Thursday, November 11, 2010

History Of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France.

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities. This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated: "In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible."

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts

On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.

In 1958, the White House advised VA's General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee's chairman.

The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Free Items and Discounts Offered To The Veterans

Restaurants and retail stores plan to salute America's veterans -- past and present -- by giving out a variety of discounts this Veteran's Day holiday.

On Thursday, Applebee's locations nationwide will offer veterans free meals from a special menu, which will feature a sirloin steak, among other items.

Many local restaurants are also participating.

Zia's Italian Grill in Salisbury will give out a free lunch on Thursday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. to anyone who's ever served in the military, said owner Alex Bubas.

Bubas served in the U.S. Army infantry during the Vietnam War from 1967-70. He saw action in the Tet Offensive, he said.

"Who said there's no free lunch? There is at Zia's on this special day," Bubas said.

Larry Layton, the owner of Layton's Restaurant in Ocean City, said vets should have an easy time finding his restaurant -- it's the one flying nine American flags. Layton serves in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and plans on giving all veterans a 20 percent discount Thursday.

"I think we all know that too many people forget why we're all here and how we have this beautiful beach here and why we haven't had five more 9/11s. People think it's all free, but it's not," Layton said.

Golden Corral restaurant will hold its free Military Appreciation dinner for all veterans Monday night.

BJ's on the Water in Ocean City will give veterans a free meal during the restaurant's traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving day.

Stewart Davis, the president of the Local Owners Restaurant Association, said his restaurant, Chef Stewart of Flannery's in Fruitland, will give veterans Thursday the special of buy one pit sandwich, get one free.

Davis said he realizes that a free sandwich is a small token of respect for the sacrifices made by America's military men and women.

"A lot of the time, they're really underappreciated. Anybody that comes up here, I'm always shaking their hand and thanking them, saying 'thank you' for my freedom," Davis said.

Carol Nicholson, the club manager for the American Legion Post 64, said her father served in the U.S. Navy for several decades and would have appreciated the growing support from American businesses during Veteran's Day.

"It's a good feeling, being a child of a veteran, seeing this more and more. I wish my dad was still alive to see it," Nicholson said.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Video: Inside Volkswagen's cutting-edge Transparent Factory in Dresden

There are a lot of impressive things about the Volkswagen Phaeton. Like the notion that a Vee-Dub could share its underpinnings with a Bentley, and the sheer chutzpah of taking the People's Car up-market to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and its own sister-company's Audi A8. But few factors stand out quite like the Transparent Factory.

While most automotive assembly plants are greasy behemoths sequestered off on the fringes of industrial cities, the assembly plant that puts together the Phaeton (as well as the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, until its transfer to Crewe in 2006) stands as a squeaky-clean, glassed-in pantheon to the automobile right in the heart of downtown Dresden, Germany.

Volkswagen developed a number of brilliant technologies for use in the factory, from the moving wood floor and electronically-tracked nuts and bolts to the magnet-driven robots that shuttle the parts around the facility and the cargo tram that delivers them there. All of this and more is on display to visitors as well as customers coming to take delivery directly on premises. It's a wonder to behold: Discovery's MegaWorld series went by to check it out, and you can too with the video after the jump.

X-Ray Trucks Can See Inside Your Vehicle

Feel Like Somebodys Watching You? They Are

  American Science & Engineering X-Ray Truck. ASE©

It sounds like something straight out of George Orwell’s 1984: Government vans, equipped with full-body X-ray scanning machines, have been deployed on the streets of our cities, monitoring an unwitting populace for signs of illegal activity.

You could simply be going about your daily activities, not even doing something that should invite the suspicions of the authorities, but it doesn’t matter. The police can still scan you and the contents of your vehicle, and if they see something that arouses their suspicions, stop you immediately and search you, your vehicle, and its contents.

It might seem improbable, like Big Brother is watching you, but it’s fact, not fiction: According to the manufacturer, American Science & Engineering, the biggest buyer of its “mobile backscatter X-ray technology” has been the Department of Defense operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. It goes on to admit, however, that domestic law enforcement agencies -- that’s right, agencies inside in the United States -- have also deployed vans equipped with the technology to search for vehicle-based bombs.

Backscatter X-Rays: A Revealing Technology Is Revealed
The Z Backscatter Vans, or ZBVs, as American Science & Engineering calls them, bounce a narrow stream of X-rays off and through nearby objects, and analyze which rays return. Dense material, such as steel, absorb the rays. Scattered rays indicate less-dense objects that can include explosives, drugs, or human bodies. That capability makes backscatter X-rays powerful tools for security, law enforcement and border control.

So should the use of this technology make us feel safe? Or is it just another sign of the government using the war on terror (or is it the war on drugs?) as a convenient excuse to strip away basic Constitutional rights of an unaware populace? And is it even legal?

Improbable Technology Vs. Probable Cause
“First, it’s not clear that it is legal,” says Dr. Daniel Steinbock, professor of law and interim dean at the University of Toledo College of Law. “In fact, the Supreme Court has already ruled in Kyllo v. United States, that the use of similar technology, in this case, thermal imaging, is illegal under the Fourth Amendment’s restraint on the government performing searches without probable cause.”

Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), agrees; in fact, EPIC is currently suing the Department of Homeland Security to stop the usage of full-body-scan technology in airports. “It’s no surprise that governments and vendors are very enthusiastic about the vans,” he said in a recent interview with Forbes. “But from a privacy perspective, it’s one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable.”

 American Science & Engineering X-Ray technology shows explosives in car trunk. ASE

In response, American Science & Engineering states that the ZBV’s primary purpose is to screen vehicles and containers for contraband and security threats. If a person, such as an illegal stowaway, is present in the vehicle or container being scanned, the system creates only a silhouette of that person, with no facial or body detail. The system cannot be used to identify an individual, or the race or age of the individual.

Health Concerns as Well as Privacy Concerns?
So there are definitely some invasion of privacy issues to consider, as well as the legality of the whole operation. But what about from a health perspective? Certainly a machine capable of providing such detailed images must be blasting some pretty powerful X-rays.

For comparison purposes, the X-ray dose received from the backscatter system is roughly equivalent to the radiation received in two minutes of airplane flight at altitude. Newer technologies require even less scanning time, further reducing individual X-ray exposure. The backscatter advanced imaging technology meets and exceeds the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for personnel security screening systems using X-rays.

American Science & Engineering X-Ray technology shows drugs hidden in truck. ASE

Freedom at What Price?
Advocates of the technology might argue that its use is necessary to preserve our freedoms and the American way of life, reasoning that sounds a lot like, “In order to preserve the Constitution, it is necessary to destroy it.”

