Adventuresports Institute at Garrett College recipient of ARC funding

$250,000 will improve educational facilities

For the Cumberland Times-News Cumberland Times-News

WASHINGTON — The Garrett County Board of Commissioners has received a $250,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to improve the educational facilities of The Adventuresports Institute at Garrett College. In addition to the grant, the project will be locally funded at $279,024 and with an additional $50,000 in other federal funds.

The news was announced jointly on Friday by U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, both Maryland Democrats.

“Tourism means jobs in Western Maryland and across our great state. This grant is about equipping young professionals with the important skills they need to showcase the splendor of Western Maryland’s natural resources,” said Cardin. “ARC’s federal-local partnership is investing together in Garrett County’s economy while raising the bar for new levels of responsible, environmental stewardship.”

“This federal funding is an important investment in Garrett County’s economic security and the vitality of Western Maryland,” said Mikulski.  “These funds will help build an industry that keeps Marylanders on the job and encourages people to visit our state. Tourism spurs all parts of the economy — from the adventure sites to the food stands. I will keep fighting for smart federal investments in Maryland communities.”

The Adventuresports Institute is a wholly-owned operation of Garrett College. It was founded as part of a strategy to establish Garrett County as an adventure sport tourism leader.

ASI works with public and private entities to train professionals and produce leaders in adventure sports and recreation industries who have a strong sense of environmental stewardship and community service. This grant comes at an opportune time as its beneficiaries will be instrumental in ensuring that the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship in 2014 at Deep Creek Lake is a success.

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Garrett County commissioners OK transportation plan

Priority list now includes Route 135/Sand Flat Road intersection

Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — The Garrett County commissioners approved the county planning commission’s recommended priority list for nine projects, one of which is new, to the State of Maryland Consolidated Transportation 2014 Plan. The planning commission recommended that a new project, state Route 135/Sand Flat Road intersection, be added to the list for safety reasons, according to John Nelson, director of planning and land development.

“The planning commission noted a number of accidents at that intersection recently, many which resulted in serious injuries and/or fatalities,” said Nelson at Tuesday’s commission meeting. “The problem seems to be one of sight distance, speed.”

The planning commission asked that the intersection be reviewed by experts with the Traffic Safety Engineering Division of the Maryland State Highway Administration.

The remainder of the priority list is similar to last year’s list. On the list again is the U.S. Route 219 North project (North/South corridor) from Interstate 68 to Pennsylvania, which is a No. 1 priority and is part of the state’s CTP. The state doesn’t have most of the funding for the project because it is part of the Appalachian Development Highway System, according to Nelson.

“The problem still lies with the Pennsylvania (line) to Meyersdale section. Pennsylvania argues they don’t have the funding in place for that section,” said County Commissioner Jim Raley.

A letter from Gov. Martin O’Malley agrees to allocate all the Appalachian Regional Commission funds for that project to be complete in Maryland but the project is being held back because of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation planning initiatives, according to Nelson.

The section of the North/South corridor from Somerset to Meyersdale, Pa., is getting ready to go out to bid, according to Raley. The alignment of the section from Pennsylvania to Maryland to where it comes into I-68 still has to be determined by the Maryland impact study, according to Nelson.

The second project on the list is the Oakland bypass, which would relocate U.S. 219 from north of Oakland to state Route 135 (2.4 miles). Elected officials and residents ex-pressed concerns about the bypass during a Maryland Department of Transportation tour last year.

Even though both the North/South corridor and the bypass are on the CTP, there is no capital funding for them or any projects throughout the state, according to Nelson.

“We don’t foresee those projects having any additional funding associated with them,” said Nelson. “The other five remaining projects are essentially community safety enhancement projects.”

Also on the list are the state Route 546 bridge project which goes over I-68 in Finzel and the U.S. 219 resurfacing project that is currently under way from Oak Street to East Lake Street.

The planning commission noted minor changes to those projects on the priority list.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at

Man fled boat by smashing window

Michael A. Sawyers Cumberland Times-News

DEEP CREEK LAKE — A Maryland Department of Natural Resources boat operator had to knock out a window to escape from the 23-foot work vessel that capsized and went to the bottom of Deep Creek Lake on the afternoon of May 15, according to a Watercraft Accident Report filed by Natural Resources Police Cpl. Robert Mayles.

The docked vessel began taking on water through an open dive door and then capsized when the operator, accompanied by an attendant, attempted to quickly drive it to a shallow area.

Both men swam to safety and neither was injured.

In his report, Mayles said that Lake Management employees Maxwell N. Anthony, the operator, and Seth M. Metheny were docked at the Discovery Center for about 20 minutes at about 4 p.m. as they were updating their iPads via the center’s WiFi service.

“… During that time the strong winds were causing the waves to break over the side of the boat where the removable dive door is located,” Mayles wrote, describing the waves as being as high as 2 feet.

“After noticing the water filling the bilge, the bilge pump was activated but was unable to keep up with the amount of water coming through the dive door.”

Anthony told Mayles the decision was made to back away from the dock and try to get the boat on plane to allow the water to drain off.

