Blair Garrett

Breaking one world record can take a lifetime of dedication and hard work.

Holding two world records is a distant dream for most athletes.

For sixteen-year-old Tristan Rice, that dream has become a reality.

After spending just five months training and working out, Rice took his talents to Las Vegas, Nevada, to take his shot at powerlifting glory in the International Powerlifting League Drug Tested World Championship.

The young athlete’s short but fruitful powerlifting career began through success in other sports. Rice, a dual-sport athlete, took a break from football and track and field to face a new challenge and to accomplish something he had never done before.

“I started powerlifting during football and shot put,” Rice said. “There was always something I enjoyed about it.”

From the beginning, Rice found a knack for lifting heavier weights, and it did not take long for him to set his sights a little higher.

“I looked up the records and saw what they were, and I thought that I should give that a try,” Rice said. “I figured if I could be the first to set those records at my age and my weight, then that’s something I wanted to do.”

Rice slotted into the 16-17 year-old, 275 pound weight class, smashing the existing deadlift record with his 540.1 pound lift. Rice beat the previous record by nearly 35 pounds, but still believes he has room for improvement.

“I’ve done more in training,” Rice said. “I went for 567 pounds, but I couldn’t pull it. I broke out with a nosebleed.”

The climate of Las Vegas posed a new challenge for Rice, pushing him to compete despite a series of nosebleeds from the stresses of lifting, plaguing Rice’s ability to recreate his heaviest lifts in practice. “I got it to my knees and my nose let loose,” he said. “I kept pulling and lost my balance and fell.”

Across the three events Rice competed in, he set three Maryland state records, three national records in the United States Powerlifting Association 16-17 year-old division for his weight, and two world records in his class for the deadlift and squat.

Perhaps Rice’s most impressive event of the day was in squats, where he lifted 567.7 pounds to secure his second world record, among other accolades. Rice was one of just two athletes to even qualify for the championships in his age and weight class.

Rice’s final national record was a cumulative one, totaling 1,355.8 pounds across the three main events: bench press, deadlift and squat. While 1,355 pounds sounds like a nearly unbeatable record for a sixteen-year-old, Rice plans for much greater numbers.

“My next meet is April 27,” Rice said. “I want to drop weight classes and be the youngest person at the lightest weight ever to total 1,500 across squat, bench, and deadlift.”

Now, just six months into the powerlifting scene, Rice has his own training regimen and his own goals to reach. Limits have yet to stop Rice so far, and world records may only be the beginning.  

Rice lifts 540.1 pounds to secure first place at the Powerlifting League World Championship.

John Dowling Receives Awards for his Volunteer Work

James Rada, Jr.

2018 was quite a year for John Dowling, age seventy-five, of Thurmont. The Thurmont Lions Club, Thurmont Grange, and Mother Seton School all recognized his abundant volunteer work in the area.

“I guess I’m involved just about everywhere,” Dowling said. “It’s in my blood.”

Last fall, Dowling’s work was recognized three times.

Mother Seton School recognized him for his thirty-six years of work at the Mother Seton School annual carnival. Dowling and his wife, Kathryn, got involved with the carnival when their children attended the school. Besides helping to start the carnival at the school, the Dowlings also launched the successful bingo and auction fundraisers for the school. The work started as a way to reduce the tuition at Mother Seton School for their children, but it turned into a labor of love, even after their kids graduated and moved onto Catoctin High School.

The Thurmont Lions Club recognized Dowling as the Thurmont Volunteer of the Year. He was nominated for his work at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and the Thurmont Senior Center. He was awarded a certificate of recognition and gift certificate for dinner at the Shamrock Restaurant at a town meeting. He was also able to designate where a $400 donation from the Thurmont Lions Club would be donated in his name. Dowling chose to split the money between the Thurmont Senior Center and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

The Thurmont Grange also recognized Dowling with its Outstanding Community Citizen Award.

These aren’t the first awards that he has received for his community work. In the past few years, the Archdiocese of Baltimore and State of Maryland have recognized Dowling for his volunteerism.

Dowling said that he was “dumbfounded” with all of the awards last year. He considers helping his community almost an obligation.

Dowling may be retired from his appliance repair business, but he still puts in ten to twelve hours a week of volunteer work. He also continues to run a small woodworking business from his home.

