Maryland Heritage Area Grants to Boost Cultural Heritage Tourism in Garrett County:  Projects Receive Funds from Maryland Historical Trust Heritage Program

Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA), a state heritage organization, awarded 52 matching grants totaling nearly $2.7 million to Maryland nonprofit organizations, local jurisdictions and tourism groups. The grants fund historic preservation, natural resource protection and educational programs in 13 state-designated Heritage Areas.  By supporting capital projects and educational activities, the grants spawn renewed interest in Maryland culture from residents and visitors, boosting tourism-related jobs.

The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area submitted seven grant applications and five of those project received funds. Jen Durben, Heritage Area & Groups Director said, “We had such a variety of great applications from throughout our heritage area this year and we are so pleased to have five projects awarded in another round of tough competition. Garrett County received a total award of $229,598.  These grants will allow the recipients to create new resources and expand awareness of heritage here in Garrett County.” 

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the official Management Entity for the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area and also serves as the Destination Marketing Organization for the county. The Garrett County Heritage Area & Groups Director administers the Heritage Area Program and works with stakeholders by offering technical and grant assistance for heritage related initiatives that preserve valuable heritage resources and enhance tourism in the County. 

In the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area, projects funded were:

·         Town of Friendsville ($14,279) - Friendsville Interactive Historical Walking Tour & Historical Tour Website

·         Garrett County Government ($80,000) - Meadow Mountain Trail - Heritage Phase

·         Department of Natural Resources – Forest Service ($20,079) - Visitation and Economics of Recreation/Tourism in Western Maryland State Forests

·         Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area ($100,000) – Management Grant for management services of the certified heritage area with a goal to promote heritage tourism.

·         Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area ($15,240) – Marketing Grant for brand awareness marketing campaigns and milestone celebration events.

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.

 Garrett County Commissioners Welcome MD-PACE

The Garrett County Board of Commissioners recently passed a resolution enabling property and business owners in the county to take advantage of Maryland’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (MD-PACE) program.  MD-PACE is an innovative and affordable way for commercial, industrial, and nonprofit building owners to pay for energy improvements.

Through MD-PACE, commercial, industrial, and nonprofit properties use private capital to finance 100% of efficiency and renewable energy upgrades which are then repaid as a long-term surcharge on the property.  This kind of voluntary surcharge added to a property’s tax bill is similar to a surcharge for a sewer or water line; this approach makes energy upgrades accessible, allowing owners to reduce energy and operational costs and improve their building’s overall value.  

Jim Hinebaugh, Garrett County Commissioner and former Director of Economic Development stated, “The interesting thing about this program is it can help make energy cost saving improvements affordable for smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford it.”

PACE programs are active in over 15 states nationally and have led to over $250 million of investment into commercial buildings.  “This is a tool that other states have been able to use to successfully encourage redevelopment within local communities,” said Paul Edwards, County Commission Chair.  “We’re happy to be one of the first counties in Maryland to make this program available to our business community.”

The MD-PACE Program is a partnership between the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC), the statewide sponsor of the program, and PACE Financing Servicing, which administers the program. “MCEC applauds the Garrett County Commissioners and staff for taking proactive steps to provide access to capital for commercial property owners,” said MCEC Executive Director Kathy Magruder.”  


“We’re thrilled to be working with Garrett County,” said Genevieve Sherman, Managing Director PFS.  “Joining the other counties in the MD-PACE program makes it easier for local contractors, lenders, and property owners operating in the region to make energy improvements on their properties to reduce their energy costs."


Commercial property owners interested in more information about how you can get involved with MD-PACE, should visit www.md-pace.com or call Genevieve Sherman or Gerard Neely at the Maryland Clean Energy Center at 443-949-8505. 

For more information, contact:

Kevin G. Null
County Administrator
Garrett County Board of Commissioners
(301) 334-8970 

Alex McCoy, MBA, CEcD
Garrett County Department of Economic Development
(301) 334-1991

GC Robotics Team Participated in 15th annual MATE International ROV Competition in Houston, Ranked #12 Overall

The Garrett College Robotics team, Project Kraken, recently participated in the 15th annual Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center International Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) Competition June 23-25, 2016, at the NASA Johnson Space Center's Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas. The competition highlights the role that ROVs play in exploring in Inner and Outer Space, from the Gulf of Mexico to Jupiter’s Moon Europa.

