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DG heading to zoning appeals board

Posted On: 4/30/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(April 30, 2015) The clash over a potential Dollar General store on Old Ocean City Road near Healthway Drive in Berlin is headed back to the town’s board of zoning appeals after a Worcester County Circuit Court judge decided on behalf of the developer last Thursday. According to court documents, Attorney B. Randall Coates, representing Oxford Chase Development Inc., argued that the site plan rejection by Berlin’s planning commission in March was without merit, and that the town’s board of appeals should hear the matter. Oxford Chase on Dec. 12 formally requested a building permit from the town for the construction of retail store in a commercial zone. The Berlin planning commission on March 11 unanimously recommended that Planning Director Dave Engelhart deny the zoning certificate because of traffic problems its members argued would be caused by granting the property access to Route 346. Engelhart did just that, citing a town code section involving highway corrid...
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Dir. Sharyn O’Hare opts against OPA board reelection bid

Posted On: 4/30/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(April 30, 2015) After three years in office that featured significant changes in the community’s political landscape, Ocean Pines Association Director Sharyn O’Hare will not be running for reelection to the board of directors. At least partially responsible for her decision is what she sees as an increasingly confrontational board of directors bent on trying to run the community on a day-to-day basis. O’Hare, 67, moved to Ocean Pines in 1975 and began practicing real estate four years later. Both of her children were born in the community. Her inadvertent journey into politics began with her involvement in the community’s 35th anniversary celebration in 2003. After organizers raised more money than they needed, the excess dollars were put toward the Worcester County Veteran’s Memorial, established in 2005. O’Hare co-chaired the effort, along with the late Roseanne Bridgman. “I did that for the community and it was just a labor of love,&...
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April Child Abuse Awareness Month

Posted On: 4/30/15
Written By: Josh Davis Staff Writer

(April 30, 2015) As part of its efforts during Child Abuse Awareness Month, the Life Crisis Center in Salisbury is driving home the message to residents in Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties that silence is never the right answer when it comes to potential instances of child abuse. Executive Director Michele Hughes said there are plenty of tools to assist victims of child abuse, starting with child advocacy centers such as Cricket Center in Berlin, which serves all of Worcester County. “A child advocacy center is sort of an agreement among a very specific group of people who come to together to make a decision that they’re going to treat child abuse in a way that means that children are heard, they’re believed and they’re treated,” Hughes said. “That’s what they do at the Cricket Center. The law enforcement and the child protective services do the investigations, and they do it in a way which is very sensitive to how children react ...
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Cedar Chapel, WCDC await regs.

Posted On: 4/30/15
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Staff Writer

(April 30, 2015) New philosophies in the way disabled adults enter into and maintain employment could force major changes in the way students at the Cedar Chapel Special School are taught and adults at the Worcester County Developmental Center gain employment. Of course, it first boils down to funding. “The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services contributes 50 percent of the funding for disabled adults,” Jack Ferry, executive director of the developmenalt center, said, “and since they contribute so much money they have decided to start making rules.” The Affordable Care Act mandates this change and Maryland has until 2019 to develop an implementation plan. Both the WCDC and Cedar Chapel school, as well as the Eastern Shore delegation in the Maryland Assembly, have written letters in support of the existing system. Currently, students at the school follow a needs-based curriculum designed to prepare them to enter the workforce or continue development at WC...
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Nonprofits make pitches in Berlin

Posted On: 4/30/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(April 30, 2015) A week after Berlin officials released a budget draft showing a potential $15,000 increase in appropriations for nonprofits, the mayor and Town Council fielded pitches by three such groups during their Monday night meeting. All told, the draft includes $35,000 set aside for appropriations to nonprofits. “I have to say that we’re very selective,” Mayor Gee Williams said during the meeting. “The council tries to do our best to choose nonprofits that specifically … do things much more efficiently, much better, [and are] much more qualified to fill these needs than government.” Cricket Center Program Manager Wendy Myers spoke first for the Berlin-based child advocacy foundation. The center, which covers all of Worcester County, has served more than 600 area children since opening its doors in 2009. “Child sexual abuse is a crime of secrecy,” Myers said. “Immediate psychological affects of child sexual abuse [inc...
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Fundraiser for fire victims, May 2

