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Worcester County students excel at Salisbury University

Posted On: 7/24/14
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SALISBURY–Some 98 Worcester County area students were named to the Dean’s List at Salisbury University for the spring 2014 semester. Berlin area residents include Brandon Altvater, Elizabeth Bangert, Joshua Bargar, Andrew Baskerville, Paula Beachley, Alexandria Birckett, Brooke Brittingham, Travis Bush, Cara Hallee Carr, Nicole Freni, Hailey Gibbs, Nancy Haines, Sara Hammer, Abigail Hastings, Emma Heim, James Janis, Tener Jenkins, Robert Kennard, Sage Lemaster, Shelby Mackay, Christopher Markiewicz, Alexis Martinek, Hanna Marynenka, Tracy Morey, Kasie Moyer, Daniel Norris, Michelle Ott, Robert Phillips, Shawn Reagin, Kevin Reynolds, Ravyn Saunders, Lauren Sens, Kayla Short, David Swieczkowski, Katalina Tingle, Paige Torpey, Joshua Wenzel, Ryan Wilson and Elizabeth Withers. Bishopville area residents include Erica Adams, Elizabeth Davidson, Janet Davidson, Bethany Frick, Brian Green, Jenna Kramer, Joseph Lertora, Chelsea Smith, Olivia Smith and Samantha Vail. Newark area ...
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Train study gives railroad nod to choo-choo ahead

Posted On: 7/24/14
Written By: Nancy Powell, Staff Writer Ocean City Today

WORCESTER COUNTY - The Worcester County Commissioners approved a feasibility study Tuesday for an excursion train from Berlin to Newark and Snow Hill. It had been announced last week that the contract with a consultant would be signed July 16, but that turned out to be premature because an affirmative vote was needed from the commissioners, who were enthusiastic about the possibility of the new attraction. “I’ve had more calls about this than anything we’ve done for a long time,” Commissioner Judy Boggs said during Tuesday’s meeting. “If we can make this thing fly, I think it’ll be a huge success,” said Bud Church, president of the county commissioners. Strasburg Railroad is known for its family-oriented attraction and it has replica of Thomas the Tank train and The Polar Express. Passengers may be served food and alcohol aboard several train cars. Eric Callaway, president of the Maryland Delaware Railroad, who broached the subjec...
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New G.O.L.D. board elected

Posted On: 7/24/14
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WORCESTER COUNTY–Worcester County G.O.L.D. (Giving Other Lives Dignity), Inc. announces the election of Nancy Fortney and Nancy Howard, both of Ocean City, and Amanda Kiesewetter of Snow Hill, to the Board of Directors. Fortney brings to the organization more than four decades of experience with the Worcester County Board of Education, as a teacher and curriculum planner. She currently serves on the board of the Worcester County Commission for Women and the Art League of Ocean City, and works with the Strides for Breast Cancer Committee and the Lower Shore Red Cross Committee of Worcester County. Howard was employed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and managed Ocean City’s beach replenishment program. She was elected to the Ocean City Council and served for 12 years. The Worcester County Department of Social Services advisory board, the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum, the Worcester County Arts Council and the Ocean City Paramedics Foundation are ju...
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Diakonia reviews recent fiscal year

Posted On: 7/24/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– Diakonia released its fiscal year 2014 numbers for the town on July 14. The 501(c)(3) non-denominational organization reviewed its efforts for Berlin, and expects to have final overall FY ‘14 numbers by Aug. 1. “We offer out services across the county, and the town of Berlin has been one of our supporters, so we present to them the result of the funds they provided us on an annual basis,” said Executive Director Claudia Nagle. The organization offers services including emergency and transitional housing, food pantry, supportive services for veterans, and homelessness-prevention programs for Berlin residents. The food pantry was the fastest-growing program, distributing 7,096 bags of food and serving 935 households and 2,989 people in FY’14. Those numbers were up from 853 households and 2,836 people the previous year. The Emergency Solutions Grant Homeless Prevention and Rehousing Assistance program served 35 people in 13 households, spending...
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Town to replace financial system with automation

Posted On: 7/24/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– Looking to update its outdated financial system, the town approved a Government Finance Officers Association development and vendor selection proposal during a Mayor and Council meeting on Monday, July 14. Berlin’s financial system tracks town expenses and generates billing for utilities based on meter readings. “The current system requires a lot of manual entry for processes that should be automated,” said Town Administrator Laura Allen. “We get requests from owners of multiple properties to produce a bill which pulls all of their properties together in a couple of pieces of paper. The current system can’t do it.” The system also fails when it comes to generating specific customer reports. “The system cannot produce reports with prior period information,” Allen said. “At the end of each month (we can’t) produce reports and save them in a PDF file in case a customer wants a copy of his or her bill.” A...
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For some store owners in Berlin, parking is the Pitts

