Garrett County commissioners to meet on Tuesday

OAKLAND — The Garrett County commissioners will hold their next public meeting Tuesday at the county courthouse in Oakland beginning at 4 p.m.

Agenda items include recognition of the retirements of Michael Saunders, 30 years, Garrett County Public Safety Communications, and James Spiker, 11 years, Garrett County Department of Facilities and Maintenance. The commissioners will also honor the Garrett County Department of Public Works – Roads Division’s bridge crew.

Bid awards will be considered for parking lot and sidewalk replacement projects at the Garrett County Health Department and a HVAC unit replacement at the Visitors Center in McHenry.

The commissioners also plan to announce their decision on Resolution 2017-6, an ordinance that would allow a person operating a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle, under specific conditions, to cross a county-owned road or drive on a designated portion of a county-owned road.

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In Netflix’s ‘Wormwood’, the CIA Murders Frank Olson With LSD in Deep Creek Lake

Shortly after, Olson attended a work retreat in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, where CIA officials, including the head of MK-Ultra, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, were in attendance. In 1975, the American public discovered that MK-Ultra was a secret CIA project that, between 1953 and 1964, conducted unethical experiments on unknowing subjects with the goal of achieving mind-control. Many of these tests included administering LSD on unsuspecting civilians, which the CIA later acknowledged, “made little scientific sense.”

It was in Deep Creek Lake that Olson became one of the unsuspecting victims of MK-Ultra. There, CIA agents secretly slipped LSD into his drink, as a scene inWormwood’s trailer shows. Olson was told, 20 minutes after the fact, that his drink had been laced, and then he left the retreat in an agitated state. On November 24, he told a colleague and his wife that he planned to resign. But before that could happen, the CIA forced him to attend a “psychiatric evaluation”four days later. On November 28, he was found on the sidewalk after emerging from the window of the Statler Hotel in New York City.

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Hogan’s school after Labor Day delays usual slowdown at the beach

Hoffman said he suspects most schools starting after Labor Day — and a promotion letting kids eat free this week at his two restaurants — had something to do with it.

Hoffman’s special was part of a new Maryland Week promotion rolled out by the Eastern Shore resort town that offers deals at participating hotels and restaurants for a week that traditionally sees few state families. Some hotels were offering up to 20 percent off prices for a Sunday through Thursday stay.

Gov. Larry Hogan‘s mandate to open public schools after Labor Day pushed the starting date to Sept. 5 — a week or two later than many schools typically begin in the state. Hogan’s goal was to boost tourism — Ocean City, Deep Creek Lakeand the Maryland State Fair all benefit — and in turn, the state’s economy.

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Thirteen years of art and wine: The history of the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival

MCHENRY — The 13th annual Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. Proceeds will benefit HART for Animals and the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF)

The fundraiser began 13 years ago when the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s newly formed Marketing Roundtable was given the task of developing an attraction that would increase county visitation, sales, and accommodations after Labor Day, according to HART executive director Paula Yudelevit, festival co-founder.

“After debating several possibilities, the committee began researching wine festivals as a vehicle to achieve our mission of putting ‘heads on beds,’” she said. “Because of the success of these events in other regions, the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival was born.”

Roundtable members knew that numerous volunteers and many resources would be needed in order to bring the concept to fruition, so they solicited nonprofit organizations to be the event’s beneficiary and provide support where needed.

The Marketing Roundtable then organized a second committee for the specific purpose of managing and coordinating the festival.

“In its first two years, the chamber was instrumental in providing monetary and marketing support to the event,” Yudelevit said. “After the second year, the committee became self-supporting by retaining a small amount of the profits before presenting the beneficiary with their donation.”

She noted, however, that the first year was challenging. The location of the festival was originally planned to be held at Fantasy Valley restaurant, leased at the time by Ruth and Wendell Beitzel.

“After submitting our application for the one wine festival license granted each year in Garrett County, a group of us from the committee went to the liquor board hearing at the county courthouse, ready to receive the license,” Yudelevit said. “We anticipated a 30 minute conversation at the maximum. It turned out to be almost two hours.”

What the festival committee members did not know was that, while the applicant must have a liquor license, the actual event cannot be held on his or her property.

“After months of planning, and with the advertising materials ready to print, the committee stood outside the courthouse to find a new venue,” Yudelevit said. “I remember one of our members calling a person on the fair board to see if the fairground was available. It was. The next question was if the festival could serve and sell alcohol. Fortunately, that was a ‘yes,’ too.”