Working in partnership with the Marine Technology Society ROV Committee, MATE created the ROV competition as a way to engage students in STEM and expose them to science and technology careers; encourage students to develop and apply technical, teamwork, and problem solving skills; provide funds, materials, and technical expertise to support student learning; and provide the industry with skilled individuals who can fill workforce needs.

The MATE competition challenges K-12, community college, and university students from all over the world to design and build ROVs to tackle missions modeled after scenarios from the ocean workplace. The competition’s class structure of beginner, intermediate, and advanced complements the education pipeline by providing students with the opportunity to build upon their skills – and the application of those skills – as they engineer increasingly more complex ROVs for increasingly more complex mission tasks.

For Outer Space-Mission to Europa: a few of the missions in this year’s competition included the following: connecting the environmental sample processor (ESP) to the power and communications hub; open the door of the power and communications hub, retrieve the ESP’s cable connector from the elevator, and insert in the cable connector into the port on the power and communications hub. For Inner Space-Mission-critical equipment recovery: goals included placing four pieces of mission-critical NASA equipment into a collection basket, and returning the collection basket to the surface.

There were a total of 69 teams representing 16 countries, with more than 1,200 participants in attendance this year. There were 31 teams in the more advanced Explorer Class that included mostly colleges and universities and 38 teams for the Ranger Class that included mostly high schools. Project Kraken, from Garrett College, competed in the Explorer Class. Project Kraken from Garrett College ranked #12 overall in the Explorer Class at the competition.

During the two-day competition, Project Kraken demonstrated great teamwork and problem solving skills for which they have been preparing for over the past year. They impressed the judges with their excellent performance and team spirit. “It was great to see this rookie team step up and solve unexpected problems which arose during the competition. They overcome difficulties which would have stumped a less determined team,” stated Phil Malone, Team Coach/Mentor.  “The trip was not just about competing, but a great experience for learning,” stated Dr. Qing Yuan, Team Coordinator. “It was not only a great experience to participate in the competition, it was also a great honor and privilege to be able to compete in the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab pool, which is a once-in-a-life time experience. It was very inspiring, eye-opening, and encouraging for the students to interact with other team members from all over the world. We are already looking forward to the 2017 MATE competition in Long Beach, California.”

Project Kraken would like to thank the following individuals and organizations: Phil Malone, Team Coach and Mentor, for dedicating his time and expertise to the team and for making it possible to compete at the competition; Garrett College for support and funding; GEARS, Inc. (Garrett Engineering and Robotics Society) for sponsorship and support; Wisp Resort, for the team’s use of the pool for practice the week prior to the competition while the CARC pool was closed for maintenance; and to all individuals who donated funds to support the Garrett College Robotics team.

For more information about the Garrett College team, please contact Dr. Qing Yuan, Team Coordinator, at qing.yuan@garrettcollege.edu.

Puppy Training and Basic Obedience Training Scheduled for Accident

Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development will be offering a puppy training and a basic obedience training at the Garrett College Career Technology Training Center in Accident.

The puppy training is scheduled on Wednesdays, August 3 - 31, 6:30- 7:15 p.m. for dogs 10 weeks to 5 months old. Start your new pet off on the right paw with this five-week puppy training class that encourages and reinforces good behavior. This professional pet training course will work with the natural instinct of puppies to stay near their pet parents, teaching potentially life-saving cues to help with those first months of life. Simple cues such as sit, come and stay will be taught. Basic manners, socialization, and intro to loose-leash walking will also be taught.

The basic obedience training will be held on Wednesdays, August 3 - 31, 7:30- 8:15 p.m. This course is for dogs 5 months & up with no previous training. This five-week course gives pets a solid foundation of basic behaviors. Untrained adolescent and adult dogs can become easily distracted by their environment, which is why this class focuses on important impulse-control exercises. Some cues taught sit, stay, down, wait, and leave it. Basic house manners, problem solving, and loose leash walking will also be discussed.

Both courses are being taught by Debbie Daniels. She grew up around animals, worked in a vet hospital for year, and now is the owner of her own business, Your Happy Tails, LLC, located in Garrett County. In addition to the courses listed above, further courses are being planned to include the following: Pet Emergency Preparedness and Pet First Aid & CPR for Small and Large Pets and Canine Massage, both being taught by Daniels.

