Sunday was sunny and warm, with the temperature nearly reaching 60 degrees. Today’s weather will be a chance of rain and snow showers before 3pm, then a chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36 and a low of 25. West wind 16 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible overnight.

The Ruth Enlow Library has some nice programming scheduled for today in Grantsville (Story Tails at 4:30 pm) and Oakland (Needlework at 6:00 pm) and also a number of Open Houses coming up at the various branches, with the first one this Wednesday at the Friendsville branch.

Our congratulations go out to Jodi Taylor Refosco, co-owner of Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales in McHenry. Jodi has been named the new president of the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA), a national organization of vacation rental professionals and suppliers. Way to go Jodi!

The first quarter of Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019) is off to a good start for tourism in the Deep Creek Lake area and Garrett County in general.  According to the Chamber of Commerce, Garrett County experienced an 8.0% increase in county accommodations sales, a 6.3% increase in Admissions & Amusement collections, a 128% increase in Visitor Guide requests and a 17.13% increase in visitors to the Chamber’s website. I’m not surprised based on all the area has to offer, which is communicated very effectively by our Chamber.

Various local congregations are presenting the 20th annual Joy of Christ celebration which is set to kick off this evening at 6:00 pm and run through December 7th. Each night will feature Christmas music, free dinner, a warm festive atmosphere, crafts for the kids (and kids at heart), and a focus on the birth of Jesus Christ. This event is completely free to all, is casual and open to anyone wanting to join throughout the night. Nothing is sold and gifts will be given away. It is at the Oakland Community Center (old armory).

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Forest Conservancy District Boards invites all Maryland fifth-graders in private and public schools to participate in the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest. The theme for 2019 is: “Trees Are Terrific…and Forests are Too!” Read more.

Unfortunately, the first death in the State attributed to cold weather this winter has been recorded. The death occurred in Garrett County and was an adult male in the 65+ age range. There were 61 cold-related deaths in Maryland during the 2017-2018 winter weather season. From November through March, the Department of Health monitors temperature conditions and incidences of cold-related illnesses and deaths. Weekly reports can be found online at https://goo.gl/UHaaX8. The site also includes the state’s Extreme Cold Emergency Plan and fact sheets about cold weather health issues, carbon monoxide, driving tips for extreme cold weather, and warning signs of a heart attack.

Be sure to review all of the new pages for the new December Edition: We have a new Cover Story article from Quantum Financial Advisors (QFA) with some excellent insight into the current tax situation. We also have another piece on the tax law and its implications from Boal and Associates for our Deep Creek Times readers in the Latest News section. While December is a great month for family and festivities it is also a great month to assess and learn relative to end-of-year and new year financial considerations.