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Berlin Fiddlers Convention brings three days of music

Posted On: 9/22/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Sept. 22, 2016) The 24th annual Berlin Fiddlers Convention returns this weekend with free live music by four local and regional bands, as well as competitions in multiple levels and categories. Berlin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Larnet St. Amant said Fiddlers would stick with its “tried and true” formula and will keep to much the same schedule of events as during previous years. “It’s always been a really great event for us,” she said. “Friday night ends up being a nice, family vibe, and then Saturday we switch the stage [to] near the Atlantic Hotel end of town for the competition.” Last year’s band competition winners, local father-son duo Blind Wind, will co-headline the live entertainment lineup downtown starting at 7 p.m. on Friday at the north end of Main Street. Also performing Friday night is Grammy nominee Audie Blacklock, who will deliver a solo set and join Baltimore-based roots group Charm City Junction. Bli...
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OPA Country club: repair or replace?

Posted On: 9/22/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Sept. 22, 2016) Plenty of ground was covered during what Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors President Tom Herrick described on Monday as the “resurrection of the working sessions” it had discarded several years ago. More informal than regular meetings, the sessions were designed to develop ideas and invite public opinion. During the five-hour meeting in the community center – during which no votes were permitted – the directors discussed 11 topics, including what to do with the much-maligned country club. That subject took up the largest share of time, although no consensus on a solution was reached. What the directors did agree on, however, was that maintenance of the building had long been ignored and many of the problems there – including pervasive mold, a deteriorated HVAC system and a leaky roof – would likely lead to expensive fixes. Interim General Manager Brett Hill summed up the results of a recent engineering report that sug...
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Pocomoke hardest hit by downpour

Posted On: 9/22/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Sept. 22, 2016) By late Monday afternoon, floodwaters had crossed Route 113’s southbound lanes north of Pocomoke City in at least two places, Route 756 was about to be shut down, and both Market Street and Clarke Avenue were closed in places because of rising water from a coastal storm. By Tuesday morning, City Manager/City Attorney Ernie Crofoot said things had become calmer, the flash flooding had started to subside and cleanup efforts were underway. “The combination of the volume of rain, the short time factor and the fact that stormwater mitigation swales and other measures can only hold so much water led to the flooding,” Crofoot said. The wastewater treatment plant was “the least of his concerns” on Monday, he said, though the town did need to switch holding lagoons to accommodate all the runoff. Crofoot said several manhole covers in town were dislodged and overflowed during the squall. Reports of a lightning strike at Pocomoke’s Hartle...
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SH public hearing on comprehensive rezoning, Tuesday

Posted On: 9/22/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Sept. 22, 2016) Snow Hill is poised to adopt a new comprehensive zoning ordinance, determining how land within town limits can and will be used for the next several years, barring citizen requests and modifications. The hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at the train station. “For the most part, all areas of the town remain in their previous zoning classification and most property owners will be permitted to use their property as provided in the existing zoning code,” Town Manager Kelly Pruitt said in a prepared statement. “Exceptions include properties in the Riverfront Development District, which have either been incorporated into the B-1 Downtown Shopping District or the R-2 Medium-Density Residential District.” This change on the riverfront, Pruitt said, will permit the Town Council to consider a broader range of both infill and redevelopment options. The major changes, Pruitt said, are the elimination of the Riverfront Development ...
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Berlin, nine others, up for ‘American Main St.’ award

Posted On: 9/22/16
Written By:

(Sept. 22, 2016) Berlin Main Street has been selected as a semifinalist for the 2017 “Great American Main Street” award. The Great American Main Street award is the highest recognition given out by the National Main Street Center. “Each year, Main Street America celebrated exceptional Main Street organizations for their work in creating more economically, socially and culturally vibrant commercial districts,” Patrice Frey, the center’s president and CEO, said. “This year’s winners are truly at the forefront of commercial district revitalization. They are a testament to the power of the main street approach, and the great potential of downtown districts in cities and towns across the country.” Together, this year’s semifinalists have generated almost $1 billion in public and private reinvestment while creating 5,679 new jobs, opening 1,085 new businesses, rehabbing 1,359 buildings and clocking more than 133,000 volunteer hours. ...
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Final Fourth Friday in 2016 tomorrow in Pocomoke City

