Friday, December 31, 2010

"Drunkest City In America" Goes To Milwaukee

Just in time for New Year's Eve, Milwaukee is named the "Drunkest City in America." That's according to a list compiled by a website called The Daily Beast.

A recent national student shows Milwaukee adults take down more drinks than any other city in the country. On average, they drank nearly 13 alcoholic drinks a month. And according to "The Daily Beast," 21.8% of those adults are considered binge drinkers.

"The Daily Beast" says it compared three factors when compiling the list. They include average alcohol consumption per month, binge drinking levels, and the rate of death related to alcoholic liver disease.

Rounding out the top five drunkest cities are Fargo, San Francisco, Austin and Reno.

Cities known for their booze like New Orleans and Las Vegas ranked in the 20s and 30s. Some barely make the top 40 list.

Roads Still Need To Be Plowed !!!

WOW! A warm streak has hit us!!! That being said, the warmth from the sun should do alot with melting the ice and snow remaining on the roads that lead to where I live. At least one would think so............

I did see the snow plow travel by my window a few hours ago.......with his plow up. It has been a nightmare for them since Christmas night, I am sure and it is good to know that those guys are still working to clear these back roads.

But, here's the problem.......There is still plenty of snow or Horsey Road and Saxis Road that needs some immediate attention! If Accomack County and the state of Virginia have the funds to keep them riding in a nice warm trucks what is the reason they can't drop the plow on that truck to further clear the roads?!?

And don't try to tell me that they don't plow the small patches of snow and ice in the road.

These aren't......and I know better than that.

Dog Rescued From Icy Water At Inner Harbor By Baltimore Policeman

This is such a wonderful story.jmmb

Officer Americus J. Rambeau wasn't diving for a penny in the Inner Harbor on Wednesday night, but he did swim to save one.

Rambeau and other officers from the city police's marine unit rescued a black Labrador mix named Penny from a pier at Harborview Marina after she left her Federal Hill home, crossed Key Highway and leaped into the cold water.

"It was the right thing to do. [Penny] was struggling. Exhausted," said Rambeau, who donned a cold-water rescue suit and had to swim under two piers to capture the dog.

Penny's owner, Rachel Naumann, who asked to meet the officers from the unit Thursday and hugged them, said she was at work when her roommate opened the front door to sign for a package and Penny got out.

She said she spent hours searching the streets.

"I wasn't exactly sure what happened," Naumann, 25, said, but later "I heard a boat was involved" from a "friend of a friend" who saw the rescue take place. She said it was estimated that 1-year-old Penny spent nearly two hours in the cold water.

Police first received a 911 call about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday that a dog appeared to be in distress in the water, said Detective Jeremy Silbert, a department spokesman. A marine unit supervisor drove in a patrol car to the Harborview Marina in the 1000 block of Key Highway. Three officers went there by boat and spotted Penny. As they tried to get close to her, Rambeau said, she swam away underneath the pier.

He said, however, that Penny stopped struggling once she saw him in the water. She "was happy to have someone to hang onto," he said, once he got close enough to grab her.

After he got Penny safely onto the boat, she was taken by animal control officers to their facility for treatment for cold-water exposure and hypothermia, Silbert said.

Air temperatures at the time were around 38 degrees, Silbert said. According the National Weather Service, the water temperature was in the low 30s.

Rambeau did not require treatment.

Sgt. Michael Kain, who also aided in the rescue, said it was difficult to see the black dog at night in the dark water, but "it would've been the wrong thing for anyone to turn their back."

Rambeau said he loves animals — he owns
cats — and didn't question jumping in after Penny. He's had to make similar rescues for dogs, cats and, more commonly, deer, he said. In 1998, The Sun wrote about another Rambeau rescue when he helped save a 79-year-old man who jumped into the Inner Harbor.

When Naumann picked Penny up from the shelter Thursday morning, she said, Penny was huddled under a pile of blankets unhurt but looked frightened. When Naumann opened the crate door, she said, Penny lifted her head and happily licked Naumann's hand.

