Sunday, November 28, 2010

The History Of Pocomoke By Murray James (22)

Formerly New Town. 163 CHAPTER XXV!. 


The temperance cause as a distinct organization was unknown in the early history of New Town. The only thing- bordering on temperance was the denunciations against drunkenness from the sacred desk, which declared that " drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Notwithstanding this first out-beaming ol the temperance cause from the pulpit, professed Christians would some- times be seen with flushed cheeks and tongues unbridled, as the result of the too frequent use of the glass.

Indeed, the habit of drinking spirituous liquors, with the exception of a very few. was quite common in families, in social gatherings and in business life. In all these relations the social glass was indulged in freely. I have already stated in another part of this history that to be successful in merchandising it was considered absolutely necessary to sell liquor. Hence all who engaged in the sale oi goods, without an exception, sold spirituous liquors. In view of this state of things it cannot be wondered at that there should be drunkards and a plenty of them too. While the vender would fatten upon his ill-gotten gains,

164 History of Pocomoke City,

his victims with their families and children would be left destitute, in want and clothed in rags, and sometimes it was the case that the wives and little ones would be sitting over a lew coals of fire contemplating their wretched condition, with scarcely a ray of hope for the future, with no refuge to fly to except to Him who heareth in secret.

Oh ! how many broken-hearted wives have poured forth their bitter cries for help in His Almighty ear and told their tale of sorrow and inquired of Him, " How long, O Lord, how long shall this state of things last?" Well, their prayers have been answered, but not in stopping the vender from his wholesale ruin of men, women and chil- dren ; not in restoring to her former condition of happiness rand joy that mother who was being murdered by piece meal; not in restoring to hope and cheerfulness the forlorn condition of the little children. But their prayers have been answered in another way.

Time rolled on and brought its changes. The vender with his victims have passed away to a future reckoning, and to that tribunal whose decisions are in righteousness. If I could, I would call the vender back and inquire of him who they are that accuse him before the throne, for their name is legion. There was no material change in society upon the subject of temperance until 1835, when the Rev. Mr. Dorsey of the Baltimore conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church came down here and lectured upon that subject, and organized a temperance society. That society only forbade the use of spirituous

Formerly New Town. 165

liquors as a beverage. Up to this time all the stores sold spirituous liquors. The first one to break ground and give up the sale of it was Rev. John D. Long who was at that time but a youth not having arrived to his majority. He had but recently joined the Methodist Episcopal Church and listening to the lecture became convinced that the sale of it was wrong and determined to give up the practice forthwith.

It is true that Mr. Long sold goods at the ferry, now the bridge, on the identical spot where the phospate factory now stands, but I associate him, in this instance, with New Town, because he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church here, because his associations were here, and because he was identified with the temperance movement in New Town. He was telling a veteran Methodist of his determination to quit selling liquor, when the old soldier said to him "Brother Long if it is wrong for you to sell it, it is wrong for me to distil it." Forthwith they abandoned the manufacture and sale of it.

The temperance cause now began to be agitated in New Town. In 1836, Wm. Townsend opened the first store for the sale of goods, without spirituous liquors, in new Town. After awhile the old Washingtonian club of reformed drunkards, which was organized in the City of Baltimore, began to create a stir in favor of temperance. Some of their number came down here and lectured. Thus the temperance cause progressed until the organization of the Sons of Temperance, in 1847.

The Sons of Temperance, 166 History of Pocomoke City,

was also a beneficial society, it prospered for a while and seemed to be well adapted to the circumstances of the times. During its palmy days, the society built a fine temperance hall, which at present is owned by C. C. Lloyd, Esq., and has been occupied by him, as a drug store, for several years past. The upper story was in one entire room, and was occupied by the society. The lower room was fitted for store purposes, and was first occupied by Irving Merrill, Esq., who sold goods on strictly temperance principles.

The society had placed in the gable end of the building a marble slab, with the following carved upon it : " New Town Division, Number 43, Sons of Tem- perance, instituted March 29th, 1847 ; ' which still exists as a monument of the prosperity of the temperance cause at that day. This society existed, however, but a few years, when it was dissolved and the beautiful temple was sold, and went into other hands.

In 1870, another temperance society was organized in New Town, with the name of Good Templars. This society was also of short duration, it existed about two years, when it also became extinct. From 1872 to 1881, there has been no regular temperance society in New Town, now Pocomoke City. During 1881, a society was organized in the place, in support of Local Option Reform, and the friends of temperance are mustering their forces for victory. But while temperance societies have been organized and dissolved, it only shows that the war. for the extirpation of spirituous liquors, in

Formerly New Town. 167 Pocomoke City,

has been going on without any compromise. The churches also have kept up the war cry and are pressing hard upon this demon of destruction, and they are forcing him, by the power of the Gospel, to surrender.

If the question should be asked by a stranger, what are the signs of complete victory for the cause of temperance in Pocomoke City ? This question will be answered in the following way : whereas, in 1836, every store in New Town sold spirituous liquors, now in 1882, there are thirty-two business houses in Pocomoke City, and not one of them sells it except the apothecaries who sell it as a medicine. So thorough has been the revolution in society, upon the subject of temperance, that I might venture the prediction that there is no one who could, now, succeed in merchandising, in Pocomoke City, who would also sell liquor.

It is true that there are two places in Pocomoke City where spirituous liquors are sold as a beverage, one is a saloon the other is the hotel bar, but the friends of temperance, I am apprehensive, will not cease their efforts until these places will be so restricted by legislation that it will not pay to sell it.

168 History of Pocomoke City, 


The schools are a very important factor in making up the history of New Town, now Pocomoke City, and I have no doubt a description of the school in its early history, together with the school-house, will be quite interesting. The school-house was sixteen square : it had two doors and two windows, and there was a writing desk which reached nearly across the room, and benches without backs for the scholars to sit upon. This school-house stood on a piece of ground facing on Second and Cedar Streets, about twenty feet on Second Street and running down Cedar Street about seventy-five feet to the junction of Captain John H. Clarke's and Captain Jas. H. Young's lines. This piece of ground belongs to the heirs of Wm J. Long, deceased. It formerly belonged to David Long, the falher of William J. Long, and he charged twenty-five cents rent for it, which was done simply to hold possession of it. The old school-house stood on this piece of ground and was occupied for school purposes until 1837 or 1838, when it was sold and went into other hands.

If the youthful reader is anxious to see the old school-house in which their parents and grand-parents were educated, they

Formerly New Town. 169

will find it occupied as a kitchen at the corner of Commerce and Walnut Streets, the property being owned by Thomas S. Stevenson, Esq. The only teachers of whom I have any information or knowledge in the early history of New Town were : George Furnis, a Mr. McFadden, Levi Bishop, Samuel Carey, Michael Murray, Dr. John B. H. W. Clarvoe and James Stevenson. These were all good teachers of the branches of education which they taught.

The different branches taught were letters, spelling, reading, writing, and arithmetic. When a scholar could cipher through Pike's Arithmetic, understanding]}-, he was considered a finished scholar in that school. Steel pens were not then invented and writing was done with pens made out of goose quills. It was one part of the teacher's duties to make pens for the scholars, and when scholars had learned sufficiently to make a pen out of a goose quill, they were advancing finely. Although the teachers of this school taught but few of the branches of common English comparatively, yet so thorough was the training that there are but few now, if any, who would surpass the scholars of that school in these branches. The boys in that school would sometimes have a little fun, sometimes with the teacher and sometimes with each other. For instance : the scholars had to get lessons in the definitions in the spelling book, this they called grammar. Some who had to get those lessons and recite them to the teacher had been out too long, at play, they would resort .to the older scholars to put them through in a hurry,

170 History of Pocomoke City,

"Well!" says the advisor:' when you go up to say your lesson commencing with ball a round substance, yon- say b-a-l-l, cattle or horses." In these lessons the scholar was required to spell the word and define it. The time for recitation came. "Well!'' says the teacher, "commence ! ' scholar: b-a-double-l ball." Teacher. Well!' what does that signify ? ' Scholar : "cattle or horses." Teacher. "Cattle or horses!,!' Scholar. "Yes sir. Cattle or horses ! ' The teacher having his black gum switch by his side commenced giving it to him che-wi-o r che-wi-o, until he had given him a good sound thrashing and then sent him to his seat to get his lesson better.

In 1835, Gecrge S. Redden, Esq., commenced teaching school here. He taught, in addition to the other branches which had been taught, English grammar and geography. With him dates the beginning or introduction of these branches of education in the school in New Town, and with him begins, also, the day of progress in the pursuit of scholarly attainments. Mr. Redden taught school in New Town at two different periods, but how long I cannot say. He was born in New Town, in 1803, after going to school until he was old enough to go to a trade, he was then apprenticed to Jacob Rogers, in the City of Baltimore, to learn the hatting business. While he was an apprentice he went to a night school, taught by Mr. Kirkham, author of Kirkham's grammar. After his majority, he commenced the hatting business in New Town. How long he continued I have no definite knowledge, but probably not more than two years, after which he returned to Baltimore and continued there until 1835, when he returned again to New Town, and commenced as before stated, to teach school.

