Who Will Replace E. J. Pipkin?

CENTREVILLE, MD – Maryland Senator E. J. Pipkin (R-36) has resigned to enjoy graduate school and no state income tax at Southern Methodist University.  The feeding frenzy to replace the center / right Republican has begun with thirteen men and one woman applying for his seat:

Steven J. Arentz    Queen Anne’s County
R. Scott Bramble    Cecil County
Frank W. Frohn    Queen Anne’s County
John L. Graham    Queen Anne’s County
Stephen S. Hershey, Jr.    Queen Anne’s County
Andrew Langer    Queen Anne’s County
Timothy McCluskey    Queen Anne’s County
Audrey E. Scott    Queen Anne’s County
Michael D. Smigiel, Sr.    Cecil County
Richard A. Sossi    Queen Anne’s County
Robert A. Thornton, Jr.    Caroline County
John L. Walter    Queen Anne’s County
John J. Walton, Jr.    Caroline County
Eric S. Wargotz    Queen Anne’s County

Two incumbent delegates (Smigiel and Hershey) and one former delegate (Sossi) have thrown their names in the pot along with former MDGOP chairwoman Audrey Scott and the Eastern Shore version of Harold Stassen – Dr. Eric Wargotz.  Probably the most interesting name on the list is Andrew Langer.

Langer is a strong, libertarian leaning, conservative.  Langer is principled but not an ideologue.  This would allow the 36th district to have a strong conservative senator who could also get thing done. (While I agree with much of his analysis, Monoblogue’s Michael Swartz characterizes Langer as a “bomb thrower”.  I have to respectfully disagree.)

While Scott was an excellent party chairman, another moderate senator is NOT what Maryland (or the MDGOP) needs.

What about Smigiel and Hershey?  Maryland is one of the few states where delegates serve the same term lengths as senators.  Why give up seniority in the House?

The coming weeks will be interesting.  Each county central committee (Caroline, Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s) gets one vote.  However, most of the district’s population is in Queen Anne’s.  Given the breadth of candidates, Pipkin’s successor should come from QAC.  The question is who.

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Three Children Drown in Marshy Hope Creek Near Federalsburg

FEDERALSBURG, MD – Two twelve year old cousins and an eight year old friend drowned Saturday in Marshy Hope Creek near Federalsburg.  The boys were reported missing Saturday afternoon and last seen in the parking lot of the First Church of God.  The first two boys were found Sunday morning behind some homes on Old Denton Road.  The third boys was found by divers Sunday afternoon near where the first two boys were found.

No foul play is suspected.

READ MORE …

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Rt. 313 Bridge Closed in Federalsburg

FEDERALSBURG, MD – The Rt. 313 bridge over Marshyhope Creek outside of Federalsburg has been closed by the State Highway Administration (SHA).  The SHA cited deterioration as the cause for the closure.

David Buck, a spokesman for SHA, said the bridge will most likely be closed until October. Until then, passenger cars and light trucks will be detoured through town, but large vehicles and tractor-trailers will be detoured to Hurlock, due to the sharp turns on narrow town streets, he said.

The bridge is undergoing a $2.3 million renovation, including a fresh coat of paint and a new deck, or driving surface.

photo courtesy of the Star Democrat

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Former Caroline Teacher Arraigned on Sexual Assault Charges

DENTON, MD – Kevin Garfield Ricks, a former Federalsburg teacher serving 25 years on federal child pornography charges, was arraigned Tuesday in Caroline County Circuit Court.  Ricks is charged with multiple counts involving the sexual assault of a teenage boy when Ricks lived in Caroline County.

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Gas Leak at Federalsburg Day Care

FEDERALSBURG, MD – The Star Democrat reports that emergency crews have responded to ABC Child Development Center on Laurel Grove Road in Federalsburg for a propane leak.  The staff and children were evacuated while the problem was repaired.

The leak appears to have been caused by a pilot light going out.  There are no reports of injury from the gas.

