McDaniel students, faculty pass on relatable advice to college-bound high-schoolers

McDaniel College's Nora Roberts Foundation Faculty Award for Community Engagement enabled FSK students to participate in a "High School Outreach Program for the Sciences" program.

Thumbs up: A question-and-answer session with McDaniel College chemistry majors and professors gave Francis Scott Key High School students some insight into what it's like to study science in college. On Thursday, McDaniel chem majors Eli Williams and Jake Holechek answered questions during a session that Alison Stull, who teaches Advanced Placement Chemistry at FSK, described as eye-opening for her students. The application for the Nora Roberts Foundation Faculty Award for Community Engagement, which made this event possible, states, "even high-performing students in high school often struggle with introductory science courses once they get into college, where critical thinking and conceptual understanding are essential." That can result in students changing majors or dropping out. Williams and Holechek told the FSK students their biggest challenge will be learning to manage their time and be independent. Anything that helps give aspiring college students an idea of exactly what they're getting into is worthwhile, so the more events like this, the better.

Residents voice concerns over increased traffic on Westminster road

Residents voice concerns over increased traffic on Lucabaugh Mill Road which is used as a shortcut for many to avoid congestion on Md. 97 north of Westminster.

Thumbs up: Increased signage and law enforcement are being considered for Lucabaugh Mill Road, just north of Westminster. Resident Rick Pfisterer said: "It used to be a quiet road. Now you take your life in your hands." Travel on the road has increased significantly, to approximately 1,000 drivers during the morning and evening rush hours, thanks to the frequent backups on Md. 97 with many thousands using that route to get to work in the morning or home in the evening. Numerous drivers seek alternate routes because Md. 97 cannot handle the traffic, Sheriff Jim DeWees said. It is a concern that the county commissioners and State Highway Administration know about, said Commissioner Stephen Wantz, R-District 1. The road is listed as Carroll's No. 2 priority for improvement, according to the county's priority letter to the SHA. Clearly a long-term solution is needed, but until something is done to ease traffic on Md. 97, more signage and enforcement on side roads can't hurt.


Kids get moving with Project ACES challenge

Robert Moton kids kicked off Project ACES this week with a morning-long assembly to learn about the fitness initiative.

Thumbs up: We've frequently praised programs that get kids up and moving in an era that too often sees them giving only their thumbs a workout, but let's also laud the NFL for helping in this cause. The NFL's Play 60 movement encourages kids to be active for 60 minutes per day, and Carroll has adopted that 60-minute per day goal for its annual, two-week fitness challenge called Project ACES. The Baltimore Ravens sponsor and take part in Project ACES, and that meant players Zachary Orr, Anthony Levine and Albert McClellan, as well as two cheerleaders and a mascot, visiting Robert Moton Elementary School on Monday. Robert Moton had the top participation rate during the challenge. The Ravens showed the kids the drills they do every day, led them through some workouts and answered questions. Sounds like welcome motivation. After all, as Orr said, "This is our next generation."

Barber gives free holiday haircuts through The Shepherd's Staff

Barber Ed Humphries typically offers haircuts on the last Wednesday of each month but holiday haircuts will be offered again Wednesday, December 14.

Thumbs up: Barber Ed Humphries gave free holiday haircuts on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at The Shepherd's Staff in Westminster and will do so again on Dec. 14. (He typically offers free haircuts on the last Wednesday of each month.) While haircuts might seem fairly low on the priority scale for those in need, it's a wonderful gesture and it's also a meaningful one. Who doesn't feel a little better about themselves after a fresh haircut? And too many simply can't afford one. "There's a need in the county," Velma Green, intake coordinator for The Shepherd's Staff, told us. She called Humphries a blessing. Those sitting in his chair on Wednesday seemed to feel the same way.