Dr. Abigail Feathers to Open New GYN Practice

Dr. Abigail Feathers, a Medical and Surgical Gynecologist, has joined the Specialty Physicians of Garrett County located at 880 Memorial Drive, Lower Level in Oakland. She is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, and will begin seeing Gynecology patients on June 1, 2015.

Dr. Feathers received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the San Antonio Military Medical Center in Texas. During her residency, Dr. Feathers received multiple Academic Excellence Awards, and received the Outstanding Chief Resident in Gynecologic Oncology Award. Dr. Feathers most recently worked at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, fulfilling her military commitment to the Air Force. She is excited to setup this gynecology practice and serve the women of Garrett County.

Dr. Feathers relocated from Virginia and now resides in Garrett County with her husband and small daughter. Dr. Abigail Feathers’ husband, Dr. Todd Feathers, will be joining Garrett County Orthopedics in Oakland. Patients may call Dr. Abigail Feathers’ office at 301-334-1177 to schedule an appointment.

Garrett County Delegation Travels to Washington, D.C. for Congressional Meetings

On April 28, a delegation from Garrett County travelled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Congressional members on five priorities for Garrett County. The delegation discussed funding for the Emergency Operations Center, Funding for the Keyser’s Ridge Business Park Waste Water Treatment Plant, funding for the eastern route of the Eastern Continental Divide Loop Trail, assistance with the Attraction of Federal Agency Offices or Government Contractors to Garrett County, and support for the Reauthorization and Funding of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Issue papers on these priorities were developed and shared with officials and staff during the meetings. The delegation met with Representative John Delaney; Brigid Houton, Senior Advisor for Maryland Affairs for Senator Mikulski; Josh Klein, Senior Policy Advisor for Senator Cardin; and McKenzie Haynes, Legislative Assistant for Representative Delaney.  The group spoke with Senator Cardin by phone as he was on the floor of the Senate presenting a bill. Senator Mikulski was in Baltimore due to the riots. By all accounts, the trip was a success! Not only was the delegation able to promote and garner support for these community priorities, they gained insight on potential funding sources. The delegation is in the process of following up on outstanding items from the meetings. The trip was organized by the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. The issue papers can be found on the Chamber’s website at www.visitdeepcreek.com/pages/legislative.



 Garrett County Memorial Hospital will celebrate its 65th Anniversary on Friday, May 15, 2015 by unveiling the new History Wall featuring a pictorial display of the hospital’s 65-year history. This eclectic display, of about 66 framed photographs, features many of the individuals whose talents and skills helped Garrett County Memorial Hospital open its doors and take care of its first patients on May 15, 1950.

“The pictorial display represents the incredible vision and hard work of the many individuals that led Garrett County Memorial Hospital through 65 years of growth and change. As we continue to grow in physical size and to increase and expand healthcare service lines, it is important to honor and appreciate our rich history of dedication and commitment,” stated Mark Boucot, GCMH President & CEO. “Having this history documented in perpetuity is a great addition to the hospital. We are honored to have the opportunity to share it.”

Open to the community, a brief celebration will be held from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm on May 15, 2015 at Garrett County Memorial Hospital.

New Residential and Travel Legacy Camps being offered in Garrett County by the Center for Adventure & Experiential Learning

Garrett County and the surrounding region has long been known as Maryland’s “best kept secret” for a select group of nature and adventure loving tourists. Western Maryland is a short drive from many metropolitan areas to the serenity of nature, the heritage of Appalachian culture, pristine mountain streams and lakes, world-class whitewater and steep mountain slopes.

With this in mind the Center for Adventure & Experiential Learning (CAEL) located in McHenry, Maryland has partnered with a number of local and regional outfitters and organizations to develop a series of legacy summer camp programs designed to inspire, educate, and bring youth back to this region for generations to come. 

The 2015 CAEL residential and travel camp programs include:

·         Mountain Adventure School Jr.: July 5-11 / Ages: 10-13 

·         Mountain Adventure School Sr.: July 12-18 / Ages: 14-17

·         Mountain Adventure Day School: July 20-23 / Ages: 10-17

·         Western Maryland Leadership Academy: June 28 - July 3 / Ages: 14-17

·         Robotics Adventure Camp with SuGO™ Science: June 28  – July 3 / Ages: 10-13

·         Music in the Mountains: July 11 – July 19 / Ages: 13-17                           

·         Young GLAF Voice Clinic: June 22 – 26 / Grades: 7th - 12th                     

·         GLAF Young Artists’ Workshop: July 6 – 10 / Grades: 7th - 12th

These camps are designed as residential or travel camps for every interest from science, music, art, adventure, college preparation, and leadership. Campers will stay in the residence halls at Garrett College or will be camping in tents when traveling. Many of these camps offer a day option as well. All camps are state licensed and campers are supervised and instructed by expert staff. Although specialized, all of our camps incorporate classic summer camp experiences as well.

