Saturday, December 4, 2010

Santa Pictures

          Santa is coming to It's a Shore Thing Photography on Dec. 11th from 11:00 to 3:00. Pets are welcome.
                             Get (1) 8x10 or (2) 5x7 for $10.00.
Across from Bonnie's Bounty in New Church, in the former Nascar building which is now our new studio.              
                 For more info. call 757-894-9637 or 757-894-1104.

Ben Sifrit Denied Latest Appeal By Federal Judge

OCEAN CITY – Convicted killer Benjamin Sifrit, who, along with his wife Erika, brutally murdered a Virginia couple vacationing in Ocean City on Memorial Day weekend in 2002, this week had his latest attempt at an appeal shot down by a federal court judge.

After U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett struck down Sifrit’s bid for a new trial in late October, the convicted killer embarked on a new path, filing an appeal last week with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth District, using the same basic argument as his earlier attempts.

Throughout the lengthy appeal process, Sifrit has argued he was denied his right to due process because prosecutors presented inconsistent theories against he and his wife during their separate trials in 2003. Essentially, Sifrit argued prosecutors used slightly different versions of the same facts during the two trials in order to get convictions for both defendants.

After his latest appeal was denied on Oct. 21 at the U.S. District Court level, Sifrit quickly filed an appeal for relief from the higher U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing the same basic premise.

However, Judge Bennett this week issued an order denying Sifrit the “certificate of appealability” needed to move forward with his appeal to the higher court.

“A habeas petitioner has no absolute entitlement to appeal a district court’s denial of his motion,” the judge’s order reads. “A certificate of appealability may issue only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right. A petitioner must demonstrate that reasonable jurists would find the district court’s assessment of the constitutional claims debatable or wrong.”

In his order, Bennett said Sifrit had not met the requirements for the court to issue the certificate. However, he did not entirely close the door on any future appeal.

“This court will not issue a certificate of appealability because Sifrit has not made the requisite showing,” the judge’s order reads. “Denial of a certificate of appealability does not prevent Sifrit from seeking a certificate of appealability from the appellant court.”

In April 2003, Benjamin Sifrit was convicted of second-degree murder, first-degree assault and accessory after the fact for his part in the killing of Martha Crutchley in an Ocean City condominium on Memorial Day weekend in 2002 and was sentenced to 38 years in jail. His wife, Erika, was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Joshua Ford, and second-degree murder in the death of Crutchley in a separate trial in Frederick, Md. that same year and was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years.
By: Shawn J. Shoper

'Old-Fashioned Christmas' Parade On Chincoteague Tonight

Chincoteague Island Old Fashioned Christmas Parade
Saturday December 4, 2010 Beginning at 7:00 PM

Nighttime parade featuring fire trucks, floats, horses, antique autos, and marching groups. Parade will begin on Main Street /Maddox Blvd. intersection and end at the Chincoteague fire house where Santa will be on hand.

Refreshments will be served and trophies and monetary prizes will be awarded.

Prizes will be given to winners in commercial, noncommercial, junior marching groups, equestrian units, marching bands, decorated boats and miscellaneous.
The very best in the nights event will receive the Judges' Award.

Yellow Cab In "It's A Wonderful Life" On Display

For me this is one of two greatest classic Christmas movies! It's good to know that the yellow cab George was chauffeured around in on the night of finding "new hope" is now restored and is now available for its first public viewing.

In the classic Christmas movie " It's a Wonderful Life," the angel Clarence tells Jimmy Stewart's character, George Bailey: "Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"

Now George Bailey can touch your life too, thanks to Italian jewelry retailer and famed car collector Nicola Bulgari, who's having the America on Wheels museum in Allentown display a prop from the 1946 movie: the Yellow Cab that taxi driver Ernie uses to shuttle George around Bedford Falls.

The 1930 GMC Yellow Cab was in parts when Bulgari bought it in May 2008 from an elderly California man who had long intended to restore it.

After 21/2 years of work, the car arrived at the museum last Friday, driven from Bulgari's garage in Allentown on its first voyage under its own power in decades, said Keith Flickinger, Bulgari's curator. It will be displayed through December in the lobby of the museum, which also is showing the film.

Museum Executive Director Linda Merkel said it was Bulgari's idea to have the museum give the restored cab its first public viewing.
"We're very, very lucky to have such a wonderful collector who believes the museum is a jewel," Merkel said. Several other vehicles from Bulgari's collection of 1930s and '40s classic American-made vehicles were on display at the museum earlier this year and he has become a staunch supporter of the facility.

When the car's restoration was nearly complete, Bulgari suggested displaying the taxi for the holidays.

"It's a Wonderful Life" has been voted the No. 1 most inspirational American film of all time and No. 11 Greatest American Movie of All Time by the American Film Institute. A staple of Christmastime television around the world, it tells the story of how George Bailey, on the brink of suicide, finds redemption and new hope after the angel shows him what the world would have been like without him.

The taxi is in several of the film's important scenes, such as when George and his bride, Mary ( Donna Reed), are smooching on their honeymoon and see the run on the town's bank from the cab's rain-streaked windows.

The yellow-and-black taxi is built on a truck chassis marked "GMC" — Flickinger noted GMC owned Yellow Cab and produced its vehicles as a separate line. The doors are emblazoned with "Yellow Cab Co." and list rates of 15 cents for the first half-mile and 5 cents for each additional mile.

The roomy back seat and a meter beside the single front seat are intact and original, Flickinger said. But work was needed on the car's straight-8-cylinder Buick engine, and other parts of the car were missing, Flickinger said. Its exhaust system, for example, is new. There are scratches and rust beneath the paint on its doors, but Flickinger said those flaws won't be fixed.

"We will not restore the outside," he said. "You would lose the patina, the continuity, the heart and soul of the vehicle. This way the pedigree, it stays alive."

