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The Dispatch Priceless

Serving Greater Delmarva Since 1984

March 27, 2020

www.mdcoastdispatch.com

Resort Closes Beach, Boardwalk

See Page 4 • Photo by Chris Parypa

Positive T-Shirt Campaign Launched

Look For Silver Linings: Amid gray skies and uncertain times, silver linings can be found in the nature

around us. Above, cherry blossom trees are pictured on Jamestown Road in north Ocean City and outside City Hall on Photos by Chris Parypa 3rd Street.

See Page 10 • Submitted Image

States Extend Public School Closure

See Page 12 • File Photo

Berlin Mayor Drops Tax Hike Plan

See Page 4 • Photo by Chris Parypa


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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

SERVING DELMARVA FOR NEARLY 60 YEARS

March 27, 2020


March 27, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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Berlin Mayor Drops Tax Increase Proposal Amid Crisis

Page 4

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

BERLIN – Mayor Gee Williams has dropped plans to increase Berlin’s property tax rate in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Williams released a statement Monday outlining measures the town was putting in place to combat the spread of the virus as well as his plan to hold the tax rate at 80 cents per $100 of assessed value. “I don’t want people worrying about that when there’s so much else to deal with right now,” he said in an interview Tuesday. Williams said that while the ongoing economic uncertainty prompted his decision to abandon plans for a three-cent increase, the decision would eliminate the funding associated with the em-

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

ployee raises initially proposed. “The raises are just not going to be able to happen,” he said, adding that the town was still in strong financial shape. “Our employees don’t have to worry about layoffs or reductions in salary.” He said the town would still receive a roughly $74,000 increase in funding in the coming fiscal year as a result of the increase in assessable base. Williams will recommend the town set that aside as general fund reserve. Though dates have not yet been set, Williams expects elected officials to resume budget meetings in the coming weeks. He said elected officials and key town staff—no more than 10 people total—would meet at town hall. The public will be able to access a live stream of the meetings via their computers or smartphones and Williams said staff would make sure their

questions were addressed. “Within a couple weeks we’ll have this set up,” Williams said. “The first time might be a little awkward but we’ll figure it out. We’ll take it one meeting at a time. The business of the town will continue forward.” He’s confident that the town will still be able to get a budget approved by May 26. He’s also hopeful discussions of a short-term rental regulations can resume. “I see no reason that should be shelved for another year,” he said. “We can’t stop making decisions and doing what’s best for the town because of this unprecedented health emergency.” While government operations will continue, the COVID-19 situation has nevertheless prompted several changes in Berlin. On Monday, the town closed public parks after consultation with the

March 27, 2020

Worcester County Health Department. Williams said he supported state efforts to limit gatherings and encourage social distancing. “I think we’re fortunate to live in a state that’s being proactive and responsible,” he said. The town has also canceled all public events in April. A decision regarding the town’s May events will be made in the coming weeks. Williams says he plans to provide updates to citizens each Monday for the foreseeable future. “The situation is evolving and I want to make sure the public knows the town’s decisions and positions,” he said.

Beach, Boardwalk Closed Till April 15

OCEAN CITY – As confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) increase throughout the state, the Ocean City Mayor and Council met Sunday for an emergency meeting, resulting in the closure of Ocean City’s beach and Boardwalk. Effective at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, the beach and Boardwalk in Ocean City was closed due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. This closure will remain in effect thru April 15, at which time it will be re-evaluated based on the status of the global health crisis. Restaurants on the Boardwalk will be allowed to remain open for carry out service only. “The number one priority of the Mayor and City Council is to protect our citizens and employees,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “We are facing an invisible threat and we are the carriers of this potentially deadly virus. At this time, we continue to request that visitors postpone traveling to Ocean City and that our non-resident property owners reframe from traveling to Ocean City as well. The safest place for everyone right now is in their own home.” Only residents who reside within the corporate limits of Ocean City will be allowed to walk their dogs or exercise on the beach or Boardwalk in groups of no more than two adults and children at any time. Social distancing will remain a requirement. This will remain in effect until which time it is abused or ignored. “We are doing everything in our power to protect the health and safety of our citizens, but everyone has a critical role to play,” said Meehan. “We all have to work together to do whatever we can to mount our only known defense against this common enemy and that is to practice extreme measures of social distancing. We are taking these drastic steps to shorten the duration of this health crisis. If every single person steps up and does their part by making sacrifices now it will slow the spread of this virus and help us flatten the curve.”


March 27, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 5


Two Confirmed Cases In Worcester County Had Close Contact

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BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – County officials urge residents to stay calm as Worcester County’s recorded its first two positive COVID-19 cases. In a press conference March 19, Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) staff confirmed a Worcester County man in his 30s had tested positive, as had an out-of-town woman who visited Ocean City last weekend. They asked citizens to continue practicing prevention strategies such as handwashing and social distancing. “This is a time for prayer, not panic,” Commissioner Chip Bertino said. Debra Stevens, the health department’s director of community health and emergency preparedness, said the confirmed COVID-19 case in Worcester County was a “close contact” of the Wicomico County case announced earlier Thursday who acquired the disease through travel. After the press conference, the WCHD offered more information about the connection between the two cases. The statement read, “A contact includes someone who has household contact of a confirmed case, an intimate partner, caretakers, persons within six feet of a confirmed case (for more than five minutes), someone who has been coughed or sneezed on by a confirmed case.” Stevens said she was also being asked if the Worcester County case was linked to the Berlin daycare Bundles of Joy. “I can tell you the case investigation we completed today was based on a person’s onset of illness,” she said. “There was no exposure identified in any daycare in Worcester County.” Shortly after noon last Thursday, Berlin daycare Bundles of Joy University advised parents to pick up their children “after a family member of our Berlin location has tested positive for COVID19,” according to a text alert sent to clients. The alert went on to state, “this case was reported to the Worcester County Health Department.” The daycare said it would be closed for quarantine until March 30. According to a second text to families, the enrolled child of the family member has not attended

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

March 27, 2020

the facility since March 11. Also, during the March 19 press conference, Stevens confirmed a woman who lived outside of Worcester County but had visited Ocean City before St. Patrick’s Day had tested positive. “We conducted a case investigation and confirmed that indeed that person visited Ocean City prior to her onset of illness,” Stevens said. “Therefore, she was not ill when she was here, she became ill after she left, and there were no exposures in Worcester County establishments.” After the media event, a WCHD statement added, “People are thought to be most contagious when they are the most symptomatic (sickest). Our contact investigation per MDH guidance begins at the start date of symptom onset. Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

On Saturday, March 21, the WCHD confirmed a second positive test for COVID-19. The patient, a 21-year-old female, is a Worcester County resident who “is a close household contact” of the man who tested positive. She was reportedly in quarantine with the WCHD conducting a “contact investigation of this second case and appropriate close contacts will have arrangements made for testing if indicated,” according to the WCHD. At last week’s press conference, Commissioner Ted Elder encouraged residents to remain calm. “We all knew this day was coming,” he said. “It’s been on its way for a while. Now that it’s here we need to buckle down.” Sheriff Matt Crisafulli offered similar advice and encouraged citizens to continue practicing social distancing. The health department opened a call center last Thursday for questions regarding coronavirus. Callers can reach

the center during health department business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) by dialing 410-6321100 option #8. General information on COVID-19 is available 24/7 through Worcester Health’s Public Information Line 410-632-4321 and WorcesterHealth.org. A press release from the WCHD added, “If you are experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) contact your primary care doctor for further screening to determine if you should be tested. Unless you are suffering a medical emergency, please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or other medical facility. You should speak with your healthcare provider, who can alert an emergency room so that its staff is ready with proper protective gear. To protect yourselves and others, wash your hands often, cover cough/sneezes, clean and disinfect surfaces, and stay home if sick.”

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

the committee to purchase marketing materials and public service announcements. Mary Bohlen, Berlin’s deputy town administrator and another member of Worcester’s Complete Count Committee, has been sharing information with residents and elected officials for months. She said that because only 59% of Worcester County residents had completed the 2010 Census, the committee was working hard to increase participation. “For every Marylander not counted the state loses $18,250 over 10 years,” she said. Bohlen pointed out that the ongoing health crisis showed how important Census data was, as officials weren’t just looking at active cases of coronavirus but also potential cases. “They’re using Census numbers to determine what might happen in a given area,” she said. She pointed out that in spite of rumors, Census responses were not tied to potential stimulus packages, as responses were kept confidential.

“Your answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for any government benefits, including any potential stimulus package,” reads the Census website. “The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep your information confidential, and the answers you provide are used only to produce statistics.” Those statistics do impact federal funding on a broad level however. “Completing the 2020 Census helps determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade,” the website reads. “The results of the count also determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives and is used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.” Bohlen said the Census could be completed online in about 10 minutes. It can also be completed by phone or by mail. The Census deadline has been extended to Aug. 14 in response to the coronavirus.

Officials Encourage Census Participation

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – Officials continue to urge citizens to complete this year’s Census. While coronavirus concerns dominate the news, officials are reminding citizens that the 2020 Census is still underway. “Hopefully by people being home and not being out and about they’ll have a chance to go ahead and fill out the Census,” said Kelly Henry, coordinator of Worcester County’s Complete Count Committee. The Worcester County Commissioners proclaimed April as Census 2020 Awareness Month at a meeting last week. Residents are encouraged to visit the website 2020census.gov to learn more. Henry said the committee had held several lengthy meetings in recent months to figure out ways to ensure local residents completed the Census. She said the county had received a $20,000 grant that enabled


State Outlines Relief Options For Small Businesses

March 27, 2020

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – Stemming the spread of the COVID-19 virus remained the focus of Gov. Larry Hogan’s actions announced on Monday, but the governor and his staff also announced an expansive $175 million relief package to help the state’s small businesses weather the storm. The federal U.S. Small Business Administration has already ramped up programs for businesses struggling or expecting to struggle as a result of the crisis and Maryland is rolling out an aggressive program of its own to the tune of around $175 million. During his press conference on Monday, Hogan acknowledged his executive orders will strain nearly every facet of the economy and characterized the state’s efforts as fighting “twin battles.” “We know that the steps we’ve taken to protect the health and wellbeing of all Marylanders have made a significant impact on our business community,” he said. “Today, in addition to funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration, we are making new financial assistance programs available to help our businesses continue to operate during this unprecedented crisis. These programs will offer the kind of much-needed support our businesses need right now and help them to pay bills and retain their workforce as much as possible.” Meanwhile, the federal government continues to grapple with relief packages for businesses and stimulus packages for individuals and families. While the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives thus far have put on a unified face for the most part in the handling of the crisis, partisan bickering has already begun to rear its ugly head. Hogan on Monday urged federal leadership to get past politics as usual and start closing in on a real relief package. “The states continue to need more action,” he said. “We need Congress to take action and this is no time for partisan dysfunction. It will take all of us working together.” In the meantime, Hogan said Maryland was not going to stand by and wait for the federal government to take action. To that end, he announced a series of relief packages for the state’s small businesses. “Maryland is not going to wait to take action,” he said. “We’re making relief available through a $175 million comprehensive relief program. Small businesses can immediately begin applying for some of these low-interest loans and grants.” Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz said is working closely with small businesses from all over the state to get them the resources they need to weather the crisis. “It is our top priority to support out business community as much as we can during this difficult time,” she said. “We have heard from hundreds of businesses about their greatest need

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

right now, which is working capital, and designed these programs to have the most significant impact possible.” Schulz said her department and the state government are tirelessly working on assistance programs to provide relief for small businesses. “I assure you our teams are working around the clock,” she said. “We’re in unchartered waters. This is unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Maryland businesses want to continue to service their customers and keep their employees and keep paying employees. These programs can help all of us get through this.” Schulz said the eligibility and application process for the various programs are being streamlined to get small businesses the help they need fastest, pointing to the emergency relief loan fund as an example. “The $50,000 loan is flexible funding that can be used in a variety of ways to keep Marylanders working,” she said. “It’s a simple application and in some cases relief can be obtained as quickly as two working days. We’re talking to our federal partners daily and that will allow us to expand these programs further. We’re cutting through the red tape to get Maryland businesses the help they need.” The various relief loans and grants programs are up and running and more details are available on the state’s web-

site. The following are some of the highlights of the relief programs being offered: The $75 million loan fund available to for-profit businesses only offers no interest or principal payments for the first 12 months up to $50,000. It would convert to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments with an annual interest rate of 2%. The eligible uses of the loans would include working capital to support payroll expenses, rent or mortgage payments, utility expenses or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of operations. To be eligible for the loans, a business must demonstrate the financial stress or disrupted operations caused by the pandemic. Unlike the aforementioned emergency relief loan fund, this grant program would be just that – a grant. The COVID-19 grant fund offers working capital to Maryland small businesses and nonprofits with disrupted operations due to the pandemic. Grants up to $10,000, not to exceed three months of cash operating expenses for small businesses and nonprofits would be available under the program. Eligible businesses would have to be in operation before March 9, 2020 and be in good standing. Eligible businesses can have annual revenue not exceeding $5 million and the business or nonprofit would be expected to

Page 7

seek longer term relief through the SBA or other lending source. The eligible uses for the grant program include payroll expenses, rent or mortgage payments, utility expenses or other daily operating costs. COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund Hogan and the Department of Labor have launched a new COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is designed to support businesses undergoing economic stress due to the pandemic by preventing or at least minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award, which could be up to $50,000 per applicant, will be a quick deployable benefit that can be customized to the specific needs of a business to minimize the need for layoffs. The uses of the benefit are many. For example, the benefit could be used to cover the cost of purchasing remote access equipment such as computers, printers of software etc. to allow employees to work remotely from home where possible versus being laid off. The funds could also be used to cover the cost of cleaning or sanitization services so small businesses would be able to keep employees at work on site. The funds could also be used to pay for liability insurance for restaurants, for example, that were forced to close but have converted to a delivery operation while under the state of emergency.


Sewer Near Community Seeks County Water Service OnPublic Gum Point Road

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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – Residents of the St. Martins by the Bay community are asking the county to connect them to public water. The Worcester County Commissioners have agreed to schedule a public hearing regarding a request from St. Martins by the Bay to expand the Ocean Pines Sanitary Service Area. The expansion, which has been petitioned for by residents of St. Martins by the Bay, would allow the St. Martins homeowners to connect for water service. “We normally act on petitions,” said Bob Mitchell, the county’s director of environmental programs. Mitchell told the commissioners the community, which was developed in 1984, was made up of 58 parcels that

consisted of 28 homes, 26 townhomes, four undeveloped lots and a community pool. “The application requests to add the subject community to the Ocean Pines Service Area, contingent on approval of a loan from a financial institution, for the purposes of providing public water service from the Ocean Pines public water system to these properties,” Mitchell wrote in his report to the commissioners. The application proposes an initial allocation of 58 EDUs (equivalent dwelling units) or 17,400 gallons per day of water service to be extended to St. Martins by the Bay from a water distribution line that would connect to the Ocean Pines system. Mitchell said the county could approach the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for funding if the county decided to move forward.

“USDA would probably have a combination of grants and loans for this project,” he said. In a letter to the commissioners, Jack Shook, president of the St. Martins by the Bay homeowner’s association, said the community had struggled with a selfcontained water system since its creation. Currently Sharp Water performs daily maintenance on the system. “Some of the equipment is the original from the conception of the development and is in terrible condition,” the letter reads. “There have been numerous times when the tanks, pumps, pipes and drains have been replaced, again at the cost of the association. There have been many occasions where there has been no water supply for our community for over 24 hours due to a breakage.” The commissioners voted unanimously to schedule a public hearing.

