Extreme hazing alleged at Salisbury University frat chapter

Members of a fraternity chapter at Salisbury University beat a recruit with a paddle, forced pledges to drink until one vomited blood, and made students stand in trashcans full of icewater, according to an investigation this week by Bloomberg. The news outlet's story  focuses on Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which according to Bloomberg has had nine deaths from drinking, drugs and hazing nationally since 2006. The founder of Salisbury's chapter withdrew a $2 million donation after the group was suspended by the university amid the hazing investigation, according to Bloomberg. (Balt. Sun)

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UMBC chess team places second in international competition

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County's chess team placed second this week in an international chess competition and will next compete in a championship to determine the top college chess team in the U.S. The Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship, also known as the World Series of College Chess, was held over four days in Lubbock, Texas. UMBC's team beat out about 40 other universities and was bested only by a team from Webster University in Missouri. (Balt. Sun)

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Prince George's, Montgomery students study sanitation during winter break

Midway through his winter break, D’Vonte Harris, 17, of Upper Marlboro, decided to further his education by learning about water sanitation and waste treatment. Harris, who has attended the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s Engineering Academy since it began in 2010, said the academy has given him a new appreciation of water use. “It’s a friendly environment,” said Harris, a senior at Charles H. Flowers in Springdale. “The employees treat us well and they give us knowledge.” (Gazette)

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Md. governor's task force on arts education to meet in Hagerstown

The Maryland governor’s task force on arts education will hold a regional forum on Jan. 15 at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, Washington County Board of Education member Wayne Ridenour said. Ridenour serves on the task force, which was recently established. Ridenour said people can provide ideas and views on what they think an appropriate arts education should be, and about the integration of arts and music in the curriculum in the future. (Herald-Mail)

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Teacher publishes book, donates proceeds to charity

Carol Petraitis, an instructional assistant at Calvert Country School, knew creating books about her students was an interactive way to get their creative minds flowing. With some encouragement from colleagues, Petraitis published one of her books on Amazon and is donating proceeds to The Autism Project, a nonprofit program located in Owings. (Recorder)

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Dec. 30 // Somerset school superintendent Gaddis works for bright future

John Gaddis laid out a vision to make the Somerset County school system the best in Maryland. That was quite an oath, considering Gaddis had just accepted an interim post expected to run about a year. In less than six months on the job, Gaddis has won a vote of confidence from the Board of Education that also decided to forgo a search for a permanent superintendent. Instead, the board “asked if I would take the position,” Gaddis said. “I accepted.” (Daily Times)

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Centennial High students pay it forward by going back

Students at Centennial High School, in Ellicott City, are embracing the old-fashioned as they sing to bring smiles to the faces of the area elderly. Vintage Voices is a student-group founded last year by senior Becky Goodridge as part of her work earning her Girl Scout Gold Award — the highest honor from the scouts. Once a month, the group performs at senior day care centers, nursing homes and assisted living centers, singing songs from the 1930s through 1950s. (Balt. Sun)

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Towson AD talks impact of FCS national title game for the school

Tim Leonard has had a successful couple of months since taking over in August as the new Towson University athletics director. Formerly the senior associate athletic director for external affairs at Southern Methodist University, Leonard arrived at Towson just as the football team began its most successful season in school history. (WMAR-TV)

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