Posts by: ""

BY James Rada, Jr.

Depending on who you might talk to and where you are along the U.S. Route 15 corridor that runs through the heart of the Catoctin Region, the highway could be referred to by at least nine different names and that’s not even counting the names of the business routes and auxiliary routes.

U.S. Route 15

This is the official name of the nearly 792-mile-long highway that runs from Waltersboro, South Carolina, to Painted Post, New York. It passes through South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York.

The Catoctin Banner region encompasses an approximate 15-mile stretch of the highway from the Pennsylvania/Maryland (Mason Dixon) Line south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to the area north of Frederick, Maryland.          

Route 15 is one of the earliest U.S. Highways, opening in 1926. However, the original U.S. Route 15 did not enter Maryland. What is currently Route 15 from Frederick, to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was called U.S. 240 at the time. In 1927, U.S. 240 became the major route between Washington, D.C., and Frederick and Route 15 was extended from Leesburg north into Maryland through Point of Rocks, Maryland, and connected with U.S. 240 in Frederick, and U.S. 240 from Frederick north became U.S. Route 15.

Journey Though Hallowed Ground

From Gettysburg to Charlottesville, Va., U.S. 15 Route has been designated The Journey Through Hallowed Ground. It is a 180-mile long, 75-mile wide National Heritage Area that includes 9 presidential homes and sites, 18 national and state parks, 57 historic towns and villages, 21 historic homes, hundreds of Civil War battlefields and thousands of historical sites. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground bills itself as “Where America Happened.”

“With more history than any other region in the nation, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground was recognized by Congress as a National Heritage Area and offers authentic heritage tourism programs and award-winning educational programs for students of all ages,” according to

James Monroe Highway

The northern portion of Route 15 in Virginia is also known as James Monroe Highway. Monroe was the fifth President of the United States who lived in Loudon County, Virginia at Oak Hill. To make matters confusing, the highway later changes from James Monroe Highway to James Madison Highway, named after the Virginian who was the fourth President of the United States.

Catoctin Mountain Scenic Byway

Along most of its nearly 38 miles through Maryland, Route 15 is known as the Catoctin Mountain Scenic Byway. This is because along that route, the highway runs along the east side of Catoctin Mountain. The break in this designation is from the U.S. Route 340 intersection to the Maryland Route 26 intersection north of Frederick. Route 15 was originally called Catoctin Mountain Highway beginning in 1974. The entire length of Route 15 in Maryland became a National Scenic Byway in 1999. It became the Catoctin Mountain Scenic Byway in 2005.

Jefferson National Pike

Route 15 and Route 340 run concurrently for a few miles in Frederick. This stretch of U.S. 15 is known as Jefferson National Pike. This is due to the fact that Route 340 through Frederick is also known as Jefferson Boulevard.

Frederick Freeway

From the Route 340 intersection to the MD 26 intersection, Route 15 is sometimes called the Frederick Freeway. This is the stretch of Route 15 that runs north-south through Frederick. It is the busiest section of Route 15 in Maryland.

115th Infantry Regiment Memorial


The Maryland General Assembly designated Route 15 the 115th Infantry Regiment Memorial Highway. The 115th Infantry Regiment is a unit of the Maryland National Guard and it was a regiment of the U.S. Its history dates back to the Revolutionary War. The unit saw service in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. A large stone marker was erected in the median of the highway near Emmitsburg in 2006 to mark this designation.

Blue AND Gray Highway

The first of the two designations that Route 15 carries as it begins its trek through Pennsylvania is Blue and Gray Highway. This designation comes from the fact that the first 12 miles of Route 15 in Pennsylvania takes you from the Maryland border to Gettysburg, site of the most-famous battle in the Civil War.

Marine Corps League


The Marine Corps League is made up of Marines and former Marines who support the United States Marine Corps. They are perhaps best known for the “Toys for Tots” Christmas toys program. Route 15 through much of Pennsylvania is named in their honor.

Business Routes and Offshoots

The above names cover the main route from Gettysburg to Virginia. However, Route 15 once passed through some small towns. As traffic increased, the decision was made to divert the highway around the towns and the original route through the town was designated Business Route 15.

Along the area The Catoctin Banner covers, this happens in Emmitsburg and Gettysburg. In Emmitsburg, Business Route 15 is known as North Seton Avenue and South Seton Avenue. In Gettysburg, the route is known along different sections as Emmitsburg Road, Steinwehr Avenue, Baltimore Street, Carlisle Street, and Old Harrisburg Road.

Route 15 also has five auxiliary routes in Maryland designated 15A, 15B, 15C, 15D, and 15G. These are all very small sections of road adjoining the main highway. The longest is less than .2-miles.

Call it what you will. U.S. Route 15 is still a beautiful highway to travel to see natural beauty and historic sites.

Article by Jane Savage, Administrative Secretary, Sabillasville Elementary

Many parents currently serving on the Sabillasville Elementary School (SES) Parent Group, Inc. are SES Alumni. They started chatting about all the great memories they had of the spring bazaar that was held years ago when they were students, and they wanted to give current students and the community an opportunity to create their own memories, as well, so they re-created the event. They hoped the bazaar would raise funds for the SES Parent Group. Currently, the Parent Group provides activities and educational resources for the students including field trips, cultural arts activities, subscriptions to online reading programs and books, magazines and classroom supplies, and events throughout the year.   

The SES Parent Group revived the bazaar three years ago, and it has grown significantly each year. This year’s Planning Committee consisted of Alisha Yocum (coordinator), Priscilla Blentlinger, Dawn Fisher, Dawn Harbaugh, and Kelsey Norris.  Parent Group members volunteered to put on the bazaar, as well as families, community members, and staff. Alisha Yokum said, “We tried to re-create the event so that it would just be a day of good family fun, while supporting the school. We included ‘old-fashioned’ carnival games, some of which were the same as when it took place 30 years ago. Back then, an auctioneer auctioned off donations from local businesses. This time, we changed that to be a silent auction. We received so much support from businesses within the community, as well as the surrounding communities, through donations to the silent auction.”  The school receives much support from the community and surrounding communities in many different ways all year. Contributors include individuals, businesses, and service organizations. In the past, the bazaar was held the Saturday before Mother’s Day; and plants that were purchased from the Ag classes at the high school were sold at the bazaar. This year, the bazaar was held the first Saturday in June.

In the past, a pie in the face contest, where the principal took a pie in the face from students who won a raffle, was a highly anticipated activity. (Mrs. Severance started this activity when she was the principal).

In sticking with re-creating just “good fun,” the Parent Group decided to broaden the Pie in the Face contest with four staff members volunteering to be candidates. Students cast their votes and Mrs. Krietz (Principal) topped the contest with just over 8,100 votes. Two lucky winners (Abbey Sparkman and Hope LeGore) were then selected from a raffle to smash the pie in her face on the day of the event. A pie in the face of the principal was sure to draw a crowd to the event because who doesn’t want to see the principal take a pie to the face!