“Each camp is specialized. For example the Mountain Adventure Schools (MAS) focus on introducing campers to adventure activities such as camping, backpacking, rafting and rock climbing. Other camps like Music in the Mountains focuses on the development of music theory and performance but also incorporates swimming, evening campfires and stargazing activities,” states Mike Malfaro, Program Specialist and MAS Instructor.

These educational youth programs are possible through partnerships between the Center for Adventure and Experiential Learning and Precision Rafting (Friendsville, MD); Garrett Engineering and Robotics Society: GEARS Inc. (Accident, MD); Garrett Lakes Art Festival: GLAF (McHenry, MD); Music at Penn Alps (Grantsville, MD); Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides (Seneca, WV); and Garrett College’s Music program, Continuing Education and Workforce Development, and the Adventuresports Institute.

“I have been involved in summer camp programs throughout my career.  When I came to the Deep Creek area, I was surprised not to find one of those classic legacy camps; those kind of camps that families have been sending their kids to for five generations or more,” says Michael White, Director of the Center for Adventure & Experiential Learning at Garrett College.  “This area certainly has the amenities to support it, the natural mountain beauty, the variety of activities, the lake. That is what we have set out to do here, as we build our partnerships.”

Day camps and youth clinics are also offered through the Garrett College Community Aquatics and Recreation Complex (CARC) and through the Garrett College Athletics Department which can be found directly or through the Center for Adventure & Experiential Learning.

Garrett Co. students who are registered before June 1, 2015 receive a 20% discount on all Residential and Travel Camps. (Offer excludes all day camps.) For more information about these programs or to register for a camp, please visit www.CAELatGC.com or call 301-387-3723.

Maryland Boater Safety Classes scheduled at Garrett College

Several sections of the Maryland Boater Safety class will be offered by Garrett College’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development division at the McHenry campus throughout the spring and summer. The course is slated for Saturdays, May 16, June 20, July 11, or August 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Individuals born after June 1, 1972 are required to have an approved Boater’s Safety card in their possession when operating a power boat in Maryland. Successful completion of this class will provide that card. Topics covered will include: rules of the road; current laws regarding personal floatation devices, required safety equipment, safe operation of personal watercraft and safe towing procedures. Chart reading and material about safe operation in the bay or ocean is also included.

The course is open to those 12 years of age and over and parents/ grandparents are welcome to enroll with their youngster. Registration deadline is Friday the week before the class.  Class books will be issued at the time of registration and students must bring their text to class with completed pre-test and quizzes. 

For additional information or to register, persons may call Continuing Education and Workforce Development at 301-387-3069.



As the eager high school students bored into the rich, soft soil to plant another tree sapling Wednesday, the Maryland Department of Environment’s reclaimed mine project, located up a steep grade from Sand Spring Run and near Frostburg State University’s football fields, came closer to an end.

A total  of 39 students from Mountain Ridge High School in Frostburg and Allegany County Career and Technical Center in Cumberland, along with volunteers from MDE’s Mining Program and the federal Office of Surface Mining, combined to plant 1,700 trees on Wednesday at the four-acre site. Among the tree species planted were American chestnuts, white pines, black locust, black cherry, redbuds, willow oaks, spicebush and sycamores.

“This is a wonderful project to bring the land back to its natural state,” said Allegany County teacher Carol Garner, admiring the work of her students as they meticulously spaced the trees eight feet apart.

MDE’s Mark Carney said the abandoned coal mine site was active into the 1960s and has cost about $500,000 to remediate. Planting the trees, which kicked off a number of MDE Earth Day events around the state, is among the final steps in the project and will assist greatly in reducing sedimentation into Sand Spring Run, which is in the watershed of the Potomac River. The event was also held in recognition of Arbor Day.

The students received a great workout for nearly three hours and received gift tokens of appreciation for their efforts from MDE.  They also listened to lectures about sustainability, including the history of the American chestnut and how it was once the dominant species of trees in the forest stretching from Maine to Alabama and used traditionally for a number of products, including furniture, cradles and coffins.

