Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hundreds Say Their Goodbyes To Firefighter "Hal" Clark

CHINCOTEAGUE -- At 1:58 p.m. Friday, the final alarm was sounded for volunteer firefighter Hal Clark, 54, who died in the line of duty Sept. 24.

Upward of 450 people, including scores of firefighters and rescue workers from Virginia, Maryland and Delaware and some three dozen American Legion Riders, gathered Friday at Union Baptist Church on Chincoteague for funeral services for Clark, who died at Peninsula Regional Medical Center after taking ill while fighting a raging brush and woods fire near New Church.

His death was the first line of duty death on the Eastern Shore of Virginia in a decade.

Clark was president of Atlantic Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company and was a lifetime member of both Atlantic and Chincoteague volunteer fire companies.

Clark was remembered as one of "a very special breed of people" -- firefighters -- who "charge in where angels fear to tread" in a eulogy given by the Rev. Bob Reese, who officiated along with the Rev. Maurice Enright.

"Hal died liked he lived -- loving, helping others," Reese said.

Enright said Clark will be remembered as "the mechanic, the carpenter, the 'Mr. Fix-it,' the cook -- there was so much he could do and so much he would do" for those in the community, such as the time when he and fellow firefighters built a wheelchair ramp at the house of an Atlantic man who needed one.

Among the many charitable deeds Clark was known for were cooking at the annual Chincoteague Volunteer Firemen's Carnival and transporting drinking water to the Chincoteague ponies when they needed it during the hot summers, Enright said.

Despite his own grief after tragically losing his son, Todd, in an accident 11 years ago, Clark continued to give to the community, both as a firefighter and in many other ways, the minister said.

After the 45-minute service concluded, Clark's flag-draped casket was carried atop Atlantic Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company Engine 4-5, preceded by a single motorcycle rider, in a funeral procession that wound its way 12 miles across the Chincoteague causeway from the church to the John W. Taylor Cemetery in Temperanceville.

The procession -- which included dozens of firetrucks and ambulances draped in black bunting along with police cars, government agency vehicles and private cars -- left Chincoteague Island under an arch created by the crossed ladders of two fire trucks parked at the foot of the drawbridge, one from Chincoteague and one from Salisbury, with a large American flag hanging from the apex.

Fire and rescue departments represented in the procession came from as far away as Greensboro, Md., Ocean City and Dagsboro to the north and Virginia Beach and Hampton to the south.

A crowd including many families with small children and people standing respectfully at attention gathered at the intersection of Chincoteague and Atlantic roads to watch the procession pass by, a process that took some 20 minutes.

Clark was laid to rest at the cemetery with full firefighter honors.

American Hot Air Balloonists Disappear Over Adriatic Sea

ROME — Two American balloonists who disappeared in rough weather over the Adriatic Sea during a race likely were either struck by lightning or are waiting to be rescued in their life raft, according to a team member.

U.S. and Croatian search and rescue teams on Thursday joined an expanded Italian coast guard search for Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis. The pair were participating in the 54th Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race when race officials lost contact with them Wednesday morning.

The United States offered two Navy aircraft to join in the search and one was put to work Thursday afternoon, Italian Coast Guard Lt. Massimo Maccheroni said.

Their balloon was equipped with a satellite telephone, VHF radios, radar transponder and two mobile telephones. No signal has been detected from the balloon's Emergency Location Transmitter, which should activate on contact with water.

"They could not possibly still be flying," flight director Don Cameron said. "If they are on land, they must be in a very remote place. Otherwise we would have heard from them by now."

Cameron said there were thunderstorms in the area at the time of the Americans' disappearance.

Rob Bayly, a member of the pair's retrieval team, told the BBC that the worst-case scenario involves "a catastrophic explosion in the air where they were caught in the thunderstorms, very, very, violent updraughts and downdraughts."

Bayly added "lightning itself could have struck the balloon which — at many thousands of feet — could have been completely destroyed."

The event's website shows competitors' flight patterns, according to tracking information transmitted from the balloons, on an interactive map. Race officials said the tracker devices are set up to send the balloon's position every 15 minutes.

However, rescuers were hoping for the "good news story," Bayly told the BBC. He said the duo could have "managed a rather desperate water landing, ejected from the balloon and are in a life raft somewhere, yet to be found, and the balloon took off without them with their beacon still on board, therefore not yet triggered."

Abruzzo, 47, of Albuquerque, N.M., and Davis, 65, of Denver, Colo., are experienced balloonists and won the 2004 edition of the Gordon Bennett race from Thionville, France, to Vannas, Sweden.

In the race, teams try to fly the farthest on a maximum of about 35,300 cubic feet of gas.

The other 19 teams in this year's competition "have landed safely and all other pilots are safe and well," organizers said.

Croatian coastal aircraft crews were scouring the area around Croatia's distant, uninhabited islet of Palagruza, said Marina Haluzan, the spokeswoman for the Croatian Ministry of the Sea and Transport.

"There's no news so far about the missing balloon," she said in a statement, adding that Croatian and Italian coastal authorities were in touch and coordinating the search.

Palagruza is located in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, 60 nautical miles from the Croatian coast and 29 nautical miles from Italian coast.

On Thursday, the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center expanded its search to 14 miles off the Italian coast, with five boats, several aircraft and a helicopter involved.

Abruzzo is the son of famed balloonist Ben Abruzzo, who was in 1981 part of the first team to cross the Pacific Ocean by balloon, and who was killed in a small airplane crash in 1985.

'I'm optimistic'
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson successfully arranged for the U.S. military forces to join the search.

"I've been following the search for Richard and Carol all day, and I'm optimistic that they will be located," Richardson said in a statement Thursday. "I've been in contact with the Abruzzo family and have offered any help they need in getting Richard back home to them safely. My thoughts are also with Carol's family as they await word on their loved one."

In the 2005 Gordon Bennett race, Richard Abruzzo and Davis hit a power line in Kansas. Abruzzo fell out, suffering several broken bones. Davis landed the balloon safely, although she suffered bruises when she was dragged along the ground while landing the lightly loaded balloon in 40 knot winds.

Richard Abruzzo and Davis finished third in the 2006 America's Challenge gas balloon race by traveling 1,478 miles from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Word of their disappearance came on the eve of New Mexico's annual balloon fiesta. Organizers of that event said it would go on as planned.

"They'd come back and kick us in the rear if we didn't have it, so it's one of those things that's in the spirit of what we do as gas balloon pilots," America's Challenge Deputy Director Kevin Knapp told NBC station KOB-TV.

"Richard, he would be saying you've got to go fly, I mean there's no reason that you need to stay on the ground because I'm out here floating around in the ocean," Abruzzo's former flying partner and teacher Troy Bradley added.

Sentence Is Given To Drunk Driver For Cyclist's Death Near OC

SNOW HILL -- A Worcester County District Court judge sentenced a Berlin man to two and a half years in jail for running down two bicyclists while driving drunk, leaving one of them for dead, then fleeing the scene.

Judge Gerald V. Purnell sentenced Daniel Matthew Bren to 12 months for leaving the scene of an accident, the maximum sentence available, followed by 18 months for negligent manslaughter by automobile.

