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Lisa Miller reports that her American foxhounds at Kiarry Kennel in Mechanicsville have wrapped up “an amazing year” on the dog show circuit.

“Our biggest winner is Grand Champion Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box, call name is Jewel,” Miller wrote in an email last week. “She ended up being No. 1 hound in the country and No. 8 all breed. This is very impressive for a rare breed like the American foxhound.”

Jewel started the year off strong when she won best of breed at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and won her National Specialty for American foxhounds. To give you an idea of Jewel’s (and the Millers’) grueling schedule, Jewel took 36 all-breed best in shows just in 2012, Miller reports. Jewel turned 3 on Dec. 7.

Just last month, Jewel won her group at the Kennel Club of Philadelphia dog show, which was televised on Thanksgiving.

“Jewel is amazing, She has such a great personality. Loves everyone.” Miller said. “She’s very proud of herself. Such a princess.”

After a little break over the holidays “just to be a dog,” Miller said, Jewel will be heading to Westminster again, hopefully to continue her winning ways.

Those who want to root for the county’s own can watch for telecasts of Jewel and the rest of the upper crust of the pedigree dog world at the 137th Annual All Breed Dog Show put on by the Westminster Kennel Club on Feb. 11 and 12 in New York City.

Miller has been showing dogs since she was 7. “And I’m now 55,” she said. “It’s been a lifelong passion for both Harry [her husband] and I.”

The couple has bred more than 44 American foxhound champions. The Millers most recent champions are Ch. Kiarry’s The Great8 or “Ovi” and Ch. Kiarry’s the Big Bang Theory or “Sheldon” and Ch. Kiarry’s Chain of Fools or “Aretha.”

“It is our passion to breed healthy dogs and keep the American foxhoud around for a long time,” Miller said. “We hope to continue to make our hometown proud. Look for us in New York!”

St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Teams forming

C. Aloysius Bowman, a native of Leonardtown and the founder of The Elijah International Foundation, is forming St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Teams to assist in the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Bowman needs teams of volunteers to assist Samaritan’s Purse North American Recovery Project in New York and New Jersey with debris cleanup and construction repairs for those who are able to salvage their homes. The teams will go for one week during January, according to Bowman. Call him at 240-431-2112 to participate or provide support.

SMCM production selected to perform at regional showcase

“Laughing at Life: A Performance of Kyôgen Plays,” a recent production at St. Mary’s College of Maryland sponsored by the theater, film and media studies department, has been selected for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Region II showcase in January.

The production, directed by professor Holly Blumner of Leonardtown, is one of eight plays selected out of 90 entries from the mid-Atlantic region. The showcase will be held at Towson University on Jan. 12 to 16. “Laughing at Life” will be performed on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 8:30 p.m. in the Stephens Hall Theatre.

Festival productions are judged by a panel of three judges, who select the best and most diverse regional festival productions for awards in more than 10 categories.

Three of the actors from the “Laughing at Life” plays, Tobias Franzén and Nick Huber, both in the Class of 2013, and Emma Kaufman of the Class of 2015 have also been selected to compete in the Irene Ryan Scholarship Acting Competition at the festival in January.

Meaning “mad words” or “wild speech,” kyôgen is a form of traditional Japanese comic theater historically performed as a break between each of the five plays of the more sober noh dramas. Today, kyôgen stands as a form of theater in its own right and is known for its lavish costumes, simple, elegant set and acting style.

Request for nominations

The community section in The Enterprise is featuring on occasional series called “Want to help?” that will highlight local nonprofits and their mission, as well as ways that volunteers can get involved. To nominate an organization to be the subject of one of these stories, email scraton@somdnews.com.

Want to be a beekeeper?

The Association of Southern Maryland Beekeepers will be hosting a five-session beginning beekeeping course during February at the Charlotte Hall library.

The honeybee is a beneficial insect, but the stresses of modern environment are making survival a challenge. If you are interested in improved pollination, producing honey or simply improving the environment for the honey bee, this course is your gateway.

The course fee is $40 per person and is limited to the first 50 respondents. To check class availability and enroll, call Ralph Whipkey at 240-925-2196 or email at ralphwhipkey@gmail.com.

Encore Chorale announces spring season

The Southern Maryland Encore Chorale has announced its spring season schedule. Participants can join in with 40 other singers who are 55 or older and rehearse music by Copland, Stephen Foster and Gershwin. Singers will then perform free community concerts, joining forces with other Encore Chorales.

The Southern Maryland group will hold its first meeting of the 15-week class on Wednesday, Jan. 9, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Solomons Asbury Retirement Community, 11100 Asbury Circle, central building auditorium, in Solomons.

Classes are designed specifically for the older adult population and taught by experienced artists in the aging field. The group is conducted by Krystal Rickard McCoy, conductor of the St. Marie’s Musica. There are no auditions and singers may be seated for rehearsals and performances. Rehearsal CDs are available to help singers learn their part.

