Thursday, April 26, 2012
From Maryland to West Africa, a local firefighter helps train Liberian fire crews and, while he's at it, he and his brother help build a school.
John Butler wasn’t too far off when he thought he was driving toward a tire fire as he approached a column of smoke with the noxious, gag-inducing stench of burning rubber. But as he got closer to the fire - “a real rager,” he said - at a warehouse in the bustling Liberian capital of Monrovia, he realized there were no tires. “It was flip flops,” he said, waiving his hand toward the ceiling of his office in the Columbia Gateway Building. “Flip flops to the ceiling.” Butler, an assistant chief with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, was in Liberia with a group of American firefighters, helping to train the local fire service there. He was with firefighters from both countries, riding with Liberia's single fire engine…
Monday, February 6, 2012
Zach on ‘Zaching:’ ‘You’re supporting every cancer patient.’
- LOCAL CONNECTIONS
- Lisa Rossi
Monday, February 6, 2012
Zach Lederer jokes he was a little “drugged up” when, in his hospital bed, he lifted his arms in a strongman pose, stared resolutely ahead and allowed himself to be photographed. After battling childhood cancer, Lederer, an 18-year-old from Ellicott City, wanted anyone who would listen to know he could do it again. On Jan. 25, surgeons at Johns Hopkins had removed a cancerous tumor from his brain, but some of it remained. Another fight was ahead. He said he thought, “If I make these muscles and show everyone how strong I am right now, they’ll stop worrying about me and think, ‘Oh he’ll be great.’” His father posted the picture on Facebook. Hours later, his cousins Jon Feldman and Joey O’Dwyer lifted their arms in the same pose in a show of…
Friday, January 6, 2012
Thinking of getting a fake ID? Howard County's liquor inspector plans to stop you.
“I need a fake can u help me out." That was the text message, sent by the Howard County Police Department, which eventually led to the arrests of two large-scale counterfeit ID manufacturers. The ensuing investigation was handled in part by the one-man department in Howard County who is taking fake IDs out of the hands of underage would-be drinkers, criminals and potential terrorists. Pfc. Mark Baxter is the Howard County Liquor Inspector. This summer he was recognized at the national level for his role in busting a ring supplying fake licenses to teenagers and young adults in Howard County. “It started with a fake ID turned in from a liquor store,” Baxter said. He works closely with the owners of bars and restaurants with liquor …
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Food bloggers Thomas and Charles Regnante believe Christmas is synonymous with cookies and all should have some.
- HOLIDAY GUIDE
- Marge Neal
Thursday, December 22, 2011
The holiday season usually stirs within most of us the desire to reach out and help others who have less than we do. Whether it's buying a couple of extra toys for Toys for Tots, kicking in a little extra to the church collection plate or helping to serve food at a shelter or food bank, it makes us feel good to help make life a little brighter for others. Recently, young foodies Thomas and Charles Regnante were moved to bake cookies to give to the homeless, according to a recent post on "2 Dudes Who Love Food," their own blog. The 12- and 14-year-old brothers wrote that they were "saddened to learn there are many kids who are homeless in Howard County." Spurred by statistics they found in an Ellicott City Patch article — which showed that …
Monday, December 5, 2011
Don Downer has sent over 1,400 care packages to U.S. troops serving abroad. He makes sure every one of them gets a can of Spam.
This story, previously published on Columbia Patch, has been selected as today's Greatest Person of the Day feature on the Huffington Post. For other Greatest Person features, see the Huffington Post page. Receiving a package from home loaded with treats when you’re thousands of miles away can mean a lot to a soldier, especially if it contains good old American Spam -- the kind you eat, not the kind you delete. Don Downer, 82, known as the "Spam czar," has sent more than 1,400 such packages to U.S. troops deployed overseas. He was honored recently at Howard County’s Volunteer of the Year award ceremony as a result. “It only seemed fitting for all he has done to support our country's soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines,” said county …
Monday, November 14, 2011
Paul Weller’s severe disabilities have not stopped him from becoming an artist or helping others like himself.
An artist views things a little differently--and Paul Weller certainly has a unique perspective on the world around him. Born with severe physical impairments, Weller has seen his share of challenges in life. Yet, the 29-year-old who loves art and music is striving to help others like himself. His non-profit organization, Glass Expressions by Paul, will donate 10 percent of its profits to help other disabled people find ways to express themselves creatively. In light of his mission, Weller was recently honored by the Howard County Commission on Disabilities with the Individual Leadership Award for his efforts to give back to the community. Weller was humble when speaking about receiving the award and said simply, “Thanks for noticing me.” …
Friday, October 14, 2011
Fitness center owner Charmaine Gordon has posted enviable fundraising results from the belly of a deep recession.
Charmaine Gordon is a breast cancer survivor who considers herself lucky. Over the years since her diagnosis in 1994, she has become aware of countless women who have fought the ravages of the disease and its treatment. The treatment menu often includes disfiguring surgery, radiation and chemotherapy that saps a woman's energy and makes day-to-day life difficult. But her own journey with the disease was much easier. "I've been in remission since the start, because my breast cancer was able to be treated with a lumpectomy," the Long Reach resident said earlier this week. "I get checked every six months and that's it." She credits being in good physical shape — she exercises 13 hours a week — and early detection for her relatively easy …