In Snow Hill District Court early Thursday, Bren wore a suit and a heavy expression. His wrists and ankles were shackled. He had been incarcerated since being found guilty in an April 16 plea agreement.

Bren, 35, called it "one of the deepest, darkest moments of my life."

"There's not a day that goes by that this tragedy is forgotten," he said quietly in the hushed courtroom. "I struggle daily with my own demons. I apologize for my poor choice in judgment. I stand before you today a grateful, recovering alcoholic. I promise to continue working as hard as I can every day. All the good I do this day forward will be in honor of your loved one's family."

According to Maryland State Police, bicyclists Maxim Matuzov, 20, and Edward Joseph Zisk, 41, were heading west on the Harry W. Kelley Memorial Bridge at about 2:30 a.m. on June 26, 2009. They were struck from behind by Bren's 2006 Chevrolet Silverado.

Police said Bren fled the scene by taking West Ocean City back roads before returning to westbound Route 50. Prosecutors said a taxi driver saw what happened, called police, and followed Bren's pickup truck.

When State Police pulled him over, they found him glassy-eyed and disoriented behind the wheel. He had an open container of beer in the truck. Later, Bren was found to have a blood-alcohol content of .25.

Matuzov, who police said was a Russian student spending the summer in Ocean City, was hospitalized and recovered. Zisk died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

Kathleen Zisk, the victim's younger sister, gave a victim impact statement before the judge announced his sentence. She called Bren a "coward" for leaving the scene.

"You made one of the worst choices that night," she said, visibly shaking from head to toe. "Why didn't you take a cab? You didn't even stop. You left my brother Eddie like roadkill. Did you see my brother's face when you hit him?"

Judge Purnell sentenced Bren to 10 years for manslaughter and suspended all but 18 months. Bren's sentence also will be credited with 168 days for time already served while awaiting his sentencing hearing.

When he leaves jail, Bren will serve three years' probation, during which he must wear an electronic device that detects, through sweat, if a person has consumed alcohol.

Purnell ordered Bren to serve 250 hours of alcohol-related community service, including speaking appearances at Worcester County's three high schools. He also must pay $2,486 in restitution for funeral costs.

Bill Passes In the House To Help 9/11 Responders

Washington (CNN) -- A bill to provide medical benefits and compensation for emergency workers who were first on the scene of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks won approval Wednesday from the U.S. House.

The measure passed on a mostly partisan 268-160 vote. The Senate has yet to take up the issue.

President Barack Obama, who supported the measure, hailed its passage.

"It is a critical step for those who continue to bear the physical scars of those attacks," he said in a statement. "I applaud the House for its support of this bill and for standing up on behalf of these heroes, who served our country in its time of greatest need. I look forward to Congress completing consideration of this legislation so I can sign it into law."

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, called the passage a "long overdue victory."

"To the living heroes and heroines of 9/11, we have very good news," she said. "Help is on the way. We passed your bill in the House of Representatives."

Fellow New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler said he was "extremely emotional" over the win.

"We won a major victory today, and I am overjoyed," he said. "Today, we put aside a little politics and we did a little right and a little good."

Republicans had complained the $7.4 billion price tag was too high, while Democrats said the government had an obligation to help the first responders to the deadliest terrorism attack in U.S. history. But New York Republican Rep. Peter King was a strong backer of the measure and stood by Maloney and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as they celebrated the House win.

"What we did was what we had to do," King said, addressing the dozens of first responders who joined the representatives around the podium. "What you did was what you volunteered to do."

"It took a long time, and I'm sorry for that," he said, adding "you can finally get justice after all these years."

Republicans blocked the bill in July after Democrats suspended the rules to stop the minority party from adding unrelated amendments. The move also meant the bill would require a two-thirds majority to pass, and Republicans used it to their advantage, holding the bill to 255 yes votes -- far fewer than the 291 it needed to pass, though far more than it ordinarily would have needed.

Maloney and the other New Yorkers have been working since for a majority vote.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health Bill -- named after a deceased New York Police Department detective -- seeks to provide free medical coverage for responders and survivors who were exposed to toxins after the attacks.

A coroner linked Zadroga's death in January 2006 to respiratory failure caused by his work in the toxic plume at ground zero. Zadroga was 34.

The Rural Sign Painter

Last weeks rural posting............

Friday, October 1, 2010

The History Of Pocomoke By Murray James (19)

144 History of Pocomoke City, CHAPTER XXI. POST OFFICE.

The postofrice, in the early history of New Town, was a very small affair, so small, indeed, that I have the impression that there was no pay for transmission of the mail from Snow Hill to New Town, as that was, then, the- mall route. I am indorsed in this declaration by the fact that it was transmitted by individual citizens when they would go to Snow Hill, on business, on public days. As early as 1820. Michael Murray, my father, was post- master for New Town. When other means of getting: the- mail would fail, my father would send my two oldest brothers, each one on horseback, to Snow Hill for the mail.

After these two brothers went to Baltimore to learn a trade, this duty at times fell upon my two next older brothers and myself. The mail was due at New Town once a week, and sometimes it would lay in the office at Snow Hill two weeks for the want of a carrier. In such emergencies, my fathers would say to us: "Boys, you must take the canoe," for then we had no horse, ''and go- to Snow Hill for the mail." At that period I do not think I was more than eight years of age. We manned the boat with two oars and a paddle; as I was the- Formerly New Town. 145 youngest, it fell to my lot to be steersman, as that was the easiest part of the work. We would start on the first of the flood tide.

We were going on United States busi- ness, and being little boys, of course we felt the importance of our mission. When the boys would lean back with their oars and make a long pull and a strong pull the canoe, as a thing of life, would dart ahead and seemed to say to me: " If you don't mind I will run from under you." Thus we tugged and sweated until we reached Snow Hill. We went up to the postoffice and got the mail. If the ebb tide had made we started for home. Sometimes we would be in the nieht g'ettin^ home. At such times I would get sleepy and would be afraid I would fall overboard. Incidents like the following have taken place when we have been delayed till the night getting home. A storm cloud would arise, the thunder and lightning would be terrific, the rain coming down seemingly in torrents. We had no covering but the cloud out of which the rain was descending. When we would be getting down near the old ferry, now the bridge, we would begin to halloo at the top of our voices, knowing that our mother would be down at the back of the lot looking up the river to see if we were coming.

Sure enough she would be the first one to meet us when we reached the shore. The reader will learn that my lather's house stood on the same ground where William T. S* Clarke's house now stands. There was no wharf then between the lot and the river. There was nothing but tuckahoes. mud and bramble.

14f> History of Pocomohe City,

When I think of the incident just described with many others in which a mother's love has boen shown, I am constrained to exclaim : " Oh! the thoughts of a precious loving mother : I once had such a mother, and the remembrance of her is like sweet incense poured forth." We arrived safely at home, ate our supper, went to bed and slept soundly. The next morning the mail was opened. The citizens would call for their mail matter. Some of them had friends living in the far West, on the frontiers of civilization, as far away as Ohio and ye Old Kentucky. Oh! what a wonderful sight it was then, to a little bey, to see a man who had come from that far-away country. As I have already stated the New Town mail was very small. There were but few newspapers in the country and I have no knowledge what the postage was on them. Letter postage was regulated by the distance a letter had to go. For instance, the postage on a letter from New Town to Baltimore was ten cents and from New Town to New Orleans it was twenty-five cents.

