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The supply of COVID-19 vaccine allocated to Garrett County continues to be limited, and as such, appointment links are no longer active on the Garrett County Health Department’s website because all doses received have been scheduled.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…

Garrett County Releases Vaccination Progress Timeline

Garrett County Releases Vaccination Progress Timeline

By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team

The supply of COVID-19 vaccine allocated to Garrett County continues to be limited. Appointment links are no longer active on the Garrett County Health Department’s website because all doses received have been scheduled. “We have released a timeline for when we expect to move into the different priority groups,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens. “The progression through the various levels will depend on how quickly the state gets additional doses to us for vaccinations.”

The Health Department expects the progress of vaccination to be as follows:

Phase 1A: December – January This phase has mostly been completed. Persons in this group are still eligible and able to schedule appointments from this point forward.

Phase 1B: January – Mid-February We are focusing on our seniors who are 75 or older at this time.

Individuals 75+ are eligible and able to schedule appointments from this point forward.

Phase 1C: Mid-February – March Not eligible: no doses available from the state at this time. We will prioritize 65 to 75 year olds.

Phase 2: Estimated start date – April 1, 2021- subject to availability. Not eligible: no doses available from the state at this time.

Please note: The Health Department is not keeping a pre-registration list. Additional information for Garrett County today includes:

  • A 7-day case rate of 30.0 per 100,000 Garrett County residents, compared to Maryland’s case rate of 38.2
  • A 7-day positivity rate of 11.9%, compared to Maryland’s rate of 5%
  • A total of 1,750 COVID-19 cases
  • A total of 56 deaths due to COVID-19 or its complications

The Health Department will continue to update their website with qualification requirements and instructions on how to schedule a vaccination appointment as they move through the priority groups.

For the most up-to-date information about vaccine distribution and testing in Garrett County, watch for announcements from the Health Department on media outlets, the Health Department’s Facebook page and website (garretthealth.org).

Additional COVID-19 resources:

  • If you have COVID-19 like symptoms, schedule a testing appointment at the Health Department by calling 301-334-7697.
  • Free COVID-19 testing is available (with or without symptoms) 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. Pre-registration is recommended. Visit garretthealth.org for more information.
  • For all other COVID-19 related questions, or to report a COVID-19 compliance issue, call the local COVID-19 Hotline number at 301-334-7698.

MSDE Partners With Apple In New App Development Program For Maryland Schools

MSDE Partners With Apple In New App Development
Program For Maryland Schools

“Mobile Applications & Software Development” Classes
Will Be Added in the 2021-22 School Year

BALTIMORE, MD – (January 22, 2021) – The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) is pleased to announce 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 new CTE program will provide students with hands-on experiences in the rapidly growing world of mobile app development and software engineering. The App Development program is primarily for high school and consists of three courses beyond the “Everyone Can Code” (ECC) course, although school systems have the option of including the ECC course for students with little to no experience with coding. As with other CTE programs of study, the App Development program can be introduced by school systems to students in middle school, for high school credit. Upon graduation, industry credentials earned can funnel students into the workforce pipeline.

“Career and Technology Education offers students lifelong opportunities to learn and apply new skills, which provide them with career choices in high-demand skills,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our administration is committed to ensuring that Maryland students have access to the critical career and technology courses needed to develop the necessary skills for employment and success in the 21st Century global economy.”

“As technology advances, there is growing demand for handheld devices and mobile applications. This new partnership with Apple is another example of how Maryland public schools are partnering with industry leaders to bring the needed knowledge for tomorrow’s technical jobs into classrooms today,” says Maryland Schools Superintendent Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D. “The Mobile Applications and Software Development Program of Study provides an outstanding opportunity for students to gain hands- on experience in computer science, data analysis, and app development. These skills are directly transferable to jobs in Maryland’s workforce.”

Already this past summer, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Montgomery County worked directly with Apple and in partnership with Montgomery College and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, to implement a virtual summer camp called “Montgomery Can Code.” At the free camp, more than 950 students focused on the introductory “Everyone Can Code” course, immersing themselves in the basics of Swift.

As technological advances continue to skyrocket and handheld devices are more widely used, the job market for app developers will continue to grow. According to Apple, last year the Maryland economy created 25,000 new app development jobs. Since April 2019, the iOS app economy has created nearly 300,000 new jobs.  The Mobile Applications and Software Development CTE Program of Study will be available for school systems to implement in the 2021-2022 school year.

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…

Garrett College recognizes December graduates

Garrett College recognizes December graduates

McHenry, MD – Garrett College recently announced those students whose degrees were conferred this past December.  The degrees awarded include Associate in Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), and Associate of Applied Science (AAS), along with a certificate.  These conferrals include:

AA, Arts & Sciences: Fine & Performing Arts:  Jeremiah A. Quarles, Takoma Park.

AA, Arts & Sciences: Mathematics/Science:  Ashley N. Meyers, Cumberland; and Eli A. Reed, Magna Cum Laude, McHenry.

AA, Arts & Sciences: Psychology:  Liberty A. Cheshire, Swanton.

AA, Arts & Sciences: Social & Behavioral Sciences:  Trista A. Aronhalt, Oakland; and Sophia L. Newman, Swanton.

AA, Business Administration:  Caileigh R. Calhoun, Magna Cum Laude, Friendsville; Steven A. Minnick, Grantsville; and Nicole E. Glotfelty, Oakland.