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March 27, 2020

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – At the urging of a property owner, Worcester County is working toward extending a sewer line down Gum Point Road. The Worcester County Commissioners agreed to plan for a public hearing regarding the extension of public sewer to the homes along Gum Point Road. The project would allow for the elimination of aging septic systems in the neighborhood, which is adjacent to Turville Creek. Steven Hershey, owner of property at the end of Gum Point Road, approached county officials earlier this year asking to install a temporary sewer connection at the location of Bay Point Plantation so he could redevelop his property. He wants to demolish three cottages, move one house and build a new house on the property. State regulations wouldn’t allow the redevelopment with the existing septic system, however, so he proposed a temporary sewer connection. “The county commissioners approved the installation of this Gum Point Road line back in 2007,” said Mark Cropper, Hershey’s attorney. “After the passage of 13 years the line has still not been installed. Mr. Hershey wishes to improve his property with newer structures and eliminate the existing septic system and holding tanks but he cannot do so unless he connects to the Ocean Pines system.” County officials didn’t support the temporary connection but said Hershey could connect to the Ocean Pines plant if a line was extended down Gum Point Road as opposed to Bay Point Plantation. When the commissioners suggested the idea of extending access to public sewer down all of Gum Point Road, rather than just Hershey’s property, Hershey said he’d support the effort with the funding he would have spent on the temporary connection. “There has been a developer agreement arranged,” Public Works Director John Tustin told the commissioners last week. He added that it shouldn’t actually be executed until after a public hearing regarding the sewer line expansion plans. Tustin said the Worcester County Treasurer’s Office had looked at the proposal and determined that EDUs for the proposed Gum Point Sanitary Service Area would cost $21,886. When Commissioner Chip Bertino asked if residents of Gum Point Road with septic systems installed in recent years would be required to hook up to the public sewer, Bob Mitchell, the county’s director of environmental programs, said they would not. He added future development must connect. Though non-essential public hearings have been postponed as the state works to stop the spread of coronavirus, a hearing on the sewer project will be scheduled once emergency restrictions are lifted.


Proposed Rockfish Regs Worry Recreational Fishery

March 27, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – A coalition of local and regional recreational anglers and charter captains fired off a letter this month to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) crying foul over proposed regulation changes aimed at reducing the state’s striped bass, or rockfish, harvest. After the 2018 benchmark stock assessment for striped bass populations along the East Coast showed continued decline, federal and state fisheries management agencies began exploring regulation changes aimed at catch reductions and mortality rates among for the recreational striped bass fishery. The intent of the regulation changes is to reduce striped bass mortality rates and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and its partners have explored methods to reduce the overall take of striped bass by 18% and distribute the quota equally among the mid-Atlantic states. As a result, the proposed regulations in the Chesapeake Bay call for a reduction in the minimum keeper size from 20 inches to 18 inches and a creel limit of one fish per angler per day. In the Atlantic Ocean and the coastal bays and their tributaries, the regulations for minimum keeper size

Coalition Sends Letter To DNR Secretary Citing Fairness Concerns

effective April 1 would be somewhat more relaxed at 28 inches to less than 35 inches, but the same one fish per person creel limit would also be implemented. This month, a coalition of local and regional recreational anglers, charter captains, bait and tackle industry representatives and other stakeholders fired off a letter to DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio acknowledging some regulation changes are needed with the most recent stock assessment declines, but also asserting the regulations as proposed but an unfair burden on Maryland’s striped bass recreational fishery. “As leaders in conservation, we’re actively working to restore the iconic striped bass stock, even when that means reducing the number of fish recreational anglers are allowed to catch,” said American Sportfishing Association President Glenn Hughes. “Unfortunately, Maryland has decided to disproportionately restrict recreational anglers’ access to the striped

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bass fishery through unequal harvest reductions, closure of the April catchand-release season and lack of input when decisions are made.” The coalition’s letter to the DNR suggests the proposed regulation chang-

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es are short-sighted. “We realize that in order to ensure the health and abundance of striped bass in the future, immediate and difficult management decisions must be made now,” the coalition’s letter reads. “However, Maryland’s current preferred conservation equivalency options unfairly place the vast majority of the burden on the private recreational fishery and may not contain measures necessary to bring on-the-water results to end overfishing and begin rebuilding the striped bass population.”


Apparel Company Creates Positive T-Shirt Campaign

Page 10

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

BERLIN – Keeping people working and recognizing those on the front lines have been consistent themes with the growing pandemic and one local screenprinting company has come up with a way to do both. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to grow with no immediate end in sight, more and more local businesses have been forced to close or at least greatly scale back operations. Meanwhile, others are considered essential, and while they remain open for business, the trickle down from the closure of other businesses has caused a scaling back of operations and temporarily laying off employees. Such is the case for local screen-

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

printing business Red Sun Apparel, which is a major supplier to the resort area’s restaurant, bar and hotel industry. Like many other businesses, Red Sun is scrambling for creative ideas to keep people employed, generating at least some revenue and, perhaps most importantly, finding a way to help others in the community and recognize those who are keeping the community going during the crisis. “We’re about 70% tourism, restaurant and hotel-based with uniforms and T-shirts and things like that and most of our customers are currently closed,” said Red Sun owner Bill Regan this week. “I’m optimistic that we’ll all be back at it here in a month or so.” Like most of his client and customer base, Regan has had to take steps to keep the business up and running dur-

March 27, 2020

An example of one of the T-shirts being donated by Red Sun Apparel is pictured. Submitted Image

ing the crisis and keep people working, but it has been challenging. “It’s hit us pretty hard as well at Red Sun,” he said. “I had to lay off some

people last week and it’s been very, very difficult. It’s been a lot of sleepless nights thinking about how maybe we can bring some people back to work.” To that end, Regan this week came up with an idea to keep people working and recognize those in the community who are out on the front lines each day during the crisis, from doctors and nurses to first responders and store employees. Red Sun has gathered much of its blank T-shirt inventory and has begun printing them with an attractive American flag design and a simple message - America Stronger Together. Within the stripes of the flag design are the names of front-line workers who are making a difference day in and day out. “I got an idea,” he said. “We searched the warehouse and gathered all of the extra shirts we have here and we’re going to donate them to the people out there on the front lines in the battle against the coronavirus.” Regan estimated he has around 3,000 to 4,000 T-shirts on hand that he and his crew are printing with the America Stronger Together design and the plan is to distribute them to front line workers. When the supply of those shirts is exhausted, Regan hopes to reach out to the community to purchase and print more for wider distribution. “‘America Stronger Together’ really says it all,” he said. “We want to recognize the doctors, the nurses, fire and police, grocery store clerks and all of the people that are out there working in essential industries. We’re printing them right now to show folks how much we appreciate what they’re doing.” To that end, Red Sun has established a website through which those interested in helping can purchase a shirt for $16. With the $16 purchase, the buyer will get a America Stronger Together shirt to give out on their own, while Red Sun will make another donation to a deserving front-liner. The website can be found at americatogether.itemorder.com. “We’ll send you a shirt to maybe give to a friend and at the same time, we’ll give a shirt to somebody working in an essential industry as well,” he said. “We’re just trying to keep some people employed and also recognize those out on the front lines. We’ll all get through this together.”


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Page 12

Governor’s New Order Not For Shelter In Place The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Hogan: People Must Take Virus Serious

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – Stopping short of issuing a shelter-in-place order, Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday issued a new executive order closing non-essential businesses and hammering home the importance of staying home, observing social distance directives and minimizing interaction. While some states over the weekend issued shelter-in-place orders for their citizens, Hogan’s executive order issued on Monday morning stops short of confining residents to their homes. The executive order did close many businesses deemed non-essential under federal guidelines. However, the list of businesses deemed essential and thus can remain open is relatively broad. For example, in the immediate sense, grocery stores will remain open as will convenience stores, liquor stores, pharmacies and other establishments that provide essential services. In addition, closer to home, restaurants will still be able, and are even encouraged, to continue to serve food and other goods for carryout, delivery or curbside pickup. Basically, while non-essential businesses closed at 5 p.m. Monday, and again the list of exemptions is rather expansive, the landscape hasn’t changed dramatically after Monday’s executive order from where everyone was at the same time yesterday. However, and it couldn’t be emphasized enough, Marylanders are urged, but not ordered, to stay at home and only venture out for the most basic of necessities. “This new executive order effective at 5 p.m. today closes all nonessential businesses,” said Hogan during Monday’s press conference. “We are not at this time ordering Marylanders to shelter in place. However, we are encouraging people to follow the directives already issued to prevent crowds of 10 or more to gather. Unless you have an essential reason to do otherwise, stay in your homes.” Hogan thanked those who have taken the “stay at home” directives seriously for doing their part to stem the spread of the COVID-19, or coronavirus and keeping their families, friends and neighbors safe and healthy. “Over the last several weeks, we have taken unprecedented action to keep Marylanders safe and stop the spread of this virus,” he said. “I’d like

March 27, 2020

Schools Closed Through April 24

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – The biggest takeaway from Gov. Larry Hogan’s midweek press conference on the ongoing pandemic is public schools in Maryland will remain closed until at last April 24. Hogan on Wednesday held the latest in a long string of press conferences updating Marylanders on new executive orders and other directives aimed at stemming the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the to take a moment to thank the overwhelming majority of Marylanders who are taking this crisis seriously.” However, Hogan said during the Monday press conference issuing the new executive order, too many citizens have not taken the “stay at home” directives seriously and mentioned some examples specifically. “Unfortunately, many are still not taking this seriously,” he said. “Over the weekend, we saw crowds of people out and about looking at cherry blossoms. We also saw crowds of people in Ocean City on the beach and on the Boardwalk.” It’s important to note the Ocean City Mayor and Council on Sunday issued a declaration closing the beach and Boardwalk in the resort until at least April 15 with certain very limited exceptions for local residents who live within the town’s corporate limits. Again, while stopping short of issuing a shelter-in-place order, Hogan could not emphasize enough the importance of staying home and following the social distancing directives and promised swift enforcement for those who choose to ignore the directives. “If you are engaged in this type of activity, you are breaking the law and literally endangering the lives of others,” he said. “Because of the irresponsible and reckless behavior of many, we are taking more aggressive actions to disperse gatherings and encourage everyone to remain in their homes.” Clearly, stopping the spread of the virus and protecting the health and safety of the citizens of Maryland is paramount, but Hogan and some of his cabinet heads outlined numerous ways for small businesses and individuals to survive the associated economic downturn associated with the crisis. Those programs include rapid and thorough unemployment insurance assistance for those laid off from jobs and other resources to help individuals and families get through the crisis.

state. The governor spent much of the first part of the press conference outlining the daily positive tests counts and the steps taken thus far to combat the spread of the virus and provide assistance to people and businesses in the state. On Monday, Hogan announced numerous directives including the closure of all non-essential businesses, a rather broad list of businesses that will remain open during the crisis to provide needed goods and services to the public, and not SEE NEXT PAGE Hogan and the various cabinet officials outlined billions of dollars of almost immediate economic assistance programs for small businesses in Maryland from grants to low-interest or no interest loans to help meet operating expenses, fund payrolls to keep employees working and assistance with rent or mortgage payments. Essentially, Hogan said while stemming the virus and keeping Marylanders safe and healthy was the top priority, another battle was being waged on a parallel course to at least ease the associated economic downturn. “Our first priority is saving the lives of thousands of Marylanders and protecting the health and safety of the people of this state,” he said. “We are also facing a huge battle against a tremendous economic turndown. We’re tackling both of those battles simultaneously.” A somewhat sullen but confident Hogan throughout the press conference illustrated what leadership looks like during a crisis. “These actions will save the lives of thousands of Marylanders,” he said. “We will have your backs in the weeks ahead. I want to thank the people of Maryland who have helped just by staying home. I also want to thank those who have delivered meals, helped elderly neighbors or have given blood.” The governor said Maryland, and the rest of the country and the world, had not yet reached the peak of the crisis and the number of confirmed cases would continue to spike as more testing becomes available. However, he issued assurances Maryland and its citizens would get through it by working together and following the directives. “I know how incredibly difficult this is and there is a great deal of anxiety,” he said. “None of us know how bad this will get or how long it will last. Just know there is a great deal of people working around the clock on this. We’re all in this together and we will all get through this together.”


… Hogan: ‘Truth Is We Just Don’t Know How Bad It Will Get’

March 27, 2020

much changed from Monday to Wednesday on that front. Many likely anticipated a “shelter in place” directive was forthcoming on Wednesday as the next likely step in the progression, but that announcement didn’t come and it appears it likely won’t in the near future. Instead, the biggest takeaway from Wednesday’s latest press conference is an extension of the closure of public schools in Maryland until at least April 24, or essentially another four weeks. Faced with the growing pandemic, which has seen Maryland’s confirmed case number swell to 423 as of Wednesday, public schools in Maryland have been closed since March 16, or roughly two weeks. When it came time to announce the latest plan, Hogan turned to State School Superintendent Karen Salmon. “After lengthy discussions, I’ve made the decision to extend the closure of public schools in Maryland another four weeks until April 24,” she said. “We do not make these decisions lightly because we have a responsibility to protect the health of our students and educators.” Of course, the health and safety of students and their families along with educators and support staff remains paramount, but Salmon acknowledged the challenges many families are facing with home-schooling and maintaining some continuity in learning. “I know how incredibly difficult and challenging this is,” she said. “Teachers want to know when they can get back to classroom instruction, parents are concerned about the continuity and the students just want to get back to their normal lives. There is a lot of confusion, fear and anxiety right now, but nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our students, their families and educators. There is a whole lot of people working around the clock to come up with the best solutions.” Continuity of learning was a common theme throughout the press conference and Salmon said she is working closely with local superintendents to achieve those goals. “We’re working with all of the superintendents to provide continuity of learning,” she said. “The local superintendents are producing plans to ensure continuity of learning during this extended closure.” For his part, Hogan said it was too soon to predict if schools would reopen on or near the prescribed April 24 closure date. “None of us can say with any certainty in four weeks everything is going to be okay,” he said. “It’s a little aspirational. We’re not going to send kids back to school until we can ensure their safety. Over the next four weeks, we’ll reassess where we are and make the appropriate decisions at that time.” In response to a question about the possibility of extending the school year

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

or even summer school, Salmon said everything is on the table at this point. “We are going to look at everything,” she said. “We may look at an extended school year. At this point, we’re just trying to maintain continuity of learning and we’ll look at all of the possibilities. In terms of just how long the crisis will continue and when there could be some semblance of a return to normal, Hogan said it was too early to predict and hammered home the importance for Marylander to follow the directives and stay at home. “The reality is, this crisis is just beginning,” he said. “I know people are looking for certainty, but the truth is we just don’t know how bad it will get and how long it will last. What we do know is it won’t be over in a matter of days or even weeks. It’s critically important every single individual stay at home so we can break the back of this virus.”

