Garrett County Chamber of Commerce presents Fire on the Mountain Fireworks Display July 4th

 Fireworks will light up the sky this July 4th at the annual “Fire on the Mountain” presented by the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.

The display is set to begin at dark. The fireworks are launched from the top of the Bear Claw Tubing Park at Wisp Resort. Prime viewing locations include the Scenic Overlook on Route 219, Wisp Resort and from a boat on the lake, particularly around McHenry Cove. Wisp Resort is the Associate Sponsor and the Supporting Sponsors are: Hugh Umbel Companies: Bear Creek Traders, Legacy Home Corp., McHenry Beverage Shoppe, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery & Deep Creek Shop ‘n Save Fresh; Ledo Pizza, Pasta & Pub; Property Owners’ Association of Deep Creek Lake and Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales and the Contributing Sponsor is Railey Mountain Lake Vacations.  

“I would like to thank all of our sponsors; we could not put on such a fabulous show without their support,” said Nicole Christian, President/CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “Be sure to take advantage of the Independence Day activities throughout the area! On Sunday, head to Broadford Park Recreation Area for their Independence Day Celebration including an Independence Day concert from the Garrett Community Concert Band & the Garrett Choral Society at 7:30 pm. On Monday, don’t miss Accident’s Homecoming Celebration including their 11 am Parade, and the Oakland/Mt. Lake Park Lions Club/Garrett County Fair Board 4th of July Music Festival at the Fairgrounds before wrapping up your celebration with a big bang at our Fire on the Mountain Fireworks Display.” Check the online calendar of events at visitdeepcreek.com for full event details.

Additional sponsors include Special Sponsor: Long & Foster Resort Rentals & Real Estate, Inc. and Sponsors: Ace’s Run Restaurant & Pub, BB&T Bank, BFS Food Stores/Burger King in McHenry, Bill’s Marine Service, Boardwalk Bar & Grill, Brenda’s Pizzeria, Deep Creek Beverage, Deep Creek Lodging Company, Deep Creek Marina, LLC, Flying Scot, Inc., Funland Family Fun Center, Garrett Surgical Group, LakeStar Lodge, Lake Pointe Inn, Pine Lodge Steakhouse, LLC,  Railey Realty, Samuel J. Collins Consulting, LLC, Schoolhouse Earth, Silver Tree Marine, LLC, Slopeside Market,  Smiley’s, State Farm Insurance/Rob Michael, The Lodges at Sunset Village, Turnbull, Hoover & Kahl, P.A. and Trader’s Coffee House.

The display is set to begin at dark. The fireworks are launched from the top of the Bear Claw Tubing Park at Wisp Resort. Prime viewing locations include the Scenic Overlook on Route 219, Wisp Resort and from a boat on the lake, particularly around McHenry Cove.

The rain date is July 5. If there is inclement weather on July 4th, please check visitdeepcreek.com or the Chamber’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/deepcreeklakemd?sk=wall or tune your radio to 104.5 WKHJ, 92.3 The Train and 1050 AM WMSG radio for live updates on the status of the fireworks.

GC and Maryland Department of Transportation Collaborate to Bring SAFETY SIMulator to Grantsville Days

Garrett College and the Maryland Department of Transportation are collaborating to bring a DUI simulator to the 39th annual Grantsville Days on Saturday, June 25, 2016. The SAFETY simulator simulates driving under the influence and reinforces the message of safe driving and not driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The training simulator lets one drive safely under many diverse and adverse conditions, including snow, fog and heavy traffic. It allows one to feel first-hand how alcohol impairs one’s ability to steer and brake, and also shows the danger when other drivers are impaired.

The safety simulator will be available at Grantsville Days on Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 12 noon until 7 p.m. Attendees of the event are encouraged to participate in the simulated activity. The simulator is being provided by the Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Association. For more information persons may contact Connie Meyers, Director of Professional Development & Contract Training, at Garrett College Continuing Education & Workforce Development, at 301-387-3084 or connie.meyers@garrettcollege.edu.


