Dr. Bayuk To Join Garrett Surgical Group's Office

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Dr. Stephen Bayuk will join Dr. Charles Walch and Dr. Marjorie Fridkin in providing services at the Garrett Surgical Group office, 311 N. 4th Street, Oakland. An active member of the medical staff at Garrett County Memorial Hospital, Bayuk is board eligible in general surgery.

He is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., and completed his undergraduate training at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. Bayuk received his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, Pa., and completed his five-year surgical residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Farrell, Pa.

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Gunmaker Calls It Quits after 330

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After making more than 330 rifles during his 92 years of living, Bob Brenneman of Swanton has decided to “retire” from that particular hobby, and is pictured above holding gun #333. Brenneman said that it was in his early years that he became interested in how guns worked, from the butt to the end of the barrel, so he became a gunsmith. The quality of his work is well-known among gun owners in the area. When a reporter asked Brenneman what Garrett County was like when he was growing up, he said that when he was “coming of age” there was nothing wrong with a boy grabbing his .22 caliber rifle and heading for the woods. At times it was a necessity, he said, because even a youngster with a small-caliber gun could put meat on the table. “Once outside, a young man could find a mix of wilderness that he could literally get lost in,” he said. “There were rhododendron growths where a man even on horseback could get lost. And there were tree canopies so thick that a squirrel could travel several miles without touching the ground.” “I just can’t stand up for very long anymore,” he said almost apologetically, adding, “My muscles just can’t take it.” He said that he is going to miss the work, “but it’s just as important to know when to quit as it was to know when to start.” Brenneman and his wife Margarite have been married for 64 years. Photos and info taken/provided by Glenn Tolbert.

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Natural resources conference offers youth a better look — at forestry trade

Kristin Harty Barkley
The Cumberland Times-News Thu Jul 28, 2011, 10:50 PM EDT

— ACCIDENT — Katie Garst dangled on a rope from the branch of a white oak tree, about 20 feet off the ground.

Wearing a hard hat and harness, the 16-year-old looked pretty comfortable — as though she might have a knack for urban forestry, after all.

“Good job! Holy cow!” said Peter Becker, of F.A. Bartlett Tree Co., who led a tree-climbing exercise Thursday at Hickory Environmental Center. “How high do you think you are?”

“I don’t know,” said Garst, boldly looking down.

“About maybe 20 feet or so,” said Becker. “It’s a different kind of view up there, isn’t it?”

“Wow … Yeah,” Garst said. A junior from Carroll County, she’s one of 29 high school students participating in this year’s Natural Resources Careers Conference, which has taken place annually at Hickory for more than 30 years.

Sponsored by the Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards and the Maryland Forestry Boards Foundation, it’s an opportunity for young people who think they might be interested in a career in natural resources to get a taste of what’s involved.

“We’re really interested in college-bound students,” said Gabrielle Oldham, chair of the Cecil County Forestry Board and director of the weeklong camp.

This year, students attending the camp are from Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania — with two from Allegany and one from Garrett County, Oldham said.

“Right now, environmental issues, besides the economy, that’s what everybody’s looking at,” she said. “There are jobs that can be created, and these kids are ready to fill them. You know, they don’t want to sit in an office an push papers. They want to do something outside, and they want to do something that makes a difference. And these are smart kids. They really are.”

The camp, while fun, is demanding. Students start their days at 7 a.m. and participate in learning activities until lights out at 11 p.m., with intervals of “recreation.”

Lessons include Save Our Streams, fire suppression, Scale ’n’ Tales, GPS activities, developing a forest management plan, basic tree measurement and identification and a field trip to Wood Products Inc. Sawmill in Oakland — to name a few.

“It is the greatest experience I’ve had all summer,” said Kori Roland Smith, 17, who graduated from Lighthouse Christian Academy in May.

“It is just really cool to be out with a bunch of people — my Mom’s been telling me about this career choice, but I didn’t think there were that many people into it. And come to find out, there’s tons of people around here that love to do this, that eat, sleep and breathe the outdoors.”

Like a number of campers over the years, Smith plans to start classes this fall in Allegany College of Maryland’s forestry technology program. Coordinated by Steve Resh, it was named the Outstanding CTE Program-Postsecondary by the Maryland State Department of Education this year.

ACM’s forestry programs have graduated more than 500 forestry students since 1971, the bulk of them in forest technology.

“I think the big thing is, my students get jobs,” said Resh, who has worked as curriculum coordinator for the camp since 2005, “You know, there’s a good demand for people with outdoor skills. That’s what we’re doing with a lot of high technology.”

On Thursday, Resh demonstrated chainsaw safety for students, then showed them how to use a two-man crosscut saw.

During a competition, Tanner Marquess, 16, of Cecil County, and Richard Harvey, 16, of Garrett County, set the time to beat — 11.4 seconds.

“I love to hunt, and I like to fish, and I’m always out in the woods,” said Harvey, who wants to attend Garrett College, then pursue a career as a Department of Natural Resources police officer.

