Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cable Snaps On OC Roller Coaster

OCEAN CITY -- Three people were injured by an Ocean City roller coaster accident, but how the injuries occurred isn't completely clear.

A preliminary investigation report from state officials claims all three injured were bystanders, but an amusement park staff member said only one was injured waiting in line while the other two were aboard the coaster.

The accident late Thursday led to three girls being hospitalized with nonlife-threatening injuries. No one fell off the roller coaster.

"The ride actually worked as it should -- it protected everybody who was on it," said Shannon Davis, a spokeswoman with the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

DLLR inspectors found that a mechanical malfunction caused a cable to snap.

The Tidal Wave ride at Trimper's Rides & Amusements, a single-loop coaster located at the corner of South First Street and Baltimore Avenue, will remain closed and under DLLR control until the investigation is complete.

Ocean City Police spokeswoman Jessica Waters said the injured riders were a 15-year-old from Brunswick, Md.; a 15-year-old from Annapolis; and a 10-year-old whose hometown was unavailable.

Police first received a call at 9:32 p.m. Thursday for a building fire, said Ocean City Police spokesman Mike Levy, but it was soon determined there was no fire.

Dennis Ketlinger of Union Bridge, Md., was an eyewitness to the accident.

"I heard a big 'pow!' and everybody took off running," he said. "My uncle, who's 70, he was freaking (out). He was like, 'run, run!' I turned to look. I'm watching it, I see this cable snap. I'm like, 'oh my God,' and I see it whipping."

Ketlinger said the flailing cable punched a hole in the roof of a wooden structure that covers people waiting in line for the ride. As bystanders yanked open the cart doors to release the passengers, smoke and sparks surrounded them.

"Now my kids are devastated. They wouldn't sleep last night. They're like, 'I can never ride a roller coaster again,' " Ketlinger said.

Park manager Brooks Trimper said there has never been an accident of any sort on the Tidal Wave, which opened in 1985. The rest of the park will remain open during the accident investigation.

Judge Affirms Somerset Deputy's Firing

SALISBURY -- A former Somerset deputy who filed a civil lawsuit stating he was wrongfully terminated lost his most recent court battle when a judge affirmed the sheriff's decision.

If James Troy Durham, a 42-year-old Pocomoke City resident, does not appeal the Circuit Court judge's decision, this could mean the end of his law enforcement career.

"I have a right to appeal this decision in the Maryland Special Court of Appeals," Durham said. "I thank God for blessing me with a great 20-year career and I thank my family, friends and the community that I served for all of their love and support they provided me through this."

The former sheriff's deputy has been fighting a legal battle for almost two years since filing a grievance against the Sheriff's Office in September 2008. The grievance alleged internal corruption and accused co-workers of forcing him to change a police report.

Five days after filing the grievance with the County Commissioners, Durham was placed on administrative leave and eventually terminated.

Durham alleged the sheriff, Robert "Bobby" N. Jones, fired him in a retaliatory move for the grievance he filed against the Sheriff's Office.

But in the court order ruling on the civil lawsuit, the judge was not persuaded to support Durham's claims.

"There is no evidence that retaliation by Sheriff Jones played any part in (Durham's)termination," wrote Judge W. Newton Jackson III, a visiting Circuit Court judge from Wicomico County, in his opinion dated July 13. "At best, it is speculation."

Durham said he was shedding light on police corruption by filing the grievance and circulating it among other agencies in an attempt to solicit help. But a police hearing board found him guilty of disseminating departmental information and engaging in unbecoming conduct after Durham sent a copy of his grievance to outside agencies -- including the Maryland Attorney General's Office, Maryland State Police, local media and a U.S. senator from Virginia -- according to a copy of the hearing board report obtained by The Daily Times.

Durham said he only disseminated information outside the agency after he was told the grievance he filed against Jones would be investigated by Jones.

The police board convened a two-day hearing July 16 and recommended a five-day suspension for disseminating department information and another five days for unbecoming conduct, according to a report on the hearing proceedings.

The sheriff deviated from the board's recommendations and terminated Durham for reasons stated in a hearing Sept. 16.

According to transcripts from the September hearing, Jones said Durham undermined the public's trust and hampered the Sheriff's Office's ability to protect the public when he distributed copies of the grievance.

Durham is accepting donations to help cover the cost of a court appeal and may be contacted at 1235 Cedar Hall Road, Pocomoke City, Md. 21851 or 443-614-8965.

Take It Easy Today In This Heat................



Virginia;s Senator Webb.......

Va. Sen. Webb restates opposition to some affirmative action programs in op-ed

Just as racial issues have returned to the forefront of political debate, Virginia Sen. James Webb (D) on Friday reiterated his opposition to some affirmative action programs and suggested that white Americans are being "marginalized" by current government policies.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined "Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege," Webb writes: "Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers."

This is not a new topic for Webb, whose complicated views on race-based programs were an issue in his 2006 Senate campaign, when some of his fellow Democrats complained that Webb sounded like a Republican. In a 2000 book review, also published in the Wall Street Journal, Webb wrote that affirmative action "has within one generation brought about a permeating state-sponsored racism that is as odious as the Jim Crow laws it sought to countermand."

Webb has said he supports some preferential programs for African Americans but not for other ethnic and immigrant groups. He reiterated that point in Friday's op-ed.

"I have dedicated my political career to bringing fairness to America's economic system and to our work force, regardless of what people look like or where they may worship," Webb writes. "Unfortunately, present-day diversity programs work against that notion, having expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white."

Webb's latest airing of his views comes during a week when racial issues have dominated the headlines, after the firing of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod sparked debates on alleged "reverse racism" and whether the Obama administration -- and society as a whole -- is capable of engaging in mature discussions of racial issues without descending into acrimony.

Asked whether Webb's latest piece was prompted by the racial controversies of recent days, Webb spokesman Will Jenkins said Webb would let the article speak for itself.

Though Webb's position on affirmative action has long been known, at least one prominent Virginia Democrat -- former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder -- was highly critical of Friday's column.

"If it's not for the civil rights movement and diversity programs, he would not be a United States senator today," Wilder told the Associated Press, referring to Webb's 2006 victory with the help of minority voters. "Things are tough enough without having people you thought were friends do things like this."

In recent weeks, some conservatives have cited the controversy over the New Black Panther party and comments by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to promote the idea that the current White House is biased against whites.

Webb makes no such allegation in his op-ed, although he does complain that immigrants who have come to America in recent decades "have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs. The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans, including those whose roots in America go back more than 200 years."

The Delmarva Discovery Center Conducting Presentations At Public Libraries

The Delmarva Discovery Center wildlife educators will be visiting the Eastern Shore Public Libraries in Accomack, Chincoteague, Cape Charles, and Nassawadox, VA.

