Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

Garrett Regional Medical Center Honored as Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital for Sixth Consecutive Year

In a testament to its unwavering commitment to exceptional healthcare, Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) has once again been recognized as a Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital by The Chartis Center for Rural Health. This prestigious acknowledgment marks the sixth consecutive year that GRMC has received this esteemed award, solidifying its status as a beacon of excellence in the healthcare landscape.

The Chartis Center for Rural Health’s annual Top 100 award program distinguishes outstanding performance among rural hospitals across the nation, with selection criteria based on the results of the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX®. Amidst a backdrop of evolving challenges in rural healthcare, this recognition underscores GRMC’s steadfast dedication to delivering high-quality care to its community.

Out of the myriad of rural hospitals evaluated nationwide, GRMC stands out as one of only two hospitals in Maryland to clinch a spot on the Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital list this year. Mark Boucot, President and CEO of GRMC and Potomac Valley Hospital, attributes this remarkable achievement to the relentless commitment and compassion exhibited by the hospital’s staff on a daily basis.

Boucot remarked, “Being nationally recognized for the sixth consecutive year as a Top 100 Rural and Community Hospital is quite a tremendous accomplishment for GRMC. This achievement would not be possible without our compassionate and caring staff. Each day, they make a commitment to provide our patients with exceptional care while treating them like family.”

Michael Topchik, National Leader at The Chartis Center for Rural Health, emphasized the significance of the Top 100 rural hospitals in driving innovation and inspiration in delivering quality care to vulnerable populations. He expressed delight in recognizing this year’s Top 100 honorees and highlighted the inclusion of over 40 first-time recipients, signaling a promising trend in elevating rural healthcare standards.

At the core of GRMC’s success lies its unwavering dedication to excellent patient outcomes. The hospital’s track record speaks volumes, with achievements such as seven consecutive years without inpatient catheter-associated urinary tract infections and one of the lowest case-mix adjusted readmission rates in the state. Additionally, GRMC garnered the highest ranked HCAHPS scores (patient satisfaction) for 2023 among Maryland hospitals, further validating its commitment to exceptional care delivery.

As a full member of the WVU Health System, GRMC continues to expand its range of specialty services to serve the diverse needs of its 46,000-strong service area spanning parts of eight counties across Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. From behavioral health to women’s healthcare services and beyond, GRMC remains steadfast in its mission to provide comprehensive, patient-centered care to its community.

For more information on Garrett Regional Medical Center and its commitment to excellence in healthcare, visit www.wvumedicine.org/Garrett. With each accolade and recognition, GRMC reaffirms its position as a beacon of excellence and a pillar of healthcare innovation in the rural landscape.

Deep Creek Lake Lions Club Pioneers Inclusive Playground Initiative: A Community Collaboration

The journey towards inclusivity began with the formation of a special advisory committee by the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club. This committee, comprised of members from various county groups, aimed to lay the groundwork for an inclusive playground that would welcome children and adults of all abilities. Spearheaded by local student Landon Georg and his family’s fundraising efforts, the initiative gained momentum and drew in a diverse array of stakeholders, including members of the disability community, county officials, and experts in accessible design.

Community Engagement: A Key Ingredient

Central to the initiative was community engagement, facilitated through the development of an Inclusive Playground Survey. This survey, launched in January 2024, sought input from residents, renters, and visitors, with a focus on understanding usage patterns, identifying challenges, and gathering recommendations for the playground’s design. The response was overwhelming, with 524 individuals contributing their perspectives and aspirations for the project.

Insights from the Survey

The survey yielded invaluable insights that will shape the future of the inclusive playground. Among the key findings were:

  • Demographics and Usage Patterns: A significant majority of respondents were full-time residents of Garrett County, demonstrating local support for the project. Moreover, nearly half of the respondents had a personal connection to disabilities, highlighting the importance of creating an inclusive space within the community.
  • Challenges and Needs: Mobility, behavioral, and sensory challenges emerged as primary concerns, underscoring the importance of addressing diverse needs in the playground’s design. Participants emphasized the significance of accessibility features and sensory elements to facilitate inclusive play experiences.
  • Recommendations for Accessibility: Respondents stressed the importance of physical accessibility, safety, and universal design principles. They advocated for a blend of physical, imaginative, and nature-based play elements to cater to a wide range of preferences and abilities.
  • Community Support: The overwhelming willingness of respondents to contribute to fundraising efforts underscores the strong community backing for the project. This outpouring of support serves as a testament to the shared commitment to inclusivity within the Deep Creek Lake community.

