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Berlin, MD 21811
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Berlin unveils FY ‘16 budget draft

Posted On: 4/23/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(April 23, 2015) Berlin’s fiscal year 2016 outlook largely maintains the status quo, according to a first look at the projected budget during a public meeting on Monday night, when the mayor, town council and department to discuss the planned $5.6 million budget, up 4 percent over the previous year. “One of the things were attempting to do in this budget ... is we’re going to budget for success,” Mayor Gee Williams said. “These are all things that the public said were very important to them in the strategic planning sessions, and fortunately they were all more than on our radar screen.” A prior year surplus of $484,500 was divided into capital expenditures, including $26,000 for a new Town Hall vehicle and $66,000 for a pair of new police vehicles, as well as $30,000 for replacement finance and billing software and $30,000 for a new HVAC system in the Welcome Center. And additional $170,500 went to sidewalk and street repairs on Baker Street, Br...
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Local ties provide powerful moments during Relay rally

Posted On: 4/23/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Local ties provide powerful moments during Relay rally (April 23, 2015) Last Sunday’s Relay for Life benefit at BJ’s on the Water in Ocean City raised thousands of dollars for cancer research, but the event also included a series of powerful moments that, more than give faces to a movement, served as a rallying call to anyone who ever watched as a loved one’s life was threatened by cancer. The event also doubled as a CD release party for Teenage Rust, the ’60s-styled garage group that includes BJ’s owners Billy and Maddy Carder as members, the former being a two-time cancer survivor. Proceeds from the sales of the albums went to Relay for Life, but that was just the beginning. Maddy took to the microphone just after 6 p.m. to announce the raffle drawing of a pink Electra cruiser bicycle that Ocean Pines resident Marty Clarke gave to his wife, Donna, herself a cancer survivor prior to her death in a car accident last November. “On Nov. 6 we lost a dear friend, mother, grandmother, wife to most of us ...
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Berlin Dollar General battle ongoing; next stop cir. court

Posted On: 4/23/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(April 23, 2015) Despite a series of setbacks, developer Oxford Chase and property owner Mike Hamad are still hopeful a deal can be reached to move the existing Dollar General store in Berlin to a new location on Old Ocean City Boulevard near Healthway Drive. The town’s board of zoning appeals granted a parking exception in September, but the project hit a potentially fatal snag in March, when the Berlin planning commission rejected the plan because of objections from neighboring businesses concerning possible traffic issues. One of the issues is whether Hamad’s property or the adjoining 14.5-acre parcel registered to Baltimore resident Stanley J. Smuck, has the right of way. Hamad told the Gazette in March that the issue dates back several years, when his attorney sent a letter to Smuck asking for clarity on the easements and right of way coming out of the property. “His attorney sent us a nasty letter back saying, ‘I don’t want to talk about it. We...
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Berlin celebrates ‘cool’ town anniversary with flash mob

Posted On: 4/23/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Berlin celebrates ‘cool’ town anniversary with flash mob (April 23, 2015) Something unexpected happened in the middle of the crowded Main Street during the Cool Berlin Anniversary Party last Saturday. Just after 2 p.m., as Mayor Gee Williams was finishing his opening remarks on the town’s remarkable year, several dozen people broken out into a flash mob. Williams, wearing his trademark top hat and not skipping a beat, playfully joined in. “It was spectacular,” said Economic Development Director Ivy Wells, who participated in the flash mob along with Town Administrator Laura Allen and Helen Wiley from Church Mouse. Wells said Allen came up with the idea, put together a few practice sessions and enlisted extras from Seaside Dance Academy and Stephen Decatur High School. “The idea came out of a conversation I had with a friend, Amanda Thompson, who is a modern dancer and a city planner in Decatur, Ga.,” Allen said. “In that conversation, I realized we hadn’t celebrated our ‘America’s...
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Salisbury Park and Flea drawing tri-state crowd

Posted On: 4/23/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(April 23, 2015) Salisbury’s weekly Park and Flea event takes the yard sale to a whole new level, super-sizing the concept of antiques, collectibles and various other bric a brac across an enormous parking lot, where dozens of vendors open their virtual garages for the world to see inside, and hopefully, buy and take a few things home. Michael Day, former “coolest” small town economic development director in Berlin, runs the event, open every Saturday at 7 a.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. “I’ve been running it for 13 years,” Day said. “I started it in 2002 when I was on the Salisbury City Council as a signature project.” Day, at the time a member of the Urban Salisbury board of directors, hatched the flea market to mimic a similar event held every Sunday in Columbia, Md. The event was originally held in the downtown parking garage before moving the expansive parking lot at the corner of Route 13 and Main Street in downtown Salisbury. ̶...
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Heritage Festival set for Saturday

