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      Last month's Notes   


Friday March 27
9:00 a.m.   

Spitting snow this morning and more to come tonight.  Whatever!  It should all clear out by tomorrow afternoon and the rest of the weekend will be sunny, but not very warm. Overnight temperatures will be in the teens.

The commissioners announced the hiring of a new Director of Economic Development.

The process for allowing orphan counties (like us) to get in-state television stations is moving forward through the FCC.  Big thanks to Chuck Hoffeditz who has been working on this for years -- literally!

Quite a few opportunities for Easter Egg Hunts this weekend.  Dress warm!

Don't put that snowmobile away yet!  Join the GC Snowdrifters at Timberline Resort for a cross country race or just ride the track afterwards until dark.

Big Bucks Bingo tomorrow at the Elks Lodge in Oakland to benefit Garrett County's Relay for Life.  Doors open at 3 and the games begin at 4:30.  Tickets are $30 at the door.

Thursday March 26
9:00 a.m.   

Showers and thunderstorms are likely for today, but right now the sky is blue and the sun is shining.  Relish the moment...temperatures will drop overnight and won't climb out of the 30's until Sunday.

I received this email yesterday from a reader and felt it needed to be shared.  Taking the "it can or cannot be done safely" argument out, we have one major north/south highway and it happens to run right through Deep Creek Lake. 

I live in south western PA near the town of Washington and keep my boat and memories at Deep Creek Lake. We may soon be owners of lake front property. We have fracking galore going on in Washington county and I honestly have to say that it is an eyesore and a menace. Not that I am against industry and certainly not a tree hugger but people just donít realize the baggage that this industry brings. First of all they simply donít care where they drill much like the long wall mining industry that has destroyed hundreds of home in Washington county is the most recent years.  We have rigs planted near public schools, residential/farm and recreational communities. The local politicians are helpless and the fracking people seem to have autonomy where ever they go; money brokers who say one thing but do another. The highways are infiltrated with water hauling rigs that I have never seen before in my life. Not one or two an hour but up to 30 or 40 an  hour traveling back and forth and then the F350 pickup trucks with Texas licenses plates who also have no respect for our speed limits especially where rural roads transition through small communities and suburban neighborhoods. Although there are jobs that are created for people in the local area the people who are benefiting largely are out of staterís. I believe in Americaís energy independence and the petroleum industry at large but I have to say that this industry has no place anywhere near Garrett County or near any recreation area for that matter.

Congratulations to Rebecca Kenyon-Sisler, Garrett County's Teacher of the Year.  Rebecca is a biology and environmental science teacher at Northern High School.

The county Board of Ed has released two proposed calendars for next year -- one with a pre-Labor Day start and the other post-Labor Day.  The board is asking for public input by April 10.

I forgot to mention that Northern grad, Kailtynn Fratz and her team from Cal U, were playing in the Final Four last night in the NCAA Division II Basketball Championships.  I am happy to report that they won and will play on Friday in the national championship game.  We are a county beaming with pride.

Garrett County ranks 15th in the state for health outcomes and 17th for health factors, according to the County Health Rankings from the Robert Woods Foundation study.

Cuteness alert!  The first five-cub litter of bear cubs was documented in Garrett County during the den survey.  WJLA was in town for the survey and tagging event.

The Job Fair is today at the college from 3-6. 

Wednesday March 25
9:00 a.m.   

A bit of an icy mix this morning that will turn to rain.  Most of the showers should clear out by mid-afternoon with an expected high near 60.

The state Board of Education will consider waiving three snow days on a case by case basis.  No word yet if our local school board has applied.  Last day for student is currently June 19.  The original last day was scheduled for June 4 and we've had 15 days cancelled for weather.

The DNR is asking anglers of Deep Creek Lake to complete this survey regarding Northern Pike management on the lake.

The House passed legislation for the three-year moratorium on fracking and the Senate passed a bill with strong liability regulations for drilling companies.  Each bill must clear the other chamber before it can pass.  The Baltimore Sun offered this Op Ed piece in support of the ban.

Happy Maryland Day!

Tuesday March 24
10:00 a.m.   

Sorry for the late post this morning.  Guess who forgot about the planned power outage?  Guess who had the Notes almost completed but forgot to 'save often?' 

Snow on the ground this morning.  Not enough to be a nuisance, but just enough to tick ya off.  Looking at the 60's Wednesday and Thursday and looking at a lot of open water on the lake.

