Saturday, July 7, 2012

Somerset Co. Man Takes His Life After Police Pursuit

From the Maryland State Police
(PRINCESS ANNE, MD) – A driver who refused to stop for police took his life and a Maryland state trooper was injured after his car was rammed by that driver during a pursuit last night in Somerset County.

The driver is identified as Alvin D. Melvin, 45, of the 12000-block of Somerset Avenue, Princess Anne, Md. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

The injured trooper is identified as Trooper First Class D. Tebbins, a K-9 trooper assigned to the Princess Anne Barrack. TFC Tebbins was transported to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center where he was treated and later released. His dog was taken to an emergency veterinarian center as a precaution, where he was treated and released.

At about 8:30 p.m. yesterday, a Maryland state trooper assigned to the Princess Anne Barrack was patrolling in an unmarked patrol car on West Post Office Road near Beechwood Street in Princess Anne, when he saw a 1998 Ford car in which the passenger was not wearing a seat belt. The trooper activated his emergency equipment and attempted to stop the car but the driver, later identified as Melvin, refused to stop and accelerated away.

A pursuit began which traveled through Princess Anne. TFC Tebbins was in the area and joined the pursuit, as did two patrol cars from the Princess Anne Police Department. The pursuit continued onto northbound Rt. 13 and TFC Tebbins, who was driving a marked patrol car, assumed the lead car position among the pursuing police officers.

TFC Tebbins was traveling in the fast lane of Rt. 13 and Melvin was in the slow lane when the trooper attempted to pull alongside Melvin’s car. The investigation indicates Melvin then swerved his car into the patrol car, causing TFC Tebbins to lose control. The patrol car traveled into the median, struck several trees, overturned and immediately caught fire. A Princess Anne police officer immediately stopped and assisted TFC Tebbins and his dog out of the burning patrol car.

After ramming the police car, Melvin apparently lost control of his car and crashed into a ditch on the slow shoulder of Rt. 13, south of Loretto Road. A trooper and Princess Anne officers stopped behind the car and implemented felony stop procedures, which include staying at their cars while giving verbal commands to the occupants of the suspect vehicle.

The passenger immediately got out of the car and complied with police directions. The driver, Melvin, failed to exit the car and did not comply with directions from police. While they continued to give commands to the driver, police heard what sounded like a gunshot from Melvin’s vehicle. Police could then see Melvin no longer appeared to be moving.

Police approached the car and saw Melvin had sustained what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. A .40 caliber pistol was in his lap. Emergency care was provided and EMS units were summoned. Melvin was pronounced dead at the scene.

The car Melvin was driving is registered to his wife. A search of the vehicle will be conducted after a search warrant is obtained. The gun he had is not reported stolen and investigators are researching its origin.

The passenger in Melvin’s car is a 16-year-old male from the county. He was not charged and was released to the custody of his parents.

A motive for Melvin’s actions is not known at this time. The investigation by the State Police Princess Anne Barrack Criminal Investigation Section is continuing. A member of the Somerset County State’s Attorney’s Office responded to the scene and has been kept updated on the investigation.


Worcester County Public Libraries are COOLING STATIONS today.

If you have no working A/C you can go to the Pocomoke branch on Market Street.

PLEASE remember to check on your neighbors and animals!

Delaware Man Charged In Worcester County Murder

From the Maryland State Police
(Whaleyville, MD) – Maryland State Police homicide investigators have charged a Delaware man in connection with the murder of Nicole Bennett who was found dead in Worcester County last month.

The accused is identified as Matthew Burton, 28, of the 30,000 block of Power Plant Road in Dagsboro, Delaware. Burton is charged with first and second degree murder. He is being held at the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown, Delaware pending an extradition hearing.

The victim, Nicole Bennett, 35, of the 33,000 block of Windswept Drive in Millsboro, Delaware, was found deceased on the morning of June 15, 2012, in an embankment off of Swamp Road in Worcester County. An autopsy conducted at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore determined Bennett was murdered and had been asphyxiated. Autopsy evidence also indicated she was already dead when her body was left in the embankment off of the dirt road.

Shortly before 9:00 a.m. on June 15, 2012, Worcester Central received a 9-1-1 call reporting the body of the deceased victim in an embankment off of Swamp Road, a dirt road east of Nelson Road. The caller told police he was in the area walking when he noticed the woman’s body.

During the course of the initial investigation, police learned Bennett was the subject of a missing person’s case being investigated by the Delaware State Police. One hour before she was found, Bennett’s husband had called 9-1-1 reporting her missing. She had not returned home from a church in Gumboro, Delaware, where she was reportedly working late.

