Monday January 25

Today is a rather complex, mixed forecast.  Here goes: Areas of rain or freezing rain before 1:00 pm, then a chance of rain and snow between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm, then rain after 2:00 pm. High near 35 degrees. Little or no ice accumulation expected. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Tonight, sleet, possibly mixed with snow before 10:00 pm, then freezing rain, possibly mixed with sleet between 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm, then freezing rain after 11:00 pm. New ice accumulation of 0.2 to 0.4 of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of less than one inch possible. Got all that?

For those of you traveling, or out-of-town, here’s a more holistic view of the upcoming weather systems from our friends at AccuWeather. Be safe no matter where you are or where you are going…

Today and tomorrow, the Maryland State Board of Education will meet virtually. On both days, Board members and presenters will participate in the virtual meeting, and members of the public will be able to hear the audio and see presentations in real-time via live stream. Live streams, agendas, and meeting materials can be accessed online. Here’s the scoop folks.

The Deep Creek Lake Policy Review Board will hold its first meeting for 2021 this afternoon at 4:00 pm. Public Attendance is virtual only and here’s the information you need to connect, courtesy of the Property Owners’ Association of Deep creek Lake.

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) announced Friday the launch of a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) program of study in partnership with Apple that will teach students mobile applications and software development beginning next school year. The Mobile Applications and Software Development Program starts by teaching students how to use the Swift programming language. Swift is used to program macOS, iOS, watchOS, tvOS and other devices. This is really good news on a number of fronts, mobile computing is and will remain a very hot career field.  Good job MSDE!

The supply of COVID-19 vaccine allocated to Garrett County continues to be limited, and as such, appointment links are no longer active on the Garrett County Health Department’s website because all doses received have been scheduled. Progression through the various vaccination levels will depend on how quickly the state gets additional doses to the county.  Here’s a visual for your reference:

md vax slide 1-22-21

Garrett County Vax Schedule

Have a wonderful Monday dear readers and stay safe, happy and healthy…

Friday January 22, Saturday January 23, Sunday January 24

The weather today will be scattered snow showers, mainly after 10am. Otherwise mostly cloudy with a high near 29 and a low around 13. West wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high near 22 and a low of 11. Wind chill values as low as zero. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 33 and a low of 26. A slight chance of snow after 1pm.

The Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens announced that the Maryland National Guard will assist Garrett County with the local COVID-19 response. The primary task of the guard is to administer the regular COVID-19 testing sites while the Health Department staff focuses on vaccination distribution. “The public may see military vehicles and members of the guard in Garrett County. This is to help the local Health Department with their workload,” said Stephens. “The local and state coordination is key to consistent testing efforts and an effective vaccine rollout.”

St. Peter the Apostle Church has a Chemo Cap project: WVU and other hospitals are requesting the church make more knit caps. If you are in need of yarn (or more details), stop by the church office between 8am & 4pm. Monday to Thursday or call 301-334-2202.

GLAF Sofa Series begins tomorrow. This virtual format is new and the first performance will be “As You Like It”, one of Shakespeare’s comedies; a female-driven story combining classic elements of romance and hidden identities.

The Maryland Heritage Area Authority is holding informational webinars for the FY22 grant round. This round will begin on Jan. 29, 2021 with the Intent To Apply. For additional information click the following links. Live WebinarsEarly Bird Webinars or Full Details.

You’ve probably seen the Bernie Sanders meme popping up in a lot of places with his “100%-Dad” outfit of a simple coat and mittens but here he is at Deep Creek from the Honi-Honi.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the state’s first Primitive Deer Hunt will be open Feb. 1-3, 2021 statewide. Hunters with a valid hunting license may use primitive bows or muzzleloaders to hunt sika and white-tailed deer during these days. Primitive hunting devices are defined as long bows, recurve bows, flintlock, or sidelock percussion muzzleloaders. More info here.

MD DNR also noted winter turkey season runs statewide from January 21-23 for hunters who did not harvest a turkey during the 2020 fall season.

As I mentioned in Notes yesterday, the winning Powerball ticket was sold in neighboring Allegany County, Maryland. Their promotions department was right on it and released a list of “10 Reasons We Hit the Jackpot in Mountain Maryland“.

