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Engine compartment vapor results in boat’s explosion

Posted On: 9/11/14
Written By: Nancy Powell, Staff Writer/Ocean City Today

OCEAN PINES - The cause of the fire that led to the explosion of a boat in Ocean Pines and injured passengers onboard Aug. 31 was determined to be accidental and blamed on a vapor explosion in the engine compartment. The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office made that determination following an investigation into the boat fire and explosion at 43 Boatswain Drive.   Boat owner Neal Edwards of Springfield, Va., was preparing to take his wife, daughter and two friends visiting from California for a boat ride. He opened all of the hatches and started blowers to vent gasoline that might have accumulated. He estimated the blowers were on for 10 to 14 minutes. They were on while he went to the house to get a cooler and to notify his passengers it was time to board the 22-foot run-about boat. When his wife, Bonnie, their daughter, Shannon, and friends Dawn Van Deursen and Larry McPherson were aboard, Edwards started the boat’s engine, put it in reverse and then put it in f...
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‘Taste of the Arts’ set for Oct. 12 at Community Ctr.

Posted On: 9/11/14
Written By:

OCEAN PINES–The Worcester County Arts Council in partnership with the Worcester County Library Foundation invites the community to attend the second annual “Taste of the Arts” be held on Sunday, Oct. 12, from 1-4 p.m. in the Ocean Pines Community Center Assateague Room. This event is a fundraiser to benefit the promotion and awareness of the arts in Worcester County. This event will include art exhibits and sale, live music entertainment by Apple & Britt and light refreshments. A “Taste of the Arts” will offer a unique, creative and culinary arts experience where everyone gets an opportunity to enjoy featured works created by talented artists and artisans, available for purchase, sample treats prepared by JJ&K Catering and delight in the sounds of music, all while supporting art experiences in the community. Tickets are limited and cost $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Ticket price includes a complimentary glass of wine. Tickets may be pur...
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WCDC facility improves services to help area clients

Posted On: 9/11/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

NEWARK– A massive new facility has helped the Worcester County Development Center more than double its ability to help area clients with developmental disabilities. Formed in 1971, the nonprofit assists adults in Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties. Program Administrator Jack Ferry said WCDC started like many other grass roots organizations – in basements and garages. “The parents saw that after school was out there was nothing for their children to do, and so they got together and it started with recreational activities and things like that,” he said. “Pretty much across the country any of these organizations that are 40, 50, 60 years old – that’s how they started.” The original building burned down in 2007. Rebuilt in 2011, the new 34,000 square foot facility serves 65 clients on a daily basis, along with several dozen more that work in the community. “It was a blessing in disguise because the old building was a 70-y...
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Sidewalk construction snag causing officials’ impatience

Posted On: 9/4/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– Construction on a sidewalk running from South Main Street to Stephen Decatur Park has hit a snag, and Berlin officials are becoming impatient. The town completed requests for proposals on the project, but are waiting for easements from one property owner before construction can begin. Berlin officials unsuccessfully reached out to the homeowner several times last week. “Think about if there is any way we can expedite the situation even if it means knocking on the door,” Berlin Mayor Gee Williams told David Gaskill, the town’s legal counsel, during a council meeting on Monday, Aug. 25. “This is ridiculous. Fortunately it happens very seldom when an entire community’s interest is being held hostage by someone who just doesn’t want to respond. We’ll go through all the hoops and everything we have to do, but this town will not be denied a sidewalk and safety so they can have access to the park.” Water Resources/Public Works ...
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Ocean Pines boat explosion sends four to area hospitals

Posted On: 9/4/14
Written By: Nancy Powell, Staff Writer/Ocean City Today

OCEAN PINES–Four people were taken to hospitals following a boat explosion Sunday in Ocean Pines. A fifth person was treated at the scene. Boat owner Neal Edwards of Springfield , Va., told investigators he was ready to take some people for a ride in his 24-foot-long boat at about 2 p.m. In preparation, he opened all of the hatches and started the blowers to vent gasoline fumes that might have accumulated, said Candy Thomson, public information officer for the Maryland Natural Resources Police, on Monday. The blowers were on for 10 or 15 minutes, he told investigators. He then went to the house to get a cooler and to round up his passengers, his wife, Bonnie, their daughter, Shannon, and friends Dawn Van Deursen and Larry McPherson, both of Escondido, Calif. When all were aboard, he started the boat’s engine, put it in reverse and then put it in forward.  That’s when the explosion occurred. The boat’s hull remained intact, and all aboard either jumped...
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Berlin designated ‘sustainable community’ in July by state