Delaware State Police responded to the church and found Bennett’s vehicle parked on the lot. It was locked with her personal belongings inside. Police learned Bennett had been alone inside the church with a custodian, identified as Burton. Burton was subsequently located and interviewed by investigators.

State Police homicide investigators executed search warrants and processed the homes and vehicles of both Bennett and Burton. Several interviews were conducted with numerous family members, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. Investigators sought video surveillance footage from area businesses and from the church which is located approximately six miles from where Bennett was found. Anyone with information was asked to call the Worcester County Lower Shore Crime Solvers.

DNA evidence gathered by crime scene technicians from the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division connected Burton to the crime. After consultation with the Worcester County State’s Attorney, an arrest warrant was obtained.

At approximately 7:15 p.m. this evening, the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force, a warrant apprehension team, located Burton driving on Route 1 near the town of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Burton was apprehended on a subsequent traffic stop and taken into police custody.

Investigators have not yet confirmed the scene of the initial crime. A motive for the murder remains unclear at this time.

Investigators with the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation, deputies from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Delaware State Police and the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit responded to the scene. Crime scene technicians from the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division and crime scene technicians from the Delaware State Police responded to gather and analyze evidence. The Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Wicomico County Bureau of Investigation, and the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation also assisted with the investigation.

The investigation is continuing.

TIME MACHINE Preview ... Mail Call!

Local routes for citizens interested in delivering the mail in the early 1840's are announced. What's the 1905 salary for Pocomoke City's postmaster?

These and more items about local mail service from days gone by...this Sunday on The Pocomoke Public Eye!

Weather wish: Cool!!

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

~Visit the Delmarva Discover Center This Weekend~

Discover something new at the Delmarva Discovery Center every day from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

The Delmarva Discovery Center offers daily programs that are free with paid admission for all guests from Memorial Day to Labor day.  Here are the programs for this weekend.

Saturday 2:00 -2:30 PM Nature Walk - join us for a walk along the Pocomoke River as we spot wildlife and discuss the incredible natural environment of the Delmarva Peninsula.  And believe it or not you'll find that it's quite comfortable walking along the Pocomoke River even with the warm temperatures.  Great for all ages. 

Sunday 2:00 - 2:30 PM Fish Food- Watch the fish in our 6,000 gallon aquarium eat lunch while learning about the adaptations that allow these species to gobble, gulp and thrive in the Pocomoke River. A family presentation perfect of fish-lovers of all ages.
Delmarva Discovery Center is on Facebook or

Friday, July 6, 2012

Worcester County Burn Ban

SNOW HILL, Md.- Effective immediately, outdoor burning has been banned for an indefinite period of time in Worcester County.

All current burn permits have been rescinded until further notice.

The ban applies to all outdoor ignition sources, including ground-based sparkling devices, with the following exceptions: proper use of gas and charcoal grills, campfires at the county's commercial, state and federal campgrounds; permitted official Ocean City bonfires; and public fireworks displays with a state permit.

"Due to the county's recent dry conditions and the forecast for a continued extreme heat advisory, the Burn Ban is effective immediately," Worcester County Fire Marshal McMahon said.

"This ban should reduce the number of out-of-control outside fires, which cause safety concerns for area residents, visitors and especially responding personnel."

The ban will remain in effect until the dry conditions dissipate. For more information, contact Fire Marshal McMahon at (410) 632-5666.

Worcester County joins Dorchester, Somerset and Wicomico counties, which also have burn bans in effect.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony ~ Riverside Grill Restaurant


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held this morning at 11:00 A.M. at the new Riverside Grill Restaurant
The restaurant is not open for business yet.....but I can tell you that you will be excited when you get the chance to venture inside.  Honestly, there is NO seat in there that does not have a view of the beautiful Pocomoke River.  Too hot outside for you?  Trust me.  Not on the deck.

Another part of the "Pocomoke Pride" of which Mayor Bruce Morrison spoke about,  has become a long awaited reality for the city.

More photos and info to follow..........

Virginia: New Distribution Schedule For Food Stamps

 The Department of Social Services issues monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits at the first of every month.

But  most times retailers have difficulty keeping their shelves stocked at the beginning of the month under the current system.

So the Department of Social Services now plans to distribute food stamps on the 1st, 4th, 7th and 9th day of the month.

The day  of issue will be determined by the last digit of a recipient’s case number.

The new schedule is designed to help stores who get slammed with business on the first of every month.

 In Virginia there are about 440,00 households who depend on the nutrition assistance program.

