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Pickleball clashes with Pines board over gym-use fees

Posted On: 2/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

 (Feb. 16, 2017) Assertions that Ocean Pines is considering running the community center gym as a profit center are completely unrealistic, according to Board President Tom Herrick. Pickleball players that use the gym, however, are not convinced that is true, and drop-in rates were set last week for that group, which previously did not have to pay to play indoors. Annual membership fees had covered indoor play in the gym. Herrick began a Feb. 10 budget meeting with a statement related to the community center controversy. “There were some public comments made recently and there is also an article in the local newspaper giving the false impression that this board may want to run the community center like a profit center,” Herrick said. “It’s completely unrealistic to believe that to be true. It could never happen and nor should it happen – it’s a service to the community.” What the board was doing, he said, was attempting to make up...
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WCAC to present free grant-writing workshop, Feb. 25

Posted On: 2/16/17
Written By:

(Feb. 16, 2017) The Worcester County Arts Council will conduct a free grant-writing workshop for representatives of local, nonprofit organizations that are seeking funding support from the council for arts-related projects and activities.   All new and returning grant applicants, as well as new grant writers, are required to attend the workshop on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon at the arts council at 6 Jefferson Street in downtown Berlin. Grant guidelines and application forms have been revised as of Jan. 1. The next application-submission deadline for Worcester County Arts Council grants is April 15. The workshop will focus on Community Arts Development (CAD) grant and CAD mini-grant guidelines, and will provide tools and updates on the process of submission, grant policies and requirements, evaluation criteria, reporting procedures and application assistance. To attend, RSVP by Feb. 20 by calling the arts council office at 410-641-0809, or email curator@worcestercoun...
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Pocomoke Council adopts solar change to zoning code

Posted On: 2/16/17
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Feb. 16, 2017) Prices keep falling as alternative energy-system usage keeps rising, and the Pocomoke City Council made changes to its code to make the transition even easier, following a public hearing on the matter last Monday. The change was no trivial matter, as at least 10 sections of the city zoning code were altered to accommodate solar panels. Previously, solar equipment required a special exception to the zoning code, which required an appearance before the Board of Zoning appeals and possibly, for the petitioner, the services of an attorney. City Manager/City Attorney Ernie Crofoot said during the meeting the costs of getting the exception could run as high as $600. This figure likely includes the $350 fee associated with requesting a zoning exception the town charges. Now as an accessory use, City Clerk Carol Sullivan said, the costs involved only getting a building permit. Building permit costs, in Pocomoke City, are based on a percentage of the costs of the construc...
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Berlin Briefs

Posted On: 2/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Feb. 16, 2017) The Berlin Mayor and Council discussed the following items during a meeting at town hall on Monday, Feb. 13. Maryland’s Healthiest Biz Kathy Wool, dietician for the Worcester County Health Department, spoke to the mayor and council about the statewide Maryland’s Healthiest Business initiative. The program promotes employee wellness. “It’s a great program because it actually encourages employers to take employee wellness by the horns and really push it,” she said. “The whole idea is to keep your employees well.” Wool said about 20 businesses and the towns of Berlin, Snow Hill and Ocean City had already signed up, and that Pocomoke was close to joining. Ocean Pines, she added, was another story. “We’re hoping to move into the district of Ocean Pines, because they’re not really a place, but they want to be a place,” Wool said with a laugh. “I’m not sure what they do, but we’ll find...
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OPA Briefs

Posted On: 2/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Feb. 16, 2017) The Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors discussed the following items during a budget meeting in the administration building on Feb. 10. New auditor The board voted unanimously to hire SC&H Group as Ocean Pines’ new auditing firm. The company is based in the unincorporated community of Sparks, Maryland. Interim General Manager Brett Hill said the firm could start as soon as next week. A vote to approve the motion was 6-0. One director, Slobodan Trendic, was not present because his wife had a medical emergency, according to Director Cheryl Jacobs. Authorized signers The board voted 6-0 to appoint President Tom Herrick, Finance Director Mary Bosack, Treasurer Pat Supik and Assistant Treasurer Gene Ringsdorf as authorized signers of association checks. Hill said the corporate resolution was necessary for legal and banking purposes. He said he was not included in that list because of his interim role, adding that a separate resolution would be r...
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Berlin moving closer to new commercial design standards