Tuition assistance is available. For choral questions, call Krystal Rickard McCoy at 690 -915-2644. For registration information and tuition assistance, call Jeanne Kelly at 301-261-5747 or email Jeanne.kelly@encorecreativity.org. For more on the Encore Chorale, see http://encorecreativity.org.

Auditions set for choral arts group

The Chesapeake Choral Arts Society, under the direction of Michael K. Santana, will be conducting auditions on Monday, Jan. 7, and Monday, Jan. 14, beginning at 6:30 p.m. by appointment. Alternate dates may be arranged. All auditions will take place at Peace Lutheran Church, 401 E. Smallwood Drive in Waldorf. Auditions will consist of vocal warmups, pitch matching and vocal exercises to determine the singer’s vocal range. No prepared piece is necessary. High school-age singers and older are welcome.

The choir meets regularly from September through June, rehearsing at Peace Lutheran Church on Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m., and produces three different concerts throughout the season. The remaining concerts this season are “Shamrock Shenanigans — The Sequel,” on March 16 and 17 and “Great Opera Choruses” in collaboration with COSMIC on May 18 and 19. For more information about Chesapeake Choral Arts Society, visit www.chesapeakechoral.com. To set up an audition appointment, call Carol at 301-642-0594.

Farm management classes for women offered

University of Maryland Extension will host Annie’s Project for the Southern Maryland region during the winter of 2013.

Annie’s Project focuses on farm management and is designed to empower women in farm decision-making and to build local networks throughout the state. The target audience is women in agriculture with a passion for business, agriculture and involvement in the farm operation. Topics for the sessions cover the five areas of risk management — production, market, financial, legal and human risk. This course is open to anyone interested in farm management practices.

The course will include eight sessions to be held at the Prince George’s County Extension Office in Clinton. Classes will run each Wednesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m., beginning Jan. 23 and ending March 20, (one extra week is included in the schedule to allow for inclement weather).

Cost of the course, including meals and materials, is $75. Participants are encouraged to register by Jan. 15, as space is limited. For more information, visit www.anniesproject.umd.edu or call 301-868-9366. For special assistance to attend the classes, contact the site at least two weeks prior. Annie’s Project has been approved for FSA borrower training. For more information, contact a FSA loan officer.

Affordable Care Act forum for farms and small business set

A forum on the Affordable Care Act will be held Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. at the SMECO Auditorium, located at 15035 Burnt Store Road in Hughesville.

State and local insurance experts will discuss the impact and opportunities for farms and other small businesses resulting from the upcoming Affordable Care Act, which goes into full effect in 2014. Topics will include what laws are changing, who will be affected and how to prepare for the changes. The forum is sponsored by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission.

Contact Susan McQuilkin at smcquilkin@smadc.com, or call 301-274-1922, ext. 1. (In case of inclement weather, dial 301-274-1922 and when the welcome recording begins, dial *829 to hear a workshop status recording). See www.smadc.com.com.

2013 Historic Preservation Grant applications being accepted

The Maryland Historical Trust, an agency of the Maryland Department of Planning, is accepting applications for Fiscal Year 2013 capital grants under the MHT Historic Preservation Grant Program. The program aims to assist and encourage efforts to acquire and preserve historic properties. In this funding cycle, grants will only be awarded to assist properties on which MHT already holds a preservation easement recorded in the local land records on or before the application postmark deadline of Feb. 15.

Eligible applicants for program funding include nonprofit organizations and local jurisdictions. Business entities and individuals may also apply for program grants when seeking funds for a preservation or development project that serves a high public purpose. Eligible projects include acquisition, rehabilitation or restoration of historic properties, as well as pre-development costs as part of an acquisition, rehabilitation or construction project.

Completed applications must be mailed in hard copy to MHT and must be postmarked on or before Feb. 15. The grant awards will be announced in late spring or early summer of 2013. Grant awards will range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000.

A dollar-for-dollar match is required of local jurisdictions, individuals and business entities. Nonprofit organizations are not required to provide a match; however, those projects that do include funding from other sources will be more competitive in the grant selection process.

To apply, contact Anne Raines, MHT capital grants and loans administrator, at 410-514-7634 or araines@mdp.state.md.us for assistance in determining your project’s eligibility. Copies of grant guidelines and application are available at mht.maryland.gov/grants_capital.html.

Scholarships offered in emergency management

The Maryland Emergency Management Association is offering five $1,000 scholarships for the 2013-2014 school year. One scholarship will be awarded in each of the association’s five geographic areas: Area I — Western Maryland, Area II — Central Maryland, Area III — Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Area IV — Southern Maryland and Area V — National Capital Region.

The association’s objective is to promote emergency management in the state and to assist students pursuing a career in emergency management or in a related field. Applicants must be a senior and enrolled at an accredited Maryland high school. Applicants must also submit an essay along with the application. Forms can be obtained from high school guidance offices or at a local emergency management office. Submission deadline is April 1, 2013.

For more information, write to Verna Brown, CEM, c/o Washington County Emergency Management, 16232 Elliott Parkway, Williamsport, MD 21795; or call 240-313-4364.

scraton@somdnews.com