Anything over half ounce was double postage then as it is now. Forty years ago there was an express arrangement from New Orleans to Baltimore in the form of a flying post ; that is to say, horses on the route would be bridled and saddled already to start at the moment. For instance, the starting point would be at New Orleans, the horse was saddled and bridled and the rider in the saddle ; at the moment the signal to start was given, the rider would go in riving speed to the next station of probably four miles distance, at which another horse would be* all ready, the

Formerly New Town. 147

rider would dismount and mount again and thus pursue the route to Baltimore. A letter by this route cost seventy- five cents from New Orleans to New Town ; if the letter had money in it or over a half ounce the postage was one dollar and fifty cents. How long this express route existed I cannot say, probably not long. In 1827, Michael Murray, my father, resigned the postmastership, having held that position from my earliest recollection. At the period referred to above, there was no mail pouch to put the mail matter in ; indeed, the mail would be so small that it would be tied up with twine and taken in the hand, not larger than any one of the neighborhood mails that go out of Pocomoke City Postoffice at the present day. .

The following is a list of names of postmasters of New Town Postoffice from 1820 to 1882: Michael Murray, Thos. Brittingham, John Burnett, Dr. James B. Horsey, John S. Stevenson, Dr. Joseph L. Adreon, William J. S. Clarke, William H. T. Clarvoe, C. C. Lloyd, James Murray, Dr. John T. B. McMaster, William H. S. Merrill and James H. Vincent, who is the present incumbent. Thus the names of the postmasters of New Town Post- office will be preserved from oblivion to those who do not take the pains to search the official records for such information. I would here state that the postoffice went begging for an appointee as late as 1861.

This was the case when it came into the writers hands at the above date. The mail, in New Town, was semi-weekly and the post master

14s History of Pocomoke City,

received about 80 dollars per year for his services. About 1863, the postoffice became a salaried one. The post master was required to keep a correct account of all mail matter going- through the office during the last quarter of the year and make a return of the same to the postoffice department at Washington, and his salary was based upon the per centage allowed him on all mail matter going through the office that quarter, for two years to come. Thus the salary was fixed every two years.

The postoffice in Pocomoke City, at the present day. pays a salary of S700. It is one to be coveted and one that will induce a political struggle to obtain. As late, probably, as 1S50, we had but one mail a week, now we have three mails a day, and soon the fourth one will be added. The rate of postage, then, was fixed according to the distance a letter had to go. Then a letter from New Town to New Orleans was twenty-five cents, now a letter postage is three cents to any part of the United States..

Formerly New Town. 149 CHAPTER XXII.

PRINTING OFFICES. In 1865, Albert J. Merrill established a printing press in New Town. He edited and published a weekly paper called the Record. This was the first paper ever pub- lished in New Town. It was creditable, neat and highly prized by the people. In 1865, William L. Clarke, a native of Worcester County, who had been living in Wellsvile, Ohio, for several years, and had published a paper there called the Wellsville Patriot, returned to this, his native county, and established a printing press in New Town, and edited and published a paper called the Gazette. This paper, also, was neatly gotten up, and was a credit to its editor, and highly prized by its patrons. These two editors sent out their weekly issues down to 1872, when A. J. Merrill, Esq., bought out William L. Clarke, Esq., and consolidated the two papers into one, called the Record and Gazette, under the editorial man- agement and control of A. J. Merrill, Esq. In 1879, Dr. S. S. Quinn bought one half of the press, and its appurtenances, and had the editorial management of the paper under the firm of A. J. Merrill and S. S. •Quinn, until 1882, when J. Shiles Crocket became one-

150 • History of Pocomoke City,

third owner of the press and paper, and is now the editor and manager of the same, under the firm of Merrill, Ouinn & Crocket.

Formerly New Town. 151 CHAPTER XXIII.

SOCIAL ASPECT, &c. The social aspect of New Town, now Pocomoke City. The reader may be anxious to learn something oi the habits and social bearing - of the citizens during its early history. Well ! to begin, the citizens, with very few excep- tions, would take their toddy ; hence, the common practice which was followed by parents of mixing a glass of toddy before breakfast and handing it to each member of the family, from the oldest to the youngest.

This practice was as common as the days rolled round, when I was a little boy. Again, when friends would visit each other the decan- ter of liquor, glasses, sugar and water would be set out, and an invitation given to come up and help themselves. Again, when citizens and men from the country would congregate, on Saturday, at the stores, (for the stores were the chief places of resort) a pint of liquor would be called for.

The pint cup would be set out with tumblers and pitcher of water, and the invitation given to all present to come up, ''come up gentlemen and help yourselves." Then toasts would be drank, something after the following order, with the glass in hand, addressing the company : "well 1 gentle-

152 History of Pocomoke City,

men ! here is luck and a plenty." Frequently they would get quite mellow over the pint cup before they left it ; and likely enough a few brushes of the fist would follow. Another feature of social life was that of families visiting each other to eat the social meal. At such times they ■would remain after supper with the family until usual bed- time, passing the time in such conversation as would be agreable to all.

The family code at that day was : that children could be seen but must not be heard while the older persons were talking. A little incident occurred one night, on one of those occasions, in relation to myself, which will be somewhat amusing to the reader : Some neighbors had called in to take supper with my father and mother, and staid till after nieht.

The little folks had received orders to sit and listen but must not talk, if they did, the one so offending must march off up stairs to bed. Somehow or other I broke the law, I was discovered talking to the boys, who with myself, with this single exception, were as mute as mice, the result was I had to go to bed. While lying in bed, reviewing my conduct during the day and night, I knew I had been a bad boy. Conscience was supreme and hurled its thunderbolts at me.

I began to cast my thoughts around and contemplate the possibility of Satan's coming after me that night, and if so what should I do. Just at that moment, while under such terrible reflections, the house cat, which by means of the room door being left open, had crept into the room and jumped upon the bed, in doing which it jumped in my face. The reader may, if

Formerly New Town. L53

he ran, imagine my feelings; to me they were beyond description. I grabbed the cat with both hands, and threw it in another part of the room. But, oh! the terror that seized me. I screamed at the top of my voice. As soon as I took hold of the cat I knew what it was, but the fact of its being the cat did not abate my screaming.

1 thought the Devil was about to lay hold of me. My mother was swift to my rescue, and carried me down stairs, and I was once more happy in being seated in the corner with the children listening to the old folks at home. Ao-ain, the social life was exhibited in the various amuse- ments and pastimes of the day. For instance, the game of fives with the trapball was a favorite sport with both men and boys ; the playing ol cards was also frequently prac- ticed in families; shooting at the mark for turkeys, quarters of beef, etc.

