Easterseals Welcomes New Board Member

Easterseals
New Castle, DE – September 22, 2017

Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore recently welcomed Rotary District Governor, Richard Graves, of Centerville, MD; to its Board of Directors.

Photo: Richard Graves

Richard Graves – Contributed Photo

“I am pleased to join the Easterseals board because the mission is close to my heart,” Graves said. “My brother has used similar services in the past, and I am glad to help those in need in the Delmarva Area.”

Graves is District Governor for Rotary District 7630, which includes the area’s served by Easterseals. He has been a part of his Rotary club for 14 years after a neighbor invited him to a meeting. After serving in the Air Force, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. He has practiced as a C.P.A. for over 25 years and has since opened his own practice in Centreville, MD in 2003. He and his wife, Kim, have been married for 27 years and have a son named Colin.

Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore offers a range of services, including children’s therapies, assistive technology, recreational camping, day programs for adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, and respite services for caregivers. To learn more about how Easterseals helps children and adults with disabilities, call 1-800-677-3800 or visit www.de.easterseals.com.

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Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society Wins $500K Grant to Expand the Innovative Natural Lands Project

Washington College
CHESTERTOWN, MD—TSeptember 21, 2017

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has awarded Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society (CES) $500,000 to expand its innovative Natural Lands Project into the mid-shore. The foundation grant meets $801,000 in matching funding from CES and its partners, Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, and Pickering Creek Audubon Center, for a total of $1.3 million for the project.

The Natural Lands Project (NLP), piloted at the College’s Chester River Field Research Station at Chino Farms, enlists the support of local landowners to restore grassland habitat for bobwhite quail and other species while also creating buffers that help filter runoff into the Chesapeake Bay’s tributaries.

“The Natural Lands Project encompasses the best of what we do and teach—it restores habitat, cleans the Bay, and perhaps most important, it provides an example to our students of how the cultural links between environment and society can be used in restoration,” says John Seidel, director of the CES. “That social and community element in restoration is critical to the future of the Chesapeake, as well as to watersheds around the world.”

The grant, announced September 19, 2017 was among 44 projects awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, a partnership between the NFWF and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants and Small Watershed Grants programs, as well as other partners. Washington College is the only institution of higher education among the recipients.

“Through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and our partners, especially the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, continue to invest in locally led efforts to protect and restore the more than 100,000 miles of local rivers and streams that feed the Bay,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO, NFWF. “These investments demonstrate that the actions necessary to restore local rivers and streams go hand in hand with opportunities to enhance local communities.”

One of the biggest issues for the Bay on the Eastern Shore is agricultural runoff. Collaterally, as more acreage is put into agriculture, grassland and upland habitats are vanishing, and with them, iconic species like the bobwhite quail. Using the restored grasslands at the College’s Chester River Field Research Station, Dan Small, a field ecologist with CES and now coordinator of the NLP, has been conducting surveys to document the quail population in the restored grasslands and around the farm. By last year, Small and Washington College student researchers documented an average of 25 calling males and an estimated 29 coveys—the highest concentration of the species in the state of Maryland since its precipitous decline began decades ago.

As a gamebird, the bobwhite historically is on a cultural par with the Canada goose on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Its loss was keenly felt among hunters, sportsmen, and farmers. In an effort to motivate landowners to create more habitat for the quail—and, by extension, create buffers that would help reduce agricultural runoff into the Bay’s tributaries—the CES worked with the Chester River Association in 2015 to spin the quail restoration into the Natural Lands Project with a $700,000 award from the Department of Natural Resources.

“The concept was simple,” says Mike Hardesty, associate director of programs and staff at CES. “Transform less-than-productive agricultural land into natural habitat for iconic species. Give landowners a cultural reason—even more compelling than a financial one—to set aside some of their land for habitat management, which in turn would benefit local water quality and Bay restoration efforts.” The NLP also restores wetlands in order to achieve similar water quality and wildlife benefits.

In the first two years, the NLP created 274 acres of native upland grasses and wildflowers in marginal cropland on 11 participating farms. Ten wetlands projects—25 acres of wetlands in fields with unproductive soils poorly suited for growing crops—were also completed. College students and CES researchers began what will be a continuing survey of bird populations to monitor abundance and diversity at each site.

The new funding will be used to expand the project to into the middle and upper Eastern Shore to 285 more acres of buffers and 16 more acres of wetlands. Before receiving the award, five landowners signed on for an additional 115 acres. CES expects this project and its focus to grow and the model to be used in watersheds across the country.

Watch a video about the Natural Lands Project here: http://www.washcoll.edu/live/news/9986-quail-habitat-to-help-the-bay

Photo: A male bobwhite quail perches in the restored grasslands at Washington College’s Chester River Field Research Station.

A male bobwhite quail perches in the restored grasslands at Washington College’s Chester River Field Research Station. – Contributed Photo

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Kent School Students Certified as Chester Testers

Kent School
September 20, 2017

In mid-September Emily Harris, Watershed Coordinator of the Chester River Association, visited Kent School to train and certify Grade 8 students to become Chester Testers. Kent School’s Grade 8 students will be responsible for testing and reporting on water quality samples they take from the Urieville Lake Branch. Ms. Harris explained the role of the Chester River Association and its part in monitoring the health of the Chester River. After the overview, the students were trained to test for dissolved oxygen, nitrates, nutrients, phosphorous and turbidity. Students also discussed the potential cause and effects of imbalances in the water they test.

Photo: Emily Harris trains Eighth Grade students at Kent School to become Chester River water quality testers.

