They got our goat...or did they? Army fakes Bill the Goat theft from Navy

Just after Navy's Bill the Goat 36 and 37 were given their ritual bath on Sunday, social media swirled with rumors that one of the living mascots had been stolen in the night. @ArmyBarstool, an account not affiliated with the Military Academy, began tweeting photos Sunday night of what appeared to be Army officials standing on a stage with a goat draped in a Navy blanket. Several West Point Academy student accounts tweeted similar pictures and videos, claiming "We stole the Navy goat." (Capital)

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December 4 // Worries intensify about student laptops as Baltimore County prepares to expand use of devices

Baltimore County education officials are set to expand student use of laptops this month as part of one of the nation’s largest digital overhauls of a school district, just as critics are intensifying calls for proof that the costly computer initiative has improved learning. Companies seeking to supply laptops to more than 100,000 county students and teachers have until Friday to submit sealed bids for a contract that will replace a deal awarded four years ago to provide 150,000 devices. The district has spent about $147 million since then to give all elementary and middle school students Hewlett Packard computers. (Balt. Sun)

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Big pay hikes for teachers proposed, along with a career ladder

Big increases in teacher salaries along with the creation of statewide career ladder that would put teachers in line with other “high-status professions” are among the key recommendations a statewide commission on school funding will make to the legislature this year. The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, charged with looking at a wide range of education issues, will also recommend teams of teachers be given greater autonomy and spend less time in the classroom and more time collaborating on teaching strategies. (Daily Record)

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Johns Hopkins astrophysicist and his team win Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Johns Hopkins University astrophysicist Charles L. Bennett was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics on Sunday for his research on the universe’s origin and expansion. Bennett led a team of researchers that collaborated with NASA to build and launch NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe space telescope. Over more than a decade, they mapped the universe’s early moments and advanced scientific understanding about the makeup of the universe and how it has expanded over time. (Balt. Sun)

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Kids' after-school programs getting $100,000 boost from city of Salisbury

Jermichael Mitchell has started a handful of nonprofits in Salisbury with a mission to help young people overcome challenges in their lives. Now it’s his turn to overcome a challenge. His organizations — a basketball league, dance studio and after-school tutoring program — are homeless. The Calloway Street Gym was torn down last month to make way for a parking lot. The property’s new owner, Wicomico County Public Schools, plans to partner with the city of Salisbury to construct a new home for its alternative school, the Choices Academy, and a community center on adjacent land. A solution might be around the corner — literally. The city is working on refurbishing a warehouse at 319 Truitt Street to get it ready for Mitchell to move into in February. (Daily Times)

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Teenagers in Md. create a pop-up museum to explain their lives, struggles

Inside the shell of an empty suburban restaurant in Maryland, three students paint murals one afternoon. Others work on exhibits that capture aspects of their lives: college admission pressures, social media influences, binge drinking. In a matter of days, their efforts will come together as a “pop-up” museum made by and about teenagers. The Museum of Contemporary American Teenagers (MoCAT), in downtown Bethesda, is expected to open Wednesday with 30 exhibits, 150 ceramic selfie sculptures, expansive wall murals and a stage for performances. Its creators are mostly students at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, exploring the world they inhabit — its stresses, stereotypes, struggles, humor and hopes. (Wash. Post)

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Thousands of Md. youth are homeless; African-American, LGBT youth represented disproportionately

Some of the young people at the crowded drop-in center pulled pizza slices from boxes and gathered around a community dining room table. Others filtered in and out of a lounge where state workers would help them get ID cards. As many as 50 young people each day visit the Youth Empowered Society, which runs the YES Drop-In Center near Charles Village for teens and young adults living on the streets, to meet with case managers and lawyers, sign up for services, take workshops on mediation or money management or just relax in a safe space. (Balt. Sun)

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Conversations continue around temporary Baltimore City field trip ban

As Carroll County Public Schools continues to have conversations over the temporary halt of Baltimore City field trips, parents have spoken out both in opposition and support, Baltimore organizations have reached out to the school system and Carroll’s sheriff has met with Baltimore City leaders to discuss forward steps. This past week, Superintendent Stephen Guthrie said the school system has been looking at and listening to all of the different feedback they’ve gotten, including a mixture of emails from parents. In addition to parents, Guthrie said the Maryland Science Center reached out to him and said while they understood his concerns, that students would be safe at their center. (Carr. Co. Times)

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