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Editorial: On anniversary of Capital Gazette tragedy, we're reminded of our mission to serve Carroll County

Thumbs up and down: Friday marked the anniversary of a terrible day we won’t soon forget. On June 28, 2018, a gunman shot his way into the Annapolis offices of the Capital Gazette newspapers and killed five people. Six others in the building at the time survived. They, with the help of their colleagues and others from around the country, continued to put out a paper every day since. They pressed on. Here in Carroll County, we don’t often cross paths with our Anne Arundel County friends. But we admire the tenacity and bravery they have devoted to their work this past year — even as they dealt with the anxieties and stressors that have lingered after the attack. They don’t expect to achieve the same normalcy they had before, no matter how much their emotional and psychic wounds heal. “I doubt that anyone’s going to say that they’ve completely tackled every aspect of the way that it affects them,” reporter Phil Davis said. Despite that, there’s a job they keep doing — it’s a noble one, and it’s one that we at the Times share. Our shared mission is to serve our local readers in ways no one else will. That means covering sparsely attended government meetings; alerting the public to public safety concerns; conveying the outcome of your children’s sports games; and so much more. Local journalism matters, and we’re committed to serving Carroll County. That’s the best way we can honor Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.

Thumbs down: A fatal crash on Md. 26 in Frederick County, near the Carroll County border, this past week resulted in the death of both a young man from Carroll County and a firefighter who responded. Either one would be a tough pill to swallow alone, so it’s particularly sad to see two lives ended in connection with the same incident. Kevin N. Tevelow, 22, of New Windsor was pronounced dead on the scene after his car collided head-on with a tractor-trailer, state police said. The two people in the tractor-trailer were also from Carroll County; the driver was from Manchester and the passenger was from Millers. Tevelow was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. It’s enough to bring driving safety to mind. Getting behind the wheel of a car is something we’re all used to, but it can also be dangerous — safety truly must come first. The firefighter, 70-year-old Michael Powers of Mount Airy, was helping clear debris at the crash scene when he suffered an unspecified medical emergency, the Libertytown fire company said. He had been a member there for almost 40 years. Even though he hadn’t served Carroll County during that time, we thank him for his service all the same.

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Thumbs up: Youngsters at Piney Run Park got a vivid view of nature in action this week. On Wednesday, as the young ones were listening to naturalist Max Bukowitz read a storybook about critters building nests, a wild barred owl leapt from its perch and flew under the canopy of trees, clutching a snake in its talons. (Circle of life.) Of course, the 11 children looked on with eyes wide. “You can’t get that on a screen,” Bukowitz said. He raises a good point, in this era of smartphones, tablets, YouTube, social media and so on. Carroll countians are a people who are aware of their environment, to say the least. It’s a key part of our rural identity. And efforts such as this Piney Run program — we hope — can go a long way to showing future generations why the forests, hills, streams and wildlife of their home are worth preserving. And as Bukowitz told us, “If you understand things, you’re less afraid of them. I think it builds their imagination.”

Thumbs up: Last Saturday, the Mount Airy community came together to appreciate the creativity and appeal of different artists’ work at the Mount Airy ArtsFest. The festival is a new version of last year’s smaller Festival of the Creatives, which was held in downtown Mount Airy(this year’s event was in Watkins Park). Katie Giganti said she volunteered to re-establish the Mount Airy Arts Alliance in 2016, and we’re glad she did. The volunteer-operated organization supports artists, performers, and those in the creative sector in and around Mount Airy. Giganti said that one of the organization’s goals is to make the arts accessible for everyone in the community. Of course, we support that mission. Art encourages us to expand our minds, and there’s no telling who will be inspired by seeing someone else’s artistic vision come to fruition. The opportunity to do so together, outside on a beautiful day, is a good thing for Mount Airy. “It was incredible. After months and months of planning, you can never know what the end result will be; I was blown away by the feedback and gratitude from festival-goers as they were leaving,” Giganti told us. Sounds like a job well done.

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