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Md. Coastal Bays to host free septic systems seminar

Posted On: 2/4/16
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(Feb. 4, 2016) The Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) is hosting a free seminar on septic systems Thursday, Feb. 4 at the Bishopville Fire House beginning at 7 p.m. Although the subject may not appear appealing, those relying on septic systems will be provided with information including topics from why a properly functioning septic system matters, how they work to the dos and don’ts for septic system maintenance. Jennifer Dindinger, regional watershed restoration specialist to the Sea Grant Extension Program, will be leading the presentation. The Maryland Sea Grant Extension program specialists focus on finding practical solutions to problems that affect Marylanders. They help communities improve the quality of their water. They also assist seafood businesses with developing new and profitable products and draw on the best scientific research and analyses available to inform the sound conservation and business practices. Based in Cambridge and serving four counties on th...
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Snow, ice storms keep public works busy over weekend

Posted On: 1/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Jan. 28, 2016) While last week’s nor’easter pounded northern areas of the state, including dropping more than 30 inches of snow in parts of Baltimore, inland Worcester County was largely spared. Still, Berlin Public Works Director Jane Kreiter said the weekend was an eventful one, with workers putting in close to 200 hours to combat the storm. Kreiter said Maryland State Highway figures listed Berlin as receiving four inches of snow on Friday evening, followed by two inches of rain Saturday afternoon, and another four-and-a-half inches of snow on Saturday evening and into Sunday. “We were fighting snow, ice, flooding and more snow – and then more ice,” Kreiter said. “But we really did dodge a bullet [compared to] situations like Baltimore or New York.” Public works staff removed just one downed tree in Berlin. “We were chasing a lot of trash cans around,” Kreiter said. “We were lucky.” Berlin Electric Utilitie...
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Berlin mural work gets underway

Posted On: 1/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Jan. 28, 2016) The first section of a planned five-panel public mural took shape this week, as dozens of children at Buckingham Elementary School in Berlin worked with muralist John Donato for several days. The effort started last Thursday in Melissa Reid’s art classroom, but progress was pushed back by the winter storms. When finished, the panel will go on the north-facing side of the Berlin Visitor’s Center on Main Street. “The progress by these kids has been fantastic,” Donato said. “There’s a lot of energy and a lot of good ideas. The staff has been great putting the whole schedule together, and we have volunteers from around the community coming in. “We’re really moving along,” he added. “Because of everybody’s participating, we’re able to put a lot more paint into this project than we anticipated, so it’s going to be really something to see.” On Tuesday, students used “dry brushing̶...
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Leadership gives mixed reviews to OP golf town hall

Posted On: 1/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

Leadership gives mixed reviews to OP golf town hall (Jan. 28, 2016) Dozens of homeowners filled the Assateague Room inside the Ocean Pines Community Center to near capacity last Thursday evening, as golf management company Landscapes Unlimited hosted a town hall. The meeting was ordered by a 5-2 vote in November by the board of directors to help provide transparency and to calm fears that the course was hemorrhaging memberships and money. Those in attendance, however, received few answers from Landscapes Regional Manager Scott Nissley, who struggled through technical issues with a Power Point presentation and could offer few specifics when pressed for answers by the audience. “The thing that we said we want to do is nurture and maintain nonmember revenue and grow memberships,” Nissley said. “That has not changed. It has always been that goal.” Golf Pro John Malinowski faired better, stepping into the conversation roughly 40 minutes into the nearly three-hour town hall. Malinowski served in the same capacity f...
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Third annual Worcester County canned food drive

Posted On: 1/28/16
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(Jan. 28, 2016) Worcester County Volunteer Services will host its third annual food drive for the Maryland Food Bank (MFB) through Friday, Jan. 29. All county employees and the public are invited to participate. The focus of this food drive is on providing ready-to-eat canned meals. Canned items most needed include meats that are high in protein – such as tuna, salmon and chicken – and hearty stews. Canned food items can be deposited in specially-marked Maryland Food Bank barrels at these participating locations: –Worcester County Government Center in Snow Hill –All five Worcester County Branch Libraries: Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Berlin, Snow Hill and Pocomoke –Worcester County Recreation Center in Snow Hill More than 47,000 individuals on the Eastern Shore are food insecure, and over a third of those individuals are children. In Worcester County alone, 15.5 percent of the population is food insecure. That is the third highest food insecurity rate...
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AGH presentation touts rise in productivity, drop in costs

