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“George Fund” to Support Economic Development in Western Maryland

Maryland Association of Counties

The new Senator George C. Edwards Fund will provide grant or loan funding to capital infrastructure projects and business development projects that improve the economic conditions in the region.


In the 2022 Legislative Session, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 474, sponsored by Senators George Edwards, Paul Corderman, and Katie Hester. The legislation called for the creation of the “George Fund” and established the Western Maryland Economic Future Investment Board to review, evaluate, and rate applications for funding from the program. It also made this program a part of the Tri-County Council of Western Maryland, which supports the board and administers the fund.


The purpose of the Fund is to provide grant or loan funding to capital infrastructure projects and business development projects that improve the economic conditions in the region. A total of $50 million has been allocated for economic development projects over the next four years. The first round of funding is for $20 million to support projects in Garrett, Allegany, and Washington Counties.
The Western Maryland Economic Future Investment Board solicited applications and has been evaluating the projects that could make the most substantial economic impact, bring significant employment opportunities, and/or increase the tax base.
Requests for funding in Garrett County alone totaled over $8.7 million and would create over 200 jobs in the next year and over 300 new jobs in the next three years. Project awards are expected to be announced soon.


Senate Bill 474 also designated the positions which are represented on the Board. One representative from the Department of Commerce, appointed by the Secretary of Commerce; one commissioner from each member county, appointed by each member county’s respective commissioners; one representative of an economic development organization in each member county, appointed by each member county’s respective commissioners; one representative from Chamber of Commerce from each member county, appointed by each member county’s respective Chamber of Commerce; and one representative from the Maryland Municipal League, appointed by the Executive Director of the League.
For additional information visit https://senatoredwardsfund.org.

‘Explore Garrett’ Open House set for April 1st

Garrett College

In-person Garrett College event is for prospective students, parents
Garrett College recently announced its Explore Garrett Open House will take place on Saturday, April 1st from 9:30 a.m. until noon. The event will be held in the Performing Arts Center at Garrett College on the McHenry campus.

“We are very excited to welcome prospective students and their families to our first in-person open house event in over two years,” said Melissa Wass, director of admissions and recruitment at GC. “Choosing a college is a big decision, and an on-campus visit is one of the best things that can help a student make the right choice.

“We want our guests to feel fully informed about the options available to them here at Garrett,” added Wass, “and we look forward to sharing how we can help them reach their academic and career goals.”

Those in attendance will be able to explore Garrett’s academic programs through conversations with faculty; learn about available financial aid and scholarships; take a tour of Garrett’s campus; and discover the many benefits Garrett College has to offer.

Additionally, information will be shared about the admissions process, seamless transfer agreements, athletic programs, on-campus housing, placement testing, and new student advising.


Visit https://www.garrettcollege.edu/exploregarrett to register for the open house. Contact the Office of Admissions at 301-387-3044 or admissions@garrettcollege.edu for additional information.

Forever Maryland Awards 2023 Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants Totaling $92,000

The BayNet

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Forever Maryland announces that 31 grants totaling $92,000 have been awarded to support environmental education, community cleanup, and beautification projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful program. The annual grants are funded by the Maryland Environmental Trust, Forever Maryland, and Maryland Department of Transportation.


The grants are administered by Forever Maryland; it is the oldest program of the Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Department of Natural Resources.

“Since its inception, the Keep Maryland Beautiful grants program has awarded grants to engaged citizens and land trusts that are developing innovative solutions to local environmental problems,” said Forever Maryland President Wendy Stringfellow. “I’ve been involved with this rewarding program for the past decade, and have seen its enormous impact. Thank you to the sponsors and the awardees for your contributions to Maryland!”

This program is administered by Forever Maryland and is the oldest program of the Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Department of Natural Resources.

“The Keep Maryland Beautiful Program builds a strong partnership between our communities and state, in our shared goals of cleaner water and access to green space for all Marylanders,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz. “Funding these efforts also increases stewardship in every corner of Maryland.”

“Keep Maryland Beautiful grants demonstrate the power of partnership to create cleaner, greener communities for all Marylanders,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “The Maryland Department of Transportation is proud to join with other state agencies, schools, nonprofits and individual citizens to protect and enhance our state’s natural beauty and inspire a passion for environmental stewardship in future generations.”

Keep Maryland Beautiful recipients included schools, nonprofit groups, municipalities and land trusts in 12 counties and Baltimore City. Many of these grants focus on developing and supporting communities, families, youth and students who take personal responsibility for the health of their communities, protecting nature in their backyards and seeking ways to help reduce or resolve environmental challenges.