Wrestling was much in vogue in the early history of New Town. Men and boys both would engage in it. Boxing was also practiced. I have beheld such sports and have seen men kick each •other like horses. Sometimes death would be the result of such exercises. There were men in New Town and the surrounding county who prided themselves upon their manhood.

Sometimes they would exhibit their strength by lifting the fifty-six pound weights, which were used in the tobacco warehouse for weighing tobacco. The two heaviest lifts were as follows : one lifted eleven the other fourteen fiity-six pound weights, each man aggregating respectively 6 16 pounds and 784 pounds. Query: Are

154 History of Pocomoke Oity,

there two men in Pocomoke City at the present who can come up to this. Those shooting, wrestling' and boxing matches were attended with a spirit of rivalry which would sometimes culminate in a pitched battle. I have seen men strip themselves to the waist and commence their brutal- ity. Those fights would be equal in brutality, if not so scientific, to the prize fights of recent years.

Again, social life would be seen in the cotton pickings, quiltings and dances. After the cotton picking or quilting had been attended to, the plays would commence. For instance, a family had a quilt to be quilted, they would invite the young ladies to come in the afternoon and the gentlemen would go after supper. By supper time the quilt would be finished. After supper the plays would commence by singing those songs that used to be sung on such occa- sions "in the days of yore." Of course they had kissing in the plays, for that was the most enjoyable part of them. On a certain occasion it was the fortune of a certain young man to call out a lady whom it would be his pleasure, as he thought, to kiss. The call was made, the young lady came out upon the floor, she was very tall and he was low of stature, she was aristocratic and was mortified at being called out by him ; he attempted to kiss her, but she held her head well up and snuffed her nose at him, so that he could not succeed, but he was equal to the emergency. " Stop ! stop ! " said he, " let me draw my boots and climb. " The take-off was so good that it raised a great titter in the company and that young lady's pride got a fall that l 

Formerly New Town. 155

night. I have spoken of the songs in those plays, one of which I will mention as illustrative of the character of the rest. "Here we go to Baltimore, Two behind and two before; Round and round and round we go, Where oats, peas, beans And barley grows." From the best information that I can get this is an Irish song.

The word Baltimore was originally spelled " Bailte Mor" and signified a proprietary of a barony or large town. On a certain occasion there was a social gathering at the house of an old gentleman. The young folks were formed in a ring, holding on to each other's hands, and singing the above song. As they were marching round and round, a certain young man was in reach of the old gentleman as he sat in the corner of the hearth-place, when he slapped him on the shoulder, exclaiming: ''Johnnie, honey, don't you love the gals ! " The answer was prompt: "Oh, yes, Uncle Davie!" still singing as they swung around the circle.

Next; 156 History of Pocomcike City, CHAPTER XXIV.

Previous Chapters by reader request


















Man Commits Suicide During Arrest

WESTOVER — A man who was wanted by three police agencies on drug possession and credit card theft shot and killed himself Friday morning as Somerset County deputies tried to take him into custody.

Deputies arrived at the home of Ronald John Melcher, 60, of Marumsco Road, Marion, around 8:30 a.m. and saw Melcher exit the front door and walk toward a vehicle in the driveway, according to Maryland State Police.

Melcher refused to obey the deputy’s verbal commands to stop and he continued toward the vehicle, all the while yelling that he was not going back to jail, police said.

Deputies then used a Tazer on Melcher, who fell into the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

As the deputies attempted to take Melcher into custody, they saw him pull a .38-caliber revolver from within vehicle.

A deputy ordered Melcher to put the gun down, but he shot himself in the head and was killed instantly.

None of the Sheriff’s Office personnel at the scene were injured.

Melcher was wanted by Maryland State Police in Salisbury for drug possession, Baltimore City for drug possession and Virginia State Police for credit card theft charges.

He was also a suspect in a criminal investigation being conducted by the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

The state police Princess Anne barrack, along with MSP homicide unit, crime scene and IAU personnel, were asked by the sheriff’s office to investigate the case which is continuing.

Customs Agents Do Their Job At Dulles- Whatever The Job Might Be

Customs agents at Dulles have probably seen just about everything. And it seems people use their imaginations to smuggle anything they can and want to into our country. Some will even act naive about a smuggling attempt.

Here's a drug-sniffing dog namesDemi who sniffs chocolate.....or maybe drugs. But read below the arrest Customs and Border Protection agents made on September 9.

STERLING, Va. (AP) - Customs and Border Protection says a drug-sniffing dog found 21 pounds of marijuana hidden in packages of chocolate shipped to Washington-Dulles International Airport.

The marijuana was headed to New York. It has an estimated street value of nearly $17,000.

Officials say the dog, named Demi, alerted for a mailbag that arrived from Mexico City. One of five boxes in the sack contained marijuana.

The marijuana will be destroyed.

September 9, 2010
STERLING, Va. - Customs agents see foreigner travelers try to bring a lot of unusual items into the U.S., but one slimy seizure over Labor Day weekend could have been devastating to crops.

A traveler from Ghana tried to bring 14 Giant African Land Snails into the U.S. at Washington-Dulles International Airport Sunday.

The snails, which were as large as a child's fist, are said to be one of the worst invasive species in the world and have caused economic damage to crops.

The snails are known to eat at least 500 different types of plants and to reproduce rapidly. They can grow to be nearly 8 inches by 4 inches big.

The traveler declared the snails, but they had to be destroyed because they are illegal in the U.S.

The Final Goodbye

Today family, friends, community and fireman from many departments will say their last goodbyes to the loved, respected and admired "Hal" Clark.

Please keep in mind and be aware that this may cause some delays in your travels. Be aware that funerals for people such as "Hal" always have a large turnout of fireman and fire equipment. Also present today will be a huge gathering of motorcyclists. While fire trucks are easy to see motorcycles sometimes are not.
For the funeral on Friday.....
The company is expecting a large number of firefighters and motorcyclists to gather to pay their respects to Hal Clark. With this large number, we anticipate the procession to the cemetery to be quite lengthy. Roads may be blocked and traffic may be stopped temporarily at various locations on Chincoteague and in the towns of Atlantic and Temperanceville.

Below is an estimated time of arrival at various locations: (please note that times are all approximate)

* Approximately 3:15 p.m. – Depart Union Baptist Church, Chincoteague.

* Approximately 3:45 p.m. – First vehicles arrival at the intersection of Chincoteague Road and Atlantic Road

* Approximately 4:00 p.m.- First vehicles arrive at John W. Taylor Cemetery in Temperanceville

Please note that these times are estimates for the first vehicles arriving to locations. The exact length of the procession is unknown. Expect anything from 10-60 minutes of delay.<>

Senate Votes To Turn Down Volume On TV Commercials

I know commercials can be annoying and loud. I discovered this back in 1976 with the birth of my first daughter and her attraction to them. Back then she wasn't interested in buying any of those products, she had been distracted from her normal routine by the volume of the commercial.

Now, that was over 30 years ago and since that time we have gone from the volume knob (remember those?) to the remote control. Yep, the remote control........the TV addicts best friend!

So now time is being wasted on passing legislation to have advertising companies turn back the volume on their ads. Good grief! How are these companies supposed to sell? Remember, you TV people, you don't have to get your butt up anymore to turn a volumn knob.......just hit mute on the remote!