I may be a little presumptuous but I’ll add to that article with “10 MORE Deep Creek Lake & Garrett County-Specific Reasons We Hit The Jackpot in Mountain Maryland

  1. Lakes! (Deep Creek Lake, Broadford Lake, Jennings Randolph Lake, Herrington Manor Lake, Youghiogheny River Lake, and more!)
  2. Skilled Craftsmen, Craftswomen, and Artisans
  3. 10 of the Top Maryland State Parks
  4. So Many (Helpful and Needed) Non-Profit Organizations
  5. Starry Night Skies
  6. Hiking, Biking, and Climbing Network of Trails
  7. Four Distinct Seasons
  8. Black Bears and other Wildlife
  9. Significant Annual Snowfall
  10. The Very Best People in the World

Don’t forget to check out our Deep Creek Lake, MD area guide featuring seasonal activities and local business information!

 

Thursday January 21

The weather today will be partly sunny with a high near 36 and a low around 24. West wind 10 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.

Congratulations to 46th President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Of course, the news is that the two were sworn into office yesterday in Washington, DC.

The winning ticket for Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot for $731.1 million was sold in neighboring Allegany County, Maryland. Congrats!

Our friend Dave Tungate’s son, Max, made this miniature snowman at Deep Creek:

It has been pretty amazing to live in this winter wonderland lately. According to Wisp Resort, the total snowfall for the season so far is 58 inches.

Current statistics for Garrett County COVID-19-related include:

  • A total of 1,737 COVID-19 cases
  • A total of 56 deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications
Our friend Annie, of ABPH Art, shared this story: “Not long after I delivered the first batch of coats (donated to the Highland Thrift Shop) Regina Holiday started gifting me with stories. A gentleman came and got a coat who had not had a winter coat in FOUR YEARS. A very poor family, three generations of women with multiple medical conditions picked up five coats. One is cold all the time so she took the heaviest one to wear in the house. When I finished crying I asked if I should spend more of the money on coats. The answer was yes. So I sat down and ordered 20 more coats. (If you want to see what winter is like here I just posted a video in my story.) Today I delivered the last of them along with a little over $1000 worth of non-perishable food. Thank you for being the light.
86 new coats. 5 gently used coats. $1000 worth of non-perishable food. 125 people. $6380.”

Wednesday January 20

We got some white stuff over night. The forecast for today calls for snow showers, mainly before 1:00 pm, with a high near 25 degrees. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low around 18. Southwest wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.
Here’s a photo submitted by reader Dan Cullather of his front yard at the lake.  The photo, taken the other day, definitely captures the cold.  Nice work and thanks for sharing Dan.
dan callauther front yard 1-19-21

Brrrr…

Very Good News: It appears that the Luke Mill in nearby Westernport, owned by Verso Corp., and which closed down in May of 2019, may be close to being sold to a new organization.  In addition to a couple of hundred new jobs, the new enterprise will really help the local economy and citizens, as well as the regional logging industry.  That’s a great way to start the new year. We’ll let you know more details when they are available and confirmed.

The Garrett County Health Department’s Just Like You! Program reminds all adults that youth are always watching what you do. “Remember, it’s not just toddlers who follow our examples,” said Linda Costello, Prevention Specialist at the Garrett County Health Department. “Never increase your dose, or share your prescriptions with someone else.” 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.

Garrett College has a great program coming in February –  All In: Business Plan Writing Series and Power of Possibilities Competition. If you or someone you know is considering starting their own business, or have a pursuable idea, but are unsure of how or where to start, this is a great opportunity. Participants will be provided with various mentors and receive viable business coaching from start to finish in creating a business plan.

Speaking of Garrett College, the college just announced their December graduates. We offer our congratulations to all of them.  I especially want to give a shout-out to one of my former students – Sandy Fazenbaker, of Grantsville – as she persevered to complete her degree as a non-traditional student.  Sandy is an entrepreneur (who went through Power of Possibilities, see above) and who owns The Rooster’s Nest restaurant in Grantsville and deserves a hearty “congratulations” if you happen to visit her business or see her around town.

As the Deep Creek Lake area real estate market remains “hot” during these cold winter months, creating curb appeal is important and can increase the value of a home by as much as 17 percent. But it can be challenging to achieve great curb appeal in the cold weather months. Here is a checklist from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association, that I thought readers would find of value. This list can help sellers create a good first impression, even when the temperatures drop.

•    FOCUS ON SAFETY – Make sure buyers can safely get into your home by keeping the walkways, stairs and driveway clear of snow, ice and wet, slippery leaves. Your snow thrower can clear away snow.

•    SHOWCASE WINTER PLANTS – Utilize evergreen and cold weather plants like holly, pansies and witch hazel in patio pots and flower beds to add life to the landscape. A live wintergreen wreath is also a nice touch.

