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Student team from Mt. Hebron High School wins nationwide Economics Challenge | MOSTLY MAIN

Kudos to the Mount Hebron High School team that, for the third year in a row, outscored student teams from all over the United States to win both divisions of the 21st Annual National Economics Challenge, sponsored by the Council for Economic Education.

The event was held online May 22-24, and Mount Hebron beat 375 other schools that participated, as well as an international round against two high schools in China. In all, more than 10,000 students participated. The competition recognizes exceptional high school students for their knowledge of economic principles and their ability to apply problem solving and critical thinking skills to real world events.

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The Plein Air Paint-out in the historic district of Ellicott City starts today, June 10, and runs to June 13. There is $1,000 in total awards to participating artists. A gallery exhibit will follow at the Howard County Center for the Arts from June 19 to Aug. 6. The exhibit will also be viewable online. This is a wonderful opportunity to stroll down Main Street and peek over the shoulders of artists at work and an opportunity to see the town through their eyes and appreciate their interpretations.

Speaking of art, local artist Wiley Purkey has a new coloring book out, featuring sites in and around historic Ellicott City. It’s available for purchase on Etsy.

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Hooray for Hollywood!, or, in this case, Turf Valley. Yep, the West Coast has nothing on us as we now have our own local production team creating television magic.

Business partners Adam Rodgers, writer and director, and Thomas Ventimiglia, writer and producer, are making a TV show in the Turf Valley Overlook neighborhood. It’s a comedy web series called “Turf Valley” and it’s about three stay-at-home dads, Tyler, Jason and Howard (and the women who love them) considering life’s big questions after dropping their kids off at the school bus stop.

Rodgers grew up in Maryland and recently moved back to the area after 20 years as a screenwriter/director in Los Angeles. The actors playing the lead rolls are all veterans of television, film and commercials, and a third of the crew are paid student interns. The group is currently staging a Kickstarter campaign to finance the effort, which you can participate in by visiting “Turf Valley” at the Kickstarter site.

I have lived in a similar development in suburban Ellicott City for 34 years, and I think I have a couple of story lines for them to consider. I bet you do, too. Of course, I would be remiss not to mention that we also have my friend, actor and producer Lee Doll, creating movies set in Ellicott City and Baltimore. I think that a collaboration sometime in the future of these two talented teams would be awesome.

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This could only happen in Ellicott City, and even then only once every 17 years: My husband Tom and I were driving west on Frederick Road near the Wilkens-Rogers Mill; the Patapsco River and the railroad tracks were to our left, on the other side of the river. At one point, we noticed loud screeching, and I assumed we were near a particularly large congregation of cicadas. Tom countered with the thought that it was actually a train we were hearing. Turns out both of us were right.

We saw the train come around a bend and head to the historic district and it sounded like the song of the cicadas. I never would have thought that. Anyway, we then got the great thrill of driving under the viaduct as the train passed overhead. As usual, I was thrilled and terrified in equal measure by this event.

Email me your information for inclusion in this column at janetkusterer21042@gmail.com.

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