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Generosity follows Copy Central robbery

Posted On: 7/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(July 28, 2016) Police have a person of interest in the July 5 robbery of Copy Central, according to the business’s owner, Linda Dearing, who added on Monday that an overwhelming amount of generosity had come in from members of the community following the crime. Along with several hundred dollars in the register, the suspect took a container holding about $750 set aside for Gina’s Comfort Fund, a charity established to honor Dearing’s daughter, the late Gina Barnes, who died of colon cancer in 2014. The thief was caught on the store’s video surveillance and appeared to be a while male. State Police Trooper Zais, assigned to the case, was unavailable to comment. “It had been such an emotional time for me because the amount of people coming in here, bringing in money or sending checks in the mail with notes. It’s overwhelming how wonderful people had been in this county,” Dearing said. “Businesses, customers, even people who had moved ...
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Ocean Pines directors still differ on DMA reserve study

Posted On: 7/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(July 28, 2016) A July 20 work session in Ocean Pines had one major item on the agenda: “reserve study discussion.” Indeed, plenty of discussion was had on that subject – about two and a half hours – but when pressed for action or a follow-up work session, the directors could not find common ground. “After this working session, where nothing has been accomplished, we’re going to once again do nothing until there is a reconstituted board? Is that what you’re asking us to do?” Vice President Cheryl Jacobs said. Jacobs was filling in at the leadership role for ailing President Pat Renaud. “Yeah, because it’s going to take months and months and months to come up with this, and [the new board is] going to be a huge part of what gets decided,” Director Tom Herrick said. “How could you just dismiss them?” The meeting started with an extensive presentation by General Manager Bob Thompson titled, “Break O...
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NAACP meets with law enforcement to discuss tensions

Posted On: 7/28/16
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

(July 28, 2016) How to establish positive and peaceful interactions with law enforcement, in light of the continuing onslaught of deadly encounters between police and African-Americans, was the primary focus of a Worcester County NAACP Town Hall meeting and panel discussion at the Germantown School Community Center in Berlin last Thursday. On the panel were Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro, Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing, Worcester Sheriff Lt. Andy McGee, Worcester Sheriff Reggie Mason, Worcester Sheriff Corporal Dale Trotter, Pocomoke Police Chief Bill Harden and Maryland State Police Commander Earl Starner. Dr. Roxie Davis, former Worcester County NAACP president, questioned if, and how, officers are given regular reminders to be equitable in their treatment of minority community members. Constant reinforcement is crucial, Buzzuro said. “What we practice is the three words — everything else kind of encompasses these three words — friendly, fair and firm,...
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National Night Out in Berlin, Aug. 2

Posted On: 7/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(July 28, 2016) More than 1,000 people are expected to attend this year’s National Night Out in Berlin, Tuesday, Aug. 2 from 4-7 p.m. in Dr. William Henry Park. Part of a nationwide law enforcement campaign, the annual event is designed to foster a sense of community by building partnerships between police, nonprofits, church groups, local businesses and members of the general public. “It’s about partnerships for us,” Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing said. “The national spotlight is to go ahead and speak toward crime prevention and to try and find different ways to bring the all the communities together. What we’re finding is it’s not only the three hours there, it’s the process of getting there [and] having all the different organizations come together to provide the different things. The process to get there is one of enriching and fostering partnerships.” In short, a lot of people put in a lot of hard work in order to pull ...
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Jesse’s Paddle 2016 best organized, most profitable

Posted On: 7/28/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(July 28, 2016) Along with record-setting donations, more than 200 attendees, a mountain of food to distribute, vendors to manage, a silent auction to run and hundreds of other small tasks necessary for a large event, Kim Klump, president of the memorial scholarship fund named for her son, said she had something new during this year’s event: space to breathe. “This was the most well-organized Jesse’s Paddle ever,” she said. “In the past, we had a hard time setting everything up in time — it was very chaotic.” Not so this year, Klump said, crediting Kathy Bassett with formulating a plan for this year’s paddle and ensuring everyone stuck to it. “Kathy was one of the keys to the whole event. She wrote the plan and followed it,” she said. Changes included the layout of informational booths and changes to the food service operation. This year, the nonprofit was required to get a permit from the health department, which meant...
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Pines Budget and Finance ponders STOP political ads