Posted On: 1/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Jan. 28, 2016) Atlantic General Hospital improved its operating margin, increased productivity and continued to have a positive effect on the community during the previous fiscal year. That’s according to AGH President Michael Franklin, who spoke for just over 20 minutes at the Monday night Berlin Mayor and Council meeting. AGH presents an operational summary to the council each year. As part of a 2014 stormwater settlement, the town provides an annual minimum grant of $10,000 to the nonprofit. Franklin said AGH has focused on creating a coordinated care system and becoming more efficient, including reducing potentially avoidable hospital stays. He said the “telehealth” partnership between AGH and the Berlin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has resulted in a reduction in the number of nursing home patients admitted to the hospital from 17 percent to 8 percent. Transfers and readmissions also decreased, and the hospital saved close to $1 million because of the...
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Winter storms delay Pines budget presentation

Posted On: 1/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Jan. 28, 2016) The threat of severe winter weather delayed the public release of a draft of the 2017 fiscal-year budget, originally scheduled for last Saturday, according to OPA Board President Pat Renaud. General Manager Bob Thompson was to present the proposed budget during a public hearing at the community center. Now, that meeting will be held Jan. 30. “We thought the weather was going to come, and we weren’t ready. This is the budget, but it’s not the budget, because we haven’t really decided and haven’t voted on many issues. There are a lot of things hanging,” Renaud said. Two weeks ago, the Ocean Pines Budget and Finance Committee reviewed the draft during a series of public meetings. The directors also met over a period of several days last week to discuss potential changes. “I’m not sure when [the budget] is going to be completed, but we’re continuing to move along,” Renaud said. “I thought the budget he...
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Ocean Pines to operate food truck?

Posted On: 1/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Jan. 28, 2016) One of the more peculiar items in the proposed 2017 Ocean Pines Association budget is a $55,000 capital purchase of a food truck to be operated by the association. A capital project worksheet included in the draft of the budget was prepared by Yacht Club Manager Jerry Lewis, with a target completion date of May 15. Lewis wrote that the truck would provide “on site catering” for the Cove restaurant, which is located inside the yacht club, along with the Mumford’s Landing pool, farmer’s market and “various recreation programs and events.” He added that the truck would “expand and enhance … guest experience for those who attend various functions and events.” At the bottom of the worksheet are instructions to attach supporting data, including project specifications and cost estimates. A photograph of the Rosenfeld’s Jewish Delicatessen food truck was printed on the following page. No additional information w...
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Sister’s co-owner Compher installed as chamber prez.

Posted On: 1/28/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Jan. 28, 2016) Donna Compher, co-owner of Sisters, took the reins as president of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce from Natalee DeHart of Good Clean Fun Life during an installation dinner last Wednesday. As she stepped down after her year as president, DeHart said the chamber had a year of “growth and stability,” with both the membership base and board of directors increasing. She credited chamber Executive Director Larnet St. Amant and Administrator Morgan Coulson, who were hired in May and June, respectively. “The last six months has been a huge, huge relief. They’ve done an amazing job,” she said. “I’m looking forward to Donna coming on and taking my place as president, and looking forward to 2016 and all that it has to bring.” Compher said DeHart helped stabilize the chamber after a period of “ups and downs.” “You definitely stepped up,” she said. “The growth of the chamber is just incredible right no...
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New scholarships offered by Worcester County Arts Council

Posted On: 1/28/16
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(Jan. 28, 2016) Worcester County Arts Council is offering one scholarship of at least $2,000 in memory of John Carroll Sisson III and additional scholarships of $1,000 each to qualified graduating high school seniors, who are Worcester County residents, interested in pursuing academic careers in the arts. Scholarships are also available to college art majors wishing to continue their education in the arts. The Worcester County Arts Council’s scholarship program is designed to identify, recognize and encourage talented students who demonstrate excellence in dance, music, theater, visual arts and creative writing. This is a merit scholarship and award decisions are based on evaluation of talent, dedication and potential, not financial need. The winners will be awarded at their respective high school’s senior awards ceremonies. Applications must be received by March 15 at the Worcester County Arts Council, 6 Jefferson Street, Berlin. Applicants are judged on their visual, d...
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