Thursday December 31

Happy New Year’s Eve!

The weather today will be snow showers before 11am, then rain and snow showers likely. High near 35 and a low around 26. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon. The chance of precipitation is 80%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

This week the Garrett County Health Department and Garrett Regional Medical Center ramped up their COVID-19 vaccination distribution as additional vaccine shipments reached the county. Following CDC recommendations, Garrett County’s frontline health care workers are the first ones receiving their first of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccinations.

For Garrett County, there is a currently reported total of 1,439 COVID-19 cases and a total of 46 deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications.

Free COVID-19 testing will continue today at the MEDCO Building in the McHenry Business Park.

Note that Maryland Governor Hogan’s current COVID-19 orders do not allow any dine-in foodservice after 10pm – no exceptions were made for the holiday.

Pine Lodge Steakhouse has an exciting specialty menu this weekend (beginning today at 4pm).

Nearby Alpine Lake Resort is offering two dinner specials for the holiday. Tonight is a prime rib, salad, two sides, and dessert for $26. Dine-in or to-go. Tomorrow is a New Year’s Day brunch for $15 (dine-in only).

A 2021 reading challenge is being offered by the Ruth Enlow Library. Check out this log for “challenges” such as reading a book with a green cover and a book with a three-word title. It looks fun!

Wednesday December 30

Today we have a slight chance of showers after 1:00 pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 46 degrees. Southeast wind 6 to 9 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Tonight we have a chance of rain showers before 1:00 am, then rain and snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. Southwest wind 9 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. The chance of precipitation is 70%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

With the snowfall we have had in the past week, I am guessing many critters missed their daily meals.  As a result, I think a bunch of them (deer) decided to converge on my yard and eat my long needle pine trees.  They picked about half a dozen small- and mid-size ones clean, which is surprising since they had never touched them before.  They left the short needle pines alone.  Interesting. Here’s a photo documenting “the theft.”

mike tree picked clean 12-28-20

Tree Picked Clean

With the pandemic has come additional participation in outdoor recreation such as hunting and fishing.  According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation hunting license sales are up more than 12% since last year, translating to more than one million more hunters this year. Fishing has also seen greater interest, with a 14% increase in fishing license sales nationwide.  Those statistics mirror increases in such activities as golfing and hiking, all of which align with what the Deep Creek area has to offer.

Garrett County residents now have FREE COVID-19 testing available Monday through Friday in various locations around western Maryland and free masks through #MasksOnMaryland will be given away at several of these sites while supplies last. There are testing options for folks with and also for those without symptoms. Here’s the press release with all the details.
There’s a link to a recent Washington Post article on Western Maryland and the COVID-19 “situation” out here that has been “making the rounds”.  I am not sure I agree with some of the article’s content and I certainly do NOT agree with many of the comments made by Post readers in the comments section, but I want to share it with our readers so you can read and process it for yourselves.

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners will not conduct a Public Meeting on Monday, January 4, 2021, as previously announced.  The next scheduled Public Meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

Olivia Tennant took advantage of the weather and went ice skating here on Deep Creek Lake.

Tuesday December 28

Today we will have scattered snow showers before 10:00 am. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 28 degrees. West wind 5 to 9 mph becoming calm in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Tonight we will see increasing clouds, with a low around 17.

Garrett County’s COVID-19 case report as of yesterday includes:

  • A total of 1,421 COVID-19 cases
  • A total of 43 deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications
  • A 7-day positivity rate of 11.8%, compared to Maryland’s rate of 7.4%
  • A 7-day case rate per 100,000 of 53.2, compared to Maryland’s rate of 38.7

The first doses of COVID-19 vaccine began reaching the county last week, with both Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) and the Garrett County Health Department receiving their initial shipments of vaccine. Additional shipments are expected this week. “Garrett County’s vaccination plan was put into action last week as GRMC began vaccinating their frontline workers,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “We are following the CDCs recommendations for phased distribution of the vaccine. We have been informed that Garrett County will initially be receiving 600 doses per week.

Sunday, President Trump signed into law the new COVID Relief bill which includes reforms to the PPP program and additional funding for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has prepared a new resource guide to help you understand these changes and how they can benefit your business. If you were unable to participate in the Garrett Chamber’s recent call with the U.S. Chamber explaining the changes to the PPP and EIDL programs, and providing other details of the new relief bill, you can listen to the recording here.