With a committee of business leaders and a group of volunteers, the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival gates opened as scheduled in September 2005.

“We had hoped for 500 people the first year,” said Vianne Bell, festival co-founder. “We ended up with 800. There was so much we didn’t anticipate or even think of. Wine buckets had to be emptied, water pitchers constantly refilled, crackers replenished. We had to leave the event to buy more crackers, and beg for ice from Wisp Resort and Burger King.”

The wine is now sold during the festival at a “wine store,” conveniently located in the Ag Heritage Hall. The first year, however, the wine was sold out of the window of the fair board’s original office.

“We had wine stacked around us, with a cash box and an old-fashioned credit card machine,” Bell said. “Paula and I swore we wouldn’t do it again.”

However, the event netted $11,000 and was such a success that Bell signed on for another nine years. Yudelevit still co-chairs the event, along with Mary Callis, executive director of GLAF.

“For the first eight years, the beneficiary of the festival was a national nonprofit organization,” Callis said. “In its ninth year, the committee opted to change the beneficiary due to a major reorganization of the original charity.”

When the opportunity came along, HART and GLAF submitted a joint proposal to become the beneficiaries.

“As two local nonprofits, the proceeds now stay in the county,” Callis said. “We also have booths available for five or six local nonprofits so they too have the opportunity to benefit from the large crowds.”

Over the past four years, the festival has raised more than $200,000 for HART and GLAF, according to Callis.

The Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival has come a long way in the last 12 years. According to Yudelevit, it is one of the top events in the county. Approximately 2,800 people come each year to taste over 200 regional, national, and international wines, peruse the 40-plus artisan booths, listen to live entertainment, purchase wines to take home, bid on silent auction items, and have a fun time with friends.

“More people mean more volunteers,” said Judy Carbone, volunteer chair. “In addition to Garrett College’s 80-plus athletes, we have about 70 guest pourers and another 50 or so at the front gate, as cashiers, and general helpers.”

“The festival could not be successful without an amazing committee,” Yudelevit said.

Callis concurred.

“These volunteers put hundreds of hours into this event; a few have worked on this since its inception,” she said.

In addition to co-chairs Yudelevit and Callis, the 2017 festival committee members are Sam Housley, Andy McKenzie, Michael Pellet, Ken Carbone, Judy Carbone, Ken Korando, Betty Ellington, Erin Croake, Tom Hertz, Lori Zagola, Sue Arnson, Jimmy Flanigan, Joe Refosco, Lilian Steele, and Debbie Archer.

“A few changes have occurred over the years, keeping the festival fun and appealing to the wine lovers,” Yudelevit said.

For example, a “Premium Wine” area was added several years ago to accommodate those looking for high-end varieties. The wine tasting glasses have taken a “colorful twist,” she added, with the stem color changing year-to-year, making them a “must-have” collectible.

The Friday night wine pairing dinners at local restaurants have also evolved to include winery representatives introducing wines paired with specially prepared dinner courses.

Tickets for this year’s festival are $35 each for adults age 21 and older. Those who purchase advance tickets online (http://www.deepcreekwinefest.com) will receive $5 off each ticket. A ticket includes the entry fee, a commemorative wine glass, and unlimited wine tasting. An admittance-only ticket is $12, and children 12 and under are admitted for free. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. Persons can call 866-635-3560 for prices.

Festival lodging packages are available at participating resort rental agencies, including Taylor Made Vacation Rentals, Coldwell Banker Resort Rentals, and Railey Mountain Lake Vacations.

This year’s festival is sponsored, in part, by numerous area businesses, including the McHenry Beverage Shop, Taylor Made Vacations and Real Estate, BB&T, Taco Bell, Arrowhead Deli, the Mountain State Brewing Company, Vacation Surfing, Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, Shop ‘n Save, Schoolhouse Earth, First United Bank & Trust, RBC Wealth Management, Pepsi Cola, American Metro, Little Mountain Promotions, DeepCreekTimes.com, NuWay Interiors, Piet and Rosie Versteegen, the Lake-Front Magazine, and Archie’s Barbeque.

Staff writer Renée Shreve can be reached at 301-501-8394 or by email at rshreve@therepublicannews.com.

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How does a bear cool off at Deep Creek Lake? How else?

Why did the bear cross the lake?

Video Here

We’re not sure what prompted this bear to swim across Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland, but he did reach the other side, as shown in the video captured by some recreational boaters on the water recently.

