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Holiday Arts Night to open doors in downtown Berlin

Posted On: 11/24/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

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Pocomoke first out of gate with Christmas parade

Posted On: 11/24/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Nov. 24, 2016) With the coming of the holidays is the coming of the Christmas parades — every municipality in Worcester has one — and Pocomoke City takes its traditional lead role with its parade on Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m. “It’s the kickoff of the parade season and of the holidays on Delmarva,” event organizer Mike Shannon said. “We’re putting our best foot forward.” Doing so requires planning and organization, and starts before the first whistle sounds. “Registration isn’t a first-come, first-served situation,” he said. “We put it together so it’s a very enjoyable parade from beginning to end.” Registration ends Friday, and, after all the applications are in, Shannon said he will take a look at who is participating and start building the parade from there. “It’s not just for kids, and you don’t want to have five fire companies back to back to back,” Shannon said. S...
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Snow Hill earns spot in Md. Main Street Affiliate prog.

Posted On: 11/24/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Nov. 24, 2016) Described as a sort of training wheels program for the more formal Main Street Maryland program by economic development consultant Michael Day, the Town of Snow Hill has recently earned a spot in the state’s Main Street Affiliate program. “We’re going to do what we did in Berlin,” Day said. “Where we pretended like we were a Main Street community for three years before we applied and got it.” Enrollment in the affiliate program gives local government and businesses time to adjust to the requirements of the program and any changes that could be in store. “Participation in the Affiliate program gives communities an important set of principals, guidelines and examples that may immediately be put into practice,” the application materials read. “Following an initial site visit and assessment, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development staff will work with the community to develop an Affiliate Action Pla...
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Berlin bullish on state Bikeways program

Posted On: 11/24/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Nov. 24, 2016) Six months ago, the Berlin Town Council approved up to $20,000 to create a pedestrian and biking path linking Berlin Falls park to the downtown area. The funding was specifically earmarked for acquiring licensing fees for a right-of-way easement to use the area near the existing rail line owned by the Maryland-Delaware Railroad Co. At the time, Planning Director Dave Engelhart said a grant from the Maryland Bikeways program could help pay for design work. While it took a little longer than expected, the town was approved for the grant late last month and work on the project is moving forward — albeit at a somewhat unhurried pace. As of last Friday, Engelhart said he’s waiting to hear from the railroad on the access agreement and that he had to check in with the Maryland Department of Transportation, which oversees the Bikeways program, by Nov. 30. After that, the town would move into the design phase. “Hopefully, we can get [design work] done b...
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Solar co-op enrollment soars to 39

Posted On: 11/24/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Nov. 24, 2016) Now boasting a roster of 39 people, according to Corey Ramsden, project manager, the Worcester County Solar Cooperative continues to grow as the deadline to join approaches. Originally slated to end at the end of October, the interest was both slow and steady enough for the deadline to be extended until the end of November. Though new recruits won’t have a say in choosing a vendor to install solar panels on a property, a decision made earlier this year by co-op members, they can still avail themselves of the lower negotiated rate for photovoltaic solar cell installation. “The Worcester co-op is one of the largest we’ve helped organize on the eastern shore with more than 35 participants who’ve joined the group so far. Members are seeing between 15 and 20 percent savings on the cost of their systems,” Ramsden said. At last update in early October, the group had 28 members, with 21 of those already in some stage of the installation proces...
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Community Briefs

Posted On: 11/24/16
Written By:

Commended students Stephen Decatur High School seniors David Mitchell, Jackson Pielstick and Ian Waggoner have been named Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. National Merit Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Bernard accepted Cassie Bernard, daughter of Joseph and Rebekah Bernard of Pocomoke City, was recently accepted into Phi Eta Sigma, the national freshman honor society, at Salisbury University. Bernard is a sophomore majoring in early childhood education and a graduate of Holly Grove Christian School.
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Berlin commercial design standards discussion tabled

Posted On: 11/24/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Nov. 24, 2016) All seven members of the Berlin Planning Commission were present on Nov. 9 in Town Hall to go over a new set of commercial design standards. The discussion did not last long, as the commission decided to shelve talks until the county finalized its own standards update. Planning Director Dave Engelhart said the county document was being updated because the current standards were seen as ineffective and not friendly to businesses. According to Engelhart, a task force of county staff and citizen stakeholders was developing an updated draft that could be released later this month. Before adjourning, the commission briefly worked from a draft of new standards prepared a year ago by commission member Pete Cosby. That included plenty of discussion on minutiae – use of the word “must” instead of “shall” – as well as procedures for issuing certificates of occupancy and how to safeguard against an overabundance of administrative waivers...
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New AGH cancer center named in honor of Burbage

Posted On: 11/24/16
Written By:

(Nov. 24, 2016) Atlantic General Hospital Foundation unveiled the name of the hospital’s new cancer center during the Foundation’s annual Thanks for Giving event held recently. Michelle Fager, co-chair of the Atlantic General Campaign for the Future, announced that the new cancer center will be named the John H. “Jack” Burbage, Jr. Regional Cancer Care Center in honor of Jack Burbage’s personal and financial contributions to the hospital and the community. Burbage, who is also co-chair of the Atlantic General Campaign for the Future, is a resident of Berlin and CEO of Blue Water Development Company. The Stephen Decatur High School graduate has deep roots in the community. He sits on the Board of Directors of Taylor Bank, is a board member for Diakonia and is a member of the Maryland Builders and the Maryland Bankers Association. He has two sons and four grandchildren. “We’re very fortunate to have Jack’s support for the new cancer ...
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County celebrates generosity during ‘Giving Tuesday’

Posted On: 11/24/16
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County celebrates generosity during ‘Giving Tuesday’ (Nov. 24, 2016) “Shore Gives More,” a Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES) online campaign to promote charitable giving to Lower Eastern Shore nonprofit organizations takes place Tuesday, Nov. 29. Worcester County Volunteer Connection is encouraging residents to support their favorite local charity during this year’s campaign. “More than 20 nonprofit organizations serving Worcester County residents will directly benefit from financial gifts made during Shore Gives More,” Worcester County Volunteer Services Manager Kelly Brinkley said. “These nonprofits are listed on the Shoregivesmore.org website, so you can choose the organization you would like to support. This is a dollar-to-dollar campaign, meaning no administrative fees will be taken out of your gift, so 100 percent of your tax-deductible contribution will go to the charity you choose to support.” The effort, which CFES began last year with Worcester County nonprofits, has...
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‘Edible forest’ gets ready for winter as students aid ACT

Posted On: 11/24/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

‘Edible forest’ gets ready for winter as students aid ACT (Nov. 24, 2016) On a blustery, arctic-like Monday in Stephen Decatur Park in Berlin, representatives from the parks commission, Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) and AmeriCorps worked with 70 students from Stephen Decatur Middle School on an ongoing “edible forest” project. The project, which counts towards students’ service learning hours, was approved by the Town Council in Oct. 2015 and is overseen by the trust. Blueberries, chokeberry and daikon radish have already been planted, and more crops will likely be added next spring. While it was too cold to work on the edibles, trust Outreach Coordinator Matt Heim said it was the perfect time to frost-proof the area. “The idea is this is a perennial garden that, once it establishes itself, it will be something that everybody in Berlin can enjoy for years to come,” he said. “We planted the garden last spring, and what we’re going to do today is clean it up a little bit and get it ready for wint...
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