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Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Seminar at Berlin Town Hall

Posted On: 1/12/17
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(Jan. 12, 2017) Worcester County Economic Development (WCED), in partnership with the Maryland Department of Commerce, Pocomoke City, and the towns of Berlin and Snow Hill, will host an Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Seminar on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 11 a.m. at the Berlin Town Hall. The seminar is open to entrepreneurs whose businesses are located within an Enterprise Zone and will provide an overview of the tax credits that may be available to them. Maryland Department of Commerce representatives and Enterprise Zone Administrators will be in attendance to accept applications as well. Eligible businesses will be able to tap into existing tax credit programs for income tax (potentially $1,000 per full-time employee hired within the past three years), and an overview on property tax credits will be given as well. “Our partners strive to ensure that business owners in Worcester County are aware of the availability of this long-standing tax credit,” WCED Director Merry Mears said...
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‘The Lion King Jr.’ performed in OC

Posted On: 1/12/17
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(Jan. 12, 2017) The Ocean Pines Children’s Theater announces its upcoming production of Disney’s Broadway blockbuster, “The Lion King” Jr,” Jan. 13-14 in Ocean City. With music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice, this enchanting show was introduced to the Broadway stage in 1997, and was the recipient of 70 awards, including the 1998 Tony for best musical. The critically-acclaimed Ocean Pines Children’s Theater promises to delight audiences at the Ocean City Performing Arts Center on 40th Street, Friday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased online through Ticketmaster, or at the Convention Center Box Office on 40th Street. For additional information, call 410-251-1402.
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Thrift store gets major makeover, supports Diakonia

Posted On: 1/12/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Jan. 12, 2017) After about a week and a half of renovations, the new and improved “Used to be Mine Thrift Store” opened back up last Wednesday morning to a line of expectant customers that wrapped around the small parking lot in West Ocean City. The store, an extension of Diakonia that opened in 2009, carries everything from clothing and furniture, to board games and various household items. Proceeds support programs across the nonprofit, which benefits more than 10,000 people and distributes more than 100,000 pounds of food each year. Diakonia Executive Director Claudia Nagle said the store was tiny when it originally opened, but that it expanded twice within the first year, taking up additional storefronts in the shopping center. Today, the space covers more than 3,600 square feet. “What it does for Diakonia is it allows us to support some of the activities that we provide to the community,” she said. “It provides a wonderful opportunity for people...
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Program to raise awareness of heroin problem

Posted On: 1/12/17
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(Jan. 12, 2017) Atlantic General Hospital is partnering with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and New Castle County Delaware’s Heroin Alert program, “The Heroin Trap,” to offer a free program, “Addiction Hurts: Struggles Facing our Families and Community.” Free and open to the community, the goal of this event, held Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. at Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin, is to raise awareness about the risk of addiction and to provide resources for addiction rehabilitation, counseling and family support. According to the Worcester County Health Department: In 2012, there was only one reported opioid use related death in Worcester County. In 2015, that number rose to 11 reported overdose deaths tied to heroin/opioid use. Admissions to treatment for heroin doubled in Worcester County; whereas statewide the number remained constant (2009-2011). Opioid-related admissions to treatment tripled in Worcester, while the number increase...
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Another mgmt shakeup in Pines

Posted On: 1/5/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Jan. 5, 2017) Capping off a year that included the firing of former General Manager Bob Thompson and the resignation or termination of directors of finance, marketing, and parks and recreation, the Ocean Pines Association announced that it parted ways with yacht club Manager Jerry Lewis last Friday. According to a statement issued on Monday, “a decision was made to move in a different direction for management of food and beverage operations at the Ocean Pines Association.” Reportedly, staff at the yacht club was made aware of the change in management on Friday and Event Coordinator Brian Townsend was promoted to replace Lewis on an interim basis.  “Over the last few months, Acting General Manager Brett Hill has been working to optimize the overall food and beverage operations, and certain job descriptions were expanded and/or revised,” the statement said. “Jerry Lewis had been working through this process, but it was decided to look at other op...
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Anti-campground meeting in Pines draws big crowd

