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24 Nov

WCTR LOCAL NEWS

News November 24 click to listen

>Carrie O’Connor is the new Queen Anne’s County Board Of Education member...

 

Carrie O’Connor is the new Queen Anne’s County Board Of Education member. The announcement was made by the school system on Nov. 16 as O’Connor was selected by Governor Larry Hogan to fill the seat left vacant by the death of board member Arlene Taylor. O’Connor is a graduate of Radford University with a Masters from Salisbury University. She is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker and works as a therapist at Bridges Behavioral Health in Centreville. She is also in her third term on the Local Management Board and a member of the Centreville Ethics Committee. She will be sworn in at the Wed. Dec. 6 Board Of Education meeting.

Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Mark Anderson has announced that he will run for a second term. He was elected in 2014 from District 4 and he says that he is running again because of his energy for the job, the privilege of serving his community and what he sees as progress in the county. He sees the job as a “roving customer service agent” and he is always answering his cell phone, gathering information, and finding out answers to constituent problems. He also cites the county catching up on infrastructure, updating emergency services, and managing debt.

Washington College is asking the town of Chestertown to make the crosswalk on Rt. 213 at Campus Avenue safer. Jerry Roderick, the college’s director of public safety, spoke at the Monday, Nov. 20 Chestertown mayor and council meeting and cited an Oct.31 incident where a student pedestrian was struck by a vehicle at the crosswalk. Roderick said the student, who was not injured, was in the right which was confirmed by Chestertown Police Chief Adrian Baker. Chief Baker said the driver was not charged. Roderick said that about 225 students and staff use the crosswalk every day to get to Cromwell Hall and the crossing is also used by Kent County Middle School and Garnet Elementary School students. Roderick said the intersection is dangerous, even with the traffic lights and pedestrian-control boxes, and visibility is affected by a state-owned utility box and college-owned shrubbery. Roderick would like to see separate signals for a left turn lane, red signals for pedestrians, and no right turn on red signs. The town says what they can do is limited due to Washington Avenue being a state highway. Mayor Chris Cerino said it’s good to have this on the public record and suggested that the college send a letter with their concerns to both the town and the State Highway Administration.

Maryland’s governor Larry Hogan was in Queen Anne’s County on Monday to cut the ribbon on the completion of the dualization of Rt. 404 between US Rt. 50 and the Denton bypass. The ribbon cutting took place near the intersection of Rt. 404 and Old Queen Anne Road outside Queen Anne and Governor Hogan said he was proud to deliver on the No. 1 transportation priority for Queen Anne’s, Talbot and Caroline Counties and that the improvements will better serve residents and seasonal travelers. Governor Hogan said that for decades, the improvements were promised but never delivered. The $168 million project on 11.3 miles of the highway was finished in under a year and three separate contractors worked around the clock to finish before Thanksgiving as promised by the State Highway Administration.

Kent County’s economic development coordinator is looking for funding to advertise local jobs. At the Nov. 14 Kent County Commissioners meeting, coordinator Jamie Williams asked for $10,000 to market open jobs via local media and she said that local businesses are having a hard time finding employees. The commissioners asked her to give them more information on specific markets for advertising before they fund the request. The county also approved the hiring of two paramedics as well as an aquatic recreation program coordinator for Parks and Recreation. Also approved was moving a dispatch officer from part-time to full-time.

The Town Of Betterton will be flushing fire hydrants during the week of Nov. 27 as a part of routine maintenance. The flushing will happen from 8am to 5pm and residents may notice a slight discoloration of water during the flushing, but the water will return to normal after a short period of time. Residents with questions can call the town at 410-348-5522.

A Ridgely man suffered serious burns on Monday morning while attending to a brush fire. The unidentified 25-year-old man suffered flash burns around 11:30am on Saw Mill Road in Ridgely when he ignited trash using gasoline according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. He received first-and second-degree burns to his arms, head and face. He was transported to Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton and then taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. He was reported to be in stable condition.

The Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the likely shooting death of a Grasonville man early Sunday. At 4:39am, police responded to a 911 call at Fisher Manor and initially were responding to what they believed was a heart attack. However, police found 19-year-old Maiky Jerrally Ferraras on the second floor of the home dead from a gunshot wound. Although Ferraras lived with his family, he was the only person in the home when police arrived. The Queen Anne’s Sheriff’s Office is investigating but they have little information, but they believe the incident is isolated with no threat to the community but police are increasing presence in the area. Anyone with information should contact Detective Steve Matthews at 410-758-0770, ext. 1282 or should contact Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-756-2587.

A racial incident on Friday at Kent County High School was addressed by the principal and school superintendent. The incident started on social media on Thursday evening and then spread to the school on Friday, Nov. 17. On Friday, Principal Nick Keckley notified parents about the incident through the public schools app saying that discipline was swift and severe, the entire school was addressed and multiple parents contacted. He said that police were present but that no help was needed. The message ended with the principal saying that the school does not tolerate any form of hate. In a letter dated Nov. 19, Superintendent Dr. Karen Couch sent out a letter saying that the incident was racist and hurtful to many of the students. She added that confidentiality laws prevent the specific details of the incident from being released, but that the administration acted swiftly and decisively in reporting the incident. She echoed Principal Keckley in saying that any form of hate will not be tolerated.

There will be a public hearing on a proposed solar facility near Church Hill. The Maryland Public Service Commission will hold a hearing on the application from Casper Solar Center LLC for a 36.7 MW facility near Casper Lane, Cedar Lane and Price Station Road in Church Hill. The hearing will be held at 6pm, Wed. Nov. 29 at Church Hill Elementary School on Main Street in Church Hill. There will be a second hearing on March 12. The public can view the application by referencing Case No. 9450 at www.psc.state.md.us or at the Queen Anne’s County Office of Planning and Zoning at 110 Vincit Street, Suite 104, in Centreville.

. At 4:39am, police responded to a 911 call at Fisher Manor and initially were responding to what they believed was a heart attack. However, police found 19-year-old Maiky Jerrally Ferraras on the second floor of the home dead from a gunshot wound. Although Ferraras lived with his family, he was the only person in the home when police arrived. The Queen Anne’s Sheriff’s Office is investigating but they have little information, but they believe the incident is isolated with no threat to the community but police are increasing presence in the area. Anyone with information should contact Detective Steve Matthews at 410-758-0770, ext. 1282 or should contact Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-756-2587.

A racial incident on Friday at Kent County High School was addressed by the principal and school superintendent. The incident started on social media on Thursday evening and then spread to the school on Friday, Nov. 17. On Friday, Principal Nick Keckley notified parents about the incident through the public schools app saying that discipline was swift and severe, the entire school was addressed and multiple parents contacted. He said that police were present but that no help was needed. The message ended with the principal saying that the school does not tolerate any form of hate. In a letter dated Nov. 19, Superintendent Dr. Karen Couch sent out a letter saying that the incident was racist and hurtful to many of the students. She added that confidentiality laws prevent the specific details of the incident from being released, but that the administration acted swiftly and decisively in reporting the incident. She echoed Principal Keckley in saying that any form of hate will not be tolerated.

There will be a public hearing on a proposed solar facility near Church Hill. The Maryland Public Service Commission will hold a hearing on the application from Casper Solar Center LLC for a 36.7 MW facility near Casper Lane, Cedar Lane and Price Station Road in Church Hill. The hearing will be held at 6pm, Wed. Nov. 29 at Church Hill Elementary School on Main Street in Church Hill. There will be a second hearing on March 12. The public can view the application by referencing Case No. 9450 at www.psc.state.md.us or at the Queen Anne’s County Office of Planning and Zoning at 110 Vincit Street, Suite 104, in Centreville.