Herrington Manor State Park yesterday reported trails with 2-3 inches of packed snow and ice, with some bare spots in places.  Ski rentals are still suspended due to the pandemic. Please call them at 301 334-9180 for more information.

This could be YOU! Maryland Environmental Trust (MET), a unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, is looking for volunteers who are passionate about land conservation to work in the field as Volunteer Land Stewards. Two virtual training classes are being offered in January and February. Registration is available via online form. Interested volunteers should email met.info@maryland.gov for more information.

A few people were burned over the weekend in Frostburg when they attempted to add isopropyl alcohol to a candle that burns that fuel.  Since some candles and fireplaces are equipped with ethanol/isopropyl alcohol storage and readers may be using them, I thought I would repeat the following tips from the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Please be careful!

  • You should always store your ethanol or isopropyl alcohol in the container sealed and in a safe location that is away from kids.
  • Ethanol burns clean; therefore, it can be difficult to see if the flame is still lit. Be sure to double-check before you attempt to move or refuel your fireplace.
  • Only use approved fuel in your fireplace or candle. Using un-authorized types of ethanol or isopropyl alcohol can result in personal injury as well as fire damage to your personal property.
  • Always clean up spilled ethanol or isopropyl alcohol immediately. You don’t want to have flammable liquid spilled on your possessions.
  • Use a long match or lighter to get your fireplace lit. This is important as in some scenarios, your fireplace or candle can light on fire in a flash that can burn your hands.
  • Never move a lit ethanol fireplace or isopropyl candle. This is such an important tip to follow as any spilled fuel could ignite a much larger fire that could put your home and self at risk.
  • Never refuel your fireplace or candle while it is still lit.
  • Never leave your fireplace or candlelit and unattended.

Monday December 28

Today we have a chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 39 degrees, with a west wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Tonight we have a  chance of rain and snow showers before 10:00 pm, then a chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 18. West wind 8 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Having a bit of a “spacing” technical issue today.  My apologies, but wanted to publish and had to give up on trying to fix layout.  Computers… 🙂
I hope all had a great weekend and a very Merry Christmas.  I sure had a nice one, if a bit more “isolated”  than in past years.  Also, I hope that all of the folks in Nashville impacted by the explosion can get their lives back on track sooner rather than later.
Here’s a nice photo submitted by reader Don Coble.  It shows a water view across the lake from the shore near Brenda’s Pizzeria.  Thanks for sharing Don.
don coble 12-26-20

Reflections

The Pine Lodge Steakhouse in McHenry has what looks to be a very nice special menu planned for this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, staring at 4:00 pm. They caution that due to pandemic restrictions, seating is limited, so book in advance.  301.387.6500.

 

It doesn’t hurt to plan for the future. Here’s a link to  the Maryland Office of Tourism website with ideas for trips and places to visit in Maryland.  Check it out.
St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Oakland asked us to remind folks that the parish office will be closed until January 4th, for the holidays.  They also wish all a Happy New Year.
As tax season approaches, I thought I would share some statistics sent to us from a study by HireAHelper that shows comparative tax rates/burdens in Maryland and other states:

The analysis found that in Maryland, property, income, and sales taxes for residents amount to about 9.43% of income. On average, residents spend about $5,905 annually on these taxes. Out of all U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Maryland places the 12th largest tax burden on its residents. Here is a summary of the data for Maryland:

  • Property, income, and sales taxes as a percentage of income: 9
  • Annual property, income, and sales taxes per person: $5,905
  • Property taxes as a percentage of income: 2.70%
  • Income taxes as a percentage of income: 3.94%
  • Sales taxes as a percentage of income: 2.79%

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:

  • Property, income, and sales taxes as a percentage of income: 8.88%
  • Annual property, income, and sales taxes per person: $4,842
  • Property taxes as a percentage of income: 3.07%
  • Income taxes as a percentage of income: 2.39%
  • Sales taxes as a percentage of income: 3.43%

As always, I do not evaluate the data or methodolgy of the various studies and reports we get in, so check out for yourselves. Here’s the link to the full report and methodology.

