2016 Garrett County Gran Fondo – Pet Safety Alert

Many riders are hitting the roads and training over Memorial Day weekend for the upcoming 2016 Garrett County Gran Fondo. Some of the routes are new this year with cyclist pedaling from Garrett College to Friendsville, Stockyards, Bittinger, Barton, Big Run and back to Garrett College. Residents along this roads are encouraged to check out the cycling routes to see if you might be impacted by riders on the roads between now and the event on June 25, at http://garrettcountygranfondo.org

For the safety of your dogs and cyclist safety too, residents along the Garrett County Gran Fondo routes are encouraged to keep pets away from the roads, especially on June 25 as hundreds of cyclists will be on the roads.

The five Gran Fondo rides starting and ending at Garrett College, 7:00 AM – 8:30 PM. This year the Garrett County Gran Fondo is being hosted and organized by Garrett Trails, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and creating easily accessible and sustainable biking and hiking trails in Garrett County.

 Roughly 1,000 cyclist set out to enjoy the idyllic, country roads on one of five distances ranging from 25 miles to 125 miles from McHenry, to Friendsville, New Germany, Barton, Big Run, Bittinger and back to Garrett College. All cyclists are to follow traffic safety laws, however, at points in the ride, there may be many athletes cycling together so drivers are asked to exercise caution.

Roads will be especially busy as riders take-off in waves from Garrett College towards Hwy. 219, Deep Creek Drive, Sang Run, Marsh Hill Road, up Overlook Pass and onward to Oakland Sang Run Road as they head towards Friendsville beginning at 7:00 AM every 20 minutes until 8:30 AM. Drivers in the Wisp Mountain area and Lodestone Golf Course are asked to be alert and plan ahead for cyclist along these roads especially between 7:00 AM – 8:30 AM.

Riders will only hit Overlook Pass in the early morning hours so we don't expect too many delays along Marsh Hill Road, Overlook Pass and Wisp Mountain Road at the time of day. Anyone traveling to their home, rental, golf outing, rafting at ASCI or Wisp wedding is asked to plan for brief delays in the early morning and give themselves a little extra time to reach their destination.  

Deep Creek Lake Named One of TripAdvisor’s 11 Great Places To Rent a Summer Lake House

 Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, Maryland has been named  by TripAdvisor as one of eleven great places to rent a summer lake house. Along with Deep Creek Lake, the list includes Moosehead Lake, Maine; Minocqua, Wisconsin; Lake George, New York; Grand Lake, Colorado; Lake Champlain – New York & Vermont; Lake Winnipesaukee – Meredith, New Hampshire; Soldotna and Sterling, Alaska; Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia; Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Mount Desert, Maine

“We are delighted to be included in this list by TripAdvisor,” said Nicole Christian, President and CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “As one of only eleven lake towns selected in the country, we are honored to be included in this national listing. We hope visitors are able to join us in person this summer to see all that Garrett County has to offer.”

For more information about Garrett County, Maryland and the Deep Creek Lake area, please log onto visitdeepcreek.com.



Greg Latta to Perform at New Germany State Park

New Germany State Park will be featuring a free acoustic concert by award-winning musician Greg Latta on Saturday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lake House. Latta will be performing a combination of Appalachian, Irish, old-time and traditional music using instruments such as the hammered and Appalachian dulcimers, guitar, banjo, cittern, Irish bouzouki, harmonica, concertina, limberjack, and recorder.  

Proficient on more than 15 different instruments, Latta is a mesmerizing singer, songwriter, and award winning performer. His songs include original works, and old coal mining, whaling, children's, and contemporary and traditional songs. Though known mainly for his hammered dulcimer playing, Latta is also an award-winning banjo player.

His accomplishments include winner of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Solo Music Performance, winner of the Mid-Eastern Hammered Dulcimer Championships and runner-up in the National Hammered Dulcimer Championships. Latta has performed for the Hungarian Presidential Cabinet, the US Olympic Trials, the Dance Alloy of Pittsburgh, and Frostburg State University to name a few.

91st Anniversary of Deep Creek Lake Celebration Set For June 9 – 12, 2016

 Maryland’s largest freshwater lake, Deep Creek Lake, marks its 91st Anniversary this year with a commemorative celebration June 9  – 12, 2016 with special discounts at participating businesses. The celebration will include specials including discounts on food and ice cream. Full details on all of the specials are available at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s website: http://www.visitdeepcreek.com/pages/90thAnniversaryofDeepCreekLake.

“The creation of Deep Creek Lake can probably be deemed the most transformational development to occur in Garrett County in the last Century,” said Nicole Christian, President & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.

Deep Creek Lake is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake, covering 3,900 acres and 65 miles of shoreline. The man-made lake got its start in 1925 as the result of an effort undertaken by the Youghiogheny Hydro Electric Corporation to harness the power of Deep Creek, a tributary of the Youghiogheny River. Large swaths of land were purchased, a 1,300-foot-long impoundment dam was constructed to stem the flow of water in Deep Creek, and thousands of trees were removed from the area to be flooded. In addition, 15 miles of primary and secondary roads were relocated. With Deep Creek sealed off, the expectation was that at least six months would be required for the lake to fill. But, boosted by heavy rains and snowfall, the process took only a couple of months. On May 26, 1925, the hydroelectric plant kicked into service, with water from the lake transported to the powerhouse through a 7,000-foot tunnel.

As the years passed, the area’s fishing and boating prowess became well-known to visitors from Pennsylvania. Residents of the Baltimore/Washington population centers also found the area to be a convenient getaway place, especially after interstate highways were built. Among the last of these was I-68 – the national freeway – a major transportation route that arrived in 1991 and further opened up Western Maryland to tourism, commerce and more. Today, 1.2 million visitors each year take advantage of the limitless recreational options offered in and around the Deep Creek Lake area, creating their own Deep Creek Experience.

The physical transformation of Garrett County did not stop with the creation of the lake; it continued with the real estate and commercial development around the lake and throughout the County.

“Not only has the creation of Deep Creek Lake transformed Garrett County physically, but it has transformed the economy and quality of life of this community. It is widely recognized that the lake is an economic engine for Garrett County spurring growth in the tourism industry and generating millions in property tax revenue,” said Christian.

“Going back to the 1800s, Garrett County has always been a recreational destination,” Christian continues. “However, when the big hotels in Oakland, Deer Park, Mountain Lake Park and Loch Lynn began to disappear, Garrett County needed another major attraction. Deep Creek Lake is that attraction, drawing nearly half a million visitors here in the summer. It has also lured 2nd home owners, retirees and entrepreneurs who want to live on the lake and enjoy the quality of life Garrett County offers.”

Deep Creek Lake continues to shape the future development of Garrett County.


Garrett Regional Medical Center has applied for stroke certification from the Joint Commission of hospital accreditation.  The certification was developed by the  Joint Commission’s  new Disease-Specific  Care Advanced Certification Program for Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals. “This distinct certification is not required, however it is very important to demonstrate to the community the competence with which care is rendered at Garrett Regional Medical Center,” explained Mark Boucot, president & CEO.

