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The staff at Laurel Pines Dental Group, located on Laurel Bowie Road, has many reasons to be proud of Thomas a'Becket, DDS.  A'Becket, who has practiced dentistry in Laurel since 1997, was recently named president-elect for the Maryland State Dental Association. Additionally, in August, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award at the annual Chesapeake Dental Meeting. This award recognized his many years of professional service and dedication to the profession of dentistry. A'Becket graduated from Georgetown University School of Dentistry and provides general and preventive dentistry, with a focus on restorative implant treatment. When not engaged in professional activities, he finds time to indulge in his other interests, which include landscaping and bowling. Many kudos to this Laurel professional!

The Patuxent Art League has announced the 24th annual Open Juried Art Exhibition to be held Dec. 7-31 at the Montpelier Arts Center. There is currently a call for entries to those visual artists who wish to have work entered into the competition. Any artist, over 18 years old, who resides in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia, may submit two entries for consideration. The work must have been completed within the past three years, and not previously shown at Montpelier Arts Center.  All submitted entries must be for sale, with the price established by the artist. A hanging fee of $25 will be due when the art is delivered. Initial submissions should be via e-mail attachment or CD and postmarked or e-mailed by Nov. 14. Artists will be notified of acceptance by Nov. 21 and items selected for display must be delivered to the center on Dec. 4. More details and entry forms may be obtained by contacting the exhibition coordinators, Melissa Price at wingate_1@verizon.net or Susan Jurow at susanjurow@verizon.net.

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Prince George's County Public Schools are conducting an enhanced effort to deal with bullying in the schools. Bullying and harassment can create hostile learning environments and affect students' well-being on many levels. The websites of schools in our community feature a link to the PGCPS site: pgcps.org/bullying, which contains sources of further information for parents and students. These resources include: Bullying FAQs for Parents and PGCPS Admin. Procedure 5143 – Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation. These are useful references for all of us interested in maintaining safe and pleasant environments for the children in our community.

Seniors in our community are encouraged to attend the monthly Seniors Coffee with Prince George's County police officers at the Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center. The next coffee is Thursday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. These coffees include topics of public safety concerns and recent programs and activities important to seniors in the South Laurel/Montpelier community.

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