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& FOUR-DIMENSIONAL VisArts exhibits combine divergent styles, views. A-11 The Gazette POTOMAC | NORTH POTOMAC DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, August 14, 2013 25 cents To take this class, all you need is the Internet Montgomery College introduces first ‘massive open online course’ n BY LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER PHOTOS BY DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE Maryland amusement ride inspector Chad Georg (right) walks through the funhouse with ride supervisor Stephen Bergeron at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair in Gaithersburg on Thursday. Montgomery College is offering a new English prep class with no price tag, no class-size limit and only one prerequisite: an Internet connection. Joining in a growing group of colleges offering such a course, and setting out as the first community college in Maryland to produce its own, Montgomery College has added its first massive open online course — an English prep class that is, as the name would suggest, pretty big and completely open. “It’s free and available to anyone in the world who has Internet access,” said Emily Rosado, an associate professor at the college who will lead the online course involving video lectures, assigned readings and discussion boards. “MOOCs are kind of all the rage right now,” she said. Rosado said she has experience teaching several English classes, including freshmen English, introduction to literature and introduction to journalism — but this class represents a large See CLASS, Page A-10 BEFORE THE THRILLS, n BY Safetyfirst Ride inspector says mechanical failures are rare KATE S. ALEXANDER B STAFF WRITER efore thousands of fairgoers hop on the Ferris wheel or enter the funhouse at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, inspectors spend days combing over every midway ride to ensure each is in safe working order. Maryland’s Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation conducts about 6,000 ride inspections each year to ensure the safety of Marylanders who use amusement rides, said Rob Gavel, supervisor of the department’s Amusement Ride Safety Unit. State inspectors arrived at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fairgrounds on Aug. 5, when most rides were still in transport trailers. “When they are like that, you get to see the rides ... parts of the rides you don’t get to see once they are fully assembled,” Gavel said. Gavel spoke Thursday as his team was finishing inspections in advance of Friday’s opening. Inspectors checked for proper assembly, that the foundation of each ride was secure, that the nuts and bolts holding rides together were properly torqued, that all pins were in place and that safety devices worked. Each ride also was turned on and run to ensure proper speeds and that fences were in the correct place, he said. “We have to see it run before we put a certificate on it,” Gavel said. Gavel said no major issues or concerns were found among the approxi- ONLINE: TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE Jamar Foster, 13, of Germantown collects images for the agricultural fair video journalism camp with the help of camp intern Monique Costa, 13, of North Potomac on Tuesday at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg. Video camp turns teens into journalists IChad Georg checks the funhouse. Amusement rides at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair will be inspected every day. Students using technology to document Montgomery County Agricultural Fair n n Visit our website for more stories and photo galleries See SAFETY, Page A-10 Lumberjills bust their chops at county fair Women wield crosscut saws, hot saws and axes for performances n BY KARA ROSE STAFF WRITER The Lumberjills chopped, sawed and rolled their way into the 65th Montgomery County Agricultural Fair for the first time on Friday. The four women donned black and pink T-shirts that read “Chics With Axes” and NEWS LENDING PAWS TO PUPS Forty-eight dogs rescued in Arkansas make their way to Gaithersburg to find a home. A-4 competed in a series of events against each other during the 30-minute performance, including hot saws, crosscut saws, ax throwing, wood carving, the underhand chop and log rolling. The women are part of Timber Tina’s World Champion Lumberjills, which travels throughout North America competing and performing. The crew is the first all-women’s logging sport entertainers. The group was started about 18 years ago, and the women do their own set-up and tear-down for the show. BY STAFF WRITER Patty Christinat of Connecticut served as an emcee for the performance. She first took an interest in logging sports when she joined her woodsman team in college in Maine. Christinat competed at a collegiate level for about two years before joining the professional circuit, which she has been in for the past seven years. She said she was drawn to the hobby because of how unique it is. Christinat said it is empowering to chop through a piece of wood. Her favorite event See LUMBERJILLS, Page A-10 SPORTS A WHOLE NEW REALITY Coaches say there has been an increase in high school athletes transferring to new schools. B-1 Automotive Calendar Celebrations Classified Community News Entertainment Opinion Sports Please RECYCLE RYAN MARSHALL In a restaurant banquet room near the Montgomery County Agricultural Fairgrounds, teenagers gathered in a circle and fired questions at each other. The only real rule was that questions had to be original and weren’t allowed to follow up on the previous question. The teens also had to be ready to speak quickly, as their turn came around the circle in rapid-fire sequence. The activity was a warmup exercise to help students in a video journalism camp by Montgomery Community Media at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. It was early Tuesday morning, the first full day of the camp. Instructors Mandi Wyndham and Mandy Dalton worked to pull some of the shyer campers out of their shells. Dalton exhorted them to keep their voices up, the better to be heard when they ask people questions on the crowded fairgrounds. After their introduction and some training, the eight campers would be turned loose on the fairgrounds See CAMP, Page A-10 B-13 A-2 B-7 B-9 A-4 A-11 A-8 B-1 Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1889693

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