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Berlin, MD 21811
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‘Jeffersonian’ third OPA debate saw 6 of 11 candidates

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

(July 21, 2016) “I think Thomas Jefferson would be proud of this,” moderator Steve Habeger said at the conclusion of a candidates forum at the Ocean Pines Library on Saturday morning. Jefferson, Habeger said, “sought a well-informed public. I think we’re trying to do that,” he said. The forum was the third and possibly final gathering of candidates in the 2016 Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors election. The first, sponsored by Ocean Pines and held in the community center, took place in June. A second forum was held at the Parke community earlier this month. Ocean Pines resident Steve Tuttle organized the most recent gathering, with six of the 11 candidates and about 75 members of the public attending. Tuttle said four candidates had other obligations. Incumbent Jack Collins was visiting family in Baltimore, Budget and Finance Chairwoman Pat Supik and businessman George Simon had prior commitments, and former New York City Police Officer Ste...
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Former police chief, officer indicted

Posted On: 7/21/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(July 21, 2016) Former Pocomoke City Police Chief Kelvin Sewell and former Lt. Lynell Green have been indicted by a Maryland Grand Jury on charges of misconduct in office and conspiracy to commit misconduct in office, the Maryland State Prosecutor’s office announced on Tuesday. Both Sewell and Green face charges stemming from the same incident in November 2014. According to the indictment, both are alleged to have “knowingly, willfully, and intentionally, under the color of his office, interfering with the legitimate investigation of a motor vehicle accident by subordinate police officers for the personal benefit of an acquaintance, Correctional Officer Captain Douglas E. Matthews…” The pair is also accused of conspiring with each other in order to perpetrate the alleged misconduct. There is no record of the accident within the Maryland Judiciary Case Search database, which provides public access to court records online. However, there are exceptions to wha...
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Berlin’s Toy Town moving to vacant Snow Hill building

Posted On: 7/21/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(July 21, 2016) Richard and Debbie Seaton, Snow Hill natives both, are the first takers of a program the town put forward late last year — renovate a building and, after fulfilling certain conditions, the town will turn over the structure to its occupants. The Seatons own Toy Town, an antique and vintage toy shop in Berlin, and their lease is up in April. The Seatons said they don’t intend to renew, but will move the operation from the 4,800-square- foot location in Berlin to the more than 6,800 square feet available at the corner of Market and Washington Streets in Snow Hill. The building, vacant for nearly 30 years, according to several sources in town, could be subdivided into a number of storefronts, but the Seatons said they would use the whole thing to expand their shop. “I’ve got more than enough stuff in storage to fill that space,” Richard Seaton said. “It’s a difference, but it’s not that much.” Seaton said he inten...
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Snow Hill passes vacant building ordinance

Posted On: 7/21/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(July 21, 2016) Owners of buildings in Snow Hill town limits deemed vacant or blighted by a code official are now on a timeline to register or repair the properties before the possibility of fines enter the discussion. Passed last week during its regular council meeting, the ordinance’s purpose is to provide the town with the means to protect neighborhoods and businesses from poorly maintained buildings. The registration goes into effect on Aug. 1. At the discretion of the code officer, the new regulation only applies to buildings that have been vacant for more than 90 days. The determination of what is and is not well maintained is based on several provisions: the property must be habitually vacant, attract an inordinate amount of calls for service as measured by the police department, is a fire hazard, has unfinished construction or demolition or creates a reasonable interference with reasonable and lawful use of surrounding properties. According the new rule, the propertie...
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Berlin Briefs

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

(July 21, 2016) The Berlin mayor and Council discussed the following items during their July 11 public meeting. Purnell absent Councilmember Troy Purnell was not present during the meeting, meaning Mayor Gee Williams would have to break a tie if the remaining four councilmembers deadlocked. Normally, the mayor does not vote. He did so once during the meeting, voting to break a 2-2 tie in favor of approving a contract related to water and sewer installation at a new Dollar General store. Habitat for Humanity The council unanimously approved requests by Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County regarding a new housing and retail project on Jefferson Street. The mixed-use building will include bottom-floor storefronts that would be retained by Habitat. Apartments will be on the second floor. The nonprofit asked to pay for required EDUs with a 10 percent down payment, with the remaining balance spread out over five years. That practice is common for new developments in Berlin. Th...
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Health department plans to eradicate feral feline colony