“Noticing the boat listing to the port side and the engine sitting very low in the water, they decided to try and get as close to shore as possible,” Mayles wrote. “Mr. Metheny was attempting to replace the dive door when the vessel capsized.”

Mayles said that Metheny immediately swam free of the boat. That’s when Anthony knocked out a cabin window to escape. Anthony and Metheny were wearing personal flotation devices, according to the report.

The boat went down in Meadow Mountain Cove in about 12 feet of water. The following day, NRP divers and Lake Management personnel used air bags to float the boat and it was pulled to shore. Mayles’ report indicates the aluminum vessel sustained $2,000 in damage.

Besides the cabin window that Anthony dislodged, an engine cowling was broken and radio and other electronic equipment was damaged. The vessel, which is insured, was considered to be disabled, according to Mayles’ report. The report lists Anthony as a boat operator with more than 500 hours’ experience, though it cites inattention and inexperience of the operator as factors that contributed to the accident. No charges were filed.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at

Deep Creek Lake a Vacation Destination at Any Season

By: Ananda Rochita
Updated: June 24, 2013

GARRETT COUNTY, MD – Deep Creek Lake is located in Western Maryland and is a vacation spot for people ranging from those who live in nearby metropolitan cities to all around the East Coast.

“We have Deep Creek Lake which is good with anything in the water like boating and kayaking and we also have a ski resort here in the winter time,” says Sarah Duck, Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.

You can go paddle boarding, tubing, or just soak up the sunshine on a boat.

“It’s a real short drive and it’s a beautiful area,” says Jack Carter from Wisp Resort. “It’s not as humid as the D.C. area and so in the summer time you can come out here and escape to the cooler climate.”

More here.

Maryland's 'lawless sheriffs' are upholding our constitutional rights

8:00 a.m. EDT, June 22, 2013

State Del. Jon S. Cardin’s recent commentary on Garrett County Sheriff Robert Corley is full of half truths and lies (“The lawless sheriffs of Maryland,” June 17).

Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio is not a laughingstock, and I challenge Delegate Cardin to note where he got that lie from. I searched the web and nowhere is this found except by Jon Cardin.

Sheriff Arpaio was elected to a sixth term last year in Arizona, after having taken strong steps in 2008 to correct past issues, including stopping controversial saturation sweeps that targeted and detained immigrants. The lawsuit the court recently ruled on was initiated in 2007.

Arizona has been at the heart of a bitter national debate over illegal immigration since Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed a 2010 crackdown on undocumented immigrants that was challenged by the federal government. Mr. Arpaio was following the laws of the U.S Constitution and the state of Arizona in arresting and deporting illegal immigrants

Read more:,0,3381459.story#ixzz2XQACjj44

Garrett County couple win $1 million top prize on scratch-off lottery ticket

Payout for residents who want to remain anonymous is $506,242

Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News

GRANTSVILLE — A local Garrett County couple recently won the $1 million top prize from the Maryland Lottery’s Double Dollar Fortune scratch-off ticket. The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, bought the winning ticket at Chestnut Ridge Liquor Store.

“We are very excited. I’m in shock,” said the winner. “When I found out, I ran two laps through the house.”

The couple plan to use the money toward retirement and traveling. They plan on continuing to work.

The winner purchases scratch-offs about twice a month and had previously won $150 on Powerball.

The Double Dollar ticket costs $20 and has three top prizes of $1 million, seven prizes of $50,000, 17 prizes of $10,000 and many smaller prizes, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. The other two $1 million prizes still remain to be drawn.

The couple who won chose the cash option prize of $764,140. The payout after taxes were collected is $506,242. The winner can also choose an annuity that is paid out over 20 years.

The estimated probability of winning a prize in the game is 1 in 2.71.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at

Garrett County will hold tire recycling event

Cumberland Times-News

MCHENRY — The Garrett County Department of Solid Waste and Recycling will host a Citizen Scrap Tire Drop-Off Event on June 29 at the Garrett County Fairgrounds beginning at 7 a.m. The event will end at 3 p.m. or when all the receptacles are full.

All vehicles will be directed to enter the parking lot at the first driveway on Mosser Road. Vehicles will be checked in and sent to a designated lane for depositing the tires; residents will then be directed to use the second driveway to exit the fairgrounds.

County residents may bring up to 10 passenger tires, light truck tires or agricultural tires or a mixture of all three. The tires must be free of dirt, mud, leaves, water or fluid. Tires with rims will be accepted. Agricultural tires must be unloaded by whomever brings them.

Carpooling is encouraged but recyclers must show a valid driver’s license proving Garrett County residency. A residential refuse permit is not required to participate in the event.

The event is sponsored by the Maryland Environmental Service and  funded through the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Scrap Tire Fund.

For more information, contact Kimberly Madigan, recycling coordinator, at 301-387-0322.

More here.

GoDaddy is having some issues…

And my blog is suffering because of it! I apologize if you receive errors in connecting, they assure me they are working on it! In the meantime, check in to my Facebook page, as it never goes down:

I’ll update much more frequently once this issue has been fixed – I noticed it started doing it on Tuesday.