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The Dispatch January 8, 2021

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Serving Greater Delmarva Since 1984

www.mdcoastdispatch.com

Schools Weigh In-Person Return

See Page 4 • File Photo

OC Assessments Increase Slightly

See Page 7 • Photo by Chris Parypa

New Year’s Day Plunge:

For the 27th year, Atlantic General Hospital kicked off the new year by hosting a penguin swim in Ocean City with all proceeds benefiting the community hospital. About 500 plungers, including these spirited participants, helped to raise more than $70,000 during the holiday event. See page 22 for full story.

Outdoor Dining Process Renewed

Photos by Chris Parypa

See Page 6 • Photo by Chris Parypa

Resort Eyes Anti-Litter Campaign

See Page 10 • Photo by Chris Parypa


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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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January 8, 2021


January 8, 2021

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Teachers Union, Health Officials Request Online Learning

Page 4

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

NEWARK – Worcester County Superintendent of Schools Lou Taylor reaffirmed his commitment to bringing students back to schools this week despite the latest delay in resuming in-person instruction. Though Worcester County Public Schools postponed a return to in-person learning that was set to begin Jan. 4 after input from the local health department and teachers union, Taylor told the Worcester County Commissioners Tuesday he was still working to get students back into schools. “I want you to know as the body of commissioners that my goal is to get our kids back in school,” he said. “’I’m 100% trying to find every way to do that.” Though Taylor told families last Tues-

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

day that some students would return to inperson learning Jan. 4, on Jan. 2 he told parents the Worcester County Health Department had requested that distance learning continue. His announcement came after the Worcester County Teachers Association (WCTA) and Worcester County Education Support Personnel Association (WCESPA) submitted a letter in opposition to returning to in-person learning Jan. 4. The school system initially confirmed longstanding plans to return a small group of students to schools last Tuesday with a message citing the robust training staff had received regarding COVID-19 that would allow the school system to return to some in-person learning. Two days later, however, the health department reached out to Taylor as well as the leaders of the county’s private schools to share the latest health metrics, which

at the time included a positivity rate of 13.96% and a case rate of 50.8 per 100,000. “As you are aware, these metrics are well above the threshold for recommending limited or no in person programs per the State of Maryland COVID 19 Guidance for Maryland Schools,” wrote Debra Stevens, director of community health for the Worcester County Health Department, in an email to public school and private school administrators. “We encourage you to reconsider in person learning until these metrics have significantly reduced.” Two days later, Gary McCabe, UniServ director for WCTA and WCESPA, wrote Taylor a letter asking for a delay to in-person learning. McCabe said COVID19 rates were significantly higher than they were when Taylor closed schools for in-person learning in November.

January 8, 2021

“Your decision to disregard state guidelines and return to in-person instruction is politically untenable for us,” the letter reads. “It does not reflect the sentiment of our members. It follows neither the letter nor the spirit of the guidelines. It does not comport with your fellow superintendents, who have similar and high infection rates in their county’s. Your decision gives us no solid political ground upon which to support your decision.” The letter continued, “We do not consider you our adversary, but we are unable to support your decision to return to in-person instruction as of January 4, 2021,” the letter reads. “WCTA and WCESPA can support staff returning to work at school, as we believe that all safety measures can be accommodated with that number of people in the buildings. We understand that employees and their school age children (only) returning to buildings is not the solution you desire, but we recognize that this option is much safer for all involved.” Taylor released a message Saturday night delaying the Jan. 4 return. “First, I apologize immensely for the contents of this message as it is a change to the messaging that we sent out on Tuesday, December 29,” he said. “I hope that you understand that it is unavoidable. While we were planning on a return to inperson instruction for small groups of students on Monday, the Worcester County Health Department has requested that we return instead with students engaged in distance learning on January 4. Therefore, all Worcester County Public Schools will remain in distance learning for the week of January 4-8. We will continue to assess all health and safety information throughout the next week and, as I indicated in my prior message, I will communicate with you and our families on or before Friday, January 8.” When asked about the letter from the WCTA, Taylor said in a statement this week he welcomed all input. “As we have since the beginning of this pandemic, the leadership of Worcester County Public Schools continues to welcome all feedback from our school system community on these important decisions,” he said. “As evident from the public debate occurring throughout our community, there are strong feelings on both sides of the decision to return students to in-person learning. We certainly recognize that the best place for students to learn is within the classroom environment, and we remain committed to following our Responsible Return plan, so all those students wishing to return back to the classroom can do so as soon as we can safely allow.” Some parents are hopeful in-person learning will resume as soon as possible. A change.org petition titled “Open Worcester County Schools” was created Monday and had more than 500 supporters by Wednesday. A local emergency room doctor, Dr. Brian DelliGatti, along with others, created a Facebook group called Coastal Community CollaborativeReturn to Learn that now has close to 600 members. DelliGatti also wrote a letter to the WCTA in response to the letter it sent Taylor. He said he was part of a group of SEE PAGE 16


January 8, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 5


OC Council extends Outdoor Dining permit process For 2021

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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – Resort officials this week voted to renew the temporary outdoor seating permit program put in place last June for another 12 months after the program expired on Dec. 31. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced last June an easing of some of the restrictions under stage one of his recovery plan, including an allowance for outdoor dining at businesses with all other directives in place including the proper distancing of tables, the wearing of masks and other sanitation and hygiene measures. Ocean City immediately responded with a temporary outdoor seating permit program, which allowed businesses to find creative ways to find more outdoor seating within their property footprint and, in some cases, within the adjacent public right of way with proper approvals. While far from perfect, the program did allow many businesses to continue service and even thrive in some cases during the warm weather. In the temporary outdoor seating permit program,

businesses were allowed to submit applications that were reviewed by the town staff, the county’s Board of License Commissioners, the Fire Marshal’s Office and the county health department. The town and its partners created a streamlined application process to allow for businesses to quickly react to the governor’s new directives. However, the program expired on Dec. 31. Planning and Community Development Director Bill Neville and City Manager Doug Miller on Monday requested the Mayor and Council renew the program for another 12 months or some period which they desired. The request came from the HotelMotel-Restaurant Association (HMRA) and individual businesses attempting to plan for the upcoming spring and summer seasons with the uncertainties of seating capacity and other restrictions as the COVID pandemic wears on. “This was a real success story from last year,” said Miller. “The permit process was well-received, and 66 businesses went through that process.” Neville explained the council could

decide to simply let the program run its course or renew it for a period of their choosing, although the recommendation was for another 12 months. “It expired on Dec. 31 and the request is to renew it for next year,” he said. “The council might consider renewing it for 12 months to cover all of next year.” Neville said the other regulatory agencies involved in the permit process were on board. After some discussion, the council voted unanimously to renew the program for another year, and also approved a permit application process for requests to use parts of the public right of way, which was handled as a separate issue. “The real intent of this is having it available for next year,” he said. “All of our partners in the process last year feel like it went well. The only request from the Fire Marshal’s Office is to review the use of temporary heaters in tent areas.” Councilman Mark Paddack, who made the motion to approve the renewal, said there were some requests that were more complicated then others and suggested further oversight on th-

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ose requests. “Some businesses wanted to run gas lines from their buildings to temporary heaters,” he said. “If it’s a temporary situation during the shoulder season, it could be reviewed by staff.” Councilman Frank Knight said there was some confusion in the way the program renewal was written in terms of private property and the use of public right of way. “Language in here says no public ways can be used for seating,” he said. “If memory serves, we had a lot of requests for public ways to be used for temporary outdoor seating.” Neville explained there were some issues with requests to use portions of the public right of way such as insurance liability for example. He said those requests would be handled differently on a case-by-case basis. Mayor Rick Meehan said it was fitting for the program to be renewed at a time when so many businesses are struggling to hang on and recover. “This is something we can do for our business community,” he said. “It also created some nice experiences for our residents and visitors. The businesses were creative, they adapted to this and followed the guidelines and led by example.” Meehan did question if the program would continue if and when dining capacity restrictions eased. “Does this continue if the restrictions are lifted and full capacity is restored?” he asked. Neville said that bridge would be crossed when it arrived. “I think we can approve this for 12 months and see where we are down the road with the capacity restrictions,” he said. “We can address issues on a case-by-case basis as they come up.” Councilman John Gehrig said the businesses should be allowed to be creative whether the restrictions are eased or not. “I support this all year-round regardless of what happens with the restrictions,” he said. “I think we need to allow our businesses to be creative and recover.”


Reassessments Show Slight Increase In Resort Properties

January 8, 2021

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – While property values for Ocean City did increase slightly when the results of the latest reassessments were announced last week, the resort lagged behind much of the rest of the state in terms of gains on the residential side and saw a slight decrease on the commercial side. The State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) last week announced the results of the triennial reassessment of residential and commercial real estate values across Maryland and the news was particularly good statewide. Each year, about one third of the residential and commercial properties around the state are reassessed and assigned new values used to determine property tax amounts. This year, using the revolving geographic formula that divides Worcester County into three relatively equal parts, all of the residential properties in Ocean City were reassessed, while commercial properties roughly north of 25th Street were reassessed. Because of the sheer volume of commercial properties in Ocean City, the south end is separated and included in another reassessment group in the interest of keeping the process relatively equal. Statewide, residential properties saw their values increase by an average of 7.5%. In Ocean City, the residential properties reassessed saw their values increase by a modest 3%. Over in Wicomico, the value of residential properties reassessed came in at nearly 12%, or significantly higher than the statewide average. Only Washington County in western Maryland saw an average increase lower than Worcester on the residential side this year. Perhaps more concerning for Ocean City in the latest round of reassessments was the decline in values for commercial properties in the reassessed area. Those commercial properties in Ocean City reassessed this year saw their values decline by an average of 4%. Worcester County saw the largest percentage decline in the state in the current reassessment year. The only other county that saw a decrease was Somerset. Statewide, commercial properties reassessed saw their values increase by an average of 9.7%. In Wicomico, the commercial properties reassessed increased by an average of 5%. Statewide, the total average increase of residential and commercial combined was around 8%. In Worcester, more specifically Ocean City, the total average increase of residential and commercial combined was a modest 2%. In Wicomico, the total average increase in residential and commercial combined came in at 10%. Across Maryland, property values in the reassessed areas increased again, continuing a trend that has lasted multiple years. Following the recession that began in 2008, reassessed properties saw their values decline for seven st-

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

raight years before the trend reversed. “All 23 counties and Baltimore City experienced an increase in residential property values for the third consecutive year, while commercial property values increased in 21 counties and Baltimore City,” said SDAT Director Michael Higgs. “This is a good indicator that the market remains strong and growth is steady here in Maryland. Worcester has seen its values in the various assessed areas increase for seven straight years after six years of decline. While the combined percentage of increase in Ocean City this year was a modest 2%, the numbers continue to trend in the right direction, according to SDAT Director for Worcester County Amy Smith. “Positive is always good and we’ve been trending in that direction for

a few years now,” she said. “Overall, statewide the increases were lightly lower than the increases we saw in 2019, but 2020 has been a different year.” Smith said some properties did better than others in the reassessed areas in Ocean City and the SDAT statistics released last week reflect the averages. However, Worcester County saw the lowest number of properties percentage-wise that increased in value. For example, for the Ocean City residential properties reassessed this year, about 40% saw their values increase. Statewide, 86% saw their values increase, while 98% in Wicomico saw their values increase. Smith said it was uncertain why Ocean City lagged behind the state averages on the

