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Hunter Hudson Memorial Scholarship

Posted On: 5/19/16
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(May 19, 2016) A scholarship in memory of Hunter Hudson of Ocean City has been established with plans to benefit graduates of Stephen Decatur High School. The 19-year-old, who loved the outdoors and hunting, passed away suddenly on March 24. Hudson’s family has established the memorial fund through the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. The family hopes that this legacy will keep his memory alive in the minds of those that knew and loved him, while assisting future generations. Hudson graduated from Stephen Decatur in 2015 and attended Worcester Technical School to study masonry. To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be a graduate of Stephen Decatur High School with a minimum 2.5 GPA, been accepted into a two- or four-year accredited college or university, and be able to demonstrate financial need. To make a contribution in memory of Hudson, visit www.CFES.org or contact BJ Summers at 410-742-9911. Contributions can be made payable to: The Community Foun...
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Assateague impact on area $96M, per new Parks report

Posted On: 5/19/16
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(May 19, 2016) A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 2,275,606 visitors to Assateague Island National Seashore in 2015 spent $96,705,600 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,320 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $109,970,500. “Assateague Island National Seashore welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Debbie Darden. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.” The pee...
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Mayor, town staff open up gates to Berlin Falls park

Posted On: 5/19/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(May 19, 2016) Berlin offered a brief glimpse into its plans for the former Tyson’s Chicken plant on Old Ocean City Boulevard on Monday, as the mayor, several councilmembers and town staff gathered for a sort of informal ribbon cutting. “We are so fortunate to get to this point,” Mayor Gee Williams said, calling the gathering a “preview of the potential and possibilities of the 62-acre tract.” “Now, under town ownership, we are informally calling it ‘Berlin Falls Park.’ If somebody wants to give us several million dollars, we will reconsider changing the name,” Williams said, drawing a laugh from the audience. Since the town bought the property in February, the public works department has taken the lead in the effort to transform the former industrial site into a public park, Williams said. “Calling the work a cleanup is a really an understatement,” he said. “In addition to many years of accumulated debris, ...
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OPA and BEACON terminate contract

Posted On: 5/19/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(May 19, 2016) The OPA and Salisbury University group BEACON have terminated a contract between the two for services that involved  the development of a new comprehensive plan. In 2015, the OPA board voted 5-1 to hire the Business, Economic, and Community Outreach Network for that purpose, at a cost of $33,000. BEACON Director Dr. Memo Diriker at the time said a grant would cover half that cost. The balance was to be split into two payments of $8,250. Diriker was apparently paid $8,250 before the termination, which happened during a closed meeting two weeks ago, and was approved by a unanimous vote of the directors. The relationship between SU and BEACON seemed to sour following a meeting in March of this year, when, possibly because of scheduling confusion, Diriker did not show up. Members of the Pines Comprehensive Planning Committee who then tried to run the meeting – essentially providing an update on their work on the survey – seemed ill prepared to do so. ...
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Third strike against ‘Little Library’

Posted On: 5/19/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(May 19, 2016) It’s only been a month since Ellie Black’s “Little Library” was installed at the playground at Byrd Park, but in that short time, vandals have damaged the book box three times, tearing off the door twice and smashing the glass at least once. Each time, the town has repaired and reinforced it, and it will continue to do so, Mayor Charlie Dorman said. “Of course, we’re going to keep fixing it,” he said. “And we’d like everyone’s help watching over it.” Installed in April, Black’s little library stands about four feet tall, is painted bright blue and has a shingled roof with a glass-paned door and a latch. Black, a fourth-grade student at Snow Hill Middle School, built the library on the weekends with her father, Brent Black, over a period of two months. The idea came from a news report the fourth-grader saw describing the “Little Free Library” movement started in 2010. Black’s pr...
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Solar power co-op for homeowners forming in county