Posted On: 7/21/16
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

(July 21, 2016) One rabid cat in West Ocean City, and the fate of other feral cats at the same location have generated hundreds of emails and even spurred a small protest by feline protection activists last Thursday at the government center in Snow Hill. At Tuesday’s Worcester County Commissioner meeting, however, Worcester County Health Officer Debbie Goeller said the department plans to remove and euthanize a colony of feral cats near the Ocean Village condominiums in West Ocean City. The rabid cat reported to the department came from that colony. Goeller said her department was contacted on June 11 by a veterinarian’s office after a cat that appeared to be rabid was spotted by a family renting an Ocean Village unit. “This cat needed to be euthanized and was sent to the state rabies laboratory for testing.” Four days later, the state confirmed that the cat was rabid, Goeller said, at which time her department posted rabies advisory notices in the complex....
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Berlin police HQ to triple in size

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

Berlin police HQ to triple in size (July 21, 2016) In less than two years, the Berlin Police Department expects to move into a new $2.5 million station that more than triples the size of its current building and brings many of its amenities up to current standards. The Town Council on July 11 approved a bid by Willow Construction LLC to build the new station near the corner of Flower Street and Route 376. The town used casino revenue to buy the property, and will continue to use those funds to finance design and construction costs. Town Administrator Laura Allen said contractor Crosby & Associates worked on the design and assisted with the bid process. Five bidders responded to a request for proposals and were narrowed down to two, with the lowest bid winning. “What this will do is this will get [police] a state-of-the-art facility that meets all the current requirements. Not that we’re out of compliance, but they have workarounds that they have to engage in when they handle different situations t...
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Child missing for only few minutes in Snow Hill, Tues.

Posted On: 7/21/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(July 21, 2016) Snow Hill Police responded to and resolved a situation on Tuesday involving a missing child in a matter of minutes, according to town officials. An unidentified child was reported missing in the town that morning. A member of the Snow Hill Police Department responded to the scene, and after contacting the caregiver called in for assistance, including a tracking dog. Before reinforcements arrived, however, the first responder had already located the child, who had wandered down the street, Snow Hill Mayor Charlie Dorman confirmed. The entire incident, from police response to the minor being identified and returned home took about 10 minutes, Dorman said. 
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Swim with Santa at Pines Aquatics’ Christmas in July

Posted On: 7/21/16
Written By:

(July 21, 2016) Santa will be cooling off in the pool at Ocean Pines Aquatics’ Christmas in July Swim Party on Sunday, July 24 from 4-8 p.m. at the Swim & Racquet Club Pool, located at 10 Seabreeze Road in Ocean Pines. This fun family event will include open swim time as well as a moon bounce, DJ and face painting. The snack bar will be open for food and beverage purchases, or guests may bring their own. The cost per person is $3 for Ocean Pines swim members, $5 for Ocean Pines residents and $7 for non-residents. Families of more than four may pay a flat rate of $20. For more information, contact the Ocean Pines Aquatics Department at 410-641-5255. Information about additional Ocean Pines aquatics programs, including an online version of the Ocean Pines Activity Guide, is available at OceanPines.org 
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Worcester has more CAFOs, fewer problems

Posted On: 7/21/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(July 21, 2016) Despite having nearly the same number of “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations” as Wicomico, and far more than in Somerset, public outcry about these farms’ impact on the environment and neighboring properties has been limited in Worcester County, and it’s no accident. CAFOs, as they are known, are essentially the same as other animal feeding operations, such as chicken houses, except they have more animals per square foot to reduce costs. The upside of these is cheaper chicken at the grocery store, while the downside includes possible negative effects on air quality, groundwater and property values, depending on how waste is handled, the size of the operation and its proximity to other properties. That’s where Worcester’s zoning laws come in. County zoning restricts farming operations to the zones specifically designated for that purpose, as well as the Enterprise zones (E1) and a “resource planning district” (RP) b...
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