Saturday, January 8, 2011

Beau Oglesby Takes Office As State's Attorney for Worcester County

SNOW HILL – State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby was sworn into office Monday in front of a crowd of officials, friends and family.

“It’s no secret why Beau has ascended,” said Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis, who worked with Oglesby when he was a prosecutor for Wicomico County.

Lewis pointed out the great working relationship Oglesby had with law enforcement
“I could quickly see that he’s what most law enforcement officers call a ‘masterful prosecutor,’” said Lewis. “I’m so, so proud to stand here today…it’s a great day for law enforcement and a great day for justice.”

Caroline County Circuit Court Judge Karen Jensen also opted to give Oglesby a few words of introduction. Jensen spoke of Oglesby’s time serving in Caroline as an assistant State’s Attorney, calling him a “fierce and able advocate.” She informed him that he would be coming into a lot of power in his office, which carried an equivalent amount of responsibility. Finally, she thanked him on behalf of Caroline County and forecasted a bright future for Worcester with Oglesby’s transition.

“You can’t imagine the journey this has been,” said Oglesby after being introduced. “I’ve been through a lawsuit … lost an election by 14 votes … turned it around this time and won by 93.”

Oglesby went on to thank everyone that supported him, especially his family, who joined him during the swearing in.

“I look around the room and I’m so overwhelmed,” he said.

Joking that at least part of his introduction was wrong, Oglesby admitted to not being as organized as Jansen had claimed him to be.

“I’ve prepared some comments, they’re around here somewhere,” he said.

Choosing to speak from memory instead, Oglesby offered a special thanks to the members of law enforcement in attendance.

“You make me want to be a better prosecutor each and every day,” he said. “I can’t imagine you [the police] doing the job halfway and seeing someone fall down on the other half.”

Oglesby also spoke about his life growing up.

“Mom was judge and jury, dad was the executioner,” he said.

Despite the light attitude, Oglesby stressed that his family life helped him learn values.

“There’s right and wrong. There’s black and white. But there’s also an area of gray,” he said.

Finally, he took a moment to address his own family, telling his children that he would still be busy even after the campaign, but promising them, “it won’t take me as long to get home.”

Oglesby then thanked his wife for her support. The whole experience managed to choke Oglesby up toward the end of his speech.

“This is the first time I’ve cried in court,” he said.

Lewis joked, “It won’t be the last in this county.”

Oglesby concluded by once again thanking everyone who supported him.
“God bless you and God bless Worcester County,” he said.

Car Theft Lands Teen One Year In Jail

SNOW HILL -- An 18-year-old charged with stealing cars and joyriding down to Georgia with two other people will spend a year in jail.

Dennis John Cross Jr. of Greenbackville was sentenced to four years in jail with all but three suspended. He also will be on three years of supervised probation. He agreed to plead guilty to unauthorized removal of property -- that is, someone else's car -- in exchange for prosecutors dropping other charges of theft and burglary.

He also will have to pay restitution to his theft victims, a figure which has yet to be determined, prosecutors said. Pending drug charges of marijuana possession and possession with intent to distribute were dropped in the plea agreement in Worcester County Circuit Court on Thursday.

Cross and two other teen boys stood accused of motor vehicle theft and burglary in a case police said involved several missing vehicles and an attempted escape to Atlanta. Police said the three stole cars in May and June in and around Whiton and Public Landing, rural areas in central Worcester County.

One man, Jacob Tyler Derr, 19, of Snow Hill entered into a plea agreement in October on burglary charges in which additional charges of burglary and theft were dropped. He also was sentenced to three years in the Worcester County Jail with all but one suspended.

A third accomplice was a juvenile at the time, and police have not released his name or his disposition, though detectives with the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation traveled to Atlanta to detain him. Police said they found the juvenile in possession of the stolen cars.

Authorities searched for Cross for a month last summer after he evaded police when found in a stolen car in Georgia during a traffic stop. In late July, he was arrested as he allegedly tried to escape another traffic stop in Berlin; police had stopped the SUV he was in for a broken headlight.

Friday, January 7, 2011

NASA Hosts Robotics Events Saturday

Students from the Eastern Shore will gather this weekend at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility for the start of a national robotics competition.

Students interested in robotics will meet Saturday morning at the facility to get details of the first challenge in the 2011 FIRST Robotics season, which kicks off this weekend.

NASA said a live event will be held in Manchester, N.H., and will be televised at numerous locations nationally, including at Wallops. The mission will be a game created by FIRST Robotics. Teams across the U.S. will then receive a kit of parts with which to build a machine used to accomplish the mission.

NASA says Saturday's Eastern Shore event will feature speakers from Eastern Shore robotics teams, NASA and the Navy.

Accomack County Board of Supervisors Meeting

The Accomack County Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, January 5th at the Board Chambers in Accomack. This was an organizational meeting and but was also opened up for public comment on a proposal for the Mary N. Smith Middle School building in Accomac.

Supervisor Donald Hart has been elected as the new Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Out-going Chair, Laura Belle Gordy, was elected to serve as Vice-Chair. The new Chairman presented Supervisor Gordy with a plaque of appreciation, calling her a lady of class and thanking her for her service.
The Board voted unanimously to keep regular meetings for the upcoming the year the same, which is the third Wednesday of each month beginning at 5:00 p.m. Work sessions will be held quarterly or when called.

Ethan Brenner of Painter, and a member of the FIRST Robotics Team, was allowed to address the board and invited them to an upcoming Season Kickoff. That event will be held locally for the first time and will be Saturday, January 8th at 9:00 a.m. at the NASA Wallops Visitor Center. The board congratulated Brenner on the Teams Efforts.

Wednesday nights meeting was Supervisor Steve Malletes last. Mallette resigned from the board of supervisors in November. The board discussed how to fill the position and voted unanimously for the following process: The position is now open to interested parties from district 6. Anyone who would like to be considered must submit a letter and or resume to the County Administrator by 5:00 p.m. on January 10th. There will be a Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, January 12th at 5:00 p.m. so the board can meet and talk with each interested individual. These people are allowed to bring supporters who wish to speak on their behalf. Chairman Hart emphasized that he wants a positive meeting and that negative remarks about those seeking the position will not be tolerated. Should the board decide to appoint a Supervisor, that person will be sworn in on January 13th, and will have the necessary materials to prepare him or her for the regular January 19th meeting. The newly appointed supervisor will fulfill Mallettes term and the seat will be up for reelection in January 2012.

Hart also reminded the board that he would like them to make a decision with the publics input to avoid a judge from Virginia Beach having to appoint one, due to the fact that the eastern shore has no resident judge at this time.

Several citizens attended this meeting concerning the fate of the Mary N Smith Middle School building. A presentation was made by Mr. David Koogler of Mark-Dana Corporation and numerous residents of what is known as the Mary N. Smith Community as well as other shore citizens made their opinions known.

Berlin Has New Year's Eve Celebration

The Berline Chamber of Commerce and the Berlin people in general always seem to have the brightest ideas. What a great idea this was! And, as with anything they seem to attempt, they had the best of luck. How wonderful for Berlin. jmmb
A crowd of approximately 1,000 people watched as a large disco ball descended from above Town Center Antiques in Berlin late last Friday. As the glittery silver ball reached its destination near a clock on North Main Street, the giant crowd roared, welcoming the New Year with palpable excitement.

“It was incredible,” said Barb Stack, a Berlin business owner who instituted the town’s inaugural New Year’s Eve celebration. “It was much better than we ever anticipated. Everybody just had a ton of fun. We were just overwhelmed by the response.”

Organized by the town and the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, the Dec. 31 party was expected to draw a small crowd — only about 100 or 200, according to Michael Day, the town’s director of Community and Economic Development. Undoubtedly, organizers were surprised when hundreds of revelers gathered along Main Street and its side streets, sidewalks and on the porch and front yard of the Atlantic Hotel.

“It was unpredictable as to how many people would show up,” Day said. “There were some things we didn’t think about.”

For instance, Day said, the town should have arranged for portable toilets and for street vendors to sell food and coffee. He added that perhaps the deejay should have been asked to remind people to use the trashcans, or perhaps those trashcans should have been placed in the streets instead of up against buildings.

Day and others had also not anticipated that people would take confetti to the event. Two members of the Public Works Department cleaned it up hours later, but soon after the crowd headed home it was Day, Town Administrator Tony Carson and Stack, owner of Design Resources, assisted by several town residents who picked up the larger trash items such as beverage cups and cans on the street.