Naumann said that Penny was wearing dog tags with her contact information, and she had a microchip implanted in her on Thursday. She had to pay a $95 fee to get Penny from the shelter, but, she said, "I'm just happy she's back."

Penny is not normally a water dog, Naumann said. She thought Penny was most likely going after a seagull.

On Thursday afternoon, Penny was still exhausted. She was a little shy in front of TV crews and her rescuers, darting behind Naumann and twisting her new purple Ravens leash.

But, Naumann said, "she's getting a big dinner tonight."

Some Major Changes In Worcester County Court System

The court system in Worcester County saw a couple of major changes this week, with the top deputy prosecutor departing and a new judge appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Court Judge Theodore Eschenburg earlier this year.

Brian Shockley, 45, a partner in the Ocean City law firm, Williams, Moore, Shockley, Harrison, was named to the bench Wednesday by Gov. Martin O’Malley. Shockley earned his law degree from the University of Maryland in 1992 and practiced in Towson before returning to Ocean City in 1995 and joining his father, attorney Raymond Shockley, a partner in the firm. The younger Shockley made partner in 2000.

During his time there, he also served as an assistant state’s attorney from 1995- 1998. He also serves on the board of directors of the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Worcester County GOLD.

Meanwhile, a candidate for the position Shockley will now fill will be moving to the area full-time anyway, following the dismissal of Deputy State’s Attorney Mike Farlow.

Three days before Christmas, new State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby, who will be sworn in Monday, left a voice mail for Farlow, who was helping the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office in Salisbury. Farlow then left a voice mail for Oglesby, who called him later in the day at his home to ask him to meet at the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office in Snow Hill.

There, in a brief meeting, Oglesby told Farlow he was taking the office is a new direction and that Farlow, who had been with the State’s Attorney’s Office since October 2003, was not part of that plan.

“He’s got every right,” Farlow said Wednesday, although he said he was somewhat surprised at the timing. A few weeks ago, Oglesby met with all of the attorneys working under State’s Attorney Joel Todd and said he would not make any changes for four to six months.

“I figured I had a few extra months,” said Farlow, who surmises Oglesby may have perceived him as a potential challenger in the 2014 election.

“At this time, I’m not going to discuss personnel matters,” Oglesby said. He added that once he is sworn in he would be willing to talk publicly about the changes he has made and plans to make to the office.

To replace Farlow, Oglesby is expected to bring in Cheryl Jacobs, who has worked as an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore. Jacobs, who has a house in Ocean Pines, had also applied for the local judgeship.

Farlow was expected to prosecute Justin Hadel, who goes on trial in February for the murder of Christine Sheddy.

Lynn Dodenhoff, Sheddy’s mother, was distressed to learn Wednesday that Oglesby terminated Farlow. She had expected Farlow to work on the prosecution of Justin Hadel, the man charged with murdering her daughter. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 8-10.

“I am shocked and surprised. Mr. Oglesby recently assured me that he would not make any changes in the staff before my daughter’s case goes to trial in February,” she said.

by:Nancy Powell

Better Holiday Season Than Expected At Onley Walmart

The new Walmart in Onley had better than expected sales this holiday season.

According to Frank Durst, Manager of the Walmart, beginning with Black Friday in November, the event went probably smoother than any he has seen in his 18 years with the Walmart Company. According to Durst, sales were better than expected through out the entire season. Durst said there the store was filled to capacity and that merchandise was plentiful, although he noted that he would be ordering more wrapping paper next year.

Although the Shore woke up to major snow on the day after Christmas, the Onley Walmart was open with only 11 associates able to get to work that day. According to Durst, there were about 1,400 shoppers who braved the storm to take advantage of the after Christmas sales and to purchase other merchandise. By Wednesday, things were getting back to normal and associates as well shoppers were plentiful.