About the cover photo: Dalton Wolfe (boy in orange shirt), Noah Bradbury (boy in tank top), and Maycee Grimes (girl in pink shirt) observe as Abbey Sparkman smooshes a pie in SES Principal’s Kate Krietz’ face.

Pictured right: Alayna Sowers (age 8) plucks a duckie for a prize.

Pictured below: Kyle Mullennex is the winner (safety yellow shirt) of a Cake Walk.

Pictured lower middle: Baked goods have always been a big seller at the bazaar.

Pictured lower right: Even the smallest of tractors competes in the Tractor Show.

James Rada, Jr.

Geocaching is a fun way to find hidden treasures, not only locally, but across the world using a GPS device.

While you can purchase a GPS device, if you have a smartphone, you can download a free app that will allow you to get started right away. Once you enter the coordinates of the cache, the GPS device acts like a compass, helping you zero in on the cache’s location. The closer you get to the cache, the more it becomes a game of hot/cold since most GPS devices can only get you accurately to the cache’s hiding spot within 10 feet or so.

This article will highlight some of the caches hidden in The Catoctin area and allow you to add treasure hunting via geocaching to your recreational activities. You can find where hundreds of thousands of other caches are hidden at You can track caches you find, leave comments about caches, and upload pictures of your finds.

Good hunting!

Thurmont Park and Grab (Difficulty: 1.0/ Terrain: 1.0)

Coordinates: N 39° 36.989 W 077° 25.180

This cache is a quick find in a Thurmont shopping center. Should be an easy park and grab.

Hint: Light post cache.

Moser Cache (Difficulty: 1.5/ Terrain: 3.0)

Coordinates: N 39° 36.474 W 077° 24.139

Hidden on private property with permission. Parking at this cache is minimal, so please use the following coordinates to park: N39’ 36.458 W77’ 24.205. The actual cache is hidden at the above coordinates.

The cache is a smaller ammo can (5.56mm) with NASCAR and GEOCACHE stickers on it. Since this cache was created by a huge Jeff Gordon fan, you’ll find a lot of J.G. swag, including a key chain, pictures from a race he attended at Texas Motor Speedway, Pez dispenser, log book, pens, official geocache congratulations “You’ve found it” notice, and a few other odds and ends. If you’re a NASCAR fan, you’ll enjoy this one.

Hint: Beware of the thorns and watch for the fallen tree and water.

FCMGT-Emmitsburg Doughboy (Difficulty: 1.5/ Terrain: 1.5)

Coordinates: N 39° 42.357 W 077° 19.954

This cache is part of the Frederick County Memorial GeoTrail.

Emmitsburg’s doughboy, the popular name for a WWI foot soldier, stands at the end of West Main Street in its own little grassy park about 10 feet square. The statue stands on the lawn of the Emmit House, once a hotel that frequently hosted Maryland governors, but is now an apartment house. It was erected in 1927. For more information, go to

Hint: Fake rock at base.

Hatchery and Ponds (Difficulty: 1.5/ Terrain: 1.5)

Coordinates: N 39° 32.128 W 077° 25.976

The Lewistown Trout Hatchery and Bass Ponds are located near this cache. The property was purchased by the State of Maryland in 1917. The area is well known for fish ponds, some of which are no longer used. The cache you seek is located near the marker. As a side note, in the early 20th century, Frederick County was the leading goldfish producer in the United States.

    Hint: GRC.


Cache: The hidden item. Caches can take any form and be hidden or disguised. Some have a piece of paper in them that you can sign and date to mark that you found it. Others have cheap swag. If you take a swag item, you are expected to leave one of your own behind.

Coordinates: The location of the cache given in latitude and longitude.

Difficulty: On a scale of 1-5, how difficult is it considered to find this cache.

GPS: Global Positioning System. This is an electronic device that uses coordinates you enter to direct you to those coordinates. Think: Mapquest, where the address entered are latitude and longitude coordinates.

Muggles: Non-geocachers.

Swag: Small items, such as might be found in a Cracker Jack box, that are left as a small reward for finding the cache.

Terrain: On a scale of 1-5, how difficult is it to get to this cache.

James Rada, Jr.

Note: The below article “Thurmont’s Oldest Citizen Turns 102” was featured in the July 2018 issue of The Catoctin Banner. Beulah Zentz passed away on June 23, 2019 at the age of 103. Our community has lost a friend in Beulah Zentz, and she will be missed. Turn to page 60 to view her Obituary.

Beulah Zentz may not have been born in Thurmont, but the town’s oldest resident has become a part of the town’s history.

She was born on May 26, 1916, near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Fresh out of high school, she met Ethel Hockensmith. Beulah went to help Ethel with housework at her home in Zullinger, Pennsylvania. Beulah stayed with her about a week before Ethel asked her, “Do you want a job?”

Ethel’s brother owned and operated the Munshour Dairies in Thurmont. So, Beulah made the move to Thurmont in 1932. She lived with the Munshours. Her work included milking sixteen cows twice a day, washing glass milk bottles, and bottling milk. Munshour Dairies delivered milk by horse and wagon to locations throughout Thurmont. Sometimes, Beulah would ride along.

“The only place she got to go while she was living there was the Lutheran church,” said Viola Noffsinger, Beulah’s daughter.

It was there that she met Albert Zentz, a local farmer. The two got along well, but before their relationship could really develop, Beulah moved back to Chambersburg. A friend of hers invited Beulah to come work at a factory in Chambersburg for $7.50 a week. Beulah was only making $3.00 a week at Munshour Dairies, so she jumped at the new job.

This complicated her growing relationship with Albert, who had to travel from Thurmont to Chambersburg to visit her. He finally told her that it was too far to travel.

Beulah had a choice to make, and she chose Albert over her job. She moved back in with her family, who were living in New Franklin, Pennsylvania. Once she did, Beulah said, “He started visiting more often.” They married on February 24, 1936.

Albert had taken over his family’s farm in 1934, and Beulah moved into the farmhouse at 158 North Carroll Street in Thurmont. “We had animals of all kinds,” Beulah said. “Hogs, calves, beef cattle, chickens.” They also grew vegetables to sell in town.

The farmhouse also became quite crowded. Albert’s parents, Wendell and Florence, continued to live in the house, and Beulah and Albert started their family. Jean (Heims) was born in 1939, Viola (Noffsinger) in 1940, Mary (Eyler) in 1942, and Wendell in 1954.

As the town grew, factories began building in town.

Meanwhile, Albert not only worked his farm, but he helped anyone in town who needed help. Albert got a reputation of being the person to go to if you needed a helping hand.

Beulah did her part to assist the family. She worked for a time at the shoe factory in town, but then she found a better way to help out.

The Zentzes owned a building next to the railroad tracks and near the shoe factory. The upstairs rooms were rented out as apartments, but the Zentzes had another idea for the ground floor.

“The shoe factory wanted something so people could have snacks and eat,” Beulah said.