Hey, hey... The Weather Channel lists the Best Watering Holes in every state and Swallow Falls State Park is tops in Maryland. (slide 20)

The Greater Oakland Business Association (GOBA) polled it's members to find their position on fracking in the county.  Forty-two member responded, with 31 opposed to, and 11 in support of, fracking.  The bill to place a three-year moratorium on the practice in the state heads to a vote in the House of Delegates.  (The original bill called for an 8-year moratorium, but was reduced in an amendment in committee)

Welcome to Heavy Water Anglers, fly-fishing and guide service, now operating in Garrett County and now an advertiser on Deep Creek Times!  Spring is here and the fishing are biting.  Book your reservation today.

Monday March 23
9:00 a.m.  

Eighteen degrees this morning.  Looks pretty, but feels bitter and it is likely we'll see some snow overnight.  Spring, where are you?

The 14/15 ski season is officially over as of yesterday.  Tubing and ice skating may open on weekends, weather permitting.

I received a call from Potomac Edison and there is a planned power outage for customers in the area of Garrett Highway tomorrow from 9-9:30 a.m.

The commissioners are considering options for leasing the ASCI whitewater course.

If you've ever dreamed of restoring an old muscle car, check out the 1973 Buick Apollo in our Marketplace.

An update on the webcam situation.   The one at The Creamery is down and they are working to get it back up soon.  I removed access to the other one as it sits atop Santa Fe Grille, which, as you know is closed.   They're working on either getting a new location or waiting (as we all are) to see if they reopen.

Friday March 20
9:00 a.m.  

A couple inches of new snow, but the precipitation has now changed over to rain -- creating a bit of a slushy mess this morning.  Local schools are closed.  Temperatures will rise into the 40's today, so perhaps, the snow will be gone when spring officially arrives at 6:45 this evening.

The Buy Down Program for lakefront property owners may return for anyone who didn't take advantage of the first buy down.

Here's something new... A Touch of Class Limousines will be offering Wine & Beer Tasting tours from 12-4 every Saturday.  Tour departs from Deep Creek Beverage in 14 passenger Vans & limousines and $49 per person includes tasting fees & transportation.  (Personal pick ups may be available for an additional fee Minimum booking must be met)  Call 301-501-5466 (LIMO) to reserve your spot.

The field is full for the 2nd Annual Beat the Winter Blues Cornhole Tournament, but there's still lots of fun to be had at the event tomorrow.

All Garrett County police, fire and rescue personnel and their families can enjoy all the activities at the Mountain Park at Wisp for free on Sunday. 

New Germany State Park will host a First Day Hike tomorrow at 1.

Thursday March 19
9:00 a.m.  

We're getting some snow tonight and tomorrow.  Expected accumulation is in the two to four inch range.

The open water on the lake refroze last night.   Makes for an interesting landscape:

Wisp will be ending ski operations for the season at closing on Sunday.  Also, there will be no night skiing this weekend.   Mountain Park activities will be open on weekends through April 5 if conditions allow.  

March Madness time!  Time Magazine released the academic bracket of the tournament and Maryland ranks #2 - losing in the finals to Davidson.  Some bragging rights for the Terps there, for sure.

More news from Cal U.  The women's basketball team is a finalist for the Russell Athletic 'Together We R' team award.  Please watch this video to hear their story and then "like" it to vote.

The presentation that was given at the commissioners meeting on Tuesday by Dr. Ann Bristow is available online. 

The state Superintendent of Schools came to "far Western Maryland" yesterday to tour the GEARS robotics laboratory.

Wednesday March 18
9:00 a.m.  

Sunny, but only 19 degrees this morning.  Even with this little burst of winter, the ice on the lake is losing ground.  Open water on the shore is widening and cracks are becoming more plentiful.  Saw my first robins yesterday!

Arrowhead is replacing the gas pumps and tanks.  I'm hearing they'll be out for 5-6 weeks.

I've been meaning to post a warning for my east-end Lake Shore Drive neighbors of a resident skunk we've been smelling -- A LOT.  Well, guess who headed the welcome wagon.  My puppy!  Ugh.   A huge "thank you" to Lindy Moebs of Muttworks at the HART Animal Center.  She stayed  after hours yesterday to help make the poor girl bearable to be around. 