When asked what he might do differently for next year, Durst says that he plans to have a bigger variety of merchandise, something shoppers will see happening all year long. Durst credits his great sales associates and very good customers for the successful beginning for Walmart on the eastern shore.

He also says that he appreciates how the community has welcomed Walmart and that he feels very much at home on Virginias Eastern Shore.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tangier Island Doctor Dies

TANGIER ISLAND, Va.- Dr. David B. Nichols, the man credited for bringing health care to Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay, died Thursday following a battle with cancer. He was 62.

Nichols died at his home in White Stone, Va., surrounded by family and friends.

His passing comes less than four months after his biggest dream came true- the Aug. 29 dedication of a new $1.4 million state-of-the-art medical clinic to serve the 525 residents of Tangier Island. The clinic was renamed the David B. Nichols Health Center in his honor. It replaced a clinic that was more than 50 years of age.
First by boat, then by light plane and helicopter, Nichols regularly made the 12-mile trip to Tangier Island on his day off every week for 31 years to see patients there. Nichols continued to treat the sick as the island's primary doctor even after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
more on

WANTED - Slightly Used Coats

Onley United Methodist Church will have a free coat closet on the 2nd Saturday of each month starting November 13 from 9:00-11:00 AM for anyone in need of a coat.

For more information or if you are unable to come during this time, please call the church office at 787-4155 or Jeannette Edwards at 787-1436.

Have a coat to give? Drop it off at the church or the Onley Town office.

Check your closets. Have your neighbor check theirs. Everyone has those old coats hanging from year to year. And every year you say this will be the year to get rid of them. Well, let THIS be the year! If you have any slightly worn coats in your closets get them out and donate them to the needy.
If you are unable to drop them off in Onley ask in your area where you can take them. There are needy people all around us and alot of them would appreciate the warmth your unused coat will bring to them or to their loved one.
Do it today.

Fingerprints Used To Identify Illegal Immigrants Charged In Crimes

Anne Arundel County joined a federal program this week that is aimed at helping identify illegal immigrants who have been arrested and accused of other crimes.

The program employs fingerprint identification using federal databases, and officials say it will be implemented nationwide by 2013.

The program, called Secure Communities, was started under the George W. Bush administration but has become a priority in the Obama administration's enforcement efforts for illegal immigration. With the help of local law enforcement authorities and jails, the ability to quickly identify illegal immigrants who have committed crimes or are accused of committing them is improved under the program, supporters say.
In Arundel, fingerprints taken at booking will go into a wider Homeland Security database. Potential matches will be identified within hours, said Terry Kokolis, superintendent of the county jail.

When there is a match, immigration officials are notified and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement generally moves to have the person detained by local authorities. After the defendant's court case or incarceration ends, he is held for ICE. At that point, ICE may pick him up and begin deportation proceedings.

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold said Secure Communities appeals to him in part because it is based on fingerprints. "Fingerprints don't lie," he said.

County officials say the reliance on technology reduces the possibility of human error and could cut down on accusations of profiling by law enforcement.

But critics, including Kim Propeack, director of community organizing and political action for Casa de Maryland, say that while the program can help rid communities of violent criminals, it also is flawed and has led immigrants elsewhere — legal and illegal — to think that police are stopping them on another pretext because the officer suspects they are in the country illegally.

They say the program is sweeping up many immigrants whose criminal cases are dropped or who are convicted of minor charges, though Leopold countered that "so-called nuisance crimes become a breeding ground for other crimes."

Immigrant advocates in the county say a program with the potential to increase deportations creates problems of its own, including spending thousands of dollars to deport people who are in the country illegally. Immigrants who are victims of or witnesses to crime may be afraid to come forward as a result of the program, for fear of being deported.

"It's just a chilling factor," said Bob Feldmann, an outreach coordinator with OHLA, the Organization of Hispanic and Latin Americans of Anne Arundel County Inc., an immigrant aid group.

Part of the problem, he said, is that many immigrants — legal or not — live in fear of deportation and don't understand immigration law.

