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by Helen Xia, CHS Student Writer

How big of a leap is between middle school and high school? Let’s start here: How young is a 14-year-old? Somebody who is 14 years of age can either be a middle schooler or a high schooler. Surely, a great portion of maturing is completed throughout one’s teenage years, especially when one considers it in retrospect. With that being said, how different are the two experiences to teenagers who are experiencing it themselves now?

Both middle school and high school are times of configuring one’s identity, and several of life’s most essential and bitter lessons are learned during this time period. That, combined with a seven-hour-long academic setting, letting go of and sustaining newfound relationships, and being faced with adulthood, is a stressful recipe for… well, stress. This makes sense, for 50 percent of middle schoolers and 56 percent of high schoolers feel that stress is one of the primary obstacles to their learning (YouthTruth).

It is commonly known that not many students are very fond of school. This attitude begins surprisingly young, and it seems to worsen as time progresses. Specifically, according to a poll conducted by Gallup, eight in ten elementary schoolers feel engaged in their classrooms. This starkly contrasts the four in ten high schoolers who feel this way. Comparably, in middle school, only about 54 percent of students feel that what they learn in school is relevant to their everyday lives, which is similar to high schoolers’ 46 percent. Despite this, many people also mentioned how, in the future, people often reminisce about their teenage years as being good times that weren’t appreciated enough. It is interesting to ponder how events, and our perception of them, may shift dramatically depending on our stage in life. You know what they say: Youth is wasted on the young.

I began high school during the COVID-19 pandemic when schools were shut down and classes were conducted online via virtual meetings. Even then, the bridge between middle school and high school didn’t seem to be very long for some students. For instance, a student explained, “Transitioning from middle [school] to high school wasn’t too bad, as we did online school at the time. I really didn’t notice any difference in the workloads either.”

Other peers pointed out how school days felt much shorter when attended through a computer screen. With that in mind, most students I’ve heard from didn’t like virtual schooling. “It doesn’t feel like school without the people,” they said, which was certainly true with the limited communication possible online. Others struggled to feel motivated, looking up answers or falling asleep in classes. (That happens in in-person classes now, too, but you didn’t hear that from me.)

A stressed topic was the people you meet and the relationships you build in middle and high school.

“In high school, friendships become deeper,” a student explained. “You begin knowing what exactly you do or do not like, and you surround yourself with people according to those standards. In middle school, those standards are not as fixed. I’ve heard many stories of people talking to somebody in middle school, but never speaking to them again in high school.”

While that may be true, conflicting personalities aren’t always behind fractured friendships. It’s also due to life, in general. I’ve had a number of friends who I, unfortunately, don’t get to talk to as often because we have very different academic schedules, or we simply drifted apart with time. While saddening, it’s poetic in a sense, too. It’s typically not a black-and-white “I like you” or “I don’t like you” scenario, which may be uncomfortable to grapple with; having said that, finding peace with that unconventional relationship you may have with others is a significant step in maturity and brings forth an incredible sense of harmony.

On a more lighthearted note: What about the curriculum itself? How does classwork differ between middle school and high school?

The content students learn is drastically different between middle school and high school, bearing in mind that there are numerous high schoolers already embarking on college classes. Here are some of my science notes from an old science notebook: “Energy: the ability to do things. Examples: roller coaster, machine, humans.” Now, compare that with my current biology textbook: “The free-energy change of a reaction tells us whether or not the reaction occurs spontaneously… In 1878, J. Willard Gibbs, a professor at Yale, defined a very useful function called the Gibbs free energy of a system…symbolized by the letter G.” See a difference there? The second statement is a lot more to wrap your head around—at least to me.

This is apparent, too, in mathematics. In middle school, I learned about area and slope. “What is the height of a triangle with base 20 mm and area 180 mm^2?” worksheets would ask. Now, my calculus notes read, “Relative extrema for any function must occur at a critical number… if f is continuous on a closed interval [a, b], then f has both a minimum and a maximum on the interval.” How did we get here? No wonder why 56 percent of high schoolers are stressed! (A joke, but a reasonable one…)

Life begins to feel overwhelming once we are conscious of the world around us, but only with this knowledge are we able to fully appreciate the treasures life offers. It is true that a harsh winter makes you appreciate a bountiful spring. Middle and high school are both ages for self-discovery, but the people you are at those two stages of life may vary greatly with the wisdom you gain and the morals you adopt. In light of that, middle school and high school are two distinct, yet essential, pillars of childhood. Following this era of rapid growth, more growth is to come. It’s easy to get caught up in the tumultuous series of events, but it’s important to not lose sight of how precious the present is.

Now, with that out of the way, I need to get back to (trying to) understand my calculus notes…

Middle school work compared to high school work. Spot the differences!

Photos by Helen Xia

The Emmitsburg High School (EHS) Association is accepting scholarship applications. Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded in May to deserving students. Any Catoctin High School senior or graduate who is enrolled in an institution of higher learning is eligible if he/she resides in the Emmitsburg School District; this includes Emmitsburg 21727, Rocky Ridge 21778, and Taneytown 21787 (Taneytown boundary is determined by Bridgeport on Rt. 140). Applicants may apply each year as long as they are enrolled in an institution of higher learning.

Selection is based on having a 3.0 or higher GPA, being a full-time student, presenting two letters of recommendation, and pursuing higher education (four-year college, community college, or technical school). No GPA is required for full-time technical school.

Applications may be obtained by contacting the guidance department at Catoctin High School (Mike Marquez at 240-236-8082). All applications must be received by May 1, 2023.

Thurmont Grange #409 is offering two scholarships to any 2023 Catoctin High School graduating seniors who will be attending a technical or trade school, community college, or four-year college.

Applicants are required to submit one letter of recommendation, an essay about how furthering your education will have a positive impact on your community, and your official high school transcript.

Scholarships will be awarded on May 31, 2023. Applications may be obtained by emailing [email protected] or contacting the Catoctin High School Guidance Department at 240-236-8100.

All applications must be received by April 30, 2023.

The Distinguished Graduate Committee at Catoctin High School is now accepting nominations for the 2023 Distinguished Graduate Awards. 

Nominations for this year must be submitted by May 1. For information regarding the Distinguished Graduate program and nomination forms, visit the Catoctin High School website at call Catoctin High School at 240-236-8100.

Ed and Helen Reaver (pictured sitting on the right) pose with their family, Mother Seton School Principal Dr. Kathleen J. Kilty (fourth row, far left), and Mother Seton School Librarian Teri Monacelli (third row, far left) after the blessing and dedication of the newly constructed Ed and Helen Reaver Family Media Center.

A longtime goal for the Mother Seton School community was to integrate the existing library, built in 1965, as part of the original building, with the computer lab to create a modern, versatile media center. Thanks to the generosity and hard work of our students, families, and benefactors, as well as grants from The Knott Foundation and The Delaplaine Foundation, we are pleased to announce the official opening of the new Ed and Helen Reaver Family Media Center on February 3, 2023.

“Our old computer lab was outdated, small, and closed off from the rest of the school,” said Kathleen Kilty, Ph.D., principal of Mother Seton School. “The new media center is at the heart of Mother Seton and has breathed new life into how we are able to integrate technology into learning.”

