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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