 

Have a great Monday dear readers…

Friday, December 25, Saturday December 26, Sunday December 27

It’s a white Christmas! We received about 3″-4″ inches of snow overnight.

The weather today will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 16 and a low around 7. Wind chill values as low as -8. Scattered snow showers. West wind 13 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Saturday will be scattered snow showers, mainly before 2pm then partly sunny, with a high near 22 and a low around 17. Wind chill values as low as -10. West wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high near 41 and a low around 29. Southwest wind around 8 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24

The weather today will be rain showers before 11pm, then rain and snow showers between 11pm and midnight, then snow showers after midnight. High near 48 and low around 18. South wind 7 to 14 mph becoming west after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

See more details for this storm and the East Coast.

Garrett County currently has a total of 1,460 cases and 37 deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications. Western Maryland counties hold the top three highest rankings for both 7-day rates tracked by Maryland (case rate and positivity rate) with Garrett County currently ranked as second highest for both.

7-day case rate per 100,000 residents – Maryland 14.6

  1. Allegany County – 78.3
  2. Garrett County – 76.8
  3. Washington County – 75.4

7-day positivity rate – Maryland 7.4%

  1. Washington County – 14.6%
  2. Garrett County – 13.1%
  3. Allegany County – 12.5%

The first doses of COVID-19 vaccine are also reaching the county this week: Garrett Regional Medical Center received a 100-dose shipment and the health department received 100 doses on Wednesday.

There will be no testing on Thursday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) at the MEDCO Building in the McHenry Business Park. Free COVID-19 testing will be held at this location on Tuesday, December 29 (9 am-12:30 pm) and Thursday, December 31 (10 am-2 pm). Preregistration is recommended to speed up the process on the testing day. Visit garretthealth.org for preregistration information.

Here’s an interesting story: “Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the first safe and effective vaccine for polio, vacationed with his family at Deep Creek Lake for six years, from 1957-1962. When asked what activities he and his two brothers enjoyed during summers at Deep Creek Lake, Peter Salk mentions comic books and card games, but, he declares, “The best was water skiing.” After seven years of spending summer vacations at Lake Erie, Jonas Salk did what Peter describes as a “wonderful thing” for his family. He bought a cottage at Deep Creek Lake, just two hours from their home in Pittsburgh. It’s likely that the Salks were introduced to Deep Creek Lake by their friends the Wishiks, who owned a place across the lake. The Wishiks had been influenced in their choice by Dr. Benjamin Spock, the renowned pediatrician, a Pittsburgh neighbor and professional colleague, who used to camp on the lot next to the one they purchased.”  Read more from Mountain Discoveries Magazine.

Be careful out and about tonight when this rain changes to snow but the light displays will look magical: Light display at the Oakland armory from 5pm-11pm and Broadford Park drive-thru from 6pm-9pm.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Wednesday December 23

Got some nice snow yesterday in the early hours and then some pellets, along with some serious wind.  Think we got five or six inches, at least around my home. Today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 41 degrees and with a southeast wind 7 to 10 mph. Tonight we have chance of showers after 1:00 am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32. Southeast wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Here’s a quick photo I took of my side yard yesterday afternoon.  The snow on the rail gives some indication of the amount, but due to the wind a lot of the snow was off the trees and rail:

mike snow 12-22-20

Snow on Tuesday

We may be telling kids that Santa Clause is watching them this time of year, but kids are watching and copying what adults do all year long. “During the holiday season, think about the messages you are sending to children and youth about alcohol use,” said Linda Costello, coordinator of the Garrett County Health Department’s Just Like You! campaign. “Positive role modeling promotes healthy behaviors.” The campaign is designed to remind all adults how important it is for them to be a positive role model for the children and youth in their lives. For more information visit copycatfun.com or call Health Education and Outreach at 301.334.7730 or 301.895.3111.

The Garrett County Health Department is now offering free Virtual Overdose Response Trainings. These one-on-one sessions will cover information about drugs that cause overdoses, as well as how to prevent, recognize, and respond to an overdose. After completing the training, you will receive Naloxone and a resource pouch, each of which will be delivered to you. To register for a virtual training, call 301.334.7724. Agencies and organizations may also request a virtual training for employees.

