James Rada, Jr.

Thurmont businesses are beginning to be recognized as some of the best in Frederick County. The Frederick News-Post’s annual “Best of the Best” contest recognized 183 county businesses in 14 categories as being the “Best of the Best.” Each year, the community nominates and votes for their favorite businesses.

At a town meeting where the local businesses were recognized, Economic Development Director Vickie Grinder said, “Traditionally Frederick had held all the winners; but in the last couple of years, several years, that has been changing.”

Grinder recognized these local winners with a “You Make Thurmont Proud” Award.

Cunningham Falls State Park won awards for Best Place to Camp (Regional) and Best Place for a First Date (Non-Food). “It’s a great partnership we have with Thurmont, and we’re growing with Thurmont,” said Mark Spurrier, park manager.

Dr. Jon A. Moles with Gateway Orthodontics won Best Orthodontist. He said, “To make it to the final five, and then to actually be the best comes from the community.” He said opening his practice in Thurmont was the best decision he ever made.

Stauffer Funeral Home, PA, won Best Funeral Home.

Hawkins Landscaping won Best Landscaping Company. Eric Hawkins said, “For so many years, we used to think we had to go to Montgomery County, and we did, and we beat that road. Little did we know we had all the support we needed right here, locally.”

Baker Tree Services won Best Tree Service Company.

Springfield Manor Winery Distillery Brewery won Best Wedding Venue and Best Winery: Springfield Manor Winery Distillery Brewery. Amy with Springfield Manor said, “Thurmont is such a small place, but look how mighty we are. We snagged a lot of the big awards.”

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development also listed a report of the top 50 CEOs in the county. Two Thurmont CEOs—David Hawkins, Jr. with Hawkins Landscaping and Jeff Barber with Playground Specialists—were among the list of top Frederick County executives. Grinder also awarded them “You Make Thurmont Proud” Awards.

On Tuesday, February 6, 2019, at the Town meeting, several Thurmont businesses were given the “You Make Thurmont Proud” Award for winning the 2018 Frederick News-Post “Best of the Best.”

James Rada, Jr.

The Emmitsburg Commissioners began a review of proposed changes to the town’s sign ordinance. The ordinance is undergoing major re-work, and the review will take place over three meetings. The next two town meetings this month, as well as in April, will be when the discussion is continued. The public is encouraged to let the commissioners know their opinions about the proposed changes so that their input can be taken into consideration.

The changes are needed in order to update the ordinance to deal with new technology and to comply with recent state and federal legal cases involving signage. Town Planner Zach Gulden told the commissioners that in one case the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sign ordinances needed to be “content neutral.”

“If your code enforcement officer has to read the sign in order to determine whether a regulation applies, the ordinance provision will likely be subject to a challenge,” he said. He also pointed out that the current town sign ordinance might possibly fail that test because it treats civic and nonprofit signage differently than commercial signage.

One change suggested is to move the sign ordinance from its current location in the town code into the zoning ordinance.

“This will allow the Planning Commission to review and comment on the proposed amendment, and it will allow businesses and residents the opportunity to apply for zoning variances if the property has a unique hardship not recognized by the sign code,” Gulden said.

This first session looked at the proposed types of signs that would be allowed and prohibited. These changes and other proposed changes are based on other sign ordinances around the state.

Sign types such as abandoned signs were obvious choices for prohibited signs. Other types, such as reflective and animated signs, were included because they can lead to distracted driving.

Prohibiting neon signs raised concern among the commissioners. “That one’s just jumping out at me,” said Commissioner Joseph Ritz, III.

Gulden said that whether or not to include neon signs was up to the commissioners, but he pointed out that buildings with neon signage are not eligible for Community Legacy Grants.

Signs that would be allowed under the proposed ordinance include traffic signs, holiday/seasonal decorations, personal expression signs, security signs, flags, arts and murals, legal notices, and temporary signs.

During a February Town meeting, owners of three local businesses (Emmitsburg Tattoo, The Ott House, and Total Look Hair Salon) spoke to express how restrictions on signage would affect their businesses.

Town Manager Cathy Willets told the commissioners that she feels they will find that the changes, taken as a whole, are far less restrictive than the current sign ordinance.

No actions were taken on the proposed changes during the February meeting. The review of the changes continues during the March 4 and April 1 meetings of the town commissioners. Residents and business owners are invited to voice their opinions about the changes at these meetings.  

“We’re really going to dig deep into the details in the next two meetings,” Gulden said.

Even if existing legal signage does not comply with whatever the town commissioners eventually pass, the existing signage will be grandfathered in and allowed to continue unchanged.

Emmitsburg Commissioners are conducting a sign ordinance review to deal with new technology and to comply with recent state and federal legal cases involving signage.

James Rada, Jr.

Last year was a wet one for the region, with about twice as much rain as typical. With two months under our belts in 2019, are things back to normal?

Despite the couple days of arctic cold and then higher-than-typical warms, the days have been relatively balanced, with just as many days with temperatures above average as below.

The quick-changing temperatures have caused some problems, though.

“The freeze and thaw can cause ground movement, and it doesn’t take much movement to crack a water line,” said Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick.

Thurmont has had two water main breaks in 2019. Humerick said that, luckily, they weren’t significant, and the town crews were able to locate and repair them quickly.