Again, many in the community likely anticipated a shelter-in-place order to be announced on Wednesday. Neighboring Delaware went that route this week. Instead, Hogan said Marylanders at this point are not being ordered to stay in their homes, but rather encouraged to follow the directives already in place. “A lot of this is semantics,” he said. “There are a number of states that say they are sheltering in place, but they’re still leaving all of these businesses open and you can still go out and do all of these things. We did it the opposite way. We want you to shelter in place, but we’re closing all non-essential businesses. I believe ours is more effective.” Hogan said any misconception Maryland is not being as stringent as some other states was unfounded. “It came out yesterday we’re the third most aggressive state in the coun-

Page 13

try,” he said. “Instead of forcing people to stay in their homes, we’re encouraging them to stay home and avoid large groups and it’s working.” Hogan pointed to evidence collected on Tuesday by state and local law enforcement that people in Maryland are following the 10-person gathering directive and are staying home for the most part. “We’ve had tremendous cooperation,” he said. “I want to thank the people of Maryland for cooperating with these directives. While they weren’t at first, people are taking this much more seriously. We had 500 calls from state and local police about going out and making checks and I think we only had 14 incidences statewide of groups where law enforcement had to say please disburse and they immediately cooperated. We’ve had no real incidences of people ignoring these directives.”

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Wicomico Officials Extend Emergency Declaration Online Learning

Page 14

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

SALISBURY – Officials in Wicomico County this week agreed to extend an emergency declaration by two weeks. On Monday, the Wicomico County Council held a special meeting by teleconference to extend a declaration of emergency in Wicomico County until April 8. Last week, County Executive Bob Culver issued a declaration of emergency for Wicomico County amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration provides additional powers and resources to county departments to deal with the outbreak. The emergency declaration took effect on March 17, and remained in effect through March 24. The day before the declaration was

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

set to expire, however, the county council voted 6-0, with Councilman Bill McCain absent, to extend the declaration of emergency. The council’s resolution to extend the emergency declaration until May 6 was amended to April 8. “In light of what is being done at the national level and at the state level, there is usually a two-week window,” Councilman John Cannon said. “It would be more prudent on our part to amend this to April 8, so we can reevaluate it at our next meeting, which is on April 7.” The council’s resolution also outlines the county executive’s efforts to consult frequently with the emergency services director and the Wicomico County health officer and to advise the county council of the public health emergency status.

“Follow the instructions you are hearing,” Councilman Joe Holloway said. “Keep to yourself as much as you can.” As part of the declaration of emergency, all county employees – except those deemed essential – will remain on administrative leave. Other changes to county government operations have been made to protect the public and employees and to reduce the threat of further spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Wicomico County Health Department is the lead agency in this emergency and is supported by all county departments under the coordination of the Department of Emergency Services. Director of Administration Wayne Strausburg said county officials continue to hold daily conference calls regarding COVID-19 and its impacts on the community.

March 27, 2020

Efforts To Begin

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – While the coronavirus school closure has been extended through April 24, local students will be expected to take part in digital learning during the coming weeks. In the wake of the announcement that the statewide school closure would extend through April 24, Superintendent Lou Taylor briefly addressed plans for digital learning in Worcester County in a video message Wednesday evening. “We know that this news is disappointing to our students, staff and faculty who have been anxious to get back to the normalcy of everyday life, but we wholeheartedly agree that keeping our students, staff and the families of Worcester County safe and healthy must be the priority at this time,” Taylor said. Taylor said the school system would shift from the enrichment activities the students had been sent to more structured learning in the coming weeks. He said that dual enrollment and advanced placement students would begin online learning Monday, March 30, while high school students would begin their online work Wednesday, April 1. Elementary and middle school students will start Monday, April 6. High school students who left their laptops at school prior to the closure are asked to contact the school to make plans to retrieve them. “We want you to know that we also have plans to address the inequities in our county related to access to digital devices and internet connectivity. Your child’s school principal will communicate with you soon about this,” Taylor said. Students will be using the online learning management system Schoology. On Thursday, teachers were already checking in with parents to make sure they were able to access the program and login. Taylor said the feeding sites set up by Worcester County Public Schools would continue to operate during the next four weeks. Students will also have remote access to their school counselors. “In the meantime, please know that even though our school buildings remain closed at this time each and every one of you are in our hearts and minds…,” Taylor said. “We are truly a family here in Worcester County. This crisis has only made our connections more meaningful. So as we move forward today know that we are thankful for your patience and understanding as we all embark on this journey of digital learning together. Take care of yourself and take care of each other. We so look forward to seeing you in late April.”


Earlier Effective Date Eyed For Remote Settlement Bill

March 27, 2020

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

BERLIN – As businesses across the state close or modify operations in the midst of a pandemic, an effort to allow remote transactions and settlements could keep the real estate industry afloat. Last year, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 678, which allows for Remote Online Notorization (RON). The electronic notary service permits a notary and signer, who are in different physical locations, to safely and securely execute electronic documents using two-way communication. For the real estate industry, the use of RON could make it easier to complete transactions and conduct closings during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Maryland, however, the use of electronic notarizations does not go into effect until October. “Maryland introduced a bill last year that would allow for remote notary, but it doesn’t go into effect until Oct. 1 of this year,” said Joe Wilson, president

Wicomico Approves Youth Commission

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

SALISBURY – Officials in Wicomico County agreed to establish a commission on local youth. Last week, the Wicomico County Council voted unanimously to establish a Wicomico County Youth Advisory Commission and to adopt bylaws for the organization. In November, the council held a work session on the proposed commission and sent a letter to the county executive with the legislative body’s favorable recommendation. “The county executive has now submitted his endorsement,” Council Administrator Laura Hurley told the council, “and before you is the resolution to approve the bylaws and establish that commission.” The commission’s purpose will be to advise the Wicomico County government by providing feedback and recommendations regarding public policies and programs that affect the future of youth in Wicomico County. The commission will consist of members appointed by the county executive and confirmed by the county council. The commission also has the option to report annually to both the executive and legislative branches. The council voted 6-0, with Councilman Bill McCain absent, to establish the Wicomico County Youth Advisory Commission and approve the commission’s bylaws with several amendments.

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Date Change Would Help Buyers, Sellers

of the Coastal Association of Realtors. “We are trying to get the effective date moved up so that we can start doing it immediately with the coronavirus issue going on.” Sarah Rayne, government and public affairs director for the Coastal Association of Realtors, said the statewide association, Maryland Realtors, is currently reaching out to state elected officials to expedite that timeline. And earlier this week, Maryland Realtor Sherman Hardy started an online petition to highlight the immediate need for electronic signatures and remote closings. As of Thursday morning, the petition had garnered nearly 18,500 signatures. “The coronavirus impact has been far and wide reaching, the real estate industry while being a pivotal part of the economic industry it is often not at the forefront …,” Hardy wrote. “While we are understanding the gravity of the situation we cannot halt this industry.” Wilson said documents are typically signed in person when closing on a real estate transaction. He noted, how-

ever, that the COVID-19 pandemic could threaten how transactions are done, if they are even done at all. “For the most part people are moving forward,” he said. “But in some instances, where people are facing those economic challenges, we have seen some transactions fall apart. Another example is we do have a buyer who’s scheduled to close, and she has coronavirus. So in that instance an electronic notary would be helpful.” Last week, the National Association of Realtors issued a letter to Congress seeking support for coronavirus response legislation that would pave the way for remote notarizations nationwide. President Vince Malta said the bipartisan bill – Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 (SECURE Notarization Act) – would provide immediate relief to homeowners and prospective buyers. “While interest rates are at historic lows and demand exists in the purchase market, disruptions are near at hand due to the effects of COVID-19 on our communities and the economy,”

Page 15

he wrote. “Historically about 37% of home sales occur during the months from March to June, averaging over 1.8 million during that time. Congress needs to make all efforts to keep systems up and operational to prevent these transactions from being cancelled or interrupted.” Wilson said RON allows citizens to complete real estate and loan transactions without gathering around a table. In turn, he said the real estate industry could continue to move forward. “It’s a shame that we are a little behind the eight ball on this pandemic,” he said. Wilson said it was still unclear how the pandemic would impact the local real estate market. Currently, all real estate brokerage offices are closed to the public. However, Governor Hogan’s executive order does not prohibit making appointments, meeting with a client or continuing to work on pending transactions, so long as they comply with group size, hygiene and social distancing practices. “We are just trying to navigate this as best as we can,” he said. “This is new for everyone, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in.” Officials said the Coastal Association of Realtors would release a report on how COVID-19 is impacting the local market next week.


Man Faces First-Degree Assault Charge For Choking

Page 16

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – A Salisbury man was arrested on first-degree assault charges last week after allegedly choking his girlfriend during a domestic altercation at an uptown resort hotel. Around 10 p.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a hotel at 91st Street for a reported 911 call hang-up. While the officers were responding, Ocean City Communications advised a female had called 911 and was yelling she needed police before the hang-up, according to police reports. Upon arrival, OCPD officers met with a hotel security staffer who reportedly told police he had observed a male individual later identified as Darrin Wyatt, 52, of Salisbury, throwing a female down on the ground. The witness told police the victim was able to get away from Wyatt and he briefly left the area, but came back a short time later looking for his phone. OCPD officers interviewed the victim, who reportedly told police Wyatt had gotten mad because she had sent a text message to her ex-husband. The victim told police Wyatt threw her to the ground outside their hotel room and began choking her. The victim told police she could not breathe for at least a full 10 seconds while Wyatt had his hands around her throat. Another OCPD officer interviewed Wyatt, who acknowledged he had seen a text message the victim had sent to her ex-husband and that a verbal argument had ensued, but denied choking the victim. Instead, Wyatt reportedly told police the victim was the first to escalate the argument to a physical altercation when she allegedly punched him several times. Wyatt told police he gathered his things and left, but returned when he realized he had left his cellphone behind. OCPD officers also interviewed

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March 27, 2020

a witness, who had been at the hotel pool with his children when the incident unfolded. The witness reportedly told police he was at the pool with his children while his wife, who was resting in a room near where the incident occurred, called him hysterically telling him there was an altercation going on in an adjacent room and telling him not to bring the children back up because it was going on, according to police reports. The witness told police he was afraid for his wife’s safety and went up to the fourth-floor room where he observed Wyatt allegedly attempting to kick in the door of the victim’s hotel room. When the witness approached, Wyatt reportedly said to him, “You want some of this too?” and took a swing at the witness, but

missed him, according to police reports. OCPD officers interviewed the witness’s wife, who was in an adjacent room and heard the altercation unfolding. The female witness told police she was terrified because her children were supposed to come back from the pool at any moment and she did not want them to witness the altercation. The female witness said her husband returned almost immediately thereafter and when she looked out of her hotel room door, she observed Wyatt attempting to kick in the door of the adjacent room. The female witness said her husband blocked the way while she exited her hotel room and ran back to the pool to retrieve the children. The female witness said she heard Wyatt yelling at her husband and when she

turned around, she saw Wyatt pushing her husband against the wall in the hallway. After taking testimony from the victim, the hotel security staff, the male witness and his wife, all of which corroborated the same essential facts in the case, OCPD officers arrested Wyatt and charged him with first- and second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and malicious destruction of property.

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

Motel-Restaurant Association (OCHMRA) on Thursday outline the parameters for carryout beer, liquor and wine sales in the county. For example, Class A, Class B and Class D licensed establishments may make sales of alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption only. That essentially means packaged goods sealed and sold or delivered for consumption off-premise. Under the same guidelines, licenses approved for only beer and wine may not sell liquor. In addition, establishments holding Class C beer and wine, or Class C beer, wine and liquor licenses are prohibited from providing any carryout or delivery service. Under the guidelines, eligible licensees can only offer alcoholic beverages that are manufactured and distributed by wholesalers in sealed containers for carryout or delivery. Distilleries, breweries or wineries may provide carryout or delivery services for alcoholic beverages that are produced by the licensee and are in sealed containers. According to the BLC guidelines, licensees are strictly prohibited from pro-

viding alcoholic beverages in cups or other open containers for off-premise consumption. In terms of the delivery of alcoholic beverages, sales to minors are strictly prohibited. A delivery customer form must be filled out and signed by the customer for each delivery transaction including pertinent information including date of birth and driver’s license information. The BLC has said the relaxing of some of the rules for carryout and delivery alcohol sales is a temporary privilege to help businesses through the pandemic crisis. It will remain in effect until the termination of the governor’s state of emergency declaration. In other good news for many restaurants and bars whose licenses are set to expire at the end of March, the governor’s executive order also states “all licenses, permits, registrations, and other authorizations issued by the state, its agencies or any political subdivision that would expire during the current state of emergency will be extended until at least the 30th day after the state of emergency is lifted.”

Expanding Our Reach. Broadening Our Commitment.

Governor Allows Carryout, Delivery Alcohol

MANAGING EDITOR

BERLIN – With many restaurants and bars in the area hoping to augment carryout food sales with the carryout sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages, the rules have been relaxed somewhat although many restrictions remain in place. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on March 19 issued an executive order allowing certain restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, distilleries and other entities holding a state or local license to manufacture or sell alcoholic beverages to offer beer, wine or liquor for carryout or delivery during the length of the declared state of emergency. The news is good for many licensees hoping to augment food carryout and delivery sales with the carryout or delivery of beer, wine and liquor, but the caveat is the same restrictions attached to a business’s license apply. Guidelines from the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners (BLC) shared by the Ocean City Hotel-

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Ocean City To Hold Budget Sessions In Virtual Format

March 27, 2020

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – Next week marks the time resort officials head into crucial budget deliberations for the coming fiscal year and that won’t change despite the ongoing crisis, but the process certainly won’t be typical. In a normal year, the process begins with a balanced budget and a recommended tax rate presented by City Manager Doug Miller and Budget Manager Jennie Knapp. After that introduction, each department makes a lengthy pitch including power point presentations outlining all they have accomplished in the current fiscal year and what they are seeking in the pending budget. Finally, a budget wrap-up is held and final adjustments are made before a final budget is drafted and ultimately voted upon. That process will begin as planned next week, but it won’t look like a typical year. There will still be public access to the budget process, but the sessions won’t be held in person at City Hall. Instead, Miller and Knapp will be based in a conference room in City Hall while the Mayor and Council will tune in remotely from home or their respective offices, for example.

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The public will be invited and encouraged to participate in the process as usual, but will also have to do so remotely. On Thursday, resort officials worked out a plan to conduct budget sessions remotely and more details on how the public can tune in will be provided when they become available. Meanwhile, Miller said on Thursday a proposed fiscal year 2021 budget has been completed and will be presented to the Mayor and Council and the public on Tuesday, albeit in a virtual format. Miller said Knapp has been working diligently on a proposed balanced budget even before the pandemic situation arose in recent weeks. “Even before this virus situation, we were working on a condensed timeframe for the budget process because many of our members attend the National Hurricane Conference during this same time period,” he said. “Jennie has been working on holidays and weekends and staying late at night to prepare the budget. We are ready to present a balanced budget at the constant yield tax rate.” Of course, that proposed budget was largely prepared before the coronavirus outbreak and all of the uncertainty that comes with it. Miller said he and Knapp also have a Plan B of sorts that attempts to take into account the ramifications of a prolonged pandemic

situation. “We have a pre-COVID-19 budget we’re ready to present,” he said. “We’re also going to present a balanced budget with contingencies if this situation lingers and changes are needed. It might come down to some things being delayed or not done.” While the current situation is unlike any ever seen, there is at least some framework available for budget contingencies. Miller said Knapp has reviewed how the town handled a severe economic downturn during the last major recession. “Jennie has done an analysis of some of the situations the town faced during the recession in 2008,” he said. “She has come up with an alternative plan for this current situation using some of that analysis.” The post-virus situation could unfold one of two ways for resort towns such as Ocean City. Visitors could be so tired and frustrated by prolonged self-distancing and staying at home that they come to the resort in droves when the crisis is over, or they are so financially devastated by the crisis that vacations are down low on the priority list. Miller said town officials are hoping for the former but planning for the latter. “If we’re back completely in business by Memorial Day and go into

Page 17

June strong, there is still a lot of uncertainty,” he said. “The financial impact of this is still unknown. A lot of people are taking a huge financial hit from this and taking a vacation in Ocean City this summer might not be in the cards for them.” It’s important to note the fiscal year ends on June 30 and the new fiscal year begins on July 1, so much of the economic losses associated with the current crisis will be felt in the last three months of this fiscal year. Miller said a plan is in place to handle that eventuality, but warned a prolonged crisis that lingers deep into summer could be tough to overcome. “If we’re back to normal by Memorial Day and have a strong June, we’ll be okay,” he said. “If we go beyond that, there will definitely be some challenges. Room tax is a significant part of the town’s revenue and most of that is collected in June, July and August.” Meanwhile, the Mayor and Council have not met formally in a public forum in about two weeks, but the regular sessions and work sessions will soon resume, albeit likely in a virtual setting for the time being. “We have to continue going about the town’s business and the daily operations,” he said. “We can’t go neutral. We’re going to continue to have meetings although it might be in this virtual mode for a while.”


