Heels and Reels Tourney Underway

OCEAN CITY- Before the big boys hit the seas for the 42nd White Marlin Open next week, lady anglers throughout the resort area will have their moment in the sun this weekend with the arrival of the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 7th Annual Heels and Reels Tournament.

The ladies-only tournament got underway yesterday with registration and a captain’s meeting, but the real action gets started today with the first of two official fishing days. Captains and teams of anglers must choose to fish one of two days, either Friday or Saturday. The Heels and Reels Tournament is the club’s only ladies-only event in its summer-long tournament series and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Ocean City Marlin Club’s Bertha Holloway Auxiliary Scholarship Fund.

Essentially, it’s a boat tournament, meaning awards will be distributed to the top boat teams and not individual anglers. According to tournament rules, anyone may hook the fish, but it must be immediately handed off to a lady angler on board. Weigh-ins will be held each day at Sunset Marina in West Ocean City from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The tournament will conclude with an awards banquet at the Marlin Club in West Ocean City on Saturday night.

Last year, the tournament raised nearly $4,000 for the auxiliary scholarship fund. In the Billfish Release Division, it was the crew on the “Sea Slammer” taking first place with 500 total release points. The “Sea Slammer” team, including Vicky and Debbie McCann, Maria Herron and Suzette Frank, who caught her first white marlin, earned $12,240 in prize money. The crew on the “Jenny Poo,” including Jenn Pastorius and Kristen Brown, who also caught and released her first white, scored 400 release points and earned $2,754.

In the Tuna Division, it was Tamara Sears fishing aboard the “Grande Pez” taking first place with a 63.8-pounder worth $1,282. Corky Mock on the “Slaughterhouse” was second with a 62.8-pounder worth $1,714, while Sears on the “Grande Pez” took third with a 57.2-pounder and earned another $513. Brandy Parker on the “Marli” took fourth with a 56.4-pounder worth $3,375 because of added entry levels. Heather Thompson and Lisa Malaska on the “Jezebel” took fifth and earned $567, while Wendy Goll on the “Knot Again” took sixth and earned $378.

In the dolphin division, angler Bernadette Mumford on the “Knot Again” took first place with a 49.6-pounder worth $5,602. Maria Baiocco, also on the “Knot Again” took second with an 18-pounder worth $1,336. Jen Otto on the “Last Call” took third in the dolphin division with a 17-pounder worth $891. The Top Junior Angler Award went to Shannon Stickles on the “White Lightning” with a 16.8-pound dolphin worth $500.

Adventures Of Fatherhood

new fatherhood headshot

With it being summer and all, I’m swimming every day with my boys and that is always an adventure.

Life is never boring with my sons, 7 and 5 years old, but the summer season is certainly my favorite time of year because we are always outside, being active and having fun in the water, whether it’s the pool, bay or ocean.

I am so excited for Carson this summer because he’s now swimming well on his own after about a year of private lessons. Last summer he wanted to be held the entire time and rarely would venture by himself even in shallow areas. This summer his comfort level has soared, thanks in large part to the lessons.

We have found team sports to be a bit of a challenge for him at this point, but he has taken to swimming lessons on Saturday mornings with Miss Nancy in Ocean Pines. He thoroughly enjoys it and has made tremendous progress in a year. He now spends most of his time under water swimming around doing “big scoops” and diving down for rings (or action figures, which always end up in the pool, for some reason).

Among my kids’ favorite pool games is when I make them cover their eyes and then I throw the diving rings (and a few action figures) around the pool. The concept being whoever grabs the most wins.

Being an adept swimmer and typically more energetic than his little brother, Beckett always get a majority of them. In fact, Carson does well to retrieve two out of the eight. Therefore, to keep Carson’s morale up, I intervene and block Beckett so Carson can make it a little bit more even.

It’s funny because Beckett, who is quite chatty, will try and talk to me underwater. I just respond by waving my finger back and forth in a “no” fashion, which always makes him laugh. That distraction helps Carson make it a little bit more of a fair contest.

As I said, with the pool, both boys spend most of their time underwater. Carson likes to blow bubbles because it’s something he has been working on in his lessons. Beckett will typically join in since they share the same brain so often anyway.

One night this week, both boys were under water seemingly having a bubble contest with me nearby. Apparently, some of the bubbles that were created did not stem from their mouths. I didn’t know anything about it until Carson all of a sudden headed straight to the steps and pointed at his rear end, identifying the source of the latest round of bubbles. That was good for some laughs.

Another source of giggles for me is a recent fear of the deep end of the pool from Beckett after a recent dream. Apparently, he had a dream the other night about an orca being in “my pool” and grabbing him when he came down the slide. For the last several days, he will not venture into the deep end, despite the fact he can clearly see there’s nothing to be worried about (save a few action figures at the bottom). However, he does often try and convince his little brother to head that direction, confirming he — at certain times at least — is still holding onto the dream of being an only child.

While his comfort level has soared in the pool, it’s another matter for Carson in the ocean. Beckett is at ease in the ocean these days, but there are times when he is humbled by big waves and current. That’s a good thing I think because respecting the ocean is important.

When I take both boys into the ocean to give Pam a little break, I usually have to hold Carson or put him on my shoulders. He’s just a little unsure of himself and needs some security. The fingernail marks on my back from last weekend confirm that.

