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Hall, police accounts differ greatly

Posted On: 9/29/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

Hall, police accounts differ greatly (Sept. 29, 2016) Although Berlin mayoral hopeful and District 2 Councilwoman Lisa Hall admitted this week that she was charged in April with possession of flunitrazepam in South Carolina, police records say that was not the case. Hall, according to law enforcement officials in Charleston County, was charged with marijuana possession on April 29. Prescription medications, illegal or otherwise, were not involved. Information on that arrest sent to local media this week was apparently misunderstood, leading some to conclude erroneously that Hall had been charged with possession of the flunitrazepam, also known as Rohypnol, and which cannot be purchased legally in this country. The error resulted from an apparent misinterpretation of the standardized charging documents, which list multiple drug classifications as well as flunitrazepam. On Monday, however, Hall responded to the misguided speculation and said, “I was in South Carolina and I got stopped and I had a plastic bag ... t...
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Busy agenda no problem for new Ocean Pines BOD

Posted On: 9/29/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Sept. 29, 2016) The Ocean Pines Association Board breezed through a meeting on Saturday that saw 11 votes on capital purchases, committee appointments, new business items and compliance, permit and inspections violations. Ten of those votes were unanimous, and only one “no” vote were rendered during the roughly 80-minute meeting that included more than 20 minutes of public comments. The new board recently reinstated separate work sessions designed to help set the agenda, gather additional public feedback and to help streamline the regular meetings. A work session last Monday, Sept. 19 lasted just under five hours. By contrast, meetings held by the prior board averaged about two hours.   The first capital item on the agenda was resurfacing the beach club pool, which interim General Manager Brett Hill said he would be allowed to approve if OPA received three competitive quotes and the winning the bid was less than $15,000. He brought the item to the full board bec...
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Delmarva Paddling Weekend debuts in Snow Hill this Fri.

Posted On: 9/29/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Sept. 29, 2016) Beginning tomorrow and lasting throughout the weekend, the Delmarva Paddling Weekend will show off Snow Hill and Laurel, Delaware as the newest up-and-coming spots for ecotourism on the lower shore. A complete schedule and individual trip descriptions, along with the ability to make reservations are available online at www.delmarvapaddling.com. “The inspiration for how to set up the weekend came from two places, the Delmarva Birding Weekend and Delmarva Bike Week,” Jim Rapp of Conservation Community Consulting, the firm managing the event for the towns, said. From the birding weekend, the structure of individual trips with certain objective ordered a la carte emerged. From Bike Week, regional events, in this case the towns of Snow Hill and Laurel, Delaware, with crossover between the towns and audiences, plus the markedly different surrounding environment, had been copied. “We’ve got two waterfront home bases trying to do similar things,&...
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Shots fired as robbery suspects flee

Posted On: 9/29/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

Shots fired as robbery suspects flee (Sept. 29, 2016) PNC Bank is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of three men who robbed the Pocomoke City branch on Monday. The robbers were described as African-American, and one, whose image was captured on bank security cameras, was wearing women’s clothing, including a tan skirt, black-haired wig and dark scarf. A second perpetrator is described as wearing a red baseball cap, a dark shirt and jeans, while the third was described as having long dreadlocks, a lime green floppy hat, a gray zippered sweat­-shirt and dark pants. According to a police press release, the robbers threatened to “blow up” the bank with an explosive device, but did not display a weapon during the incident. The trio fled the scene heading south into Virginia in an unidentified vehicle, according to police. In Virginia, a sheriff’s deputy apparently located the vehicle and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the driver alleg...
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First crab feast fundraiser hits Berlin streets, Saturday

Posted On: 9/29/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Sept. 29, 2016) The first official Berlin Crab Feast will bring an all-you-can eat seafood celebration to the downtown area Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. “DJ Big Al Reno,” also known as Tom Sholtis, will emcee the event, which is sponsored by Berlin Main Street, the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Area Council (LESHC) and Hooper’s Crab House. Funk-Shué will provide live entertainment. The event will raise money for Berlin’s upcoming Christmas festivities and town decorations, according to Berlin Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells. “Tom had the idea when we were looking for fundraisers, because we really want to spruce up the town for Christmas,” Wells said. “He said, ‘How about we do a big crab feast downtown?’ I loved the idea and we pushed forward with it. “It’s the Eastern Shore. What better way to spend the afternoon than to sit with your friends and family and eat crabs and drink beer?...
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Annual Celtic Fest returns to Furnace Town this weekend

