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Editorial: Thumbs up for promising apple season, convenience stores opening, boxing program, local YouTuber

Thumbs up: Anyone here fans of apples? Don’t worry, that’s a rhetorical question. There’s reason for celebration: It’s apple season, and this one is shaping up to be far better than the last. That’s what those who run local apple orchards like Baugher’s have told us, and we’re relieved at that news. The Westminster area got about 72 to 74 inches of rain last year, compared to the typical rainfall of 46 to 47 inches, University of Maryland Extension agent Bryan Butler told us. That much rain can lead to diseases and affects the color and taste of apples. Fortunately, it appears we won’t need to worry about that phenomenon this year. That said, we’re slightly concerned that the opposite problem could face crops being grown in Carroll (and not just apples). Forecasters are warning that virtually the whole state is at risk of drought, so we hope that doesn’t dim the luster of this apple season. Less rain than last year is good, but we hope it doesn’t become a Goldilocks situation and end up being too little rain. Still, we’re pleased that, so far, such a quintessentially autumn crop as apples appears on track for a successful season. Take it from Dwight Baugher, farm manager of Baugher’s Orchards in Westminster, who told us, “Our apple crop is wonderful and tastes very good. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but I am grateful for what I call a nice apple crop."

Thumbs up: It can be upsetting when businesses announce they’re closing locations in our county. Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there, with other businesses opening here around the same time. Thursday presented a notable display of that, but with an emphasis on quick stops for gas and snacks. In North Carroll, a Sheetz location that had been closed for over half a year reopened, and in South Carroll, Wawa opened only its second Carroll location. We’re told that the Sheetz, located at 3281 Main St. in Manchester, is now about twice its original size, at 5,988 square feet, with double the pump stations. And the new Wawa, at 1310 Liberty Road, will provide about 40 jobs — and a promise from a company representative of being "definitely community-first.” It’s no revolutionary change to have a couple of extra choices for where to fill up your tank. Both Manchester and Eldersburg got on fine without these businesses. But we do support giving residents more opportunities to spend their time and money at places they provide things they’re looking for — especially if it brightens their day. It certainly did with customers such as Sara Godwin, who lives right up the road from the Sheetz. “Oh my God, I love it,” she told us once it reopened.

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Thumbs up: Boxing isn’t generally thought of as a healing exercise, to say the least. But it did have that effect for one Finksburg man who was honored Tuesday in a ceremony at Rock Steady Boxing in Westminster. More than 30 people filled the folded metal chairs in the space before Belk inside TownMall of Westminster, where they heard about Brandon Falk. He had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma after a vehicle accident. was partially paralyzed on the right side of his body, but he’s come a long way since then. Ted Wilson, of Finksburg, is the program director at the Rock Steady Boxing facility in the mall. Rock Steady Boxing, a national program designed to help people with Parkinson’s mitigate the symptoms of that neurodegenerative disease, also served as a valuable resource for Falk in his efforts to come back from his devastating injury. Key to that recovery, he told us, was that he stay moving. “It’s all about movement, you just have to make sure you keep moving,” he said. “Play an instrument, come join us, but keep moving.”

Thumbs up: A program whose motto is to “encourage, empower and inspire" has come to Carroll County. And it brought with it a well-known YouTuber, C.J. Luckey. C.A.P.S., or Celebrating All Persevering Students, is a nonprofit that mixes high-energy songs and motivational messages for children. But this program is made all the more special by the talents and presence of Luckey. His most famous video — “The Power of Yet,” which has hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube — teaches that students can change their perspective by adding “yet” to the end of a frustrating phrase like “I don’t get this math problem” or “I’m not very good at this.” It’s a poignant, important message for kids, and we think it can do some good. The program started its tour of Carroll at Elmer Wolfe Elementary on Monday morning, and it will be in several other schools across the county in the coming weeks. We’re lucky to have him.

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