No Limits On Handgun Sales In Virginia

Want to load up on handguns?
Now’s your chance, nothing is stopping you.

“We have a lot of customers that are just doing it out of principle,” said Donald Hood with Battlefield Guns and Ammo. “We have some customers that come in buying a gun that they planned on buying and something catches their eye before they leave.”

The law limiting handgun sales to one-a-month has been repealed, and this month went into effect. However many you can afford you can buy.

“We have a lot of high-end customers that are great upstanding citizens that just want to exercise their right and are avid shooters,” Hood said. “They shouldn’t be limited.”

At Battlefield Guns and Ammo that means more business in an already lucrative and growing industry.
For Alice Mountjoy with the Virginia Center for Public Safety says the law change is unneeded.

“I just don’t think it’s in the best interest of public safety to allow bulk gun sales to anybody,” Mountjoy said.

Mountjoy was there twenty years ago when the limit was put in place.Its goal was to keep the commonwealth the rest of the east coast safer.

“Virginia was known as the gun running mecca,” Mountjoy said. “People would come in, load up their vehicle and leave town.”

No matter how many handguns, there’s still a lot of paper work and background checks are still being done.
Mountjoy and critics of the new law are left with one question-who really needs to buy that many handguns all once?

“If you have a legitimate reason that’s good enough,” Mountjoy said.

Even when the limit was in place there were exemptions or ways around the rule. People could petition state police so they could buy in bulk for reasons such as a member of the military who’s about to go on deployment, and start up security firms.

This has critics wondering why a change in policy was needed.

The law change is specifically for handguns. Rifles and shotguns were never limited under state law.

Winter Quarters Municipal Golf Course

By this time our readers are familiar with the beauty of the recent landscaping that has rapidly appeared in various places throughout Pocomoke City. And if you are a reader of the PPE you know that the landscaping was done by Douglas Guns, the Superintendent of the Winter Quarters  Municipal Golf Course and his fabulous crew. What a beautiful difference it has made and we are hoping that Doug will send us some photos of the golf course real soon.

We received an email a couple of weeks ago from Shaun Stevenson who works with Mr. Guns at the gold course. Shaun was kind enough to mention that some of them read the PPE so they are aware of how popular they have become. He also mentioned one very good point. Even though so many people know who Douglas Guns is, know about his crew many people may not know there is even a golf course in Pocomoke City and was kind enough to send an attachment with current rates, cart rentals, etc.

Since I'm not a golf player and know absolutely nothing about the sport here is some info from the Pocomoke City website. And if you are a golfer/prospective golfer be sure to visit the Winter Quarters Municipal  Golf Course.

Thanks, Shaun!

Winters Quarters  Municipal Golf Course

Nestled on the banks of the Pocomoke River, this 9 hole course is open all year long. It's name comes from the days when the Pocomoke Indians found winter shelter in this protected riverside location.

The course is open daily and features bent grass greens, a putting green, numerous sand traps and water hazards.

The course is 2629 yards long for men and 2539 yards for women with a rated par of 35.

Daily greens fees are reasonable, and annual passes are available.
The course may be closed occasionally for a tournament, so please call in advance. The adjacent club house features a pro shop with equipment sales, snack bar, and cart rentals. For tee-times or for questions regarding the golf course, please call (410) 957-1171.

Attached Document or FileGOLF RATES 2011-2012  GOLF RATES 2011-2012

Effective July 1, 2011
Pocomoke City Corporate Limits City
Resident or Non-Resident/

                     Real Property Owner             Non-Owner
Single Annual Pass                                                $410                          $500
Family Annual Pass                                                510                             550
High School/College Student Annual Pass               125                             125
(week days only, limit to age 22, full time only)

Cart Shed Rental per year                                       410                             410

Family – Members of the same family: mother, father, and all their children under 18 living in the same household.
Adult Greens Fees                               9 Holes        $ 10.00
                                                          18 Holes        $ 15.00

Cart Rental Rates                                 1 person / 9 Holes $8.00
                                                            1 person / 18 Holes $14.00
                                                            2 persons / 18 Holes $28.00

Student (under 18) or Senior (65 and over)
                  (9 holes - $9.00, 18 holes – $11.00; weekdays only except holidays)

Greens Fees after 3:00 p.m. (M-F only)       $14.00 (18 holes, includes ½ cart)
Examples –         2 people, 18 holes, cart ($14.00 each person)
                            1 person, 18 holes, cart ($21.00)