The Garrett County Health Department has also scheduled a virtual class to help parents and caregivers of children in grades 5-12 increase their knowledge of drug use in our society and learn how to empower their children to make good choices. The virtual How to Drug Proof Your Kids classes will be held every Tuesday from 6-7 pm for four weeks from January 12 through February 2, 2021. Here’s more details for you.

Here’s the scoop on hours holiday hours for refuse collection and landfill sites in Garrett County – “Thursday, December 24, 2020 – Christmas Eve: All collection sites are closed, The landfill, located at 3118 Oakland Sang Run Road, will be opening at 8:00 a.m. and closing at 2:00 p.m.; Friday, December 25, 2020 – Christmas Day: All collection sites are closed, The landfill is closed; Thursday, December 31, 2020 – New Year’s Eve: All collection sites are closed, The landfill, located at 3118 Oakland Sang Run Road, will be opening at 8:00 a.m. and closing at 2:00 p.m.; Friday, January 1, 2021 – New Year’s Day: All collection sites are closed, The landfill is closed.”

The Maryland Department of Planning, Maryland Historical Trust just issued their Winter bulletin.  It has some interesting content, especially on the history of “the bells” at a historic Baltimore church.

Sarah takes over writing Daily Notes tomorrow, as usual, for the remainder of the week, so I wanted to wish all a very Merry Christmas.  Here’s an action photo of me and the “big guy” (literally, he is over 12 feet tall) wishing all of our readers well. I wish all a very happy and healthy holiday and a great 2021.  Talk to you after Christmas.

santa and mike 2020

Merry Christmas

 

Tuesday December 22

Today we can expect scattered snow showers, mainly before 1:00 pm and patchy fog before 8:00 am. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 33 degrees. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Tonight will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 21. West wind 5 to 11 mph becoming south after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.

As of yesterday, Garrett County’s positive COVID-19 results are at 1,364 total cases, with 36 total county deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications. These numbers reflect 40 additional cases and 6 news deaths since the last statistics were reported on Friday, December 18, 2020.  The data shows that 27 of the deceased were patients in long term care facilities, representing 75% of the total. The age range for all COVID-19 related deaths in Garrett County is 59 to 99 years old.

Free COVID-19 testing will be held at the MEDCO Building in the McHenry Business Park, today, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. There will be no testing on Thursday, December 24, which is Christmas Eve. Preregistration is recommended to speed up the process on the testing day. Visit garretthealth.org for preregistration information.

The Town of Oakland will begin taking phone reservations for calendar year 2021 pavilion rentals beginning at 8:30 am on January 4th. Requests for rentals at Broadford Lake, the Glades Pavilion, and the Mountain Fresh Pavilion will only be taken via phone this year, which is different from prior years, as Oakland City Hall is closed to the public due to the pandemic. Walk-in guests will not be admitted into the building. To make reservations, please call 301.334.2691. For information on pavilions and updated pricing, please visit http://oaklandmd.com/rentals.html.

Why would anyone do this to others? The Maryland Office of the Attorney General has been alerted to illegal, unlicensed pop-up COVID-19 testing sites operating in Baltimore City.  Individuals are setting up “Free COVID-19 Testing” tables at random locations, including outside shopping centers and retail stores, and along the side of the road.  These testing sites are not authorized and the individuals operating them are not following CDC guidelines. The Attorney General is encouraging consumers to visit covidtest.maryland.gov for a list of more than 240 approved COVID-19 testing sites in Maryland. Be safe, and be cautious.

First let me state that my wife is the one in our family with all the DIY/craft skills.  Second, I thought some of our readers might be interested in this listing of all sorts of Christmas-related DIY projects, some pretty simple.  Maybe even get some ideas for next year.  Here’s the link.

I couldn’t find the full article, but also on diys.com, there was an article on the most popular Christmas trees around the world.They based their analysis on a number of factors including Instagram hashtags, global Google search volumes, height and the number of baubles needed to decorate. Here’s a few “factoids” from their effort:

  • Italy’s famous Christmas tree in Gubbio, not only stands to be the tallest in the world, but is the most popular
  • The Big Apple’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is the second most popular around the world – scoring perfectly for Google searches and Instagram hashtags
  • You’d need 16,400 baubles to decorate the world’s largest Christmas tree in Italy

So, now you know…

Monday December 21

I can’t believe it is almost Christmas and that December is getting ready to come to a close.  I hope all of our Jewish friends had a great Hanukkah, which ended on Friday. And I also wish all those folks that celebrate Kwanzaa a great Kwanzaa (it starts December 26th).