The original space was expanded by over 220 square feet to create a nearly 1,500-square-foot space. It is centrally located and now has two separate entrances/exits to facilitate ease of movement between classes.

The Ed and Helen Reaver Family Media Center is staffed full-time and houses a library of 11,000 books and 30 audiobooks; digital resources for student learning, such as devices for 1:1 computational learning; technology for presentations and screenings, including a state-of-the-art Promethean Board; and five high-powered computers for activities to develop digital citizenship. For example, the Cyberpatriots Cyber Security Club meets in the media center and students use the resources there for robotics, coding, and 3D printing.

Danielle Jackson

2023 FFA Butchering Day

Held February 10 at Catoctin High School

Photos by Danielle Jackson

The scent of wood burning under kettles, the sound of fire crackling, and the sharpening of knives permeated the early morning air at the annual Catoctin FFA chapter, and alumni Hog Butchering Day. The traditional event took place this year on Friday, February 10, at Catoctin High School. The FFA butchering day is something that families and community members in and around the Thurmont area know and celebrate. They use this time to further strengthen the bonds within this tight-knit community that is nestled within the Appalachian Mountains. Although the event of a family butchering is fading into something that you don’t commonly see anymore, the Catoctin High School FFA and Alumni Chapters are committed to preserving the tradition and teaching the next generation the importance of knowing where their food comes from.

This is estimated to be the 35th year that the school has held this event. Generations, young and old, come to help and participate (myself included, once as a Chapter member and now as an Alumni member). Approximately 100 Chapter, Alumni, and community members participated in this year’s butchering.

This event is held as a fundraiser for the Catoctin FFA Chapter, and the proceeds go toward the Chapter and Alumni banquet that is held in May. This year, the Chapter and Alumni processed 23 whole hogs, with an additional 340 lbs. of ribs, 850 lbs. of pork butts, 660 lbs. of boneless loins, and 560 lbs. of bone-in loins (pork chops) to fill presold meat orders. The hogs and extra meat are purchased from nearby businesses within the community. The hogs are killed, scalded, cleaned, and halved at a USDA-approved facility and then brought to the school. The Chapter, Alumni, and community members take care of the rest. Alumni and Chapter members began setting up grinders, saws, kettles, and tables the night before, and then they were back at the school before the sun rose the next day to get started.

The annual event is also an educational experience that ties in to other areas of the school curriculum as well, such as math, science, photography, social studies, and history. Throughout the day, Catoctin High School teachers, staff, students, and classes visited the butchering to observe and learn how this process is done from start to finish. Some teachers even made assignments for their classes about the butchering. This also lets students see all of the hard work that goes into a butchering and how food is put on their own tables. And it also gives other students at the school a new and better appreciation for agriculture.

Lunch was provided by Alumni members who brought crockpots full of delicious food to share. One of the main lunch options was our very own sausage from the butchering. Chapter members brought the loose sausage directly from the grinder to the skillet that day, a true farm-to-table process. Alumni members were frying up sausage patties for sandwiches.

There are so many people that come together to make this day happen. One of those people is Amy Jo Poffenberger, a teacher and FFA Advisor at Catoctin High School. This is her 13th year teaching agriculture studies at Catoctin High. She is also a former Maryland State FFA officer, and a Catoctin FFA Alumni member. Her favorite aspect of butchering day is that “It is more than a butchering. The involvement from the community and the entire school makes this an educational experience for all.”

Senior Abby Moreland, Catoctin FFA Chapter president, says that “Butchering Day is definitely a unique experience, and you always learn a lot.” She enjoys meeting new people every year and employing the organizational skills it takes to make it successful.

The annual FFA butchering is something that continues to grow with new generations, but it is also something that brings back former FFA members. I spoke with Daniel Myers, who is the head of the FFA Alumni Butchering Committee, a Catoctin FFA Alumni member, a past Catoctin FFA Chapter president, and a former Maryland State FFA officer, and asked him: “What is it like to plan such a large event for the school and community?”

Daniel responded, “Exhausting but rewarding to be able to help educate the kids on how pork is processed. This is such a big event, and it takes a team to pull it off. You also must be adaptable to be able to resolve any issues throughout the day.”

I also had the chance to speak with Kendall Abruzzesse, a past Catoctin FFA Chapter president, and now the current Maryland State FFA president. I asked Kendall what it was like to come back to her home chapter and help this year. She said, “It’s fun! There is a huge sense of pride coming back to this school!” She also brought along her officer teammate Teagan Flaherty, the Maryland State FFA secretary, who had never seen an in-person butchering before.

Orders and profits continue to grow every year for this fundraiser, but it wouldn’t be possible without the chapter, alumni, school, and community working together, communicating, adapting, and working as a team. Catoctin FFA is the only FFA Chapter in Maryland that has an annual hog butchering, and the Chapter and Alumni hope to keep this tradition going for many years to come.

Mother Seton School announces the winners of the Knights of Columbus-Brute Council 1860 “Keep Christ in Christmas” Poster Contest (from left): (front row) Brooks Eberle (First place, Grade 2), Amelia Nevius (Second place, Grade 2), Piper Seiss (Third place, Grade 2), Gemma Common (Third place, Grade 3); (back row) Sydney Bowser (First place, Grade 6), Jemina Nana (First place, Grade 5), William Wisniewski (Second place, Grade 3), Peyton Faller (Third place, Grade 8), Abigail Shriner (Second place, Grade 6).

Nine students from Mother Seton School (MSS) received awards from the Knights of Columbus Brute Council 1860 for their entries in the annual “Keep Christ in Christmas” Poster Contest. The Knights of Columbus introduced the “Keep Christ in Christmas” Poster Contest to encourage young people to use their creative talents to express the true, spiritual meaning of Christmas.

In Category 1 (K-Grade 2), the following students placed first, second, and third, respectively: Brooks Eberle, Amelia Nevius, and Piper Seiss. In Category 2 (Grades 3-5), the following students placed first, second, and third, respectively: Jemina Nana, William Wisniewski, and Gemma Common. In Category 3 (Grades 6-8), the following students placed first, second, and third, respectively: Sydney Bowser, Abigail Shriner, and Peyton Faller.

by James Rada, Jr.

Note: Newspaper excerpts are as they appeared in their respective issues.

April 1923, 100 Years Ago

The Lock Unlocked

Nearly 2000 keys were brought into Sam Long’s store and tried in the lock on Easter Monday, but the key that unlocked the lock and secured the furniture was not presented until Tuesday evening.

Mr. H. J. Snead was the possessor of the only key that would open the lock.

The smallest number of keys held by any one person was 1; the largest number was 110.

A great deal of interest was shown in the contest.

Sam says he is going to repeat the stunt, and then it will be a set of furniture made by the Thurmont Manufacturing Company.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, April 5, 1923

Disposing of Refuse

Beginning April 15, the town authorities will begin the hauling of refuse and ashes. As in former years, citizens should cooperate by having their ashes and refuse at convenient places so that the driver can load without carrying.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, April 12, 1923

April 1948, 75 Years Ago

Safe in Bogota

Word by cable and telegram has been received by his sister Mrs. Sam Starbuck, Thurmont, that Paul R. Kelbaugh is safe in Bogota with the U. S. Delegation attending the Inter-American Conference.

