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Pocomoke residents call for curfew

Posted On: 8/18/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Aug. 18, 2016) Following a melee in the area of Fourth and Laurel Streets in Pocomoke City on July 29 that resulted in two arrests and one deployed Taser, residents of the neighborhood asked the mayor and City Council this week to institute a curfew in town. “We need the support of citizens” to enact a curfew, and “the entire council would like to support” such action, Mayor Bruce Morrison said. Each member of the council nodded in agreement with Morrison’s statement made during the Monday night meeting of mayor and City Council. The issue has come up before, Morrison continued, but was stymied because of complaints made by the American Civil Liberties Union. “There are ways to make it work, but you need a lot of exceptions,” City Manager/City Attorney Ernie Crofoot said. Medical emergencies, employment concerns and school functions are examples of possible exceptions to a proposed curfew, according to Crofoot. Two residents attended...
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State names first growers, processors for med. marijuana

Posted On: 8/18/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Aug. 18, 2016) The state’s medical marijuana commission decided on Monday the names of the first 15 growers and processors of medical marijuana in the state. The results were organized by county, though those issued pre-approvals don’t yet need to have a physical presence in the county where they plan to serve. Shore Natural RX LLC, registered to Erick Bruder with an address in Ocean Pines, was awarded Worcester County’s first pre-approval for a growing operation. Blair Wellness Center, registered to Matthew Blair with an address in Timonium, was awarded the processor pre-approval for Worcester County. Neither Blair nor Bruder could be reached for comment. With the pre-approvals in hand, growers will need to finalize a location for a facility, obtain local zoning and planning approvals, begin construction and start hiring and training staff. A medical marijuana growing operation in Maryland can be located anywhere in the state, so long as proper zoning clear...
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Paddle Pocomoke River for nonprofit Worcester GOLD

Posted On: 8/18/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Aug. 18, 2016) Worcester GOLD, a nonprofit dedicated to helping county families make ends meet, will be holding an evening paddle on the Pocomoke River on Saturday as a new fundraiser. The paddle will be held at the Pocomoke River Canoe Company, just off River Street in Snow Hill, and is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Saturday and end at 8 p.m. “This is the first time for this event, but I do hope it becomes annual,” Claire Otterbein, executive director, said. “Our mission is to provide services to low-income families like food, prescription medication, help for those facing eviction, transportation or things like utility bills.” Last year, except for delivered goods like prepackaged food that is donated, Worcester GOLD spent about $47,000 helping local families, Otterbein said. The paddle joins other Worcester GOLD fundraisers, but using the town’s location and star attraction — the Pocomoke River — is a new endeavor for Otterbein. ̶...
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Pocomoke police nab cash during Rt. 113 traffic stop

Posted On: 8/18/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

Pocomoke police nab cash during Rt. 113 traffic stop (Aug. 18, 2016) During a traffic stop conducted on southbound Route 113 near Brantley Road on Aug. 4, the Pocomoke Police Department reported seizing about $35,000 from the unidentified vehicle occupants. “During the stop, officers became suspicious of possible criminal activity, which led to a search of the vehicle. During the search, officers recovered $35,253 in U.S. currency, which is believed to be connected with criminal organizations,” a release from the department reads. No charges connected to the incident have been made public. City Manager/City Attorney Ernie Crofoot, who is also the public information officer for the town, declined to comment due to the matter still being under investigation.
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CAR to host debate covering Berlin mayor, council races

Posted On: 8/18/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 18, 2016) The Coastal Association of Realtors (CAR) will conduct a town political forum at its Berlin office on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The “2016 Berlin Election Candidate Forum,” the event is designed to introduce voters to the various entrants running for mayor, as well as Town Council seats for Districts 2 and 3. Incumbent Mayor Gee Williams, who has yet to file officially, said in an email last Thursday that he would be at the forum.   “I will be attending the CAR candidates forum on Sept. 7 and have confirmed my attendance with Sarah Rayne, CAR government and public affairs director,” Williams wrote. “Be assured that I will be filing my candidacy for re-election before the Sept. 2 deadline.” Other candidates, or possible candidates, could not be reached for comment. District 2 Councilwoman Lisa Hall, who has filed to run for mayor, did not respond, and District 3 Councilman Elroy Brittingham, who has yet to file for reelection, also...
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Construction on Route 113 delayed by SHA again, again