Dr. Steinbock sums it up quite succinctly. “Without a warrant, the government doesn’t have a right to peer beneath your clothes without probable cause,” he says. Even airport scans are typically used only as a secondary security measure, he points out. “If the scans can only be used in exceptional cases in airports, the idea that they can be used routinely on city streets is a very hard argument to make.”



DANA POINT, CA, November 10, 2010... Surf dog Ricochet, the SURFice dog who surfs for fun, wins dog surfing contests, and most notably surfs tandem with disabled adaptive surfers while raising funds and awareness for human/animal causes will be at the Best Day Foundation's "Day at the Beach" event at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point on November 13th & 14th.

Best Day Foundation, which helps kids with special needs build confidence and self esteem through safe, fun-filled adventure activities, will be hosting two half-day events which include surfing, bodyboarding and kayaking.  The "Best Day at the Beach" event is free for kids with special needs including Autism, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Blindness, Cancer, Spinal Cord injuries, and other physical and developmental challenges.

When Max Montgomery, Best Day Co-Founder and Executive Director heard that Ricochet surfs tandem with disabled kids, he invited her to participate.  "We're stoked to see Ricochet surf at Doheny State Beach after watching her all over the internet. The kids are thrilled to meet Ricochet, and we're grateful to her for helping bring more awareness to Best Day's first events in Orange County."

Ricochet will be surfing with Ian McFarland, a six year old boy who suffered a brain injury in a horrific car accident that claimed the lives of his parents. Ian used to surf with his father, but was fearful of getting back on a board after the accident. That all changed when he surfed with Ricochet the first time.  His fears were replaced with excitement, and now Ian says "I want to wipe out with Ricochet!" See for your self!...

Patrick Ivison, a 16 year old quadriplegic surfer, the first to ever surf tandem with Ricochet will also be hitting the waves with her on a tandem surfboard generously provided by Surftech Surfboards.  In addition, Ricochet will surf solo as a demonstration to further promote confidence building... "if a dog can do it, so can you!"  She will offer encouragement, and help kids who show any apprehension of getting on a board. She will be busy with meet & greets, and of course offer lots of cuddling on the beach too!

Trained volunteers are paired with each kid, and they begin their Best Day with fun exercises before hitting the water.  The safe, fun activities are designed to expand their potential, create excitement, and connect them with new friends. After an exciting day at the beach and a warm lunch, each participant is individually honored for their achievements during an award ceremony.  All the children are gold medal winners at Best Day's events!

For more information, contact Judy Fridono at 707-228-0679 or, or visit

About Ricochet
Ricochet was slated to be a service dog for a person with a disability, but, due to her interest in chasing prey, she had to be released from that role.  She went from service dog to SURFice dog, and is now raising funds and awareness for human and animal causes.  She has raised over $51,000 this past year, and continues to inspire people all over the world with her positive energy, and charitable, paw it forwawrd lifestyle. 

She has an inspirational video on YouTube that went viral "From Service dog to SURFice dog" and has almost 3 million views. Most people are brought to tears as it touches them on many different levels.  For more information, visit: or on Facebook

About Best Day
Best Day is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit (Tax-ID: 26-2223078) based in Santa Cruz, CA. Best Day helps kids with special needs build confidence and self-esteem through safe, fun-filled adventure activities including surfing, body boarding, kayaking, snow-tubing and more. It was founded in 2008 by Max Montgomery and Brooks Lambert, two long-time Ride a Wave volunteers who wished to bring similar services to other communities. A 100% volunteer organization, the experienced team is supported by generous sponsors who help keep the programs free for all. Best Day chapters make a big impact in their communities. For more information, visit:

Oglesby, Mathias Hold Lead In Worcester County

SNOW HILL — Republican candidate for State’s Attorney, Beau Oglesby still holds the lead over democratic incumbent Joel Todd, after provisional ballot were counted in Worcester County today.

Although, Oglesby received 75 votes to Todd’s 86, he still maintains the lead with 10,505 votes, while Todd holds 10,409; a margin of 96.

In the State Senate race, Jim Mathias gained 97 votes and Michael James gained 67; leaving Mathias in the lead by a margin of 494 votes.

Two additional absentee counts have yet to take place to count an additional 171 ballots. The first will be held on Friday, followed by the final count on Nov. 22.

~ Birthday Today ~



Veterans Day Service In Cape Charles

CAPE CHARLES -- Veterans Day, the annual time for remembering the end of World War I and the brave Americans who served in the "war to end all wars" also draws from the news headlines of the day.

What is now called "Veterans Day" began as "Armistice Day." It is historically significant that this day continue to be observed on the month, day and hour that the guns fell silent in World War I.

While the day has strong historical roots, current events continue to add meaning to the day. Today, thousands of Americans are serving in uniform.

They sacrifice in the war on terror and in hundreds of locations around the globe so that we may remain free. They, too, are veterans.

To mark Veterans Day in Northampton County, American Legion Posts 56 and 400 will be conducting a Veterans Day Service on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at the Veteran's Memorial on Mason Avenue in Cape Charles.

All members of the community are invited to attend.

PHS Field Hockey Team Heads Back To State Finals

ANNAPOLIS -- The Pocomoke field hockey team will get the chance to claim their eighth straight title after the Warriors downed the Mavericks of Manchester Valley 2-1 on Monday night in the 1A MPSSAA state semifinal.

The Warriors scored twice in the first half, getting tallies from seniors Beverly Weaver and Taylor West, and were able to hold off a late charge from the Mavericks. Pocomoke will play in the title game Saturday at Washington College.

"I'm so pleased with how we played. We finally got a full good game," said Susan Pusey, Pocomoke's head coach. "Manchester Valley was a good team and they played well; it was nice to have that competition to get ready for the final game."

Manchester Valley made good use of the opening possession of the game. Off of the opening whistle, the Mavericks created one of their best scoring chances of the contest, sending a shot just wide of the post.
Pocomoke (16-2) responded by charging down to the opposite end of the field and scoring just 92 seconds into the match. Senior Kasey Tapman put the initial shot on goal, only to see it get deflected up and over the goalie. A scrum on the Mavericks goal line ensued before Weaver knocked it across.

"If you can score within the first five minutes of the game you set the tempo and the tone of the entire game," said West. "I think we dominated the game the first few minutes, but then they had their points where they were dominating as well."

Pocomoke continued to pour on the pressure, peppering the Mavericks with shots and earning multiple penalty corner opportunities. The Warriors doubled their lead with 12:36 remaining in the first half, as West stole a pass and immediately went to goal. West dribbled inside of the circle before unleashing a shot that punished the back of the Manchester Valley cage.

"Abby (Bunting) works really well with me, and she was able to force the ball to me. So we created a double," said West, explaining her goal. "From there I intercepted it and pulled right, and that was inside the circle, so I just looked up and saw an open corner."

