, the county’s top health officer, said it will be much more convenient this way. “The concept is any time a kid is sick, a parent has to come in anyway,” Singer said during Thursday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting. “This saves the problem of them having to get an appointment. It will help us keep down the number of kids in quarantine and also if the staff member or student doesn’t actually have COVID, it will be helpful in getting them back to school in a more timely manner.”

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