“I would like to thank all the students and our volunteers for their hard work and getting so much of the tree planting done,” Carney said. “They will be able to admire the work they did for many years after this restoration is completed.”    

The mission of MDE's Mining Program is to protect the public and the environment from the potential impacts of active mining and to promote the restoration and enhancement of active and abandoned mine land and water resources. The Mining Program's Abandoned Mine Lands Division performs reclamation of abandoned (pre-1977 mining law) coal mines, land and remediation of acid mine drainage from coal mines in Allegany and Garrett counties.


 Ranger Caroline Blizzard Receives Edmund Price Award

The Maryland Park Service (MPS) presented the Edmund Prince Award to Ranger Caroline Blizzard of Deep Creek Lake State Park. The award is the highest honor given to a park ranger who personifies the culture, heritage and proud tradition of the MPS.

“Ranger Blizzard is truly an inspiration – to our agency, our state, and its citizens and visitors,” said Nita Settina, superintendent of the Maryland Park Service. “We’re very proud of her accomplishments and grateful for her many years of exemplary service connecting children and families to nature.

Blizzard works as a lead ranger and oversees the management of the Discovery Center, a popular nature and cultural interpretive center within the state park. Here, she developed one of the first “Friends Groups” to support the park, and engages the local community in many outdoor and environmental education programs. She is a leading force in the development of new technologies, such as social media and teaching students in virtual classrooms.

Also working for the conservation of the Monarch butterfly, Blizzard is an active participant with the national effort, Monarch Watch. Through the program, she led two different citizen groups to the butterfly’s roosting sites in Mexico, and later developed a butterfly education and tagging program for children at the Discovery Center, which is still offered today.

Blizzard began her career with the Maryland Park Service in 1989 as a seasonal ranger at Rocky Gap State Park. She eventually became a law enforcement and interpretive ranger at Gunpowder Falls State Park where she helped develop the Northern Central Rail Road Rails to Trails project.

In 2002, Blizzard voluntarily resigned her law enforcement commission and became a lead ranger at Deep Creek Lake State Park.

In 2012, the University of Maryland presented Blizzard with the Richard A. Johnson award for Environmental Education, given to individuals who contribute to environmental education throughout their lifetime and careers.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS… Old Time Jams are coming soon!

New Germany State Park is proud to announce the return of good old-fashioned toe-tappin’ fun, with the sixth season of Old Time Jams set to begin in May.  Jams are scheduled to take place at the New Germany Lake House on the following SATURDAYS in 2015:

  • June 6 & 20

  • July 18

  • August 1 & 15

  • September 5 

These informal gatherings provide an opportunity for musicians and listeners of all ages to share and enjoy traditional “old-timey” Appalachian music.  The Jams will be held at the New Germany Lake House, from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., with no charge for admission.

Food, refreshments, and gifts will be available for purchase at the Lake House.  For more information, please call the Ranger Station at 301-895-5453.

2015 GC Commissioner’s Spring Clean Up Program

The Garrett County Commissioners are once again sponsoring the Annual Spring Clean Up Program. The Mayors located in each of the eight municipalities, community organizations and governmental agencies will be invited to participate in the Spring Clean Up Program, free-of-charge.  (Note:  Community organizations and governmental agencies requests to be approved on a case-by-case basis.)

By participating in this program, residents are given the opportunity to dispose of large items or materials not accepted in the regular trash pick ups. (i.e., white goods, small amounts of construction, couches, etc.)

In 2014, approximately 36.65 tons of municipal trash was collected from seven municipalities taking advantage of the Annual Spring Clean Up Program (Accident, Deer Park, Friendsville, Kitzmiller, Loch Lynn, Mt. Lake Park and Oakland).  Additionally, a total of 74 passenger tires with an approximate weight of 2,812 pounds or 1.41 tons was also brought into the landfill for recycling by community organizations and agencies.   

As indicated in the past, all white goods and metal should be separated and delivered directly to a scrap yard facility by each municipality.  By delivering the materials directly, precious resources are saved and municipalities are given the opportunity to recycle and get paid for the materials.

Participating in the free cleanup program is a wonderful opportunity for residents, community organizations and governmental agencies.  Invitations have already been sent to each municipality and the Mayors in each town will be scheduling their clean ups with our office. Residents should check the local newspapers for dates/times their town has chosen for participating in this Spring Clean Up program.  Please contact the town halls directly for information on scheduling dates.

Please contact the Garrett County Department of Solid Waste & Recycling for more information on the Free Recycling Programs in the county at 301.387.0322 or www.garrettcounty.org/solid-waste-recycling