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By Johnathon E. Briggs and Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF | March 7, 2002
A female polar bear confiscated by federal authorities yesterday from a circus in Puerto Rico will be given a new home - in Baltimore. The bear, named Alaska, was expected to arrive at the Baltimore Zoo this morning after being seized from the Suarez Bros. Circus by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency took the bear after an investigation into improper permitting practices found that the Mexico-based circus had illegal permits when Alaska was brought into Puerto Rico. The circus allegedly submitted fraudulent birth documents to Puerto Rican government officials indicating Alaska was born at Zoo Atlanta - but that zoo had evidence the bear listed on the permits had died in 1994 at a zoo in Germany.
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By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | March 8, 2014
The first time seemed alarming for Emma Conger, who emerged from the 30-ish-degree water of the Chesapeake Bay with her face flushed, eyes wide, mouth agape, hair soaked, as if she'd been ambushed with a barrel of ice. "Oh my gosh, yeah, I couldn't believe how cold it was, it was freezing," said Conger, 15, of Clarksville, sloshing out of the water at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis with several hundred other hardy souls who took the noon dip...
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NEWS
By Kassie Siegel | January 10, 2007
On Dec. 27, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced a proposal to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act because of the loss of its sea ice habitat from global warming. This proposal marks the first legally binding admission by the Bush administration of the reality of global warming. The significance of the polar bear decision has not been missed by those who stand to benefit from a continuation of the administration's head-in-the-sand approach to global warming.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | March 8, 2014
With sunny skies and temperatures expected in the 50s, a scaled-down Polar Bear Plunge was scheduled at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis on Saturday afternoon after the Special Olympics Maryland fundraiser was canceled in January for the first time ever for dangerous weather. Some 7,000 plungers had signed up for the event last month, but it was not clear how many were expected for Saturday, with a trimmed down schedule of events. Organizers had said the event held in partnership with the Maryland State Police was expected to raise about $1.8 million, short of the $2.5 million goal.
NEWS
By Gene Sweeney Jr. and Gene Sweeney Jr.,Sun photographer | February 3, 2008
Last Saturday I covered the 12th annual Polar Bear Plunge, which benefits the Maryland Special Olympics, at Sandy Point State Park. Now, I grew up in Minnesota, so I am used to people doing crazy things to pass away the winter. I'm just not used to 10,000 crazy people doing the same thing. I'm told that when this event started, there were just a few people, no media and no warming tents. Now, people start to arrive at dawn, in a full array of costumes. Some even set up tail-gating parties like Ravens football fans.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller and Nicole Fuller,sun reporter | December 6, 2006
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore's female polar bear delivered a stillborn cub over the weekend - a disappointment, but an event that raises hope for a successful birth in the future, zoo officials announced yesterday. Alaska's handlers first glimpsed the tiny female cub about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, while watching a computer screen linked to a pair of infrared surveillance cameras monitoring her in the birthing den at the zoo. For the past four months, Alaska had been tucked away in the den in anticipation of a birth.
NEWS
By ROGER SIMON | March 28, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Just when you thought your lawmakers really did not care about the quality of life in this country, they have proved you wrong:It may soon be legal for American citizens to bring polar bear heads into the United States.For more than two decades, this has been illegal under something called the Marine Mammal Protection Act.Some in Congress had assumed the purpose of the Marine Mammal Protection Act was to protect marine mammals.But it turned out they were being naive.That's because the hunting lobby last week rammed through Congress a change in the law to allow wealthy Americans to travel to Canada -- the only country where the trophy hunting of polar bears is legal -- and bring back the heads and hides.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | February 5, 2005
For those who missed last weekend's organized plunge into the frigid waters of the Chesapeake Bay, the Maryland Special Olympics is offering swimmers a second chance. At 2 p.m. Feb. 12 the charity will hold Polar Bear Plunge Part II at Sandy Point State Park. The second swim was organized to accommodate those absent from the first fund-raiser because of traffic jams or a limited supply of shuttle buses, said spokeswoman Kelley Wallace. "We had a transportation glitch last weekend," Wallace said.
NEWS
February 7, 2005
If you have information on community events in Ellicott City/Elkridge, call Fay Lande at 410-715-2811. The Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department recently went swimming in 28-degree weather at Sandy State Park, near the Bay Bridge, to raise money for Special Olympics Maryland. "It actually wasn't too bad," said firefighter Mike Barnett, who lives in Elkridge. "The wind wasn't blowing too bad, and the sun was out. But then again, it was 30 degrees." The Elkridge contingent, which included youngsters and parents from the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department Junior Firefighter Program, raised $5,548.
SPORTS
By Michael Reeb and Michael Reeb,Staff Writer | February 23, 1993
Lari Dunlap has made many stops during his 20 years in the U.S. Army, but Saturday, he made his first in the winner's circle of the Polar Bear Run.Two years ago, he finished third in the Polar Bear, but last year, a tour of Saudi Arabia left him unavailable."