Capt. Randy Jones Sr., commander of special enforcement in the county Police Department, said that a lack of a fingerprint match in a federal database does not necessarily mean the person is in the country illegally, but only that the person's prints are not in the database.

But "that's the beginning of your record. If you provide a different name next time, we have fingerprints to show it," he said. And fingerprints will turn up every photo taken of that person in the government database. "It's going to catch the people that are using multiple aliases," he said.

Delmarva Discovery Center Events For 2011

Attempt To Smuggle Cocaine and Heroin Into Baltimore By Cruise Ship Crew

On a frigid morning this month, customs agents lay in wait as the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Enchantment of the Seas arrived in Baltimore.

Along with tourists fresh from a 12-day excursion to the Caribbean, agents were expecting the arrival of crew members attempting to smuggle drugs into the United States.

As soon as the vessel docked Dec. 18, agents pulled aside crew member Gavin Excell, 35, suspected by the ship's security officer of bringing drugs aboard. Customs agents say they found 700 grams of heroin and 300 grams of cocaine wrapped in duct tape and hidden in his waistband and shoes.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday accuses Excell and two other cruise line employees — John Swart Garth and Kishurn Neptune, both 27 — of picking up more than a kilogram of heroin and 500 grams of cocaine in the Dominican Republic when the cruise ship stopped there Dec. 10, with the intention of delivering it to associates in Baltimore.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean International said it maintains a "strict zero tolerance policy regarding illegal drugs on its ships." The company said it "cooperated fully with authorities during this investigation and will continue providing any assistance necessary to prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law."

Cynthia Martinez, a spokeswoman for Royal Caribbean, could not immediately confirm whether the three men had been fired.

Marketed toward vacationing families, the Enchantment of the Seas began operating out of Baltimore last summer and features luxury amenities, six whirlpools, a rock-climbing wall and a solarium. The ship can accommodate 2,252 guests, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.

According to the court filing, Garth and Neptune worked in the ship's galley, or kitchen, an area largely out of view of passengers.

Richard Scher, a spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration, which operates the cruise ship terminal, said safety at the Baltimore port has been improved, earning a near-perfect security assessment from the Coast Guard the past three years.

"It's always a concern whenever you have a case like this occur, whether it happens on land or in sea," Scher said. "But certainly when you've got a ship such as the Enchantment that is linked to the port of Baltimore, it's a concern."

According to an affidavit written by an agent from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and filed Tuesday in federal court, Excell told authorities he had picked up the drugs with Garth and Neptune from a Jamaican in the Dominican Republic and had been instructed to hand them over to a man named "Tony" at the Port Covington Walmart near the Cruise Maryland Terminal.

On the morning of Dec. 18, authorities said they saw Garth getting into and out of a black GMC Envoy with Virginia license plates outside the Walmart. Garth later told customs agents that he had been paid $4,000 to deliver three packages of drugs to Loxly Johnson, 48, and Shenika Graves, 34, who were inside the vehicle.

Johnson, a Jamaican citizen and legal resident of the United States, was stopped by customs agents on Hanover Street after leaving the Walmart lot. According to documents, agents found $8,000 in his car. Other agents approached Graves, who was still at the Walmart. In her purse, according to the affidavit, were three packages containing 700 grams of heroin and 300 grams of cocaine, also wrapped in duct tape.

Johnson and Graves face the same charges as the three crew members: conspiring to import drugs into the country.

Excell, a Jamaican citizen, is in federal custody in Baltimore and an arraignment is scheduled Jan. 7, said his attorney, Chris Purpura. He said his client will plead not guilty.

Johnson, also known as Desmond Williams, is in federal custody, said Joseph L. Evans, an assistant federal public defender. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has lodged an immigration detainer against Johnson, Evans said.

Graves' attorney, Thomas L. Crowe, said his client is a "solid citizen" and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

"She has absolutely no criminal record," Crowe said. "She's never been accused of being involved in anything like this. She maintains her innocence."

Graves has been released, Crowe said, and is in Virginia with family.