Flickinger said the cab's existence was well-known among collectors, but the owner for years declined to part with it. Finally, at 82, he decided he wasn't likely to ever restore it and sold it, Flickinger said.

In addition to the restoration, the 21/2 years was spent substantiating the taxi's lineage — researching documents and collecting evidence it was the car used in the movie, Flickinger said.

He said Bulgari intends to eventually take the cab to New York and "have fun," driving it around and transporting Bulgari and his companions as any taxi would.

Merkel said more than 1,000 people have toured the museum since the taxi's arrival, and "people already are reacting to it — sitting and talking about the movie. Everyone has a story."

America on Wheels will show "It's a Wonderful Life" at 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday in the museum's Amp Theatre/South Gallery, and at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 17 and Dec. 28 as part of "Oldies but Goodies" days, with free coffee for all seniors. "It's a Wonderful Life" also will be sold in the museum's gift shop.

Friday, December 3, 2010

One Year In Jail For Marijuana Possession In Worcester County

SNOW HILL -- Darnell Kelley will spend one year in prison and three years on supervised probation after pleading guilty to possessing drugs with the intent to distribute them.

Kelley was charged with felonies in May after police found 75 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of the rental car he was driving during a traffic stop.

"My client was by no means the only one involved," said James V. Anthenelli, Kelley's lawyer, saying the Infiniti Kelley drove was rented by Kelley's father, Modis L. Chandler, who was in the car when police stopped the vehicle for speeding.

Anthenelli said he was "very pleased" with Circuit Court Judge Richard R. Bloxom's decision to suspend four years of Kelley's five-year sentence, which will be served in the Worcester County Detention Center.

"This is my client's first criminal offense," said Anthenelli. He presented tax return records to the court, showing Kelley had a steady income in 2007 and 2008 until the "wheels fell off the bus" after he became unemployed.

Kelley, 24, and Chandler, 40, both of Newport News, Va., were traveling south on Route 113 near Old Virginia Road when they were stopped for speeding.

Maryland State Police called in a K-9 unit, which alerted police to the trunk of the car, where they found 75 pounds of marijuana in two gym bags, according to court records.

Worcester County Assistant State's Attorney Julie Guyer presented the case in front of Bloxom on Thursday. She declined to comment on Kelley's sentencing because charges against Chandler are still pending.

Chandler, who is charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of a large amount of marijuana with intent to distribute, is scheduled to attend a criminal motions hearing on Jan. 7 followed by a jury trial on Jan. 12.

Body Discovered On Assateague Still Unidentified

(Dec. 3, 2010) Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of a man whose body washed up on Assateague Island four weeks ago.

A park ranger found the body Nov. 6 while patrolling a remote stretch of Assateague Island National Seashore near the north end of the island. The body was badly decomposed and clad only in a pair of jeans and a belt when it was found in the surf.

Cpl. Jon Johnson of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation, the lead detective working the case, said the body did not match any current missing persons cases from the area.

Investigators continue to check with law enforcement agencies in the region when new missing persons reports are made. Johnson said no new reports filed in the weeks since the body was found matched the description.

Police described the body as an adult white male, approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing between 140 and 160 pounds.

The body was clothed in Levis denim blue jeans and a black Patagonia belt.

The body was sent to Baltimore for an autopsy at the Medical Examiner’s Office to make an identification and to determine the cause of death.

The condition of the body when it was found prevented police from determining whether foul play was involved.

The medical examiner has not yet completed the examination of the body so police are still waiting for those results, Johnson said Tuesday.

The area where the body was found is considered one of the most remote areas of the park, located almost seven miles north of the state park and two kilometers south of the Ocean City Inlet.

The area can only be reached by boat from Ocean City or by traveling along the sand in a vehicle.

Three of 4 Accused of Robbing Convenience Store From Virginia

WILLARDS, Md.- Police in Wicomico County have arrested four suspects accused of robbing a Willards convenience store late Wednesday night.

Jordan Jamar Criner, 23, of Berlin; Dalton Earl Entzminger, 17, of Accomack, Va.; Akeem Samir Mason, 17, of Painter, Va., and Takeyah La'Day Mason, 23, of Melfa, Va., are charged with robbery, conspiracy and related offenses.

Shortly before midnight, troopers from the Maryland State Police Salisbury Barrack responded to a reported armed robbery that had just occurred at the Dash In located on 7201 Main St. While this was happening, a deputy with the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office was on patrol in the area of Willards when he observed two males run from the Dash In and get into a vehicle that quickly drove away.

Police say the deputy stopped the vehicle with the suspects inside and observed cash on the floor of the vehicle and numerous cartons of cigarettes in its passenger compartment, which matched what was stolen from the Dash In.

According to police, the clerk from the Dash In was able to positively identify two of the occupants of the vehicle as the suspects who had robbed him a short time before and who had stolen cash and cigarettes during the robbery.

Detectives with the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation, which took over the case, say a further investigation indicated that all four suspects were also potentially involved in a convenience store robbery that had occurred earlier in the evening in Worcester County.

Detectives also obtained video surveillance from the Dash In. All four suspects were turned over to Wicomico County Central Booking for processing. Both juveniles were charged as adults due to the nature of the offenses.

Anyone with additional information pertaining to this or any other investigation is asked to contact the WBI at (410) 548-4898 or Crime Solvers at (410) 548-1776.

Colorful Dog Park Mural Subject To Federal Lawsuit

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - A colorful mural at an Arlington dog park depicting cartoon puppies frolicking and chasing bones is the subject of a federal lawsuit.

Arlington County has ordered Kim Houghton to cover up a 1,000-square foot mural painted on the side of Wag More Dogs, her doggie day care business in Shirlington.

The county said the mural's content - replete with puppies, bones and paw prints - makes it a commercial sign subject to county regulations, and those regulations don't allow signs larger than 60 square feet.

