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Berlin, MD 21811
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Toast for the Coast to pour beer, rum

Posted On: 3/16/17
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(March 16, 2017) Join Assateague Coastal Trust for local beer and rum tastings and a film on sea level rise during the fourth annual “Toast for the Coast,” Thursday, March 16 from 5-8 p.m. While some may dispute the cause, there can be no doubt that the sea level is rising, posing a significant threat to coastal communities. Assateague Coastal Trust will host “Toast for the Coast” at West-O Bottle Shop and Bar to raise awareness about this issue and to raise glasses with samplings of local beer and spirits with friends. The event will feature free tastings of Berlin-based Burley Oak beers and St. Michaels’-based Lyon Distilling Co. rums along with Burley and Lyon infused drink specials at the West-O bar. It will also include a special screening of “Facing the Surge,” a short film documenting the impacts and tangible costs of sea level rise on the people of nearby Norfolk, Virginia. “Whether it’s a product of denial or fear, there...
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Ocean Pines Police taking applications

Posted On: 3/16/17
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(March 16, 2017) The Ocean Pines Police Department is accepting applications for the position of police officer on its year-round force.   Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, be a U.S. citizen, possess a high school diploma or GED, and have vision correctable to 20/20. Applicants must also have a valid driver’s license with a satisfactory driving record and have no felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions involving perjury, false statement, moral turpitude or domestic violence. A post-offer physical exam and drug test shall be required. To obtain an application or additional information concerning the position, contact the Ocean Pines Police Department at 410-641-7747 or visit www.oceanpines.org. Applications may be picked up  at the department on Ocean Parkway.
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New Berlin library in final stage of planning

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

 (March 16, 2017) The new Berlin branch of the Worcester County Library will be open next summer, library officials said at the Berlin Mayor and Council meeting on Monday. The council unanimously approved a waiver of permit fees for the library and labor costs associated with electrical installation, a combined value of $26,727. Councilman Dean Burrell said, along with a previous grant of $75,000, the town has now contributed more than $100,000 to the library. In total, the Worcester County Library Foundation has raised about $425,000 in donations, including a $150,000 matching grant from the Humphries Foundation. The library foundation also received close to $1.8 million in grants from Maryland Department of Education. Plans for the library date back to 2006, when former Library Director Mark Thomas included the notion in a capital improvement plan sent to the county. Worcester County bought a 6.4-acre parcel of land on Harrison Avenue in June 2014 for $430,000, with th...
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Election reforms likely coming to Ocean Pines

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(March 16, 2017) Because of controversy over how votes were counted during the last Ocean Pines election, Ocean Pines Association officials are considering some rule changes for this year’s contest. Director Slobodan Trendic, the chairman of the elections committee, proposed several changes to Resolution M-06, which governs elections in the community, during a board meeting in February. Those changes were based on recommendations of the committee. He pulled the proposed amendment at the start of the meeting, stating legal counsel had directed him to do so, but the committee met last week to review those recommendations and Trendic said the revisions would be discussed during a board work session on March 20. “There were a couple recommendations the counsel suggested the committee consider. That’s where the committee is at the moment – they are evaluating those recommendations and also getting feedback from the bylaws and resolutions committee.” Trendi...
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Memories and music at Blues Jam

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

(March 16, 2017) With a palpable sense of loss in the air, the 10th annual Snow Hill Blues Jam drew a packed house last Saturday, bonding many of those in attendance with vivid memories of departed past participants. Two of the creative sparks who helped launch the event recently passed away – guitarist Mike Armstrong died last September and visual artist Bill Rolig died in 2012. Snow Hill All Stars singer Margot Resto said organizers met at the end of January and, despite the minimal preparation time, they opted to continue the long-standing tradition. “Six weeks out, we decided we were doing this,” she said. In addition to missing Armstrong and Rolig’s presence, Resto said the Snow Hill All Stars lost its other guitarist when Burley Strand, also known as Mr. B, died in November 2014. This year, an infusion of youth occupied several of the vacated slots, with Gabe Resto, 15, and Chris Sajadi, 17, filling in for Armstrong and Strand. Rounding out the Snow ...
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Pocomoke nature trail on path to becoming reality