Posted On: 2/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Feb. 16, 2017) Progress continues towards new commercial design standards in Berlin. Planning Director Dave Engelhart said the Berlin Planning Commission spent its most recent meeting, last Wednesday, going over the county design standards document and working to apply it to the town. A January commission meeting was devoted to the same subject. “We’re getting closer with that,” Engelhart said in a phone interview, Monday. “We made notes last month to revisit and we addressed those, and the members had a few more tweaks to it.” He said photos in the county document would also have to be replaced with images related to the town. “It was a good meeting. At least we made progress,” Engelhart said. Last year, the Town of Berlin budgeted $35,000 to hire an outside firm to develop design standards. One bidder came in under that number, but later backed out, and a second bidder was more than $10,000 over budget. When that happened, the pla...
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Police Briefs

Posted On: 2/16/17
Written By:

Assault Robert Jaeger, 28, of Ocean Pines, was arrested for allegedly assaulting his estranged wife with a knife. Ocean Pines police responded to a domestic incident where a 25-year-old victim was upset and afraid on Feb. 8. She told police Jaeger grew angry and made threats after learning she was dating a Virginia man. According to the incident report, Mrs. Jaeger said her husband “went nuts and hit his head against the bedroom wall, causing damage to the wall.” He then reached for a pocket knife, the report stated. Mrs. Jaeger started to call 911, when her husband dropped the knife to grab her cell phone, the incident report states. After a tussle, Mr. Jaeger left the residence. Mrs. Jaeger was not physically injured, police said.   He is being charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property. Jaeger was taken before a district court commissioner and was released on a $25,000 bond. Jaeger is scheduled to appear...
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Berlin Parks Briefs

Posted On: 2/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Feb. 16, 2017) The Berlin Parks Commission discussed the following items during a meeting at town hall on Jan. 31. Events Plans are taking shape for a number of 2017 events that are supported by the parks commission. Six Outdoor Movie Nights are scheduled to run on June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29, Aug. 12 and Aug. 26. The first and last showings will be held on Main Street, while the middle four will alternate between Stephen Decatur Park and William Henry Park. The commission is soliciting suggestions for screenings on Facebook. Additionally, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” will screen on Oct. 21. The series, now in its third year, is run in conjunction with the Berlin Arts & Entertainment Committee. Dates for the spring and fall Just Walk event will be May 6 and Nov. 11, respectively. A suggestion was made to host the spring event downtown and the fall event at Stephen Decatur Park. Generally, one, two and three-mile courses are offered, along with free hea...
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Film and television workshop at Worcester Prep, Saturday

Posted On: 2/16/17
Written By: Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer

(Feb. 16, 2017) Berlin native and Stephen Decatur High School alum Josh Chamberlain will present a film and television workshop from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. this Saturday at Worcester Preparatory School. The cost to attend is $34 in advance, or $50 at the door. This event was originally set to take place Jan. 7, but was rescheduled because of a snowstorm. There will be a number of demonstrations from the film and television industry focusing on a range of topics including previsualization editing, graphics, trailer editing, color correction and sound. “I’m bringing over a decade of experience and contacts to the workshop,” Chamberlain said. “You cannot find these types of resources in a classroom, on the internet or in a book. If you are searching for a career in television or film, this is it.” Chamberlain will discuss his personal story and journey from high school to his career as a Hollywood entertainment professional in addition to sharing lessons he...
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Counterfeit bills may have passed though Pocomoke

Posted On: 2/16/17
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Feb. 16, 2017) The Worcester County Bureau of Investigations is looking into two suspected fake $100 bills passed within Pocomoke City that might be connected to earlier instances of counterfeit currency in the area. Lt. Ed Schreier said this case might be connected to two others, but declined to comment specifically, as the investigation is ongoing. Last Wednesday, the Pocomoke City Police Department issued a warning via its Facebook page that two fake $100 bills were reported within its jurisdiction. According to Chief William Harden, the investigation has been turned over to CBI, which now has authority over it. Police announced they are looking for a black male in his mid-20s, with dreadlock-styled hair. The Pocomoke Police ask anyone who believes they might have encountered fake currency, or has any information related to this or other instances of counterfeit bills to call 410-957-1600.
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