Posted On: 5/19/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(May 19, 2016) Recent conversations about solar power in the area have focused on mass scale, enterprise-level operations using acres and acres of land and both producing and selling gigawatt after gigawatt. After a few meetings next month, a countywide effort may develop between homeowners throughout Worcester, each producing a piece of a larger puzzle that could significantly affect the way the county keeps the lights on. The idea, as explained by Corey Ramsden, the Maryland program manager for the non-profit Community Power Network, is for residents to use their collective purchasing power to leverage a discount on installation fees for solar cells on their property. “We’re agnostic on the reasons for adopting solar power — if they’re for environmental or independent causes,” he said. The rewards, Ramsden said, are tangible. Apart from an initial outlay for installation and equipment, a solar power system has many advantages. “Whether or no...
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Pocomoke Council meeting delayed; will resume next wk.

Posted On: 5/19/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(May 19, 2016) The Pocomoke City Council, through City Manager/Attorney Ernie Crofoot, announced Monday morning that the regular meeting — scheduled for Monday evening — has been delayed until next week. The meeting will be held Monday, May 23 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall instead. The town is pursuing a Main Street community designation offered by the state, which has granted that status to other lower shore towns such as Berlin and Salisbury. However, to pursue the designation, the council must pass a resolution, an action that requires the town to advertise its intentions. Crofoot said the mayor and City Council had not been notified of the resolution requirement in time for this week’s meeting, and moved back the meeting date as a result. The Main Street Maryland program is competitive and selects communities that “have made a commitment to succeed and helps them improve the economy, appearance and image of their traditional downtown business districts,...
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Berlin Parks Commission Briefs

Posted On: 5/19/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(May 19, 2016) The Berlin Parks Commission discussed the following items during a meeting at Town Hall on Tuesday, May 10. New chair/old chair Mike Wiley was unanimously chosen by the commission to remain as chair. Commission member Patricia Dufendach said Wiley provides a “wonderful service” to the town. “He’s always there with a smile and a camera, even at his own peril,” she said with a laugh. “Thank you for all you do for us. Without you, we would not be able to get all the things we get done, and that’s the truth.” International professionals Zalikha Wan Zaharuddin, an environmental education program officer for the Malaysian Nature Society, and Crisanta Rodriguez, the assistant regional director at the department of the environment and natural resources in the Philippines, sat in during the meeting. The two international professionals also attended the mayor and council meeting one day prior. Both are in town as part of ...
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Pines certifies record 12 board candidates

Posted On: 5/19/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(May 19, 2016) A record 12 candidates will compete for three seats on the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors this year. Last week, the Gazette reported as many as a dozen had filed the paperwork to run for the OPA board. On May 12, the association confirmed all 12 had been certified. Surprisingly, almost half of the announced candidates are political newcomers. One current director, Jack Collins, will seek reelection. Another, Bill Cordwell, opted not to run while a third, Tom Terry, cannot run because of term limits. Three members of Ocean Pines advisory boards are also running, including Budget and Finance Chair Pat Supik, Frank Daly from the Comprehensive Planning Committee and Doug Parks, from Bylaws & Resolutions. Steve Lind formerly served on the Clubs committee. Two others, Ray Unger and Slobodan Trendic, have run during the last two election cycles. Unger has previous experience on the board, while Trendic was the third-leading vote getter last year. Five...
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Candidate Simon brings vast construction career to race

Posted On: 5/19/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(May 19, 2016) George Simon Jr. he has “seen it all” during his decades-long career in construction, and he’s hoping to bring that expertise to the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors in August. “I’ve been in construction and construction sales pretty much my whole life,” he said. “The main thing I can bring to the board is knowledge of construction, construction projects, sales and the bid process, and … I have a good relationship with a lot of the contractors in the area.” Simon, a 55-year-old territory representative with TRI Supply & Equipment in Salisbury, is one of a dozen candidates vying for three positions on the board. After growing up in Baltimore, he moved his family to the Ocean Pines area in 1986, and bought his first home there about four years later. “We would come down here to the ocean on vacation and we liked the area, and when we had kids, we didn’t want them growing up [in the Balti...
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