And, so, the Sunrise Cafeteria was born. Employees at the shoe factory would place orders, and one employee would walk over to the cafeteria to pick up the order of milk and sandwiches that the employees would eat on their break.

The Western Maryland Railroad passenger trains also stopped at the cafeteria. “They made it a point to stop there and eat,” Beulah said.

The cafeteria operated for years until bureaucracy began interfering. Insurance rates climbed because the cafeteria sold fresh milk, not pasteurized. Then the health inspector told Beulah that they would need new coolers to hold the milk, which were too expensive. The cafeteria closed in the early 1950s.

Beulah continued working with companies like Claire Frock and Hillside Turkey.

Albert died in 2002. He and Beulah had been married for sixty-seven years.

Beulah is now 102 years old, making her Thurmont’s oldest citizen. However, she has had health issues this year, including pneumonia. When asked what her secret to long life is, Beulah said, “I never gave it much thought. I just went along and did whatever needed doing.”

Town Hall Report

by James Rada, Jr.


For more information on the Town of Emmitsburg, visit www.emmitsburgmd. gov or call 301-600-6300.

June 2019 Meeting

New Sign Ordinance Moves Forward

The Emmitsburg Commissioners sent the new proposed sign ordinance, with changes incorporated to the town’s planning commission, in early June. The commission then undertakes a 30-day review of the plan.

The commissioners’ action followed four community outreach meetings to get feedback on the proposed ordinance. One of the most significant changes to come out of those meetings was to allow neon signs in downtown businesses. Each business is allowed one sign, up to 2-square feet in size, that has a steady light source.

The planning commission will review the ordinance and recommend it for approval, approval with changes, or denial.

The Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association has also seen the proposed ordinance and supports the version sent to the planning commission.

Town Applies for $75,000 in Community Facade Grants

The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners approved a resolution to apply for a $75,000 facade grant from the Community Legacy Program.

The town has applied for this grant every year since 2013. Over that time, $820,491 have been invested in the town’s facade from the state grants, resident matching payments, and in-kind donations from the town.

Two Appointed to Parks and Recreation Committee

The Emmitsburg Commissioners appointed Carolyn and Martin Miller to serve on the town parks and recreation committee. Their terms run from March 15, 2019, to March 15, 2021.


For more information on the Town of Thurmont, visit or call 301-271-7313.

June 2019 Meeting

Town Purchases Property for Public Works Department

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners agreed to purchase the property at 115 Water Street for $152,000. The .21-acre property is adjacent to the Thurmont Public Works Department, and it will allow the department to expand in the future. Until that time, the town will rent the home that is on the property.

Town Expects Full POS Funding

The Town of Thurmont expects to receive its full funding request from Program Open Space. There was enough funding this year to fund all of the requests from Frederick County’s municipalities: $60,000 for the Thurmont Trolley Trail extension; $30,000 for the Community Park playground update; $22,500 for a half-court basketball court at the ice plant.

Town Makes Annual Donations

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners made their annual contributions to organizations that provide services to the town: the Guardian Hose Company received $30,000; the Thurmont Community Ambulance Company received $30,000; the Thurmont Food Bank received $6,000.

Thurmont Receives National Main Street Accreditation

For the fourteenth straight year, the Town of Thurmont has received National Main Street and Maryland Main Street accreditation. This recognizes outstanding commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization.

“We are proud to acknowledge this year’s 840 nationally accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to strengthen their communities,” Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center, said in the release. “Main Street America Accredited communities are part of a powerful movement of changemakers, and their dedication to improving quality of life in these places is inspiring.”

The National Main Street Program is a subsidiary under the National Trust for Preservation, with 45 states participating in the Main Street Program. The State of Maryland has 27 National Main Street Accredited Main Streets. The Main Street Maryland program strives to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods. The program provides designated communities with support for economic planning, marketing, promotion, and education administered by the Department of Community Housing and Development.

Thurmont Economic Development Manager Vickie Grinder manages the Main Street program in town. She said, “I am very proud that we have been accredited for 14 straight years. This says a lot about our municipality, our residents, and our community leaders.”

Town Can’t Help Parkview Townhomes

Representatives from the Parkview Townhome Community on Moser Circle asked the Town of Thurmont to take over maintenance services the homeowner’s association provide in the hope of disbanding the HOA. The HOA has had to deal with bad contracts they are locked into and home foreclosures that have reduced the HOA’s income.

“We would like to get away from the association altogether,” said HOA officer Joe Kelley.

The commissioners said they sympathize with the residents of the community, but it was doubtful the town could take over the HOA duties. Mayor John Kinnaird pointed out that the road is probably not up to town standards.

“We would be taking on a large headache and a liability,” he said.

The commissioners said that they were willing to help where they could, but taking over for the HOA was not an option.

From the Mayor


 Mayor Don Briggs

Summer in Emmitsburg is blooming.

The pool, dog park, exercise trail, multi-use trail, and ball fields are all in use and all busy.

The first pool party was held on June 21. Mark your calendar for the remaining ones: Friday, July 12, 6:00-8:00 p.m., and Friday, August 16, 6:00-8:00 p.m. The cost is $1.00 for all who are not pool members. There will be free hot dogs and cold drinks.

We will be hosting National Night Out on Friday, August 16, from 6:00-8:30 p.m. The Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team, Swat Team vehicle, and K9 team will all be there, along with many vendors, free hot dogs, Rita’s Ice, and maybe more.

Disc golf is coming to the Community Park. We will begin designing the course layout during the next weeks.

Great concert opener in Community Park from Commissioner Ritz and the Parks and Rec Committee. Nothing like Irish traditional music, which was provided by Morningstar to entrance and entertain. Coming up on Friday, August 2, 6:00-9:00 p.m. is Party Rock from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Friday, August 30, 7:00-8:00 p.m. is American & Comedy “Christine and the Road King.” Also, on Saturday, July 27, 10:00 a.m.-noon, will be “Creatures Big and Small,” a traveling petting zoo is coming to town.

Need a little extra food for your kids this summer? Come to Elias Lutheran Church, “Food 4 Kids” Wednesdays, on July 10 and 24, August 7, 14, and 28, and September 18, from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Also, at Elias Lutheran Church, there will be food giveaways from the Maryland Food Bank, Wednesdays, July 24, August 14, and September 18, from 3:00-6:00 p.m.

From Commissioner O’Donnell: 60-100 young bikers and parents are coming to Emmitsburg on Community Heritage Day weekend for a National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) sponsored mountain biking event. Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) representatives will be here to monitor Teen Trail Corp mandatory work project on the town multi-use trail on Sunday, June 30. The group will be camping out on the Indian Lookout Conservation Club property.

I attended the Emmitsburg–Thurmont Flag Day commemoration, held this year in Thurmont. The annual event hosting rotates every other year between the towns. Very solemn tribute. Thank you to the sponsors, the Thurmont American Legion, Thurmont AMVETS, Emmitsburg AMVETS Post No. 7, the Emmitsburg American Legion, and Emmitsburg VFW Post No. 6658.