Formerly New Town. 171

After he gave up the school in this place, he taught in the schools on the Western Shore of Maryland and in the Academy in Snow Hill, during which time he read law, graduated and practiced at the Snow Hill Bar. Mr. Redden was one of the most intellectual young men of his day, that was raised in New Town. He died in the City of Baltimore about the year 1868, aged sixty-five years. Dr. John L. Hearn succeeded Mr. Redden. As I have given a history of Dr. Hearn under another heading, I will here pass him by. In 1838, the old Academy was built and Dr. William Marsters was employed to take charge of the school. He remained, however, but a short time, and afterwards settled near Ouantico, in Somerset County, now Wicomico County, and graduated in medicine and practiced till he died, which event occurred but recently. A Mr. Schooler succeeded Dr. Marsters and taught in the Academy until, probably, 1842, when he resigned the position and went away. Of his antecedents I have no data upon which to write his history. Nehemiah Holland succeeded Mr. Schooler, and taught school two or three years. He finally resigned the position on account of feeble health, and went South. He settled in Texas, where he read law, graduated and practiced his profession until his death, which event occurred but recently.

172 History of Pocomoke City*

Mr. Holland was a native of Worcester County, Md., and a brother of Mrs. L.Jane Dennis, widow of the late John U. Dennis, of this county. He was a graduate of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Mr. Holland was a christian gentleman in the highest sense of that term. I have already stated that George S. Redden taught two terms in New Town, his second term followed Mr. Holland, then followed in succession : Mr. McGarry, George W. Curtis, C. C. Holtzman, Edward W. Stevenson, J. Allen Graves, Dr. Joseph L. Mills anel Rev. Joseph L. Polk. During Mr. Polk's charge of the Academy, the High School Building was erected, which was in 1867. The Academy was occupied for school purposes twenty-nine years, when it was sold and went into other hands. It is at present owned by Ralph Ross, Esq., and is occupied as a carpenter shop, on Commerce Street. Messrs. McGarrey, Curtis anel Holtzman were strangers of whose antecedents I have no knowledge, and consequently can only say of Mr. McGarrey and Mr. Holtzman that they were good teachers ; but of Mr. Curtis I have this to say : that it was conceded, by the citizens of New Town, that he was the best teacher that had taught school in New Town up to his day. He did not, however, continue long in New Town. He finally removed to Harford County, Maryland, where he established a school of high grade, preparatory for college, and is principal of the same to the present day.

Formerly New Town. 173

Edward W. Stevenson succeedeel Mr. VIZ Holtzman and taught school in the Academy for nine years. Mr. Stevenson is a native of New Town. He received his education partly in New Town and partly in the Snow Hill Academy. After he resigned his position as teacher in the New Town Academy, he moved to Philadelphia where he engaged in mercantile pursuits. After being there for sometime, he removed to Marietta, Ohio, where he still resides and is still engaged in mercantile business. Mr. Stevenson is a man of high moral character, and is living to bless the present generation with a fine family of prosperous children, who will no doubt make their mark in due time.

J. Allen Graves succeeded Mr. Stevenson in the principalship of New Town Academy. How long he occupied the position I cannot say, and of whose history I have no information, consequently I can only say that lie was an acceptable teacher.

Dr. Joseph L. Mills succeeded Mr. Graves in the Academy. He was born in New Town, Md. in 1840. 1 he was left at an early day without father or mother, but was tenderly and carefully raised by his grandmother. He had all the advantages of education in the New Town Academy, until he was old enough to go to a trade. His grandmother then placed him under the care of James T. Dickinson of this place to learn the cabinet and undertaking business. Some time after his majority he was united in marriage to Miss Marietta Dickinson, daughter of James T. Dickinson. At an early day Mr. Mills connected himself with the Methodist Protestant Church, and it was not long before the Church discovered that he had talents lying dormant that ought to be called into exercise, and soon he was licensed to preach, and afterwards was received in the Maryland Annual Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church as a traveling preacher.

174 History of Pocomoke City,

He had not traveled long, however, before his health failed and he was induced to retire from the active work for awhile. It was during this retirement that we have him before us as principal of the New Town Academy. He had for his assistants, his wife Mrs. Marietta Mills and Miss Mary M. Hearn. It was under his tutelage that the school seemed to spring into new life, and some of the scholars learned as thev never had before. He did not, however, teach more than, probably, two years, when his health was sufficiently restored to enter again the active work of the ministry. Dr. Mills is quite a popular preacher in his denomination; he has filled several prominent appointments in that church, and he had, several years ago for distinguished abilities, the Doctor of Divinity confered upon him. Dr. Mills is yet, but in the prime of his life and reflects great credit upon his birth place. There were two other schools in New Town beside the Academy, one was the Parish School, which was under the supervision and control of the Rector of the Protestant Episcopal Church. It was organized in 1847. This school was taught severally by the following ladies, Mrs. Lore, the Misses Magruder, Mary O'Dell, Mary Canon, Jennie Adams, Mary Crosdale and Clementine Meziek. All •competent and faithful teachers.

Formerly New Town. 175

The other school was organized in 1855. It was gotten up in view of the Academy being over crowded with scholars, and it was also thought to be more suitable for girls and smaller boys. This school was taught severally by the following persons, Mrs. Rev. William Merrill, Mrs. Leach J. Stewart, the Misses Emma Huston, Cynthia Primrose, Serena Hall, Rose Humphries, Mary E. Truitt, Millie Stevenson, Nettie Clayville and Rev. William Wilkinson. These were all well qualified as teachers, some of them being graduates of Seminaries.

176 History of Pocomoke City,


I In 1865, The General Assembly of Maryland passed a general free school bill for the state, and in 1867, the High School Building, in New Town, was erected. Its dimensions were fifty-six, by forty feet. It is two stories high, with two vestibules fourteen by twenty feet, containing in all six school rooms and two vestibules. Four of these rooms are twenty eight by forty feet, and two of them are fourteen by twenty feet, and will furnish sittings for, probably, three hundred scholars. This High School Building has been pronounced, by the Superintendent of the Public Schools of Maryland to be the finest building of the kind on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It stands on a plat of ground on about three acres, in an eligible part of the town. It is well laid out with trees of different kinds, and is enclosed with a plank fence, with a good hedge coming on. The tree public High School of New Town was opened in 1867, with Rev. Joseph L. Polk as principal. His successors in that office were, William X. Page, R. K.W 'imbroughand Dr. Sidney W. Handy who is the present principal. They have had the following named persons associated with them as assistant teachers, Nettie O'Daniel. Mary M. Hearn, Charles H. Council, Millie Primrose, John W. Murray, George S. Bell, Eudora E. Hay, Ebenezer Hearn, Julius T. Hall, Richard A. Wilson Fannie Matthews, Maggie Webb, Rose Tull, Hillary T. Stevenson, John S. McMaster, William S. Dix, Emma Robinson, Ella Scott, Rose Marshall and Sally Henderson.

Formerly New Town. 177

The school is graded into primary, grammar and High School departments, and is at present taught by the principal and five assistant teachers, who are infusing a spirit into their scholars, to excel. There have already gone out, from this school, young men well qualified for any position to which any of the various callings of life might invite them. Some are ministers, some physicians, some lawyers and some teachers. While there are others filling the most important places of trust and responsibility in business life. Many of the young ladies, who have graduated at this school, are teaching various schools in this and the adjoining county. I shall close the subject of the High School and the grand work it is performing, by giving a brief sketch of the principal and teachers, or make such remarks in regard to them as I may be able.

178 History of Pocomoke City,

The Rev. Joseph L. Polk, was born near Princess Anne, in Somerset County, Md and was educated in the academy of that place, and at Jefferson College, Penn. After graduating at the latter place with honor, the degree of A. M. was confered upon him. He then commenced teaching school in Dorchester County, Md; but feeling that he was called to preach the gospel, he entered the theological seminary at Princeton, X. J., where he remained for two years, when he received a unanimous call to become the Pastor of the Pitts Creek, Presbyterian Church at New Town, Md. To this work he gave his earnest and ardent efforts, and was very successful. When the New Town High School was established in its new and handsome buildings. Mr. Polk desirous of seeing the cause of education placed upon a higher and more advanced plane, was induced to apply for the position of principal, to which he was appointed by the County Board of School Commissioners. For this position he was peculiarly fitted, having a deep interest in the young, and being a natural educator and fond of the work, and withal a man of large public spirit, he entered upon this work with energy and zeal. Being aided by a competent corps of teachers, this school was at once placed in the front rank and was soon recognized as the best organized and most successful school on the Eastern Shore.

Parents from the adjoining counties and some from a distance recognized the character of the school, and wishing to have their children under its instruction, availed themselves of this opportunity, and the school increased in numbers until over three hundred pupils names were on the school registers.

Formerly New Town. 179
Then it became necessary to enlarge the corps of teachers and two or three more assistants were added. To Rev. Joseph L. Polk the citizens of Pocomoke City and vicinity owe more perhaps than they are aware of, for while the work of education went gradually on without ostentation or display on his part, it is a fact that whatever success has attained by and through this institution, it is due largely to his ability and to his wise and judicious management in the organization and conduct of the school.

As a minister he was popular and greatly beloved by his church. After serving them faithfully for seventeen years he was urged to take charge of the Academy at Newark, Del., and he felt constrained by a sense of duty to his growing family to resign his charge and accept tinproffered position.

180 History of Pocomotce City, Md.
Mr. Wm, N. Page succeeded Mr. Polk as principal of the High School. He, however, only remained one year in that position. He was a native of Virginia; he had a fine education and was a high-toned Christian gentleman. After resigning the position he returned to Virginia again.