While strokes are fairly low volume for the region, they’re high risk to patients that suffer a stroke. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and is the leading cause of serious long-term disability.

Stroke certification eligibility requirements include a dedicated program that has effective Performance Improvement monitoring; care by qualified medical professional; treatment of patients within 15 minutes; transfer protocols with a Primary Stroke center for continuation of care and telemedicine consults with a neurologist. “Every nurse at Garrett Regional Medical Center has received their stroke certification,” said Kendra Thayer, vice president of patient care services. “The Hospital meets or exceeds each standard recommended by the Joint Commission to support better outcomes for stroke care.”

An FDA-approved drug is available that can help some patients by reversing the disability or long term effects of stroke if given within the first 3 hours of onset of symptoms. The drug, tPA, often called a clot busting drug, can be administered provided specific diagnostic protocols are met. This drug can improve the patient’s chance for recovery.

In response to these startling statistics, the Garrett Regional Medical Center’ emergency department has enhanced services by initiating a more comprehensive approach to stroke response using newly acquired telemedicine technology, called telestroke. “This is the first phase of telemedicine between Garrett Regional Medical Center and WVU medicine,” explained Mark Boucot, GRMC president & CEO. “The emergency department has been hardwired and is able to connect to specialty physicians in a matter of a few minutes.”

In stroke telemedicine, also called telestroke, emergency room physicians communicate remotely with neurologists to determine diagnosis and treatment options. Telemedicine allows consulting physicians to speak face to face with patients as well as the emergency clinical staff. Within minutes, the stroke neurologist, along with the emergency department staff, can determine the appropriate plan of care. WVU neurologists are available, on-call, 24 hours a day to consult when needed.

“This technology allows real-time dialogue between our physician and the neurologist at WVU Medicine. The neurologist can view the patient, medical records and the patient’s CT scan while connected,” explained Jeff Hinebaugh, RN, director of emergency services. The emergency clinical staff can assist the neurologist by helping with the patient’s physical exam during the connection. The neurologist can then make recommendations to the emergency physician for ongoing care or possible transfer of patient.

“Recognizing the symptoms of stroke quickly and getting the patient to the Hospital as soon as possible is an important first step,” said Hinebaugh. “Time is critical when it involves a possible stroke patient.”

F.A.S.T is an acronym used by the American Heart Association to create awareness and quick response when symptoms of stroke occur. Face drooping, numbness or a uneven smile; Arm weakness or numbness; Speech difficulty or slurred speech; Time to call 9-1-1. When signs of a stroke become evident, acting FAST is important for a greater chance of survival.  “Telestroke allows stroke patients to seek emergency care close to home and ensures that they will receive rapid, evidence based treatment. Our protocols also ensure fast initial treatment and rapid transfer when appropriate,” said Boucot.

Additional information about signs and symptoms of stroke can be found online at  www.cde.gov/stroke or www.strokeassociation.org.

Grow Your Own Greens: Building a Salad Box to be offered at GC’s Northern Outreach Center

Garrett College in coordination with the University of Maryland Extension is sponsoring a one-session course, Grow Your Own Greens: Building a Salad Box, at the College’s Northern Outreach Center in Grantsville. The class will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 1-3 p.m. 

A salad box is a wooden container that is used to grow lettuce. During this class you will receive instructions and materials to build your own box to take home and plant with lettuce seeds.

The course is being instructed by Ashley Bodkins who received her B.S. degree in Agronomy from WVU and an A.A. degree in Horticulture from Potomac State College. She works for the University of Maryland Extension where she answers home horticulture questions and coordinates the Maryland Master Gardener Program for Garrett County. The University of Maryland Extension programs are open to any person and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. Anyone with a disability that requires special assistance for participation in the program should contact the extension office at 301-334-6960.

For more information on this course persons may contact Terry Beachy at 301-895-4700 or terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu . To register for the course, contact Garrett College Continuing Education & Workforce Development at 301-387-3069.

Summer Reading Club Kick-off with Carnegie Science Center

Summer Reading Club 2016 – “On Your Mark, Get Set . . . Read” – begins this year with a kick-off event hosted by the Ruth Enlow Library and presented by the Carnegie Science Center. This special program – Anatomy Adventure – is scheduled for two performances on Monday, June 27, one at the northern end of the county and one at the southern end. The performances will take place at the Oakland Library from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. and at the Grantsville Library from 4 – 5 p.m. The event is free and open to all registered Summer Reading Club participants.

Summer Reading Club programs at all branches begin in July.  All programs are free, and children choose their own reading materials and track their progress using the reading logs provided. “Our events focus on the “On Your Mark, Get Set . . .” theme, with topics such as Dive into Adventure; Kick-start Your Summer; Eat Right, Be Strong; Be Fit for Fun, Be Fit for Life; and more,” notes a library spokesperson. Children can participate by completing a log of books they read during the summer and/or attending events. Completed reading logs (one per child) will be entered into Grand Prize Drawings at the local branches.

“Summer Reading Club helps stop the ‘summer slide’ – a documented two-month loss in learning over the summer break – by encouraging students to read about topics that are fun and exciting,” said Julie Iden, Children’s Specialist at the Oakland Library. “Motivating children to read over the summer helps bridge the gap in learning between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next one.”

Registration for the program opens June 1. Participants can register online at http://src.relib.net. Those not wanting to register online may call their local library branch or email the following contacts: julie@relib.net for Oakland, crystal@relib.net for Accident, hannah@relib.net for Grantsville, michele@relib.net for Friendsville, and diane@relib.net for Kitzmiller.

Dates at all branches are as follows:

  • Accident—Thursdays from July 7 – 28, 11:00 a.m. – noon, all ages

  • Friendsville—Wednesdays from July 6 – 27, 1 – 2 p.m., all ages

  • Grantsville—Wednesdays from July 6 – 27, 11:00 a.m. – noon, all ages

  • Kitzmiller—Fridays from July 15 – 29, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m., all ages

  • Oakland—Weekly from July 5 – 27, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., ages 6 and up on Tuesdays, 3 – 5 year-olds on Wednesdays; Ages 12 and up on Mondays, July 11, 18, 25, 6 – 7 p.m.

Summer Reading Club is a cooperative project between the local Maryland public libraries and the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Library Development and Services. The state also is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program, a grassroots consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries.

The Friends of the Ruth Enlow Library contributes significant funds towards the library’s summer reading program. In addition, the Friends and the Garrett County Education Association provide free books for participants. Other local organizations and businesses support the program as well with incentives. And statewide, the Baltimore Orioles and the Maryland Science Center contribute tickets and passes to participating libraries.

Funding for the Carnegie Science Center program is provided by Western Maryland Regional Library, the regional resource center for the public libraries of Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties.

