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Morningside column for July 4

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Mary McHale

Published on: Tuesday, July 02, 2013

By Mary McHale

Kenny Carnes, champion wheelchair racer, dies at 56

Kenny Carnes was only 18 when he became a paraplegic on April 14, 1974, while motocross racing. But that didn’t keep him from racing. He did it in a wheelchair. I often saw him wheel past my house, making very good time.

Kenny died June 8. He was only 56.

Kenneth Woodrow Carnes was born June 20, 1956, and grew up on Larches Court in Morningside, the son of Harry and Eloise Carnes. He graduated from Crossland High School in 1973.

Wheelchair racing took him all over the U.S. and to Canada, China, Japan, Venezuela, Holland, Spain, Poland, Portugal and Russia. He was a world and national record-holder in the sport of wheelchair racing.

He was especially proud of winning the Sadler’s Midnight Sun Race in Alaska July 22-27, 2000. The race stretched 267 miles from George Parks Highway to Anchorage.

His awards included Disabled Athlete of the Year presented by Track and Field for the United States, Governor’s Salute to Excellence in Maryland in 1992, and induction in the U.S. Marine Corps Marathon Hall of Fame in October 2000. He finished first place five times and owns the course record for wheelchair racers, which was set in 1990.

Among his several jobs, he was a consultant for Eagles Sports Chairs in Snellville, Ga. Most recently he was employed part-time as a people-greeter at the Walmart in Rosewood.

Possibly due to their son’s amazing success as a wheelchair athlete, Harry and Eloise Carnes became active in the Senior Olympics. Eloise now lives in Goldsboro, N.C., but Harry died in 2007.

The Memorial Book of Seymour Funeral Home has dozens of tributes to Kenny and many are by friends from Morningside days: Rita Johnson, Debra Ann Rosa, Lee Thomas, Ellen Hunt Brown, Jody Myers, Kenny Wyatt, Gail Wells, Roy Thompson, Rick Waldow, Thomas Jennings, Debbie Davis and Gigi Prince who signs herself, “10th grade girlfriend.”

Kenny’s last race was on April 15 at the Greater Goldsboro Road Run. He was the wheelchair winner.

Changing landscape

Thanks to sequestration, the commissary at Joint Base Andrews will be closed on Mondays from July 8 through Sept. 30.

Tolls on the Gov. Harry W. Nice Bridge increased $2 to $6 on July 1.

Groundbreaking was held June 13 for the Westphalia Town Center near Maryland 223 and Pennsylvania Avenue. The development, located near Joint Base Andrews, will eventually include 1,287 townhouses; 1,200 apartments; 172 single-family homes and office and retail estimated to provide 15,000 jobs.

A site plan has been approved for retail and office space in several small buildings in the northwest quadrant of Ritchie Marlboro Road and Old Marlboro Pike.

Local farmers’ markets

Suitland Farmers’ Market/Silver Hill, located at 4508 Suitland Road, runs 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Nov. 5.

Branch Avenue in Bloom Farmers’ Market, located at 3737 Branch Ave. in Hillcrest Heights, is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 23.

Seat Pleasant Farmers’ Market, located at 6001 Addison Road in Seat Pleasant, runs 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Oct.3.

Pastoral changes

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, of the Washington Archdiocese, has announced annual clergy re-appointments, which usually happen in June. Three of these changes involve our local parishes.

Father Kevin Regan transferred from St. John Neumann Parish in Gaithersburg. He is now administrator of Holy Family Parish in Hillcrest Heights.

Father Daniel E. Shadwell, former pastor of Holy Family, is now chaplain of the Center for Gallaudet University and Deaf Ministry in Landover Hills. 

Father Joseph Sileo has retired after serving as pastor of St. Bartholomew Parish in Bethesda. In the 1980s he was associate pastor of St. Philip the Apostle in Camp Springs.

May she rest in peace

JoAnn T. Bell, former Prince George’s County Councilwoman, Maryland State Board of Education member and Bishop McNamara High School Board of Directors member, died June 21. I’ll pay tribute to her in next week’s column.


Happy birthday to Mike Dudding, Juanita Eppard, Erica R. Webb, June 28; EvaMarie Anthony and my granddaughter Leah Katherine Mudd, June 28; Faith “Dycki” Brown, Alexis Schuler and my great-grandson Wesley McHale, June 29; Karen (Beardmore) Ellis, June 30; Ruth LaBelle and Jordan Foster, July 1; Sharon Simms, Matthew Clark and Megan Frostbutter, July 2; Gloria Grapevine, Pat Richardson Conlon, Sarah Booth and Jack Hay II, July 3; Grace Carruth, Matthew Ryan White and Nya Nichols, July 4.

Happy anniversary to Jack and Kimberly Hay who celebrated their 27th on June 28, and to Carl and Sue (Stine) Mason who celebrated their 28th on June 29.

Happy Independence Day!

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