Moving Forward with Purpose

Armed with the insights gleaned from the survey, the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club is poised to translate vision into reality. The next steps involve fundraising, program management, and site allocation, with a steadfast commitment to ensuring that every aspect of the playground reflects the principles of inclusivity and accessibility.

A Call to Action

As the journey towards inclusivity unfolds, the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club invites all members of the community to join hands in this transformative endeavor. Whether through participation in fundraising efforts, sharing feedback, or simply spreading awareness, every contribution makes a difference. Together, we can create a playground where every child can laugh, play, and thrive, regardless of ability.

Get Involved

For those eager to lend their support or learn more about the project, the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club encourages reaching out via email at DCLLIONS@gmail.com or by phone at 323-325-5466. Additionally, detailed information, including the executive summary and full survey report, can be found on the club’s website at https://deepcreeklions.org/park-projects/handicap-accessible-playground.

Real Estate Opportunity at Adventure Sports Center International

Formerly operated by Adventure Sports Center, Inc. (ASCI), this property boasts North America’s third pump-powered artificial whitewater course, along with other key amenities. Whether you envision a thriving adventure sports hub, a retail haven, or a bustling event destination, this offering presents a rare chance to turn dreams into reality.

Property Highlights:

Parcel 1: Amphitheatre Oasis

  • Location: 1393 Wisp Mountain Road, McHenry, MD 21541
  • Size: 1.00 Acre
  • Improvements: Amphitheatre
  • Deed Reference: Liber 01065, Folio 00705; Map 0049, Parcel 0129

Parcel 2: Administrative Hub

  • Location: 250 Adventure Sports Way, McHenry, MD 21541
  • Size: 1.00 Acre
  • Improvements: 2-story Administration/Retail Building (+/- 9,008 SF) featuring a large retail area, offices, changing rooms, and showers.
  • Deed Reference: Liber 01018, Folio 00190; Map 0049, Parcel 0136

Parcel 3: Adventure Playground

  • Location: 200 Adventure Sports Way, McHenry, MD 21541
  • Size: 16.48 Acres
  • Improvements: Concrete Recirculating Whitewater Course (+/- 300 meters), Pump House, Boat Storage Building, Pavilion (+/- 4,300 SF).
  • Deed Reference: Liber 01018, Folio 00190; Map 0049, Parcel 0127

Package Deal Details:

  • Total Acreage: 18.48 acres
  • Minimum Bid: $2,000,000.00
  • Bid Deadline: May 9, 2024, at 1:30 P.M.
  • Bid Opening: May 9, 2024, at 2:00 P.M.
  • Additional Costs: Successful bidder responsible for site survey, deed preparation, transfer fees, and closing costs.

This sale isn’t just about acquiring land; it’s about securing a piece of adventure history. From thrilling whitewater courses to versatile event spaces, the possibilities are endless. Imagine transforming these parcels into a world-class adventure sports center, a vibrant retail complex, or a sought-after venue for adrenaline-fueled events. With its scenic backdrop and existing infrastructure, this property is poised for greatness.

Join us for a site visit on April 12 at 10:00 A.M. Advance registration is required, so don’t miss your chance to explore this remarkable opportunity firsthand. For further details, bidding instructions, and property viewings, contact the Board of County Commissioners of Garrett County at info@garrettcountymd.gov or 301-334-8970.

Oakland Seeks Applicants for Grant Awards to Revitalize Vacant Buildings

Oakland, Maryland, is bustling with opportunities for revitalization, and you could be a part of it. In a collaborative effort between the Town of Oakland, the Greater Oakland Business Association, and the Oakland Arts & Entertainment District, an exciting initiative is underway to breathe new life into vacant buildings. Through the Project Restore 2.0 grant offered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Oakland is on a mission to transform empty spaces into vibrant hubs of activity.

What is Project Restore 2.0? Project Restore 2.0 is more than just a grant; it’s a catalyst for change. Designed to promote place-based economic development, this grant focuses on activating vacant buildings within the jurisdiction it serves. The aim is to rejuvenate downtown and historic commercial corridors, fostering a thriving business environment and a sense of community.

Who Can Apply? Oakland is seeking interested parties to serve as sub-grantees for the funds. Whether you’re a for-profit business, a non-profit organization, a cooperatively-owned business, or a social enterprise, if you have a vision to start up or expand into a vacant building, this opportunity is for you.

Key Points to Note:

  1. Eligible Properties: There’s no minimum duration for a property to be vacant. As long as it’s commercially zoned and currently vacant or has vacant commercial spaces, it’s eligible.
  2. Eligible Uses of Funds: The grant can be used for rent payments, renovation and fit-out of the building (interior and/or exterior), as well as for purchasing furniture, fixtures, and equipment. However, property acquisition is not covered.
  3. Operational Deadline: Sub-grantees are expected to be operational in the formerly vacant building by the end of the grant period.

