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Around Hancock

August 17, 2006

Countdown begins as schools gear up



Only a week away, kids and parents! The countdown is on for the opening of Washington County Public Schools next Wednesday.

Now is the time to get all those school supplies and get the kids ready for a regular wake-up call in the morning. Bus schedules and routes have been posted at the schools, teachers are getting classrooms ready, and the new improvements at the high school I mentioned last week are getting their final polish, most notably the new track!

Back to school often means a large expense for parents - school supplies and new clothes especially. If you want to help some of our local citizens for which this is a hardship, pick up a few extra school supplies and donate them to your school.

Teachers and the main office are always in need of extra pencils, packs of paper and notebooks for students who show up without adequate supplies. Why not pack a backpack with supplies? You never know what child may need them, especially in Hancock!

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Meet the Teachers



"Meet the Teachers" Nights have now been scheduled for all three school-age student groups in Hancock.

As I noted last week, Hancock Elementary School will host its evening for parents to meet teachers this Monday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m.

Principal Warren Barrett reports that grades 6 to 8 middle school students and parents at Hancock Middle-Senior High School will have their opportunity to "Meet the Teachers" on Thursday, Aug. 24. Those attending should report to the auditorium at 6 p.m.

After a time of welcome and orientation, parents and students will follow a mini-version of the school day's schedule, spending time in each classroom.

Then, on Tuesday, Aug. 29, parents and students at the high school level, grades 9 to 12, will have the same opportunity, also beginning at 6 p.m. in the auditorium.

Faculty and staff make such an effort to make these evenings valuable and informative. Let's show them our appreciation by making it a strong turnout as the 2006-07 school year gets under way.

Practice under way



Attention all local school athletes! Many sports are beginning or have already begun practicing for the fall season.

For example, football practice began yesterday at high schools across the county, including Hancock.

Athletes are reminded that they need to get a physical and be current in their immunizations. Forms are needed to prove parental permission and coverage by insurance. And there is the activities fee to help cover the cost of transportation and such.

For all the fans and supporters, you are reminded that you can view the schedules for our local athletes at www.HighSchoolSports.net. Log on to see when our first home game takes place in your favorite sport, and plan to come on up to the school to cheer our students on!

A place to gather



It seems like Hancock is becoming a favorite place for political gatherings in this part of the state!

After the great showing of a variety of political aspirants at both the Barge Bash and LeRoy Myers' picnic, now comes another picnic sponsored by George Edwards, senatorial candidate for Maryland District 1. He has chosen Widmeyer Park for his picnic this Sunday, Aug. 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person with children 12 and under free. His special guest will be Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele.

I for one am glad to see that Hancock is getting more exposure for visits from local politicians. Our community has come a long way in the last decade, and despite our lower average income level, we have a lot to offer.

I hope all these visitors will enjoy their stay and will listen to the concerns voiced by those who live in this community. And I hope local citizens will take advantage of the many opportunities, most of them free, to express their concerns to our elected and yet-to-be elected officials.

Deadline to register to vote is Aug. 22



Speaking of the upcoming elections, the deadline to register to vote in the September Maryland primary is upon us!

Applications must be in to the Board of Elections Office, 35 W. Washington St., in Hagerstown by 9 a.m. this Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Forms are available at that office, through the Motor Vehicle Administration and at a number of other state agencies across Washington County. Forms are also available online at www.elections.state.md.us. For those who need absentee ballots, that application is also available through this Web site. Or you may call the Elections Board at 240-313-2050, a local call from Hancock.

Police department finally at full staff



This is a pivotal week for Hancock Police Chief T. J. Buskirk and his department.

As of Monday, our local police department is fully staffed with four full-time officers: Chief Buskirk, Sgt. Shawn Tasker, Officer Aaron Horton and our newest addition, Officer Scott Wolff, who was just sworn in by Mayor Daniel Murphy last Wednesday evening.

Our local police play such a key role in our community, not only in public safety, but also in educational roles and holding all of us to the high standards that make life in small towns like ours so appealing.

Take a deep breath



Generally, things seem to be quiet in Hancock this week - just like a deep breath before the fall schedule gets going!

Enjoy these last few days of summer vacation. Take a walk or a ride along the towpath or the Rail Trail, visit the Hancock pool and park to swim or fish, check out a few more paperbacks or novels from the library, harvest those wonderful late summer veggies and share them with the neighbors. It's all part of small-town living in and around Hancock!

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