In 1872, Mr. Richard Iv. Wimbrough succeeded Mr. Page in the principalship of the High School and held that position for three years. Richard Kelly Wimbrough, the son of a respectable farmer, was born in Accomac County, Va-, in the year 1843. At an early age he lost both of his parents and came under the guardian care of Mr. Nehemiah W. Nock, a farmer and merchant of Mappsville in Accomac County. This gentleman took young Mr. Wimbrough to live with him, treated him with great kindness and sent him to school whenever there happened to be any school open near enough for him to attend. At ten years of age he had him apprenticed in Snow Hill, to learn the trade of a tailor. Nothing was observed at this time either in the young apprentice's conduct or disposition that indicated for himself a career different from that of other boys of his class and circumstances ■ in other words, it was supposed he would make a tailor simply. But shortly after he acquired a great fondness for reading and developed an earnest disposition to study. From the Academy boys who used to frequent "the shop" and often prepare their lessons there, he obtained books, the boys becoming his teachers. But no time was given him for study ; his method was this :

While working on the board he would keep his book propped open at his side, at whose jeweled page glancing from time to time he would glean from it the substance his young ambition so much craved. All spare moments, too, were given to .study. In winter he would sit up long after " working hours" and often with no other light than that furnished by the door of the store, he would pore over page after page of spelling, English grammar, arithmetic, geography or history, regardless of the lateness of the hour or the labors of the ensuing day. In this way these studies were successfully pursued and that foundation laid upon which was based afterwards, effected by the same unremitting toil and diligence, a fine classical education. In the meantime occured an event which would have been of the greatest benefit to Mr. Wimbrough if his influence toward securing it had been equal to the measure of his deserving it.

Formerly New Town. 181

A free Scholarship became vacant in Washington College, a state institution situated at Chester- town. It was to be filled by a competitive examination of the candidates. Many of young Wimbrough's friends being desirous that he should become a candidate and promising aid to secure his release from his indentures if he should be successful, he applied for the position.

The contestants came from the several academics of the county, fresh from their books and their teacher's instructions ; young Wimbrough came from "the shop." But by some ill luck, although it was known that the result of his examination was not inferior, he did not receive the appointment- It was a sad blow to his hopes, but did not check his ardent eagerness for learning- He went back to "the shop" and his books, to try again. Another opportunity might occur, he would be prepared the next time. But no such ever occured : his college goal had to be reached by means wholly of his own making.

These efforts, directed in the way I have described, could not fail to attract notice and win friends. His intimate associates were the more advanced students among the academy boys, who now one, now an other had been mainly, his teachers. The older men, too, often spoke kind and encouraging words. But his most valuable friend was found in Mr. Sewell T. Milbourn, a young man ot superior talents and of high social position, who had recently returned to Snow Hill, from Dickinson College' where he had graduated with distinction.

182 History of Pocomoke City,

This young man became his friend and teacher, inspiring him by his  own learning and giving time and personal care to his instructions. The influence of this connection was of the greatest service to young Wimbrough,'as it enabled him to pursue those higher branches, —

Latin and Greek, algebra, geometry and higher English, which he was soon to turn to a practical use. In 1859. his health broke down so that he was unable either to work or study. A plan was therefore arranged by which he might purchase the remaining years of his apprenticeship. With some means he had in his guardian's hands this was done ; after which he was free to pursue his studies exclusively. But for a long time he remained delicate and was unable to make much progress. In 1861, Mr. Milbourn removed to Cambridge, Dorchester County to practice law. Thither, the next year, Mr. Wimbrough, now a young man of nineteen, Followed, and engaged in the teaching of a private school, in which he was so successful that after a year and a half he was elected principal of the Cambridge Academy, in this he was equally successful, but resigned after two years to take charge of a goverment office connected with the Internal Revenue; engaging at the same time in conducting a newspaper, the Cambridge Harald, of which he was both proprietor and editor. In 1867, having disposed of his paper, he went to Dickinson College, where he entered the Junior class thereby graduating in two years. As an evidence of how well he had studied in former years, besides the fact that he was able to pass over the first two years of the college course, he was noted in College for his accurate knowledge of the English language and unusual proficiency for a student, in Latin; on account of which he was allowed optional attendance in that department during the whole of the junior year. He was graduated a Bachelor of Arts in 1869, and took the Master's degree three years after.

Formerly New Town. 183
Since graduating, Mr. Wimbrough has engaged mosly in teaching. He was elected principal of the New Town High School in 1872, continuing in the same till 1875, a period of three years. Afterwards he was principal of the Snow Hill High School for four years. As an instructor Mr. Wimbrough is thorough, earnest and capable. From his life gleams this great truth : "Honor and fame from no condition rise : act well your part ; there all the honor lies." Rev. Joseph L. Polk succeeded Mr. Wimbrough in the High School and continued in the position until 1877,. when he resigned, and was succeeded by Dr. Sidney W. Handy. Dr. Handy was appointed principal of the High School in Pocomoke City in the fall of 1877 and has continued in that position to the present. Dr. Sidney W. Handy was born in Somerset County, Md., on the 4th day of October, 1845. He was educated partly in his native county and at the Columbian College in Washington, D. C, at which latter place he went through a four years college course and graduated in 1868.

184 History of Pocomoke City,

He attended the first course of lectures in medicine at the University of Virginia in 1869  and 1870, and the second at the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. Perm., graduating in 1872. Dr. Handy, although a graduate in medicine, has never practiced his profession, choosing rather the position of an educator as being more in accordance with his intellectual taste. In his wise and judicious management of the High School he is meeting the highest expectations of the Trustees and Board of Education whp have placed him there, and is at once a scholar and a Christian gentleman.

Next; Formerly New Town. 185 CHAPTER XXIX. SCHOOLS (CONTINUED.)

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Sprinklers To Be Discussed By County Commissioners In December

(Nov. 26, 2010) Unless the county commissioners vote to opt out of the state law mandating sprinklers in new single-family and two-family houses, the law will go into effect in the unincorporated areas of Worcester County, including Ocean Pines, on Jan. 1.

The commissioners have just one meeting before Dec. 15, the supposed final day to make a decision before the state law mandating sprinklers goes into effect Jan. 1. On Monday, however, Bud Church, president of the Worcester County Commissioners, said the issue would not be on the Dec. 7 agenda.

He has asked for it to be on the Dec. 21 agenda. He was told that it would not present a problem with the state if the commissioners vote to opt out of the requirement during that meeting.

The commissioners may modify the requirement mandating sprinklers, but only because of a special condition. That condition could not be the cost of sprinkler systems, which was part of the sprinkler issue discussion in September.

That discussion lasted nearly threeand a-half hours as proponents and opponents stated their cases.

At the time, Church and Commissioners James Purnell and Bobby Cowger opposed mandating sprinklers, while Commissioners Linda Busick and Louise Gulyas favored them, though Gulyas said she would only require them for houses with public water service. Commissioner Virgil Shockley was undecided.

With Busick replaced by Madison “Jim” Bunting and Cowger replaced by Merrill Lockfaw in the elections, the sentiments regarding sprinklers could change.

Thieves Steal Kettle From Bell Ringer

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Thieves stole a Salvation Army kettle from a bell ringer outside the Walmart on Tidewater Drive Friday afternoon.

Matthew Pochily, director of public relations for the Salvation Army, said in a news release that one man distracted the bell ringer about 2:30 p.m. while a second man snuck up behind him, unhooked the kettle and fled.

While it was uncertain how much money the thieves took, the Salvation Army set a goal of $650 or more at the location for Black Friday, Pochily said in the release.

Anyone with information about the thieves is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

"It's sad that at a time of great thanks, someone felt it necessary to steal from an organization who's mission is to serve those in need," said Major Lewis Reckline of the Salvation Army. "The money that they may have gotten away with in that kettle is no match for the services we offer that may have been able to help them had they come though our doors seeking assistance."

The Salvation Army, Walmart officials and Norfolk Police have since worked together to piece together a description of the two men, according to the news release. No description of the thieves was available.

The Salvation Army has more than 150 kettle locations throughout Hampton Roads. The Salvation Army rings bells Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Those interested in supporting the Salvation Army can visit to donate online, sign-up to be a volunteer bell ringer or host their own Online Red Kettle. Donations can also be made via mobile device by texting SAL to 50555.

Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from the Salvation Army each year. Their social services include providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Northeastern Supply, Inc. Buys 84 Lumber Property

POCOMOKE CITY -- Northeastern Supply Inc. is buying a warehouse property held by a lumber yard that abruptly closed in early 2009.

The company, one of the region's fastest-growing businesses, just bought the former 84 Lumber company facility on Ocean Highway, in a transaction handled by Sperry Van Ness-Miller Commercial Real Estate.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Northeastern Supply distributes a variety of products used by the construction industry, including plumbing, heating, air conditioning, water systems, hardware and lighting supplies.

"We have been asked by many professional contractors to locate in this area, and this is just another example of what we will do to bring our products and services closer to our customers," said Steve Cook, president and CEO of Northeastern Supply, which operates 33 branches throughout Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

The facility, which sits on just under 17 acres, contains a 21,000-square-foot main facility and two 8,000-square-foot storage facilities, according to Sperry Van Ness. It is on track to become the 34th branch of Northeastern Supply.

The Pocomoke 84 Lumber location was one of nine stores nationwide that went out of business on Feb. 9, 2009, as the retailer attempted to streamline operations in the face of declining revenues. Its inventory and some of its seven-member staff were transferred to the Fruitland store. At the time, a corporate spokesman said the downturn in the overall housing market hurt the store's bottom line and prompted the closing.

Friday, November 26, 2010

After Public Hearing Berlin Postpones Sprinkler Decision

BERLIN – Whether Berlin will decide to exempt itself from installing mandatory sprinklers in new one- and two-family dwellings is still up in the air after Monday’s public hearing.
After more than an hour of presentations on both sides of the debate by fire marshals, realtors and private citizens, the Mayor and Council delayed making a final decision on residential fire sprinklers until its Dec. 13 meeting.