Trail Fee for Carts                 $150 per year or $6.50 per use

Persons wishing to pay annual pass fees on an installment plan may pay at the following rates:
Type of Annual Pass                                                                  
 Amount & Date of Payment
                                                                                                    Due July 1              Due Jan. 15
Single Annual Pass – City Resident or
Real Property Owner                                                                       $ 250                     $ 200

Single Annual Pass – Non-Resident/
Non-Property Owner                                                                       $ 290                      $ 250

Family Annual Pass – City Resident or
Real Property Owner                                                                        $ 290                      $ 250

Family Annual Pass – Non-Resident/
Non-Property Owner                                                                        $ 300                     $ 290

Golf Cart Shed                                                                                 $ 250                      $ 200

Charitable or non-profit group using golf course for tournament - $5.00/entrant (whether annual pass holder or not). (Minimum 40 persons; payment required in advance for at least 40 persons). NONREFUNDABLE. Application must be approved 60 days in advance. Subject to approval by Mayor and Council.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

TIME MACHINE Preview ... Mail Call!

Local routes for citizens interested in delivering the mail in the early 1840's are announced. What's the 1905 salary for Pocomoke City's postmaster?

These and more items about local mail service from days gone by...this Sunday on The Pocomoke Public Eye!

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

Snow Hill ~ First Friday

Delmarva Discovery Center~ Makes Learning Fun

Riverside Grill

Riverside Grill
Downtown Pocomoke City, Maryland

This photo, taken Sunday October 30, 2011, was the first photograph I took of what now has been named the Riverside Grill.

And this photo taken Wednesday July 4, 2012 shows a beautifully completed restaurant.
I haven't been inside since the furniture has been uncrated and put into place, the kitchen finished off with appliances and doors put on.  So I am in for a surprise just as much as the first to dine there are.  I can't wait.  And personally, I don't care if I get anything to eat or not.  I just want to sit back and take it all in.

The best of luck to everyone at the Riverside Grill.

There is no set word on it's opening yet but it won't be much longer.  I'll be sure to let everyone know.

DPSCS Announces Partnership With America’s Vet Dogs

ECI has been selected to receive puppies for inmates participate in  America's Vet Dogs. 
Incarcerated Veterans Will Raise Service Dogs for Wounded and Disabled Veterans

TOWSON, MD (July 2, 2012) --- The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) today announced that incarcerated veterans at three of its largest prisons will soon begin raising service dogs for wounded and disabled U.S. military personnel. The partnership with America’s Vet Dogs will place puppies in Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown, Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, and Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard, himself a former adjutant general with decades of military service in the National Guard, made the announcement at Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown (MCI-H), surrounded by leaders from America’s Vet Dogs and two western Maryland prisons, incarcerated veterans and other inmates who will be puppy handlers, and wounded combat veteran Dan Lasko, who lost his leg in Afghanistan.

“This is one of the most significant restorative justice projects I have ever been involved with,” said Secretary Maynard. “To have inmates---including incarcerated veterans--- doing something this meaningful is beyond words.”

“More than forty-six thousand wounded veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan,” noted Sheila O’Brien of America’s Vet Dogs. “They’re changing the face of the disabled in America, and we have to do something to help them.”

The unique program will feature specially selected inmates--- including many who are actively involved with incarcerated veterans’ groups—caring for the puppies for an extended period of time before the dogs receive more specific service dog training coordinated by America’s Vet Dogs.

The dogs will live in the cell or dorm housing with each inmate; all three prisons are constructing special fenced areas, mostly built by inmates. Maryland Correctional Enterprises has donated the cages and cage bedding, all of which were made by inmates. At MCI-H, inmates have moved 25 tons of crushed stones to construct a dog walking area behind the dorm in which the puppies will live.

Dan Lasko, a Marine corporal who lost his leg in an IED explosion in Khandahar in 2004, traveled from southeastern Pennsylvania with his service dog Wally. Lasko was moved by the compassion of the prison staff and inmates---as well as by the nearly wall-to-wall murals depicting veterans’ scenes that were painted by the MCI-H inmates in advance of the announcement.

All three prisons have secured significant private donations and pledges of veterinary care for the puppies. “The outpouring from our Cumberland area community has been remarkable,” says WCI Warden Frank Bishop.  Added Warden Wayne Webb of MCI-H: “Our staff and inmates and the greater Hagerstown community have come together for this worthy project and we can’t wait to get started.”

Tomorrow, Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover will kick-off its Vet Dog program with a check presentation from inmates to the organization, in a special ceremony there at 10:30 a.m.  Inmates have already raised a significant amount of money to get the program started, and prison staff have lined up essential community partners such as veterinarians and local veterans’ support groups.