"Arlington County has said because her picture of dogs, bones and paw prints has a relationship with her business, it's an illegal sign," says attorney Robert Frommer with the Institute for Justice, who filed a free speech lawsuit on behalf of Houghton Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

Houghton's lawyers say the county law is unconstitutional because it requires bureaucrats to determine whether the mural's content makes it artwork or commercial advertising.

Houghton says the mural is not advertising, but artwork intended to brighten up the adjacent dog park. She acknowledges that some of the cartoon dogs in the mural bear a resemblance to the dogs in her company logo.

She says her primary purpose was to brighten up the dog park, and that she deliberately avoided including the name of her business or any text that would associate the mural with her business.

But the county says that under its code, a mural on the side of a dog business that depicts dogs is a sign, not art.

"Once we have decided it's a commercial sign, we have an obligation to make sure it complies with our ordinance," says county spokeswoman Mary Curtius. "We were surprised by the lawsuit. ... We have been working with this business owner for quite some time and trying to accommodate her." Frommer says the county can't be in the business of reviewing a mural's content and deciding for itself whether a mural is artwork or advertising. That's an unconstitutional infringement of free speech, he says.

Frommer says counties clearly have the right to regulate commercial signage. But the fact that Houghton's mural says nothing about her business places it outside the scope of any legitimate regulation.

"Whatever gray areas there might be (in distinguishing advertising from artwork), this mural is far from it," says Frommer, whose institute has filed numerous lawsuits challenging what it sees as overzealous regulation of small businesses.

The law leads to ridiculous interpretations, Frommer says. Houghton was told the mural could depict anything but dogs, even though it would be seen outside a dog park. At one point, Houghton planned to have the dogs repainted as flowers to comply with the regulations.

"The problem with Arlington sign code (is) whether a sign can go up or not or whether artwork can go up or not depends on the identity of who is speaking and what it is they're saying," Frommer says.

Curtius says the county offered, as a compromise, to allow the mural if Houghton painted "Welcome to the Shirlington Dog Park" or words to that effect to clarify that the mural promotes the dog park and not her business. Houghton says the proposed compromise wasn't that simple. The county was insisting on 8-foot high letters spelling out the exact phrase "Welcome to Shirlington Park's Community Canine Area," which wouldn't fit on the side of the building and would cost $7,000 in addition to the $4,000 she already spent on the mural.

After several months of discussions that Houghton says were ultimately not productive, she decided to sue.

"I wasn't going to just walk away and whitewash " the mural, Houghton said.

Houghton says she was told to paint over the mural or cover it with a tarp. She's had a tarp over it for months.

"My heart is wrapped up in that mural right now," she says.

19th Century Christmas At Furnace Town

SNOW HILL -- Explore Furnace Town Living Heritage Museum on Dec. 4 and 5 from noon until 4 pm at the annual 19th Century Christmas Heritage Program.

Furnace Town will be decorated for the season with traditional greenery; visit artisans such as the woodworker, gardener, spinner, blacksmith, broommaker and weaver as they share their skills.

Find gifts at the museum store like table mats, shawls, ironworks and woodblock prints. Admission is $5 for adults, with discounts for seniors and children.

Contact Furnace Town at 410-632-2032.

Reminder: Community Sirens To Sound

The Worcester County emergency alert signals are scheduled to sound on Dec. 4 at 10 a.m.

The signals are tested the first Saturday of each month.

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

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Showing At The MarVa Theater

Friday, Dec 3rd Saturday, Dec 4th
Time: 7 p.m.
Tickets: $5
Holly Berenson is an up-and-coming caterer and Eric Messer is a promising network sports director. After a disastrous first date, the only thing they have in common is their dislike for each other and their love for their goddaughter, Sophie. But when they suddenly become all Sophie has in the world, Holly and Eric are forced to put their differences aside. Juggling career ambitions and competing social calendars, they'll have to find some common ground while living under one roof.
Rated PG-13

Worcester Animal Control Seeks Pet Food Donations

NEWARK--Worcester County Animal Control officers are asking for pet food donations to help feed hungry pets this winter.

Worcester County Animal Control (WCAC) is seeking small bags of dog and cat food for its second annual Secret Santa Pet Food Drive.

Donations can be delivered to the Animal Control facility in Snow Hill Dec. 2-16. Officers plan to distribute the pet food the week before Christmas.

“Lots of people, even those who have donated food to us in the past, are coming to us for pet food,” said Susan Rantz, chief animal control officer. “We’ve been helping as many as we can.”

This holiday season WCAC also plans to raise awareness of the proper care and handling of pets, which require a long-term commitment.

For more information about the Animal Control or the pet food drive call 410-632-1340.

Traffic Ticket Process Changed With New Maryland Law

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - People who get traffic tickets in Maryland will have three options under a new law taking effect in January.

Now, drivers automatically have trial dates scheduled, but that won't happen under the new law.

They will be able to either pay the fine, ask for a waiver hearing instead of a trial or request a court date for a trial.

Drivers will have to comply within 30 days or risk having their driver's license suspended by the Motor Vehicle Administration.

Payable traffic violations like speeding, failure to obey a traffic signal, or failure to stop for a school bus are affected by the new law. Violations like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or under a suspended license are not.

Murder Charges Dropped At Pretrial Hearing

SNOW HILL -- Alexander Crippen is no longer charged with the murder of Reginald Jerome Handy Jr. after a Circuit Court judge approved a motion to dismiss the charges at a pretrial hearing.

Deputy State's Attorney Michael Farlow did not object to the dismissal of first-degree murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault charges against Crippen.

"The forensic evidence would have made it impossible to prove Mr. Crippen is the person who killed Reginald Handy," Farlow said, noting Crippen is still charged with the first- and second-degree attempted murder of Torrance Davis, Crippen's cousin, along with separate first- and second-degree assault charges and other related offenses.

