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After successful December food drive, Scouts will collect again [Ellicott City]

Eagle Scout Collin Meredith of Troop 944 accepts food donation from Drs. Jeff and Kerry Muneses of Muneses Chiropractic Center.
Eagle Scout Collin Meredith of Troop 944 accepts food donation from Drs. Jeff and Kerry Muneses of Muneses Chiropractic Center. (Courtesy photo)

Scouting for Food in Howard County partnered with Jeff Muneses of Muneses Chiropractic Center during his food drive in December. 2017 marked the the 24th year Muneses has conducted the center’s food drive with patients and staff.

Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 944 and Cub Scout Pack 702 picked up 734 pounds of food at Muneses’ Ellicott City Center and delivered it to Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. The Scouts then sorted the food before it was added into the church’s Open Doors food pantry.

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The food drive brought the total of food collected in Howard County to 65,718 pounds during the 2017 Scouting for Food campaign, according to Sori Meredith, volunteer Scouting for Food chairperson in Howard County.

Mark your calendars. On Saturday, March 10, the Scouting for Food program gives the community an opportunity to make food donations from the comfort of their home. The program starts on Saturday, March 3, when Scouts distribute empty plastic grocery bags to homes. On Saturday, March 10, residents can leave the bag filled with canned and non-perishable food items outside their homes, somewhere visible from the street such as a mailbox, front door or porch, and the Scouts will collect the donations.

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“We look forward to another successful food drive which will benefit 25 food pantries in the county,” Meredith said. For more information, contact Meredith scoutingforfoodnpd@verizon.net.

With the frigid temperatures this winter, it reminded me of the domesticated animals in our county that live outdoors. If you are concerned about the safety of an animal, call Howard County Animal Control at 410-313-2780 during office hours. For after hours calls, use the police non-emergency line at 410-313-2200. Animal Control will determine if animals have the proper shelter and access to food and water according to law. For more information, including hours of operation, go to howardcountymd.gov.

Last year, a project to mill and repave a portion of Centennial Lane, near Centennial Lane Elementary School, also yielded a new sidewalk, bike line and crossing guard island making walkability in our community safer.

Recently, Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman released a new WalkHoward draft that provides a framework for improving conditions for all people walking in Howard County. The draft plan identifies pedestrian network improvements needed beyond those completed under the County’s 2007 Pedestrian Master Plan and promotes walking as a safe and convenient travel option.

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Produced by the county’s Office of Transportation, the new draft was developed after “extensive field evaluation of sidewalks, intersections and bus stops and input received from three community open houses, state and county agencies, boards and commissions,” a county press release stated.

The WalkHoward draft recommendations include changes to policies, guidelines and practices that affect the pedestrian network and for outreach programs that will encourage the network’s use.

“Walkability is good for public health, the local economy and quality of life,” said Kittleman, in a statement. “This updated WalkHoward plan will help prioritize improvements to maximize these benefits.”

The public is invited to view the draft plan and to submit comments online at walkhoward.org by Saturday, March 31.

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kittleman Room in Duncan Hall at the Howard Community College, the Office of Transportation will host a public meeting to discuss the plan and hear from community members. For more information, contact Albert Guiney Engel of the Office of Transportation at aengel@howardcountymd.gov or 410-313-4360.

Students, are you or a group of your friends in need of a study space for mid-terms? Ellicott City’s Miller Branch library is hosting a Study & Snack day on Wednesday, Jan. 24 from 1 to 6 p.m. Students and student groups, ages 11 to 17 years old, will have access to a designated meeting room reserved for study with free snacks provided periodically throughout the day. No registration is required. For more information, call 410-313-1950.

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