At the Mar-Va Theater This Weekend

Friday   July 6th
Saturday   July 7th
7 PM 
Tickets  $5

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July Fireworks Safety

From the Virginia Department of Forestry

While legal fireworks and sparklers are a popular part of July 4th celebrations, they are a danger to users, pets, and the environment. In many areas of Virginia, fireworks could become a cause of wildfires.

Fireworks that have finished burning are still extremely hot, and they can smolder in dry grass or leaves before a fire ignites. One spark is all it would take for a wildfire to start.

Keep a bucket of water; wet towel, and a fully-charged garden hose nearby. Children and pets should also be kept a safe distance away from igniting and spent fireworks.

Many types of fireworks (including firecrackers, sparklers, bottle rockets, skyrockets, torpedoes and other fireworks that explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles into the air) are illegal in Virginia unless you are a licensed contractor. A good alternative to personal fireworks are the community displays. Check your local news source for information on times and locations, or go online.

Fireworks- Safety Tips
Contact your local county/city administration to be advised if fireworks have been banned or restricted, and a list of public displays available to attend. Follow these precautions when using fireworks:

Be Prepared!

  • Purchase only legal fireworks available at approved stands. Never make your own fireworks, and be on the lookout for teens experimenting with home made fireworks.
  • Know the laws for your area.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby in which to place all used fireworks. Have a water hose or fire extinguisher nearby to put out stray sparks.
  • Clear a level area away from things that can burn.

Be Safe!

  • When lighting fireworks - Set family boundaries. Have a designated adult light all fireworks. Do not allow young children to light fireworks. Use eye protection, wear safety goggles. Light one at a time, move away quickly and keep at a safe distance until the display is finished. Use fireworks only outdoors and away from anything that can burn. To prevent injuries, never have any part of their body over a firework. Never throw fireworks and never hold fireworks in your hand.
  • Always read and follow the directions on the label. Never use fireworks indoors.
  • Light only one firework at a time—and never re-light a “dud” firework
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers—and don’t even think about carrying them in your pocket!
  • do not use fireworks near woods or any combustible material, use fireworks outdoors and in a safe area away from fields, grassy areas, and buildings
  • Use fireworks in parking lots, driveways, and gravel or dirt areas
  • only use fireworks with adult supervision
  • follow the instructions provided
  • do not use under the influence of alcohol
  • have a rake or shovel as well as a bucket of water, wet towel, and a garden hose nearby.
  • monitor the area for several hours after using fireworks.

Be Responsible!

  • After you finish - Clean up all debris when finished. Duds can be dangerous; if a device does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least 15 minutes, approach it carefully, and place it in a bucket of water. Be sure all unused fireworks, matches and lighters are out of the sight and reach of children.
  • Dispose of fireworks properly. Soak them completely in water before putting them in the trash can.

4th of July ~ 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Change Maryland Releases County-by-County Analysis of Tax Base

County-by-County Analysis of Tax Base

Annapolis - Change Maryland released today an analysis of how the state's 24
jurisdictions are performing in a key metric of their ability to
provide essential government services, improve quality of life and
maintain fiscal responsibility - the rise or fall of the tax base.

The Internal Revenue Service maintains tax file data between tax years
on both the state and county levels.  With this data, it is possible
to determine which counties are increasing, decreasing or are
remaining stagnant when it comes to their tax base.

 "A growing tax base is the ultimate win/win situation in public policy," said
Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan. "It eases the pressure to raise revenues, 
and conversely, a shrinking tax base often leads to a troublesome 
tax-and-spend downward spiral as actual revenues fail to meet estimates."

Some of Maryland's most successful counties in terms of increasing its
tax base are those with smaller populations.  Eastern shore
counties Worcester, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot are increasing their
tax base in percentage terms relatively higher than other jurisdictions
throughout the state.  Garrett and St. Mary's are also performing
well.  On the other hand, the state's largest jurisdictions -
Baltimore City and County, Prince George's and Montgomery range from
sharply negative growth to stagnant.

"I'm very encouraged by how well we're doing in the rural and outlying
counties," said Hogan.  "These small economic engines are powering the
state forward by attracting new residents.   Clearly where we need to
see improvement is in our largest jurisdictions.  Baltimore City is
losing its tax base at unacceptable levels and Montgomery County's
stagnant tax base will further tarnish its business reputation as
elected officials seek more revenue to make up for budget shortfalls."