Posted On: 7/17/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– A request for a parking change on Pitts Street led to a fiery debate during a Mayor and Council Meeting on Monday, July 14. Bill Outten, owner of Town Center Antiques, and Walt Dennison, owner of Walt’s Train Shop, asked the town to create a 30-minute designated loading zone on the street, citing increased traffic in town. “It’s gotten so congested that it’s really hard for the dealers to get and out of that area,” Outten said. “I’m looking to maybe find a loading zone in the area where we can actually park that is right by the (Town Center Antiques) door.” The Pitts Street location of the store has 100 booths, meaning 100 merchants regularly need to park nearby in order to unload items and restock their shelves. Outten said the new space could be a “neighborhood loading zone” to be used by businesses in the immediate area, including Walt’s Train Shop and Burley Inn Tavern. “I’m looking f...
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Rocketry, aerospace engineering in place of beach balls, surf boarding and sun bathing

Posted On: 7/17/14
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BERLIN–While some teenagers pass the summer months lounging on the beach or playing video games, a small group of students are learning about aeronautics, aerospace engineering, rocketry, and acquiring other technological skills at Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin. Twenty-five students are participating in the SDHS Summer Academy, a four-week program with a cross-curricular approach to learning, which began on June 23 and runs through July 18. Students are reading excerpts from Homer Hickman’s bestselling memoir, “Rocket Boys,” photographing their activities, narrating their experiences using iPhoto, and applying their math and science skills while researching, constructing and launching rockets. Additionally, students traveled to NASA Wallops Flight Facility where they had the opportunity to tour the Range Control Center and NASA Exhibit Hall. “It’s been a great summer experience,” junior Olivia Stinebiser said. “I love how th...
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Berlin charged up by new electrical upgrades for area

Posted On: 7/17/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– New electric upgrades should help protect area homes and businesses from widespread blackouts. Berlin began installing in-line disconnects in 23 locations throughout the town earlier this month. “The locations will be throughout the entire system in Berlin,” said ElecAtric Utility Director Tim Lawrence. “Basically, what they enable us to do is do sectionalizing block-to-block. Say a car hits a pole in the middle of Jefferson, for example. Halfway down the street we would be able to open on each end and back feed – get customers back online and just have that one little area out. “Right now we don’t have that capability,” Lawrence continued. “We have that capability in a larger-type atmosphere, but installing these disconnects we can reduce that area to a small, minute area.” Lawrence oversaw similar systems while working for a utility company in Virginia. “We also noticed this when we went up during the st...
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Berlin Victorian Christmas planning begins

Posted On: 7/17/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– Christmas is coming early in America’s coolest small town. Planning for Berlin’s month-long Victorian Christmas celebration began during a recent Main Street meeting, and fundraising efforts could start immediately. “A lot of good discussion happened at the meeting regarding this year’s Victorian Christmas,” said Main Street Coordinator Megan Houston. “We definitely want to keep the momentum of ‘Coolest Small Town’ going throughout November/December and make this year’s Victorian Christmas the coolest Christmas ever.” Among other things, the committee mulled rebranding the event in order to tie it to the Budget Travel magazine honor. “It still could have Victorian activities, but we were thinking of calling it ‘Coolest Christmas 2014’ or something like that,” Houston said. “We’re trying to think of new activities and new things to bring more tourists in for this year̵...
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Couple gets honey of plan from National Wildlife Fed.

Posted On: 7/17/14
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

BERLIN– The National Wildlife Federation recently helped a pair of local beekeepers transition from farmers to owners of a wildlife preserve. NWF named Trappe Creek Organic Farm, owned by retired farmers Carl and Jenel D’Alessandro, a Certified Wildlife Habitat site. Qualified sites must demonstrate that programs have been active for at least one year with a management plan that lists goals, objectives and prescriptions, as well as complete documentation of all programs. A panel of WHC wildlife biologists and staff reviews the materials for certification eligibility and recognizes deserving projects. The farm previously produced and sold unprocessed honey and organic produce at area farmer’s markets. “We enjoy witnessing our thousands of honeybees, along with dragonflies and butterflies pollinating our walking trails, fields and gardens,” Jenel said. “We created this habitat here not only because we are organic and this is considered a ‘saf...
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