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Dualization work ramps up for spring 2019 finish

Posted On: 12/29/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Dec. 29, 2016) Each year, the state ask counties to submit a ranked list of its transportation priorities for the next year, and every year for about the past 20 years it’s been the same in Worcester: Route 113 dualization. The road, which narrows from a four-lane divided highway to just two lanes slightly north of Langmaid Road, and reverts back into a divided highway just to the south of the Business 113 junction in Snow Hill, has been considered a hazard for many years. So when his office announced Gov. Larry Hogan’s schedule for his first, and to date only, Eastern Shore tour in early April and noted a transportation press conference at the Worcester County Board of Education building in Newark, the topic of conversation could only have been Route 113. The governor made good, and announced funding for the final roadwork phase of the Route 113 dualization project, with construction expected to begin in early spring next year, and opening to traffic two years later ...
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Police investigating reported cell scam

Posted On: 12/29/16
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(Dec. 29, 2016) Maryland State Police and other local authorities are investigating a reported cell phone scam. According to a release from the Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack, threatening text messages originating from sender isigman@conejousd.org have been circulating in the area. The message reads, “I’ve been paid to kill you but wish to spare you. Inform the police or anyone else you die. To be spared, contact vsdky@hotmail.com immediately via email.” Police advised anyone who received the message to not respond. For more information, contact the Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack at 410-641-3101.
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CFES to host open house on Jan. 5

Posted On: 12/29/16
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(Dec. 29, 2016) The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES) will host a “Community Needs Grants Open House” on Thursday, Jan. 5, starting at 10 a.m., for nonprofit organizations in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. The open house will be held at the foundation’s offices at 1324 Belmont Avenue, Salisbury. “Whether your nonprofit is big or small, the Community Foundation can help you find the resources you need to carry out your mission,” Erica Joseph, CFES president, said. “Join our staff as we discuss our foundation’s Community Needs Grants Program. The grant application and award process will be reviewed in its entirety.” This open house is offered in advance of the Feb. 1, 2017 grant deadline for community needs. Organizations serving citizens on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland are encouraged to apply for funding. Applicants must be 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations providing nonsectari...
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Election ‘16 fallout: Thompson ousted, others in OPA resign

Posted On: 12/29/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Dec. 29, 2016) Newly elected leadership in Ocean Pines worked swiftly to make good on a key election promise to fire General Manager Bob Thompson just days after the results were announced. On Aug. 21, the board met and elected Tom Herrick, the leading vote-getter in 2015, the new president, replacing Pat Renaud after one year in that office. Veteran Director Dave Stevens was elected vice president and two newly elected directors, Slobodan Trendic and Pat Supik, were confirmed as secretary and treasurer, respectively. Brett Hill, who received the most votes during the summer election, was not appointed to an office. Five days later, the new board fired Thompson in a 4-3 vote and appointed Hill as interim general manager. Thompson, whose six-year tenure as the association’s chief operating officer was a political lightning rod during the election, worked at the pleasure of the board and was dismissed for “convenience,” or without specific cause. The vote hap...
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Berlin to host annual New Year’s Eve bash

Posted On: 12/29/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Dec. 29, 2016) While most of the roughly two-dozen annual events in Berlin are designed to bring new faces – and shoppers – into the community, the town’s yearly New Year’s Eve bash is geared toward area residents. Tyler Horton, aka DJ Bigler, the voice of the Delmarva Shorebirds, will emcee and spin records with Ocean 98 personality Big Al Reno. Three outdoor bar areas will be available for the first time: at the Blacksmith restaurant on 104 Pitts Street, outside the Atlantic Hotel on 2 North Main Street and at Fins Ale House and Raw Bar on 119 Main Street. At midnight, a large steel ball covered in multicolored lights will descend from the Town Center Antiques building, opposite the hotel. Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells said that was commissioned as art by resident Barb Stack several years ago. She said DJ Bigler and Big Al Reno would award prizes in exchange for correct answers to trivia questions, and that vendors would include...
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Take plunge during 23rd annual Penguin Swim

Posted On: 12/29/16
Written By: Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer

(Dec. 29, 2016) The annual Penguin Swim takes place on New Year’s Day every year with hundreds of people dashing into the ocean off 91st Street to benefit Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin. “The community involvement is overwhelming, whether you are a volunteer, visitor, local, business or organization,” AGH Event Coordinator Joy Stokes said. “All ages are coming together to ring in the new year, have fun and make memories for a great cause. The 2017 Penguin Swim promises to be filled with fun and excitement.” There will also be carnival games, girls dressed as mermaids, costume contests, live entertainment, Lollipop the Clown and ice art from Erik Cantine. In 2016, a record-breaking 1,035 people on 60 teams plunged into the surf for the swim and raised more than $106,000 for the hospital. There were also 46 sponsors, Stokes said. Organizers expect more than 1,000 people to take the plunge, Stokes said. “The Penguin Swim is one of our largest ...
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New Year’s Day Beach Walk in park

Posted On: 12/29/16
Written By: Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer

(Dec. 29, 2016) Look forward to new additions including four stations highlighting the theme of climate change along with a scavenger hunt on a self-guided beach stroll during the 37th annual Ilia Fehrer/Judy Johnson New Year’s Day Beach Walk at Assateague State Park on Sunday, Jan. 1. “This event has grown over the years. We felt the need to do more and make it a better experience,” said Assateague Coastal Trust communications coordinator Matt Heim. The Assateague Coastal Trust has partnered with the National Park Service, the Assateague State Park, Former National State Park Service Ranger Chris Seymour, and the Friends of Assateague State Park to put on the event this year. Attendees will visit four stations along the beach path that will have information about ways to monitor or mitigate the impact of climate change on Assateague Island. “Each station will be taking a look at different angles of climate change that affects the island,” Heim said. ...
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Worcester Prep students receive AP honors awards

Posted On: 12/22/16
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(Dec. 22, 2016) Worcester Preparatory School students in the Class of 2017 and alumni from the Class of 2016 captured 32 Advanced Placement honors from the College Board.   Students commended as AP Scholars with Distinction, who achieved scores of at least 3.5 on all AP tests taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams were: Sambina Anthony ‘17, Isabel Carulli ‘16, Alex Choy ‘16, Victoria Middleton ’16, Nick Moondra’17, Zach Oltman ‘16, Jordan Osias ’16, Rayne Parker ’17, Cassie Stevens ’16 and Grace Tunis ’16. AP Scholars with Honor, who received an average of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams were: Hannah Arrington ’16, Jason Cook ‘16, Laura Issel ‘16, Jordan Kilgore ’16, Wyatt Richins ‘16, Ava Schwartz ’17, Erika Smith ’16 and Staton Whaley ‘16. AP Scholars with scores of 3 or higher on thr...
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Snow Hill adopts rezoning proposal

Posted On: 12/22/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Dec. 22, 2016) After several months of work sessions and meetings, the Snow Hill town government unanimously adopted the comprehensive rezoning proposal without alteration at last Tuesday’s council meeting. Though the vote was 3-0 in favor, it was not without dissent. From the time the council began focusing on the issue months ago, Western District representative Michael Pruitt has asked the council to reconsider rezoning a particular property, owned by Jay Bergey, from R2 residential to R3 residential. Bergey intends to develop the land into housing, drawing funding and tenants from a federal program that had lost funding previously, but has since been reinstated. Bergey has called the reclassification “spot zoning,” which is illegal in Maryland, and has gone so far as to threaten the town with a lawsuit, according to the minutes of an October work session. The type of housing Bergey planned to construct on the property is also at issue. Though he had strongl...
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Berlin HDC examines role following reversal

Posted On: 12/22/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Dec. 22, 2016) Members of the Berlin Historic District Commission met last week to discuss its role, following a ruling by the Berlin Board of Appeals that overturned a recent commission decision. “I’ve never sat on the other side and listened to the zoning appeals board,” commission member Mary Moore said. “I was like, is that how we seem sometimes? A little out there? I would love to think that we could all get that knowledge and be right where we should be.” The board of appeals had expressed confusion over why the historic commission denied a pylon sign insert for the Berlin Butcher Shop, citing a lack of clear-cut reasoning in the minutes of a meeting in October. Moore said if the commission was simply going by the zoning code book, “there’s no reason to be here.” “That’s correct,” Engelhart said. “If it’s just by an ordinance or just by strict guidelines, then there is no reason to have [the comm...
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