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Berlin, MD 21811
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Berlin Housing Board back in business after decade

Posted On: 8/27/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Berlin Housing Board back in business after decade (Aug. 27, 2015) Berlin’s Housing Board of Review met for the first time in at least nine years last week, electing Tara Downes to the post of chairperson and briefing the members on a number of goals the town hopes to achieve. Board members Lyn Kelly, Mary Moore and Leslie Gephardt were also present, as were Planning Director Dave Engelhart and Permit Coordinator Carolyn Duffy. Only board member Jeff Rick, out of town for a family matter, was absent during the Aug. 19 meeting. In an email to the board sent a week prior, Engelhart, the staff liaison, said he wanted to elect officers and review duties and responsibilities, including a addressing a number of delinquent properties in Berlin. Engelhart said he believed the board would help, “decide the direction and outcome of the enforcement efforts necessary to bring them into compliance,” adding that Berlin’s recently completed strategic planning sessions included public support for “maintaining the i...
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Back-to-school giveaway helped by police in Berlin

Posted On: 8/27/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Back-to-school giveaway helped by police in Berlin (Aug. 27, 2015) The Berlin Police Department had a busy weekend – in the best way possible. On Friday, police took part in the 22nd Annual Crime Prevention Golf Tournament at Eagle’s Landing. The department uses proceeds from the event to promote community activities and assist community organizations in the Berlin area. On the following day, Berlin police also participated in a back-to-school drive in Henry Park. Although Police Chief Arnold Downing said turnout was slightly below the 300-plus organizers had planned for, it was still a “nice crowd.” “Because of the social calendar, we had folks that were going to football games and all kinds of things going on, but we had a great time and great support,” he said. During the event, organizers gave out close to 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to children in kindergarten through eighth grade. On the following day, many of the remaining bags were donated to West Ocean City nonprofit D...
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Trial date set in Dollar General drama

Posted On: 8/27/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Aug. 27, 2015) A trial date has been set for Dec. 15 in the case of Oxford Chase Development Inc. versus the town of Berlin’s Board of Zoning Appeals over a prospective Dollar General Store near the intersection of Old Ocean City Boulevard and Healthway Drive. That means the next likely development in the battle between town and company will occur more than a year after it began. Attorney Randy Coates filed the case on June 3, but the rift between Berlin and the developer dates back to Dec. 12 of last year, when Oxford Chase originally requested a building permit. In March, the Berlin Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that Planning Director Dave Engelhart veto the site plan because of traffic concerns. Engelhard agreed with the commission and based his veto on town code highway corridor guidelines, on March 25. Hoping to have the matter heard by the Berlin Board of Appeals, the developer took the matter to Circuit Court for the first time, on April 23. The ...
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OC Power Squadron to host new boating course, Sept. 15

Posted On: 8/27/15
Written By:

(Aug. 27, 2015) The Ocean City Power Squadron (OCPS) will present the all new America’s Boating Course at the Worcester County library, Ocean Pines Branch, 11107 Cathell Road, on Tuesday, Sept. 15.   Registration is at 6:30 p.m. followed by the first class at 7 p.m. the same evening. This is an eight-hour course, 7-9 p.m. each evening. Anyone born after July 1, 1972 must satisfactorily complete a safe boating class to operate a recreational vessel or personal watercraft (PWC) in Maryland. This course covers basic boat handling, navigation, federal and state regulations, rules of the road, aids to navigation, required equipment and more. Students successfully completing this course may be eligible for six months free membership in the Ocean City Power Squadron. Many courses pertaining to safe boating and navigation are available to Squadron members such as: piloting, weather, electronics, marine engine maintenance, GPS/VHF radio seminars as well as interesting boating...
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DHCD loan paves way for major expansion for Twisters

Posted On: 8/27/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

DHCD loan paves way for major expansion for Twisters (Aug. 27, 2015) Berlin gymnastics hub Twisters is planning a major expansion, thanks to a grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. In June of last year, owner Carmella Solito asked the Berlin Town Council to defer or suspend impact fees and properties taxes for the proposed new building, which would be located on Route 346 near the former Tyson’s chicken plant. The council was divided at the time, worrying approval would send the wrong message to other area businesses. Then, on Monday, Solito returned to council to seek town backing for a low-interest loan from DHCD. Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells and Planning Director Dave Engelhart apparently worked with Solito to secure the grant. “Several months ago, I was contacted by Dave Engelhart … to find out if there was any options and opportunities for her because the project she was working on wasn’t working out,” Wells said. “I put together ...
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Free emergency CERT training offered to public in Pocomoke

