Berlin’s New Econ. Development Director Named; Wells Currently Serves In Same Capacity In Sykesville

Ivy Wells

BERLIN – An accomplished tourism and economic development professional from Sykesville has been selected to replace Michael Day as Berlin’s director of economic development.

Town officials announced that Ivy Wells, currently the director of economic development in Sykesville, has been selected to take over the position being vacated by Day, who is retiring.

“We’re obviously all delighted with how much Michael Day got done but the job is not done,” Mayor Gee Williams said. “There’s so much opportunity with Ivy’s experience and enthusiasm. As much as has been done there’s still a lot to do.”

Wells, who has served as economic development director and Main Street manager in Sykesville for the past six years, is expected to start in Berlin Nov. 24.

“I feel extremely privileged that I’m getting this opportunity,” Wells said. “I can’t wait to make Berlin my home.”

Wells, a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park, is also a certified Tourism Ambassador for the state and a board member for the Community Development Network of Maryland.

Day says that because of her work in Sykesville Wells already knows many of the state’s tourism and economic development officials, something that will help her get off to a smooth start in Berlin. Day will also be spending some time with Wells to get her started. She met several local officials during a visit to Octoberfest last weekend. She said she made a point to get to town early so she could see how staff set up for the event.

“It was like a well-oiled machine,” she said. “I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Day expects Wells to be a good fit in Berlin.

“We wrote the job description as if they were looking for me,” he said, “and she fit it almost perfectly.”

Williams agreed. He said that although several qualified applicants had expressed interest in the position, Wells was the best of the bunch.

“When you’ve got someone that’s one of the best prospects in the state it’s tough competition for everybody,” he said.

Williams was impressed with Wells’ work in Sykesville, where she helped get a Main Street program off the ground just as Day had in Berlin.

“I’m impressed with her record of success in turning a little into a lot,” he said.

Berlin Councilmember Lisa Hall said she was excited to have Wells come to Berlin.

“I have been aware of the great strides she has made in developing the Main Street program as well as in economic development,” Hall said. “I look forward to working with Ivy and seeing her move economic development in Berlin to the next level.”


New Video Provides More Information In OC Manslaughter Case

A screenshot from a camera footage shows emergency responders tending to Justin D. Cancelliere on Aug. 24 in the parking lot of the Plim Plaza Hotel.

OCEAN CITY — New details emerged this week in the manslaughter case against two local men charged for their alleged roles in the death of a Pennsylvania man found unresponsive and unconscious in a downtown hotel parking lot in August.

A new surveillance video was released this week that chronicles the events from when the victim and two other individuals arrived at the hotel in a taxi to the time he was taken by ambulance to AGH.

Around 3 a.m. on Aug. 24, Ocean City Police and Emergency Services responded to a hotel parking lot on 2nd Street for a reported assault that had already occurred. Upon arrival, OCPD officers found the victim, later identified as Justin D. Cancelliere, 37, of North Whitehall, Pa., unconscious and unresponsive. First responders from the OCPD and Ocean City Fire Department initiated emergency lifesaving procedures on the victim and transported him to AGH where he was later pronounced deceased. An autopsy was performed and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled to nature of Cancelliere’s injuries as head and neck trauma and the cause of death a homicide.

After an investigation, OCPD detectives determined the assault occurred during an altercation in the area of Talbot Street and Baltimore Ave. Two suspects identified as Caleb Edwin-Earl Ochse, 27, of Ocean City, and Christopher Blake Kendall, 22, of Ocean City, have been charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, affray, disorderly conduct and alcoholic beverage-did endanger for their alleged roles in the confrontation.

A surveillance video obtained by The Dispatch shows what appears to be an initial contact between the defendants and the victim and his party, including a cousin and friends, at the Fat Daddy’s restaurant and ends with Cancelliere and his group following Ochse and Kendall out of the restaurant.