It was cool this weekend and the snow has stuck around.  Saw lots of folks at the Wisp Tube Park and also on the slopes.  Today’s weather shows a slight chance of rain showers this afternoon, then a chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38 degrees. Tonight we will have rain and snow showers likely before 1:00 am, then scattered snow showers. Cloudy, with a low around 28. West wind 9 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Here’s an action photo of Santa and friends during last week’s snowfall as submitted by Margaret Dungan.  The photo of Santa shows the snow on the fields across the road as well.  Thanks for submitting Margaret.

snow fall margaret dungan 12-19-20

Santa and Snow

I bumped into my friend and former colleague Scott R. as I was entering the Book Market in Oakland on Saturday.  Scott was loaded down with presents for family and friends.  He mentioned he was especially trying to shop local this year and it looked like he was doing a good job of it.  If you still have some presents to buy, please consider our local merchants.  Thanks!

This is heartwarming: On Saturday, on National Wreaths Across America Day at 2,557 participating locations, dedicated Americans in every state honored our nation’s heroes by safely placing a total of 1.7 million veterans’ wreaths on their headstones and remembering them, by saying each name out loud. A wonderful effort!

Speaking of our veterans, here’s the latest edition of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs newsletter.  It just came over and there is some interesting content in there.

As of Friday, Garrett County’s total positive COVID-19 cases stand at 1,324, with a total of 30 deaths, an increase of 32 cases and 2 deaths since the last report on Wednesday, December 16th. Garrett County is currently above the state average for COVID-19 statistics: 7-day positivity rate among Garrett County residents is 12.8% (Maryland rate is 7.8%); 7-day case rate per 100,000 among Garrett County residents is 73.4 (Maryland rate is 42.8).

In case you missed it or are out of state, Governor Hogan late last week announced new testing and quarantine requirements for travel, and a new public health advisory to limit gatherings, citing data from contact tracing that shows family and other social gatherings and out-of-state travel lead to the most cases and the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19. The new measures include:

  • Expanded Testing and Quarantine Requirements for Travel: The Governor’s emergency order requires Marylanders to limit travel to essential purposes only and requires anyone who travels outside of Maryland, or anyone who travels into Maryland, to either obtain a negative COVID-19 test result or self-quarantine for 10 days. (Except for the bordering state of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, DC).
  • Public Health Advisory: Maryland Department of Health issued a public health advisory warning against non-essential activities and holiday gatherings with people outside one’s immediate household, limiting gatherings of more than 10 people.

Looking for holiday fare to watch this season? Well, Maryland Public Television has some good content for you and your family. Check out MPT’s holiday fare for some good, clean holiday programming. There’s plenty to stream from our video player and apps! From classic Christmas carols, how to make a delicious seasonal feast, who we have to thank for Christmas lights, and more. Whether naughty or nice, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy!

I am wishing all of our readers a great Monday and a safe, happy and healthy rest of the week and beyond.  Talk to you all tomorrow…

 

 

Friday December 18, Saturday December 19, Sunday December 20

The weather today will be patchy fog between 11am and 2pm and areas of freezing fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 28 and a low around 18. Saturday will be partly sunny with a high near 38 and a low around 27. Calm wind. Sunday will be a chance of snow showers before 2pm, then a chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38 and a low around 30.

FRESH LEBANESE FOOD DELIVERY! Make sure to place your order with Lebanese Taverna today and pick-up tomorrow, Saturday, at 3pm.

What’s New Around Town?

Where Am I? gift card contest

The Garrett County Health Department has a few initiatives … in 2021, kick the nicotine habit! Also, there is a new moms and babies case management program that was recently launched.

Go! Garrett County supports local businesses and community resources by offering participation points for watching videos from locals and reading articles that help citizens take good care of ourselves, our families, and our neighbors. To start earning great rewards, while learning about resources, services, and activities in Garrett County, register for a FREE account at gogarrettcounty.com/register.

