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Landscapes takes control of Ocean Pines golf course

Posted On: 5/7/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(May 7, 2015) It was something of a long and winding road, but the Lincoln, Neb. firm Landscapes Unlimited officially took the reigns of the community golf course in Ocean Pines last Friday, replacing the former course manager, Billy Casper Golf. Despite the change in companies, Casper’s entire Ocean Pines team, including PGA Director of Golf John Malinowski and Golf Course Superintendent Rusty McLendon, made the transition to Landscapes along with the course itself. Several dozen residents of the Pines greeted company representatives during an open house at the country club that included five members of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors, as well as Worcester County Commissioner President Jim Bunting. OPA Treasurer Jack Collins introduced the new Landscapes leadership, starting with Vice President of Business Development Mark Mattingly. “I’ve got to tell you, [Landscapes] has been extremely cooperative and very, very motivated to make this transitio...
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Bonser second suspect charged in Berlin vandalism

Posted On: 5/7/15
Written By: Josh Davis & Brian Gilliland, Staff Writers

(May 7, 2015) Two suspects, instead of one, will be tried as adults in the Berlin spray paint vandalism spree that caused thousands of dollars in damage to vehicles and buildings in January. Nick Bonser, 18, of Berlin, will join Jordan Denton, 18, of Ocean City in having his case heard in District Court, following a court determination Monday that he could be tried as an adult rather than as a minor. The incident occurred on Jan. 25 and Bonser was days away from his 18th birthday. Denton, however, was 18 at the time and both will face the same charges, a spokesperson for the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s office said. A third party in the case is 16 and that case will be handled in the juvenile justice system. The minor, according to the State’s Attorney’s office, has entered into a plea bargain and submitted a plea of “involved” to all 40 charges. The State’s Attorney’s may only discuss outcomes when dealing with juvenile cases,...
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OPA Dir. Marty Clarke will not seek reelection to board

Posted On: 5/7/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(May 7, 2015) Marty Clarke, current vice president of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors, has decided against running for reelection in 2015. For him to leave quietly, as those who have followed his time on the board well know, would be out of character. Clarke, 67, was first elected to the board in Aug. 2007, serving three years. He took two years off, then ran and won again in 2012. Born in Chevy Chase, Clarke spent most of his life on or near the beach, working odd jobs in the area during high school and college. As he tells it, “I was a bum, I was a busboy, I was a waiter, I was a bar back … I was in the resort business.” Eventually the resort business became the real estate and construction business, and Clarke went to work for Sea Colony. “Of course, selling Sea Colony is like saying, ‘We can go to work in bathing suits with a sandwich in our back pocket,’” he said. “Those were the days.” In the 1970s Clarke...
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Wileys again honored for volunteerism in community

Posted On: 5/7/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(May 7, 2015) Berlin residents Helen and Mike Wiley were honored with the 2015 William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award during a ceremony at the Berlin Visitor’s Center on Monday, May 4. The award continues a remarkable three-month streak of awards for the husband and wife couple, known for their volunteer efforts and work with the Church Mouse in Berlin. Helen Wiley was honored as “Volunteer of the Year” by the Berlin Chamber of Commerce in March and the couple took home the 50th annual Berlin Award, given by the Berlin Lion’s Club, in April.   Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot presented the Wileys with their latest honor, following a brief introduction by Berlin Mayor Gee Williams. Also in attendance were State Senator Jim Mathias (D-38), County Commissioner Bud Church, Worcester County Register of Wills Charlotte Cathell, Worcester County Clerk of Court Susan Braniecki and District 1 Berlin Councilmember Troy Purnell. “I can’t t...
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Yacht club winterization motion defeated soundly

Posted On: 5/7/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(May 7, 2015) A motion by OPA Vice President Marty Clarke concerning the possible winterization of the community’s new yacht club fell to a 6-1 defeat during a public board of directors meeting on April 30. Were it not for language that offered the possibility of closing the club from October to April – and not accepting any banquets or other special events during that period – his call for increased scrutiny of the operation might have had a better chance. “The problem I have, and certainly the GM [General Manager Bob Thompson] has, is the second part [of the motion] where we turn down the banquet business,” Board President Dave Stevens said. Treasurer Jack Collins also objected, saying, October is “one of the prime months … for package plans for golfers. They come down to Ocean City, they play various courses, and hopefully we should be able to capture some of that business.” Clarke’s motion was to direct the general manager ...
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Report issued on first 10 months of Pines yacht club