The first three wayside exhibits are in place in the downtown historic district, for the Square, the Doughboy statue, and the Emmit House. This is the first set of what is hoped to be annual additions under a grant for a historic tour. Next year, Vigilant Hose Company, Chronicle Press, and The Carriage House Inn should be added.

A wonderful addition to the downtown square, provided by the town grant program, is the deep red “brick” color of the middle Ott House building.

I also attended the last two-day segment of the state-sponsored climate leadership classes.

The 36th Annual Community Heritage Day is Saturday, June 29. Another wonderful day is planned in the park, on the Square, along the parade route, and the grand finale fireworks display. Wayside signs ribbon-cuttings to dedicate the signs start at the Square at 9:30 a.m., then onto the Doughboy and Emmit House. Thank you to the Heritage Community Day committee, Jenn Joy, and Commissioner Sweeney.

Happy Fourth of July to all. Please, please, relax, kick back, and invite friends over. Enjoy Emmitsburg, the best place to live, work, play, and visit.

 Mayor John Kinnaird

I am writing from Ocean City, Maryland, this morning! The Maryland Municipal League Summer Conference is being held from June 22 through June 25 at the Convention Center in O.C. The MML holds two Conferences through the year, and this one is by far the best attended—my guess is because it is in Ocean City. We will be attending three days of meetings and discussions that range from the opioid epidemic to planning and zoning tips, from consensus building to infrastructure concern to running well organized meetings, to…well you can see it’s a little bit of everything. The discussions are always very helpful, and it is good to sit with 50 or 60 other elected officials and discuss these topics. There is always someone that has had experience and is able to shed some light on even the most difficult topics. The MML elects a new board of directors and president at the Summer Conference; I have been helping with the voting for several years. When I first started attending the Conference, I was worried that the larger municipalities would hold an undue influence over the MML, but, boy, was I wrong! Two years ago, Jake Romanell was elected president; he served as a councilmember from New Market. This year, Perry Jones from Union Bridge is running for president elect. So, in a short span of four years, our MML President will have come from two of our smallest municipalities. The absolute best thing about attending the Summer Conference is that when we sit in on discussions, we find that every community has similar issues, and it is reassuring to me that most have much greater problems than we have in Thurmont or Emmitsburg!

Summer has arrived, and with it, comes our great Main Street Farmers Market. The Market is held every Saturday morning in the Municipal Parking lot on Center Street. This year’s vendors will have a great selection of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, handmade goods, and delicious baked items. Be sure to stop by early for the best selection!

A reminder that the Guardian Hose Company Carnival will be held the week of July 8. There is still time to get presale all-you-can-ride tickets; be sure to get to the parade to see the best parade in Frederick County.

On Saturday, June 27, we held our First Annual Gateway to the Cure Golf Tournament at Maple Run Golf Course on Moser Road. The event was well attended and has been declared a great success. The proceeds from this, and other upcoming events, will go to our community donation to the Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital. To date, the residents of Thurmont have donated over $60,000 to FMH to help with treatment and research. We dedicated this year’s tournament to the memory of Jill Hooper. Jill was always very active in our community and worked hard to help raise funds for the Cure.

School is out and our children will be outdoors playing, riding bikes, and skateboarding. Please keep an eye out for the youngsters as you drive our streets; they may not always be aware of their surroundings.

As always, I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or by email at

Deb Abraham Spalding


Incidents of Lyme disease in people are on the rise in our area, while the incidents of Lyme disease in our dogs are on the decline. Our Blacklegged (Deer) Tick is the culprit. Other local tick species like the Brown Dog Tick and the American Dog Tick are not known to transfer Lyme but can transfer other diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to pets and people.

Pets: Trish Hahn, a veterinary technician with the Catoctin Veterinary Clinic in Thurmont, explains that there’s a 99 percent effective Lyme vaccine available for your dogs, which substantially decreases the incidents of Lyme. There are also various flea and tick treatments, topical and oral, that are effective as well. These reliable flea and tick products kill the tick before there is a blood exchange, thus preventing disease.

Symptoms of Lyme disease in a dog are lethargy, loss of appetite, and kidney damage if left too long without treatment. From the point of the bite, symptoms may begin within 24 hours. Trish explained that we don’t see Lyme disease in cats.

People: Jenice Palachick, CRNP (Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner) in Dr. Cooper’s office in Thurmont, formerly worked with Dr. Timothy Stonesifer at the Cumberland Valley Parochial Medical Clinic in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. Dr. Stonesifer runs his clinic as a family practice, with a specialty in Lyme. Having prior experience with diagnosing and treating Lyme disease is a useful resource for Jenice while working in general practice at Dr. Cooper’s office, but she often consults with Dr. Stonesifer if she suspects Lyme.

Typical symptoms of Lyme can be difficult to diagnose because they mimic so many other ailments. They include fever, headache, fatigue, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and, about 30 percent of the time, a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. Every case of Lyme disease is unique. Thus, treatment for each case is a journey of trial and error. Jenise said, “I’ve been fooled before. It’s not that simple.” The symptoms are so broad, especially in the chronic phase where symptoms have gone on for years.

Jenice suggests that the adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is in place when preventing Lyme. When outside in the tick’s natural habitat, wear long pants tucked into your socks. Buy clothes that are infused with pyrethrum, which is a natural repellent to ticks. Use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered ingredient, such as DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Wear light colored clothing. Do a tick check after being outside. Ticks love the scalp, behind the ears, and the groin area. Ticks can be as small as a pin head.

For more about Lyme Disease, read the ‘Ask Dr. Lo’ column in the Health Matters Section on page 56.


(Correction from this article in June’s issue: our water snakes are not venomous. The Cottonmouth water moccasin mentioned can be found in southern Virginia and other southern areas.)

There are two kinds of venomous snakes in our local area: timber rattlesnakes and copperheads. They are rarely aggressive. The easiest way to determine how to treat a snake bite is to look at the eyes of the culprit. Venomous snakes have elliptical pupils while non-venomous have round pupils. Venomous snakes have hollow retractable fangs while nonvenomous snakes lack fangs. Venomous snakes have a triangular shaped head while nonvenomous snakes have a rounded head. Please don’t assume that all snakes are venomous, but please do assume that all snakes can bite.

Pets: Though not all snakes have a deadly venom, a snake bite will still cause discomfort and stress for your pet, so please take your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible. If your pet was bitten by a venomous snake, it will need antivenom.

People: On May 19, 2019, while hiking with her wife Sarah, two dogs and friends, Lindsay Klampe was bitten by a rattlesnake (actual snake shown in photo).  She was wearing shorts and sneakers while hiking from Hog Rock in Catoctin Mountain Park to Cunningham Falls in Cunningham Falls State Park.

Lindsay said, upon feeling the bite, “Adrenaline took over. I jumped and started running.” She ran about a quarter mile from where the bite occurred to the falls parking lot along Route 77. Meanwhile, Sarah called 911.