Arthur McGreevy, Crippen's lawyer, said it felt good to get the murder charge against his client dropped. He is focusing on the trial scheduled to begin Monday.

"At the trial, I believe my client will be exonerated of all the charges," said McGreevy. "He was not any of the people firing weapons on that day."

The shooting death of Handy occurred on May 26 at about 10 p.m. in Pocomoke City, when he was shot once in the back before being transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, where he was pronounced dead, according to police and court records.

Upon searching the area where Handy was shot, McGreevy says police found six .45-caliber shell casings, six other shell casings and a .223 rifle cartridge.

The deputy state's attorney and defense council put several additional motions in front of Judge Richard R. Bloxom, including allowing audiovisual equipment in the court during the trial, redacting objectionable statements in Crippen's interview transcripts and correcting a typographical error in court documents.

In a July interview, Davis said he and his cousin didn't know Crippen personally before the night Handy died, and disputed police accounts that had Crippen arguing with Handy beforehand.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Two Men Wanted For Delaware Motel Robbery Arrested In Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS — An armed robbery in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant in Newport News led to a high-speed police chase that lasted more than 40 minutes on Monday night and resulted in the arrest of four Delaware residents.

The driver, a 28-year-old GianFranco Minello, is charged with reckless driving and evading police. Both he and the front-seat passenger, 30-year-old Randy Rickards, are also charged with robbery, possession of cocaine, and conspiracy and firearms charges. The two passengers in the back seat, a 17-year-old female and 44-year-old Kevin Payne, are charged with possession of cocaine. The female is not being identified to the media because she is a juvenile.

Holly McPherson, spokeswoman for Newport News police, said Minello and Rickards could face additional charges related to other robberies in Newport News. She said both men also have outstanding warrants in Delaware.

These are the two men wanted by Delaware police for the motel robbery in Seaford, Delaware (Nov. 17, 2010) in which Kristen Shockley of Pocomoke was arrested. Minello and Rickards fled the scene before police arrived.

Santa Train Schedule

Electric Vehicle Chargers To Be Offered At Cracker Barrel

LEBANON, Tenn.(AP) — Cracker Barrel, modeled to represent a slower time of rocking chairs on old wooden porches, will soon feature a very modern technology — electric vehicle chargers.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store In,. has launched a pilot project in which it will install Blink electric vehicle chargers, provided by Ecotality Inc., at 24 restaurants across Tennessee.

The pilot is part of a broader effort by Ecotality, based in Tempe, Ariz., to get charging stations in more places across the country. The lack of charging stations, along with the high cost of vehicles, are major hurdles to the spread of electric vehicle technology.

Cracker Barrel restaurants are mostly located near major highways where travelers can get to them, and back on the road, easily. Ecotality said this makes them an ideal fit for the charging stations. About 40 percent of Cracker Barrel guests are travelers.

Guests will be able to get a full charge in less than 30 minutes at 12 DC Fast Charging stations. Chargers at the other 12 locations will take longer, but the companies didn't say how long.

There will be a charge for the service, but the prices haven't yet been set, Cracker Barrel spokeswoman Julie Davis said Tuesday.

The chargers are expected to be installed over a few months starting next spring.

Through its EV project, Ecotality will oversee the installation of 15,000 charging stations in 16 cities and major metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia. The project will provide infrastructure to support the deployment of 8,300 electric vehicles. The project is funded through a federal stimulus grant of $114.8 million. The grant was matched by private investment, bringing the total value of the project to about $230 million.

Cracker Barrel, based in Lebanon, Tenn., is also shelling out an undisclosed amount of money to help with installation of its chargers and to upgrade transformers.

Its shares fell 68 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $53.40 in midday trading. Ecotality shares dropped 8 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $3.52.


The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for the Lower Shore through 10 a.m., as well as a watch for potentially violent thunderstorms.

Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset, Accomack, Northampton and Dorchester counties are on the watch list. Locally heavy rainfall and damaging winds are possible, particularly from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Rare Copy of 'The Star Spangled Banner' To Be Auctioned

It's the typo that gives it away.

The two 13-by-9.5-inch pieces of paper that will go up for auction at Christie's on Friday spell out in big, bold, black letters, "The Star Spangled Banner." Underneath this heading is written, much smaller, these words of explanation: "A Pariotic Song."

Thomas Carr, a 19th century music publisher who operated a store at 36 Baltimore St., intended to print "A Patriotic Song." But he was rushing to capitalize on the popularity of the little ditty that Francis Scott Key penned while watching the bombing of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, and lacked the modern-day luxury of spell-check. So when the first edition of the four famous verses that later became the national anthem were published in 1814, they contained a telling misspelling.
And that's how Chris Coover, a senior book and manuscript specialist for the auction house, knew that he'd been offered the real deal.

"It's a great discovery, a key piece of Americana," Coover says. "There are only 11 copies that we know about, and this is the only one in private hands. The others are all in institutions or university libraries."

Chances are that when Lot 85 goes on the auction block at around 11 a.m. Friday at the auction house's headquarters in New York, the bidding will start in the low six figures. Christie's estimates the value of the manuscript at between $200,000 and $300,000.

The auction house isn't releasing the identities of the sellers, but Coover identified them as two elderly Pennsylvania antique dealers. In 1989, when the couple purchased their copy of the "Banner," it was included in an album of 50 pieces of sheet music that had been bound together. The couple, not knowing what they had found, purchased the entire book for $50 — or $1 per song.

"They got a bargain," Coover says with intentional understatement, adding that proceeds from the sale will fund the couple's retirement.

It's estimated that the album was bound about 1820 while it was owned by a young girl named Mary Barnitz, who belonged to a prominent family near York, Pa.

Cooper noted that Carr probably made about 500 copies of the first edition, which were engraved and printed from a copper plate. Just 2 percent managed to survive the ensuing 197 years.

"It was very customary in the early part of the 19th century to collect sheet music," Coover says.