Meet amazing cold-blooded (ectothermic) sea creatures and reptiles from the Eastern Shore. Learn how a sea urchin is like an eyeball and what a horseshoe crab uses its tail for, plus much more!

The presentations will last approximately 45 minutes and will include live local animals and are appropriate for all ages.

For more information please contact the Eastern Shore Public Library at 757.787.3400.

Thursday, August 12 at 1:30 Nassawadox Public Library

Thursday, August 12 at 4:30 Cape Charles Public Library

Thursday, August 19 at 1:30 Accomack Public Library

Thursday, August 19 at 4:00 Chincoteague Public Library



Saturday July 24, 2010

9:00 AM until 1:00 AM

Location: Saxis Firehouse

Saxis Island, Virginia

Proceeds from the car wash will go to the family of Courtney Bloxom.

For those of you that do not know, Courtney is a local teenage girl that has been hospitalized and in a coma since May 2010 due to an automobile accident just a few weeks shy of her high school graduation from Arcadia High.

She continues to make remarkable progress, and her doctors along with family and friends are very proud of her. However, expenses that occurr everyday can be overwhelming.

Please help in anyway you can.

Prayers, of course, are always accepted too.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Three More Die From Heat In Maryland

Three heat-related deaths were confirmed Friday by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, bringing this year's total to 16, surpassing 2009's year total of 6.

Two of the three deaths were seniors, one of which was a Baltimore City resident found at home without air conditioning. The other senior was found outdoors in Prince George's County when temperatures exceeded 90 degrees, said David Paulson from the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.

The third death was one of only three non-senior heat-related deaths this year, according to Paulson. This individual was found inside an un-air conditioned automobile in Prince George's County.

All three victims suffered from hypertension or heart conditions. So far this year, 15 of the 16 heat-related deaths were in individuals with underlying heart conditions.

With heat index values forecasted to exceed 100 degrees Friday and Saturday, Paulson reminded people to look after their neighbors.

"Please check on your neighbors," Paulson said. "Especially seniors, to make sure they're doing okay. Maybe even more than once a day."

Lexington Market Drug Investigation-- 85 Pounds of Pot

A drug investigation that started at Lexington Market led to a raid last night in Northeast Baltimore that netted 85 pounds of suspected marijuana and the seizure of more than $2,100 in cash, police said.

The raid occurred at about 5 p.m. in the 1600 block of Waverly Way, located within the Renaissance Club apartments. Det. Kevin Brown, a city police spokesman, said David Andrews, 48, and Dwayne Jackson, 51, are believed to have been supplying dealers at the downtown market.

Jackson was being held on $2 million bond, while Andrews was held on $500,000 bond, according to court records. Those are high bails - I couldn't find any prior arrest history for either man in the city.

Lexington Market was recently the focus of a CNN report about prescription drugs. The footage of the bust isn't great, but the DEA apparently allowed the reporter to do an on-camera interview with a man who had been taken into custody. The report concludes that prescription drug sales at the market are "booming."And who could forget the Utz potato chip stall owner accused of selling guns to gang members?

I've got a hankering for a Faidley's crab cake just writing about the market...

Speaking of marijuana: prosecutors filed documents in federal court seeking to seize a Woodstock, Md. home after police discovered 10 pounds of marijuana and 660 marijuana plants in a kennel on the property of Roger Alan Smith at 10820 Furman Lane, near Marriottsville Road. The Carroll County drug task force had received a tip in June that Smith was growing large amounts of marijuana, and police used a thermal scan to detect an unusually large amount of heat coming from an area of the kennel, court records show. It does not appear Smith has yet been charged in connection with the raid.

Baltimore Crime Beat/by Peter Hermann


Same old weather...........different day!

Most people are tired of this heat and high humidity. In fact they have been tired of it!

As for myself, the true lover of this high humidity and heat, would welcom a nice cool breeze and an all night steady, but gentle cool rain.

Here's a Heat Advisory Warning that continues into Friday. Please use good judgement when you are outside. And try to stay away from sodas and alcohol. Water is best.......even if you don't like it. You wouldn't like a heat stroke either!





Fate Of the USNS Comfort

There was a rare instance of sweet harmony this week in the normally bitter realm of Maryland politics. The possibility that the Navy might move the USNS Comfort's home port from Baltimore to Norfolk, Va., in 2013 brought Republicans and Democrats together. From both sides of the aisle came the call to keep the 1,000-bed hospital ship berthed in Canton.

Helen Delich Bentley, who as a Republican member of Congress was instrumental in bring the ship to Baltimore in 1988, this week was working with Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger to block the move. Mrs. Bentley called the 894-foot-long ship "an icon," part of the local landscape. "When you are driving in any direction you can see the Comfort, and it is a comfort," she told The Baltimore Sun.

Mr. Ruppersberger praised the ship as a longstanding "source of pride and jobs" for the Baltimore area. He wants to require the Navy to do a cost-benefit analysis before making a decision. Senator Mikulski called for a federally funded study to examine how moving the ship would affect its mission.

The Comfort has become, to steal a phrase from former President George W. Bush, a uniter not a divider.

How long, we wonder, will this kinship last?

What if moving the Comfort to Norfolk proves to be a better use of taxpayer dollars? The last time we looked, Norfolk was closer to the Atlantic Ocean, where the ship sails, than to Baltimore, which sits in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, Congress is considering spending $10 million to fix up a pier in Norfolk, which could be the Comfort's new home.

Putting the ship in Baltimore makes it an easy drive to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, where many Navy medical personnel are stationed. Moreover, the Navy spent $5 million two years ago to upgrade the pier in Canton that the Comfort now calls home. Why move out just after you fixed up the place?

The Comfort has done good work. It has provided emergency medical care for U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf War and Iraq. It has responded to domestic disasters, sailing to New York after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Last January, it went on a two-month mission to Haiti, providing humanitarian relief to victims of a devastating earthquake.

Quick it isn't. Once it is called to duty, it has five days to get ready. Maybe the half day it spends steaming down the bay to get to the ocean does not matter that much.

Mrs. Bentley is right: It does look good in our harbor. Mr. Ruppersberger is correct: The Comfort is a source of local pride. Rallying to keep it here has produced an extraordinary accord between our Democrats and Republicans. But the decision of where to put the Comfort should be made on what is best for the country, not on what makes Marylanders happy.

Officers Fatally Shoot Man At Maryland Hotel

PIKESVILLE, Md. — Baltimore County police have identified a man shot to death by officers in the parking lot of a Pikesville hotel.

Police say 34-year-old Erik Stokes of Milford Mill was involved in a suspected counterfeiting ring. Police say he fired at officers who confronted him early Thursday outside the Ramada Inn on Reisterstown Road. Officers returned fire, killing Stokes.