Emmitsburg’s Town Manager Cathy Willets stated that no town-owned water lines have frozen, although a few private citizens had problems. There has also been no increased pot holes in roads due to the freezing, thawing, and the use of snow melt chemicals.

Rain and snow is also tracking with the area average so far, although this may vary depending on where you measure. It is nowhere near twice as much as the average.

“Emmitsburg’s been faring pretty well with the weather,” Willets said.

Since January, Humerick said, “It’s been a few things you would typically expect to happen in the winter.”

Now that we are entering springtime, the worries about snow will end, and we’ll start to worry about making sure we have enough rainfall to maintain the water levels in municipal wells.

by James Rada, Jr.


February 2019 Meeting

Commissioners Begin Sign Ordinance Review

The Emmitsburg Commissioners began a review of the town’s new sign ordinance. The ordinance is undergoing major rework and the review will take place over three meetings.

Free Parking Donations

The Town of Emmitsburg announced that the parking meter revenue collected during the holiday season amounted to a $300 donation to the Community Day fireworks show and the Emmitsburg Food Bank.

Work Contracts Awarded

The Emmitsburg Commissioners voted to award Zest, LLC, of Clarksville a $15,912 contract to perform a hydrologic analysis of the Rainbow Lake dam to determine if work needs to be done on it. The Maryland Department of the Environment is requiring this analysis.

The commissioners also awarded RK&K a $203,380 contract to design the new pumping station. Town Manager Cathy Willets said that the town worked with the company previously on the wastewater treatment plant. They brought that project in under budget and with limited change orders. In addition, RK&K is guaranteeing not to exceed their quoted cost for the pumping station.

Finally, the commissioners chose to award RSV Pools a three-year contract for the pool management. Despite some reservations with RSV Pools, there was only one other bidder and RSV Pools had the lowest bid.

Commissioners Allocate Excess Funds

At the close of the FY2018 budget, the Town of Emmitsburg had a $152,758 surplus. The commissioners voted to allocate these funds to a number of capital projects: 300A South Seton signage, a mandated stormwater management project, a storm drain excavation, park equipment upgrades, sending old documents to Sure Scan, a disc golf course in Community Park, a Rainbow Lake engineering study, parking meter equipment, sled dogs, salt spreaders, and a utility ATV. In some cases, the amount set aside won’t fully fund the project, but either pays the matching part of a grant or starts saving for the project.

Town Trail Work Days

Commissioner Tim O’Donnell selected three days for work on the town trails with volunteers from the town. The days are April 7, May 5, and June 22. The goal is to get the trails in shape for Community Day and for the summer.


February 2019 Meeting

Local Businesses Awarded for Making Thurmont Proud

Economic Development Director Vickie Grinder recognized local businesses who won Frederick’s Best of the Best Contest in the Frederick News Post.

Town Approves Directional Signs

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners awarded Shannon Baum of Eldersburg a $24,600 contract to produce twelve wayfinding signs, which she also designed. The signs, which will be paid for with grants from the Maryland Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area and Frederick County Tourism, are similar to the new “Welcome to Thurmont” signs. Town staff should have the new sign installed by May.

The town will also seek funding for two additional “Welcome to Thurmont” signs.

Nature Trail Planned for Library

A new nature trail will be constructed on the property of the Thurmont Regional Library through the efforts of the Catoctin Forest Alliance, Town of Thurmont, Thurmont Regional Library, Thurmont Green Team, Frederick County Public Schools SUCCESS Program, and volunteers. The ADA-compliant trail will include butterfly habitat, bird houses, and bat boxes. Cameras will also stream video to a screen in the children’s area of the library.

Although the surface is currently planned to be crushed stone, the commissioners are planning to request that the surface be made blacktop and included in Frederick County’s Capital Improvement Plan.

This new trail can also be connected to the Thurmont Trolley Trail and the Thurmont Gateway Trail. If this happens, people will be able to walk from the library to the Catoctin Mountain Park Visitor Center.

Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs

Teased, better yet, taunted by a 65-degree day, not once, but twice, had me calling out, “Hey, show me some robins!” Alas, none were to be seen, but there were voices, then sightings of returning redwing blackbirds—no wing coloring yet—to join the seasonal regulars: cardinals, titmice, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, mourning doves, and wrens, especially those who winter their nights under the eaves of our porch. Also, the visiting of jays and cameos (unfortunately, not on demand) from area attracted woodpeckers—the downy, hairy and red-bellied. All attracted by Mrs. Lib’s feeding stations here and wherever we have lived. Missed dearly from our farm days are red-headed woodpeckers, sapsuckers, and common flickers. We are anxiously awaiting our summer visitors, the catbirds and mockingbirds drawn to an old mulberry tree and Mrs. Lib’s sliced grapes.

We really miss Zurgables for the convenient purchase of birdseed for Mrs. Lib’s backyard guests, but it was time for Mark to step back. Thank you for your service to our community, and we tip our hats to you. We are still helping keep Jubilee going with ample shelled peanut purchases for the squirrels and jays.

President’s Day marked our annual mid-late national observance to our Aquarian February. So, a good time to add a tribute to the day to the many. This one is from the author of War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy, who wrote some forty-five years after the assassination of Lincoln, “The greatness of Napoleon, Caesar, or Washington is only moonlight by the sun of Lincoln.”