A second video obtained this week shows the victim apparently still unconscious being removed from a taxi at the hotel parking lot on 2nd Street and OCPD officers and eventually paramedics arriving on the scene and treating Cancelliere before taking him to AGH where he was ultimately pronounced deceased. What is uncertain, however, and what will likely be the crux of the case against Ochse and Kendall, is what happened in between. Those details will likely be largely ferreted from witness testimony, but the two videos paint a bookend picture of what happened on either end of the alleged fatal confrontation.

After the alleged physical confrontation, Cancelliere’s cousin and friends were able to get him into a taxi, which took one of them and an unidentified woman to the Plim Plaza Hotel a few blocks north. From the beginning, it has been uncertain if someone in the victim’s group called 911 after the altercation or after the cab arrived back at the hotel. It is also uncertain if Cancelliere’s group called 911 or the call for Emergency Services came from an unattached third party of witness. However, the hotel surveillance video obtained by The Dispatch this week at least fills in some of the blanks in the timeline.

The hotel surveillance video begins at around 3:02 a.m. on Aug. 24 and shows the taxi pulling into the parking area at the Plim Plaza. An unidentified woman, who may or may not be the same female seen with the defendants at the end of the earlier video from Fat Daddy’s quickly gets out from the passenger side front seat and comes around to the rear driver’s side. The cab driver gets out to lend assistance, as does another unidentified man, who pulls an unconscious Cancelliere from the taxi and holds the victim’s head in his lap in the parking lot at around 3:04 a.m.

At 3:05 a.m., others arrive on the scene, presumably members of the victim’s group from Fat Daddy’s who returned on foot. At 3:10 a.m., the cab exits, leaving the victim lying in the parking lot with other members of his group around him. Oddly, other people not associated with the incident return to the hotel and walk by the scene of the unconscious victim on the parking lot, as does at least one other vehicle.

Around 3:12 a.m., a pizza delivery driver arrives and makes his delivery at the hotel. When leaving, the pizza delivery driver sees the victim lying in the parking lot with others surrounding him and runs from the parking area presumably to find a police officer. At 3:13 a.m., at least one of the members of the group is scene pumping on the victim’s chest in an apparent attempt at lifesaving. It is interesting to note there was not an apparent sense of urgency when the cab first arrived at the hotel, but that urgency escalated as the minutes ticked by.

At 3:14 a.m., two OCPD bike officers arrive on the scene and a marked OCPD vehicle arrives about a minute later. About a minute after that, an Ocean City EMS ambulance arrives and EMTs begin treating the victim. The victim is loaded onto the ambulance at around 3:18 a.m. and the ambulance leaves for AGH around 3:35 a.m. The video shows OCPD officers still on the scene questioning witnesses and filling out reports at 4:45 a.m.

Again, it’s uncertain what allegedly occurred between the seemingly innocuous encounter between the victim and his group and the defendants at Fat Daddy’s and the arrival of the cab at the downtown hotel, but the latest video obtained by The Dispatch paints a picture of the victim’s arrival of the cab at the downtown hotel and the subsequent arrival of the police and EMTs.

The first video from Fat Daddy’s shows Ochse enter the restaurant at around 2:30 a.m. followed by Kendall a short time later. Not long after that, Cancelliere and his group including three companions, one of which is his cousin, enter the restaurant. The four men apparently order food and sit down at a booth somewhat across from Ochse’s and Kendall’s table on a diagonal. What follows is a long sequence of comings and goings, although the tape clearly shows Cancelliere staring in the direction of Ocshe and Kendall.

About a half an hour after their arrival, Ochse and Kendall get up from their table and exit the restaurant through the front door along with an unidentified female. Cancelliere and his group get up from their booth immediately after Ochse and Kendall leave and essentially follow them out the door. The video clearly shows Ochse, Kendall and the female pass by the restaurant’s front windows with Cancelliere and his group close behind.

The first video ends at that point and it is uncertain what happened next, although according to police reports, there was a physical confrontation between the two groups on Talbot Street between Baltimore Ave. and the Boardwalk. The hotel video obtained by The Dispatch shows the cab arriving a short time later and again, it is uncertain what happened in between.

