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Not in our Oasis: OPA reverses GM

Posted On: 4/20/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(April 20, 2017) About 200 people – an unusually large turnout for an Ocean Pines Board meeting – crowded into the community center last Thursday night and heard what they hoped they would hear:  the introduction of family fun day on Sundays at the previously adults-only Oasis swimming pool is not going to happen. After hearing resident after resident decry the schedule shift, the Ocean Pines Board of Directors voted 5-2 to reverse the decision of acting General Manager Brett Hill. So concerned about the change were homeowners and residents that they spilled over into two standing-room-only sections in the rear and side of the Assateague Room. In addition to the addition of the family day at the Oasis pool, Hill planned to introduce adults-only hours on Sundays at the Swim and Racket Club. Previously, a family event was held at the Oasis pool, formerly called the yacht club pool, on Wednesday evenings until 8 p.m. That was shifted to another pool after an apparent c...
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Barbara Purnell named winner of ‘17 Berlin Award

Posted On: 4/20/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

Barbara Purnell named winner of ‘17 Berlin Award (April 20, 2017) Longtime Berlin resident and president of the committee overseeing the Germantown School Community Heritage Center project Barbara Purnell, 74, has won the 2017 Berlin Award presented by the Berlin Lions Club. The award, recognizing volunteer work in the town, is in its 52nd year. The previous co-winners were Cam and Woody Bunting. “I was really shocked. It was a great surprise,” Purnell said on Monday. “It was a great honor to receive it.” Former Berlin Shoe Box owner Jesse Turner, who passed away last month, nominated Purnell. A committee of previous honorees handles the selection process.   In the nomination form, filled out last year, Turner wrote that Purnell was hardworking, loyal, honest, put others before herself and had a strong will to motivate. He cited her activities with the heritage center and with organizing a neighborhood crime watch, working with Eastern Star, and serving on the Worcester County Economic Development Ad...
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Purnell Museum opens ‘Community Medicine’

Posted On: 4/20/17
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

Purnell Museum opens ‘Community Medicine’ (April 20, 2017) The Julia A. Purnell Museum’s new exhibit, “Community Medicine: The Art and Science of Healing,” which honors longtime town physician Dr. Robert LaMar, had a well-attended opening reception on April 7 during the First Friday Art Stroll in Snow Hill. Dr. Cynthia Byrd, Purnell Museum executive director, said about 50 people were on hand for the opening, most of whom had first hand dealings with LaMar. “So many people from his life came and I was so glad they were still around,” she said. In addition to LaMar’s son and daughter-in-law, Philip and Suzanne LaMar, Byrd said two former nurses, along with the physician who took over his practice and numerous patients were on hand to remember the man who served as Snow Hill’s town doctor for almost 60 years. “He was the last general family doctor who was certified to deliver babies at Peninsula Regional Medical Center,” she said. “That was back when a general prac...
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Developers look for new direction for Summerfield

Posted On: 4/20/17
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

Developers look for new direction for Summerfield (April 20, 2017) The next chapter in the long-stalled Summerfield development project in Snow Hill unfolded during an informational meeting on Tuesday at the Train Station on Belt Street. Matt Odachowski, who owns approximately 400 acres of what had been an 1,000-acre parcel, opened the meeting by noting the population of Snow Hill has declined from more than 2,400 residents in 2000 to its current level of roughly 1,900 inhabitants. “It’s an important time for figuring out a direction for the Summerfield project,” he said. In February Odachowski submitted a list of potential projects to develop the dormant Summerfield property. “I was trying to figure out a developer I could team up with,” he said. “I’m not a developer … I know how to do things, but I wanted to make sure that I brought on somebody I felt comfortable with that I can more forward with that has the same goals in mind: protecting the community, our jobs and the future.&#...
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Parks to run again for OPA

Posted On: 4/20/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(April 20, 2017) Ocean Pines Association Director Doug Parks finished ninth in an election that saw 12 men and women declare candidacy and three new faces take office last August. He joined the board a month later, as an appointed director, after Pat Renaud resigned. This year, he’s hoping to earn reelection and stay on. Parks, 61, is senior executive with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development – or ASCD – and has a three-decade career in the information technology sector, including stints with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Pew Charitable Trust. The chairman of the new technology workgroup, Parks made the motion last Thursday to do away with the family night event at the adults-only Oasis pool. It passed 5-2 and had the widespread support of the several hundred homeowners who attended the meeting. Parks said what happened during the meeting was a good thing and that he has tried to give interim General Manager Brett Hill “...
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LaToya Purnell brings youth, energy to Snow Hill election