Frederick News, April 17, 1948

State Police Report Finding Missing Woman

State Police at LaVale Barracks reported last night that Mrs. Mary May Crock, 26, who has been missing from her home the past several days has been found in Thurmont.

Mrs. Crock resided in Bowman’s Addition and left home apparently for the purpose of going to a local bank to withdraw $1,200 for the purchase of a new automobile.

                                          – Cumberland News, April 22, 1948

April 1973, 50 Years Ago

Town Hears Detailed Report On Viking Ventures Proposed Resort

The Mayor, Commissioners, and members of the Planning and Zoning Commission met Tuesday night with Sheldon Erickson of Viking Ventures, Inc., regarding the proposed resort development to be built near the town. A group of sixteen citizens attended the meeting, most armed with questions and opinions.

In his presentation Mr. Erickson noted that the word “developer” had connotations that were in direct opposition to the Viking Ventures proposal. He noted that only about 4% of the 1,000 acres of land would be devoted to the physical plant and challenged the implication that this would degrade and deform the mountainside property. He stated that Viking Ventures, Inc., had received an attractive offer for their property from a developer who would like to subdivide it into building lots, but that was not what he felt the area deserved.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, April 5, 1973

Hearing On Route 15 Dualization

About 50 persons attended Tuesday night’s State Highway Administration hearing in Thurmont pertaining to the proposed dualization of U.S. Route 15 from Putnam Rd. north to the Pennsylvania State Line.

Thomas G. Mohler, district engineer for the SHA and Paul Mylash, assistant chief, Bureau of Special Services of the SHA, explained that U.S. 15 is being dualized because of the heavy volume of traffic now using the road.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, April 1, 1973

April 1998, 25 Years Ago

Community Center Rededicated

On Tuesday, March 24, approximately 150 people gathered for the Re-Opening Celebration of the Emmitsburg Community Center. The center, built in 1922 as a school, has recently undergone renovation to remove or abate hazardous materials and a construction upgrade to meet ADA standards by installing an elevator, additional bathrooms, and a new link between the old building and the auditorium.

To emphasize the connection between the building and the residents of the area, the new elevator addition was dedicated to Mary Higbee Hoke who has been associated with the building for seventy-five years as student, teacher, and champion of the library serving as librarian and as a member of the Library Advisory Board.

                                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, April 1998

ECDC Visits North County

The Frederick County Economic and Community Development Commission met at Mount Saint Mary’s College on Wednesday, March 25, to hear presentations of economic and development concerns of the North Frederick County region. The commission, composed of business, civic, and government officials, is charged with oversight and promotion of the economic growth and development of Frederick County.

Marty Schillp, assistant to the president, Mount St. Mary’s College; Philip Postelle, Emmitsburg Town Commissioner; and Richard Mays, Clerk/Treasurer of the Town of Thurmont, presented overviews of their institutional and municipal plans and concerns.

                                                – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, April 1998

A Truckload of Produce

by Valerie Nusbaum

It was a lazy weekend morning, and Randy and I were having breakfast (and you all know how I feel about cereal) in bed and watching last weeks’ episode of Blue Bloods. Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) had just revealed his surprise guest at their weekly family dinner, and he told everyone present that, “Now you know why she’s seated beside me.”

Randy piped up with, “So she can cut your meat?” and proceeded to look amazed while simultaneously cracking himself up. He was pleased as punch that he’d made a joke, and I had to laugh, too. I told him that it always makes me laugh harder when he enjoys his own jokes.

He replied, “Sometimes the joke sounds funny in my head, but when it comes out, it lands like a lead balloon. So, when I nail the punch line, like now, I feel good about it.”  He laughed for a good five minutes.

That little story has nothing to do with produce, though, so let me start over.

We decided to hop in the truck on a Tuesday morning and take a drive up to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to the farmers market called Roots.  We hadn’t been there in many years, and neither of us could remember exactly where it was or what it was like. We’ve been to Green Dragon several times recently, and we thought we’d spread the love around.

It was a sunny day, and we enjoyed riding through the farmland and little villages. A favorite pastime when we’re on the road is reading signs and billboards. I saw one billboard advertising a jewelry store that sold fine jewelry. That made me question whether there are any stores selling not-so-fine jewelry or just-adequate jewels.

Another sign advertised “Hot Pizza.” Again, I had to ask if any pizza shops specialized in cold pizza or lukewarm pizza. Granted, my brother used to eat cold pizza for breakfast, but only because he was in too much of a hurry to heat it up. He’d stand in front of the refrigerator, leaning on the open door and devour a chilled leftover slice or two, all without opening his eyes.

Yet another sign at a nursery advertised different varieties of willows, including curly. Randy had only glimpsed at the sign and didn’t know we’d passed a plant farm, so I explained to him that the Willow sisters all had odd first names. You can imagine what some of them were. Needless to say, I got the look from him.

Arriving at Roots, we were nearly blown away by the wind that day, but once we made it inside the main building, we didn’t have to worry about finding our way through. The immense crowd was shoving us right along. Every now and then, I’d break out of the throng to approach a produce stand. I purchased enough fruit to fill several gift baskets, and also got a lot of our favorite vegetables. The prices were very reasonable and the quality was good.

There were so many lunch choices, but we settled on pretzel sticks filled with meat and cheese.  Mine was barbecued pulled pork, and Randy had a cheesy hot dog.  Yes, they were as good as they sound, and also inexpensive.

I went off in search of more veggies, and Randy disappeared. I found him leaning over the glass cases full of fresh baked goods. I swear he was drooling. He wanted one of everything, but we each settled for a cream-filled long John.  His was vanilla-iced and mine was chocolate. They must have weighed two pounds each. We made our way back to our truck to eat our dessert. It took a while, but we both ate the whole thing. I swore that it was so sweet I’d never eat another one, but you know if I had one in front of me right now, that puppy would be gone in a flash. I did wonder, though, exactly how those long Johns are made. I’ve had some experience with pâte à choux dough, and mine is usually pretty good. I’m aware that variations of pâte à choux are used for eclairs and cream puffs, but the dough I had at Roots seemed more moist and heavier, yet it was completely filled with cream.  It wasn’t sliced in half, lengthwise, either. The cream was piped in at both ends. I’ll do some investigating and figure it out one day, but in the meantime, Roots isn’t that far away.

It wasn’t until we got home that I discovered half a shoo-fly pie in our cooler, along with all the produce.  Randy grinned, and other than a thin slice (It was pretty good, but I didn’t need any more of it), he ate the whole thing pretty quickly. No, Randy hadn’t eaten half the pie before we got home. The pies were sold in halves. It was a wet-bottom shoo-fly, so now I’m wondering if there’s also a dry-bottom version.  More research for another day. Or not.

Meanwhile, I’m eating Brussels sprouts and looking forward to cooking that nice head of cabbage with a corned beef brisket and some potatoes and carrots.

And, Torin Daly, thanks for the epistle. I’m limited to 900 words here, so I can’t respond fully, but it was certainly food for thought. Pun intended.

Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

Frederick County’s Golden Immigrants

by James Rada, Jr.

Note: This is part three of a series about goldfish farming in Frederick County.