The town of Chestertown has officially annexed the lagoon property which has served as the treatment plant for Kent County’s Quaker Neck sanitary system since 1967. The annexation followed a Nov. 6 public hearing which was then voted on by the mayor and council at their Nov. 6 meeting. The annexed property is in the town’s second ward and is a 149 acre plot on John Hanson Road. The annexation was endorsed by the Kent County Commissioners. The property is zoned institutional and will not be developed. The town is also trying to determine the source of a petroleum smell in some soil samples detected when Delmarva Power was drilling for a new utility pole at Campus Avenue and Byford Drive. Utilities manager Bob Sipes said the site is about 150 feet from an abandoned monitoring well at the Shore Medical Center as a part of the cleanup from their decades old oil spill. Sipes said he doesn’t know if it has anything to do with the hospital and he thinks it is isolated contamination and could very well be from someone dumping old fuel from a tank.

Chestertown Police and Chestertown Volunteer Firefighters were involved in cleaning up a propane leak on Thursday. The leak happened at 305 N. Kent Street in Chestertown at the corner with Philosopher’s Terrace. The leak caused an evacuation at the Chestertown Seventh-Day Adventist Church and Chester River Adventist School as well as the Shore Medical Pavilion office building. Some residents downwind from the leak were also evacuated. The leak was reported around 10:30am and closed two blocks of Kent Street and most of Philosopher’s Terrace. Firefighters say the leak may have been caused by a pickup truck driving on the grassy area next to the church and hitting an exposed part of an underground gas tank

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Three mid-Shore conservation groups are merging together. The Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, the Chester River Association, and the Sassafras River Association have formed the non-profit group ShoreRivers. Their new headquarters at 114 S. Washington Street in Easton officially opens Friday, Nov. 17. The new organization will include four Waterkeeper programs on the Chester River with new riverkeeper Tim Trumbauer; the Choptank River with riverkeeper Matt Pluta; the Miles-Wye Rivers with riverkeeper and executive director Jeff Horstman; and the Sassafras River with riverkeeper Emmett Duke. Former Chester River riverkeeper Isabel Junkin Hardesty is now the new ShoreRivers regional director. Learn more at shorerivers.org.

Kent County Middle School was in lockdown on Wednesday morning due to a student receiving a death threat. According to Chestertown Police Chief Adrian Baker, a student called 911 from a school bus to report a death threat received via text message. The incident happened around 8:30 as buses were arriving at school and Chief Baker said that students were held on the buses until officers arrived. Students were searched while officers scanned their belongings and students were eventually allowed into the school. Nothing was found and classes resumed later in the morning but law enforcement maintained a presence at the school. Chief Baker said the text message was encrypted making it hard to track but that the investigation is continuing.

Trash disposal was the major topic of conversation at the Tuesday Betterton mayor and council meeting. Mayor Don Sutton said that many residents are still putting out trash bags which cannot be collected by the town’s new trash collector. Sutton said that the town’s trash collection company uses an automated arm to collect the trash, so the town has to use special closed trash containers. Sutton said that residents without cans can contact town hall to get a can and he said some homes that do not put trash out often may not have received cans. One property owner said that he is entitled to a trash can because he pays for trash pickup even though he does not have a home on his property. He is also considering selling the property to the town for the town’s wastewater treatment plant and claimed that he was promised certain things by a previous mayor to have the land annexed into town, but now the property is useless to him because the wastewater treatment plant will be built next to it. Mayor Sutton said he didn’t know about the promises but the town can’t offer to buy the property until it’s appraised.

No one was injured in a Tuesday morning accident at the Chestertown traffic circle at the intersection of Rt. 20 and Rt. 291 as a tractor-trailer carrying corn from Rock Hall overturned while en route to Perdue Farms near Church Hill. The accident happened around 11am when the tractor trailer overturned while negotiating the circle. Emergency personnel from the Chestertown Police Department, the Chestertown Fire Company, and the State Highway Administration responded and the cleanup took several hours.