Posted On: 5/7/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(May 7, 2015) With the one-year anniversary of the opening of the new yacht club in Ocean Pines coming up this month, the community released a “lessons learned” report on March 27 covering the construction and first 10 months of operations at the new facility. Included in the report, written by General Manager Bob Thompson, Public Works Director Eddie Wells and “task force member” Ted Moroney, is the final price tag of the yacht club, $4,770,110, more than $450,000 over the original cost listed in the community referendum. The 13-page document, available on the Ocean Pines Association website under “forms and documents,” summarizes the project from the design phase, through the selection process and the construction, and includes a brief analysis of the first 10 months of operations. Three bidders initially vied for construction of the yacht club: Harkins Builders, Lehman Construction Services Inc. and Gillis Gilkerson Inc. According to the r...
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Fiscal 2016 Berlin budget includes stormwater project

Posted On: 5/7/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(May 7, 2015) Two weeks after Berlin unveiled the general fund portion of the budget, town officials met again on Monday to go over the finances of the electric, water, wastewater and stormwater utilities. Overall costs in the electric fund look to decrease 4 percent, or $200,799, mostly because of a new purchase power agreement with American Municipal Power Inc. AMP, based in Columbus, Ohio, is a nonprofit wholesale power supplier serving more than 130 municipalities. “Our current contract [with another supplier] runs out at the end of May, and our new contract with AMP starts June 1,” Electric Director Tim Lawrence said. “Basically, by doing that, we were able to get our purchase power contract to be reduced by what you pay per megawatt hour.” The switch, Lawrence said, reduced the town’s purchase power costs by 10 percent, although it also drove a 33 percent increase in diesel fuel. “Now, because we’re with AMP, we may be required to ...
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OCEAN PINES BRIEFS

Posted On: 5/7/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(May 7, 2015) The Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors discussed several issues during a public meeting at the community center on Thursday, March 30. Star Charities     A motion to refund Star Charities $450 spent in January on rental of the community center for a “beef and beer fundraiser” benefiting wounded combat veterans passed 5-1, with Parliamentarian Tom Terry abstaining and Director Sharyn O’Hare voting against. During the debate over the motion, Terry successfully lobbied for a special meeting to work through the community’s facility usage policy regarding nonprofits. No date was set for the meeting. First Reading F-01 Treasurer Jack Collins introduced the first reading of Resolution F-01 on investment guidelines in the community. According to Collin’s motion, “Given that Resolution F-01 … was last reviewed in June 2009, a review with recommended amendments is warranted.” The motion went on to sta...
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West OC overnight Relay for Life fundraiser benefits ACS

Posted On: 5/7/15
Written By: Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer

(May 7, 2015) Hundreds of participants will gather at the Frontier Town Campground in West Ocean City, Friday, May 8, for the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life, which celebrates beating cancer, remembers loved ones who lost their battle and shows support for people who are currently fighting the disease. The 2015 North Worcester County Relay For Life is an all-night walk kicking off at 6 p.m. “This event is the signature event of American Cancer Society because it raises research money for all cancers as well as celebrates all cancer survivors and gives our community a chance to remember those we have lost to cancer,” said Dawn Hodge, event co-chairwoman. The theme for this year’s overnight celebration is “Saving Lives Since ’85.” “The original Relay for Life was started in 1985 in Tacoma, Wash. by a man named Dr. Gordy Klatt. Therefore, it is the 30th anniversary of Relay this year. Sadly, Dr. Klatt lost his own fight w...
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Mitchell used art to cope with breast cancer diagnosis

Posted On: 5/7/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(May 7, 2015) Although Berlin resident Lisa Mitchell has been painting for less than a year, her vivid and whimsical artwork tells a powerful story that stands in stark, almost defiant contrast to the diagnosis doctors saddled her with several years ago.   Mitchell, whose work is on display this month at Baked Dessert Café in Berlin and will be featured during the town’s 2nd Friday art stroll on Friday, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. After a brief period of remission, she relapsed in 2012. Kate Cashman, owner of the Random Juxtaposition gallery in Ocean Pines, was the first to suggest art therapy as a means to cope with the illness. “We’ve known each other for years,” Mitchell said. “Our kids go to school together, we go to church together, and she’s been trying to get me to take classes [in art],” Mitchell said. “She had cancer and she said it could be something that could be therapeutic for me to do.” Mi...
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