Boy Scouts race on Garrett County whitewater course

15 teams navigate churning rapids in annual Potomac Council benefit

For the Cumberland Times-News Cumberland Times-News

MCHENRY— The swift waters of the man-made whitewater course atop Marsh Mountain in Garrett County proved to be the perfect venue last Sunday for an enthusiastic group of Boy Scouts to have fun while at the same time raising money for Potomac Council, which oversees Scouting activities in six counties in the region.

The occasion was the fifth annual whitewater rafting FundRacer on the course operated by Adventure Sports Center International. The event drew a total of 15 teams of Scouts and adult leaders, along with a professional guide from ASCI in each raft, competing in two divisions.

Troop 27 from Keyser, W.Va., turned in the day’s best time and was awarded the championship trophy which is rotated annually with the name of each year’s winning troop permanently engraved. Taking second place overall was Troop 24 of Frostburg. Each member of the winning raft received a free pass for an ASCI-guided program.

Don Olsen, Potomac Council executive, announced that approximately $4,400 was raised through the generosity of the FundRacer’s team sponsors from throughout the communities served by the council.

Kevin Turley, Potomac Council president, thanked the sponsors and recognized council volunteers Mike Fetchero and John Buchanan, who organized and conducted the fund-raising event, as well as Mike Logsdon, ASCI’s executive director, and his staff for their assistance.

Team sponsors included First United Bank & Trust, First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union, Keystone Lime Co., Billy Bender Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Joseph Reinhard, Hite Associates, Beitzel Corp., Aircon En-gineering, Mike and Angie Fetchero, Wamba Caravan 89 Order of Alhambra, ATK, Susquehanna Bank, Carpenters Local 1024, CBJZ, Pillar Innovations, Rehab 1st, Carl Belt Inc., LaVale Lions, TWR Communications, Gornall Construction and Rotary Club of Cumberland.

“The biggest thing about this event is that it’s probably one of the safest environments for a youth to learn a sport that can be hazardous and dangerous,” said Olsen. “This is a great proving and testing ground for them. It was very relaxed this year, really a good event, and the weather has been great. This is our fifth year for doing this and we’ve had good weather.”

Among the competitors Sunday was Nathan Turley, of Troop 29 in Wiley Ford, W.Va., who has participated in all five FundRacers since the event’s inception and was a member of the winning team in the first year.

“It’s always a great experience and I enjoy it,” he said. “I encourage anybody to do it.”

A senior at Bishop Walsh School, Turley was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout in April of this year.

More here.

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Following the Garrett County quilt trail

Published: September 21

Garrett County, in the northwest part of Maryland, has 16 stops on its self-guided barn quilt trail.

A map and other information about the route can be found at www.garrettbarnquilts.org.

More here.

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August 2012 Real Estate Market Update – Residential

32 properties closed in August 2012, up from last month’s 22 sales. Another month of sales over 90% of asking price, too.With interest rates creeping higher, more people decided to take advantage of historic low rates.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the stats:

There are 53 homes under contract right now (61 last month). This number typically winds down as summer ends and less vacation time.

The average list vs. ORIGINAL sales price was 85.91% – (last month 85.16%).

The ADJUSTED list vs sale price was 91.28 (last month 90.13%).

The current # of active/for sale listings in MRIS (minus timeshares) is 672, up from last months 622. We have a 21 month supply of homes available (minus timeshares) based solely on the August sales numbers.

Random observations:

•1 ‘newer’ homes sold in August (5 years old or less)

•It appears that 22 or so of these sales were vacation homes

•17 homes sold at/under $300,000 (last month was 16)

•22 homes sold under $400,000 (last month 17)

•0 homes sold over $ 1 million (0 last month)

•2 home(s) sold for higher than full price or at full price (last month was 1)

•One house sold for 44.17% of asking price – 312 Marsh Hill Rd

•The oldest home that sold was 142 (!) yrs old (722 Turkey Neck Rd)

•The average age of the homes that sold was 26 years (37 last month)

•4 condo/townhouse/fractional properties sold (3 last month)

Here are the statistical breakdowns:

Average Sale Price: $320,684 (last month $265,771)

Average Days on Market: 204/249 (last month 235/277) (days on market with current broker/total days on market)

Buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland? Call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! I take great pride in referrals, and I assure you, I will take great care of your friends, family & colleagues!