At Monday night’s Kent County Board Of Education meeting, the Kent County School Superintendent tried to quell fears that the state may revise its school funding formula. The state’s Commission On Innovation and Excellence in Education, also known as the Kirwan Commission, is making recommendations on state funding and many on the Eastern Shore are concerned because three counties “Kent, Talbot, and Worcester would lose all state funding due to the reported wealth of the residents of those counties. School superintendent, Dr. Karen Couch said at the meeting that the Kirwan Commission will not have their recommendations ready until after the 2018 elections when the governor and all state legislators are up for election. Dr. Couch met with the commission on Nov. 8 and they said what they are looking at is state funding and not local funding with enhanced grant initiatives with added accountability for school districts and that districts would apply for state grant funding. Although the Kirwan Commission finds that Kent County has a high rate of wealth among residents, about 60% of students in the district qualify for the free or reduced meal assistance program. A local group of concerned parents are concerned that if the state adopts the Kirwan Commission recommendations, it would have an adverse affect on the Kent County school system and the county’s economy.

Washington College has donated $10,000 to the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company. In making the donation, Washington College President Kurt Landgraf said that as president, his first obligation is to the students, faculty, and staff of the college to “have a reliable, committed, and well-equipped fire department as a neighbor.” Landgraf said he wants to work closely with the town on more growth opportunities as well as a vibrant partnership with the United Way. In the past, the college has donated $2,000 a year to the fire company.

The Rock Hall mayor and council voted to delay work on the Catholic Avenue water main project due to the cold weather. A representative from the David A, Bramble Construction Company was at the Thursday night mayor and council meeting and suggested delaying the Catholic Avenue project until early spring due to the weather. The company said that they are not going to be able to do any cement or asphalt work due to the cold weather and if they can’t finish the job right now, it will be a mess so it would be best to finish the project in the spring. Also, the town will not have to forfeit grant money for benches that were installed at the beach rather than on Main Street. The town has learned that placing them at the beach is acceptable under the terms of the grant. The town voted to postpone a requested removal of three benches by a Rock Hall business owner where the benches are located in front of the business with mayor Brian Jones saying that the town has a right of way for a portion of the sidewalk but he’s not sure about the footage the town has. Council member Beth Andrews cast the dissenting vote. The town also honored Dr. John Durocher of the Townsend Memorial Clinic by giving him the Community Spirit Award. Durocher along with Dr. Maria Boria have announced their retirement and the last day for the Townsend Memorial Clinic will be on Nov. 30.

A Saturday morning barn fire in Millington did extensive damage and led to the death of a cow that was housed in the barn. The fire on Cypress Road was reported by the home owner around 8am and the 100 by 30 foot barn was used to house several animals and by the family’s taxidermy business. The loss to the structure and contents is valued at $40,000 according to the State Fire Marshal’s office and they are still investigating the cause and origin of the fire.

The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners are looking for county residents to serve on the Economic Development Commission. Members meet the fourth Wednesday of the month and serve a three year term. Applicants should send a letter and brief resume to lthomas@qac.org by Nov. 30. You can call 410-758-4098.

The Maryland Transportation Authority is hosting an online Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study on Wednesday, Nov. 15 from 7 to 7:30pm. The purpose of the study is to identify the location of a new Chesapeake Bay crossing and to explore the financial options. The study is expected to be finished by late 2020. To join the meeting on Nov. 15, or to provide comments, log onto baycrossingstudy.com. You can also e-mail info@baycrossingstudy.com. If you do not have internet access, you can view the presentation at the Queen Anne’s County Board Of Education office at 202 Chesterfield Ave. in Centreville. Doors will open at 6:30pm.

The University Of Maryland Medical System is looking to sell their Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown. Shore Regional Health president and CEO Ken Kozel made the announcement at Monday’s Chestertown mayor and council meeting saying that the rehabilitation center is the only nursing home owned by the medical system and he said that due to changes in the nursing home industry, they are no longer the right party to manage the 92 bed facility on Morgnec Road founded over 40 years ago as Magnolia Hall Nursing Home. Kozel said it is a valuable facility and they are putting out a request for proposals to find a partner to take it over. Kozel said the buyer must keep the facility open and to expand the admission requirements to ensure patients with greater needs of care can receive it. The buyer must also have the resources to cover capital improvements. Mayor Chris Cerino asked if there are potential buyers and Kozel said he has already received 19 responses to the RFP. Kozel added that does not mean that all will make a proposal, but it shows there is interest.