In the early 1900s, goldfish farming produced a major cash crop in Frederick County.

“By 1920, Frederick County was producing 80 percent of the goldfish in the United States, and they were being shipped from Thurmont to all parts of the country,” George Wireman wrote in his book Thurmont: Gateway to the Mountains.

His number is supported with information in “The News-Post Year Book and Almanac.” Throughout the 1930s and into the 1940s, the annual publications note that Frederick County had “more goldfish produced than in any part of the United States.” Interestingly, the yearbooks list goldfish as “selected crops harvested” rather than “livestock on farms.”

The fish raised in Frederick County were considered common goldfish. A 1914 The Frederick News article noted, “Few, if any, of the Japanese variety are raised. They are said to be too clumsy and awkward and an easy mark for preying birds. No coloring is necessary for the fish raised here, as is the case with those raised in some localities, where the fish have to be kept in shallow ponds in order to obtain their color.”

By the late 1930s, competition from larger, more diversified, growers across the country reduced the demand from Frederick County farms. Ernest Tresselt, whose family raised goldfish in the Thurmont area said, “Frederick County farmers raised the plain, common goldfish. By the 20s and early 30s, fancier varieties became available. It wasn’t so easy for locals to keep up with the change. They weren’t in a position to grow fancier varieties that were genetically difficult to breed, and we lost some goldfish producers.”

Tresselt said that when he entered the family goldfish farming business, about 40 percent of each year’s crop would not turn orange. They remained the dull, muddy color of wild goldfish.

“Those fish would be sold as bait fish. They were called Baltimore minnows,” Tresselt said.

He said the county’s goldfish breeders began more selective breeding of goldfish and the percentage of goldfish that turned the proper color dramatically increased and “Baltimore minnows” disappeared.

The use of modern science helped the goldfish farmers increase their harvests and profitability, which helped keep the county goldfish farmers competitive.

Other advances worked against county goldfish farmers. Advances in shipping techniques and the increased variety and quality of goldfish available from growers around the world gradually changed the goldfish market. The result was that farms producing only common goldfish seasonally could not compete. By the 1940s only a few farms in Frederick County were still cultivating goldfish.

By the 1950s, fish could be shipped in plastic bags by air freight. The plastic made shipping costs cheaper and the planes extended the distance the goldfish could be shipped. This increased the competition in the market, particularly from the countries in the Orient that had created goldfish.

“Everything changed,” Tresselt said. “We have to supply fish year-round. The competition made it unprofitable for most farmers and they went out of business.”

Charles Thomas, another Frederick County goldfish farmer, said that with air transportation, areas that usually weren’t thought of as places for goldfish farming, such as Arkansas, became competitive or even better locations than Frederick.

“By going south, you had a longer growing season,” said Thomas. “In a place like Arkansas, instead of having only one crop each season, you could have two.”

By 1980, Lilypons, once the world’s largest producer of goldfish, had diversified so that it now specialized more in water garden supplies and plants than fish. Hunting Creek Fisheries and Eaton Fisheries also survived by diversifying their offerings into plants, game fish, and/or other types of ornamental fish, such as koi.

Today, you can still see fish ponds marked on a Frederick County maps, but not as many as there once were.

Lilypons has 265 acres and about 500 ponds, though very few of them are devoted to goldfish. However, the business has grown into a multi-million-dollar business employing more than 50 people.

Hunting Creek Fisheries still has ponds in Thurmont and Lewistown. Eaton Fisheries still has its Lewistown ponds as well. Other ponds are now lost to history:

The Claybaugh fish ponds are now covered over by Mountain Gate Exxon and McDonalds in Thurmont.

Along Moser Road across Hunting Creek from the Thurmont sewage treatment plant is where Ernest Powell and Maurice Albaugh used to have fish ponds.

Ross Firor used to have his fish ponds east of the Maple Run Golf Course.

The ponds on William Powell’s Arrowhead Farms on Apples Church Road north of Thurmont were adjacent to Owens Creek have been turned into pasture.

Frank Rice’s goldfish ponds south of Thurmont alongside Route 15 have been filled in and turned back to pasture.

Frederick County’s no longer the biggest producer of goldfish in the country, but there are still fish ponds out there, and if you stop and watch, you may see a flash of gold.

My beautiful picture

Goldfish in vats at the Hunting Creek Fisheries in the late 1980s.

DIY Wildlife Habitats

by Ana Morlier

Happy April, readers! A lovely month of spring flowers, planting, and, hopefully, more time outside. With all of these advantages, it’s time to give back to the Earth during the renewal of spring, to do your due diligence on Earth Day.

Let’s make strides to undo the urban human destruction that destroys local habitats. Let’s create a safe haven for all animals. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your yard more wildlife-friendly! And, remember, any new plants you use should be native to Maryland.

Natural Food Options for Animals (small wildlife)

Nectar (hummingbird feeder, native flowers).

Pollen (native flowers, butterfly weed, ironweed, false blue indigo, etc.).

Foliage such as ferns (groundcover, lady, Christmas), wool rush/grass, black chokeberry, fothergilla, oakleaf hydrangea, and sweet pepperbush.

Old or rotting trees (which can provide lichen, moss, and fungi for all sorts of animals and insects).

Bugs are actually quite important for birds, acting as an important food source. For example, hummingbirds love nectar, but also graze on mosquitoes, gnats, and even spiders for protein.

Add food sources. If you’re okay with having larger animals in your yard, add food sources such as berries, nuts, and seeds. These might include black-eyed susans, black chokeberry, lowbush blueberry, inkberry holly, winterberry holly, and red chokeberry. In addition, acorns, pinecones (for birds), and seedy flowers.

Animal Upkeep

A birdbath. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! It can be a flowerpot, formal birdbath, or even an old cake pan (that has depth). Make sure you have a plate or pan to catch water under the bath.

A water source for bees and butterflies. Something as simple as filling a bowl (plastic, ceramic, etc.) with pebbles and a small amount of water so they can perch on the pebbles to drink. Honey bees especially love salt water. Bees in general will be more attracted to the source if it has an earthy scent like moss, wet earth, salt, and even sugar. They are also attracted to the scent of chlorine, thus why you’ll see so many floating bees in the pool. You can use chlorine beside the water source to attract more bees, if desired. After the bees get used to the location you’ve set the watering station you won’t have to keep adding extra scent. Coming to the watering station will become a habit for bees.

Make a toad abode. All you’ll need is a small entrance in a flower or terra-cotta pot (flipped upside down for cover) for the toad to get into. Even a carved-out tree stump works. Make sure there is some gravel, mulch, or plant life around the abode.

Once again, provide shelter. Tall grasses (wool grass, little bluestem, yellow Indian grass), shrubs (listed above), and trees (can be dead) are best for shelter and hiding.

Other Tips

Allow weeds to grow, as it also offers groundcover.

Resist the urge to use insecticide! If you absolutely need to, make sure the insecticide is a natural substance, such as neem oil, vegetable oil, or vinegar.

Hold off on deadheading if the flower stalk has lots of seeds. Wait until birds or other critters have taken as much as they need, then deadhead.

If you have pets, try attracting pollinators with flowers only for a safer environment (without the risk of encountering other animals).