Meanwhile, two months have passed since the incident and Ochse’s parents claim they are still attempting to obtain more information about the case from the State’s Attorney’s Office. In a release issued last week, the defendant’s parents allege the State’s Attorney’s Office has been dragging its feet in releasing information about the details of the case.

The discovery process in any case is meticulous and time consuming, and reportedly the State’s Attorney’s Office and defense attorney Mike Farlow, who is representing Ochse, are working through the process. Both parties have said they are meticulously working through the discovery phase. For its part, the State’s Attorney’s Office is judicially and ethically bound not to discuss the case publicly and through the media, a spokesman reminded this reporter last week. The State’s Attorney’s Office has said unofficially in the past they are not motivated by anything other than finding out the facts of the case and prosecuting those responsible.

While the discovery phase is ongoing, late last week Ochse’s defense team entered several motions for subpoena of tangible evidence seeking among other things, the AGH records, the Worcester County EMS records, the Ocean City EMS records, the Medical Examiner’s test results, the Ocean City Communication records and the OCPD records. However, no ruling on those motions had been made as of early this week. A motions hearing has been set for Dec. 2 on the cases for each defendant, with a tentative trial date in both cases set for Jan. 7.




Ocean City Halloween Activities Get Started This Weekend

The town’s Halloween Beach Maze will be open Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 24-25 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — OCtoberfest is back and bigger than ever this year.

This official town event provides activities for the whole family, including the family pet. Starting on Saturday, Oct. 18, the giant Halloween Beach Maze opens for adults and children to find their way through winding pathways on Ocean City’s beach while interacting with great Halloween props, whimsical characters and other special effects. This great beach experience is located just off the Boardwalk at N. Division Street and is free to all who dare enter this family-friendly attraction. The maze is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. October 18-19 and Oct. 24-25, weather permitting.

The Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade scampers onto the Boardwalk at N. Division Street on Oct. 18 with registration opening at 1 p.m. Pets, pet owners and pet lovers will find this gathering of costumed furry friends (or not so furry) to be a great time whether as a participant or spectator. Owners don’t forget your costumes. Participation is free. Parade begins at 2 p.m.

The spooktacular events continue as the calendar moves closer to Halloween with the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department hosting a Halloween movie delight night on Friday, Oct. 24. Families can enjoy the classic family-friendly movie adventure, The Goonies, while taking in the beautiful setting at Sunset Park. The movie is free and public parking is available across the street. Food and beverages will be available to purchase on site including hot dogs, popcorn, candy, sodas and beverages. Guests should bring folding chairs and blankets to snuggle in for this great evening entertainment under the stars.

Before the beach maze comes back to life on Saturday, Oct. 25, the day kicks off with the Seaside 10. The 21st running of the 10-mile course, which takes advantage of Ocean City’s historic Boardwalk and Coastal Highway, is a fantastic way to gear up for the Halloween holiday. All are welcome to come wearing their most outrageous costumes. Entry fees for the 10 miler are $40 through Oct. 17and $50 thereafter. The 5K race entry fee is $25 through Oct. 17 and $30 thereafter. Both races originate in Ocean City’s Inlet Parking Lot and begin at 8 a.m. For more information, visit for additional information on the run.

The Saturday festivities continue on Oct. 25 with the Great Pumpkin Race at N. Division Street beginning at 1 p.m. NoOcean2 matter your skills, this is the event for you. Get your pumpkin now – shape and size doesn’t matter. Pull your team together and carve it or paint it, add things to it and follow the race rules to make your entry for this enjoyable and hilarious event. Gravity is your motor. Whether they finish or not, it’s just good old straight line racing fun. Activities and heats begin at 1 p.m. Entry is free. Additional details and rules can be found at

The Great Pumpkin race is followed shortly thereafter by the Drive in Disguise. This event offers locals and guests alike the opportunity to decorate their automobile or business vehicle and join the convoy of festive Halloween rides for a rare drive down the Boardwalk. The Stephen Decatur High School band will join the parade, which will end with the decorated vehicles being judged in the Inlet Parking Lot by family, friends and the public. Bring your dollar bills to vote by placing a dollar in the container next to your favorite car. The vehicle with the most votes wins. Proceeds go to the Ocean City Downtown Association.

Live DJ music and local businesses will also be on site. Vehicles with OC license plates enter for free. All other participants are $25. Spectators, who wish to simply view the first-year parade, can make way to the Boardwalk between 4th Street and the Pier where you can watch from the concrete pad as the parade makes its way south. Visit the Downtown Association’s website at for more information about the Drive in Disguise.

Wrapping up the OCtoberfest activities is the ever-so-popular Halloween “Spook Out” Party at Northside Park on Oct. 26. Get your Halloween costume ready and join all the other goblins for this indoor trick or treat experience. Participants of all ages, including parents, will fill the Northside Park gym from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for carnival games, arts and crafts, hayrides and snacks! Costume contests will be scheduled throughout the event. No preregistration is required and the price of admission is a bag of individually wrapped candy per child. Details are available at

With numerous events and activities taking place this month, the ghouls and goblins in your life are sure to enjoy all that OCtoberfest has to offer. Check out for local business discounts available in town with a costume and without, including Fall Resaturant Week which takes place until Oct. 26 at participating restaurants.



Seahawks Notch First Win Of Season

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s varsity football team last week notched its first win of the season after five defeats, holding on against host North Caroline, 31-26, after a see-saw battle.

The Seahawks had lost five straight to start the season, but had played well for the most part and a handful of miscues and misplays had proven to be their undoing in many of them. For example, the Seahawks lost to Indian River by a touchdown in the season opener, played unbeaten and Bayside Conference leader Queen Anne’s close for the better part of three quarters and fell to Easton, 34-33, two weeks ago in overtime.

Through it all, Decatur kept plugging away and played tough with the understanding they would soon put an entire game together and get into the win column. That game finally came last Friday against host North Caroline.

North Caroline scored first on an early rushing touchdown to take a 7-0 lead, but the Seahawks answered right back and scored a touchdown of their own to tie the game at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter. The two teams played a scoreless second until North Caroline got back on the board with less than a minute remaining in the half to take a 14-7 lead into intermission.

In the third quarter, Decatur returned a punt for the touchdown, but the extra point failed and the Seahawks still trailed 14-13. Decatur scored another touchdown with less than a minute left in the third but couldn’t connect on the two point conversion and extended its lead to 19-14.

In the fourth quarter, North Caroline took the lead, 20-19, on a rushing touchdown with about nine minutes remaining in the game. Decatur answered quickly with a touchdown of its own to reclaim the lead at 25-20. The Seahawks added another score to extend its lead to 31-20 with time running down and it appeared the team was going to get off the snide and get into the win column. North Caroline added a late touchdown, but the damage had been done and the Seahawks prevailed for their first win of the season.

Now 1-5 on the year, the Seahawks have dispensed with the tough run of games against strong Bayside North opponents and have an opportunity to improve on their record. Decatur played Wicomico last night in a game played too late to be included in this edition. The Seahawks will finish up the season with Bennett next week, followed by the traditional season finale against county rival Snow Hill.

Adventures Of Fatherhood

new fatherhood headshot

Beckett is a hilarious story teller and he recently added some new skills to his trade.

Since he seems to enjoy spelling very much these days, he has added that to many of his stories with the result being it keeps us on our toes.

One day after school, Beckett was talking to Pam about his day when all of a sudden he remembered something he wanted to tell her. He described an incident that took place between him and his buddy.

“Guess what [so and so, no names needed here] did … he p-u-n-c-h-e-d m-e in the privates, you know the n-u-t-s,” he said.

I am so glad I was not the one having the story told to me because on these sorts of locker room topics I still possess the maturity level of a little boy. I am usually adept at keeping that side of me suppressed, but there is no way I would have been able to keep a straight face as he told that story, especially when he felt the need to elaborate and spell out the word he prefers to use for his most sensitive of areas.

Spelling it out only made it that much more hilarious because he really doesn’t know what he’s doing. He just knows those are words he can spell and he thinks it’s okay to spell out questionable words so long as he doesn’t say it.

Another story involved something he overheard a big kid say at the playground. He came running over to me, motioned for me to come to him and pointed to a teen-ager across the way. In tattletale fashion, he then proceeded to spell out a few curse words he had overheard him saying to his friends, leading me to wonder how he knows how to spell the words that start with a ‘f’, ‘s’ and ‘b’ at 6 years of age.

When I asked him that, he redirected, saying, “no way, I spelled them right? I was just guessing by sounding them out.”

After turning away and getting myself together, I reinforced how inappropriate those words are to use in any fashion, including spelling out, and Beckett replied, “yeah, they s-o-u-n-d v-e-r-y s-t-u-p-i-d and dumb.”

Another story was a quick one that involved another tattle moment on his little brother. Requesting I come in close again, he whispered, “Carson c-l-i-m-b-e-d on the ottoman and j-u-m-p-e-d and hit B-a-i-l-e-y [our dog] on the b-u-t-t.”

It’s hilarious to see which words he chooses to spell out and which he does not. One thing is for sure it keeps us listening because we have to stay with his spelling in our head to make sure we keep up with him.


Embarrassing my kids is a lot of fun to me.

Not much seems to mortify Carson, 4, but Beckett on the other hand is fun to mess with at times.

While I do intentionally on occasion try to embarrass him for fun, I ended up shaming myself in the process a couple weeks ago.

During halftime of a recent Upward Soccer game, Beckett’s coach needed some volunteers. I did so, having no idea what I was getting myself into. I soon learned why there were not too many parents stepping forward. They knew what happened at halftime.

Because it was the game of the week, parents from both teams were to compete in a friendly game during the break. In our case, it was run from the end line to half field, do 10 rotations around a baseball bat and then run back.

Most of the parents wiped out after spinning around the bat or at least staggered to get back to the end line.

I was in the fall down hard category as I went down immediately after spinning around the bat, confirming the age-old discovery that the older you get the more susceptible to motion you become. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I had the hardest time getting back to my team because I could not run in a straight line, thanks to a temporary case of vertigo.

When I finally made it back, I was greeted by Beckett, who was laughing hysterically and kept asking me, “Why did you do that?”

I didn’t have an answer and still don’t, but I will not be volunteering for any halftime show anytime soon.


For a non-verbal child, Carson is easily able to communicate his wants and needs.

Surely that sounds contradictory, but it’s true, at least for his parents.

Carson knows some sign language and has some alternative devices to help him express himself, but most of the time he simply expresses himself in a clear fashion.

There’s never a time we do not know what’s on his mind or how he is doing. He just shows it in less obvious ways than speaking.

While concerns about his speech are always on our minds, there are times when you can’t help but get a kick out of the lengths he goes to get his point across.

A typical example was the other night. For some reason, Beckett felt the need to get naked in the living room and left his underwear on the floor. From another room, I could hear Carson making noises. When I found him, he was standing with his hands cupped around his mouth, mocking a shouting fashion.

What had him enthralled was Beckett’s underwear on the floor. It turns out he was making a joke because he leaned down toward them and fanned his nose.

When I picked them up and went to take them upstairs, he grabbed them out of my hand and threw them in the trash can, again making that fanning motion by his nose. It was funny.






What’s Your Sign?

horoscopes new

ARIES (March 21 to April 19): You could be caught in a torrent of advice from well-meaning friends and colleagues this week. But remember, Lamb, you are at your best when you are your own inimitable self.

TAURUS (April 20 to May 20): Expect strong efforts to get you to accept things as they are and not question them. But ignore all that and continue your inquiries until you’re sure you have all the answers you need.

GEMINI (May 21 to June 20): Heavier than usual family and workplace duties compete for your time this week. Try to strike a balance so that you’re not overwhelmed by either. Pressures ease by week’s end.

CANCER (June 21 to July 22): It’s a good time for the Moon Child to show off your uniquely inspired approach to the culinary skills — especially if they’re directed toward impressing someone special.

LEO (July 23 to Aug. 22): You might be happy about the re-emergence of a long-deferred deal. But don’t pounce on it quite yet. Time can change things. Be sure the values you looked for before are still there.

VIRGO (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22): Try to rein in your super-critical attitude, even if things aren’t being done quite as you would prefer. Remember: What you say now could create an awkward situation later on.

LIBRA (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22): Although you can expect on-the-job cooperation from most of your colleagues this week, some people might insist on knowing more about your plans before they can accept them.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21): Creating another way to do things is commendable. But you could find some resistance this week from folks who would rather stick with the tried-and-true than try something new.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21): You usually can keep your aim focused on your goal. But you might need to make adjustments to cope with unsteadiness factors that could arise over the course of the week.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19): News arrives about a projected move. Be prepared to deal with a series of possible shifts, including starting and finishing times, and how much the budget will actually cover.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18): A new relationship needs time to develop. Let things flow naturally. It could be a different story with a workplace situation, which might require faster and more focused attention.

PISCES (Feb. 19 to March 20): Accept a compliment without trying to troll for any hidden reason beyond what was said. After all, don’t you deserve to be praised every now and then? Of course you do.

BORN THIS WEEK: You like to weigh all possibilities before making a decision. You would be a fine judge, or even be a star in a jury room.

(c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

Seahawks Rally To Win Bayside South

Decatur’s Payton VanKirk battles for the ball with Parkside defenders during the second half of the Bayside South clinching win over the Rams on Tuesday.

Photo by Shawn Soper

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity soccer team capped an unbeaten regular season with a dramatic come-from-behind win over Parkside on Tuesday to claim the Bayside South championship.

The Seahawks entered Tuesday’s showdown with a chance to clinch the Bayside South and advance to the conference championship game next week. Decatur entered Tuesday’s game with an 11-0-1 record, the only non-win on their schedule a 1-1 tie with Parkside back on October 2. Parkside, meanwhile, was also unbeaten, but had two ties on its record including the tie with Decatur and another tie in its next game with Bennett.

Something had to give when the two powerhouses met at Decatur on Tuesday and for a long time the suspense built. The two teams played to a 0-0 tie in the first half although both had opportunities. Parkside broke through just over six minutes into the second half on a fast-break goal to take a 1-0 lead.

Decatur continued to apply pressure in the Parkside defensive end and had opportunities. At one point, the Parkside goalie charged out of the net to stop a Decatur fast-break and made a great diving stop, but had come out of the box and the Seahawks were awarded an indirect penalty kick. In another opportunity, a Seahawk forward fired a successful shot on a lofted pass, but was ruled offside and the goal was nullified.

Finally, with just over 23 minutes remaining, Decatur got the equalizer on a goal by senior captain Payton VanKirk. VanKirk got behind the defense and had a one-on-one with the Parkside goalie. The Parkside keeper came out, but VanKirk was able to fire a shot past her to tie the game at 1-1.

For the next 14 minutes or so, both teams had opportunities, but the score remained tied as the tension built. With just over nine minutes left in the game, Decatur was awarded a corner kick. Lexi McDonough launched a high shot at the near post and Mallory Vara was able to head it in for the go-ahead goal. The dramatic goal touched off a brief celebration, but there was still much work to be done.

Decatur dug in on defense and repelled several late scoring chances for the Rams until the final horn sounded. The 2-1 win clinched the Bayside South title for Decatur and touched off a celebration including hugs and a few tears, and a cooler dumping on new coach Maggie Berke. With the win, Decatur earned a spot in the Bayside Conference championship game next Tuesday at Wicomico County Stadium against the Bayside North champion.

Students From Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School Participate In Annual Walkathon

Students F

Students from Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School recently participated in their annual Walkathon fundraiser. This event, sponsored by Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School’s Home and School Association, promotes health and fitness school-wide for students ranging in grades from Pre-K 3 through Eighth grade. Over $18,000 was raised this year to benefit the school. Top fundraisers were MaryAnn and MadaLynne Rutzler.