"In musical families, sheet music would be in a big messy stack, and at some point, someone would gather it all up and take it to a bookbinder. The fact that it was bound into this album of 49 other examples was probably what saved it from being discarded, damaged or destroyed. It's in wonderful condition."

The manuscript, he says, has a small tear in one corner that has been carefully mended, and a very light damp stain, possibly from tea. But, other than the misspelling, the most striking aspect of the first edition is the absence of the author's name.

"I think it was an oversight on the part of the publisher," Coover says.

"He may not have known that Francis Scott Key was the author. Key was an attorney, but he wasn't famous. By the time Carr came out with his first edition, the verses had already been printed in the newspapers, and the song had been sung on stage."

Coover says that a handful of people have already made inquiries about the "Banner," though none are from Maryland.

But even if the document never makes it to the Free State, two of the 11 copies are safely housed in the city where the song was written.

The Johns Hopkins University has a near-pristine copy that it acquired in 1977 from the collector and donor Lester Levy, along with other "Star Spangled Banner" memorabilia. The first edition is available to university staff and students for perusal, but hasn't been displayed publicly for several years, according to Kelly Spring, an assistant manuscripts curator for the university.

And the Maryland Historical Society has a third copy, which is on display through the holidays. If the society's president, Burt Kummerow, is a bit vague about how long it's owned its first edition, or how it was acquired, that's understandable.

It seems that the society's attention is focused on another item in its possession that's even more historic, intimate and valuable — an inked version of "The Star Spangled Banner" in the author's handwriting.

No, museum officials don't have the famous envelope back on which Key first jotted down the lyrics of his song while watching the bombardment. That envelope was lost long ago. Instead, the Historical Society has the piece of paper on which Key copied down the lyrics from the envelope as soon as the shaken barrister made it back to his hotel from the deck of the British sloop on which he'd been detained. This was the official version, the one on which Key intended to preserve his musings.

"We'll be doing a lot more with the handwritten version for the centennial year in 2014," Kummerow says. "We'll be sharing it with groups around the state. It's our most popular item by far."

Grandmother Charged With Murder After Throwing Granddaughter From Parking Garage Walkway

TYSONS CORNER, Va. - A 50-year-old woman accused of throwing her granddaughter to her death off a parking garage walkway has been charged with murder.

Carmela Dela Rosa allegedly threw two-and-a-half-year-old Angelyn Ogdoc off a sixth floor outdoor walkway at Tysons Corner Center around 7:15 p.m. Monday, Fairfax County Police spokesperson Tawny Wright tells WTOP.

Dela Rosa was arraigned Tuesday morning at Fairfax County Circuit Court. She is due back there on Jan. 4.

She is currently being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

Dela Rosa, of Fairfax, was walking with other family members Monday when she picked up and threw the girl off the walkway in a matter of seconds, Wright says.

Emergency responders took Ogdoc to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where she later died. Police were notified of her death around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Dela Rosa was originally charged with aggravated malicious wounding, but the charges were upgraded to murder following the girl's death.

There is a security camera on the walkway. There is no word on whether the camera captured the incident.

The walkway connects Parking Garage E with the movie theaters and a food court. There is a railing just higher than waist-level.

Police have not said what prompted the Dela Rosa to hurt her granddaughter.

Dela Rosa's neighbors say she often took care of her granddaughter, and was recently rushed to the hospital because she was sick.

"She's like a normal person, you wouldn't think something like that would happen," next-door neighbor Russell Jackson tells WTOP.

"I've seen her picture, but I'm still saying 'They've got the wrong house.'"

Santa To Arrive At the Historic Onley Train Station Dec. 4

You better not pout, you better not cry, because Santa is coming to the Historic Onley Train Station. The Society for the Preservation of the Onley Train Station (SPOTS) will be hosting Santa as he arrives by train on Saturday December 4th at 2:30 pm. The Historic Onley Train Station will be open from 1-3 pm for tours and refreshments will be available.

The station is located at the corner of Pennsylvania Ave and Maple St in downtown Onley right next to the tracks.

So come on out and celebrate the start of the holiday season with members of SPOTS, and Santa at the historic Onley Train Station.

Arrest Made By Accomack County Sheriff's Dept. In Corner Mart Robbery

According to Major Todd Godwin of the Accomack County Sheriffs Office, on October 28, 2010 at approximately 10:19 PM, the Accomack County Sheriffs Office received a report of an armed robbery that occurred at the Corner Mart convenience store in Wattsville, Virginia. Based on witness accounts, 3 suspects entered the store and robbed the clerk of an undisclosed amount of money and property.

On November 17, 2010, Denzel Maurice Timmons of Pocomoke City, Maryland was charged with 2 counts of Robbery and 2 counts of Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony relating to this crime as well as his involvement in the October 10, 2010 robbery that occurred at the Oak Hall Corner Mart convenience store. Timmons is currently incarcerated in the Accomack County Jail with bond denied.

The investigation into these crimes is continuing and further arrests are pending.

Southern Security System


1. Go to a second-hand store and buy a pair of men's used size 14-16 work boots.

2.  Place boots on your front porch, along with several empty beercans, a copy of Guns & Ammo magazine, and several NRA magazines.

3. Place a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.

4. Leave a note on your door that reads: "Hey Bubba, Big Jim, Duke and Slim, I went to the gun shop for more ammunition.  Back in an hour.  Don't mess with the pit bulls -- they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up real bad.   

I don't think Killer took part in it, but it was hard to tell from all the blood.

P.S. I locked all four of 'em in the house.  Better wait outside."

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Couple Wins $164,000,000.00 Lottery

What would you do with all that money?

