The Herald-Mail

Clippings from my MDDC Reese Cleghorn Internship with The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, MD, summer of 2011.

With a tip of the hat and a friendly smile, the valets at Meritus Medical Center try to ensure that patients make it out of their cars and safely inside the hospital’s revolving-door entrance.

The valet parking service began Tuesday and operates Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Patients can drop off their cars with attendants at a stand outside the hospital’s main entrance, where they can expect to see it waiting for them when they are ready to leave, free of charge.

A dairy farmer’s life is one of routine and discipline, each day beginning with the rising sun.

The economic side of dairy farming isn’t nearly as predictable.

“When it comes to working with cows, that’s almost the easy part. You expect certain things with cows, but the economy is the challenge,” said Ralph Shank, who runs Palmyra Farm with his family in Hagerstown.

Kim Sutton created a makeshift classroom for her mathematics workshop this week, filling the Next Dimensions event hall with bouncing music and vibrant, laminated posters.

Her students, more than 200 elementary teachers, laughed and sang along as they took notes.

The members of the pop music group Far East Movement have reached billboard-topping status, but they still love the little things in life — including impromptu Walmart pit-stops.

Two tour buses, one with the band’s logo and art on the side, stopped Thursday at the Centre at Hagerstown on their way to Raleigh, N.C.,  for some refreshments and supplies.

After a week of sleeping in a classroom crowded with air mattresses and waking up to go to work at 5:15 a.m., 16-year-old Amie Efting has learned the art of using power tools.

It’s difficult to estimate the true cost of a college education because the final figure amounts to more than the cost of taking classes.

With tuition and mandatory fees, room and board, transportation, books and other expenses, many students find themselves facing hefty price tags.

The mad scientists at the College for Kids this week are doing things such as observing globs of vibrant food coloring ooze and swirl in their water bottle lava lamps.

One building away, “CSI” detectives on Tuesday examined and identified each other’s fingerprints.

The massive, clear tube into which 6-year-old Brooke Boyd and her mother, Melissa Boyd, were slowly wheeled looked like something out of a science-fiction movie or, as Brooke described it, “a spaceship.”

Brooke spent 24 two-hour sessions in that hyperbaric chamber since April 16, when a neighbor’s pit bull detached half of her nose.

Little shoes could be seen pacing to and fro beneath the green curtain Thursday as children from the Judy Center music class took their places.

When the curtain parted, their waves and beaming faces were proof that the 3- and 4-year-olds knew their stuff.

The grand opening of the George W. Comstock Center for Public Health Research and Prevention on Wednesday was a tribute to its namesake, who dedicated his life to public health.

The main lobby of the facility at 1100 Dual Highway was crowded with friends and admirers of the late Dr. Comstock, articles written by and about him and memorabilia from some of his research projects.

Christmas lists might overflow with wishes, but some members of the community aren’t hoping for something that comes in a box or a bag. For them, the holidays are a time to give back, not just receive.

Jodie Ostoich, executive director for REACH of Washington County, said she is constantly reminded of how difficult the holiday season can be for those unable to afford a roof over their heads, let alone Christmas gifts.


The 400-foot-tall water slides were tempting, but the swimmers at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort near Williamsport weren’t there to play: They were there to break a world record.


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