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By RICHARD F. BELISLE | | March 31, 2013
Many who have not studied West Virginia history believe it became a state in the middle of the Civil War because the people who lived in western Virginia objected to Virginia's vote to secede from the Union. True for some, but the schism between eastern and western Virginia at the time ran much deeper and had its beginnings around the time of the American Revolution, according to “Countdown to West Virginia Statehood,” Charles Town author Bob O'Connor's latest book. Seven of O'Connor's works are centered on the Civil War, including some local events and characters.
March 30, 2013
Name: Sandra Kay Griffie Age: 51 City in which you reside: Newville, Pa. Hometown: Shenandoah Junction, W.Va. Day job: certified nursing assistant Book title: "How Elmer Lost His Hop" Genre: Children's Synopsis of book: During his first day at Bunny Hopping School, Bunny Elmer and his classmates learn why it is wrong to tease another bunny. Publisher: Tate Publishing Price: $8.99   What inspired the story of "How Elmer Lost His Hop"?
By GEORGE MICHAEL | March 29, 2013
A great affirmation will be heard in many churches this Sunday around the world with the saying, “He is risen!” with congregants responding, “He is risen indeed!” Christians will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his tomb outside the city of Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago.  Many churches will be crowded. Some leaders joke privately about “CE” (Christmas and Easter) Christians that show up twice a year. Others in declining congregations can at least expect to see some friends they have not seen for a while.
March 20, 2013
The Boonsboro Elementary School team took first place in Washington County Free Library's annual Battle of the Books competition Saturday at Eastern Elementary School. The team name is “Magnetized M.O.B. (Masters of Books).” Team members included Gina Gabianelli, Marianna Lawrence, Maggie Mathews, Alex Gibson, Connor Lawrence, Melanie Carter, Claire Seibert and Christopher Li.
March 17, 2013
Washington County Public Schools celebrated Read Across America in a number of creative ways at many schools during the week of Feb. 25, including activities on Friday, March 1, in observance of Dr. Seuss's birthday, which was March 2.  Martha Cordova, library media specialist at North Hagerstown High School, coordinated a group of North High students on a visit to Maugansville Elementary School to read Dr. Seuss to students. The North High students also brought new Dr. Seuss books and accompanying stuffed animals for the Maugansville Elementary library.
By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | | March 16, 2013
There were eight teams of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, each armed with a large pad of paper, a marker and everything they could remember about 20 books they had read. Finalists who had been reading and practicing since November faced one another in a culminating showdown Saturday at Washington County Free Library's Battle of the Books at Eastern Elementary School. Jeff Ridgeway, the library's head of children's services, posed the questions. “In the book 'Al Capone Does My Shirts,' how did Mr. Flanagan punish Moose for the laundry incident?
March 10, 2013
Rockland Woods Elementary School recently participated in a one-month reading challenge. Students were challenged by media specialist Pamela Rubisch to read 4,444 books as a way to celebrate her 44th birthday.  Tracking sheets were given to students who were told to write down every book they read for one month to see if the school could break the goal.  By the end of the month, students read 11,063 books and were rewarded with a  birthday costume...
By DON AINES | | March 9, 2013
Half a century ago, the Hagerstown branch of the American Association of University Women held a book sale and raised about $1,200 toward construction of a new library. That library now is being virtually replaced at the same site by a new building and, in the 50 years since that first sale, the AAUW has raised about $300,000 for the library and provided more than 600 scholarships, said Jeanne Stoner, chairwoman for this year's sale. On Saturday, about 40 women - and a couple of men - celebrated 50 years of book sales at the Founders Day Luncheon at Fountain Head Country Club.
By JANET HEIM | | March 5, 2013
Two young Paramount Elementary School students have taken books read in class to heart, in a way that is helping others. Drew Lobley's kindergarten teacher Lucy Austin read “The Quiltmaker's Gift” by Jeff Brumbeau to the class. In the book, a generous quiltmaker sews the most beautiful quilts, then gives them to the poor. She helps a selfish king learn that giving is the true secret to happiness. That got Drew, the 6-year-old son of Andrew and Victoria Lobley of Hagerstown, thinking.
By ART CALLAHAM | March 3, 2013
I'm an addict. There I've said it. I'm addicted to several things, but the one I'm talking about in this column is books. I am a voracious reader and that costs me money, time, a broader behind and a larger girth. None of the costs is really good for me, but I can't help it. Like I said, I'm addicted. Although I read books in a variety of genres, mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites. My favorite authors are James Patterson, W.E.B. Griffin and Jeff Shaara. (And Nelson De Mille, Ralph Peters, John Grisham, David Baldacci, Bernard Cornwell, Ken Follett …)
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