School Using Technology To Continue Academic Learning

Page 18

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

March 27, 2020

Fourth grader Jack Lynch is pictured in a digital classroom with his teacher Laura Holmes and classmates.

AP English teacher Liz Nally communicates with her students through Zoom on Monday, the first day of digital learning for students at Worcester Prep. Submitted Photos BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

BERLIN – Despite the ongoing health crisis, learning has not been interrupted at Worcester Preparatory School. Though classes were out of session for spring break last week, Worcester Prep students on Monday went right back to their studies — albeit from their homes. The school is using a variety of online programs to connect students and teachers while schools are shuttered due to coronavirus. “Our campus is closed but school is still in session,” said Acting Head of School Mike Grosso. When Grosso heard talk of possible school closures in early March, he quickly advised teachers to start planning for alternative learning. “Being a private school, we wanted to make sure we continue our education as best we can,” he said. School administration spent spring

break preparing for virtual learning. Administrators provided guidelines and faculty members worked with Worcester Prep’s tech department to set up Zoom (a video conferencing program) and create online lessons to mirror what would be taking place inside the school. “Teachers were working around the clock to get set up,” said Diane Brown, the school’s marketing and public relations associate. Teachers launched their virtual learning initiatives Monday. “We knew it wasn’t going to be perfect but at the same time we wanted to continue to educate our kids,” Grosso said. Worcester Prep’s middle and upper school students were already using an online learning management system so there was little adjustment for them. Younger students have been completing online work sheets and watching recorded lectures, while older students, who all have their own iPads, are able

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to use a variety of programs to keep in touch with their teachers. In many cases, assignments were given to the students by 9 a.m. with expectations of being turned back in completed to the teachers by the end of the day. Grosso said educators were giving online assessments and even offering online advisory sessions for the older students. “We understand our delivery may need to be adjusted but we’ve had a successful start,” he said.

Grosso said he was proud of Worcester Prep’s students and parents for their support of the new learning initiatives and appreciative of the faculty for their efforts. A schoolwide survey of the families was planned at the end of the week to gather feedback on what was working well and where improvements may or may not be needed. As of now, Worcester Prep will be closed through April 24 like the public schools.

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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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Administrator Moving From Wicomico To Worcester Government

Page 20

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

government experience to Worcester County. In 2007, he began his first public sector job with the City of Salisbury. And from 2011 to 2014, he served as a senior civil engineer and stormwater project manager for the City of Hampton, Va. In 2015, Young assumed the position of public works director for Wicomico County after a brief stint as the county’s deputy public works director. During his tenure with the public works department, he managed the $8 million Morris Mill water tank and distribution line project. Officials also recognized Young for developing solutions to the dredging of the Wicomico River and producing significant improvements to the financial sustainability of Wicomico’s solid waste division. “I have a really strong infrastructure background,” he said. “I understand the

Though technically litter, this sticker stopped a local photographer in his tracks on the Boardwalk during the rain Wednesday. Photo by Chris Parypa

“I made my decision prior to Wayne announcing his retirement and prior to Bob being diagnosed with liver cancer,” he said. “Since I’ve submitted my application, a lot of stuff has gone down.” While he acknowledged his strong working relationship with the administration, department directors and elected leaders in WicWESTON YOUNG omico County, Young said he is eager for the next chapter in his career. “I see it as everything will work out in the end …,” he said. “I appreciate the experience and the efforts given to me. by the executive and Wayne.” In his position as Worcester’s assistant chief administrative officer, Young will serve as a general assistant to the chief administrative officer in areas of county administration and management – including the assignment of independent and broadly defined missions and special projects – and acts on behalf of the chief administrative officer in his absence. “The team at Worcester is great,” he said, “and I look forward to being a part of it.” In 2005, Young earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland and later obtained the professional engineering certification. He will take over for Shannahan, who will retire later this year after 30 years of service to the county. Prior to his work in the public sector, Young held a job at his father’s engineering and surveying company. Young, who was raised in Pocomoke, said he is excited to work for his native county. “I’m grateful for the opportunity and eager to apply my local government experience in this role,” Young said. “I look forward to working for the commissioners of my home county.”

equipment. By Monday, she was leading the charge at the detention center to make masks for corrections employees and those at Peninsula Regional Medical Center and other local facilities. “I actually got my sewing machines from home and the materials and stuff that I needed and made a couple of prototypes and took them into work,” she said. Johnson said she was eager to put her sewing skills to use. While she often handles small sewing tasks at the jail, Johnson said this would be the first time the detention center has worked with inmates on a large-scale sewing project. “We set up shop yesterday in the library, me and four of the inmates,” she said. “We sat down and went through what worked and what didn’t work, and we came up with a final prototype.”

In Worcester County, the Red Doors Community Center has partnered with the detention center to sew masks as well. “Being part of the community means helping out where we can,” Director Joy Connor said. “That’s what we do.” Connor, who has a background in costume design, said she was excited to partner on the project. She said the nonprofit would also reach out to its independent contractors and church groups for help. “If we can get enough supplies, it can be an activity for those that are self-quarantined and are vulnerable, but still want to feel like they are doing their part and helping out,” she said. “I think it can work for good both ways … not just supplying masks but making people feel useful and like they are a part of something.”

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

SALISBURY – A member of Wicomico County’s administration has resigned from his position to assume a similar role in Worcester County. Last week, Assistant Director of Administration Weston Young announced his resignation from Wicomico County government, effective April 3. On April 30, he will step into his new role as Worcester County’s assistant chief administrative officer, taking over the position held by Kelly Shannahan, who will retire Aug. 21. “I’ll have four months to work alongside Kelly,” Young said. “It’s ideal to learn from the person you are replacing, so there was some foresight on Worcester’s part.” Young brings nearly 13 years of local

importance that it has on economic development and quality of life.” Since 2017, Young has served under Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver as the assistant director of administration. In his position, he has helped manage county operations, supervise department heads and oversee the county budget. “During my time in that role, I’ve been involved with a little bit of everything,” he said. Young’s resignation will be the second departure within Wicomico County’s executive branch in recent weeks. Earlier this month, for example, Director of Administration Wayne Strausburg announced his plans to retire at the end of March. But Young said it was not his intention to leave the administration during a time of disarray.

March 27, 2020

Wicomico Inmates Creating Masks To Help Health Care Workers Boardwalk Art:

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

SALISBURY – Efforts to sew face masks for health care workers began this week in both Wicomico and Worcester counties. As hospitals and care facilities across the nation contend with shortages of protective gear amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Master Corrections Officer Joann Johnson is spearheading an effort at the Wicomico County Department of Corrections to make reusable face masks for local health care workers. “It’s important to everybody because lives are at stake,” she said. “Everybody that can give a helping hand should give a helping hand.” On Sunday, Johnson learned through social media that doctors and nurses were in need of personal protective

Johnson said she and the inmates would start making the masks on Friday. The masks will use 100% cotton material and MERV-13 filters combined with carbon sheeting to mirror the efficiency of N95 respirators. “We are going to actually have two protections inside the masks,” she said. “They can take the insert out, wash the masks themselves, and insert another filter.” Johnson noted masks would be delivered once they are finished. She said she hopes the project will benefit both community members and inmates, who can use their newfound sewing skills upon their release. “I’ve been blessed to have the talent to sew,” she said, “so it’s my way of giving back to the community as well as helping the jail, the hospital, and hopefully the inmates.”


No Electric Code Changes Planned

March 27, 2020

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Commissioners will not pursue changes to the county’s electrical standards despite a homeowner’s request. The commissioners last week opted not to move forward with changes proposed by Worcester County resident Kyle Pilchard. Pilchard wanted the county to bring back the homeowner’s electrical permits that were eliminated in 2017. “I understand what Mr. Pilchard was saying unfortunately we have people that become owners of houses and then flip them and in that case they’re selling that house that may or may not have had the proper electrical installation done,” Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said. In 2017, county officials eliminated homeowner’s electrical permits in an effort to ensure that electrical work was being done by qualified contractors. Pilchard, who became aware of the change when he himself tried to get a permit for what he deemed minor electrical work, asked the commissioners to consider changes that would allow homeowners to perform electrical work on their own homes. He said that the last year that the county allowed homeowner permits, they only accounted for 6% of the permits pulled. “For 6% we’re going to throw the baby out with the bathwater,” he said. “You’ve got all these Worcester County residents who are capable of doing ‘minor work’ now not being able to do it because of a few bad apples.” Kenneth Lambertson, chair of the Worcester County Board of Electrical Examiners, asked the commissioners not to make any changes to the code. He said that the board requested the elimination of homeowner permits in 2017 because there were issues with people getting permits that didn’t have the necessary knowledge or skill to perform the electrical work. He added that in order to be a general electrician a person had to work under another electrician for four years. He said master electricians had seven years of experience and adhered to continuing education requirements. “We don’t feel like a layman can really keep up with all the necessary changes and everything with the code,” he said. Commissioner Josh Nordstrom said Pilchard had made some good points but that he was satisfied with the opinion of the electrical board. Commissioner Ted Elder said that while there were “certain plusses” to Pilchard’s proposal, he was not going to support making any changes at this time. Mitrecic agreed. As a builder, he said he’d seen homes where individuals had done their own wiring and found it “very, very concerning,” particularly since electrical fires could destroy homes and lives. He said he didn’t want to see the standards changed.

County Disconnects New Park Lights For Now The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – County leaders agreed to turn off the lights at Newtown Park in Pocomoke to ensure public safety. The Worcester County Commissioners agreed to disconnect the lights around the baseball fields at Newtown Park last week. They’ll remain disconnected until wiring issues are addressed. “I don’t think any of us really want to do this, however we’re in the middle of a situation that’s out of our control so we need to do something to bring it back in,” Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said. Though the item wasn’t on the agenda, the commissioners brought up the Newtown Park lighting issue

with Tom Perlozzo, the county’s director of recreation, parks, tourism and economic development, at last week’s meeting. Commissioner Chip Bertino initially raised concerns regarding improper installation of the lights in January. He said he received an anonymous complaint regarding the wiring, which he was advised wasn’t in the ground deep enough. When Bertino asked if disconnecting the lights was the best course of action at this point, Perlozzo said it was. Commissioner Josh Nordstrom, who represents the southern part of the county, said turning off the lights would protect public safety. “This is a very concerning issue because of course we want everyone to be safe when they go out to see Little

Page 21

League and play the games,” he said. “It’s not so much of an issue at the moment and may not be for a little while, but I understand that the county is liable, as we all do, if something were to happen because it’s county property.” He said that if the installation wasn’t done properly the contractor responsible should redo the work. He said his decision to support disconnecting the lights had been a difficult one. “Unfortunately, I don’t see any other choice,” he said. “I hate to do it but I think we do have to go down this road and follow proper procedures to make sure the county isn’t liable.” The commissioners voted unanimously to disconnect the lights until the wiring situation has been corrected.

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Cops & Courts

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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Trespassing, Assault Arrest At OC Ministry

OCEAN CITY – A Berlin man was arrested last week after allegedly refusing to wash his hands or use hand sanitizer while receiving services from a downtown Ocean City ministry before causing a scene. Around 10 a.m. last Tuesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to the Shepherd’s Crook Ministry at the St. Paul’s by the Sea Church on 3rd Street for a reported trespassing incident. The officer met with the church’s minister who advised because of the coronavirus outbreak, the ministry was asking anyone seeking services to wash their hands or use sanitizer prior to receiving services. The minister said one individual, later identified as Paul Fields, 83, of Berlin, refused to comply with the request and refused to leave the building when asked to do so, according to police reports. OCPD officers reportedly asked Fields no less than three times to leave the building and each time he reportedly said, “Take me to jail, arrest me and I’m not leaving,” according to police reports. OCPD officers at that point advised Fields he was under arrest for trespassing and told him to put his hands behind his back. Two officers reportedly took hold of Fields’ arms and attempted to place them behind his back so they could handcuff him, but he allegedly pulled his arms away and began to turn away from the officers so they could not handcuff him. At one point, Fields began kicking one of the officers in the shin with his right leg, according to police reports. After Fields allegedly kicked a female officer in the shin, other people in the building began shouting at Fields to stop kicking the officer, but he kicked her at least two more times, according to police reports. Fields was ultimately subdued and was charged with tres-

March 27, 2020

passing, resisting arrest and second-degree assault.

Tinder Connection Gone Wrong OCEAN CITY – A Snow Hill man was charged with assault earlier this month after allegedly following a female victim he had met on an online dating platform from a resort nightclub to her hotel room. Around 4:40 a.m. on March 9, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a hotel at 25th Street for a reported sexual offense. The officer responded to a room on the fourth floor and met with the alleged victim. The victim told police she had been at a midtown nightclub for a night out where she ran into a male individual she had met previously on the dating app Tinder. The victim told police she had communicated with the suspect, later identified as Kenneth Wharton, 28, of Snow Hill, through social media, but had never met him face to face. OCPD officers were reportedly able to identify Wharton through other social media such as Facebook and Snapchat and his profile pictures, date of birth, address and other information allegedly matched the description provided by the victim along with his Tinder profile provided by the victim. The victim told police she had a brief interaction with the Wharton at the nightclub, but reportedly told him she was not interested. Another couple at the club reportedly told Wharton the victim was not interested. The victim told police she took a ride-share service back to her hotel and Wharton was allegedly already waiting for her in the parking lot. The victim said she briefly argued with Wharton, but agreed to allow him to use the restroom in her hotel room but that he had to leave immediately SEE NEXT PAGE


... Cops & Courts

March 27, 2020

thereafter. According to police reports, Wharton used the bathroom and was then told to leave, but he allegedly pushed the victim onto a couch and uninvitedly began to kiss her on the neck and lips and touched her thighs beneath her dress. According to police reports, the victim clawed at Wharton to get him off her and scratched his face in the process. Wharton did leave the hotel room and the victim followed him out the door, but the door closed behind her locking her out without a key. The victim went to the front desk and met with a staffer who reportedly told police she was visibly shaken and had blood on her hands, presumably from scratching Wharton. The hotel night shift staffer called police and tended to the victim until the officer arrived. A later review of the hotel’s video surveillance footage revealed the comings and goings of Wharton and the victim and corroborated the timeline of the victim’s story. Based on the testimony and the video surveillance evidence, Wharton was charged with second-degree assault.