AA, General Studies:  Isaiah C. Skipper, Mountain Lake Park; Sydney B. Corley, Charles E. Olsson, and Tenisha R. Thomas, of Oakland; and Ibrahim H. Kanu, Silver Spring.

AS, Computer Science:  Austin Z. Jones, Virginia Beach, Va.

AAS, Addictions Counseling:  Katelyn A. Price, Summa Cum Laude, Cumberland; Mikali R. Artice, Cum Laude, Friendsville.

AAS, Adventure Sports Management:  Hayley D. Lawrence, Pamplin, Va.

AAS, Business & Information Technology: Business Management and Entrepreneurship:  Sandy L. Fazenbaker, Grantsville.

AAS, Cybersecurity:  Claude F. Webb, Morgantown, W.Va.

Certificate, Cybersecurity:  Seth J. Leone, Springs, Pa.

 

 

Entrepreneurs & small business owners invited to participate in the All In: Business Plan Writing Series

Entrepreneurs & small business owners invited to participate in the All In: Business Plan Writing Series

Classes begin February 23rd with a hybrid format

McHenry, MD – Garrett College is excited to announce the return of the 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 unsure of how or where to start – look no further! Classes for the All In: Business Plan Writing Series will officially begin on February 23, 2021, and are offered through GC’s Business Solutions department within the Continuing Education & Workforce Development division.

This series aims to prepare individuals with the tools and knowledge required to successfully produce a business plan based on an idea.  Participants will be provided with various mentors and receive viable business coaching from start to finish in creating a business plan. As part of the business plan series, participants will also learn how to create a practical business plan, conduct a market and competitor analysis, understand product and/or service concept development, produce financial and operating plans, and design a go-to-market roadmap.

This year, the series of classes will be offered as a hybrid class.  Participants will have the option to attend in-person or virtually. By adding the virtual option this year, organizers of the event are hoping to attract more individuals to participate, including those from out of the area. Participating in the All In: Business Writing Series is not required to participate in the Power of Possibilities Business Plan Competition that will take place this spring, which offers a cash prize for the top business idea.  However, past contestants have found it to be very helpful in preparing for the competition, as the course is designed to provide key support for individuals to research the potential of their ideas and ultimately, be successful.

Garrett College Business Solutions provides a variety of support and assistance to small business owners and managers in the Garrett County area and surrounding communities.  For additional information on the business plan series and competition, contact Jodi McClintock at 301-387-3142 or email jodi.mcclintock@garrettcollege.edu.

 

Just Like You Program Promotes Prescription Safety

News Release

For Immediate Release: January 18, 2020

Contact Person: Diane Lee, PIO, 301-334-7689

Just Like You Program Promotes Prescription Safety

By Diane Lee, Public Information Officer, Garrett County Health Department

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. “Even older youth tend to follow in the footsteps of their adult role models. When they are old enough, show your teens how to read a prescription label and how to follow the directions correctly. 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.

The Just Like You campaign is administered by the Garrett County Health Department through funding from MDH and SAMHSA. For more information visit copycatfun.com or call Health Education and Outreach at 301-334-7730 or 301-895-3111.

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…

 

 

 

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

 

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.

Monday January 4 2021

Yesterday rained a good part of the day after some ice over night, so please watch for ice on the roads.  Today we can expect patchy fog before 1:00 pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 30 degrees and a west wind around 7 mph. Tonight we will have patchy freezing drizzle and patchy fog between 1:00 am and 4:00 am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. Drive safe folks.

And, speaking of ice, we got about a 1/2 inch of ice Friday, making travel hazardous.  Here’s a not-so-great photo of my front yard that illustrates the ice cover, especially on the ground. It was even weighing down Santa and Frosty! I took this shot Friday afternoon so those out of town might have a sense of the ice coating, at least on the ground.

mike yard ice storm 1-1-21

After the ice

Ice aside, I hope all had a great weekend and New Year, as I sure did, albeit a quite one.  Friday night my wife and I drove down to Alpine Lake Resort just South of Oakland for an early prime rib dinner prepared as a special by chef Debbie,  It was some of the best prime rib I have ever had, and Alpine was not too busy and had some nice distance between tables.  After that, we came home, watched some football and were in bed before midnight.  Another wild evening at Jean and Mike’s place! 🙂

Maryland reported 2,148 new cases of the coronavirus and 27 more deaths Sunday as the state’s average testing positivity rate rose above 9% for the first time since June. I will let you know Garrett County’s latest in Tuesday’s edition after I hear from the County.

Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, a late evening fire in Oakland on New Year’s Eve resulted in a total loss of building and contents – about $600,000 total – to the owner, Maryland Minerals, as reported by the State of Maryland Fire Marshal.  We wish the owners the best and for a speedy operational recovery, and a better 2021. Thanks to our firefighters and team for their efforts in controlling the blaze.  Here’s a photo:

maryland minerals fire 12-31-20

Fire in Oakland

Don’t forget to check out the January 2021 Cover Story.  It is an insightful, practical article on taxes and tax preparation for 2020 that should benefit all readers.  It was provided by our friends at Boal and Associates in Oakland.

Please also continue to send in your photos of people, places, critters and experiences from around the lake.  It really helps us bring the area “to life” for our readers and is MUCH appreciated. Send your photos in to info@deepcreektimes.com and let us know when taken and where around the lake it was taken. We always do our best to get them published.

Finally, have a great Monday dear readers and Happy New Year to you and your families…