Change Maryland noted this Spring that the state overall has lost its
tax base more than any other state in the region - and seventh highest

Pocomoke City Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes ~ June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012
The regular meeting of the Pocomoke Mayor and Council was held in the Council Chambers at City Hall on Monday, June 18, 2012. The meeting was called to order at 7:30 P.M.
Present: Mayor Bruce Morrison
Council Members: Tracey Cottman,
Rob Clarke, Diane Downing,
Donald L. Malloy, George Tasker
City Attorney William Hudson
City Manager Russell W. Blake
City Clerk Carol L. Justice
Review Minutes:
In a motion (Malloy, Cottman passed), to approve the minutes of June 5, 2012.
Review Bills:
In a motion (Downing, Clarke passed), the bills presented to be paid. (Copy of bill list attached to original minutes).
Second Reading of Res. 461 to adopt the City budget for fiscal year 2012-2013:

In a motion (Cottman, Downing passed) to adopt the proposed budget for fiscal year 2012-2013.
Second Reading of Res. 462 to adopt the tax rates for various categories of real and personal property for fiscal year 2012-2013:
Resolution No. 462
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012-2013.

In a motion (Clarke, Cottman passed) to adopt Res. No. 462.

Second Reading of Res. 463 to adopt the schedule of fees and charges for fiscal year 2012-2013:
Resolution No. 463

In a motion (Downing, Clarke passed) to adopt Res. No. 463 establishing the Fee Schedule for fiscal year 2012-2013.

Presentation by representatives of Opto Traffic regarding speed cameras:

      Joshua Hathway, Account Manager, Opto Traffic, stated that they work with NASA with their parent company (Sigma Space which is a leader in laser technology). Mr. Hathway stated that they would provide the equipment for speed cameras for Pocomoke City. The speed cameras will provide two things: slows traffic down in a school zone and adds revenues to the City. There will be no cost to the City and the contract is very flexible with a lease agreement for 90 days. The cameras are portable on a four foot trailer. The laser sensors will work in dense traffic areas, multi-lane, lane specific, self-power supply and wireless connectivity, invisible infrared flash, small footprint and quick and easy deployment. Pocomoke City will keep 60% of the revenue and Opto Traffic will keep 40%.
      Councilman Malloy asked who the ticket will be issued to.
      Mr. Hathway stated the registered owner of the vehicle.
      Councilman Clarke asked the radius of school zone.
      Mr. Hathway stated ½ mile.
      Councilwoman Cottman asked what issues other municipalities have had with this.
      Mr. Hathway stated small number of complaints about speed cameras and the revenue can be addictive.
      Mayor Morrison thanked Mr. Hathway for attending the meeting and explaining the speed cameras to the Council and public.
      Councilman Tasker added that there would not be any points on driver’s licenses.

Representatives of Save the Youth Program to discuss future plans:
      Rev. Jenkins thanked the Mayor and Council for putting them on the agenda again. He stated that they will try to comply with the letter the Council sent them. The program is about thirty-three (33) years old now and he would like to see it continued.
      Mr. James Jones referred to the letter that they received concerning issues to be discussed. He stated that the maximum age requirement being 17 is a good requirement. He stated that they would like to have other areas available to use because it would be easier access to the gym from the front of the building and they would like to have an office area. He stated that the breakers could be turned off in areas that they are not using and they would like to use the building on Saturdays. He stated that the Pocomoke City zip code restriction is not a good idea because the programs that Mr. Davis had were allowed to use different zip codes.
      Mayor Morrison stated that the Council would review the material that they were given and will make a decision soon regarding the use of the building.
      Rev. Jenkins said he would like to compliment the new Chief of police. The crime seems to be down and the officers didn’t mind walking the streets late at night. "I thank God for sending us him."

Review report from consultant Ron Hamblin concerning condition of building at 124 Willow Street. (Lawson’s Bar):
      Mayor Morrison read excerpts from Mr. Hamblin’s letter, stating the problems observed with the roof, exterior walls, foundation and environmental concerns. Mayor Morrison stated that the building is in bad shape and one exterior wall is buckling and looks like it will collapse.
       Mr. Mike Dunn (owner) stated that he had not received a copy of the inspection and did not know what they were talking about. He wished that somebody had called to see what their intentions were before making plans for an inspection to have the building demolished.
      Mayor Morrison asked what the plans were.
      Mr. Dunn stated that they plan on marketing the building as a historic building and sell it to someone that would be interested in restoring it.
      Mayor Morrison asked about the safety issues that needed to be taken care of; what did they plan on doing about them.
      Mr. Dunn stated that they would look to see what they could do. He stated that at least one-third of the building is dangerous and should be demolished.
      Councilman Malloy stated that they liked what they have done to other properties that they own in town. Most of them look good and he will be willing to work with them on this property.
      Mayor Morrison asked the Duns to come back with a written plan within 30 days as to what they plan to do about the safety issues of the building at 124 Willow Street. If a satisfactory plan is not presented to correct the safety and other problems of the building, the City would have no choice but to have it demolished in six (6) months. Mayor Morrison stated that the City appreciates what they have done in Pocomoke City to other properties.