Guilty Verdict Stolen Skateboard Assault OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man, who was arrested on assault and other charges in August after a reported dispute over an alleged stolen skateboard at a downtown residence, was found guilty last week and awaits his fate pending a pre-sentence investigation. On August 4, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a residence on Wicomico Street for a reported assault that had just occurred. The officer met with the alleged victim, who told police he had an argument with the suspect identified as Killian McDonald, 25, of Ocean City, because McDonald had accused the victim of taking his skateboard. The victim told police McDonald was extremely agitated and got in his face while yelling at him about the allegedly stolen skateboard. Because of McDonald’s alleged level of agitation and close proximity, the victim told police he shoved McDonald with his shoulder to gain some separation. At that point, McDonald allegedly grabbed the victim by the top of his head and began striking him repeatedly in the face with a closed fist. According to police reports, McDonald punched the victim at least 10 times on the right side of his face before stopping and asking, “Are you done?” according to police reports. When the victim did not respond, McDonald allegedly began hitting the victim again until the victim finally replied, “I’m done,” according to police reports. According to police reports, the victim’s face and mouth were covered with blood and he had a roughly one-inch cut on the right side of his nose that was actively bleeding. The victim also had cuts around his mouth and his face was swollen in the area around his nose. The victim told police sometime dur-

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch ing the altercation a jade bracelet he was wearing was destroyed. The victim told police the jade bracelet was purchased in Guatemala, and while it was only purchased for $20, it had great sentimental value for him and he was distraught in seeking it broken into pieces on the floor, according to police reports. McDonald was ultimately arrested and charged with second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property. Last week, McDonald was found guilty of second-degree assault by a Worcester County jury and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered.

‘Cat And Mouse’ Probation OCEAN CITY – A Selbyville man, arrested in February after leading resort police on a “cat and mouse” high-speed chase on a dirt bike around north Ocean City, pleaded guilty to attempting to elude police and was placed on probation. Around 12:15 p.m. on Feb. 10, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD)

officer patrolling in the north-end observed a red dirt bike-style motorcycle operated by Simon Dentremont, 19, of Selbyville, heading south on Coastal Highway around 130th Street. The officer observed Dentremont was not wearing a helmet, nor did the motorcycle have a headlight, side mirrors, brake lights or turn signals, according to police reports. Dentremont made a U-turn at 120th Street and headed north on Coastal Highway as the officer followed with his vehicle’s emergency lights and siren activated. According to police reports, Dentremont looked back at the officer and increased his speed, He reportedly drove through the left turn lane at 130th Street to avoid vehicles stopped at the red traffic signal and proceeded through the red light. According to police reports, Dentremont traveled east on 146th Street, driving up on the grassy center median in order to pass the officer. He then drove on the sidewalk along 146th

Page 23 Street at Lighthouse Avenue. Dentremont then drove back on Coastal Highway southbound and a concerned citizen advised officers the motorcycle had stopped at a restaurant parking lot at 136th Street. The officer located Dentremont at the parking lot attempting to hide between a dumpster and a bush, according to police reports. When the officer approached the suspect, Dentremont fled and led police on a brief foot chase before being apprehended. Dentremont reportedly told police he was “just having fun,” and agreed he was playing a “cat and mouse game,” with police. According to police reports, Dentremont told the officer he planned to drive the motorcycle on the beach if he had to during the pursuit. The game only ended when the motorcycle experienced engine trouble and stopped in the restaurant parking lot. All in all, Dentremont was charged with 28 counts. Last week, he pleaded guilty to attempting to elude police by failing to stop and was placed on probation for one year.


Page 24

Students

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

March 27, 2020

In The News

Jackie Knowlton’s second graders from Worcester Preparatory School recently presented Atlantic General Hospital with a check from the annual bread sale proceeds in the amount of $386.68. This year class partnered with the Bad Monkey West to make and bake the bread. Pictured, first row from left, are Estelle Damouni, Lilly White, Lea Jaoude, Keller Hoch, Isabella Rice, CJ Labin and Sadie Kremer; middle, Liam Doran, Elena Kappes, Sarah Brasure, Jackie Knowlton, Taj Sands, Jack Hornung and Clara Collins-Ellingsworth; and, back, AGH Vice President Public Relations Toni Keiser, AGH President/CEO Michael A. Franklin, Bad Monkey West Partners Kevin Myers and Sasha Motsko and Head of Lower School Dr. Sara Timmons. The winners of the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club’s Essay Contest were recently announced. Pictured, from left, are Club President Bill Hickey; first place winner Jessica Beck, a student from Stephen Decatur High School who $50 (also pictured with parents); third place winner Henna Parmar from Worcester Prep who won $200 (pictured with parents); Erin Hurley, second place winner from Stephen Decatur High School who won $300 and is shown with her mom; and Fran Pilarski, who coordinated the contest. Submitted Photos

Worcester Prep second graders Lea Jaoude, Estelle Damouni and Lilly White prepare to make and bake bread in the kitchen of Bad Monkey West.

Adelaide Dawkins, a sixth-grade student in Mrs. Walsh's class at Berlin Intermediate School, was awarded first place for grade six poetry in the Young Authors Contest for the Eastern Shore Literacy Association.

Worcester Prep first graders Samuel Baker and Colt Duffie cannot wait to bite into their delicious bread during the sale at school earlier this month.

Volunteer representatives from the Worcester County Humane Society came to Berlin Intermediate to talk to the sixth-grade teams about how the funds and items donated through service learning are used and how students can make the most impact within the organization. Ms. Yingling walked one of the cats around for students to touch.

Second graders at WPS chose to donate half of their bread sale proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to help find a cure for their WPS classmate, Keller Hoch, who suffers from the genetic disease.

Worcester Prep second grader CJ Labin and his mom, Wendy Caba-Labin, prepare to sell bread to students.


Community

March 27, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 25

News In Photos

Ocean City Paramedics Foundation, Inc., recognized recent scholarship winners at its annual appreciation dinner at Seacrets. The scholarship, named in honor of Dr. Robert T. Adkins, has awarded more than $46,000 since its inception in 2017. Scholarships are awarded to those wishing to pursue certification as an EMT or those individuals currently working in the field of emergency medical services within the Ocean City Fire Department and would like to advance their current certification and pursue a degree. Interested parties should visit www.ocpf.org. Foundation Board members Nancy Howard, Hal Adkins and Buck Mann, far right, are pictured with paramedics Tyler Fritz, Mike Hill, Mike Copeland, Eric Olson and Jason Williams. Submitted Photos

Jerry and Carol Apicella of the Freestate Corvette Club presented a check for $1,144 to Worcester County GOLD (Giving Other Lives Dignity). GOLD provides emergency financial aid and items to meet basic needs for Worcester County residents during critical times of need.

The Kiwanis Club of Greater Ocean Pines-Ocean City supports the Student Leadership Program (SLP) clubs in the local schools to teach children and young adults how to be leaders. Pictured are SLP advisors Skip McComas for Berlin Intermediate School Builders Club, Wilma and Ralph Chinn for Buckingham Elementary K-Kids, Candy Foreman for Showell K-Kids and Roy Foreman for Stephen Decatur High School Key Club. Not present were Jackie Todd for Stephen Decatur Middle School and Steve Cohen for the Aktion Club at Worcester County Developmental Center.

Ocean City Lions Club donated $500 to the Blood Bank of Delmarva. Pictured, from left, are Bryan Shepherd, accounts manager; John Topfer, OC Lions president; Marie Forestal, director of Donor Recruitment; and Richard Thomas, executive director.

Ocean City Lions Club Vice President Mike Hooper, left, presents a $1,000 check to Brandon O'Brien, executive director of the Hope4Recovery house, which provides a safe and sober home for men in recovery.

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Wicomico Civic Center Facing ‘Revenue Challenges’

Page 26

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

SALISBURY – A shortfall in the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center budget highlighted a meeting with county officials last week. In an open work session last week, representatives with Wicomico County Recreation, Parks and Tourism met with the Wicomico County Council to discuss the fiscal year 2020 budget for the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. “I’m here this morning to talk about some revenue challenges that we’re facing at the civic center this year and how we anticipate a shortfall in this year’s budget with respect to revenue,” Recreation, Parks and Tourism Director Steve Miller said. Each year, the civic center – which operates under the umbrella of the coun ty’s recreation, parks and tourism department – receives appropriations from the county to fund salaries, benefits and other expenses and to balance the budget. As a special government fund, the facility also relies heavily on event revenue to make the overall budget work.

But Miller told officials last week that net revenue targets have been increasingly difficult to achieve. And each year, a larger percentage of county appropriations is used to cover employment benefits. To make matters worse, he said, the civic center will take a financial hit this spring as several events at the facility are canceled or postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “When you combine those three things – when you have a structural deficit, a difficult year in entertainment and a national crisis on our hands – we’re going to end up with a shortfall,” he said. “That’s why we are here today.” Miller told officials county appropriations to the civic center had increased 88% since 2006. He noted, however, that a 60% growth in salaries and a 181% growth in benefits greatly impacted how those appropriations are used. In 2006, for example, 47% of county appropriations funded employment benefits at the civic center. In 2020, 71% of county appropriations funded employment benefits.

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“In 2020, 71 percent of county appropriations is now dedicated to benefits while a much smaller piece of the pie is dedicated to covering everything else,” he said. “We are very reliant on our ability to generate revenue because there are very little appropriations to cover our costs.” Miller noted, however, that generating enough revenue to meet the civic center’s $1.2 million net revenue target remained a challenge. Over the last 11 years, net revenues have ranged anywhere from $850,000 to roughly $1 million. “We have a structural issue in the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center budget and it’s tied to revenue, particularly revenue that’s tied to events,” he said. “The math just doesn’t work, and it needs to be addressed in some way.” In fiscal year 2020, Miller said he anticipates a significant shortfall in net revenue, which he attributed to less-profitable shows and postponements or cancellations. To improve the financial situation, he said, officials have cut down on travelrelated expenses, delayed projects and

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left positions unfilled at the civic center. But Miller explained that department staff did not foresee the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re a public event facility and right now we don’t have the ability to run public events,” he said. “Three weeks ago, we thought the gap would be around $300,000 in the worst case scenario, and we felt like we could close that gap with the events we had scheduled. At this point I even hesitate to throw out a number because we simply don’t know how long events are going to postpone or cancel, and we don’t know what that impact will be.” Officials agreed last week to reevaluate the civic center budget ahead of the coming fiscal year. Director of Administration Wayne Strausburg said the review also warranted a larger discussion on the entertainment industry. “The entertainment industry has fundamentally changed, and I think we have to take a hard look at the civic center model …,” he said. “We want to keep that operating loss as minimal as we can for our taxpayers while maintaining that quality of life asset.” ROOFING

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Horoscopes

March 27, 2020

ARIES (March 21 to April 19): An unexpected problem should be handled as quickly as possible so that it doesn't cause too much of a delay. Someone who knows what you're facing could provide needed advice. TAURUS (April 20 to May 20): An unsettling situation seems to be taking forever to be resolved. Fortunately, your Bovine aptitude for patience is strong this week, so you'll be more than able to wait it out. GEMINI (May 21 to June 20): Taking a stand against an uncalled-for situation involving a friend or co-worker isn't easy, but somehow you'll rise to the challenge and do it. Rely on advice from someone you trust. CANCER (June 21 to July 22): There are still some questions on all sides that need to be dealt with in order to allow hurt feelings to heal. Get your workplace tasks done early so that you can devote more time to loved ones. LEO (July 23 to Aug. 22): Con-

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch sider a new spring makeover that will show all you Leos and Leonas in your best light. A new hairdo and some fashionable new clothes can help put a fresh glow on your image. VIRGO (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22): Some stormy, emotional weather can blow up in the workplace when an irate co-worker has strong words for you. But if you believe right is on your side, you'll be able to ride it out. LIBRA (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22): Creating more balance in your life is especially important now so that you're not distracted when you get into projects that will make demands on both your physical and mental energies. SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21): As

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much as you enjoy being right when others are not, show your generous side by offering to use what you know to everyone's benefit. This way, you gain admirers and avoid resentment. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21): This is a good week for the Archer to aim at healing relationships. Whether it's at home, at work or among your friends, get everyone to set things straight and make a fresh start. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19): Although you like things done your way, this is a good time to listen to ideas from others. You might even find yourself agreeing with one or more of their suggestions.

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AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18): Aspects favor positive action to reclaim your ideas from someone who might want the glory without doing any of the work. Expect to find many people rallying to support you. PISCES (Feb. 19 to March 20): You might feel uneasy about taking that step forward at work or in your private life. But who knows better than you that while treading water keeps you afloat, it doesn't get you anywhere. BORN THIS WEEK: You have a way of creating positive attitudes and making people feel good about themselves. © 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

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March 27, 2020

The Adventures Of Fatherhood By STEVE GREEN

ear Whom It May Concern, This is a note to the woman who was walking her two dogs last Sunday morning in Berlin and caught quite a show. My hope is you got a few laughs at my expense. You watched a grown man hopelessly chase around a golf cart driven by his 10-year-old, nonverbal autistic son. You heard me scream at the top of my lungs. You heard my mother doing the same thing nearby. You watched my son nearly drive onto two roads with vehicles driving by. You watched me fall trying to get into the moving golf cart. You observed me yank my kid out of the golf cart once he stopped, finally. You saw him hug me when he realized eventually what could have happened. You watched one of the scariest moments of my life. Now that some time has passed, I don’t blame you one bit if you were giggling a little bit as you watched the scene unfold. I hope you laughed about it later. I don’t even mind. Hours later, I was able to laugh about the whole scene, too. Lord knows we can all use a few good laughs these days. In case you were wondering, here’s the background as to how the situation unfolded. I’m sure from your vantage point it looked like my son jumped into the golf cart and took off unexpectedly. You would be right, but there’s more to the story. In the hopes of getting outside and away from it all last Sunday, my son Carson, 10, and I tackled a landscape job in our front yard. We brought our golf cart around to help with hauling away the branches we cut off an overgrown bush in our front yard. In hindsight, it was silly because the branches were over 10 feet long. The golf cart was no help. Because he was acting up a bit,

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my mom offered to provide a distraction. She and Carson took some of the smaller branches away and returned a few minutes later. They were planning on making another run. As we were loading the golf cart with more branches, Carson saw his opportunity. He took advantage of the key being accidently left in the golf cart. Because he has tried to drive it before, I always take the key out of it when it’s not in use. Since they were just planning to quickly load and go, my mom left the key in it. He seized the day and took off before either of us could do anything. I have no doubt Carson knew it was wrong. He was not smiling or laughing. He may not have even known how to stop. He was likely worried about what I was going to do to him if he did stop. He probably knew he was in trouble and was going to get as much driving in as possible. I was in full panic mode, as he was clearly not in control of the golf cart. My immediate concern was keeping him off the roads because vehicles were driving on them. I feared he would hit a vehicle or worse he would flip it, fall out and get run over. I had to get him out of that golf cart as quick as possible before something terrible happened. One thing I realized early on in this two-minute incident was screaming at him was not helping the situation. I had to get in the golf cart and physically get his foot off the gas. It was my only shot I figured. Twice you saw me ungracefully try to leap on to the moving golf cart. I completely missed the first time. I had a better effort the second time, getting one foot on the golf cart before he yanked the steering wheel causing me to tumble to the ground. I ended up banging up my shoulder and ankle in the fall, but it could have

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been worse. I could have been run over. When he saw that I was hurt and no longer chasing after him, he stopped and got out of the golf cart. What was interesting was his face was expressionless. It could have been amazement at what he had done or a relief it was over. The blank face might have been concern for me. What you may have seen was him immediately rubbing his belly with a closed fist. He was signing, “I’m sorry.” You may have been surprised when I just went back to finishing the landscape job we were working on. I honestly didn’t know what to do at that moment. I knew getting the golf cart away from us was certainly a priority, but I thought we should just continue with our task. There would be time later to talk about this situation. Later that night, my wife and I were telling our older son, Beckett, 11, about the situation and how it happened. I explained how dangerous it was and how lucky we were nothing terrible happened. I made him promise not to speak about the incident in front of Carson. I assured him he knew how serious it was and how he promised to never do it again. In his typical unique way of putting things, Beckett promised he would never talk about it with his little brother. He said, “Of course, I’m not going to go up to Carson and ask him, “hey, how was that joy ride you took in the golf cart?” Though I had never thought of it that way, he was right Carson did have a “joy ride.” As an observer of the entire situation, you might agree.