Pocomoke continued to dominate the run of play in the second half, as the Warriors out cornered the Mavericks five to one during a 14-minute period, but they were not rewarded for their efforts.
While Pocomoke went scoreless on their many corner opportunities, Manchester Valley was able to take advantage of one of their own. Sophomore Sarah Bach inserted the ball into play for the Mavericks before a pass finally found the open stick of Jennie Frock. Frock, a freshman, was unmarked in the center of the circle and sent a shot to the bottom right corner of the Warriors' net that found its way into the back of the cage to halve Pocomoke's lead.

The Mavericks (8-6-1) pressed on for the tying goal, but it never came as Pocomoke was able to keep the ball in or near the Manchester Valley circle as time ticked away.

When the final horn sounded the Pocomoke sideline erupted with joy, as the Warriors raced on to the field to revel in their accomplishment and the chance to play in yet another state championship.

"No one can explain this feeling really -- they never get old, keep them coming," said Pusey of her multiple state final appearances. "I'm fortunate to have good kids that play hard, play well, and do what I ask them to do. As long as we keep on playing like we are, hopefully we will come out on top again."

'Missile' Off California Still Unexplained By Pentagon

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon said Tuesday it did not know what created a vapor trail that crossed the skies off the Southern California coast and resembled a missile launch.

Video posted on the CBS News website shows an object flying through the evening sky Monday that left a large contrail, or vapor trail. A news helicopter owned by KCBS, a CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, shot the video.

Pentagon officials were stumped by the event. "Nobody within the Department of Defense that we've reached out to has been able to explain what this contrail is, where it came from," Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said.

While the vapor cloud captured on video resembled that created by a rocket in flight, military officials said they didn't know of any launches in the area.

One expert called it an optical illusion. "It's an airplane that is heading toward the camera and the contrail is illuminated by the setting sun," said John Pike, director of the U.S.-based security analyst group

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, issued a statement jointly with the U.S. Northern Command, or NORTHCOM, saying no Department of Defense entities reported a missile launch — scheduled or inadvertent — at the time of the contrail, and no foreign military missile launch was detected.

NORAD said it determined there was no threat to the U.S. homeland.

The Federal Aviation Administration ran radar replays from Monday afternoon and they "did not reveal any fast-moving, unidentified targets," the statement said. No pilots reported unusual sightings to the FAA.

NORTHCOM is the U.S. defense command and NORAD is a U.S.-Canadian organization charged with protecting the U.S. from the threat of missiles or hostile aircraft.

Pike said the object could not have been a rocket because it appeared to alter its course.

"The local station chopped up the video and so it's hard to watch it continuously," Pike said. "But at one place you can see it has changed course — rockets don't do that."

Pike said he didn't understand why the military had not recognized the contrail of an aircraft. "The Air Force must ... understand how contrails are formed," he said. "Why they can't get some major out to belabor the obvious, I don't know."

Pocomoke Hockey Team Wins State Semifinal

Monday, November 8, 2010 - Annapolis, Maryland

The Pocomoke field hockey team celebrates its 2-1 victory against Manchester Valley in a Class 1A state semifinal.

Way to go PHS Hockey Team !!

Global Chocolate Crisis Looming?

Forget oil and freshwater -- the world may soon be running out of a precious resource that some Americans simply can't live without: chocolate.

"In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar," John Mason, executive director of the Ghana-based Nature Conservation Research Council, told Britain's Independent. "It will become so rare and so expensive that the average Joe just won't be able to afford it."

To American consumers used to grabbing a cheap Hershey bar in the checkout line, that might seem unfathomable, but the simple economics of cocoa cultivation may be working against that cheap global supply. Cocoa is a labor- and time-intensive crop, and the West African farmers that produce it just don't have the price incentives to continue a cultivation process that takes three to five years.

In addition, years of intensive cocoa cultivation have drained the soil in places like Ghana and the Ivory Coast. As a result, every year's cocoa crop shows a diminishing return. In the meantime, chocolate consumption in both Western and developing countries is only increasing, and so a dwindling supply could translate to skyrocketing prices. In July, one British hedge fund manager made a huge bet on that phenomenon and bought 240,000 tons of cocoa beans in what seemed like an effort to corner the market. He didn't see the dramatic price increases he was hoping for, but even so, the price of chocolate rose steadily to a three-decade high in August.

The effects of dramatic cocoa price increases will change our conception of candy. Cheaper bars could be made with significantly lower chocolate contents or substitutes like carob, and high-cocoa dark chocolate could become a treat for only the wealthy.

In 2008, chocolate price increases made it so that Hershey's new, cheaper recipes couldn't even be legally called chocolate.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chincoteague Restaurant Destroyed By Fire

CHINCOTEAGUE — An Asian-themed restaurant on Chincoteague burned Monday evening.

“It’s a total loss. We just thank God no one was hurt,” said Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company public relations officer Denise Bowden.

The Great Wall II restaurant, located at 6341 Maddox Blvd., was fully involved when firefighters arrived on the scene minutes after a 911 call came in around 7:30 p.m., with flames were showing out of the roof and front windows of the one-story brick-facade wooden structure, Bowden said.

No one was at the restaurant at the time the fire broke out because it is closed on Mondays. No one was injured in the blaze.

Chincoteague Assistant Chief Harry Stanley Thornton was the first to arrive on the scene within two to three minutes of the fire being reported and was the officer in charge.

A nail salon next door to the restaurant also was left with damage to its exterior as a result of the fire, but Bowden credited the quick action of firefighters with preventing the blaze’s spreading to other nearby businesses.

“All the men and women did a fantastic job,” she said.

Firefighters extinguished the flames in less than an hour but remained on the scene for two to three hours, Bowden said.

An investigator from the Virginia State Police also was at the scene of the fire, the cause of which is not known as yet.

Units and personnel from Chincoteague, Greenbackville, Atlantic, New Church, Wallops and Saxis responded to the fire.

Kruno Filipic of Chincoteague owned the building, which was rented to the restaurant business.

Verizon's Problems With Repair Complaints Being Investigated By SCC

Richmond, Va. -- The State Corporation Commission is investigating why Verizon landline customers have had an unusually large number of complaints about the company's repair service.

"These complaints also raise the question of whether Verizon has, or is devoting, sufficient resources to maintain reasonable adequate service quality and to comply with standards in the rules," the SCC said.

The commission, which regulates public service companies such as Verizon, will hold a hearing on the issue Dec. 14.

Though neither Verizon nor the commission would release the figures on repair-service complaints, total complaints rose 44 percent in the first nine months of 2010, compared with the same period in 2009.

According to Verizon, the average number of out-of-service complaints has been about 100 per month this year, though the problems spiked to unacceptable levels in the summer months, Verizon spokesman Harry J. Mitchell said.

The phone company has taken steps to correct the problems, and "customer complaints have come down significantly since the summer months," he said.

Although it has told the commission, the communications giant would not say publicly what measures it had taken to fix the problems.