Carriage rides were scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m., but approximately 30 people were in line 30 minutes earlier, so they began at 8 p.m.

The giant crowd was a pleasant surprise for Berlin businesses open that evening.

The Atlantic Hotel had its own New Year’s Eve event in its ballroom, but people attending the outside ball-drop could buy a drink at a bar set up on the porch. The hotel also had free hot chocolate and cider for the revelers.

Every room at the hotel was booked, either as part of the special two-night package to go with the New Year’s Eve soiree or otherwise booked in advance.

“It was the best weekend the hotel has had since Mr. Fager took over,” said hotel employee Jude Robinson.

The Globe was so packed with people that owner Jen David instituted a “one in and one out” policy for the night. As one person left, another could enter. She did it, she said, “to make sure everybody was comfortable and that we could serve everybody.”

David was not only pleased with the business at The Globe, but the response to the town’s new event.

“For us, it was wonderful. And we were really, really happy to see locals as guests and attending the event,” she said.

Prior to the New Year’s Eve event, Tim Lawrence, director of the town’s Electric Utility, and lineman Fred Litchfield practiced a trial run for the ball drop on Thursday. Other advance preparations included building a device to swing the ball away from the building’s exterior, clearing snow from the streets and setting up the outdoor stage in front of Rayne’s Reef Luncheonette.

A meeting of town department heads will be held this week to discuss what would be needed to make next year’s event even better.

Obama Oks Joint Forces Command Closure

Hampton Roads stands to lose at least another 160 jobs as part of Defense Secretary Robert Gates' plan to overhaul defense spending.

The details of Gates' plan, announced Thursday, raised red flags among some area leaders and regional advocates, who argued that Gates didn't offer enough specifics about how the cutbacks would save money or improve national defense.

Gates said he plans to decommission the Navy's Norfolk-based Second Fleet, turning over control of its ships and operations to Fleet Forces Command. Both are headquartered at Norfolk Naval Station. President Barack Obama on Thursday night also approved an earlier plan to shut down the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk and Suffolk.

None of the more than 120 ships would leave Norfolk, Gates said during a Pentagon news conference, but about 160 military positions could be eliminated.

"During the Cold War, this command had distinct and significant operational responsibilities," he said. "Today, its primary responsibility is training and mission preparation."

The Second Fleet was established in 1950 in Norfolk and has participated in several historic military operations, including a 1962 naval blockade during the Cuban missile crisis. It also trained more than half the Navy's ships that were deployed during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991.

Under the new arrangement, the Second Fleet ships would be under the direct command of Adm. John C. Harvey Jr., the four-star head of Fleet Forces Command.

In a memo from the White House, the president said he accepted Gates' plan to shut down JFCOM - a move he announced in August - on a date to be determined by Gates.

Pentagon officials have said they expect that some parts of the command could remain in the region but have not specified how many of JFCOM's 3,760 jobs in the region might remain.

Gates said that officials are "still refining the details but expect that roughly 50 percent of the capabilities under JFCOM will be kept and assigned to other organizations."

The statement doesn't shed light on how many jobs might be lost and what kinds of positions might remain, said Craig Quigley, who heads the taxpayer-funded Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance, which lobbies to protect the region's military assets.

Local members of Congress said they don't have enough information to judge whether the cuts proposed by Gates are defensible.

U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Virginia Beach, whose district includes the Second Fleet and JFCOM headquarters, said Gates' decision about Second Fleet is troubling because he didn't provide any data to justify the change.

U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Chesapeake, was more emphatic, saying he believes Gates' efforts are part of a larger effort by the Obama administration to restrict military spending so that the funds can be spent elsewhere.

"You have no analysis, no documentation," Forbes said. "You simply have the cut, and then you back fill the analysis."

Forbes, who has become chairman of the readiness subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, has said he wants Congress to have a more direct role in setting defense priorities.

"We're going to be demanding audits of the Department of Defense," he said.

Gates also said the Navy will cut costs by reducing land-based staffs for submarines, patrol aircraft, destroyer squadrons and an aircraft carrier strike group.

The Navy was careful to point out that no ships, subs or aircraft will depart Norfolk or any other homeport as a result of the changes.

"We're going to streamline shore-based infrastructure by consolidating," said Lt. Courtney Hillson, a Navy spokeswoman. "But we're not moving any ships or planes - just people."

Gates said the Navy will use the savings to develop a new generation of electronic jammers and unmanned aircraft, and to buy more F/A-18 fighter jets, a new destroyer, a littoral combat ship, an ocean surveillance vessel and fleet oilers.

Virginia 911 Center Guides Distressed Pilot To Land

ACCOMAC -- The Eastern Shore of Virginia 911 Center staff successfully faced an unusual emergency situation the evening of Dec. 27, when it was contacted to provide assistance in landing to a pilot in distress over Accomack County.

The emergency situation was further complicated by the recent snowstorm. It was a time in which a caller was assisted and no local fire trucks or ambulances were called.

"It was a very unique call," said Jeff Flournoy, 911 Center Director.

Flournoy said at 9:30 p.m. last Monday, the 911 center received a call from the pilot of a Cessna 150 airplane requesting assistance to land his airplane after he experienced an electrical failure losing lighting, communications, and navigation equipment functionality while flying from Norfolk to Atlantic City, N.J.

The situation was dire, Flournoy said. "He told me he has a flashlight in his hand, looking at a map," Flournoy said of the pilot.

After contacting several airports for an "open and available runway," one was located at the Salisbury Airport in Maryland and the plane landed safely at 10:18 p.m.

Working with multiple agencies, the communications officers at the 911 center remained on the telephone with the pilot until he safely landed.

Flournoy recognized 911 staffers Susan Linton, Krista Kilmon, Ashley Mapp, Rudy Hudson and Tonya Taylor, all of whom had a role in the successful landing.

He said his staff handled the call with a great degree of skill -- it already was busy with the snow-related vehicle incidents.

"We were handling all the numerous calls from the snow and its aftermath and during that time, this call came in and involved us making a lot of phone calls and bring committed to this pilot."

In addition to locating an available runway and working to keep contact with the pilot, which was lost at times and then regained, the 911 center staff's assistance included providing the estimated distance to the airport, wind check information, and even contacting his family during the incident and just after the incident to report a safe landing.

The center report said they process thousands of 9-1-1 calls each year, but "9-1-1 calls from pilots flying an airplane are rare."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

18-Month Sentence For Ocean City Man

SNOW HILL -- An Ocean City man who set fire to an abandoned concrete plant was sentenced to 18 months in jail for second-degree arson.

John Edward Cropper, 46, was first given a harsher, 10-year sentence by Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Thomas C. Groton III. The judge suspended all but 18 months of the sentence, telling Cropper if he slipped up again, he'd face the remaining years behind bars.

Additional charges of malicious destruction of property and trespassing merged with the arson charge. Cropper's sentence also includes five years of supervised probation and $1,170 in fines and court fees. The judge authorized the 18 months to be served on work release.

Assistant Worcester County State's Attorney Diane Cuilhe sought a harsher sentence -- second-degree arson carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and a $30,000 fine -- based on Cropper being charged with a string of arsons in 1987.

According to Joel Todd, who was a deputy state's attorney at the time, Cropper became the main suspect in a series of Ocean City arsons in the 1980s. Officials eventually found probable cause to charge him, but in court he was found not criminally responsible.

Cuilhe said prosecutors believe Cropper poses a risk as a repeat offender based on comments he made to authorities at the time of the 1987 incidents: "I light 'em and I fight 'em."

In court, Cropper apologized for the fires set this spring, saying he's raising a 13-year-old son who "would greatly resent it" if his father were jailed. He also said he works full-time as an engineer on a clamming boat and can't miss work.

The judge noted Cropper's record of minor offenses, which include arrests for theft, burglary and drug possession.

Ocean City Police said on the evening of March 28, an officer on patrol stopped Cropper as he was walking near the Cropper Concrete plant. Though they share a name, the plant's owners and the defendant are unconnected.

Cropper, who rents a home on nearby St. Louis Avenue, claimed he was looking for his dog. The officer testified to noticing a strong smell of lighter fluid or gasoline on him. The officer let Cropper go and, with another officer, did a property check of the plant.

Inside a maintenance building, the officers smelled smoke and eventually found two small fires burning. The officers put out the fires and quickly brought Cropper back for questioning.

Cropper at first denied that he had been on the concrete plant grounds. But police found dirt on his boots that matched that of the property, and found his hands reeking of a flammable liquid, as well as black marks on his hands.

