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Municipalities, OPA present budget requests

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(March 16, 2017) As part of the annual budget process, the county commissioners invite the governments of Berlin, Snow Hill, Pocomoke City, the Ocean Pines Association and Ocean City to outline their wants and needs for the coming fiscal year. The talks are generally informal, in that most of the municipalities are just starting their own budget processes, so certain numbers or contingencies could change between now and when the county budget is formally adopted — usually in early June. Ocean Pines, as represented by interim General Manager Brett Hill, is looking for about $154,000 more than was approved last year, primarily in the areas of recreation, tourism and police aid. Pines Police Chief David Massey explained the nearly $100,000 extra his department requested was aid to help the association combat opioid addiction. Massey said the issue is primarily one for residential communities, and as Worcester’s largest residential community, more support was warranted. ...
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Worcester County Library seeks new rep for Pocomoke

Posted On: 3/16/17
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(March 16, 2017) The Worcester County Library Board of Trustees is seeking a Worcester County resident to volunteer for a board vacancy representing Pocomoke City including areas beyond the town limits.   The Library Board is composed of seven members who reside in the various communities and towns in the county. Candidates should be passionate about the important role the Worcester County Library plays in the community. Members are appointed by the Worcester County Commissioners to a five-year term with a two-term limit. The Board of Trustees meet monthly with the exception of July and August to set policy, advise the director of the Worcester County Library and approve the library’s budget. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. and are open to the public. For more information or to express interest in the board position, contact Jennifer Ranck, director of the Worcester County Library, at 410-632-2600 or contact@worcesterlibrary.org.
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‘The Café,’ expanded toy store coming soon

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(March 16, 2017) Downtown Berlin will play musical chairs during the next several months, as at least six new businesses will either relocate or open for the first time. The Café, a brewery-inspired food and drink shop on 17 Jefferson Street – the former home of Berlin Coffee House – is set to open on May 1. Burley Oak Brewing Company founder Bryan Brushmiller said he signed a lease on the property earlier this month. “The Berlin Coffee House was the hub for me of a morning in our community and I wanted to bring that back,” Brushmiller said. Brushmiller was in South America this week on a trip related to The Café. During a text exchange on Monday, Brushmiller said he, “just drove four hours on a dirt bike to meet up with Tim from Rise Up Coffee Roasters to insure The Café will have the best coffee beans from Costa Rica.” He said the shop, which will also serve crepes and other breakfast items, would be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p....
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Berlin Briefs

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(March 16, 2017) The Berlin Mayor and Council discussed the following items during a public meeting at Town Hall on Monday. Jeep Jam Plans for the 2017 Jeep Jam at Berlin Falls Park, Aug. 24-27, were approved by a 4-1 vote. Organizers will pay the town $4,000 and agreed to restore the property, following the event. This will apparently be the last year the event is held at Berlin Falls. Mayor Gee Williams said organizers anticipated finding a more permanent location. Councilman Zackery Tyndall voted against holding Jeep Jam at Berlin Falls, saying it was not in line with how the town operated its other parks. Town Administrator Laura Allen said she had received a letter from Jim Rapp and Dave Wilson of Conservation Community Consultants expressing concerns the event would displace indigent wildlife. Allen said she spoke with them and that concerns were somewhat assuaged after stating the 2017 Jeep Jam would be the last such event held at the park. Williams said he anticipate...
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Funding in doubt, but Berlin submits ‘wish list’ for POS

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(March 16, 2017) Berlin officials continue to hope that Program Open Space will return as a funding source for the development of town parks. During a Berlin Parks Commission meeting last Tuesday, Administrative Services Director Mary Bohlen presented a fiscal year 2018 wish list for the state program, which is administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The priority is a $126,270 request to be use to buy and install prefabricated bathrooms for Stephen Decatur Park. An application for that is also pending through the state’s Community Parks and Playgrounds program. Berlin also is asking for $54,000 to buy and install lighting for the basketball courts at Dr. William Henry Park, $40,500 for benches, picnic tables and trash cans at Berlin Falls Park, and $9,000 to expand the tot lot at Stephen Decatur Park. The town also requested $49,500 to establish John Howard Burbage Park, a small, aesthetic space that would be next to the municipal power plant and pub...
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Lack of site plan forces delay for Shoreline Auto Sales bldg.

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(March 16, 2017) Hampered by a lack of information and, at one point, the absence of a quorum, the Berlin Planning Commission last Wednesday found itself doing little more than approving the agenda.  Site plan approval for a Shoreline Auto Sales steel pole building near Ocean Gateway and Seahawk Road was not voted on because there was no site plan. As the meeting opened, commission members Chris Denny, Ron Casio and Newt Chandler were seated on the dais. Another, Pete Cosby, had recused himself because of a potential conflict of interest and was seated in the audience. Cosby is an attorney and one of his clients is the operator of Shoreline Auto. But, with two other commission members absent and an apparent lack of a quorum, Cosby eventually took his seat on the commission. The applicant, Steve Black, said he waived any potential conflict of interest. “I have, maybe, a conflict of interest in the abstract. I [intended] to abstain tonight, but the applicant has indic...
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Get ‘lucky’ with otters at Delmarva Discovery Center

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

Get ‘lucky’ with otters at Delmarva Discovery Center (March 16, 2017) The Delmarva Discovery Center is providing an opportunity for children to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a special otter-themed event on Friday evening. “The Luck of the Otters: Hidden Treasures of the Delmarva,” which takes place at the Discovery Center in Pocomoke from 6-9 p.m., will offer kids a night of crafts, games, food, and a chance to interact with otters Mac and Tuck. Jordan Messick, education and program coordinator, said the pair of male otters have been a huge hit since moving into the Discovery Center last July. “We’re trying to do a monthly event around the otters,” she said. She said last month nearly two-dozen youngsters attended the event, “You Otter Be My Valentine.” “The kids got to make valentine cards for Mac and Tuck to hang on their aquarium,” she said. For the St. Patrick’s event, Messick said dinner will be served, but the menu is being kept under wraps. “It will...
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Business Briefs

Posted On: 3/16/17
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UW welcomes Brown United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore announces the addition of a new volunteer center intern to promote services and opportunities throughout Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Dorchester counties.   Eleanor Brown recently joined the United Way team because of a Volunteer Generation Fund grant from the Maryland Governor’s Office on Service & Volunteerism. Brown is currently a sophomore at Salisbury University, majoring in Social Work and Political Science.  In her new position, she will be responsible to promote United Way’s Get Connected Volunteer Center, volunteer engagement, community outreach and outcome tracking. Get Connected is United Way’s free online tool connecting community members and organizations with resources, local needs, special events and opportunities to volunteer. Now in its 73rd year, United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore continues to be the largest non-governmental source of funding for 74 critical programs...
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Opening of Hazel Family Foundation Touch Pool

Posted On: 3/16/17
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(March 16, 2017) The Delmarva Discovery Center & Museum in Pocomoke announced the grand opening of an interactive new exhibit. The Hazel Family Foundation Touch Pool is the culmination of more than a year of research and a custom exhibit, which attempts to bring guests closer to nature.   “I think it’s very important to expose kids to the natural world. I believe any individual, if better educated about the outside world, will treat it with more respect,” Morgan Hazel said. “The Touch Pool will allow kids to interact with animals in a tactile way, giving them an experience they might not otherwise ever have.” “It has been our dream to make the Discovery Center as interactive and hands-on as it can be for everyone, and to make the building and exhibits as universally accessible as we can,” Stacey Weisner, president & CEO, said. “I would have given anything to have been able to see my sister, Shelly, enjoy this exhibit whe...
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Seventh annual Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce Expo

Posted On: 3/16/17
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(March 16, 2017) The Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce will hold the seventh annual Chamber Business Expo on Thursday, March 16 from 4-7 p.m. at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club.   All Worcester County business people (employers and employees) are invited to attend and display their services or goods. Last year over 35 exhibitors displayed their services and products with creative and interactive exhibits in a wide range of interest such as: business products, home improvements, social media, healthcare, education, financial, insurance, travel, beauty, massage and promotional products. Door prizes have been donated by local businesses, and there will be a 50/50 raffle. This is a great networking opportunity for members of all area chambers and for businessmen and women to mingle with fellow business owners, learn about new businesses in town and talk to hundreds of potential customers. This event is open to the public. All area business people, local chamber members and professionals...
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