“We’re here on this earth to benefit our fellow citizens,” he said.

Dowling grew up in a family of twelve children in Montgomery County, and his parents set the example for volunteerism. He remembers his mother organizing an annual dinner to benefit Montgomery General Hospital and helping his father plant grass when a new high school was built.

When he moved to the area in 1968 as a young man with a wife, he brought with him the values his parents had instilled in him. He began helping out whenever he could.

“I would help out with anything dealing with the community, because the community is an important part of the lives of everyone who lives in it,” expressed Dowling.

Of all the various places where he provides service, he considers his work with the Thurmont Senior Center the most important. He serves on the center’s board and knows how great the center’s need for help is. He picks up day-old bread from Weis that is used at the center, gives rides to and from the center to seniors in need, delivers hot meals from the Mountain Gate Restaurant to home-bound seniors, and helps with the general maintenance of equipment around the center.

The values of service to the community that Dowling’s parents taught him are something that he and Kathryn have also been able to instill in their own children.

“All of my kids do a lot of volunteer work, and they’re all successful,” Dowling said.

Deb Abraham Spalding

Locally, we’re at war. We’re not in an obvious battle, it’s a hushed one. Our casualties are many. Our enemy is addiction. Through the efforts of the Thurmont Addiction Commission (TAC), and several other groups and individuals, we’re starting to fight back in the Catoctin area.

Chris Schildt of Thurmont wasn’t our area’s first casualty of addiction, but his death was one that inspired collective action to do something to help and prevent addiction. In his case, a street drug addiction began after using prescribed drugs for a sports injury. Chris had a bright future ahead of him. He was an athlete, a 2009 graduate of Catoctin High School, a 2015 graduate of Shepherd University, he had a job, he coached youth sports, and he had recently become a father, when he died in June 2016 from an overdose, or bad batch, of heroin.

Chris didn’t want to die, but addiction has no geographic, demographic, moral, financial, age, or racial boundaries. We honor him, all who have passed, and all who battle addiction, by seeking solutions and resources in the Catoctin Community. It’s time that we all become proactive in attack to defeat this enemy from which no one is safe, because even if we don’t have an addiction ourselves, we may have a family member, friend, or neighbor who does.

Addiction is a disease that is believed to be caused by a genetic predisposition that can react to stimulants and immediately cause addiction. The reference to addiction in this article is not only on drugs since addiction comes in many forms, with drugs, smoking, drinking, and eating being the most obvious, and sex, tanning, pulling out your hair, and social media being examples of the less obvious.

Chris’ death was the spark of intention for his father and mother, Ed and Karen Schildt of Thurmont, who joined in the efforts of others who had already started fighting, healing, and helping to deal with this enemy they never saw coming. The Schildts’ path to recovery in mourning was to do something, anything.

Ed said, “We were supported tremendously when our son passed. We stood in a receiving line at Stauffer Funeral Home for ten straight hours with Chris’ death. We were supported during the days and weeks and months afterward. When clarity came back, we said, ‘What can we do? How do we say thank you?’ The Schildts held an educational awareness event in April of 2017, called “Introduction to the Enemy,” during which the auditorium at Catoctin High School was filled.

Ed explained, “The ‘Introduction to the Enemy’ event puts addiction in the room with you as the monster that it is, and then it shows you the struggles. In the end, you’re supporting those who are dealing with a disease. It’s not a problem. It’s a disease.” He added, “This is a topic

[addiction]

that doesn’t normally draw a crowd. It made people more aware. From that, the community said, ‘What’s next?’”

The result of that first event was a challenge for Ed and Karen to continue to step up. Former Mayor and current Thurmont Town Commissioner Marty Burns attended that first event and told Ed that his opinion of addiction had changed because of it. From that point, Marty involved the Town of Thurmont and there were follow-up meetings and then the opportunity to create the Thurmont Addiction Commission (TAC).

TAC stands upon three pillars: Educational Awareness (Ed Schildt, Pillar Lead), Support and Recovery (Myra Derbyshire, Pillar Lead), and Prevention and Outreach (Susan Crone, Pillar Lead).