•    GIVE THE LAWN SOME LOVE – Keep leaves and debris cleared off the lawn. A carpet of dormant grass gives a better impression than dead leaves and twigs. It also hints of what is to come in the spring!

•    CLEAN GUTTERS – Clean gutters and downspouts signal to potential buyers that your home is well-maintained.

•    UTILIZE OUTDOOR LIGHTING – Showcase your home on short, grey days with strategically placed outdoor lighting to light up the driveway, pathways and front porch.

•    PRUNE SHRUBS & TREES – Don’t wait until an ice or snowstorm hits to tend to the trees in your yard. Prune your plants, trees and shrubs now for a tidy look that will also keep branches from snapping off due to snow and ice. Your pole pruner or chainsaw can help remove any damaged limbs.

•    ORGANIZE THE GARAGE – Store your outdoor power equipment neatly in the garage, declutter the space and give it a good clean. A tidy garage looks bigger and more inviting.

•    ADD BIRDFEEDERS – Create a natural, serene scene (and support pollinators at the same time) by installing a bird feeder or bird garden. A blue jay or cardinal makes a striking image against a winter scene.

As is usual, Sarah will be taking over Notes for the rest of the week.  Please have a safe, happy and healthy rest of the week and “talk” again on Monday…

Tuesday January 19

The weather for today includes a chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33 degrees. West wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Tonight, snow showers, mainly after 1:00 am. Low around 20. West wind 13 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Here’s a really nice sunrise photo from a few days ago to start your day.  Thanks go out to reader Chris Mathieson for the submission.

sunrise chip mathieson 1-16-21

Sunrise!

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has issued a request for citizen comment on nuisance species and other issues by February 16th.  Here’s the link for infornmation you need. Regulatory proposals for the topics listed below have been printed in the Maryland Register. The department is seeking comments to provide additional information and perspectives.

Here’s a link to DNR’s online page listing changes to fishing regulations.  It covers freshwater and saltwater fish.

Sadly, Covid-19 has killed at least 397,600 people and infected about 23.9 million in the United States since last January, according to data by Johns Hopkins University as of yesterday morning.  Here’s a link to an interesting graphic that shows moving averages for infections across the country.  

Just a reminder: Garrett County will open up vaccination appointments for all residents who are age 75 and older as soon as the next shipment of vaccine is received this week. A registration link will be posted on the Health Department’s website, garretthealth.org, as soon as the vaccine has been received and appointments slots are made available.

Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of Maryland households, from Baltimore City to rural communities, lack regular subscriptions to broadband internet service, making it difficult for those households to take part in the digital economy, attend virtual school or take advantage of online resources, a new report finds. The report states that 178,000 households in rural Maryland do not have wireline broadband subscriptions at home.

Due to the pandemic, there are many changes in the Maryland General Assembly this year to protect elected officials, staff and the public. Please take advantage of new video tutorials on the MGA website should you be attending in the near future. Note also that all committee hearings and voting sessions will be live streamed for pubic view.

Here’s a little factoid for you: After 3.5 dormant years, the tallest geyser in the world, Steamboat, in Yellowstone National Park has reactivated.  At full force, the geyser can exceed 377 feet in height (about 35 stories) and launch about 538 cubic meters of water into the air, sounding like a jet engine when it does so. While there are only about 1,000 known geysers in the world, I think it would be great if the Deep Creek Lake area had one. Just one more natural attraction for locals and visitors to enjoy.

Monday January 18

We had a very nice, snowy weekend, starting with some beautiful, fluffy snow Friday and into Saturday.  Combined with the MLK holiday weekend, the lake-area was abuzz. I heard that WISP was basically fully booked for skiing and tubing over the weekend, as many rentals were also filled. Here’s a photo I took Saturday after the first round of snow to give out-of-town readers an idea. We had more snow Sunday evening as well.  DCL is a winter wonderland…

mike tumbarello snow 1-16-21

Saturday’s Snow

Today, snow showers are likely, mainly before 1:00 pm. Cloudy, with a high near 27 degrees, with a west wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Tonight we have a a chance of snow showers, Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. West wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

Friday, Maryland State Department of Education Superintendent Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D. announced $781 million in additional funding to assist Maryland schools and students recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, allocated through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, provides grant awards directly to local school systems to assist in reopening classrooms, assess and address learning loss, provide targeted tutoring and other initiatives to help alleviate the impacts of the pandemic. Garrett County schools will receive $3,986,847!  That should really help.