Always try to plant perennials if you can for year-round sustainability.

If you have the time, plan out the bloom time of plants so you have flowers, berries or nuts at various times of the year.

May this be a helpful guide to starting out making a natural habitat.

The best resource for the layout and plants in your garden is the National Wildlife Federation. The website has a plethora of resources and information for any setting, such as school, work, and animal-specific habitats.

Thank you for giving back to the Earth during the renewal of spring, and best of luck!

Photo Courtesy of Rusty Burlew of Backyard Beekeeping

Credit to: University of Maryland Extension, Rusty Burlew of Backyard Beekeeping, Monica Russo of Audubon, and the National Wildlife Federation.

by Buck Reed

I Like Pork Butts

I know that someday I will have to write an article about the proper way to serve crickets and meal worms. Of course, I will include information on how to prepare the bugs, what wine goes best with them, their nutritional value, and, more importantly, how to properly store them to maintain their satisfying crunch. I know there are people in power right now planning for us to make them a staple in our diet. But, not today. Let’s talk about pork butts, the unsung hero of the animal that brings us bacon, ham, and baby back ribs.

For the record “butt” is a marketing term (another faux pas for the marketing team). The actual cut is from the neck and shoulder of the pig and usually weighs in at about 5-6 pounds. It is a very cheap cut of meat, often found on sale for under $3.00 per pound, sometimes even two for one. This cut can be cut down into pork steaks or roasted or smoked whole into wonderful meals. But, they are probably best known for throwing in a crock pot for several hours until they are tender, then pulled apart with a pair of large forks and served as tender braised pulled pork. It is almost the perfect meat: cheap, foolproof, and delicious. The best part about pulled pork is that it is great as sandwiches as well as leftovers, creating wondrous meals.

When you are done with making sandwiches, hopefully, there is enough left to make at least one more meal. A case can actually be made for cooking two butts and saving one for later. The unused portions can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days and be microwaved quickly for a quick sandwich or frozen for months for the same. Or try making a Cuban sandwich, or a bit outside the box, add it to a grilled cheese sandwich.

Some of my favorite ways to use the excess is for Latin-American inspired dishes; tacos, enchiladas, or even tamales. Enchiladas are quick and easy, just roll them up in a tortilla with some peppers or other cooked vegetables, line them up in a baking dish, cover in V8 juice (infused with cumin and chili powder), and bake in a hot oven until hot.

For breakfast or brunch, try chopping it up into a pulled pork hash and serving it on the side with eggs. All you need is some peppers, onions, and potatoes. Or if you have the skills, you can use it to make an Egg Benedict. At this point, you have to want it.

If we look to the Far East, we might use it in a fried rice or noodle dish. Or we can use chunks in a stir-fried dish. Experimenting with Siracha and pineapple, we might find ourselves with a delightful hot and sweet pork dish.

Adding pulled pork to a soup or chili might also put a new spin on a hot dish for a cold day. With the meat already cooked, you can use it as a topping for pizza or add it to stuffed peppers.

Cooking up a batch of pulled pork might seem like a long affair, but once prepared, you can make your time in the kitchen seem short. So, before we are munching on grasshoppers, perhaps this will become your favorite ingredient to work with.

Turkey at Thanksgiving, Prime rib at Christmas, and Brisket at Hanukkah. (And, oh yes, all the candy at Halloween.) Holiday food pairings make each separate celebration special—and something special to look forward to each year. Come spring, I always bake a ham for our Easter dinner. I came across this recipe some time ago.  I hope you enjoy it.

Baked Ham with Bee Sting Glaze


1 fully cooked bone-in smoked half ham

1 c. honey

1 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. cayenne (ground red pepper)

¼ tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. grated lemon peel


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Make shallow cuts diagonally across the side of the ham, spacing about 1 inch apart. Make cuts perpendicular to first ones to create diamond pattern.

Place ham in a large roasting pan, flat side down, along with ½ cup of water. Cover with foil. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, whisk together honey, brown sugar, ginger, cayenne, cloves, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Heat on medium until sugar dissolves, whisking often. Cool completely.

Stir in lemon peel.

Remove foil from ham. Brush generously with honey glaze. Bake uncovered 40 to 50 minutes or until dark golden brown and ham is heated through (140 degrees F), brushing with glaze every 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

To remaining honey glaze, add ¼ cup liquid from roasting pan, whisking to combine. Serve with ham.

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Happy April! Today’s recipe makes an elegant (but delicious) accompaniment to your Easter feast: Blueberry Strudel.

Sweet and savory, the blueberry strudel is a great way to invite spring to your table. Blueberries bring bright and sweet notes of flavor, while the delicate layers of phyllo dough wrapping up the sweet filling provide an element of delicious savoriness (and makes the pastry an easy handheld).

Today’s strudel isn’t rolled like a traditional strudel. Instead, it is folded into triangles for elegance and to ensure the filling is well wrapped within the phyllo. Phyllo dough is very delicate. Rips are bound to happen (and that’s okay!). If it rips, sandwich the broken sheet between two unbroken sheets. The triangle will still fold just as well. Too many ripped sheets? All good! Make crackers by brushing the sheet with butter, placing another piece on top, and repeat until the desired thickness is reached. Sprinkle seasonings between layers and on top, bake until golden brown, let cool, and serve. Your mistakes will make a delicious snack! Enjoy the delicious flavors of this pastry, and may it help you have a sweet Easter!

Blueberry Strudel


3 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 pinch of salt

5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

½ lb. phyllo dough, thawed

cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling


Make the filling: Start a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. In the saucepan, mix together the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

Once done, pour into a bowl and let cool until room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 4000. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Melt the butter in a small bowl.

Fold the strudel: On a clean workspace, unroll phyllo dough gently. Cut into 3-by-11-inch strips and stack. Cover the stack with a wet paper towel to ensure that it doesn’t dry out (the wet paper towels may need replacing as you work the phyllo dough).

Gently peel a sheet from the stack and place it with the long side nearest to you. Evenly brush butter on the entire surface.

Add another layer of phyllo dough on top of the first, so it covers the first sheet, and brush with butter.

Lay a final sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first two sheets.

Spoon a small amount of blueberry filling 1 inch away from the left edge of the pastry.

Fold the top left corner of the rectangle to the bottom over the filling so that it creates a triangle. Brush the rest of the sheet with butter and continue folding so that the strudel resembles a triangle.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a wet paper towel. Repeat until filling runs out.

Take wet paper towels off the folded triangles and brush with butter. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the tops of the strudels. Cut a small vent into the tops of the strudel with a knife. Place the sheet in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Take out of the oven and place strudels on a cooling rack. Let cool for 20 minutes and serve.

Tools Needed

Medium saucepan, dry measuring utensils, medium bowl, small bowl and pastry brush (for brushing butter), wet paper towels (to cover phyllo dough), medium baking sheet, parchment paper, cooling rack.

*With credit to Claire Robison’s Blueberry Strudels recipe on

Sergeant Jim Adelsberger

Emmitsburg’s Last Pearl Harbor Survivor

by Richard D. L. Fulton

On February 24, 2009, Emmitsburg lost its last Pearl Harbor survivor, James (“Jim”) O. Adelsberger, at age 87, when he passed away at St. Catherine’s Nursing Center.

