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Exchange students looking for host families for school year

Posted On: 7/24/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN–Visiting international exchange students are looking for host families for the upcoming school year. International Experience-USA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Northfield, Minn., is seeking housing for students ages 15-18 from countries including Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand. Brothers Kevin and Thomas Gilner founded the organization in 2002. “Their father was a high school principal in the D.C. area for many, many years, and he was one of the original people affiliated with student exchange when student exchange became a thing in the 1950s,” said Regional Director Joseph Bissell-Maynard. “Their father was very involved with student exchange from the start. They had people in and out of their homes their whole lives, and their father instilled in them a lot of the passion that they have now.” When Germany began sending exchange students into the U.S., the Gilners, who have dual citizenship in both countries, decided they could do i...
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Tex Mex & Country Cookin’ renovates, changes menu items

Posted On: 7/17/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– After leaving a bad taste in many customers’ mouths, one local restaurant rebranded, changed their menu and renovated the interior. The results, so far, have been extremely positive. Tex Mex on 119 Main Street changed to Tex Mex & Country Cookin’, adding a southern slant to their southwestern slate of offerings. The restaurant also hired a new manager, Donna Smith, in April. “I really can’t say if it’s me or us being the coolest small town in America, but business has definitely increased,” Smith said. “We changed the menu in March and had the whole re-launch. We put booths in and the menu went more to southwest Texas-style country cooking, not just strictly Mexican food the way it was.” During the winter, the restaurant closed for renovations, and management and ownership held a brainstorming session. “We were trying to figure out what we could do to increase sales and get rid of this reputation,” Smit...
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Study to determine viability of family-friendly railroad

Posted On: 7/17/14
Written By: Nancy Powell, Staff Writer Ocean City Today

WORCESTER COUNTY–A feasibility study will be conducted to determine the viability of a family friendly excursion train from Berlin to Newark and Snow Hill. A contract was expected to be signed Wednesday with the consultant who will perform the study. “It’s great news,” Worcester County Economic Development Director Bill Badger told the Berlin Town Council on Monday. “It’s actually a consultant that Strasburg [Railroad] recommended to us.” Strasburg Railroad and Maryland Delaware Railroad are interested in partnering to provide a local Strasburg Railroad franchise in the county. Badger and representatives of Maryland Delaware Railroad had spent a day in early April with the director of operations for Strasburg Railroad. The director said he was interested in the Worcester County project. Strasburg Railroad is known for its family-oriented attraction and it has replica of Thomas the Tank train and The Polar Express, Badger said. Passenger...
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Planning Comm. gives okay to site plan for Micro-tel

Posted On: 7/10/14
Written By: Nancy Powell, Staff Writer/Ocean City Today

WEST OCEAN CITY - The Worcester County Planning Commission approved the site plan for the proposed Micro-tel Hotel and retail spaces in West Ocean City last week after making some concessions. The 79-unit hotel and 5,500-square-foot retail building are planned for property of the south side of Route 50, approximately 300 feet east of Keyser Point Road. It will replace the existing Bed Time Inn. With a color palette of green and red cedar, the Micro-tel Hotel will have architectural features similar to those of the Holiday Inn Express, now under construction. Architectural features for the retail building will be deferred until tenants for it have been secured, but before a building permit is issued. Land planner Bob Hand said he did not know at this time how many entrances or how many shops might be in the retail building. Hand said landscaping would be up to 16 feet wide in some areas of the front of the building, but he asked for and received a waiver for landscape buffers els...
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New owners bring fury to Berlin area fitness business

Posted On: 7/3/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

New owners bring fury to Berlin area fitness business BERLIN– Furious Fitness has undergone major changes in the last several months. New owners, new equipment and several new coats of paint helped transform the gym into the type of low-pressure, high results center that should appeal to all ages and skill levels. Husband and wife team Craig and Sharon Collins took over the gym, located in the shopping center at the corner of Route 50 and Old Ocean City Blvd., in April. Since taking over, the new owners added 10 new pieces of cardio equipment, including two state-of-the-art adaptive motion trainer machines. The refurbished classrooms now host regular instruction in yoga and Pilates.  Craig, who has extensive experience as a personal trainer, offers programs including managed weight loss. “This place has been totally renovated,” Craig said. “Anybody who was in here before will definitely notice as soon as they walk in.” The old gym had dark coats of paint and a leaky roof in the classroom area. T...
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Berlin all ready to soak-in July 18 bathtub race event

Posted On: 7/3/14
Written By:

BERLIN–The Berlin Chamber of Commerce announces the return of one of the town’s most highly anticipated events of the year, the Berlin Bathtub Races. Scheduled for Friday, July 18, the Berlin Bathtub Races will occur during the town’s Second Friday Art Stroll. The parade of artfully crafted bathtubs begins at 6 p.m., with races set to start at 6:15 p.m. Each year local businesses are tasked with turning ordinary “tubs” into rolling masterpieces for a friendly yet competitive race through the streets of downtown Berlin. Beyond having the unique opportunity to design a racing bathtub on wheels, businesses get the chance to go head-to-head against one another while advertising their business at the same time. The winning team and business will take home the “Winner Takes All” trophy along with highly coveted year-long bragging rights. First place winners also receive a free banner ad on the Berlin Chamber of Commerce Web site, as well as recog...
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License Board approves two Berlin outlets for liquor sales

Posted On: 5/29/14
Written By: Nancy Powell, Staff Writer/Ocean City Today

License Board approves two Berlin outlets for liquor sales BERLIN–Berlin will be getting not just one, but two venues to purchase liquor within town limits. Cheers, near the northernmost end of town at the intersection of North Main Street and Old Ocean City Boulevard, and the Pitt Stop Beer, Wine and Liquor, on the southernmost end of town on Route 113, were approved for the sale of liquor during the Board of License Commissioners hearing in Snow Hill on Wednesday. The county dispensary used to be in Berlin at the Food Lion Shopping Center, but it closed this year after the opening of Shore Spirits, the county’s new liquor store, on Route 50 east of Stephen Decatur High School. Many people, including Mayor Gee Williams, wanted the town to have a liquor store, so bills to allow it were introduced in both houses of the Maryland General Assembly this past session. The bill, signed by the governor, authorized the Board of License Commissioners to issue a Class D beer, wine and liquor license within the corporate limits of Berlin a...
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Waystead Inn: where guests can design their own menus

Posted On: 5/22/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– Waystead Inn chef Mark Kauffman is inviting guests to participate in a “food fantasy camp.” Kauffman recently began offering dinners at the historic inn based on menus designed by customers. “We used to do Wednesday dinners and we’d advertise in the paper a week in advance,” he said. “In the old model people could look in the paper on a Thursday and would have to call by Tuesday to make a reservation. “We’re not a restaurant so we have zero inventory as far as food is concerned except for the breakfast,” Kauffman continued. “Any time we planned a Wednesday dinner, the menu was planned and we would buy the food on a Monday or a Tuesday and base it on how many people had a reservation.” The chef wanted to move away from the old model, opting instead to offer guests what they would like to eat as opposed to “what we think they want.” “When you go into a restaurant like the Atlantic Hote...
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A Little Bit Sheepish knits way to new, expanded space

Posted On: 5/8/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

A Little Bit Sheepish knits  way to new, expanded space BERLIN– Brenda Trice and her yarn store A Little Bit Sheepish are the latest success story in America’s Coolest Small Town. After less than two years in business the shop, located at 2 South Main Street, is set to expand into the space formerly occupied by re:Fresh Media. Opened in November 2012, Trice said opening her own business was “a lifelong desire.” “I was a teacher in Charles County and then here in Worcester County, and I decided it was finally time to either do it or stop talking about it,” she said. Her mother taught her how to crochet, and she picked up knitting from a friend five or six years ago. Customers can find Trice’s handiwork all over the shop, from handbags and sweaters to ponchos, shawls and socks. A Little Bit Sheepish specializes in knitting and crochet supplies, including patterns, buttons and needles, and even locally-dyed yarn. The shop also offers classes. “I had a lady who was just in here a few minute...
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Fin City Brewing Co. releases Angler Ale, Sneaky Wheat

Posted On: 5/8/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

WEST OCEAN CITY– Fin City Brewing Co., based inside of Hooper’s Crab House, released a pair of new staple beers last week to the public. The unconventional brewery, set 30 feet above a busy bar, has been working around the clock in preparation for the new releases. Angler Ale and Sneaky Wheat, two beers that had previously only been available on tap at Hooper’s, are now available in retail stores and in other locals bars and restaurants.  “Some people think we just stir some stuff in hot water and beer pops out,” said brewer Mike Glavich. “It’s definitely a lot of work and our brewery is especially challenging because everything we do is 30 feet in the air. All the grain has to be brought up; all the spent grain, which is twice as heavy, has to be brought back down. “Quite frankly there are no advantages, except it’s out of our way and it helps the functionality of the restaurant,” Glavich continued. “It’s ...
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