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Sports

March 27, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

A Look At Local Sports This Week In Years Past

Page 29

In The News

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

With spring high school sports seasons on indefinite hiatus, The Dispatch thought it might be interesting and fun to take a look back at what was making local sports headlines this same week in years past. Many of the players went on to do great things in college both athletically and academically and some now even have kids of their own in local youth sports programs. The following is a look back at the last five, 10 and 20 years. The following is a brief glimpse of what was making headlines on the sports pages of The Dispatch this week five years ago: •Stephen Decatur’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team edged Saints Peter and Paul in its season opener this week in 2015. Shane Moore led the Seahawks with three goals and an assist, while Jake Lathroum added a goal and an assist. Jackson Mumford and Steve Alther each scored two goals. Will Hastings recorded eight saves in the net and Dryden Brous grabbed 11 of 16 faceoffs. •Stephen Decatur’s loaded varsity baseball team got its season off to a great start with an 11-0 win over Mardela in the season opener. Ryan Bennett got the Seahawks off to a fast start with a bases-clearing double in the very first inning and pitcher Sean Colgan scattered a couple of hits on his way to a shutout. Other notables for Decatur on the field that day included Justin Meekins, Grant Donahue, Zach Adams, Brooks Holloway and Tristan McDonough.

•Former Stephen Decatur girls’ varsity lacrosse standout Leigh Ann Flounlacker moved across town to take the head coaching job at neighborhood rival Worcester Prep. During her four-year career at Decatur, Flounlacker led the Seahawks to two Bayside Conference championships and two state regional championships. She was a three-time All Bayside Conference First-Team player and played two seasons at Elizabethtown College before transferring back to Salisbury University. •Several young local wrestlers from the Eastern Shore Intensive Wrestling Club who would later go on to become fixtures on Stephen Decatur’s two-time state championship winning team years later, won their matches in the prestigious Mason Dixon Classic, featuring some of the top wrestlers from all over the region. The Mason Dixon Classic featured the top young wrestlers from all over Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, many of whom would go on to do great things at the high school level. Winning championships in their respective weight divisions were Anthony Caruso, Nico D’Amico, Noah Reho, Jagger Clapsadle, James Parana, Alex Koulikov, most of whom were key wrestlers on the 2019-2020 state championship for Decatur. The following are some of the highlights of The Dispatch sports pages from this week 10 years ago: •Worcester Prep’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team rolled past old rival Salisbury School, 17-1, in its season opener. The Mallards, loaded with upperclassmen and a promising group of young

This week five years ago, Decatur’s Jackson Mumford, pictured above, scored two goals against Saints Peter and Paul in the Seahawks’ season opener. Mumford went on to play college lacrosse at Towson University and Gettysburg College. Photo by Shawn Soper

This week five years ago, Decatur’s Justin Meekins stroked a base hit for the Seahawks in an early season home game. Meekins went on to star at Salisbury University and was a senior on the Seagulls baseball team this spring before the season was shut down. Photo by Shawn Soper

players, cruised past the Dragons in the first game of the year for both teams. Justin Butler scored two goals and dished out two assists, Brad Regan scored twice and added an assist and Alex Ternahan had a goal and two assists. Hunter Marshall also scored a goal and grabbed eight ground balls. •Stephen Decatur’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team dropped a tough one to Easton, 16-11, on the road in its season opener. The Seahawks were in a rebuilding year of sorts after losing several seniors, but hung with Bayside North powerhouse Easton, 16-11, in the end. Curtis Snyder led Decatur with three goals, while Brandon Terlizzi and Brandon Wagner each scored two. Senior goalie Josh O’Ferral was strong in the net for the most part, recording 13 saves. •Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team started slow, but rolled past Easton, 18-7, in the season opener at home. Neither team had scored until Decatur got on the board with a goal by Bethany Howe with 18 minutes left in the first. After that, the flood gates opened for the Decatur offense and the Seahawks rolled, 18-7. Leigh Anne Flounlacker led the Seahawk attack with six goals, while Howe, Taylor Blazer, Nicole Dougan and Jamie Parker each scored two goals. •Stephen Decatur’s loaded varsity baseball team opened the season against rival Bennett and edged the Clippers, 3-2, in a pitcher’s duel. Troy Bennett started on the mound for Decatur and helped his own cause with a couple of RBIs. •Worcester Prep’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team jumped all over conference rival Salisbury School, 25-1, in the season opener for both teams. The Mallards scored early and often and never looked back against the Dragons to start a promising season off on a good note. Leading the way for Worcester were Molly Dickerson, Mary Clare Regan and Mary Hudson. “Everything just fell into place for us today,” said Coach Yetive Delaney. “A lot of the things we practiced hard on this spring came into play this afternoon and the girls just executed them perfectly.” •Stephen Decatur’s young but talented varsity softball team routed Bay-

side South rival Bennett, 9-1, in the season opener. In the prior year, the Seahawks went 13-4 and reached the region semifinals, but most of that core group of seniors had graduated. Maddie Justice started on the mound for the Seahawks and turned in a dominating performance, striking out seven and going the distance in the opener against the Clippers. Justice helped her own cause at the plate, collecting two hits and driving in a pair of runs. Her battery mate, catcher Kylie Nottingham, also had two hits and drove in a pair of runs in the opener. The following is a little snippet of the top sports stories in The Dispatch this week 20 years ago: •Stephen Decatur’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team opened the season with perhaps its most loaded team ever in the nascent days of the program. FirstTeam All-Bayside Conference goalkeeper John Apple was back in the net and was fronted by a defense that included Cliff Rogers, Pat Johnson and Brandon Picheirri. The starting midfield included Brandon Altvator, Will Mumford and Josh Hardt. Leading the attack were standouts Brian Harrison, T.J. Carven and Brandon Tolan. The team was coached that year by Steve Berquist, who said “this is the hardestworking, most-focused team I’ve ever had at Decatur.” •Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity lacrosse team began play in 2000 in only the third year of its existence and the second competing at the varsity level. Coach Lisa Fitzpatrick, who started the program in 1998, had a line-up full of underclassmen who were short on experience and long on enthusiasm. Samantha Ludlum and Casee Wisniewski shared time in goal, while the defense was led by Kathleen Earls, Alana McGeehan and Jen Bunting. The midfield that year was led by Jenn Saunders, Theresa Penn, and Jessica King, now Ocean City Communications Director Jessica Waters. Up front, the attack was led by Krista Heinlen, Kristie Briddell and Meredith Moore. Fitzpatrick said of her fledgling program, “wins are nice, but we’re really just trying to improve our level of play. The players get along and are very eager to learn and play.”


Page 30

Komen Maryland representatives Jamie Davis, Susan Rall, and Michael Jessup promoted the April 25 Delmarva More Than Pink Walk at the OCHMRA Spring Trade Expo.

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

People

By Jeanette Deskiewicz

FEATURING THOSE HELPING CAUSES IN THE RESORT AREA

Local filmmaker Emmie Shockley had the support of her two leading ladies, grandmom Susah Shockley and mom Alayne Shockley, before her Thursday night showcase at this year’s OC Film Festival.

In Society

March 27, 2020

Worcester Goes Purple Events Coordinator Debbie Smullen and Karen Conner shared information with OCHMRA Spring Trade Expo attendees about upcoming programs for 2020.

Residence Inn team members Regina Klepper, Courtney Blackford, Keith Whisenant and Fred Thompson did a wonderful job hosting the OC Film Festival Opening Reception on Thursday night.

At the opening reception of the 4th Annual OC Film Festival, Kenny Wooten and Briana Gause, were excited for their film, “It’s Time To Get Lost” to be shown in the Feel Good Films block.

OC Film Festival Film Night Coordinator Kristin Helf and Festival Director William Strang-Moya enjoyed the fruits of their labor while relaxing at the Filmmaker Happy Hour.

Filmmaker of funny short, “Keep The Change,” Alan Ramsey, and his proud papa, Jeff, were on hand for Saturday’s Filmmaker Happy Hour at the Aloft Hotel.

At the OC Film Festival Filmmaker Happy Hour were OC locals Dillon Thune and Andrew Kleinstuber who had their film “For The Love Of Lemons” showcased in the Ocean City Film Challenge segment.

The horror block of the 4th Annual OC Film Festival featured “Succubi Scry” by Derek Silver and Justin McCormick, who dressed the part for the opening reception.

At the OCHMRA Spring Trade Expo, Stacy O’Conor and Doug Seltzer of O’Conor, Mooney & Fitzgerald Realtors, announced the opening of their new Ocean City office.


Business

March 27, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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SALISBURY – Peninsula Orthopaedic Associates (POA) has announced the addition of Dr. Ana Mata-Fink as the first female orthopaedic surgeon to join the practice in its 68-year history. Mata-Fink will work alongside Dr. Thomas Brandon to provide the most advanced and coprehensive treatment for shoulder injuries/conditions in the region. POA is excited to expand upon its tradition of excellence with increased accessibilDR. ANA ity to quality orthopae- MATA-FINK dic providers on the Delmarva Peninsula. Mata-Fink completed her Bachelor of Science at Yale University and her Medical Doctorate at Harvard Medical School. She also completed a Master of Science in Health Care Leadership from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice. Mata-Fink selected the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to complete her orthopaedic surgery residency and completed a shoulder/elbow fellowship at Yale University. “We are honored to bring such an accomplished surgeon and brilliant individual to the Eastern Shore,” said POA CEO David Davies. “With Dr. Mata-Fink’s addition, POA continues to deliver unrivaled patient care here locally, as well as provide greater accessibility for our patients’ orthopaedic injuries and conditions.”

LEWES, Del. – Keller Williams Realty announced Associate Broker Anne Powell has joined KW Luxury International, a division of Keller Williams dedicated to the marketing and promotion of luxury properties worldwide. “I chose Keller Williams Luxury International because I wanted my sellers to have access to their powerful worldwide network, and I am thrilled to join such an exclusive, elite and sophisticated group of real estate consultants who consistently raise the bar for service in the upper tier home market,” said Powell. “With such an impressive residential sales history for my Clients in the past, I am now thrilled to be able to do even more for them on the luxury side.” Powell has been in the residential real estate industry for over 14 ANNE POWELL years, is licensed as an associate broker in both Delaware and Maryland and previously worked for Carl M Freeman Companies, Seacoast Real Estate, Ocean Atlantic Sotheby’s and ResortQuest Real Estate. She is a consistent top producer ranking in the top 1% of Delaware Agents. “We are very proud of Anne joining Keller Williams Luxury International,” said Brigit Taylor, general manager and team leader of the firm. “Keller Williams Luxury Consultants must meet certain qualifications to join our network – and each of them has a proven track record of delivering unparalleled service to our clients,”

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Page 32

The Dispatch

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

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

March 27, 2020

Government’s Relief Efforts Must Work Faster HOW WE SEE IT

If the economic relief initiatives outlined by Maryland and federal officials over the last two weeks sound too good to be true, it’s because they are. When the elected officials talk glowingly about all the state and country are going to help small businesses as well as citizens, it’s impossible not to be excited and optimistic. However, the devil is in the timeline of when these efforts will bring help. A month to six weeks was reported to be the wait time for applications to be reviewed through the governor’s new Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief’s Loan Fund, Grant Fund and Manufacturing Fund efforts announced Monday. If those sorts of delays to merely review an application is the norm, the state will not help anyone. Two months before qualifying companies receive dire funding help will be too late. The

economic disaster is here now. In six weeks to two months, most of the businesses in the most need will be shuttered, and all the employees will be unemployed. Furthermore, the state is also not holding up to its promises on unemployment. Its taking applicants a week to 10 days to hear back from the unemployment office after filing online. In one week, 38,000 Marylanders filed for unemployment. Similar increases should be expected in the coming weeks as the mantra of doing more with less continues to play out among business operators. The system is clearly overwhelmed and unable to meet demands. Of course, Maryland is not alone in its struggles to meet the workloads associated with this crisis. There are success stories to come, but the government must work more efficiently to

rise and meet the needs of its people. Unfortunately, it’s not happening in Maryland and certainly not in the nation’s capital where partisan bickering continues to prevent a massive stimulus package from getting passed in quick fashion. The dollars being discussed need to be put back into the pockets of taxpayers to provide security as well as means to survive in the short-term. Time is of the essence here for these economic relief efforts to be fruitful. Unfortunately, government does not work in an efficient fashion. We are all watching and waiting and hoping the relief efforts will truly help those who need it. At this point, they are not accomplishing anything. The proclamations of help sound great at press conferences, but until they actually start working they are just words and politics.

ssoper@mdcoastdispatch.com

CHARLENE SHARPE Staff Writer/Copy Editor csharpe@mdcoastdispatch.com

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

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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.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Thoughts On Education Editor: This is in response to the letter to the editor from Delegate Wayne Hartman. Hooray Wayne Hartman, I have been reading about the Kirwan Commission in the newspapers. My first thought was the administration and the teachers need to be able to reasonably discipline students to achieve accountability and respect. Throwing money at the problems in our schools is not the whole answer. Vocational training is much needed; a required curriculum for teaching financial literacy; limiting classroom size; and rewarding continuing education for teachers such as a Master's degree in one or more areas are part of the answer. And then there is the funding which is unknown. Mary A. LeMay Ocean City

Awareness Is First Step Editor: This March we celebrate the 33rd Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan issued a public proclamation that called on all Americans to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities “the encouragement and opportunities they need to lead productive lives and achieve their full potential.” As a country, we’ve certainly become more aware of the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the last three decades. That awareness has helped us make progress in providing opportunities and supports needed to lead

the lives they want, consistent with President Reagan’s call. However, awareness is just the first step. This month and beyond, I urge every American to truly embrace the intrinsic value of the lives of all of our brothers and sisters. For example, greater awareness has led to more creative housing options for people with disabilities, moving from institutions to smaller group homes, plus shared living (integration with a new family) and supported living environments. But we truly value people when we empower their choice to be part of our neighborhoods and communities. The numbers show why that doesn’t happen as much as it should. More than 6 million Americans have an intellectual or developmental disability. Just less than 1 million of them are living with a family member over the age of 60, according to The ARC. Even if otherwise able to be out on their own, many people with disabilities simply can’t afford a safe, quality home for themselves. In fact, those who rely on Supplemental Security Income have incomes averaging about $9,000 a year. That won’t pay for security deposits, furnishings, moving expenses and other costs of living. A lack of meaningful jobs makes things worse. The labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities ended 2019 at 33.3 percent, less than half the 76.9 percent for people without disabilities, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This prices people with disabilities out of the housing market and ensures they do not have real choice on where and with whom to live. Providing jobs is critical. But we

can do more, and truly value people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by also providing supports and services that help them identify their skills and passions, and giving them the tools to craft a career. This gives people the economic power to become consumers and exercise real choice in the marketplace. And, by exercising real choice, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can choose the community in which they want to live, work, play and worship. For many people, an important part of leading a full life is being welcomed into a faith community. In fact, 84 percent of people with disabilities say their faith is important to them yet only 45 percent attend a place of worship at least monthly, according to the Collaborative on Faith & Disability. Making it convenient for people with disabilities to visit houses of worship is a good start. We demonstrate how we value people when we encourage and welcome them to be leaders and true members of congregations in all our communities. I encourage everyone to be inspired by Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Use the month as a springboard to a lifelong commitment to valuing and including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as integral parts of our communities. You will be amazed at how much richer all our lives will be. Mike Thirtle, Ph.D. (The writer is president and CEO of Bethesda, a nonprofit organization providing services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the U.S.) SEE NEXT PAGE