In November 2004, the reporter, who was then the news editor for the The Emmitsburg Disatch, met with Adelsberger at his West Main Street home, where he recounted his experiences on that fateful day of December 7, 1941, when the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the military installation at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Adelsberger was born on May 24, 1921, in Baltimore, son of the late Dwen and Adele Adelsberger, and James was married to the late-Loretta C. (Sanders) Adelsberger.

Upon graduation from the Emmitsburg High School, Adelsberger, at age 24, decided to enlist, at which time he became a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps, the unit in which he was serving at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, and the unit with whom he remained for five years.

Adelsberger had said during the 2004 interview, that he and three of his friends, Joseph Boyle, Jack Stoner, and Bud Shearer (all of whom enlisted in the Army Air Corps at the same time), upon enlisting, requested to serve in Hawaii, which the Army was then promoting as a “paradise.”

They were then assigned to “guard-duty” at Hickam Field when, subsequently, “Paradise” quickly became Hell on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese targeted Hickam Field as part of the overall assault in order to suppress any effort by the Army Air Corps to get their planes into the air to defend against the Japanese attack.

The attack commenced around 7:55 a.m., when Japanese Commander Mitsua Fuchida uttered the command, “Tora, tora, tora!”—which doesn’t mean “Attack, attack, attack.” It is Japanese for “Tiger, tiger, tiger” (code for executing a lightning attack).

“We heard the planes coming in and thought they were ours (an incoming flight of B-17s was anticipated that morning at Hickam Field),” Adelsberger stated during the 2004 interview. 

In fact, the B-17s were arriving and found themselves mixed in with the attacking Japanese aircraft.  Unfortunately, said Adelsberger, the B-17s were unarmed to lighten their loads. 

“Some of them (the B-17s) were being hit. Some of them were being shot down. We didn’t know what was going on. Some of them were shot up pretty bad,” Adelsberger said.

As the intensity of the attack increased, he stated during the 2004 interview, “They just kept coming and coming, and we couldn’t figure out where they were all coming from,” adding that, none of the men could figure out why they were being attacked. “We didn’t know what it was for… I could see all of the attack. I could see ships half-sunk and buildings burned down after the attack.”

When the attack subsided about two hours later, Adelsberger said, during the 2004 interview, “There were a lot of fellows lying around (on the ground). They were lying everywhere. The field hospital was doing a real business that day.”

Hickam Field suffered extensive damage and aircraft losses, with 189 people killed (including civilians) and 303 wounded. In total, the Japanese assault left 2,388 military personnel dead, along with 1,178 wounded. Among the dead were 68 civilians. And the attack propelled the United States into World War II.

Sergeant Adelsberger was discharged from the military on October 16, 1945, and, subsequently, worked for 35 years at the United States Post Office in Emmitsburg.

On December 2, 2004, the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners officially recognized Adelsberger as the “town’s last surviving citizen and Veteran of Pearl Harbor,” and issued a proclamation that declared December 7, 2004, as “James Adelsberger Day.”

Adelsberger was a member of the Emmitsburg Memorial VFW, Post 6658, the American Legion Francis X. Elder Post 121, and a lifelong communicant of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Photograph of the attack on Pearl Harbor, taken by a Japanese fighter pilot.

James Adelsberger poses with his Pearl Harbor “Mementos,” including spent Japanese fighter cartridges and his burnt wallet and dog tags, which he recovered from his barracks after it had been bombed.

Complementary Health Approaches for Chronic Pain

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

A growing body of evidence suggests that some complementary approaches, such as acupuncture, hypnosis, massage, mindfulness meditation, spinal manipulation, chiropractic, tai chi, and yoga, may help to manage some painful conditions.

What is the Safety of Complementary Health Approaches for Chronic Pain?

Although the mind and body practices studied for chronic pain have a good safety record, that does not mean that they are risk-free for everyone. Your health and special circumstances (such as pregnancy) may affect the safety of these approaches. If you are considering natural products, remember that natural does not always mean safe and that some natural products may have side effects or interact with medications you may be taking.

What Is Chronic Pain and Why Is It Important?

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than several months (defined as three to six months, or as longer than “normal healing”). It is a very common problem. Results from a National Health Interview Survey showed that about 25.3 million U.S. adults (11.2 percent) had pain every day for the previous three months. In addition, nearly 40 million adults (17.6 percent) had severe pain.

Individuals with severe pain had worse health, used more health care, and had more disability than those with less severe pain.

Who Has Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain becomes more common as we age, at least in part because health problems that can cause pain, such as osteoarthritis, become more common with advancing age. Military veterans are another group at increased risk for chronic pain; U.S. national survey data show that both pain, in general, and severe pain is more common among veterans than in nonveterans.

Not all people with chronic pain have a health problem diagnosed by a health care provider, but among those who do, the most frequent conditions, by far, are low-back pain or osteoarthritis, according to a national survey.

Other common diagnoses include rheumatoid arthritis, migraine, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia.

The annual economic cost of chronic pain in the United States, including both treatment and lost productivity, has been estimated at up to $635 billion.

Chronic pain may result from an underlying disease or health condition, an injury, medical treatment (such as surgery), inflammation, or a problem in the nervous system, or the cause may be unknown. Pain can affect quality of life and productivity, and it may be accompanied by difficulty in moving around, disturbed sleep, anxiety, depression, and other problems.

What the Science Says About Complementary Health Approaches for Chronic Pain

The scientific evidence suggests that some complementary health approaches may help people manage chronic pain.

I will highlight the research of some approaches used for common kinds of pain.

Chronic Pain Complementary Approaches

There is evidence that acupuncture, yoga, relaxation techniques, tai chi, massage, and osteopathic or spinal manipulation may have some benefit for chronic pain.

Research also shows that hypnosis is moderately effective in managing chronic pain, when compared to usual medical care. However, the effectiveness of hypnosis can vary from one person to another. A study of mindfulness meditation for chronic pain also showed to be associated with an improvement in pain symptoms.

Also, studies on music have shown that it can reduce self-reported pain and depression symptoms in people with chronic pain.

Low-Back Pain 

Low-back pain has shown improvement with acupuncture, and a massage therapist might provide short-term relief from low-back pain. Unfortunately, massage has not been shown to have long-term benefits for low-back pain.

A research review concluded that mindfulness-based stress reduction is associated with improvements in pain intensity and physical functioning in low-back pain, compared to usual care. 

Spinal manipulation appears to be as effective as other therapies commonly used for chronic low-back pain, such as physical therapy, exercise, and chiropractic.

An evaluation of the research on yoga for low-back pain found that it improved pain and function in both the short term (1-6 months) and intermediate term (6-12 months). Yoga is an option for chronic, but not acute, low-back pain.

A study on herbal products for low-back pain found evidence that cayenne, administered topically (applied to the skin) can reduce pain. Two other herbal products used topically, comfrey and lavender essential oil, and two herbs used orally, white willow bark and devil’s claw, may also be helpful, but the evidence for these herbs is not as strong as that for cayenne.


There is evidence that acupuncture has short-term benefits in relieving knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.