At our last town meeting, our planner, Zach Gulden, introduced an update to our sign ordinance, the first of three planned consecutive presentations. The update is recommended, “Due to modern technological advances and recent Federal Supreme Court cases. The proposed amendment seeks to meet the needs of businesses and other organizations while protecting and enhancing the visual quality and traditional design concepts of Emmitsburg.” The business audience was engaging.

Mr. Gulden also presented the “MS4” town compliance update. MS4 is the handle for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems. “The town is identified as an urbanized area and is mandated by the Environment Protection Agency and State of Maryland Department of the Environment to hold a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Our current permit is valid from 2018-2023. This is an unfunded mandate, which means we must meet the permit requirements with no funding help from the state or federal governments. The town may be fined up to $100,000 per day if the permit requirements are not met. The most costly requirement of the NPDES permit is treating at least 20 percent of the town’s impervious surface stormwater runoff every five years. The following are acceptable restoration strategies for receiving impervious area restoration credit: new stormwater ponds, existing stormwater pond retrofits (such as converting a dry pond to a wetland or providing additional water storage), restoring failed stormwater ponds, street sweeping, buffer planting, reforestation, stream restoration, inlet cleaning, shoreline stabilization, and others. Town staff is researching stream restoration projects and grant funding opportunities to meet this term’s permit needs. Staff projects the NPDES permit could cost the Town at least $500,000 every five years. That is certainly imposing as yet another mandate.

To our benefit, as I mentioned last month, is our timber asset and the town will be submitting requests for grant assistance.

New business development: (1) preliminary plans have been received for a Rutters gas and convenience store on part of the 200+ acres undeveloped within town limits on the east side of US 15. Yes, a Rutters may return to town, but this time on a much larger scale. This initial development will bring water and sewer to that area that could open the area to more commercial development. Additionally, there are preliminary plans for a retail commercial building on Silo Hill Parkway next to the car wash. Also the town-owned property on South Seton Avenue is being changed from residential to commercial (as allowed) and now being offered for rent.

We are not losing our mind, prices are rising. From an article in the Saturday, February 16, 2019, Wall Street Journal, “The Price of a Clean House” confirms our suspicions. The article tracked prices of several top-selling brands for everyday use household goods for the January 2018-January 2019 period. Manufacturers cited increased costs of production and delivery. By the way, more cost increases are expected to come this year… Kleenex 160-count tissues rectangular box, price bump 8.4 percent. Bounty Size-a-Super Roll 6 pack, price bump 19.4 percent. Huggies 112-count, size 4, disposable diapers up 1.9 percent. Glad Force Flex 13-gallon kitchen bags, 140 count, price bump 4.5 percent.

Ambivalent in its cadence, is the tempered assurance that spring will “stick the landing” once again. Unpredictable as to specifically when and how, there is always the predictability that it will be. The seasons do come with a wonderful rhythm. Let’s take care of it.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird

Recent snowfall has dashed any hopes of an early spring, but it is coming. In the meantime, a few thoughts when it snows: If you can get your car off the road, please do so, it helps our snowplows; Don’t shovel driveway aprons until our snow plows go past; Do be careful when driving close to snow plows; Keep an eye on your elderly neighbors when it gets really cold or we get snow and ice; Be sure your kids are dressed appropriately for the cold or snow; Make sure your pets are indoors during extreme cold or make sure they have ample shelter with fresh water and food. Snow can be fun, but it can also be very hazardous. Please remember to call 911 for all medical, fire, or rescue emergencies. Thurmont residents should call 301-271-7313 to report any water, electric, or sewer emergencies. Use the same number after hours and follow the instructions for reporting an emergency.

The next months will bring some great local events to Thurmont, courtesy of Thurmont Main Street. Get a head start on your own wellbeing at the 2nd Annual Zumbathon, being held on Sunday, April 7, at the Thurmont American Legion, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Proceeds from this event will help support Thurmont’s Gateway to the Cure 2019. On Saturday, April 27, be sure to attend the Thurmont Business Showcase, from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at the Thurmont Event Complex. This well-attended annual event features many local businesses and nonprofits and gives you the chance to discover local businesses, services, and products of which you may not have been aware. Bring your family and friends to the Thurmont Event Complex at 13716 Strafford Drive for this wonderful event. If you are looking for some outdoor fun, head out to the 1st Annual Gateway to the Cure Golf Tournament, being held at Maple Run Golf Course on June 21. Keep an eye open for further details on this local golfing event at Thurmont’s own Maple Run Golf Course.

There are lots of projects planned for the Thurmont area this coming year, from a third pavilion at the community park, new lighting in the trolley trail, to new wayfaring signs around town. Cunningham Falls State Park is in the process of making some great improvements to the facilities at the lake and at the Manor area. New restrooms, picnic facilities, beach improvements, enhanced entrance facilities, a new outdoor center, and several other projects are in the works. These improvements may have an impact on park accessibility during the summer, and officials ask for your understanding—the improvements will be worth the inconvenience!

I hope everyone has a wonderful March, and we are all looking forward to warmer spring weather when we can get back outside to enjoy all Thurmont has to offer!

As always, please call me at 301-606-9458 or email me at jkinnaird@thurmont.com with any questions, comments or suggestions. You can also follow my Facebook page for updates on local issues or upcoming events.