March 27, 2020

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Paid Ad Was Not Clear Editor: As a longtime reader and subscriber to the Coast Dispatch, I have always found the content to be informative and unbiased. The paper serves an essential purpose in informing residents, vacationers and Ocean City enthusiasts 52 weeks a year. The print media derives much of its revenue from advertising. As we all navigate through the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty of what lies ahead, it is important that we as readers patronize the businesses that advertise in this paper. Revenue most certainly will be reduced, and the survival of the paper depends on continued relationships with various businesses. With that being said, I was very disturbed as I read the March 13, 2020 edition. On page 20, there was an announcement to come view a movie at a local church and participate in a discussion afterwards. The verbiage was quite inflammatory and really raised the eyebrows. I took notice, and decided to investigate the movie, and the “Filmmaker”. While I refuse to state his name for not wanting to give him publicity, it did not take long to see he was included as an advocate of hate speech and a dangerous person according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. I absolutely believe in the Freedom of Speech and Press as outlined in The First Amendment to our Constitution. If The Dispatch found this piece suitable for print that is up to Mr. Green and his staff. However, the article in question could have easily appeared to some as a news article, which if so, is clearly disturbing. Maybe it should have been in the Community Events Calendar. If it was a paid advertisement, it should certainly have been listed as so, as the paper has done in the past. Nothing in The Dispatch that is not news, should ever be confused as such. I hope any similar future pieces, if a paid advertisement, will be clearly identified as so. M. Scott Chismar Crofton and Ocean City

Women’s Rights Support Editor: Despite a majority of Americans’ support for women’s right to choose - a decision set by the Supreme Court nearly 50 years ago -- attempts to diminish abortion rights for women remain relentless. A Pew Research report from 2019 found that upwards of 60% of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. However, anti-abortion activists around the country have passed a variety of state laws making it increasingly difficult for women to end their pregnancies. One strategy has been to pursue state-wide, medically unnecessary, gestational bans. In other

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words, women would not be allowed to have abortions, a constitutional right, once their pregnancies have progressed to a certain length of time after their last menstrual periods. Bans have been proposed for as short a period as six weeks, often before women may even know they are pregnant. Environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, have been involved in protecting women against these bans. Environmental groups focus their efforts on creating a world in which all humans can live in safe, healthy environments. Comprehensive reproductive health care is essential to that goal. Reproductive freedom is thus considered a basic human right. Lack of control over the timing of childbearing interferes with an individual’s ability to pursue educational, economic, and social opportunities. Women without means are the victims in these scenarios and are less likely to have adequate resources to care for children once they are born; low-income people are also subject to living in areas with more environmental hazards (close to incinerators, coal plants, etc.). In contrast, wealthy women have always been able to gain access to pregnancy termination services and will continue to do so regardless of increasing restrictions on abortion. In addition, those with means are able to raise their families in healthy, safe communities. There is growing recognition that environmental issues are inextricably linked to issues like gender and economic inequality. It is important that we reject intrusive measures that presume to understand the challenges others face. Instead, we must provide access to safe, legal and affordable family planning for all who seek it. Reproductive justice, economic justice and environmental justice are three inexplicably tied movements. The right to choose if, when and how we become pregnant cannot be separated from the right to raise those families in healthy, safe environments and afford all the basic life necessities. Susan Olsen Cambridge

To Our Readers: The Dispatch welcomes any and all letters from our readers. All letters are encouraged typed, but not required, and we reserve the right to edit each letter for clarity, accuracy and brevity. Letters should include writer’s name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. If we are unable to reach the writer, we will have to withhold the letter. Due to space restraints, letters under 500 words in length will be given top priority. Letters can be mailed to The Dispatch, P.O. Box 467, Berlin, Md. 21811, emailed to editor@mdcoastdispatch.com or faxed to 410-641-0966.

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By Publisher/Editor Steve Green

It was interesting to learn this week Ocean City is going to preliminarily work off two budgets for the next fiscal year – a pre-COVID-19 one and a post-COVID-19. The town’s fiscal year runs from July 1-June 30. With the town’s economy essentially shut down currently, the city should expect to see a major reduction in room tax and other fees associated with tourism to close out the current fiscal year. The question city officials will face in the coming weeks is the same many in private business have been asking: how long will commerce be shut down? City Manager Doug Miller said the town had a proposed budget prepared earlier this month before the virus pandemic. The city has a revised budget that takes into account the crisis unfolding currently by comparing it to the recession of 2008. “We have a pre-COVID-19 budget we’re ready to present. We’re also going to present a balanced budget with contingencies if this situation lingers and changes are needed. It might come down to some things being delayed or not done,” Miller said. “If we’re back completely in business by Memorial Day and go into June strong, there is still a lot of uncertainty. The financial impact of this is still unknown. A lot of people are taking a huge financial hit from this and taking a vacation in Ocean City this summer might not be in the cards for them. If we’re back to normal by Memorial Day and have a strong June, we’ll be okay… If we go beyond that, there will definitely be some challenges. Room tax is a significant part of the town’s revenue and most of that is collected in June, July and August.” These sorts of discussions will be taking place across the country for the next month or so. All the conversations will involve officially planning for the worst on paper, while privately hoping for the best. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and President Donald Trump have many differences, but they both are to be credited for speaking in a blunt fashion during this period of crisis for our country. While Trump’s language usage, especially his tweets, is routinely poor, Hogan has a softer way of putting difficult subject matter. During two press conferences this week, Hogan spoke honestly and simply to Marylanders. He admitted he doesn’t know what the journey holds for the state and its residents and businesses. It’s difficult to hear but the honesty is appreciated. “I know how incredibly difficult this is and there is a great deal of anxiety. None of us know how bad this will get or how long it will last. Just know there is a great deal of people working around the clock on this. We’re all in this together and we will all get through this together,” Hogan said. “None of us can say with any certainty in four weeks everything is going to be okay. It’s a little aspirational. We’re not going to send kids back to school until we can ensure their safety. Over the next four weeks, we’ll reassess where we are and make the appropriate decisions at that time… The reality is, this crisis is just beginning. I know people are looking for certainty, but the truth is we just don’t know how bad it will get and how long it will last. What we do know is it won’t be over in a matter of days or even weeks. It’s critically important every single individual stay at home so we can break the back of this virus.” It was surprising Berlin Mayor Gee Williams rescinded his tax increase proposal this week. With the ongoing economic and health crisis, I thought the tax increase would be dropped during the budget process. However, Williams got out in front of it this year. He said his proposal to raise the property tax rate by three cents (or 4%) was being withdrawn at this time. In an interview as well as in a letter to residents, Williams explained why he was dropping the tax rate from consideration at this time. For the last year, it was widely accepted a second tax increase would be coming this budget cycle on the heels of last year’s increase. The reasoning being the town needed to build its reserves while also making each utility fund within the budget self-sustaining. In his interview, Williams said, “I don’t want people worrying about that when there’s so much else to deal with right now.” His statement said, “As mayor, I have decided that when the town’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget process resumes in April, I will not be recommending any property tax increase in our new municipal budget. I will propose holding the tax rate to 80 cents per $100 of assessed value, which is the current rate. As this crisis unfolds it gives us time for reflection, and once again we should be grateful to live in a rural community with a significantly less dense population than suburban and urban areas. This does not mean any of us are immune to the coronavirus, but with reasoned, informed actions and consideration for our family and others, we all can minimize the spread and impact of this disease in our area.”


The Dispatch Classifieds

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

HELP WANTED SKILLED CARPENTERS & LABORERS NEEDED: Construction company. Must have own transportation. Call 443-880-4327 or 443-373-3687. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– KITCHEN: Exp kitchen personnel. Must have exp in Mexican or Tex Mex Cuisine for a new Mexican restaurant opening in West OC. Contact for interview scheduling:Info@hooperscrabhouse.com ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– CLEANERS: Cleaners needed. Male or Female. High School students welcome to apply. PT, but can lead to FT beginning in May. Call 410-422-4826. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– SOUTHSIDE GRILL WOC: Hiring Line Cooks, Kitchen Help, Dishwashers. YR, FT or PT. Ambitious, willing to work individuals only. Pay neg. based on performance. 9923 Stephen Decatur Hy. 410-2131572. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– DYLAN’S LAWN CARE: Exp. grass cutting & landscaping. Call 443-944-3559. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– SUMMER CLEANERS: Now hiring Summer cleaners for 2 condo’s. 2x wk or more, min. Must be dependale & have own trans. 267-254-0111. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– FULL MOON SALOON: Now hiring FT,YR Exp. only Bartender, great salary! Apply by email to: mategrit@gmail.com ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– GO-CART SMALL ENGINE MECHANIC NEEDED: FT/YR. Call 410-289-4902 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– LANDSCAPE WORKERS NEEDED: Must have valid Driv. Lic. Reliable transportation to work. Call 410-641-2177. The Moore Companies. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

CASHIER/ SALES ASSOCIATE Must be friendly & dependable FT/PT-Year Round Various shifts Competitive hourly wage Benefits available To Apply-go online www.petromg.com *Employment *Retail *OC MD *Cashier Wine Rack *Search *Cashier Sales Assoc.-Wine Rack Rt. 50 Wine Rack 12827 Ocean Gateway West OC, MD Assawoman Ale Shoppe Hiring for all positions. Apply within store. 52nd Street, Bayside, OC.

Selbyville Goose Creek Fenwick Goose Creek Hiring for all positions. For Both Locations Apply Online www.mygcjob.com DO YOU KNOW ... 15,000 PEOPLE RECEIVE THE DISPATCH’S DAILY BUZZ EACH WEEK? SIGN UP NOW: MDCOASTDISPATCH.COM

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•STUCCO & EIFS MECHANICS • CARPENTERS •CONCRETE BLOCK •COATINGS SPECIALISTS •FLAT CONCRETE •CONCRETE REPAIRS •PT WELDER •COMMERCIAL CAULKING •WINDOW & DOOR INSTALLERS 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

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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. COOK: Now hiring, Cook. Send resume to American Legion, Post #166, Po Box 63, Ocean City, MD 21843 or for info call Post Steward 717-756-8552. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

March 27, 2020

IND IA N RI VER MA RINA NOW H IRING !

•RAMP ATTENDANT •CUSTODIAL/GROUNDS •FUEL DOCK •BOATYARD For additional information, please contact the Marina office at 302.227.3071 AA/EOE

COMMERCIAL WEST O.C. OFFICE/RETAIL SPACES AVAILABLE: 1 OfficeRetail and 1 Warehouses. Plenty of Parking. 443-497-4200. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

YARD SALES Storm Shutter & Window Installers

Local specialty contractor seeking individuals for our storm shutter division and window division. Experience in storm shutters, windows & doors, and garage doors is a plus, but training is available. Driver’s license and transportation required. Please forward resume to: paola@masterjackwindows.com. Applications available on site at 11935 Hammer Road, Bishopville, MD

RENTALS

SEASONAL RENTAL 2BR 2BA North OC Luxury, Modern, Renovated, First Fl. Townhouse

w/ hardwood fl, Deck, pool, parking. Sleeps 5, $12,500 for May- Sept. No Pets or smokers. Cred chk, refs, sec deposit. For families or professionals.

SEASONAL RENTAL: 2BR, 1.5BA, newly renovated. Available May 10th-Sept 10th. Special Student Rate: $13,500 for season. $2000 sec. dep. 312 Sunset. Call 410-428-7333 www.sunsetterracerentals.com ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– NORTH OC: Spacious 4BR, 2BA. Unfurn. Lrg. Kitch., LR, florida Rm. New Appl’s. On water. $1600 per mo. + util.’s No pets. 443-856-5693 (text only) or 718-986-7382. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– WEEKLY RENTAL: 4BR, 2 1/2BA. Fully furnished. W/D, Pool, Tennis court. Quiet community. 7 miles from the beach. $2,500 per wk. Call Mike for details. 410-877-3894. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Vic 410 422 5164

WEEKLY RENTALS Pool Front Room $199 Family Room $235 2 BR Apartment $315. 3 BR Suite $400.

Burgundy Inn 1210 Philadelphia Ave.

410-289-8581 SEASONAL BAYSIDE RENTAL, Sleeps 4-6, 2BR 2BA W/D/ fully furn. 13,500. +sec.dep & util's Call Mike 410-603-6120 avail May-Sept 12th www.mbjcproperties.com ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

ROOMMATES OP ROOMMATE: Spacious Master BR w/BA in quiet home. 5 mi. from the beach. Prefer mature female, long term. $950 per mo. + shared util’s. 410-963-4366. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– WOC ROOMMATE: Prof. person seeking RM. Priv. gated. comm. w/ammenities. Priv. upstairs, BR, BA. 410-251-6977. $800/mo. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– WINTER ROOM FOR RENT: $600 for ea month March & April. Summer Rental May 1-Sept 1. $3,500 per person + sec. dep. & elec. 4 spots available. 443-610-4665. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

ESTATE SALE: Sat 4/4 & Sun 4/5. Sat. 4/17 & Sun 4/18. 8am-2pm. 18 Robinhood Trail, Ocean Pines. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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CARLA’S PRESTIGE CLEANING SERVICES: We clean homes at reasonable rates and get down to business. We promise to leave you with a smile. 410-749-0082. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– HANDYMAN SPECIALIST: General maintenance of all types, All powerwashing. Build/Stain/PWash Decks. Drywall repair. Painting. Property Management. Call for any other odd jobs! Joe 443-610-4644. –––––––––––––––––––––––––--–

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March 27, 2020

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 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 11631 To all persons interested in the estate of MARK PATRICK STARLIPER, ESTATE NO. 11631. Notice is given that AMIE STARLIPER, 29 DEE STREET, APT 102, BUCKHANNON, WV 26201, was on, MARCH 05, 2020 appointed Personal Representative of the estate of MARK PATRICK STARLIPER, who died on SEPTEMBER 25, 2004, 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 5th day of SEPTEMBER, 2020. 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 MARCH 13, 2020 AMIE STARLIPER

Legal Notices

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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 3-13, 3-20, 3-27

THIRD INSERTION NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS

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 MARCH 13, 2020 AMIE STARLIPER 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 3-13, 3-20, 3-27

ESTATE NO. 18177 To all persons interested in the estate of JUNE E. STARLIPER, ESTATE NO. 18177. Notice is given that AMIE STARLIPER, 29 DEE STREET, APT 102, BUCKHANNON, WV 26201, was on, MARCH 05, 2020 appointed Personal Representative of the estate of JUNE E. STARLIPER, who died on NOVEMBER 21, 2019, 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 5th day of SEPTEMBER, 2020. 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

THIRD INSERTION WILLIAM E. ESHAM III ESQ AYRES, JENKINS, GORDY & ALMAND, PA 6200 COASTAL HIGHWAY, STE 200 OCEAN CITY, MD 21842 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18216 To all persons interested in the estate of MARION M DI FILIPPO, ESTATE NO. 18216. Notice is given that MARGARET D. CLAIR, 560 GULLYSVILLE LANE, FABER, VA 22938, was on, MARCH 10, 2020 appointed Personal Representative of the estate of MARION M DI FILIPPO, who died on FEBRUARY 11, 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 10th day of SEPTEMBER, 2020. 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 MARCH 13, 2020 MARGARET D. CLAIR 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 3-13, 3-20, 3-27

SECOND INSERTION DEBORAH ULLMANN ESQ 203 2ND STREET POCOMOKE CITY, MD 21851 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18222

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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 13th day of SEPTEMBER, 2020. 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 MARCH 20, 2020 BONNIE CAROL CLAUSS 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, 3-20, 3-27, 4-03

To all persons interested in the estate of MABEL CAROLYN ISEMANN, ESTATE NO. 18222. Notice is given that BONNIE CAROL CLAUSS, 727 GREENBACKVILLE ROAD, STOCKTON, MD 21864, was on, MARCH 13, 2020 appointed Personal Representative of the estate of MABEL CAROLYN ISEMANN, who died on FEBRUARY 9, 2020, with a will.

