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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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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