Educational Awareness is the broadest pillar and encompasses everything; Support and Recovery is a positive thing because it’s all about supporting people in recovery or seeking recovery; and Prevention and Outreach, that’s where Susan Crone’s FUSE Teen Center comes in; young people are shown alternatives to prevent addiction and provide positive options and results.

TAC is a growing group of advocates, who are providing information and resources to the community and empowering those who are doing good things in this battle right now.

The FUSE Teen Center is one example of a program TAC is empowering. Susan Crone is the founder of FUSE, a teen center where participants are encouraged to interact with each other without technology. This program has been running for a while now, and participants are truly having a blast.

Susan is a tenured teacher at Thurmont Elementary School, who stepped up to do something about the addiction and suicide frequency she was noticing. She is joined by many volunteers to operate FUSE, and they’re currently meeting at the Trinity United Church of Christ on East Main Street in Thurmont. It is a social option for teens from sixth to twelfth grade, from 4:00-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Fridays from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Teens may come to just hang out with each other, play games, and be creative, or they can bring homework and FUSE volunteers will do their best to lend a hand. They are always looking for ideas and volunteers.

“FUSE is a place where teens have the undivided attention of volunteers who are there because they care about the future for them. We will do whatever we can to help them find the treasures that are already inside them waiting to be found,” said Susan.

To learn more, check out FUSE Teen Center on Facebook.

Chastity Fox, founder of the Music is Medicine Foundation nonprofit, is an advocate for addiction recovery after losing her brother, Richard “RJ” Holmes, to a heroin overdose in October 2016. She is close to opening The Path—Peer Recovery Community Center, which will offer free peer-to-peer addiction support with certified Peer Recovery Specialists. This is another project that TAC is empowering.

Other services at PATH include music therapy, yoga, meditation, classes for the community, family support groups, job-seeking skills, resume writing, and other resources that help a person with addiction become a functioning member of society.

This resource center is located at 31B Water Street in Thurmont. TAC is supporting it and assisting with the operation. There is an immediate need for volunteers, especially a person to write a business plan and a grant writer. Other needs are for donations of furniture and things like a television. Like the Music is Medicine Foundation on Facebook or call Chastity at 240-440-2020 or e-mail RJsLastingStrengthFoundation@gmail.com.

There’s so much that is being mixed in marijuana, cocaine, and heroin that’s not known. These aren’t pharmacists out there. They’re street dealers. They’re getting the cheapest ingredients to make the most profit, and they’re preying on people with addiction.

To become a warrior in our community’s battle against addiction, visit the Thurmont Addiction Commission on Facebook or seek out any of the resources in this article.

James Rada, Jr.

It’s doubtful that anyone would deny that 2018 was a wet year. Just how wet was it? Well, the Town of Emmitsburg collects and reports on rainfall data each month as part of the wastewater report that Town Manager Cathy Willetts submits to the town commissioners.

Her reports from the 2018 town meetings include the rainfall from November 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018. During that time, the town received 73.45 inches of rain when the average is 42.96 inches. That means the town saw 71 percent more rain than typical.

The heaviest month for rainfall was September (13.5 inches), but the month with the biggest difference between rainfall received and the average rainfall was July (9.69 inches). Four months (November, December, March, and April) actually had less rainfall than average.

The table below shows the information collected from the Emmitsburg Town Manager reports.

James Rada, Jr.

In the days before air conditioning, Washington D.C. could be nearly unbearable in the summer. Those who could would travel to summer homes in more-agreeable climates. It wasn’t always possible for federal officials, though.

In 1915, some of the towns surrounding the capital city began making their case to serve as the summer capital for the United States, in a similar way to the way President Dwight D. Eisenhower would use his Gettysburg home as a temporary White House while he was recovering from a heart attack. They were generally towns within a couple hours of Washington, D.C., and at a higher elevation.

In August, the Waynesboro Board of Trade appointed a committee to open communications with Congressman D. K. Focht “and urge him to use his influence in having the summer capital located in this section,” according to the Gettysburg Times.

W. H. Doll of the traffic department of the Western Maryland Railway traveled to Washington, D.C. and met with one of President Woodrow Wilson’s secretaries to show the railroad’s support for having Blue Ridge Summit be the summer capital.

“Mr. Doll called attention to the fact that Blue Ridge Summit is now more or less a ‘summer capital’ on account of the large number of government officials and members of the diplomatic corps who spend the heated season there,” the Gettysburg Times reported.