Local travel advisor, Barb Cline (pictured above) of Barb Cline Travel, earned the elite Millionaires Club status with Cruise Planners®, an American Express Travel Representative, the nation’s largest and most-awarded travel advisor network.

As a member of the recently announced 2019 Millionaires Club, Cline is recognized as a top-producing travel advisor for Cruise Planners. She has been a full-service travel advisor in the Frederick area since 2009, specializing in Alaska, Europe, River Cruising, Multi-Generational Travel, and escorting groups all over the world!

Cruise Planners franchise owner, Cline, who plans customized vacations and specializes in personal and professional travel services is a member of the network’s 2019 Millionaires Club.

As a full-service travel agent, Cline is dedicated to offering superior customer service and planning customized cruise, land, and resort vacations for her clients. When people book through Cruise Planners Millionaires Club member, travelers can confidently know their vacation is being handled and managed by a proven professional. Client benefits include:

• My Trips Account — Once logged in, clients can view their past and upcoming trips, account information, specials, and more. In addition, they can submit payments for bookings and purchase travel insurance and shore excursions.

• Mobile App — The Cruise Planners Mobile App connects to clients’ My Trips accounts, giving them information about their upcoming trips and allowing them to book new cruises. It’s available for Androids and iPhones – Google Play and Apple App Store.

• Voice-Activated Alexa skills — Travelers have the ability to link their My Trips accounts to Amazon Alexa, letting Alexa provide important information about the upcoming trips.

• Price Tracker — Cruise Planners travel advisors’ system will continually check for any fare reductions on a clients’ cruise bookings, potentially saving clients’ money or giving them access to upgraded cabin types.

“As a Cruise Planners travel professional, I am also a small business owner and entrepreneur, dedicated to ensuring every customer has a personalized and memorable travel experience,” said Cline. “As an experienced, award-winning travel advisor, travelers will benefit from my years of expertise and trust that I will provide them the best vacation planning experience.”

Travelers can discover a world of vacation possibilities by reaching out to Barb Cline at 240-575-5966 or by visiting www.BarbClineTravel.com. View the advertisement on page 40.

The Classmates4Life Foundation invites students at all levels—elementary, middle, and high schools—to enter a video and poster contest called Classmates4Life to curb drug abuse.

Contest creator and founder Billy Shreve says, “Drug abuse continues to be a serious problem in our county, our state, and our nation. Our community needs to do everything possible to make sure our young people are aware of the dangers of drugs. It’s also important that kids have the loudest voices rallying against drug abuse. The Classmates4Life video and poster contest is a creative approach to help make that happen.”

The contest is intended to send a message that preventing drug abuse is one of our county’s highest priorities. Several local organizations and businesses are collaborating as sponsors in the contest: Frederick County Public Schools, the Frederick County Health Department, Rotary Clubs of Frederick County, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, the PTA of Frederick County, the YMCA, Frederick Memorial Hospital, Frederick Community College, and Wells House.

The goal for students is to produce a creative video, 30-60 seconds long, that highlights drug-abuse danger and motivates their peers to choose life. The videos should answer one of two questions: at the elementary level, “How are drugs bad?”; at the secondary level, “How can drugs wreck your world?” Videos are due by Thursday, April 4, 2019.

This year, students are also invited to submit posters that capture the same anti-drug message. Posters, also due by Thursday, April 4, can be dropped off at the FCPS Central Office, located at 191 S. East Street in Frederick or at their school’s main office. The public can view each entry and vote on YouTube by clicking the thumbs up symbol for the one they deem best. Voting will take place from April 4-14. An expert panel of judges will also review the entries. Winners will receive prizes and attend a “red carpet” awards ceremony and resource fair at Frederick High School on Monday, April 15.

Prizes include: iPhone, GoPro, tickets to a Frederick Keys game, pool parties, pizza, and more. Classmates4Life began in 2016 and has over 74,000 views on YouTube. The most viewed video has 3,300 views.

Hayden Hahn of Thurmont (pictured above) has earned the National Junior Angus Association’s (NJAA) Bronze and Silver awards, according to Jaclyn Upperman, education and events director of the American Angus Association® in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

Hahn is the ten-year-old daughter of Chad and Nikki Hahn. She attends Thurmont Elementary School and is a member of the NJAA and the Maryland Junior Angus Association.

She has participated in local, state, regional, and national shows and showmanship contests. At the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), Hahn participated in the photography, livestock judging, skillathon, quiz bowl, and poster contests. She also participated in the mentoring program in 2016.

She has submitted weight data to the Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®) and consigned cattle at the Maryland Angus Event.

The Bronze and Silver awards are the first two levels of the NJAA Recognition Program that began in 1972. Junior Angus breeders must apply for the awards, then meet point requirements in many areas of participation before receiving the honors. Applicants are evaluated in areas of junior Angus association activities and leadership, participation in showmanship, contests and shows, using performance testing to improve their herd, and their progress in producing and merchandising Angus cattle.

The NJAA promotes the involvement of young people in raising Angus cattle, while also providing leadership and self-development opportunities for the nearly 6,000 active members nationwide.

Blair Garrett

In a town entrenched in fire history, training, and safety lies a facility dedicated to the preservation and protection of valuable fire information and memorabilia.