"Verizon classified virtually all of its reports as confidential," according to the SCC staff, which has objected to keeping the information from the public.

Its customer service measures are competitive secrets, the New York-based company said. Verizon also would not disclose how many customers it has in Virginia, though it did say it had lost 40 percent of its hardwired phone lines over the past decade.

According to the SCC, the increased out-of-service complaints involve:

• how long Verizon tells customers without phone service that they will have to wait before service can be restored;

• how Verizon gets customers to agree to go without service for extended periods;

• how long customers are without service while waiting for Verizon to make repairs;

• how often customers are without service;

• how long customers wait on the phone when trying to contact Verizon; and

• the effect on customers with medical needs.

In case of a service interruption, the SCC said, most Virginia phone customers should expect their landline service to be restored within 48 hours and no longer than 96 hours. Any customer who has a medical need should be back in operation within 24 hours.

The SCC said it continues to receive complaints from customers and government officials about Verizon's service.

From Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, the SCC received 3,601 complaints for all causes about Verizon Virginia Inc. and Verizon South Inc.

Verizon Virginia and Verizon South make up Verizon's landline operations in the state, and the commission refers to them both as Verizon in its proceedings.

The commission said it could direct the company to comply with current regulations or with other service standards. The commission also said it could fine the company or apply other penalties.

However, Mitchell said, "Verizon is both complying with the commission's rules and meeting its service obligations under Virginia law."

Fewer than 2 percent of the company's customers on average have an out-of-service problem in any given month, Mitchell said, and only a small fraction -- fewer than six in 100,000 -- file complaints about being out of service with the SCC.

"I'm not minimizing these complaints," Mitchell said. "Verizon is focused on delivering quality service for all its Virginia customers and, overall, we do just that."

Last year, the commission revised its rules governing the quality of local phone service in Virginia.

The new rules established minimum standards for protecting the public health and safety, the SCC, said, while allowing competition to offer customers choices exceeding the minimum requirements.

Veterans, Current Military Members Eat FREE On Veterans Day

LENEXA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas-based restaurant chain says it plans to give away more than a million free meals to military veterans and active-duty members on Thursday.

Applebee's says this will be the second year the meals are being offered at all of its nearly 1,900 restaurants across the U.S. on Veterans Day. More than 1 million current and former service members took the casual dining chain up on its offer last year, and the company expects even more to do so this year.

The company first offered free meals to veterans in select markets in 2008, then went nationwide with the offer last year.

Free meals will be offered from 11 a.m. to midnight for veterans and active-duty personnel who present proof of military service.

Crackdown On Sexual Exploitation of Children Launched By FBI

WASHINGTON -- More than five dozen child prostitutes have been found in the last three days as part of a nationwide crackdown on the sexual exploitation of children, the FBI said today.

FBI spokesman Jason Pack said 69 children were removed from prostitution and 99 suspected pimps were arrested in 40 cities across 30 states and the District of Columbia. Authorities arrested 785 other adults on a variety state and local charges, Pack said.

All the children found in the last three days have been placed into protective custody or returned to their families.

The children were found during Operation Cross Country V, a three-day roundup targeting child traffickers and pimps. The largest group of child prostitutes, 24, was found in and around Seattle, according to the FBI.

FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry said the children found ranged in age from 12 to 17. Authorities are working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to confirm their identities.

Henry said child prostitutes are often recruited by loose-knit groups that seek out kids who may be involved in drugs or runaways looking for a "responsible adult" to help them.

"There are groups of people out there preying on naive kids who don't have a good sense of the way of the world," Henry said. "Sometimes there's a threat of force, threats of violence. A lot these kids operate out of a sense of fear."

Since 2003, when the FBI and the Justice Department launched the Innocence Lost National Initiative, about 1,250 child prostitutes have been located and removed from prostitution.

Egg Recall - Simonella Found On Ohio Egg Farm

WASHINGTON (AP) - Evidence of salmonella has been found at an Ohio egg farm that's received financing from the owner of an Iowa egg farm that was behind a massive recall earlier this year.

Cal-Maine Foods Inc., the nation's biggest egg seller and distributor, said it is recalling 288,000 eggs the company had purchased from supplier Ohio Fresh Eggs after a test showed salmonella at the Ohio farm.

No illnesses have been reported. According to Cal-Maine Foods, the Ohio Fresh eggs were distributed to food wholesalers and retailers in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

In a statement from company officials, Ohio Fresh Eggs said the farm had held back eggs from the Croton, Ohio, barn where the salmonella was found. However, through discussions with the FDA, the company discovered that some eggs from that barn were mistakenly sent to a distributor.

"Ohio Fresh Eggs sincerely regrets the error made on our farm, and we apologize to our customer and to consumers who may have purchased the eggs," the officials said. "We are redoubling our efforts to ensure thorough and ongoing training of our workers so that this situation is not repeated."

Cal-Maine Foods said the FDA told them about the positive sample.

Earlier this year, salmonella was found on two Iowa egg farms, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms. The two companies recalled 550 million eggs in August when the products were linked to as many as 1,600 illnesses.

Austin "Jack" DeCoster owns Wright County Egg and has lent money to Ohio Fresh Eggs.

Ohio officials said DeCoster hid behind other farmers to get permits for the company in 2004. The permits listed two men who had put up just $10,000 apiece while DeCoster had pumped $126 million into the four farms, according to testimony in an administrative proceeding there. At the time, DeCoster had already been labeled a "habitual violator" of environmental laws in Iowa.

Ohio officials yanked the permits after learning about that, but an environmental appeals panel overturned that decision.

DeCoster has often tangled with the government. He has paid millions of dollars in state and federal fines over at least two decades for health, safety, immigration and environmental violations at his farms.

Medical Doctors Slash Some Drug Company Ties

CHICAGO (AP) - Doctors have sharply cut some financial ties to drug companies, thanks to increased scrutiny about relationships that critics say improperly influence medical treatment, a survey suggests.

The biggest change occurred in the number of doctors who accept drug company money for attending medical meetings, including covering travel to sometimes exotic locations. That fell from 35 percent in 2004 to 18 percent in last year, the survey found.

Other declines included a drop from 83 percent to 71 percent in the portion of doctors who said they let drug companies pay for food or drinks; and the portion who got free drug samples, which fell from 78 percent to almost 64 percent. Those were the two most frequently reported practices.

"These relationships often raise concerns that doctors' actions are motivated by what is best for their industrial partners rather than what is best for patients," said Eric Campbell, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He led the study and was part of a research team that conducted a previous survey in 2004.

Since then, concerns that financial ties to drug companies improperly influence doctors' treatment decisions have led to increased media attention, legislation, and policy changes at medical schools and even in the pharmaceutical industry.

Last year, a drug industry trade group enacted new voluntary restrictions including a recommended ban on giving doctors noneducational gifts and taking them to restaurants.

Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, an outspoken critic of doctor-drug industry relationships, called the survey results "really good news."

"It reflects physicians' growing awareness that industry is an inappropriate partner in patient care," said Fugh-Berman, an associate professor at Georgetown University. She was not involved in the study.

The researchers mailed questionnaires in May 2009 to randomly selected doctors, including internists, pediatricians, surgeons, heart specialists and psychiatrists. A total of 1,891 completed the surveys, or 64 percent. The researchers paid doctors $20 each as an incentive to respond.

Results were compared with the earlier survey and are published in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.

Despite the downward trend, the survey suggests most doctors still accept some drug company freebies, including brand-name drug samples. While patients may appreciate getting free medicine, those freebies strongly affect doctors' prescribing habits, Fugh-Berman said.

Doctors surveyed were asked how often they prescribed brand-name drugs when patients requested them, instead of cheaper generics. Doctors with industry ties were more likely to say they did so often than those without ties.

The study was funded by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession, which runs an online database detailing conflict of interest policies at academic medical centers nationwide.

Accomack County Sheriff's Deputies Make Arrest In Robbery

Still searching for accomplice
According to Major Todd Godwin, on 10/10/2010 at approximately 11:53 PM, the Accomack County Sheriffs Office received a report of an armed robbery that occurred at the Corner Mart in Oak Hall, Virginia. When deputies arrived on the scene, it was determined that 2 suspects had entered the store and robbed the clerk of an undisclosed amount of money and property. Both suspects fled the scene on foot prior to deputies arrival. There were no injuries during this incident.

On 11/2/2010, Dijon Ryheem Smith of New Church, Virginia was arrested and charged with Robbery and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, in regards to this incident. He is currently incarcerated in the Accomack County with bond denied.

Warrants have also been obtained for Denzel Maurice Timmons of Pocomoke, Maryland charging him with Robbery and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. Timmons has not been located to date and anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriffs Office at 757-787-1131 or 757-824-5666.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Maryland Police Chiefs To Take The Plunge For Special Olympics

OCEAN CITY -- Ocean City's newest ocean-plunge fundraiser will see law enforcement leaders from across Maryland start a new tradition with a frigid dip into the Atlantic for the Special Olympics.

As the associations of Maryland sheriffs and chiefs of police meet for a joint training conference in the resort next week, about 150 of them from 88 police agencies will spend Tuesday afternoon running and diving into the cold ocean water.

Though they'll be more than four miles north of the Boardwalk, the event will be known as the Chiefs & Sheriffs Boardwalk Plunge. Only members of law enforcement are eligible to participate. Each swimmer has to raise at least $50 to enter.

So far, police have raised about $14,000 with pre-registrations. Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino so far is in the Top 5 among all fundraising participants.

"I'm excited about it," she said. "I'm hoping the water's going to warm up a little bit. It's going to be kind of cool to be doing it in Ocean City."

Next week, the ocean temperature will be about 56 to 58 degrees, as long as there isn't a cold snap, according to Lee Gerachis, owner of Malibu's Surf Shop.

Several other chiefs also will participate, including Chief Michael Tabor of the Crisfield police and Chief Scott Keller of the Princess Anne police.

Keller said the annual police chiefs conference brings viewpoints of police all over the state and makes for great interaction among his peers for networking and training.

"It's close to here, so we don't have to drive all the way up to Sandy Point for that other one," said Keller, who also will be joined by his second-in-command, Capt. Warren Gadomski. "We got our bathing suits ready. It might be a little colder than we're used to."

Keller was referring to the Polar Bear Plunge held annually at Sandy Point State Park, in the shadow of the Chesapeake Bay bridge, an event hosted annually by Maryland State Police as a fundraiser for Special Olympics of Maryland.

Jumping into the Atlantic Ocean for charity isn't new to Ocean City. The annual Penguin Swim to benefit Atlantic General Hospital will celebrate its 17th year on New Year's Day.

All the police Special Olympics fundraisers fall under the umbrella of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the signature fundraiser for cops and Special Olympics worldwide.

Howard County Police Lt. John Newnan, who is chairman of Maryland's Torch Run, said the state of Maryland raises the most money worldwide for Special Olympics and that Maryland cops raised $4.1 million in the 2009-10 fundraising year, which ended in September.

"It's a pretty amazing movement, and we're all dedicated to it in our communities," he said.

Not every conference attendee will be braving the icy shorebreak on Tuesday.

"It's too damn cold," said Somerset County Sheriff Bobby Jones. "I might watch it from a balcony window. I got nothing against people who want to jump into the ocean in November, but I'm not going to do it."

Visit www.boardwalk

If you go

New Virginia Lawmakers Cite Ways They Would Cut Spending

Richmond, Va. Balance the budget. Rein in spending. Stick a hungry government bureaucracy on a diet.

Those were mantras of Virginia's Republican congressional candidates who won big in Tuesday's elections. But within weeks, the critics will move to the corridors of power and it will be their unbalanced budget and their national debt.

Within their immediate control are their $174,000 annual salary and an office budget of roughly $1.5 million. We asked Virginia's three Republican congressmen-elect what they personally are willing to cut.

Scott Rigell, who defeated Rep. Glenn Nye, D-2nd, promptly issued a series of reforms he says he will follow whether they are enacted into law or not.

The car dealer from Virginia Beach says he will roll back his congressional office budget to 2008 levels and allow government trips only on official business -- "real official business."

He has pledged a 12-year term limit and he wants to "reduce the incentive to stay in Congress" by replacing the current retirement system with a 403(b) match program.

He has even sketched out rules on mail -- "Only two direct-mail pieces will be sent each year, no closer than three months prior to an election, standardized in form and content, one page only, using recycled paper and black and white ink."

That kind of up-front commitment is smart politics on Rigell's part, said Steve Farnsworth, a political analyst at George Mason University.

"I think the one thing that voters cannot stand about politicians is hypocrisy," he said. "A congressman-elect who promises to cut his own office expenditures, that's absolutely a smart move for congressmen looking ahead to 2012. That's what people want to see."

A challenge for Republicans over the next two years will be to demonstrate that they can make change happen while they control the House but not the Senate or White House, he said. That split in power makes it virtually impossible to repeal the health-care legislation, for example.

"That's why it's such smart politics for Republicans to look at things that are more directly under their control, like their own office expenditures," he said.

. . .

Rigell's plan is pretty specific, and while the other congressmen-elect did not offer the same level of detail, they gave some insight during the campaigns.

State Sen. Robert Hurt, who defeated Rep. Tom Perriello, D-5th, has said he would vote to reduce the salary of members of Congress. His campaign also says he will use the franked mail system "only for legitimate constituent services."

The lawyer from Chatham said last week in a news conference about his transition plans that he doesn't anticipate greatly altering the number of district offices. There are four in addition to the Washington office.