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Ridgely Voters Elect John Hurley

RIDGELY, MD – Ridgely voters elected John Hurley to the town commission Monday.  Hurley won over Richard Kellogg by 52 – 33 votes.  Both Hurley and Kellogg were first time candidates.

Hurley, who replaces ten year incumbent Dale Mumford, will serve a three year term.

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Kiddie Solicitation Case Against Former State’s Attorney to Proceed

DENTON, MD – The case against former Caroline County State’s Attorney Robert Greenleaf will proceed after Judge J. Frederick Price denied motions to dismiss the case.  Greenleaf is charged with two counts of sexual solicitation of a minor and showing obscene matter to a minor.

According to charging documents, Greenleaf allegedly communicated at various times between March 8, 2010, and Jan. 21, 2011, with a male police officer believing the officer was a 14-year-old girl from a computer at or near 17003 Wolf Road in Henderson.

According to the Caroline County State’s Attorney’s Office, Greenleaf tried to solicit the "girl" to leave her home for an illegal sexual encounter and to engage in the production of a visual representation that would have depicted a minor engaged in sexual conduct.

The information also said Greenleaf solicited a visual representation from the "girl," believing it would have depicted the minor as a subject of sexual conduct, and he tried to show the minor an item principally made up of the depictions of illicit sex.

Those alleged communications happened while Greenleaf served as chief deputy clerk of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the state’s second-highest court. Greenleaf left that position in March 2011.

photo courtesy of the Star Democrat

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Maryland’s Eastern Shore Continues to Suffer High Unemployment

WASHINGTON – Maryland’s Eastern Shore continues to suffer from high unemployment rates with three (3) counties having an unemployment rate of over 10% for the month of February (the last available month).

To see a table of the unemployment rates for each county, GO HERE.

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Caroline County Commissioners Kill Nuisance Ordinance

DENTON, MD – After strong public opposition to a proposed nuisance ordinance, the Caroline County Commissioners have decided to kill the measure.  The ordinance was originally brought forward in response to complaints from county residents about “eyesore” properties.

"Folks don’t want us or any other government telling them what they can and can’t do on their property," commissioner Jeff Ghrist said.

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Expect Delays at Dover Bridge

Dover Bridge

TANYARD, MD – Expect delays on the Dover Bridge today.  Crews will be inspecting the bridge today and will alternate traffic between 10 AM and 2 PM.  Over the weekend an over-height-limit truck struck the bridge.

Source – WMDT

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Preston Woman Killed on Route 331

TANYARD, MD – A Preston woman was killed Sunday evening while crossing Route 331 between Dover Bridge and Bethlehem.  Dorothy Ireland Christopher, 79, was crossing Route 331 from Chance’s Country Store to her home when she was struck at around 6:30 PM by a car driven by Kristina Marie Jones, 19, of Preston.

Christopher was pronounced dead Sunday evening at Easton Memorial Hospital.

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Caroline County Commissioners – February 21, 2012

DENTON, MD – The Caroline County Board of County Commissioners meets at 10:00 AM this morning in the Caroline County Courthouse.  The agenda for today’s meeting is:

 

 

 

 

[Read more…]

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State Funds to Caroline Schools Could Increase Significantly

DENTON, MD – Caroline County Public Schools could see an increase of $2.3 million in state funding in FY 2013 according to Milton Nagle, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services.  This would increase the state’s funding of Caroline public schools to $43.8 million.

READ MORE …

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Caroline County Commissioners Meeting Agenda – February 7, 2012

DENTON, MD – This is the agenda for today’s meeting of the Caroline County Board of County Commissioners:

9:00 AM  Commissioners Meeting Convenes; Call to Order, Invocation – Rev. Bill Davis, Calvary Baptist Church of Denton, Pledge of Allegiance

Public Comment

Joe Sheehan, Chief Executive Officer, Choptank Community Health System
Proclamation of February as Children’s Dental Health Month in Caroline County

Action Agenda:
 Minutes: Open session of January 31, 2012
 Authorization of DCT to Apply for Transportation Grants on Behalf of Tri-County Partnership

[Read more…]

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BREAKING NEWS – Accident Closes Dover Bridge

PRESTON, MD – The Star Democrat reports:

A three-car accident has caused Dover bridge to be closed. There are no apparent injures involved but the accident has blocked access to the bridge.