Between the vintage fire trucks and hand-pulled hose wagons, the development in fire protection has come a long way over the past century. 

The advances in sprinkler technology, in particular, have revolutionized the way homes are protected, and often times prevented from extensive fire damage.

There are a few different types of sprinklers that have become popularized for residential and industrial use over the years. The pendent sprinkler, similar in appearance to a pendent necklace, hangs down from the ceiling to disperse water across the room, dousing flames and giving civilians ample time to safely escape.

The sidewall sprinkler, true to its name, fights fires in a wall-mounted position.

The upright sprinkler, fit with a design to avoid being knocked around or damaged by ladders or moving parts, is commonly found in industrial workplaces and is fit with a dry system to prevent the water from freezing in a time of need.

All of these different, but necessary, designs operate similarly, but are uniquely fit to provide protection in all sorts of situations. Several of these sprinklers are on display inside a built-to-scale model home in the Vigilant Fire Company. 

The importance of the sprinkler system has been cemented in the history of fire safety, but it has never been more prevalent in society and more important than it is today. With the apex of technology at its peak, there are more fire hazards in residential and industrial settings than ever before. 

“Everything inside of an office or a home is all extremely combustible and very toxic when it burns,” National Fire Heritage Center Historian Wayne Powell said. “Today, everything is basically gasoline in a solid state.”

Fortunately, the advances in technology have left us with a virtually fail-proof way of protecting the lives of citizens, as well as firefighters arriving on scene to battle flames. “There has never been a sprinkler system that has failed if it was properly designed, properly installed, and properly maintained,” Powell said.

While fire protection and prevention laws are not perfect, much has been done over the years to implement life-saving utilities, particularly in Maryland. “If you were to buy a home in Maryland, you would have to put in a fire sprinkler system,” stated Powell.

The same goes for new businesses, which have regulations set in place to protect workers, with functional, monitored sprinkler systems; because, without them, first responders cannot always arrive on scene before the real damage occurs.

“Sometimes in a fire, the people are dead before we even get the call,” Powell said. “You’ve got alarm time, response time, and set up time to attack. So, it can be a long time before we’re actually able to make an attack on the fire, and people will perish in the interim.”

The hope for the near future is to have legislation to ensure buildings are fitted with operational sprinklers and maintained to a standard suitable for the protection of residents inside. The use of combustible lightweight materials for the structure of buildings is also a concern with modern architecture. 

However, it is possible sprinklers are moving in a new direction, possibly away from the standard ones found throughout the United States. Though water damage from a pendent or sidewall sprinkler is not ideal, there is nothing to save if fire is allowed to run rampant through a home.

“This is a mist head sprinkler,” NFHC Archivist Frank Schmersal said. “This is the future of sprinklers. It sprays a mist that disperses across the flames, doing less damage than the water and giving people a chance to escape.”

Although sprinkler development has been rapidly growing over the past few decades, there are still great improvements that can be made. Decade after decade, the designs and efficiency of sprinklers get better and better. One thing is for sure, while there is still work to be done, firefighters will be able to rely on sprinklers to provide them valuable rescue time for years to come.  

Wayne Powell explains the intricacies of commercial sprinkler systems.

A piece of The National Fire Heritage Center’s evolution of the sprinkler.

Mount St. Mary’s University (MSMU) President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. announced today that the Bolte Family Foundation will donate $3 million to help expand and renovate the Knott Academic Center, home to the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business.

“My brothers and I, through the Bolte Family Foundation, wanted to recommit to the Bolte School in honor of our father,” said Frank Bolte, C’87. “Our father inspired us in our business to be committed to our people and to higher education. Our company’s culture emphasized community service and had a family feel, just like being at the Mount.”

Richard J. Bolte, Sr., founder of BDP International, a global logistics and transportation company, was a lifelong supporter of the Mount, serving on the university’s board of trustees and receiving an honorary doctorate degree for his service to the university in 1992. All seven of Bolte’s sons attended the Mount: Richard Bolte Jr., C’79, trustee emeritus; John Bolte, C’82; Tim Bolte, C’84, trustee; Frank Bolte, C’87; Mike Connors, C’91; Bill Connors, C’89; and Rob Bolte, C’92. Other Bolte family members who are alumni of the Mount are Sheila A. (Breschi) Bolte, C’85, Richard J. Bolte III, C’08, and Erin R. “Rosie” Bolte, C’17. The Bolte and Connors families in 2011 recognized their father, who passed away in 2006, with a generous gift to name the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business. The family sold BDP in late 2018.

“Mount St. Mary’s deeply appreciates the Bolte family’s devotion to their father’s legacy and investment in the Mount,” President Trainor said. “The Mount is experiencing student enrollment growth and academic program expansion, and this gift will assist us in creating additional classrooms, conference rooms and faculty offices as well as a Bloomberg Classroom Laboratory. The addition and renovation will also allow the Mount to develop more partnerships in areas such as logistics and forensic accounting to further our mission of creating ethical leaders who lead lives of significance.”

The $7.5 million Knott Academic Center expansion and renovation project is also expected to be supported by a more than $3 million capital grant from the state of Maryland. The project includes construction of an approximately 12,140 square foot addition and renovation of the 49,074 square foot existing building.  Work will commence this summer and is anticipated to be completed by Fall 2021. The upgrade will include enhancing the learning environment and building new classrooms, a Bloomberg Classroom Laboratory and faculty offices.