Besides, even with lower volume on TV ads you still won't be listening or hearing any better when someone is trying to speak to you. You will still answer with "HUH?"

Know what I would like to see abolished from TV? Some TV shows themselves......"The Price Is Right" and "Let's Make A Deal". That's loud........oops, not an annoying commercial.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Legislation to turn down the volume on those loud TV commercials that send couch potatoes diving for their remote controls looks like it'll soon become law.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill late Wednesday to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt.

The House has passed similar legislation. Before it can become law, minor differences between the two versions have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the Nov. 2 election.

Ever since television caught on in the 1950s, the Federal Communication Commission has been getting complaints about blaring commercials. But the FCC concluded in 1984 there was no fair way to write regulations controlling the "apparent loudness" of commercials. So it hasn't been regulating them.

Correcting sound levels is more complicated than using the remote control. The television shows and ads come from a variety of sources, from local businesses to syndicators.

Managing the transition between programs and ads without spoiling the artistic intent of the producers poses technical challenges and may require TV broadcasters to purchase new equipment. To address the issue, an industry organization recently produced guidelines on how to process, measure and transmit audio in a uniform way.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., requires the FCC to adopt those recommendations as regulations within a year and begin enforcing them a year later. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., is the driving force behind the bill in the House.

Its title is the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a co-sponsor, said it's time to stop the use of loud commercials to startle viewers into paying attention. "TV viewers should be able to watch their favorite programs without fear of losing their hearing when the show goes to a commercial," he said.

How Jail Time is Determined Sometimes OR.... Why A Five Year Sentence Isn't Five Years

This article was written in March 2009 by David Muhlhausen, the Senior Policy Analyst in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation. This is what he had to say when he spoke before the Judiciary Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates Senate.
This might give alot of us a better understanding towards the reason why so many brutal people are allowed to walk the streets that we pay tax dollars towards to be safe!

The Problem of Lenient Sentencing

A very likely explanation for Maryland's high violent crime rate may be its sentencing system that is too lenient, especially for violent crimes. The concern over high crime rates and a failed rehabilitative model of corrections led federal and many state governments to reform their correctional systems. Many states have adopted "truth-in-sentencing" laws, where the goal is to ensure that offenders convicted of violent crimes actually serve most of their incarceration sentences.

In authentic truth-in-sentencing states, violent crime offenders sentenced to prison are required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences with the possibility of early release for the remaining 15 percent of the sentence for good behavior. Upon completion of at least 85 percent of their prison sentences, offenders may be returned to society on supervised release.

While Maryland law requires violent crime offenders sentenced to prison to serve only 50 percent of their sentences, a recent case reported by The Baltimore Sun demonstrates the inadequacy of Maryland's system. One month after an offender was convicted of armed robbery, The Baltimore Sun reported that the son-in-law of the 66-year-old robbery victim was notified of the convicted offender's forthcoming parole hearing.[2] The armed robber was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but three years suspended by the judge. The parole hearing, set for this summer, will determine if the armed robber is eligible to be paroled in February 2010 because the time the offender served in jail awaiting trial counts toward his suspended sentence. Thus, a ten-year sentence was reduced by the judge to only three years. Now Maryland's corrections system may release the armed robber after only serving 1.5 years--15 percent of the original sentence. The General Assembly should consider ending the state's revolving door of justice that does not serve the interests of law-abiding citizens.

Reasons to Support Truth-in-Sentencing

Truth-in-sentencing can be justified for several reasons. First, long prison terms for serious and violent crimes are just. Second, incapacitation and deterrence works.

Longer prison terms for serious and violent crimes are just. Maryland's current sentencing system grants judges and parole boards too much discretion in sentence lengths and release decisions. This discretion all too often comes at the expense of public safety. In addition, Maryland's diminution credit system makes sentences too lenient for serious and violent offenders. The diminution credit system allows an inmate to earn up to 20 days off his sentence for every month of good behavior and participation in rehabilitation services. When the inmate's diminution credits equals the number of days remaining on the inmate's sentence, the inmate is eligible for mandatory release.

Real truth-in-sentencing laws make incarceration terms more meaningful by ensuring that offenders actually serve most of their sentences. The adoption of truth-in-sentencing by Maryland will help restore the credibility of courts by making sentencing more uniform and ensuring that offenders actually served almost all of their original sentences.

Incapacitation and deterrence works. During the 1970s and 1980s, state officials from across the nation recognized that the rehabilitative model of corrections did not work. Correctional systems no longer focused on the ideal of rehabilitation at the expense of public safety. Rehabilitation programs were deemed ineffective.[3] Deterrence and incapacitation became the primary mission of correctional systems. Thus, federal and many state governments adopted such reforms as determinate sentencing, truth-in-sentencing, and increased sentence lengths.

The switch to determinate sentencing and increased sentence lengths prevents crime through the effects of incapacitation and deterrence. The incapacitation effect reduces crime because offenders confined in prison from the rest of society are unable to harm innocent citizens. Criminals in prison simply cannot harm society.

In addition, determinate sentencing, combined with increased sentence lengths, produces greater levels of deterrence than occurred under the rehabilitative model. Deterrence theory supposes that increasing the risk of apprehension and punishment for crime deters individuals from committing crime. Nobel laureate Gary S. Becker's seminal 1968 study of the economics of crime recognized that individuals respond to the costs and benefits of committing crime.[4] In short, incentives matter.

Over the years, several studies have demonstrated a link between increased incarceration and decreases in crime rates. After controlling for socioeconomic factors that may influence crime rates, research based on trends in multiple jurisdictions (states and counties) over several years indicates that incarceration reduces crime significantly.[5]

Professor Joanna M. Shepherd of Emory University found that truth-in-sentencing laws that required violent felons to serve up to 85 percent of their sentence reduced violent crime rates.[6] These laws reduced county murder rates per 100,000 residents by 1.2 incidents. Assaults and robberies were reduced by 44.8 and 39.6 incidents per 100,000 residents, respectively. Rapes and larcenies were reduced by 4.2 and 89.5 incidents per 100,000 residents.[7]

Other studies demonstrate the crime-reducing effect of incarceration. Professor William Spelman of the University of Texas at Austin estimates that the national drop in crime during the 1990s would have been 27 to 34 percent smaller without the prison buildup.[8] In another study, Professor Spelman analyzed the impact of incarceration in Texas counties from 1990 to 2000.[9] The most significant factor responsible for the drop in crime in Texas was the state's prison expansion.

