‘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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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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Tenth Annual Festival of Trees – Nov 24 & 25

The Tenth Annual Festival of Trees will be held at the Garrett County Fairgrounds on November 24 and 25. Start your day with Breakfast with Santa on either Friday or Saturday for either 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. and have a professional photo taken with Santa in his sleigh, then decorate your own cookie at Santa’s Bakery. Spend as much time as you want with the many free kids’ activities and the try out the Lego robotics.  Be sure shop for your friends and family for only $1 per item at the Elfenheim Mall.   Don’t miss a visit with our numerous vendors for mostly hand-made unique gifts for family, friends and YOURSELF.  (Pay vendors directly.)  And Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, sponsored by Sorrellee’s Pizza, is open all day until 5 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday – Very reasonably priced and tasty food for the entire family.  You will also enjoy our new BUY ME NOW tables of holiday items instead of the usual silent auction.  No waiting!  Treat yourself to a $3 sundae you make yourself, sponsored by the fabulous Lakeside Creamery.

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Maryland Senators Secure HUBZone Designation For Garrett County

September 19th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and U.S.Senator Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, have secured a provision in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to extend federal HUBZone eligibility to small businesses in Garrett County and in other HUBZone areas around Maryland. The provision, Senate Amendment 510, mirrors the HUBZone Investment Protection Act (S. 690), which was authored by Cardin and cosponsored by Van Hollen.

 “This is a win for Garrett County and will provide a much-needed boost of economic activity and good-paying jobs in the region. The edge in the federal procurement process provided by the SBA HUBZone program is vital to several Maryland communities,” said Senator Cardin. “HUBZone companies create jobs and communities like Garrett County, Baltimore City and Dorchester County will benefit from this bipartisan effort to prevent the loss of small businesses at a time when these communities are still economically vulnerable. It is the smart thing to do for Maryland and for our nation.”

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Garrett County commissioners to hold meeting in Finzel

OAKLAND — The Garrett County commissioners have announced the agenda for their next public meeting, scheduled for Tuesday at the Eastern Garrett County Volunteer fire hall.

The session will include a public hearing on a Community Development Block Grant application for the proposed Bloomington Water Treatment Plant.

In addition, the commissioners will make appointments to the Garrett County Health Planning Council and Garrett County Law Enforcement Personnel Retirement Board, review a real property tax exemption request from the Accident Community Housing Corporation and consider adoption of a resolution to adopt an all-terrain/snowmobile ordinance.

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Price Improvement! 6 Bright Passage Lane #1C

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New Listing! 85 Hillcrest Drive

HUGE 3200sf~ 4BR 3BA home in Deer Park area! Perfect for one level living. Features include an impressive master-suite with walk-in closet, plenty of yard space, wood floors, multiple living areas, carport, over-sized garage, laundry room, rear decking and an above ground pool. In need of some TLC, mostly DIY projects like trim, paint & flooring. Worth a look – lots of value!

    

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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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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