How to Apply: If you’re intrigued and believe your building or business qualifies, don’t hesitate to take the next step. Fill out the form available at [insert form link] by Friday, March 29. Keep in mind that additional information may be required during the application process.

For any inquiries or clarifications regarding the project, reach out to Nicole McCullough at nicole@oaklandmd.com or call 301-334-2691.

The Wild Yough: A River in Need of Citizen Oversight

A pivotal entity meant to safeguard this natural gem, the Youghiogheny Scenic and Wild River Advisory Board, finds itself sidelined and dismissed by local authorities. Recently, Garrett County Commissioner Larry Tichnell delivered a disheartening message to the advisory board, claiming it “has no functions to perform” for the county, effectively relegating its role to insignificance.

This dismissal raises pertinent questions about the fate of the Wild Yough and the decision-making processes governing it. Stakeholders, including members of the advisory board, express deep apprehension regarding decisions made by county and state leaders that appear to flout established laws, regulations, and management plans aimed at preserving the river’s pristine environment.

One glaring instance of this disregard was the advisory board’s recommendation regarding the alignment of a new bridge on Swallow Falls Road. Despite the board’s diligent evaluation and suggestion mirroring the current structure’s alignment, the county, backed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), opted for a divergent course of action. This decision, contrary to the board’s counsel, is now mired in legal contention, underscoring the widening chasm between stakeholders and authorities.

Moreover, the advisory board laments the lack of transparency in decision-making processes concerning the Wild Yough corridor. Requests for advance notice of plans from county and state officials fall on deaf ears, leaving stakeholders feeling marginalized and uninformed. The board’s plea for inclusivity and openness underscores the necessity of citizen engagement in shaping the river’s future.

The significance of the advisory board cannot be overstated. Envisioned as a conduit for public involvement, it represents a vital link between the community and governing bodies responsible for safeguarding the Wild Yough. Established protocols mandate the board’s role in advising both local authorities and the state’s Scenic and Wild Rivers Review Board, ensuring holistic decision-making aligned with conservation principles.

Former state senator and advocate for environmental protection, John Bambacus, underscores the pivotal role of the advisory board in preserving the Wild Yough. With private properties dotting significant stretches of the river’s corridor, Bambacus emphasizes the imperative of protecting landowners’ interests while upholding conservation efforts. The board serves as a beacon of citizen oversight, a vital counterbalance to bureaucratic decision-making processes.

Paul Durham, with years of experience overseeing the management of the Youghiogheny Wild River, echoes the sentiment of the importance of citizen oversight. Highlighting the invaluable expertise and dedication of board members, Durham stresses that without their presence, a critical facet of governance – citizen oversight – is lost.

In essence, the plight of the Wild Yough epitomizes a broader struggle for environmental stewardship and democratic governance. It underscores the indispensable role of citizen engagement in preserving natural wonders for future generations. As stakeholders rally for the reinstatement of meaningful citizen oversight, the Wild Yough stands as both a testament to nature’s splendor and a reminder of the collective responsibility to protect it.

JUST LISTED 4186 Mayhew Inn Rd

2-3 BR + loft / 2BA lake area home with a small stream on property and gorgeous views of neighboring horse farm. Very well-maintained with quality craftsmanship. Originally a 1940’s native stone & frame cottage the property was totally remodeled with addition circa 2005. Now boasting hardwood floors, modern kitchen, spacious bedrooms, HUGE main level laundry/sitting room (could easily alternate as BR), fire-pit, covered front porch, gazebo and very private feel. Rare Town Residential zoning permits a variety of uses. Very accessible location at Route 219 & Mayhew Inn Road intersection, walking distance to JG’s, legendary Deep Creek area pub. Close to recreation via three state parks plus nearby Deep Creek Lake. Sold FURNISHED!

Deep Creek Lake Lions Club Takes Initiative in Creating Inclusive Playground

In the heart of Garrett County, Maryland, lies the picturesque Deep Creek Lake, a destination known for its natural beauty and recreational activities. Amidst this serene landscape, the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club embarked on a remarkable journey in 2023, driven by a vision of inclusivity and community engagement.

Recognizing the need for an inclusive playground that caters to individuals of all abilities, the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club established a special advisory committee. This committee’s mission was clear: to collaborate with various county groups, gather insights, and make recommendations for the creation of an inclusive playground that would not only serve the local community but also attract visitors to the area.