You can win with First United Bank & Trust. Have you seen their promotion to celebrate their 120th anniversary? They are giving away 120 prizes! The top two cash prizes are valued at $1,900 and $2,020; representing the year First United began and the year they turned 120. An additional 118 prizes will be award as well, each with a cash value of $120.

Garrett College has announced plans to continue with multiple course modalities this spring.

Santa will be showing up in Downtown Oakland tomorrow, Saturday, from 12pm-2pm. It will be a free, contactless experience!

The last winter Farmer’s Market of the year is also tomorrow. REMEMBER it’s from 11am – 1pm at the Simon Pearce Building at 255 Glass Drive in Mountain Lake Park.

Enjoy the snow today dear readers! I’m going to try to get out and cross country ski today!

Thursday December 17

The weather today will be cloudy with a slight chance of snow showers; high near 30 and a low around 23. West wind around 8 mph.

Wednesday’s snowstorm left us with a lot of the pretty white snow but, at least in my neck of the woods, we “only” received about 8″ to 10″ of accumulation.

Send us your photos and snow accumulation totals!

Forecasters say the snowfall that has piled up and ended the snow drought in many areas of the Northeast will be in no hurry to melt away as more cold days than not are likely to persist into Christmas Day.

Testing at the Garrett County Community COVID-19 testing site at the MEDCO building at the McHenry Business Park is canceled for Thursday, December 17th due to inclement weather and safety concerns. Persons who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms may call 301-334-7697 to schedule a test at the Garrett County Health Department office in Oakland. The next COVID-19 testing event at the McHenry site will be on Tuesday, December 22nd from 9 am – 12:30 pm.  Please visit garretthealth.org for additional testing information.

What’s New Around Town? Elite Appalachian Development is a training service focused on improving the overall performance and athleticism of Youth Athletes. Individual and group training services will be offered at a new centrally-located spot! Message Logan and tell him Deep Creek Times sent you!

The Board of Directors of County United Way unanimously appointed Michele Walker as interim executive director of the organization earlier this week. Walker has been with County United Way since 1997.

A panel discussion will be broadcast on Friday, December 18, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. to answer frequently asked questions on the local response related to COVID-19. The event will be the broadcast of a recorded session on the Garrett County Government’s Facebook page.

Garrett County leads the state in 7-day positive rate with 15.3% compared to the state rate of 7.5%. The county 7-day case rate per 100,000 is 71.4 compared to the state rate of 45.8. The total positives COVID-19 tests for Garrett County residents is 1,292, with 52 news cases being added since the last report on Monday, December 14th. The total county deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications is now 28, an increase of 8. The age range of the 28 local deaths is from 59 to 99.

Wednesday December 16

We are under a Winter Storm Warning today! We will have snow, mainly after 10:00 am. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 25. East wind 8 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible. This evening we will have more snow, mainly before 1:00 am. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 22. East wind 5 to 7 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.

Early Care Programs at the Garrett County Health Department has a new case management service designed to help woman who are at risk for substance use disorder or opioid use disorder. Healthy Moms and Babies Case Management is a free service that helps connect clients to valuable resources. The program is available to mothers and women of child-bearing age who either are at risk for, or have a history of substance use disorder or opioid use disorder. Assistance can extend to the client’s families, children, and caregivers.

Don’t forget about the 2020 Deep Creek Times December Dash! A little more fun to encourage our readers to stay active, enjoy our natural resources, and stay energized while social distancing through the holiday season! You can get your t-shirt (short or long-sleeve) here! The shirt is $22 and we will again be making a donation from a percentage of the “profits.” This time, we’ll be supporting HART for Animals. We appreciate your ongoing support — please message us if you have any questions!

Don’t forget to check out the Christmas light display this evening at the Armory in downtown Oakland or at Broadford Park.  A great way to generate some traditional holiday experiences during these interesting times. Note that the Armory light show is free and the Broadford show costs $10, which goes to help local organizations, including Southern Garrett High School.

An interesting new store is opening-up at the Fort in McHenry on Thursday.  Here’s a link to A Mountain Fix, which will offer a mix of gifts, watches and jewelry, etc.  Tell them Deep Creek Times sent you!