Posted On: 4/20/17
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

(April 20, 2017) Snow Hill Council candidate LaToya Purnell said she is seeking office to enhance her efforts to positively impact the town. “I’m very active in my community with the young people, the elderly people, that is what I do,” she said. “I just wanted to go to the next level of actually having a voice being heard.” Purnell filed last month to replace retiring Western District incumbent Michael Pruitt. She said Pruitt and Worcester County Commission Vice President Diana Purnell encouraged her involvement. After graduating from Snow Hill High School in 2005, Purnell attended Chesapeake College, but later transferred to Wor-Wic Community College. She earned an associates degree in business management in 2013. Purnell was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and held the office of treasurer for the organization while at Wor-Wic. She cofounded the multi-cultural organization Uhuru while attending Chesapeake College. “That was one ...
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Berlin unveils first draft of $8M FY18 general fund budget

Posted On: 4/20/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(April 20, 2017) The Town of Berlin released preliminary details of its $8.06 million fiscal year 2018 general fund budget during a work session at Town Hall on Monday night. Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said department heads and the town administrator had worked for the last several months to prepare the draft. The meeting on Monday was for review by the mayor and council. “[The approach] was to hold the line wherever possible and cut if we can,” Williams said on Monday. “What this preliminary general fund budget process seeks to do is simply [provide] an ongoing commitment … to take care of our immediate needs while also planning for the future.” The general fund was about 10 percent less than the previous year, in large part because of the $2.75 million purchase of the Berlin Falls park property in 2017. The big-ticket item this year is a $2.5 million new police station, which Williams said would be paid off over a period of 10-12 years by casino reve...
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Naming parks and public spaces cmte. nearing finish line

Posted On: 4/20/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(April 20, 2017) The Berlin Naming Parks and Public Spaces Committee is poised to introduce a new public policy at a Town Council meeting as soon as next month. The committee met last Wednesday to discuss a draft policy prepared by Town Administrator Laura Allen, the staff liaison to the group. Allen said the protocol was based on one from a community in Florida that Councilman Dean Burrell brought to the committee’s attention during an earlier meeting. She said Burrell edited that policy to fit the town of Berlin. Allen revised it further, adding samples from other community policies that were discussed by the committee. She then checked the draft against prior meeting minutes to make sure all the major points of discussion were included in the draft, she said. The document was looked over by Town Attorney David Gaskill, who had no objections. The meeting last week was just the third by the committee, which was formed in January. “We’re just working a few ...
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Berlin ambassador program looking for friendly new faces

Posted On: 4/20/17
Written By:

(April 20, 2017) America’s “coolest” small town is looking for volunteers to help with the Town of Berlin’s ambassador program, which received the 2015 Governor’s Award for Volunteerism.   “Berlin Ambassadors are a friendly face on Main Street that help our visitors with any questions they might have, hand out town information, and guide our guests towards shops, restaurants or attractions they are looking for,” said  administrative assistant Sharon Timmons. Ambassadors are needed from May 30 through Sept. 22, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. Volunteer ambassadors will be representing the town and helping guests in Berlin to discover the variety of ways to spend time during their visit and learn about the town’s many events throughout the year.   For more info or to sign up, contact Timmons at stimmons@berlinmd.gov or 410-629-1716.
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Berlin community supports Suplee, KC Cure nonprofit

Posted On: 4/20/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

Berlin community supports Suplee, KC Cure nonprofit (April 20, 2017) The bar at Burley Oak Brewing Company in Berlin was packed on Monday night, as it normally would be, but this time it was about more than beer, as members of the community came to support Paul Suplee and his family following the passing of his wife, Julie, last month. Organizer Todd DeHart said Tuesday that about $2,500 was raised during the event to help defray medical expenses from Julie’s final rounds of kidney cancer treatment at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, as well as pay for funeral expenses. Every dollar above the family’s actual expenses will be donated to KC Cure, an organization of patients, caregivers, doctors and medical researchers dedicated to curing kidney cancer.   Dena Battle, president of KC Cure, was among the many who came to support the Suplees. “I lost my husband to kidney cancer. My husband was treated by the same doctor that was treating Julie at Johns Hopkins,” Battle said. “We wanted to do some...
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