Regional Digest

Unusually Cold Winter Driving Up Energy Bills

BERLIN — Although it may not seem like it this week, the unusually cold winter has spurred higher-than-usual energy bills for Delmarva Power customers, according to company officials who cited an eight-percent increase from this same time last year in both electricity and natural gas use by residential customers.

“Clearly, it’s been a challenging winter and we’ve seen evidence of that in the bills of our customers who are using more energy to heat their homes and businesses,” said Delmarva Power Vice President John Allen this week. “Unfortunately, winter’s challenges could also pose a financial hardship for some who can’t afford higher energy bills due to their increased use of natural gas or electric heat.”

December was about 20 percent colder than normal and January was about 10 percent colder than normal based on the 30-year average temperature. Allen said many of Delmarva Power’s residential customers have electric heat pumps that work most efficiently when the outside temperature is above 35 degrees.

Allen said customers struggling to pay their electricity bills should contact the company’s customer care center at 800-375-7117 for information on financial assistance or to arrange a flexible payment plan.

Wicomico County Library
Director Plans To Retire

SALISBURY — Wicomico County Public Library Director Tom Hehman last week announced his retirement after serving in the position since 2004.

Hehman will remain in the position until Aug. 1. In the meantime, a search for his replacement will begin shortly. Hehman said he is retiring in order to spend more time with his family and his hobbies.

“My years at the library have been very rewarding and it has been an honor to serve this community, but after 40 years as a professional librarian, I want to spend more time with my grandchildren, playing the trumpet and working on automobiles.”

Wicomico County Executive Richard Pollitt, Jr. praised Hehman for his service to the community.

“We are going to miss Mr. Hehman’s vision, enthusiasm and commitment to community,” he said. “He has been a great asset to Wicomico County as our library director.”

Shorebirds Job Fair Scheduled

SALISBURY — The Delmarva Shorebirds, a Single A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, are holding a seasonal job fair at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium next Saturday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Interested candidates will be able to fill out applications at the job fair and then interview for a wide array of game day positions. The Shorebirds are emphasizing the biggest needs of the team include a public address announcer, on-field emcee and press box DJ.

The Shorebirds will also be hiring ushers, flock and entertainment crewmembers, parking attendants, ticket office workers, ticket takers, Flock Shop attendants, bay boys, amusement area workers and more. In addition, the Shorebirds catering company, Ovations, will be conducting interviews on Feb. 26 for several positions including manager, lead cook, concession cashiers, concession cooks and concession vendors.

For more information about the job fair, contact the Shorebirds at 410-219-3112.

Eastern Shore Suicide Prevention Conference

SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Health Department is partnering with multiple regional and state agencies for a first-ever Eastern Shore Suicide Prevention Conference set for two venues in Salisbury and Ocean City on March 2-3.

Eastern Shore residents are asked to take a stand against suicide by participating in the inaugural prevention conference in March featuring internationally recognized suicide survivor and public speaker Kevin Hines. According to statistics, a person dies by suicide every 15 minutes in the U.S. and some attempts suicide every 60 seconds.

The conference begins on March 2 in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center at Salisbury University with a speech by Hines beginning at 4 p.m. Workshops and presentations will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the following day, Thursday, March 3, at the Clarion Fountainbleau Resort in Ocean City. Hines will be the keynote speaker at the Ocean City conference of March 3.

For more information or to register for the conference, contact the Worcester Core Service Agency at 410-632-3366.

State Scores Health Insurance Grant

BALTIMORE – The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Wednesday that Maryland is one of only seven states and state consortiums to receive a competitive federal grant to advance Maryland’s efforts to create a statewide health insurance exchange.

The $6.2 million award was announced by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Steve Larsen, Director of the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight. It follows a $1 million insurance exchange planning grant and over $110 million in total federal funding to continue developing a national model for health care reform under the Affordable Care Act.