Alpine Lake Resort, just south of Oakland in Terra Alta, West Virginia, has a new off-season menu with some compelling specials.  As we all get a bit tired of isolating, Alpine might be a good alternative for something a little different.  They have trails open around the resort and, you can’t beat their mountain views from their restaurant.  Check for hours (only open for dinner, Wednesday – Saturday,during the off season)

Here’s some interesting factoids on vaction preferences that are being impacted by the current pandemic.  I think these all bode well for Deep Creek Lake area: TripAdvisor says more than 50% of its consumers are more likely to take a nature trip than they were before the pandemic. Booking.com’s data shows that 56% of its travelers are searching for “off-the-beaten-track escapes”. Pitchup.com, a lodges, cabins, and campsites booking engine, reports that reservations for 2021 are more than six times higher than last year.

The Garrett County Health Department announced that 6.507% of our citizens have received the first dose of the vaccine.  I believe that is the highest percentage in the state.  The hospital occupancy at GRMC is 61%, and the county has 1,716 confirmed positive test results (local cases) and 56 deaths to-date.

To wrap things up for today, here’s a great photo submitted by Eric Williams. I think it visually captures the cold temperature at the lake.  Thanks for sharing Eric.

eric williams 1-16-21

Deep Creek Morning

Have a great Monday dear readers…

 

 

 

Friday January 15, Saturday January 16, Sunday January 17

The weather today will be rain and snow showers. Areas of fog after 4pm. High near 39 low around 24. Southeast wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible and nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Saturday showers likely, mainly after 10am. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 31 and a low around 25. New snow accumulation of around an inch to three possible. Sunday is a chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 32 and a low around 24.

What an amazing sunrise this morning! Thanks to Linda Dostie Kelly for sharing!

 

Governor Hogan has announced that Maryland is to speed up vaccine rollout, with people 65 and older, and teachers eligible within the next two weeks. The state will move into Phase 1B of its vaccination plan on Monday. And the state would then open up the eligibility one week later, on Jan. 25, to Phase 1C.

Nearby Alpine Lake Resort has announced a new menu and daily specials! Thursdays are Family Night, Fridays are AYCE fish dinners and Saturdays are rib nights.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources crews stocked 8,900 trout; 5,000 of those rainbow trout at Deep Creek Lake.

What’s New Around Town? COMING SOON! The Pub.

The Ruth Enlow Library is hiring a Branch Manager, also in Friendsville.

The Maryland State Police is proud to announce the 100th anniversary of its founding as a statewide, full-service law enforcement department. The idea was born of necessity.  The dawn of the 1920’s brought a perplexing problem to the office of Maryland Governor Albert Ritchie.  The advent of the automobile was providing criminals with the means to expand their criminal enterprises and the ability to quickly flee their crime scenes and travel out of the area to avoid detection and arrest.

Thursday January 14

The weather today will be cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 41 and a low around 29. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Remember that donation for winter coats… and raffle for an awesome piece of art last week? Well! Here are the results!

Remember to register for Garrett Chamber’s webinar on the coronavirus relief legislation. Happening on January 15 at 9am. The webinar is free to attend but you must register by 3:00 p.m. on January 14 to receive the link.

As of yesterday, the percentage of Garrett Countians who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 was 5% of the population which is the highest in the State.

The Garrett County Health Department continues to follow the Maryland COVID-19 vaccination plan priority groups. Persons age 75 and older remain in Priority Group 1B, and persons age 65-74 remain in Priority Group 1C. Governor Hogan announced yesterday that he did not plan to change these group designations.

  • 1,647 COVID-19 cases
  • 56 deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications
  • 7-day case rate of 53.7 per 100,000 Garrett County residents
  • 7-day positivity rate of 13.8%

Tonight! Khadijah Queen and Justin Phillip Reed read from and talk about their poetry. This virtual event from the Ruth Enlow Library begins is from 7pm-8pm.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://marylandlibraries.zoom.us/j/95917461558?pwd=UmFVREY0cGJPdVprZHZQblhGb1Nodz09
Passcode: 912249

Wednesday January 13

Yesterday was a bit cool, but nice and sunny.  Today will be partly sunny, with a high near 41 degrees. West wind 8 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. Southwest wind 6 to 8 mph, with gusts as high as 19 mph.