Garrett College's men's team advanced in the tournament with a win last night. Also, former Northern High School basketball standout, Kaitlyn Fratz, is playing her last year of college ball at California University (Pa.) and seemingly doesn't want it to end.  The team advanced to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

The World of X Games featured a premiere of "Good Company with Tom Wallisch" on Saturday.  My understanding is that were was some great footage from Wisp.  Here are some still pictures from the film that include Wisp.

Packed house yesterday for the commissioners meeting and the presentation by Dr. Annie Bristow on Public Health Effects of Natural Gas Production and Development.  

Tuesday March 17
9:00 a.m.  

The temperature will fall this afternoon and winter will rear its ugly head over the next few days.

A satirical article here about auctioning Western Maryland off.  The funnier part is the comments -- people really believe the article to be true.

Garrett College made it to round 2 on the Best Outdoor School poll, so keep on voting. Also, best of luck to the Garrett Lakers men's basketball team in the NJCAA National Championship Tournament.  They face Essex County today at 4 p.m. in Danville, Illinois.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday March 16
9:00 a.m.  

An expected high near 60 today! It will be cloudy and breezy, but it will be SIXTY!

The commissioners have released the agenda for tomorrow's public meeting.

A federal judge found that Sam VanSickle, one of the local developers indicted for bank fraud, is not competent to stand trial

The Garrett County Head Start program received a federal grant of over $800K from the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The February Market Minute from Long & Foster is available.

The Southern Lady Rams fell short in their attempt to repeat as state champions, but they're still champions to us!

Friday March 13
9:00 a.m.  

These past couple days' weather is why I could never live in a place without distinct seasons. The absolute euphoria of change is everywhere!  Unfortunately, the current emotional high is almost over.  Rain is coming and so is the flood watch -- from this evening until tomorrow evening.

Word is there was a "Pay it Forward" thing going on at breakfast yesterday at the Oakland McDonald's.  Reports of 15 to 25 cars paying for the person behind them.  (See, I'm chalking that up to a seasonal mood swing -- and a pretty special place we live in)

Sharing last night's sunset in Oakland:

Blue Ridge Outdoors is polling again to name the Best Outdoor School.  Garrett College came in 2nd last year and is working to earn the top spot this year.  You can vote once every 24 hours. So, please vote today and every day.

Tomorrow is not just Pi Day, but Pi Day of the CENTURY --3/14/15 --  3.1415. 

Congratulations to our local high school robotics team on its win at the Pittsburgh Regional Robotics competition.

The Maple Fest is this weekend at Swallow Falls State Park.  Stop by Saturday and Sunday from 9 - 3  and watch them turn Sap to Syrup.

The 3rd annual Outdoors Show will be held this weekend at the Ag Hall at the fairgrounds.

A Craft and Vendor show is happening tomorrow at Southern High School from 9 - 3. 

Mountain State Brewing is celebrating St. Patrick's Day on Sunday beginning at 3 with live music all day.  Stop by anytime this month for the March flatbread feature:  The Rueben.

Thursday March 12
9:00 a.m.  

Yesterday turned into a lovely day and the sunshine continues today.  What thawed yesterday refroze this morning, but this too shall pass.  Expected high of 50 today and the shoreline of the lake is now water.  Spring is coming!

Southern Lady Rams won yesterday and advance to the state finals on Saturday against Forestville.  Very exciting!

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

Bill's Marine Service will be at the Capital City Boat Show this weekend.  Stop by and say hello if you're there.

Wednesday March 11
9:00 a.m.  

Dense fog this morning, but it seems the rain has cleared out for now. We are completely and utterly, saturated.  Buses couldn't service Silver Knob Road in the Pleasant Valley area this morning due to flooding.

Accuweather featured a video of the devastation at Cheat Lake  during last week's flooding. This is why we pull our docks each year.

The House version of the bill that calls for an 8-year moratorium on fracking in Maryland will be presented today.  Local business owners will hold a rally at noon at the Lawyer's Mall in Annapolis.  The Garrett County Board of Realtors have endorsed the bill.

HART for Animals released a 60-second version of its PSA for the Home Raffle.  Mike Kennedy, of Railey Realty, and his kids made this version. 

The newest video in the Pittsburgh Dad series features a visit to Ocean City. Very funny. 

Best of luck to the Southern Lady Rams today in the state semifinals. The game will be streamed live from WCBC Radio.  Tip off is at 3 p.m.