Ambulance personnel transported Lindsay to Frederick Memorial Hospital where, within 1 hour and 15 minutes from when the bite occurred, she was injected with antivenom.

Lyndsay said she plans to get back to hiking but will wear hiking boots and pants in the future since she feels that ankle-covering boots could have served as a barrier of protection and prevented the bite from penetrating her skin.

UpToDate clinical first aid for a venomous snake bite suggests keeping the victim warm, at rest, and calm while initially elevating the injured part of the body to the level of the heart. Remove any rings, watches, or constrictive clothing from the affected extremity. Rush to the nearest medical facility using emergency medical services.

For Pets and People: In case of a non-venomous bite, clean the wound, apply a clean dressing, and go about your day while monitoring for any changes in condition like swelling, dizziness or clamminess, or changes in breathing. If any of these changes occur, seek medical attention.

In the case of a venomous bite, take emergency action to get to an emergency room where an antivenom can be injected.


The National Park Service has posted bear safety tips on its website. The biggest prevention tip is: Make a lot of noise. The bears in our local parks are black bears. They are not normally aggressive or threatening, and mostly just want to be left alone. So, being a loud hiker or camper may deter their interest. But, if you encounter one, keep in mind that they are very curious. That’s not to say they won’t be aggressive or threatening if they are protecting their young or hungry in pursuit of food, and you get in the way.

People: If confronted with a black bear, stand tall with arms stretched above your head so you appear bigger than you are. Talk in a normal tone to the bear, so it determines that you are a human and not a meal. Stay calm. Do not run away or climb a tree; a bear can do those things better than you.

Bear pepper spray is available for purchase and can be a part of your safety regimen while in the wild. Most importantly, if any bear attacks you in your tent, or stalks you and then attacks, do NOT play dead—fight back!

Pets: If you encounter a Black Bear while with your dog, keep your dog on a leash, calmly control your pet, talk in a normal tone, and make yourself big as explained above. Give a Black Bear enough room to retreat since Black Bears usually avoid confrontation.

The State Highway Administration has begun overnight closings and detours on MD 77 (Foxville Road) to repair more than 40 aging culverts.

MD 77, between Pryor Road and Stottlemyer Road, will be closed Sunday nights through Friday mornings, from 7:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m., until early fall, according to a State Highway Administration (SHA) news release.

Detours will take drivers from MD 77 to US 15 to MD 550 to Foxville Deerfield Road and back to MD 77.

Single lanes will be closed Mondays through Fridays, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

The $2.1 million project is expected to be finished by summer 2020.

The road was previously closed for nearly a month in May for culvert work.

On June 6, 2019, Thurmont Grange #409 hosted it’s second annual Veterans Appreciation Program. 

The evening began with a welcome by Thurmont Grange Lecturer Niki Eyler. Grange members, Jim Moser and Addison Eyler, lead the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. Boy Scout Troop 270 presented the flag folding ceremony, while Granger Sandy Moser gave the meaning of each fold of the flag. Following was a special honor of veteran and Granger John Hart, who passed earlier this year. Members of Boy Scout Troop 270 presented his wife, Cindy Hart, and daughter, Carrie Shives, with the folded flag in memory of John and his service to our country. For all guests, it was very touching to watch the flag folding ceremony, learn its meaning, and be part of its presentation in honor of one of our local veterans.

One of Thurmont Grange’s 2018 community service projects was making a Quilt of Valor. This beautiful quilt was created by not only several Grange members, but also the Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H Sewing Club and Thurmont resident, Bev Eckenrode. The quilt was presented to Wacahu Grange member, Alton Hoopengardner, at the 2018 MD State Grange Conference. To make that presentation even more special, a second quilt was donated and presented to Linganore Grange member, Maurice Wiles. A PowerPoint presentation, narrated by Niki Eyler, was shared with Veterans Appreciation Program guests, which summarized the quilt from yards of material to the presentation of both quilts. To highlight this, the quilts were on display for everyone to admire.  

The evenings honorees were recommended by Thurmont Grangers and friends of Thurmont Grange. Those recognized were James Kilby (Navy 84-05), Valaria Kilby (Navy 88-92), Wayne Wireman (Army 70-72), Bryan Umberger (Marines 91-97 & Army 97-11), Raymond Long (Army 54-56), Maurice Wiles (Army 56-62), Larry Clabaugh (Navy 69-77), Alton Hoopengardner (Army 62-65), Ed Gravatt (Air Force 61-69) and Douglas Zimmerman (Air Force 78-95). It was definitely a privilege to say “Thank you for your service!” to these selfless men and women who chose to serve in the United States Armed Forces.

As June 6 was the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird said a few words, and respectfully asked for a moment of silence in remembrance of those who bravely fought that day and those who gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy in the name of freedom. 

The evening’s program was ended with a prayer, read by Sandy Moser and the singing of “God Bless America.” Many guests and honorees remained to enjoy refreshments, fellowship, conversation about the importance of June 6, and reminisce about their years of service. 

If you are interested in learning more about Thurmont Grange, please call Rodman Myers at 301-271-2104 or Niki Eyler at 301-471-5158.

Honored veterans (from left): (back row) Doug Zimmerman, Larry Clabaugh, Maurice Wiles, Bryan Umberger; (front row) Niki Eyler (Granger), Linda Bernstein (accepting on behalf of Alton Hoopengardner), Ed Gravatt, Raymond Long, Valaria Kilby, Wayne Wireman, James Kilby, and Carol Long (Granger).

Scout Troop 270 flag folding ceremony participants (from left): Annalisa Russell, Adre Russell, Seth Young, and Tanner Seiss.

Addison, Jody and Niki Eyler admiring Maurice Wiles’ Quilt of Valor.

Francis Smith, Emmitsburg resident and local poet, unaware of a poem honoring our beloved state, felt inspired to dedicate an original “Maryland’s Creed.”

Recently, he presented Emmitsburg Mayor Donald Briggs with a framed copy, embellished with the State of Maryland’s colors, the State of Maryland’s official bird (the Baltimore oriole), and the State of Maryland’s official flower (the Black-eyed Susan).

Mr. Smith hopes his efforts find favor with all of Maryland’s citizens.

With four homes in the Thurmont-Emmitsburg area and four more in planning for construction next year, Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County is already helping make homes affordable in the area.

Now the organization has joined Habitat for Humanity organizations across the country to launch a new national advocacy campaign aimed at improving home affordability for 10 million people in the United States over the next five years.

Nearly 19 million households across the United States are spending at least half of their income on a place to live, often forgoing basic necessities such as food and health care to make ends meet. In Frederick County, the ALICE Report from the United Way tells us that 34,688 households, or 39 percent of our local population cannot afford basic needs such as housing, childcare, food, transportation, and health care. The stability that housing should bring continues to remain out of reach for many people.

“We want to start focusing on where the ALICE Report identified the greatest need,” Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County Executive Director Ron Cramer said. Emmitsburg and Thurmont show the highest need, and Brunswick and Frederick City also top the list.