Posted On: 8/27/15
Written By:

(Aug. 27, 2015) Worcester County Emergency Services (WCES) invites the public to participate in a free, eight-session Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course in Pocomoke. The training takes place in the Community Center at the Pocomoke Volunteer Fire Company on Thursdays from 6:30-9:30 p.m., Oct. 8 to Nov. 19, with Cardiopulmonary Response (CPR) and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) training to take place during class on Oct. 22. CERT is an extremely informative, hands-on, educational program packed with information to equip residents, who have no prior emergency medical training, to support their families and communities during a disaster. Participants will gain the decision-making and practical skills necessary to offer immediate assistance to those in need following an emergency until further help can arrive. “CERT helps you prepare yourself, your family, and your community to face a wide variety of emergencies,” WCES Emergency Planner Tom Kane said. &...
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Backstreet Alliance trying to lure customers off Main St.

Posted On: 8/27/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Backstreet Alliance trying to lure customers off Main St. (Aug. 27, 2015) Early returns for the Berlin Backstreet Alliance, a promotion including several shops located outside of the central Main Street area, are mixed according to participating storeowners. Inca Ruins co-owner Ken Briggs came up with the campaign, which also includes Berlin Coffee House, Bruder Hill, Bungalow Love, Nest, Pitts Street Antiques and Sea La Vie. Flyers distributed at downtown shops promise “further offers from these fine establishments” after making a purchase in a participating store. Briggs said, “no one has ever used” the promotion at Inca Ruins, located on 12 Pitts Street. “Basically it was for the seven or eight stores that are off the beaten path, because no one ever comes down from Main Street – they’re scared or something,” he said. “But the idea was if they buy something at one store they get discounts in all the others, with the flyer.” Overall, Briggs said business has been “bet...
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Habitat to target artists with new program

Posted On: 8/27/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Aug. 27, 2015) New affordable housing for artists could be coming to Berlin, following a 5-0 vote by the Town Council on Monday to support a Department of Housing and Community Development funding application by Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County. The compact, mixed-use development, projected at 6,000 total square feet, would include three apartments and three retail spaces. Ideally, artists could live where they work and either operate a gallery or produce artisan goods, according to Executive Director Andrea Bowland. “We envision it as an opportunity for artists in the community to be able to come in and afford to both live and work there,” she said. Vice President Lauren Bunting said it was the first time the nonprofit had attempted a project of this scope. “The big part of why we’re taking this bigger step is Habitat of Worcester County specifically has always really only been able to do one home a year,” she said, adding that the addition o...
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Coastal Assoc. of Realtors appoints exec. VP

Posted On: 8/27/15
Written By:

 (Aug. 27, 2015) The Coastal Association of Realtors (CAR) recently announced that Page Browning, CAE, has joined its staff as the new executive vice president to lead the association’s staff and serve its more than 1,000 local Realtor and affiliate members. Browning brings 17 years of experience in strategic planning, membership growth, education programs, events and other association management practices to her new role at CAR. She has a proven record of success expanding the reach of programs for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Home Builders Institute (HBI) in Washington, D.C. A 1991 graduate of the University of Virginia, Browning began her association career in 1998 as HBI’s manager of Academic Services. She later grew into several roles at NAHB/HBI, notably executive director of NAHB Student Chapters and vice president of Academic Services where she oversaw a student membership program of more than 3,000 and worked with partners to expand...
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United Way announces 2015-2016 board

Posted On: 8/27/15
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(Aug. 27, 2015) The United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore welcomes a new Board of Directors.  The board has a one-year term, ending on June, 30 2016. With 34 active members from organizations across the Lower Shore counties, United Way is poised to begin the 2015-2016 campaign season with new leadership.     Along with new board members, United Way has appointed a new board President, Cathie Thomas, membership director for the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce. A Salisbury resident since 1984 with a background in small business services, Thomas has spent a great deal of time supporting local non-profits over the past 30 years. She has been involved with PRMC Junior Auxiliary Board, Jaycee Women, Trinity United Methodist Church Altar Guild, Junior Achievement, Salisbury Junior Service League and Hope with Support, having served as president of four of these organizations.    “I believe that in supporting your community, you are building a better ...
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