Slowly, I have been having him stand in the ocean while holding my hand so he can feel the currents and go under the waves, but he still scares easily at this point so I don’t push it too much.

Beckett can hold his own for the most part with my only responsibility being to constantly remind him to pay attention and not turn his back on the waves, even if the conversation with the nearby stranger is that distracting.

Time and time again I have watched Beckett become enthralled by the silliest things rather than focus on the coming waves.

For example, on a recent beach day, he was infatuated with these large and goofy inflatable rings a group of guys had in the water. The rings were blowing all around them and they continually lost them amid the waves.

Beckett took it upon himself to be their little errand boy, running after the tubes whenever they lost them. The problem was he was getting blindsided by waves retrieving these annoyances (in my opinion).

While the strangers seemed thankful for the little guy’s help, they repeatedly denied his request to ride a wave with one. I cheered that decision but not quite as loud when one popped as a guy stood on one.

My happiness was quelled when Beckett tried to immediately imitate the guy and stand up on his boogie board while riding a wave.

Councilman OK To Bid On Town Projects In Future

BERLIN – The Berlin Ethics Commission ruled that a town councilman could bid on municipal projects as long as certain conditions were met.

At the request of Berlin Councilman Thom Gulyas, the town’s ethics commission met to consider whether or not he could bid on the town’s printing projects. The commission agreed that he could as long he had no access to project bids or contact with the staff handling them.

“This is for your protection,” said Anita Todd, chair of the commission.

Gulyas, the owner of Ace Printing & Mailing in Berlin, was elected to the town council in 2014. He told the ethics commission, which meets as needed, that he had handled printing jobs for the town in the past and was interested in continuing to do so. He said he was not aware of any upcoming projects but simply wanted to know whether, with his position on the council, he would be able to bid on town projects in the future.

“I think we can be extremely competitive,” Gulyas said. “All I’m looking for is the option to be able to put in to bid. If we’re successful, great and if we’re not we move on to the next one.”

Though commission member Bill Burke was quick to say he had no problem with the request, town attorney David Gaskill reminded the commission of the town code. He said it wasn’t as simple as telling Gulyas he could bid but rather a matter of adhering to the town’s ordinance on the subject.

“It says that except as permitted by regulation of the commission when the interest is disclosed, which it is, an official, of which Thom is, may not be employed by or have a financial interest in any entity that is negotiating or has entered a contract with the commission with which the individual is affiliated,” Gaskill said. “So it is generally prohibited unless this commission says it’s fine and under what if any conditions you want to put on that.”

After a brief closed session, the commission announced Gulyas could bid on town projects as long as he had no access to any of the bids submitted and no contact with town staff regarding the bids.

“You can talk to them about other things but not about the submitted bids,” Todd said.

Gulyas said he understood and didn’t want to create any cause for concern.

“The last thing I want to do is embarrass the mayor and council or the town,” he said.

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk


Due to the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) filing for bankruptcy again and a fire sale of many stores underway as a result of liquidation, there have been many questions about the future of the local stores over the last month. Some details are starting to become clear now.

The Superfresh store on 95th Street will be changing to an Acme. The store is considered a Tier I store and among the most profitable of the brand, thanks in large part to the massive volume associated with the tourism season. The same goes for the Rehoboth, Del. store. Word is Acme officials have already been in the Ocean City store speaking with employees and conducting site research.

The huge unknown and probably carrying the biggest impact on local residents is the fate of the West Ocean City Superfresh store, which is located inside the Tanger Outlets. The West Ocean City store is considered a Tier II store, which is termed a “non-core” operation that A&P has on the selling block but no official takers at this time. I understand one hurdle here is a lease with Tanger and at this point it’s unclear if another grocery store chain is welcome in that location.

More will play out here in the coming months, but the current uncertainty for the West Ocean City store is certainly keeping the local rumor mill abuzz.


I hope I’m wrong but I think Ocean City could be headed toward a revolving door when it comes to the city manager position. I wrote about this in 2012 prior to David Recor taking the job as well.

Since Ocean City changed to a council-manager form of government from a strong mayoral role in the mid-1980s, Ocean City has had just four city managers — Tony Barrett, Joe Braun, Dennis Dare and Recor. That’s impressive when considering Braun didn’t even last a month.

Dare was city manager for 21 years and his successor, Recor, barely made three years. The reality here is the chances the short stint served by Recor repeats itself with another outside candidate is much more likely than another long tenure like Dare’s happening again after an internal promotion.

Even if the city hires from within, it looks likely another city manager vacancy will probably be in its not so distant future. Most qualified candidates on the inside, such as City Engineer Terry McGean and Public Works Director Hal Adkins, are nearing retirement age, or at least have to be mulling their eligibility, as Adkins has 31 years in and McGean has 25 years with the city. Adkins turned the job down three years ago as a result of political turmoil and the fact the council was not unanimously in favor of him moving into that role for a variety of reasons. Word is now he’s not going to be a candidate this time around by his own choice.

It seems there will be plenty of time to consider the city manager post’s future. Like what transpired with the last city manager opening in 2011, it looks like it will be a long process, as the job opening has not yet been posted on the International City/County Management Association website as of Thursday morning or the city’s website. That will likely take place after the city picks a company to handle the nationwide search, and the idea might be to get through the summer season before diving into the process.