“There are a lot of myths and falsities about sprinklers,” said Worcester County Fire Marshal Jeff McMahon. “Sprinklers save lives.”
McMahon supported his argument that the council should not opt out of the mandatory statewide installation of sprinklers in new homes with statistics, case studies and a nine-minute video showcasing the effectiveness of sprinklers.

“The sprinklers activate in 90-seconds,” McMahon said. “It’s like having your volunteer fire company arrive on scene immediately. … You’ll need about 300 gallons of water [for a sprinkler to put out a fire], compared to thousands if the fire department needs to show up.”
McMahon compared the 90-second sprinkler response time to the nationwide firefighter average response time, which was between 16 and 20 minutes before water would actually start flowing on scene. He admitted that Berlin’s centrally located fire department had a slightly better average, but that it was still nowhere near the 90-second mark.

Supporting his colleague, Maryland State Fire Marshal Jeff Barnard also addressed the council in support of mandatory sprinkler installation. He also stressed that while smoke-alarms may get many people out of the house, those who are incapacitated, either through handicap, age or a situation such as intoxication, might not be able to escape the fire even if alarmed. With a sprinkler system, however, the incapacitated would be much better protected.

As for the occasional malfunction with sprinklers and ensuing water damage, Barnard did not believe it should sway the council.

“Everything dries out, but nothing un-burns,” he said.
Berlin Fire Chief Derrick Simpson lent his support to the fire marshals, going on record for the mandatory installation of sprinklers.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, local realtors made their own presentation, this time against making the systems mandatory. Their main argument was that the cost would be too high, especially with the terrible housing market, and that whether a home has a sprinkler system should be a decision left to the owner, who could choose whether to deal with the additional expense.

“I strongly support the safety of the community, but not at the cost of making homes unaffordable,” Coastal Association of Realtors President Pat Terrill said.

Terrill ventured that smoke-alarms and the central location of the Berlin Fire Department were more than enough practical protection and that attaching more cost to a home in what has been some of the slowest real estate sales months in decades could be crippling.
John Kotoski, president of the Eastern Shore Building Association, agreed and pointed out that Berlin would not be unique by opting out of the ordinance.

“Twenty-seven states have opted out of the mandatory sprinkler ordinance,” he said. “Only two, Maryland and California, have opted in. Twelve states are pending and two haven’t brought it up yet.”

Kotoski reinforced the high cost of sprinklers should be a choice left to the owner. Additionally, he cited that there would be extra costs associated with a sprinkler system that the fire marshals did not think of, such as the expense of simply working the systems into the design of buildings and complications that could be generated during construction.
Kotoski listed some statistics of his own, saying that there was a 99.45 percent chance of surviving a home fire if hardwired smoke-alarms were installed.

“The problem is not homes without sprinklers,” he stated. “The problem is homes without working smoke-detectors.”
Berlin resident Joe Sexauer addressed the council in favor of mandatory installation.

“The state allows exemption from the ordinance for peculiar circumstances,” he said. “I don’t believe just having a central fire department is peculiar enough to justify an exemption. … the overall scheme of things this is a no-brainer.”

When it came time for the council to finally vote, most appeared to still be on the fence. Councilwoman Paula Lynch asked those in attendance to raise their hands if they were Berlin residents and approximately half of the audience put hands in the air. She then asked those residents if they would install the system optionally to again raise their hands; fewer went up this time, but there was still a scattering.
Lynch said she “wrestled with the mandate.” Councilwoman Lisa Hall agreed, but did admit that she was impressed by the sprinkler systems
“I would put one in my house,” she stated.
In the end, the council tabled the vote hoping to find more information on the possibility of insurance reductions and other pertinent data, and also to allow the council time to digest the sheer amount of information presented.

'Blasting' Misdemeanor Backlogs

Baltimore Circuit Judge David W. Young cheerfully volunteered his holiday chore list — picking up the turkey, raking the leaves, washing the good china — to those in the courtroom while waiting for a defendant to be brought in for trial.

The man wasn't transported from jail that morning as scheduled, the kind of mistake that usually leads to a postponement. But Tuesday was an exception. The judicial bench had declared a moratorium on deferrals as part of a three-day effort dubbed the "Misdemeanor Blast."

No felony or civil trials were scheduled in Baltimore on Friday, Monday or Tuesday, so that judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers could chip away at the backlog of 1,400 misdemeanor cases — assaults, drug arrests, minor thefts — clogging the courts.

That meant typical delays would not be tolerated. After a quick call to the judge in charge of the criminal division, M. Brooke Murdock, Young announced that the defendant would be fetched. In the meantime, he chatted with the lawyers and handled several drug cases, sentencing a 29-year-old to time served for marijuana possession and a 28-year-old to 18 months in prison for attempted cocaine distribution.

Under state law, anyone charged with a crime in District Court that's punishable by at least 90 days incarceration has a right to ask for a trial by jury, which only the higher Circuit Court can handle. At any given time, three judges are assigned to those cases, but they can't keep up with the requests, which have steadily increased during the past decade.

They're "getting farther and farther behind," Murdock said in an interview. "There are just so many."

Defense attorneys say there's little incentive to plead guilty in District Court because defendants know that the stretched Circuit Court may cut them a better deal simply to clear their cases. The "probations" offered in District Court often turn into "dropped cases" in Circuit Court, attorneys said, and the six-month sentences sometimes become time served.

The Misdemeanor Blast was designed to sweep through several hundred cases quickly, without compromising justice.

"It's not a fire sale," said Albert Peisinger, a felony prosecutor assigned to five cases Tuesday.

Roughly 15 judges were assigned eight trials a day in the hopes that they could clear a quarter of the backlog, about 360 cases that had been repeatedly postponed, Murdock said. Judges called for extra jurors and attorneys who usually handle felony cases stepped forward to pick up the slack.

"All the component parts pulled together to make this a smooth operation," Murdock said.

Most of the cases still ended in plea deals, however, after defendants realized that the court was ready to go to trial, Murdock said. She believes that's why one man, whose case had already been postponed 14 times, took a time-served sentence Monday for fleeing police.

"He had asked for a jury trial," she said, "but he changed his mind and pled guilty."

Murdock was something of a point person for the effort, but she wouldn't claim it as her own. It's been tried before, she said, though she doesn't remember when. And it may be tried again.

"First we want to see how it works and sort of get a sense of whether we actually were successful," Murdock said. "We're trying not to be overly confident. We'll wait until we see the numbers."

Court Cases

Court cases heard in Accomack County.

Salvador Hernandez, 26, of Parksley, was found guilty of possession of cocaine. A presentence report has been ordered.

  • John Waldner, 28, of Chincoteague, was found guilty of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. He was given a 12-month suspended sentence, a $100 fine and given community service.

  • Jernell Pettit, 19, of Nelsonia, was found guilty of robbery and the use of a firearm in commission of a robbery. A presentence report has been ordered.

  • Randall Moricle, 18, of Assawoman, was found guilty of grand larceny. A presentence report has been ordered.

  • Cassandra Jones, 38, of Pocomoke City, Md., was sentenced to three years with all time suspended, ordered to pay restitution and given probation for welfare fraud.

  • John Tucker, 28, of Onancock, was sentenced to five years each for burglary and grand larceny with all but three years suspended, to run concurrently.

  • Harvion Simpkins, 23, of Onancock, was sentenced to five years for carnal knowledge. He also was convicted of misdemeanor sexual abuse and given 12 months; to run concurrently, with all but nine months suspended.

  • Heath Edwards, 42, of Temple, Pa., was found guilty of malicious maiming. A presentence report has been ordered.

  • Charles Tyler Jr., 34, of Onancock, was sentenced to 20 years with 15 years suspended for embezzlement.

  • Milton Faison, 28, of Nassawadox, was sentenced to 20 years, with all but five years suspended, to run concurrently with a 55-year sentence in Northampton Circuit Court. His Accomack convictions include armed burglary, attempted robbery, and use of a sawed-off shotgun.

  • Herbert Lane, 20, of Exmore, was sentenced to 20 years with all but four years suspended for armed burglary, robbery and use of a sawed-off shotgun.

  • Sarah Clay, 54, of Oak Hall, was sentenced to 12 months with all suspended for welfare fraud.

  • Keshawn Savage, 21, of New Church, was found guilty of personal-injury hit-and-run. Sentencing guidelines were ordered.

  • Spencer Sample, 54, of Painter, was found guilty of burglary and grand larceny. A presentence report has been ordered.

    Steve Kilgore, 25, of Exmore, was sentenced to five years each for burglary, attempted robbery, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, for a total active sentence of 20 years.

  • Lisa Hanscom, 48, of Melfa, was found guilty of embezzlement and was sentenced to five years with all but 10 days suspended.

  • Gloria Bailey, 45, of Pungoteague, was sentenced to five years with all but three months suspended for welfare fraud.

  • William Custis, 26, of Accomac, was sentenced to 10 years for shooting at an occupied dwelling and five years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, to run consecutively, combined with a reinstituted sentence from a probation revocation, for a total active sentence of 14 years, six months.

  • John Reid, 37, of Painter, had his probation revoked and a three-year sentence reimposed.

  • James Johnson, 37, of Painter, was found guilty of breaking and entering and grand larceny. A presentence report was ordered.

    Jonathan Stevens, 27, of Quinby, was found guilty of burglary. Sentencing guidelines were ordered.

