The weather for today will be patchy freezing drizzle before noon, then scattered flurries. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 28 and low around 21. West wind 15 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

I attended the Chamber’s Business Before Hours yesterday afternoon that included an economic briefing from an analyst at the Federal Reserve. It was well-done and well attended. My summary interpretation: The national picture is not as bad as some might think, Maryland has, surprisingly, been lagging the rest of the US on some measures and Garrett County has been turning around slowly.

Wow, this one from HART for Animals is great: HART will be holding their Food For Fido dog food giveaway today from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm at their offices on Bumble Bee Road. This is for dog owners in need and is on all week until supplies run out.

We just heard that the Town of Oakland is now able to accept water/sewer/trash payments online using major credit cards.  You will need your 10-digit account number.  Here’s the link to their site that explains more.

Don’t forget that the popular women’s networking lunch has now expanded into a Women’s Networking Happy Hour. The first Happy Hour will be this Thursday, January 17th at Black Bear Tavern from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm. The speaker will be Laura Clapsaddle. Laura is a local entrepreneur that owns Black Bear Tavern and other local enterprises.

Just a heads-up that Oakland’s Downtown Winter Fest will be back again this year on President’s Weekend, February 16th and 17th.  Here’s a link with some additional information including how to make a donation and how to reserve an ice sculpture.

Planning is underway for the annual (and free) Financial Aid Completion event to be held at Garrett College on Sunday, January 27th, from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm in Room 309 (300 building, across from the new STEM building).  This effort is designed to assist students and parents in filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Also note that the Spring Semester at the college starts next week and that there is still room for new full or part-time students.  Contact Admissions ASAP at 301.387.3044 for more information on getting admitted and registered for spring.