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residential side. “There are roughly 31,000 taxable accounts in the area reassessed this year,” she said. “The market has been strong there, but maybe not as strong as other areas, according to the statewide data. Ocean City being a resort town, there are a lot of variables, especially with a pandemic.” While stopping short of pinning the rather mild increases in residential values and the decreases on the commercial side realized in Worcester in this current cycle on the pandemic, Smith said COVID likely contributed to some degree. “I really can’t pinpoint a cause for the decline on the commercial side in this area,” she said. “There are certain assumptions we can make, especially SEE NEXT PAGE


Potential Room Tax Hike Discussion Planned In Ocean City

Page 8

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City elected officials renewed the debate this week about a potential room tax hike with a sense of urgency giving the legislative framework for accomplishing the change. During the council comment section on Monday’s virtual meeting, Council Secretary Tony DeLuca renewed his push for further discussion on a proposed increase in the resort’s room tax. DeLuca, who has been advocating a hike in the room tax to offset some of the budget shortfalls associated with the ongoing pandemic, pushed for a work session discussion on a proposed room tax hike as soon as next week. After an often-fierce debate, the council in 2019 approved an increase in the

County, Legislative Approval Needed

resort’s room tax from 4.5% to 5%. Prior to that, the town’s room tax had last been increased for 4% to 4.5% in 2007. Even with the increase approved in 2019, Ocean City’s room tax is still considerably lower than the rate in many of the neighboring resort areas, which has led to DeLuca’s push to nudge it higher. The last time around, while most on the then-council agreed a modest increase was needed, the debate centered largely on how best to spend the increased revenue. When the room tax was increased in 2007, a formula was developed wherein 2% of the revenue derived was dedicated to adver-

tising and marketing the resort and that formula did not change with the last increase in 2019. This time around, there appears to be a will among the council to nudge the room tax higher, but the decision essentially falls to Worcester County and, ultimately, the state legislature. Councilman Frank Knight agreed with DeLuca if the council desires to nudge the room tax rate higher, time is of the essence to get that process rolling. “In order to consider raising the room tax, we need legislative approval,” he said. “We need to do that immediately because they start meeting next

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week.” Mayor Rick Meehan reminded his colleagues the county would have to sign off on any proposed legislation to increase the room tax in Ocean City. In recent efforts, gaining the support of the Worcester County Commissioners has not been an issue, but, again, there is a process to follow. “The first thing we have to do is go to the county,” he said. “The county would have to provide permission to seek the legislative change.” DeLuca urged Council President Matt James and City Manager Doug Miller to get a discussion on a proposed room tax increase on next week’s work session agenda. DeLuca also pushed for further discussion of the proposed new economic development director position and the new organizational chart outlining the pecking order in the town’s hierarchy, although the two issues are mutually exclusive. “We can start by discussing this next week to see if there is a will to do it or not,” he said. “That’s the first step and there is some urgency to do this.” Knight reiterated the importance of getting the ball rolling with the General Assembly session opening next week. “We need to get this going immediately if we want to get something in this legislative session,” he said. While it appears he supports the concept of nudging the room tax higher, Councilman John Gehrig said it isn’t as easy as simply asking the county and then the state legislature. Gehrig said there are a lot of moving parts to increasing the room tax with the spring and summer seasons approaching. “There are a lot of concerns and issues,” he said. “We’re into this year and bookings are being made. We need to check with our hospitality partners on this.”

… 4% Decline For Commercial Land

FROM PAGE 7 on the commercial side with the pandemic. There were restrictions on travel for much of the year, more and more people are shopping online instead of brick-and-mortar, more people are working from home instead of offices and on and on.” Overall, Smith said she was pleased with the gains in the residential side and not overly concerned with the slight decrease on the commercial side. “The bottom line is this area had an overall increase, which is a great sign,” she said. “It came in with a combined increase of around 2%. We worked hard this year to ensure everything was finished and the notices went out on time.”


January 8, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 9


Resort Officials To Discuss Robust Anti-Litter Campaign

Page 10

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – After a particularly trashy summer last year for a variety of reasons, Ocean City is getting ready to embark on an aggressive anti-litter campaign to roll out in advance of next season. Consistent complaints heard last summer related to the amount of trash swirling around the Boardwalk and the side streets, particularly in the high-volume downtown area. The public works department did their typical yeoman’s work in

keeping the beach and Boardwalk clean and emptying trash cans. The quasi-private Adopt Your Street and Adopt Your Beach programs continued their efforts to keep the resort clean. Nonetheless, a consistent theme last summer was the amount of trash and litter blowing around town streets. The contributions were likely many including many businesses, at least early on, operating in a carryout-only model. There was likely some change in the general public’s attitude with the COVID pandemic ongoing and the civil unrest unfolding around the country.

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During a briefing on next week’s Coastal Resources Legislative Committee, or Green Team, Councilman and Chair Tony DeLuca said the entire session will be dedicated to a proposed anti-litter campaign for next summer tentatively called “Every Litter Bit Hurts.” “The entire meeting is going to be dedicated to an anti-litter campaign,” he said. “It’s going to be a one-and-ahalf-hour roundtable discussion. As all of you know, the town of Ocean City has experienced an extreme amount of trash and litter over the last year, especially on the Boardwalk and the side streets.” DeLuca said next week’s meeting will include committee members, staff and other stakeholders and the discussion will focus on messaging, enforcement, signage and outreach. “Every Litter Bit Hurts” is a working title, but other alternatives will be considered on getting the message out that the town is serious about it growing litter problem. “We need to address this issue straight on and send the message that littering is unacceptable, including that it is a municipal infraction,” he said. “We need to change the current mindset and Ocean City will be established as a ‘no litter’ zone.” DeLuca said part of the focus will be on messaging and outreach, kind

January 8, 2021

of “kill them with kindness” approach based on recognition of doing the right thing before dropping the hammer of enforcement on offenders. “This will take an all-out effort from a variety of departments and organizations as well as our citizens and visitors,” he said. “We’re going to focus on recognition more than the other issues. We going to try to make it recognition-based and try to change the culture.” During an earlier discussion about the Police Commission’s agenda, the Mayor and Council got a briefing on the recruitment efforts for seasonal officers and public safety aides (PSAs). During that discussion, the issue of having the PSAs do more enforcement and issue more municipal citations on the littering issue arose, particularly when it came to light there were seven total municipal infractions for littering issued last year. “We talked about the need for the PSAs to be more outgoing,” said Councilman and committee chair Lloyd Martin. “We need them to be writing more citations as needed, particularly with the littering issue.” Councilman Frank Knight agreed with Martin’s assessment. “The good word I heard floated around was ‘engaged,’” he said. “They need to be more engaged.”

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County To Fund Study Of Existing Public Warning Sirens

Page 12

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – Despite cost concerns, county officials agreed to move forward with an evaluation of public warning sirens throughout Worcester County. The Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to spend roughly $14,000 evaluating the county’s siren system. They also agreed to take over the siren system, which in the past has been partially the responsibility of local fire companies. “If we’re going to have a system it ought to work,” Commissioner Chip Bert-

ino said. According to Worcester County Emergency Services, there are 19 outdoor public warning sirens in the county, excluding those owned and maintained by the Town of Ocean City. For years, the county has held responsibility for siren control boxes and the system that supports their activation. Local fire companies and municipalities, however, have been responsible for the sirens themselves as well as for providing power to them. County staff said maintenance on the system hadn’t been performed for some time since a local vendor was no longer available. As a result, staff recommended

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spending an estimated $14,050 with Federal Signal of Illinois for an evaluation. Commissioner Josh Nordstrom said that was a lot of money for an evaluation and asked if the company would be fixing anything. James Hamilton, the county’s assistant director of emergency services, said minor issues would be addressed during the evaluation. He compared it to vehicle maintenance. “We’re bringing every siren in for an oil change,” he said. “If we find out it needs a new transmission it’s not going to get accomplished.” Billy Birch, the county’s director of emergency services, said the system was really old, with some sirens dating back to 1925. Bertino spoke in support of the evaluation. “The reality is the system’s broken,” he said. “Out of 19 I think we have six that are not working.” He said the county needed to have a way to alert citizens who might not be tied in to the county’s emergency phone notifications. Commissioner Ted Elder agreed that the system needed an overall evaluation. “Sometimes you’ve just got to invest,” he said. “Like you said we haven’t put much into it since Herbert Hoover. It’s time we go ahead and get these things straight.” Commissioner Jim Bunting said that in addition to evaluating the system, the

county should address who was responsible for it. “I’m concerned about our relationship with the fire companies,” he said. The commissioners voted first to move forward with the system evaluation and followed that up with a vote to take over responsibility for the siren system.

No Foul Play In Deceased Body Case BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – There was closure this week in the incident involving a deceased body recovered from the beach after the autopsy revealed the cause of death was suicide. The Ocean City Police Department on Wednesday announced the case was closed after the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death as a suicide. Detectives assigned to the Major Crimes Unit were able to positively identify the deceased and determined there was no evidence of a criminal event during their portion of the investigation. The deceased was a 76-year-old Ocean City man. Around 7:15 a.m. on Oct. 27, public works crews surveying the beach discovered the deceased body in the surf off 14th Street.

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County Votes To Consider Exploring Sports Complex Concept

January 8, 2021

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – Worcester County will continue to explore options for a sports complex. Though some expressed concern regarding an impact on taxpayers, the Worcester County Commissioners voted 6-1 Tuesday to have staff continue efforts to bring a sports complex to the county. “I’d like to see this thing get built because I think it’s going to be an economic boon for the county,” Commissioner Josh Nordstrom said. Chief Administrative Officer Harold Higgins told the commissioners Tuesday he’d asked Tom Perlozzo, the county’s director of recreation, parks, tourism and economic development, to provide an update regarding a potential sports complex because it could have a positive impact on revenue. Perlozzo said he’d spent the last two years actively recruiting landowners and private venture companies that might be interested in a complex. “We’ve not been successful in the southern end of the county,” he said. Nordstrom said he nevertheless wanted to see the sports complex come to fruition. “I don’t know that I’ve seen all the options,” he said. “I’d like to put them all back on the table.” Commissioner Bud Church agreed. “This is a golden opportunity,” he said. Commissioner Chip Bertino pointed out there’d been no mention of the revenue Higgins referenced. “It’s a little bit disingenuous Harold to say that we’re going to talk about an update with revenue opportunities for the coming fiscal year,” he said. “Quite truthfully that’s not what Tom talked about.” Bertino added that the county had already discussed a sports complex and that he didn’t believe it was a good opportunity for the county unless it was paid for privately. “I just say that because there is an agenda, I believe, to get this thing built and to have the county taxpayers on the hook for it and I oppose that,” Bertino said. Commissioner Jim Bunting agreed. He added that COVID-19 remained a concern and echoed Bertino’s assertion Perlozzo’s update had been orchestrated. Commissioner Diana Purnell said she hadn’t talked to Perlozzo or other staff about the complex but wanted to see it explored. “We do not have anything our kids can go to,” she said. Purnell said Berlin was a central location and should be considered as a potential location for a sports complex. She added the county had just loaned the Town of Snow Hill $400,000 to buy a riverboat. “I want to know why we don’t want to do anything in Berlin,” she said. Bertino said a sports complex wouldn’t necessarily provide local kids with opportunities like Purnell suggested, as it was meant to serve as a location for travel sports teams to play. Perlozzo, however, said that his initial conceptual plan had included space for travel sports as well as park amenities such as walking

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

trails and ponds. “The general concept was, we wanted to make sure our kids in our community as well as our families had the opportunity to use the park but we were also very cognizant revenue wise what it would take to continue the operation of the park,” he said. “It would be a joint kind of use. We would hope to attract promoters to come in to bring the events but that would also allow our kids who can’t afford to travel to participate at that site. That’s never changed we just haven’t gotten approval to move from first phase to second phase.” Church said his peers were missing the point. He stressed a sports complex would enhance the community, providing youth with opportunities and filling hotel rooms. “This is a win-win situation,” he said. Perlozzo agreed and said he wouldn’t

support it if it didn’t enhance the quality of life for Worcester County residents. He said he was trying to move his departments away from cost cutting to revenue generating. “I’d like to be able to come in here and recommend some things I think might be missing in the county that can generate some revenue,” he said. Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said that was why Perlozzo had been hired. “We can’t print money down in Harold’s office …,” he said. “There’s only so much money that’s going to be raised through taxes. The other way to do it is to increase revenue with economic development. That’s why you were brought in. …. We need to quit relying on property taxes and we need to find other revenue sources so we can continue to take care of our employees and take care of the citizens of Worcester County.”