Diplomatic delegations from Argentina, Norway, Japan, and Uruguay already had many of their members spending the summer in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. The Washington Post even noted in 1915 that Viscountess Chinda, the wife of Japanese Ambassador Chinda, had traveled to Japanese property in Blue Ridge Summit, calling the summer embassy. The U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Comptroller of the Currency also spent much of the summer in the mountains.

Some of the diplomats and officials had homes, but others simply stayed the summer in the Monterey Inn. The Monterey Inn was probably the most famous of the inns of Blue Ridge Summit. It was built in 1848 and attracted visitors from all over the region. The inn would burn to the ground in 1941, but in 1915, it was the jewel of Blue Ridge Summit.

For a while, it seemed that the government was considering officially designating the town as the summer capital. Engineers from Washington traveled to Blue Ridge Summit in October to take elevations and measurements of the town and surrounding area. Local officials took it as a sign that the government was collecting data on where to build government buildings.

It wasn’t the first time towns had made an appeal to be the summer capital. Earlier in the year, Braddock Heights in Frederick County had made its case only to see nothing come of it. It doesn’t seem that the town fathers made much of persuasive appeal other than offering cooler summer weather within a fairly close location to Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, Virginia Congressman Charles Carlin was making the case for the summer capital being in the Virginia mountains, not far from Washington. The basis of his appeal was that he would submit a bill for designating a summer capital, but only if it was located in his district in Virginia.

Although Blue Ridge Summit’s official recognition as the summer capital failed, the town continued to appeal to foreign delegations. Even as late as 1940, about a dozen foreign embassies maintained summer legations in Blue Ridge, many at Monterey, occasioning it to be called often “the summer capital of the United States,” according to the Living Places webpage for the Monterey Historic District.

Japanese Ambassador Chinda and wife Viscountess Chinda.

Courtesy Photo

December 2018

by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg

Mount Still Planning on Building a Health Care Clinic in the Area

Simon Blackwell, with Mount St. Mary’s University, spoke to the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners during their monthly meeting in December. He said that the university is in negotiations with the Frederick Regional Health System to bring a health and wellness clinic into the area. It is needed to help “improve the quality and access to healthcare” for Mount students, according to Blackwell, but it would also be available to area residents. The planned-for clinic would have primary and urgent care services, a laboratory, radiology, and physical therapy. As part of the process, university staff have been meeting with the members of the community to get their input.

Town Approved Water Contracts

The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved water agreements for two property owners outside of town. Years ago, Emmitsburg bought a small water company that serviced property owners outside of town. Over the years, most of those properties have been easily serviced on the town system. However, an 8-inch water line that serviced only three properties was discovered to be unrepairable. One of the properties was close enough to a 10-inch water line that the town owned that it could be connected to it.

The town then faced a decision: Either spend an estimated $1 million to build a new water line to service the two properties or find a way to terminate service to properties.

The town chose the latter and offered the property owners to either drill a new well on the property or pay the property owners the equivalent amount ($11,655).

One property owner took the buyout, and the other will have the town pay to have a new well dug on his property.

Traffic Should Switch on Bridge This Month

According to information that Emmitsburg town staff received from the Maryland State Highway Administration, the deck of the new East Main Street bridge over Flat Run was to be poured in mid-December. Following the concrete deck, a layer of asphalt was applied. This needed to set for 28 days before traffic could be rerouted onto it, which puts the date into mid-January.

Town to Deal with Business Trailers

The Emmitsburg Commissioners are expected to approve changes to the zoning laws that will allow large storage trailers to be used on industrial properties. The changes will allow a trailer used to collect tires for recycling to continue to be used at Quality Tire, while not creating an eyesore for adjacent residential properties.

Thurmont

Thurmont Third Safest Town in Maryland in 2018

Thurmont recently received recognition from Safewise as the third safest city in Maryland. Safewise looks at the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics and population of cities with more than 3,000 residents. They look at violent crime and property crime that occurs per 1,000 residents.

According to Safewise, Thurmont has .92 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 10.45 property crimes per 1,000 residents. It is the only city in Frederick County to make the top ten.