Posted On: 9/4/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– In 2010 Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed the “Sustainable Communities Act” into law, establishing the Sustainable Communities designation designed to strengthen reinvestment and revitalization in the state’s older communities. The Department of Planning designated Berlin a sustainable community in July. Kevin Baynes, Director of the Office of Community Programs, said the designation brings a variety of state resources to the community, particularly from the Neighborhood Revitalization division. The Department of Business and Economic Development, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Planning and the Maryland Historical Trust also offer incentives. “Many other divisions and departments provide, if you will, sweeteners or additional incentives if you’re located within a sustainable community,” Baynes said. “What it is, is a shared target area to channel revitalization resources to really have an impact ...
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Brown Box Project to offer tragedy, ‘Macbeth’

Posted On: 9/4/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– The Brown Box Theater Project returns to Main Street, presenting William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy “Macbeth” on Saturday, Sept. 6, at 7:30 p.m. Berlin native Kyler Taustin founded Brown Box in 2010, basing the nonprofit organization in Worcester County, but utilizing talent from Boston. “We have two homes,” he said. “We are dedicated to touring from Boston to Delmarva, and our mission is based in trying to bring high-quality arts to communities who have little or no access to performing arts.” Brown Box has presented free Shakespeare in Berlin and throughout Worcester County for the last four years. “All of our productions start in Boston,” Taustin said. “We do two-to-three weeks in Boston and then we do our tours down in Maryland.” Set in Scotland, “Macbeth” follows the titular general who is consumed by ambition after a trio of witches prophesize that he will become king. After his...
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No new dog bite incidents occur in Berlin

Posted On: 9/4/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– Following a dog attack last month, police and animal control said no new incidents have occurred. An off-leash dog scratched Berlin resident Pam Hay on Saturday, Aug. 2, and bit her 3-year-old Cairn terrier Lulu while on a walk near downtown Berlin. After filing a police report, Hay took Lulu to a veterinarian’s emergency room in Salisbury where doctors treated her for puncture wounds. Hay spoke to the Berlin Mayor and Council about the incident during a meeting on Monday, Aug. 25. She named four streets in Berlin – Branch, West, Washington and Burley – that she felt were unsafe and asked if the town could change regulations to allow for fines rather than warnings following initial contact with off-leash dogs. Berlin Chief Arnold Downing said he was not aware of any new reports of incidents with off-leash dogs. “I talked to (Hay) the night of Council meeting and let her know what animal control was doing,” Downing said. “I don&#...
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Health fair set for Worcester Recreation Center, Sept. 26

Posted On: 9/4/14
Written By:

SNOW HILL–Worcester County Recreation & Parks will host the first General Health Fair at the Worcester County Recreation Center in Snow Hill on Friday, Sept. 26,  from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The General Health Fair takes place during Falls Prevention Week, Sept. 22-26. This year’s theme, “Strong Today, Falls Free Tomorrow,” seeks to raise awareness and prevent falls, and unite professionals, older adults, caregivers and family members to play a part in preventing falls in the older adult population. According to the National Council on Aging, every 29 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall, and every 15 seconds an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall-related injury.   This event is free to the public and will provide participants with opportunities to talk with local health professionals and other knowledgeable health vendors who can provide information about vision, balance, assisted living, home health, gaining more independen...
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Town, Berlin Fire Company agree to raise siren’s height

Posted On: 9/4/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– Following several months of discussion, the town and the fire company agreed to move the fire siren pole behind the police station in order to help alleviate noise complaints. Guests and residents in downtown Berlin were startled on the morning of July 4 when the siren malfunctioned, staying on for close to a half hour. “The siren went off at like 6 in the morning,” said Electric Utility Director Tim Lawrence. “It was very disruptive to residents that lived in the area, and that’s where most of it all came about at that point to do something about the siren.” On July 17, Berlin Fire Chief David T. Lewis sent an email to Town Administrator Laura Allen stating, “The chiefs of the Berlin Fire Company met earlier today and decided we would like the fire siren to only blow during the hours of 07:00-22:00 hours every day.” The Mayor and Council drafted their own letter supporting the change during a meeting on July 28. The Fire C...
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