This could benefit Thurmont and Emmitsburg because the towns also have affordable land compared to other locations in the county.

“We build where we find land that we can afford,” Cramer said.

Marking significant growth in Habitat’s commitment to ensuring that everyone has a safe and decent place to call home, the Cost of Home campaign seeks to identify and improve policies and systems through coordinated advocacy efforts at the local, state, and federal levels.

Cost of Home focuses on improving housing affordability across the housing continuum in four specific policy areas: increasing supply and preservation of affordable homes, equitably increasing access to credit, optimizing land use for affordable homes, and ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity.

Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County already has taken steps toward these goals. The local organization has advocated in the past for a change to the County’s Impact Fee structure, and is now asking local residents to join that effort through the Cost of Home campaign.

Frederick County is one of the only counties in the State that has “flat-rate” impact fees, meaning the fee is the same, regardless of size, type, density, location, or any other factor on the home. A nonprofit homebuilder like Habitat for Humanity can waive these fees; however, if they do so, the fee passes to the low-income homebuyer as a lien on their home. The result is that these flat-rate impact fees have a regressive effect, falling disproportionately on those with lower incomes.

As part of this campaign, Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County is continuing to advocate that the County Council revise the legislation on Impact Fees to make them more affordable for lower-income homebuyers.

How do you define the success of a program? The Thurmont Legion Post 168 had poppies in businesses throughout Thurmont for the entire month of May. The businesses were Kountry Kitchen, Hobbs Hardware, Bollinger’s Restaurant, Rocky’s NY Pizza, Fratellis, Criswell Chevrolet, and Gateway Candyland. They also had them, and will continue to have them, all year round at Marie’s Beauty Salon and Main Street Thurmont. The Legion’s Memorial Day Ceremony was held in Memorial Park on May 30, 2019. At that time, the Legion’s Poppy Princess, Ella Renner, who is the granddaughter of Vietnam Veteran and American Legion member, Roland Renner and the late Gail Renner, an American Legion Auxiliary member, distributed poppies throughout the crowd.

Thurmont Legion’s goal each year is to be more visible than the year before. This year, they added Hobbs Hardware, Rocky’s NY Pizza, Fratellis, Criswell Chevrolet, and Main Street Thurmont as its partners to promote and collect donations. The second goal is to collect more money than the year prior. This year, the Legion collected $351. Last year, approximately $212 was collected. Since the Legion achieved both goals, the Poppy Program was a success. If your business would like to be involved in the Poppy program next year, please send an email to

A reminder that the Legion’s kitchen hours for Tuesday are 5:00-8:00 p.m. and is Wing Buffet; Wednesday hours are 5:00-8:00 p.m.; Thursday and Friday  hours are noon-8:00 p.m. Come check them out for lunch or dinner. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with the lunch and dinner specials: The American Legion Post 168.

Auxiliary early bird dues payment will be Monday, July 1, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Pay your dues on this night, and your name will be put in a drawing to win $30 (aka free dues). There will be two winners drawn.

June brought the Legion to the installation of Officers for the 2019-2020 year (shown below) and a new year of paying your dues.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird and Thurmont American Legion’s Poppy Princess Ella Renner.

With help from the Civitan Club of Frederick and the Foundation for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the Catoctin Area Civitan Club presented the Catoctin Forest Alliance SUCCESS program a check for $9,500 to help build an inclusive trail outside of the Thurmont Regional Library.

The Thurmont Library Nature Trail Project is a collaboration between the Catoctin Forest Alliance, the Catoctin Area Civitan Club, the Civitan Club of Frederick, the Town of Thurmont, the Thurmont Regional Library, Thurmont Green Team, the Frederick County Public School Program called SUCCESS, and volunteers from the community.

The SUCCESS Youth Program is one of the programs of Catoctin Forest Alliance (CFA) that, for the past six years, has been working on projects for the Cunningham Falls State Park and Gambrill State Park, Catoctin Furnace Historical Site and the National Park, Catoctin Mountain Park. These youth are between the ages of 18-21 with a disability who are from the SUCCESS School, part of the Frederick County School System.

When asked by the library to establish an ADA trail, it fell into part of the overall objectives of the SUCCESS program. This trail is a win-win, where youth with disabilities are working on the trail for people with and without disabilities.

The part that ties all of this together is the help of the Catoctin Area Civitan Club. Six years ago, CFA received a grant from them through the Foundation for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Chesapeake District – Civitan International, Inc. to start the SUCCESS program. This program is operated every day that the youth are in school for the entire school year, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. It is run by volunteers, and receives assistance from the state and federal parks.

When it was decided that the trail at the library was workable, Jim Robbins from the Catoctin Forest Alliance came to Mary Dal-Favero of the Catoctin Area Civitan Club for assistance. She asked the Civitan Club of Frederick to join as they work closely with the SUCCESS School in Frederick. This support of the two clubs, who agreed to co-sponsor the grant for the trail, was the first step, along with the collaboration of the other groups mentioned above, to make this trail part of the trail system for the Town of Thurmont. It will tie together the ADA Trolley Trail with the Library Trail and future trails and picnic areas in the area behind the library.

If you have any questions about Civitan, please feel free to contact Mary Dal-Favero at 240-620-8630. If you would like to learn more about the Catoctin Forest Alliance SUCCESS program of the Trail system, please contact Jim Robbins at 301-693-9703.

Blair Garrett

Atomic 26 has been rocking Frederick County for years, and now they’re getting the recognition they’ve worked for.

It all started in a basement in Emmitsburg, with a few guys who liked to jam on weekends. The group picked up steam and a few new members, adding guitarists Steve Anderson and Will Hurst to join John Ruffner and Jimmy Belt, forming what is the modern day Atomic 26.

“We were in a band before, and we played kind of the same scene,” Anderson said. “So 20-25 years later we stuck with it, and we’re still doing the same thing.”

The band’s synergy really hit its stride in 2018, where the four got their biggest break yet. “The Maryland Music Awards had a fan vote,” Ruffner said. “We got nominated for best metal act in Maryland in 2018. We were a small band from a basement and all of the sudden we were in the Maryland Music Awards.”

Just a handful of bands were nominated at the biggest music award show in Maryland, and Atomic 26 grabbed the runner-up spot for best Metal band in its home state. “Here we are, just jamming in Emmitsburg, and to get recognized for something like that was pretty cool,” Ruffner said. “I thought it was cool just to see our name up there.”

The influences to get to this point are vast, and it’s created a special blend of hardcore punk that has resulted in Atomic 26’s distinct thrash sound. “Everyone’s background is a little bit different,” Hurst said. “Everyone has a different favorite band, so it’s a cool mix.”

 The crew even got to open up for some of their idols that they listened to growing up. DRI and Murphy’s Law were two bands Ruffner listened to over and over while skateboarding as a kid. Atomic 26 got to kick off the show for both bands, sharing the stage with the same groups they listened to years ago. “That was a pretty big deal,” Ruffner said. “These guys were pretty much royalty in the hardcore scene.”