    Derrick Crockett, 35, of Bloxom, was found guilty of burglary and grand larceny. A presentence report has been ordered.

    Laquita Ward, 29, of Atlantic, was found guilty of receiving stolen property. A presentence report has been ordered.

    Shawn Scarborough, 39, of Melfa, was found guilty of possession of cocaine and marijuana over one-half ounce but less than five pounds. A presentence report has been ordered.

    Tyron Grant, 22, of Belle Haven, was sentenced to three years each for breaking and entering and grand larceny with all but time served suspended. Restitution was ordered and an Assign-A-Highway service given.

    Craig Barnes, 31, of Saxis, had his probation revoked and will serve one year, six months.

    William Marcel Custis, 26, of Onancock, had his probation revoked and will serve an additional 18 months.

    Christopher J. Barcroft, 21 of Nassawadox, had his probation revoked and will serve the remainder of a five years sentence with all but one year suspended.

  • Joann Ball, 57, of Melfa, was found guilty of possession of cocaine. Sentencing guidelines were ordered.

  • Randy Hill Jr., 24, of Exmore, was found guilty of possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Sentencing guidelines were ordered.

    Troy Rew, 37, of Salisbury, Md., was found guilty of malicious maiming. A presentence report has been ordered.

    Samuel Pettit Jr., 38, of Mappsville, was found guilty of obtaining money under false pretenses. A presentence report has been ordered.

    Jesse Mariner, 28, of Keller, was found guilty of burglary and grand larceny. Sentencing guidelines were ordered.

    Maurice Bivens, 27, of Temperanceville, was found guilty of burglary and three counts of forgery. Sentencing guidelines and an evaluation were ordered.

    John Stanley III, 43, of Parksley, was sentenced to first-offender status for a charge of possession of cocaine that will be dismissed after completion of the first-offender program.

    Brian Lee Brown, 31, of Horntown, was sentenced to 12 months and fined $100 for possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana.

    O.J. Matthews, 28, of Bloxom, was sentenced to three years with all but time served suspended for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and five misdemeanors.

    Fairdale Johnson, 34, of Mappsville, was sentenced to 20 years with all but five years suspended for distribution of cocaine.

    Richard Copes, 31, of Withams, was sentenced to 20 years on each of three counts of grand larceny, robbery and abduction, to run consecutively, with all but four years suspended, for a total active sentence of 12 years.

    Gary Tyler, 41, of Onancock, was sentenced to five years for assault and battery of a police officer.

    William Laird, 29, of Tangier Island, was sentenced to five years with all but 2.5 months suspended for possession of oxycodone with the intent to distribute.

    Christopher Bornaschella, 37, of Chincoteague, who had been found guilty of breaking and entering, grand larceny, attempted breaking and entering and petty larceny. He was sentenced to 20 years each on the felonies and 12 months each on the misdemeanors, with all but time served suspended upon completion of a detention and diversion center program.

  • Kevin Nock, 47, of Onley, was sentenced to five years with all but two years, two months suspended for third-offense shoplifting.

  • William Watson, 47, of Onley, was sentenced to five years with all but two years, two months suspended for third-offense shoplifting.

    Michael Sample Jr., 25, of Painter, was found guilty of burglary and grand larceny. A presentence report has been ordered.

    Gregory Crockett, 46, of Chincoteague, was found guilty of possession of cocaine. He was sentenced to 12 months with all but 30 days suspended and given 100 hours of community service.

    Carroll Holland Jr., 42, of Parksley, was found guilty of writing bad checks and was sentence to 12 months with all time suspended.

    Corey Bailey, 19, of Eastville, was found guilty of threatening to burn a building and was sentenced to 12 months with all but eight months suspended.

    Jessica Boggs, 27, of Nelsonia, was found guilty of welfare fraud. A presentence report has been ordered.

    Joshualynn Boggs, 25, of Onancock, was found guilty of assault and battery of a police officer and sentenced to six months.

    Prentiss Ayres, 40, of Onley, was sentenced to five years with all but six months suspended for embezzlement.

    Dustin Godwin, 23, of Wattsville, had his probation revoked and will serve one year.

    Bruce Meilhammer, 18, of Chincoteague, was found guilty of three counts of grand larceny and sentenced to 90 days with all but time served suspended, to run concurrently, and ordered to pay restitution.

    Kerwin Mears, 26, of Accomac, was sentenced to 10 years with seven years suspended and ordered to pay a $500 fine for second offense possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and second-offense possession of marijuana.

    Kenneth Simpkins Jr., 26, of Greenbush, was sentenced to 10 years with eight years, seven months suspended for distribution of cocaine.

    Bruce Johnson, 52, of Mappsville, was sentenced to 10 years with seven years suspended for possession of cocaine. He also had probation revoked and one year added to his sentence.

  • Louis Sample Jr., 49, of Accomac, had probation revoked and a three-year sentence reimposed.

  • Keith Parker, 42, of Onley, was found guilty of petty larceny and was sentenced to 12 months with all but 30 days suspended.

  • Yolanda O. Bundick, 35, of Painter, was found guilty of two counts of uttering and was sentenced to 10 years on each, with all suspended except for 3 years, 4 months.

  • Cathy Jones, 45, of Onancock, was found guilty of welfare fraud and bad checks. A presentence report has been ordered.

    Rory Tomlin, 19, of Melfa, was sentenced to four years and given youthful offender status for attempted robbery, maliciously shooting at an occupied vehicle and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

    Davon Davis, 21, of Painter, was sentenced to four years and given youthful offender status for attempted burglary, attempted robbery and use of a sawed-off shotgun.

    Anthony Turner, 33, of Painter, was sentenced to 10 years with all but 1 year, 8 months suspended for distribution of cocaine.

    Jason Rienerth, 20 of Onancock, had his probation revoked.

  • Laser Light Hits Helicopter- Man Charged

    Ocean City had this problem all summer and discussed it. Will there have to be a pilot blinded and crash before these laser pointers are taken off the market? Why are they still being sold?

    SYKESVILLE, Md. -- A Carroll County man was arrested late Tuesday night after police say he endangered an in-flight Maryland State Police helicopter crew by repeatedly spotlighting the aircraft with a laser.

    David H. Hopwood, 35, of the 7000 block of Bristol Place, Sykesville, Md., is charged with reckless endangerment, attempted second degree assault on a law enforcement officer, and prohibited use of a laser pointer.

    At about 10 p.m. yesterday, State Police Pilot Marcus Alborghini and flight paramedic Trooper First Class Gregg Lantz, were flying in Trooper 3, a State Police helicopter based in Frederick. The crew was returning from a medevac flight to Baltimore.

    According to police, the helicopter was flying over the Sykesville area when it was struck by a green laser flash. Knowing the potential dangers for a flight crew, the pilot and flight paramedic took immediate precautions as they worked to locate the source of the laser. The crew contacted the Westminster Barrack and troopers responded to the area, as did an officer from the Sykesville Police Department.

    While in the area, the helicopter was struck at least four more times by the laser. The crew of Trooper 3 located the residence the laser was being emitted from and used the helicopter spotlight to light the area. Trooper 3 landed near Obrecht Road and TFC Lantz was transported to the residence that had been identified.

    Troopers contacted Hopwood at the residence. He was arrested without further incident.

    Police say shining lasers at aircraft can have dangerous and even deadly consequences. A direct laser strike in the cockpit can cause temporary blindness and disorientation for the flight crew.

    When the strike occurred last night, TFC Lantz was wearing night vision goggles, which significantly increase any light source and, when struck by a laser, can blind the person wearing the goggles, as well as seriously damage the night vision equipment.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Recipe Needed Please

    Hello all, I know this is a little late notice but I'm looking for a cornbread recipe.

    I'm tired of trying recipe after recipe only to be disappointed when it comes out of the oven, and looking on the internet for hours only to find recipes that are basically the same.

    What I am looking for is a recipe that leaves the cornbread very solid and heavy, NOT cake-like, every recipe I try the cornbread comes out crumbly and cake-like very similar to the box type.

    I think I have all the ingredients on hand, I have eggs, corn meal, baking powder, cream, milk, butter, margarine, sugar, salt, etc. I do not have any buttermilk.     

    I'm looking for this
    Not this

    So if you happen to be reading the blog between cooking and have a heavy cornbread recipe that you would like to share I would greatly appreciate it.

    Would You Like A Fresh Turkey or 50 With One Shot?

    A 2 gauge, percussion muzzle loader. This is a "punt gun" as it was installed on "punt" boats when people hunted ducks for commercial sales to markets and restaurants years ago. The boat would float up to large masses of ducks on the water and when in range would let go with the punt gun.

    Hat Tip; Art

    Thanksgiving Weather Forcast

    Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon
    high near 190F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother
    the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

    During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will
    slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches
    on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side, while cranberry
    sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

    A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire
    area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway.

    During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers,
    dropping to a low of 34F in the refrigerator.

    Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches
    will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days
    with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the week. We expect a
    warming trend where soup develops.

    By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left
    will be the bone.


    Hat Tip; Art

    Thanksgiving Day


    In spite of our indifferences,
    Let's all be grateful for what we have and give thanks.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Big Crowds, Possible Protests At Airports

    Of all the working people in America that dislike their jobs right now it has to be the people that put airline passengers through the pat-downs and scanners. I've never heard so much hoopla from Americans! We just can't be satisfied.

    If you are flying somewhere during this holiday try to keep in mind that those people you meet at the airport are NOT out to give you a good feel. And they certainly don't have that job because they want to molest your child. In fact, they don't care how fat and overweight you look on the scanner.