Marotta/Main Architects, based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, designed the addition and renovation plan.

In researching facts related to some fire and rescue banquet reporting recently, it almost escaped our notice that several of our community’s fire and rescue volunteers received recognition by the 2018 Frederick County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association. Some awards have been reported in The Catoctin Banner by their department but many missed our coverage. Please take a moment to congratulate the following for their dedication and service to our community.

Robert E. Albaugh of the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company received the Charles H. “Mutt” Deater Apprentice of the Year Award; David Zentz of the Vigilant Hose Company earned the Firefighter of the Year Award; the Graceham Volunteer Fire Company received a Fire/Rescue Departmental Training Award; Elyssa Cool of Vigilant Hose Company received the James H. Stavely Fire Prevention Award; James Click of Vigilant Hose Company received the Michael Wilcom Officer of the Year Award; Joshua Brotherton of the Vigilant Hose Company received the Millard M. “Mick” Mastrino Instructoe/Safety Award; Allen “Frank” Davis of the Vigilant Hose Company received the Mumma Outstanding Service Award; the Thurmont Community Ambulance Service, Inc. received the Outstanding Unit Award;

Bonny Hurley of the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company, Michael Stull of the Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Company, Paulette Mathias of the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company, and Austin E. Umbel of the Vigilant Hose Company were each inducted into the Frederick County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association’s Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to each of these dedicated public servants!

Grace Eyler

“I’m like the bird that couldn’t follow directions, and he decided to just wing it,” joked Pastor James, as he provided a light-hearted invocation for the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company’s (RRVFC) annual banquet held on January 24, 2019. Members of Company 6 filled in the RRVFC’s banquet area in Rocky Ridge, ready to enjoy the evening with friends, family and neighbors to celebrate their hard work in 2018.

RRVFC lost two members during 2018. Lenard T. King, Sr., who served as an active member of the fire company since 1968. Lenard served as a fire prevention officer for Montgomery County, as well as president of the Maryland State Fireman’s Association from 1985 to 1986. He then spent many subsequent years serving as secretary for the organization. Lenard passed away February 1st, 2018.

George Anzelone passed August 27, 2018. He joined the fire company in 2016 and the RRVFC Auxiliary in 2017. A past president of the Thurmont Senior Center, George enjoyed volunteering his time to help out where he could.

President Dale Kline, a member for fifty-four years proudly stated, “This marks our 70th year of Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company.” Rocky Ridge is currently one of five fire companies left in Frederick County, that still runs only on a volunteer status. Dale mentioned, “It might not mean a lot to a lot of you, but if you stop and think about what you have to pay in taxes if these people weren’t volunteers and this equipment was not paid for by the community, you can imagine what your tax bill would be.” He thanked the community for all of their support.

Dale reminisced on the successful fundraisers the company put on during the past year. Every year, the weather can really affect the outcome of the carnival. Fortunately, with only two nights of rain during the week-long event held at Mt. Tabor Park in Rocky Ridge, people still made their way out to grab a bite to eat. Another very successful fundraiser that is held twice a year is the Country Butchering & Breakfast. Other events that were recognized were Ridgefest, monthly Bingo, and the Santa Detail and Workshop. “It’s unbelievable what a community can do when they set their hearts and efforts to it,” said President Dale Kline.

Mrs. Betty Ann Mumma joined the President at the front of the room. As President of the Ladies Auxiliary, Betty Ann explained to the hall that this year Buddy Stover would be spearheading the “25 Club Raffle,” a dinner and drawing to benefit the fire company. This past year, the auxiliary cut back on the bingo events and that impacted the amount of money that was raised. “We plan to bounce back this year,” Betty Ann said with a big smile.  She then presented President Kline with a check for $10,000 to help with funding new equipment and tools necessary for the fire company to operate in the future.

This year, the RRVFC Auxiliary had a long list of accomplishments. Some of which included, preparing and serving 4 Butchering Dinners and 2 Pancake Breakfasts, preparing 181 creme pies for Easter, preparing and processing 800 pounds of chicken, 34 country hams, 180 fruit pies and 256 creme pies for the carnival. ‘Sixx girls’ made 36 peanut butter pies and the Auxiliary matched their donation with another 36 to sell at the carnival.

The president stated, “We’re always looking for new members.” He recognized families have busy schedules, which makes it harder and harder to find new members. However, RRVFC continues to grow year by year by 3-4 new members. Most volunteer their time on the social end, however they would like to gain more support on the operational side.

A special recognition was given to a non-member, Mark Brum. After RRVFC purchased the land for the new parking lot, Mark was contracted to complete the parking lot. Due to constant rain last summer, his days were limited to complete the job. The goal was to have the parking lot complete by the parade night during the carnival. Dale stated, “Wednesday morning, they were in here doing the final stone and grading. By golly, by evening, it was ready to park on!”. He was assisted by members Ronnie Eyler and Alan Hurley.

