OAKLAND — Garrett County officials met recently with local real estate agents to discuss different ways to reopen rental units when given the green light by Gov. Larry Hogan.
Hogan’s recovery plan will roll out in a series of stages. The first stage is allowing “low risk” activities to begin, followed by, as benchmarks of progress are met, allowing “medium risk” and eventually “high risk” activities to take place. The governor’s stated goal is to gradually and responsibly reopen the economy while protecting the public health.
Depending on the plan submitted, the companies would fall in either the low or medium risk category, said County Health Officer Robert Stephens. The plans included discussions of initial cleaning and sanitation, ongoing cleaning and sanitation of indoor and outdoor environments and messaging to renters and owners regarding risks.
“We had a good meeting, discussing various options to open back up as quickly as we can in a safe way,” said Stephens in a news release. “We will follow Gov. Hogan’s guidance to determine the time to implement his Roadmap to Recovery plan. Our local vacation rental agencies have been very responsive. They have done a great deal of work to be prepared for when the governor will relax travel restrictions. It is our mutual desire to assure the health of our community.”
As the state moves closer to implementing the plan, Hogan will issue guidances to counties on what can be opened up during each stage of the process, and county officials will then be responsible for interpreting what said guidances mean for their county.
OAKLAND — Last month, as he does every March, Garrett County resident Harry Spiker checked on black bear sows and their cubs as they slept in their dens.
Spiker is a game mammal section leader for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. He is also Maryland’s principal black bear biologist coordinating bear research and management activities statewide. Since he lives and works in Garrett County, he also helps with bear management and nuisance issues locally.
“We maintain a sample of radio-collared sows (female bears) to track population growth and the overall health of the bear population,” Spiker said. “We try to maintain approximately 20 bears with radios across the four western counties. Since bears give birth every other year, that usually has us working about 10 bear dens per year but there are fluctuations as some bears may die, move away, den in unreachable places, etc.”
OAKLAND — A new option is now available for shopping at the Mountain Fresh Farmers Market.
With the current social distancing guidelines, some of the vendors have set up online markets.
Shoppers can purchase from each vendor individually with credit/debit (there is a small fee to help cover credit card fees for each transaction) or mark “pay with check” to pay at the market with check or cash (with no fees).
Customers can also choose where and when to pick up products, with some vendors offering on-farm pickup, as well.
“In order to help our vendors and customers comply with the social distancing recommendations, we’ve been looking at different farmers market options,” said Cheryl DeBerry, market adviser. “Online ordering with farmers market pick up seemed like the best way to help reduce the crowds and keep people safe.”
GRANTSVILLE — In this time of uncertainty, some families find that they need help with meals. That help is coming from many places, some of which are unexpected, such as from a Ford dealership.
As of today (April 2), 308 free meals have been served at Diehl’s Ford Sales in Grantsville. A new remodel was recently completed there, which includes a full kitchen in the new employee break room. This allows for meals to be kept hot all day.
“Honestly, the idea came to me the first Saturday that this started hitting really hard (March 14),” said Vivian Diehl, office manager and vice president. “I was home and thinking about what we could do to help out our community in this situation. I knew that there were many families that needed food, but also if we could provide the meal to anyone, no questions asked or judgement passed, it could relieve anyone’s stress from this horrible situation we are all in together.”
ACCIDENT — Members of the Krause family of Accident spent time over the weekend trying to brighten the day for people who might be passing by their Aiken Miller Road residence.
“I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a post that read, ‘Chalk your walk’ and to write a message or draw a picture on your walkway/driveway for all the first responders who are still working during this tough time, so when they drive around town they will see it. So that’s what we did,” Brandi Krause said. “I live just minutes from the Dollar General in Accident so I went and bought multiple boxes of chalk, brought them home and let the girls’ creativity run wild.”
Krause said that she and her husband Matthew are “totally outnumbered with three beautiful girls,” Danika, 12, Charli, 8 and Blakesley, 4.
LOCH LYNN, Md. — Community members who have experienced the death of a family member or friend are invited to enroll in a Grief Share program to be held at Loch Lynn Church of God.
Grief Share classes will be held on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., starting April 1, at the church, located at 8649 Gorman Road.
Pre-registration is requested by Thursday, March 19, in order to make sure there are enough workbooks on hand the first night of class. The only cost is for the workbook, which is $15.
This 11-week program features Christ-centered, biblical teaching that focuses on grief topics associated with the death of a loved one. The DVD seminar features nationally known grief experts and real-life stories of people, followed by a small group discussion.
McHENRY — Garrett College led all Maryland community colleges in enrollment growth during the spring 2020 semester, according to recently released statewide enrollment data.
The college led the state in credit hour enrollment growth, increasing the number of credit hours taken by its students by 5.85 percent in spring 2020 compared to spring 2019. Garrett finished the spring enrollment period with 6,190.75 credit hours, 342 more credit hours than in spring 2019.
Garrett was third in headcount enrollment growth, behind neighboring Allegany College of Maryland (7.6 percent) and Baltimore City Community College (6 percent.) It grew from 569 to 605 students, an increase of 6.33 percent.
“This is a very impressive enrollment performance for the college,” said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president. “It’s a testament to our faculty and staff. We consistently emphasize that enrollment is everyone’s business — and everyone deserves credit for this accomplishment.”