Awards this year included:

One Aileen Hughes award totaling $5,000, awarded to an individual representing a Maryland land trust for outstanding leadership, partnership and innovation in a conservation project. The grant is awarded to the Maryland land trust in recognition of the individual’s efforts and good work. The grant is given annually to honor the late Aileen Hughes, a leader in the conservation movement.
21 Citizen Stewardship awards totaling $37,000, given in honor of Bill James, who drafted the legislation that founded Maryland Environmental Trust, and Margaret Rosch Jones, former executive director of the Keep Maryland Beautiful program. The Citizen Stewardship grants are awarded to schools, nonprofits and other community organizations whose missions are centered upon directly engaging community members in environmental education and stewardship. These grants also support organizations that demonstrate active engagement as defenders of the environment by developing innovative solutions to local environmental problems.
9 Janice Hollmann Grant awards totaling $50,000, given to Maryland land trusts to increase capacity, support community programming and innovation and foster stronger, better connected land trusts. All grants require a 100 percent match from the land trust of in-kind services and privately raised funds. The grant is given in memory of Janice Hollmann, who exemplified citizen leadership of local land trusts in Maryland.

2023 recipients of Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants include:

Anne Arundel County

Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park

Scenic Rivers Land Trust Inc.

Baltimore City

Baltimore Green Space – A Land Trust for Community Managed Open Space Inc.

Civic Works, Inc

Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative

Grow & Eat Inc. aka Harlem Park Community Farm

Lafayette Square Community Development Corporation

Living Classrooms Foundation

Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm

The Sixth Branch

The Urban Oasis

Baltimore County
Gwynn Oak Community Association

NeighborSpace of Baltimore County Inc.

Calvert County

American Chestnut Land Trust Inc.

Charles County

Conservancy for Charles County Inc.

Gale-Bailey Elementary Green Club

Frederick County
Catoctin Land Trust

Garrett County

Crellin Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization Inc.

Harford County
Harford Land Trust Inc.

Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway

Howard County

Glenelg Country School

Patapsco Heritage Greenway Inc.

The Howard County Conservancy

Montgomery County
Amula Foundation (Also known as Rise N Shine Foundation Inc.)

Bethesda Green

Charles Koiner Center for Urban Farming Inc.

Montgomery Parks Foundation

St. Mary’s County
Greenwell Foundation Josh

Talbot County

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

Washington County
Antietam-Concocheague Watershed Alliance

More information on the grants is available online.

First responders, helicopter crew rescue injured mountain biker

Cumberland Times-News

GRANTSVILLE — A man riding a mountain bike on a remote New Germany State Park trail was rescued by first responders and a Maryland State Police helicopter crew after he became stranded following an accident Wednesday.

According to state police, Grantsville Volunteer Fire Department and other rescue personnel found the injured 56-year-old around 5:30 p.m. on the Meadow Mountain Trail, which stretches through New Germany State Park and Savage River State Forest in Garrett County. He reportedly told rescuers he was stranded in the woods for nearly eight hours.

Rescue personnel requested Trooper 5, based at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport in Wiley Ford, West Virginia, for an aerial hoist mission due to the mountain biker’s remote location, topography, an extended extrication time and the nature of his injuries.

Garrett County rescue personnel provided patient care and stabilized the biker.

Once overhead, the crew from Trooper 5 used the helicopter’s hoist to lower a trooper/flight paramedic into a clearing below. The trooper/flight paramedic, with assistance from rescue personnel, secured the injured mountain biker and he was lifted about 100 feet in the air and flown to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, for treatment.

The injured man’s name was not released and there was no word on his condition Thursday.

Click here to find the article.

County Commissioners Announce Special Public Hearing – June 28, 2022

Garrett County Government

County Commissioners Announce Special Public Hearing – June 28, 2022
Last Updated on Jun 14, 2022 at 12:40pm | Board of Commissioners
PUBLIC NOTICE

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners will conduct a Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room, Room 209, 203 South Fourth Street, Courthouse, Oakland, Maryland. The purpose of the meeting is to review and take public comment on the following ordinance(s):

GARRETT COUNTY FIRE MARSHAL
Draft Ordinance – Garrett County Fire Marshal
AN ACT CONCERNING the Garrett County Fire Marshal FOR THE PURPOSE of authorizing the appointment of a Fire Marshal for Garrett County, Maryland; establishing the scope of the duties as well as the administration and implementation of the Office of the Fire Marshall for Garrett County, Maryland, and authorizing the Office of Fire Marshal to investigate the origin, cause and circumstances of fires, explosions, and hazardous materials emergencies in Garrett County.

