Demolition of a number of buildings in the 600 block of Washington Boulevard draws ever closer to make way for the new Walgreens in Old Town.

The blue bank building finally stands empty as the last few tenants recently vacated. Irene's Restaurant has posted a "closed" sign on their front door, and preparations are being made to relocate to 202 Fort Meade Road, in front of the Home Depot.


Mango's Grill is slated to close on or about March 31, and while details have not been finalized, it looks like they will relocate to the strip mall that was once anchored by Blockbuster Video. When a new location is finalized, I will certainly pass that along.

Tonight, March 8 at 7 p.m., the Laurel Historical Society will host a program entitled "Life After Freedom" at the Laurel Municipal Pool meeting room, Ninth and Main streets. Krystal Appiah, who has been researching the subject at the Maryland State Archives will discuss her findings. During the latter part of the 19th century, African Americans in Maryland embraced new educational opportunities, began exploring their political rights and building thriving communities. Her lecture will focus on the collections of the Archives, and the era's African American life inPrince George's County and the state.

Scotchtown Hills Elementary is in the midst of its Pennies for Patients program. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the beneficiary of the fundraiser, which ends March 23. Each of the school's students was sent home with a donation box to fill and refill. The class that raises the most money will win a pasta party from Olive Garden.

May 5 has been agreed upon as the date for the Old Town Laurel Community Yard Sale. Those participating must obtain a permit from the city. Applications can be printed by going to http://www.cityoflaurel.org/content/miscellaneous-permits. The fee is $5. Joni McGovern has volunteered to coordinate obtaining the permits, if desired. A map will be drawn up that will detail each location that is having a sale that day. The hope is that this will become an annual event. The starting time for the sale has not been announced.

If you have the desire to participate, or want more information, contact Joni McGovern at jonithomas@hotmail.com.

Don't forget to set your clocks forward Sunday morning, March 11, officially at 2 a.m., as we spring forward and gain another hour of daylight.

Elfriede Claypool was remembered by friends and coworkers at a gathering March 2. It is apparent that she touched so many lives while simply going about doing her job. At her memorial, numerous awards and photos gathered over the years were on display. An avid animal lover, she had a real affinity for cats, and was quick to take them in, provide them with food, shelter and lots of love.

She was, I suppose, a small piece of the fabric that makes up the greater community around here. However, after speaking with a few of her closest friends, including John Floyd II, I realized that she is going to be missed and remembered for a very long time.

Condolences to Ruth Ann Miles whose mother, Emma Wachter, passed away Feb. 26.