Spoke to Brenda at Firewater (her new place on the lake behind Ace’s) yesterday and she said they had been closed for a few days due to a COVID-scare. They will be open again starting this evening.  I love their cocktails and food…

Katarina Knezevic and her friends visited Deep Creek Lake in November and to quote her, “fell in love” with the area.  Here’s a photo she sent that shows the vastness (and beauty) of the Deep Creek Lake area.  Nice photo and thanks for sharing with us Katerina.  We look forward to you and your friends returning in the future.

Katarina Knezevic 1-12-21

November View of the Mountains

The Governor announced yesterday that two cases of the more contagious COVID-19 variant have been confirmed in the State. As of yesterday, the Garrett County health Department had reported a total of 1,634 confirmed cases among County residents, 54 deaths, a 15% 7-day positivity rate and a 7-day case-rate of 53.2 per 100,000.

Here’s something for your consideration.  I know lots of readers are looking for something cost-effective and different to do during their stay at home sequester, so here goes: There’s a panel on January 19th to help attendees explore their “roots.”  This online workshop features a panel of experienced Maryland genealogists who will give tips on how to get started with your family research and will provide an overview of both online genealogy sites and Maryland-specific resources. The panel will discuss the importance of DNA as a tool and will highlight African American research. Learn more about the panel here. 

FYI, we heard that In an effort to enhance customer service capabilities at a time of increased demand, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) will offer extended hours at all E-ZPass® Maryland Customer Service Centers (CSCs) beginning Saturday, January 16. Under these temporary extended hours – which will be in place until further notice – E-ZPass Customer Service Centers will add Saturday service hours from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and will expand Thursday hours from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

We received a save-the-date message from the Community Development Network of Maryland. This year’s Community Development Day in Annapolis takes place online from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm on February 17th. You can attend and talk to your representatives. There will be a nice program including the opportunity to meet with legislators from both the Maryland Senate and House.  We’ll share more when in formation becomes available.

A recent study by Spanning (using US Bureau of Labor Statistics, see the link for methodology) found that out of all U.S. states, Maryland has the 3rd most computer and math jobs per capita (only DC and Virginia ranked higher). That doesn’t surprise me based on the concentration of those-type jobs around the Baltimore-DC area.  I sure wish we had more of those good-paying jobs up here in Garrett County!  Here’s a summary of the findings from the research:

Out of all U.S. states, Maryland has the 3rd most computer and math jobs per capita.

  • Share of employment in computer & math occupations: 4.9%
  • Total employment in computer & math occupations: 133,600
  • Median annual wage for computer & math occupations: $99,750
  • Median annual wage for all occupations: $45,970
  • Computer & math wage premium: +117.0%

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

  • Share of employment in computer & math occupations: 3.1%
  • Total employment in computer & math occupations: 4,552,880
  • Median annual wage for computer & math occupations: $88,340
  • Median annual wage for all occupations: $39,810
  • Computer & math wage premium: +121.9%

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Spanning’s website: https://spanning.com/resources/industry-research/cities-with-most-technology-jobs-per-capita/

 

Tuesday January 12

Today will be mostly sunny, with a high near 36 degrees. West wind 7 to 9 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Tonight we can expect partly cloudy, with a low around 24 and with a west wind 7 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

Here’s a wonderful photo of a recent sunrise at the lake, as submitted by one of our readers.  My three year old grandson took a peek at my laptop as I loaded this and said, “wow fire.”  It’s not fire, just the winter sun come alive one recent morning.  Stunning sun and note the thin ice cover on the lake. Thanks for the wonderful submission.

Jan sunrise t wilterson

Winter Sunrise

Here’s an update on that polar vortex I mentioned in yesterday’s Notes.  Expect much colder weather throughout the East later in the week.

Oh, and what the heck exactly is a polar vortex you ask?  Here’s the scoop according to AccuWeather. Now you know…

And, speaking of weather, here’s a photo of a “sunbow?” (with no rain) as recently taken and submitted by reader Mary Freese.  Interesting composition and I am not sure what part of the effect is the atmosphere (perhaps ice crystals?) and what part is due to the lens, etc. of the camera.  Anyway, a neat photo on a number of fronts.  Thanks for sharing Mary!

sun bow mary freese 1-9-21

Winter “Sunbow”

The County Commissioners have announced the agenda for their next public meeting which will be held starting at 4:00 pm on January 19th.  The meeting will be held virtually.

