Writing

Baltimore Sun Media Group:

With help from First Generation College Bound, mother and daughter ‘do so much more’

When Laurel High School alumni Lacreesha Tyner graduated from college in May, she finished what her mother had started a quarter century ago.

“I pushed her and I pushed her and I pushed her,” said Tyner’s mother, Cynthia Tyner. “She always wanted to give up. I said, ‘Oh, no you’re not.’ I said, ‘You can do it and you know you can do it, so I don’t want to hear it.'”

‘I’m tired of lighting candles for children,’ Columbia resident says at Orlando vigil

A day after the shooting at a gay club in Orlando that left 49 people dead and dozens injured, more than 130 people gathered at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center in Columbia to share messages of grief, love and acceptance, as well as calls to action.

Howard delegates unite around public criticism of county’s school system

The Howard County Delegation unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would launch a state-level investigation into how county school officials have handled public information requests under Superintendent Renee Foose’s leadership. After the vote, several delegates questioned the county school board’s handling of Foose’s recent contract renewal.

Atholton High friends recognized as ‘Best Buddies’

In many ways, Glenn Donovan and Leandro Conti’s friendship is unremarkable. Their common interests, especially their shared love of sports, seem to overshadow a key difference between them: Donovan has down syndrome and Conti doesn’t. Since freshman year, the two friends have been members of Atholton High’s Best Buddies chapter, which pairs students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities with students who don’t.

Howard Community College grad juggled work, classes and a new country

When Mehak Tahir immigrated from Karachi to Ellicott City with her family three years ago, she had never before stepped foot in the United States.

“When we came in we all dressed differently, we all spoke differently,” she said. “There were so many words we didn’t understand.”

Even so, Tahir started making friends immediately, including with the immigration officer who greeted her and her parents and three younger siblings at the airport.

Side by Side gives parents tools to help kids learn

On a Wednesday night in a classroom at Laurel Elementary School, 10 parents sat hunched over small desks where their first-graders usually sit. Several looked tired, their eyes red and glassy after a day of work. Despite any fatigue, the parents seemed to pay close attention to everything that…

Laurel High School’s ‘Mr. G’ retires at the top of his game

It’s hard to fall asleep in Robert Giuliani’s English class.

He paces the aisles of his Laurel High School classroom hurling what’s and why’s at his students while they read aloud from classic literature, like Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

“What about when Mercutio says, ‘A plague on both your houses’ what’s he talking about?” Giuliani asks, following up each answer with another question. “Why is he cursing both their houses? Why did he get stabbed? Because of the bickering, which is a result of what?”

Move to gender-neutral graduation dress sparks debate in Howard County

A decision by Howard County school officials to require gender-neutral caps and gowns at graduations – instead of girls dressing in one color and boys in another – is drawing opposition from parents who liked the old tradition but praise from others who say it will make transgender students more comfortable.

Howard County quadruplets headed to college, together

Adam Scott sees his kids’ decision to attend the same college as a good thing, in terms of logistics. “We were a little concerned about how we would manage, if they had to move into a dorm on the same day at different schools, and we had to be here and be there at the same time,” said Scott, an Ellicott City resident and the father of quadruplets.

Amid criticism, Howard school board reappoints Foose as superintendent

The Howard County Board of Education has voted to reappoint Renee Foose as superintendent of the county’s schools amid ongoing criticism of her leadership from parents, educators and local elected officials. A petition urging school board members not to renew her contract collected more than 1,500 signatures last month, citing the need for a new superintendent who will operate with transparency, accountability and responsiveness.

Gov. Hogan signs law to investigate Howard County school officials’ public information law compliance

For months, parents and county officials have alleged that the Howard County school system under Superintendent Renee Foose’s leadership has unlawfully withheld public information from taxpayers.

Now the state public information ombudsman will investigate whether or not this is true, thanks to a bill that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law Tuesday morning.

Read more Baltimore Sun Media Group clips here.

Sacramento Bee:

Napa wine and food businesses mop up

The smell of spilled wine. The sound of broken glass swept into dustpans and dumpsters. The sight of widening puddles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the floor. This is Napa, a region defined by its wine and food, rattled by a 6.0-magnitude earthquake.

Lake Tahoe-area property sells for $1.6 million – all in bitcoins

It’s not unusual for a Lake Tahoe-area property to sell for $1.6 million. Except when the transaction is made in bitcoins, the virtual – and controversial – online currency.

Sacramento artists transform utility boxes into works of art

Artist Melissa Uroff’s newest piece is not on a canvas or in a frame – it’s on a utility box on the corner of 16th and J Streets in midtown Sacramento. Each side of the box depicts a sepia, vintage-style portrait of one of the artist’s friends or family members, made colorful with splashes of paint.

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