Garth and Neptune were in federal custody Wednesday but had not been indicted, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore.

A task force of immigration and customs agents, police from Baltimore city and county, and the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, was responsible for the investigation and arrests, said Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Industry experts said the arrests display the effective partnership in place between cruise lines and federal law enforcement.

Michael Crye, executive vice president of the Cruise Line International Association, a trade group, said cruise companies have formal agreements with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security so security staff can report any incidents or suspicions regarding passengers or crew.

"The fact that the system seemed to work properly in this case is a good indication that the ship was maintaining its vigilance and doing the right thing," he said.

Cruise lines typically screen passengers, crew and their belongings when they get on and off the ship, but do not conduct a thorough search of each person boarding, Crye said.

In October 2008, a British citizen was caught trying to smuggle 20 kilograms of cocaine into Britain as a passenger on a cruise ship that sailed from St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Last August, he was sentenced to 101/2 years in prison, according to news reports.

Skylor Harmon Charged With First-Degree Murder

POCOMOKE CITY, Md. -- A day after authorities announced Skylor Dupree Harmon was being charged with the death of an Accomack County man in a shooting earlier this year, police apprehended their fugitive suspect at a Walmart store.

Police say Harmon, who is charged with the first-degree murder, was arrested without incident by a state police fugitive apprehension team and a special team of Worcester sheriff's deputies in Pocomoke City.

Harmon is being held without bond in connection with the death of Reginald Jerome Handy Jr.

Handy, 22, a resident of New Church, was slain Wednesday, May 26. He was the son of Reginald and Evangela Handy Sr. He was a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Wardtown.

At a news conference last week, Deputy State's Attorney Michael Farlow as well as representatives from numerous police agencies announced they believed Harmon killed Handy in May.

A different man, Alexander Crippen, 36, was the first person charged with murder in Handy's death, but those murder charges were dropped before Crippen's trial; he was later convicted of attempting to kill a different man, based on testimony about what he did at the same scene where Handy died.

At the press conference, Farlow said the forensic evidence which exonerated Crippen of murder charges has been "very helpful in determining who the actual shooter was."

According to recently filed court documents, the night Handy was shot at 503 Laurel St., a witness says he saw the flash of a gun go off beside 500 Young St., which parallels Laurel in marking off the long sides of a narrow residential block. The witness, who is unidentified in court documents, also said immediately after the shooting, he saw Skylor Harmon near the flash.

Police later found a .223 Bushmaster assault rifle between 500 and 502 Young Street, which was later determined to be the weapon that shot and killed Handy, court records say.

Harmon is also being charged, in separate court cases, with resisting arrest, failure to obey law enforcement, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, disorderly conduct, making a false statement to a police officer, malicious destruction of property and obstructing and hindering.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chincoteague Causeway Now Snow Drift Free

CHINCOTEAGUE ISLAND, Va.- The Chincoteague Causeway has re-opened after it was closed due to high winds and snow drifts from Sunday's winter storm.

Holiday travelers were held up for hours as they tried to drive on the only road that leads to the island.

Chincoteague residents were stuck on the island at the same time.

One family traveled from Delaware and they say they were trapped at the Royal Farms convenience store for nearly four hours. Virginia State Police directed them into the parking lot until the causeway re-opened.

One man on the island said even the snow plow trucks were having a rough time handling the snow drifts and wind.

After the causeway re-opened to traffic on Tuesday morning, motorists were able to reach their holiday vacation destinations and people on the island were able to once again drive to the mainland.

One of the most treacherous areas of the Chincoteague Causeway is the area known to locals as the 'Pumphouse Turn'. The high winds and drifting made it difficult for anyone to travel, including those that work on and off Chincoteague.

Exmore Without Water Yesterday

According to sources, the town of Exmore's main waterline ruptured along Main Street Tuesday afternoon.

In order to repair the break, the entire water system had to be shut down which left all houses on the system without water.

