Oakland resident bicycles 5,095 miles to Alaska

The Garrett County Republican

OAKLAND — Alan Peachey recently returned to Oakland from an extended trip to Alaska.

Such a trip is not uncommon for those who like to travel. However, his mode of transportation was anything but ordinary. He traveled 5,095 miles on a bicycle.

“I had wanted to do a long-distance bike tour for quite some time, and this is the summer I made it happen,” he said.

Peachey left Oakland on July 19. He biked for 56 days, arriving in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, a few miles from the Arctic Ocean, on Sept. 12.

He averaged 91 miles a day on his trip.

“This was never a race,” he said. “On lots of days I could have started earlier and pushed myself harder,” he said. “Ultimately, it was more of a test of mental endurance than physical. You have to have the will to keep going day after day in all kinds of terrain, temperatures, insects and headwinds.”

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Oakland boy prepares to ‘Be the Change’ for Hospice and Cindy’s Fund

From The Garrett County Republican

OAKLAND — In his young lifetime, Carter Goff has seen more loss than many adults. But he doesn’t let that get him down.

In fact, he is working to make a difference for others through his Be the Change project at Broad Ford Elementary School.

Today, Carter lives in Oakland with his mom, Cassie Marsh, and his younger sister, Brecklin Marsh. When he was 10 months old, his dad, David Goff, passed away from colon cancer after a 16-month battle.

“Carter can’t remember David, but he hears stories about him often,” Marsh said.

Carter’s stepdad, Josh Marsh, came into his life when he was about two years old, but he was killed in an automobile accident in January.

“Cindy’s Fund and Hospice are both near and dear to our family’s hearts as both organizations helped tremendously when David was sick,” Marsh said. “Cindy’s Fund provided gas cards for us to get back and forth for treatments in Philadelphia and Morgantown. Hospice helped keep David comfortable in his last few weeks of life, as he wanted nothing more than to be home and surrounded by family in his last days/weeks.”

For his Be the Change project in Erin Yoder’s fourth-grade class, Carter has chosen to help both Cindy’s Fund and Hospice of Garrett County.

He hopes that he’ll be able to help as many people as possible who are going through very difficult times in their lives and are in need of the support of either organization.

“By choosing to raise money and supplies for these two organizations, it will make me feel good to know that I’ll be helping many other local people,” he said.

Marsh noted that her family has benefited from the community’s giving over the last 10 years.

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FCC awards nearly $3 million to expand broadband access in Garrett

From The Garrett County Republican

OAKLAND — Nearly $3 million from the Federal Communications Commission will be used over the next decade to expand broadband access to more than 2,450 homes and businesses in Garrett County, Rep. David Trone and U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Von Hollen recently announced.

“The $2.9 million in FCC funding was not awarded directly to the county,” explained Nataniel Watkins, the chief information officer at the Garrett County Department of Technology and Communications. “It was awarded to Declaration Networks Group. They run the NeuBeam internet service.”

Garrett County government began partnering with the Virginia-based company about four years ago to provide the service, which utilizes television white space to cover areas without broadband.

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Commissioners recognize Swiftwater Rescue Team

From The Garrett County Republican

OAKLAND — The county commissioners recognized the recently formed Garrett County Swiftwater Rescue Team during their public meeting Tuesday afternoon at the courthouse in Oakland.

“I’m very pleased,” said Emergency Management Director John Frank about getting a team started. “It’s been a long time coming for Garrett County.”

He noted the team is organized under Garrett County Emergency Services, known as Company 8.

“Emergency Management just kind of helps facilitate, administer and approve deployments,” Frank said. “It’s our volunteers who have this kind of commitment.”

The Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Company serves as the team’s coordinator. Six other volunteer departments participate in the effort — Deer Park Community, Oakland, Kitzmiller, Eastern Garrett, Bloomington and Friendsville. Deep Creek Fire Chief Jason King is team leader.

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25th-annual Country Fest and Auction scheduled Aug. 24

From The Garrett County Republican

McHENRY — The 25th-annual Country Fest and Auction is set for Aug. 24 at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

Billed as “an event for the whole family,” the festival is traditionally held the fourth Saturday in August.

Planning, setting up, running and cleaning up takes a large team of volunteers.

“Each church member from the age of 10 and up is assigned something to do,” said Lucy Maust, festival secretary. “We all just pitch in and do it.”

The fundraiser is sponsored by the Bittinger and Pillar of Life Mennonite churches in the Bittinger/Accident area. Maust stressed that 90 percent of all proceeds go toward Christian education for the church members’ children. The remaining 10 percent is donated to Christian Aid Ministries — a nonprofit Mennonite group headquartered in Berlin, Ohio — to minister to the “physical and spiritual needs of the world.”

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Deep Creek Lake author publishes two more books

From The Garrett County Republican

DEEP CREEK LAKE — Local historian Ed King recently completed not one but two books: “Deep Creek Lake: The Founders (Book 1)” and “I Love Deep Creek Lake: Another in a Series of Vignettes.”

“It’s taken me about four years to write ‘The Founders,’” he said, noting there was much research to conduct and many people to interview for the publication.

King will sign copies of both books this Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Garrett County Historical Society Museum in Oakland. Weather permitting, he will be set up in the gazebo.

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