Posted On: 4/23/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(April 23, 2015) Saturday’s Berlin Heritage Festival promises a portal into the past, with displays, artifacts, and live reenactments set to transport guests back through time. Organizer Pat Diniar said the event began with a group of “history-minded” people who felt the town’s history was going under-appreciated. “We’re party animals in Berlin,” she said. “We’ll party at the top of the hat, but nobody remembers the start of the town, which was 1868. There were no elected officials, it was run by a committee until 1897, 1898 when they elected their first mayor, who was John Pitt, who we’re going to honor.” More than a dozen vintage vehicles will be displayed throughout the downtown area, including a 1918 touring car owned by Jack Benny, Reece Cropper’s 1941 Cadillac, a 1957 Thunderbird and fire trucks from the 1920s.   Dinair said guests will also see tandem bikes and historical vegetable trucks, as well ...
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Burley Build to raise money for Worcester Habitat

Posted On: 4/23/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Burley Build to raise money for Worcester Habitat (April 23, 2015) For the past two years Burley Oak Brewing Co. in Berlin has taken part in the Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County’s winter fundraiser, Holiday Gala for Homes, raising money to build houses for local families. Inspired to take things to the next level, the brewery endeavored to launch their own series of “benefestivals” for local charities, beginning with the Burley Build Benefest, an outdoor beer and music festival held on the brewery grounds on Saturday, May 16. “We worked with very closely with [Habitat Executive Director] Andrea Bowland the past two years, sponsoring it at the highest level and holding a separate fundraiser to help sell tickets,” General Manager Nicky Chavis said. “After the finale of that event we decided it would be really fun and really cool to do something here.” By holding the event at Burley Oak Chavis said the brewery can keep overhead costs as low as $1,000, meaning almost every dollar raise...
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Purnell and Elder to host town hall mtgs.

Posted On: 4/23/15
Written By:

(April 23, 2015) Worcester County Commissioners Diana Purnell and Ted Elder invite area residents to join them for a town hall meeting Thursday, April 23, at 6 p.m. at the Multipurpose Building on Flower Street in Berlin. Chief Administrative Officer Harold Higgins will give a brief presentation on the FY16 Requested Worcester County Operating Budget. Requested general fund operating expenditures of $189,825,601 exceed estimated revenues of $167,485,109 by $22 million. This difference must be reconciled by reducing expenditures, generating additional revenues or a combination of the two. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. The purpose of this meeting is to familiarize residents with county finances in advance of the annual public budget hearing on Tuesday, May 5 at 7 p.m. in the Snow Hill Middle School auditorium. For more information, contact Purnell at dpurnell@co.worcester.md.us or Elder at telder@co.worcester.md.us.
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OPA committee to host second public meeting

Posted On: 4/23/15
Written By:

(April 23, 2015) Ocean Pines Association’s 2015 Search Committee will host a public meeting on Wednesday, April 29, from 7-9 p.m. at the Ocean Pines Community Center.   The meeting will be open to Association members and anyone interested in a position on the board is encouraged to attend. The purpose will be to outline the function of the search committee, describe the qualifications of the candidates it searches for, outline the responsibilities of OPA Board members, and receive input from attendees about finding interested candidates. The committee’s function will be to seek at least four candidates to run for the board of directors in the next election to fill two openings for directors Marty Clarke and Sharyn O’Hare who have served the last three years. To be eligible, a candidate must be the owner of record of property in Ocean Pines as of Jan. 1 of this year, eligible to vote as of May 15 and have completed and submitted an application to the search co...
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Garden Market set to open for season, April 25

Posted On: 4/23/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Garden Market set to open for season, April 25 (April 23, 2015) With the warming weather comes the opportunity to reap the benefits of the Eastern Shore farmland’s bounty, much of which is available at an increasing number of roadside markets. One such stop, Garden Market on 10835 Cathell Road roughly a mile outside of Ocean Pines, reopens for the season with limited hours starting on Saturday, April 25. Husband-and-wife team Lynn and Cindy Crockett started the market part-time in 2008, eventually turning it into a full-time endeavor when Lynn retired from the construction business. The market originally was set inside a small 10-by-15 space, considered a temporary roadside stand, before expanding to a permanent 300-square-foot space with additional parking this year. In the beginning of the season, Lynn Crockett said, crops grown on their own farm are largely supplemented by regional produce, including tomatoes. “We get a lot of stuff as it’s coming up the coast until our stuff starts coming off, like st...
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