At the forefront of this initiative was the determination of local student Landon Georg and his family, who spearheaded fundraising efforts to turn this vision into reality. Their dedication laid the foundation for what would become the first inclusive playground in Garrett County, situated within the Lions’ McHenry Community Park.

The advisory committee, comprising members from the disability community, community stakeholders, county officials, and experts in accessible design, worked tirelessly to ensure that the playground would meet the diverse needs of its users. Central to their efforts was the development of an Inclusive Playground Survey, designed to gather input from a wide spectrum of community members, including those with disabilities.

The response to the survey was overwhelming, with 524 community members providing valuable insights into their preferences and requirements for the inclusive playground. The survey revealed overwhelming support for specialized equipment that caters to users of varying ability levels, emphasizing the importance of features such as accessibility, safety, and sensory elements.

Among the key findings of the survey were insights into demographics and usage patterns, challenges and needs faced by individuals with disabilities, barriers to accessibility, and recommendations for structural features and specialized equipment. Importantly, the survey highlighted the strong community support for the project, with an overwhelming majority expressing willingness to contribute to fundraising efforts.

Mike O’Brien, president of the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club, expressed gratitude for the community’s engagement and emphasized the valuable insights gained from the survey. He commended the dedicated team of researchers who worked tirelessly to make this initiative a success and reiterated the Club’s commitment to realizing the inclusive playground.

As the project moves forward, the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club invites further engagement from the community. Detailed information, including the executive summary and full text of the Inclusive Playground Survey Report, is available on the Club’s website. Additionally, those interested in supporting the project or getting involved can reach out via email or phone.

In creating an inclusive playground, the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club not only enriches the lives of individuals with disabilities but also fosters a sense of belonging and community spirit. Through collaboration, compassion, and dedication, they are paving the way for a more inclusive and accessible future for all.

Maryland State Police To Bolster Patrol Over St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

Maryland State Police beginning Friday will increase patrols and enforcement efforts on impaired, aggressive and distracted driving through St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

State troopers from all 23 barracks will conduct saturation patrols on roads with high DUI incidents from Friday through Sunday. Enforcement efforts are bolstered by funds from the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office.

The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort team, a specialized unit trained to identify impaired drivers, will also work this weekend. SPIDRE is funded by a grant from the MDOT MVA Highway Safety Office and aims to reduce alcohol-related injuries and fatalities in Maryland.

The safety initiative can include partnering with allied law enforcement and other state agencies to both enforce the law and offer outreach to the community through social media or billboards.

Among the planned initiatives:

  • Allegany County: The Cumberland Barrack will focus DUI enforcement efforts on corridors with high traffic-related incidents.
  • Anne Arundel County: The Annapolis Barrack will work Route 50, Interstate 97 and the Annapolis City area. The Glen Burnie Barrack will patrol Route 295 and Interstate 695.
  • Baltimore County: The Golden Ring Barrack will concentrate enforcement on Interstate 695.
  • Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties: The Easton Barrack will enforce traffic violations on routes 50, 404, 331 and rural roads.
  • Carroll County: The Westminster Barrack will conduct DUI enforcement on major routes including 140 and 30, as well as feeder roads.
  • Cecil County: The North East Barrack will conduct DUI saturation patrols in areas with high traffic-related incidents.
  • Charles County: The LaPlata Barrack will work with Maryland Transportation Authority Police to conduct DUI saturation patrols and High Visibility Enforcement on Route 301.
  • Frederick County: The Frederick Barrack will direct enforcement efforts on major corridors, including Interstate 70.
  • Garrett County: The McHenry Barrack will work Interstate 68. Troopers will also conduct crash reduction and DUI enforcement with Garrett County Sheriff deputies.
  • Montgomery County: The Rockville Barrack will work with Montgomery County Police to conduct saturation patrols in Gaithersburg’s Rio and Crown areas.
  • Prince George’s County: The Forestville Barracks will bolster patrol on routes 301 and 5 and the southern parts of the county. The College Park Barrack will work Route 1 and Interstate 495.
  • Wicomico County: The Salisbury Barrack will concentrate efforts on routes 50 and 13.
  • Worcester County: The Berlin Barrack will conduct DUI enforcement on routes 50 and 90 and West Ocean City.

Police urge motorists to avoid impaired, aggressive and distracted driving.

If you are attending a St. Patrick’s Day event:

  • Designate a sober driver before going out. Give that person your car keys.
  • Avoid drinking if you are planning to drive.
  • Consider using public transportation. Call a taxi or use a ride-share service.
  • Do not let friends drive if you think they are impaired.
  • Call the police if you see someone who you believe is driving impaired.
  • Always buckle up.
  • Do not text, drive distracted or use a cellphone that is not hands-free.