Second Reading of Ord. 409 to regulate the types of furniture that may be placed on open porches and other outside areas:
      City Attorney Hudson stated that there was a change in paragraph four which now requires that the property be posted and a letter sent to the owner of record.
      In a motion (Malloy, Cottman passed) to pass Ordinance 409, as amended, to regulate the types of furniture that may be placed on open porches and other outside areas.

Review letter from Delmarva Discovery Center requesting loan funds:
      Mayor Morrison stated that this would be the last draw on the previously approved loan request for the Delmarva Discovery Center in the amount of $10,833.
      In a motion (Cottman, Malloy passed) to approve the request from Delmarva Discovery Center in the amount of $10,833.

Authorize bids for purchase of radio read water meters. (MDE Grant project):
      City Manager Blake stated that this is a grant funded project with a small loan. The MDE grant is in the amount of $123,813 with $17,688 loan. Engineers have completed their work and MDE agreed that the City would install the new meters. The City is ready to advertise for bids.
      Mayor Morrison asked how many meters would be replaced with this grant.
      City Manager Blake stated around 300 to 400 meters would be replaced; he suggested starting installing the meters in the older sections of town.
      In a motion (Downing, Malloy passed) to authorize City Manager Blake to purchase the radio read water meters.

Review bids for demolition of fire damaged house at 523 Young Street (Allen Blount, owner):
      Mayor Morrison stated that the City received two bids for demolishing 523 Young Street; one from Butch’s Tree and Lawn Care Service in the amount of $5,200 and the other from Beauchamp’s Construction in the amount of $6,300.
In a motion (Downing, Cottman passed) to accept the low bid of $5,200 from Butch’s Tree and Lawn Care.

Discuss vacancies on list of Boards and Commissions:
      Councilwoman Cottman stated that she would call City Clerk Justice with a name and which board the person is willing to serve on.

Review proposed mailer and application for ambulance department memberships:
      City Manager Blake stated that there were no changes to this year’s rate schedule, so he proposed to send out a flyer similar to last year’s flyer.
      Councilman Clarke suggested adding a place to include email addresses so that we can email for renewal instead of mailing the applications.

Comments from the audience:
      Mr. John Hutchinson, Maple Street, stated that he was not in favor of "Save the Youth" to be in the old police building. He stated that when functions were held soda cans and paper would be left on the streets. He felt like there was no supervision at that location. He also stated that there was old furniture at the back of the building that needed something to be removed.
      Mr. Walter Eskiewikz, Second Street, stated that he had a concern regarding "Save the Youth Program" being in the vacant building. He stated that there would be an increase of large groups of young people in the area, and peer pressure is greater when there are five or six kids in a group. He stated that after a function that they have had in the past there would be soda cans and paper left on the street. He continued to say that he doesn’t think that the old police building is the proper location for this group. Sometimes there could be a person waiting outside of the building for somebody that is in the building to come out to start a fight.

      Leona Hill asked to use the land on Willow and Clarke Ave for a science park in memory of her children. She stated that she has been working with someone from Salisbury State University in designing something that would go along with the Discovery Center. She doesn’t have land to place the park where it would be beneficial to children to visit. She also stated that she and her husband have set-up a foundation to take care of the park for many years to come and they also have a scholarship for students going into Science related fields.
      Councilwoman Cottman asked what she would need from the City.
      Ms. Hill stated that she would like to have the use of the lot at Willow Street and Clarke Ave. for the exhibit.
      Councilman Malloy stated that the City had agreed to use part of that lot as parking for the new restaurant.
      Mayor Morrison stated that the equipment would not cost the City any money.
      Councilwoman Cottman asked how close she is to having something ready to install.
      Ms. Hill stated that she could not ask for grants until she had land to put the equipment on.
      Councilwoman Cottman stated that she could complete grant applications with the intent of land use. Councilwoman Cottman offered to work with Ms. Hill to complete grant applications.
      Councilman Clarke asked to have the taxes abate for Salem Church since this year they did not have the parsonage house rented at 200 Walnut Street.
      In a motion (Tasker, Cottman passed) to abated taxes for Salem Church parsonage located at 200 Walnut Street. (Councilman Clarke abstained).
      Councilman Clarke stated that he would like to commend Bill East and the Public Works Department for a job well done before and after the Cypress Festival.
      City Manager Blake gave an update on the stormwater diversion project near Butler’s Village.