Some Believe The Rapture To Begin May 21, 2011

All right everybody, empty those pension funds, quit your jobs, and repent, because the end times are so nigh you can mark them on your calendar.

Apparently, the second coming is scheduled for May 21, 2011, according to Harold Camping, the leader of independent Christian ministry Family Radio Worldwide. He’s gotten that message out to Christians around the country—through radio shows, the Internet, and like-minded independent churches—and started a small movement whose members are convinced that they shall know the day and the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.
Camping, 89, tells the AP that the dedicated can read the Bible like a kind of cosmic calendar. “Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment,” he says. He figures the subsequent end of days will occur sometime around October.
The AP talked to a lot of people who agree, including one woman who is organizing an RV caravan across the country to spread the news. "Time is short," she says.

Here's more..........

If there had been time, Marie Exley would have liked to start a family. Instead, the 32-year-old Army veteran has less than six months left, which she'll spend spreading a stark warning: Judgment Day is almost here.

Exley is part of a movement of Christians loosely organized by radio broadcasts and websites, independent of churches and convinced by their reading of the Bible that the end of the world will begin May 21, 2011.

To get the word out, they're using billboards and bus stop benches, traveling caravans of RVs and volunteers passing out pamphlets on street corners. Cities from Bridgeport, Conn., to Little Rock, Ark., now have billboards with the ominous message, and mission groups are traveling through Latin America and Africa to spread the news outside the United States.

"A lot of people might think, 'The end's coming; let's go party,' " said Exley, a veteran of two deployments in Iraq. "But we're commanded by God to warn people. I wish I could just be like everybody else, but it's so much better to know that when the end comes, you'll be safe."

In August, Exley left her home in Colorado Springs, Colo., to work with Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio Worldwide, the independent Christian ministry whose leader, Harold Camping, has calculated the May 21 date based on his reading of the Bible.

She is organizing RVs carrying the message from city to city, a logistical challenge that her military experience has helped solve.

The vehicles are scheduled to be in five North Carolina cities between now and the second week of January, but Exley will be gone overseas, where she hopes eventually to make it back to Iraq.

"I don't really have plans to come back," she said. "Time is short."

Allison Warden, 29, of Raleigh, has been helping organize a campaign using billboards, postcards and other media in cities across the United States through a website, We Can Know.

Asked about reactions to the message, which is plastered all over her car, she laughs.

"It's definitely against the grain. I know that," she said. "We're hoping people won't take our word for it or Harold Camping's word for it. We're hoping that people will search the Scriptures for themselves."

Maryland's Hand Gun Laws Upheld By Md. Court of Appeals

BALTIMORE - Maryland's highest court has ruled the state's handgun laws are still constitutional despite a 2008 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that gutted gun statutes in D.C.

In an opinion issued Wednesday, the Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed a gun possession charge levied in Prince George's County against Charles F. Williams, Jr.

Williams said the state's gun regulations violated his right to "keep and carry arms" under the Second Amendment, and based his argument in part on the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.

The high court in that case said barring a person from possessing a handgun in the home is unconstitutional. Williams, according to the opinion, said the Second Amendment establishes the "right of persons to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes."

Williams also based his argument on another recent gun decision by the Supreme Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago. But the appeals court unanimously rejected his claims and upheld his conviction.

"The defendant wished to extend the Second Amendment beyond what the Supreme Court held in the Heller case -- that a person has an individual right to possess a gun in their home and for self-defense," says Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who argued the state's case before the appellate court last year.

"What this defendant said is, 'You shouldn't convict me for toting a gun on the streets of Prince George's County, because I have an individual right to carry a gun outside of the home,'" Gansler says.

The court specifically said the Maryland law governing Williams' conviction falls outside of the Second Amendment's scope, because it bars having a handgun in public.

The judges also said Williams did not have standing to challenge aspects of the state's gun permit statutes "because he had failed to even apply for a permit to wear, carry, or transport a handgun."

Gansler says no other state has changed its gun laws based on the Supreme Court's decision regarding the District.

Rigell Sworn In As Part Of the 112th Congress

Hampton Roads' newest member of Congress, U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell, was sworn in today (Wednesday) as part of the 112th Congress.

He's part of the new Republican majority that has taken over leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and vowed to move quickly to consider legislation that would repeal the health care overhaul law passed last year.

Rigell, 50, defeated Democratic incumbent Glenn Nye in the 2nd Congressional District election in November. The district covers Virginia Beach and parts of Norfolk and Hampton.

Rigell, who has never held elected office before this year, campaigned promising to cut spending and government regulations and to focus on job creation.

He acknowledged that one of the things he has to figure out is how to exert influence. “I do not intend to hunker down in my office and hope I don’t say something stupid," he said. "I want to swing the bat.”

Republican House leaders have said they hope to push for a vote by next week to repeal the health care law. If passed, the measure would still need approval of the Democratic-controlled Senate and would have overcome a likely veto by President Barack Obama.

Three veteran Hampton Roads congressmen also began new two-year terms, with two returning Republicans slated to lead subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee.

U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes of Chesapeake is to be chairman of the readiness subcommittee, and U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman of Westmoreland County will head the oversight and investigations subcommittee.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Newport News, returns for his 10th term in Congress.

Bay Queen Restaurant and Bakery Hours



6:00 AM until 9:00 PM
6:00 AM until 7:00 PM

Blue Plate Specials Daily for $5.95


In addition to great food, the bakery section is making Smith Island Cakes daily, featuring their Original "Smith Island BabyCakes". Cakes on hand daily.

The Bay Queen Restaurant and Bakery has 2 dining rooms, one that can be rented for private affairs.

Here's just a few of the customers that stopped by on opening day.
~~Enjoy your meal~~

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bay Queen Restaurant and Bakery Opens Today


Don't forget to stop by the Bay Queen Restaurant and Bakery today and see what's cooking!

(How about a nice warm bowl of soup with a grilled sandwhich and for dessert a slice of Smith Island cake. Mmmm....)

Their menu will consist of a home cooked comfort food dinner and offer "Blue Plate Specials" for the resonable price of $5.95 daily. Take-out menu and delivery are available too!

Along with the delicious foods, the bakery will be making Smith Island cakes daily and featuring their Smith Island "BabyCakes".

Located on Route 13 North at the Days Inn (right next to the ford dealership).

The folks at the Bay Queen Restaurant and Bakery are excited about this new adventure look forward to serving you.

~~Let us know how you like it!~~

This Weekend At the MarVa Theater

Showing Friday, January 7th and Saturday, January 8th
at 7:00 PM.

Sunday, January 9th at 2:00 PM

Tickets: $5.00


As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.
Rated PG-13

Victim Of Baseball Bat Beating Still Hospitalized

SNOW HILL -- An altercation following a rural-road rendezvous on New Year's Eve has left one man hospitalized and another facing serious assault charges.

Kenneth Lee Wharton III, 18, of Snow Hill has been charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, armed robbery and theft after he allegedly beat 21-year-old Kendrick Lee Hall with a baseball bat.

According to court documents, both men met at Snow Hill Middle School on Friday before driving, in separate cars, to the end of Brick Kiln Road.

In charging documents, police allege Wharton demanded money and Hall's Droid X smart phone before beginning to beat him with a baseball bat.

Wharton told police that after driving to the location around 2 a.m., Hall "grabbed him and attempted to kiss him." Wharton admitted to hitting Hall "six or seven times," but maintained he never took the smart phone or stole $10, according to police. The men are considered to be acquaintances, police say.

On Monday, Hall was in fair condition at Peninsula Regional Medical Center after suffering a parietal bone fracture, a minimally depressed skull, hematoma, brain contusion, nasal bone fractures, an orbital wall fracture and numerous bruises on his back, according to court documents filed in District Court to support the charges against Wharton.

Dr. David Kerrigan, a trauma surgeon at PRMC, said patients who experience bleeding in or around the brain are given at least one year to recover and can experience an array of short- and long-term symptoms.

"If a patient gets good care, even in optimum circumstances they can have bad results," said Kerrigan. "On the flip side, you can have great results with very little invasive treatment."

Kerrigan, who was not speaking directly about Hall's condition, said side effects of similar brain and head injuries can range from headaches and migraines to bouts of depression and difficulty with everyday tasks.

Wharton has been released on bond, pending a preliminary hearing scheduled on Jan. 28.

Ohio Ex-Convict Charged With Murder

An ex-convict who was already charged with kidnapping a 13-year-old girl has been indicted on charges of aggravated murder in the deaths of her mother, her little brother and a family friend, whose dismembered remains were found in a hollow tree.