“I’d rather be in the woods than in a town. There’s really nothing there in a town. You can go out and see all different kind of animals, hear stuff you never heard before,” he said.

Contact Kristin Harty Barkley at kbarkley@times-news.com

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TriState Festival, Auction & Cruise-In a successful event

3:46 p.m. EDT, July 28, 2011
The TriState Festival, Auction & Cruise-In was a fun-filled two day event hosted by volunteers of local Mennonite churches in the new exhibit hall at the Garrett County Fairgrounds.

Children had a great time in the kid’s activity center with an auction, hayrides, creating comforters to be sent to those without warm blankets and participating in fun activities where they learned how they can help the less fortunate.

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Marylanders living above Marcellus shale wait on advisory commission study

Drilling risks worth economic payoff, landowner says
by Sarah Breitenbach, Staff Writer
Cindy Stacy Marshall Stacy stands on his 373-acre Christmas tree farm, Pinetum, in Garrett County. He hopes to one day lease the land for natural gas drilling.

Cindy Stacy Marshall Stacy stands on his 373-acre Christmas tree farm, Pinetum, in Garrett County. He hopes to one day lease the land for natural gas drilling.Cindy Stacy Marshall Stacy stands on his 373-acre Christmas tree farm, Pinetum, in Garrett County. He hopes to one day lease the land for natural gas drilling.
<>Cindy Stacy Marshall Stacy stands on his 373-acre Christmas tree farm, Pinetum, in Garrett County. He hopes to one day lease the land for natural gas drilling.
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Two top Gaithersburg employees resign advertisement A mile under Marshall Stacy’s Garrett County Christmas tree farm, quite a bit of money lurks.

Natural gas, hibernating deep in the shale rock is what Stacy hopes will be his family’s long-term financial reward. But even though the state next week will undertake a study into the benefits and drawbacks of drilling into the Marcellus shale, Stacy knows any payday is probably a ways off.

The commission, which will meet for the first time Thursday, is tasked with making recommendations to the legislature for the 2012 session. But it is not required to issue a final report on the safety and best practices of drilling into the bedrock until August 2014.

Drilling in Maryland has been heavily debated for the past year as energy companies and landowners argue that natural gas is a relatively safe resource, more environmentally friendly than coal or oil and prime for extraction. Some lawmakers and environmentalists, on the other hand, say it is unclear how much cleaner natural gas extraction is, extracting it can contaminate drinking water and the risks generally are too great to begin tapping the earth in western parts of the state without further study.

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First United Corporation Announces 2nd Quarter 2011 Earnings

OAKLAND, Md., July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — First United Corporation (NASDAQ: FUNC), a financial holding company and the parent company of First United Bank & Trust, announces consolidated net income available to common shareholders of $1.3 million for the first six months of 2011, compared to a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $6.8 million for the same period of 2010. Basic and diluted net income per common share for the first six months of 2011 was $.21, compared to basic and diluted net loss per common share of $1.11 for the same period of 2010.

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O'Malley Announces BPW Approval of Local Recreational Projects

Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of recreational projects in Garrett, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s and Howard Counties through local-side Program Open Space and the Community Parks and Playgrounds Program.

“Program Open Space allows us to provide fun and safe recreational opportunities for all Marylanders and their families to enjoy,” said Governor O’Malley. “It remains a high priority not only to create these areas, but to improve already existing facilities for future generations to enjoy.”…

In Garrett County, Oakland will receive $4,500 to upgrade parts of the flooring on the basketball court, replace a portion of the gym floor and restripe and refinish the entire gymnasium floor at the Oakland Armory Community Center.

Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works has approved funding for 982 recreational projects, including Community Parks & Playgrounds, totaling more than $288 million through local-side Program Open Space since 2007. Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of 355,283 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded Program Open Space….

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A redistricting hearing should be held here – letter to editor

Dan Rupli
Cumberland Times-News The Cumberland Times-News Wed Jul 27, 2011, 05:53 PM EDT

— Every 10 years a census is conducted across our nation to determine the total population and population movement among the states. It is required by our U.S. Constitution, and this year each state must reapportion its state legislative and congressional districts as a result of the census.

The governor has appointed five members to a Redistricting Advisory Committee, including the president of the State Senate and the speaker of the House of Delegates, and they are currently holding hearings in 12 different locations all across the State between now and Sept. 10.

They are moving from east to west, and the first two hearings occurred in Hancock and Frederick last Saturday. I signed up to testify on the suggested change in the makeup of the 6th Congressional District at the Frederick meeting, which is a subject that is dear to me as a former candidate for Congress in 1976 and 1978.

Basically, the 6th District, which currently extends along the Mason-Dixon Line from Garrett County to the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay in Harford County, would be reconfigured.

Under the new proposal the district would go from Garrett County no further east than Carroll County, but not include it, and would turn south and east into Montgomery County, picking up Gaithersburg and other heavily populated sections of northern Montgomery County.