Printed materials for Summer Reading Club are available at library branches, and information will be available online beginning June 1 at http://src.relib.net.



GO FISH at the New Germany Fishing Rodeo!

The annual Youth Fishing Rodeo at New Germany State Park will be held on Saturday, May 21, from 8 a.m. to noon.  Children ages 15 and under are invited to participate in this free event.  

Registration will be available at the New Germany Lake House from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. on the day of the event.  Fishing will be open to youth participants only, with limited adult assistance.  All fishing must take place from the shoreline; no boating or wading will be permitted. To encourage beginners, a limited supply of fishing equipment will be available for loan.

Registered anglers will receive a prize each time they catch a fish (up to three per person).       Trophies will be awarded for the biggest and smallest trout caught in each age group (ages 3-6, 7-11, & 12-15).  An additional prize will be awarded for the biggest fish caught overall. All registered participants will also be eligible for door prizes, but must be present to win.

Snacks and gifts will be available for purchase at the New Germany Snack Bar and Gift Shop, located inside the Lake House.  

In preparation for the event, New Germany Lake will be closed to fishing on Friday, May 20.  The lake will reopen as normal at 11 a.m. on  May 21.

The New Germany Fishing Rodeo is organized by the Redneck Fishing Club, as well as the Friends of New Germany, a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to supporting the park.  Sponsors for this year's event include the Redneck Fishing Club, Tammy Burton & Family, Kenney Signs, Diehl's Ford Sales, Valero of Grantsville, Hair Raisers, First United Bank & Trust, Bear Creek Traders, JT Kenny (Professional Bass Fisherman), J&J Bait & Tackle, Poor Bob’s Bait & Tackle, All Seasons A/C & Heating, Awesome Gifts & Collectibles, Beckman’s Pharmacy, Tractor Supply of LaVale, Durst Funeral Home, General Art Store of Frostburg, Raven’s Craft, Denny Delany - State Farm Insurance, Carquest, Just Chill Hair Salon, Billy Bender Chevrolet, Babb Motor Sales, Denny’s of LaVale, Pizza Hut of Frostburg, Pizza Hut of LaVale, Frostburg Memorials, Rita’s of LaVale, Fat Boy’s Pizza, Gianni’s Pizza, Armstrong Insurance, Rocky’s Auto, Dr. Bosley, DDS (Dentistry), Standard Bank, Hilltop Fruit Bowl of Grantsville, Donald S. Goldbloom, Attorney at Law, Guy's Tire Shop, Somerset Trust of Grantsville, Allegany-Garrett Sportsman's Association, Sherwin-Williams of Frostburg, Service Pro, and Zoey, Brandon, & River.

For more information, please call the Ranger Station at 301-895-5453.

Group/Motorcoach Training Workshop: June 6, 2016

The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area, a program of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, invites volunteers, front line employees and managers, sales representatives and those interested in becoming a step-on tour guide to join us for a Group/Motorcoach Training Workshop to be held on Monday, June 6 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm at Garrett College. The class will focus on the unique needs of group travelers, creating an exceptional group guest experience, the importance of working with group leaders and drivers as well as “in-the-field” training at local venues including the Oakland B&O Museum and FireFly Farm Creamery & Market.  Attendees will receive an attendance certificate from Garrett College. Registration is $10 per person and includes a boxed lunch and transportation to the “in-the-field” training.

The workshop will be instructed by Tiffany Ahalt, the current owner and operator of Star-Spangled Tours, a receptive tour company who specializes in group travel to Maryland. In addition to providing custom itineraries, Tiffany provides exceptional guide service for one or multi-day trips. She has over twenty years of experience in the tourism industry as a business owner, volunteer and certified tour guide. Her past work experience includes the Tourism Council of Frederick County where she was responsible for marketing, membership and sales and Howard County Tourism & Promotion where she served as the chief operating officer. A lover of history, Tiffany was the former byway manager for the Maryland National Road Association where she still serves in a volunteer capacity. She also has instructed a groups training class at Allegany College of Maryland.

Registration ends Wednesday, June 2nd at 12:00pm. To register, or for more information about the Mountain Maryland Heritage Area, please visit www.garrettheritage.com or call Jen Durben, Heritage Area & Groups Manager, 301-387-5238. This workshop is funded in part by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.

The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area is a program of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce which supports heritage tourism in Garrett County through technical assistance and grant opportunities with a focus on heritage related initiatives that preserve valuable heritage resources and enhance tourism in the County.  As a state certified heritage area, effort is made to create public and private partnerships to preserve historical, cultural and natural resources focusing on under-utilized resources fostering a greater sense of community pride.

Maryland Boater Safety Classes to be offered 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 summer. Students may choose from the following Saturdays: May 21, July 9, or August 6 from 8:30 a.m. until 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 is scheduled to start. 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 contact Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development at 301-387-3069.

Starting a Square Foot Garden from Start to Finish to be offered at GC’s Northern Outreach Center

Garrett College in coordination with the University of Maryland Extension is sponsoring a one-session course, Starting a Square Foot Garden From Start to Finish, at the College’s Northern Outreach Center in Grantsville. The class will be held on Tuesday May 17, 1-3 p.m. 

Square Foot Gardening is a simple method for planting seeds/plants in a specific way in a raised bed garden. The phrase "square foot gardening" was popularized by Mel Bartholomew in a 1981 Rodale Press book and subsequent PBS television series. In this course, participants will learn more about gardening, and installing a square foot garden of their own.

The course is being instructed by Ashley Bodkins who received her B.S. degree in Agronomy from WVU and an A.A. degree in Horticulture from Potomac State College. She works for the University of Maryland Extension where she answers home horticulture questions and coordinates the Maryland Master Gardener Program for Garrett County. The University of Maryland Extension programs are open to any person and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. Anyone with a disability that requires special assistance for participation in the program should contact the extension office at 301-334-6960.

For more information on this course, persons may contact Terry Beachy at 301-895-4700 or terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu. To register for the course, contact Garrett College Continuing Education & Workforce Development at 301-387-3069.

MD Firearms Wear and Carry trainings slated at Garrett College

Handgun Certification classes are being offered through the Continuing Education and Workforce Development division of Garrett College at the Oakland campus. Renewal applicants for a Maryland Wear and Carry permit can attend training on Friday May 20 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Applicants for the initial MD Wear and Carry training must attend the Friday session as well as Saturday, May 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to complete training.   

Regulations effective Oct. 1, 2013, state that renewal applicants for MD Wear and Carry, must complete a minimum of 8 hours of instruction, while the new applicant is required to receive 16 hours of instruction. Completion of this class DOES NOT GUARANTEE that a permit will be issued.  

Wear and Carry Permits may be issued to any adult (18 years of age or over) who meets the following criteria.

1. Has not been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than one year has been imposed;

2. Has not been convicted of a crime involving the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance;

3. Is not presently an alcoholic, addict, or habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance unless under legitimate medical direction;

4. Based on an investigation has not exhibited a propensity for violence or instability that may reasonably render the person’s possession of a handgun a danger to the person or others;

5. Has a good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against danger.

6. As of October 1, 2013, has successfully completed prior to application and each renewal, a firearms training course approved by the Maryland State Police.

