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Toyota Prius remains a fuel-saving standout

Toyota Prius front view cropped for webThe Toyota Prius is best known for its aggressively futuristic styling and outstanding fuel economy, but it also boasts a spacious interior and ever-improving driving dynamics. COURTESY PHOTO  A decade ago, the Toyota Prius was practically the only game in town if you wanted the absolute maximum fuel efficiency, as it handily thrashed all the other gas-electric hybrids on the market with its’ unmistakable styling, five-door practicality and -- most importantly -- the absolute best gas mileage.
Today’s buyers, however, have a host of choices when looking to reduce their fuel consumption, whether from the plug-in hybrids that offer miles of electric-only range or a host of all-electric options that eliminate gasoline engines altogether. Conventional hybrids like the Prius are now more numerous than ever, and even today’s ordinary run-of-the-mill compact cars get increasingly impressive fuel economy.
This abundance of riches means Prius sales have slipped, but for the right driver the Prius remains an outstanding choice that’s pleasant to drive yet exceptionally fuel-efficient as well as decently affordable, with prices starting at $24,370.

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The Quince Orchard family mourns the loss of student athlete Terry

Tyler Terry.   COURTESY PHOTO  Tyler Terry. COURTESY PHOTO  The Quince Orchard High School community is mourning the death of senior football star Tyler Terry.
Terry, a two-way standout at the Gaithersburg school, died Sunday at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., nearly two weeks after being hospitalized with a heart condition. He was 17.
“For those of you who knew Tyler, we ask that you remember and celebrate his passion for football, his love of his family and friends, and his great big infectious smile,” Quince Orchard Principal Carole Working wrote in a letter addressed to the Quince Orchard High School Community. “For those of you who did not know him, we ask that you support Tyler’s friends and family during this time of loss.”

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Former Wootton wide receiver enjoys life as a Super Bowl champion

Mack HollinsMack Hollins. FILE PHOTOFormer Wootton wide receiver Mack Hollins is a Super Bowl champion.
The Rockville native celebrated the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots Sunday in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Eagles’ rookie wide receiver and special teams contributor earned a Super Bowl ring in his first season on the job. Not a bad way to begin your NFL career.
Wootton head coach Eddie Tolliver said he watched the entire game from start to finish and beamed with pride over his former pupil.
“It just shows if you put the hard work and effort into it where you can go,” explained Tolliver, who noted that Hollins took a roundabout way to the NFL.

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Boo-Boo Palmer to be enshrined in college football’s Hall of Fame

Paul “Boo Boo” Palmer will be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.  COURTESY PHOTOPaul “Boo Boo” Palmer will be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018. COURTESY PHOTO  Scotland community native Paul “Boo Boo” Palmer was honored this week with news that he would be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.
The former Churchill running back did his damage at Temple University in Philadelphia before he was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft.
“The honor of earning admittance to the College Football Hall of Fame is overwhelming, and I can’t thank the committee enough for both my nomination and selection,” said Palmer, who became the first former Temple player selected for this prestigious honor. “I wouldn’t be able to accept this honor without the contributions of my teammates, coaches and the entire Temple community. With Temple football on the rise, I only hope my induction will crack the door for a number of other deserving Owls to gain entrance to the Hall of Fame down the road.”

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Trial judges must always be neutral

gavel2It is not uncommon to see judges portrayed on television or in the movies as essentially taking over the trial and actively participating to help one side or the other. It is an important maxim in criminal law that an impartial judge is essential to a defendant receiving a fair trial. 

What may constitute a judge departing from that impartial role was explored by Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals in a recent opinion in a case called Brandon Payton v. State of Maryland. 

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Housing likely unaffected by stock correction

for sale sign outside houseThe recent Wall Street volatility has triggered many into proclaiming that the sky is falling. Even some experts have speculated how the recent stock market activity would spill over to consumer spending, including the housing market. Reporting such as Jacob Passy’s recent article titled “Could Stock Market Volatility Cause House Prices to Fall?” (Marketwatch.com; February 8, 2018) makes for good clickbait. However, the details of the article would suggest otherwise. The consensus is that the recent Wall Street activity is not likely to impact the housing market.

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Promises, promises, and is it tee time again already?

Trump on golf courseI know we are in the middle of winter, but I didn't want to let this issue escape my scrutiny. Besides, it is sunny in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Remember during the presidential campaign of 2016 how often candidate Trump complained about how many times his predecessor took time off to play golf? Quite a bit as I recall. I also recall quite vividly candidate Trump promising not to play golf if elected because there is so much to do there won't be enough time to play golf.
He stated over and over again how he will be working, not playing. How he would “stay in the White House and work his ass off.” He accused his predecessor of playing more rounds of golf than Tiger Woods, than the players on the PGA tour. Quite a difference between promises made during a campaign and the reality after election. Especially when it comes to golf and the presidency and Donald J. Trump!
Now for some of that post-election reality as it relates to golf and vacation days as a whole. Reality: Donald J. Trump during his first year in office took five times more vacation days than his predecessor Barack H. Obama.

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Trump, Pence and Nuclear War

NuclearExplosionTurns out the President of the United States may not be a misogynist after all. He’s a misanthrope.
There is little else to conclude after the events of the past week.
It began with the breaking news that White House Staff Secretary for President Donald Trump, Rob Porter, apparently beat two of his ex-wives.
The information came to light when the FBI investigated Porter to give him security clearance. The story, complete with pictures of one of his wives with a black eye made the rounds and the White House began spinning like a turbo-charged child’s top.

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Midsize Hyundai offers functional value

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata is an affordable, generally pleasant midsize sedan that’s less polished and fancy than the leading competitors. COURTESY PHOTOThe 2018 Hyundai Sonata is an affordable, generally pleasant midsize sedan that’s less polished and fancy than the leading competitors. COURTESY PHOTO  Today’s car shoppers have many options for functionality and value. These qualities once defined the midsize family sedan class, but many buyers have turned instead to less expensive compact cars or to roomier crossover SUVs.
As many purely practical car shoppers look elsewhere, many midsize sedans have increasingly prioritized style and luxury to succeed in a more premium niche. But if you just want something comfortable and functional and still prefer a spacious four-door sedan, you should check out the newly-updated 2018 Hyundai Sonata.
The Sonata isn’t a dramatically-styled sports sedan like the latest Honda Accord, whose luxury-grade looks and driving experience elevate it above the family car norm. But the Sonata is also less expensive, with the well-equipped base SE model presenting a particularly strong value.
The 2018 Sonata starts at $22,935, and according to pricing site Truecar.com, you should be able to haggle it below $20,000. That’s an advantage of some $2,500 over a base Accord, and Hyundai also throws in an Android Auto/Apple CarPlay-compatible touchscreen, a blind-spot monitoring system and a long warranty.

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Flying under the radar once again

for sale sign outside houseMonday’s Reuters “exclusive” report about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dropping their investigation on the Equifax data breach caused quite a stir in DC (Exclusive: U.S. consumer protection official puts Equifax probe on ice – sources: reuters.com February 5, 2018). The exclusive cited unnamed sources. However, a spokesperson for Transunion (a credit repository) suggested that cybercrime is not within the jurisdiction of the CFPB. 

Later that day, Reuters cited Democratic Senators’ concerns and outrage over the alleged investigation pullback. The next day, Reuters reported that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin desired to meet with CFPB’s Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, based on its initial reports of dropping the Equifax investigation. In the same report, Reuters cited the CFPB’s spokesperson saying that the CFPB was working with other government agencies on the Equifax data breach.

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