A panel discussion will be broadcast on Friday, December 18, 2020, at 9:00 am to answer frequently asked questions on the local response related to COVID-19.  Leaders from Garrett County Government, Garrett County Health Department, Garrett County Public Schools, Garrett County Sheriff’s Department, Maryland State Police, Garrett County Emergency Management and Garrett Regional Medical Center will respond to frequently asked questions via a pre-recorded session. Leaders will also share their respective organization’s plans for the continued management of the COVID-19 response.

Lebanese Taverna is coming into town again to deliver their wonderful Lebaese cuisine all the way from the Washington DC area.  They will be delivering the food outside Taylor-Made this Saturday @ 3:00 pm.  Not sure of order deadline but I would get your order in before Friday for sure and we will post any new information when we get it. Here’s a link to their menu and order form.  Go there to verify all details.

Tuesday December 15

Yesterday was a nice, snowy day that created some really beautiful landscapes.  Today we can expect it to be partly sunny, with a high near 31 degrees and calm. Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. East wind 3 to 8 mph.

Here’s a photo of my yard yesterday afternoon to give folks not at the lake an idea of the snow.

mike yard 12-14-20

After the Snow

Winter storm watches and advisories have been issued across the Northeast for what is shaping up to be the most significant winter storm in several years. Even with travel being limited amid the coronavirus pandemic, the storm, which has yet to fully take shape, could potentially become highly impactful and disruptive as the first round of coronavirus vaccines continue to be shipped around the country. Check it out here. Hint: Garrett County is in the “heavy snow” band!

Garrett County’s current total positives for COVID-19 is at 1,240, with the addition of 50 news cases since the Garrett County Health Department’s last report on Friday, December11th. Total county deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications is now 20, an increase of 6. The age range of the local deaths is from 61 to 99.

The current comparison of Garrett County to state COVID-19 numbers is as follows: 7-day positivity rate among Garrett County residents is 15.7% (Maryland rate is 7.5%); 7-day case rate per 100,000 among Garrett County residents is 87.2 (Maryland rate is 46.4)

There has been some uncertainty among members of the public surrounding the news of the vaccine rollout; however, the Maryland State Department of Health is well-aware of our local situation in Garrett County. The Board of Garrett County Commissioners has been working with our local delegation and has reached out directly to the Governor’s office. Here’s the full, updated press release for you.

GLAF just announced a great virtual concert available to all. The Maryland Symphony Orchestra will present a virtual “Home for the Holidays” concert free of charge to the community on December 20th at 3:00 pm.  Here’s the scoop and sign-up information.  The Maryland Symphony Orchestra always does a great job when they come out to Garrett County, so I expect this will be another great show.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Forest Conservancy District Boards invite all Maryland fifth-graders in private and public schools to participate in the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest.  The theme for 2021 is: “Trees are Terrific…and Forest Products are Too!” The top three winning artists will receive tree plantings at their schools.

The County Commissioners have announced their next public meeting agenda for the meeting to be on Monday, December 22nd.  The agenda includes a section on a COVID-19 update from Health Commissioner Bob Stephens.

 

 

 

 

Monday December 14

Yesterday was overcast and a bit rainy.  Today we are under a winter weather advisory and look to have snow, mainly before 1:00 pm with a high near 34 degrees. Light west wind increasing to 9 to 14 mph in the morning with wind gusts as high as 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible. Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low around 19. Northwest wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Here’s a photo of my front yard this morning:

snow mike 12-14-20

Morning Snow

According to AccuWeather, we could also be facing a major snow and ice storm later in the week.  Details still need to be developed, but here’s the link for the latest scoop.

Had a great meal and overall experience at the lake’s new Firewater Kitchen and Bar the other day.  It looks like local super-entrepreneur Brenda McDonnel and her team have another hit to their credit.  The decor is great, the food (I had seafood stew) was wonderful and the drinks were fine.  Check it out on the water behind  Ace’s Run.

Speaking of the hospitality industry, Alpine Lake Resort in nearby Terra Alta, WV – about 15 minutes south of Oakland – is looking for a new General Manager.  Alpine Lake is a great place with golf, a restaurant, hiking trails, hotel, lodge, indoor pool and a nice lake. This could be a great opportunity for the right local or not-so-local looking to move to the beauty and serenity of the mountains.

On a negative note, we heard local long-time DJ at WKHJ, Jim Shaffer, has left the station as he continues a long health battle. He is a good fellow and integral part of our community and we wish him the very best.