The victims' bodies were found in central Ohio nearly two months ago after suspect
Matthew Hoffman allegedly told police where to look.

The indictment returned today by a Knox County grand jury charges Hoffman with aggravated murder, burglary, kidnapping, rape, tampering with evidence and abusing a corpse.

A combination of three photos acquired by WBNS-10TV shows murder victims Tina Herrmann, Kody Maynard, and Stephanie Sprang.
Matthew Hoffman is charged with the murders of Tina Hermann, left, her son Kody Maynard, center, and family friend Stephanie Sprang.

If convicted, the 30-year-old unemployed tree trimmer could face life in prison without parole. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty, because of the wishes of the victims' families, The Associated Press reported.

The bodies of Stephanie Sprang, 41, Tina Herrmann, 32, and Herrmann's 11-year-old son, Kody Maynard, were located in a wooded area in mid-November. The remains were stuffed inside garbage bags that had been placed in a hollow tree. The victims had been missing for a week before the bodies were discovered, police said.

The indictment alleges Hoffman murdered the victims during a Nov. 10 burglary at Herrmann's home in Howard, about 60 miles northeast of Columbus.
Hoffman was previously charged with kidnapping after Herrmann's 13-year-old daughter was found in the basement of his Mount Vernon home on Nov. 14. The girl was wounded, tied up and gagged, police said. The indictment alleges she was also raped.

During a Nov. 18 news conference, Knox County Sheriff David Barber said investigators found the victims' bodies based on information received from Hoffman.

Authorities have yet to offer a motive in the case. Barber previously said Hoffman had been watching the family but did not elaborate.

Hoffman, an ex-con who served prison time in Colorado for arson and other charges, is being held in the Knox County jail on $1 million bond, the AP reported.

Ocean Downs Casino Now Open

State officials were on hand Tuesday for the grand opening of Maryland's second slots casino.

Ocean Downs opened for business Tuesday afternoon with 750 slot machines available.

Gov. Martin O'Malley led the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The line of gamblers and the curious assembled long before, 11 News reporter David Collins said. Even those with long life experiences enjoyed it.

"This is magnificent. I've been to Vegas and I've been around. This is just as good as anything I've seen anywhere else," said former Gov. Marvin Mandel.

The casino is currently operating 750 of its 800 slot machines, including video BlackJack games and a roulette wheel.

The $45 million facility employs 236 people. The building isn't flashy, and owner William Rickman said it's not meant to be.

"We're never going to set the world on fire here. We have 800 machines. We will probably stay at that for quite some time. It is just going to be an addition to the community," he said.

The casino is Maryland's second slots parlor. A 2008 voter referendum allows for five parlors to be built, but the Ocean Downs location, which is about five miles outside of Ocean City, has more restrictions than any other location in the state.

The restrictions were necessary to get the bill passed through the General Assembly, but Senate President Mike Miller took strong exception to them and vowed change.

"This is nonsense personified. This is a great facility. This man had to do it by overcoming every restriction possible," Miller said. "You go to a casino and they offer a group of games. He can't do that here. They offer free food. He can't offer that here. They have a hotel you can stay in. He can't do that. They have a golf course. He can't have that here. They have amusements. He can't have any."

Miller continued, "The only thing he can have is one piano. What kind of nonsense is that?"

The restrictions were necessary to appease residents in and around Ocean City. Many businesses joined in on residents' concerns about slots tarnishing the resorts family image, but the frosty reception shows signs of thawing.

"There are lots of good opportunities out there. I believe hotels are discussing partnerships," said Tom Perlozzo of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.

"We are talking with restaurants and golf courses," said Ocean Downs General Manger Joseph Cavilla.

The governor said the casino is a good thing.

"I think the legislation was very narrowly drawn and narrowly crafted, and I do not believe it will be a hurt to Ocean City. In fact, on the contrary, I think it will be an added attraction," O'Malley said.

Few places are open this time of year in Ocean City, and the casino appears to be a welcome adult attraction, Collins reported.

Officials said 5.5 percent of slots proceeds will be set aside for local impact grants, and 60 percent of that will go to Worcester County. Ocean City will get 20 percent of the revenues, and 10 percent will go to the town of Berlin. Another 10 percent will go to the community of Ocean Pines.

After a test run before the grand opening, the casino donated $10,000 in slots revenues to American Legion Post 166 in recognition of its charitable work. The casino management matched the proceeds.

Northampton County Circuit Court Sentences

Northampton County Circuit Court was in was in session yesterday and the following sentences were handed down:

Lavar Arthur Washington of Exmore was sentenced to five years imprisonment for two counts of breaking and entering and three counts of grand larceny. Washington will also be under supervised probation upon his release.

Arthur Lavern Moore of Exmore was sentenced to 3 years and 10 days imprisonment for a 3rd offense DUI, 3rd offense driving on a suspended license, felony eluding and reckless driving.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Opening Tomorrow In Pocomoke........



The folks that operated the sandwhich shop and bakery once located in downtown Pocomoke, next to the MarVa Theater, will open their doors on Wednesday in a new location offering not just those tasty and petite Smith Island "BabyCakes", but a full menu.

Their menu will consist of a home cooked comfort food dinner and offer "Blue Plate Specials" for the resonable price of $5.95 daily. Take-out menu and delivery are available too!

Along with the delicious foods, the bakery will be making Smith Island cakes daily and featuring their Smith Island "BabyCakes". (you MUST try one)

Located on Route 13 North at the Days Inn (right next to the ford dealership).
The folks at the Bay Queen Restaurant and Bakery are excited about this new adventure look forward to serving you.
More information on this tomorrow morning.

Beau Oglesby Sworn Into Office As State's Attorney For Worcester County

Beau Oglesby's wife and children flanked him as Circuit Court Clerk Stephen Hales administered the oath of office, swearing him in as Worcester County's state's attorney.

When Hales asked Oglesby to raise his right hand, his daughter, Georgia, 6, and son, Evan, 4, standing at his feet, also obliged.

Once he was sworn in, his wife, Anne, handed him a new prosecutor's badge. He held it high over his head and beamed.

Oglesby pledged to be passionate and courageous and to make the State's Attorney's Office better than it is today.

"You can't imagine the journey that this has been," he said. "This campaign was never easy; we never thought it was going to be easy. We're very proud to be standing here."

It was standing-room-only for the dozens of law enforcement officers, elected officials, well-wishers and other attendees in the main courtroom at the historic Worcester County Courthouse.

Oglesby told them that, growing up, "My mom was judge and jury and my dad was executioner" -- but his father's punishments always fit the crime. He hopes to bring a similar fair and even-handed attitude to his new job.

Friends in Ocean Pines first approached Oglesby to run for state's attorney in 2001 as a Republican. He lost by 14 votes to incumbent Joel Todd, a Democrat, in the 2006 race.

In their November 2010 rematch, Todd lost by 93 votes in a race that again came down to absentee ballots. He has since been hired as an assistant prosecutor for Wicomico County. Todd did not attend the swearing-in.

During the campaign, Oglesby had the unanimous backing of county law enforcement agencies, the chiefs of which all attended in full dress uniform. He thanked them specifically for their support.

"You make me want to be a better prosecutor each and every day," he said. "I do what I do because of you. I will always do my best for you."

Seated at the courtroom tables, Oglesby's family was to his left, and to his right sat Sheriff Mike Lewis of Wicomico County. They first met in 1997 while Oglesby was an assistant state's attorney in Wicomico County and have fostered a friendship between families so close that Lewis' wife, a nurse, delivered both the Oglesby's children.

Lewis said he's watched Oglesby grow in his career into a "masterful prosecutor."

"It's no secret why Beau Oglesby has ascended to where he is today," Lewis said. "I'm so, so proud to stand here today. People need to know Worcester County is in for a real treat. It's a great day for law enforcement and it's a great day for justice."

Oglesby has worked with Todd and his staff since the election, poring though hundreds of pending case files, preparing for his first day on the job. Among them are several homicide cases, including the Feb. 8 murder trial of Justin Michael Hadel, who stands accused of killing Delaware woman Christine Sheddy.

He has already made one personnel change to his office by replacing Deputy State's Attorney Mike Farlow with Cheryl Jacobs, a Baltimore city prosecutor.

"We've been waiting eight years for this," said Terry Pinnix, an Oglesby campaign supporter. "This time, we just shook a lot more hands."

