During the past year, Karsten Dahms has driven about 17,000 miles. His total gas bill over that period of time, however, stands at just $220. Dahms drives a Chevrolet Volt, an electric car with a 38mile battery range that can switch to gas when its electric power source is exhausted.
"The biggest beauty of an electric car is my 'gas tank' is full every morning," says Dahms, who charges his car overnight "like you would a cell phone." In recent years, Howard County has been working to create an infrastructure for the growing number of electric vehicle owners like him.
Although Howard County is recognized as a state leader in health initiatives, there are some areas in the county that are lagging behind. "Not everything is fine and dandy in this area," said Bibi Perotte-Fosten, a North Laurel resident and community advocate for southern Howard County. Dr. Maura Rossman, the county's health officer, agrees, and cited county statistics that demonstrate the area has higher levels of chronic disease, such as diabetes, and stress than other portions of the county.
The discussion centering on the concentration of students living in poverty in Howard County, and how those students perform on state tests, isn't a new one, but it came up again as a major point of discussion between members of Howard County's Board of Education and the County Council.