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Berlin, MD 21811
Phone: 410-641-0039
Fax: 410-641-0085

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Arctic blast blankets county in snow

Posted On: 2/19/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 19, 2015) The first major snowfall of the year hit Worcester County late Monday evening, blanketing the area with more than six inches of snow. Freezing conditions continued throughout Tuesday, resulting in public school closings in the county and impassable roads. Bill Sammler, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the reports he received suggested between six and eight inches fell in Berlin, Ocean Pines and Snow Hill. Sunshine on Tuesday gradually helped improve traffic conditions, although Sammler cautioned that the risk of a second snow shower Wednesday evening, combined with an arctic front, could further complicate conditions. “Temperatures Thursday and Friday may struggle to get out of the teens and temperatures Thursday night could easily be in the low single digits,” Sammler said. The snow will likely remain on the ground through the weekend. “There’s another weather system this ...
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Black businesses once boomed in Berlin

Posted On: 2/19/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Black businesses once boomed in Berlin (Feb. 19, 2015) Longtime Berlin resident Gregory Purnell believes now is the perfect time for a history lesson. Last month the reigning “Coolest Small Town” began holding public meetings to map the future in broad strokes. Business was booming in the vibrant downtown, and good will was at an all-time high. Then, a newspaper ran a story about a racist post on social media by a local high school student and other incidents, unrelated as they were, followed. “People were saying ‘the media made this happen,’” Purnell said. “The media defined it as racial and all this, that and the other, but it’s also talking about the little seed that’s still there – that little ugliness that’s still amongst us. That’s why it (the newspaper report) was made a pariah when it came out. “Then you get a fight,” Purnell continued. “Now the thoughts are back to the ’50s and ’60s, and every element of this ...
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Clarke looking to end 6-year run of 5-year plan in OP

Posted On: 2/19/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 19, 2015) Two weeks after OPA Board Vice President Marty Clarke walked out of a budget meeting in frustration, the two-term director says he is still mulling his options on returning.   Clarke suggested a number of changes to the fiscal year 2016 budget before the meeting, including reducing the projected assessment from $934 to $834.51. Under operations, Clarke proposed a 35 percent reduction to the 7.7 percent payroll increase, cutting $150,000 from the budget, then added $50,000 for a reserve study and increased projected golf losses by $50,000. Clarke’s proposal also increased performance at the marina by $10,000, increased the police grant from the county slightly, to $500,000, and eliminated the trolley, cutting $5,000. Adjustments to capital contributions included a tennis shortfall of $45,000, adding $20,000 for swimming pool covers, a new HVAC system at the country club for $80,000, electronic signs for $40,000 and a fire pit at the yacht club for $20,000...
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Commissioner Bertino to host first town hall meeting

Posted On: 2/19/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 19, 2015) County Commissioner Chip Bertino, who represents Ocean Pines, will hold a town hall-style meeting at the Ocean Pines library Saturday, Feb. 21, beginning at 10 a.m. “I don’t expect the meeting to go longer than an hour or hour and a half, but I do want people to see how Judy Boggs’ successor is handling things,” Bertino said. Boggs did not run for another term on the county commissioners board, citing a desire to retire. The meeting will comprise three sections: an information session, a presentation by Kelly Brinkley, Worcester County’s volunteer services coordinator and then the final, traditional town hall question-and-answer session. “I’m pulling together my notes,” Bertino said, “The hockey arena, this year’s budget and the situation at Pines Plaza might be of interest. Certainly Showell Elementary will come up.” Bertino didn’t give guidelines on what he would or wouldn’t be able t...
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Groups make pitch to manage Pines course

Posted On: 2/19/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 19, 2015) Three potential management groups made their final pitches to the Ocean Pines Association membership during a four-hour public meeting held at the country club on Saturday, Feb. 14. Current management Billy Casper Golf, the Lincoln, Neb. company, Landscapes Unlimited, and the Salisbury-based partnership Haley/Marshall each made approximately 45-minute presentations, followed by an additional question-and-answer session with the audience. OPA Board Treasurer Jack Collins prefaced the meeting by discussing financial numbers over the course during the last six years. According to Collins, the course lost $200,000 in fiscal year 2009, followed by $204,000 in 2010, $317,000 in 2011, $288,000 in 2012, $536,000 in 2013 and $237,000 in 2014.   “That’s not an indictment of anybody,” Collins said. “What it says is there’s something that perhaps should be looked at. That’s why a movement was created one way or another that threatened...
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Co. Commissioners delay meeting

Posted On: 2/19/15
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Staff Writer

(Feb. 19, 2015) The area’s first snowstorm of the winter forced the Worcester County Commissioners to delay its regular Tuesday meeting until this morning, which is after the Bayside Gazette’s press time. Before each meeting, certain documents, such as a tentative agenda and supporting paperwork, are made public, and while changes can and often do occur right up until the time of the meeting, the following issues are ones the commissioners intend to discuss. The commissioners are expected to hear a projected revenue update covering fiscal 2015-2017. Worcester County is divided into three assessment areas, each on the three-year assessment schedule. The western portion of the county is Area 1, the southern end is Area 2 and the Ocean City/Ocean Pines/Berlin section of Worcester is Area 3. Area 3 will be assessed for 2016, effective July 1, 2015. Starting in fiscal 2010 with Area 3 reassessments at $19.3 billion in tax base, fiscal 2011 counted $18.13 billion in Area 1 a...
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Berlin Chamber offering opportunities for volunteers

Posted On: 2/19/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 19, 2015) The Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center are kicking off a new campaign to encourage volunteers. Prospective volunteers can sign up to work during specific times in the center, or during specific events in town. “It’s whole big volunteer push,” Chamber Administrator Jim Volk said. “We have posters we’re going to put up around town and we’ve developed an online form where people can sign up to volunteer just by visiting our website.” The chamber is seeking volunteers during Spring Celebration on April 4, Spring Cruisers on May 16, Jazz and Blues Fest on June 6, Bath Tub Races on July 17, Fiddler’s Convention Sept. 18-20 and Fall Cruisers on Oct. 10. Volk touted volunteering as “a great way for students to get their community service hours.” “With Spring Celebration coming up on April 4, for instance, we have needs because we are hopefully going to have costumed characters and we̵...
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Program celebrates ‘eighth wonder’ Assateague Island

Posted On: 2/19/15
Written By:

(Feb. 19, 2015) Assateague Island Alliance, the friends group of Assateague Island National Seashore, is presenting “The Eighth Wonder of the World - Assateague,” an informative program to celebrate the significance of Assateague Island National Seashore on Feb. 21, starting with coffee and refreshments at 10:30 a.m.   Presentations will begin at 11 a.m. and includes a “State of the Park” address with Deborah Darden, park superintendent. For the first time ever, AIA welcomes keynote speaker, Mark Hendricks, to illustrate the visual story of the unique importance of Assateague through his photography. Meet at the Assateague Island Visitor Center, located at 11800 Marsh View Lane, Berlin, Md. 21811. In 1965, Assateague Island National Seashore was created and the narrow strip of land was rescued from development plans and turned into the National Park we know today. The year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ASIS will include many activities an...
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Chamber hosts mystery dinner

Posted On: 2/19/15
Written By:

(Feb. 19, 2015) “For The Love of Money,” a murder mystery dinner and show, will be presented on Friday, Feb. 20 at the Woodlands of Ocean Pines. It will be performed by Get a Clue Productions and sponsored by the Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce. Tickets cost $40 and includes dinner and the show. There will be prizes for the best detectives as the audience will become part of the murder investigation. Tickets can be purchased online at www.OceanPinesChamber.org or at the Ocean Pines chamber office, 11031 Cathell Road Berlin, Md., or call 410-641-5306.
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Go Organic converting operations to co-op

Posted On: 2/19/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 19, 2015) Go Organic grocery store in Berlin announced a major change this month, as the three-year-old shop began preparations to convert to a food cooperative. Owner Beth Gourley began holding public meetings to address the conversion on Feb. 16. “I had originally wanted to do a co-op when I first opened the store, but it just didn’t work out that way,” Gourley said. “In the three years we’ve been in business, the interest has grown and now we feel like there’s a real demand. The interest is there now.” A co-op, Gourley said, is a food distribution outlet owned and governed by investors and shareholders. “It’s basically just a group of people that get together and buy good quality food at an affordable price,” Gourley said. “It’s volunteer-owned and controlled by the people who use it. When you have a co-op, you’re often able to get things accomplished at a greater rate and it can be much more e...
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