GARRETT COUNTY POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD
Draft Ordinance – Garrett Count y Police Accountability Board
AN ACT CONCERNING the Garrett County Police Accountability Board FOR THE PURPOSE of establishing a Police Accountability Board for Garrett County, Maryland; establishing the scope of the duties as well as the administration and implementation of the Garrett County Police Accountability Board and authorizing the Garrett County Police Accountability Board to work with law enforcement agencies and the county government to improve matters of policing in Garrett County.

BUILDING REGULATIONS
Draft Ordinance – Building Regulations
AN ACT CONCERNING the Garrett County Fire Prevention Code; FOR THE PURPOSE of adopting and implementing a Fire Prevention Code for Garrett County, Maryland; providing for the scope, administration, and implementation thereof; providing for inspection and other fees; providing for protection against fires and the removal of fire hazards; providing for appointment of inspectors to enforce the Fire Prevention Code and establishing penalties for violations thereof.

Maryland’s “Ag Tag”: Over 20 Years of Supporting Ag Education

Maryland Department of Agriculture

The “Ag Tag” has been on our Maryland highways since 2001. Today, I would like to take a moment to celebrate this bright orange license plate that reminds us all of the importance of our great farmers. Created by the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF) as a tool to raise funds for the nonprofit, the Ag Tag has succeeded wonderfully. The tags, which cost an extra $10 for motor vehicle owners, have raised more than $12 million in 21 years. You’ll see Ag Tags with everything from “MDA 1,” “YO SOY,” “AG TERP,” to “VINEGIRL” and “FRMCHIC”. All proud Marylanders who want to support our farmers and celebrate agriculture.

The Ag Tag funds support K-12 and post-secondary opportunities to increase agricultural education and literacy, including MAEF’s Mobile Science Labs, professional development programs for teachers, ag literacy book programs, & “Lab in a Box”; kits, garden grants, Maryland Future Farmers of America (FFA) and support for ag science teachers, and much much more.

MAEF was founded in 1989 by farmers and teachers with a goal of doing all they could to teach kids about agriculture. The organization has since taken off! MAEF celebrated 1 million students reached through elementary education programming in 2019, and kept right on going, even through the COVID- 19 pandemic, providing online resources through their website and social media, issuing grants for garden kits, offering Virtual Farm Field Trips, and reformatting Maryland FFA competitions to online platforms.

MAEF reaches Maryland children from Baltimore to Ocean City, from Dunkirk to Deep Creek Lake with learning experiences that explain where our food comes from and how farmers produce it. The organization’s three Mobile Science Labs offer 50-minute experiments that allow students to really dig into agriculture.

MAEF also offers classes for Maryland teachers that show them how to use agriculture to help young minds explore the world around them. The teachers are able to use agriculture as an experiential teaching tool for the state’s core curricula of science, social studies, life skills, mathematics and language arts, and craft their love for the Bay and nature.

The Ag Tag is succeeding for our state. It supports all of this and more. Ag students become better informed citizens who will shape our future with at least some knowledge of where their food comes from. As for me, I always have Ag Tags on my truck.

To learn more about MAEF or order your “Ag Tag” today, please visit : maefonline.com

Garrett County Gran Fondo

Gran fondo guide

The Garrett County Gran Fondo has a ride for everyone from the recreational cyclist to seasoned professionals with five supported ride options. The 125 mile “Diabolical Double Metric”, the 105 mile “Savage Century”, the 63 mile “Masochistic Metric”, and the 44 mile “Fabulous 44” all contain very steep and challenging hills. The “Garrett’s Greatest 25” includes hills but is appropriate for the recreational cyclist not desiring to undertake the more extreme Gran Fondo ride offerings.

7 separate timed KOM climbs encompass a total of 11.8 miles and 4400′ elevation gain.  A true climbing test!

The Garrett County Gran Fondo “Diabolical Double” was selected in 2009 by Rapha Continental as one of the top 25 Epic Rides in North America and riders unanimously agreed the ride ranked was “one of the most stunning and demanding rides of the summer”. At 125 miles and 16,500 feet of climbing, this ride is an extreme challenge on par with any single day ride in the world, including the European climbing classics such as Etape du Tour, la Marmotte, and the classic Italian Gran Fondos. Compact cranks or triples are very strongly encouraged.