    The only goal is protection from enemy attack and your safety. It's not a personal thing so grin and bear it...........could always be worse.......there could be NO air transportation. Just remember: there are those that would just like to get the pat downs and scanning taken care of so they can continue on their way to a wonderful visit with loved ones.

    Airport officials and federal inspectors are bracing for a possible organized protest Wednesday by passengers angry over new security requirements, but there was little evidence of backlash at Orlando International Airport on Tuesday.

    A loosely organized "National Opt-Out Day" campaign pushed by various Internet sites and activists has called for passengers to protest the Transportation Security Administration's use of body scanners and enhanced pat-downs by demanding pat-downs if they are selected for body scanners. Their stated intention: to back up security lines on one of the busiest travel days of the year, the day before Thanksgiving.

    With that — and amid the broader uproar that has emerged nationally in recent days from a wide variety of groups and politicians — TSA Administrator John Pistole held his first national press conference Tuesday, trying to assure people that the agency would do everything it can to process travelers efficiently and safely, without backing down.

    "We will process people as quickly and efficiently and securely as possible," Pistole said in a telephone press conference. "If large groups of people, large numbers of people, intentionally slow down our process, I don't think we can avoid that having a negative impact on people making their flights on time."
    An estimated 110,000 passengers are expected at Orlando International Airport today, about equally split between those coming and those going. On Sunday, the season is expected to peak with 116,000 passengers. Typically, a little more than 90,000 come and go.

    Tuesday, when an estimated 109,000 passengers went through the airport, the scene was anything but bogged down, with nearly no lines. Tom Draper, assistant director of operations for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said the lines have been running smoothly pretty much all week.

    Passengers such as Tamara Pope, 37, a NASA engineer from Merritt Island who was flying with her husband and five children to visit family in Michigan for the holiday, found their biggest challenge was killing time after arriving early. She also pondered her choice, if necessary, between scanners and pat-downs for her children.

    "I'm a little worried," she said. "I have a special-needs child. I'm not sure he'd go for the pat-down. I don't know what's better when you have two pre-teen girls."

    Three X-ray body scanners were installed at Orlando International two weeks ago, so most passengers will continue to go through the 12 metal detectors that have been in place for years. People are selected to go through the scanners either randomly or because something about them alerts a TSA officer.

    Some passengers have complained that the scanners reveal breasts and genitalia to TSA officers, who monitor screens in a closed room and can't see the passengers. But the alternative is what Pistole calls "enhanced" pat-downs that have enraged some flyers when gloved officers traced the outlines of breasts, buttocks and genitalia through clothing.

    "At this point, this is the new normal for passenger security screening," said Carolyn Fennell, spokeswoman for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. "So being informed is helpful. And so is being patient."

    The arrest of the so-called "underwear bomber" on a Detroit-bound plane Christmas Day has accelerated purchase of the scanners, which are able to detect explosives and non-metallic devices hidden under clothing. Nationally there are about 400 scanners in place in 70 airports. Pistole wants 1,000 by the start of 2012 and, eventually, at least 1,400.

    Pistole took issue with criticism that the enhanced pat-downs are akin to sexual assaults and said his office is investigating any such complaints, including reviewing closed-circuit security tapes, to see if any officers go beyond strict guidelines.

    "I'm sympathetic to those concerns, but I'm also trying to be respectful of those who want to have the highest level of confidence that everybody else on that plane has been has been thoroughly screened," he said.

    Last week, in a response to the public uproar, the TSA decided to modify its pat-downs of children under 13 so they're less intrusive. Pistole said the decision was based as much on intelligence as response to concerned parents.

    "We don't have any intelligence of children 12 and under being used in terrorist attacks by adults," he said. "Of course, we do have information of teenagers being used. So that's a concern."

    More On The Sprinkler System Issue

    This article should shed a little more light on the issue with fire sprinkler systems being installed in new family dwellings. No one will argue the fact that perhaps sprinklers do save lives. The issue here is the fact that there is one more law from the government telling us how to live our lives in something that WE are paying for, not to mention the added expense initially, then the costs, possibly, to have water hooked to it. What does it cost to have city water run to this? What would the monthly cost be?

    Let's face it. People don't want to burn to death in the middle of the night in their homes. They don't want to see their belongings destroyed by fire either. More importantly, what they don't want is for the government of any size to come into their homes and tell them there is one more thing they must do........because it's law. That's just wrong!

    Maryland has adopted the National Building Code, effective Jan. 1, as the standard for all new residential construction in the state. One of its provisions is a mandate that fire sprinkler systems be installed in all new one- and two-family dwellings. Municipalities may exempt themselves from the requirement --but only if they do so by mid-December. Berlin is considering exempting itself; Salisbury has adopted the requirement.

    While it's easy to see how homeowners might be skeptical, the available literature and video demonstrations on the Internet are convincing. In staged demonstrations, a fire can destroyed a room in less than 2 minutes; in an identical room with a sprinkler installed, the fire is extinguished in about 15 seconds.

    There is no convincing argument for any builder or homeowner to choose not to install sprinklers.

    Sprinklers cost between $1 and $1.50 per square foot of living space; therefore, for a modest 1,200-square-foot starter house, the additional cost would be about $1,200-$1,800 --equivalent to modest upgrades in flooring, kitchen cabinets or other fixtures in a new home. The additional one-time cost is offset to some degree by a 1 to 2 percent annual discount on homeowner's insurance.

    Plumbing, which is required for home sprinkler systems, is a self-contained system that does not experience the wear and tear of ordinary plumbing; it is installed inside the walls where it is not exposed to freezing temperatures. Because sprinkler heads are activated independently, only the amount of water necessary to contain the fire until help arrives is dispatched, limiting water damage. And because the sprinkler heads are heat-activated, there is little chance for accidental triggering of the devices.

    Smoke alarms increase the chances of surviving a house fire by nearly 50 percent; sprinklers increase it to about 97 percent.

    In the end, the argument comes down to whether government should tell people what to do. When government steps in to protect people instead of giving them choices, it should because of the potential for that decision to harm others -- as this one could in apartments, hotels or duplexes.

    Multi-family structures should be required to have sprinkler systems; however, builders or owners of single-family dwellings should retain the right to make the decision.

    World Trade Center Beams Arrive In Baltimore

    Three giant steel beams twisted and fused together during the collapse of the North Tower of New York's World Trade Center in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The rubble, which arrived Tuesday, will be reborn as Maryland's 9/11 memorial, to be erected at Baltimore's World Trade Center in time for the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

    Gov. Martin O'Malley called it "a sacred and holy relic," and his voice faltered as he said he would do his part to ensure that the state never forgets the 43 Marylanders who died when airplanes smashed into the towers and the Pentagon in Virginia.

    O'Malley, a Democrat who was mayor of Baltimore in 2001, and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake were among those present for an arrival ceremony on a parking lot near the Dundalk Marine Terminal, where the beams will be stored until the memorial is installed.
    The project is privately funded and overseen by an advisory committee that includes members of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the Maryland Commission on Public Art, the Port Administration and the State Arts Council. Some 40 artists asked to work on the project, and the committee will select about five finalists and interview them next month. The public can weigh in at meetings early next year. Randall Griffin, chairman of the committee, said its members are seeking to raise at least $1 million for the project.

    The rust-colored metal is 22 feet long and weighs about 4,000 pounds. It will be installed at the base of the World Trade Center at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. A smaller beam remnant will be displayed at the observation level of the building.

    "The focus of the memorial will be on the artifact itself," said Theresa Colvin, executive director of the arts council. She described the fused beams, which she helped select, as "majestic."

    "It represents the tragedy of the day," she said. "Yet there's something uplifting about it."

    Barbara Bozzuto, a public art commissioner and member of the memorial committee, recalled the August trip to the JFK Airport hangar that houses thousands of scraps from the New York terror site. Silently, the Marylanders walked through the hangar, looking at the material and reading the tags that showed where each piece was bound — from nearby small towns to big cities across the world.

    The artifact chosen to become Maryland's memorial, Bozzuto said, "is an emblem not of death and destruction, but of remembrance."

    Looking on as the beams arrived was Basmattie Bishundat, a Waldorf resident whose 23-year-old son, Romeo Bishundat, a Navy serviceman, died at the Pentagon. She called it "impressive and great" that Maryland is erecting a memorial and promised to visit it.

    The group in the Dundalk parking lot fell silent as the police escort arrived. Next came the beams, strapped to a flatbed truck that passed under an oversize American flag strung from the outstretched ladders of fire equipment.

    Northampton Circuit Court

    Northampton Circuit Court reported the following sentences over the last few weeks.

    Terry Wayne McGee Jr. age 34 of Newport News was sentenced to 5 years for forgery, 12 months for using a false idenity, 5 years for receiving stolen property, and 12 months for driving on a suspended license.

    William Jerome Reid, Jr. of Machipongo age 31 of Machipongo received 1 year of a previous sentence for possesion of more than one half ounce but less than 5 pounds of marijuana.

    Reid also had probation revoked revoked on an original charge of distribution or cocaine. One year of the original sentence was reimposed .

    Brian Dewayne Johnson, 31 of Tasley had probation revoked on an original charge of 2 counts of uttering and 2 counts of forgery. The original sentenced was reimposed and suspended except for time served.