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

(March 16, 2017) Updating a riverside nature trail in Pocomoke City’s Cypress Park is inching closer to reality, following the State Highway Administration’s initial approval of a $40,000 grant application through the National Recreation Trails Program last month. City Manager/City Attorney Ernie Crofoot reviewed the award letter and memorandum of understanding for a more than 1,860-foot long, four-foot wide trail along the Pocomoke River at the city council meeting last Monday. “The SHA sent out award letters and approves them in batches,” he said. “We are waiting for final acceptance.” Full SHA approval is contingent on Pocomoke submitting a detailed location map, timeline and budget plan, Crofoot said. The memorandum specifies Trex composite decking, which is made from 95 percent reclaimed wood, sawdust and recycled plastics, would be used for the project. “It lasts multiple times longer than wood and won’t rot after three storms...
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Bomb scare at Berlin health center leads to evacuation

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(March 16, 2017) About 50 people were evacuated from the Worcester County Health Department on Healthway Drive in Berlin on Wednesday when a man wearing a knapsack stood in the lobby and announced he was going to detonate a device and kill everyone. Berlin Police Lt. J.D. Lawson police were called at about 11 a.m. The police evacuated the building and called the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office, which, in turn, contacted the Ocean City Police Department bomb squad. Police arrested the man and took him to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for observation. “It was evident that there were psychological issues present,” Lawson said. A K-9 explosive-sniffing dog brought in by police found no explosives in the knapsack or on the property. About two hours after the initial call was made, the building was turned back over to the health department and normal operations resumed. The name of the suspect was withheld. “We’re not releasing the name at t...
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Berlin aims for America’s Main St.

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(March 16, 2017) The Town of Berlin, having won the America’s Coolest Small Town campaign in 2014, is at it again, this time hoping to win the Independent We Stand “America’s Main Streets” contest. In addition to giving the town a year of bragging rights, the contest offers the winner a $25,000 reward. A nomination period opened on Feb. 27 and will run until April 23. The top 25 towns will then move onto the semifinalist period, which runs from May 1 to May 28. A panel of judges will rate the top-10 semifinalists and select a winner on June 5. Berlin is one of about 120 towns that have been officially nominated. Ironically, the contest is sponsored by Andreas Stihl AG & Company, the German manufacturer of chain saws and other power tools. Berlin Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells said she intended to nominate Berlin in the contest last year, but missed the deadline for entry. This year, she’s doubling down. “Before I did...
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Flower St. paving done, stormwater upgrades continue

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(March 16, 2017) The Town of Berlin’s multiphase, $2 million series of stormwater improvements will move off Flower Street and onto projects in other parts of the town, Town Administrator Laura Allen said this week. Allen said repaving of Flower Street, near several areas where stormwater improvements recently took place, finished Friday. Parts of that road had been closed during the work since December of last year. Allen did not anticipate more road closures there. In the larger picture, the stormwater improvements date back to at least 2014, when the town first announced plans to spend about $1.93 million in grants awarded by FEMA, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the federal Community Development Block Grant program. “Our stormwater work continues,” Allen said on Monday. “On a parallel track [to projects on Flower Street], we’ve been working on the engineering and permitting required to replace the culvert under William Street by ...
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County senior centers seek increased financial support

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

(March 16, 2017) Citing a reduction of state funding, the Worcester County Commission On Aging is asking the county and its municipalities for increased financial backing so it can continue to provide services to elderly and handicapped residents. Executive Director Rob Hart spoke to the Pocomoke City Council last Monday about the agency’s fiscal year 2018 budget request. In addition to the Pocomoke Senior Center, Hart said there were similar facilities in Snow Hill, Berlin and Ocean City. “The program used to get funding from the state,” he said. “We received about $50,000 12 years ago when I first started, and the state has basically dried up on the funding.” While more than 700 members currently make use of the four senior centers, that number is likely to spike as more than one-third of the county population will be considered elderly by 2020, Hart said. “We feed over 2,000 seniors a month and deliver 50-plus meals on wheels a day,” he...
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