It would profoundly change the nature of the 6th Congressional District, and arguably make it a far more competitive district between the two major political parties.

I actually support the basic idea behind the suggested change, but my purpose here is not to argue the merits of the plan, but to strongly protest the absence of public hearings west of Sideling Hill in the two western most counties.

This is the latest chapter in a long history of our state failing to pay proper respect and deference to citizens of the true “Western Maryland” region. I have lived in Frederick County for a very long time.

I have always been referred to as “Dan Rupli of Western Maryland” and I have also heard citizens of Carroll County referred to as “Western Marylanders” as well.

We all know that these two counties are really Central Maryland, but if you are careless in your geographic references, you can conclude that Western Maryland has now participated fully in the very important redistricting discussion as a result of Saturday’s hearings.

That is simply not true. How the 6th Congressional District is ultimately configured directly impacts the welfare and interests of the citizens of Cumberland and Oakland and our two westernmost counties.

I believe that before these hearings are concluded a public hearing ought to be held west of Sideling Hill regarding the makeup of our congressional district. I suggest Frostburg University as a proper venue for such a hearing.

I call upon the citizens, the media, and the elected leaders of Western Maryland to demand that they be consulted regarding this most important issue before it is decided by providing them the full opportunity to be heard at a public hearing before the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee. Fairness and due process demand it.

Dan Rupli

Frederick County

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Garrett County receives grant to stop illegal school bus passers

Sheriff plans to curb frequent traffic violations
Michael A. Sawyers
The Cumberland Times-News Wed Jul 27, 2011, 11:14 PM EDT

— CUMBERLAND — Garrett County Sheriff Rob Corley said that a $20,000 state grant will keep officers on the road before and after school in an effort to reduce the number of vehicles illegally passing school buses.

The money comes from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention and is part of $548,411 being given to various law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

During a one-day survey in February, bus drivers throughout Maryland reported 7,028 violations, 4,000 of which were by oncoming drivers who ignored the stop arms of buses. Another 2,665 vehicles traveling in the same direction as the buses passed on the left and 366 actually passed illegally on the right.

“We have had these grants for four years now and they are reducing the violations, though the problem is ongoing,” Corley said Monday. “One particularly bad spot is U.S. 219, at Sand Flat Road.”

Corley said the buses stop in the right lane of the two southbound lanes on the three-lane road. Southbound drivers often continue past the stopped bus, even though red lights are flashing and a stop arm is engaged, the sheriff said.

“Our officers charged numerous drivers this past school year,” Corley said. “We often get calls from other motorists who have witnessed violations. We also meet with school transportation officials to identify problem areas.”

Corley said the grant pays for overtime work, thus allowing officers to apply their full shifts to other enforcement efforts. The deputies either follow buses on their routes or set up for observation at known problem areas.

The money may also be used for driver education by way of public service announcements.

There were 4,712 school bus drivers involved in the one-day survey in February, about two-thirds of the drivers in the state.

The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and the Cumberland Police Department each received $10,000 grants.

Jay Walbert, transportation director for Allegany County schools, said drivers have two-way radios and are asked to immediately report violations if they note a license plate number and vehicle description.

“We average three run-throughs a week,” Walbert said. “They can happen anywhere, but two spots with frequent run-throughs are the three-lane on McMullen Highway (south of Middle Ridge) and not far from the (Maryland State Police) barrack on National Highway.”

“When in doubt, stop,” Walbert cautions. “Our bus drivers see vehicles pass the bus on the right or door side. Students stepping down from the bus are extremely vulnerable in that kind of setting. Drivers need to take this law very seriously.”

Walbert said some buses are on the road daily during the summer for special programs. “We had 10 buses on the road today,” he said Monday.

“We try to minimize red-light stops during the summer because other drivers are probably not expecting them.”

Cumberland Police Lt. Steve Schellhaus said only one complaint about a bus-passing violation has been received in recent years.

“I attribute that to the grants that have put our officers in cruisers behind the buses,” Schellhaus said. “Fortunately, we have never had a kid struck (getting on or off a school bus) in the city.”

At settings such as Frederick Street, officers will sometimes sit and watch because of the large field of view, according to Schellhaus.

“I meet with school transportation people monthly,” he said. “That kind of cooperation allowed us to point out that a bus stop at Industrial Boulevard and Cedar was dangerous, so the school board relocated that stop to a safe place.”

The first day of school in Allegany County is Aug. 24.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.

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Of wind, heat and snakeheads

Back from a week at the beach, what did I miss? Wind farms, snakeheads and more dead zone news, it seems. Didn’t manage to miss the blistering heat, though. But it was about five degrees cooler at the shore than in B’more, according to the weather reports – which were about all the news I regularly consumed on my vacation.

Constellation Energy belatedly celebrated the completion last winter of Maryland’s first commercial wind power facility on Backbone Mountain in Garrett County, The Sun reported. The ribbon-cutting drew a handfull of protesters complaining that the 28 massive turbines kill bats and mar the scenic ridgetop vistas there.

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