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Teacher Pension Shift Could Impact Eastern Shore Counties

SALISBURY, MD – Maryland governor Martin O’Malley’s plan to shift 50% of the cost of teacher pensions to the counties could have a sizable impact on the budgets of Eastern Shore counties.  Among those that could be hit the hardest are Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, and Worcester counties.

The Daily Times’ Brian Shane reports that Worcester County could be saddled with a $1 million addition to its FY 2013 budget and no help from the state to offset the costs.  While Wicomico’s burden would actually be larger, a state “disparity grant” would drop the actual FY 2013 to less than $800,000.  Somerset, Dorchester, and Caroline counties also qualify for “disparity grants”.

Because the final determination of the pension shift bill may not be known until April, it is unknown whether county governments are taking this into account when preparing their budgets for next year.  Proposed budgets are typically submitted to county councils or commissioners during the month of April.

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Caroline Residents “Guardedly Optimistic” About New Dover Bridge

PRESTON, MD – The Star Democrat reports that folks from Caroline County – regular citizens and elected officials alike – aren’t counting their chickens, despite Maryland Senate President Mike Miller’s promise of a new Dover Bridge.  They’ve been promised funding for a new bridge before.

Caroline County Commissioner Jeff Ghrist said "guardedly optimistic" accurately described his thoughts after Miller’s comments Wednesday on the opening day of the General Assembly.

"It’s outstanding news," said Ghrist. "Obviously, Sen. Miller has a track record of getting things done in Maryland, but words are cheap, particularly in Annapolis. Hopefully he follows through with what he says."

The bridge is a vital link between Caroline and Talbot counties, particularly for medical transport and for business.

Jay Covey, who owns Xpert Xpress delivery service in Federalsburg, said his company’s trucks frequently travel over the bridge, the lanes of which are two feet shorter in width than national standards. He said Miller’s comments could mean he’s staging a run for higher office.

"My first reaction when I read it (the newspaper article) was that he must be getting ready to run for governor," said Covey. "He’s going to run for governor; I’d be willing to bet you there. He’s never done anything for the Shore before, not that I know of."

Miller has pledged to obtain funding for the new bridge in this year’s budget, regardless of whether or not the members of the legislature representing Caroline County vote for the budget or not.

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Snow on DelMarVa

There are reports of snow falling throughout the mid-Shore and Lower Delaware:

Bridgeville
Seaford
Tilghman
East New Market Federalsburg

source – WBOC

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Volunteers Needed to Serve on Caroline County Boards and Commissions

DENTON, MD – If you live in Caroline County, the Board of County Commissioners NEEDS YOU!  They are currently seeking volunteers to serve on a variety of county boards and commissions.  The vacancies include:

  • 4-H and Youth Park Board (1 vacancy)
  • Social Service Board (2 vacancies)
  • Board of Electrical Examiners (1 vacancy)

Candidates should submit a brief letter of interest and a “County Biographical Information Form” to Melanie Smith, administrative assistant to the Board of County Commissioners.

The “County Biographical Information Form” can be obtained from Ms. Smith by calling 410-479-0660.  Completed applications may be submitted to the attention of Melanie Smith, Caroline County Commissioners, 109 Market St., Room 123, Denton, MD 21629; faxed to 410-479-4060 or sent via email to msmithcarolinemd.org.

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Maryland Receives Federal Crop Disaster Designation for 15 Counties

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley received approval from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack for Maryland’s request for a disaster designation for widespread crop losses due to extreme weather conditions this year, which included excessive heat, drought, and damage resulting from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

“Because farmers throughout most of Maryland experienced significant crop losses, we requested a disaster designation and thank Secretary Vilsack for granting it,” said Governor O’Malley.  “It is our hope that the designation will provide relief to the farmers who need it and help them prepare for the next growing season.”