Over the course of 2018, RRVFC kept busy running 219 emergency calls—117 of which were mutual aid, 3 service calls, 4 drills, and 13 public service details. Volunteers contributed over 1,000 hours. Out of 219 calls, Special Unit 13 was called 116 times, the second most common call was house fires, with 21 calls, and the third most frequent were vehicle accidents with a total of 13 calls. The busiest day of the week for RRVFC was Wednesday with 43 calls. The busiest month was January with 28 calls.

Linda Northrup and Bonny Hurley, who serve on the RRVFC awards committee came forward to reward the hard-working volunteers of the fire company. The first award that was given recognized an “Outstanding Junior” of the fire company. This year, Hunter Hurley volunteered 98 hours and was well recognized for his time.

The Charles Mumma Firefigher of the year award, one of RRVFC’s most prestigious awards was given to Alan Brauer, Sr. for over fifty years of service and dedication to the fire company. Alan joined the company in 1963. Since then, he has held multiple positions in the company, including secretary, assistant secretary and vice president. He was a part of Frederick County’s HAZMAT Team, and stays up to date with a refresher course every year. His nick name is “Mr. HAZMAT.” Alan has operated the dime pitch stand at the carnival since 1975. He currently serves as the captain of the Fire Police.

This year’s Robert Albaugh Outstanding Volunteer Award was presented to Helen Burrier. Helen has been a member since 1967. She served on the board of directors for several terms. Known as the “Gravy Lady,” she has been on the go for many gallons of gravy, and has contributed her time as the maker of the meringue for pies throughout the years.

Steve Wolfe received recognition for this year’s “Honor Member.” Like Helen, Steve has also served many terms on the board of directors. During the carnival, Steve enjoys helping out in the ham sandwich stand. Steve has spent much of his volunteer time helping set up for suppers and oversees the dining room for the Auxiliary’s banquets.

Denny and Paulette Mathias of RRVFC took the podium to award members with Length of Service pins. Five-year recipients were: Ed Knott, Bob Wiles, Kay Enzer and Steve Orndorff. Ten-year recipients: Rodman Myers, Bill Wachter, Jeff Reaver, Bruce Rice, Joey Youngerman, Megan Baugher, and Patt Riggs. Fifteen-year recipients included Craig Hovermale, and the Beal Family Amanda, Bonnie and Herman. Twenty-year recipients included Cindy Hart and Christine Hurley. Twenty-five year recipient was Alan Brauer, Jr. Thirty-year recipients: Ronnie Hahn and Larry Eyler. Thirty-five year recipients: Donna Kline and John Clark. Forty-year recipient: Daniel Whetzel. Forty-five year recipients: Steve Wolfe and Ed Northrup.

For the first time ever, RRFVC celebrated a member who has been a part of the company for fifty-five years. “We found out they didn’t even make pins for someone that old!” Paulette Mathias joked. Instead of receiving a pin, Alan Brauer, Sr. received a special certificate to show the company’s appreciation.

The Chief’s Award was presented by Alan Hurley. “This year has been a little busy for us, I’d like to thank all of you for your time, for being a part of our communities and thank the families,” said Alan. He recognized his fellow line officers, Captain Jim Rice and assistant chiefs, Kevin Albaugh and Luke Humerick.

Top Fire Police for the year included Alan Brauer, Sr. and Steve Orndorff. Top EMS Responders included Christina Hurley, Bonny Hurley, and Matt Moser.

Top Ten Responders were Alan Hurley, Matt Moser, Christina Hurley, Kevin Albaugh, Bonny Hurley, Luke Humerick, Wesley Burrier, Jamison Mathias, Dennis Mathias, a tie at tenth between Alan Brauer, Sr. and Buddy Stover.

Luke Humerick stood to recognize his group of Junior Members. He said, “We’ve had a great group of kids this year. They’re hard workin’ and fun to be around. They were always willing to help, no matter what the task was.” The juniors wrangled up more than 240 hours of volunteer time at the fire company and volunteering with events.

“I think he knows everyone in the Rocky Ridge area. If he doesn’t know you, you’re new.” Dale Kline commented while introducing the recipient of the President’s Award. Bun Wivell was awarded for his forty years of hard work as Treasurer for RRVFC.

Like Bun Wivell, every member has a role in the company. Whether it be managing the finances, making fluffy meringue, or managing a supper, all the members join together to support each other in their community and keep a good thing going for now seventy years—and many more to come!

2019 Officers

Linda Northrup presents Helen Burrier the Robert Albaugh Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Pictured are Bun Wivell, Alan Hurley, and Dale Kline.

Deb Abraham Spalding

The members of the Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department held their annual banquet at their station in Lewistown on Saturday, February 2, 2019. The welcome was given by the outgoing president, Scott Martin. Chief Wayne Wachter reviewed company stats, indicating the total number of calls in 2018 was 755 consisting of 586 EMS calls and 169 fire calls. The busiest month was June with 71 calls.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 270 executed the Presentation of Colors and the National Anthem was sung by Catoctin High School students, Danielle Baker and Lily Gadra.

A memorial was held for three company members who passed away in 2018. They were Charles Michael, Flossie Layton, and Ruth Powell.

Scott Martin introduced 2019 Administrative Officers: Scott Stonesifer, President; Vicky Martin, Vice President; Karen Stull, Secretary; Mary Frances Bostian, Assistant Secretary; Vincent Schrader, Treasurer, Donald Martin, Assistant Treasurer; and Paul Stull, Steve Stull, Donald Stull, Sr., Mike Stull, Thomas Minnick, and Mike Fogle, Board of Directors; and Line Officers: Wayne Wachter, Jr., Chief; Vicky Martin, Deputy Chief; and Mike Stull, Assistant Chief.