This is a big jump from the 2016 report that listed Thurmont as the ninth safest town in Maryland. Between 2016 and 2018, Thurmont violent crime increased from .92 incidents per 1,000 residents, but property crime decreased from 11.76 incidents per 1,000 residents.

The safest cities in Maryland are: 1. Hampstead (Carroll); 2. Manchester (Carroll); 3. Thurmont (Frederick); 4. Bowie (Prince Georges); 5. Glenarden (Prince Georges); 6. Ocean Pines (Worcester); 7. Taneytown (Carroll); 8. Frostburg (Allegany); 9. Bel Air (Harford); and 10. Easton (Talbot).

Thurmont is the only Frederick County town listed among the safest towns in Maryland.

Town Receives a Clean Audit

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently received the results of the annual review done of its finances by an independent auditor. Not only did the town receive a clean audit with no findings, but the town also did not have to file for an extension in order to have it done on time.

Town Enacts Planning and Zoning Fees

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to enact planning and zoning fees to recover the cost of using town resources to review development plans. The fees are based on those used in other nearby municipalities. A concept plans submission and review will cost $250, plus the invoiced cost of professional services, such as advertising, legal, and engineering fees. A preliminary site plan, category 1, residential, will cost $350, plus $25 per lot and the invoiced cost of professional services. A preliminary site plan, category 1, non-residential, will cost $500, plus professional services for projects smaller than 25 acres; and $500, plus $25 an acre and professional services for projects over 25 acres. A preliminary site plan, category 2, will cost the zoning certificate fee and professional services. An annexation and review will cost $500, plus $25 an acre and professional services.

Colorfest Review

The Town of Thurmont is starting to dig itself out of a deficit from hosting Colorfest, after making some changes to the permit fees. For Colorfest 2018, the Town of Thurmont received $68,578 and spent $61,289 for sanitation, trash, buses, and security.

While this proved to be a year the town was in the black, it was not the case in 2014 and 2015. Those two years left the town $24,237 in the red. The commissioners made changes to the fees and trimmed some expenses, which has helped the town show positive numbers since 2015. The town is now showing a deficit of $10,147 over the past five years.

The Colorfest revenues have also been helped by the increasing number of permits sold. For Colorfest 2018, 798 permits were sold, up 101 from 2016. This includes a jump from 21 to 32 permits for commercial food vendors, who pay $500 for their permits.

Town Increases Water Reconnection Fee

After reviewing the cost of reconnecting a property to the town’s water system after it has been disconnected for non-payment, the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently voted to increase the fee to $75.

This came about after the town reviewed all of the costs associated with reconnecting a property and found that it cost slightly more than $73. The town was only charging $6. The $75 is also equal to or less than the amount charged by surrounding municipalities.

Chief Administrative Office Jim Humerick told the commissioners that disconnecting a property is a last resort for the town. Before that point is reached, the town will have offered the property owner an option to pay the debt back on a payment plan and give the property owner contact information for agencies that might be able to help the property owner pay the bill.

Emmitsburg

 Mayor Don Briggs

In our Community Christmas Stocking

Thank you to those who added the trees on the square, and then, decorated them. A spontaneous occurrence and a very nice added touch.

Thank you town staff for the decorations at the square and at the Community Center. Many compliments.

Thank you E&E Trees, Walkersville Tree Farm, Ken and Barbara Willets, for donating the beautiful town Christmas tree.

Thank you third grade class at Mother Seton School, and all the grades from elementary school, for decorating the town Christmas tree in front of the Community Center, adding to the trimming efforts of the town staff.

Thank you to all the volunteers of our churches, organizations, and businesses who participated in the various Emmitsburg events, starting with the traditional town Christmas tree lighting, on the first Monday in December, in front of the town office, Christ Community Church children’s chorus (My error on invitation to Mother Seton School. They will be singing next year.), Santa Claus arriving in a Vigilant Hose truck, the lighting of the tree, then following Santa on foot to the Carriage House Inn for the 30th Annual “An Evening of Christmas Spirit.” The weather was kind again to the many who attended.  

The state finished the square and sidewalks project, except for some loose brick work. Just can’t seem to get the state’s contractors out of here.

Things are moving along on the Flat Run Bridge project, with the concrete being poured for the new bridge lanes. If the weather cooperates, the complementary road work could be completed and we could have a lane switch by the New Year.