Flea Market on June 25 to Support Garrett College Students in Need Group

 The community is invited to attend the fifth annual flea market to benefit the Garrett College Students in Need Group (SING) this Saturday, June 25 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The event will take place in the Garrett College Special Events Center located on the McHenry campus.

The fifth annual fundraiser event is open to the public (free admission) and vendor fees will benefit SING, a volunteer group of Garrett College faculty, staff, and members of the College community, dedicated to providing emergency assistance to all Garrett College students, both on-campus and off-campus, in times of extreme need or extenuating circumstances.

Concessions will also be available at the event. More than 20 vendors have registered to attend the event, and last minute vendor inquiries for outside space are welcome. As a reminder, non-profit organizations may request one 10 x 12 space free of charge.

“We’re pleased to have such great vendor response again this year for the event. Our indoor space will be jam packed with items such as crafts, housewares, antiques, tools, and other items,” said Rachelle Davis, Director of Enrollment and SING volunteer. “We also have a few independent consultants registered, such as Lilla Rose, Scentsy, and Thirty-One. Most of our vendors, however, will be selling flea market items. We’ve received generous donations from several estates with lots of very nice household items – there’s bound to be something for everyone at this event.”

“A free mini course called 60 Minutes to eBay Success is a new addition to our event this year,” Davis added. Mary Moore, a computer and information science instructor at Garrett College, will help potential sellers photograph an item to list on the popular online auction site. Class pre-registration is encouraged. On-site registration will be an option if seats remain available. To register in advance for the 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. session, individuals are asked to call Kym Newmann at 301-387-3749. Participants also will receive help establishing a free eBay account and learn how to draft and post listings for successful selling. The class will be held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the art room on the College’s McHenry campus. 

For additional information on this year’s flea market event or to donate items, contact Rachelle Davis at 301-387-3739 or visit www.garrettcollege.edu/flea-market.  

Don’t Miss the “Dollar Dip” at Dan’s Mountain!

In celebration of Coney Days in Lonaconing, Dan’s Mountain State Park will be featuring a "Dollar Dip" at the pool on July 5. During the dip, admission to the pool will be $1 per person for the entire day. (As always, kids 5 and under will get in free). 

Normal operating hours for the pool are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. (Now open 7 days a week!)  Hours are dependent on weather and other factors, so visitors are encouraged to call ahead (301-895-5453) to confirm. The pool is also available by reservation for private pool parties. 

Maryland Boater Safety Classes Scheduled at Garrett College

The Maryland Boater Safety class will be offered through Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development on July 9 and August 6. Classes will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the McHenry campus of the College.

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 materials about safe operation in the bay or ocean are 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 begins. 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.

Greg Latta to Perform at New Germany

New Germany State Park will be featuring a free acoustic concert by award-winning musician Greg Latta on Saturday, July 2, 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. 

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


New Germany to Host Coyote Adventures Family Outings

New Germany will host Coyote Adventures Family Outings on June 18July 2July 16July 30August 13, and September 3. This is a free program for families with children, ages 7-14, and is designed to help children experience and connect with the natural world.

Each program will take place between 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m, with a break for lunch. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Participants should dress appropriately for the outdoors and bring a backpack with the following recommended items: drinking water, packed lunch, rain gear, handkerchief, sunscreen, insect repellent, magnifying glass, colored pencils or crayons, and notebook or journal. The use of cell phones and other electronic devices will not be permitted during the activity. Families are encouraged to pre-register by calling 301-895-5453.  

Coyote Adventures is an organization founded by Jack Slocomb and Margie Hartman. Mr. Slocomb is a trained naturalist, wilderness leader, and published writer of essays and poetry relating to the natural beauty of the Allegheny Mountains. He brings to the program some 40 years of experience as an outdoor leader and recently received a Kamana II Naturalist certification. Margie Hartman has been a parent mentor for Coyote Adventures Family Outings for five years and is an active member of the Allegany-Garrett County Bird Club.