“From April through October, Maryland farmers experienced widespread crop losses due to a variety of extreme weather conditions ranging from excessive heat, drought and flooding,” said Buddy Hance, secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture.  “Farmers in the disaster designation areas experienced market value losses exceeding 30 percent.”

This designation makes farm operators in the 15 primary counties – Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester – as well as the counties of Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Charles, Harford, Prince George’s, and the independent city of Baltimore – eligible to be considered for assistance from the USDA Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.  Farmers must have purchased crop insurance on eligible crops to quality for USDA disaster assistance programs.

This assistance includes USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. FSA will consider each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses, security available, and repayment ability. SURE Program applications for 2011 crop losses will be accepted in 2012, when the 2011 farm revenue data required by statute becomes available.

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Speed Cameras Approved in Denton

DENTON, MD – The Denton Town Council has unanimously approved the use of speed cameras near schools within the town limits.  Under the ordinance speed cameras may be placed within one half mile of Denton Elementary School, Lockerman Middle School and Wesleyan Christian School.

Under the terms of the ordinance, any vehicle registered driving over the posted speed limit will be issued a citation carrying a $40 fine.  If the fine is paid, the citation will not appear on the driver’s MVA record.

The speed cameras will operated from 6 AM – 8 PM Monday through Friday.  Signs will be posted warning motorists of the use of speed cameras.

READ MORE …

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New Greensboro Mayor Takes Office

GREENSBORO, MD – Joseph Noon, who won election as mayor by one (1) vote on November 8th, was sworn in as the town’s new mayor Thursday evening.  Noon’s first order of business as mayor is to “settle in and learn the ropes”.  He then plans to concentrate of how to increase the number of police officers in the town.

"That subject was brought up a couple of times at the (candidate) meet and greet (Oct. 27 at the Riverside Country Inn)," Noon said. "It’s important to the town residents."

In addition to Noon, Kristy Hutson and Kevin Reichart were sworn in as members of the town council.

READ MORE …

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Harris Visits Preston Area Business

PRESTON, MD – The First District’s Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) visited Preston-based Choptank Transport last week to tour the company’s facilities and see a new addition built to accommodate the firm’s growth.  Choptank expects to hire approximately 100 new people over the next five years, including 30 – 35 immediate new-hires.

Harris asked how the company has managed to grow in the current economic climate.

Geoff Turner said Choptank works a lot with the food industry, which has remained mostly steady. He said many of the company’s biggest clients are based in Chicago.

Other freight management companies that work closely with other industries, such as the automotive industry, have not fared as well, Turner said.

Choptank will cut the ribbon on their new addition December 9th.

READ MORE …

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Delmarva Schools Delayed by Fog

SALISBURY – Schools throughout Delmarva will be delayed 1 – 2 hours due to fog.

Accomack County Schools 2 Hours
Cape Henlopen School District 2 Hours
Caroline County Schools 2 Hours
Delmar School District 2 Hours
Dorchester County Schools 2 Hours
Indian River School District 2 Hours
Laurel School District 2 Hours
Milford School District 1 Hour
Queen Anne’s County Schools 90 Minutes
Seaford School District 2 Hours
Somerset County Schools 2 Hours
Sussex Tech School District 2 Hours
Talbot County Schools 90 Minutes
Wicomico County Schools 2 Hours
Woodbridge School District 2 Hours
Worcester County Schools 2 Hours

For a complete listing of all closings / delays, visit WBOC.com

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Fog Delays Eastern Shore Schools

SALISBURY, MD – Here is a list of schools delayed due to fog on Maryland’s Eastern Shore:

Wicomico County Schools 1 Hour
Worcester County Schools 1 Hour
Dorchester County Schools 2 Hours
Talbot County Schools 90 Minutes
Somerset County Schools 1 Hour
Queen Anne’s County Schools 90 Minutes
Caroline County Schools 2 Hours
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Sorry, No News Yet from Caroline County

We’re sorry, but we haven’t posted any news from Caroline County yet.  We’ve got plenty of news from the rest of DelMarVa.  Keep checking back.

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