The Handgun Qualification License (HQL) training is a four-hour block of instruction which includes classroom instruction on state firearm law, home firearm safety, handgun mechanisms and operation, and a component that requires the applicant demonstrate the ability to safely fire a handgun. Unless otherwise exempt, as of October 1, 2013, a Maryland resident must possess a valid Handgun Qualification License before being allowed to purchase, rent, or receive a handgun. The classroom portion of the course will occur at Garrett College and the operation and handling demonstration will occur at a secure firing range.

These classes are being taught through Boston Hill Training by Rick Sivic who is an NRA and Maryland State Police HQL Certified Instructor. For more information or to register, persons may contact Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development at 301-387-3069,

Garrett College to offer Pinteresting Projects for May

The Continuing Education and Workforce Development division of Garrett College announces the next in a monthly series of crafts and creativity classes named, Pinteresting Projects. This class will be held at the Southern Outreach Center (Oakland Community Center) on Friday, May 20, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

The class is based on the popular Pinterest website. Participants will receive step by step instruction for several projects using tin cans, paints, reclaimed and recycled materials to create unique organizers for use around the home. The evening will also involve designing and making beaded sun catchers while enjoying healthy salad filled avocado halves and blueberry basil ice pops. Materials and supplies will be provided, but participants are welcomed to bring empty bottles, samples of other completed projects and ideas to share.  This class will take participants from the pinning stage to the doing stage. 

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


The month of May provides multiple opportunities to celebrate at Garrett Regional Medical Center. On May 15, 1950, 66 years ago, the Hospital opened its doors for the first time to provide much needed healthcare in the region. The Hospital recognizes its nursing staff during National Nurses Week, May 6-12 while the Hospital also recognizes National Hospital Week, May 8-14.

Over its 66 year history of providing quality health care to the residents and visitors of Garrett County and surrounding communities, Garrett Regional Medical Center has undergone tremendous growth in services and facilities; all designed to better meet the needs of our patients and their families. When the hospital opened in 1950, it did so with 30 inpatient beds, emergency room, laboratory, x-ray and an operating room.

Today, in addition to the routine inpatient and outpatient services, Garrett Regional Medical Center includes an Intensive Care Unit, Family Centered Maternity Suite, Subacute Rehabilitation Unit, Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit, Wound Care Center, Nuclear Medicine, Telemedicine, satellite of WVU Cancer Institute, and a host of ancillary services; all equipped with state of the art technology.

President and CEO, Mark Boucot said, “Our 2015 affiliation with WVU Medicine has allowed the Hospital to enhance its service offerings exponentially. The recent opening of a satellite of the WVU Cancer Institute has provided a life changing service in the community making Garrett Regional Medical Center truly a regional healthcare facility.” In a recent announcement, Paul Royer was the first patient to declare a healing from the oncology center as he “rang the healing bell” to signify the moment. “This was a monumental moment for all of us,” said Boucot.

In the process of moving forward, Garrett Regional Medical Center felt the need to take a moment and look back to its origin in 1950. The look back lead to the creation of the History Wall now located on the first floor of the Hospital. “The History Wall honors many individuals who had a role in getting the Hospital off to such a great start in the early years,” added Boucot.

Among those many individuals recognized is Norma Gnegy, RN.  Ms. Gnegy has also been honored recently by her family through their generous donation to the WVU Cancer Institute at Garrett Regional Medical and the naming of the Cancer Center’s nursing station in honor of Norma’s extensive nursing career at the Hospital. Norma Gnegy was among the nurses who began working at the Hospital in the early 1950’s and helped establish the precedent of great quality care from the very beginnings. Norma has also been involved in the committee that helped pull together photographs and recollections of those early years.

The original group of people, primarily nurses, to work on the Hospital history included Mildred Dunbar, Sue Teagarden, Norma Hesen, Phyllis Maffett, Louise Messenger, Mary Ellen Lichty, Norma Gnegy, Mary DiSimone Eshleman, Betty Shaffer, Martha Sanders, and Mary Naylor. While the art of nursing has changed with technology from 1950 to 2016, the group fondly reminisced the early years. “Meeting these ladies has indeed been a pleasure,” said Boucot. “It is obvious that they were an effective force of caregivers who gave their patients the utmost in care and dedication.”

Looking forward this year, we will be opening the new patient wing on third floor, and a new Family Centered Maternity Suite. The balance of the new wing construction/renovation project is expected to be complete sometime in 2017.  “As Garrett Regional Medical Center continues to grow the facility and enhance service lines, each decision will be made with a focus on patient centered care and the assurance of having quality healthcare available, close to home,” concluded Boucot.


County Employee Receives GIS Award

John B. (J.B.) Churchill, GIS Specialist for the Garrett County Department of Planning & Land Management, has won the Esri Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award for the creation of Garrett County’s web mapping interface. This award recognizes vision, leadership and innovative use of GIS technology. Esri, the world leader in GIS software, presents the SAG award to recognize organizations around the world that make extraordinary use of GIS technology and set new precedents for the GIS community. Jack Dangermond, president of Esri, solicited nominations for outstanding users from vertical industry managers, U.S. regional
offices, and international distributors. JB’s work was one of 175 chosen from more than 100,000 Esri clients worldwide.

“We created the Special Achievement in GIS Award to recognize our users' extraordinary contributions to global society,” said Jack Dangermond. “Each year, I look forward to being part of this ceremony; it's a tradition that has gained great meaning and importance for professionals in the GIS industry.”

The County recognized the need for both internal and external accessibility to data, while also acknowledging that often the best way to present that data is in a visual way. To that end, one of JB’s first tasks when he was hired in 2014 was to create a web mapping presence that was user friendly and expandable. JB’s technical expertise in not only the GIS field but the field of programming, allowed him to create a user interface that built on software already being used by the County, did not require any additional purchase or maintenance costs, and provided the opportunity for custom edits to the system as necessary.

“I am not surprised that JB has been internationally recognized for his work,” stated Deborah Carpenter, Director of the Department of Planning & Land Management. “JB has a unique skill set that he works hard to maintain and improve upon. When given the freedom to create a product for the people of this County, he extended his maximum effort and expertise to the task. While others try to find a solution to purchase and hope it fits their needs, JB uses his talent to create a solution that capitalizes on the
resources at hand, is customizable to the needs, and flexible enough to be expanded upon to meet future needs as they arise. JB deserves this recognition and much more.”

JB will be receiving his award from Jack Dangermond himself at the annual Esri Users Conference in June. To view Garrett County’s web mapping application go to maps.garrettcounty.org.