Police and the U.S. Secret Service had been watching the hotel as part of an investigation into a counterfeiting operation. Inside a room, officers found a printing machine, paper and counterfeit bills.

Two other men were arrested, and charges are pending against them.

Online court records show Stokes has a criminal history, including convictions for second-degree assault, drunken driving and possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

Mayors Speak Out About Tipping Fees

Mayors from Saxis, Hallwood and Sanford are currently at odds with the County of Accomack over tipping fees being charged to the town by the County.

Saxis Mayor Charles Tull spoke to the Accomack County Board of Supervisors Wednesday night in Accomac calling the tipping fees illegal. Tull cited it had been ruled by the same Accomack County Board of Supervisors 10 years earlier, when only Wanda Thornton and Donald Hart were already Supervisors, that the County charging tipping fees to the townships was illegal.

Furthermore, Tull challenged the Board of Supervisors and Accomack County Attorney Mark Taylor to produce the statute or code giving the County the authority to charge fees for waste collection, where he could find none.

The Accomack County Board of Supervisors have tabled the issue until next meeting in order to gather more information about the tipping fee situation.

Ocean City Roller Coaster Accident

OCEAN CITY — Ocean City police say three children were hurt in a roller coaster accident.

Police and fire personnel were called to Trimper's Rides on South Atlantic Avenue around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. The Tidal Wave roller coaster had an apparent mechananical problem that police say injured several passengers.

Paramedics took three children between the ages of 10 and 15 years old to area hospitals with injuries that do not appear to be life theatening.

The park stayed open, but the roller coaster is closed until it can be checked by an amusement park ride safety inspector with Maryland Department of Labor and Licensing.

The park's website calls the double-loop boomerang roller coaster the most popular ride in the outdoor park.

Chincoteague And Neighborhood Nicknames

CHINCOTEAGUE -- John Jester realized younger generations on Chincoteague Island have forgotten about some of Chincoteague's neighborhood names and their origins.

Jester, a 67-year-old town councilman, is a native of Chincoteague who moved back in 2006. Soon after, he saw this first-hand when he asked a youth if he lived in the neighborhood called "Up the Neck."

"The young guy didn't know what I was talking about so I could tell that the culture was disappearing," said Jester.

Today, placed throughout Chincoteague are small aluminum signs adorned with the names of the island's oldest neighborhoods.

Since the 1930s, locals have been referring to neighborhoods by their quirky and legendary titles -- "Snotty Ridge," "Chicken City" and "Tick Town." They now are designated with signs that serve as a testament to the town's rich history.

During his 2008 term as chairman of Chincoteague's 100th Anniversary Committee, Jester came up with the idea of putting up neighborhood signs as a way to offset the island's lost folklore.

"I thought the signs would be a good way to promote the history and culture of the island," said Jester.

Jester contacted Ollie Reed, a sign designer who works with the town, and they discussed a design for the neighborhood signs.

Jester and Reed agreed upon having an illustration of a Chincoteague pony and the Chincoteague lighthouse right above the name of the neighborhood.

They felt that the famous symbols of Chincoteague would "tie the signs to the community."

In 2009, the town and many locals, including Jester, bought signs to place in some of the neighborhoods.

Jester bought the sign for his neighborhood, "Mad Calf," located on Clark Street.

According to Jester, the neighborhood's name derived from an old tale, just like some of the other neighborhood names.

One night, a boy was walking down Clark Street heading toward his girlfriend's house. As he was walking, he tripped over what he thought at the time was a stump. But to his dismay, it turned out to be a small calf.

The calf quickly jumped up and knocked the young boy down in a frenzy, hence the name "Mad Calf."

Other names, like "Tick Town" and "Chicken City," describe some of the largely populated inhabitants of the area long ago.

For Jester, the signs not only help spread the history of the island, but they also help to remind locals and tourists of what it used to be like on the island many years ago.

"(The signs) bring memories back to people. They take you back to a different era," said Jester.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The President Without A Country. By: Pat Boone

The President Without A CountryBy Pat Boone

 "We're no longer a Christian nation." - President barack obama, June 2009

" America has been arrogant." - President barack obama

"After 9/11, America didn't always live up to her ideals."- President barack obama

"You might say that America is a Muslim nation."- President barack obama, Egypt 2009

Thinking about these and other statements made by the man who wears the title of president. I keep wondering what country he believes he's president of.

In one of my very favorite stories, Edward Everett Hale's "The Man without a Country," a young Army lieutenant named Philip Nolan stands condemned for treason during the Revolutionary War, having come under the influence of Aaron Burr. When the judge asks him if he wishes to say anything before sentence is passed, young Nolan defiantly exclaims, "Damn the United States ! I wish I might never hear of the United States again!"

The stunned silence in the courtroom is palpable, pulsing. After a long pause, the judge soberly says to the angry lieutenant: "You have just pronounced your own sentence. You will never hear of the United States again.. I sentence you to spend the rest of your life at sea, on one or another of this country's naval vessels - under strict orders that no one will ever speak to you again about the country you have just cursed."

And so it was. Philip Nolan was taken away and spent the next 40 years at sea, never hearing anything but an occasional slip of the tongue about America. The last few pages of the story, recounting Nolan's dying hours in his small stateroom - now turned into a shrine to the country he fore swore - never fail to bring me to tears.  And I find my own love for this dream, this miracle called America , refreshed and renewed. I know how blessed and unique we are.

But reading and hearing the audacious, shocking statements of the man who was recently elected our president - a young black man living the impossible dream of millions of young Americans, past and present, black and white - I want to ask him, "Just what country do you think you're president of?"

You surely can't be referring to the United States of America, can you? America is emphatically a Christian nation, and has been from its inception! Seventy percent of her citizens identify themselves as Christian. The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were framed, written and ratified by Christians. It's because this was, and is, a nation built on and guided by Judeo-Christian biblical principles that you, sir, have had the inestimable privilege of being elected her president.

You studied law at Harvard, didn't you, sir? You taught constitutional law in Chicago? Did you not ever read the statement of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and an author of the landmark "Federalist Papers": " Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers - and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation - to select and prefer Christians for their rulers"?

In your studies, you surely must have read the decision of the Supreme Court in 1892: "Our lives and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian."

Did your professors have you skip over all the high-court decisions right up till the mid 1900's that echoed and reinforced these views and intentions? Did you pick up the history of American jurisprudence only in 1947, when for the first time a phrase coined by Thomas Jefferson about a "wall of separation between church and state" was used to deny some specific religious expression - contrary to Jefferson' s intent with that statement?

Or, wait a minute . were your ideas about America's Christianity formed during the 20 years you were a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ under your pastor, Jeremiah Wright? Is that where you got the idea that " America is no longer a Christian nation"? Is this where you, even as you came to call yourself a Christian, formed the belief that  "America has been arrogant"?