Jeremy Bittner Announced as 2016 Chamber Volunteer of the Year

 The winner of the 2016 Volunteer of the Year award was announced at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner, held Thursday, June 9 at Wisp Resort. Jim Bailey, Chairman of the Board of the Chamber, made the presentation to this year’s winner, Jeremy Bittner of Railey Mountain Lake Vacations.

Jeremy Bittner is Chair of the Chamber’s Autumn Glory Festival Committee, where he has managed one of the community’s largest and most important events. His leadership helped the event through a transition period and resulted in one of the best Autumn Glory Festivals ever.

“We are delighted to present Jeremy Bittner with the Volunteer of the Year Award as a token of our appreciation for all of the hours he has spent in helping the Chamber by Chairing our Autumn Glory Committee,” said Jim Bailey, Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Chairman.

“The recognition of Volunteer of the Year is a small token compared to the time and effort given by Jeremy. His outstanding performance leading Garrett County’s signature event resulted in a highly successful 48th annual Autumn Glory Festival,” said Nicole Christian, President & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “We cannot thank him enough for his dedication and service to the Chamber.”

The Volunteer of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual member who has provided outstanding service to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce for a particular program year. Jeremy was selected from the more than 100 volunteers who help support the Chamber each year.  2011’s inaugural Volunteer of the Year was Bill Meagher of Lakeside Creamery, the 2012 Volunteer of the Year was Bob Carney of Long & Foster, the 2013 Volunteer of the Year was Jim Christie of Thrasher Engineering,  the 2014 Volunteer of the Year was the Branding Study Advisory Committee comprised of   Leigh Clarke, Emily Newman Edwards, Jonathan “Smiley” Kessler, Clint McCabe, Paula Yudelevit and designers, Mark & Laura Stutzman and the 2015 Volunteer of the Year was Sarena Rodeheaver of First United Bank & Trust.

The 2016 Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner was sponsored by Gold Level: Clear Mountain Bank, GCC Technologies, LLC and Premier Power Solutions, LLC; Silver Level: First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union and MBS Keystone; and Bronze Level: ACT Personnel Service, Inc.

Rob Heilig Announced as 2016 Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award Winner

The winner of the 2016 Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was announced at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner held Thursday, June 9 at Wisp Resort. Martin Heise made the presentation to this year’s winner, Rob Heilig of Heilig's Plumbing & Electrical, LLC.

Rob Heilig is the owner and founder of Heilig’s Plumbing & Electrical based in Oakland.  Prior to moving to Garrett County in 1980, Rob served in the United States Marine Corp (1974-1978) before working as an Apprentice Plumber (1978 – 1980). After working as a plumbing and electrical service technician for AD Naylor Company, Rob started Heilig’s Plumbing & Electrical in April 1992. Heilig’s Plumbing & Electrical offers residential and commercial plumbing, heating and electrical services. Rob is a Master Electrician and Master Plumber in both Maryland and West Virginia and holds his Maryland MHIC license.  In 1999, Rob invested in a new Facility just outside of Oakland and became a Certified Instructor and Board Member for Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Rob was subsequently appointed to the Maryland State Board of Master Electricians.

In addition to his role in the company, Rob is also very involved in the community. He currently serves on the Garrett County Building Committee and as a member and President of the Garrett County Mechanical Association. He is the President of the Oakland Golf Club, Commandant of the Garrett County Detachment 1234 of the Marine Corps League and is also an active member of the American Legion Post 71, VFW 10077 and Oakland Elks 2481.

Rob is married to Diana Winter and has two daughters Lauren Heilig and Sarah Heilig. In his spare time, Rob enjoys traveling, hiking and viewing, or participating in, almost any sporting event. Although anyone who truly knows Rob knows that his favorite past times are playing golf and spending time with his family and friends.

“Congratulations to Rob on winning the Heise Award,” said Nicole Christian, President & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “As someone who personifies all of the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, including the generous spirit in which he gives back to this community, Rob is unequivocally deserving of this award. We are thankful that he has chosen Garrett County for his home and his business and wish him continued success.”