Atomic 26’s shows aren’t just catching the attention of local fans and festivals, though. In May, the crew was invited to do an interview with Wobbly Bob, host of 101.5 Bob Rocks, one of the mega radio stations in the area.

“We got the interview with Wobbly Bob just playing a show at the Dawghouse,” Hurst said. “Wobbly Bob was there and came up and talked to us and asked if we wanted to do an interview on 101.5 Bob Rocks. It was a lot of fun; I was really nervous going in.”

The recognition for the quality of music and entertainment of their live performances has begun opening up opportunities for the band.

The band recently rocked the house at the Maryland Doom Fest in Frederick, adding to an already talent-stacked lineup.

“It’s an honor because we’re not really a doom band,” Ruffner said. “It’s just a big deal because bands all over the world play there.”

Atomic 26 has built its foundation on non-stop action-packed energy at its shows, and that has propelled the band further than what the group initially thought was possible. “We have a show that doesn’t stop,” Ruffner said. There’s no stop for tuning or anything like that. Once it starts, the music doesn’t stop.”

You can catch Atomic 26 at shows around Maryland and Pennsylvania by checking them out on Facebook at

Photo by Blair Garrett

The 2019 Multiple District 22 Convention was held May 13-15, 2019, in Ocean City, Maryland. The convention was outstanding. The Lions Memorial Service, numerous seminars, District luncheons and meetings, candidate’s hospitality rooms, and election of officers for the year 2019-2020, were all well attended.

The attendees had the privilege of meeting International President Gudrun Yngvadottir and her husband, Dr. Jon Bjami Thorsteinsson, a past International Director.  IP Yngvadottir is the first woman International president. She is a very warm, friendly, and well-spoken individual, and she is from Iceland. Nine members of the Thurmont Lions Club attended the convention.

During one of the ceremonies, District Governor Gerry Beachy presented numerous awards to his cabinet members and throughout the five districts.  Three members of the Thurmont Lions Club received awards: PDG Paul Cannada was named to the District 22-W Honor Roll (top, left); 2nd Vice President Susan Favorite received the District Governor’s Medal of Commendation (center, left); 1st Vice President Joyce Anthony received the District Governor’s Commendation Metal (bottom, left); and District 22-W Cabinet Treasurer Susan Favorite received the International President’s Medal  (below).

Additional information about the Thurmont Lions Club, a group of community-minded men and women, can be obtained by calling President Julie El-Taher at 301-788-0855.

Thurmont Lions Club gather for a photo at the well-attended Community Night on May 22, 2019.

A night to remember as to why we are Thurmont Lions—what a privilege and honor! A well-attended Community Night was held on May 22, 2019—a night to remember for Thurmont Lions Club members, a privilege and an honor. Approximately $12,000 was presented to 19 local community organizations and 8 regional and international Lions funds or organizations. This was in addition to the $12,000 distributed on Education Night for area schools and scholarships. 

These funds were the result of all of the numerous fundraisers the Thurmont Lions Club holds throughout the year: the pit sandwich sales, food sales at Colorfest and Community Show, cash bingo, selling Christmas trees and ornaments, as well as the calendar sales. A lot of work is put into these efforts, but the effort enables the Thurmont Lions Club to give back to its community and to Lions work around the world. This is how they serve, and they should be proud of their accomplishments.

Community-focused organizations receiving donations were: Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Maryland Parents of Blind Children, Guardian Hose Company, Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, Frederick County 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program, Catoctin Community Medical Fund, Thurmont Food Bank, Camp Jamie/Frederick County Hospice, Community Foundation of Frederick County, Maryland Patriot Guard, Catoctin FFA, Thurmont Regional Library, Hearing Loss of Association of America/Frederick Chapter, Thurmont Middle School Leos, Catoctin High School Leos, Thurmont Scouting, Inc., Thurmont Ambulance Company, Lions District 22-W Hearing and Speech Camperships, Diabetes Awareness Committee, Lions Saving Kids Sight, District 22-W Mobile Screening Van, District 22-W Foundation, Camp Merrick, Lions Quest, Low Vision Research Foundation (LVRF), and Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF).     

Bill Eiker, SAL Historian

On Saturday, June 8, 2019, Cascade Post 239 Sons of American Legion (SAL) held the 10th Guns and Cash Bash at Fort Ritchie Parade Field.

The weather was beautiful and sunny. Of the 2,850 tickets sold, more than 1,360 happy folks were in attendance. Delicious menu items of pulled pork and beef and other delicious fare were enjoyed by all.

Drawings for the ticket prizes took place every 15 minutes. Winning ticket holders were R. Eiker, J. Bittner, D. Teffeteller, B. Hill, T. Beard, S. Bryan, T. Kauffman, B. Rinebolt, D. Rumbaugh, T. Rindt, F. Mastrouni, G. Albright, C. Martin, C. Morrow, M. Late, S. Welch, B. Black, and E. Davis.

Proceeds from this event benefit Fisher House Foundation, Cascade and Sabillasville Elementary Schools, Cascade American Legion Scholarship Program, and SAL’s Someone in Need Fund. 

Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes, where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members, as well as the Hotels for Heroes Program, using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers, without a charge.

Appreciation is extended to the innumerable volunteers who donated countless hours to make this the most successful event ever. They are to be lauded for their efforts.

Pictured from left are: (first row, bottom) Christian Sartin, Marlayna Reaver, Makayla Evans, Quateara Adams, Ashley Villegas, Ke Mauri Oney, Aidyn Tomalewski, Michael Hill, Haven Miesner, Russelk Heatherly, Michael Mossburg, Kevin Hodge; (second row) Jamal Burnett, Ofc. Brian Cosgray, Ofc. Desiree Palmer, Ofc. Jeff Putman, Ofc. Margery Lee, Ofc. Sara Evans, Ofc. Daniel Gerand, Cpl. Tim Duhan, Cpl. Kyle Minnick, Ofc. McKenzie Divelbiss, Cpl. Christopher Warden, Ofc. Cody Linton; (third row) Patricia Taliaferro Chairwoman Fish with a Cop, Braiden Schofield, Clay White, Leland Bare, David Haynes, Ronnie White, Kaleb Wolfe, Tfc. Kyle Knowles, Elijah Cumby, Braden Dawson, Kegan Coleman, Julian Hackley, Earl Gamber Club President; (fourth row) Dfc. Sean Vanderwall, Cpl. Josh White, Sgt. Todd Hill, MT Dave Greenwood, Tfc. Josh Socks, MT Matthew Crouse, FSgt. Jim Egros,  Tfc. Jared Daniels, Sgt. Paul Schur, Tfc. Jonathan Deater, Cpl. Jacki Druktenis, and Ofc. Michael Eyler. Not pictured: Lt. Jon Holler, Harry Vineyard. 