Professor Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago found that for each prisoner released from prison, there was an increase of almost 15 reported and unreported crimes per year.[10]

Two studies by Thomas B. Marvell of Justec Research in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Carlisle E. Moody of the College of William and Mary support these findings on the effects of incarceration. In a 1994 study of 49 states' incarceration rates from 1971 to 1989, Marvell and Moody found that about 17 crimes (mainly property crimes) were averted for each additional prisoner put behind bars.[11] In a study using national data from 1930 to 1994, Marvell and Moody found that a 10 percent increase in the total prison population was associated with a 13 percent decrease in homicide, after controlling for socioeconomic factors.[12]

The Cost of Corrections in Maryland

Opponents of adopting authentic truth-in-sentencing laws in Maryland may argue that the state cannot afford to implement such policies because of budget constraints. However, public safety is the primary responsibility of state government. In fiscal year (FY) 2007, corrections made up only 4.4 percent of Maryland's total expenditures (see Chart 2).[13] Comparatively, elementary and secondary education and Medicaid comprised 18.7 percent and 18.5 percent of total expenditures, respectively.[14] The amount of funds Maryland spends on corrections is little compared to other less important government activities.


Maryland faces a serious violent crime problem. Some members of society clearly need to be in prison for the safety of the rest. As long as that is the case, authorities must do what it takes to incarcerate those people who commit serious and violent crimes. Authentic truth-in-sentencing is one such policy that can make Maryland communities safer.

To read the entire report and see the charts on crime go to

Man Charged With Fatal Stabbing In Pocomoke Had Just Been Released

Why was this man back into the streets of any city or town? Why are any of them set free and allowed to roam the streets helping themselves to anything they feel entitled to? What is it going to take to get these people actually punished for the crimes they commit? My guess is that repeat offenders know how to work the system..........

Someone clue the average citizen in on all of this so that we NO longer become victims!

SNOW HILL -- Police arrested a Pocomoke City man late Wednesday in the stabbing death of a teen, charging him with murder.

James Edward Ballard, 29, of Pocomoke City was ordered to be held without bond by Judge Gerald Purnell in Worcester County District Court.

Police charged Ballard with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 18-year-old Russell Matthew Bailey III of Pocomoke City. Police also charged him with second-degree murder, manslaughter and first-degree assault.

The circumstances of the incident were not immediately clear. First-degree murder is a charge that implies premeditation; Ballard told police he was defending himself.

According to court documents, Pocomoke City Police and Maryland State Police responded at 2:30 p.m. to a reported stabbing in the 700 block of Eighth Street in Pocomoke City, across the street from the middle school.

Police found the victim lying on the ground, bleeding from a chest wound. In charging documents, police said "numerous witnesses" said they saw Ballard stab Bailey.

Investigators telephoned Ballard to come in for an interview. At the Pocomoke City Police station, he confessed to stabbing Bailey, calling it an act of self-defense. In charging documents, police allege Ballard killed Bailey with premeditation, based upon their investigation.

Bailey graduated from Pocomoke High School in June. Tyrone Mills, the school's principal, said in a statement: "We are deeply saddened to learn of Russell's death. It is a tragedy to lose a young man who had his whole life ahead of him."

In Snow Hill District Court on Thursday, Ballard sported a bushy beard and shiny white Air Jordan sneakers with his navy blue prisoner jumpsuit. He told the judge that he has "a lot of stuff going on" in his life; he needed a lawyer, he said, and asked for a preliminary hearing.

Ballard also told the judge he had barely been home two weeks after having spent time in jail for a probation violation.

In September 2008, a Worcester County Circuit Court judge sentenced Bailey to a year in jail and two years on probation on charges of second-degree assault.

Months later, authorities learned not only had Ballard moved from Pocomoke City to Philadelphia, but he had been arrested there in February 2009 on drug charges. They also learned of his July 2009 arrest in Hampton, Va., also on a drug charge.

His move and the arrests violated the terms of his probation. As a result, a judge sent him back to jail in November 2009.

Ballard's criminal record in Worcester and Wicomico counties dates to 1999 and includes other charges for burglary, drug possession, armed robbery, assault and escaping from police custody. No date has been set yet for Ballard's next court appearance.

Man Dies In Somerset County Vehicle Accident

WESTOVER -- A 26-year-old man was killed on Thursday night after a van he was riding in was broadsided by a tractor trailer, police say.

The Princess Anne barrack of the Maryland State Police say the victim, Marino Cordova, was a backseat passenger in a Chevrolet Venture driven by Abdiel Velasquez, 21. Police say that at 7:17 p.m., the Chevy Venture failed to yield the right-of-way to a 2003 Peterbilt tractor and trailer, which was traveling northbound on Route 13 at Camp Road. The tractor/trailer struck the van and the van then left the roadway, overturning several times and ejecting Cordova.

Cordova was pronounced dead at the scene. Driver Velasquez was admitted to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries. Charges are pending as the investigation continues.

Gene Simmons Predicts 'Major Change' In Midtern Elections

Gene Simmons has never been one to shy away from voicing his political opinions and the KISS frontman tells Pop Tarts he is anticipating some serious power shifts to take place as a result of the midterm elections in November.

"There is going to be major change. The American public is very, very angry. I believed in this administration, and I voted for President Obama, I also voted for President Clinton, and I also voted for President Bush,” Simmons said this week at the launch of Activision’s “Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock” in Los Angeles. “I will vote my conscience, and I'll be damned if anybody is going to point a finger at me and say ‘vote along party lines.’ America is like me – sometimes they vote this way, sometimes they vote that way."

But when it comes to certain issues, Simmons isn’t afraid to admit his allegiances aren’t exactly in keeping with Hollywood’s stereotypes.

"I am fiscally and in terms of foreign policy, very conservative. Like everybody, we want to pay less taxes not more,” he continued.

And on that note, Simmons is taking the Tea Party movement very seriously.

“You have to take any movement that expresses the will of the public seriously. You can't point to any direction and say ‘this is nonsense’ because the people who are involved in any movement, are doing it because they believe,” he explained. “Who am I to say that what they're doing is right or wrong? At the end of the day, no matter what anyone believes in, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, you have the opportunity to vote, and express your feelings.”

So what’s Simmons’ message to those in power? Zip the lip and just do the work.

“I resent the fact that the Democrats are making fun of the Tea Party, and likewise, I don't like the Republicans making fun of Democrats. Basically, shut up; don't tell me what's wrong with the other party. Tell me what you're going to do for me, then I'll let you know who I'm going to vote for,” he told us. “This is why America is like me – sometimes Republicans get in, sometimes Democrats get in. As soon as one messes up, we throw them out. Watch what's going to happen this election."

And in a different form of competition, Simmons admitted that he has been approached about being a contestant for an upcoming season of the ABC hit “Dancing With the Stars”, and that he is entertaining the possibility.

Stay tuned.

Patients of Suspended Lyme's Disease Doctor Defend His Practice

In wake of the AMA finding against Eastern Shore Lyme's disease specialist Dr. Geoffrey Gubb, several of Gubb's patients have come out in support of the specialist.

In a letter sent to WESR from Dianne Nickel, local resident and current Lymes disease patient of Dr. Gubb, she said that Dr. Gubbs contributions vastly outweigh the allegations against him.

Nickel said "A year ago I could not see to drive my car, and I had chronic fatigue, leaned on walls to stand, had migraine headaches, joint pain and swelling in my wrists, night sweats and so on. I lost 5 months of work due to these ailments. I am glad to say that Dr. Gubb's treatment has me back on my feet, exercising 10 miles each night on my exercise bike, working 8 hours a day, driving anywhere I want to and feeling great with no pain."