"Right now I have no reason to believe that we'll change anything [that's] in place, but we will take a fresh look at that because obviously we want to make sure we're as accessible as possible," he said.

Congressman-elect H. Morgan Griffith of the 9th District has advocated for a 10 percent pay cut for Congress, and he wants to end the practice that allows members of Congress to lease a vehicle through the House of Representatives.

"There's got to be a lot of other things like that," he said.

If his pay-cut idea doesn't go over well with his colleagues, Griffith said he will donate the equivalent of a 10 percent cut into the 9th District to not-for-profit charitable organizations.

He said of his early ideas: "They're not going to solve the budget problem, but you've got to start somewhere."

The office budgets for the new Congress have not been decided, but Perriello's for 2010 was $1.46 million, Nye's was $1.48 million and Rep. Rick Boucher's was $1.5 million.

That allowance will not likely vary dramatically for the new members. It is supposed to cover the expenses congressmen incur as part of their official role, and it is based on three major components: staff salaries, office expenses and official mail.

Funding for salaries made up the largest component in 2010, at $944,671. House members can decide how many employees they hire and how much they pay them, but there are caps on how many and how much.

Office expenses include a travel stipend that varies based on the distance of the representative's district from Washington, as well as district office rental expenses. That also varies by member -- space in downtown Los Angeles will cost more than on Main Street in Chatham.

In general, however, members can spend the money as they see fit, as long it complies with federal and House rules. Spending on campaign or political purposes is a no-no, for example.

Voters serious about the spending-cut message this year likely will keep tabs on how their new congressmen operate on Capitol Hill.

"In the new Congress, the tea party's influence will be far larger than their numbers," Farnsworth said, "because so many Republicans are going to be looking over their shoulders wondering if the tea-party activists are going to run a Republican nomination opponent against them the next time they face the voters."

'Treats For Troops' Sends Candy To Warriors

WASHINGTON -- Supporting the troops can be so sweet, particularly when it involves sending them candy.

Mover Moms, a Bethesda-based community services group, packaged extra Halloween candy to send to members of the military stationed overseas in their annual "Treats for Troops" drive.

"I really want to put a smile on soldiers faces," says 8-year-old Amanda, whose mother, Rebecca Kahlenberg, put out the call for extra Halloween candy again this year to send to troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

This year is the biggest, involving thousands of people, she says. The group managed to fill up a 16-foot truck with candy.

"This one is about to bust," Kahlenberg says, adding her group will need an 18-wheeler next year.

Along with the candy, the group also collected notes to the soldiers from children in the D.C. area.

"Some of them say, 'My dad serves in the Navy, and I was so worried about him. And I am so happy to share my candy with you," says Kahlenberg.

USS Mahan Deploys

NORFOLK, Va. - Hundreds of local sailors said goodbye to their families Sunday morning as they headed out to sea on the USS Mahan.

I'm going to miss my family, but it's my job and you've got to do what you've got to do," said CTR1 Jason.

Jason has been on three different deployments, but said this is the first since he's had his son, and they did a lot to prepare for this goodbye.

"We celebrated our birthdays together. We went out and did a bunch of stuff together, as much as we could possibly do to, I guess, kind of make up for the time we'll miss and be going through."

The time these men and women will miss during their six month deployment includes the holidays. For 19 month-old Hayley, this will be her first time away from daddy.

"This is the first Christmas she'll actually understand opening the presents and everything," said Hayley's mother.

"It's hard, but you just deal with it and move on and be back as soon as we can," said FC2 Dustin Pelzel.

This is a routine mission for the sailors aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Mahan.

"The main thing we'll be heading out to do is maritime security operations and that kind of runs the gamut, everything from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, to promoting peace and security and stability in the maritime areas around the world," said Commander Kurt Mahan.

This deployment is something the Dominguez's have never experienced.

"It's his first deployment, I'm a first time wife, so, navy wife, first time being separated for this long, so, it's getting kind of emotional and it's just that I'm pregnant, so," said Mrs. Dominguez and her husband.

It was an emotional day for everyone pierside. Fathers and mothers held their little ones tight, preparing for that six month separation. Everyone made the same promise.

"I love her and I'll be back soon enough," said one sailor.

Pocomoke YMCA Names New Director

POCOMOKE CITY -- The Lower Shore Family YMCA has a new executive director, Dan Prescott, who is not a stranger to a YMCA backstage.

Prescott comes to Pocomoke City from Hagerstown, Md., where he served as program director and senior director of that YMCA. He also served a stint in Farmville, Va. The new director learned of the opening in Pocomoke City from Rich Stover, CEO of the Mid-Delmarva Family YMCA; they had collaborated on several programs.

Prescott said his first task is to find ways to get more involved with the community. This includes working with organizations in the Pocomoke City area. He's hoping in this way, more people will visit the YMCA to take advantage of the facility.

The Y includes many facilities -- a large indoor pool, three gym courts, a fitness center and an aerobic center -- under its roof. The outdoor facilities include a pond, a ropes course, a paved walking/running track and four bike trails through the forest.

Programs for kids include an after-school program and a day camp during the summer. At present, 34 kids are signed up for the after-school program, which is still not at full capacity. Some of their activities include schoolwork, a fitness program and swimming.

Because Pocomoke High School is being renovated, the sports teams have been using the fields at the YMCA. While using the fields, the school has been maintaining them and has helped in installing lights for nighttime use.

Once the new fields at PHS are completed and the teams return, the YMCA fields will be available for use by the center for such sports as soccer, baseball and softball.

Prescott said all programs at the YMCA are available for members and nonmembers. There are scholarships for people who cannot afford the cost of the membership.

The branch Prescott now manages includes people from southern Worcester County, southern Somerset and northern Accomack County. Anyone who has a membership here is also a member of the Mid-Shore YMCA in Salisbury and the newly-opened branch in Chincoteague.

Two major fundraisers for the local YMCA are the Masquerade Ball in late winter and a triathlon in early June. The branch also plans to begin its annual campaign for funds sometime next month.

The Lower Shore Family YMCA has also been the host for the South Worcester Relay for Life for the past several years, which has attracted hundreds of participants.

"Come talk to us if you have an idea for a program," Prescott said.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


This is like finding Waldo, see if you can find a guilty charge. I went over this last week and Mr Todd chimed in to explain the Nole Prose' process but is it really this many going to a higher court? I mean most of the crimes that I see in these court briefs require some sort of punishment but to send them to a higher court seams like a big waste of the court and the S. A.'s time.

So here ya go, I'll highlight the crime and the punishment for those that just want to scan over this without reading the whole brief.

Enjoy, I know the crooks did.

The following cases were heard in Worcester County District Court in Snow Hill by Judge Gerald V. Purnell on Oct. 15, Oct. 19, Oct. 25, Oct. 26 and Oct. 28.

  • Matthew G. Butler, 25, of the 10 block of Central Avenue, Pocomoke City, was charged with harass: a course of conduct. Nol pros was entered.


  • George Dale Scruggs, 39, of the 12000 block of Whisper Trace Drive, Ocean City, was charged with assault second degree. The verdict was probation before judgment.

  • Joshua Whaley, 27, of the 11000 block of Steam Mill Hill Road, Whaleyville, was charged with malicious destruction of  valued at less than $500.propertyThe verdict was merged. 

  • Joseph Scot Pietroski, 36, of the 100 block of Crockett Avenue, Fruitland, was charged with two counts of assault second degree.The verdict for both charges was not guilty.

  • Anthony Lamar Salters, 42, of the 12000 block of Pony Rest Lane, Ocean City, was charged with assault second degree. The verdict was not guilty.

  • Sandra Kelly Fried, 51, of the 13000 block of North Shore Road, Ocean City, was charged with assault second degree. Nol pros was entered.

  • William Robert Mathews, 44, of the 12000 block of Snug Harbor Road, Berlin, was charged with disorderly conduct. Nol pros was entered.

  • Jennifer Lynn Greenwell, 19, of the 600 block of Swan Drive, Deale, Md., was charged with theft of less than $100. Nol pros was entered.

  • Editors Note: And you are going to LOVE this one....

  • James Edward Ballard, 29, of the 400 block of Bank Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with murder -- first degree, murder -- second degree, manslaughter and assault -- first degree. Nol pros was entered for all charges. Ballard faces murder and assault charges in Worcester Circuit Court, with trial set for Jan. 12.

  • Edward Joseph Rossiter, 49, of the 28000 block of Woodcrest Drive, Harbeson, Del., was charged with dangerous weapon -- conceal. The charge was placed on the stet docket.

  • Ronnie Lee Schoolfield, 25, of the 1000 block of Clarke Avenue, Pocomoke City, was charged with possession of controlled dangerous substance -- not marijuana and possession of marijuana. The verdict was guilty for the first charge and merged for the second charge.  YES, A GUILTY CHARGE YIPEEE


  • Richard Lee Huffman, 21, of the 500 block of Bay Street, Berlin, was charged with unauthorized removal of property. The verdict was guilty. NO WAY, TWO IN A ROW??

  • Kevin Watson Melson, 19, of the 5000 block of Little Mill Road, Stockton, was charged with two counts of handgun in vehicle and two counts of handgun on person. The verdict was probation before judgment for the first charge. Nol pros was entered for the other charges.

  • Loynial M. Sturgis, 31, of the 700 block of Sixth Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with possession of marijuana. The verdict was probation before judgment.

  • Kane P. Cottman, 22, of Fourth Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with disorderly conduct and failure to obey. Both charges were placed on the stet docket.

  • Debra Davis, 46, of the 500 block of Moore Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with two counts of assault second degree. Both charges were placed on the stet docket.

  • Sherly Young, no date of birth listed, of the 800 block of Pit Circle Road, Pocomoke City, was charged with assault second degree and reckless endangerment. Both charges were placed on the stet docket.

  • Cheryl Shipe, no date of birth given, of the 8000 block of Gumboro Road, Pittsville, was charged with burglary fourth degree theft and false statement to officer. Nol pros was entered for both charges.

  • Joseph Ralph Frontera, 41, of the 600 block of Ocean Parkway, Berlin, was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia, causing standing vehicle to obstruct free vehicle passage of roadway, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol, driving on suspended license and privilege, driving on revoked license and privilege and driving with alcohol in blood in violation of restriction. Nol pros was entered for all charges.

  • Karen Lynn Braun, 36, of the 7000 block of McCabes Corner Road, Snow Hill, was charged with false statement to officer. Nol pros was entered.

  • Paul Earl Prettyman, 35, of the 7000 block of McCabes Corner Road, Snow Hill, was charged with false statement to officer. Nol pros was entered. 


  • Steven Aaron Littleton, 37, of the 9000 block of Executive Lane, Delmar, Md., was charged with animal cruelty failure to provide. The verdict was not guilty.


  • Timothy Charles Sheffer, 20, of the 1000 block of Reynolds Court, Crofton, Md., was charged with possession of marijuana. The charge was placed on the stet docket.

  • Ashley Schoolfield, 26, of the 600 block of Young Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with malicious destruction of property valued at more than $500. The charge was placed on the stet docket with the condition of restitution to be paid to the victim in the amount of $1,885 by Oct. 19, 2011.

  • Sherri Lynette Smith, 20, of the 10000 block of Old Ocean City Boulevard, Berlin, was charged with malicious destruction of property valued at less than $500. The charge was placed on the stet docket with the condition of restitution to be paid to the victim in the amount of $1,118.22 by Feb. 15, 2011 as condition of state.

  • Hakeem Salim McBride, 20, of the 10 block of Wendy Court, Pocomoke City, was charged with possession of controlled dangerous substance -- not marijuana. Nol pros was entered.

  •   The following cases were heard in Worcester County District Court in Snow Hill by Judge Lloyd O. Whitehead on Oct. 22.

  • Alfreda Beulah Corbin, 48, of the 700 block of Fifth Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with theft of less than $100. The verdict was guilty.  YIPEEEEEEEEE... ANOTHER ONE

  • Sam Joseph Thompson, 20, of the 400 block of South Church Street, Snow Hill, was charged with possession of controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. Nol pros was entered for the first charge. The verdict for the second charge was probation before judgment.

  • Darryl Lee Whaley, 53, of the 500 block of Philadelphia Avenue, Ocean City, was charged with conspiracy -- controlled dangerous substance manufacture/distribute narcotics. The charge was placed on the stet docket.

  • Johnny Lee Collins Jr., 24, of the 9000 block of Honeysuckle Road, Berlin, was charged with possession of controlled dangerous substance -- not marijuana. The verdict was guilty.


  • Dominic Royal Gilbert, 19, of the 200 block of Beck Farm Road, Centreville, Md., was charged with possession of controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia. The verdict was probation before judgment. 


  • Maximo Jauregui, 49, of the 2000 block of Ladymeade Drive, Silver Spring, Md., was charged with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol. Nol pros was entered.

  • Maximo Felipe Jauregui, 49, of the 2000 block of Ladymeade Drive, Silver Spring, Md., was charged with exceeded speed limit of 6 knots. Nol pros was entered.

  • Maximo Felipe Jauregui, 49, of the 2000 block of Ladymeade Drive, Silver Spring, Md., was charged with negligent operation. Nol pros was entered.

  • Keith Lafey Gray, 20, of the 400 block of Bank Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with possession of marijuana. The charge was placed on the stet docket.

  • Garry Bicille Waples, 54, of the 10000 block of Trappe Road, Berlin, was charged with trespassing on posted property, possession of controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia, three counts of controlled dangerous substance possession with intent to distribute, four counts of controlled dangerous substance possession with intent to distribute narcotics, possession of marijuana and six counts of possession of controlled dangerous substance possession -- not marijuana.Nol pros was entered for all charges.

  • Roxanne Soley, 43, of the 500 block of Walnut Street, Pocomoke City, was charged with assault second degree. Nol pros was entered.

  • John Ardis Onley III, 47, of the 27000 block of Main Street, Hallwood, Va., was charged with indecent exposure. Nol pros was entered.

  • April Jackson, 30, of the 100 block of Flower Street, Berlin, was charged with assault second degree. The verdict was not guilty.

  • And there you have it..

    Body Found By Park Ranger At Assateague National Seahore

    BERLIN, Md. - Investigators with the Worcester County Bureau of Investigations said Sunday, that a federal park ranger discovered the body of a white male Saturday afternoon along the northern side of Assateague National Park.

    According to investigators, the body appears to have washed ashore within 24 hours of the discovery.

    WCBI described the body to be that of a white male, 5'7" and 140 to 160 pounds. They said the body was clothed in Levi blue jeans and a black Patagonia belt.

    A check with local law enforcement agencies revealed there were no reports of any missing person or reports of any missing crew members off of local vessels.

    The body remains have been sent to Baltimore for an Autopsy. Anyone with any information regarding the description given, please contact Cpl Johnson of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation at 443-783-0441 or the MD State Police, Berlin Barrack at 410-641-

    Mayor and Council Meeting Monday Night

    POCOMOKE CITY -- The City Council and mayor are scheduled to hold the city's monthly meeting Monday at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

    The council will discuss regulations requiring the installation of sprinklers in new single-family homes, a letter from the Jenkins Orchard Homeowners Association concerning storm drainage and a letter concerning bow hunting on city property on Dunn Swamp Road.

    Call 410-957-1333 or visit www.cityof

    Is Daylight Saving Time Still A Good Idea?

    WASHINGTON - You'll be moving your clocks back an hour this weekend. But is daylight saving time -- something thought up by Ben Franklin -- really necessary in the 21st century?

    David Prerau, author of "Seize the Daylight" says it is still useful.

    "One of the major benefits of daylight saving time today is to save energy," he says.

    Prerau says the extension of daylight saving time a few years ago saved .5 percent of energy every day. It also spreads out energy usage, so power companies can produce energy more efficiently.

    But energy savings aren't the only benefits. Prerau says DST reduces traffic accidents too.

    "In fact in some countries, like Great Britain, they consider it the major advantage of daylight saving time," he says.

    Prerau says DST gives an hour more light in the evening.

    "In most places there's much more traffic in the evening than in the morning, so it gives that a saving of 1 to 2 or 3 percent a day of traffic accident fatalities."

    Opponents say darker mornings aren't safe for kids who are traveling to school. Farmers also say they're against DST because they have to adjust their schedules to the sun.

    Standard time returns at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, while DST returns the second Sunday in March.

    Meanwhile, with changing clocks already on residents' minds, firefighters across the country say this also is a good time to check your smoke detectors.

    On an average day in the United States, about eight people die in house fires. Capt. Willie Bailey, with the Fairfax County Fire Department, says most of those deaths could be prevented.

    "There's a probably 90 percent chance that if you have working smoke alarms in every room on every level that you would get out of this home safely," Bailey says.

    Bailey says smokes alarms should be tested every month, and you should practice your escape routes every six months.

    LAST WORD OF THE WEEK: Win Or Lose- Meals Tax Was A Bad Idea!

    by, Ted Shockley

    Earlier this year, the Accomack County School Board was staring down the barrel of $3 million in state funding cuts. The Board of Supervisors instead gave the school system $730,000 to cover the shortfall.

    The result wasn't good. The school system couldn't afford to enhance programs or salaries. It had to reduce 52 positions. Class sizes grew. Support staff was lost.

    It was during this gloomy time that the seeds of Accomack's proposed meals tax were planted.

    It was a strange idea for elected leaders supposedly looking out of the best interests of public education -- let voters in the state's most overweight county decide whether to pay more for fried chicken and hushpuppies, the taxes on which could raise between $500,000 and $700,000 annually for schools.

    Maybe I'm a distrustful skeptic, but I was convinced that there was no way for Accomack's public schools to win with this referendum, no matter how voters cast their ballots.

    It was a short-sighted, ill-advised measure and a strange corner in which to push our children's futures.

    Had it passed, I feared the public schools would have never received a penny more in new funding than the meals tax would have provided.

    I feared that the county would have cut its contribution to the school system by the amount of the meals tax revenues -- if the meals tax generated $600,000, the county would reduce its contribution to schools by $600,000.

    I feared meals tax proceeds would have forever been held against the school system by taxpayers and the Board of Supervisors, as in, "Why are you asking for more; you already get the meals tax money."

    I feared that the meals tax proceeds would have been plowed into debt service for school buildings and not operations money to help teachers and students.

    But the meals tax failed, and now my fear is that elected officials will try to twist the results into a referendum on increased local funding for schools.

    Elected leaders and governmental skinflints will suggest that county voters don't support new education money because they voted against it on Tuesday.

    That would be wrong. The only message sent at the polls on Tuesday is that residents of the most obese county in Virginia do not want to pay more for fries and pies.

    Did I say it was a strange corner in which to push our children's futures?

    Accomack's public budget negotiations will begin in a few months. Public school systems need local increases each year to develop a career staff, grow educational programs and ensure our greatest resource is well-prepared for the future.

    Local elected officials should make this the area's hallmark priority. Local parents, proponents and products of public education should demand it be supported by something besides a tax on food.

    The state's obesity capital can tolerate taxes on land, cars, boats and businesses, but we draw the line at doughnuts and cheeseburgers.

    The problem is, I think our county leaders knew that.

    Maybe our local officials should concentrate on getting the back taxes collected from property owners before they put another tax on already overtaxed residents. Or were they planning on tourism? Either one, not a good idea and thank goodness the voters were able to tell them.

    Delmarva Power Offers Mini Grants

    SALISBURY -- Delmarva Power is accepting applications for its annual Education Mini-Grant Program. This program provides classroom teachers with grants of up to $500 to support innovative projects that are geared toward energy-related issues, such as wise energy use, local conventional and alternative energy resources, energy-related science content and electric safety. The grant money can be used for purchasing materials, conducting special lessons, taking field trips and implementing special classroom projects that are not usually funded by school districts.

    Grants are available to public and private school teachers in kindergarten through twelfth grade and special education in Kent and Sussex counties in Delaware and in Cecil, Harford and the Eastern Shore counties in Maryland.

    Applications are available in schools or by calling 410-860-6586. The application deadline is Friday, Nov. 12.