Even if that's the understandable explanation of your damning of your country and accusing the whole nation (not just a few military officials trying their best to keep more Americans from being murdered by jihadists) of "not always living up to her ideals," how did you come up with the ridiculous, alarming notion that we might be "considered a Muslim nation"?

Is it because there are some 2 million or more Muslims living here, trying to be good Americans? Out of a current population of over 300 million, 70 percent of whom are Christians? Does that make us, by any rational definition, a "Muslim nation"?

Why are we not, then, a "Chinese nation"? A "Korean nation"? Even a "Vietnamese nation"? There are even more of these distinct groups in America than Muslims. And if the distinction you're trying to make is a religious one, why is America not "a Jewish nation"? There's actually a case to be made for the latter, because our Constitution - and the success of our Revolution and founding - owe a deep debt to our Jewish brothers.

Have you stopped to think what an actual Muslim America would be like? Have you ever really spent much time in Iran? Even in Egypt? You, having been instructed in Islam as a kid at a Muslim school in Indonesia and saying you still love the call to evening prayers, can surely picture our nation founded on the Quran, not the Judeo-Christian Bible, and living under Shariah law. Can't you? You do recall Muhammad's directives [Surah 9:5,73] to "break the cross" and "kill the infidel"?

It seems increasingly and painfully obvious that you are more influenced by your upbringing and questionable education than most suspected.. If you consider yourself the president of a people who are "no longer Christian," who have "failed to live up to our ideals," who "have been arrogant," and might even be "considered Muslim" - you are president of a country most Americans don't recognize.

Could it be you are a president without a country?

All who love their Christian Belief's and your Country. Forward to all in your address book.

Hat Tip; Mrs. M.



Where has the time gone? It just seems like yesterday that we celebrated your wedding on a hot day just like today.

We love you both...........

Laser Use/Abuse In Ocean City

OCEAN CITY -- Laser pointers are more likely found in the boardroom than the Boardwalk, but this summer they're selling so quickly that beach retailers can't keep up with demand.

Resort officials and police, however, say the green laser pointers, more powerful than their red-hued predecessors, are becoming a public safety problem.

"This year, it is out of control," said Police Chief Bernadette DiPino. "The Boardwalk is just inundated with these green lasers."

She said citizens are complaining that beams are being shone in their faces. One family complained their child had a seizure after getting zapped in the eyes.

People are also shining the beams on the chests and private parts of passers-by, which in turn starts fights "because the boyfriend would get mad," DiPino said.

Not to mention how the horses of the police department's mounted unit are skittish to cross any laser's beam of light, which they see as a solid object.

The issue is not new to the resort. In July 1998, in an emergency measure, the Ocean City Council banned any harassing or annoying shining of laser pointers on a person.

Less than a year later, when state lawmakers were on their way to passing an identical ban, DiPino testified in Annapolis by shining, side-by-side, a regular laser pointer on the wall alongside a handgun sight.

"I said, 'Can you tell the difference?' That was enough," recalled DiPino, who keeps in her office the pen used to sign that bill into law.

Recorded abuse of laser pointers has increased with their availability in the last several years, according to a 2001 Federal Aviation Administration report. It also says lasers reportedly have been shone on athletes during sporting events, mistaken for weapon sights, and blinded pilots in cockpits of planes and helicopters.

"The misuse of laser pointers involving exposure greater than 10 feet is not likely to cause permanent eye injury," the report said. "However, at very close range, the light energy that laser pointers can deliver into the eye may be more damaging than staring directly at the sun."

Richard Drake, 29, of Ocean City, can attest to that. Last summer, he sustained serious damage to his left eye after having a red laser shone purposefully in the face. Now he sees everything with a pinkish hue. His eye doctor said it will gradually go away. Drake already wears glasses and has a condition that makes his eyes extra-sensitive to light.

He said he's been traumatized by the experience, doesn't like walking on the Boardwalk at night anymore, and wants laser pointers banned from resort retailers.

"What is the purpose of them selling these at stores -- so they can shine them in people's faces?" he said. "Because that's the only reason I can think of. This is very personal to me. As long as the stores are selling it, it's going to be a problem."

Said DiPino: "These really shouldn't be in the hands of young people; they don't know what they're doing. It's not a flashlight. These do have the potential to cause lasting physical damage."

From May through mid-July, resort police reported 15 incidents of people breaking the laser pointer law, with seven arrests.

DiPino herself led the way on one such arrest. On June 12, she spotted a green laser zipping across the chest of a person she'd stopped for drinking in public on the Boardwalk.

She stood back to find its source. She saw it coming from inside a store, Tres Place, where clerk Elisabeth Mesfin was shining it onto passers-by. DiPino had Mesfin arrested and charged with prohibited use of a laser.

Guy Ayres, the resort's attorney, said laser pointers, while problematic, still have a lawful and legitimate use as a presentation tool.

"You can use a hammer to beat somebody over the head and kill them. Should we outlaw hammers?" he said.

However, the Town Council made plans at its July 19 meeting to mandate that any shop selling laser pointers clearly posts the law, and give customers a verbal reminder of it.

At the Boardwalk shop T-Shirt Factory, clerk Slavena Koleva Harrell said before laser pointers became an epidemic, the most popular fad this summer was Silly Bandz. Once her shop started stocking laser pointers, however, they were already behind the curve and quickly sold out of their limited supply.

She said it doesn't matter that the law prohibits shining lights on other people, and expects people will continue to abuse them.

"You cannot stop it," Hareell said. "Everything is very popular for a couple of weeks, then they gonna shut it down."

DiPino said by the time state lawmakers enacted their law in 1999, laser pointers had already fallen off the map. They weren't cool anymore.

"That next season, they just went away," she said.

Snyder's of Hanover To Merge With Lance, Inc.

Snyder's of Hanover Inc., one of the largest makers of pretzels in the country, said it plans to combine with Lance Inc., a North Carolina snack food maker, in what the companies described as a "merger of equals."

For Snyder's, based in Hanover, Pa., the merger is the second attempt to join forces with another snack maker in less than a year. In October, Snyder's announced a merger with Utz Quality Foods Inc., a potato chip maker in Hanover, which would've created a combined company with $800 million in sales.

But Snyder's and Utz gave up their plans a month later after they expected a long and costly review of the deal by the Federal Trade Commission.

The deal between Snyder's and Lance would create a larger company, with $1.6 billion in combined sales, the companies said. Shares of Lance, which trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange, were up more than 29 percent, to $20.77, in morning trading.

Snyder's, which is privately held, has 2,250 employees and had sales of $652 million in 2008. That same year, Lance had revenue of $852 million and profit of $17.7 million. In 2009, Lance's profit grew to $35.8 million on revenue of $918 million. Lance has 4,800 employees in the United State and Canada.