The Optimist Club of Frederick held it’s 10th Annual Fish with a Cop program on Saturday June 1, 2019, at the Camp Airy pond in Thurmont. There were 24 boys and girls from across Frederick County that took part in the program. There were 25 officers from the Sheriff’s Department, Maryland State Police, Frederick City Police, Brunswick Police, Thurmont Police, and the Natural Resource Police who participated in the program this year.   

The officers picked up the children from their homes and transported them to the pond in the officers’ police cars. They were then given a Zebco combo rod and reel, along with tackle from the Optimist Club.

The officers worked with the kids on their fishing skills, along with forming a better relationship with law enforcement. When the fishing was done, the Optimist Club held a shore lunch for the children and officers, which included fresh fried trout, grilled hot dogs, and ice cream sundaes with all of the fixings. The officers then took the children back home. 

The following sponsors contributed to this program: Wegman’s, Weis, The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock (for stocking the pond with trout), Camp Airy (for use of their pond) and their director Tim Olson for all of his assistance, and Frederick County elementary schools. A special thanks goes out to Dale Kramer Construction Company and Dustin Construction Company for their generous cash donations, which was a big help in purchasing the fishing equipment for the children. Because of these sponsors and police officers that volunteered their time, the children had a very memorable experience. 

The Optimist Club of Frederick hopes that in a small way this program connected the children in a positive way with law enforcement and with the great outdoors. Again, gratitude is extended to all who helped with this program.

For more information, contact Pat or Craig Taliaferro at 301-663-8116 or

Maxine Troxell

The Annual Thurmont High School Alumni Banquet was held June 1, 2019, at the Thurmont Event Complex. 

President Howard Lewis (Class of 1960), who replaced the late Don Dougherty as president, served as master of ceremonies.

The ceremonies opened with the singing of the “National Anthem,” followed by a delicious meal, served by the Thurmont Ambulance Company.

Eugene Long, Class of 1944, was the oldest in attendance. The person traveling the longest distance was Barbara Davies Watts from Fort Rose, Texas.

Scholarships are an important part of the alumni’s purpose: supporting continuing education.  Six scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors who have a relative that attended Thurmont High School. This year’s recipients were: Mackenzie Anders (Middletown HS)—Roy Anders (1961); Cameron Baumgardner (Catoctin HS)—Sharon Bennett (1970), Nancy Hill (1971), John Fink(1950); Ryan Bollinger (Frederick HS)—Sterling Bollinger (1946); Carly Crone (Catoctin HS)—Roger Clem (1957); Lucy Estep (Catoctin HS)—Terry Blickenstaff (THS*CHS 1969); Sydney Zentz (Catoctin HS)—Chester T. Zentz, Jr. (1951) and Jean L. (Tressler) Zentz (1955).

Donna Fisher and Dominick Massett were in attendance, representing former teachers. Former alumni officers were recognized and thanked; those who served in the military were also recognized and thanked.

Honor classes represented were from 1944, 1954, 1959, 1964, and 1969.

Recognition and thanks are extended to the many businesses who donated door prizes for the banquet. Next year’s banquet will be held on June 13, 2020.  Anniversary years will be those ending in 5 and 0.

Photos by Maxine Troxell

Thurmont High School Class of 1944

Picutred is Gene Long.

Thurmont High School Class of 1954

Pictured: (back row) Jim Moser, Connie Horn, Jim Freeze, Rau Fry, Russell Long, Buddy Bostian; (front row) Linda Fogle, Lois Griffith, Dollie Sanders, Lottie Bostian, and Irene Miller.

Thurmont High School Class of 1959

Pictured: (back row) Jim Baker, Kenny Fraley, Ray May, Deanna Shuff, Joe Fleagle, Ron Boller, Harvey Gearhart; (middle row) Barbara Campbell, Geneva Coren, Sandy Moser; (front fow) Janet Brown, Ruth Ann Miller, LaRue Beckley, Nancy Andrew, Glenna Willhide.

Thurmont High School Class of 1964

Pictured: (back row) Ann Miller, Jo Ellen Middle, Patsy Manahan, Barb Watts, Jim Fraley, Carolyn Fraley, Darlene Six, Joan Freeze; (front row) Connie Fream, Judy Vonn, Nancy Turner, Ethel Alexander Brauer, and Beverly Weddle.

Thurmont High School Class of 1969

Pictured: (back row) Daniel Walter, Daniel Delauter, Robert Black, David Delaire; (middle row) Terry Black, Deb Fogle, Martha Matthews, Mary Jane Putnam; (front row) Linda Redmond, Christina Laughman, Wayne Wireman, Joyce Marshall, and Lottie Twigg.

Ski Liberty/McKee’s Tavern, located at 78 Country Club Trail in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania, is booked for August 10, 2019, from 5:00-9:00 p.m., for the Catoctin High School Class of 1994 reunion. A buffet and cash bar will be included in the ticket cost of $40.00 per person. Please send money by July 10 to confirm your spot!

Check out the Facebook page: CHS Class of 94 or email for more information.

The Frederick County Public Schools’ Department of Special Education and Psychological Services hosted a celebration on May 13, 2019, honoring employees and others with outstanding achievement awards for dedication in supporting students with disabilities. 

Mary Lopez from Emmitsburg Elementary received Outstanding Special Education Instructional Assistant Award. Ann Springer from Emmitsburg Elementary received the Outstanding Speech-Language Pathologist Award.

Thurmont Auxiliary Post 168 scholarship winners and Catoctin High School graduates, Raegen Smith and Pablo Archila Arriage (shown second and third from left), are pictured with the Scholarship Committee, Bernadette Wudarski, Angela Spegal, and Charlene Stitley.

Catoctin High School graduates, Raegen Smith and Pablo Archila Arriage, are the recipients of the Thurmont Auxiliary Post 168 Scholarship Awards. Thurmont auxiliary offered the graduates congratulations and wished them the best of luck in their college years.

Michael Metz (pictured right), sixth grader at Thurmont Middle School, traveled to Chicago to compete in the 2019 U.S. Middle and Elementary School History Bee National Championships on June 7-8, 2019.

History Bee is a buzzer-based quiz competition that tests students on knowledge of world history and culture from the earliest civilizations through the 20th century. Michael placed 32nd out of almost 260 sixth-grade students from across the country and advanced to the Quarterfinal round.

Michael qualified for the National Championships as one of the top 10 sixth-grade finalists at the Baltimore Regional History Bee Competition, held on March 30, 2019. As a Regional finalist, he also automatically qualified for the biennial International History Olympiad to be held July 2020. He was the only student from Frederick County to attend the National Championships.

Michael has been passionate about history from a very young age and studied a great deal to qualify for this competition. History Bee is an extracurricular club at Thurmont Middle School. Participating students meet once a week from the beginning of the school year and qualifiy to attend the Baltimore Regional Competition by taking an online exam over the winter. The students were assisted by Candace Desonier, advanced academic specialist at Thurmont Middle School, and supported by Thurmont Middle School Principal Daniel Enck.