For the New Year

Lots of New Year’s resolutions to add to pushing away from the table with a little bit more fervor and with more, much more, resolve. Oh well…

Mount St. Mary’s University is moving ahead with plans to enter a venture with Frederick Memorial Hospital affiliate to build a medical facility on its campus. At the facility, primary and urgent care will be available for students, faculty, and community residents. The university will make a presentation on the proposed medical facility at the January 7, 2019, town meeting, at 7:30 p.m.

At the January 30 Green Team meeting, Hilari Varnadore, Director, LEED for Cities and Communities, U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will be the guest speaker. LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The topic will be: Helping cities and communities use data to drive more sustainable, equitable investments. Hilari was formerly with Star Communities, which recently merged with the USGBC. Before that, she headed up the Frederick County Sustainability Office that assisted the Frederick County Sustainability Commission when I was chairman of the commission.   

With the New Year comes the sad reality that after seventy-four years of service to the community, Zurgables Hardware will be closed. All those convenient planned and emergency stops no more. According to Mark Zurgable, it was time. Mark has owned and operated the store for thirty-nine years. Thank you, Mark, for all the years of service to the community at your store.

To all, hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a wonderful New Year. Emmitsburg, a great place to live.

Thurmont

  Mayor John Kinnaird

Mayor John Kinnaird was as busy as Santa Claus at the time of our deadline for this issue, and we think his column may have been eaten by a reindeer! He wishes everyone a Happy New Year!

Blair Garrett

Mountaindale Convenience Store offers more to its customers than just quality foods, hot meals, or gasoline.

Owners Rida and Julian Mitchell bring a warm, inviting atmosphere to the people of Thurmont, along with great service with a smile.

The family has followed and finally capitalized on their dream of doing something bigger and better, opening up a second convenience store back in October. The new store provides all the same services as the existing previous one, but with expanded room and variety, and, of course, the same friendly customer service.

Owning a convenience store for nearly thirty years teaches you a thing or two about how things work. You learn to effectively manage costs, how to balance a budget, and the intricacies of how a business is supposed to run. But one thing you do not learn is how to connect with a community. That is a skill that must be cultivated, practiced, and then implemented with perfection.

The Mitchell family has cornered that country market feel, hitting home with the residents of the greater Thurmont area, and giving customers the exact atmosphere to make them feel at home while grabbing a bite to eat or a pack of their favorite sweets.

The initial store, still on Mountaindale Road in Thurmont, was taken over by the Mitchells in 1990. The store has that blue-collar town look, featuring the same faces that have been stopping in for decades, day after day. And even though the new second location has a brand-new kitchen, larger floor space and more varieties of sodas than a person could ever ask for, it has not lost an ounce of that same country charm.

“The bottom line is, we are a country store,” Julian said. “That old building was built in 1870. It’s always been a country store. I wanted to be able to do something bigger.”

The new location just off U.S. Route 15 on Putman Road offers a wider selection of goodies, deli meats, and bakery items, but the same friendly faces that have been there to offer a helping hand remain the same.

The business features a plethora of custom-made benches, frames, and counters made by locals, for locals. The countertops from the deli to the checkout counter all come from local people, which shows that the roots of this community run deep in Mountaindale Convenience Store. 

But with the location of the new store, it is no longer just the same crowd passing through. “We’ve got locals that have been checking us out to see what’s going on,” Rida said. “Most of the people are new people who we’ve never seen before, but I can see them becoming regular customers because we’ve already heard them say this is going to be their regular stop.”

The store has even been catering to a younger demographic, packing the coolers with popular craft beers and specialty drinks, gaining popularity in breweries across the nation. “My son has been helping us out with that,” Rida said. “We have got shelves and shelves and shelves full of craft beer, so when they come in here, they’re shocked to see it all.”

Through the highs and lows, Mountaindale Convenience Store is still thriving and looking forward to building new relationships with customers who stop in from places near and far. But one thing is certain, no matter how much growth and development the convenience store has, that comforting country-store feeling will always stay the same.

Mountaindale Convenience Store owner, Rida Mitchell, is shown inside the store’s second location, just off of U.S. Route 15 at Putman Road.