In the past two years, Lance has bought the Stella D'Oro and Archway brands.

Snyder's traces its history to 1909 and is known for its pretzels, but also makes other types of snack food such as potato chips. Lance, founded in 1913, is based Charlotte, N.C. and makes sandwich crackers, cookies and popcorn.

As part of the merger, existing Lance shareholders will receive a one-time $3.75 special cash dividend, the company said.

The new company would be called Snyder's-Lance. Snyder's current chairman, Michael A. Warehime, will serve as chairman of the new company. David V. Singer, current president and chief executive of Lance, will become the CEO of the new company.

The merger is subject to shareholder and federal regulatory approvals, the companies said.

Worcester County Court Briefs

The following selected cases were heard in Worcester County District Court in Snow Hill by Judge Gerald V. Purnell on July 9 and July 13

Donald Sturgis, 28, of the 700 block of Sixth Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with animal cruelty: failure to provide, restrain dog - limit movement and animal cruelty: inflict. The verdict was guilty for the first charge. Nol pros was entered for the other charges.

Corey Lee Jackson, 40, of the 30000 block of Withams Road, Oak Hall, Va., was charged with violating exparte/protective order. The charge was placed on the stet docket.

Jacob Flatley, no date of birth listed, of the 2000 block of Worcester Highway, Pocomoke City, was charged with assault second degree. The charge was placed on the stet docket.

Clayton James Entwistle, 20, of the 8000 block of Cedar Lane Road, Berlin, was charged with theft of less than $1,000 value. Nol pros was entered.

Kateryna Grechanovska, 23, of the 900 block of Baltimore Avenue, Ocean City, was charged with alcoholic beverage: sell/furnish minor. Nol pros was entered.

Stephanie Wisnon, 31, of the 700 block of Ninth Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with credit card/another charge less than $100, credit card-personation less than $500, theft of less than $100, credit card personation less than $500, credit card/another charge less than $100, theft of less than $100 and theft scheme: less than $1,000. The verdict for the first charge was probation before judgment. Nol pros was entered for all other charges.

Shinquira Reenea Ayers, 23, of Accomac, Va., was charged with disorderly conduct and theft of less than $100. Nol pros was entered for the first charge. The verdict for the second charge was probation before judgment.

Michael Vincent Carey II, 29, of the 100 block of Cedar Avenue, Berlin, was charged with driving on highway at speed exceeding limit at 61 mph in a 40 mph zone, driving under the influence of alcohol per se, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol, driving on revoked license and privilege, attempt by driver to elude police by fleeing on foot, driver consuming alcohol in passenger area of vehicle on highway, driving without owner's consent with intent to deprive owner, taking vehicle without owner's consent with intent to deprive owner and operating motor vehicle with operator or occupant under age 16 not restrained by seatbelt or child safety seat. The verdict for the third charge was guilty. Nol pros was entered for the other charges.

Michael Vincent Carey II, 29, of the 100 block of Cedar Avenue, Berlin, was charged with motor vehicle/unlawful taking, driving on revoked license and privilege and failure of driver to stop after unattended vehicle or property damage accident. The verdict was guilty for the first charge. Nol pros was entered for the other charges.

Alfonso Edward Byrd, 26, of Pocomoke City, was charged with peace order: failure to comply. The verdict was probation before judgment.

Aaron L. Million, 18, of the 10000 block of Ruffian Lane, Berlin, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia. Both charges were placed on the stet docket.

Maranuita Holland, 45, of the 300 block of Purnell Street, Snow Hill, was charged with possession of controlled dangerous substance - not marijuana and possession of controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia. The verdict was guilty for the first charge and merged for the second charge.

You Mi Voss, 56, of the 3000 block of Blackbeard Road, Greenbackville, Va., was charged with theft under $100. The verdict was probation before judgment.

Sophia Lekeys Reid, 19, of Nassawadox, Va., was charged with stealing property less than $100. The verdict was probation before judgment.

Casey Logan Harmon, 25, of the 300 block of Calvin Drive, Salisbury, was charged with possession of marijuana and driving on highway at speed limit exceeding limit at 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. The verdict for the first charge was probation before judgment. The verdict was merged for the second charge.

Joseph Victor Reddick, 24, of the 10000 block of Flower Street, Berlin, was charged with acting in disorderly manner. The verdict was guilty.

Clavolon Austin Crippen, 53, of the 500 block of Bay Street, Berlin, was charged with trespassing on private property, failure to obey and alcoholic beverage/intoxicate: endanger. The verdict was guilty for the first charge and not guilty for the other two charges.

Cecilia Justine Briddell, 48, of the 200 block of Cypress Lane, Snow Hill, was charged with trespassing on private property. The verdict was guilty.

Cecilia Justine Briddell, 48, of the 600 block of Clark Avenue, Pocomoke City, was charged with trespassing on private property. The verdict was guilty.

Tommy James Cloyd, 83, of the 100 block of Branch Street, Berlin, was charged with sex offense fourth degree and assault second degree. Both charges were placed on the stet docket.

Denzel Maurice Timmons, 40, of Bradley Court, Pocomoke City, was charged with peace order: failure to comply. Nol pros was entered.

Theodore Gerard Conlon III, 37, of the 30 block of Nottingham Lane, Berlin, was charged with assault second degree. The charge was placed on the stet docket.

Ethan Cord Truitt, 18, of the 500 block of South Bedford Street, Georgetown, Del., was charged with theft of less than $100. The verdict was probation before judgment.

Robert Boyd Hayman, 63, of the 400 block of Bank Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with assault second degree. Nol pros was entered.

Boyfriend of Missing Mother Being Sought

Richmond, Va. --

The discovery of a toddler wandering in a Chesterfield County apartment complex alone Tuesday night has set off a large police search for the boy's mother.

Richmond police said Tameka L. Claiborne, 27, may have disappeared under suspicious circumstances the day her son, Malik, was found standing on a truck bumper in the parking lot at 11:30 p.m.

"She would never, ever leave her baby," said Claiborne's aunt, Barbara Gillison. Gillison and other family members gathered at Gillison's Chesterfield home were hoping Tameka was safe but feared the worst yesterday evening.

Richmond and Chesterfield investigators searched Claiborne's apartment in the 700 block of Blandy Avenue in South Richmond yesterday afternoon and said she may be in danger.

Richmond homicide detectives were involved in the investigation.

Earlier yesterday, Chesterfield detectives conducted a door-to-door search of the apartment complex where the 2-year-old boy was found, and police handed out fliers of the smiling boy wearing clothes provided by authorities.

Yesterday morning, the boy's father contacted police. He is not the primary caregiver but is expected to get formal custody of the boy from Child Protective Services, said police spokeswoman Ann Reid.