The WVU Cancer Institute at Garrett Regional Medical Center celebrated the first patient, Paul Royer, to “ring the healing bell” announcing that his cancer is in remission.  Royer happily rang the bell as his wife Flo, and staff from the Cancer Institute and members of administration celebrated along with him.  Paul Royer is the first patient to declare a healing from the oncology center.  He was under the care of Gladys Onojobi, MD, Chief of Oncology and received all his treatments at the Garrett Regional Medical Center location of the WVU Cancer Institute.

With emotions running high, Mr. Royer explained his story:  “On January 11th of this year, I started feeling sick.  I thought I had the flu, so I went to see my family practitioner, Melinda Stoner, at Wellspring Family Medicine.  I think she suspected something much worse than the flu because she suggested that perhaps I needed to get a CT scan, which found a tumor in my small intestines.  I was referred to Dr. Bayuk at Garrett Surgical to remove the tumor.  I was then referred to Dr. Cardinal at Ruby Memorial in Morgantown and was admitted to Ruby Memorial to have the surgery.  After a successful surgery and recovery, I requested to come back to GRMC for my cancer treatments.  I wanted to be close to home and I trust Garrett Regional.” 

Royer then underwent chemotherapy treatments for four months under the care of Gladys Onojobi, MD at GRMC.  According to Dr. Onojobi, Paul’s attitude was positive from the very beginning.  “Paul just decided that he was going to beat his diagnosis and had a positive outlook all the way through.”  Charge Nurse Kelly Fitzwater added, “…he worked hard to make sure his treatments were successful.  I’ll never forget the day he came in with a doo rag on his head because he lost his hair with his first chemotherapy treatment.  He was just so upbeat about it and kept a positive outlook, no matter how bad he felt.”

On April 27th, the CT results of the 77 year old patient came back clear.  “I was overjoyed to find out that the CT results were clear,” stated Royer.  “After four months of treatments, all I can say is that Dr. Onojobi is a wonderful doctor; very considerate.   I appreciate everything she did for me.”  He continued, “I had everyone on my side.  God, Florence (Royer’s wife of 58 years) and Dr. Onojobi.”

Indeed, if felt like a miracle from God when Garrett Regional Medical Center opened the satellite of the WVU Cancer Institute in January of this year. By March the Center saw 81 cancer and hematology patients and had 242 patients receiving infusions.  The Cancer Care Patient Navigator, Gina Artice worked with 155 patients and their families during the month of March to assure access to services.  The most amazing aspect of this story is the donations that came in from the community that were given to the hospital’s foundation to help build the WVU Cancer Institute at Garrett Regional.  The center raised funds over $1.4 million to build and expand the center.

 “Mr. Royer’s progress is wonderful; we are so pleased to have been a part of his journey.  It was a heartwarming moment to have the first patient “ring the healing bell” and we look forward to many more reasons to celebrate with patients in the future,” said Kendra Thayer, vice president of patient care services at GRMC.  President and CEO Mark Boucot added, “It was a huge moment for the hospital, to ring the healing bell for the first time, and great high point for the hospital.  I’m so proud of the staff, volunteers and the medical staff of the hospital, because they truly make GRMC the great hospital that it is.”

Donate Life Flag Raising Ceremony at Hospital

Garrett Regional Medical Center hosted the Living Legacy Flag Raising Ceremony in recognition of National Donate Life Month. Guest speaker for the ceremony was Mike Butler, a transplant recipient who now serves as a Donate Life Ambassador. Also on hand for the ceremony was the family of Leon Paugh, from Kitzmiller, who was an organ donor.  Paugh’s family included his wife, Carol Paugh, daughter, Brenda Livengood and granddaughter, Chelsea Wiltison.

“Since my transplant I went from a table of over 30 pills a day to just 6; 4 being anti-rejection medicines,” explained Mike Butler who received a transplant 21 years ago and explains his transplant gift as his second chance.  “Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Kelly, my donor, and her family. I carry “Kelly’s Spirit” on in everything I do and everywhere I go. I live everyday to the fullest, no bad days, just good and great days,” said Butler.

Leon Paugh’s donation has served to help the advancement of medical science and education. Ehrin Darby, donor services coordinator for the Anatomy Gifts Registry describes Leon’s gift as one that “truly left a lasting impression on humankind.

National Donate Life Month was instituted in 2003 and is celebrated in April of each year to encourage Americans to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.

Donate Life America statistics show that nearly 30,000 patients started new lives in 2015 thanks to organ transplants and that a single tissue donor can help more than 50 people. They also reported that 8,000 people die each year because the organs they need are not donated in time.

Garrett Regional Medical Center works closely with the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland as an organ procurement organization and Tissue Bank. The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland works collaboratively with 36 hospitals in the state. Maryland’s online donor registry can be found at www.donatelifemaryland.org. This site allows Maryland residents to designate themselves as organ, eye and tissue donors and assist in sharing donation decisions with family and friends.

Mountain Maryland Native Plant Festival to be Held May 14th

The third annual Mountain Maryland Native Plant Festival will be held at New Germany State Park from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, May 14. There will be a large variety of plants and seeds native to the mid-Atlantic for sale from regional nurseries. Native plants and biodiversity will be the focus during various scheduled programs and activities. This event will also feature experts from local non-profit organizations who will answer questions on native plants and other conservation topics throughout the day.  There is no charge for admission.  Snacks and gift items will be available for purchase at the Lake House.

The Western Mountains Chapter of the Maryland Native Plant Society (MNPS) is co-sponsoring this event along with New Germany State Park. MNPS promotes awareness, appreciation, and conservation of Maryland's native plants and their habitats, working to preserve Maryland's natural heritage through education, research, advocacy and service activities. For more information about MNPS and/or more details about the 2016 native plant festival visit

Town of Friendsville, MD Hosts 2nd Annual 5K Run/3K Walk

Friendsville, MD -- The Town of Friendsville is hosting its second annual 5k Run/3K Walk along the Upper Yough on Saturday May 14th. Participants will have the joy of running or walking on this very scenic trail in the Wild and Scenic Yough River Corridor. The trail is a reclaimed railroad bed with a tons of wildflowers, beautiful foliage, glimpses of whitewater and has a very gentle grade with some wet and rocky spots for added fun and adventure. 

Last year, 87 people participated and this year organizers are anticipating even more. Cash prizes for the runners will be awarded as follows: $100 first place, $50 second place and $25 for third place overall. There’s also a $100 prize for the fastest female and special prizes for the youngest and oldest runners. This is an official event of the Queen City Striders who will be providing numbers, digital timing and support.

Non competitive walkers will have plenty to ohh and ahh over besides the beauty of the trail as there are some wonderful prizes just for them too. Event organizers hope folks of all ages will come and have fun, meet new people and enjoy the beauty of this small river town.

Coffee, water, fruit and even some baked goods will be provided for the runners and walkers and the first 50 entrants receive a free t-shirt. After the race, people are encouraged to stay a little longer and check out the townwide yard sale, stop in our shops, museum, pub and restaurants or just explore the town, go fishing or picnic in our gorgeous town park.