Nickel also addressed the AMA's allegations, saying "I understand that he gave pain killers to patients and did not follow their cases and treatment. All I can say is for sure that he did not give anyone a pain killer unless they absolutely needed it. I trust him completely. He sent me to an herbal store to purchase milk thistle, probiotics and other herbal remedies. He is a naturalist."

The letter also says the review of Dr. Gubb by the AMA was only a 3 man review. A more formal 9 person review could overturn the ruling in this case. Gubb still plans on closing his family medical practice at the end of the month. He is the only Lymes disease specialist on the Eastern Shore.

The Rural Sign Painter

***Now in the egg business! *** He always amazes me.

Thursday, September 30, 2010








Here is a fact sheet about tomorrow’s change in the law regarding cell phone use while driving.

Maryland Cell Phone Law Fact Sheet – Effective October 1, 2010
1.      What is Maryland’s Cell Phone Law that takes effect on October 1, 2010?
Maryland Senate Bill 321 and House Bill 934 were signed into law by Governor O'Malley.  The new law will prohibit all Maryland drivers from using a cell phone without a hands free device while operating a motor vehicle in motion on a street or highway.  In addition, the new law would prohibit a school bus driver or a holder of a learner’s permit, or provisional license who is 18 years of age or older, from driving a motor vehicle while using a handheld telephone.  A driver under 18 already is prohibited from using any cell phone.
2.      What exceptions are allowed?
Phone calls placed to 9-1-1, ambulance, hospital, fire, or law enforcement agencies are allowed, as are calls made by emergency and law enforcement personnel.  A driver is allowed to turn a handheld phone on or off and to initiate or terminate a call.
3.      Is the law a primary offense? 
The new law is a secondary offense, meaning that a driver must first be detained for another offense, such as speeding or negligent driving, before he or she can be ticketed for a cell phone offense.  However, be advised that “negligent driving” is a primary offense in Maryland and can be used as a precursor to citing violators of the new cell phone law.
4.      What is the fine for the offense? 
The fine for a first offense would be $40 and subsequent offenses would be $100.  Points will not be assessed to the first-time violator’s driving record, except, three points are assessed if the violation contributed to a crash.  One point is assessed for a second or subsequent offense.
5.      Is this the same law as the texting law?

No, Maryland also bans texting while driving.  This law
prohibits an individual from writing or sending a text message while operating a motor vehicle that is in motion or in the travel portion of the highway. If convicted of violating this law a person may be assessed a fine not exceeding $500. This law does not apply to texting 9-1-1 or using a global positioning system.
6.      Why is this law needed?
Studies indicate that cell phone conversations distract a driver and delays reaction time, which can cause and increase the severity of a vehicular crash.  The National Safety Council has estimated that cell phone use is responsible for 1.6 million crashes a year, nationally -- about 28 percent of all crashes.  Maryland now joins 7 other states (Calif., Conn., Del., N.J., N.Y., Ore. and Wash.), D.C. and the Virgin Islands in banning handheld cell phone use while driving.  For more information, please visit

Hal Clark Funerl Information Concerning Traffic

The funeral tomorrow for Atlantic Fire Department fireman "Hal" Clark is expected to be enormous. Please allow a little extra travel time.For the funeral on Friday.....

The company is expecting a large number of firefighters and motorcyclists to gather to pay their respects to Hal Clark. With this large number, we anticipate the procession to the cemetery to be quite lengthy. Roads may be blocked and traffic may be stopped temporarily at various locations on Chincoteague and in the towns of Atlantic and Temperanceville.

Below is an estimated time of arrival at various locations: (please note that times are all approximate)

* Approximately 3:15 p.m. – Depart Union Baptist Church, Chincoteague.

* Approximately 3:45 p.m. – First vehicles arrival at the intersection of Chincoteague Road and Atlantic Road

* Approximately 4:00 p.m.- First vehicles arrive at John W. Taylor Cemetery in Temperanceville

Please note that these times are estimates for the first vehicles arriving to locations. The exact length of the procession is unknown. Expect anything from 10-60 minutes of delay.

***Also note that motorcycles are to meet in the parking lot across from the church.

Remembering Firefighter William Harold "Hal" Clark

William "Hal" Harold Clark

(March 13, 1956 - September 24, 2010)

Firefighter William "Hal" Clark, 54, of Atlantic, VA. passed away in the line of duty Friday, September 24th, 2010.

Hal was born in Salisbury, Maryland on March 13, 1956, the son of the late Bill and Virginia (Shields) Clark.

He worked for the Town of Chincoteague in the public works and water department.

He was the president and lifetime member of the Atlantic Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company and past member of Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company as an engineer.

He was very dedicated to volunteering at the Chincoteague Carnival. He was also a member of the Sons of American Legion Post # 159 and the American Legion Riders.

He is survived by a daughter Valerie Merritt and her husband Keith of Chincoteague, Va; a grandaughter Jenna Merritt of Chincoteague, VA; a fiance' Mary Snead of Atlantic, VA and her son Michael; a brother Skibo Clark and his wife Cristy of Chincoteague; a sister Shelia Gallagher of Chincoteague, VA; a step mother Jean Clark of Chincoteague, VA; three nieces Sandy Daisey, Melissa Clark, and Taylor Clark; three nephews Buster Dennis, Matt Clark, and Mason Karafa; several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He was predeceased by a son Todd Clark.

Friends are invited to call Thursday 7-9 PM. at Union Baptist Church on Church Street in Chincoteague, VA.

Funeral Service with full Firefighter Honors will be held at Union Baptist Church, Chincoteague Island, VA, at 2 PM on Friday, October 1st, with Rev. Maurice Enright and Rev. Bob Reese officiating.

All firefighters and motorcycle riders are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Interment will be held at John W. Taylor Memorial Cemetery Temperenceville, VA.

The family would like to invite everyone to join them for a reception after the service at the Chincoteague Center on 6155 Community Drive on Chincoteague, VA. Flowers accepted or donations may be made to Fire Company of Your Choice.

Services entrusted to Salyer Funeral Home, Inc., where condolences may be made online at<>

Drug Smiffing Dog Sniffs Out Pot Hidden In Dog Food Bag

GRANDY, N.C. (WAVY) - Sheriff's Deputies arrested a man for having more than 10 pounds of marijuana inside his car at the Food Lion parking lot in Grandy Saturday.

Currituck County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Lucio Obet-Pasos Barrios of Columbia, N.C. They charged him with two counts of trafficking marijuana, felony possession of marijuana and maintaining a vehicle for felony drug distribution.

Acting on a tip, members of the department's Interdiction Narcotics Unit approached Barrios' 2002 Dodge Neon at 11:18 a.m., according to a news release. The unit's drug-sniffing dog alerted deputies to the presence of drugs. A search of the car uncovered a dog food bag in the trunk that contained 10 one-gallon plastic bags filled with marijuana, according to the release.

Barrios is currently being held at the Currituck County jail under $4,000 bond. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

Wind Restrictions At Bay Bridge Tunnel

Wind restrictions on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel have been lifted.

