Volunteers needed to help transport veterans

OAKLAND — A call for volunteer drivers has been made by local U.S. Navy veteran Dwight Mangan, who has managed a group of volunteers to drive area military veterans to Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities for the past seven years.

“We are down to five drivers, and we’re going to lose two by the end of the year,” Mangan said. “We really need some more people to help us out.”

The vans used in the process are provided by the VA, and the gasoline is paid for, Mangan said. The drivers may volunteer to drive every week, or as little as once or twice a month.

Drivers go to the homes of local veterans and pick them up. They then transport the vets to either Cumberland for another pickup, or on to Martinsburg, W.Va., to the VA medical facility there. Usually the trips are to Cumberland, he said.

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‘Adorable Adoptables’ available at Garrett County Animal Shelter

OAKLAND — Numerous “Adorable Adoptable” felines are housed at the Garrett County Animal Shelter this week. They include Debbie, Jenny and Louise.

Debbie, who was given up by her owner, is white with black markings. She is friendly, according to Liz Gibbons, one of the shelter’s animal control officers.

She describes Jenny, a gray tabby who was found in Oakland, as being “very friendly, as well.”

Louise is a black and white tuxedo who was found along Gorman Road.

For more information about these and other cats, as well as dogs, at the shelter, persons are invited to call 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.

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Commissioners approve 2017 Land Preservation, Parks, and Recreation Plan

BITTINGER — The county commissioners have unanimously approved the Garrett County 2017 Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan (LPPRP). Council signed the resolution during its public meeting Tuesday evening at the Bittinger Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

The commissioners held a public hearing for the plan earlier this month at the courthouse in Oakland. Director Deborah Carpenter, Garrett County Department of Planning and Land Management, reviewed the document at the hearing.

“The Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan is required in order for us to participate in Program Open Space,” she said. “It is required to be updated every five years with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.”

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for more information call Jay Ferguson at 301-501-0240

Fall Foliage and Festival Report October 14 – 15

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for the weekend of Oct. 14 and 15, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Office of Tourism.

Garrett County’s biggest event of the year, the Autumn Glory Festival, is underway in Oakland and other locations throughout the county. Highlights of the festival include the Maryland State Banjo and Fiddle Championships, Tall Tale Storytelling and Book Festival, Western Maryland Tournament of Bands, parades, a 5K Run, and an authentic Oktoberfest celebration.

For those heading out to the event, the fall foliage will certainly not disappoint! Reports from the region indicate leaf change has really picked up in Garrett County, moving rapidly towards peak with lots of yellow and orange showing. Recent rain did bring a lot of leaves down over the past weekend. Red and sugar maples and hickory species, with their colorful pinkish orange and yellow foliage, are looking pretty good in the county at Big Run State Park, along New Germany Road to Grantsville and east along I-68 to Frostburg. In Allegany County good color change can easily be seen on ridges near and far.

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Monkey Business Adventure Park is open at the lake

MCHENRY — Adventure seekers of all ages are currently welcome at Monkey Business Adventure Park, which recently opened at 970 Deep Creek Drive, McHenry.

Several choices are available, including ziplining, aerial obstacle courses and free-falling. The park has three elevation levels, each with different challenges.

The park is owned by Deep Creek Lake Adventures, which also owns Splash Island Inflatable Water Park.

“We were trying to create another outlet to get kids out and active,” said Operational Manager Jordan Smith. “The site also gave us the perfect location to create synergy with Deep Creek Lake. I think people who come to Deep Creek need a few more activities, especially in the fall. The course will offer some bombastic views of the fall foliage and whatnot. This is a great way for parents and kids to spend time together. It really is a great confidence-builder for kids and adults.”

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50th year of Autumn Glory Festival begins next week

OAKLAND — Garrett County’s autumn splendor is gracefully arriving just in time for the 50th annual Autumn Glory Festival, which is set to begin next Wednesday, Oct. 11. Guests from all over either travel or return home to the mountain this time of year to take in the sights and sounds of fall.

The Glorious Harvest Farmers Market & Craft Show will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and be open various hours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Mtn. Fresh Pavilion at Oakland Town Parking Lot. A sale and glassblowing demonstrations will be offered daily at Simon Pearce, Mtn. Lake Park. The Cove Run Farms Corn Maze will open Wednesday by appointment, then with a different schedule daily.

The traditional Autumn Glory Kick-off Reception will be held Wednesday evening beginning at 6 p.m. at the Ag Heritage Hall at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. Autumn Glory royalty will be crowned and several honors and awards will be given throughout the evening.

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Garrett Co. Arts Council To Host 38th Annual Heritage Craft Fest

Autumn Glory Festival’s longest running art and craft show, the Heritage Craft Fest, will be hosted for the 38th year at Broad Ford Elementary and Southern Middle schools. This juried show is organized by the Garrett County Arts Council. Its proceeds benefit the many programs of the local arts community.

More than 60 quality art and craft vendors will be present on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13 and 14, at the Harvey Winters Road locations. This established event is always a popular part of the festival. Artists from six states will be located in the cafeteria and gymnasiums of both schools.

A wide variety of products will be available for purchase, including pottery, photography, paintings, baskets, floral designs, up-cycled art, furniture, quilts, wood working, knives, jewelry, fiber arts, quilling, children’s books and soaps.

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