Page 13

Bunting said he wouldn’t object to a sports complex as long as the county wasn’t involved with running it. Referring to the prior mention of Berlin, he pointed out the municipality had instituted a significant tax increase in 2019. “Then they barely escaped raising taxes last year,” he said. “There is a point where economic development does not do what you expected it to do. I think Berlin is seeing that right now.” Perlozzo said he wanted to see the county use Program Open Space money for the sports complex. With it, 90% of a project’s cost could be reimbursed by the state. If the county found a private partner to cover the other 10%, a sports complex could be achieved with no taxpayer cost, Perlozzo said. The commissioners voted 6-1, with Bunting opposed, to have Perlozzo continue researching sports complex options.


Freeman Stage Planning Big Changes

Page 14

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

January 8, 2021

The Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a site plan, above, for a new COVID-friendly venue capable of safely seating 2,000 guests. Submitted Image BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

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SELBYVILLE – The Freeman Stage will launch its 2021 season with a larger venue and a new name. This week, the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation announced its open-air performing arts venue, The Freeman Stage, will now be called Freeman Arts Pavilion. “We decided it was the right time to transition from The Freeman Stage to Freeman Arts Pavilion as a signal of our commitment to our future in this region,” said Patti Grimes, executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, which runs the program. “It’s the latest in a series of bold steps we have taken as an organization to expand our reach and continue fulfilling our mission as a nonprofit organization.” In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Selbyville-based arts organization launched an abbreviated 2020 season with smaller crowds and mandatory public safety protocols. Between July and September, The Freeman Stage – complete with seating pods, hand sanitizer stations and mask requirements – hosted 49 performances and more than 11,000 audience members. To accommodate more patrons in

2021, however, the organization has plans to expand the venue. The nonprofit recently acquired the site next to the current Freeman Stage property. “The Freeman Arts Pavilion has been in the planning stages for quite some time. We realized in 2020 that our small footprint may limit our ability to present live arts performances in the future,” Grimes said in a statement. “Given the success of the pod concept this past year, we decided to utilize a phased approach on our new property, given the current public health environment caused by the pandemic.” On Nov. 12, the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission approved an interim site plan allowing the organization to expand its current seating capacity, which was reduced from a pre-COVID size of 2,700 to 388 during the pandemic season (97 pods with four seats each). Following the same safety protocols that allowed for the abbreviated 2020 season, the new larger lawn will accommodate as many as 500 seating pods, but final capacity figures are still being determined. According to Grimes, the organization has already booked well over half of the upcoming 2021 season, including many SEE NEXT PAGE

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January 8, 2021

of the national recording artists who had been scheduled, but were unable to appear, in 2020. The staff and board of directors led by president and chair, Michelle D. Freeman, are continually monitoring state and CDC guidelines and remain “vigilant and flexible” in planning the season. In the meantime, a capital campaign will be launched to complete the needed funding for the new proposed $27 million facility, which will have an approximate seating capacity of over 4,000 patrons (with 1,100 seats under roof), state-ofthe-art sound, lighting and video capabilities, an expanded concession and dining area, and artists' dressing room and production space. Final construction is expected to be completed in four to six years based on scheduling and fundraising goals. “The mission of this organization from the day it was founded is to make the arts accessible to all,” Michelle Freeman said in a statement. “Even during the pandemic, we were fulfilling that mission with live performances, virtual arts in education programming and distributing arts and crafts supplies with grade-tiered instructions in English and Spanish to local school children. The vision for the future is to create a larger stage both in terms of the physical structure, but also in metaphoric terms for the local community.”

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 15


Page 16

Busy Project Year Ahead For Berlin

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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Route 50, as is construction of another medical building on Old Ocean City Boulevard. Engelhart pointed out that while citizens often associated annexations with growth, there was nevertheless plenty of construction set to occur in Berlin. “It’s going to be a busy time,” he said. “These are concrete things that are going to happen.” As for 2020, Engelhart said the town had seen five new single-family homes built and that his office had issued a total of 308 permits. While that was an increase compared to 2019, when there were 236 permits issued, Engelhart attributed much of the jump to the fact that the apartments at Wolfe Terrace had been permitted individually. “That’s not unprecedented,” he said. “We did it at Cannery Village too.” He acknowledged, however, that 2020 had still been a busy year for his department and attributed it to the economy. “It’s been strong, even with COVID,” he said. He added that low interest rates were motivating developers. “It’s cheap to borrow money right now,” he said. “They’re striking while the iron’s hot.”

… Will Worcester Schools Stay Closed?

FROM PAGE 4 more than 30 medical professionals, including physicians, mental health professionals, educators and social workers, among others, that supported “the safe return of students and staff to in-person learning.” “Our collaborative’s goal is to involve all of the key stakeholders in the process of developing a responsible and safe resumption of in-person learning, recognizing the significant limitations virtual learning presents, resulting in severely impaired educational attainment, loss of vital social support structure for children suffering with food insecurity, neglectful and abusive home environments, and the exacerbation of pre-existing socioeconomic disparities within our public school system,” he wrote. DelliGatti stressed the group’s desire to work collaboratively with all of the stakeholders involved to bring kids back to schools. “Our group contends that the tremendously impactful and tangible detrimental effects that the prolonged and ongoing school closures have perpetuated are persisting unjustifiably and are unsupported in the medical literature,” he wrote. “These views are not unique to this coalition and are supported by our national health experts including Dr. Robert Redfield and Dr. Anthony Fauci. There is a compelling body of medical literature demonstrating reassuringly low rates of student and staff transmission of COVID19 that is additionally bolstered by data indicating that educators face no greater risk than other comparatively low-risk front-line workers. I would be happy to share this information with your organization in more detail at your convenience.”


Grant To Provide Cash Prizes For Top Teen Readers

January 8, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 17

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SNOW HILL – A grant award will allow the Worcester County Library to dole out a combined $1,000 in prizes to teen readers. Last month, the Worcester County Library was selected as a recipient of a $1,000 Beanstack Black Voices Microgrant. Assistant Director Rachael Stein said the funds will be used as prizes for a new Teen Reading Challenge on Beanstack. “They offered a number of these grants to library systems around the country,” she said. “It’s basically to promote reading programs that expose kids to books by diverse authors.” Stein said the library typically partners with Beanstack – a reading software and mobile app – to power reading challenges, including its Summer Reading Program. This year, the library will also use Beanstack for its new Teen Reading Challenge. “The grant is for $1,000, and we decided to use that for two grand prize gift cards of $500 each as a really big incentive to get teens to participate in this program …,” Stein said. “Every time they read a book they earn an entry into a raffle for these gift cards.” As part of the Teen Reading Challenge, participating teens will select books to read by authors from a variety of backgrounds, highlighting the rich diversity of the American experience. Each book they read will earn them a chance to win one of two $500 grand prizes. The challenge will last throughout 2021, and the prizes will be awarded at the end of the year. “The scholar Rudine Sims Bishop famously said that books for young readers should be both mirrors and windows,” Stein said. “They should reflect the experiences of the reader and also provide a glimpse into unfamiliar cultural worlds. The aim of this project is to offer teens those mirrors and windows, and to encourage them to look into as many new worlds as they can.” In addition to the reading challenge, Stein said participants can also earn entries into the raffle by joining virtual discussions. The library will host a monthly discussion program on Zoom, where teens can meet, share book recommendations and talk about the books they are reading. “They get an entry for every book they read,” she said, “and they get an entry with any book discussion they join.” For more information, or to register for the program, visit www.worcesterlibrary.org.

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Two Worcester Opiate Support Groups Plan To Merge

Page 18

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

BERLIN – Two local groups, created to bring awareness to addiction in Worcester County, are merging to form a new organization. This week, the Worcester County Warriors Against Opiate Addiction announced its merger with Worcester Goes Purple. Officials said the new organization, Worcester Goes Purple Warriors Against Addiction, will continue the mission of reducing stigma and bringing awareness to addiction. “We’ve been so grateful for the support of the community,” said Warriors cofounder Heidi McNeeley. “They’ve really rallied around us … that’s why we’ve been able to exist.” In 2016, McNeeley and Jackie Ball joined forces to provide resources and support to people dealing with addiction. With the support of community members and the Worcester County Health Department, Worcester County Warriors Against Opiate Addiction – a nonprofit organization – was formed. “We wanted to help get the conversa-

tion started in Worcester County and dispel the stigma surrounding addiction,” McNeeley said. “As mothers of children with addiction, we wanted to make it apparent that addiction transcends everything. It has nothing to do with parenting or the environment in which they were raised. We wanted to normalize the conversation, so people could talk about it.” Since its inception, the organization has partnered with the health department, local schools and businesses, area hospitals and other entities in its mission to end addiction. Over five years, the Warriors held monthly town hall meetings and provided resources to the community. And with the help of the Humphrey's Foundation, the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and numerous local citizens, the nonprofit has raised more than $100,000 to fund recovery efforts. “Most important, at least to me, is the fact that we’ve helped almost 200 people into recovery with the money donated and raised through fundraisers,” McNeeley said. “I think it’s the most monumental thing that we’ve done.” But despite the group’s successes,

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McNeeley said it was time for a change. Late last year, the two organizations began to discuss a merger. “We have very similar missions,” she said. “And frankly the Warriors have now been in existence for five years, and I think we needed new blood.” Led by Debbie Smullen, Worcester Goes Purple is an awareness project to engage the community in preventing substance abuse and promoting healthy life choices. The organization launched with grant funding from Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center and support from Worcester County Public Schools, the Worcester County Health Department, Atlantic General Hospital and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office. “Worcester Goes Purple was started in April of 2019 and funded through a grant,” Smullen said. “So it wasn’t actually a business or nonprofit, but a grantfunded organization set up for education and awareness of addictions.” With the merger, Worcester Goes Purple Warriors Against Addiction will continue to bring awareness to addiction within the community, Smullen said. While Ball and McNeeley will re-

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main as honorary board members, Smullen will lead the new organization as president. “This will give the organization 501c3 nonprofit status,” she said. “So it will allow us to write for more grants and to be able to continue the same mission of education, awareness and getting people into recovery.” As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Smullen said it is just as important to address addiction. She noted intoxication fatalities in Worcester County had increased 55.6% from January to June of 2020, compared to the same time period the year prior. “COVID has made it worse because of the stress, isolation and depression. It’s made people more vulnerable to overdose,” she said. “It was a problem before, but it’s even more serious now.” Smullen added that the organization’s overarching goal is to end the stigma surrounding all addictions. For more information on Worcester Goes Purple Warriors Against Addiction, contact Debbie Smullen at wgpwarriors2021@gmail.com. ROOFING