The next meeting will be July 2, 2012.

In a motion (Cottman, Downing passed) to adjourn the meeting at 9:04 P.M.

Approved: ______________________2012

Carol L. Justice
City Clerk

Andy Griffith Has Died

Former University North Carolina President Bill Friday says Andy Griffith died this morning in Dare County, according to WITN News.

Friday, who is a close friend of the actor, confirmed to the news station the 86-year-old actor died at his home around 7:00 a.m. today.

Deputy Chief Steve Hoggard of the Dare County sheriff's department said that emergency medical services had been called to Griffith's home earlier today.

Andrew Samuel Griffith was born in Mount Airy, N.C., on June 1, 1926. He was the only son of Carl Lee Griffith, a skilled carpenter and foreman in a chair factory, and Geneva Nunn Griffith.


America"s Vet Dogs: Md. Inmates To Train Service Dogs For Wounded Vets

HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- Maryland's prison agency is teaming up with a guide-dog group to have jailed veterans train service dogs for wounded and disabled military veterans.

Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Gary Maynard and leaders of America's Vet Dogs announced the program Monday at the Maryland Correctional Institution near Hagerstown.

Maynard called the project "one of the most significant restorative justice projects I have ever been involved with."

The prison agency says the trainers will include specially selected incarcerated veterans and other inmates at three institutions. They will care for the puppies, which will then get more specific service dog training.

America's Vet Dogs is a nonprofit organization based in Smithtown, N.Y. It provides guide dogs for blind or visually impaired veterans, and service dogs for those with other disabilities.


Some 4th of July Activities On Virginia Eastern Shore

The Eastern Shore will be celebrating the Fourth with various activities. The celebrations get underway with an Ice Cream Social tonight at the Onancock Town Pavillion. The Accomack Unity Band will perform and free ice cream will be provided by the Onancock Business and Civic Association.

Accomac will have its traditional non motorized parade at 10 AM. The parade will assemble at Wards Exxon and will move down the street to the Accomack Courthouse Square where free popsicles and music by the Accomack Band will entertain participants. Kids are encouraged to decorate their bikes and come to Accomac and participate.

The Fourth of July aways means that the folks at Calvary United Methodist Church at Hunting Creek will be having their annual dinner. This will be the 124th year that Calvary has had this famous meal which consists of such Eastern Shore favorites as clam fritters, crab cakes, fried chicken, baked ham, baked corn, mac and cheese, baked tomatoes and much more. You can eat at the church or order a take out. Take out orders can be called in 665-6445 after 11:00 am Wednesday morning.

There will be fireworks at the Chincoteague Firemans Carnival starting at 9:30 and there will be fireworks at Shuckers in Onancock starting at 9:00.

The Wachapreague Carnival will be running Wednesday night with food, rides, games and entertainment.

The Town of Cape Charles, along with the Cape Charles Volunteer Fire Company is planning an impressive, day-long July 4th celebration centered along the beachfront of Cape Charles.

Planned activities include a parade down Mason and Bay Avenues, horseshoes competition, beach volley ball, face paintings for children, a fishing competition at the pier with prizes for young adults 16 years of age and under, arts & crafts stands, sidewalk sales, food vendors and more. Beachfront fireworks will cap off the festivities after dark!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Pocomoke City Mayor and Council Meeting ~TONIGHT



7:30 P.M., MONDAY, JULY 2, 2012


  1. 1. Call to Order, Prayer, and Pledge of Allegiance.

2. Review and approval of minutes from meeting of June 18, 2012.

3. Review and approval of bills to be paid.

4. Chief Kelvin Sewell to discuss recent grand opening of new police station building and National Night Out event (August 7).

5. Authorize Mayor to sign renewal agreement for monitoring and laboratory services for Water and Wastewater Treatment with Maryland Environmental Service (MES).

6. Discuss recommendation from Housing Coordinator Harvey Davis for repair or demolition of house at 724 Sixth Street (James Finey, owner).

7. Discuss proposal from building inspector Ron Hamblin for preliminary inspection services at Armory Building.

8. City Attorney to discuss proposed Ethics Ordinance as required by Maryland State Law.

9. City Attorney to discuss progress on right-of-way acquisition for Stormwater Drainage project near Butler’s Village.

Comments from the Audience

Mayor and Council Items.

Adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel, real estate, and legal matters as permitted under the provisions of Sec. 10-508 (A), (1), (7), (8) of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and perform executive actions.