According to Exmore Town Manager Artie Miles crews working on repairing the break completed work at 11:45 PM Tuesday evening. The town was without water for less than a half day.

Lost Dog Reunited With Family Is 'Christmas Miracle'

WASHINGTON - Andi Vanko starts her mornings with a prayer: "I say, 'Please don't let me see a little stray on the side of the road.'"

Because if Vanko sees one, she'll stop for it.

And that's exactly what happened on Christmas Day.

She, her boyfriend and her mom were in the car driving along Route 140 in Carroll County when she saw it - a little Golden Retriever dashing in and out of traffic.

Vanko and her boyfriend were chatting and laughing while her mom slept in the back seat.

"I started screaming and he says the next thing he knows, we're flying across the turn lane and two lanes of traffic."

Vanko got out of the car and called to the little dog.

"And she came bounding to me and jumped on me like, 'Please! Help me!'" Vanko says.

Vanko hustled the dog into her already-full car, and drove on to her sister's house for Christmas dinner.

When she got there, she explained the situation. Soft hearts seem to run in the family.

Her sister had one question: "Does she bite?" When Vanko told her no, she added "Okay, let's get a leash. Bring her in, we'll feed her."

They checked her collar and found three tags, one with the word "GRREAT" on it.

Vanko thought that was odd.

"I looked at her and I said "GRREAT! What a funny name for you!'"

GRREAT wasn't the dog's name. It was an acronym for Golden Retriever Rescue Education And Training.

A call to the organization was returned quickly: The dog had been microchipped, the GRREAT volunteer was able to crosscheck a database and within hours, the dog's owners were on the way to pick up their wayward pup "Jazzy."

Vanko says a couple from Silver Spring had been in the area for a hike when Jazzy bolted and took off. They had no luck trying to catch her.

Vanko says she could see why. When she stopped to get the dog, two men approached the dog and she initially thought they were the owners. Like, her, they stopped to try to catch the dog, who had been dodging traffic on Route 140 for about 15 minutes when Vanko stopped.

Vanko says that's one reason she says that little prayer each morning.

"For some reason, stray animals have always been drawn to me."

When the dog's owners showed up, Vanko was thrilled for them, but admits she was a bit sad.

She lost her own dog about a year and a half ago and had already given the dog a new name, "Holly."

"She spent the day with us and she was the perfect little creature! And I thought, I hope no one calls me back about this little dog!"

But being able to reunite the dog with her owners was its own reward.

"When she saw her daddy, she was over the moon. And they were so thankful. They gave me a big, big hug. It was like a little Christmas miracle."

GRREAT is a local rescue group that offers all kinds of help and advice to those looking for a dog, and those who feel they have to surrender their dogs. Learn more about the organization by clicking here.

Virginia National Guard Aids Motorists During Snow Storm

Monday, December 27, 2010

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Virginia National Guard soldiers are assisting Virginia State Police and local emergency response organizations respond to stranded motorists on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

A total of eight soldiers in four Humvees are conducting the support mission on Monday.

According to a Virginia National Guard statement, one adult and two children were transported from a stranded vehicle off Route 13 near Cape Charles to a local hotel around 4:45 a.m. Another three citizens stranded in their car for more than four hours were rescued around 6:30 a.m. in the Onancock area and taken to a local shelter.

The soldiers are also transporting emergency services personnel to work at the local hospital.

In Hampton Roads, Virginia Guard soldiers conducted mounted route patrols Sunday night into Monday morning in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach and assisted several motorists free their cars from being stuck in the snow.

Since early Sunday morning, approximately 100 Virginia National Guard soldiers have been staged and ready to provide support to emergency response organizations in Hampton Roads.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment; 2d Squadron, 183d Cavalry Regiment and 429th Brigade Support Battalion are providing personnel for the operation. Soldiers are staged at the Hampton and Norfolk readiness centers.