Posted On: 8/18/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Aug. 18, 2016) The State Highway Administration has again pushed back the day work will begin on four stormwater management crossings under Route 113. The new start date target is Aug. 23. “We’re not quite where we want to be in terms of off-road prep, so crews will stay focused on getting as much done as they can right up to the roadway edge,” Bob Rager, district community liaison for SHA, said. Old stormwater drain pipes need to be excavated, removed and replaced with larger pipes measuring up to 72 inches in diameter as work to widen the road continues. Work will primarily take place at night, and the road will be detoured from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. Three installations will be just south of Langmaid Road, and will use that street and Newark Road as bypasses. The fourth installation will take place north of Basket Switch Road, and drivers can use that road as well as Newark Road to get by. The SHA measured the detours at about 1 mile each. “SHA recogni...
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Klump foundation offers free suicide prevention booklet

Posted On: 8/18/16
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(Aug. 18, 2016) The Jesse Klump Suicide Awareness & Prevention Program has announced a new guide to local mental healthcare resources, and a brochure devoted to teaching young people suicide prevention first aid. Both are available free of charge. “Our Jesse Klump Memorial Fund Guide to Mental Health Resources is the third edition of the most comprehensive directory to mental healthcare professionals on the lower Eastern Shore,” said Fund President Kim Klump. “The Guide has grown to 38 pages, and includes not only psychiatrists and traditional practitioners, but also complementary therapies like massage, life coaches, yoga and meditation healers, and even a section on mental health and suicide prevention apps.” The Guide was made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. Choose to Live is the Fund’s brochure about the risk of youth suicide and its prevention. “Our newly designed brochure outlines the warning s...
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Sit-in greets vote counters for Ocean Pines election

Posted On: 8/18/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

Sit-in greets vote counters for Ocean Pines election (Aug. 18, 2016) A peaceful protest of sorts was held in the Ocean Pines Association administration building last Friday, when part of the building was closed during ballot counting for the board of directors election. OPA Resolution M-06, covering elections and referendum procedures, requires votes to be counted “in closed session” by the elections committee, “with the assistance of a computer consultant and Association staff.” Some of the candidates and others in the community, however, claimed this violated the Maryland Homeowner’s Association Act, and threatened legal and other action. General Manager Bob Thompson arrived just before 8 a.m. and walked into the dark lobby of the building, then briefly into the adjacent police station, before opening the front double doors. There were few cars in the parking lot and all of the lights in the building appeared to be off, except in the back boardroom where members of the committee would set up and the ...
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Berlin briefs Flower Street residents on stormwater projects

Posted On: 8/18/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 18, 2016) To increase public interest in an Aug. 9 public meeting on stormwater in Berlin, the town hand-delivered flyers to residents on Maple Avenue and Flower Street and spoke with property owners in the area of Ennis Lane in advance. In addition, Town Administrator Laura Allen handed out dozens more flyers to residents during the recent National Night Out event at Henry Park. Still, outside of town employees, about 10 people turned out for the meeting at the multipurpose building on Flower Street, where officials provided an update of several major stormwater projects scheduled for the immediate area. Consultant Darl Kolar, from EA Engineering, Science and Technology Inc., led the 45-minute discussion. Also in attendance, along with Allen, was Mayor Gee Williams, Councilman Dean Burrell, Public Works/Water Resources Director Jane Kreiter, Planning Director Dave Engelhart and Jack Orris, a candidate for the District 2 council seat currently occupied by Lisa Hall. Williams...
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Changes taken to heart, mixed-use building approved

Posted On: 8/18/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 18, 2016) As expected, a new mixed-use building on Gay Street in Berlin breezed through final approval in separate meetings before the Historic District Commission and Planning and Zoning Commission last Wednesday. Patrick Vorsteg, who owns the lot and wants to develop into it storefronts on the ground floor and apartments overhead, had been listening carefully to both commissions during previous meetings. Each time either panel made a suggestion, he made changes and came back. As an example, a week earlier, Mary Moore from the Historic District Commission asked Vorsteg to add a few windows and shutters, to give the building more “character” and to make it more appealing to more upscale renters. Vorsteg complied, bringing updated plans with two more windows on each side of the structure, which would become 15 Gay Street. “The reason we came back was our concern about the blank walls on the side of the building,” Moore said. “I think, certainly ...
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