Posted On: 1/5/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Jan. 5, 2017) More than 100 people, including several standing in the open doorway, squeezed into the small assembly space in the Ocean Pines Library last Wednesday night for the first meeting of a new group, only about two weeks old, calling itself “Save Our Ayres Creek.” On the agenda was one item – the proposed redevelopment of the former Pines Shore Golf Course near the corner of Route 611 and Route 376 into more than 300 campsites, which the full house uniformly opposed. Organizers Joan Jenkins and Donald Bounds said the redevelopment could affect as many as 1,600 residents in the county by greatly increasing traffic on the way to Assateague and displacing local wildlife. Before anything else could happen, Bounds said county planning and zoning and the county commissioners would have to approve a zoning change from E-1 estate to A-2 agricultural. Then, the board of zoning appeals would have to approve a special exception for a campground. Each step would requ...
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Snow Hill Fire seeks add’l station

Posted On: 1/5/17
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Jan. 5, 2017) The flooding of late 2016 demonstrated to the Snow Hill Volunteer Fire Company that a new station at the north end of its response area is necessary. As a result, the company will present an informational session at the firehouse on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. to explain its perspective to residents. “We’re going to be answering questions — we’ve received 20 letter this week in support of the effort, and asking questions about the proposal,” Chief Trey Heiser said. Call volume to the company doubled during the flooding, while access to its response area was halved because of the washout at Snow Hill Road, which took about a month to reopen to traffic. The fire company used an unorthodox, but familiar, tactic for members to serve the area despite limited access. “We stationed a truck and an ambulance at my parents’ house, and had personnel there,” Heiser said. From the makeshift station, the department affected 40 se...
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Residential real estate improves by 4.1 percent

Posted On: 1/5/17
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Jan. 5, 2017) Property owners in what the state considers “Area 2” should have received reassessment reports from the state by now, and while individual properties may have seen a rise or fall in assessed value, the average overall is an increase of 4.1 percent, a figure that could have an impact on tax rates this year. “We saw a slight increase overall, but I believe Pocomoke City decreased slightly, but it was all pretty moderate,” Terri Smith, county tax assessor, said. Worcester is divided into three areas: Ocean City, the greater Berlin/Ocean Pines section and the rest of the county. Only one area is reassessed per year, a process that has had the effect of initially insulating the county from the aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown while also spreading out the recovery over several years. Ocean City was last reassessed in 2015, and will be surveyed next year. The resort’s section, Area 3, has had the historically greatest concentration of ...
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Snow Hill awarded grant to pursue Sturgis Park revamp

Posted On: 1/5/17
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Jan. 5, 2017) With a prime spot on the banks of the Pocomoke River only a stone’s throw from a recovering downtown, yet without much more than a pavilion and a couple of aging restroom facilities to show for it, Snow Hill’s Sturgis Park makes a fine target for revitalization. With a new grant from the state’s Department of Community and Housing Development, the town now has $30,000 to make strides towards that goal. “In 2015’s strategic plan, Sturgis Park was mentioned as a site to promote and develop — it just needs some sprucing up,” Town Grant Administrator Ann Gibb said. Gibb said the restrooms need either renovation or replacement, the sidewalks need to be brought into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the park needs some new features. “We just put in the new dock and refurbished the retaining wall, but the goal is to increase the use of the park,” she said. How that might occur could take several...
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Store brings both convenience and safety to corner

Posted On: 1/5/17
Written By: Katie Tabeling, Staff Writer

(Jan. 5, 2017) Royal Farms in Berlin opened its doors on Dec. 29, offering its popular fried chicken to residents and visitors – and promising pedestrian safety for Stephen Decatur High School students who might be enticed to cross Route 50 for a quick meal. Royal Farms’ newest location will be open 24 hours a day. Aside from selling gas, there is a separate diesel island for trucks and large vehicles and ethanol-free fuel offered in the rear of the store. The convenience store is 5,371 square feet. “This store is bigger and better than ever,” Royal Farms Public Relations Representative Olivia Klock said. “Run by approximately 40 local employees, we will operate 27/7 with our regular menu, as well as expanded menu with tasty new offerings, including side dishes and our hand-pulled chicken sandwiches.” Klock added that Royal Farms chose the spot across from the high school because it filled a gap between its other stores along Route 50 and helped t...
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