Posted On: 9/22/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Sept. 22, 2016) Health and safety are the theme for this year’s final fourth Friday to be held tomorrow in downtown Pocomoke City from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. “Local health vendors and first responders will be present to hand out information, perform screenings and allow children to explore local first responder vehicles,” Karah Lacey, economic development coordinator for the town, said. “A one-mile fun walk around Downtown Pocomoke will take place at 6 p.m.” Preregistration for the walk is encouraged, and can be completed by calling (410) 632-0056. “We partnering with the town of Pocomoke to hold this fun walk to promote the benefits of physical activity such as walking and encourage all visitors of the event to find fun ways to incorporate activity into their daily lives,” Kat Gunby, director of prevention services at the health department, said. “This is part of ongoing efforts of the health department to partner with communities to incr...
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Snow Hill hosts free fishing tournament for youth, Sat.

Posted On: 9/22/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Sept. 22, 2016) For the third year, the town of Snow Hill is arranging a free fishing tournament for children aged 14 and under on the banks of the Pocomoke River at Byrd Park this Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m. The participants will be divided into three age groups: 7 and under, 8-10 and 11-14. Awards will be presented for the first catch in each age group, and trophies will be awarded for both the largest and smallest catches. Everyone in the tournament will get a goody bag, and no fishing licenses are required. Door prizes of fishing gear will be awarded, and pre-registered participants are eligible for a special prize, according to Trish Goodsell, assistant to the town manager of Snow Hill. Preregistration ends today, Thursday, and forms are available through the town’s website, www.snowhillmd.com, but must be returned to town hall before the tournament in order to be eligible for the special prize. Because there will be a limited amount of tackle available for the...
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Berlin Mayor Gee Williams speaks on election issues

Posted On: 9/22/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Sept. 22, 2016) Berlin Mayor Gee Williams, 67, is comfortable standing on his record and his eight-years in office, as he seeks reelection in the Oct. 4 municipal election. After a career as a journalist and newspaper publisher, Williams made the transition to Berlin Councilman in 2003. He became acting mayor in 2008 when Mayor Thomas Cardinale passed away in office, and was voted into office later in 2008 and again in 2012. During the “Williams era,” Berlin has turned its image as a Victorian era postcard into a calling card for a successful hospitality and tourism industry centered on its downtown sector. He said the key difference between himself and his opponent in the election, District 2 Councilwoman Lisa Hall, is whether “preserving that small-town charm means not changing anything, anymore.” For instance, Hall has said she would like to limit new development in Berlin to its roughly 300 infill-lots. “Some of them, basically, not been dev...
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Unique nature of Pines may make for tricky mgmt. search

Posted On: 9/22/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Sept. 22, 2016) Many of the more than 8,400 property owners in Ocean Pines see the community as a special place. It’s close to the beach, has plenty of amenities and boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the entire state. The Ocean Pines Association is also different from many other homeowners’ associations in that it operates as if it were a municipality. That’s something could make finding a new general manager more difficult, a point interim general manager and member of the board of directors Brett Hill said repeatedly during a work session on Monday. “I would say, in the last two-to-three weeks that I’ve been involved here, it’s become very apparent to me that I think, before we can decide on a direction, that we have to define what we’re looking for,” he said. “My synopsis of the entire situation is that we’re a community that, for over 40 years, has grown.” He said responses to a request for proposals to...
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OPA Briefs

Posted On: 9/22/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Sept. 22, 2016) The Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors discussed the following items during a work session at the community Center on Monday: New format Board President Tom Herrick said the working sessions, the first for the new board, would be done on a trial basis. Comments on work session topics from the homeowners, if recognized by the chair, would be welcomed, Herrick said. “The board will welcome all feedback and consider everything that association members can provide for input,” he said. Many items from the agenda were, by consensus, moved to the regular board meeting on Saturday morning. No formal votes were permitted during the working session. Tennis courts Although the prior board budgeted about $140,000 for improvements to four tennis courts at the swim and racquet club, the new board appeared to favor a cheaper, $2,000 patching of two courts there. Two others, which were said be badly damaged, could be converted to some other use later. ...
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