The installation of officers was conducted by Dale Kline with the Frederick County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association.

Top Responders for 2018 were 10. Thomas Minnick (47 calls), 9. Brianna Wachter (67), 8. Frani Wachter (79 calls), 7. Mike Stull (85 calls), 6. Steve Stull (92 calls), 5. Stephanie Wachter and Donald Martin (129 calls), 4. Gerald Stull (149 calls), 3. Wayne Wachter (174 calls), 2. Beth Wachter (185 calls), 1. Vicky Martin (195 calls).

Lewistown Fire Police: Diana Bryant, Rodney Myers, Steve Stull, and Thomas Wachter were recognized.

A certificate was presented to Scott Martin for his service as President, Assistant Chief and Training Officer for 2018.

As chairman of the fundraising committee, Karen Stull presented her top ten fundraising, those earning the most LOSAP hours for fundraising: #10 Amber 141.5 hours, #9 Tyrell 146 hours, Amber and Tyrell got married in the firehouse in 2018, #8 Frani Wachter 176.5 hours, #7 Brianna Wachter 203 hours, #6 Vicky Martin 233 hours, #5 Stephanie Wachter 240 hours, #4 Wayne Wachter 288 hours, #3 Gerald Stull 304 hours, #2 Beth Wachter 309 hours, and #1 Steve Stull 355 hours.

Scott Martin shared, “We have a lot of pride in what you’re doing. This job is a true calling. We love doing what others can’t or won’t. The calling is impossible to explain to someone who is not in the Brotherhood. People most likely won’t thank us, and most of the time ignore us. We are the ones who wait for something bad to happen so we can go and fix it. The job is always changing. Training is the key. We don’t fight fires like we did years ago. It is not that fire changes, it’s the box it comes in. Buildings are built quickly and with less bulk, and that means they will fail quickly and faster.”

He presented Dedicated Service awards to several individuals for providing dedicated service to the department and the community with pride, honor, and distinction, and he stressed, “Not just this year but every year!” These awards were presented to Mary Frances Bostian, Beth Wachter, Donald Martin, Wayne Wachter, Wayne Stull, Delbert Stull, Mike Stull, Brianna Wachter and Stephanie Wachter.

Presidents Awards in recognition for hours of exemplary dedicated service were presented to Steve Stull and Karen Stull. Steve Stull is chair of the Fire Prevention committee, chair of Membership committee, the bingo caller, he runs calls, fire police, and helps with fundraising; Karen Stull is chair of the Fundraising Committee, is in the background putting in a lot of hours and makes sure food is at the ready for firefighters, even in the middle of the night.

The most emotionally touching part of the evening was when Scott Martin recognized Mike Stull for being inducted into the Frederick County Fire & Rescue Hall of Fame in 2018. Scott also acknowledged Mike’s moving into the position of Assistant Chief of Lewistown Fire Department and following in his father’s (Raymond Stull, Jr.) footsteps in these accomplishments. Scott gave Mike’s father’s Chief helmet shield for his own helmet.

Scott added, “In order to succeed in the fire service and in your own personal life in life, you have to take risks, you have to fail. You won’t be successful if you don’t do these two things. You have to have faith and take risks. What we couldn’t get to work here is working there. I spent 29 years in Frederick County Volunteer Fire Department. Though they are the best 29 years I can remember, it was time for me to move on.”

Scott gave some parting thoughts: continue to learn this job, it is always changing and if you let your guard down you will get hurt. Share your knowledge with others. Treat others how you would want them to treat one of your family members; get out the door quick or your fire will be my fire; always show a calm exterior no matter what you’re feeling on the inside, your demeanor can drive an incident in a positive or negative direction; don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help, show up ready to do your job; take care of your crew; admit when you’re wrong or make a mistake and learn from it; different is not wrong it’s just different; and above all, love and enjoy your family for they are, your support system and they serve just as much as you do; life is better lived when you center it on what’s happening inside of you rather than what is happening around you; don’t think too much for you create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.

Members of the Guardian Hose Company served as the standby crew. Catering was by GT’s Catering.

Mike Stull, serving as assistant chief and on board of directors; Vicky Martin, serving as vice president and deputy chief; Wayne Wachter, serving as chief; Donald Martin, serving as assistant treasurer; Steven Stull, serving on board of directors; Mary Frances Bostian, serving as assistant secretary; Karen Stull, serving as secretary; Donald Stull, serving on board of directors; Mike Fogle, serving on board of directors; Vincent Schrader, serving as treasurer.

(above) Top Responders: Brianna Wachter (67 calls), Frani Wachter (79 calls), Mike Stull (85 calls), Steve Stull (92 calls), Stephanie Wachter (129 calls), Donald Martin (129 calls), Wayne Stull (149 calls), Wayne “Skeeter” Wachter (174 calls), Beth Wachter (185 calls), Vicky Martin (195 calls). Not pictured: Thomas Minnick (47 calls).

(above) President, Scott Martin, presents Mike Stull with his father’s helmet shield.

Photos by Deb Abraham Spalding