Intermediate/Advanced Obedience Training and Trick Training for Dogs is being instructed by local resident, Barbara Glover. From a very early age, Glover has always had a passion for working with dogs, not just having pets, but for what she could teach them to do. She has trained dogs to compete in obedience, agility, rally, dock diving and some field work.  

For additional information on this course, persons may contact Terry Beachy, Program Coordinator, by calling 301-895-4700 or terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu. To register for this course, contact Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development at 301-387-3069.

Autumn Glory Grand Feature Parade Applications Due September 9

 Applications from organizations wanting to participate in the 49th Annual Autumn Glory Grand Feature Parade are due to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce by Friday, September 9, 2016. Float and band applications to be in the Autumn Glory Grand Feature Parade are available at http://www.visitdeepcreek.com/49th-annual-autumn-glory-festival. The 49th Annual Autumn Glory Festival is sponsored by Garrett Regional Medical Center, a proud affiliate of WVU Medicine.

Participants can be drill teams – police/military, drill teams – majorette/twirling, drum and bugle corps, marching musical units and stationary musical units. Professional, commercial or amateur floats are also welcome. Vehicle access passes to the parade route will once again be issued to parade participants.

The annual Autumn Glory Grand Feature Parade, presented by the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, will be held Saturday, October 15 at 1 pm in downtown Oakland. This year's parade is, once again, sponsored by My Bank! First United Bank & Trust.

“The annual Autumn Glory Grand Feature Parade not only offers businesses the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of the county, but it also gives local companies a wonderful opportunity to gain exposure in the community,” said Nicole Christian, President and CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “We invite you to participate in this wonderful celebration of Autumn.”

Those who did not receive an application in the mail can download the application online at visitdeepcreek.com. Completed applications may be faxed to 301.334.8073, e-mailed to sarah@garrettchamber.com or mailed/delivered to the Chamber office, located at the 15 Visitors Center Drive McHenry, MD 21541, Visitors Center in McHenry by 5 pm on Friday, September 9. Applications that come in late, and are accepted, will be added to the end of the parade lineup.

In 2015, Good Housekeeping listed Oakland as one of 50 Small Towns Across America With The Most Beautiful Fall Foliage. Also in 2015, USA Today featured Grantsville and the Autumn Glory Festival as part of their 50 state road trip: Scenic Drives around the USA. In 2014, Travel & Leisure Magazine selected Oakland, MD as one of America’s Best towns for Fall Colors and included a mention of Garrett County’s annual Autumn Glory Festival. Travelchannel.com has listed the Autumn Glory Festival & Garrett County as one of America’s 3 Best Autumn Road Trips from 2008 - 2014.

If you need an application emailed or mailed to you, please contact Sarah Duck at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce at 301.387.8746 or email sarah@garrettchamber.com.



Delaney Announces New Access to Maryland Television News for Garrett County Residents

Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) announced today that Comcast Cable subscribers in Garrett County will now have access to Maryland-based news programming.

Starting later this month, local news broadcasts from Baltimore will be available on Xfinity On Demand to Garrett County Comcast Cable subscribers. To date, WJZ (CBS) and WMAR (ABC) have agreed to distribute their local news programming, via Xfinity On Demand. Additionally, Comcast has offered to promote the online availability of these newscasts through the broadcasters’ websites and apps to customers in Garrett County. The new service comes after Congressman Delaney, Maryland State Senator George Edwards and other local elected officials, along with community members, met and consulted with Comcast to offer this news programming to Garrett County residents.

Garrett County is designated as part of the Pittsburgh, PA television market by the Nielsen Company and the FCC, therefore did not receive Baltimore programming.

“Maryland residents deserve access to Maryland news, whether they live in Garrett County or on the Eastern Shore,” said Congressman Delaney. “Garrett County residents have excellent newspaper and radio news but for too long television has been a missing piece. On Demand access to Maryland television news is an important first step. I’d like to thank Comcast for working with local stations in Baltimore to deliver Maryland-based news programming to Garrett County residents.  When Senator Edwards and I brought this issue to their attention on behalf of our constituents, they came to the table and partnered with us on a solution.”  

“Comcast is proud to have the technology and capacity in place to enable a creative solution for those Garrett County customers who want to view local Baltimore news programming on their televisions via Xfinity On Demand,” said Christine Whitaker, senior vice president of the Comcast Keystone Region.

