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Notes from Capital for a Day in Hagerstown

May 10, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

Shinbur to become veterans' chairman

While speaking at a VFW post in Hagerstown on Thursday, Gov. Martin O'Malley said he picked Fred L. Shinbur of Hagerstown as the next chairman of the Maryland Veterans Commission.

Shinbur, who served in the U.S. Army for more than 35 years, said he has served two years on the advisory commission.

DSS exceeds foster family goal

The Washington County Department of Social Services was honored during Thursday's state cabinet meeting in Hagerstown for surpassing its goal in finding foster families.

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Director David A. Engle said the state set a goal of adding 1,000 foster families by 2010.

During a period when Washington County's goal was to license 14 new foster families, it added 33, Engle said. (A proclamation mistakenly put the number at 53.)

Over that period, the county closed nine foster homes, for a net increase of 24, Engle said.

He said the award belongs to staff and to foster families, who are often called on short notice to take in children.

Some goodies

At Thursday's state cabinet meeting in Hagerstown, Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II gave Gov. Martin O'Malley a George Washington bobblehead doll from a Hagerstown Suns giveaway.

"I can honestly say I don't have one of those," O'Malley said.

Later, during a ceremony at City Park, Bruchey gave a cap and a shirt in honor of the city's turn as "Capital for a Day," plus a Hagerstown flag.

Then, during lunch inside Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Bruchey had one more gift for O'Malley: a framed print of a painting called "6:15 on the Square," showing downtown Hagerstown.

Each cabinet member also got a goodie bag, containing, among other things, a wood cutout of the Hager House, a Western Maryland Blues Fest poster and a copy of Hagerstown Magazine.

Attack duck

Not every Hagerstown resident was welcoming when Annapolis came to town.

When some state staffers came to the city to help plan for Capital for a Day, they stopped at City Park.

Near Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, a duck attacked.

David Sloan, a media events coordinator in the governor's press office, recalled that the duck grabbed their clothing.

Ashley Valis, a special assistant to the governor, took off running. The duck chased her across the yard, falling behind when she slipped around a gate.

Karen Giffin, the city's director of community affairs, said the duck nipped her on the foot, but the bite left no mark.

Bunny crime solved

When Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith worked in Baltimore, Martin O'Malley was a councilman.

O'Malley told a lunch crowd about his daughters getting upset when their bunnies were missing.

"I called Maj. Art Smith," O'Malley said. "I said, 'Major, I believe we've had a double kidnapping.'"

The bunnies' remains were found in a neighbor's yard.

Smith investigated, then reported back. "I'm convinced the perpetrators were masked individuals with long striped tails," Smith said, according to O'Malley.

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