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Editorial: Thumbs up for later school start, worthwhile causes, return of high school football

Gov. Larry Hogan, with Comptroller Peter Franchot and other leaders, announced Wednesday from Ocean City's Boardwalk an executive order mandating Maryland schools can't start until after Labor Day.

Thumbs up: We're not generally in favor of executive orders, but when Gov. Larry Hogan decreed that future Maryland school years cannot begin until the day after Labor Day, he was codifying something the vast majority of Marylanders wanted. A 2015 Goucher College poll showed that 72 percent of Maryland residents supported a statewide mandate of a post-Labor Day start. By and large, an extra week of summer should be good for families and it should be a boon to vacation-dependent businesses. A 2013 study by Maryland Bureau of Estimates determined that a post-Labor Day start date could generate an additional $74.3 million in economic activity, including $3.7 million in new wages and $7.7 million in state and local revenue. The executive order creates some scheduling headaches as well as some hard feelings by those who think the decision should be made locally. But it was the only way this change was going to happen and we think students and parents, as well as Maryland's economy, will benefit.

The four who spent 30 hours on the roof of the Westminster Dunkin' Donuts surpassed their goal by $1,500.

Thumbs up: The heads of the Westminster Police Department, Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack and Carroll County State's Attorney's Office staked out rooftop seats atop the Westminster Dunkin' Donuts last weekend to raise money for Special Olympics, vowing to remain up there for 30 hours or until they raised $10,000 for Special Olympics. The four — Westminster police Chief Jeff Spaulding, Carroll Sheriff Jim DeWees, state police Westminster Barrack Commander Lt. Pat McCrory and Carroll State's Attorney Brian DeLeonardo — waved and attracted attention to themselves, soliciting donations. They wound up surpassing their goal and bringing in $11,500 for Special Olympics.

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The kids were part of the Casey Cares Foundation, which provides activities and events for families with critically ill children.

Thumbs up: The New Windsor Volunteer Fire Company hosted an event Aug. 27 through the Casey Cares Foundation, which provides activities and events for families with critically ill children. During the day, kids explored the fire house, climbing a fire truck ladder and using a hose to put out cardboard fires, before joining in the cafeteria for lunch. Each of the kids has or had a serious illness requiring hospital trips and treatment, so getting out for a fun day like this is welcome. It was the company's second time partnering with Casey Cares for an event and the New Windsor volunteers got help from other fire departments as well as the Maryland State Police, the New Windsor Lions Club and Mayor Neal Roop.

Thumbs up: On Friday night, for the 70th consecutive fall season, high school football players took to the fields while fellow students and members of their communities cheered them on. Finally getting to play in a game is a reward for players who've practiced, sometimes twice a day in the August heat, for more than three weeks in preparation for the new season. Unlike the NFL, high school football has nothing to do with fantasy sports or gambling or ad revenue. It's about teenagers learning about how practice and teamwork contribute to achieving goals and it's about representing one's school. It's nice to win, too, and a few W's probably make those drills on humid, late-August afternoons seem worth it.

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