A study for osteoarthritis of the knee concluded that tai chi has short-term (up to 12 weeks) and medium-term (12-26 weeks) benefits on pain for people with knee osteoarthritis. There has not been enough research to show whether it is helpful for longer periods.

Studies of glucosamine, chondroitin, and S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) for knee osteoarthritis pain may be effective for some. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dietary supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), or the herb thunder god vine may help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.


There is moderate evidence that acupuncture may reduce the frequency of migraines. 

Guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society classify butterbur as effective; feverfew, magnesium, and riboflavin as probably effective; and coenzyme Q10 as possibly effective for preventing migraines.

Neck Pain

Studies on acupuncture suggest that acupuncture is helpful for neck pain.

Massage therapy may provide short-term relief from neck pain, especially if massage sessions are relatively lengthy and frequent, but it does not appear to be more effective than other therapies.

Spinal manipulation also may be helpful for relief of neck pain.


Some studies show tai chi, yoga, mindfulness, and biofeedback for fibromyalgia symptoms have had promising results.

In addition, vitamin D supplements, for those who have low vitamin D levels, may help to reduce pain in people with fibromyalgia.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Probiotics may be helpful for irritable bowel syndrome, but it is still uncertain which types of probiotics are most effective.

Some formulations of peppermint oil may be helpful for irritable bowel symptoms as well.

Other Types of Pain

Various complementary approaches have been studied for other types of chronic pain, such as nerve pain, chronic pelvic pain, and pain associated with endometriosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, pain associated with gout, and cancer. There is promising evidence that the complementary approaches talked about earlier in this article may be helpful for some of these types of pain. 

What the Science Says About Safety and Side Effects

As with any treatment, it is important to consider safety before using complementary health approaches. Safety depends on the specific approach and on the health of the person using it. If you are considering or using a complementary approach for pain, check with your health care provider to make sure it is safe for you.

Safety of Mind and Body Approaches

Mind and body practices, such as acupuncture, hypnosis, massage therapy, mindfulness/meditation, relaxation techniques, spinal manipulation, tai chi/qi gong, and yoga, are generally safe for healthy people if they are performed appropriately. People with medical conditions and pregnant women may need to modify or avoid some mind and body practices.

Like other forms of exercise, mind and body practices that involve movement, such as tai chi and yoga, can cause sore muscles and may involve some risk of injury.

Safety of Natural Products

Remember “natural” does not always mean “safe.” Some natural products may have side effects and may interact with medications.

Millions of people in the United States are living with some form of chronic pain daily. Chronic pain can seriously interfere with your daily activities, work, studies, family life, social life, and emotional well-being.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick. Check out the website at

classified and display ads

To place a classified ad, submit and pay online at under the ‘Classifieds’ tab. A classified ad costs $20 and includes up to 200 characters in the For Sale, For Rent, Help Wanted, Yard Sales,  and Wanted categories. Classifieds under the Services category require a paid display ad. When purchasing a paid display ad, you may place a classified ad for free in the months you advertise. Also, continuous advertisers who have regular customer walk-in hours at their brick-n-mortar business location get an additional ad in the Town section. This is to encourage the quick reference reader to visit your business.


Antiques & Collectibles like crocks, jugs, postcards, photographs, advertising items, old signs, old dolls, toys & trains (pre-1965), quilts, political items, guns, old holiday decorations, hunting & fishing items, jewelry, and coins; gold, sterling, coin collections, etc. Will buy one item or collection. 301-514-2631.

Weller Church is in need of a licensed mowing service to mow and trim the Weller Cemetery. If interested, please contact Nancy at 301-788-4853.

For Sale

3 – 10” saws—table, radial arm & chop and other woodworking tools. Call Wayne at 301-524-5566 (after 12 p.m.).

2019 Night edition Hyundai Tuscon SUV. Heated seats, adaptive cruise control, black wheel rims, panoramic sunroof, lane sensors, blind spot monitor. Good to excellent condition. 86,000 mi. Routine service, tire rotations, and oil change. Runs great! $21,000 OBO. Call 301-271-1050.

2016 Black on black RAM 2500 SLT Crew Cab. 69,000 mi. Gas. New transmission, May 2022.Soft Tonneau cover, sprayed bed liner. $36,000. AllState warranty can transfer for additional $3,500. Call 301-271-1050.

2012 Springdale 275FL Camper, sleeps 6. Full queen new mattress, comes ready to camp with bedroom (back) and dinette slideouts. Power levelers/awning. $14,500 OBO. 301-271-1050.

Veggie Plant Sale — over 100 varieties of tomatoes. April 19-May 20, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at 31 Ranch Trail, Fairfield, PA.

Help Wanted

Catoctin United Methodist Church, 7009 Kelly’s Store Rd., in need of piano or organ player; retired ministers to speak; and people to volunteer to do music for summer fundraiser. Call 240-446-8373.

Part-Time Weekend Help. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. No Evenings. Applicant must have excellent customer service skills, cash handling experience, and be a team player. Inquire within. Emmitsburg Antique Mall, 1 Chesapeake Ave., Emmitsburg.

Frederick County Parks & Recreation – Summer Camp Jobs: Camp Directors, Assistant Directors, Camp Counselors. Deadline to apply  is April 21.

Ott House, 5 W. Main Street, Emmitsburg. Hiring cooks, servers, and crew. 301-447-2625.

Work outside! Learn a trade! Pondscapes Hiring Immediately – Pond Technician/Laborer. Experience preferred, but will train. Pay depends on experience. Heavy lifting required. Clean driving record required. Call 240-446-2846 or email [email protected]

Immediately Hiring: H&M Wheel Solutions (9 Woodside Avenue, Thurmont) — All Positions: Painters, Welders, Drivers. Full-time/Part-time. Paid training on-site. Work with a great team. 301-337-9962 or

YMCA seeking Camp West Mar staff for summer camp (residential positions available for overnight college student applicants).

McDonald’s is Hiring! Minimum starting salary $13/hr. and above for Crew, $14.25/hr. (Thurmont & Walkersville) for Maintenance. Apply in person at your local McDonald’s or text 38000 and enter location code. Also hiring Managers!

Help wanted: Truck drivers, full-time and part-time. Salary based on experience. Full-time $1250.00/week. Local and overnight work available. Farm tractor operator/ laborer, full-time and part-time $15 per hour. Call Dennis 240-446-7219.

Help Wanted for established Local Home Improvement company. Call 301-271-4850 for interview.

Fertilizer Tech at Mountain View Lawn Service. Call 301-271-2832 for more info.

Carriage House Inn Restaurant & Catering, 200 S. Seton Ave., Emmitsburg. Looking for Line Cooks, Lead Catering Chef, Servers, and Server Assistants,  $11.75-18/hour. Weekend hours are a must. Apply within or email [email protected] for application.

Part-time kitchen and cashier positions available at The Village Store in Keymar. Evenings and weekends required. Stop in or call 410-775-2966 and ask for Mary.

Help Wanted at Bollinger’s Restaurant in Thurmont: Grill Cook & Kitchen Help. Experience preferred. Call 301-271-3500.


Try Shaklee’s “Youth” skin care products for your best skin! Looking younger can be yours! Go to:

Yard Sales

Yard Sale: May 6, Guardian Hose Co., 123 E. Main Street, Thurmont. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Rain or shine. $10/space (BYO table & tent). Lori 301-748-3944.