Posted On: 4/30/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(April 30, 2015) Several families, including Dikesha Johnson and her two young children, were displaced by a devastating fire at the Trappe Creek Apartments on Bay Street in Berlin on April 3. Now, the community is rallying around the families, and groups such as Soulful Gospel Events are holding fundraisers to gather donations. “I heard about [the fire] through Facebook and I wanted to use my project called Soulful Gospel Events to be a blessing to the families, and just try to use the resources that I had to get the community involved,” La’Reka Marshall said. “Not only was Dikesha Johnson affected by it, but both of her next-door neighbors were affected by it as well. I’m trying to get the community to help me help them.” Soulful Gospel’s fundraiser will be held at Berlin Intermediate School on 309 Franklin Avenue on May 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Marshall will cater the event. The Praise Dancer Gospel Singers will provide live entertainm...
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Hill wins ‘If I Were Mayor’ contest

Posted On: 4/30/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(April 30, 2015) Lindley Hill, a student at Worcester Preparatory School in Berlin, is the district winner of this year’s “If I Were Mayor I Would” contest. Sponsored by the Maryland Mayor’s Association and the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Company, the contest asks fourth-graders to demonstrate language skills and social studies knowledge. Hill was honored by the Berlin Mayor and Council during a public meeting on Monday, April 27. “[She] has continued a tradition that very few towns in the state can claim,” Mayor Gee Williams said during the meeting. “We’re very proud of [her].” Hill’s essay imagined a place called “Happy Town” that happened to be exploring the possibility of building a playground with a skate park. “In town, we took a vote and more people voted for the playground,” Hill said, reading from the essay. “When I told the people of Happy Town that we would build a playground,...
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Berlin SWAT sent to Baltimore to help during unrest

Posted On: 4/30/15
Written By:

(April 30, 2015) Among the law enforcement agencies called on to assist during the Baltimore rioting and looting on Monday was the Berlin Police Department, which dispatched its SWAT team to the city at 7:30 that evening. The department was called on by the State of Maryland Emergency Management Agency through the Worcester County Office of Emergency Services.  The state emergency management agency is headed by Clay Stamp, who headed emergency services in Ocean City for years. The Berlin department sent six members who reported to Baltimore City Police Headquarters. Upon arrival in the city, Baltimore Police Command assigned the Berlin team to provide security for civil disorder officers who were holding established police lines.  Berlin Police Units operated in the area of North and Philadelphia Avenues, which is the location where the CVS Pharmacy burned earlier in the day.   The Berlin team relieved other SWAT units who had responded from other surrounding ...
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Berlin Briefs

Posted On: 4/30/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(April 30, 2015) Among the topics discussed by the Berlin mayor and council Monday night were: Yoga in the park Mayor Gee Williams asked yoga instructor Emily Keen and Zenna Wellness Studio owner Chrissy Ehrhart to look for a nonprofit partner before seeking council approval for their yoga in the park project. Keen hoped to hold the program on Sundays in Stephen Decatur Park at 6 p.m., and offered to donate partial proceeds to area teachers. District 2 Councilmember Lisa Hall suggested the group look to Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services for a partner. “You’re already giving free lessons to the Worcester Youth camp,” Hall said. “You’re part of their summer program of yoga. Maybe you and Worcester Youth could partner. They could be your nonprofit and you could take the money that you were talking about. Instead of giving it to the schools, you could donate it to Youth and Family Services. I think that conversation should happen.R...
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Wor. Arts Council to host inaugural race/walk May 16

Posted On: 4/30/15
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(April 30, 2015) Looking to spread the word about upcoming exhibitions and projects, and possibly to increase membership, the Worcester County Arts Council will hold its inaugural 5K Race/Walk for the Arts on Saturday, May 16. Included in the $25 registration fee for the event is a T-shirt and a one-year membership to the arts council. “We hope to do this every year. That way everybody can renew their membership.” Board Member Erika Rittling Uebel said. “It’s a membership drive, kind of like what NPR does, but we thought this would be more fun and interactive with the community, and raise awareness with runners and maybe reach a whole new group of people.” Executive Director Anna Mullis echoed the council’s desire to raise its profile. “We have several different programs that we sponsor and classes and grants and scholarships, but we wanted to offer something fresh, something different and take advantage of the nice weather,” she sa...
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