The “Diabolical Double” – the feature event of the Garrett County Gran Fondo, the Diabolical Double is a true, extreme epic on par with European climbing classics such as Etape du Tour, la Marmotte, and the classic Italian Gran Fondos. At 125 miles and 16,500 feet of climbing, the Diabolical Double is an all-day affair that is an extreme challenge for even the most fit rider. Included in Rapha Continental’s 2009 tour of the Top 25 Epic Rides in North America, and called by the Rapha riders “one of the most demanding and stunning rides of the summer”, the Diabolical Double is destined to become a true North American cycling classic.

The “Savage Century” – at 105 miles and 12,700 feet of climbing, the Savage Century is a very challenging century ride in its own right despite playing second fiddle to the Diabolical Double. The Savage Century shares the first 59 miles and final 15 miles of the Diabolical Double route.

The “Masochistic Metric” – at 63 miles and 8000 feet of climbing, the Masochistic Metric can stake its claim as the toughest metric century route in North America. The Masochistic Metric shares the first 47 miles of the Diabolical Double and Savage Century routes and includes some of the most stunning rural scenery and vistas you are ever to encounter on a bike as well as the vast majority of the steepest climbs encountered in the Savage Century and Diabolical Double routes

The “Fabulous 44” – at 44 miles and 4800 feet of climbing, the “Fabulous 44” is an excellent option for anyone looking for a longer, more challenging ride than the “Garrett’s Greatest 25”, but is not ready to undertake the extreme challenge of the Masochistic Metric Century.

The “Garrett’s Greatest 25” – A beautiful 25 mile ride through the rolling Garrett County farmland with a challenging 3 mile climb to the finish atop Wisp Mountain.

espite the extreme nature of the some of the Garrett County Gran Fondo rides, there are no qualifying standard or time cutoff restrictions beyond event closure at dusk. The Gran Fondo rides include supply stations, tech/sag support and riders will be provided detailed cue sheets and elevation profiles. Even so, participants should prepare to be self-sufficient for up to 25 slow, hilly miles between checkpoints and supply stations.

To read the full article click here.

Tourism sees record increases in westernmost county

 Cumberland Times-News

MCHENRY — Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County saw record increases in tourism during 2021 with a 34.3% increase in county accommodations sales, an 8.1% increase in visitors to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce website, a 56.8% increase in guests to the Visitors Center and a 45.7% increase in Garrett County Visitor Guide requests.

Due to lodging growth between 2017 and 2019, the chamber secured a 10.4% increase in state tourism marketing match grant funds for fiscal 2022.

“By utilizing innovative and strategic marketing strategies, Garrett County was able to avoid the fate of many tourism areas who saw drastic drops in tourism during the pandemic,” said Sarah Duck, vice president of tourism and marketing of the chamber. “We have confidence in our marketing strategies and these stats validate that our efforts are effective and yielding strong results for our community. However, as tourism begins to rebound across the country and the world, tourism advertising has become more competitive than ever, so we must continue to be inventive and deliberate in reaching our audience with the right message.”

To read the full article click here.

Search and Rescue Team made official

The Garrett County Republican

OAKLAND — With procedures and agreements in place, the Garrett County Search and Rescue Team was introduced to the county commissioners Monday.

John Frank, director of advanced level emergency management for Garrett County Emergency Services, presented the SAR team at the commissioners’ meeting and outlined its role.

“The Search and Rescue Team — Company Six — is actually for ground searches to where you need trained individuals for adverse terrain, rocky terrain, steep terrain. They may possibly search at night,” Frank said.

Searches may be complicated by the lost person, who may have medical problems or have mental issues — like Alzheimer’s — that may prevent them from realizing that they’re lost, or may prompt them to hide from their rescuers, Frank said.

“This has been a long time coming for Special Operations,” Frank said, as the search team officially is now a part of the Special Operations Teams in Garrett County. Special Operations falls under the coordination of Emergency Management and the emergency operations plan, he said.

The team has been operating for years, but began heading toward a formalized status this summer, with agreements needed among the county’s 11 fire companies and four emergency medical services. As an official team, it also will be easier to dispatch its members for mutual aid in incidents outside Garrett County, Frank said.

Membership in the team requires the approval of the chief of the applicant’s department, Frank said, as well as extensive training in areas such as land navigation. The basic search and rescue training requires 16 hours, but many in the group have trained for more than 80 hours.

Although it’s the latest addition to the Special Operations Teams, search-and-rescue members are no strangers to interdepartmental cooperation.

The Swiftwater Rescue Team has approximately 25 members hailing from several departments, while the Hazmat Team has 28 technicians throughout the county.

Outside of the teams, departments have their own specialized equipment and trained members that can be made available county-wide.