Governor Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia Saturday afternoon, a step authorizing state agencies to take precautionary action to prepare for any potential impacts of significant snow accumulation in the region. The declaration authorized the Adjutant General of Virginia to call up those resources he thinks necessary to ensure the Guard can fulfill its mission to provide snow recovery operations.

On Sunday soldiers conducted route reconnaissance patrols in Humvees to assess road conditions in the Hampton Roads area, said Col. Gerald T. Catrett, joint operations officer for the Virginia Guard.

"The key to rapid response for this event is having personnel in place and ready to respond before the snow begins falling in the region," Catrett said. "By calling in soldiers Saturday night while the roads were still clear, we were able to have a force in place and ready to respond Sunday morning.

The Virginia National Guard receives their missions through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to assist state and local emergency response organizations and is not able to respond to direct support requests from the public, Catrett said. "If the snow storm causes any conditions where people need assistance, they should request assistance through their local dispatcher or 911 service, not directly to the Virginia Guard. When appropriate, the request for assistance will be forwarded to us for action," he said.

Sirens To Sound In Worcester County

On Jan. 1 Worcester County emergency alert signals are scheduled to sound from area fire sirens at 10 a.m. A steady alert tone will sound for approximately one minute.

In the event of an actual emergency, the sirens would be used as additional means to warn the surrounding communities of imminent danger and the need to tune to either radio, television or the Internet for information.

DNA Links Suspect To Burglary

BERLIN, Md.- Police in Worcester County said Tuesday that they used DNA evidence to connect a suspect to the burglary of a Berlin business.

Martino Galeaz, 39, of Ocean City, is charged with second-, third- and fourth-degree burglary and theft over $1,000.

Detectives with the Worcester County said Galeaz's arrest stemmed from a burglary that occurred earlier this year at Atlantic Aquatech on 10902 Ocean Gateway.

Authorities said an investigation revealed the suspect entered the business and stole a number of items, including power tools. Through DNA analysis from evidence collected at the crime scene, investigators identified Galeaz as the suspect.

After his arrest on the aforementioned charges, Galeaz was locked up in the Worcester County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to contact the WCBI at (410) 352-3476, or Maryland State Police at (410) 641-3101.

Bill For More EPA Power Dies In Lame Duck-Session

Congress passed over the Chesapeake Clean Water Act during the lame duck session, which was folded into a larger bill called the America's Great Outdoors Act. The bill would have given the Environmental Protection Agency greater power monitor and take steps to reduce the Bay's pollution.

Senate leaders could not gather enough votes to prevent a filibuster on the America's Great Outdoors Act.

The Chesapeake Clean Water Act would have put into law many of the bay cleanup actions already under way by the EPA. However, the bill's co-sponsors Senators Benjamin Cardin and Elijah Cummings, both of Maryland, have said they will reintroduce the bill in the next Congress.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation was a major backer of the bill and lobbied for it.

The region's riverkeepers, however, felt the bill was weakened too much during the Senate committee process.

However, the bill drew strong opposition from farming groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation. The farm bureau said the Chesapeake Clean Water Act would fundamentally change the way the existing Clean Water Act is enforced.

The bill may have a tougher road to approval the next time around, particularly in the House of Representatives, which is switching to Republican control.

Even with the bill's failure, the Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort is moving ahead. Next week, the EPA will finalize a pollution diet that will limit how much nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment can flow into rivers, streams and the Chesapeake. The goal of the diet is to reduce pollution enough to eventually get the bay off the list of the nation's "impaired waters." States that don't meet their new limits could face federal sanctions.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Worst Snow Storm In Over A Century

The worst snow storm to hit the Eastern Shore in December in over a century has passed but the effects are still being felt.

High winds began howling Sunday night just after sun down and continued throughout the day Monday and into Tuesday, reaching gusts as high as 50 mph. These high gusts have created large snow drifts, as the snow was still dry and fluffy.

Road ways were blocked by the snow drifts, and motorists who did not heed warnings of the hazardous conditions have left cars stranded on a slew of roads throughout the Eastern Shore, further blocking roadways.

