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  • Ingredients
    1 box cake mix, any flavor
    8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    1/4 cup butter, room temperature
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla, optional
    1- 12 ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips, or your choice of add-ins such as candy, nuts, etc.

    Directions
    - Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    - Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add egg and vanilla (if using) and mix until well-blended. Use an electric blender if desired.
    - Stir in cake mix a little at a time until well-blended, then add any chips, candy or nuts.
    - Bake for 10 minutes, until edges are brown.

  • (ARA) - When school starts, kids’ schedules fill up fast, and that means they need the right fuel to keep their growing bodies and minds satisfied. After a long day of learning, kids require a snack that will get them through homework, after-school sports and other activities until dinner is served. Before you reach for the default bag of chips, consider these healthier alternatives that are just as easy and convenient.
    Creative, healthier after-school snack ideas that your kids will gobble up:

  • An orchestra seems to make music flow with harmonies and crescendos; sometimes a beautiful solo will steal the show.  The carefully planned musical piece provides continuous entertainment.  

    Now take that same concept and apply it to a garden filled with flowers. Each flower has its time to shine while others fill the background with continuous color and foliage.

  • Betcha my Independence Day was pretty much like the one you just celebrated. Well, maybe not.

    The grilled steaks and sweet iced tea were good, but the July 3 death of Andy Griffith sorta dampened my enthusiasm. I opted to watch the fireworks going off over the Mall in Washington, D.C., via TV.

    I did feel sorry for the folks in San Diego and seeing how their July 4 fireworks popped at one time.

    It reminded me of the time my son tossed a match on the box of firecrackers, roman candles and sparklers.

  • August 26, 2012, is designated by President Barack Obama as Women’s Equality Day. As the anniversary of the 19thamendment, granting women the right to vote, it is fitting to celebrate the many strides the Nation has made towards equality over the past 92 years.
    On August 24, Dr. Charmaine W. Stradford of Lancaster will travel to Germany by invitation to be the guest speaker for the US Army Garrison Equal Opportunity Program. She is the wife of John E. Stradford Sr. of Lancaster.

  • Heads up, parents! Here come two blatantly obvious observations: 1) It’s not cheap raising young’uns; and 2) every penny counts when you are raising children.

    Which brings us to another blatantly obvious observation: If you do have children, and they’re heading back to school Aug. 20, you’d be crazy not to take advantage of the state’s annual sales tax holiday.
    And it’s right around the corner.

  • The days when you could send your kids off to the first day of school with a lunchbox and a hug are long gone. Today’s back-to-school preparations likely include filing out piles of pre-enrollment paperwork, lining up carpools and, of course, the dreaded shopping excursions for clothes and school supplies.

    If you’re new to this game or simply need a refresher course, here are a few suggestions that can help you save time, money and sanity:

  • In just a couple of weeks, more than 6,000 students will begin boarding school buses to ride to and from school; more than 70 buses will operate in Lancaster County School District to accomplish this task.

    When the school year ends, our buses will have traveled more than 1.25 million miles during the 2012-13 school year.

    School bus travel is statistically one of the safest modes of transportation on the road; this safety record directly results from the intense training our drivers receive and the safety design of our buses.

  • Every day of the school year, the people in our school cafeterias work hard to give our students meals that taste great and provide the nutrition and energy our students need to grow strong and succeed in school.

    We know that healthy, balanced meals make a big difference in how well students do in school and how healthy they are when they become adults.

    Here are things you should know about our lunch program:

    Our menus

  • CHICAGO – As many kids are gearing up to begin a new school year, Prevent Blindness America wants to encourage parents to add “get my child’s eyes checked” to the their list of things to do. Having a child’s vision tested by an eyecare professional can help them towards greater success in the classroom since much of a child’s learning is done visually.  Some students who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities may simply have a vision problem.

  • Lancaster County School District students will start school again on August 20. Here are other important school dates to note:

    2012
    Aug. 10 - New personnel orientation
    Aug. 13 - Teacher workday
    Aug. 14 - Professional development (all teachers)
    Aug. 14 - Districtwide meeting day
    Aug. 15 – Teacher workday
    Aug. 16 - Professional development (all teachers)
    Aug. 17 - Professional development (all teachers)
    Aug. 17 - First day for sixth and ninth grades - 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Our children will be healthier and more successful in school if parents make sure their children do some very simple things.

    In fact, taking these simple steps to make sure children are healthy — both mentally and physically — are probably the most important factors in how he or she does in school.

    Here’s what you can do:

  • Carolina Christian Academy will open its doors to students on August 20. Here are other important dates on the school’s calendar:

  • Patricia Withrow would stand her ground, come hell or high water. On September 21, 1989, hell and high water came. It left the low country looking like a landfill. The 14-year-old and her family stayed as Hurricane Hugo bore down on their Berkeley County farm in South Carolina. They would not leave. They could not leave. Their horses were family.

  • When Zan Garris Raymond found out “Antiques Roadshow” was taping in Atlanta, Ga., she gathered several pieces from her collection of Catawba Indian pottery and set out with her husband for the series taping.
    “I’ve always been a fan of ‘Roadshow,’” Raymond said. “It was a fun experience. I had no clue if I’d be on TV.”

  • By May Vokaty, for The Lancaster News.

  • Nonprofit organizations like the Lancaster County Council of the Arts depend on the good will of others to be able to carry out their mission in the community. Those of us who love and believe in our work in the not-for-profit sector delight in the shared experiences provided for and by our community “family” members. This month’s column will highlight many of the cultural opportunities and events we hope you will share with us.

    Arts gala on May 12

  • Sherry Archie
    For The Lancaster News
    This time of year, our thoughts turn toward spending more time outside enjoying the welcome warmer temperatures of spring. As the daylight hours slowly extend, many homeowners are finding creative ways to turn their patios and porches into outdoor living spaces. Decorating magazines and sale papers are filled with ideas to add comfortable seating and accessories to create your own outdoor room.

  • Janet Tharpe
    Janet’s Notebook
    This Easter, why not spring into family gatherings with a smorgasbord of deliciously decadent cupcakes? So much goes in to making a memorable Easter feast – the yummy ham, creamy deviled eggs, all the savory sides – but at the end of the day, it’s always been the cheerful sweets that have caught my eye the most.  

  • By Michele Roberts
    For The Lancaster News
    In an effort to provide more efficient service to people in the community, Christian Services recently opened a new food pantry on Lynwood Drive.
    The new facility, which takes the place of food pantry services offered at Christian Services’ location on White Street, opened Feb. 20. Operations manager Eric Kramer said high demand and limited space made a new location necessary to provide the best possible service for those who need the help the food pantry offers.