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Purnell adopts Shockley’s broadband stance

Posted On: 12/18/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Dec. 18, 2014) Although he lost the election in November, former District 4 Worcester County Commissioner Virgil Shockley refuses to give up on the issue of broadband. Shockley, the former chairman of the Maryland Broadband Cooperative and current vice chair, has championed the idea of bringing free or cheap countywide wireless internet service for years. “There are people out there who would purchase this and pay a large amount of money to do it,” he said. “You need to have the Verizons and [other companies] to realize that technology is technology driven. Once people get on the Internet, the more you give them the more they will want, and then it becomes a business and something you can make money off of.” Supplying free internet, said Shockley, “would be the smartest move they ever made.” “They won’t do it because they’re still looking at a business model, but they have the capability to do it,” he said. “They ...
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Pine Tones’ will present annual holiday concert

Posted On: 12/18/14
Written By:

(Dec. 18, 2014)  The Pine Tones Chorus will present its Christmas concert at Atlantic United Methodist Church on Fourth Street in Ocean City, Friday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m. The concert theme is “The Colors of Christmas” and features a song with that same title by John Rutter, a famous composer of choral music. The popular songs “Blue Christmas” by Elvis, “Silver Bells” and “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin are well known holiday choices. The seasonal message of peace and good will is also represented by several selections. “Our audience may be surprised to hear one song from Dr. Seuss,” Chorus Director June Todd said.  “This could bring some laughter.” The Pine Tones Chorus includes about 60 singers from Ocean Pines, Ocean City and nearby areas.   Todd is the chorus director and Sandra Coston-Barkley is the group’s accompanist. A guest musician, Tom Baione, will be playing string bas...
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Wrestling with accident’s aftermath

Posted On: 12/18/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Dec. 18, 2014) More than a year after 16-year-old Tymeir D. Dennis and his then 17-year-old brother Tyheim D. Bowen were struck by a police car while walking across Route 113 in Berlin, many members of the community are still reeling. The police investigation into the crash, claiming the life of Dennis and seriously injuring Bowen, surfaced nearly a year later. Despite the apparent thoroughness of the report, which labeled the crash an accident, it did little to quell a public still in a state of shock over the loss of life. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, several citizens launched a Pedestrian Safety Committee that was determined to improve conditions for nonmotorists and to prevent similar incidents from happening again. Patricia Dufendach formed the Berlin-based group with business owner Gabe Purnell, resident Sue Beaman, Worcester County NAACP President Dr. Roxie Dennis, councilmembers Dean Burrell and Lisa Hall, Police Chief Arnold Downing and Town Administrator Lau...
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Next movie in town may be right on Main Street

Posted On: 12/18/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Dec. 18, 2014) First Hollywood came to Berlin to shoot movies such as “Runaway Bride” and “Tuck Everlasting.” Now, Berlin Arts and Entertainment is planning to project Hollywood onto the town – literally – during a “Movies on Main Street” program next year. “Every other town around us has movies at the beach, movies at the park, whatever. We really wanted to do something similar,” Arts and Entertainment President Heather Layton said. Layton spoke with members of the Berlin Parks Commission and found its members had also considered the idea. Anna Mullis, executive director of the Worcester County Arts Council, helped Layton narrow her search for grants. Patty Gregorio from Salt Water Media volunteered to write grant applications. As it happened, Mullis and the arts council also awarded the grant to fund Movies on Main Street. “Both of us are here to promote the arts in Berlin,” Layton said. “It just so h...
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Breakthrough with Sandpiper? Nope

Posted On: 12/18/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Dec. 18, 2014) A report asserting that talks between Ocean Pines and Sandpiper Energy have cleared an impasse appears to be erroneous, according to representative from both parties. The report, published in another newspaper, referred to a “breakthrough” in the talks and went on to say that the propane supply company informed the Ocean Pines Association by letter that it was willing to negotiate a franchise fee, pay Ocean Pines “roughly $70,000” in legal fees and negotiate a turnover agreement. Negotiations have been rocky for months, and the strained relations were on display during an Ocean Pines Association board meeting on Nov. 22 when President Dave Stevens said flatly, “We’re not making any progress … there is no real negotiation.” Stevens said the association sent a letter, from which he openly read during the meeting. It asked for a franchise fee, reimbursements for legal costs incurred during negotiations and a turnover agr...
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Gee Williams: new year and more opportunities