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Deep Creek Lake triathlon drawing more than 1,200 from 34 states

SavageMan event benefits melanoma foundation

For the Cumberland Times-News Cumberland Times-News

MCHENRY — The sold-out sixth annual Win-The-Fight SavageMan Triathlon Festival, slated for Saturday and Sunday at Deep Creek Lake State Park, will feature 1,200 athletes from 34 U.S. states and numerous foreign countries.

Organized and produced by Win-The-Fight Events, the traithlon benefits the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation.

The starting field includes 2010 SavageMan 70.0 champion and Hawaii Ironman World Championship runner-up De-siree Ficker (USA) in the female race as well as Zach Ruble (USA), second, and Josh Beck (USA), third places, respectively in SavageMan 2011.

Numerous viewing opportunities abound in Deep Creek Lake State Park and Garrett and Allegany counties for the general public. For course maps and daily activities, visit the primary SavageMan website, www.savagemantri.org. To review brief safety secondary road closures, visit www.savagemantri.org/ road_closures.pdf.

The 2011 SavageMan charity race raised nearly $100,000 in donations by individual champion athlete/fundraisers for the foundation’s mission of mel-anoma education, advocacy and research. The broad slate of sponsors that provide services and support for the 2012 event includes Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources, Railey Realty, Railey Mountain Lake Vacations and High Mountain Sports, among numerous community organizations and businesses and national sponsors.

The SavageMan 70.0 signature event features a 1.2-mile swim in Deep Creek Lake, followed by the crown-jewel bike stage featuring nearly 5,800 feet of vertical climbing, including the “most savage ascent in all of triathlon — the Westernport Wall.” The triathlon culminates in twice tackling the 6.5-mile loop run course along the shores of Deep Creek Lake and State Park Road.

The SavageMan Triathlon is the result of race director, founder and architect Kyle Yost’s passion for triathlon. “First of all, SavageMan is the toughest of the tough,” said Yost. “There will be endless debate in the triathlon community about which race is harder than which, but no one who has done SavageMan ever claims there is another tougher.”

According to foundation president Greg Safko, “The Win-The-Fight SavageMan Triathlon Festival has garnered much international attention as arguably the world’s toughest and most savage triathlon at the long-course distance. Besides attracting the world’s most accomplished and savvy triathletes to test themselves and compete on this very challenging and unique triathlon course, we also hope to inform them as fundraising champions and their donors, that melanoma skin cancer is the No. 1 most common cancer among 25- to 29-year-olds; and, is a very insidious and formidable skin cancer that, if not prevented or detected early, is extremely fast and lethal.”

The Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation underwrites melanoma research at numerous prestigious cancer centers across the U.S. and maintains a comprehensive high school health curriculum for students to learn the deadly risks of melanoma skin cancer and “UV-safe” preventative and detection practices.

More here.

Buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland? Call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! I take great pride in referrals, and I assure you, I will take great care of your friends, family & colleagues!

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Olympians Hit the Rapids in McHenry

MCHENRY, MD – Top athletes and Olympians hit the rapids in Garrett County this weekend for the National Canoe and Kayak Championships.

Olympians and competitors of all ages were on the whitewater course for the Deep Creek Open and US National Canoe and Kayak Championships at the Adventure Sports Center International.

“The National Championships are a fantastic way to see everybody and just kind of remember this is where I grew up, this is how I started,” says Olympic canoer Casey Eichfeld.

And some traveled from across the country to compete here, including Lisa Adams, who drove 40 hours from Durango, Colorado.

More here and a video.

Buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland? Call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! I take great pride in referrals, and I assure you, I will take great care of your friends, family & colleagues!

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Garrett County board still not sure how to use closed school

From Staff Reports Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — After voting to retain ownership of the closed Dennett Road School, the Garrett County Board of Education has not yet decided how to use the building.

The board voted at its last public meeting to rescind a portion of a vote taken April 24 to transfer the school to Garrett County government, according to the board’s Public Information Office.

The transfer was reconsidered because of a $140,214 construction debt that has eight years remaining.

Possible uses for the building were discussed, including the relocation of the board’s maintenance de-partment, for a shared (board and county) information technology department, a satellite food service or as a Head Start for Garrett Community Action and the relocation of It’s In The Bag program, which is centered at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church.

“The county didn’t have plans for the building but it was always in the back of our minds to use it as a maintenance facility,” said County Administrator Monty Pagenhardt, in a previous Times-News article.