The Deep Creek and Deer Park departments coordinate a dive team that has membership from other fire companies, so 30 certified divers can respond to emergencies. The Eastern Garrett department has a relief truck that can be brought to the scene of large incidents to offer food and drink to firefighters. And numerous companies have purchased specialized equipment, rope gear, boats and all-terrain vehicles, Frank said.

To read the full article click here.

Lake Effect: Revisting the Genius Mountain Maryland Visit of Albert Einstein — From Allegany Magazine’s January 2022 edition

Allegany Magazine

Many people consider Albert Einstein the smartest man who ever lived. Yet when this man who knew almost everything needed to unwind one warm season during the war, the vacation spot he smartly chose was in the Mountains of Maryland — Deep Creek Lake to be more specific.

Einstein vacationed for two weeks in September 1946 at the lake. He was seeking a place where he could find escape from the unwanted media that wrote about how his theories had led to the creation of the atomic bomb. That giant brain needed a rest. Even people who are considered the smartest of all time get criticized, as it turns out.

And John Steiding – a resident of Midland here in Allegany County invited Einstein to take a vacation at the lake. Steiding was a chemist at the Celanese plant at the time and came to know Einstein through a co-worker’s wife, who was sculpting the great man’s bust.

“Einstein, who wasn’t very tall, found it uncomfortable to pose for the artwork since his feet would not touch the floor. Steiding, being a handyman, made a footstool for Einstein,” according to Francis Tam in an article called “Einstein in Western Maryland.”

Besides being able to relax out of the national spotlight for a while, Einstein was also able to have Dr. Frank Wilson examine him for an aneurysm of the aorta of the abdomen. And this news also could be kept from the prying public eyes – and a news media at the time that was looking for any reason at all to be critical of the man.

Einstein stayed at Dr. Wilson’s lake cottage, named the “Mar-Jo-Lodge” for two weeks. “He took daily walks along the lake, frequently stopping to chat with strangers who had no idea who he was. He was sometimes seen fishing and also bird-watching with binoculars. He never skipped a meal but was a light eater. He drank a lot of water and lemonade; his favorite vegetable was fresh corn-on-the-cob from Garrett County,” Tam wrote.

In particular, Einstein loved sailing, either with friends or alone.

“During one of his many hours spent on the lake with Steiding, Einstein remarked that ‘here you can get nearer to God,’” reported the Cumberland News.

Born in 1879, Einstein was a German theoretical physicist, widely credited to be one of the greatest physicists of all time. He is best known for developing the theory of relativity, but he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics. Relativity and quantum mechanics are together the two pillars of modern physics. “E = mc2” — which arises from his relativity theory, has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation.” Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.

As word began to get out that the great Albert Einstein was vacationiong at Maryland’s “Best Kept Secret,” people began to look for him – hoping to run into the man, chat, take a photo or get an autograph. On these days, when he knew he was being sought after as a celebrity, Einstein sought solace on the water.

“People would realize that he wasn’t around, go searching for him, and find him in Harry Muma’s little sailboat, ‘single-handing,’ on the Turkey Neck inlet,” according to the Garrett County Historical Society’s “Deep Creek Lake, Past and Present.”

During a visit, Steiding’s brother Fred asked Einstein to explain his famous theory of relativity in layman’s terms.

“Put it this way,” reportedly said Einstein, “If you sit on a park bench with your sweetheart, an hour seems like a minute. If you sit on a hot stove by mistake, a minute seems like an hour.”

Einstein later said that his vacation at Deep Creek Lake was “one of the most restful and zestful vacations.”

When the vacation ended, Einstein showed himself to be a generous guest, giving Blair Thompson, who had attended him during the vacation, a $50 gratuity, which would equate to more than $1,000 today.

Following the vacation, he was back to work. In October of that year, he wrote that the United Nations should “form a world government that maintained peace under the threat of nuclear devastation,” according to Ze’ev Rosenkranz in “The Einstein Scrapbook.” Einstein also published his papers on his unified field theory in the 1950s.

On April 17 1955, Albert Einstein experienced internal bleeding caused by the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm – the same one that caused him seek refuge in Garrett County nine years before. The condition had also been reinforced surgically by Dr. Rudolph Nissen in 1948. Einstein took the draft of a speech he was preparing for a television appearance commemorating the state of Israel’s seventh anniversary with him to the hospital, but he did not live to complete it.

Einstein refused surgery, saying, “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share; it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.” And so he did. Einstein died in Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center on April 18, 1955 at the age of 76.

To the world, Einstein’s vacation at Deep Creek Lake remained a secret until a reporter with the Cumberland News interviewed Robbie Steiding – the son of John Stieding – and published the story of the visit in 1979.