Hat Tip; Kack

Pocomoke City Christmas Parade Winners

2010 Pocomoke City Christmas Parade Winners

Grand Champion Band $100 & Trophy Snow Hill HS

1st Place Div I Band - L$150 & Trophy Snow Hill HS
2nd Place Div I Band - L$100 & Trophy N. Dorchester HS

1st Place Div 2 1st Place Div Band- S$150 & Trophy Washington HS
2nd Place Div 2 Band - S $100 & Trophy Crisfield HS

1st Place Div 3 Band - M$125 & Trophy Salisbury Middle School
2nd Place Div 3 Band - M$100 & Trophy None

1st Place Comm. Float Plaque Lowes of Pocomoke
2nd Place Comm. Float Plaque TNT Construction

1st Place Non-Com Adult Float $150 & Plaque Acts Apostolic Church
2nd Place Non-Com Adult Float $125 & Plaque Bethel Baptist Church

1st Place Non-Com Youth Float $150 & Plaque Cub Scouts Troop 143
2nd Place Non-Com Youth Float $125 & Plaque Girls Scouts Troop 137

1st Place Dance Units Plaque Dance Loft
2nd Place Dance Units Plaque Dance Dynamics

1st Place Marching Units Plaque Snow Hill HS
2nd Place Marching Units Plaque Pocomoke HS

Best Appearing Fire Co. Plaque Greenbackville VFD
2nd Appearing Fire Co. Plaque Parsonsburg VFD

Best Fire Co Marching Plaque Newark Cadets

Best Antique Equipment Plaque Greenbackville VFD

Best Modern Equipment Plaque Salisbury Station 2

Equestrian Unit Plaque Chincoteague Drill Team

Teen Wanted Police Turns Himself In

HEBRON, Md.- The search for a Hebron teenager accused of having fired multiple shots at a Maryland state trooper four days ago ended this morning when he turned himself in to police in Salisbury.

Maryland State Police say Wyatt A. Young, 18, will be charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, illegal possession of a handgun in a vehicle, illegal possession of a handgun, and use of a handgun in the commission of a felony. Bond information was not immediately available.

Police say that at around 7 a.m. today, Young walked into the Salisbury Police Department with his mother and identified himself to police. He was taken into custody without incident.

Young's arrest stemmed from an incident alleged to have occurred shortly after 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 26. Authorities say a state trooper assigned to the MSP Salisbury Barrack was traveling in the 7500 block of Longfield Drive near Hebron when he saw a vehicle parked in the grass along the shoulder of the road. The trooper was in uniform and in a marked patrol car.

The trooper was facing the front of the Honda when he pulled up to check on it. The trooper shone his patrol car spotlight on the Honda and saw someone lying across the front seat. Police say the person, later identified as Young, sat up and pointed what appeared to be a handgun at the trooper. According to investigators, Young fired at the trooper through the driver's side window, causing the Honda's window to shatter.

Police say that Young is believed to have fired at least two more times at the trooper, before speeding away from the scene.

Neither the trooper nor his patrol car was hit by the gunfire.

A search by police in Maryland and Delaware had been underway for the last four days prior to Young's decision to surrender to authorities. He had last been seen in Delaware where he fled from a traffic stop.

Agencies involved in the search included the Wicomico County Bureau of Investigation, the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office, MSP Salisbury Barrack, Maryland State Police State Apprehension Team, Delaware State Police and local police departments.

The Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office worked with the investigative team and was consulted regarding criminal charges.

The investigation is continuing. Police say additional criminal charges are pending against Young in Maryland and Delaware.

Parksley's 2010 Olde Fashion Christmas Celebration

The Greater Parksley Association and the Parksley Volunteer Fire Company invite you to An Olde Fashion Christmas in Parksley 2010.

The events will start when Santa arrives on the train around 3:15. The Great Parksley Association will be selling hot chocolate and
homemade cookies for all that are waiting for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive. Dunne Ave will be closed around 5:00. Santa then will arrive around 5:30 at his Santa House next to the Club Car. Let Santa's elves take your children's picture with Santa for a small donation.

Local merchants will be open late for your shopping pleasure. Carolers and bell ringers will be present for your enjoyment. Local craft vendors will be set up in the Town Council Chambers. Warm yourself by the street bonfire and make your own smores. Free hayrides to view the decorated homes. Again this year hay riders will get to judge the best decorated homes.

Homeowners are encourage to decorate to win a cash prize!!(call 757-665-6655 to register your house)

1st prize $100
2nd prize $75
3rd prize $50

Don't miss this special annual event Saturday December 4th, 2010 from 5 p.m. - 8p.m.

For more information about this event call 665-6655

Pocomoke Police Dept. To Hold Annual Youth Christmas Party

2010 Annual Youth Christmas Party

Hosted by The Pocomoke City Police Department

will be held

December 19, 2010

5:00 to 7:00 PM

The event will be held at the Bethany-Salem United Methodist Church
205 Market Street, Pocomoke, Md.
For more information (410) 957-1600, ext. 103

Lawsuit Filed Against Perdue

The Humane Society of the United States filed a class action lawsuit Monday in New Jersey against Maryland-based Perdue Farms, accusing the nation's third-largest poultry producer of falsely advertising its chickens as "humanely raised."

The suit was brought on behalf of a New Jersey woman who bought chicken at a BJ's Wholesale Club bearing the Harvestland label, a trade name used by Perdue for birds raised in Kentucky and marketed as "purely all-natural" and "humanely raised."

The suit alleges that the poultry producer's marketing violates New Jersey's consumer fraud law. The complaint seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against Perdue, as well as an injunction barring it from making claims that it treats its birds humanely.

"Companies like Perdue are exploiting the dramatic growth of consumer demand for improved animal welfare for their own profit," Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president and a chief counsel for the Washington-based group, said in a statement. "Rather than implementing humane reforms, Perdue has simply slapped 'humanely raised' stickers on its factory farmed products, hoping consumers won't know the difference."