Registration is $20 and forms can be downloaded at visitfriendsville.org and then mailed in or dropped off at the Town Hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Same day registration will begin at 8:00am at the Northern Rescue Squad 320 Chestnut Street in Friendsville. The run and the walk will start and finish here as well. People who have registered in advance are asked to also check in. Runners will start at 9am and walkers will start at 9:15am

For information call Karen at the Town Hall at 301-746-5919.

Power of Possibilities April Summit a Success!

With over 100 attendees and numerous speakers and panelists on all things related to entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial thinking and enabling small business and personal success, the April 28th Spring Power of Possibilities (POP) Entrepreneurial Summit was deemed a rousing success.

Presentations on social media, succession planning and enterprise funding options complemented a panel discussion with area women entrepreneurs and two empowerment keynotes by international speakers Master Rick Rando and Justin Lafazan. “The program was very well received and allowed us to empower, engage and enable our current and future entrepreneurs through a variety of motivational and educational sessions,” stated Julie Yoder, Dean of Garrett College’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development division.

Beyond the information, networking and personal introspection, the program was also a celebration of entrepreneurship and those that pursue their dreams.  Practical general advice was provided by Master Rick Rando, who encouraged attendees to “be a lion and not a sheep” and by Justin Lafazan, who encouraged all to “ask for what you want” in attendees’ quest for success and happiness.  Success was also encouraged and recognized during the summit’s awards luncheon, which recognized competitors, mentors and judges for each of three concurrent POP entrepreneurial and innovation competitions that culminated at the summit. 

Winners for the POP Business Plan Competition were: first place Alice Blayne-Allard for her plan for Free State Cooperage, and second place going to Haley Gillespie for her plan for Refresh Holistic Health & Fitness Retreat.  The third place award went to Matt Friend for his Friendly Inflatables business plan.  Competitors won cash awards, the Daniel E. Offutt III Innovation Medal and a certificate of recognition.

Garrett College Student Innovation Competition award winners were Crystal Wright for first place, Deja Smith for second place and Jonathon Caughman, Jr. for third place, for their innovative ideas and plans-of-action for enhancing the student experience at Garrett College. Winners for the Garrett College Employee Innovation Competition were Maney Gale, Ashley Ruby and Rachelle Davis, who took first, second and third place respectively. Employee innovations included ideas for a new welcome center at the college, a new success advisor program and a fitness initiative for first year students.

Beyond the “winners” in each category, it was noted that all competitors, in each of the three competitions “won” by enhancing their own entrepreneurial thinking and providing ideas to enrich the College and community.  In fact, over three dozen competitors entered the three competitions, with numerous mentors and judges from the area helping make the competition a success. Julie Yoder noted, “Garrett College and our partner, The Greater Cumberland Committee, want to especially thank all of our sponsors, mentors and judges that supported this complex effort.  I also want to commend those in the community that took time out from their busy schedules to come to the event and help support our entrepreneurs and innovators. This was truly a team effort.” For more information on the Power of Possibilities series and to see a video of all Business Plan competitors and their ideas, please go to www.4ruralsuccess.com.

Starting and Maintaining a Vegetable Garden to be offered at GC’s Northern Outreach Center

Garrett College in coordination with the University of Maryland Extension is sponsoring a one-session course, Starting and Maintaining a Vegetable Garden, at the College’s Northern Outreach Center in Grantsville. The class will be held on Tuesday, May 10, 1-3 p.m.  

Gardens can provide large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Take this class if you are new to gardening and want to learn about timing, garden placement, pest management, etc.  Many charts, growing guides, timing documents will be shared.

The course is being instructed by Ashley Bodkins who received her B.S. degree in Agronomy from WVU and an A.A. degree in Horticulture from Potomac State College. She works for the University of Maryland Extension where she answers home horticulture questions and coordinates the Maryland Master Gardener Program for Garrett County. The University of Maryland Extension programs are open to any person and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. Anyone with a disability that requires special assistance for participation in the program should contact the extension office at 301-334-6960.

For more information on this course persons may contact Terry Beachy at 301-895-4700 or terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu. To register for the course, contact Garrett College Continuing Education & Workforce Development at 301-387-3069.



Employees of Garrett Regional Medical Center’s third floor nursing and clinical staff check out the progress in the third floor of the new wing construction area. The third floor, medical/surgical wing will open with six new private patient rooms, each with its own shower, a state of the art bariatric room and a new nurse’s station. As the newly completed patient rooms are opened, existing third floor patient rooms will be taken off-line in phases and renovated until all rooms are completed increasing the number of private rooms available to patients. The new third floor wing is expected to open for patient use by early this summer.

“The new patient rooms on the Medical/Surgical Unit will provide more privacy to patients and their families allowing them to recover in an area that feels like home. The larger rooms will allow for more therapies to be completed in the rooms and will allow for privacy when discussing medical care with the nurses and physician. These rooms will also provide a quieter environment for patients to rest at night,” explained Kendra Thayer, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer.

Each patient room will be modernized with increased space, new equipment and updated technology. This project is the first major renovation to the inpatient units in 32 years. This project broke ground in 2014.  Already completed and in use are the lower level dining areas and the Knights of Pythias Education Center, which was funded by the group during the Capital Campaign fundraising phase, along with the new SubAcute Rehabilitation Unit housed on the first floor.

“As the three year multi-phase project continues, our patients will benefit from increased space and capabilities in nearly every department. These renovations and upgrades are designed to improve the community’s access to care and ensure that patients can receive higher levels of care, close to home,” said Mark Boucot, president and CEO. 

Over $1.65 million of the funding for this new wing/renovation project was raised by the community through the Hospital’s Foundation. “Garrett Regional Medical Center has been truly blessed with the overall positive support and outpouring of generosity from the community,” stated Boucot. “Our entire staff is excited about opening this new state-of-the-art patient care unit. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that each and every patient has a five-star experience at Garrett Regional Medical Center.”

       Harp Concert Featuring Lynne Barnes-Dale at the Grantsville Library

The Grantsville Library will host Harpist Lynne Barnes-Dale on the Celtic Harp, Thursday, May 12, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. The program features a variety of Celtic music, selected modern tunes, a piece written by Barnes-Dale, and hand-chimes with audience participation. This event is free and open to the public. Those planning to attend are asked to contact the Grantsville Library at 301-895-5298 or email kim@relib.net.

Barnes-Dale is a graduate of Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA. She has taught music and served as organist and choir director in New England, the mid-Atlantic region and Washington State. In addition to her public performances, she gives private lessons in Celtic harp and piano. She is organist at St. John's Episcopal Church in Frostburg and  has appeared regularly at Scottish Festivals including the Bridgeport Scottish Festival and the McHenry Highland Festival. 

Funding for this program is provided by Western Maryland Regional Library, the regional resource center for the public libraries of Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties. 

A listing of events and services for all branches of the Ruth Enlow Library is available online at www.relib.net. Follow the library on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RuthEnlowLibrary.