“I would like to thank Congressman Delaney for his efforts to get this important first step in place and to the numerous residents of Garrett County who helped with this effort. This is a first step in the process and we need to keep working on this issue to get more access to Maryland Television for all of Garrett County,” said Senator George Edwards (District 1).


New Germany State Park to Feature The Art of Blacksmithing 

Local metal sculptor and blacksmith, Kenny Braitman, will be hosting The Art of Blacksmithing at New Germany State Park on Friday, July 15.  This unique program will include hands-on demonstrations and instruction on the unique art of sculpting metal.    

Braitman’s metalwork has been featured in many shows throughout the region.  He specializes in combining traditional blacksmithing techniques with contemporary design, often merging metals with glass, stone, and found objects.  “Together they sometimes make a stronger statement than any of the elements individually,” says Braitman.  “Incorporating materials found in nature lends a soothing, comforting feel for me,” he adds.  Braitman is the owner of Carey Run Forge in Frostburg, Maryland.  

The presentation is free of charge, and will take place outside the New Germany Lake House from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.  For more information, please call the Ranger Station at 301-895-5453.

New Germany to Host Coyote Adventures Family Day Camp

New Germany State Park will be hosting a three-day Coyote Adventures Family Day Camp on July 26, 27, and 28.  This is a free "nature immersion program" for families with children ages 7-14, designed to help children experience and connect with the natural world. The program will take place from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m each day, with a break for lunch.  Activities will include Native American storytelling, nature games, discovery walks, wetland studies, and journaling.      

Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.  Participants should dress appropriately for the outdoors and bring a backpack with drinking water and a packed lunch.  The use of cell phones and other electronic devices will not be permitted during the program.  Families must preregister by calling the ranger station at 301-895-5453.  Additional i>Coyote Adventures activities will take place on July 16, July 30, August 13, and September 3.  

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.

Red Cross issues emergency call for blood and platelet donations to address significant shortage

 The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give now to replenish an extremely low summer blood supply.

Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months, resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what’s needed, as well as a significant draw down of the overall Red Cross blood supply. In addition, the Independence Day holiday may have caused many regular donors to postpone donations due to vacation plans. A recent Red Cross poll revealed that more than 75 percent of donors surveyed indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the weeks before and after July 4.

“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations,” said Beth Toll of the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region. “Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks. If you’ve thought about giving blood and helping to save lives, now is the time to do it. It’s the blood donations on the shelves that help save lives when an emergency occurs.”

How to Help

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites to allow for more donors to make an appointment to give. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to avoid longer wait times. DDonors with all blood types are needed.

Those unable to give can still help by encouraging others to give through a leevesUp virtual blood drive at redcrossblood.org/sleevesup,, giving of their time through volunteerism or making a financial donation to support Red Cross humanitarian work across the country and around the world.

Who Blood Donations Help

Every two seconds in the United States blood and platelets are needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant procedures, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

Because of generous donors, the Red Cross is able to provide blood products to patients like 11-year-old Mae Rainey, who needs regular blood transfusions as part of her treatment for a blood disorder.

“I am very grateful for the opportunities that the Red Cross has given us to get her to her healthiest state,” said Caleb Rainey, Mae’s older brother.

Watch Mae’s story to learn how blood donations can make a lifesaving difference.


Garrett Regional Medical Center Laboratory has recently upgraded equipment with the purchase of two new Ortho Clinical Vitros 5600 analyzers. This vital lab equipment does all the chemistry test and immunodiagnostics. That means all of the glucose tests, thyroid, pregnancy test, cardiac, vitamin D, PSA, anemia, diabetes testing and more can all be processed on this equipment.

“The Vitros 5600 allows for auto-verifying of normal results and holds abnormal results in a queue for technicians to review and process as appropriate,” said Lois Frazee, B.S.MT(ASCP), director of laboratory services. “It also allows for additional testing per slide to be done simultaneously making the laboratory process more streamlined and efficient.”  Diagnostic blood tests can identify the warning signs of a developing chronic condition and assist the physician to better tailor the treatment plan to the individual’s situation.  GRMC statistics show that 380,000 chemistry tests were performed over the last year, a dramatic increase from previous years.