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Wicomico Schools Extend Virtual Learning Until Feb. 2

January 8, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY BETHANY HOOPER

on our Return to School Action Plan.” Due to COVID-19 heath metrics, the school system temporarily rolled back inperson hybrid learning in November with the hope of returning to in-person instruction on Jan. 4 for prekindergarten through eighth grade and Feb. 2 for high school. In December, however, Hanlin announced a change to the Return to School Action Plan, moving the return date for the first wave of students from Jan. 4 to Jan. 19. “When I reviewed the health metrics

STAFF WRITER

SALISBURY – Citing recent health metrics, Wicomico County Public Schools will continue with virtual instruction through Jan. 29. In a message sent to families on Tuesday, Wicomico County Superintendent Dr. Donna Hanlin announced a delay in the school system’s return to hybrid learning. While the first wave of students was expected to return to the classrooms on Jan. 19, Wicomico County Public Schools updated its Return to School Action Plan this week, with hybrid in-person instruction for all grades set to begin on Feb. 2. “All students will now continue with virtual instruction through January 29th, the end of the first semester,” Hanlin said. “We are now hopeful to have hybrid inschool instruction for all grades starting the week of February 2nd. Should this new target date be feasible based on the health metrics, teachers and all schoolbased staff would return to schools as of January 25th to continue to prepare. I will update everyone the week of Jan. 19th HOME IMPROVEMENT

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during the December 8th Board meeting and we set January dates for in-person learning, Wicomico’s positivity rate was at 5.96% and the new case rate per 100,000 was 36.26,” Hanlin said Tuesday. “Unfortunately, the current positivity rate is 13.97% (4th highest in the state) and the new case rate is 52.53 – both rates are far above the recommended levels for in-person learning, even on a limited basis for small groups.” In her announcement this week, Hanlin said, “The Health Department agrees that with community COVID-19 numbers

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Cops & Courts

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Domestic Assault Arrest

OCEAN CITY – A Silver Spring, Md., man was arrested on assault charges last week after an alleged domestic dispute at a midtown hotel. Around 4:50 a.m. on Dec. 27, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a hotel at 43rd Street for a reported domestic dispute. Front desk staff reported getting complaints about a room on the third floor. Front desk staff reported hearing a male yelling at a female inside the room and called the police. OCPD officers responded to the room and the door was answered by a female victim who had swelling on her face and red marks on her cheek, according to police reports. The victim’s jacket was reportedly ripped and she was also soaking wet. The victim reportedly told police she had been at a nightclub with her husband, identified as Jose Martinez, 57, of Silver Spring, Md. The victim reportedly told police the couple had gotten into an argument and that Martinez had left the nightclub and had locked her out of the hotel room. Af-

January 8, 2021

ter several hours, the victim was able to convince Martinez to let her into the room so she could sleep, according to police reports. The victim reportedly told police she laid down on a couch, but Martinez got out of bed and attempted to kick her while she was lying on the couch. The victim told police she was able to avoid the kicks, but that Martinez slapped her in the face multiple times with an open palm, according to police reports. According to police reports, the victim told police Martinez grabbed her and shook her, causing her jacket to rip. The victim also told police Martinez poured an entire beer on her head. Martinez at first denied hitting the victim. When questioned about the victim’s apparent injuries, Martinez changed his story and said the victim hit him first. Martinez was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.

Replica Handgun Arrest OCEAN CITY – A Bowie, Md., man was arrested last week after a replica SEE NEXT PAGE


... Cops & Courts

January 8, 2021

handgun was found in his vehicle prior to it being towed for multiple equipment violations. Around 12:15 p.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the area of 65th Street and observed a vehicle with multiple equipment violations including an altered and lowered suspension, altered exhaust system and dark window tint. The officer stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Michael MelendezFlores, 19, of Bowie, Md. The officer deemed the vehicle unsafe and arranged for it to be towed from the highway. As the vehicle was being prepared to be towed, OCPD officer located in the front passenger glove box what appeared to be a Glock-style handgun, according to police reports. Melendez-Flores was immediately detained and spontaneously uttered, “I know what this is about, it isn’t real.” Upon closer inspection, the officer observed the weapon was a BB gun, an exact replica of a Glock 17 handgun. The chamber and the magazine were reportedly unloaded and there was a CO2 cartridge in the pistol grip. According to police reports, the weapon was fully functional and there were no indicators that it was not a real handgun including no orange barrel tip or any other markings. Melendez-Flores was arrested at that point for carrying a replica weapon. Melendez-Flores reportedly told police he bought the BB gun on-line and used it primary for shooting animals and cans. He repeatedly told the officer he knew it looked like a real gun and brandishing it could potentially get him killed.

Stop Nets Weapons, Drugs OCEAN CITY – A Maryland man was arrested on drug and weapons charges last weekend after getting pulled over for suspicion of driving while impaired. Around 10 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the area of 85th Street when he allegedly observed a vehicle traveling 57 mph in a 40-mph zone. In addition, the vehicle had an inoperable right brake lamp and turn signal. The officer reportedly followed the vehicle until it made an abrupt turn into a convenience store parking lot and initiated a traffic stop. The officer made contact with the driver, identified as Eric Swensen, 24, of Freeland, Md., and observed an apparent cocktail in the cup holder directly to his right. The officer also observed a package of beer in the back seat. Swensen’s front seat passenger was also identified. According to police reports, the officer detected an odor of alcoholic beverage and the smell of marijuana coming from the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Swensen reportedly admitted consuming four or five alcoholic beverages at an uptown bar over the course of about four hours prior to the traffic stop. After a series of field sobriety tests were not completed to the officer’s satisfaction, Swensen was arrested for driving under the influence or while impair-

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch ed, according to police reports. During a search of his person incident to the arrest, the officer allegedly located a plastic bag of suspected powder cocaine in Swensen’s pants pocket. The officer also examined the drink in the center console and determined it to be an alcoholic beverage with a lid and a straw. Directly to the right of where Swensen was seated in the vehicle, the officer located a large fixed-blade knife in a sheath. The knife’s blade was approximately 10 inches long. In the rear seating area of the vehicle, the officer found other plastic bag of suspect Psilocybin mushrooms, a known schedule-I controlled dangerous substance. In the trunk of the vehicle, the officer allegedly located a set of goldcolored brass knuckles. In the second cup holder in the center console, the officer reportedly located a spring-assisted opening knife. Swensen was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired. During an interview following the booking process, Swensen reportedly told police he used the large fixed-blade knife for protection, citing an incident where someone had broken into his vehicle and he had to use the knife for self-defense. He reportedly told police the fixedblade knife and the assisted-opening knife were gifts. He told police the cocaine was for recreational purposes and he had no intention of selling any of it. He reportedly told police he used the mushrooms as a “backup” along with the cocaine, but that he had not consumed either drug for at least two days prior to the traffic stop.

Assault Charge Filed OCEAN CITY – A Mechanicsville, Md., man was arrested on assault charges last weekend after allegedly battling with family members at a mid-town condo. Around 9:50 p.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a condo building at 42nd Street for a reported domestic assault that had already occurred. Upon arrival, the officer met with the alleged suspect, identified as James Gates, Jr., 37, of Mechanicsville, Md., who reportedly told police he had been in an argument with several family members inside the unit. The officer met with a female victim whose neck and upper chest were red and flushed, according to police reports. The victim reportedly told police Gates had been in an argument with other family members and that she had attempted to calm him down. The victim told police Gates had bent her fingers back and that she had slapped him in an attempt to prevent him from doing that, according to police reports. The victim, later identified as Gates’ wife, reportedly told police Gates then grabbed her neck and pulled her hair. The victim told police she never lost consciousness, nor was her airway ever restricted. The victim told police Gates then got in a physical engagement with other family members until they were able to force him out of the unit. Based on the evidence and testimony, Gates was arrested and charged with seconddegree assault.

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Penguin Swim Attracted 500-Plus, Raised Over $72K

Page 22

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

January 8, 2021

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

OCEAN CITY – More than 500 Penguin Swim participants took a dip in the Atlantic Ocean last week to raise funds for Atlantic General Hospital. On New Year’s Day, 519 participants – sporting costumes and bathing suits – took the plunge into the chilling waters off Ocean City for the 27th Annual Penguin Swim. Organizers this year recorded a water temperature of 47 degrees and a wind chill of 43 degrees for the 2021 Penguin Swim. But that didn’t stop people from supporting the hospital’s fundraising efforts. “Penguin Swim is one of our largest fundraisers in support of Atlantic General Hospital’s mission to provide a coordinated care system with access to quality care, personalized service and education to create a healthy community,” said Event Coordinator Joy Stokes. “All proceeds benefit Atlantic General Hospital Foundation.” This year, the hospital grossed $72,480 for community health care services. And while the event featured several ch-

This group of participants waded in the 47-degree ocean for a few minutes before getting out on New Year’s Day. Photo by Chris Parypa

anges in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Penguin Swim Co-Chair Michael Cylc recognized participants, event organizers and partnering agencies for making the fundraiser a success. “Given all the challenges that we faced I believe we did it in a responsible manner by minimizing contact, mask only and spreading out to socially distance,” he said. “Thank you to the Town of Ocean City and the Ocean City Beach Patrol and first responders, dive team for their efforts

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Legacy Sponsor Bull on the Beach, for example, has contributed nearly $642,000 to the Penguin Swim since 1995, and Ocean City Ravens Roost #44 has contributed nearly $143,000 to the Penguin Swim over the last 12 years. Cylc said the hospital will continue to accept donations through the Penguin Swim website, aghpenguinswim.org. “If you wish to still donate, our website is open,” he said, “and we realize this is a challenging time for everyone, so we greatly appreciate any and all donations moving forward.” Penguin Swim winners listed in order of award sequence are as followed: Youth/Family Teams Team Jedi (Denver, Pa.): $1,895 Zoo Crew (Breinigsville, Pa.): $1,450 The Brrrrrrr'ng Kirbys (Berlin): $725 Community Teams Ocean City Ravens Roost #44 (Oc ean Pines): $8,025 OPST Hammerheads (Ocean Pines): $595 The Atlantic Club (Ocean City): $325 Business Teams Bull on the Beach (Ocean City): $12,000 Team Royale (Ocean City): $1,625 AGH’s Frosty Flip Flops (Berlin): $325 Adult Individuals Janice McAleer (Hampstead, Md.): $1,250 Michael Nelson (Rosedale, Md.): $1,200 Max Ewancio (Berlin): $1,025 Youth Individuals Dennis Tice, Jr. (Lusby, Md.): $450 Ty Barnes (Owings Mills): $150 Drayce King (Leonardtown, Md.): $125 Celebrity Challenge Individuals Annette Wallace (Snow Hill): $1,250 Matthew Morris (North East, Md.): $400 Meredith Mears (Salisbury): $325 Celebrity Challenge Teams Licensed to Chill (Ocean City): $2,850 Glen Riddle Golf Club (Berlin): $2,625 Ocean City Golf Club (Berlin): $275 Special Recognition Prizes Youngest Penguin: Kaden Stokes (Ocean City), 2 Years, 5 Months, 27 Days Oldest Penguin: William Hunter (Ocean Pines), 92 Years, 6 Months, 20 Days

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OC’s Modified Winterfest A Critical, Financial Success

