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Editorial: Thumbs up for electric vehicle charging station, horse rescue, Miss Maryland, student sculptures

Thumbs up: Carroll County might have just opened up new roadways to drivers of electric vehicles. County officials on Tuesday unveiled Carroll’s first utility-owned (Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.), public direct current (DC) fast charger, which is used to charge electric vehicles (EVs), in the parking lot outside the Carroll County government offices. The DC fast charger takes, on average, about 30 minutes to charge a car, depending on the EV. In fact, we’re fortunate enough that this first EV charger of ours is also BGE’s first DC fast charger in the state. Sadly, it still does cost money to “fill up.” It costs $0.34 per kWh to charge on the DC fast chargers. Carroll could see more of these chargers, and soon — more could be installed as early as next month, a BGE spokeswoman told us, with the next one scheduled to be at Carroll Community College. Electric vehicles might not yet be ubiquitous in Carroll County, or in Maryland at large, but we have no doubt that the numbers of these vehicles on local roadways will increase over time. It’s a good thing to get ahead of that curve and have the necessary infrastructure already set up, or at least in the works.

Thumbs up: Catherine Myers is more than deserving of an individual shoutout this week. She has been volunteering with Maryland Horse Rescue for about 10 years and, in September, bought a farm outside Westminster with the intent of leasing most of the land to the nonprofit. She has promised not to raise Maryland Horse Rescue’s rent, and the land will go to the rescue after she dies. It’s a wonderful gesture that will make a positive difference for horses and humans alike for years. “We did it so the horses would have a better life,” she told us. Maryland Horse Rescue cares for horses and ponies of all ages and conditions, specializing in the care of blind equines, and it’s run by volunteers. And it’s now in the process of moving more than 30 horses from Mount Airy to the 50-acre farm between Westminster and Taneytown. “This became available and it’s the right thing to do,” Myers told us. We wouldn’t disagree.

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Thumbs up: Caitlyn Stupi wasn’t able to beat the odds and become the first Miss Maryland to win the Miss America pageant, but she continues to represent the state, and her hometown of Westminster, well. Stupi competed against more than 50 talented young women in the iconic pageant Thursday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Montville, Connecticut, and looked on as Miss Virginia, Camille Schrier, earned the title of Miss America. Stupi, a 2015 Westminster High School graduate, graduated with a degree in graphic design and studio art from Liberty University last May. The cellist was crowned Miss Maryland in June. Stupi told us she plans to put the scholarship money she has earned through pageants toward earning a master’s degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Perhaps she has inspired some young Carroll countians to compete in pageants, but we are even more hopeful she has inspired young Carroll countians to learn about financial literacy. Her platform, “Common Cents: Promoting Youth Financial Literacy," was an outgrowth of a children’s book she wrote and illustrated designed to help teach kids economic concepts. More information about her book and other design work is available at caitlynstupi.com.

Thumbs up: Creating art is difficult enough. Creating art out of junk is taking it to another level. Kudos, then, to a trio of Carroll County Public Schools students who were named winners in the annual Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest, sponsored by Maryland Department of the Environment. Students were asked to make something beautiful out of items that would otherwise be discarded. Jorja Rodgers, a junior at Century High School, won the grand prize for 2019 with a sculpture that at first appears to be a pile of random items such as paper towel rolls, trophies, CDs and toys. But when a light shines on it at the right angle, it shines the silhouette of the late singer Selena Quintanilla.“I had seen other artists do projecting images. And I thought that was really cool because it’s not really a traditional way of going about something,” Rodgers told us. Alex Vagnier, a junior at Winters Mill High School, won first place for the Use of Materials award with his sculpture, entitled “IDK.” He used PCs, a lamp, a light switch, plexiglass, bottle caps and a waffle iron as materials. And Emily Giffhorn, a senior at South Carroll High School, placed second for the People’s Choice Award for her sculpture, entitled “Turtley Awesome,” created using aluminum cans, twine, cardboard tubes, mesh material, yarn, straws, cardboard and a granite slab.

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