Baltimore Teen Likely Fell From Plane

A Massachusetts prosecutor said Friday it's likely that a North Carolina teen originally from Baltimore whose mutilated body was found in a Boston suburb fell from the sky after stowing away in an airplane's wheel well.

Norfolk District Attorney William Keating cited evidence including a handprint in the wheel well, clothes strewn along the plane's flight path and an autopsy report indicating the teen fell "from a significant height."

Keating said Friday that he had informed federal transportation safety officials about the apparent airport security breach by 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale.

"To withhold any information at this point I think would endanger public safety," said Keating, a Democrat who was elected in November to represent Massachusetts' 10th Congressional District.

Keating held a news conference Friday after police searched a wooded area in Milton near where Tisdale's body was found last month. Along a path a Boston-bound plane would have taken while approaching the city, they found dark sneakers with white stripes and a red shirt matching clothing Tisdale's family said he'd worn, Keating said. Keating said an autopsy showed trauma to Tisdale's body "was consistent with a fall from a significant height."

Investigators also discovered a handprint in grease inside the wheel well on the left side of a Boeing 737 that took off from Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 15, the night Tisdale's body was found, Keating said.

"We feel it's important to inform federal transportation safety officials that it appears more likely than not that Mr. Tisdale was able to breach airport security and hide in the wheel well of a commercial jet liner without being detected by airport security personnel," Keating said.

Keating called what happened to Tisdale "a terrible tragedy."

"But if that was someone with a different motive, if that was a terrorist, that could be a bomb planted on there undetected," Keating said.

Jon Allen, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, said: "We will work with the airport, which is responsible for access control security, to conduct a thorough investigation based on the facts and information provided by law enforcement."

Tisdale was a member of the Air Force ROTC program at North Mecklenburg High School near Charlotte. His father, Anthony, said the family had moved from Greensboro to Charlotte in the summer so the teen could join that program. Anthony Tisdale said his son was happy in Charlotte and stayed out of trouble.

But Delvonte Tisdale's brother, Anthony Tisdale Jr., said his brother was unhappy in North Carolina and had never wanted to leave Baltimore.

Delvonte's grandmother, Lula Mae Smith, said Friday evening from her home in Baltimore that she hadn't been told about the prosecutor's finding.

"This is a surprise," Smith said. "He was such a good boy. I don't know what happened — why he would jump on an airplane. I just don't know."

Laura Attikou, Delvonte's aunt, said her brother's son was well-behaved and had a good life.

"The biggest mystery to me is how did he get on that plane? Where was security?" she said from her home in Greensboro, N.C. "We're still at a loss. We're still in shock."

Keating said Tisdale was last seen by a sibling at home in North Carolina at 1:30 a.m. The flight he's believed to have boarded took off at about 7 o'clock that evening, and investigators confirmed flight times and paths with the Federal Aviation Administration, he said.

Just before 9 p.m., someone who lived near where the body was found heard a loud crashing noise, Keating said. At 9:30 p.m., Tisdale's body was discovered without shirt or shoes by a group of college students in Milton, an affluent Boston suburb.

Keating said his office first tried to determine whether Tisdale was a crime victim. The body was found after apparently being run over by a Jeep and then an Audi, and investigators found blood and tissue on the undercarriages of both vehicles. But Keating said there was no proof of a hit-and-run, Keating said.

He said police also interviewed family members in North Carolina without finding a "scintilla" of evidence of foul play.

Last week, detectives visited the Charlotte airport to take samples of grease used in maintaining the planes, to see if it matched grease found on Tisdale's pants. (The tests have not been completed.) That's when they found scuff marks and the handprint in the wheel well, Keating said.

Keating acknowledged initially that it seemed like a remote possibility that a teen could sneak onto a commercial jet.

"This wouldn't be the first [possibility] a person would think about," he said.

Taxi Cab Robbery Arrest

The investigation is continuing, but Ocean City Police have arrested 17 year old Thomas Scaniffe of Ocean Pines for his involvement in a couple of taxicab robberies that occurred on December 30th. He is charged with armed robbery and other offenses and is being held in default of $250,000 bond in the Worcester County jail. Anyone with information should call 410-723-6604.


Ocean City Police have identified and charged a suspect in the taxicab robberies that took place on December 30, 2010. On January 1, 2011, Ocean City Police arrested
Thomas Scaniffe, 17, of Ocean Pines.

Scaniffe was charged as an adult with armed robbery, robbery, first degree assault, second degree assault, two counts of theft less than $1,000 and resisting/interfering with an arrest. After his initial appearance by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner, Scaniffe was held on a $250,000 bond and transferred to Worcester County Jail.

On December 30, 2010, at approximately 1:15 a.m., the Ocean City Police responded to the area of 5th Street and Edgewater Avenue in reference to an armed robbery.
Officers interviewed the victim of the robbery, who was an on-duty taxicab driver. The victim told officers he received a call from a restricted phone number requesting a cab ride from Ocean Pines to Ocean City. The cab driver picked up two males at approximately 12:50 a.m. on Marview Drive and brought them to Ocean City. Once at 5th Street, the two males assaulted the taxicab driver, taking money and other items.

A second similar incident took place on December 30, 2010 at 9:30 p.m. A taxicab driver responded to Brandywine Drive in Ocean Pines. Two males entered the cab, demanded money, and assaulted the driver with a weapon.

The investigation is ongoing. Ocean City and Ocean Pines Police ask anyone with knowledge about the incident or the suspects to contact the Ocean City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 410-723-6604.

Swearing In Ceremonies For Rigell On Wednesday

Scott Rigell will become the new second district congressman tomorrow. Rigell will be officially sworn in during ceremonies at Capitol Hill.

The new house majority leader John Bohener has decided to make the swearing in ceremonies low key so as to demonstrate the seriousness of the issues this Congress will face.

After an overall swearing in ceremony, each of the new representatives will be sworn in personally by Boehner. Melody Scalley will be at the ceremony and the following press conference and will be reporting on the activities.

Rigell defeated incumbent Congressman Glenn Nye in the November election, one that saw the Republicans win a 63 seat majority in the House.

The Second District was one of three that changed parties from Democrat to Republican. Two other Democrats, Tom Periello and long time Congressional veteran Rick Boucher also lost their seats.

Former Extension Agent Begins Prison Sentence

A long time community activist and former winner of the Presidents Award for Excellence began serving a jail sentence for embezzling public funds Monday.

Brenda Holden who was a former family and consumer sciences Extension agent for Virginia Tech will serve two years in prison and will face $100,000 in fines. Holden pled guilty and was sentenced earlier this month but was allowed to spend the holiday season with her family.

Holden who has worked as an Extension agent for years continued to serve the community as a volunteer for the Salvation Army this Christmas despite her legal difficulties.
Judge Glen A. Tyler said, "This is one of the most serious cases of misuse and misappropriation. This cannot be something that you simply walk away from and put on probation. What message does that say to public officials?"

Hawaii's New Governor Wants To But Obama's Birth Controversy To Rest

Enough is enough. Hawaii's new governor, Neil Abercrombie, wants to put to rest the so-called birther controversy, possibly by releasing additional information to confirm that President Obama was indeed born in the 50th state on Aug. 4, 1961.

Abercrombie, a Democrat who knew Obama's parents, has asked the Hawaii's attorney general and health department if more records can be made public to stifle persistent false allegations that the president is not a natural-born citizen of the United States, according to the New York Times and The Hill newspaper. To become president, an individual must have been born in the United States and be at least 35 years old.

"It's an insult to his mother and to his father, and I knew his mother and father; they were my friends, " the exasperated governor told the Times in a phone interview. "It's an emotional insult. It is disrespectful to the president. It is disrespectful to the office. . . . Let's put this particular canard to rest."

Abercrombie, who served 22 years in the U.S. House before his election as governor in November, told CNN he wants to do whatever it takes to quash the controversy and put the "birthers" in the "proper light, which is to say they have a political agenda not worthy of any good American."

"As quick as we can, we will" release more information, he said. "This is a transparent state in terms of our communication with one another. This is the Aloha state. We care for each other, we look out for each other."

Obama's parents are deceased. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born in Kenya; his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, in Kansas. In 2008, the Obama campaign released a "certificate of live birth" for Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, CNN said. But critics -- who would become known as "birthers" -- demanded a copy of the actual birth certificate.

Abercrombie did not say whether he is considering making the birth certificate public, but he conceded he would not be able to convince some skeptics no matter what he put out. "Conspiratorial theorists are never going to be satisfied," he said. "This has gone into another area of political attack."

But he said he would press ahead because "it's a matter of principle with me."

