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The rain came later than expected on Thursday, at least in my part of Garrett County. Today will be snow showers, mainly after 10am. Some thunder is also possible. High near 35. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. Tonight will be snow showers mainly before 11pm and mostly cloudy otherwise, with a low around 20. Blustery. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. Saturday will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 37 and a low around 26. Sunday will be mostly sunny, with a high near 50 and a low around 37.

Come grab some cheese fondue, chocolate fondue or both! Sit down, relax and enjoy with a glass of wine or craft beer from the tap at the North Glade Inn’s casual Fondue Night today from 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Sounds gooey but good.

Jason Shaw will be performing at Sipside Lounge in Oakland from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm Friday evening. And, the Baer Bones Band is playing at Black Bear Tavern Friday evening from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Day Old News is performing at Moonshadow Friday as well, from 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Check out our Entertainment Guide for more music an our Upcoming Events for other events this weekend.

The Garrett College Foundation has been preparing for this year’s upcoming Spring Scholarship Benefit. The 9th annual fundraiser will take place on Friday, May 10th at Twin Tails Event Farm in Oakland. Sounds like a great event with cocktails, dinner and some great music and other entertainment planned.  All proceeds from the event will support scholarships for Garrett College students. I hear that Twin Tails takes Farmhouse Charm to a whole new level.  Contact the Foundation for more information or for tickets.

The Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Department is holding their annual Gun and Cash Bash Fundraiser on Saturday.  Check it out as always fun and you may even win some money or a bazooka, plus proceeds go to a good cause.

March 29 is the deadline for nominations to be postmarked for receipt by the Garrett County Commission for Women for the Women’s Hall of Fame and for the Commission’s scholarships: The Commission is seeking nominations for outstanding Garrett County women for induction into the Hall of Fame on May 4 and the Commission also awards five general scholarships of $500 and one $5,000 scholarship. More information can be found here.

Mosses and ‘Manders oh my!  The Discovery Center at Deep Creek State Park is offering a number of nice programs (as usual) this weekend. This one focuses on moss identification and salamanders too, and is on Saturday from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

This is a bit long, but since I mentioned the Garrett College Foundation Spring Scholarship Benefit, above, I thought I would include some information just issued about Maryland’s 16 community colleges (known as the sweet sixteen). Garrett College is the smallest in the state, but together with the other 15, it adds some serious value to our people and communities.  Check out these important, interesting and perhaps surprising facts about our state (and Garrett County’s) community colleges:

1. 70% of Maryland freshmen and sophomore college students are enrolled in one of Maryland’s 16 community colleges.

2. Each year, Maryland’s community colleges enroll a diverse population of nearly 500,000 students – 150,000 in credit programs and 350,000 in continuing education and workforce development courses.

3. At the very core of the missions of community colleges is accessibility to a diverse population. Community colleges effectively cater to those working full-time jobs, caring for an aging or ill family member, those serving in the military, and many other life circumstances. We do so through innovative day, evening, weekend, and 24/7 online opportunities.

4. More than 50% of Maryland’s community college students transfer to in-state colleges and universities to complete their baccalaureate degrees.

5. Maryland’s community colleges have dozens of transfer agreements with colleges and universities, both in-state and out-of-state, that guarantee the maximum number of credits will transfer and save students thousands of dollars in achieving their bachelor’s degrees.

6. There are 156 non-credit program options at Maryland’s community colleges that meet professional licensing and certification requirements for in-demand jobs within our local communities – to over 100,000 students annually.

7. The average student-to-faculty ratio at Maryland’s community colleges is 16:1, which encourages a collegiate environment of increased student/faculty engagement.

8. Maryland’s community colleges engage diverse student populations through enriching co-curricular activities, service opportunities, and clubs. Students participate in successful, competitive men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletic programs as part of the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference (MDJUCO) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

9. 88% of alumni from Maryland’s 16 community colleges remain within the state and they contribute to their local and state economies by purchasing goods and services and as engaged tax-paying citizens.

10. Since 2009, there has been a 40% increase in community college completions. During this time, the cost of higher education has skyrocketed becoming the 2nd highest consumer debt behind mortgages. Students who start at a Maryland community college can save 60% compared to public four year colleges, 76 % compared to forprofit colleges, and 91% compared to Maryland private colleges’ tuition costs.

11. Community College students learn from an accomplished faculty that is student-focused. Additionally, student support is one of the ways community colleges stand out among other higher education institutions. Typical services include academic and career advising, counseling, tutorials, health care, financial aid, and library and computer lab services.

12. Nearly $10 billion is pumped into Maryland’s economy every year by our 16 community colleges. (equivalent to employment of 150,000 people)

13. By 2020, 69% of Maryland’s jobs will require a postsecondary education. Community colleges are the largest single workforce trainer in Maryland.

14. Due to Maryland’s community college students and their completion, Maryland will see avoided social costs amounting to $494 million annually, equal to the sum of avoided costs related to health, crime, and unemployment.

15. Maryland community colleges offer degree, certificate and skills training programs to support workforce development for the region’s fastest growing industries such as nursing, allied health, cybersecurity, and hospitality.

16. Graduating from one of Maryland’s community colleges has proven to have a profound impact on earnings. The median income for graduates more than doubles three years after completion when compared to student earnings one-year prior to graduation.