The Maryland State Board of Education continues to seek public input to help identify characteristics and develop a leadership profile for the next Maryland State Superintendent of Schools. According to a recent communication, members of the public are invited to:

Based on the past few months on the national scene, especially this past week, and NOT with any political position/agenda at all, I offer the following to remind all that we are all in this together and very blessed to live in the greatest nation in the world.  I am hoping, and in fact confident, that we are making progress to get over this pandemic and that we will all come together again as the great nation we are.

american flag clip art

America

 

Monday January 11

We had a nice, sunny weekend.  Today we can expect to be partly sunny, with a high near 37 degrees and a west wind 5 to 9 mph. Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. West wind around 8 mph.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), winter weather kills more than twice as many Americans as summer heat. Since readers may want to go outside and get out of “isolation” during the pandemic, I wanted to share that insight from AccuWeather since their forecasters say signs are pointing toward cold air outbreaks that will begin during the third week of January. Check out the scoop here.

NeuBeam is pleased to announce the opening of its new Garrett County headquarters office in Oakland, Maryland. NeuBeam delivers affordable, high quality Internet services to Garrett County, helping customers “connect to what matters.” The new office is located at 89 Pleasant Hill Drive, Unit 1B in Oakland, and it will create a full-service facility staffed with local sales, service, technical support and operational personnel responsible for the Garrett County market area.

New NeuBeam Office in Oakland

New NeuBeam Office in Oakland

Maryland has updated their COVID-19 vaccine priority groups and added a 1C group. Currently, Maryland is in stage 1A for vaccine distribution. The 1C group includes thos 65 – 74 years of age and essential workers in laboratory services, agriculture, manufacturing, mail delivery, etc.

As of Friday, COVID-19 statistics for Garrett County include: A total of 1,584 COVID-19 cases; A total of 52 deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications; A 7-day case rate of 51.7 per 100,000 Garrett County residents, compared to Maryland’s case rate of 45.4; A 7-day positivity rate of 15.4%, compared to Maryland’s rate of 9.2%

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources received more than 14,500 responses to a survey sent via email to people who access Maryland’s public lands and waters.  They also estimate that over 16,000 hikers came out to Maryland State parks for the “first day” hikes early this month.  Get more details on those factoids and more from the Januray DNR newsletter here.

This past Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the enabling legislation being signed that created the C&O Canal National Historical Park. This achievement marked the culmination of years of effort from people who loved the C&O Canal to preserve and protect it in perpetuity. I know lots of folks that hike, bike and/or camp along the canal’s 180+ miles.  Check this out for more info on the 50th anniversary and related.  Congratulations to all involved.

Hey there entrepreneurs, the Tri-County Council for Western Maryland (TCCWMD) is offering businesses located in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties low interest financing through Summit Financing Solutions Revolving Loan Fund Program. You can apply now through January 31st, or while funds remain available! Interest rates are as low as 0% for the first 12 months, with loan amounts ranging from $10,000 to $500,000. Contact Chris Funk, Business Development Loan Officer, at 301.689.1300 or cfunk@tccwmd.org.

Have a great Monday dear readers and talk to you again tomorrow…

Mike

 

Friday January 8, Saturday January 9, Sunday January 10

The weather today will be mostly cloudy with a high near 36 and a low around 20. Light and variable wind. Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high near 31 and a low around 21. West wind around 8 mph. Sunday will be sunny with a high near 36 and a low around 21. West wind around 6 mph.

Looks like Mike is getting what he asked for this weekend (…finally, some sun)!

Make your guess in the monthly “Where Am I?” contest — a big congratulations goes out to Francis Martin for guessing December’s photo location!

The Garrett College Wildlife Club is fundraising with its 2021 calendar! For just $10, help the club pay for future activities including (if circumstances allow) a May trip to Arizona. Contact Kevin Dodge at 301-387-3328 or email kevin.dodge@garrettcollege.edu if you would like to order a calendar.

On January 15 at 9:00 a.m. the Garrett Chamber is hosting a special webinar on the coronavirus relief legislation recently passed by Congress and signed by the President. Click here to register or contact Holly Lane at holly@garrettchamber.com.

Thank you to Michelle Brubaker Duez for sharing her photo at Deep Creek Lake, MD:

Michelle Brubaker Duez at Deep Creek Lake, MD

The Ruth Enlow Library is offering online gaming using the Jackbox Party Pack on January 11 from noon to 1pm. You can participate using your computer or phone and enjoy a night of trivia and fun!  Register for free.

Have you seen the video series from the Garrett County Health Department? “Jennifer and Jessica Explain It All” offers to answer your questions on the COVID-19 vaccine: https://mygarrettcounty.com/category/jennifer-jessica-explain-it-all/

Thursday January 7

The weather today will be mostly cloudy with a high near 32 and a low around 21. Northwest wind 3 to 5 mph during the day.