The president and his family are spending the Christmas holidays on the island of Oahu, just outside of Honolulu.

Former Baltimore News Personality Arrested Second Time In Four Days

Former television news personality Dennis Edwards is being held in the Baltimore city jail after police arrested him a second time in four days in connection with a domestic violence case involving his wife, according to court documents.

A District Court judge on Monday set bail at $500,000 and scheduled a hearing for Feb. 2. The 54-year-old is charged with violating a protective order, telephone misuse, harassment and malicious destruction of property.

Police first arrested Edwards on Wednesday, Dec. 29, and charged him with assaulting his wife in their home on South Road. The woman told police that Edwards shoved her down and banged her head on the floor. He posted $20,000 bail and was released pending trial.

In an interview after his first arrest, Edwards called the incident an "unfortunate situation" and called the police account inaccurate. "It's not what it appears," he said then. "It's not accurate, nor is it true."

Court records shows that Edwards was arrested the second time on Jan. 1 by Baltimore Police Officer Brent R. Fleming. Further details were not immediately available.

Edwards served as a reporter for WJZ-TV from 1994 to Jan. 2009 and for two months as a spokesman for Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young.

Monday, January 3, 2011

McDermott Looks Back On Being Mayor and Ahead Toward The Future

POCOMOKE CITY -- Mike McDermott has been busy since his election to the State House -- reflecting on his time as mayor, working on his transition to state delegate and planning for the upcoming legislative session.

"There is some sorrow in leaving the mayor's job," said McDermott, who was recently appointed to the Judiciary Committee in the House of Delegates.

Since taking office as mayor in 2005, McDermott said several accomplishments have helped move Pocomoke City into the 21st century and prepare it for the future.

When he took office, McDermott said the Delmarva Discovery Center was a dirt floor in a disheveled building and the Mar-Va theater didn't exist. Both buildings are now operating as downtown attractions.

Other advancements, such as industrial and technological expansion, have helped to improve the outlook for long-term economic development, McDermott said.

He cites working with Worcester County to assess how and where Pocomoke City should grow, in addition to updating the zoning code, as significant contributions.

"Since I have been mayor, the development along the Route 13 corridor has really taken off," McDermott said. "We didn't have much going on in the industrial areas, so for me, seeing the completion of some of these long-term projects has been a great experience."

Looking forward

Although he has not yet been sworn in, McDermott has been preparing for the Jan. 12 event by speaking with Delegate Norm Conway and state Sen.-elect Jim Mathias about pertinent issues as well as embarking on a bus trip around Maryland with other freshman delegates and senators.

Among the issues he hopes to take up are allowing nonprofit organizations in Worcester County to use slot machines as a fundraising tool; addressing the future of the Liquor Control Board; reducing harassment of poultry farmers; and strengthening sex offender punishments.

"For the first year, I am going to focus on learning, listening and observing the way things are done," McDermott said. "But I won't hesitate to offer anything that needs to be offered in the best interest of this area."

Once sworn in, McDermott will no longer serve as mayor. Robert Hawkins is scheduled to take over until the local election in April.

"I can't imagine what it will feel like to take my seat with other delegates and occupy my place in history," McDermott said. "People have put trust into me to represent them, and in our form of government, there is no higher trust."

Judge Tyler Retires -- Now We Have NO Judge

Circuit court Judge Glen Tyler officially retired as of Friday. Tyler has reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. As of now, there's no replacement in sight for the 20 year veteran judge. The General Assembly has not included funds for new judges in it's proposed 2011 budget.

Judges from Virginia Beach will try to cover the needs of the Eastern Shore unless Delegate Lynn Lewis and Senator Ralph Northam can convince the legislature to appoint a successor. Citing the travel distance from Virginia Beach, the uniqueness of the Eastern Shore and the need to have a judge who is familiar with the community,Lewis and Northam hope the General Assembly will make an exception and fill this particular vacancy.

There are several candidates for the posititon. The local Bar Association has recommended Accomac Attorney W.Revell Lewis.

USS Kittiwake Arrives In Grand Cayman Under The Command of Captain Reggie Stubbs

When I read this I just had to give a big grin. For those of us that know Reggie very well know this is something he would do and do well. I've never seen anything that Reggie couldn't do and didn't do with his whole soul! Way to go, Reggie!!!

NORFOLK -- The Norfolk-based tug America recently towed a former U.S. Navy submarine rescue ship to Grand Cayman in British West Indies for sinking as an artificial reef there.

The America, under the command of Chincoteague native Captain Reginald Stubbs III arrived in George Town, Grand Cayman, on Christmas Day.
On board the ship were also Chincoteague residents Michael Isdale, deck chief, and Salvage Captain Timothy Mullane, managing director of American Marine Group of Companies.

The America, a 105-feet, 3600-horsepower ocean tug, left Norfolk with USS Kittiwake during snow on Dec. 16, towing the ship down the East Coast and around the western tip of Cuba to arrive in Grand Cayman with a Christmas gift that will pay off for years to come.

The rest of the Mullane family and other crew members were anxiously waiting on shore for the arrival, and a traditional Christmas Dinner was hosted by the family of Nancy Easterbrook, the Kittiwake Cayman project manager.
USS Kittiwake had been cleaned and prepared for sinking as an artificial reef to provide beneficial marine habitat and a dive tourism attraction in the crystal clear waters of Grand Cayman. The Kittiwake is a 251-foot ship built in Savannah, Ga. in 1944 and served on active duty for more than 50 years in the Navy before being decommissioned and mothballed in the James River Reserve Fleet. The ship should be sunk near Seven Mile beach in Grand Cayman shortly New Year's Day.

American Marine Group is engaged in the marine services industry, to include marine salvage, towing, wreck removal, marine heavy lift services, and artificial reef development, and has deployed more than 50 vessels on artificial reefs from New Jersey to Grand Cayman, as well as deploying concrete modules on artificial reef sites in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay.

The company is also preparing the USS Arthur W. Radford, a 563-foot destroyer, for sinking on the Del-Jersey-Land artificial reef site, 26 miles from Indian River Inlet, 28 miles from Ocean City Inlet, and 30 miles from Cape May, N.J., this spring.
American Marine Group has operations based in Philadelphia and Norfolk, with employees based in North Carolina, Virginia, the Delmarva Peninsula, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Beau Oglesby To Be Sworn In Tomorrow

On Monday, January 3, 2011 Beau Oglesby will formally take the Oath of Office as Worcester County State's Attorney.

11:00 AM until 2 PM
Worcester County Courthouse - Courtroom 1
One West Market Street
Snow Hill, Maryland

Beau is looking forward to seeing and thanking the many friends, family, and supporters who helped make this momentous day possible.

The History Of Pocomoke By Murray James (23)

This section is very interesting I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

[Question] Does anyone actually read these snips from this book that I publish occasionally? Please let me know because it takes a lot of time to post this and if no one reads it I'll stop posting it.



Mrs. Nettie O'Daniel was a native of Wilmington, Del., -where she received a liberal public school education, and taught in the public schools of that city and in Pocomoke City High School, in Wyoming College, Del, and in Colorado. Mrs. O'Daniel was a lady of fine accomplish- ments and showed herself to great advantage in the school room as an educator.

Miss Mary M. Hearn was also one of the first assistants in the High School. She was born in New Town, Md., on the 1 6th day of July, 1848. She went to school until she was fifteen years of age, after that she was educated by her father, Dr. John L. Hearn, at home. She was well qualified as a teacher and taught in the High School for nine years, when her health compelled her, by incessant application, to resign her position.

Indeed, her feeble constitution was so worn down that although she continued teaching until vacation, then she yielded shortly after to the inevitable and passed away. Her death occurred Aug. 24th, 1875. Miss Hearn had a fine mind and an amiable disposition. She was raised right and adorned (her name with a life worthy of imitation.

186 History of Pocomoke City,

Charles H. Council, Esq., is a native of Southampton' County, Va. He was educated at Richmond College,. Virginia, and at Columbian College, D. C, at which latter- place he graduated. ht school ten years in Vir- ginia before he came to this county. After coming here he taught two years at McMaster's School-house, two years at Pitt's Creek School-house, and has been engaged in the High School for about nine years, in which he is still engaged teaching

Mrs. Millie Primrose, daughter of Thomas F. Stevenson,. Esq., was born at Snow Hill, Md., and was educated at the Academy of that place. In 1869, she entered the High School of Pocomoke City as teach a primary class, and continued in that capacity until 1873 ; when she succeeded Miss Eudora E. Hay in the grammar class, and. has continued teacher of that room until the present. Mrs. Primrose is a lady of fine accomplishments and an efficient teacher.