The state Interagency Committee on School Construction requires the board to use at least 10 percent of the building for students, according to the board’s Public Information Office.

Dennett Road and Kitzmiller elementary schools closed May 30, following the board’s April vote to do so in a cost-cutting measure.

The board will meet today. Agenda items include awarding school bus contracts, the administrative procedure for a public charter school, sexual offender policy, a legislative recap and a discussion on the State Highway Adminstration’s archaeological investigation.

The meeting will start at 4 p.m.; at 4:15, the board will go into executive session and the public session will reopen at 6 p.m.

More here.

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7 questions cleared up for Garrett ballot

Director says there could be more added

Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — Steven Fratz, director of the Garrett County Board of Elections, provided the county commissioners with an update on a list of seven questions that will be on November’s general election ballot and encouraged voters to review the questions ahead of time.

“It’s going to be a very long ballot; it might be 18 inches both sides,” said Fratz during the commission meeting on Tuesday. “It may be even bigger than that because there’s seven questions. Several of the questions are lengthy and, with that many questions, it could delay voting.”

Fratz said there may be more questions added and that everyone will receive a specimen ballot with a summary of the questions.

The specimen ballot will be mailed 10 days before early voting begins on Oct. 27.

“We are going to go above and beyond to get (the specimen ballot) out there so we don’t have delays on Election Day,” said Fratz. “Read those summaries so that you don’t have to read the whole question going into the election.”

Chairman Jim Raley said that he had noticed an intense media campaign for question No. 7, which deals with a proposed casino in Prince George’s County.

“There has been a heavy lobbying effort because of the jobs created and all those kinds of things,” said Raley, noting that there also has been heavy lobbying efforts against No. 7. “It’s become probably one of the most publicized of the questions right now even though we know there are numerous other questions on there that were a result of some Western Maryland challenges.”

No. 7 started out as a question regarding only table games and then the state adopted the Prince George’s casino referendum onto that, said Fratz.

Questions No. 1 and 2 deal with orphan court judges who want to be lawyers in Baltimore and Prince George’s counties, according to Fratz.

Question No. 3 deals with when an elected official should be suspended or removed from office.

Question No. 4 involves in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants and No. 5 is about the Congressional redistricting plan, according to Fratz.

Question No. 6 deals with the Civil Marriage Protection Act.

“I think the people of Garrett County will be interested in that,” said Fratz.

Fratz said the new online voter registration systems, which was introduced by the state elections board several weeks ago, has received positive reviews so far.

“Everything can be done online to register to vote,” said Fratz. “It’s connected live with the MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) so they (applicants) don’t have to sign the registration as long as their information is exactly the same as it is on their driver’s license.”

The Board of Elections processed 456 registration applications for the month of August, according to Fratz.

“Which is quadruple what we normally would do,” said Fratz.

The number of active voters in Garrett County is at 18,343, an all-time high, according to Fratz.

“That will climb probably a couple hundred extra before we hit the general election,” said Fratz.

Also at record high is the number of unaffiliated voters (2,000), according to Fratz.

Registration for voting closes Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. Early voting starts Oct. 27 and ends Nov. 1 and can be completed at the Oakland Community Center or the old armory.

The ballot includes four local candidates — two incumbents and two challengers — for at-large spots on the Board of Education, according to Fratz. 

For more information on voting, view the website at http://www.co.garrett.md.us/Elections/Elections.aspx.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

More here.

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Miss Maryland, Joanna Guy, is Autumn Glory Festival parade marshal

Swanton woman second from Garrett County to earn title

From Staff Reports Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — Garrett County resident Joanna Guy, who was crowned Miss Maryland 2012, will be the grand marshal for the Grand Feature Parade during the 45th Autumn Glory Festival, according to Nicole Christian, president and CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.

Guy, who is from Swanton, is the second woman from Garrett County to be crowned Miss Maryland. In 1990, Kimberly Ann Grimm Weimer of Mountain Lake Park was crowned Miss Maryland.

Guy’s personal platform, Heart to Heart: Raising Awareness for Healthy Hearts, was inspired by her grandparents, all four of whom suffered from heart disease or stroke.

The Autumn Glory Festival is a five-day event, this year scheduled from Oct. 10 to 14, that celebrates the beauty of the local fall foliage. The festival will feature two large parades, concerts, band competitions, art exhibits, antique and craft shows and much more.