If you are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day event:

  • Remember that you can be held liable if someone you served alcohol to ends up in an impaired driving crash.
  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Ensure sober drivers or alternative modes of transportation are set up in advance for guests who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages.
  • Have contact information for local taxi companies readily available.
  • Take away the keys from anyone who is thinking about driving impaired.

County Commissioners Announce Public Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Agenda Session Times are Approximate

Meeting will also be Live Streamed at https://www.facebook.com/garrettcountygovernment/

The Board of County Commissioners may close a portion of this public meeting and move into Executive Session to comply with a specific constitutional, statutory, or judicial requirement that may prevent public disclosure about a particular proceeding or matter. 

*To comment on agenda items – please send to comments@garrettcounty.org

3:00        Administrative Session   

  • Board Appointments: Adult Public Guardianship Review Board – Three (3) Year Terms
  • Declaration of Surplus County Property

              2008 Dodge Nitro SXT
              1993 John Deere 644G Loader 
              1997 Roscoe Broom  
              2002 John Deere 6220 Tractor 
              2000 John Deere 310 SE Backhoe 
              2005 John Deere 6220 Tractor 
              2000 John Deere 310 SE Backhoe

  • Backbone Housing, Inc. – Request for Fiscal Year 2025 County Property Tax Abatement
  • Mr. Null will review a number of administrative and managerial matters under his authority and jurisdiction with the Board of County Commissioners 

4:00       Call to Order of Public Session, Invocation, and Pledge of Allegiance

              County Administrator – Additions/Deletions to Public Meeting Agenda

              Approval of Public, Administrative, and Executive Meeting Minutes

4:05       Recognition:  The Alley – 10th Anniversary

4:10       Garrett County Community Action Committee, Inc. – Garrett Transit

  • Maryland Annual Transportation Plan Fiscal Year 2025 Grant Application 

4:15        Public Commentary


Public issues or concerns that are to be presented to the Board of Garrett County Commissioners during any Public Meeting should be scheduled with Carol A. Riley–Alexander, Executive Assistant to the Board of County Commissioners/County Administrator.     

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners next scheduled Public Meeting will be Monday, April 1, 2024 at the Garrett County Courthouse beginning at 4:00 PM.

Charles and Garrett Counties Added to Maryland’s Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine

The fight against the invasive spotted lanternfly continues in Maryland, with the recent addition of Charles and Garrett counties to the state’s quarantine list. This decision, made by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, underscores the seriousness of the threat posed by this destructive insect and highlights the ongoing efforts to contain its spread.

The inclusion of Charles and Garrett counties in Maryland’s spotted lanternfly quarantine means that businesses, municipalities, and government agencies within these areas must adhere to strict regulations regarding the movement of certain items. These regulations are put in place to prevent the inadvertent spread of spotted lanternfly populations to unaffected areas.

Entities operating within the quarantine zone must obtain specialized permits to move regulated items. This includes materials such as landscaping waste, packing materials like wooden crates, plants and plant parts, vehicles, and various outdoor items. To obtain these permits, individuals are required to undergo a free online training course and pass an exam administered by Penn State Extension.

Managers, supervisors, and employees of businesses or organizations within the quarantine zone must undergo training to ensure they understand the pest and quarantine requirements thoroughly. Additionally, regular inspections of vehicles and products, as well as the removal of spotted lanternfly life stages, are mandated to maintain compliance with the quarantine regulations.

The primary goal of the quarantine is to restrict the movement of articles that may harbor spotted lanternfly egg masses, nymphs, or adults. By implementing these measures, Maryland aims to mitigate the spread of this invasive species and protect its agriculture, ecosystems, and economy from the damaging effects of the spotted lanternfly.

Maryland’s efforts to combat the spread of spotted lanternfly align with similar initiatives in neighboring states. New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and parts of Connecticut, Ohio, and Virginia have also implemented quarantine measures to control the spread of this invasive pest. Permits issued in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are transferable and valid throughout the region, facilitating coordinated management efforts.

The addition of Charles and Garrett counties to Maryland’s spotted lanternfly quarantine emphasizes the collaborative and proactive approach taken by state agencies and stakeholders to address the threat posed by this invasive insect. By adhering to quarantine regulations, businesses and individuals play a crucial role in protecting Maryland’s environment and industries from the detrimental impacts of the spotted lanternfly.

As the battle against this invasive species continues, it is essential for communities to remain vigilant and committed to implementing measures that can help mitigate its spread and minimize its impact on the ecosystem and economy.