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Around Hancock

April 20, 2006

Chamber hosts legislative forum

Do you vote? In a country where we consider the right to vote right up there with "Mom" and "apple pie," many citizens do not exercise this privilege!

Thus it is that only those who are registered to vote (which is not all citizens) and only about half of those registered actually do the electing of our official representatives.

Nevertheless, we of this area of Western Maryland have elected some pretty impressive public officials who work on our behalf in the Maryland Legislature. Three of them - Del. Leroy E. Myers, Jr., District 1C; Del.Kevin Kelly, District 1B; and Del. George Edwards, District 1A - were on hand in Hancock on Monday evening appearing at the first Annual Legislative Forum, sponsored by the Hancock Chamber of Commerce.

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About 60 local business owners and town officials gathered for a nice buffet, courtesy of Pittman's Market, and heard from these three individuals concerning the benefits and frustrations of representative government.

While Del. Edwards announced funds that would be sent to Hancock Middle-Senior High School and for Widmeyer Park, Del. Kelly waxed eloquent about the frustrations of being a conservative Democrat in what he feels is a very liberal Maryland government.

Del. Myers, who is well-known in Hancock and lives in nearby Clear Spring, told about his adventures on the Ways and Means Committee as a newbie - only in his fourth year in Annapolis this year.

All three seemed to be willing to hang in there and do what they could to remind the "city folk" that there is life beyond South Mountain.

Kudos to Penny Pittman, president of the Chamber, for setting up this evening session. It helps remind us all that our government is just as good as WE make it, through participation and our VOTE!

Book drive under way for reading program

There are only a few days left for you to participate in a county-wide book drive.

Until April 21, please donate a gently used or new book suitable for children ages newborn to young adult. The books will be shared with the community on an upcoming "Stop, Drop, and Read" day in May.

The drop-off locations are in the lobbies of all Washington County public schools, all lobbies of Washington County Free Library branches and at Borders Books & Music in The Centre at Hagerstown just off U.S. 40 West.

Basket bingo set for May 21

Former Town Manager Lou Close asked me to let you know about an upcoming basket bingo to be held at the Hancock American Legion on Sunday, May 21.

It will be sponsored by the Hancock Chamber of Commerce. The proceeds will be used for a fireworks display to be held as part of the 2006 Barge Bash on July 22. Bingo tickets may be purchased from Lou Close, Terry Hepburn (Hepburn's Farm Market), Penny Pittman (Weaver's Restaurant), Roland Lanehart (Rolands' Garage), or by calling the Chamber office at 301-678-5900. They are $20 per ticket.

'Healing Hearts' meets Thursday

Tomorrow evening will mark the first session of "Healing Hearts," a grief support group being offered in Hancock for the next six Thursdays. Sponsored by Hospice of Washington County, this free program is for those who have lost a loved one and wish to gather with others for learning, sharing and encouragement. The group will meet from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Hancock United Methodist Church, 170 W. Main St. Sessions will be held each Thursday, through May 25. To sign up or to get more information, call Kathy Boyd at Hospice at 301-791-6360.

Stop smoking classes offered

The Washington County Health Department is offering tobacco cessation courses at the Hancock Town Hall Community Room during April and May.

Classes meet from 2 to 3 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays beginning Monday, April 24, and lasting until May 18. Free nicotine patches are offered for Washington County residents. Call to register at 240-420-1796.

Specialty auction set for May 5

The Washington County Homemakers Clubs will hold their Specialty Auction for Educational Scholarships on Friday, May 5, at the Elks Lodge 378 in Hagerstown.

Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and begin with a silent auction, followed by a live auction by auctioneer Ron Hamner.

There will be antiques, specialty household items, tool kits, home dcor items, plants, furniture pieces, gift baskets, hand crafts-quilted items, specialty party baskets and a fine raffle including a trip for two, a lovely Washington County throw rug, a retired Longaberger basket, $100 cash award and all with a good spirit of fun.

Come find items to suit your family, yourself or friends. At the same time you will assist students of Washington County with some form of scholarship assistance. Last year, 18 scholarships were awarded.

McCarty leaving for sheriff's dept.

And finally, it is with mixed feelings that I received the news that Chief of Police Steven L. McCarty is resigning from our Hancock Department to join the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

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