January 8, 2021

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – Based on the final estimates, the modified walk-through Winterfest of Lights this year was a clear success story amid so many other COVID-related shortcomings and the changes could become part of future for the special event. Winterfest of Lights opened the Thursday before Thanksgiving and ran through New Year’s Day at Northside Park, just as it has done for 47 years. However, because of ongoing COVID concerns, the event, which was almost scrapped at one point, was modified to a half-mile walk-through tour. The annual holiday event typically attracts over 100,000 visitors who ride the Boardwalk tram through massive light displays arrayed throughout the Northside Park complex. This year, however, visitors enjoyed Winterfest of Lights as a walk-through experience that proved to be equally rewarding. There was still the massive Christmas tree with its synchronized lights and music. There were still opportunities to visit with Santa and enjoy a hot chocolate and the gift shop. However, the big change was residents and visitors enjoyed the light displays and other amenities on foot along a half-mile walking path around the lagoon. When the books were closed on 2020, Special Events Director Frank Miller, who conceived the modified event along with his staff, said this week Winterfest of Lights was a qualified success in terms of visitor approval, overall attendance numbers and financially. “The change-over from the standard event to a half-mile walking path was met with some skepticism, but approved by the council,” he said. “We have heard an overwhelming response from the attending public that the walking path is preferred to the tram experience, keeping in mind that the voice does not cover all attendees including the 15% that did not show this year for various reasons.” Online ticket sales outpaced advanced ticket sales from 2019 by a whopping 85%. Online general admission sales versus children’s ticket sales appear to indicate 22% of the attendees this year were kids under 12, although Miller said that estimate could be low as the on-site gate admission process did not have a tracking method for children. As expected, Winterfest fell a little short of what it would normally draw in a typical year, but 2020 was far from typical. The overall attendance was over 74,000, which was down about 26% from last year, but that was expected. The event this year was held on fewer days with shorter hours in the midst of a revived pandemic. In addition, there were some lost days due to weather and New Year’s Eve was greatly modified with a 9:30 p.m. stop time even though the fireworks show still went off. On the financial side, Winterfest 2020 exceeded expectations, according to

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Miller. “The very positive news for 2020 is spending versus my presentation estimate,” he said. “The estimate was based on an average spending of $5.40 per person, with a 20% reduction for weather issues, which yielded an estimate of $328,652 in total revenue,” he said. “For 2020, if all calculations are correct, we ended at $434,286. This is $126,000 under the town’s budget, not including the Coca-Cola sponsorship.” Miller said the modified event could end up in the positive in terms of the event budget, or at least much closer to the roughly $89,000 net change when he first presented the walk-through Winterfest. What does it all mean for next year? “Next year will reflect modifications addressing the experience aspect of the

event,” he said. “A walking component and a revamped tram ride will both be considered. It is amazing when you think about all of the adversity the COVID issues of 2020 generated related to what was normal, and it is still possible to find new opportunity that can be embraced by our guests and residents.” Whether Winterfest in future years returns to the tram-ride format, the walkthrough event enjoyed by so many this year, or a hybrid of the two remains to be seen. Whatever future format emerges, Miller said the goal will always be the same. “Winterfest is all about cultivating the feelings associated with the holiday good will and creating a family-friendly memorable experience that can become an annual family tradition,” he

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said. “A refreshed experience moving forward will be key for our guests. At this point, everyone will need to wait and see what we present to the council as many departments will need to vet future modifications.” During Monday’s Mayor and Council meeting, Councilman Frank Knight had high praise for the 2020 event and expressed a desire for continuing at least part of the walk-through element. “I want to give a big shout-out to Frank Miller and Special Events for what they did with Winterfest this year,” he said. “My wife and I had the most fantastic experience we’ve ever had with the walk-through event. I’m hoping in the future there will always be a walkthrough. It was just a fantastic experience. Even if we have the trams, there should be a walk-through event.”


Obituaries

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 24

Sidney Merrill Beckstead BERLIN – On Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, Sidney Merrill Beckstead, loving husband to Sherrie Beckstead and proud father of three children, Jessica, Sara, and Harrison, passed away peacefully, in his home, following a gallantly fought battle with esophageal cancer. Sidney was born on Feb. 3, 1950, in Swan Lake, Idaho to parents Perry and Bernice Beckstead. He was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah with his two brothers, Jay and Richard. Sidney received his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Utah. Sidney’s adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit brought him to Ocean City in 1978, when Sidney’s college friend, Tom Liljenquist, called him to join in a business venture. Best friend turned, business partner, Tom and Sid established Liljenquist & Beckstead Jewelers and Lenkersdorfer Fine Jewelers. SIDNEY MERRILL Over 40 years in busiBECKSTEAD ness, the once small Maryland jewelry shop blossomed into five flourishing luxury boutiques in the Washington metropolitan area. Sidney was a true renaissance man; a gentleman, an artist, an entrepreneur, and along with his wife Sherrie, a dedicated philanthropist. Sidney had a passion for painting, creating extraordinary art, furniture and jewelry. He was also an avid music lover and fly fisherman. He was known for his good humor, his infectious smile and his kind and compassionate spirit. Sidney is survived by his wife of 35 years Sherrie; his three children, Jessica, Sara, and Harrison; his two standard poodles Sookii and Henri; his brothers Richard and Jay; sisters-in-law, Paula and Kathleen; along with several nieces and a nephew. In light of COVID-19, the Beckstead family will announce a spring date to honor and celebrate the life of Sidney. The family asks in lieu of flowers or gifts that donations be made to one of the charitable organizations that the family supports in honor of Sidney. The Trust for the National Mall https://nationalmall.org/support; Historic St. Martin’s Church Museum Foundation https://historicstmartinschurch.org/; Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program https://www.nvtrp.org/; and Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center https://lombardi.georgetown.edu. Letters of condolence may be sent via www.burbagefuneralhome.com. Arrangements are in the care of the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin.

Agnes “Sunny” Klein Lee BALTIMORE – Agnes “Sunny” Klein Lee, a retired teacher and volunteer, died on Dec. 23, 2020. She was the daughter of the late Agnes Williams Klein and the late Daniel E. Klein. Sunny was born on Dec. 3, 1927 and lived on Lynchester Road in the AshAGNES KLEIN LEE burton section of Baltimore later moving to University Parkway

in Roland Park. She attended Roland Park Country School, graduating in 1945. Before attending Loyola College where she received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in education, she earned an AA degree in physical education from the former Marjorie Webster Junior College. Sunny also took classes at Johns Hopkins University. Her teaching career spanned four decades and included private, parochial and public school assignments. Sunny began teaching at Roland Park Country School, teaching third grade. In the early 50’s she was the physical education director at the former St. Agnes school in Mt. Washington. After becoming interested in special education students, she taught in the parochial school system for several years before moving to Ridgley Middle School in Baltimore County from 1975 until 1986. After moving to Cape Coral, Fla., she became a long-term substitute at the Gulf Elementary School for 10 years. Working with the YMCA in Baltimore, Mrs. Lee directed a summer program at St. Michael’s Church on Wolfe Street in Baltimore City. This began as a Head Start program and she continued her work there until 1976. While living in Cape Coral, Fla. upon retirement, Mrs. Lee became interested in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Lee Memorial Health System. She was accepted into the first volunteer class for the NICU, and from 1985 until 2001 she actively supported the unit, becoming the first chairperson of the Cuddler Program. With approval of the doctors and staff, she assembled training materials for incoming volunteers to the Cuddler Program and assembled information into a printed book with the aid of other volunteers. The Cuddler Handbook described the philosophy, policies and in unit procedures appropriate for premature babies and families. Under her guidance, the program grew from a handful of volunteers to an expanded coverage serving the nursing staff 24/7. Mrs. Lee accumulated 7,500 volunteer hours before resigning to move back north to be with family. Her husband, William Lee, volunteered as well at the hospital and they both continued as members of the hospital Auxiliary. In July 1980, Mrs. Lee married William F. Lee, an engineer and contract officer for the Maryland Department of General Services. Together, they travelled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, China, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North Africa. An earlier marriage to Edwin Merrill Anderson ended in divorce. Mrs. Lee’s love for her family was intense and she delighted in having everyone together for special occasions, and especially for Sunday dinners. The later became a family tradition and only stopped when family members moved away making distance a problem. Mrs. Lee is survived by four children – C. Bruce Anderson of Ocean City,

Maryland, a retired attorney and current part time magistrate judge for the US District Court of Maryland; Gary M. Anderson, of Lutherville, a retired sales manager with PHH and his wife, Linda; Agnes M. Anderson, of Covington, La., a sales instructor and manager with AT&T; and Richard H. Anderson, of Jarrettsville, owner of two seafood businesses and a restaurant, One Eleven East Main, in Belair, Md., and his wife, Lisa. Also surviving are 14 grandchildren, Katherine Anderson Hudson and her husband Sam, of Baltimore; Erin Anderson Holt of Nashville, Tenn.; Sarah Hunt Young of Louisiana and her husband, Nicholas; Whitney Hunt Germany of Louisiana and her husband, Eric; Abigail Anderson Fawcett of Pennsylvania and her husband, Timothy; Brendan Todd Anderson of Baltimore and his wife, Katie; Kyle McLean Anderson of Salisbury; Elizabeth A. Smith of Belair and her husband, Timothy; Darby Anderson Fadley of Baltimore and her husband, Abe; John W. Hunt III of Louisiana and his wife, Kate; David Hamilton Anderson of Baltimore and his wife, Marie; Emma J. Anderson of San Diego; Jillian Elaine Anderson of Jarrettsville; and Audrey Lynn Anderson of Jarrettsville. Also Mrs. Lee leaves 22 great grandchildren. Other survivors include her sister-in-law, Hillary Hyde Klein; niece Sally Klein Filling, two nephews Daniel E. Klein, III and Jon Christopher Klein, and several great nephews. A memorial service will be held at a later date. And interment will be private at the Druid Ridge Cemetery in Baltimore. Arrangements are being handled by Mitchell Wiedefeld Funeral Home in Baltimore.

Bernadine Anita Vilsack OCEAN PINES – Bernadine Anita Vilsack, age 86, went to be with her Lord on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Born in Uniontown, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Vincent and Margaret Trocheck. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 65 years, Bernard A. Vilsack, and daughters, Catherine A. Vilsack of Edgewater, Md., Cheri L. Simpson and her husband Michael of Union Bridge, Md., and her estranged daughter, Mari C. Cummings of Solomons Island, Md. She was an adored grandmother to four grandchil- BERNADINE dren, Eric Hajducsek, ANITA VILSACK Crystal Lowe (Mike), Theresa Alexander (Wade) and Samantha Greenberg (Tim), and five great-grandchildren. In addition, she is survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Mrs. Vilsack was a 1952 graduate of North Union High School where she was a cheerleader. She later became employed briefly by a textile factory which made clothing. She spent her life as a homemaker raising her family and gr-

January 8, 2021 andchildren. Upon moving to Ocean Pines, she became a member of St. John Neumann Catholic Church, the Red Hat Society, and the Northside Park Line Dancers, which has been performing at Springfest and Sunfest for 20 years. She also enjoyed bowling with the O.C. Bowling League and was an avid card player. A mass of Christian Burial was held at Holy Savior Catholic Church in Ocean City on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Rev. John Solomon officiated. Interment followed in Garden in the Pines in Berlin. A donation in her memory may be made to Coastal Hospice, P.O. Box 1733, Salisbury, Md. 21802-1722 or donate online at StansellHouse.org. Letters of condolence may be sent via www.burbagefuneralhome.com.