Tuesday March 10
9:00 a.m.  

Rain is on the way this afternoon and, except for Thursday, it will be a factor every day through Sunday.

Congratulations to Devan Hamrick a newly crowned Maryland state champion wrestler from Southern High School.  Also to the Southern High School girls' basketball team on their third consecutive trip to the 1A state tournament.  The team returns to the semifinals as defending state champions and will face Forest Park tomorrow.

Monday March 9
9:00 a.m.  

What a beautiful weekend and it continues today with blue skies and an expected high of 46.  Weather this week sure looks a lot like Spring.

Railey Realty reports on the new requirement that all new home construction beginning June 1 will require a sprinkler system.  If you recall, our commissioners were able to opt out of this state-wide requirement three years ago.  Time is up.

GLAF will hold a Volunteer Breakfast on March 21 at 10 a.m. in the Mountainside Marina Clubhouse.  If you are interested in learning more about volunteering with the organization, please sign up here to attend the event.

Friday March 6
9:00 a.m.  

Bluebird ski day!   Still have to climb a bit to get to a more comfortable temperature, but it is beautiful. We got about 11 inches some of the lightest powder ever.   It was supposed to be sunny all weekend, but now there is a call for clouds beginning tonight.  Still going to be a great ski weekend and it's a Subaru Winterfest weekend to boot.

I'm not sure why, but local schools are closed today.  I guess they wanted to make it unanimous -- all 24 school systems in Maryland are closed.

 There were snowmobiles out on the lake last night.  I'll let you judge whether that was a good idea will all the rain, runoff, snow and then the refreeze.

The Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Department will hold a Gun and Cash Bash tomorrow at the fire hall.  Tickets are available at Deep Creek Shop 'N' Save or by calling 301-387-5252.  I'm not sure if they'll have tickets at the door. 

Don't forget to Spring those clocks forward on Saturday night/Sunday morning.  Daylight Savings Time returns.

Thursday March 5
9:00 a.m.  

As promised, the rain turned to snow and we have around six inches this morning and more on the way.  Local schools are closed as well as all county government offices.  Arctic chill tonight with a low of -5, but after that, the only problem for the weekend will be snow blindness.  Keep your sunglasses handy!

Crazy, crazy stuff yesterday.  Roads were closed all over and the water just kept on coming.  Here is a picture of Rotary Park in Oakland under water:

And an ice jam at the bridge over Snowy Creek in Crellin:

And, finally, Muddy Creek Falls.  A huge difference from the frozen picture in our Photo Gallery that was taken just last weekend. (photo courtesy of Herrington Manor State Park).

Wednesday March 4
9:00 a.m.  

Water, water everywhere. We've had a steady rain since yesterday evening, snow is melting and drainage routes are blocked.  School buses did not service Blue Ribbon and Jasper Riley Roads this morning due to high water and there are other reports of high water all over.  It is about to get even messier. A Winter Storm Warning goes into effect at 4 p.m. and we could see close to a foot of snow through tomorrow.  This March lion has proven to be a beast!

The POA sent out this Eblast yesterday regarding formation of a new Marcellus Shale Gas Advisory Group. 

Nice police work from the sheriff's department connecting this guy to two bank robberies in Hagerstown.

Tuesday March 3
9:00 a.m.  

We'll see some wintry mix and/or snow before it changes over to rain.  A Winter Storm Watch runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a Flood Watch from 7 p.m. to 7 p.m.

US Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) announced she will not seek a sixth term in 2016 prompting speculation that former Governor O'Malley may run for her seat.  He says "no".

The DNR released the 14/15 deer season results.  Spoiler alert:  Garrett County totals were up 15.1% compared to last year.

An anti-fracking rally is planned today in Annapolis.  WBAL spoke to Bob Orr of Offlake Rentals and Tiffany Blackden, owner of The Alley.  Also, a poll commissioned by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network found 68% of residents would either ban or impose a long term moratorium on fracking.

Check out HART's PSA for the home raffle starring some adorable four-legged friends and the Refosco family of Taylormade Vacations.

Monday March 2
9:00 a.m.  

Snow + rain + snow = ice.  March coming in like a lion. Two hour school delay this morning. 

The agenda for the commissioners' meeting today is online.

News here on the new management of Gravity East mountain bike racing and the relationship with Wisp.

Here's 20 reasons you should never visit Maryland.  Cute!