Police have searched in Richmond and Chesterfield for Tameka Claiborne. Yesterday afternoon, police crime tape blocked the driveway leading to Claiborne's apartment.

Chesterfield Capt. Terry Patterson said the boy was in good health when he was found.

Gillison said she last saw her niece on Saturday. "And then I talked to her last night around 5:30," Gillison said.

"I tell you one thing, this is not good," she said. "She's my baby. . . . I been taking care of Tameka since she was 13."

Police are looking for Michael Solomon, age 28, Police say he drives a 2008 gold Malibu with Virginia tags XTU-2530.

Kennedy Heirs And Pelosi Health Care Push

WASHINGTON (AP) — Heirs to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy are giving $185,000 from his campaign account and their personal wealth to Democratic House candidates in gratitude to Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her role in enacting a landmark health care law.

Kennedy's son, retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, said Wednesday he persuaded the estate's executors that Pelosi embodied his father's passion for public service and achievement. Patrick Kennedy is giving the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee $30,000 of his personal money in addition to $155,000 from his father's re-election fund.

Party officials said no other House member this year has given the campaign committee $30,000, the legal maximum for an individual.

The longtime Massachusetts senator died last August while Congress was debating the health care bill, his top legislative priority. His death nearly derailed the bill in January, as Massachusetts voters replaced him with a Republican who opposed the measure.

But Pelosi persuaded dozens of House Democrats to accept unpopular compromises with the Senate, enabling President Barack Obama to sign the bill into law.

In an interview Wednesday, Patrick Kennedy called Pelosi's actions "a stroke of political genius."

The DCCC is spearheading efforts to maintain the Democrats' majority in the Nov. 2 elections.

Dolle's Celebrates 100 Years On The Boards


OCEAN CITY -- In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Dolle's Candyland in Ocean City, a commemorative book will be published. The store's owners are interested in hearing from residents and vacationers who would like to share photographs and happy memories of going to Dolle's on vacation, with family or friends for possible inclusion in the book.

Employees who worked at Dolle's, especially those employed there decades ago, are also encouraged to send memories. Please e-mail and include a telephone number.

Smoke Scare In the Statue Of Liberty Forces Evacuation

NEW YORK (WPIX) - A smoke scare prompted an evacuation at the Statue of Liberty Wednesday afternoon, PIX 11 News has learned.

According to National Parks of NY Harbor Superintendent David Luchsinger, a faulty sensor in an elevator shaft detected smoke, leading officials to evacuate the iconic monument at around 1:18 p.m.

An investigation later determined that there was never any smoke, despite what the sensor indicated.

Air 11 was over the scene as visitors were forced to leave the area. It is unclear how many people were visiting during the time of the incident.

The monument was later reopened after being declared safe, officials said.

No injuries were reported.

The Statue of Liberty reopened its doors to tourists on July 4 2009, after having been closed to the public for eight years following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Although the base, pedestal and outdoor observation deck were reopened in 2004, the crown remained off-limits to visitors.

Ironically, the crown remained closed because the narrow, double-helix staircases were deemed unsafe for evacuations, and didn't comply with fire and building codes. Officials have since installed new handrails to assist with the climb. Visitors - up to 30 per hour - are allowed up the dark, small staircase while being led by park rangers.

Pizza Hut Dedicated To Mr. Johnny Strand

ONLEY -- Surrounded by family members and friends, Shakia Austin of Melfa sat inside the Pizza Hut restaurant patiently waiting to see the building be dedicated to her late uncle, Johnny Strand.

Matching her mother and several others in attendance Saturday, Austin wore a white T-shirt printed with a picture of Strand and the nickname, "Uncle J" written beneath in cursive letters.

"I came to celebrate my uncle and remember how kind he was to people, how kind he was to me," Austin said. "He tried to help anybody and everybody."

More than 30 people gathered inside the restaurant to attend the dedication ceremony to Strand, a former manager there well-known for his kind personality and generosity.

Strand, who had worked at Pizza Hut since it opened in 1990, was slain three months ago. Shortly after he was reported missing, the 49-year-old manager was found dead inside his Melfa home May 1.

Fernando Carrillo Sanchez, 23, of Accomac was charged with second-degree murder after being located by nearby residents, according to the Accomack County Sheriff's Office.

As a way to help remember Strand and his many contributions, a small plaque was recently made and affixed to a dining room wall inside the restaurant.

Pizza Hut employee Jason Bennett of Onancock, who had worked with Strand for five years, reflected on Strand's cheerful and encouraging attitude while he waited for the plaque to be unveiled by District Manager Gil Liberty.

"He had a smile on his face every morning," Bennett said. "And he always strived for the best in us."

Liberty's comments immediately mentioned Strand's importance.

"He meant so much not only to this restaurant but so much to our franchise as a whole," Liberty said.

In addition to the plaque, a scholarship fund in Strand's name is also in the process of being established.

According to Liberty, the fund will be awarded each year to one senior each from Nandua and Arcadia high schools who "understands what kindness is," just like Strand had.

Liberty hopes several individuals will make donations so students can apply for the scholarship next year.

Once the plaque's covering was removed by Liberty, Strand's former co-workers, friends and family members lined up to see the small nameplate on the wall beside the kitchen door --a spot where Strand stood as he greeted customers.

"Welcome to Johnny's Place," the plaque reads, written below a picture of Strand standing in front of the restaurant.

Last month, Austin began working at Pizza Hut because she felt that working there is what Strand would've wanted.

She's working toward following in her uncle's footsteps and "making the service great" for customers.

"I know he's smiling down on me telling me I'm doing a good job," said Austin.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Record Your Childhood Memories At the Delmarva Discovery Center

This is a wonderful idea!

POCOMOKE CITY — Organizers want to document and record childhood stories or other memories that natives of the region want to share during a special taping at the Delmarva Discovery Center on the Pocomoke River in Pocomoke.

Libraries in Worcester and Somerset counties are partnering with the center to record the unique stories at a July 28 session. Stories that offer a look at the region before technology changed the lifestyles of its residents are especially welcomed. Participants also should bring along documents or photographs related to their stories.

The recording session will be between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the center, 2 W. Market St. near Pocomoke’s downtown. The project was made possible through a grant from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, and recordings will be compiled and included in a Digital Storytelling Project conducted by libraries in the two counties.

Eddie "Country Boy" Williams-- Radio Legend Dies

An Eastern Shore radio legend passed away Wednesday morning. Eddie"Country Boy" Williams died early Wednesday after a short illness. He was 92.

Williams had been at WESR for 42 years starting as the station's first high school football announcer in 1968, the same year WESR FM signed on the air. After the first football season, Williams approached then owner Brooks Russell about a special program featuring the music of the big bands. Thus began his signature Goldie Oldie show on WESR which ran for 40 years.