Posted On: 12/18/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Dec. 18, 2014) From the “Coolest Small Town” nod to the Little League World Series to the nearly $2 million in grant money awarded for public utility improvements, it’s hard to ignore the across-the-board success that Berlin enjoyed in 2014. No one has been happier about the town’s good fortune than 66-year-old Mayor Gee Williams. Williams, a Berlin native who was elected mayor in 2008 and reelected in 2012, can remember a time when Berlin was not, exactly, cool. He, more than anyone, is determined to keep Berlin’s success going. The first step in continuing that success begins in January, when the town will conduct a series of strategic planning sessions to gauge public interest in new municipal projects. “I think for an encore we follow up on all the expressions of hopes and dreams that have been just flowing from, obviously, our citizens who live here and the people who work here, but also many of our guests,” Williams said. “I...
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Golf course talks range off course

Posted On: 12/18/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Dec. 18, 2014) A flurry of internal memos between Ocean Pines Association board members, General Manager Bob Thompson and others left plenty of confusion over whether the association canceled its contract with the current golf course management company, Billy Casper Golf. A memo sent by Thompson to the directors on Dec. 3 ignited a chain of responses. Allegedly, board President Dave Stevens informed Golf Director John Malinowski earlier that day that the board would terminate its contract with Casper at its next meeting in January. Thompson said Stevens called him the previous day and informed him of the board’s intent, adding that the decision stemmed from a unanimous vote by a review panel. Stevens supposedly told Malinowski that Casper would have the opportunity to negotiate a new contract while the board considered proposals from two other companies, one to manage and one to lease the course. A fourth option included allowing the board to self-manage. Thompson, in th...
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Book finds beer here, there and everywhere

Posted On: 12/18/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Dec. 18, 2014) “Beer is a part of life,” says the Doug Griffith-penned foreword in author Tony Russo’s new book “Eastern Shore Beer: The Heady History of Chesapeake Brewing.” Russo, a former writer at the Bayside Gazette, turned “the occasional story” about the problematic opening of Burley Oak Brewing Company in Berlin into an in-depth examination of just how much life went into the local craft beer boom. Beginning with Peter Underwood’s tavern in the 1660s, Russo explores the timeline all the way to the most recent batch of breweries, including Fin City, Realerevival and Tall Tales. “You don’t need any excuse to cover opening a brewery,” Russo said. “So I hung around, and I hung around for a couple of years and ended up writing a book about Burley Oak.” He shopped the book around, sending sample chapters and proposal outlines, eventually drawing interest from the History Press. “In June they s...
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Annual Penguin Swim warm-hearted charity

Posted On: 12/18/14
Written By: Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer

(Dec. 18, 2014) The 21st annual Penguin Swim will take place on New Year’s Day, when hundreds of people will plunge into the ocean off 91st Street and thousands of dollars will be raised for Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin. “It is a great family event that pulls the community together and raises awareness for the hospital,” AGH Development Assistant Heather Trader said. “The Penguin Swim is not your typical Ocean City event and everyone comes out to celebrate the new year with the ones they love.” In addition to jumping into a 40-something-degree ocean, participants also will have the opportunity for some picture taking with a huge, ice carving of a penguin with a surfboard, completed by ice carver Eric Cantine. In addition, miniature pony, Frankie, is scheduled to make another appearance at this year’s event. In 2014, close to 800 people plunged into the surf for the swim and raised more than $93,000 for the hospital. Besides knowing tha...
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NOEL prepares for Christmas dinner

Posted On: 12/18/14
Written By: Taylor Sloan, Intern

(Dec. 18, 2014) The NOEL Community will host its annual Christmas Day dinner at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, located on Baltimore Avenue and Third Street, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 25 for those homeless, unemployed, underemployed, shut-in, and who are alone. “We are serving breakfast meals in the morning,” said Katie Coffman, chairwoman of the NOEL planning committee. There will be breakfast sandwiches, donuts and coffee available in the parish hall. The dinner will come pre-cooked in a bag. Dinner includes ham, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, veg- etables and rolls. Tables will be set up in the parish hall for visitors to enjoy their meals, where there will also be music, decorations and Santa Claus. All are welcome to join the NOEL Community for this holiday celebra- tion. In 2013, the group held its 16th annual NOEL Community Dinner in memory of Father David Dingwall. The organization came together to provide food and compan...
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