Have you noticed the new weather widget for radar? It’s going to take some getting used to for us, too. The National Weather Service (NWS) has upgraded its forecasting system and has “broken” our old weather widget. We have been in touch with NWS but we cannot get the weather preview to work as it had.

Local artist Annie Simcoe, with ABPH art, is raffling off a handcrafted piece of her work. For every $10 donated you will receive an entry to win “New Day” (below). This is a framed, original ABPH Art quilted collage. The artwork is 12″x24″, the frame is 18″x30″, and has a retail value of $595. She donating the frame, artwork, and shipping or delivery. This means that every dollar donated will go to purchasing coats for those in need. I am in awe of this piece… the detail is amazing (as per usual for ABPH)!

Did you know? There is an “operating rule band” for Deep Creek Lake. In short, Deep Creek Hydro is permitted by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and during the permitting process, MDE balances stakeholder concerns and requests with generation opportunities. The result is the operating rule band.

The Operating Rule Band is defined by the Upper and Lower Rule Bands, which represent the highest and lowest desirable reservoir levels at any given time. Deep Creek Hydro strives to maintain the lake between these two rule bands at all times. Periods of high run-off or extreme drought conditions can result in reservoir levels outside of the Operating Rule Band. During these times, the hydro project attempts to restore the reservoir to the proper level in a reasonable amount of time.

Also, make sure you have up to date waterflow information when you head out for a day on the water (Deep Creek Lake releases into the Upper Youghiogheny River). This schedule shows 2020 but you can get an idea of when and how much lake releases will be. Or, call the Safe Waters hotline 1-844-430-FLOW (3569).

The state of Maryland spent nearly $6 million in 2017-2018 to fortify and upgrade a Western Maryland youth detention center even as the state’s own experts said such remote facilities harm young people. Now, two years later, the newly named Garrett Children’s Center sits empty, temporarily shut down in November after the one remaining youth was transferred to another site.

Declutter your paper! There is a free shred day tomorrow.

Wednesday January 6

We need some sunny weather! Today we will have scattered snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 32 degrees and a northwest wind of 6 to 9 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Tonight we will experience scattered snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22 and a northwest wind around 6 mph.

We received the climate summary report from Glenda at Garrett Regional Medical Center the other day.  Based on GRMC’s readings, we had an average high temperature of 37.8 degrees and an average low temperature of 20.9 degrees in December.  They also recorded 1.54 inches of rain and 17.0 inches of frozen precipitation during December.  Thanks Glenda.

We are very sad to hear of the passing of Jim Shaffer, long-time radio personality at local radio station WKHJ.  Jim was in hospice for treatment and lost his battle over the weekend.  He was a nice guy and true icon in Garrett County for many years and will be missed by WKHJ listeners and the community, as well as his family and colleagues.  Our condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

HART for Animals continues to do great work for the “fur balls” (and humans) among us.  As of December 2020, HART had the following yearly results: Spays & Neuters – 690; Rescue & Transports – 706; Adoptions – 137.  HART is also currently holding its no show Fur Ball  Casino and Auction through 1/10.  Go to the site and check out their auction items.

If you are a local, second homeowner or vacationer, check out the services of Deep Creek Lake Concierge.  They can really help you with everyday or unique needs relative to getting things done: shopping, delivery, local errands, home maintenance, event planning, etc. Owned by long time entrepreneurs Jen and Kevin Cuozzo (A Touch of Class Limo), they have a great work ethic, team and service focus.

COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of yet another popular event in downtown Oakland.  With great disappointment, the Town of Oakland and the Greater Oakland Business Association (GOBA) were compelled to make the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Oakland Winter Fest Event, originally scheduled for Saturday, February 13th, 2021.  The cancellation was due to fears realted to the pandemic.  Next year…

Finally today, here’s a follow-up photo on my post on the Deep Creek Lake LIONS artwork.  In November, the club completed and installed a plastic bottlecap mosaic of a hunter surveying a mountaintop sunset.  The bottlecaps were provided by the Oakland Green and Clean Team who had collected them for their mosaic project in the Oakland Pocket Park and had leftover supplies. The mosaic was assembled by community members who attended the unveiling of a previous art project at the park in September. The Club mounted the mosaic on its maintenance barn at the trailhead, making it highly visible to visitors approaching the Meshach Browning History Center. Nice job to my fellow LIONS!