WESR manager Charlie Russell said, " Eddie and I started here at about the same time. I was 18 and Eddie was 48. His program was very popular in those days. I would come in sometimes on Friday nights and the phones never stopped ringing." Williams played the music of the 30s,40s and early 50s. "It was the music of the World War II era," Russell said. It was the music that got our nation through some of its darkest years. That generation loved the music and its makers."

As time moved on, and that generation passed, the number of calls dropped but many new listeners learned to appreciate the big bands and the mellow music of the Dorsey Brothers, the Ink Spots, Les Brown, Perry Como, Bert Kamfert and many more. His audience became younger as some of the rock and roll generation started listening as their parents had.

Russell said, "Eddie was a faithful long term employee who loved being on WESR. He survived the transition from vinyl to CD, and the computer age." Russell continued, "When we got our first computer system in 1997, I didn't think that Eddie at 79 would be able to adapt to the new technology. He not only learned the new system but learned another one eight years later. I used to kid Eddie that I had made up my pawl bearer list and he was on it."

Meanwhile, Williams became the station's main board operator for various sporting events including High School Football, Virginia Tech Football and NASCAR racing. Russell said," All I had to do was hand him the schedules at the beginning of the season and he took it from there. It's rare to find people who take their responsibilities that seriously. We're all going to miss him very much."

Williams last worked at the station on Sunday July 17 when he operated the NASCAR race on WESR AM.His last Friday night program was in late June.

Funeral services are being completed at the Doughty Funeral Home.

Virginia's Governor and President At Odds Once Again

Governor Bob McDonnell and President Barack Obama are at odds again, this time over the new EPA regulations attempting to lower pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Opponents are worried the feud will lead to legal action by Virginia or a withdrawal by the Commonwealth from the 30-year old partnership with the Federal government in the effort.

Governor McDonnell's Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech said a more effective strategy would be to continue approach the problem through a voluntary program designed to educate farmers on best practices and actions for cleaner farming, rather than expanding the regulatory scope of the Environmental Protection Agency. The plan adopted by President Obama would allow the EPA to impose fines and punishments on land developers and farmers. Domenech also stated the computer models the EPA is basing its plan on are flawed. New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have also complained inconsistencies in the EPA computer models.

The Chesapeake Bay suffers from eutrophication, which is an abundance of chemicals and nutrients causing murky waters. The Bay also has high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediments, which the EPA's plan specifically hopes to reduce. The three pollutants are cited as the chief culprit in the Bays low water quality, which has made it difficult for plants, fish and shellfish to thrive.

It remains clearly ultimately the two sides have the same goal in mind, a cleaner Chesapeake Bay. Better water quality would lead to increased fish and shellfish harvests, as well as farm harvests. However, the two sides are approaching the problem with far different ideas. Domenech responded to questions of why Maryland has not complained about the Obama plan saying "they're highly regulated already. But in Virginia, we have a different mentality."

Weekend of Remembrance Unites Families of The Fallen

For thousands of families Memorial Day isn't a picnic, but a day to try and fill the gap at the table left by a fallen loved one. These families, who cope daily with the lost of their personal heroes, Gold Star Families, will be honored and celebrated on July 23-24 in Washington, DC, and given a national support system to make it possible to move forward.

Families United,, the nation's largest military family support organization, is hosting the 2nd Annual Weekend of Remembrance honoring and celebrating America's fallen Heroes from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Weekend of Remembrance is the nation's largest gathering of families of the Fallen - 2,000 families are expected to attend. Gold Star Family Dinner

The National Gold Star Family Dinner will seat families together by state for an evening honoring their Heroes and allowing them to share their stories with each other. To the families gathered, they won't be recognizing another brave Soldier, Marine, Airman, Sailor, or Guardsman, but they will be remembering a father, a wife, a daughter, a brother. Families will be able to tell their Hero's stories and to find a comfort that can only be offered by those who have known similar loss. Rita Cosby, television news anchor and correspondent, radio host, and author, will emcee the event and the evening's keynote speaker will be General James Cartwright, USMC, Vice Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff. Members of the Honorary Dinner Host Committee, including over 60 Members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, will also be in attendance. Wayne Newton will headline the evening with a performance highlighting his support for the military since the days of Vietnam.

Wreath laying at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery
July 24, 2010 10:30 AM

On Saturday, families will have the opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery to participate in a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and a visit to Section 60 where loved ones lost in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried.

American Heroes Festival
July 24, 2010 Six Flags America 12:00 pm-8:30 pm

This Saturday event will include Gold Star families, active duty military and their families, veterans, and supporters of our military. The American Heroes Festival is a day full of live music, exciting rides, and family fun that honors the lives of our nation's military Heroes and their families. Families will be greeted with a red carpet and military honor guard. Country music stars Aaron Tippin and Mike Corrado will perform an exclusive concert. Tickets are available at for $20, more than half off regular general admission.

National Gold Star Family Registry

The new Gold Star Family Registry website,, will connect families who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Meant to serve as a "virtual memorial" to lost loved ones, the site's searchable database is the first, comprehensive record of fallen heroes ever developed. Whether soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and guardsmen gave their life in WWII, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq or Afghanistan or another conflict, the registry will be a place to ensure their memory will live on. Up to this point, there has not been one place where all heroes who gave their lives can be found either in print or online. There is no national registry or public database that serves as a perpetual memorial to all those who paid the ultimate price for this nation.

Please DO NOT Burn

The BURN Ban is still in effect in
Please check in your local area before you burn!

Michael Vick's Uncle Sentenced To Prison For Heroin Distribution

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Michael Vick's uncle, Joseph Vick Jr., was sentenced Wednesday to serve 12 years in prison for his involvement in a heroin distribution ring that spanned the Virginia Peninsula, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Vick, 57, was one of 22 people busted by federal agents in December 2009 for distributing bulk heroin to Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson and Williamsburg, as well as Gloucester, James City, Matthews, Middlesex and York counties.

Agents say Vick was a mid-level dealer who typically distributed between 10 and 20 "bundles" or 10-packs of heroin per day.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said back in December the bust was part of a year-long investigation into the organization.

FBI agent Phil Mann told the investigation began in September 2008, when an inmate died of a heroin overdose at the Newport News Police Department. An investigation was then launched, which revealed a startling trend, according to investigators.

"Within the past two years there were about 15 deaths as a result of heroin overdoses, as well as 27 heroin overdoses leading to something less than death," said Mann.

According to Mann, several of those overdoses have been attributed to heroin distributed by members of the drug trafficking organization.

Alleged ring leader Darryl Wright, 44, of Hampton was indicted January 13. Wright had allegedly brought heroin from New York and New Jersey to the Peninsula since at least January 2007.