As an evidence of her efficiency, I will mention the fact, that she has been teaching in the- High School in Pocomoke City for thirteen years, nine years of which she has been in charge of the Grammar School Department without a rival for the position. An interesting item of rare occurrence, in connection with Mrs. Primrose is here inserted.

She is a member of a family of five persons, representing five generations, and each one being the first born of each generation; their state and ages are as follows : Great Grand Father, 86 ; Grand Father. 66; Grand .Mother. 61 ; Mother, 42; Son 17

Formerly New Town. 187 

their ages aggregating 276 years, all living in the same house, and all enjoying good health. John W. Murray succeeded Mrs. O'Daniel as teacher of the grammar school department in the High School of Pocomoke City. He was born in New Town, Worcester County, Md., on the 13th day of November, 1848.

From his infancy he was delicate in health. He was educated at the Academy and High School of Pocomoke City, and at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Penn. He had an ambition to excel; he was studious and with a close application, made great progress in learning. He not only studied at school, but at home ; also, he was the last member of the family to retire at night, and the first to arise in the morning poring over his books.

John was also a lover of home, and never seemed happier than when in the society of his mother. Touching remembrances of him come up before me as I write this article, which brings the tear unbidden irom its place. Frequently in the family we would be discussing the subject of the hard struggles for an honorable livelihood, and the various casualties to which we might be subjected, when John would exclaim : "Mother," said he, "I intend to take care of you."

To illustrate his industry I will mention an incident which has always been a great satisfaction to me. At a certain commencement, the scholars as was always the case, had their pieces to get by heart against the day of exhibition. On the day appointed the large building was crowded. John's turn came to speak. The piece assigned him was a declamation of a Roman General before the Roman Senate.

188 History of Pocomoke City, 

As he approached the rostrum the principal remarked to the large audience that "Mr. Murray had only two weeks to translate that speech into English and commit it to memory besides attending to his other regular studies. He made the speech successfully, and in leaving the stand and while walking down the aisle to his seat, I noticed the eyes of all were upon him. I felt prouder that day to be the father of such a young man than the possessor of millions of money.

After teaching at Stockton and in the High School in Pocomoke City, he went to Dickinson College to finish his education? for he was ambitious to graduate with nothing; short of the highest honors conferred upon a completion of a college course ; but here his strength failed him, and he had to give up the struggle. He went to Arkansas to regain his health, but the trip only helped to shorten his days.

He came home to his native place and lingered for two years with that fatal disease, Consumption, when, like the evening zephyr that hushes into silence at nightfall, he passed away in hope of a blissful immortality on the 27th day of April, 1873, in the 25th year of his age. Eulogies have been heaped upon him . After he received his certificate from the School Board of the county the examiner was in Pocomoke City and said he was an honor to his parents and a credit to his native town. One who was associated with him in school and knew well his knowledge of Latin and Greek, said to me that John could read Latin as fluently as be could read English.

Formerly New Town. 189

  The principal of the High School and the president of Dickinson College both spoke to me in high terms of his intellect and his acquirements. His text books of English, Latin, Greek, French and German, which I still keep as reminisces of him, remind me of the long hours he would be poring over them.

190 History of Pocomoke City, CHAPTER XXX. SCHOOLS (CONTINUED.)

George S. Bell, Esq., was an assistant in the New Town High 'School. He was born in Northampton County, Ya. He was educated at Snow Hill and Pocomoke City, Md., at Newark College, Del., and at the Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J. He was licensed to preach the gospel by the New Castle Presbytery about the year 1875. He supplied a pulpit in the State of New York and afterward received a call to the Presbyterian Church in Wrightsville, Penn., which he is now acceptably filling.

Mr. Bell was a close student, had a good mind and has reflected a credit upon himself in view of his elevation. Miss Eudora E. Hay succeeded John W. Murray as teacher of the grammar school department in the High School of Pocomoke City, and continued in that relation for two years when she retired, and afterward procured a situation as teacher in the schools of Wilmington, Del. Ebenezer Hearn was born in New Town, Worcester County, Md., on the 26th day of November, 1854. He commenced going to school at 8 years ot age. Left school in July, 1873. Served as an assistant to the princi- pal of the High School in 1874. Engaged in mercantile business with E. H. Clarke from 1874 to 1877.

Formerly New Town. 191

I 11 l877» he received an appointment from the Trustees of Rehoboth Academy, in Somerset County, as principal which position he still holds, and that school is recognized by the school board of Somerset County, as one of the best schools in the county. Ebenezer Hearn is a young man in whose favor it would be difficult for me to say too much. His mental, moral and religious qualities are of such a character as to entitle him to the highest praise of all who know him, and to positions of trust and responsibility.

Richard A. Wilson, an assistant to the principal of the High School in Pocomoke City, was a native of Cannonsburg, Penn. He was educated at Jefferson College. He studied law, graduated and removed to Missouri, where he is now practicing law. Miss Fannie Matthews is a native of Accomac County, Va. Her parents died while she was quite young, and she was taken in charge by her aunt, Miss Jane Porter, who is living in the City of Baltimore, and there in the Western High School she was educated.

In 1873, a vacancy being open in the High School of Pocomoke City, Miss Fannie was appointed to fill that vacancy, and, during the seven years of her instructions, which closed up with 1881, she exhibited such wisdom in the instruction of her class, as caused it to be said that her place in the school would be hard to fill. By her adaptation as a teacher she has gained the highest respect of the trusters of the High School, and as a lady she is known only to be esteemed.

192 History of Pocomoke City,

  There is no one upon whom she has made a more indelible impression in this direction than the principal of the High School. Indeed she contemplated, very seriously, too, a change of name, and finally concluded that she was tired of her old name and would accept of one that was more handy and she became the happy bricle of Dr. Sidney W. Hardy, principal of the High School of Pocomoke City. John S. McMaster was born in New Town, on the 29th day of December, 1859. He was educated partly at the High School in Pocomoke City, partly at Newark College, Del., and is finishing his education at Lafayette College,. Penn., where he will no doubt graduate with honor.

Mr.. McMaster is a young man of promise; his aim is the profession of the law as his life work. He will make his- mark and be an honor to his name and to his native town. As a teacher in the High School, he acquitted himself with honor. William S. Dix is a native of Accomac County, Va., but his father moving to Somerset County, Md., he was educated at the Washington Academy, near Princess Anne, and at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Penn. At the time Mr. Dix went to the Washington Academy it was a school of renown, having for its principal the Rev. Francis Waters, D.D., a man of celebrity.

After he resigned the Rev. Robert M. Laird, a Presbyterian minister, was appointed principal in his place, having the Hon. Isaac D. Jones for an assistant.

Formerly New Town. 193

 Mr. Dix engaged as teacher in the High School of New Town in 1875, and for six consecutive years he continued in that capacity, when at the close of the school term in 1881, he retired from the school. Mr. Dix is a man of high moral worth and he has the respect of all who know him as a christian gentleman. Hilary T. Stevenson and Dr. Julius T. Hall were teachers in the New Town High School, but as I have taken notice of them under another heading, I shall here pass them by.

The Misses Maggie Webb, Rose Tull, Emma Robinson, Ella Scott, Rose Marshall and Sallie Henderson were all good and efficient teachers. The last three named are still teaching in the High School. In closing up this account of the High School in Pocomoke City I will state that there are on the school roll in regular attendance 235 scholars.

I have failed to notice heretofore two of our young men of promise and consequently will have to notice them here. Edward J. Clarke, son of Littleton T. Clarke, deceased, was born in New Town on the first day of September, 1860. After the death of his father, which event occurred when he was but six years of age, the Rev. John W. Pierson being an intimate friend of his father and taking a liking to the youth, by the consent of his mother, took him into his own family and under his own guardian care to raise and educate him. He remained with Mr. Pierson until he was sixteen years of age, during which time he was schooled at the Academy in Snow Hill and Pocomoke City High School.

194 History of Pocomoke City,
At the age of sixteen he entered St. John's College, Annapolis, Md., where he remained five years. At the age of twenty-one he graduated, standing well up in his class. After this he taught school at Whaleyville, Worcester County, Md., one year. He is now employed as teacher in the High School of Pocomoke City. Mr. Clarke is a young man of promise and with application will make his mark.