“Blood tests are especially important in the prevention and treatment of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, some of the most common health issues identified in Garrett County,” explained Steve Peterson, vice president & Chief Information Officer of Garrett Regional Medical Center. “The Ortho Clinical equipment is state-of-the-art and brings current testing technologies to help the lab run more efficiently and improve patient care.”

Garrett Regional Medical Center Laboratory Department is open for outpatient testing Monday to Friday from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm; Saturdays from 7:00 am until noon; and closed on Sundays and Holidays.


Garrett County's Most Beautiful Nominations Sought

The 2016 Garrett County’s Most Beautiful Person contest is now accepting nominations until August 26, 2016. The Garrett County’s Most Beautiful Person contest is for those who have enriched the lives of our citizens by their acts of kindness and concern.

Each year we conduct a search for our unsung heroes who selflessly assist those around them. They are volunteers of any age whose acts of goodwill have previously gone unnoticed. These “Beautiful People” make a difference in Garrett County by donating their time and talent to help those in need.

This is the 30th year of this very special program hosted each year by the Board of Garrett County Commissioners. If you know of someone who continuously contributes their time and talent to enhance the quality of life and community spirit in Garrett County, remember to send in a nomination form so they can be honored at the Annual Garrett County’s Most Beautiful Person awards presentation.

Nomination forms are available on the web at www.garrettcounty.org  or by calling Carol A. Riley-Alexander at 301.334.8970. Please remember the award is based on Volunteer Service Only.

49th Annual Autumn Glory Festival King & Queen Announced

The 2016 Autumn Glory Royalty Court has been selected for the 49th Annual Autumn Glory Festival. This year’s King is Calyb King and the Queen is Lexi Trickett.

Calyb is involved in Northern Baseball, Football & Basketball along with Relay for Life and Basketball Dribblers.  Calyb is also a member of the Letterman’s Club and Fellow Christians of America.

Lexi participates in Southern Varsity Softball  and is also a member of the National Honor Society. Lexi is treasurer of the Red House 4-H Club and a volunteer with Samantha Funding the Arts and the Tri-County Middle School Softball Team.

The Autumn Glory King & Queen will be present at the Autumn Glory Kick-Off Reception to be held at Wisp Resort on Wednesday, October 12, and they will be featured in the Autumn Glory Grand Feature Parade on Saturday, October 15. Besides having the honor of representing their home country during the Autumn Glory Festival and at other events, the Royalty Court will receive scholarship funds.

The 49th Annual Autumn Glory Royalty Court sponsors are Byco Enterprises, Inc; Hugh Umbel Companies (Bear Creek Traders, Deep Creek Shop’n Save Fresh, Legacy Home Corp., McHenry Beverage Shoppe and Perkins Restaurant & Bakery); and Potomac Edison.

The 49th Annual Autumn Glory Festival is October 12 - 16, 2016. Festivities include two large parades, concerts, band competitions, art exhibits, antique & craft shows and much more. The Festival is timed to coincide with the peak of Fall foliage in Garrett County and you can take in the breathtaking views of the spectacular foliage by driving the 2016 Autumn Glory Fall Foliage Tours. For more information about the 49th Annual Autumn Glory Festival, please go to www.visitdeepcreek.com.

Dan's Mountain Pool Now Accepting Passes

The Maryland Park Service is pleased to announce that the Dan's Mountain Pool will be now be offering free admission for individuals with Golden Age Passes and Maryland Park Service Passports, beginning on July 1st. 

The Golden Age Pass is a lifetime pass for those age 62 or older and costs $10.  The pass is good for free entry (cardholders only) into the pool and all State Parks that have service charges to enter.  

The 2016 Maryland Park Service Passport is an annual pass that can be purchased for $75 for Maryland residents or for $100 for out-of-state residents. The 2016 passport is valid through December 31, 2016.  The passport offers: unlimited day-use admission for everyone in the vehicle (up to 10 people) to Maryland's State Parks and facilities; unlimited boat launching at all State Park facilities; and a 10 percent discount on state-operated concession items and boat rentals.

In addition, the pool will continue to offer punch passes (25 visits for $50 or 10 visits for $30).  All passes are available for purchase at the Dan's Mountain Pool.  Maryland Park Service Passports can also be purchased online through this website.  Passes are non-refundable, non-transferable and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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: 

  • 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.