According to the indictment, members of the heroin ring generally traveled by bus to New York or New Jersey, purchased 200 grams of heroin, and brought the heroin back to a "table top" home allegedly set up by Wright in the southeast community of Newport News. There, according to the indictment, the heroin would be cut and repackaged for street-level distribution.

Boaters Stranded Nearly Three Hours Near Bay Bridge

Five boaters spent hours stranded in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay after their 14-foot power boat capsized Saturday, floating in the water before they were rescued by the crew of a sailboat returning from a regatta.

Though a child on board was wearing a life preserver, none of the other passengers were. The boaters broke no laws, but state officials said the incident should serve as a reminder that everyone is safer when wearing a life vest.

Jose Reyes and four others were aboard the 1967 Appleby returning to Sandy Point State Park when a large wave caught their boat, causing it to flip around 9 p.m. Saturday, said Sgt. Art Windemuth of the Department of Natural Resources Police.

Reyes, 12-year-old Oscar Flores, and his father, Oscar Samuel Flores, 32, all of Silver Spring, were able to cling to the overturned boat and keep their heads above water. But two other passengers, Anna Daci Garcia, 36 and Carlos Eskabar, 31, of Hyattsville were not able to make it back to the boat and instead clutched a cooler, Windemuth said.

Only the 12-year-old was wearing a life vest, Windemuth said. He said Reyes told rescuers that the abrupt wave hit before the adults could grab vests. The law requires only children under 13 to wear one, but Windemuth said adults should always do the same.

In the 17 boating fatalities last year, 16 people were not wearing life vests and eight fatalities were the result of alcohol or drug use while boating. In Saturday's incident, Windemuth said, no alcohol was involved. But even though Reyes had some boating experience, Windemuth said that "part of boating is knowing how to operate a vessel in certain sea conditions."

Windemuth said Reyes used a battery-operated light to attract passing vessels. He was unsuccessful until Captain Larry Vazzano and four crew members aboard the Wharf Rat, a CS 40 sailboat returning from the Eastport Yacht Club's Solomons Island Invitational race, came across the capsized boat around 11 p.m.

Vazzano, 59, a retired teacher from Mt. Airy, said his crew was passing the Magothy River and the Baltimore Light lighthouse when he and several others heard faint cries.

"We heard, 'Help. Help. Help us,'" Vazzano recalled, saying at first they thought the sound might have been a bird in the distance. Then, Vazzano said, he saw the flashes of light. "We motored over and saw three people clinging to a small overturned boat," Vazzano said. The crew on the Wharf Rat called mayday, alerting the Coast Guard of the capsized boat near the Bay Bridge. They then threw a "man overboard line," a U-shaped ring with a nylon rope. The boat circled the three stranded boaters, picking them up.

After Reyes was pulled aboard, he told Vazzano that Eskabar and Garcia were still in the water and had drifted away from the boat.

"I thought, 'These folks are done for it,'" Vazzano said. But after offering the three blankets, food and water, Vazzano said they heard that Garcia and Eskabar were rescued by Department of Natural Resources Police.

Cpl. Aaron Parker with the Maryland Natural Resources Police was the first to find the pair who had been buoyed by the cooler for close to three hours and called another patrol boat to assist with the rescue. They were taken to Gibson Island Marina, where they were then taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center and treated for shock and chills, Windemuth said.

Each year, the Natural Resources Police receive close to 3,000 maritime-related calls, according to Windemuth. Of those calls, 301 required boating assists with 201 serious enough that they caused more than $200,000 in damage or required more than first aid treatment to boaters involved.

"I've never done a real rescue," said Vazzano, who belongs to the Rock Creek Racing Association and is a licensed Coast Guard captain who owns the Atlantic Sailing Experience LLC. The 25-year veteran sailor said he regularly attends safety seminars, including one this past spring, practicing the technique the crew used to pick up the group Saturday.

"It was a textbook case," he said. "I imagine they would've lasted another hour."

He said that when the crew returned to shore, the rescued boaters gave them hugs.

"We were ecstatic that we were in the right place at the right time," Vazzano said.

For safety tips, Windemuth said boaters should check out

Man Sentenced In Hijacking Senator's Daughter

WASHINGTON - A man was sentenced to nine years in jail Tuesday for carjacking a U.S. Senator's daughter last December.
Steven Alston, 25, plead guilty to carjacking and assault in April.

On December 2, 2009, Alston and 22-year-old Dewalden Connor, carjacked the daughter of Tennessee Senator Robert Corker.

Alston carjacked the 22-year-old woman after seeing her SUV parked on the side of the 700 block of D Street NW. The two men approached the car, ordered the woman out of the car and then choked and threw her from the car when she did not exit.

The two men drove off in the SUV, but were tracked down by police using the OnStar system in the car.

Connor will be sentenced Thursday on robbery charges.

30 Alleged Gangsters and Associates Arrested In VA.

WASHINGTON - Federal and local authorities have arrested 30 suspected gang members and associates over the weekend in northern Virginia as part of a three-day enforcement sweep.

Officials at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say the arrests were part of an ongoing effort to target foreign-born gang members.

Of those arrested, 21 are facing only administrative immigration violations. The remainder face criminal charges.

All but one of the 30 are foreign nationals who face deportation. ICE says those arrested include 10 from Honduras, seven from El Salvador, nine from Guatemala and three from Mexico. Those arrested were associated with the MS-13, Mexican Pride and Southside Locos gangs.

Fairfax County Police and the county sheriff's office also participated in the arrests.

Historic Strasburg On The Auction Block

STRASBURG, Va. - Strasburg is for sale.

No, not Stephen Strasburg.

Almost the entire town of Strasburg, Va. (population: 6,200) goes on the auction block on Thursday. Strasburg is in the Shenandoah Valley.

According to the auction house, the deals include the Museum of the American Presidents and the Jeane Dixon museum - a 14-room historic estate, complete with a carriage house. A warehouse-size antiques complex is among the parcels.

The town is being listed as one of the top 10 real estate deals in the country.

The seven different parcels, including an entire city block, can be sold separately or all at once. The minimum bids vary from $15,000 to $865,000.

The entire property is the estate of the late Leo M. Bernstein, a D.C. banker. The Bernstein Foundation, a philanthropic organization, is the seller.

Bernstein is known for putting Strasburg on the map as an antiques destination.

Situated at the intersections of Virginia Routes 11 and 55, Strasburg is billed as "Virginia's Antiques Capital."

And, yes, it's received some free publicity recently, thanks to Washington Nationals phenom pitcher with the same last name.

There was even talk of changing the town's name to Stephen Strasburg, Va., to honor the pitcher.

You can see the full auction by visiting the auction house's Web site.