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Road not taken: Harrison Ave. feud continues in Berlin

Posted On: 8/25/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 25, 2016) The ongoing feud between leadership in Berlin and the Adkins Company has apparently not abated, and no resolution to the closing of Harrison Avenue, which Adkins owns, appears imminent. Adkins put up barricades on a portion of Harrison Avenue in June after town officials and the company could not reach agreement to purchase the road. During a Berlin mayor and council meeting on Monday, resident Jack Orris, a candidate for the District 2 council seat, asked for an update during public comments. “Going around, I’m talking to people and I’m at a loss to explain what’s going on currently with Harrison Avenue. People are asking me is there’s anything the council can do,” he said. Mayor Gee Williams replied that the town would “not be extorted for $400,000,” referring to the price Adkins had apparently asked for the road. “It’s going to create some inconvenience for a while, but I swear to God we’re no...
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Pres. Herrick: OPA officers elected

Posted On: 8/25/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 25, 2016) Tom Herrick, last year’s leading vote-getter, was elected president of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors during an organizational meeting on Monday. The vote totals were not announced, as the seven-member board elects officers by secret ballot. Also during the meeting, Dave Stevens was elected vice president and two newly elected directors, Slobodan Trendic and Pat Supik, were confirmed as secretary and treasurer, respectively. Stevens was also confirmed as the parliamentarian. Supik was appointed liaison to the budget and finance committee, which she formerly chaired, and Trendic was appointed liaison to the elections committee. All other liaison positions were postponed until Herrick could gather feedback from the individual directors as to their preference. Gene Ringsdorf and Art Carmine were confirmed as assistant treasurers, and Michelle Bennet was confirmed as the assistant secretary. At the start of the meeting, outgoing President Pat R...
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‘No homework’ policy continues

Posted On: 8/25/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Aug. 25, 2016) Long before a single teacher in a Texas school started a social media firestorm by discontinuing additional homework outside of regular classwork, Snow Hill Middle School is on its second year of offering exactly that to all students in every subject, at every grade level. There are conditions, and some minor changes to last year’s policy, for those parents who have new or returning students to that school. Students who do not complete the day’s assignments are still responsible for that work, pupils are asked to read at least 20 minutes per night and both seventh and eighth grade students may be assigned additional practice when new mathematical concepts are introduced. Those practice assignments should take only 20 minutes to complete, Principal Mrs. Chris Welch said, and will never, by themselves, negatively affect a students’ grade. “If a student does not understand the practice assignment, it is the responsibility of him or her to ask t...
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Dep. fire marshal referred to circuit court in gun case

Posted On: 8/25/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Aug. 25, 2016) District Court Judge Gerald Purnell agreed with the prosecution on Tuesday in Snow Hill that there was enough evidence against Worcester County Deputy Fire Marshal Rodney Sharpley, 54, of Pocomoke City, to remand the case to Circuit Court. Sharpley is facing charges, including a felony, stemming from an incident in late June that ended with him allegedly pointing a handgun at both a uniformed, on-duty Pocomoke City Police Officer and the juvenile daughter of Sharpley’s live-in girlfriend. According to testimony, Sharpley was ordered several times by police to drop the weapon before complying. Officer Thomas testified that after police identified themselves to Sharpley, he held them and the juvenile at gunpoint for 10 seconds. “Ten seconds is a lifetime when you have a gun pointed at you,” Buhrt said. Following the confrontation, Sharpley was said to place the weapon on an inside table and invited officers in to speak. The incident ended with...
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Pocomoke City leadership split on use of old firehouse

Posted On: 8/25/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Aug. 25, 2016) The old Pocomoke Volunteer Fire Company building on Fifth Street still stands sentinel over the town, as it has since it opened in 1937, but is now considered a detriment, rather than asset to the town. The problem is, no one can decide what to do with it, or failing that, how to dispose of it. This past spring, bids were opened to sell the facility. The top bid was $2,500 and rejected. Some argued the price was too low, while others maintained that any amount would be a net positive for the town to rid itself of the property. In the former camp is Ernie Crofoot, city manager/city attorney for Pocomoke City, and in the latter is Mayor Bruce Morrison. “I could not, in good conscience, sell at that price,” Crofoot said. Morrison, meanwhile, said he would rather get someone in there and make the necessary, and expensive, repairs to the building to bring it back into working order. He said he would like to see what someone else could do with the property...
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Berlin sends letter on Bay Club development