Santo Anthony Trombino OCEAN PINES – Santo Anthony “Tony” Trombino, age 76, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, at his home following a brief and sudden illness. Born in Sicily, Italy, he, along with his parents and two brothers, immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island in 1951. The family settled in the Lower East Side of New York City and later Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y. He was the son of the late Joseph and Antonina Trombino. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Susan Trombino, and children from a previous marriage, Annette Swan and husband Steve Swan of Annandale, N.J., and Anthony Trombino of Groveville N.J. He was an SANTO adored grandfather to ANTHONY two grandchildren, Mar- TROMBINO garet and Abigail Swan. Also surviving is his brother, James Trombino of Ocean City, and sister-in-law Patricia Trombino of Princeton, N.J. He was preceded in death by his older brother, Michael Trombino, in 2018. Mr. Trombino worked in New York City and Princeton, N.J. as a trade association manager with the Metal Powder Industries Federation. He founded and later retired from his own publishing and typesetting business, Century Graphics, in Princeton. He enjoyed visiting Ocean City over the years owning oceanfront condos and later retiring and building a home in Ocean Pines. He and Sue enjoyed the Ocean City restaurant scene where they made many friends. Tony was also an accomplished professional drummer playing in various rock bands and music halls in New York City. In retirement, he enjoyed tinkering, building almost anything in his workshop. An avid baseball fan, he followed the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals. He also enjoyed playing golf with close friends. Cremation followed his death. Due to COVID-19 precautions, services will be private for the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his memory to Atlantic General Hospital Foundation, 9733 Healthway Dr., Berlin, Md. 21811. Letters of condolence may be sent via www.burbagefuneralhome.com SEE NEXT PAGE


... Obituaries

January 8, 2021

Warren L. Stone

OCEAN CITY – Warren L. Stone of Ocean City passed away on Dec. 29, 2020. Warren was born to Lyman and Beatrice Stone, he graduated from Lafayette College in 1955 with a Bachelor Degree. He served his country in the US Army and received an honorable discharge. Warren went on to marry Anna in 1962 and began working at the Of- WARREN L. STONE fice of Social Security, where he worked for 25 years. He later retired and they both moved to Ocean City. Warren loved playing bridge and was very involved in the game. He directed and played for many years and eventually earned enough points to become a Gold Life Master. He is survived by his loving wife, Anna; sister Connie and husband Harry Rubin; his nephew David Rubin, wife Abby and their children Liam and Desmond; and his nephew Adam Bruno and wife Tina and their children Madison and Ashleigh. Private funeral services will be held for the family at a later day. Arrangements are in the care of The Burbage Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to the family via www.burbagefuneralhome.com.

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Rita R. Chapman OCEAN CITY – Rita R. Chapman, age 97, of Ocean City, died Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 at Gull Creek in Berlin. She was born in Baltimore and was the daughter of the late John and Agnes (Studzinska) Markiewicz. Rita was an original Rosie the Riveter at the Martins Plant in Baltimore during WW-II. Later she worked as a telephone answering operator for 40 years. Rita was an active member of Ocean City Polish Club and past SecreRITA R. tary of Baltimore Chap- CHAPMAN ter USPS Carrier Association. She is survived by her husband, Robert J. Chapman Sr. of Ocean City; two sons, Dennis J. Chapman Sr. and wife Patricia of Ellicott City, Md. and Robert J. Chapman Jr. and wife Glenda of Eden, Md.; two grandchildren, Denny Chapman Jr. of Baltimore and Lisa Gaskin of Long Island, N.Y.; and three great-grandchildren, Tyler, Cody and Hayden Gaskin. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Edward Markiewicz, and two sisters, Marion Thompson and Irene Carper-Bolden. Services will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent by visiting www.bishophastingsfh.com.

Betty Louise Bunting BERLIN – Betty Louise Bunting, age 93, died Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at At-

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lantic General Hospital in Berlin. Born in Pittsville, she was the daughter of the late Lawrence Parsons and Luette Sterling Parsons. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph R. Bunting Sr., and by her son, Ralph R. Bunting Jr. She is survived by her daughter, Susan Rencher and her husband, John, and son Robert P. Bunting and his wife Holly, all of Berlin. Also surviving are grandchildren Ralph Bunting, Laurie Petrino, Christopher Bunting and Erin, Jessica Bunting and Jenny Bobenko and Nick. She was also preceded in death by a granddaughter Allison Novelli. There are six great grandchildren. Mrs. Bunting was a devoted wife,

Page 25 mother, grandmother, great grandmother and homemaker. She has been a member of the Holly Chapter Order of Eastern Star Chapter #48 and a Rainbow Girls Mother Advisor. She enjoyed cooking, gardening and her flowers. She was a member of the Buckingham Presbyterian Church in Berlin. Cremation followed her death, A private service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Buckingham Presbyterian Church, 20 South Main Street, Berlin, Md. 21811. Arrangements are in the care of The Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin. Letters of condolences may be sent to the family via www.burbagefuneralhome.com.

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The Dispatch

Page 26

Forever In Memory Of Our Founder, Dick Lohmeyer (May 25, 1927-May 5, 2005) The Dispatch, Serving Greater Ocean City Since 1984, Is Published By Maryland Coast Dispatch Inc. Weekly On Friday Mornings MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 467, Berlin, Md. 21811 PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 10012 Old Ocean City Blvd. Berlin, Md. 21811 PHONE: 410-641-4561 FAX: 410-641-0966 WEBSITES: www.mdcoastdispatch.com www.facebook.com/thedispatchoc J. STEVEN GREEN Publisher/Editor editor@mdcoastdispatch.com

NEWS DEPARTMENT SHAWN J. SOPER Managing Editor ssoper@mdcoastdispatch.com CHARLENE SHARPE Staff Writer/Copy Editor csharpe@mdcoastdispatch.com BETHANY HOOPER Staff Writer bhooper@mdcoastdispatch.com CHRIS PARYPA Photographer

SALES DEPARTMENT TERRI FRENCH Account Executive Entertainment Editor terri@mdcoastdispatch.com JEANETTE DESKIEWICZ Account Executive jeanette@mdcoastdispatch.com

ART DEPARTMENT COLE GIBSON Art Director cole@mdcoastdispatch.com DAVID HOOKS Graphic Artist/Webmaster dhooks@mdcoastdispatch.com

BUSINESS OFFICE Bookkeeper/Classifieds Manager classifieds@mdcoastdispatch.com

The Maryland Coast Dispatch (USPS #015125) is an official and legal newspaper for Worcester County. Periodical postage paid at Berlin, Maryland, and additional mailing offices. The Maryland Coast Dispatch, 10012 Old Ocean City Blvd., Berlin, Md. 21811, is published weekly on Friday mornings, 52 weeks a year. Subscription rates are $75 per year, $55 for six months. POSTMASTER: Please send change of address to Maryland Coast Dispatch, P.O. Box 467, Berlin, Maryland 21811. Maryland Coast Dispatch offices are located at Route 346 and Graham Avenue, Berlin, Maryland.

Bad Timing For Room Tax Hike

Between The Lines

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

HOW WE SEE IT

The Ocean City Mayor and Council could soon deliberate on whether to support a room tax increase, which would then need to go through the Worcester County Commissioners and the Maryland General Assembly. This year is not the time for this consideration. There is too much instability within the economy and unknowns associated with visitor travel to consider an adjustment to the room tax for this season. Two years ago, the room tax was increased from 4.5% to 5% and the hike was justified and understandable. It had been 12 years since the previous increase, and the new revenue raised from the adjustment was to be put toward increased public works and law enforcement costs associated with additional special events and shoulder season growth. Our objection to the potential hike is not because of the 2019 increase. While the Worcester County room tax remains below other travel destinations near and far, it’s an unnecessary decision to make in what will be a challenging and unstable 2021. Normal will not return in 2021. Revised timelines for Maryland, and most states similarly, indicate it will be September until 60% of the general population has been vaccinated against COVID-19. We realistically do not expect restaurant capacity and crowding restrictions to be lifted until 2022 when vaccination numbers hit far greater levels than officials estimate will take place this calendar year. Timing is a critical component when it comes to making decisions, especially one with so many layers as room tax. We do not believe the time is right to increase the room tax and bring in additional revenues for the county and city. Additional timing issues arise with the Maryland General Assembly convening next week. Enabling legislation such as a room tax increase is traditionally already drafted and pre-filed as a local courtesy bill. Furthermore, we believe it’s too late for local hoteliers and rental companies to adjust their rate literature for the season. It’s not as cumbersome as it once was since electronic booking skyrockets in popularity each year. Nonetheless, it’s late in the game to institute this rate increase in our opinion. In general, we also think it sends the wrong message to a weary vacationing market to add to the expense of traveling. Increasing taxes in a pandemic rightly will draw ire. It makes sense for the room tax increase talks to take place in earnest after this season.

January 8, 2021

By Publisher/Editor Steve Green

Gov. Larry Hogan’s press conference this week on COVID-19 vaccinations had some good news and bad news on the distribution effort. It was a relief to hear the information laid out clearly to educate the citizenry on realistic expectations. For many, the vaccines carry hope for some semblance of normal society reemerging. It’s understandable, but it must be tempered with realism on the timeline. The good news is new vaccine shipments arrive daily in Maryland and Hogan outlined this week exactly how the allocation process works through the federal government. In two weeks, there have been 76,916 vaccinations administered in Maryland, including 11,556 alone on Tuesday. In total, there have been more than 270,000 doses distributed throughout Maryland as part of Phase 1A, which includes healthcare workers, first responders and nursing home residents. At the current pace, and this is the realistic part, which makes it bad news, Hogan said during his press conference he thought 30% of the population in Maryland would be vaccinated by June and 60% by September. The general public is in phase three, which is estimated to begin with vaccinations in the early fall. What does this mean? The current pace is not fast enough to ensure 2021 will look a lot different than 2020 as far as government-imposed quality of life changes. It most likely indicates restaurant and retail capacity restrictions will be with us for most of the year. Masking and physical distance obligations will surely be the norm this year. It also signals the ongoing challenges with education as the current issues facing decision makers will not simply evaporate until something called “herd immunity” is reached. Herd immunity takes place when a significant enough amount of the population has become immune to make the spread unlikely. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci believes herd immunity will be achieved when 75% to 80% of the population is vaccinated, meaning likely late this year. On the positive side, it was welcome news to hear teachers have been moved up on the vaccination pyramid to phase 1B, meaning educators could get shots as early as late January. This could go a long way toward easing some fears, but it should be tempered with the fact it’s a two-part vaccination with the second dose coming three weeks after the first. The Worcester County Commissioners were right to continue moving forward with site exploration for a sports complex. The commissioners have heavily debated this subject in recent years and it was an unknown heading into Tuesday’s meeting whether the county would continue the effort. In a surprisingly 6-1 vote, the commissioners gave approval for county staff to continue with early efforts to secure property for consideration of a sports complex development. To date, efforts to secure land in the south end of the county have been unsuccessful, according to Tom Perlozzo, the county’s director of recreation, parks, tourism and economic development. It was surprising to hear the county was even scouting sites in the south end of the county. If the object of building the complex is to attract families from other marketplaces for sports events, the facility needs to be in the north end. Having the operation in the Snow Hill and Pocomoke area would mean most hotel bookings and restaurant visits for Wicomico County. If economic development is the goal, private property between Berlin north to the state line needs to be the goal. The concept of using state Program Open Space dollars for the property’s acquisition makes perfect sense. It may be too early to tell for sure, but the fate of next summer’s foreign worker program in Ocean City may well rest with President-Elect Biden. On New Year’s Eve, Trump extended two key proclamations set to expire that day through March 31 suspending temporary visa issuances like those secured by young workers who come to Ocean City during the summer months. The ban’s impact was tremendous last summer. According to an Ocean City Chamber of Commerce survey, 86% of the 85 businesses that participated said they were heavily impacted without the foreign student workers. An article in Forbes magazine this month discussed what Biden might do in regard to overturning Trump’s proclamation immediately upon taking office. The article read, “The Biden administration would not need to go through the regulatory process to rescind the proclamations. … including those connected to travel and coronavirus, are expected to be undone, even if not on day one. … Joe Biden will not be a pro-immigration president if he enacts or continues anti-immigration policies on H-1B and L-1 visas. H-1B visas are generally the only way highly educated foreign nationals, including international students, can become employmentbased immigrants and eventually American citizens.” Allowing the temporary visa suspensions to continue through March could mean a repeat of last summer’s summer employment woes. Foreign embassies will be overwhelmed with applications in April and a long approval delay will likely make travel for next summer unreasonable. It would be good for Ocean City if Biden rolled back Trump’s position.