My prediction is it will be next spring before the city has its next chief executive with Mayor Rick Meehan serving as acting city manager for about nine months — the same time period he served after Dare’s forced retirement.


The Ocean City Mayor and Council added some much-needed perspective to the ongoing rental situation in the resort this week.

This issue has polarized the community and the council seemed to make it clear Tuesday it wants to come up with a short-term plan while working in some permanent changes into a possible comprehensive rezoning as part of the upcoming Comprehensive Plan drafting process.

A couple days before the council discussed the matter this week, an editorial in The Baltimore Sun was published. It essentially mirrors this newspaper’s position dating back to last summer.

“Let those neighborhoods create their own homeowners associations and approve whatever restrictions on parking or noise they might like,” it read. “At least the town needs to find out if its current education and enforcement efforts are having any effect on the problem. If not, the town could always raise the fines for noise violations, punish property management agencies that fail to properly supervise their rentals, hire more police officers to enforce the law or take other steps to ensure good behavior. Better to explore those possibilities than deny people the ability to rent their properties to vacationers and potentially put some homeowners — and perhaps Ocean City‘s economy — in a bind.”

Kiwanis Club Of Greater Ocean Pines-Ocean City Holds Annual Summer Pancake Breakfast And 2nd Annual Bingo Night

Community E

For the second year in a row, the Kiwanis Club of Greater Ocean Pines-Ocean City held its Annual Summer Pancake Breakfast and the 2nd Annual Bingo Night on the same day. Above, gearing up for the 6:30 a.m. breakfast opening in the kitchen were, from left, Lee Brooke, former member Steve Rosen visiting from Florida and picking up his old job, Phil Lassiter and Ralph Chinn.

Who’s Playing When And Where

acoustic guitar 9

28th Street Pit and Pub

410-289-2020 • 28th St. & Coastal Hwy.

Tuesday, Aug. 8 : The Reputations

Every Thursday:

Locals’ Night With DJ BK




13th St. & The Boardwalk,

In The Beach Plaza Hotel

Friday, July 31 & Saturday, Aug. 1:

Dale Britt & Rhonda Apple

Every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday:

Jake Welsh

Every Monday: Bryan Russo

Every Thursday: Billie Carlin’s Blues Band


Atlantic Hotel

410-641-3589 • 2 North Main St., Berlin

Friday, July 31: Poole Brothers

Every Monday: Earl Beardsley

Every Tuesday: Bob Miller On The Piano

Every Wednesday: Danielle Furst

Thursday, Aug. 6: Poole Brothers


Buddy’s Crabs & Ribs


Wicomico Street On The Bay

Saturday, Aug. 1: Kaleb Brown, 5 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2: Crab Races With Kaleb Brown, 5 p.m.


Buxy’s Salty Dog


28th St. & Coastal Hwy.

Friday, July 31: Hot Sauce Sandwich

Every Sunday: Locals’ Party With DJ BK

Wednesday, Aug. 5: Aaron Howell Band

Thursday, Aug. 6: Bad Since Breakfast


Captain’s Galley,

1st Mate Dock Bar


Located On The Commercial Harbor,

1/4 Mile South Of Rte. 50

Wednesday, Aug. 5: Blake Haley


Captain’s table


Courtyard by Marriott Hotel,

15th St. & Baltimore Ave.

Every Thursday Thru Tuesday:

Phil Perdue on Piano


Claddagh on The Shore

302-537-4200 • 1106 Coastal Hwy.,

Fenwick Island, Del.

Friday, July 31:

Love Seed Mama Jump, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 1: Smooth & Remy


Clarion Hotel

410-524-3535  • 10100 Coastal Hwy.

Ocean Club: Friday, July 31& Saturday, Aug. 1: On The Edge

Every Friday & Saturday: DJ Dusty

Lenny’s Deck Bar: Friday, July 31-Sunday, Aug. 2: Power Play

Monday, Aug. 3-Thursday, Aug. 6:

First Class


Coconuts Beach Bar & Grill


Oceanfront at the Castle In The Sand Hotel, 37th-38th Streets

Friday, July 31: Darin Engh, noon-4 p.m.;

John LaMere, 5-9 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 1: Cool Change, noon-4 p.m.; It’s About Time, 5-9 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2: Reform School, noon-3 p.m.; Angeline & Joey, 4-8 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 3: Nate Clendenen,

noon-3 p.m.; Bob Wilkerson & Joe Smooth, 4-8 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 4:

Aaron Howell Duo, 3-7 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 5: Kaleb Brown Solo,

noon-4 p.m.; Chris Button & Joe Mama, 4-8 p.m.

Thursday,Aug. 6: Sean Loomis, noon-3 p.m.; Monkee Paw, 4-8 p.m.


Dunes Manor Hotel

410-289-1100 • 2800 Baltimore Ave.

Oceanfront Deck:

Saturday, Aug. 1: Bill Dickson, 2 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2: Randy Jamz, 2 p.m.

Piano Lounge:

Every Wednesday, Friday & Sunday: Shirley Toms, 7-11 p.m.

Every Thursday & Saturday: Elsworth Wheatley, 7-11 p.m.


Fager’s Island

410-524-5500  • 60th St. in the Bay

On The Deck:

Friday, July 31: Steve Ports Duo, 5 p.m.;

DJ Hook, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 2: Sean Holloran, 2 p.m.; Steve Ports Duo, 5 p.m.; DJ Groove, 9 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 3: Sean Holloran, 2 p.m.; Colossal Fossil Sauce, 5:30 p.m.; DJ Muve, 9:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 4: Deck Party with DJ Batman, 5:30 p.m.; DJ RobCee, 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 5: DJ Hook, 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 6: DJ Greg, 5:30 p.m.; DJ RobCee, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 7: John LaMere, 5:30 p.m.; DJ Groove, 9:30 p.m.


Friday, July 31:

Here’s To The Night, 10 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 1: Kayne Twitty, 10 p.m.

Every Sunday: Brunch with Everett Spells, 11 a.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2: Beatlemania Again, 9:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 3: Deck Party with

Goodman Fiske, 10 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 4: Danielle Miraglia, 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 5:

Naked Nation, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 6: Sons Of Pirates, 9:30 p.m.


Globe, The


12 Broad St., Berlin

Friday, July 31: Mike Armstrong & Lauren Glick, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 1: Pete Bozick Trio


Greene Turtle North


11601 Coastal Hwy.

Every Friday: JJ the DJ, 10 p.m.

Every Saturday: DJ Wood, 10 p.m.

Every Sunday: DJ Siren, 10 p.m.

Every Monday: DJ Jeremy

Every Tuesday: Karaoke With DJ Wood, 10 p.m.

Every Wednesday: DJ Casper

Every Thursday: DJ Juan Epstein


Greene Turtle West


Rte. 611, West OC

Friday, July 31: DJ Wood, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 1: Funk Shuē

Wednesday, Aug. 5: DJ Juan Epstein

Thursday, Aug. 6: DJ Colin Rock




12513 Ocean Gateway, West OC

Friday, July 31: TBA, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 1: DJ BK, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2: Going Coastal, 3 p.m.


johnny’s pizza & pub


56th St. & Coastal Hwy., Bayside

Friday, July 31: Rob Fahey

Saturday, Aug. 1 & Every Wednesday: Randy Lee Ashcraft & The Saltwater Cowboys

KY West


54th St. & Coastal Hwy.

Every Saturday: DJ Rhoadie


la Hacienda


11033 Nicholas Lane, Ocean Pines

Friday, July 31: Frankie Moran


M.R. Ducks


311 Talbot Street

Friday, July 31:

Shawn Owen Band, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 1: Bonedaddys, 4 p.m.

Sunday, Aug 2: Laura Lea & Tripp Fabulous, 4 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 5: DJ Batman, 6 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 6: Shawn Owen, 6 p.m.


Ocean Pines Yacht Club


1 Mumford’s Landing Road,

Ocean Pines

Friday, July 31: Full Circle, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 1:

Tor & Coastal Storm, 6 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2: Wes Davis


Pour House, The


501 S. Baltimore Ave., O.C.

Friday, July 31: DJ Joey Saah

Saturday, Aug 1: 3 Bands-Keaton, So Last Year & Call Me Mercy

Sunday, Aug. 2: DJ Styler

Tuesday, Aug. 4: DJ VO

Wednesday, Aug. 5: DJ Wax

Thursday, Aug. 6: DJ Blendz


Purple moose saloon, The


Between Caroline & Talbot Streets

Friday, July 31: CK The DJ, 2 p.m.;

Thunderball, 10 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 1: DJ Jammin’ Jeff,

2 p.m.; Thunderball, 10 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2: CK The DJ, 2 p.m.; Fuzzbox Piranha, 10 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 3: DJ Jammin’ Jeff, 9 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 4: Euro Night With CK the DJ, 10 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 5: CK The DJ, 9 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 6: Judas Priestess, Judas Priest Tribute Band




26th St. & The Boardwalk

Saturday, Aug. 1: Pasadena, 1 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2: Treehouse, 1 p.m.




49th St. & Coastal Hwy.

Friday, July 31: Jim Long Band,

Innasense & DJs

Saturday, Aug. 1: Jim Long Band,

Rew Smith, Freddi Long Band,

Innasense, Amish Outlaws, Steal The Sky & DJs

Sunday, Aug. 2: Jim Long Band, Innasense, The Amish Outlaws & DJs

Monday, Aug. 3: Full Circle, S.T.O.R.M., Steal The Sky & DJs

Tuesday, Aug. 4: Opposite Directions, Gloriana, S.T.O.R.M. & DJs

Wednesday, Aug. 5: The JJ Rupp Trio, S.T.O.R.M., Digital Getdown & DJs

Thursday, Aug. 6: Jim Long Band, Jah Works, Go Go Gadjet & DJs


Trader Lee’s

House Of Rock

9935 Stephen Decatur Highway

& Rte. 611, West Ocean City

Friday, July 31:

No Tell Motel, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 1: Shots Fired, 8 p.m.

Every Wednesday: Open Mic Night

Fenwick Mayor Recognized For 12 Years Of Service

Pictured, from left, are Town Manager Merritt Burke, Councilman Bill Weistling, Councilwoman Diane Tingle, Mayor Audrey Serio, Vice Mayor Gene Langan, Secretary Gardner Bunting, Councilman Roy Williams and Councilman Richard Mais.

FENWICK ISLAND – Tears were shed at the Fenwick Island Town Council meeting Friday as colleagues and staff said their goodbyes to Mayor Audrey Serio after serving the town for the last nine years as mayor.

Serio participated in her last town council meeting as the elections approach on Saturday, Aug. 1, and she is not running for re-election.

“Today is Audrey’s last council meeting as mayor and we would like to recognize her. She has been a council member for 12 years, and mayor for nine of those years, and she has done an outstanding job,” Vice Mayor Gene Langan said.

Town Manager Merritt Burke presented Serio with a proclamation stating, “Audrey Serio has served the Town of Fenwick Island with distinguished and outstanding service from August 12, 2003 through July 31, 2015. Her length of service to the Town of Fenwick Island includes many worthwhile and lasting accomplishments. Her outstanding service to the Town of Fenwick Island reflects well upon herself and the Town she has led for so many years.”

Burke went on to list many of the accomplishments Serio played a role in from finishing Cannon Street Park with an ADA kayak launch, the basketball courts and rain gardens.

“When I was hired, the mayor with her green thumb and I talked about greening up town hall,” Burke said.

He furthered with other examples, such as the sidewalks installed in front of Town Hall and Cannon Street Park, the renovation of Fenwick Island Community Park, the purchase of Mobi-mats placed at every street end entrance to the beach, and technology improvements to increase transparency.

“I feel like I could go on, and on with a list of accomplishments that the mayor and this council have achieved

Mayor, thank you for your leadership. It has been a blast working with you and this council. We have achieved a great deal, and I wish you the best,” Burke said.

Langan also presented Serio with a plaque in appreciation of her devotion, dedication and hard work to the Town of Fenwick Island from 2003-2015.

“There is no end to the amount of projects we have been involved in, and they all have turned out pretty well I think,” Council Secretary Gardner Bunting said.

Later in the meeting the department heads also took the opportunity to say their farewells.

“I would like to wish Mayor Serio a farewell. For many years, I have had the greatest admiration for you. I wish you the best,” Building Official Patricia Schuchman said.

Public Works Supervisor Bryan Reed recalled many fond memories in working with Serio.

“The Public Works Department wishes you a fond farewell,” he said. “You came on as a Public Works Commissioner in 2003 and we all wondered how we would get along with you but it has been nothing but great things.”

Police Chief William Boyden also recalled when Mayor Serio swore him in as police chief.

“You have been the most supportive of my office, and when I retire … and if they mark me as a successful chief I would say it is because I had great leadership from a mayor. I will miss

Serio decided to run for Town Council when her family built a new home in Fenwick Island making the decision she would follow in father’s footsteps, who served on the first Town Council.

“I said to my husband that I was going to run and serve for one term, and here I still am,” she said.

Last month when it was announced Serio was not running for re-election, she said it is simply time to retire.

“I have grandkids living in different areas, and it is just time to retire and enjoy,” Serio said at that time.

There are four council seats up for election this year —Serio, Langan, Councilman Roy Williams and interim Councilman Richard Mais, who is serving out the remainder of former Councilman Todd Smallwood’s term as he resigned in May.

The 2015 Municipal Election will take place Aug. 1 at Town Hall from 1-5 p.m. Candidates had until June 17 at 4:30 p.m. to file for election that was followed by a special council meeting at Town Hall to accept the nominees.

Six candidates running in this year’s election to fill the four vacancies are Lisa Marie Benn, Anne Louise Christ, Julie Lee and incumbents Langan, Williams and Mais.

A municipal election is held each year as the seven-member council serves a term of two years. The 2013 Municipal Election had five candidates filing — Vicki Carmean, Langan, Serio, Smallwood and Williams. However, Carmean withdrew her application leaving the four candidates to automatically fill the positions.

Next year the seats held by Bunting, Councilman Bill Weistling and Councilwoman Diane Tingle will be up for election.

Two Arrested For Drugs, Knife

OCEAN CITY — Two Pennsylvania men were arrested on drug distribution and other charges last weekend when Ocean City police bicycle officers found them smoking marijuana in a vehicle.

Around 6:30 p.m. last Saturday, two OCPD bicycle officers were patrolling in the area of 14th Street and St. Louis Ave. when they noticed a suspicious vehicle. As the officers approached the vehicle, they clearly observed and smelled marijuana, according to police reports.

The officer ordered the three occupants out of the vehicle and each was detained without incident. During a search of the vehicle and each suspect, officers located marijuana, a fixed-blade knife and multiple drug paraphernalia pieces. Officers also seized nearly $1,000 in cash.

Two of the suspects, identified as Frans Caleb Estima, 21, and Jacob Tyler Sharp, 20, both of Blandon, Pa., were arrested. Estima was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and obstructing and hindering. Sharp was charged with possession with intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia, concealed dangerous weapons and obstructing and hindering.

The third unnamed suspect was issued a civil citation for possession of marijuana and was released. Estima and Sharp were taken before a District Court Commissioner. Estima was released on recognizance, while Sharp was transferred to the Worcester County Jail on a $10,000 bond.


Assault For Strangling Woman Holding Child

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on first-degree assault charges last weekend after allegedly strangling his girlfriend while she was holding a child at a downtown Ocean City condo.

Around 6:30 p.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police responded to a unit in the Suncoast Condominium for a reported assault. OCPD Communications advised the officers the victim had locked herself in a bathroom and the suspect had left the scene. The suspect was described as wearing camouflage shorts with a lot of tattoos. The officer made contact with the female victim, who informed them the suspect, identified as Christopher Hilpl, 26, of Dublin, Pa., had left the unit and had likely gone to the beach.

An OCPD officer went to the condo balcony and observed two males on the beach nearby wearing camouflage shorts. The victim was brought to the balcony and pointed out Hilpl to the officers. An OCPD officer went to the beach and made contact with Hilpl, who appeared to be intoxicated and upset. According to police reports, Hilpl told the officers he “just got into a yelling match,” and “all I did was scream and leave.”

Meanwhile, another officer interviewed the female victim back at the condo unit and she told police Hilpl had strangled her. The victim told police she and Hilpl along with their child were staying in the condo and that Hilpl had been drinking all day. When Hilpl returned, the victim told police she accused him of cheating on her and that he became upset and began screaming. When the argument escalated to a physical confrontation, Hilpl allegedly placed his hands around the victim’s throat and began to strangle her.

According to police reports, the victim told police Hilpl strangled her to the point she began to lose her breath although she never lost consciousness. The officers observed signs of injury corroborating the story along with scratches on her neck and back. The victim also told police Hilpl had bitten her right middle finger during the confrontation.

When officers asked the victim where the child was during the violent altercation, she told police the child was in her arms while Hilpl strangled her. The child appeared to be in good health and unharmed, however. OCPD officers also found a broken iPhone on a chair on the balcony. The victim told police Hilpl had damaged the phone during the physical altercation.

The OCPD officer asked the victim a series of questions from the domestic violence lethality screen to which she answered yes. Among the questions were the following: Has he threatened to kill you? Do you think he might try to kill you? Does he have a gun or can he get one easily? Has he ever tried to choke you? Is he violently or constantly jealous or does he control most of your daily activities? Have you left him or separated after living together of being married? Does he follow or spy on you or leave threatening messages?

The victim told OCPD officers she feared Hilpl might send someone to come after her. She also told police Hilpl knew several people in prison. Based on all of the evidence and testimony, OCPD officers charged Hilpl with first-degree assault because he allegedly placed the victim in danger of serious physical injury or death. Hilpl was also charged with reckless endangerment because the altercation with the victim placed her and their one-year-old child in jeopardy of serious physical injury.

Hilpl was also charged with malicious destruction of property for breaking the victim’s iPhone valued at $650. Hilpl was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was later released on a $20,000 bond.


Trespasser Warned Twice

WEST OCEAN CITY — A Port Deposit man was arrested on trespassing charges last week after repeatedly going back to a West Ocean City campground after being told not to following a domestic dispute.

Last Friday, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Frontier Town in West Ocean City for a reported domestic dispute between a boyfriend and girlfriend. Through the course of the investigation, it was determined the male suspect, Jonathan A. Matthews, 28, of Port Deposit, Md., was asked to leave the property by security and management because of his alleged disorderly conduct during the domestic incident.

Matthews was issued a trespassing notice and escorted from the property by the deputies. Around 2:20 a.m., Matthews was found back on the campground property attempting to make contact with his girlfriend. He was arrested and charged with trespassing and was later released on a criminal citation.


Fire Under Investigation

Approximately $300,000 in damages occurred at the Pomeroy’s Bar and Package Goods Store on Route in Selbyville early Monday morning. Photo by David Coleman

Approximately $300,000 in damages occurred at the Pomeroy’s Bar and Package Goods Store on Route in Selbyville early Monday morning. Photo by David Coleman

SELBYVILLE — An early morning fire on Monday ravaged the historic and decidedly colorful Pomeroy’s Bar and Package Goods Store on Route 113 in Selbyville just north of the Maryland-Delaware line.

Around 5:15 a.m. on Monday, multiple fire companies from lower Sussex County and Bishopville in Maryland responded to a reported fire at Pomeroy’s on Route 113 just north of the Maryland line. First-arriving units found heavy fire and smoke pouring from the two-story commercial structure utilized as a liquor store and bar. The establishment was not open at the time and no major injuries were reported.

The commercial building was almost completely destroyed before the fire was brought under control. The initial damage estimates came in at around $300,000. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office.



Damage Minimal From Harpoon Hanna’s Fire

FENWICK ISLAND — A fire at a popular bayfront restaurant near the Maryland-Delaware border last Thursday evening was contained to a mechanical room where it originated. While the establishment lost what would have likely been a busy summer night, the overall damage was limited and it re-opened by the following afternoon.

Around 4:45 p.m. last Thursday, multiple fire companies from lower Sussex County and Ocean City responded to a reported fire at Harpoon Hanna’s along the bay at 146th Street. The fire was quickly brought under control and limited to the mechanical room where it originated, although the business was forced to close for the evening. By Friday afternoon, Harpoon Hanna’s issued a statement thanking firefighters and the community for their support and announced the popular restaurant was preparing to re-open.

“Thank you everyone for your concern and well wishes,” the statement released on Friday afternoon read. “The fire was contained to the mechanical room and there was minimal damage. We worked through the night to be open at 3 p.m. today.”

A Week In Business

New Chairman Named

BALTIOMRE — Thomas E. Kelso, who co-founded and operated a successful petroleum distribution business in Worcester County and who lived in Ocean City for more than 25 years, is the new chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority.

Thomas E. Kelso

Thomas E. Kelso

The Maryland Stadium Authority, best known for the building and management of the Camden Yards Sports Complex, has been involved in studying, building and financing projects on the Eastern Shore since its earliest days.

In 1997, the Stadium Authority completed the first of several renovations and expansions of the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City. Since then, they have overseen construction of the bayside ballroom addition and the performing arts center that opened in December 2014.

The Stadium Authority is now studying the feasibility of expanding the exhibit area and overall parking needs of the facility.

Other studies performed by the Stadium Authority include enhancements to Arthur Perdue Stadium. Most recently, MSA has been asked to do a market study for a proposed arena and sports complex to be located in Worcester County.

From 1976 to 1991, Kelso was the co-founder, 50% stockholder and CFO of Ocean Petroleum Co., Inc., an independent petroleum marketer and branded distributor for Exxon USA, Sunoco and BP in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Kelso is currently Managing Director, Head of Downstream Energy & Retail Group, Chief Compliance Officer as well as Head of the Baltimore Office of Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc., a leading mid-market independent investment bank.

Prior to joining Matrix, he previously consulted with clients on mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and refinancing, primarily within the petroleum industry, at Kennilworth Holdings, Inc.

“Tom Kelso offers a wealth of financial and management experience in serving Maryland,” Governor Larry Hogan said of the appointment. “The Maryland Stadium Authority is an ideal place for his energy and interests.”


Medical Center Completed

SALISBURY – Delmarva Veteran Builders, the region’s only commercial construction firm dedicated to bringing employment to U.S. Armed Forces veterans, announced the completion of the redevelopment and remodel of 4,600 square feet of medical offices for Eastern Shore Medical Center at 915 Eastern Shore Drive in Salisbury.

The project took a total of four months and included a full interior and exterior remodel and renovation with the installation of a new roof, exterior finishes and all new interior surfaces.

“We are very happy with the final product,” said Gidget Carey, manager of the Eastern Shore Medical Center. “Our business will not be disrupted because of the timing and efficiency of the project delivered by DVB.”

“We were happy to have the opportunity to accommodate a returning client,” said Chris Eccleston, Delmarva Veteran Builders. “We are pleased we were able to deliver a quality product in a timely manner.”

Eastern Shore Medical Center is a group medical practice and has recently grown to six doctors. The new space will be three times the size of the original office space.


$1M Grant Awarded

BALTIMORE — Maryland Capital Enterprises (MCE) was awarded $1 million from revenues generated by the state’s casinos to provide small business loans to businesses that are seeking to open or expand in Worcester and Cecil Counties.

The State’s Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Loan Fund was approved by the Board of Public Works to receive a total of $11.1 million in FY 2016 to make loans and investments in small, minority and women-owned businesses statewide. The program receives 1.5 percent of video lottery terminal revenue from Maryland casinos.

MCE is slated to receive $1 million to help businesses with priority given to those located or created within a 10-mile radius of Ocean Downs in Berlin and Hollywood Casino in Perryville.

“Small businesses fuel Maryland’s economy and we are pleased to be able to support them through this program,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Creating jobs and providing more opportunities for Marylanders is one of our administration’s top priorities and programs like this play a big role.”

State legislation that authorized casinos to operate in the state included a requirement that 1.5 percent of video lottery terminal revenue generated be allocated to help Small, Minority and Women-Owned Businesses in the state. DBED set up the grant program and awarded the management of the funds to loan fund managers who competed for the award. MCE won a five-year contract to manage $1 million, which is renewable at the end of five years. This is the second time MCE has won this award.

“MCE is pleased once again to be selected to administer these funds,” said George Koste, executive director of Maryland Capital Enterprises. “This funding will significantly increase our ability to help businesses in our service areas.”


Contractor Finishes Project

SALISBURY — Gillis Gilkerson, a general contracting and construction management firm on Delmarva, announced the completion of the new Ocean City Beach Patrol headquarters in downtown Ocean City.

The structure, strategically positioned on the corner of Talbot Street and South Philadelphia Avenue in downtown Ocean City, is the first permanent home for the Ocean City Beach Patrol since the 1930’s. The three-story, 9,477-square-foot building will house the Ocean City Beach Patrol, Junior Beach Patrol and Ocean City Police bike patrol. The first floor is dedicated to operations with the Ocean City Police Department bike room and front lobby, the second floor dedicated to training and third floor is for administrative services.

The new garage will be used for storage of jet skis, ATV’s and will also be used as a gym. The building can also be used as a public safety building in the case of an emergency.

“Gillis Gilkerson is proud to serve the Ocean City Beach Patrol with a new space to call home,” said Dwight Miller, president of Gillis Gilkerson. “As first responders, these men and women train hard to keep our community and visitors safe on the beach. They definitely deserve a permanent home.”

“Doing a project like this is a true team effort and we certainly couldn’t have accomplished our goal without the hard work and dedication of our employees and partners,” said Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan. “This building is befitting of the professionalism of our citizens in Ocean City, from the beach patrol to our police department and beyond. Everyone who had a hand in this beautiful new home for our beach ambassadors should be very proud. It was long overdue and it was certainly worth the wait!”

Gillis Gilkerson worked with Becker Morgan Group Architects to guarantee the proper materials and methods were used to produce a quality building within budget and under the projected timeline.


Board Officers Named

Martin T. Neat

Martin T. Neat

William H. Kerbin

William H. Kerbin

SALISBURY — Martin T. Neat of Salisbury was recently named chairperson and William H. Kerbin of Pocomoke City was named vice chair of the board of trustees at Wor-Wic Community College.

Neat, who was appointed to the board in 2011, served as vice chair from 2013-15. In 2002, he chaired a fundraising campaign at Wor-Wic that raised $3 million for technology, nursing and child care. Neat has been president and chief executive officer of the First Shore Federal Savings and Loan Association since 1991.

Kerbin was appointed to the board in 1981 and served as chair from 1984-85 and 1997-99 and as vice chair from 1995-97. Prior to retirement, Kerbin served as the editor of the Worcester County Messenger in Pocomoke City.


New Pet Foods Store Planned For Salisbury

SALISBURY – Tonney Insley, Advisor at Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate, has announced that Concord Pet Foods & Supplies will fill the space in the old Fran’s Appliance Store on Rt. 13 South in Salisbury.

The space is 7,000 square feet and Concord signed a three-year lease followed by a five-year option. This is the second Concord Pet Foods location in Maryland and the first on the Eastern Shore. Insley represented the tenant and SVN-Miller Advisor Bill Moore was the listing agent.

Concord Pet started in 1978 out of a trailer at Larry’s Mobile. Originally the Mutschler family was looking for a way to feed the family horses. In 1981, Larry Mutschler opened his first retail location on Concord Pike in Wilmington, Del. There was only one employee in a 1,000-square-foot building. The company grew to nine locations by 1998 and today Mutschler and his children run the company, which has grown to 29 locations from Malvern, Pa. to Seaford, Del. and now Salisbury.

“We have been eying the Salisbury market ever since we opened our Seaford, Del. location and now was the right time to make our move. Working with Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate was a great pleasure and Tonney was always available to us and had our best interests in mind. We are excited to be in Salisbury and hope to be open in several months,” said Mutschler.


Homes Sold On Rise

SALISBURY – The number of homes sold increased in much of Maryland’s Eastern Shore region in June, according to The Long & Foster Market Minute reports.

The Eastern Shore market includes Worcester, Wicomico, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, Talbot and Caroline counties. The Long & Foster Market Minute reports are compiled from data from residential real estate transactions within specific geographic regions, not just Long & Foster sales.

The Eastern Shore real estate market saw some positive trends in the number of homes sold in June. In Wicomico County, the number of homes sold increased by 78 percent, followed by a 70-percent jump in Queen Anne’s County and a 28-percent increase in Caroline County. Dorchester County experienced a 9-percent increase in the number of homes sold, and Worcester County saw a 7-percent increase. In Talbot County, the number of homes sold decreased by 10 percent.

The median sale price varied across the Eastern Shore region, with Dorchester County seeing a 46-percent increase and Caroline County seeing a 25-percent increase compared to the same month last year. In Worcester County, the median sale price rose by 16 percent, followed by a 2-percent increase in Wicomico County. Other areas experienced declines from 2 percent to 14 percent.

Inventory decreased in the Eastern Shore region when compared to year-ago levels, according to June data. Both Caroline and Worcester counties saw decreases of 14 percent, followed by a 10-percent drop in Wicomico County. Active inventory in Dorchester County decreased by 5 percent, and decreased by 3 percent in both Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties.

In most areas of the region, homes are selling in three to six months on average, according to the June data. Wicomico County experienced an average days on market of 98 days, followed by Queen Anne’s County at 101 days. The rest of the region saw homes selling between 107 to 168 days on average.

“The United States’ economy has been doing well this year, and as of June, consumer confidence has remained up 16 percent over last year. This positivity has shown in the real estate market, including in the Eastern Shore region, where we saw more homes sold this June,” said Jeffrey S. Detwiler, president and chief operating officer for The Long & Foster Companies. “Many industry experts are predicting rising interest rates in the fall, and I’m optimistic that the second half of 2015 will bring more improvements.”


New Agent Joins Firm

BETHANY BEACH — ResortQuest Real Estate has announced Richard Flaim has joined the firm’s Bethany Beach/Hickman Beach Plaza West office.

Richard Flaim

Richard Flaim

Licensed since 2006, Flaim specializes in listing and selling Delaware resort real estate from Slaughter Beach to Fenwick Island. Before embarking on his real estate career, Flaim was a civil engineering land surveyor for Merestone Consultants in Rehoboth Beach, where he participated in the layout of the new Rehoboth Beach streetscape, including the location of the lighthouse in the circle. He also worked in the medical field as an orthopedic x-ray technologist at Orthopedic Associates of Southern Delaware.

“We are very excited to add Rich to our success team,” said Brigit Taylor, ResortQuest’s broker of record. “With his past experience, combined with his energy, enthusiasm and customer service skills, we are happy to add him to our success team.”

He is an active member of the National Association of REALTORS®, Delaware Association of REALTORS® and the Sussex County Association of REALTORS®. He holds the Certified Military Residential Specialist (CMRS) designation.