The festival will begin with the Chamber of Commerce annual Autumn Glory Kickoff Dinner featuring live musical entertainment and recognition of the Autumn Glory Golden Ambassador.

On Oct. 11, there will be an Oktoberfest dinner and concert by the Oom-Pah band and a firemen’s parade. The week will continue with historic area tours, antique and craft shows, fine arts exhibits, farmers market, 5K walk, musical concerts, dogsled events, a quilt show, corn maze, art glass exhibits, outdoor adventures, quilt shows, food and drink specials, live entertainment, comedy basketball game, pumpkin-chucking contest, horseback trail rides, shopping specials and a wide variety of other activities.

The Official Maryland State Banjo Championship will be held Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. with contestants of all ages competing for top honors.

On Oct. 13, there will be musical entertainment at the Front Page Stage on Second Street near the post office and on the box car at the train station. The Grand Feature Parade will begin at 1 p.m. Clowns, floats, bands and plenty of sidewalk vendors will increase the festival atmosphere. The Western Maryland Tournament of Bands will begin at 6 p.m. with a high school field show competition and the State Fiddle Championship and Mandolin Contest will begin at 7 p.m.

Antique and Craft shows continue Oct. 14, joined by the Autumn Glory Festival Car Show, the Great Pumpkin Festival on the rapids at Adventure Sports Center International and a no-hands, sundae-eating contest at Lakeside Creamery.

Fall foliage can be viewed by driving or biking one of Garrett County’s Autumn Glory Fall Foliage Tours. The first tour includes the Youghiogheny River, Ginseng Run, Deep Creek Lake Scenic Overlook, Garrett State Forest, Swallow Falls State Park, Muddy Falls and Deep Creek Lake Dam.

A longer tour highlights the Casselman River Bridge State Park, Spruce Forest Artisan Village, Savage River State Forest, New Germany State Park, scenic overlooks, Deep Creek Lake State Park and the Historic National Road. A full map and directions can be obtained at www.visitdeepcreek.com.

More here.

Buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland? Call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! I take great pride in referrals, and I assure you, I will take great care of your friends, family & colleagues!

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Garrett officials approve changes to building code

County opts out of sprinkler requirement

Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — The Board of Garrett County Commissioners unanimously voted to enact the 2012 editions of the International Residential, International Building and International Energy Conservation codes, with all local amendments, to become effective Sept. 28.

The amendments include the deletion of the requirement for automatic sprinkler systems in one- and two-family dwellings and the stairway geometry requirements in the new code. The deletion of the stairway geometry requirement returns the code to the steeper stair requirements that were made prior to 2009, according to Commissioner Gregan Crawford, who made the motion to approve at Tuesday’s meeting.

Jim Torrington, chief of the Permits and Inspections Division, explained the stairway geometry dimension to the commissioners.

A public hearing on the codes was held Aug. 21 and the commission decided to leave the public record open for 10 days because some county builders just learned of the stairway amendment. Comments included six requests for the steeper stair geometry and two for the opt-out provision for the residential fire sprinklers, according to Torrington.

“What we are being told (by the building industry), is sometimes this geometry lends itself to being very tricky and complex, especially in smaller homes,” said commission chairman Jim Raley.

The readoption of the building code will allow the county to opt out of the sprinkler mandate until 2015, according to a news release. Earlier this year, Gov. Martin O’Malley signed legislation that mandated sprinklers in new residential housing. In late June, John Nelson, director, department of planning and land development, and Torrington learned that if the county adopted its building code ordinance before Oct. 1, it could opt out of the new sprinkler requirement.

Also during the meeting, the following was discussed or approved:

• Heard a departmental update from the County Board of Elections.

• Heard an organizational update from the Chamber of Commerce.

• Heard an agency update from Garrett County Action Committee.

• Approved a $62,652 bid award from Timbrook Ford in Keyser, W.Va., for a dump truck for the facilities and maintenance department.

• Approved a bid award to Environmental Resources Management for a water and sewage master plan to be completed in October 2013. The total project cost is $99,943 and currently the finance department is preparing a $100,000 budget amendment.

• Approved 19 acres of standing timber located at the airport as surplus property. The area needs to be clear-cut in order to be in compliance with state licensing standards.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

More here.

Buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland? Call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! I take great pride in referrals, and I assure you, I will take great care of your friends, family & colleagues!

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