The Dispatch Classifieds

January 8, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

$15/Week For Minimum Of Five Lines • $2 Thereafter Per Line Display Classified Ads: $20/Week Per Column Inch (Contract Discounts Available)

HELP WANTED MAINTENANCE: F/T, Y/R, 32-40 hours/week. Dependable. Handyman with good skills. Must have transportation/tools. Send resume to fred@paradiseoc.com –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

We have an opening for an Automotive Maryland State Inspector at our Ocean Pines Goodyear. EXCELLENT PAY & BENEFITS! Please Call 302-344-9846

AUTOMOTIVE - GREAT OPPORTUNITIES! Large automotive center with auto parts/marine stores, service centers and used car dealership, is now hiring for: - PARTS ASSOCIATES We offer EXCELLENT PAY & BENEFITS!

Call 302-539-8686 ext. 3014

Currently hiring manpower for

•STUCCO & EIFS MECHANICS •CARPENTERS •CONCRETE BLOCK •COATINGS SPECIALISTS •FLAT CONCRETE •CONCRETE REPAIRS •PT WELDER •COMMERCIAL CAULKING •WINDOW & DOOR INSTALLERS •WAREHOUSE HELP (DRIVER’S LICENSE REQ’D) Experience Preferred. Tools, transportation & a valid driver’s license are a plus. Competitive benefit package available. Please apply in person at 11935 Hammer Rd, Bishopville, MD, or apply online: http://allstatesconst.com/delmarva-renovations-careers

WORCESTER COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSE II

Full Time, State Benefits. Occassional weekends and evenings required. Duties include but not limited to providing community health nursing services in Emergency Preparedness (EP) and Communicable Disease (CD) programs to individuals and/or families in the community, through the use of the nursing process. Services provided include, but are not limited to health promotion, health maintenance, health education and management, coordination, and continuity of care in a holistic approach to the management of the health care of individuals, families and groups in the community. Emergency Preparedness planning will be conducted and documented in written plans in collaboration with other EP Staff with this position maintaining a focus on medical needs assessment, collaboration with partners on medical responses, assurances of appropriate supplies and medical standards of care as related to mitigation, response and recover from all hazards events for the community at large. Must possess a current license as a Registered Nurse from the Maryland State Board of Nursing. Valid driver’s license required. Background check & drug screening required.

APPLY ONLINE AT www.jobapscloud.com/md We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or disability. Appropriate accommodations for individuals with disabilities are available upon request by calling 410-632-1100 ext. 1221

PUT YOUR LOGO IN COLOR FOR JUST $10

CONTACT INFORMATION Phone: 410-641-4563 • Fax: 410-641-0966 Email: classifieds@mdcoastdispatch.com Mail: P.O. Box 467, Berlin, Md. 21811

Deadline For Insertions, Cancellations And Payment Is 3 p.m. Tuesday. Pre-Payment Is Required. We Accept Visa & MasterCard.

MARYLAND STATE INSPECTOR

Page 27

TOWN OF WILLARDS WASTEWATER/WATER TREATMENT OPERATOR The Town of Willards has an immediate opening for a full-time Wastewater Treatment or Water Treament Operator for its wastewater and water treatment systems. The selected candidate must be able to work days with flexibility to work nights, weekends, and holiday work schedules. The applicant is preferred to have a MDE Class 4 Water License and/or Class 5A Wastewater License but other MDE Class Licenses may be considered. If you are interested and meet the requirements, please contact The Town of Willards for additional informaton. The Town of Willards 7344 Main Street, Willards, Maryland 21874 Email: townofwillards@wicomico.org Telephone: 410-835-8192 Facimile: 410-835-3549

LACROSSE COACH

Worcester Preparatory School, a coeducational college preparatory day school serving over 400 students in grades PK-12, is currently seeking a Head Coach for Boys Upper School. Minimum of 2 yrs. experience and CJIS Background Screening required. EOE Contact: Matt McGinnis 410-641-3575 or mmcginnis@worcesterprep.org

SERVICES

RENTALS

Ceja’s Landscaping & More!

SNOW HILL: Cozy 2BR cottage. Upscale renovation, central air, W/D, hardwood floors, ceramic. Downtown, walk to everything. No Pets. $895/month. 410-651-2118. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

•YARD MAINTENANCE •PAINTING •POWER WASHING 410-251-3425 410-202-2545 Upcoming Yard Sale? The Dispatch is the best way to get the word out! Print & Online

WEEKLY RENTALS Poolfront Room $215. Efficiency Room $245. 2 BR Apartment $350. 3 BR Suite $400.

Burgundy Inn 1210 Philadelphia Ave.

410-289-8581

COMMERCIAL WEST O.C. OFFICE/RETAIL SPACES AVAILABLE: 1 OfficeRetail and 1 Warehouses. Plenty of Parking. 443-497-4200. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– UPSCALE MIDTOWN OFFICE SPACE FOR RENT: 2,130 sq.ft. No CAM fees. 443-880-2225. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Looking Everywhere?!

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Classifieds in Print & Online

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The Dispatch

Legal Notices

LEGAL RATES Legal advertising rate is $7 per column inch. Deadline for all legal advertising is Tuesday at noon. For more information, call 410-641-4563 or fax 410-641-0966.

THIRD INSERTION

B. RANDALL COATES ESQ COATES, COATES, & COATES 204 WEST GREEN STREET SNOW HILL, MD 21863 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18526 To all persons interested in the estate of GUY H GOELLER, ESTATE NO. 18526. Notice is given that AMANDA L. GOELLER, 302 PARK ROW, SNOW HILL, MD 21863 was on, DECEMBER 15, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of GUY H GOELLER, who died on DECEMBER 08, 2020, with a will. Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney. All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 15TH day of JUNE, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers

to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication DECEMBER 25, 2020 AMANDA L. GOELLER Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 12-25, 01-01, 01-08

THIRD INSERTION

SUSAN S. TILGHMAN SEIDEL, BAKER & TILGHMAN, P.A. 110 NORTH DIVISION STREET SALISBURY, MD 21801 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18527 To all persons interested in the estate of ROGER D. WATSON, ESTATE NO. 18527. Notice is given that EMINE WATSON, 217 CEDAR STREET, POCOMOKE CITY, MD 21851 was on, DECEMBER 15, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of ROGER D. WATSON, who died on OCTOBER 22, 2020, without a will. Further information can be obtained by reviewing the


The Dispatch

Page 28

Legal Notices

LEGAL RATES Legal advertising rate is $7 per column inch. Deadline for all legal advertising is Tuesday at noon. For more information, call 410-641-4563 or fax 410-641-0966.

estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney. All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 15TH day of JUNE, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication DECEMBER 25, 2020 EMINE WATSON Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 12-25, 01-01, 01-08

THIRD INSERTION

MICHAEL B MATHERS ESQ WEBB, CORNBROOKS, WILBER, VORHIS, DOUSE & MATHERS, LLP PO BOX 910 115 BROAD STREET SALISBURY, MD 21803-0910 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18529

To all persons interested in the estate of LOUIS P. NACKE, ESTATE NO. 18529. Notice is given that DALE ALAN NACKE, 4866 HAPPY HOLLOW ROAD, ATLANTA, GA 30360 was on, DECEMBER 16, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of LOUIS P. NACKE, who died on OCTOBER 25, 2020, without a will.

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

SECOND INSERTION

SECOND INSERTION

MARIANNA BATIE ESQ LAW OFFICE OF MARIANNA BATIE 9748 STEPHEN DECATUR HIGHWAY, SUITE 112 OCEAN CITY, MD 21842

NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18525

NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18524

To all persons interested in the estate of ANTHONY G. POTUTO, ESTATE NO. 18525. Notice is given that LENA TUCCI, 17 TREMONT TERRACE, WANAQUE, NJ 07465 was on, DECEMBER 14, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of ANTHONY G. POTUTO, who died on SEPTEMBER 29, 2020, without a will.

To all persons interested in the estate of BARBARA E. WEITZEL AKA BARBARA E. EBERSBERGER, ESTATE NO. 18524. Notice is given that MARTIN L MUSELLA, 171 INDIAN TRAIL, ARAPAHOE, NC 28510 was on, DECEMBER 22, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of BARBARA E. WEITZEL, who died on AUGUST 28, 2020, with a will.

Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney.

Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney.

All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 16TH day of JUNE, 2021.

All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 22ND day of JUNE, 2021.

Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates:

Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates:

(1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or

(1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or

(2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills.

(2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills.

Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication DECEMBER 25, 2020

Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication JANUARY 01, 2021

DALE ALAN NACKE Personal Representative

MARTIN L MUSELLA Personal Representative

True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 12-25, 01-01, 01-08

True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 01-01, 01-08, 01-15

Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney. All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 14th day of JUNE, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication JANUARY 01, 2021 LENA TUCCI Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 01-01, 01-08, 01-15

FIRST INSERTION

MARIANNA BATIE ESQ LAW OFFICE OF MARIANNA BATIE 9748 STEPHEN DECATUR HIGHWAY, SUITE 112 OCEAN CITY, MD 21842

January 8, 2021 SMALL ESTATE NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18535

SUITE 200 OCEAN CITY, MD 21842 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18536

To all persons interested in the estate of MICHAEL ALAN DOTSON. Notice is given that SHIRLEY JUNE KELLY, 611 B SALT SPRAY ROAD, OCEAN CITY, MD 21842 was on DECEMBER 28, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the SMALL ESTATE of: MICHAEL ALAN DOTSON, who died on OCTOBER 23, 2020 with a will.

To all persons interested in the estate of ROBERT F BELTER, ESTATE NO. 18536. Notice is given that DEBORAH RITZ, 11 HENRYS MILL DRIVE, BERLIN, MD 21811 was on, DECEMBER 28, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of ROBERT F BELTER, who died on AUGUST 17, 2020, with a will.

Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney.

Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney.

All persons having any objection to the appointment shall file their objections with the Register of Wills within 30 days after the date of publication of this Notice. All persons having any objection to the probate of the will shall file their objections with the Register of Wills within six months after the date of publication of this Notice. All persons having claims against the decedent must serve their claims on the undersigned personal representative or file them with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Thirty days after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claims will be barred unless the creditor presents the claim within thirty days from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. Any claim not served or filed within that time, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication JANUARY 08, 2021 SHIRLEY JUNE KELLY Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 1x 01-08

FIRST INSERTION

WILLIAM E. ESHAM III ESQ AYRES, JENKINS, GORDY & ALMAND, PA 6200 COASTAL HIGHWAY,

All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 28th day of JUNE, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication JANUARY 08, 2021 DEBORAH RITZ Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 01-08, 01-15, 01-22

FIRST INSERTION

B. RANDALL COATES ESQ COATES, COATES, & COATES 204 WEST GREEN STREET SNOW HILL, MD 21863


The Dispatch

January 8, 2021

Legal Notices

LEGAL RATES Legal advertising rate is $7 per column inch. Deadline for all legal advertising is Tuesday at noon. For more information, call 410-641-4563 or fax 410-641-0966.

NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18537 To all persons interested in the estate of MARY LUCILLE HUDSON BROWN, ESTATE NO. 18537. Notice is given that KENNETH W BROWN, 207 IRONSHIRE STREET, SNOW HILL, MD 21863 was on, DECEMBER 29, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of MARY LUCILLE HUDSON BROWN, who died on DECEMBER 21, 2020, without a will. Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney. All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 29th day of JUNE, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication JANUARY 08, 2021 KENNETH W BROWN Personal Representative True Test Copy

TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 01-08, 01-15, 01-22

FIRST INSERTION

MARIANNA BATIE ESQ LAW OFFICE OF MARIANNA BATIE 9748 STEPHEN DECATUR HIGHWAY, SUITE 112 OCEAN CITY, MD 21842 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18540 To all persons interested in the estate of ANITA LOUISE COOLIDGE, ESTATE NO. 18540. Notice is given that SHEILA RAE COLMAN, 26294 CREEKWOOD CIRCLE, LONG NECK, DE 19966 was on, DECEMBER 30, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of ANITA LOUISE COOLIDGE, who died on NOVEMBER 26, 2020, with a will. Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney. All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 30th day of JUNE, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication JANUARY 08, 2021 SHEILA RAE COLMAN Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 01-08, 01-15, 01-22

FIRST INSERTION

JAMES H. PORTER JR, ESQ 111 VINE STREET POCOMOKE CITY, MD 21851 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18541 To all persons interested in the estate of HARRY CARROLL WILLIAMS, ESTATE

NO. 18541. Notice is given that AUDREY G. WILLIAMS, 2240 BY-PASS ROAD, POCOMOKE CITY, MD 21851 was on, JANUARY 04, 2021, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of HARRY CARROLL WILLIAMS, who died on SEPTEMBER 06, 2020, with a will. Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney. All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 4th day of JULY, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or

Page 29 (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication JANUARY 08, 2021 AUDREY G. WILLIAMS Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 01-08, 01-15, 01-22

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TOWN OF SNOW HILL NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING BOARD OF APPEALS

AGENDA Pursuant to the provisions of the Town of Snow Hill Zoning Ordinance and following COVID-19 protocols, notice is hereby given that the public hearing will be held remotely by conference call with the Board of Appeals for Snow Hill on Jan. 21, 2021 at 4:30 PM. Case No. 2021-1 on the application of James Williams/Rita Williams, on the lands of James Williams, requesting a variance to the Ordinance prescribed front yard setback from required 10’0 feet to 3’0 feet (an encroachment of 7’0 feet) associated with a proposed single-family dwelling in the R-2 Residential District, pursuant to the Town of Snow Hill Zoning Code, Sections 200-93 (2)(a) (1) and Sections 200-93 (2) (c) (1) property located at 207 Commerce St., Snow Hill, MD 21863, Tax Map 0200, Parcel 0111, Grid 0008, Lot 2, Worcester County, MD. Enter meeting by calling 1301-715-8592 or online https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8 1786786592?pwd=ZlErZnM2 VjM1V3VtVVJKVStQZ1h6UT 09. Meeting ID 817 8678 6592, passcode 248745. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication JANUARY 08, 2021 1x, 01-08


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Puzzle Answers

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The Adventures Of Fatherhood By STEVE GREEN

he 12-year-old kid in the house has a different view of independence than his parents. Independence is something to be earned not given. In Beckett’s mind, he should be allowed to do what he wants simply because a friend or two can. Entitlement comes to mind when listening to his rationalization. If a friend can stay on his phone until 11 p.m. on a school night, our son thinks he should as well. If a group of friends can walk around town past dark, he thinks he’s entitled to as well. If a friend can download a violent game on the Xbox, he feels inclined to do the same without permission. The list of examples grow daily, but he’s 12 years old and there are certain things he should not be able to do. There’s no question kids are growing up too fast these days, thanks to the internet and phones. There is much more to discover at young ages these days. Our pre-teen knows far too much about far too many adult things than he should. Kids his age have a lot of access at their fingertips and they can communicate amongst themselves easily these days compared to when I was growing up. When I was Beckett’s age, there was the neighborhood, school, sports and a landline phone. These were the ways I talked with friends. Nowadays, there’s all those options but also cell phones, Snapchat, texting, Facetiming, videogaming and other apps. All these opportunities do not necessarily mean there is maturation along the way. That’s why at his age we are suspicious of our kid, eavesdrop on his conversations and monitor his phone daily including being able to see where he is at any given time. If he deletes or hides messages or turns off the app disabling his location settings, he loses his phone. We are not being strict in our mind. We are being responsible and logical. Beckett abhors the consistent oversight. He is fond of telling us we do not

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trust him and stricter than his friends’ parents. We agree, pointing to instances in the recent past when he has not been straight with us. He has been caught in flat lies occasionally, but most of the time it’s just not telling us everything he should intentionally. Although that sounds like the same thing, there are slight differences than outright lying. One morning Beckett asked politely for me to stop opening his snaps on Snapchat at night. I told him I can’t do that because he’s 12 years old and we need to know what’s happening to keep him safe. He then tried to explain how it works. He said not replying to an opened snap is akin to telling friends you are disinterested and don’t care about what they are saying. He said it’s like ignoring someone. I told him I understand what it’s like to be ignored (since I am a parent), but it’s not a huge deal to not respond to so-and-so’s picture of an ‘S’ (signifying the continuation of a streak and continuous days of communication). As an attempt at compromise, I told him I would screenshot any snap I opened. He rolled his eyes and said that would be even worse before saying “fine” and storming off. I later looked and discovered it’s a no-no evidently in the snapchat world to screenshot a snap. My guess is these sorts of conversations will continue to take place for years to come. I can’t say this is an aspect of parenting I adore.

“T

o get better at skateboarding.” That was the response from Beckett, 12, when I asked him what his New Year’s resolution was for 2021. When I asked Carson, 11, he just pointed back at me, wanting to know mine. I said it was to lose weight I had gained over the pandemic. He needed to think about it. I admit I initiated the conversation with my kids after coming across an ar-

ticle about funny New Year’s Eve resolutions from kids. Since my own boys offered nothing interesting, I figured I would share some I found noteworthy from a variety of online sites. Joey, 10: My New Year’s resolution is to not eat as much sugar. But I probably won’t keep it. Hadssah, 7: I am going to stop picking my nose. It is going to be hard. Declan, 11; My New Year’s resolution is to eat 10 bags of clementines each month. Kendra, 6: So? What is the point of making resolutions if you never really keep them? Brianna, 7: My resolution is to not wig out like I’m seeing the Lochness Monster when I see a bug. Maggie, 13: To make it through the year without seeing my mom do the whip, please God. Kate, 8: My resolution is to stop biting my nails because my mom says she is going to make me wear nail polish that tastes like rotten eggs if I don’t. Annie, 5: I am going to help doggies like if they are stuck on cliffs. Jude, 7: I resolve to eat more bananas because I only two or three everyday. Ross, 9: I won’t give myself unsanctioned haircuts. Kenny, 5: I will color on paper and not on walls. Ben, 7: I will try to eat the occasional vegetable without bribery. Luke, 4: I will sleep in my bed all night. Via, 10: Be nicer to my sisters and that’s going to be a super hard one. Kate, 9: I will work to become either a famous ice dancer or a great singer. Brock, 11: I want to get a girlfriend, kiss her and rule the world. Kleeb, 3: To stop crapping in my pants so much. (The writer is the publisher and editor of The Dispatch. He and his wife, Pamela, are proud parents of two boys. This weekly column examines their transition into parenthood and all that goes along with it. E-mail any thoughts to editor@mdcoastdispatch.com.)

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January 8, 2021

Horoscopes

ARIES (March 21 to April 19): Aspects call for care in preparing material for submission. Although you might find it bothersome to go over what you've done, the fact is, rechecking could be worth your time and effort. TAURUS (April 20 to May 20): The week is favorable for Bovines who welcome change. New career opportunities wait to be checked out. You also might want to get started on that home makeover you've been considering. GEMINI (May 21 to June 20): You might have to be extra careful to protect that surprise you have planned, thanks to a certain snoopy someone who wants to know more about your plans than you're willing to share. CANCER (June 21 to July 22): Family ties are strong this week, although an old and still-unresolved problem might create some unpleasant moments. If so, look to straighten the situation out. LEO (July 23 to Aug. 22): Although the Lion might see it as an act of loyalty and courage to hold on to an increasingly shaky position, it might be wiser to make changes now to prevent a possible meltdown later. VIRGO (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22): Your gift for adding new people to your circle of friends works overtime this week, thanks largely to contacts you made during the holidays. A surprise awaits you at the week's end. LIBRA (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22): Don't

OCEAN CITY vanishing

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

hide your talents. It's a good time to show what you can do to impress people who can do a lot for you. A dispute with a family member might still need some smoothing over. SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21): Be open with your colleagues about your plan to bring a workplace matter out into the open. You'll want their support, and they'll want to know how you'll pull it off. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21): Trying to patch up an unraveling relationship is often easier said than done. But it helps to discuss and work out any problems that arise along the way. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19): While your creative aspect remains high this week, you might want to call on your practical side to help work out the why and wherefore of an upcoming decision. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18): Dealing with someone's disappointment can be difficult for Aquarians, who always try to avoid giving pain. But a full explanation and a show of sympathy can work wonders. PISCES (Feb. 19 to March 20): Getting a job-related matter past some major obstacles should be easier this week. A personal situation might take a surprising but not necessarily unwelcome turn by the week's end. BORN THIS WEEK: You can be both a dreamer and a doer. You consider helping others to be an important part of your life. © 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.

Things I Like ...

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WITH BUNK MANN

Anthony’s Carryout on 17th Street, an Ocean City icon, will be changing ownership after 48 years under the management of John Simms and family. The business first opened as Anthony’s Tastee-Freez in 1954 with Chris Christ as the original owner. John Simms took over in 1972 and along with his children, Jason, Crissy, Missy and daughter-in-law Sandy, would operate the cash-only carryout until Sept. 7, 2020. Famous for hand-carved ham and roast beef, in later years breakfast would become a big attraction. Customers would stand in line to get a ham and egg or scrapple sandwich and marvel at the staff’s ability to move the orders so quickly. A favorite spot for locals, Anthony’s Carryout was also popular with celebrities such as Spiro Agnew, Bobby Baker, Ted Williams and Henry Winkler, who would sit at the counter with a scrapple sandwich and an order of hot cakes. On Winkler’s way out, he would strike a Fonzi pose and say “good food.” Although the Simms family will no longer be serving breakfast or lunch on summer days, you can visit John and Jason at their new Berlin Auto Services. Gone from Ocean City but never forgotten. To purchase one of Bunk Mann's books, click over to www.vanishingoc.com. Photo by Bunk Mann taken Sept. 7, 2020

The Dispatch Crossword Puzzle

By Steve Green

Watching something be demolished Intense youth sports games A significant snowfall once a year around here Playoff football

When all the bills are paid A small, fast computer

Listening to kids giggling Clean parks

A great camera phone picture Exhausted kids

ANSWERS ON PAGE 30


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January 8, 2021

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