    Deshaun Lamont Corney of Birdsnest age 41 pled guilty 2 counts of robbery entering in the nighttime with a deadly weapon; malicious wounding; displaying a firearm in a threatening manner during a robbery. The sentence was continued pending a pre-sentence report.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010


    Today, the Board of Elections tallied the final few ballots and certified the election results for the Worcester County States Attorney race. With that certification, I am the State’s Attorney Elect and it is now appropriate for me to reflect on the extraordinary journey that began many years ago.

    I am both grateful and sincerely humbled by the incredible encouragement and support the campaign received from the many volunteers who gave their time, energy and resources on the promise that their hard work and dedication would help usher in a new era of accountability in Worcester County. There are many who have supported my candidacy for over eight years. These individuals and their unwavering faith in my ability were the pillars of strength for my campaign.

    We knew when we began this campaign that the road toward achieving our goals would be crowded with contention. What now remains of political partisanship must be placed aside. Mr. Todd has spent twenty five years serving the people of Worcester County and rightfully deserves our praise and appreciation. His hard work has helped pave the way for the future we must now build together. The time for new ideas, new directions, and bold initiatives has arrived.

    To the voters of Worcester County who were not yet ready to cast their votes for me in this election, I promise to spend the next four years dedicating myself to the unwavering principles of fairness and justice so that I may earn your trust. To the voters who elected me, thank you for your confidence in my ability to protect the values which have helped shape our great community.

    With the trust and confidence of law enforcement, there has never been a better time to serve Worcester County. With your continued prayers and support, the Office of the State’s Attorney will protect the present and safeguard the future by bringing accountability to our community.

    With appreciation,

    Beau H. Oglesby

    State’s Attorney Elect

    Worcester County, Maryland

    Breast Cancer Group Receives Check From Local Car Dealership

    In recognition of October as "Breast Cancer Awareness Month," Women Supporting Women was recently presented with a check from Midway Chevrolet-Cadillac-Buick-Toyota of Pocomoke City.

    The check, in the amount of $6,930, reflects the total raised through Midway's First Annual "Drive Out Breast Cancer" Charity Walk, held at Midway on August 21st.
    Pictured: The Midway family holds the donation check to Women Supporting Women. The funds were raised at Midway's "Drive Out Breast Cancer" Event Held in August.

    "It was a total community effort," according to Midway spokesman Joshua Nordstrom. "Thanks to our corporate sponsors, all of the folks who took the time to raise money and participate in the event, and the hard work of the Midway family, we were able to raise crucial funds for a great local charity. With the continued involvement of the community, we can raise even more money for Women Supporting Women next year."

    To participate in the Midways 2011 Drive Out Breast Cancer walk or to get involved with Women Supporting Women please call Josh @ Midway: 443/614-6021.

    Worcester County Sheriff's Department Makes Drug Arrest

    POCOMOKE CITY -- Two men are in police custody after 107.9 grams of marijuana was seized by Worcester County sheriff's detectives after a traffic stop for a broken taillight.

    Jarrell Bernard Roberts, 24, of Pocomoke City was charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana in a school zone, possession of paraphernalia, resisting arrest and assault of a law enforcement officer.

    Roderick D. Collier, 20, of Pocomoke City has been charged with possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana in a school zone, resisting arrest and possession of paraphernalia.

    Roberts and Collier were charged after Sheriff's Office Detective Anthony Rhode pulled over the vehicle they were in for an alleged equipment violation on Young Street in Pocomoke City.

    Detectives Rodney Wells, Brian Trader and Bethany Ramey then arrived and proceeded to search Roberts and Collier after seeing them make "furtive movements," according to charging documents.

    A pat-down was given to ensure officer safety, police said, and officers found a gallon-sized plastic bag containing 20 individually wrapped plastic bags of marijuana as well as a digital scale in Roberts' pants, according to a police statement.

    Collier allegedly shouted at the officers that the marijuana found on Roberts was his. Taking him at his word, police say, they searched Collier, finding a plastic sandwich bag allegedly containing 17 individual wrapped plastic bags of suspected marijuana as well as a digital scale, which contained what police say was marijuana and cocaine residue.

    Once in custody, Collier and Roberts were unruly and uncooperative, according to police.

    The driver of the car, Derrick Smith of Pocomoke City, was not charged nor searched, according to police.

    Watch Your Speed

    Check your speed when riding through Virginia during the Thanksgiving holiday.
    Virginia State Police will be out in full force.

    The agency says 75 percent of its uniformed work force will be on patrol from 12:01 a.m. Wednesday through midnight Sunday.

    Once again Troopers will be participating in Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort, a nationwide campaign designed to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failure to buckle up.

    Parents Of Pocomoke Middle School Students Make A Request

    Parents of Pocomoke Middle School Students have done a wonderful thing by taking their concerns to the school board. Does the lack of recess have anything to do with educating the student for life or for educating the student so they can pass the required testing that gives the school a higher rating? Is it really about the student?
    Pocomoke Middle School parents have a request of the school's administration: Please reinstate recess.

    Most adults have some sense that taking a break from routine is a good thing, whether it's a few minutes to walk away from the task, 15 minutes to chat with co-workers or a full-fledged half-hour brisk walk. People who return to work (or the classroom) after a break often find themselves feeling refreshed, focused and ready to tackle the job at hand.

    A break is a great stress reliever, too.

    In today's public schools, everyone from administrators to teachers and students is feeling the pressure to increase test scores and meet the increasing demands of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Indeed, Pocomoke Middle School's elimination of recess was part of the effort to improve academic performance and raise test scores. Eliminating recess increases instructional time in the classroom.

    But is this productive? Research indicates withholding recess may actually contribute to behavior problems and decreased ability to focus on the part of students, making elimination of recess counter-productive. A recent study on how recess affects academic performance found that in schools without recess, the amount of instructional time lost to fidgeting adds up to the amount of time it takes to have recess; the gain in instructional time may be without benefit. Other studies reach similar conclusions. Teachers who do not get an adult equivalent of recess may also become more irritable as the day wears on.

    According to a 1998 study, this need for regular downtime is part of our physiological makeup -- our brains need a break every 90 to 110 minutes to recycle chemicals for long-term memory establishment. Regular physical activity can contribute to both mental and physical well-being.

    Perhaps schools should seek to increase the quality -- as opposed to the quantity -- of available instructional time. Experience, tradition, science and observation all point to the same conclusion: Recess effectively contributes to an enhanced ability for students to focus on academics.

    Pocomoke Middle School has now tried operating with and without recess. Short of discovering that academic performance improved dramatically without recess, administrators should reinstate recess as parents have requested.

    Siberian Tiger 'Shaka Khan' Dies Of Cancer/Zoo Announces Two New Malayan Tigers

    NORFOLK — After battling cancer for several months, the Virginia Zoo's 18-year-old Siberian Tiger named Shaka Khan, died in her sleep over the weekend.

    Zoo Director, Greg Bockheim says even though her passing was inevitable, it has hit the staff hard.

    He says, "It does have a tremendous effect and really is traumatizing to the animal care staff because we really do build those relationships with the animals that has passed away."

    Sadly, the Virginia Zoo is riddled with a history of animal deaths over the past decade.

    Since 2002, a baby giraffe and her mother, a tiger, a bull rhino, a zebra, several prairie dogs, a baby gazelle, another giraffe, a baboon, and a lion, have all died. Some were health related, others were accidents.

    "We report and announce things when they do happen because we're not the only people that are close to these animals but we know that our community and visitorship is also," Bockheim says.

    But there is good news, even in the sadness. Virginia Zoo officials shared exclusive information with NewsChannel 3.

    Ten days ago, the zoo received two new Malayan Tigers. Kadar and Tahan are 16 months old and are currently in quarantine in Norfolk. They'll be available for public viewing in the spring.

    Malfunctioning Sprinkler System Closes Store

    Many people have a difference of opinion when it comes to the state mandated sprinkler law that is scheduled to go into effect in January of 2011. Take a look at the article below. This happened in October of this year to a business. This business in Fairfield, CT. suffered quite a loss simply because of a malfunction. Just something to think about.

    The Home Depot may be closed for at least part of this weekend after a sprinkler head malfunctioned in the Kings Highway Cutoff store Friday night and flooded it with water, firefighters said.

    "You can swim in here," Fire Chief Richard Felner said, adding that the mega-store would have been better off having a fire.

    Felner said the sprinkler head near the front of the store, by the plumbing aisle, was spraying water for around 40 minutes and that merchandise in four aisles was soaked. The water wasn't confined to those aisles, though. Felner said it had spread throughout the store. "It just keeps spreading out. There's nothing to hold it in," he said.

    Felner said a cleaning crew was due to come in Friday night to begin mop up operations and he said the store almost certainly would be closed Saturday.

    Employees outside the store Friday night turned customers away but said the store should be open Saturday because cleanup crews would be working all night. The store was open when the sprinkler head went off, and the parking lot was wet with water.

    Firefighters aren't sure why the sprinkler head malfunctioned. Felner said the head, which is about 40 feet in the air, wasn't near a source of heat, and it may have just been old or rusted. "There's nothing up there that set it off. It could have been a faulty head," he said.

    Felner said the head shot water over a 15-foot radius and that the water spread all over the store. He estimated it was about an inch deep across the store by the time firefighters could shut off the head. He estimated damage from the incident at $50,000.

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Get Ready For Delmarva's Largest Nighttime Christmas Parade !

    On November 29, 2010 (Rain date Nov.30) Pocomoke City will be turned into a magnificent winter wonderland with one of Delmarva's largest nighttime Christmas parades. Always held on the first Monday night after Thanksgiving, the Pocomoke parade has become an Eastern Shore tradition and will attract over 100 units from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia along with thousands of spectators. As part of the tradition, parade night is said to be the "coldest night of the year. Each year the parade features marching bands representing middle and high schools from seven counties in three states.