Photo by Blair Garrett

Fitzgerald’s Heavy Timber, located on Powell Road in Thurmont, received the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award for the restoration of Pine Bank Covered Bridge. Fitzgerald’s Heavy Timber is a full-service timber framing specialist, producing elegant, cost-effective building solutions by combining traditional craftsmanship and technical innovation.

Located in Western Pennsylvania, the Pine Bank Covered Bridge was originally constructed in the early 1800s and relocated to Meadowcroft Rock Shelter in the 1960s to become a part of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. The bridge serves as an essential part of their facilities; all visitors navigate through the parking area through the covered bridge. A conservation assessment conducted in 2012 noted numerous significant problems, including structural issues. Work on the bridge began in 2016 to remove deteriorated sections of the truss, splicing in new replacement timber, raising the elevation of the bridge to correct drainage issues, and installing a new standing-seam metal roof that returned the bridge to its original appearance.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Dean Fitzgerald at 301-639-2988 or e-mail deanfitzgerald@heavytimber.net.

Pictured is the restored Pine Bank Covered Bridge at the Dedication Ceremony in 2018.

Courtesy Photo

Mayor James L. McCarron, Jr. began his presentation to The Taney Corporation by saying, “Sixty years is a long time to be contributing to the community with the folks Taney has hired & families they have supported…”

Since 1958, The Taney Corporation has helped to preserve the long tradition of wood sculptors and craftsmen that have been part of its history since its earliest days with its creation of quality stairs and stair parts.

In a visit with the Glass Family and their staff, the mayor and city council of the City of Taneytown hereby declared a proclamation that November 8, 2018, is Taney Corporation Day.   

As a family-owned business, the Glass Family—Eric, Audrey, Jeff, and Brian—continue the tradition as the premier manufacturers of wood stairs and rails in the Mid-Atlantic. With the help of their dedicated craftsmen and entire staff, The Taney Corporation has been a mainstay in Taneytown, enjoying the support of the community throughout their sixty years of business.

Started in 1958, with four employees, the business has grown to seventy employees under the leadership of Eric Glass, who bought the business in 1962. His two sons joined the business in the early 1980s and continue the high levels of quality and service that are the cornerstones of their success.

The Taney Corporation is proud of its association with the City of Taneytown and looks forward to another sixty years in their wonderful community.

The Taney Corporation, celebrating sixty years in business on November 8, 2018, is presented an award from the Mayor and City Council of the City of Taneytown.

James Rada, Jr.

Watching Majo jump around, waiting for Tim Duhan to throw a lacrosse ball, it’s hard to imagine that the nineteen-month-old German shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix is a trained law enforcement officer. On the job, Majo is all business, as he tests the air for the scent of hidden narcotics.

“He’s 100 percent a puppy still, and he’s also ball crazy,” said Duhan, a corporal with the Thurmont Police.

Majo is trained as a narcotics dog and has been on the job since September 2018. He came from the Czech Republic, and the Thurmont Police purchased him from Castle’s K-9 Inc., a company in Pennsylvania that imports and trains police dogs.

The town had a budget of $10,000 to purchase and train Majo, but the bill came out to be $12,600. However, the Humane Society of Frederick County donated $1,600 and Woodsboro Bank donated $1,000 to make up the difference.

“Another couple of agencies wanted to make him (Majo) a dual-purpose dog, but we got him first,” Duhan said.

Some dogs can also be trained as a patrol dog, besides smelling for certain scents. This “bite work” is left to dogs with a temperament for it and a reputation for being tough like German shepherds or Doberman Pinschers.

“The town didn’t want a dog that would bite, though,” Duhan said. “They wanted a social dog, and Majo is very social.”

Majo also does his police work well. So far, he and Duhan have been called out for scans three times, and drugs were found every time.

This comes from Majo’s daily training. Duhan not only exercises him, he trains him through scanning scenarios.

“With a dog like this, he should be doing some sort of drug training every day,” explained Duhan.

Majo takes over the position of canine cop from Buddy, a black Labrador retriever who was medically retired in May. He was running and playing when he injured himself in an accident.

“I’m not sure what happened,” Duhan said. “I saw him running down the yard and turned away for a moment. When I turned back, he was doing a somersault and hit a tree.”