NEWS
February 4, 2014
On Saturday, Jan. 25, Special Olympics Maryland, in consultation with the Maryland State Police, the Maryland Park Service and Natural Resources Police, canceled the MSP Polar Bear Plunge due to a combination of extreme conditions at Sandy Point State Park that were unprecedented in the 17-year history of the event. I want to thank the thousands of plungers for the overwhelming support in the face of disappointment. I understand the implications of canceling an event of this magnitude that people have planned months in advance to attend.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | January 28, 2014
The Polar Bear Plunge, which was canceled this past weekend because of safety concerns amid extreme conditions, has been rescheduled for March 8, organizers announced Tuesday. Winds as high as 35 mph and 3- to 4-foot waves that left snow and ice on the beach at Sandy Point State Park - where thousands romp into the freezing cold waters of the Chesapeake Bay each year - caused the event to be put on hold Saturday. "Keeping people safe is our first concern," said Jason Schriml, spokesman for Special Olympics Maryland, for which this year's event has already raised $1.6 million.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | January 25, 2014
Special Olympics Maryland canceled Saturday's Polar Bear Plunge event for the first time in its 18-year history, citing unsafe weather conditions, and officials say it will not be rescheduled. The event, held in partnership with the Maryland State Police, is designed to raise money for athletics for those with special needs. Special Olympics Maryland said 7,000 plungers had registered to dip into the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis on Saturday, and 10,000 spectators were expected.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2014
The air temperature was 14 degrees and the water was 30 degrees, so if state Sen. Allan Kittleman of Howard County had opted to simply plant a toe or two in the Chesapeake Bay on Friday morning, who could have blamed him? Instead, he immersed himself completely, making the most of his part in the 18th annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge, a fundraiser for Special Olympics Maryland at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. "You've got to plunge. It woke me up," said Kittleman, taking the second of what was to be a plunge every hour for 24 hours, placing him among 50 hearty souls in the Super Plunge category.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn | January 24, 2014
It's going to be cold inside and outside the water at Saturday's Polar Bear Plunge. The National Weather Service is forecasting snow showers between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. with a high of 34.  The Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge entices thousands into chilly water, and emergency medicine physicians at Greater Baltimore Medical Center said there are things charity participants can do before they dip this Saturday to prepare...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jordan Bartel and Assistant editor, b | January 21, 2014
Curious to know exactly how it feels to jump into near-freezing water? Ask Josh Bronson - he's done it as a Polar Bear Plunge participant for the past two years and he's prepping for a third plunge this weekend. "It can feel like anything from taking ice and rubbing it all over your body [to] being stabbed repeatedly all over your body," said Bronson, 34, who lives in Westminster. The event benefits Special Olympics Maryland and features the majority of its plunges on Saturday at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis (for more information, go to plungemd.com)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Sam Sessa and Sam Sessa,Sun Reporter | January 25, 2007
Saturday, a record number of people are expected to dive into the frigid waters of the Chesapeake Bay to raise money for Special Olympics Maryland. Last year, about 3,000 people pre-registered for the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park. This year, that number is about 5,600 - almost double. Organizers are hoping for 7,000 participants. "The event has become more than just jumping in the water in terms of entertainment," said organizer Tom Schniedwind. "That's what we hoped to create 11 years ago when I created this thing - an event that would stand alone.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,frank.roylance@baltsun.com | February 6, 2009
Nearly every day in Maryland, people drag themselves to dental specialists to undergo the necessary ordeal of root canal surgery. But only one was performed yesterday at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. And the 500-pound patient was a first, even for veterinary dental surgeon Dr. Ira R. Luskin, who already counts lions and antelopes among his patients. Anoki, the zoo's 11-year-old female polar bear, slept through the entire two-hour procedure, splayed on her back with a dozen humans poking, prodding and watching her vital signs.
NEWS
By Paul McCardell, The Baltimore Sun | January 26, 2013
Swimmers at the MSP Polar Bear Plunge are in for a cold one. The event, to support Special Olympics Maryland, will take place at Sandy Point State Park, with plunges as early as 11 a.m. NOAA National Data Buoy Center 's buoy near Annapolis registers the water temperature at 35.5 degrees. The air temperature is expected to reach a high of 32, but it will feel more like 22 with the wind chill. The waves will be 2-3 feet near Sandy Point because of northwest winds of about 14 mph. Brave, warm-hearted plungers have another chance Feb. 23 at Deep Creek Lake.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | January 26, 2013
The Pale Knight arrived ready to plunge. Inspired by last year's Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises," Patrick Fink of Baltimore showed up at Saturday's 17th annual Polar Bear Plunge clad in a bat mask, long cape and briefs that exposed much of his pasty skin to the chill air. He even had his chest hair shorn in the shape of the Batman logo. It was the seventh time the 27-year-old from Baltimore had traveled to Sandy Point State Park for a midwinter dip in the frigid Chesapeake Bay. He said he keeps returning because the yearly event raises money for Special Olympics Maryland, "a charity I love supporting.
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