The Garrett County Department of Solid Waste & Recycling announces that the 2021 Residential Refuse Permits are available for an annual $75 fee. The 2020 permits will expire on December 31, 2020 and the 2021 permits will be valid from the date of purchase through the end of 2021.

The Garrett County Health Department received 60 additional positive COVID-19 results since the last report on Wednesday, December 9th, bringing the current county total positives to 1,190 as of Friday. The current comparison of Garrett County to state numbers is as follows: 7-day positivity rate among Garrett County residents is 17.8% (Maryland rate is 7.5%); 7-day case rate per 100,000 among Garrett County residents is 108.8 (Maryland rate is 48.3).

Remember that the Garrett County Health Department, with the help of local partners and volunteers, is conducting free COVID-19 testing on Tuesdays (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and Thursdays (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), at the MEDCO Building in the McHenry Business Park, located off Bumble Bee Road between Hart for Animals and the Garrett County Airport. There is no out-of-pocket cost to get a test at this site, and appointments and doctors’ orders are not required. Be prepared for a possible wait.

Send us your ideas and content!  As you know, we publish a new edition of Deep Creek Times every month.  With the new edition comes a new Cover Story, which deals with a variety of topics over a given 12 month period, including local attractions, issues, people, locations, or simply musings on topics we deem noteworthy.  Well, we want to hear from you on any suggested lake-related topics you would find interesting.  We would also consider publishing, as we do from time to time, a guest Cover Story from you or your organization.  Think about it and let us know any thoughts at info@deepcreektimes.com .  Thanks!

Have a great Monday and week dear readers…

 

 

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Friday December 11, Saturday December 12, Sunday December 13

The weather today will be sunny with a high near 58 and a low around 37. Saturday will be a chance of showers, mainly after 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 55 and low around 38. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 43 and a low around 30. A slight chance of showers before 1pm. West wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

AccuWeather meteorologists are alerting snow lovers and those hoping for a white Christmas about the potential for a possible snowstorm in the Northeast around the middle of December. The storm is far from set in stone, but forecasters are recognizing some early signals that a storm could come together and tap enough cold air to produce snow across part of the region during the middle of next week (Wednesday – Thursday).

I know I could use a nice snow… fingers crossed! 🙂

My husband Ken, Mike, and I were able to enjoy a preview of the new Firewater Kitchen & Bar last night! They will be open today at 4pm for reservations. Please email reservations@firewaterkitchen.com and try it out. Note: all mask and social distancing mandates are followed.

The Great Christmas Light Fight premiers on ABC tonight. This season features Allegany County resident, Scott Pennington, and his annual Christmas light display. This year’s display “A Haunted Christmas.” can be visited at 11417 Kreighbaum Road NW, Corriganville, MD 21524.

Two weeks after Thanksgiving, Maryland reported the highest number of COVID-19 deaths at 49.

Locally, the Garrett County Health Department received 86 additional positive COVID-19 results on Wednesday, December 10 bringing the current county total positives to 1,130. The Health Department was also notified of the death of 5 county residents which brings the total county deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications to 14.

The health department reports the updated numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays so we can expect another update after publishing these Daily Notes morning.

The Northern High School Thespian Society will be presenting its second virtual play this year, “Christmas Sprinkles“, on Friday, December 11, 2020, at 7:00 PM. Please email Ms. Jennifer Virts at jennifer.virts@garrettcountyschools.org

Don’t forget to cast your vote in the Festival of Trees virtual tree decorating contest! Visit FOTGC Voting to find out more! Also, the Christmas Light Display and Broadford Park Drive-Thru Lights will put you in the holiday spirit this weekend!

We’re happy to share that we were able to donate nearly $100 for the House of Hope through the sale of our Turkey Day 5k t-shirts! Thank you, thank you, thank you, dear readers!

Also, today, we announce the 2020 DCT December Dash! We encourage our readers to stay active, enjoy our natural resources, and stay energized while social distancing through the holiday season! You can get your t-shirt (short or long-sleeve) here! The shirt is $22 and we will again be making a donation from a percentage of the profits. This time, we’ll be supporting HART for Animals. We appreciate your ongoing support — please message us if you have any questions!