The Heise award criteria was updated for this year. In previous years, the criteria stated that “the Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award winner must have originated and developed their business from inception.” However, for this year’s award and in future years, eligible nominees are “business owners including partners/families that originated, developed, and/or significantly expanded their business.”

Additional criteria for this award includes: having a willingness to take risks with the possibility of losing all, being involved in the community, having high ethical standards, being a member of the Chamber of Commerce and having demonstrated leadership (through one or more of the following):

·         By overcoming a formidable problem that threatened the business’s existence

·         By showing business acumen through embarking on a creative, insightful or overlooked opportunity that makes important contributions to Garrett County’s business environment

·         Through substantive community impact

The Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award Committee, comprised of previous winners, recommends finalists and a winner to the Chamber Board of Directors. The Board makes the final determination on the winner. The other nominees for 2016 were Paul Browning, Chips Network; Jim & Shirley Bailey, GCC Technologies, LLC; Mike Koch & Pablo Solanet, Firefly Farms; and Steve Green, High Mountain Sports.

Past honorees include Jonathan “Smiley” Kessler, Bill Sisler, Olen Beitzel, Johnny Marple, Jim Flanigan, Sr., Will and Sharon Roszell, Barry Rush, Rob Michael, Dave & Mimi Demaree, Brenda McDonnell, Bill Meagher, Michael Deligatti, Sr., Jan Russell, Frank Vitéz, Judy Devlin, Skip and Linda Carr and Brian Branthoover.

The 2016 Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner was sponsored by Gold Level: Clear Mountain Bank, GCC Technologies, LLC and Premier Power Solutions, LLC; Silver Level: First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union and MBS Keystone; and Bronze Level: ACT Personnel Service, Inc.

Patty Manown Mash Announced as 2016 Chamber Diplomat of the Year

 The winner of the 2016 Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Diplomat of the Year award was announced at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner, held Thursday, June 9 at Wisp Resort. Jim Bailey, Chairman of the Board of the Chamber, made the presentation to this year’s winner, Patty Manown Mash of Pine Lodge Steakhouse. 

As a Chamber Diplomat, Patty attended 7 out of 10 Business After Hours, 2 out of 6 Business Before Hours, 3 out of 9 Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies, helped in the distribution of the Community Profile & Membership Directories, achieving a total of 186 points.

“When Patty commits herself to something she gives 110%,” said Nicole Christian, President & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.  “She is an exemplary ambassador of the Chamber and the entire Garrett County community.”

The Diplomats act as greeters at Chamber events, deliver new member packets, deliver membership directories, participate in new member orientations, attend Ribbon Cuttings/Grand Openings/Ground Breakings and present First Dollar of Profit certificates to new businesses.

The Diplomat must be employed by a Chamber Member or the owner of a member business, must have been a chamber member for at least one year and employed with their business for at least  6 months.

For their efforts, the Diplomats have the opportunity to compete with each other for the title of Diplomat of the Year.

The Diplomat of the Year is determined through a points system given for membership packet distribution, Business After Hours Attendance, Business Before Hours Attendance, Ribbon Cuttings, Ground Breakings, Grand Opening & First Dollar of Profit Presentation Attendance, Recruiting New Members and Distribution of the Community Profile & Membership Directory.

2015’s inaugural Diplomat was Sarena Rodeheaver of First United Bank & Trust.

Attracting Pollinators: Butterflies, Bees, and Birds, to be offered in Grantsville

Garrett College in coordination with the University of Maryland Extension is sponsoring a one-session course, Attracting Pollinators: Butterflies, Bees, and Birds, at the College’s Northern Outreach Center in Grantsville. The class will be held on Tuesday June 21, 1-3 p.m. 

Interested in learning how to attract pollinators to your garden? Pollination is essential for many fruits and vegetables in gardens. Birds, butterflies, and bees all help pollinate a garden and this class will help those in attendance to create an environment that is friendlier for these creatures.

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.