Posted On: 8/25/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 25, 2016) Last year, the possibility of annexing the Bay Club into Berlin became a somewhat sore subject for the Berlin mayor and council. Apparently, a proposal was on the table to turn all or a portion of the golf course into a development of 300 luxury homes. Mayor Gee Williams said Hugh Cropper, an attorney representing the Carl M. Freeman Companies, which own the property, made that presentation to town officials. Two councilmembers, Thom Gulyas and Lisa Hall, were outspoken opponents of the idea, with Hall in particular worrying that the town was expanding too much. “We’ve doubled our size in 10 years and we have a lot of growing pains and we’ve made a lot of errors,” she said at the time. During a mayor and council meeting on Monday, an entirely different proposal was brought up. “We have been told … that the Bay Club was considering a campground and that they’re very close to going to the Worcester County Board of Appeals,&#...
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Shortage of primary care doctors stymies Snow Hill

Posted On: 8/25/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Aug. 25, 2016) A citizen request passed along by Town Councilman Mike Pruitt for a medical doctor’s practice in Snow Hill has been heard by both Atlantic General Hospital and Peninsula Regional Medical Center, but won’t be fulfilled anytime soon. Both health systems have their reasons, with PRMC pointing to a nationwide shortage of primary care physicians and AGH referring to previous failed attempts to maintain a practice here, as well as a promise to pursue technological avenues that may offer these services in the future. The town’s medical needs are served locally by Michael Crum, a certified registered nurse practitioner at Peninsula Regional Primary Care on Market Street and part of the PRMC network. Crum joined the practice and PRMC in April. According to the announcement of his arrival, Crum spent the previous decade at “a local internal medicine and geriatrics practice as a primary care provider, tending to a wide variety of healthcare needs.̶...
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What’s next?  Candidates talk plans for Ocean Pines

Posted On: 8/25/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 25, 2016) Although an unprecedented 11 candidates were on the ballot in the board of directors election in Ocean Pines this year, only three could be seated. For the other seven homeowners who spent months campaigning, participating in forums and talking to the public and the local media, what will happen to the issues they championed during the campaign? The Gazette contacted these candidates to find out. Steve Lind: “As a concerned citizen I’ve been involved in Ocean Pines politics for 17 years, why stop now? “I’m confident and excited about having a new board majority, but they will have a lot on their plate and I’d be glad to do anything that might help them with their tasks, including going back on the Clubs Advisory Committee if the board so desires. The yacht club and the country club are hot-button issues that I know directors Herrick, Hill and Trendic have placed high on their priority list. “Running for the board was a very r...
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Marathon man: Ocean Pines resident raising money to race

Posted On: 8/25/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 25, 2016) Ocean Pines resident Jeremy Goetzinger is looking for support and sponsorship for several upcoming competitive handcycle races in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Dover and New York. The 41-year-old Washington, D.C. native lost his legs and several fingers on one of his hands because of Buerger’s Disease, a rare condition that affects circulation. He was living in Las Vegas at the time, working as an electrical engineer. “It was seven years worth of surgeries,” he said. “[Buerger’s Disease] is real rare. It only happens to men between the ages of 20 and 30, and it’s strictly caused by smoking. There’s no cure for it.” During a long period of rehabilitation and recovery Goetzinger starting become involved with adaptive sports, which allowed him to stay active. “I was getting real down and depressed,” he said. “I had a son that I couldn’t play soccer with, so I reached out to the city of Las Vegas a...
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Berlin Briefs

Posted On: 8/25/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 25, 2016) The Berlin Mayor and Council discussed the following items during a public meeting at town hall on Monday: National Night Out Police Chief Arnold Downing thanked participants for their help during the recent National Night Out event at Henry Park, specifically the faith-based community and three new partners who aided the cause this year. Of the approximately $1,500 expended during the event, Downing said the police department only had to spend $27. “We’ve very proud of the community coming together on that day and throughout the whole year,” he said.   He also said the police department’s 23rd annual charity golf tournament had the highest turnout in a decade. “The support that we as a police department has been getting from the community makes me feel really proud,” he said. Façade grants Councilman Tom Gulyas noted that Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells still had about $50,000 in façade g...
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