As of 6 AM there were Level 2 wind restrictions posted at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
The following types of vehicles are not allowed to cross:

- motorcycles

- large pick-up campers

- camper trailers

- house trailers

- anything being towed

- vehicles with exterior cargo or anything being towed

- empty tractor-trailers, not including empty tanker trucks

- small, six-wheel trucks

Tractor trailers must gross 30,000 pounds of payload in addition to the rigs weight, according to the facilitys Web site. Six-wheel trucks must gross 15,000 pounds of payload in addition to the weight of the rig.

Tractors without trailers will be allowed to cross the span, the site says.

Pocomoke Middle School Pride Shown On The "Today Show"

Here's the video of Pocomoke Middle School as it was filmed last week for the "Today Show" and aired Wednesday morning. "The school gained the notice of producers working on the series after being named one of the country's 10 NASSP Breakthrough Schools for its improvements in student achievement in 2008, and then being profiled on the U.S. Department of Education's website in 2009."

The interviews are wonderful! The students and staff are so proud of themselves! And listen to what Principal Bloxom has to say about what she requires of her teaching staff.

And for any of you "long ago Pocomoke Middle School students (like my children and their friends) see if you recognize any of those teachers. I guarantee it will bring back memories.

This is a wonderful thing for the middle school and for Pocomoke City too.

Arrest Has Been Made In Pocomoke Stabbing

Reported around 1:00 a.m.

*UPDATE* The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation has made an arrest in the stabbing death of a teenager in Pocomoke City.

Authorities say 29-year-old James Ballard murdered 18-year-old Russell Bailey near 9th St. in Pocomoke Wednesday. Ballard is behind bars this morning.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Pocomoke City Police are seeking the assistance of it’s citizens by reporting any 
suspicious activity or unknown persons in their neighborhood during the day time 
and evening hours.  Person(s) unknown have broken into private homes during 
these hours by entering thru the rear doors.  Items of interest are laptop 
computers, X-Boxes, and Video Games.  Should you observe any suspicious 
activity/persons in your neighborhood, please call 911 or the Pocomoke Police 
directly at 410-957-1600.  Affected areas are Eighth Street, Pocomoke Heights, 
and White Oaks areas.
                                 J. D. Ervin
                           Chief of Police

Letter To The Editor

Sent to Pocomoke Public Eye
September 29, 2010

Dear Pocomoke,

This letter notes concern for changes quietly considered in Pocomoke City. This information, to my knowledge and attendance at 2 recent town meetings, and denied at a community awareness meeting in June, has not been discussed nor input received from city residents, business owners, or the community.

The possible relocation to the opposite end of town, even relocation of the Police Department, is a safety concern. Another concern is will all services be eventually relocated, without public input, toward the new Firehouse? And a substation won’t do; they are usually underfunded, undermanned, and eventually closed. If our government services move from downtown Pocomoke, what will become of this area, the residents who live here and the businesses?

Already, references can be frequently overheard of certain parts of Pocomoke in derogatory terms that will be further encouraged if services relocate south.  We need to do more then simply give a small building to a group like “Save the Youth”.  As I’ve said for several years, we need to do more in this community for our young people.

As I grew up here, I know both the good and the poor choices.  We have to offer more positive choices!
This is troubling for all involved and now the stabbing today, makes this, at times, for our children seem unreal.  My heart goes out to all of those involved and to our community. At the end of last week, as President of the Pocomoke Ministerial Association, I prayerfully requested of our association members that our city enter a time of ‘city wide prayer’. It is time!

What I don't understand is why these crimes aren't discussed with the media. I applaud States’ Attorney Todd for mentioning the one today. Why aren't people being encouraged to talk about this with their children and teens? We need to encourage our children and teens to talk openly about these events and their feelings.

Furthermore, by inviting an open discussion, receiving input from our community, and considering future impact on residents and business owners, especially relocating the Police Department away from the Downtown Business and Historic Districts, our local government would demonstrate consideration for community input.

If our government opened the door for discussion with the community, modeled an open and transparent government, our leaders would not loose this opportunity to demonstrate true ‘change’ in Pocomoke. This is a serious and disappointing concern for a town experiencing a surge in crime of several thefts, B & E’s and now 4 homicides in about 30 days.  As our community is changing, we need to address these times and we need to encourage input from everyone.  This is one battle we can’t afford to lose!

author notes correction of 2 homicides and 2 attempted

Dr. Lynn Duffy, Psy.D., D.Min.(H), LCPC, NCC
and Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor
-a Pocomoke City Resident and Downtown Business Owner

Teen Dies After Stabbing

POCOMOKE CITY — An 18-year-old man died Wednesday after being stabbed, and Worcester County law enforcement officials are calling it a homicide.

The victim was stabbed around 3 p.m. in the area of Ninth Street and Laurel Street in Pocomoke City, according Worcester County State's Attorney Joel Todd. The victim was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, where he was pronounced dead.

Todd said the victim has been identified but declined to give the boy's name. Todd said the victim's body was found behind a home and showed no signs of life. He said the Worceter County Bureau of Investigation and Pocomoke City Police are investigating. Todd said it was the third homicide this year in Pocomoke.

Pocomoke City District 3 Councilman Bruce Morrison said the body was found across the street from the town's middle school. As a result, the town's elementary, middle, and high schools were put on lockdown for a brief time as classes were about to be let out, as a matter of protocol.

"It's getting scary," he said, noting the incident occured near his home. "I don't want to see things like this happening my town. I'm very concerned about it. I'm going to talk to the City Manager about it, and we're going to see what we can do about getting it under wraps."

Kudos to Councilman Morrison! I hope he will continue to work on this and all crime in the wonderful city of Pocomoke. The citizens deserve to know. The citizens NEED to know about ALL crime in the area. How can they fight something they do not have a full grasp on?

(UPDATE) Breaking News..... Pocomoke Middle School Stabbing

I don't know if it's true but the word on the street is that a person got stabbed to death at or near the Pocomoke Middle school.

The person that supposedly got stabbed is a well known young man that was raised in Pocomoke and has been in quite a bit of trouble, I'm withholding the name pending a news release.

(UPDATE) The Pocomoke Middle School was locked down today at or around 2:30 pm.

From an eyewitness; At or about 2:30 pm. The stabbing occurred on 8th street in or behind one of the small bungalows across from the Middle School.

The eyewitness reports a young man came running from in-between the houses and ran into the street where he started staggering and then fell to the ground in the roadway.

As he lay in the roadway another person came from the same location and stood over the victim for a short time then ran away while 2 other subjects went in another direction walking toward 7th street through the middle school parking area.

It's said that nearby patrons tried to do CPR on the victim and the ambulance and Pocomoke Police arrived on the scene very quickly. The Pocomoke Police apprehended the 2 subjects that were walking in the 7th street direction the other subjects whereabouts are unknown by the eyewitness.

The ambulance quickly removed the victim. The Pocomoke Police are still on the scene.

 I will reserve the victims name pending a police report.

(UPDATE2) It seams the word is out so I can now provide the name of the victim, It was Russell Bailey he was 17 or 18 years old.

Our prayers and condolences go out to the family.

If you have more information you would like to share please contact us @ or