According to Meteorologist Jon Cash, sun shine and higher temperatures today will begin to melt the snow. This in turn will make the snow more moist, heavy and less likely to be blown by the wind. High temperatures are expected at the end of the week which will likely rid the region of any remnants of the storm by the weekend.

However, motorists are still urged not to travel. Cars which get stuck in snow drifts will further block traffic and create more difficulties for VDOT to clear the roadways.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Surf dog helps special needs kids fetch waves!

VIDEO: SURF DOG RICOCHET HELPS SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS FETCH WAVES:  As 2010 comes to a close, this video montage shows Ricochet's year of working with special needs kids, and people with disabilities in a non "traditional" SURFice dog kind of way! She thanks all the kids, people and organizations for allowing her to be part of their lives

$9000+ TOY DRIVE UPDATE:  Donations to Ricochet's Surfin' Santa Paws Toy drive continued to come in, even after delivery on December 22nd.  Final totals ended with $9045 in donations, and more than 3400 toys delivered to kids at Rady Children's Hospital, and to Helen Woodward Animal Center's dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, and birds... yes, Ricochet stopped chasing birds long enough to give them toys!  Ricochet sincerely thanks everyone for their donations and involvement... so do the animals, as you can see in this video...  

$5000 WHEELCHAIR DONATION:  Ricochet presented Tamandra Michaels, a woman with spina bifida a brand new $5000 wheelchair donated by the TiLite Wheelchair company (  Tamandra had been using a very dangerous chair she kept falling out of.  In fact, Ricochet used her old chair during toy delivery (Ricochet injured her foot a few days prior), and she fell out of it twice! Ricochet is very grateful to TiLIte for donating this amazing new chair!

Ricochet wishes everyone a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year!!  For more info on the toy drive, the kids, people and organizations she works with, please visit

State's Attorney, Joel Todd, Bids Farewell

SNOW HILL – Departing Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd paid a surprise visit to the Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday.

Todd, who recently lost his bid for re-election to Beau Ogelsby by a slim margin, took the opportunity to say his farewells to the commissioners he has worked with during his multiple terms as the county’s top prosecutor. He also thanked them for the level of effort they had put into running the county.

“I know I’ve said it before but it bears repeating,” stated Todd. “I’ve always been impressed with the quality of government in this county.”

Todd then commented on the growth of the commission over the last decade or so. Todd mentioned that when he took office the commission was not diverse ethnically or in terms of gender, but things were different now.

“The makeup (of the commission) has changed and I think it’s for the better,” Todd said. “I hope one day Washington looks at Worcester County…that they take a page out of your book.”

Todd said he believes the commissioners were “always interested in the greater good” for the county.

Todd also passed along a few departing requests. He asked the commissioners to consider granting county employees a raise as soon as they could in such a weak economy.

Beyond that, Todd encouraged the commissioners to supply as much funding as possible to Diakonia.

“It’s more than just a homeless shelter,” said Todd.

Each commissioner took a moment to thank Todd for his service. Many had known Todd for years and reminisced about the past.

“I’ve known him a long time…good people, good family,” said Commissioner Madison Bunting.

“I guess I remember Joel more for the bagpipe thing,” admitted Commissioner Virgil Shockley, referring to the first time he’d met Todd, playing bagpipes at a funeral.

Shockley joked, “I always thought it took a real man to wear a quilt.”

County Attorney and former commissioner Sonny Bloxom was one of the last to speak. He cited his unique experience with Todd, both as a member of the bar and as a commissioner.

“Joel raised professionalism and expertise to an all-time high [in his office],” Bloxom said.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Will It Start In The Morning?

When you think you have it bad it doesn't take much looking to see that some of the worst days of our lives are merely everyday occurrences to a lot of people.

When I started looking at these pictures it was hard for me to stop so below is a collage of various vehicles stuck in a little snow.

Which one do you think will start in the morning?

^^^I can tell you with 100% certainty that this one ^^^^ will not start in the morning.^^^ 

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