    Also featured will be beautifully decorated and lighted floats entered by schools, civic organizations, churches and commercial enterprises. Clowns, marching units, fire departments, equestrian units, and of course the one and only "Santa Claus" will round out the two-hour event, slated to kick-off at 7:00 pm. sharp. Also as tradition the blowing of the fire siren will signal the starting of the parade. The route will take the parade North on Market Street beginning at 14th Street and ending at the Pocomoke River. Professional Judges, from the National Judges Association (NJA), will score entries in 10 different categories. Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded immediately following the event to the top entries in each category. A special thanks to the community of Pocomoke City and Surrounding areas for the recent support given to us to continue this great tradition that has been a part of the town of over 30 years. If you would like to enter the parade please fill out the appropriate judging form on the applications page. If you do not want to be judged but still enter please use the Miscellaneous form.

    If you have any questions you can contact Mike Shannon at 410-957-0802 and leave a message with your name, address and telephone number and type of entry, or fill out our contact form in the Contact Us section of this website.

    *New for 2010, The Pocomoke City Parade Association is currently seeking new members to join our parade committee. If you are interested please contact us by email ONLY.


    For more info go to their website:

    Top U.S. Millitary Official Says Al-Qaida Threat From Yemen Is 'Serious'

    The top U.S. military officer says al-Qaida's branch in Yemen is a "serious" threat to the United States and has become substantially more dangerous over the past two years.

    Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday he takes seriously al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula's latest threat to carry out more inexpensive, small-scale attacks against American targets.

    In the latest edition of its English-language, online magazine, Inspire, released early Sunday, the group said its attempt to bomb two U.S.-bound cargo planes last month cost only $4,200 to mount.

    The al-Qaida branch wrote that the operation was intended to disrupt global air cargo systems and reflected a new strategy of low-cost attacks designed to inflict broad economic damage. The group said its main objective is not to maximize civilian casualties, but to threaten the aviation industry, which it described as "vital" for trade and transport between the U.S. and Europe.

    In the new issue of Inspire, al-Qaida unveiled what it described as its "strategy of a thousand cuts" that will "bleed the enemy to death."

    The magazine gave a detailed account of what it called "Operation Hemorrhage", in which toner cartridges packed with explosives were sent from Yemen's capital, Sana'a, to out-of-date addresses for two synagogues in the midwestern U.S. city of Chicago. The printers containing the cartridges were intercepted in Dubai and Britain.

    Inspire listed the cost of the printers at $300 each, with additional expenses coming from two Nokia cell phones at $150 a piece, plus shipping and transportation costs.

    The attack failed as a result of a tip from Saudi intelligence, which provided the tracking numbers for the parcels, sent via United Parcel Service and FedEx. But the al-Qaida magazine said the fear, disruption and added security costs caused by the packages made the operation a success.

    The group mocked the notion that the plot was a failure, writing that it will "without a doubt it cost America and other Western countries" billions of dollars in new security measures.

    Arrest Made In Slaying Of Man Found In A Box

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. police have made an arrest in the slaying of a man whose body was found inside a cardboard box on the side of Interstate 70 in Maryland.

    Police say 34-year-old Marvin Palencia was arrested without incident Saturday afternoon in Hyattsville, where he lives. He's been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 36-year-old Jacobo Vazquez of Washington.

    Vazquez's body was found Tuesday morning in a box alongside westbound I-70 near Frederick.

    D.C. police say Vazquez was shot to death on Constitution Avenue near the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 12. The case was initially investigated as a suspicious disappearance. Police
    did not release any details about a motive for the slaying.

    Sheriff's Office Begins Christmas Fund Drive

    SNOW HILL -- The numbers have been growing ever since the Worcester Sheriff's Office began its annual program to insure that children are remembered at Christmastime. This past year there were more than 1,500 children who enjoyed a Christmas thanks to the Sheriff's Christmas Program.

    With the economy still far from normal, about 400 families have been referred to the program as of mid-November. Dena Holloway, the coordinator, is receiving referrals from state and county organizations, schools, and churches. Once they are referred she has to interview each family. She also compares her list with other organizations such as Worcester County G.O.L.D. to insure that there are no duplications.

    Each year she hears from people that were not on the lists in the past. "Some of the families have stories that are heartbreaking," Holloway said.

    Families helped by the program will receive toys for the children, clothing if needed, and food for the members of the family.

    Contributions can be made in the form of toys, non-perishable food and clothing or by sending in a check. Holloway said that she would prefer new toys and/or new clothing. Dropoff locations for donated items include all branches of Taylor Bank; DeNovo's at the south Gate of Ocean Pines; and Five Below near Ocean City. If anyone wishes to make a monetary contribution they can mail it to Worcester County Sheriff's Office, 1 W. Market St., Room 1001, Snow Hill, Md. 21863, Attn: Dena Holloway. Contributions can be accepted until Dec. 17.

    As in past years, there is one contribution that Holloway desperately needs: non-perishable food. Last year the program helped 1,532 children in 485 families, exceeding previous years. Thirty-two senior citizens were also given assistance.

    Another area in which the program has been of assistance is helping families who have been burned out of their homes. The Christmas program began in a small way in 1981 and has been growing each year since that event.

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Baltimore's 'Ace of Cakes' Is Canceled By Food Network

    The Food Network Friday cancelled "Ace of Cakes," the Baltimore-based reality TV series featuring chef Duff Goldman.

    The series set at Goldman's Charm City Cakes will end with the run of its 10th season, which begins in January, according to a spokeswoman for Authentic Television, the California-based production company that makes the show.

    “Ace of Cakes has been a Food Network favorite for the past four and half years over the course of 116 episodes,” Bob Tuschman, senior vice president for programming at the cable channel, said in a statement to the Sun. “But all good things must come to an end. The final season of ‘Ace of Cakes’ will begin on-air in January. The Food Network, as well as its millions of viewers, remain passionate about Duff. So, we are currently in the process of developing new show concepts for him.”

    The cancellation was first reported Friday by the Hollywood celebrity website TMZ.

    The series debuted in 2006 and was instantly one of the highest rated series on the Food Network.

    Here's how the network describes the show:

    "Meet Chef Duff. Shaping cakes with drill saws and blowtorches, and staffing his bakery with fellow rock musicians, he's not your typical baker. However, he's one of the most sought-after decorative cake makers in the country. Every week at Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, Duff and his team of artists try to meet the demands of creating up to 20 cakes a week, some of which take up to 29 hours to build! From a tilted Dr. Seuss-like seven-tiered wedding cake to an almost perfect replica of Wrigley Field, Duff can build it. Go behind the scenes to see how he and his fellow cake bakers dish up sugar and spice in the most unexpected and entertaining ways."

    The show, which is filmed at the bakery on Remington Avenue in Baltimore, can be seen in reruns at 11 p.m. Tuesday nights on the Food Network.

    Calls and emails to Charm City Cakes, which is on a Thanksgiving break, according to a recorded message, were not returned Friday.

    Churches Come Together For Gun Buyback

    At a recent Pocomoke City citizens meeting the Police Chief scoffed at having any type of gun buypack arrangements for the town. And I know that Baltimore is much larger, crime is through the roof there but come on..........Do you really want to wait until crime is WORSE in Pocomoke to try to do anything?

    OH, I bet you would be surprised at what some may find in their yards when a weekend is over. And you know what? I just bet there might be a gun or two in that city. Maybe the best thing to do is give it a try........or is it that you don't want to attempt it because it costs money?

    Two churches took 42 working firearms off the street Saturday during a gun buyback sponsored by The Catholic Review newspaper in hopes of curbing violence in the city.

    "Any weapons we get off the street is a good thing in this time, in this neighborhood," said the Rev. Peter Lyons of St. Wenceslaus Church in the Middle East neighborhood of Baltimore. Violence in the community just east of Johns Hopkins Hospital, he said, erupts "every weekend it seems."

    At St. Gregory the Great Church on North Gilmor Street in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, the Rev. Damien Nalepa said 26 guns were collected, "the second-highest" take among the half-dozen or so buybacks the parish has held.

    For four hours, the churches accepted automatic and semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles for $100 and any other working gun for $50. Church officials hoped more people would come forward in the coming days.

    Those who participated were not asked any questions. The firearms are handed over to police, who check serial numbers against those of weapons that have been used in crimes. Then the guns are destroyed.

    "Some people thought they weren't loaded, but in two cases, they were," Lyons said. He hoped the possibility of cash for the holidays would entice people to turn in guns, and said his church would likely hold another such event in the future.

    To promote the buyback, fliers were distributed at nearby community centers, including the Oliver Recreation Center and Safe Streets locations. The Safe Streets organization, funded by the city, aims to mediate disputes before they turn violent in troubled neighborhoods.

    Gun buybacks have been debated in Baltimore at least since 1974, when Mayor William Donald Schaefer called such programs "innovative."

    In 2000, Mayor Martin O'Malley questioned whether such measures were effective, saying the initiatives tended to collect "a lot of garbage guns."

    But five years later, the city spent $100,000 on a buyback program.

    "If we can save one life or spare one child from being harmed by playing with a gun, then it's worth the effort," O'Malley said at the time.

    Since then, several churches have organized buyback initiatives.

    Sunday Matinee At The MarVa Theater

    If you haven't been to see this movie you have one more chance!

    Sunday Matinee 2:00 pm Admission: $5.00