Posted On: 7/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(July 28, 2016) Political advertising and the board of directors election crept its way into a budget and finance meeting in Ocean Pines last Wednesday. Committee member John Viola held up a letter he had received at his home in New York credited to a group called “STOP” (Stop Taxing Ocean Pines). He had asked that discussion of the ad be put onto the agenda for the meeting. The letter named Budget and Finance Chairwoman Pat Supik as part of “the status quo,” and attributed a quote she made during a candidate forum that the “three-year bottom line is positive” in Ocean Pines. According to STOP, “audited statements show a deficit for that period of $132,533.” Supik recused herself from that portion of the meeting, and left the room during the discussion. “I don’t think this number’s right,” Viola said. “The fact that this was sent out unsigned … I think is unacceptable. I don’t think it...
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LESMA dinner brings mayors, nonprofit pitches to Berlin

Posted On: 7/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(July 28, 2016) As usual, The Lower Eastern Shore Mayor’s Association dinner last Thursday night included good-natured ribbing between local leaders. It also included a rallying cry from a local nonprofit. The association is a networking group for municipal officials in Worcester, Wicomico, Dorchester and Somerset counties. The July meeting was held upstairs at the Globe restaurant in Berlin. Douglas Gosnell, president of the Sharptown Commissioners, started the meeting by asking Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan to stand. Meehan, it turns out, was wearing shorts during the occasion. “This is July, folks. This is the dress code for Berlin,” Gosnell said, drawing laughs from the several dozen in attendance. Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said it seemed like there were “three Marches” this year before summer started. “I saw a lot of sad, worried faces, then the summer came and what a difference it’s made,” he said. “I think the spirit...
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Weather, bad press blamed for Pines yacht club losses

Posted On: 7/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(July 28, 2016) The weather has not been kind to many local businesses, and the Ocean Pines yacht club is apparently no exception. Negative press also has not helped the bottom line, according to Ocean Pines Association General Manager Bob Thompson. During a July 20 meeting, Budget and Finance Committee member Jim Beisler said food and beverages revenues were “off $100,000 from the previous year.” Beisler was referring to the April financial report, which showed about $740,000 in year-to-date food revenues, $210,000 less than the $950,000 budgeted and almost $100,000 less than the $842,000 in year-to-date revenues at that point in 2015.   Moreover, Beisler said May food revenues were off about $39,000 from budgeted numbers and $34,000 worse than the in May of the previous year. “I’m not drawing huge conclusions from May only because May wasn’t the nicest of months, but comparing it to last year … is troubling to me,” he said. “...
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OPA Board elections and annual meeting dates given

Posted On: 7/28/16
Written By:

(July 28, 2016) The deadline for receipt of ballots at the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) administration building is no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11. The 2016 election involves voting for candidates to fill three positions on the OPA Board of Directors for three-year terms.   Election results will be announced during the OPA annual meeting, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Ocean Pines community center at 235 Ocean Parkway. The OPA is urging all property owners to attend this homeowner’s meeting, arrive early and be ready to provide a photo ID, such as your driver’s license.  For more information, contact the OPA Elections Committee at 410-208-3989.
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Burley Oak takes home top prize

Posted On: 7/21/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(July 21, 2016) After years of playing it safe, often sauntering across the finish line in what amounted to a rolling barrel of beer, local brewery Burley Oak finally took home the coveted rubber duck trophy during the 2016 Berlin Bathtub Races last Friday. Berlin Mayor Gee Williams said the 2016 race was among the best in the more than two-decade history of the event. “After all these years, I thought they were not only the most well attended, but also the best organized,” he said. “The effort that went into and the enjoyment all were the best I can remember. “I was really impressed with the work that the chamber and all the participants did in making it really special,” Williams added. “It just seems to keep getting better and better as far as I can see.” The Berlin Chamber of Commerce hosted the races and raised more than $600 in a 50/50 rubber duck raffle that was won by Michael John Schworn. “I think this year’s Bathtu...
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