Emily Harris trains Eighth Grade students at Kent School to become Chester River water quality testers. – Contributed Photo

The students will travel to and test water samples at Urieville Lake Branch once a month starting in October. Their findings will help determine the Water Quality Index and the Chester River Report Card.

Hannah Richardson, Middle School Science Teacher at Kent School said, “I believe that the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries can provide an excellent outdoor classroom. I am excited to deepen Kent School’s nationally recognized Chesapeake Bay Studies program within the Middle School science curriculum. I plan to intentionally incorporate more Bay Studies experiences and learning opportunities into our earth science, life science and physical science curricula. We are so fortunate to have the Chester River in our backyard. Why not use it as an extension of our classroom?”

Michelle Duke, Assistant Head of School for Academics said, “The Bay Studies program at Kent School is unique in its in-depth, hands-on teaching opportunities. Our students from Preschool through Grade 8 engage in meaningful classroom and field experiences. It is gratifying and rewarding to see our students learn through, and with, nature. We are able to provide this unique program in part due to our relationships with other area organizations such as the Chester River Association, The Sultana Education Foundation, The National Aquarium, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Echo Hill Outdoor School and others.” Duke continued, “It is incredible to see how engaged our students are in their Bay Studies learning. It makes me hopeful for the future health of the Chester River and its tributaries.”

For more information about Kent School’s Chesapeake Bay Studies program or any other facet of the school visit www.kentschool.org or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110. Kent School, located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown, MD is an independent day school serving girls and boys from Preschool through Grade 8. The School’s mission is to guide our students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. Our school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world. ##########

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Queen Anne’s County Man lit himself ablaze

MD State PD
September 19, 2017
(Centreville, MD.)

On 9/19/2017 at approximately 1:24 PM, the Maryland State Police Centreville Barrack responded to a reported car fire in the area of John Brown Road at Maryland Route 213 in Queen Anne’s County Maryland. While in route, numerous witnesses called and advised a male subject lit himself on fire at the scene.

The incident involved Jamie Lee Richarts, a 35 year old, of Centreville and Deny Richard Coursey, a 42 year old, of Centreville. Initial contact was made with Richarts. Richarts stated that Deny Coursey, her boyfriend, pulled his vehicle in front of her vehicle causing Richarts to stop her vehicle. It is believed this incident is ongoing from a domestic incident the couple were engaged in the prior evening which was handled by the Queen Anne’s Sheriff’s office. When the vehicles were stopped, Coursey exited his vehicle and approached Richarts’ vehicle with a fuel can in his hand. After a short argument outside of Richarts’ vehicle, Coursey doused himself with fuel and lit himself on fire. Coursey quickly returned to his vehicle and left the area. Coursey was located as he walked into Easton Memorial Hospital with numerous burns. An emergency petition for an evaluation was filed on Coursey and the investigation continues. Coursey will be transferred to a burn center for treatment of his injuries.

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Pinwheels for Peace at KCHS

KCPS
September 19, 2017

In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word. On September 21, 2017, Kent County High School students plan to take part in an International art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace near the entrance to the KCHS campus.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two Art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, of Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. In the first year, groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning pinwheels on September 21st – there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. Last year (year 11), 2016, over 4.5 million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Locally, the Kent County High School Chapter of the National Art Honor Society will be coordinating the Pinwheels for Peace project this year.

This project is non-political – peace doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence/intolerance in our daily lives, to peace of mind. To each of us, peace can take on a different meaning, but, in the end, it all comes down to a simple definition: “a state of calm and serenity, with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.”

KCHS students will create pinwheels, pinwheels of all shapes and sizes – as part of the creation process, the students will write their thoughts about “war and peace / tolerance/ living in harmony with others” on one side. On the other side, they will draw, paint, collage, etc. to visually express their feelings. Additionally, National Art Honor Society members will be working with young children at KidSpot in Chestertown to create pinwheels on Saturday, September 16 from 9-noon.

During the week of September 18, The National Art Honor Society members will assemble these pinwheels and on International Day of Peace they will “plant” their pinwheels near the Kent County High School marquee as a public statement and art exhibit/installation.

On September 21st keep a lookout for the pinwheels – the spinning of the pinwheels in the wind will spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world!

For more information, go to www.pinwheelsforpeace.com or contact Stephanie Spencer at sspencer@kent.k12.md.us.

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Historical Society October’s Happy Hour will Feature Kevin Hemstock

October 6, 2017, 4 pm
History Happy Hour Lecture
Join us at the Bordley Building, 301 High Street, at 4 pm on October 6th for our latest installment of History Happy Hour.

Photo: Kevin Hemstock

Kevin Hemstock

Kevin Hemstock will give a talk on THE FREAKS, FABLES & FIRES (AND ADDED MYSTERIES) OF KENT COUNTY, MD

Hemstock will discuss his recent book project on the quirks of Kent County history, that includes topics such as the Chestertown cannon, ghosts in the courthouse, the old Chestertown cemetery, the tea party truth, Millington money, exiled editors, the Galena silver mine, buildings moved here and there, fountain fun, and of course – fires and explosions!

KEVIN HEMSTOCK lives in Millington, MD, with his wife, four dogs, and four or five cats. Before, during and after a career in journalism spanning three decades, he has had a strong interest in local history. In 2000 he moved to Maryland to work as editor of the Kent County News, where he published hundreds of columns on the topic of local history. He currently operates Old News, a genealogical and historical research service and ephemera shop in Millington. His book Injustice on the Eastern Shore was published by The History Press in 2015; he has self-published numerous other titles including The 13 Most Sensational Murder Cases in Kent County and Millington: A Small Town Defined by Fire.

We hope to see you there! For more information call the Historical Society of Kent County 410-778-3499 or visit our Facebook page.

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