Grand Opening of Cybersecurity Lab at Garrett College

 Garrett College held a grand opening event for its new state-of-the-art cybersecurity lab on Friday, April 8, 2016 at the McHenry campus. The Garrett Information Enterprise Center (GIEC), home to the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), houses the cybersecurity lab that was showcased during the official kick-off and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event was attended by members of the community, Garrett College faculty, staff, and students, as well as representatives from local, state and federal government.

The cybersecurity lab was built using funds from the United States Department of Labor TAACCCT (Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training) grant from the United States Department of Labor. The lab was debuted for student use at the beginning of the spring 2016 semester, supporting the relatively new cybersecurity degree and certificate programs offered by Garrett College, as well as the established Network Administration degree and certificate programs.

Dr. Richard MacLennan, President of Garrett College, welcomed more than 50 guests in attendance with an expression of appreciation for the support of the entire community. Jill Horner, TAACCCT Grant Coordinator, went on to provide a brief history of the grant, acknowledging the work of the entire team at Garrett College who worked on applying for and implementing the grant: Julie Yoder, Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development; Jim Allen, Dean of Instructional and Institutional Effectiveness; Dr. Qing Yuan, Director of Business, Information Technology and Engineering; Carol Mowbray-Brooks, Director of Adult Education and Workforce Development; Kelli Sisler, initial TAACCCT Grant Coordinator, who, since December 2015, has assumed a new position as Institutional Research and Effectiveness Coordinator; Richard Lewis, Assistant Professor of Computer Science; Dr. Sulabh Bhattarai, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity; Katherine Browning, Director of Business and Finance; and Trisha Mayles, Staff Accountant.

Dr. Qing Yuan, Director of Business, Information Technology and Engineering;  Jim Allen, Dean of Instructional and Institutional Effectiveness; Julie Yoder, Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development; Carol Mowbray-Brooks, Director of Adult Education and Workforce Development at Garrett College; Kelli Sisler, original grant coordinator, who was named Institutional Research and Effectiveness Coordinator in December 2015; Richard Lewis, Assistant Professor of Computer Science; Dr. Sulabh Bhattarai, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity; Katherine Browning, Director of Business and Finance; and Trisha Mayles, Staff Accountant.

Dr. Yuan followed up with a presentation in regards to the impact the cybersecurity lab will have on student learning. Addressing the growing prevalence of cybercrime threats to the U.S. economy and infrastructure from foreign state-sponsored organizations as well as the rise in threats domestic in origin, she highlighted the unique hands-on opportunity the lab provides students to prepare for and react to simulated cyber threats and attacks.

A graduating member of the cybersecurity program addressed the benefits of the new lab to the educational experience of students. Robert Bayer, a resident of Terra Alta, W.Va., who will receive an A.A.S. in Cybersecurity in May, spoke at length regarding the design and efficiency of the lab. “I have a background in architecture and designing spaces, and I couldn’t imagine a more perfect setup,” he noted. The lab space itself is designed using modular desks, each with its own wide screen monitor and PC, which in turn links to the instructor’s workstation to help aid in instruction.

Nicole Christian, President and CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, followed Bayer by acknowledging the benefit of the cybersecurity lab and program to businesses in the county. She stressed that the preparation, expertise, and certifications received by students will help provide local businesses with employees completely prepared to keep sensitive information secure and protected from cybercrime activities.

Dr. MacLennan accepted official expressions of congratulations on behalf of Garrett College from federal legislators on the opening of the new cybersecurity lab, as well recognition of the College’s dedication to continuing education in the community. Received by Dr. MacLennan were Senatorial Certificates of Special Recognition from U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin through his field representative, Robin Summerfield, and U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski through her special assistant, Julianna Albowicz, as well as a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman John K. Delaney through his field representative Joseph Montano.

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony followed, culminating in a tour of the cybersecurity lab, affording attendees ample opportunities to receive more in-depth information about the technical aspects of the lab. Visitors expressed particular interest in a real-time map visualization of cyberattacks occurring around the world presented on one of four high-definition monitors in the lab. The map, accessible at www.norse-corp.com, is complete with compelling graphics, and information on the origin and target of cyberattacks, and was a powerful representation of the need for more skilled cybersecurity experts.

For more information on the Cybersecurity program at Garrett College, persons may contact Horner at jill.horner@garrettcollege.edu or visit online at www.garrettcollege.edu.


Williams Land Management Company, LLC of Moorefield, West Virginia recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding and Sales Agreement with the Garrett County Commissioners to purchase the remaining 3.62-acres of the former County Roads Garage property located along U.S. Route 219 in Oakland, adjacent to Dairy Queen and Clear Mountain Bank.  The company’s principals, Sam and Kelly Williams, plan to construct a 40-room hotel and family restaurant on the site.

“We are very excited about this opportunity,” said Sam Williams.  “We’ve operated several successful businesses for years in Moorefield and Romney, West Virginia.  Expanding into Maryland was the next logical step.”

In addition to the planned expansion into Oakland, the Williams own and operate the South Branch Inn in Romney and the South Branch Inn and South Branch Cinema 6 in Moorefield.

“The County has been actively seeking a developer for this piece of property.  I think we found real winners with Sam and Kelly,” said Paul Edwards, Chairman of the County’s Board of Commissioners.  “They’re going to make a great addition to Oakland and Garrett County!”

The Town of Oakland and the Greater Oakland Business Association were instrumental in attracting the Williams’ project to Oakland.  “This is a tremendous project that really stands to complement a lot of our efforts throughout Oakland, from our downtown revitalization efforts to the growth of Garrett Regional Medical Center.  This will provide another option for overnight stays for our visitors, tourists or families of our residents or hospital patients that want to be close by. We are delighted to welcome the Williams’ to our ‘Great Small Town’,” said Peggy Jamison, Mayor of Oakland.

The County, through its Department of Economic Development, has secured an Appalachian Regional Commission grant to complete construction of Penny Lane from Garrett Highway (U.S. Route 219) to Fourth Street.  Storm water improvements to bring the 3.62-acre parcel out of the 100-year flood plain are also planned.  Both projects will commence this spring with an expected completion date of October 2016.

Construction of the hotel is expected to commence in the spring of 2017, with construction of the restaurant to commence in 2018.


Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Announces Cuba Trip: Take an educational cultural exchange trip to Cuba November 2-9, 2016

 Your Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that we will be offering a trip to Cuba November 2-9, 2016. Through our national Chamber association, we are able to provide this incredible opportunity to visit Cuba before it becomes over-commercialized and prices go through the roof due to extremely high demand.

For over 50 years legal travel to Cuba has been almost impossible for Americans. Recently, certain agencies have been licensed by the U.S. State Department to provide people-to-people tours for American citizens. Central Holidays, the licensee of this travel program, is hosting the Cuba travel experience of a lifetime for the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.  This cultural exchange adventure to four cities, including Havana, will provide you the ability to see this Caribbean island through the eyes of its people.