Duhan rushed over to Buddy and discovered that the dog couldn’t get his front legs to work. He rushed him to the veterinarian for care. It was discovered that Buddy had permanent nerve damage to one of his legs, and it had to be amputated.

“He still could have done the job, but the town was unable to get insurance for him,” Duhan said.

Buddy still lives with Duhan, his family, Majo, and Duhan’s large Pyrennes. The dogs get along well, except they fight over toys like children. Duhan will still let Buddy do drug scans because the retriever likes the activity.

“He watches me do it with Majo, so I also let him scan,” Duhan said. “Even after being retired, I could probably certify Buddy now.”

Corporal Tim Duhan stands with Majo, a trained narcotics dog with the Thurmont Police Department.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg’s volunteer fire department, Vigilant Hose Company (VHC), seeks to remind everyone of the importance of the Frederick County Government’s “Ambulance Transport Insurance Billing” (ATIB, often called ‘EMS Billing’) to all Frederick County Residents who are transported by a Frederick County unit. The program helps citizens of Frederick County by assisting with out-of-pocket expenses for medically necessary ambulance transports, including emergency medical responses.

The County’s Division of Fire and Rescue Services mailed out information with subscription club forms to all Frederick County Residents approximately six weeks ago. To enroll, simply fill out the membership enrollment form located in the pamphlets and list all persons living in the house who will be enrolled in the program. The ATIB is a countywide program that provides reimbursement for services rendered for ambulance transport services. In most cases, insurance carriers, government programs, auto insurances, etc., will generally reimburse a portion for ambulance charges.

If you are a Frederick County resident, here’s what you need to know:

•  Frederick County’s Division of Fire and Rescue Services began billing patient’s medical insurance for ambulance transport services in January 2013, in an effort to offset the rising cost of providing emergency medical services (EMS).  Reimbursement of these funds assists with operational expenses incurred in providing an effective combination volunteer and career EMS system, while also offering some relief to the taxpayers of the County, too.

•  Frederick County does not charge those enrolled in the ATIB program and accepts insurance payments to cover expenses with no further expectation on the part of citizens.

Providing the highest quality of professional patient care and treatment continues to be our collective number one priority. If not enrolled in the ATIB program, the charges for ambulance transport services are:

•  Non-Emergency Basic Life Support transports: $320.00

•  Emergency Basic Life Support transports: $420.00

•  Advanced Life Support, Level 1 transports: $600.00

•  Advanced Life Support, Level 2 transports: $700.00

•  Additionally, ground mileage of $10.00 per mile is charged, from                 incident pick-up site to the closest medical facility.

Those enrolled in the ATIB program are not charged any of the above fees. For more information, either go to the website at https://www.frederickcountymd.gov/1119/Ambulance-Billing; stop by the VHC Fire / EMS Station at 25 West Main Street, near Town Square in Emmitsburg; or, should you wish to call by telephone, contact 301-600-1644 directly for helpful and friendly insights.

Theresa Dardanell

Two hundred and seventy-eight students at Thurmont Elementary School joined people from all over the world for the 7th Annual WorldWide Dance for Kindness. Groups in over 120 cities around the globe all perform the same dance to the same song on the same day to unite the world with kindness. This event is sponsored by Life Vest Inside, with the purpose of looking beyond ourselves to realize that we are “all citizens of the world and that kindness is the common thread that unites us all.” 

Before the dance began, Principal Debra O’Donnell told the students that they do this dance to remind them, “how important it is to be kind and it starts with you.”

Students Tristan Lease, Tyler McCallion, Dary Carson, and Claire Daly enthusiastically agreed that the dance brings people together and helps to spread kindness throughout the world.

Guidance Counselor Tammy Brotman said, “Kindness starts with one kind word, one kind act, one person at a time.” She shared this story with me: “This past week, I asked my students if they knew anyone who was a champion, fully expecting them to mention famous sports players. One boy mentioned a girl in his class from last year. He said she was a champion because she wrote kind notes to everyone in his class all year long. He still has his at home in a special box. When I told her that others were saying she was a champion, her response was “I had no idea.” Sometimes we don’t know the impact that sending the message of kindness is having, but it warmed my heart to know that it’s happening and students are taking note.”

Thurmont Elementary School students perform the Kindness Dance.

Photo by Theresa Dardanell