Perdue follows animal welfare guidelines put out by the industry's National Chicken Council, the suit claims, which allow for raising birds in continuous dim light, depriving them of food and water during transport to a processing plant and hanging them upside down and shackled by their legs just before slaughter. The group contends industry slaughtering techniques are inhumane, subjecting birds to unnecessary pain before killing them. Perdue issued a statement from its corporate headquarters in Salisbury saying that its farmers' handling of their chickens exceeds industry standards, and that the Humane Society's suit is based on "narrow, arbitrary standards" of humane treatment.

"Our chickens are raised cage-free on family farms in temperature-controlled housing with a continuous flow of fresh air, and they remain free to move about with constant access to food and water," e-mailed Luis A. Luna, Perdue's vice president for corporate communications.

Some poultry companies have shifted to killing or stunning their animals with gas before slaughtering them, the Humane Society points out. Jaindl Farms, a turkey producer in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, and Mary's Chickens, a free-range bird producer in California, are among the poultry producers that have switched or are in the process of switching to so-called "controlled atmosphere" killing.

The chicken council contends the industry practice of stunning birds electrically before slaughtering them is "effective and humane." The trade group says studies have found no proof that the birds are less traumatized by the gassing method that is popular in Europe and among some producers in the United States. "It is no surprise that HSUS finds fault with the [industry's] program, since HSUS is dominated by animal rights advocates who object to the use of animals for food," Richard L. Lobb, the chicken council's communications director, said in an e-mail.

The Humane Society does encourage vegetarianism, but it also supports consumption of meat raised in a manner that the group believes reduces the animals' suffering.

Though the lawsuit would apply only to the marketing of Perdue poultry products in New Jersey, the humane society vice president said the group might seek to bring suit in other states with similar consumer fraud laws. Maryland, though, might not offer fertile legal ground for such a lawsuit. State law does protect against false advertising, but the claims being challenged must be provably wrong by some objective standard, according Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.

Suspects Charged In B&E At Runninger's Pharmacy

For the second time in as many months, a branch of the local Runninger's Pharmacy has been broken into.
According to Major Todd Godwin of the Accomack County Sheriff's Office, on October 2, 2010 at approximately 5:29 A.M., deputies responded to a report of an alarm activation at Runninger's Pharmacy in Parksley, Virginia. Parksley Policeman Tommy Carpenter was the first on the scene, reponding while driving home after his shift had ended.

Upon arrival on the scene, deputies found that a breaking and entering had occurred and that various items had been taken from the business.

"The back window had been busted out," said Pharmacist Emory Hurst, Jr. "The alarm was triggered and they were scared off before they could steal too much."
A joint investigation into this incident between the
Accomack County Sheriff's Office and the Parksley Police Department, with assistance from the Virginia State Police, has resulted in warrants being obtained against Billy Brandice Kilmon, age 27, of Parksley, Virginia and Walter Hunter Wharton III, age 30, address unknown, charging each subject with one count of breaking and entering and one count of grand larceny.

Billy Brandice Kilmon and Walter Hunter Wharton III are currently incarcerated in the Wicomico County Jail in Salisbury, Maryland on unrelated charges.

The investigation into this incident is continuing and additional arrests are expected.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Police Still Searching For Teen Wanted In Shooting

DOVER, Del.- Police in Delaware nearly captured an 18-year-old man believed to have fired shots at a Maryland state trooper, but he was able to run away.

Authorities had been looking for Wyatt A. Young of Hebron, Md., who allegedly fired at the trooper Friday. At around 7:40 p.m. Sunday, however, police say they stopped Young, who was allegedly driving a stolen car on SR#1 in the area of Bayview Road in Middletown. After the vehicle was stopped, Young fled on foot.

Police used dogs and helicopters to search for Young until Monday morning, when they scaled back the search effort. Young is described as white, 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone who spots Young or knows of his whereabouts is asked to call 911. Citizens may also contact Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or provide tips online at or contact the Maryland State Police Salisbury Barrack at (410) 749-3101.

When captured, Young will face attempted murder and related charges.

Murder Trial Delay

SNOW HILL -- The trial date for the man accused of murdering a Pocomoke City woman has been bumped from December to February, meaning outgoing Worcester County State's Attorney Joel Todd will not try the case.

"That's the way the democratic system works," said Todd, who lost a bid for his fifth consecutive term to challenger Beau Oglesby. "I certainly would have liked to have been able to prosecute, but the voters decided otherwise, and I accept that. ... I have no reason to believe the case won't be handled ethically and professionally and that justice will prevail."

Christine Sheddy, a 27-year-old mother of two, went missing in November 2007 from a Pocomoke City-area residence. An investigation by law enforcement led to the discovery in February of Sheddy's remains buried in the backyard of a Snow Hill bed and breakfast and the subsequent arrest of Justin Michael Hadel, 20, of Texas.

Hadel was scheduled to face charges of first-degree murder Dec. 7-9 in Worcester County Circuit Court. Because his public defender has requested more time to prepare for the case, the trial date has been moved to Feb. 8-10.

Todd may appear at a motions hearing scheduled for Dec. 9 in the case, though such hearings are sometimes canceled or rescheduled.

Lynn Dodenhoff, the victim's mother who bonded early on in the case with Todd and his staff, has publicly stated Joel Todd was the only man she wanted to prosecute Hadel.

"I have to put my faith in that (Oglesby) knows what he's doing and that he would accept any and all help in this case," said Dodenhoff in an interview. "I would feel more comfortable if it was Joel handling the case, but you're given the cards you're dealt."

Oglesby, currently employed as deputy state's attorney for Caroline County, said with four Worcester homicide cases pending, he's already begun getting familiar with the cases and is in "constant contact" with Todd, his staff of attorneys and members of law enforcement.

"There's a transfer of information that is ongoing," he said. "I'm completely confident in my abilities and, more importantly, the abilities of the members of the State's Attorney's Office and law enforcement that we will be prepared when it comes to trial."

When asked about Dodenhoff's comments, Oglesby declined to get into the details of ongoing cases, saying communication between him and victims of crimes should remain privileged.

Todd said once Dodenhoff gets to know the new state's attorney, "she'll find out that he's a professional, too."

"We have provided Mr. Oglesby with copies of reports; we have done everything we can so he is completely up to speed when he gets sworn in," Todd said. "There is no animosity between he and I. We both have the common pursuit of justice for the citizens of Worcester County.

5 Year Old Gives Life Savings To Fire Department

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Financial support to help rebuild the Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department has poured in from across West Virginia and the country, but none touched members of the department more than the donation of one boy's savings.

On Saturday, Joshua Shaffer, 5, wearing a firefighter's hat and jacket -- his Halloween costume -- donated $45.85 from his plastic piggy bank.

The money, made up of change, was his life savings.

The department lost its main station, three trucks and nearly all of its equipment in an electrical fire on Oct. 1.

Shaffer's donation epitomizes the support from the community, especially the children, said Tom Miller, secretary of the 40-member department's board of directors.

Elementary, middle and high school students from across Kanawha County and the state have raised more than $5,000 through fundraisers, Miller said.

"There are just no words to describe it," Miller said.

J.T. Shaffer, Joshua's father, said Saturday his son decided to donate his savings after watching a YouTube video of the fire that destroyed the main station.

"They can't do it all by themselves," Joshua Shaffer said Saturday, after presenting the jar of coins to members of the fire department at Sissonville High School.

In honor of the donation, members of the VFD presented Joshua with a certificate, naming him an honorary junior firefighter.

He also shook each firefighter's hand before getting the chance to climb into the unit's fire truck and push a few buttons.

Joshua said Saturday he's already planning to begin saving money for "Big Josh," a fire truck the department plans to purchase and name after him.

The Sissonville VFD is operating out of the garage of Charleston Auto, just down the road from the burned-out station. The department runs three fire stations to cover an area of about 125 square miles.

Even after the loss of their main station, members of the volunteer department have not missed a single call, Miller said.

The fire destroyed nearly $2 million in property, equipment and vehicles, he said. The department's insurance will cover damage to the trucks and building, which totals about $1 million.

Insurance coverage for the lost equipment has not been settled.

Miller estimates that the department needs to raise an additional $350,000 to completely rebuild and re-establish itself.

The outpouring of support has been "overwhelming," Miller said.

In just two months, the department has raised about $100,000 through donations, fundraisers, and corporate and state pledges, he said.

Offers of help also have come from outside West Virginia. Fire departments from as far away as California, Alaska and British Columbia have donated equipment and supplies.

The department must have a plan to rebuild and re-establish itself by May, Miller said.

Without a plan, insurance policies of the people who live within the department's district could be affected, because the unit is operating out of a temporary location, he said.

The department is working on a plan, Miller said, "but "I have no idea where, or when we'll build. There are still a lot of questions that have to be answered yet."

Members of the Sissonville VFD will host a holiday family-portrait event from noon to 8 p.m. today at Sissonville High School. Portraits cost $10.

Additionally, the department is sponsoring a Dec. 18 holiday bus trip to Elkins. Tickets are $65 and include dinner, entrance to a Broadway-style show, time to shop in the area and transportation.

To book a ticket for the holiday trip, call the fire department at 304-984-0674.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pocomoke Christmas Parade; Give A Little, Get A Lot

Hot Coffee, Hot Chocolate, and pastries (and a Bonus while supplies last) at this years Christmas Parade? Read on.

For as long as I can remember the Pocomoke Christmas Parade is one of the coolest (temperature) parades that I have ever been to. It seams though if we are having un-seasonably warm weather we will still have a very cold evening the night of the parade with very few exceptions as witnessed in my lifetime.

This year there is help, it may not change the ambient outdoor temperature but having some nice hot coffee and/or hot chocolate will sure warm the bones on a cold blistery night, and it will even feel and taste good if it's not all that cold outside.

 Along with the hot coffee and chocolate is the option to enjoy a nice pastry to go along with your coffee and/or chocolate. Even if you do not like hot coffee or hot chocolate a nice hot cup of either makes the best hand warmer ever invented. It even makes a better hand warmer than the tried and trued method of breaking off the tip of a piece of frozen fire and putting it in your pocket.

  Not only will you have the luxury of having a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate, and a baked good to dunk-it. All are just a stones-throw-away from anywhere that you stand/sit/park in the downtown area. The vendor of the coffee/chocolate/pastries will also be donating all proceeds to a local needy charity.

 So while you and the Children are enjoying the Christmas Parade don't let the cold weather hamper your night, just jog on over to the table set-up 'in'the doorway' of "Lighthouse Counseling & Consulting Services" and order y'all up some hot coffee, hot chocolate, and a mess of pastries, you will also be helping the Samaritan Shelter with each and every purchase, and while supplies last you will receive a American Family Association lapel button tell them "PPE" sent you.

Lets go over the rundown.

What? Benefit for the Samaritan Shelter Hot Coffee/Chocolate and pastries/baked goods.

When? 11/29/10 during the hours of The Pocomoke City night-time Christmas parade.   

Where? "Lighthouse Counseling & Consulting Services" 147 B Market Street in Beautiful Downtown Pocomoke City....across from Chinese Restaurant in the former Bloxom & Bloxom Law Office.

Why? To benefit the Pocomoke City Samaritan Shelter and To keep you warm and hydrated and to prevent that rumble from the tummy.

We are SELLING baked goods (peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies, oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, pecan bars, caramel brownies, and walnut brownies) asking for a one dollar DONATION  for the hot coffee and hot chocolate, (all goes to benefit the Samaritan Shelter) and the buttons say "Merry Christmas" and have a picture of Mary and Baby Jesus and then below that say "God with us" are FREE (no purchase required). (There is a picture on the American Family Association website if you'd like to see what they look like.)