This experience will offer you an unforgettable opportunity to interact with the Cuban people on a deeper level. The itinerary is focused on cultural exchange and education and will have a professional tour director and a professional Cuban guide for all tours. You will be enchanted by authentic Cuban charm and culture:

  • Experience People-to-people discussions

  • Visit the colonial city of Remedios

  • The Che Guevara Mausoleum

  • Visit the Museum of the Revolution

  • Meet with local artists

  • Experience the working steam train

  • Tour a Cigar Factory

  • Tour a Tobacco plantation

  • Walk Hemmingway’s Farm

  • Tour Old Havana

  • And Much More….

Travel to Cuba is extremely limited and trips like this fill up quickly, so you’ll need to make your reservation soon. If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting this island, which has been closed to U.S. travel for more than half a century and is only 90 miles from Key West, Florida, now is your opportunity. The cost for the 8 days/7 nights trip including hotels, meal, day trips and airfare from Miami is $3,849 for members and $3,949 for non-members.

The Chamber will be hosting an informative Trip Preview meeting on Tuesday May 2, 2016 from 5:30 to 7:00 PM in the Conference Room at the Visitors Center.  Please contact Nick Sharps at 301.387.5237 or email to nick@garrettchamber.com to register for this meeting and if you have any questions concerning the trip.

CARC to Host Second Annual Deep Creek Pickleball Tournament

 The Garrett College Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex (CARC) and the Garrett County Pickleball Club will hold its second annual Deep Creek Pickleball Tournament beginning on Saturday, May 7 and ending on Sunday, May 8, at the CARC Gymnasium.

Men’s and Women’s Doubles will take place on Saturday, with doors opening at 8 a.m. and play beginning at 9 a.m. Mixed (co-ed) play will take place on Sunday, with doors opening at 12 noon and play beginning at 1 p.m. Both days of the tournament will consist of double elimination events for all events containing at least 4 teams. Play consists of the best of three games to 11 points per match. Events with less than 4 teams will use a round robin format.   

Pickleball is a racquet game, played on a court similar to a tennis court but smaller in size.  It was invented in 1965 in Washington state, but has exploded in popularity over the past five years with over 2,000 known places to play in the U.S. It is appropriate for all fitness and skill levels.

Weekly play takes place at the CARC on Sunday mornings, 10 a.m. – 12 noon, and on Tuesday and Thursday mornings 10 a.m. – 12 noon, and again in the evening from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m

Daily and monthly passes are available for non-members, and CARC members play at no additional cost. Members of the Garrett County Pickleball Club are present at the CARC during these times and welcome new participants with instruction and assistance in learning the game.

Proceeds from the annual tournament will benefit Garrett College Athletics Scholarships. Registration is available online at www.gccarc.com/pickleball or by mail (forms available online or at the CARC front desk). For additional information including fees for this tournament, persons may contact Maney Gale, Tournament Director, at 301-387-3086 or at maney.gale@garrettcollege.edu.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS… Old Time Jams are coming soon! 

New Germany State Park is pleased to announce the return of good old-fashioned toe-tappin’ fun, with the 7th season of Old Time Jams set to begin in May.  Jams will take place on the following FRIDAYS in 2016: 

  • May 6 & 20

  • June 3 & 17

  • July 1 & 15

  • August 5 & 19

  • September 2 

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 pm, 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.

New Young Adult Book Club to Begin at the Oakland Library

The Oakland Library will host a new Young Adult Book Club for students in grades 9-12 on the first Monday of each month from 6 – 7 p.m. The first meeting is scheduled for May 2 to discuss the book We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen. Registration is required by contacting Susanne Kight at 301-334-3006 x 101 or skight@relib.net. “If you are someone who loves to read and wants to share that love of books with others,” notes Kight, “you’ll want to sign up. We’ll get together and discuss books – the highlights, lowlights, and everything in between.”

A listing of events and services at the Ruth Enlow Library is available on the website at www.relib.net.  Follow the library on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RuthEnlowLibrary

Garrett County Chamber Offers Spring 3-2-1 Lodging & Activity Promotion

Just in time for spring visitors traveling to Garrett County and the Deep Creek Lake, Maryland area, the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is offering a 3-2-1 Lodging & Activity Promotion on their website, www.visitdeepcreek.com. The promotion runs from March 17, 2016 – May 12, 2016, non-holidays. The promotion is for 3 nights at the price of 2 plus discounted activities.

Ten lodging companies – ranging from rental home properties and B&Bs to cabins, a slopeside hotel and log-cabin-style hotel suites – are participating in the promotion. And activity offers include discounted live entertainment, whitewater rafting and pet sitting services.

“The 3-2-1 Promotion is a terrific way to save on your spring trip to the Deep Creek Lake area and Garrett County,” said Sarah Duck, Director of Tourism & Marketing for the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “With discounts on both lodging and area activities, visitors will be sure to find a discount offer to suit their vacation.”

The 3-2-1 Promotion includes lodging offers from Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty, Deep Creek Lodging Company, Haley Farm Inn & Retreat Center, Joyce’s Deep Creek Rental, Long & Foster Resort Rentals, Offlake Rentals, Savage River Lodge, Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations, The Lodges at Sunset Village and Wisp Resort Hotel and Conference Center and activity offers from Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF), Precision Rafting Expeditions and Your Happy Tails, LLC. 

Garrett County, Maryland’s westernmost county, is less than a three-hour drive from the metropolitan areas of Washington DC and Baltimore, two hours from Pittsburgh, and a 45 minute drive from Morgantown, WV and Cumberland, MD. Garrett County is home to Maryland’s largest freshwater lake, Deep Creek Lake, Wisp Resort, the state’s only ski resort, and the Adventure Sports Center International, one of only two recirculating whitewater courses in the western hemisphere.

To view all of the 3-2-1 offers or more information about Garrett County, please stop by www.visitdeepcreek.com or call 888.387.5237.

Maryland Offers Fishing License Discount for 16-Year-Olds 

Now through the end of 2016, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering a half-price incentive to 16-year-old anglers purchasing a fishing license for the first time. In Maryland, anglers under the age of 16 are not required to possess licenses. 

“Young anglers are the environmental stewards of tomorrow,” Fisheries Service Director Dave Blazer said. “We are launching the 16 in 16 discount program to encourage them to engage and become committed to the future of fishing in Maryland.”

If you are 16 years old at the time of purchase in 2016, you will automatically receive a 50 percent discount on your 365-day resident, non-resident, non-tidal or Chesapeake Bay and Coastal fishing license. Not included in this discount program: recreational crabbing licenses, trout stamps, short-term licenses and sport boat licenses.

Licenses may be purchased online, through department service centers or at most bait and tackle shops and outdoor outfitters.

While spring has not yet arrived, fishing activities are already underway with biologists stocking trout across the state, yellow perch biting in rivers and lakes, and anglers catching and releasing striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay.