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Hogan buzzes through Berlin biz

Posted On: 4/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(April 28, 2016) Berlin capped a busy week of high-profile Republican visits, with a brief stopover Friday by Gov. Larry Hogan. Berlin was one of several Eastern Shore sojourns for the governor, who also visited Salisbury, Princess Anne, Crisfield, Ocean City, Newark, Snow Hill and Pocomoke last week. On Friday, he met with Mayor Gee Williams and Sen. Jim Mathias in Town Hall, and was joined for a quick walking tour of several small businesses with an entourage that included his wife, Yumi, Delegates Mary Beth Carozza and Charles Otto, County Commissioners Bud Church and Jim Bunting, and town Councilmember Elroy Brittingham. At A Little Bit Sheepish, a yarn shop on Main Street, Hogan shook hands with owner Brenda Trice, walked through the historic two-story building, and cracked wise about signing up for knitting classes. He stopped for a few photos with lunch guests at the Atlantic Hotel, and presented a proclamation at Rayne’s Reef, which he called, “a well-deserved...
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Thousands flock to see Trump stump at Stephen Decatur

Posted On: 4/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(April 28, 2016) They parked in cornfields and waited by the thousands for several hours outside Stephen Decatur High School, last Wednesday evening, all for the opportunity to see, hear or even catch a glimpse of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Some would and some would not, as the size of the crowd was roughly three times greater than what the school could hold. The lines wrapped around the enormous makeshift parking lot, tucked between farmland and a former Harley-Davidson store, now gone out of business. State and local police guided traffic — cars and people —and swept the area with German shepherds. At around 4 p.m., the first Trump supporters filed in through the school towards the gymnasium, which, on a good day, can hold maybe a thousand people. Tickets given out for the event were said to be in upwards of 20,000, and police estimated 10,000 attended, and 3,000 were let into the building. Some of the overflow was taken to satelli...
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Hogan announces funding to finish dualizing Rt. 113

Posted On: 4/28/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(April 28, 2016) When his office announced Gov. Larry Hogan’s schedule for his Eastern Shore Tour last week and noted a transportation press conference at the Board of Education building in Newark, the topic of conversation could only have been Route 113. The governor announced $86.4 million in funding for the fourth and final phase of the Route 113 dualization project, with construction expected to begin in early spring next year, and opening to traffic two years later. Worcester County’s major north-south highway has been the county’s priority transportation project for decades. Despite changes in nearly every other facet of life on the shore during that time, one of few constants has been continued support to expand the highway to four lanes for its entire run through Maryland. “Worcester County did it right,” Jim Ports Jr., deputy secretary of operations for the Department of Transportation, said. “Route 113 was put in as a priority and neve...
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Controversy follows Gov. Hogan during brief Snow Hill stop

Posted On: 4/28/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(April 28, 2016) Small town politics came into play during Gov. Larry Hogan’s visit to Snow Hill, likely unbeknownst to the governor himself, as a downtown business owner took to social media decrying Mayor Charlie Dorman for allegedly leading Hogan past her shop. Ann Coates, owner of downtown anchor Bishop’s Stock Art Gallery, wasn’t shy about the perceived cold shoulder. The governor’s walking tour of Snow Hill was by no means exhaustive, as the schedule left very little wiggle room, and most of the downtown shops along Snow Hill Road were skipped. But along Green Street, where Coates’ shop is located, most of the stores were visited by the Hogans’ entourage. Those stops included Harvest Moon and the American Legion, which bookend Bishop’s Stock.   “The mayor took the visitors to every other business but seemed to snub Bishop’s Stock. Guess we have no value to the town,” she posted, in part, on Facebook. A flurry o...
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Primary results: Trump, Clinton take Worcester

Posted On: 4/28/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(April 28, 2016) The presumptive Republican nominee for President and anti-establishment juggernaut Donald J. Trump steamrolled through the Maryland primary Tuesday night, winning 62.8 percent of the vote in Worcester and 54.6 percent statewide, according to unofficial results provided by the state. Trump won every county in the state, according to the State Board of Elections. Across the aisle, Hillary Clinton won 63.1 percent of the vote statewide, while challenger Bernie Sanders garnered 32.2 percent. In the county, however, the vote was much closer, with 51.6 percent for Clinton and 41.1 percent for Sanders. The Republican also-rans finished in a virtual dead heat, with John Kasich edging out Ted Cruz 18.2 percent to 16 percent, or 19,252 to 17,011. Trump, by comparison, collected 66,592 votes, according to unofficial results. On the Republican side, Maryland is a “winner take all” state, with Trump collecting 35 pledged delegates to the convention. The remaining ...
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Berlin police tout involvement during Trump visit last week

Posted On: 4/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(April 28, 2016) GOP Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump averages 15 arrests at each campaign stop. That’s according to Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing, who reviewed Trump’s April 20 campaign rally at Stephen Decatur High School for the mayor and Town Council Monday night. On that day, just three arrests were made. “I can’t say any more about preplanning,” Downing said. “We would have loved to have more notice, of course, but we had our law enforcement partners sit down and do in two days … what presidential contingents [normally] take weeks to go ahead and plan for. If the president was here, it would have been a lot easier.” Downing said police had to play “alphabet soup,” meaning they had to work with multiple acronymic agencies such as the FBI and TSA. Secret Service oversaw the effort, although Downing said the most of the work was done by local law enforcement, including the Worcester and Wicomico county sher...
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Snow Hill downtown WiFi delayed, about two weeks

Posted On: 4/28/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(April 28, 2016) Though expected to be available and working last Tuesday, wireless Internet access in downtown Snow Hill has yet to happen. “It’s for the public, tourists and other visitors,” Michael Day, town economic development consultant, said. “It’s another way for us to be friendly and welcoming to people. Salisbury already does this and Berlin did it a while ago.” Four transponders have been installed: one on Green Street, two on River Street and another on Bank Street, Day said. The coverage would include Sturgis Park and the Pocomoke River Canoe Company along the north edge of town and wouldn’t go much farther east, but would continue west to the area near the police station and likely as far south as Market Street, Day said. Day said the system would support a webcam he hopes local broadcasters might use as part of their area showcases. Right now, the network, which Day said was operable in some places but not others, has a ge...
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Hogan awards Pocomoke citations

Posted On: 4/28/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(April 28, 2016) After stops at Ocean City Elementary School, Assateague Island, Berlin and Snow Hill, and with the weather turning against him, Gov. Larry Hogan made his way down to Pocomoke to attend Fourth Friday and award the town four citations for its recent successes. Rain forced the event inside the Delmarva Discovery Center, where a crowd in the hundreds was either waiting for the governor’s arrival or browsing the art and other items on display. First, Hogan issued a citation to Mayor Bruce Morrison and said the town really lived up to its slogan of “friendliest town on the Eastern Shore.” He applauded the mayor for the community spirit he encountered and marveled at the success of the local sports teams. Next, Hogan recognized two of those teams individually: the state champion field hockey and boys’ basketball teams. The awards were for the recognition both teams brought to Pocomoke City and the state as a whole, Hogan said. Finally, Dr. Anne...
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Pocomoke sets date for election do-over, May 31

Posted On: 4/28/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associte Editor

(April 28, 2016) Pocomoke City will begin advertising a new election this week in a contested race between incumbent George Tasker and challenger Sheila Nelson, five weeks in advance of the vote. The new date was rumored to be May 31 as of last week, and was confirmed earlier this week. Voting will run from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m., and will be held at the Pocomoke City branch of the Worcester County Public library. All registered voters in District 1 may participate. District 1 is located primarily on the eastern side of Route 13, and to the west of Route 113. The term of the council member elected on May 31 has been shortened to coincide with the previous election’s date of April 5. The winner will serve a 3-year term from that date. The results of the previous election were contested because of an inconsistency in the results: 132 people were confirmed to have voted, yet only 127 votes were tallied. City Manager and City Attorney Ernie Crofoot confirmed the same voting machines ...
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Berlin Fire Co. will get budget work session

Posted On: 4/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Ecitor

(April 28, 2016) Each year, during budget season, the town of Berlin holds separate workshops for the main part of budget, the general fund, and for the utilities portion of its fiscal year plan. Now, it appears the Berlin Fire Company will also get a separate budget work session, Monday, May 2, at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall. Fire Company President David Fitzgerald, Chief Jim Corron and EMS Capt. Rona Schneck addressed the mayor and council on Monday, discussing reasons for an apparent increase in the annual town grant, while mostly shying away from specific dollar amounts. Last year, Fitzgerald said 42 percent of calls to the fire company came from within town limits. Mandates from the National Fire Protection Association, and others, require costly upkeep and maintenance of equipment, including replacing pieces of apparatus every 10 years. The fire company has a new ladder truck on order that costs $800,000, and still needs close to $500,000 to pay it off. Station three, a new f...
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