Austin H. Merrill, son of William H. S. Merrill, was born in New Town on the 1st day of June, 1859. He was a student in the High School of this place until he was eighteen years of age, at which time he entered the Delaware College at New Ark, Del. His education at this period was sufficient to justify his entering the Sophomore Class. He graduated with the first honor, taking the decree of A. I]., and chosen valedictorian of his class. He taught school two years as principal of the Temperanceville Graded School. He then entered the National School of Elocution and Oratory in Philadelphia, Penn., where he graduated with honor. Mr. Merrill is just entering the arena of public life, having in contemplation the law as his life work, and with application on his part and no unforeseen event happening to blast the fond hopes of his friends, he will, it is anticipated, be the peer of the first jurists of Maryland and of whom his friends and the citizens of Pocomoke City have just cause to feel proud.

Formerly New Town.. 195

The school for the education of colored children in Pocomoke City was established directly after the free school system became a law in the State. This school has been kept up ever since, and is today a graded school of primary and grammar school departments.

There are on the school roll 117 scholars. The school is taught by a principal and one assistant. These teachers are quite efficient and the school is advancing. The principal, David W. Ogden, is a native of New Jersey. He attended a primary and grammer school in that State until he was sixteen years of age, when he entered Lincoln University, in Chester County, Penn. After applying himself closely for five years, he graduated with honor in 1880.

The following is the basis upon which the colored school is sustained. The school receives from the county the proportion of county taxes paid by the colored people in the county, which amounts to about eleven cents on the one hundred dollars. In addition to this the State makes a special appropriation of $100,000 annually for all the schools throughout the State, of which Worcester County receives about $3,600.

196 History of Pocomohe City, CHAPTER XXXI. CHURCHES.

As the churches are a very important factor in the history of Pocomoke City, it will be necessary, in order to give an intelligent showing of each church, to take them up in the order of time in which they were established, and bring their history down to the present time.

As the Methodist Episcopal Church is the first one of which we have any record, we will begin with- it first. But before we proceed with the history of this church it will be necessary and proper to remark that it has been said that there was a Presbyterian log church built on the lot which was called, when I was a boy, the Sacher lot. This was a nickname for Zachariah, as it belonged to one Zachariah Lambertson. This lot has been more recently known as the Adreon lot. which at present belongs to William J. S. Clarke. Upon this lot tradition says this house was built.

In the history of the Maryland Colony we have this record, that a certain Col. William Stevens, with others, got up a petition and sent it to the Presbytery of Laggan, Ireland, in 1680, for a minister of the gospel to come to the colony and preach the gospel and look after the scattered adherents of the Presbyterian faith.

Formerly New Town. 197

  This call was promptly obeyed, and in 1682, they sent over the Rev.Francis Makemie, a man of learning, sagacity and courage, by whom or under whose supervision, tradition says this church was built. If this tradition can be relied on, there is no doubt, but that it was the first Presbyterian Church ever built in America. But there is a history of the Presbyterian Church in America extant, which would seem to refute the statement of the Traditional Church. I allude to the history of the Presbyterian Church in America, by Irving Spence, a member of that church and a learned Lawyer, who speaks definitely and clearly of the Pitt's Creek and Rehoboth Churches being the first Presbyterian Churches ever built in America.

He never once intimates that such a church ever existed as the Traditional Church at New Town. There is, however, some supposable ground for the existence of this church. Mr. Makemie, in coming to the Colony and up the Pocomoke River, prospecting, may have at first view, concluded that this was the very place to commence operations, and hence, the erection of the log church ; but subsequently, he may have discovered that, Rehoboth and Pitt's Creek were prominent centers, at which he could more effectually advance the interests of his cause, and hence, the abandonment of the old log church.

198 History of Pocomoke City,

Now to proceed with the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church in New Town. The Church was built in 1808, on the site where the present one stands. But the church, proper as an organized body, existed in New Town, long years before the house was built. This fact, I think can be established, beyond a doubt, by two considerations. First, the preachers sent to the Continent by Mr. Wesley, before the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1784, and those belonging to it afterwards, operated in New York City, Philadelphia, the states of New Jersey, Delaware, and some of them down through the Eastern Shore Counties of Maryland and Virginia, and so efficient was their preaching that, at an early date the Peninsula was a garden spot of Methodism. Indeed the gospel was like a sally of light coming down the Peninsula, and its messengers were flaming heralds entering every open door, and preaching unto the people, Jesus and the resurrection, with all boldness.

In 1778, Francis Asbury, not being permitted to preach the gospel in Maryland, retired to Delaware, where, at the house of Judge White, he found a congenial retreat, for about two years, in order to escape impressment, by the British forces, to light against the colonies. In 1780.

Freeborn Garrettson a native ol Western Maryland, was imprisoned in Cambridge jail, Dorchester County, for preaching the gospel. I mention these incidents of Asbury and Garrettson, with their dates to show that Methodism was already a settled fact in Delaware, and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia.

Formerly New Town. 199

 I cannot wonder at the success of the gospel, when its message was borne by such men as Bishops Thomas Coke D. D. Francis Asbury, Richard Whatcoat, and the associates, such as Freeborn Garrettson, Benjamin Abbott, Lorenzo Dow, and a host of others who were co-labon with them, who counted not their lives dear into themselves so that they might bear the gospel message and be instrumental in saving sinners.

The second, consideration is the establishment of the circuit work, embracing preaching appointments at Littleton Long's house, where Major Merrill now lives ; at William Melvin's, father of Rev. Avra Melvin, where Col. William J. Aydelotte now lives, and at Capt. Jaires Furnis' house in New Town ; this house is at present, owned by Mrs. Tipton. At these places the gospel was preached, classes formed and prayer-meetings established. So early and so thoroughly was Methodism established in New Town, that in 1800, Avra Melvin was licensed to preach the gospel, being at the time about twenty years of age, and when his father, who was an officer in the church, died, he preached his funeral.

Not only New Town but, the entire surrounding country was brought under the influence of Methodism in the latter part of the last century, so that we may safely conclude that the date of its introduction in New Town reaches back to about 1790. Some account of the pioneer Methodist preachers on the peninsula may be interesting to the reader.

200 History of Pocomoke City, 

 But as there are biographies of each one of them extant, it will only be necessary to make some passing remarks with some incidents of their lives. Thomas Coke, LL.D., was a native of England, a man of letters. Was ordained the first bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He died at sea while on a missionary tour to another land at the probable age of sixty years.

Bishop Asbury, in preaching his funeral by request of Conference, makes the following remarks of him
■ "He was of the third branch of Oxonian Methodists, a gentleman, a scholar, and a bishop to us, and as a minister of Christ, in zeal, in labors and in services, the greatest man of the last century." Richard Whatcoat, bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church was a native of England. Until information of his death Bishop Asbury makes the following note of him in his journal : "That father in Israel and my laithful friend for forty years, a man of solid parts : a self-denying- man of God : who ever heard him speak an idle word ? when was guile found in his mouth? He had been thirty- eight years in the ministry : sixteen years in England, Wales and Ireland, and twenty-two years in America; twelve years as Presiding Elder, four of this time he was stationed in the cities or traveling with me ; and six years in the superintendency.

A man so uniformly good I have not known in Europe or America. He died in Dover, Del., on the 5th day of July, 1806."

Formerly New Town  201,

Francis Asbury was also a native of England. He came to this 'country by the direction of Mr. Wesley in 1771, being then about 25 years of age. He was elected bishop at the conference of 1784, held in the city of Baltimore, and was emphatically and truly, the pioneer Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In labors more abundant, traveling- on horseback and in carriage, averaging •a. great deal of the time 5,000 miles a year, his route extending from Georgia to Massachusetts, and as far West as Kentucky and Ohio. He pursued this route through heat and cold, through rain and storm, in winter and summer, over hills, barrens, swamps,, and Savannahs, fording rivers, creeks, etc., for thirty- two years in the Episcopacy until he was literally worn out by his arduous labors superintending the interests of the Church of Christ.

In 1816, while on his way to the General Conference, to be held in the City of Baltimore in the following May, he halted at the house of George Arnold in Spott- sylvania, Va., and there he died on the 21st day of March, 1816, in the 71st year of his age. He was afterward carried to Baltimore and buried under the pulpit of the Eutaw Methodist Episcopal Church of that city.

In speaking of Benjamin Abbott I will say he was a native of New Jersey, and although he may never have preached in New Town, yet he aided very materially in bringing the gospel down through the peninsula. He was a man of great pulpit power, and in many instances sinners fell prostrate under the preaching of the word by him, as dead men.

NEXT: 202 History of Pocomoke City, 

Previous Chapters by reader request