A father’s harrowing memoir

By: Robert Friedman

Columbia resident Morey Kogul’s recently published book is about an immigrant who illegally makes a border crossing to escape almost-certain death, and who then, after incredible hardships and adventures, is able to settle in a free country and raise a loving family. But while the story seems pulled from today’s headlines, the protagonist of this hair-raising non-fiction story is... READ MORE

She defies her bipolar diagnosis

By: Carol Sorgen

Charita Cole Brown remembers being “weepy and clingy” as a child, but she didn’t experience her first significant bout of depression until high school. She rebounded from that and went on to college at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where she majored in English. But during her first semester, she suffered another round of depression and withdrew from school for a ... READ MORE

Dancers discover a new passion in life

By: Catherine Brown

After having played competitive volleyball for nearly 30 years, Pam Bishop, 59, was ready for a change. She still enjoyed playing, but had torn her rotator cuff and had trouble with her knees.  “They sounded like Rice Krispies whenever I went up the stairs,” Bishop said. At six feet tall, she has also suffered from scoliosis. When she quit volleyball and discovered ballroom ... READ MORE

Making peace through mediation

By: Barbara Ruben

Older adults and their grown children confront a multitude of thorny issues when making decisions that affect the whole family — from how to divide up an estate among competitive siblings, to when it’s time to accept help at home, stop driving or move to assisted living. Some of these matters fester and never get resolved, others drag on for years (perhaps even through the court... READ MORE

First women lead police & fire

By: Robert Friedman

In November, Howard County voters chose Calvin Ball as County Executive, electing the first African American to fill that position. And now, he continues to make history (some might say “herstory”) with the recent appointments of Lisa Myers to be the county’s first female chief of the Howard County Police Department, and Christine Uhlhorn as the first female chief of the Howard... READ MORE

When a DNA test surprises you

By: Carol Sorgen

“I always felt like I didn’t fit in with my family,” said Steve Gordon, who sometimes wondered why he didn’t look like his sister. But after all, not all siblings look alike, so he didn’t dwell on it. But when his sister took a DNA test last year to find out where their ancestors had come from, she was intrigued to find out that it showed only a 50 percent European Jewish... READ MORE