GC Holds 44th Annual Commencement Ceremony

The Garrett College community, families, and friends gathered on Saturday, May 21 to celebrate the College’s 44th commencement ceremony and to honor the 160 graduates of the class of 2016

Led by Faculty Marshal Professor Michael Logsdon, the honored guests, faculty, staff, and graduates, all in full academic regalia, processed into the Garrett College Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex Gymnasium as “Garrett Highlands” was played by the Garrett Highlands Pipes and Drums. Presentation of colors was given by the Southern High School JROTC. The national anthem was performed by Ms. Ella Sisler, a resident of Friendsville.

The honored guests included: Sen. George Edwards; Garrett County Commissioners: Paul Edwards, James Hinebaugh, Jr. and S. Larry Tichnell; Garrett College Board of Trustees members Vianne Bell, Chair, Madeleine Collins, Linda Sherbin, and Duane Yoder; and Carissa Rodeheaver, commencement speaker.

Dr. Richard MacLennan, Garrett College President, greeted and welcomed all those in attendance and addressed the graduates. He applauded them for their efforts and many accomplishments. 101 students earned their Associate in Arts degree, 51 earned their Associate in Applied Science degree, seven earned their Associate of Arts in Teaching degree, one earned an Associate of Science in Engineering degree, and one student earned a certificate. The average GPA for this year’s graduating class is a 3.03, and 62 graduates attended Garrett College with the support of the Garrett County Scholarship Program. In addition, 32 members of the 2016 graduating class are graduating with honors.

“Each of you will take with you special memories of the relationships you’ve formed while attending Garrett College,” Dr. MacLennan said. “You have been well-prepared for what comes next by faculty and staff who have been steadfast in their commitment to your learning and success.”


Garrett Regional Medical Center and the American Cancer Society will hold the next Look Good…Feel Better workshop on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm at the Wellness Education Center located behind the hospital on Pythian Ave. The workshop is for individuals currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

 Look Good…Feel Better is a national public service program dedicated to teaching women and teen-age cancer patients the techniques to help restore their appearance and self-image, and how to deal with the sociological side effects they experience during treatment. Volunteer cosmetologists help with the workshop that includes a 12-step skin and makeup program. Cosmetics for the program are free of charge, courtesy of the American Cancer Society, The Cosmetics, Toiletry & Fragrance Association Foundation and the National Cosmetics Association.

The program is offered free of charge and each participant receives a complimentary make up kit valued at $250. For those who cannot attend a workshop self-help materials including a video and instructional booklet are available. Pre registration is required. To register or obtain more information contact Bev Rasel at (301) 533-4366 or Gina Artice, RN, Cancer Patient Navigator at (301) 533-4133.

  New Germany to Host Statewide Eyes Training

Citizens and scientists are working together to tackle the problem of invasive plants on state lands through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ new Statewide Eyes program. Statewide Eyes is seeking people interested in identifying and mapping invasive plants that threaten ecologically sensitive sites.

“We know that invasive plants are out in the landscape threatening rare species and habitats, but we need better information about which species are where, and what kinds of risks they pose,” Kerrie Kyde, the department’s invasive plant ecologist said. “With the help of trained citizen scientists our department can discover vital information about these plants much more efficiently than we can on our own.”

Naturalists and other state land users are invited to sign up for a Statewide Eyes training session, taking place at sites across the state this spring.  The next available session will be held on Saturday, June 11, at New Germany State Park in Garrett County.  Here, participants will learn about invasive plants and how to use the free Mid-Atlantic Early Detection Network smartphone app to identify, map, document and report them. The Mid-Atlantic Early Detection Network sends user data to a national mapping service where the reports are available for expert analysis.

“The information gathered through Statewide Eyes will give us tremendous power to plan and carry out invasive plant management work in the places where we can have the most impact,” Kyde said. “It will allow us to find invaders before they cover too much territory for us to remove them.”

For more information or to register for training, click here.



2016 Garrett County Gran Fondo – Pet Safety Alert

Many riders are hitting the roads and training 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.

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.

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.

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.


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.”


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.

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: 

  • 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.