Salisbury Seeks Federal Gang Grant

SALISBURY — Salisbury officials last week successfully submitted a grant application for $750,000 from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to assist with the city’s Gang Reduction Initiative.

Mayor James Ireton, Jr. last week announced the submittal of a three-year, $750,000 grant from the OJJDP for gang-related initiatives. Like Salisbury Safe Streets, the Gang Reduction Initiative is a multi-agency collaboration involving the Salisbury Police Department, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Maryland State Police, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and the Wicomico County Board of Education.

According to Ireton, the grant funds will help fund the Gang Reduction Initiative’s Youth Link Gang Prevention Program and its “Connections” program, which includes before and after school programs, targeted law enforcement and police overtime.

“Chief Barbara Duncan and Colonel Ivan Barkley are building on the successes of the Safe Streets Initiative with this OJJDP grant that focuses on keeping young people from entering gangs,” he said. “Our partnerships are rock-solid and making a difference in the community.”

Duncan also praised the grant application and its potential for raising the bar for Salisbury’s anti-gang programs.

“This grant offers the city of Salisbury the much needed financial backing to move the community forward as partners with law enforcement in the fight against juvenile crime and gang activity,” she said. “Pairing the traditional law enforcement mechanism with proven community outreach is a solid way to bring about sustainable change.”

Preliminary Demolition Getting Underway

SALISBURY — Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) officials were in Salisbury twice in the last week to begin testing and site work for the demolition on the old “Linens of the Week” building on Anne Street scheduled for demolition and environmental remediation.

MDE officials were on the site last Friday, March 18, to first coordinate with Miss Utility to mark the areas where they will dig. They returned on Tuesday, March 22, to retrieve soil samples from different areas on the property. Salisbury Mayor James Ireton, Jr. said the MDE site work was being done in advance of a future demolition of the building.

“The city and MDE are working swiftly to put in place the necessary elements to prepare for the demolition of the building,” he said. “I constantly have to remind myself that each of these steps must be taken in order to get to the goal of home ownership on Anne Street.”

Ireton thanked MDE for expediting the remediation process in order to move closer to the demolition of the old plant.

“I welcome the lightning speed which MDE has afforded the city to come to Salisbury to complete their research,” he said. “Residents in the Church Street area deserve better than what they are looking at on Anne Street and I assure them change is coming.”

Perdue Makes Bay Clean-Up Grant

SALISBURY — Perdue, through the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, has presented a $20,000 grant to the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to support the agency’s Project Clean Stream initiative.

The grant makes Perdue the lead corporate sponsor for the annual Chesapeake Bay watershed stream and shoreline clean-up effort. The grant will help fund Project Clean Stream administrative costs and enable the Alliance to further expand the volunteer effort across bay watershed areas including much of the Eastern Shore as well as other states in the region. Project Clean Stream will be held on Saturday, April 2.

“For years, the Alliance has led the way in engaging people and groups to find creative ways to restore and preserve the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said Arthur W. Perdue Foundation executive director Bill Hetherington. “We are proud to lend our support through this grant to Project Clean Stream.”

Mikulski Hosts Shore Educators

BERLIN — U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) this week hosted a roundtable discussion with teachers, principals and school superintendents representing the nine counties of the Eastern Shore including Worcester and Wicomico focusing on the needs of rural educators and students.

As chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions’ (HELP) Subcommittee on Children and Families, Mikulski is convening a series of roundtable discussions around the state as Congress prepares to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). 

“I always say, ‘The best ideas come from the people,’” Mikulski said this week. “Washington doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to improving our schools. That’s why I came to hear what the teachers, principals and administrators of Maryland’s rural Eastern Shore think about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. I want to take their ideas back to Washington with me as Congress works to reauthorize this federal law. I will continue to stand up and fight for the needs of children in our rural school districts.”