This particular bear couldn’t be reached for comment, but it certainly managed to get to the other side of the lake with energy to burn. Watch as the bear climbs ashore near a lake-side residence and jets off into the distance as boaters look on — shouting warnings to folks on land as the swimmer approached shallow water.

That video had 27,000 views as of Monday morning.

It’s not the first time a local photographer captured bears in the lake. Check out this video from 2016 here.

A bear presumably swam across the Susquehanna River last May when sightings were reported progressively more west in Cecil County before there was a report of one in Harford County.

In June of last year, there were 11 reported bear sightings in Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s County in a one-week span.

“You have a lot of young bears looking for territory to call their own,” Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson said at the time. “Male bears need a pretty big hunk of territory, females less so. They keep roaming until they find an area they can claim. It’s all territorial, trying to find a new home.”

But most of the bear sightings in Maryland take place in Western Maryland — where, according to the Department of Natural Resources, there is a breeding population in the four westernmost counties. That includes Garrett County, where Deep Creek Lake is located.

A few tips from DNR: Don’t feed bears. Don’t panic or approach a bear. Back away slowly. If you’re outside, get inside the nearest building.

If you’re in the lake, boating alongside the Michael Phelps of bears: just keep a safe distance. And maybe do the neighborly thing like these boaters did and warn the unassuming folks on land.

Oh, and capturing it on video doesn’t hurt.

Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun

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Search continues for new Garrett County Economic Development director

OAKLAND — The search for a new Garrett County Department of Economic Development director continues. Chairman Paul Edwards announced during the Board of Garrett County Commissioners’ meeting last week they were close to finding a replacement for former director Alex McCoy, but plans have changed.

A local selection committee, composed of representatives from a wide range of groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, Garrett College, the Farm Bureau, and municipal governments, recently reviewed 12 applications and narrowed the list down to three potential candidates.

“The selection committee did make a recommendation to the commissioners, after a round of interviews, for the economic development director,” Edwards said. “However, after the interview process, that candidate was no longer interested in the position. So, the board has reopened the search and is committed to finding the best person for that job.”

Commissioner Jim Hinebaugh, a former economic director, has been “helping out” department staff members Kim Durst, Cheryl DeBerry, and Cindy Sharon in the interim, Edwards noted.

“The staff over there has really stepped up and is filling the gap quite nicely,” Edwards added.

County administrator Kevin Null said the directorship opening has been re-posted on major websites, including Garrett County government’s, garrettcounty.org, and the Maryland Association of Counties’ (MACo), mdcounties.org

Hinebaugh added that the commissioners would be looking for possible prospects while attending MACo’s annual summer conference, scheduled for Aug. 16-19 in Ocean City.

“Maybe there’s a number two or number three person in another economic development office somewhere who might be interested in taking this on, in terms of upward mobility,” he said. “We’re going to try to do some networking while we’re there, to see if we can dig up some candidates on an informal basis, rather than just relying on advertising.”

Hinebaugh indicated during the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s recent Business Before Hours event that the county was in no hurry to hire a new director.

“We’re going to be very deliberate about the way we do this,” he said. “We’re not going to hire someone just to fill the position. We can afford to do that because we have a great staff in Economic Development.”

The commissioners began their search for a new director shortly after McCoy submitted his resignation in late April of this year, after accepting the CEO position of the Greater Lawrence County Regional Chamber of Commerce in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

He was hired by the Garrett County commissioners in April 2015. He was previously vice president of economic development for the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce in Palatka, Florida, and executive director of the Worth County (Georgia) Economic Development Authority.

Staff writer Renee Shreve can be reached at 301-501-8394 or by email at rshreve@therepublicannews.com.

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‘Adorable Adoptables’ available at county shelter

OAKLAND — Among the felines currently housed at the Garrett County Animal shelter are Milton, Molly, Munster and Minnie.

“Come and meet them,” said Lisa Baker, Garrett County Humane Society president. “They will rub their way into your heart.”

She said Milton is a lovable male Manx. Molly is a sweet female calico Manx and Munster is a neutered male who has a very loud meow. All three were left at the shelter after business hours, according to Baker.

Minnie is a pretty calico who was given up by her owner.

Persons are invited to call the shelter at 301-334-3553. Located along Oakland Sang Run Road, the county-operated facility is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Garrett County Humane Society is a nonprofit volunteer organization that has been helping abused, neglected and homeless animals since 1983. It is not affiliated with the Garrett County Animal Shelter.

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