Posted On: 9/29/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Sept. 29, 2016) The Chesapeake Celtic Fest, one of Furnace Town’s premier events, kicks off this weekend giving locals a chance to indulge in a part of lower shore heritage that could have easily been forgotten. “I started the event because we needed an idea of how to attract tourists here,” founder Jeanne du Nord said. “But it turned out to be more perfect for Furnace Town because the people tending the furnace were all Welsh and Irish.” The festival, rapidly closing in on its 30th year in operation, starts Saturday at noon with an opening parade. Following the parade are a number of events and exhibits — some scheduled, some discovered by just walking around the grounds. Du Nord said special attention was being paid this year to bees and beekeeping, because the Celts were some of the first Europeans to cultivate bees and harvest honey. Local troupe Ocean City Pipes and Drums are performing, as well as several other groups, including the ret...
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Berlin municipal election slated for Oct. 4

Posted On: 9/29/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Sept. 29) Voters in Berlin will have two choices for mayor during the municipal election on Tuesday, Oct. 4 Two-term incumbent Mayor Gee Williams will face District 2 Councilwoman Lisa Hall, who gave up her seat to run for mayor. Hall has been on the council since 2008. The deadline for write-in candidates was Tuesday, Sept. 27. According to Administrative Services Director Mary Bohlen, no additional candidates filed, meaning write-in votes will not be counted in this election. District 2 voters will have two options to fill the seat vacated by Hall. Jack Orris, a 35-year-old office manager who holds a degree in political science, is running against 26-year-old former firefighter Zackery Tyndall, who recently earned a degree in management and finance from Salisbury University. Neither has run for office in Berlin before. The election for District 3 was canceled because only one candidate, incumbent Elroy Brittingham, filed before the Sept. 2 deadline. Brittingham has served on ...
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Flower Street repairs coming ‘within month’

Posted On: 9/29/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Sept. 29, 2016) Berlin officials believe they are closer to a solution regarding road repairs on Flower Street necessitated by development at Cannery Village. Apparently, it took more than a week for Town Administrator Laura Allen to reach Osprey Properties, the company behind Cannery. The issue was raised by several councilmembers during a Sept. 12 Town Council meeting, when the council voted unanimously to add “haste” to insistence that the developer address the issues. During that meeting, Councilman Elroy Brittingham said the entrance to Cannery was playing havoc with roads in the area, including a portion of Flower Street that the town has had to patch several times because of potholes. Councilman Dean Burrell, added the problem had been ongoing “for, really, a long time” and that poor conditions were causing damage to vehicles that traveled on the busy road.   During a phone interview last Thursday, Allen said she had only just been able to r...
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Grim picture painted in engineering study

Posted On: 9/29/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Sept. 29, 2016) While an updated engineering study of the Ocean Pines Association Country Club did not offer a specific recommendation whether the building should be renovated or replaced, it did paint a grim picture of a structure that is full of mold and is failing because of years of neglect.    Ocean Pines Association interim General Manager Brett Hill emailed a copy of a 72-page report last week. The study, conducted by Allen & Shariff Engineering and the Becker Morgan Group, is dated Sept. 13. Ocean Pines originally commissioned Becker Morgan to do the study in August 2011. The review was to include an analysis of “the building envelope, structural systems, and the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems of the existing” building, according to the report. The company was brought back in August 2016 to provide an update of the report that included changes in the building since 2011. The update also included a mold study done by Hardy Environment...
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Town continues Berlin Falls park usage discussion

Posted On: 9/29/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Sept. 29, 2016) Town Administrator Laura Allen sat in during a town parks commission meeting earlier this month to give a briefing on potential directions for the new Berlin Falls Park on Old Ocean City Boulevard. Parks Commission Chairman Mike Wiley said he visited the site after Jeep Week to check on the condition of the area that was used during the event – a muddy celebration that included hundreds of jeeps driving over a temporary obstacle course built on the property. The company behind Jeep Jam, Ocean City 4X4 LLC, paid the town $4,000 to lease the park for four days. “I say hats off to Chris Cropper and his group, because they really cleaned it up nice,” Wiley said. “They gave me a ride around to inspect it and … they completely restored it. They did an excellent job.” Asked whether that event would return next year, Allen said that depended on what kinds of developments were pursued at the park. She said the town had gotten feedback f...
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