LIONS MOSAIC

Meshach Browning Bottlecap Mosaic

 

Tuesday January 5

Yesterday was very “gloomy” with scattered snow showers.  Today we will have scattered flurries before 1:00 pm, then scattered snow showers, mainly after 4:00 pm. Patchy fog before 1:00 pm. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 34 degrees and calm winds. Chance of precipitation is 30%. This evening we will have scattered snow showers before 1:00 am, then scattered flurries after 1:00 am. Cloudy, with a low around 25.

Garrett Regional Medical Center welcomed Rosanna Marie Schissler as the first baby of 2021 born at 5:02 p.m. on Sunday, January 3rd.  She was delivered by Marlana Bollinger, MD of Wellspring Family Medicine. Rosanna weighed in at 6 pounds, 12.5 ounces and was 18.5 inches long. She is the daughter of Ariel Butcher and Steven Schissler of Crellin Maryland. Congratulations to the parents and welcome to Garrett County little Rosanna!

The Deep Creek Lake Lions Club recently installed two new features at the Meshach Browning History Center at its park on Bumble Bee Rd (next to HART).  Meshach Browning was one of the earliest settlers of what would become Garrett County. In December, the Club installed a photo stand-in panel depicting a comic interpretation of Meshach Browning being pursued by a family of bears. The faces of each figure were cut out allowing visitors to take pictures showing their faces through the holes. The panel was handpainted by local artist Katie McGee and was funded by a donor who wished to remain anonymous.  Here’s a photo of the bear chase cut-out:
LIONS meshach bears cutout

LIONS New Cutout

Feeling lucky? Then take the family (or friends) out to the LIONS Meshach Browning History Center at their park on Bumble Bee Road and take a photo in the cut-out pictured above. Send it in to me at info@deepcreektimes.com and I will draw one entry as a winner and mail them some Deep Creek Times “bling” and maybe some LIONS bling as well.  If I am in a good mood, I may even throw-in an autographed picture of yours truly, which is very valuable (OK, that last bit is a total lie, but I am trying to get you to participate!). And, yes, this is open to LIONS of all ages too.

As promised yesterday, here’s the latest numbers on COVID for the County. The 7-day case rate for Garrett County is currently below the rate for the state with a rate of 40.4. Garrett County is now ranked 14th out of 24 jurisdictions and a bit below the 42.8 rate for the state. Garrett County’s reports for today include: A total of 1,515 COVID-19 cases; A total of 52 deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications; and A 7-day positivity rate of 11.9%, compared to Maryland’s rate of 9.5% – tied for 6th with Prince George’s County.  Things may be looking a little better…

Free COVID-19 testing will be held at the MEDCO Building in the McHenry Business Park on Tuesdays (including today) from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm. Preregistration is recommended to speed up the process on the testing day. Visit garretthealth.org for preregistration information. The site also provides information on other testing locations.

The Garrett County Health Department reports that they have made very good progress to-date in vaccinating essential medical and public safety professionals.  The Health Department will soon be announcing that they are able to move to Phase 1B of the vaccine plan, which will be available for all residents of Garrett County who are 75 or older.  When the announcement is made, it will include specific instructions on how to schedule an appointment. There will be no charge for vaccinations. Proof of age and Garrett County residency will be required.

Recently, the Oakland Community Heritage Foundation Clean and Green Team took part in the annual Tucker Community Foundation “Run for It” event to raise money to enhance the Oakland Dog Park. The Foundation challenged participants to raise team support for the community cause of their choice and then run or walk for that cause in a 2k/5k event during the month of September. Congratulations to all those on the Clean and Green team as they raised over $700.  As part of the team’s mission to assist the town with projects to maintain and add to the uniqueness of Oakland, the $700 plus award will be used to improve the Oakland Dog Park.  Well done folks! Here’s a photo of the snow-coverd dog park:

Dog Park 1-4-20

Oakland Dog Park

Here’s a esoteric factoid on Maryland for you:  People coming to Maryland in one-way U-Haul trucks in 2020 decreased by 9% year-over-year, while departures dropped 8% over 2019. Arrivals accounted for just over 49.5% of all one-way U-Haul traffic during 2020 to make Maryland the No. 46 state for netting DIY movers, sliding one spot from its No. 45 ranking the previous year. Maryland’s leading growth city is Frederick. Other notable net-gain cities include Westminster, Aberdeen, Highlandtown, Baltimore, Bel Air, Lanham, Owings Mills, Gaithersburg, Landover, Odenton and Cumberland. Find the complete 2020 U-Haul Growth States rankings at uhaul.com.