PHILIP C. WIDDOWSON ESQ. PHILIP C. WIDDOWSON, P.A. 11791 SOMERSET AVENUE PRINCESS ANNE, MD 21853

Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the

NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS

FIRST INSERTION

NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18232 To all persons interested in the estate of PATSY MEARS, AKA: PATSY LYNN MEARS, ESTATE NO. 18232. Notice is given that LOUIS A. HICKMAN JR,. 26742 JOHNSONS CREEK ROAD, CRISFIELD, MD 21817, was on, MARCH 20, 2020 appointed Personal Representative of the estate of PATSY MEARS, who died on MARCH 4, 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 20th day of SEPTEMBER, 2020. 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 MARCH 27, 2020 LOUIS A. HICKMAN JR. Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for


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FIRST INSERTION AYRES, JENKINS, GORDY & ALMAND, PA WILLIAM E. ESHAM III ESQ 6200 COASTAL HIGHWAY, STE 200 OCEAN CITY, MD 21842 NOTICE TO CREDITORS OF APPOINTMENT OF FOREIGN PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE Estate NO. 18236 Notice is given that the SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE of ONTARIO CANADA, appointed PATRICK MIKHAIL, 148 CRICHTON STREET OTTAWA, ONTARIO CANADA K1M 1W2, as the EXECUTOR of the Estate of SAAD ATTALLA HANNA MIKHAIL, who died on JULY 28, 2019, domiciled in CANADA. The Maryland resident agent for service of process is WILLIAM E ESHAM III, whose address is SUITE 200, 6200 COASTAL HIGHWAY, OCEAN CITY, MD 21842. At the time of death, the decedent owned real or leasehold property in the

following MARYLAND counties: WORCESTER. All persons having claims against the decedent must file their claims with the Register of Wills for Worcester County with a copy to the foreign personal representative 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 foreign 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. Claims filed after that date or after a date extended by law will be barred. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication MARCH 27, 2020 PATRICK MIKHAIL Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for

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Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x 3-27, 4-03, 4-10

FIRST INSERTION AMBER B. WOODLAND ESQ. 616 WILLIAM STREET BERLIN, MD 21811 NOTICE TO CREDITORS OF APPOINTMENT OF FOREIGN PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE Estate NO. 18235 Notice is given that the CHANCERY OF SUSSEX COUNTY, DE, appointed ANTHONY FLEMING, 32037 NORTH AUTUMN COURT, LAUREL, DE 19956, as the EXECUTOR of the Estate of ADLYN J. FLEMING, who died on NOVEMBER 10, 2018, domiciled in DELAWARE, USA. The Maryland resident agent for service of process is AMBER B. WOODLAND ESQ., whose address is 616 WILLIAM STREET, BERLIN, MD 21811. At the time of death, the decedent owned real or leasehold property in the following MARYLAND counties: WORCESTER. All persons having claims against the decedent must

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Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 3-27, 4-03, 4-10

March 27, 2020

file their claims with the Register of Wills for Worcester County with a copy to the foreign personal representative 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 foreign 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. Claims filed after that date or after a date extended by law will be barred. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication MARCH 27, 2020 ANTHONY FLEMING 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 3-27, 4-03, 4-10

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sentative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates:

NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS

(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

ESTATE NO. 18215 To all persons interested in the estate of WILLIAM P. COOK, IV, ESTATE NO. 18215. Notice is given that KIMBERLY B. COOK, 3418 W. FIELDER ST., TAMPA, FL 33611, was on, MARCH 20, 2020 appointed Personal Representative of the estate of WILLIAM P. COOK, IV, who died on FEBRUARY 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 20th day of SEPTEMBER, 2020. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal repre-

(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 MARCH 27, 2020 KIMBERLY B. COOK 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, 3-27, 4-03, 4-10

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March 27, 2020

Linda Susan Matricciani OCEAN PINES – On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Linda Susan (Plitt) Matricciani passed away at the age of 70. Linda was born on April 10, 1949 in Baltimore to George and Christine Plitt. She graduated from Patterson High School in 1967. She worked at Western Electric from the time she graduated until the plant’s closing in 1985 as an administrative assistant. On May 10, 1975, Linda married the love of her life, Len Matricciani. Together they built a home and owned several businesses where they enjoyed working as a team. They moved to Cincinnati where they built their next home and enjoyed traveling. They were married for 22 years until Len’s passing in 1997. Linda moved to Ocean Pines in 1998, fulfilling their dream of retiring at the beach. Linda (known as “Lynn” to her friends) had an endless passion for cooking and loved reading books. She was a member of the Ocean City Power Squadron. She cherished the events she attended and assisted with her fellow members. Lynn belonged to the Atlantic Health and Fitness Center, where she enjoyed chatting with members and staff. She enjoyed spending time with her family and loved watching her great nieces grow up. She was a kind, gentle, compassionate and giving person who has forever touched the lives of so many. Linda is survived by her sister, Lauren; her niece, Christine and Christine’s husband Michael and their children Madeline and Ava; a nephew, Tom; sister-inlaw, Denise; and brother-in-law, Brian. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In memory of Linda, please consider making a donation to the Worcester County Humane Society, in honor of her love of animals and in memory of her beloved dog Chloe. Arrangements are in the care of Eastern Shore Cremation and Funeral Service, 504 Franklin Avenue, Berlin, Md. 21811. To send condolences to the family, please visit www.easternshorecremation.com.

Michael William Patrick Cady WEST OCEAN CITY – Michael William Patrick Cady of West Ocean City passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 17, in Warrington, N.C., while returning home from a weeklong vacation with his wife, Bonnie Dypsky. He was 68. Born Sept. 19, 1951 in Washington, DC, to the late Robert Cady and Mary (Raba) Cady, “Big Mike” cherished his family above all else and, in addition to Bonnie, was the loving father of Robert (and daughter-in-law Anne Marie) Cady of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., Jennifer Cady of Gaithersburg and the late Jessica Loomis, who passed away May 20, 2017. He was also the beloved “GDaddy” to grandchildren Taylor Anne, Peyton, Camryn and Landry Cady and Jasmine, Jayden and Janay Loomis, and treasured “Pappy” to Evelyn and Kathryn Westman and Colton and Emerson Rhoad. Mike was the compassionate brother of Linda Ward of Centreville, Va., and proud uncle of her children, James Ward of Lady Lake, Fla., Patrick Ward of Silver Spring, Michael Ward of Kensington and Mary Ward of Centreville, Va.

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Mike was the inspirational stepfather of Erin (Jon) Westman and Crystal (Zach) Rhoad, all of Berlin. Mike had a compassionate spirit, honest nature and quick-witted sense of humor, all of which endeared him to just about everyone he met. He truly loved to be social and thrived in any setting. As such, he will also be missed by a host of incredibly close friends, some dating back to elementary school, who constitute a list too long to include here. While growing up in Wheaton, Md., Mike attended St. John’s College High School in Chevy Chase, Md., where he excelled on the football field. As a senior in 1968, Mike earned national recognition as one of 33 Parade Magazine All-America high school football team members for his play as an offensive guard. Mike was especially proud of his team’s induction into the SJC’s Athletic Hall of Fame — the school’s most prestigious honor — in 2018, which marked the 50th anniversary of its 1968 MICHAEL championship football WILLIAM season. In all, 16 mem- PATRICK CADY bers of the 1968-69 SJC football team went on to play college football, including Mike, who played at Texas A&M for legendary coach Gene Stallings, and later, Catholic University. Mike also briefly played professionally, for the World Football League before it ceased operations, and as a training-camp invite of the Buffalo Bills, in the mid-1970s. Mike would go on to work professionally as a construction superintendent in the DC-Metro region for decades, where he wore his love for all things DC on his sleeves, including his beloved Washington Redskins. He was also well known for his sense of fashion, which included his trademark fedora, stylish buttondown shirts, hand-carved walking canes and meticulous collections of athletic shoes and baseball caps. Mike and his son, Bobby, shared a passionate love of sports and often wore matching team-issued outfits from head to toe. Mike moved permanently to West Ocean City and married Bonnie in 2010, where the couple developed unbreakable friendships together. Mike began his “professional retiree” life-style at the beach in 2011 by volunteering each morning at his favorite hangout, the Full Moon Saloon, and working as a marshal at Ocean City Golf Club. He was also an avid exercise enthusiast who quickly and affectionately became known to all as “the Mayor” of Pure Fitness (formerly Powerhouse Gym) in West Ocean City. It was also here that he created his lasting legacy. In 2012, Mike, along with two lifelong friends, founded the Matt Dillon Memorial Golf Tournament. Since its inception eight years ago, the multiday event has awarded more than $135,000 in contributions to St. John’s College High School athletics, Diakonia, Columbia Baseball Foundation, the American Red Cross and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, among many

others. At the time of his passing, Mike was hard at work planning the 2020 Matt Dillon Memorial Golf Tournament, set to be played Sept. 12 at Ocean City Golf Club. A date and location for Mike’s celebration of life will be announced following the conclusion of the current global health crisis. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Mike’s name to the Matt Dillon Memorial Golf Tournament by visiting MattDillonGolf.com/Donate-Today. Please also visit BigMikeCady.com to share your memories and photos of Mike.

Lawrence Charles Calvert Sr. BERLIN – Lawrence "Peck" Charles Calvert Sr. born June 14, 1932, of Berlin, passed away on Friday, March 20, 2020 at the age of 87. Born in Baltimore, he was the son of the late Lawrence Luther Calvert and Ruth Augusta Calvert. He is survived by his daughter, Ruth Rosemary Calvert Lawson (David James Lawson, Sr.) of Pasadena, Md., and sons, Lawrence (Bunky) Charles Calvert Jr, (Patti) of Tucson, Ariz. and Mark Luther Calvert (Tammie) Pasadena. He is survived by his sisters, Ruth Anna Jones and Florence Mary Hickey. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert George Calvert. He is also survived by his com-

Page 37 panion of over 50 years, Rosalie Dixon, and her five daughters Caroline Swarthout, Patricia Tolliver, Rosalie Goins, Teresa Crognali, and Laurie Day, who were like daughters to him. He is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. Numerous nieces and nephews. Peck served in the United States Army, Company 11th. Airborne Infantry Regiment, from where he was honorably discharged. Peck was the Brooklyn Park owner of Calvert's Gulf Service Station for 25 years and a resident of Brooklyn Park. He moved to Berlin in the mid 1980's when he retired from Calvert's Gulf. He enjoyed flying (Private Pilot), hunting, fishing and gardening. He was a life member of the following organizations: Glen Burn- LAWRENCE ie Lodge 213, Annapolis CHARLES Forest 126, American CALVERT SR. Legion 123 in Berlin, Life and Chapter member of the N.R.A. Golden Eagles, Moose Lodge 1638, Berlin, and the Roland Terrace Democratic Club. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Jude's Children's Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105. There will be a celebration of Life and interment at the Veterans Cemetery at a later date. Arrangements are in the hands of the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin. Letters of condolence may be sent via www.burbagefuneralhome.com


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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Things I Like ... By Steve Green

The days before anyone knew what COVID-19 was Seeing restaurants adapt in this day Legendary football game reruns Optimism Taking time away from my phone My family’s Harry Potter movie binge over the last two weeks The expression ‘Misery loves company’ these days When there’s milk in the grocery store Seeing my kids learn stuff at home Dr. Fauci’s interviews Seeing redevelopment projects this time of year

The Dispatch Crossword Puzzle

ANSWERS ON PAGE 28

OCEAN CITY vanishing

March 27, 2020

WITH BUNK MANN

Willye Conner Ludlam built the Santa Maria Motel on the Boardwalk and 15th Street in 1956. It was one of the first masonry buildings on the Boardwalk and one of the first motels on what would become known as “Motel Row,.” The Santa Maria epitomized what motels of the post-World War II era had to offer with a swimming pool, free on-site parking and a television in every room. It was also home to the original Captain’s Table Restaurant, which was a locals’ favorite for decades. The Santa Maria met the wrecking ball in October 2005 and today the Courtyard by Marriott and a modern Captain’s Table Restaurant occupy the oceanfront site. To purchase one of Bunk Mann's books, click over to www.vanishinPhoto by Bunk Mann circa 2005 goc.com.


Buses Still Offer Essential Service

March 27, 2020

BY MARK RICKARDS

SPECIAL TO THE DISPATCH

OCEAN CITY – If you don’t have a working motor vehicle and need to get to your job, the grocery store, pick up food from a carry-out restaurant, visit the drug store, visit an ATM or just check on a loved one, Ocean City Transit Buses will continue to run 40-minute frequency of service to all stops and stations seven days a week from 6:20 a.m.-11:30 p.m. All buses and paratransit vehicles are disinfected daily before and after each service run, and drivers can use their own protective equipment while riding and will maintain social distance of at least six feet on the bus. There are three basic guidelines to follow however before you decide to ride the bus. First, make sure that you are well and do not require immediate medical attention. If you are not feeling well and are exhibiting symptoms of the flu, please stay at home and contact your doctor or medical provider. Second, upon entering the bus please practice social distance. Do not sit or stand next to a person. Standard size buses have adequate seating and interior space to allow for physical separation even with as many 15 to 20 passengers at one time. The 60-foot articulated buses can seat up to 30 people without customers sitting next to each other. Third, before and after the using the bus, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly or use an approved hand sanitizer. Although our buses are cleaned and disinfected regularly, it is important to maintain your own wellness by taking these additional precautions. Ocean City buses are for essential trips only and should be limited as much as possible. Trips to work are a priority and essential as well as grocery store, banks and ATMs, the drug store, post office and medical facilities. In addition, carry-out restaurants for pick-up food, hardware stores and connections to Shore Transit buses are also essential. When possible, use online services such as paying bills for utilities and services at City Hall such as your water bill and taxes. Please make use of your senior bus pass if you have one and if it is expiring, it is still good past expiration as City Hall is currently closed for purchase or renewal. Our bus drivers are all checked daily when taking the road for service by staff to see that they are in good health and physical condition. Just the same, please limit your exposure to our drivers, by not standing behind the driver for a prolonged period and use the chime to notify the driver of when to exit the bus. Have your fare or pass ready when you board. These are all normal, simple procedures for your safety and the driver’s safety. With these precautions, we will all get through this together. (The writer is the transit manager for the Town of Ocean City’s Department of Public Works.)

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March 27, 2020

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