Yard Sale: April 1, Indoor & Outdoor, Lewistown Vol. Fire Dept., 11101 Hessong Bridge Road, Thurmont. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Lots of vendors. Kitchen open.

Strawberry Festival & Albert’s Yard Sale — Saturday, June 3, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 17015 Sabillasville Road, Sabillasville. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Soups, sandwiches & desserts.

For Rent

HALL RENTAL: Weddings, Banquets, Events of any kind. Call the Thurmont American Legion at 301-271-4411 between 9 and 11 a.m.

Looking for a place for a meeting, reunion, reception, picnic, or party? St. John’s Church in Sabillasville rents its pavilion or parish hall. Contact Megan Doolittle at 301-514-3115 or [email protected]

Fort Ritchie Community Center in Cascade, MD is available for various rentals. Stop by, call 301-241-5085, or visit for information.


Data Entry Services – Reasonable rates. Contact Maxine at 301-271-7169.

Small Business Website Hosting & Coaching. or 307-224-6147.

High tensile, board & post fence repair and replacement. Property maintenance, exterior painting, house clean outs, junk removal, hauling, and weeding. Also bush hogging and skid loader service. Call Mike at 240-285-6648.

Asphalt paving and seal coating by Frederick County Paving. Call for a free estimate, 301-662-2820 or email [email protected]

Dog Grooming by Sydney at Mutt Cuts with hair cutting, nail trimming, bathing, deshedding, ear cleaning, skin & coat conditioning, brushing. Call, text, or email to schedule: 717-387-0140 or email [email protected]

Lawn Services – Fertilizer programs, mowing, landscaping, mulching, and more. Call Mountain View Lawn Service at 301-271-2832.

Visit Quality Tire in Emmitsburg for super tire service at 17650 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Call 301-447-2909.

Accounting services and tax management and filing with Melissa Wetzel in Emmitsburg. Schedule your appointment today at 301-447-3797.

Rick Hurley & Son Small Engine Repair Service. Call 301-271-2117 or 240-285-2494 (leave message).

LOOKING FOR A STORAGE SOLUTION? Storage units available for rent in Emmitsburg. Call Dan at 301-788-2626.

Residential and Business EMF Testing. Know your levels. Call 240-415-8876.

Septic tank pumping, Reliable Service and Reasonable Rates. Serving Frederick County and surrounding areas. Staley’s Onsite Services 301-788-3636 or email [email protected]

Firewood, snow removal, welding and fabrication, lawn and landscaping. Call Ward Business Group 301-607-1099.

Maryland Potomac Edison residential or commercial customers are eligible for a Maryland Quick Home Energy Check (QHEC) performed by Perry Joy, a BPI-Certified Home Energy Professional. It is FREE and you receive $150 worth of energy-saving products. Eligible customers sign up online at or call Perry Joy at 443-974-7966 for info.

Affordable Lawn Care and Handyman Service gives free estimates and there’s no job too small. Call 240-651-4248 for mowing, trimming, edging, mulching, home repairs, and maintenance.

Event Advertisements

You may advertise an event in our calendar for free by submitting an entry under the ‘Calendar’ tab at For a more detailed listing (details, contact information, ticket information, and web address), please sign up for a paid display ad under the Calendar tab and reference the Advertisement Rates tab for costs and contract. Paid display ads come with a detailed calendar listing and a write-up in the Around Town section that references your ad page. Calendar listings will be listed only in the calendar month in which they take place.

April Community Calendar

1…… Easter Egg Hunt, Thurmont UMC, 13880 Long Rd., Thurmont. 11 a.m. Visit from the Easter Bunny. Sign up online: 301-271-4511.

1…… Indoor & Outdoor Yard Sale, Lewistown Vol. Fire Dept., 11101 Hessong Bridge Rd., Thurmont. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Lots of vendors. Kitchen open.

1…… The Amish Outlaws, Thurmont Event Complex, 13716 Strafford Dr., Thurmont. Doors open 6 p.m.; music 9:30 p.m.-midnight; DJ Fire 7-9:30 p.m. Cash bar, kitchen open, tip jars, 50/50. $10/person (at the door, any Friday Night Bingo, or Must be 18 & older.

1…… Tom’s Creek Mulch Fundraiser Begins. $6/3-Cubic ft. Hardwood Mulch Bag, $6/2-Cubic ft. Black Mulch Bag. BOGO – Buy 10 bags, get one FREE. Call 301-447-3171 to order mulch.

1…… Vigilant Hose Company’s Buck-A-Bowl, Vigilant Hose Co. Activities Bldg., 17701 Creamery Rd., Emmitsburg. 4-8 p.m. All meals $1. Kids games, small games of chance, derbys, meat pack raffles & big 6 wheel for adults. Mary Lou 240-285-3184 or Facebook.

1…… April Fool’s Party, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 3 p.m.

1…… Spring Fling & Egg Roll, Rose Hill Manor Park & Museums, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5/person. Advanced registration recommended.

1…… TriState Astronomers Join ThorpeWood for a Star Party, 12805-A Mink Farm Rd., Thurmont. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free.

1…… Food Truck (every Sat. in April) at The Dirty Dawg, 224 N. Church St., Unit C2, Thurmont. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

1-3…. Frederick County 275th: Memory Lab by Appointment, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

2…… The Journey to the Cross, Deerfield UMC, 16405 Foxville Deerfield Rd., Sabillasville. 7:30 p.m.

2…… Palm Sunday Service, Graceham Moravian Church, 8231A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 10:15 a.m.

2…… Frederick County 275th: From Sheep to Sweater, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 2 p.m.

3…… Open Gym (Mondays), Emmitsburg 50+ Center, Gym, 300A South Seton Ave., Emmitsburg. 10 a.m.-noon.

3…… Graceham Moravian Church Hosts Free Community Meal, 8231 Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 5:30-7 p.m. Followed by Lenten Readings Service.

3…… Yoga, Thurmont Senior Center, 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 9:30 a.m. Also: 10, 17, 24, 31.

3…… Balance & Strength, Thurmont Senior Center, 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. Also: 4, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17, 18,  21, 24,  25, 26, 28, 31.

3-7…. Holy Week Readings, Graceham Moravian Church, 8231A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 7 p.m.

4…… Coffee & Chat, Thurmont Senior Center, 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 10 a.m. Also: 11, 18, 25.

4…… Healthy Living Discussion Group, Thurmont Senior Center, 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 10 a.m. Also: 11, 18, 25.

5…… Home Buying and Selling Seminar: Preparing to Sell Your Home, Thurmont Regional Library, Moser Rd., Thurmont. 6-7 p.m. With Elle Smith, Realtor, J&B Real Estate, Inc. Snacks & swag. Register to save seat: www.signupgenius.come/go/1OCOE44A9AF2AA6FB6-preparing. 301-401-8620.

5…… Pickleball (Wednesdays), Emmitsburg 50+ Center, Gym, 300A South Seton Ave., Emmitsburg. 1 p.m.

5…… 50/50 Bingo, Thurmont Senior Center. 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1 p.m. Also: 19.

5…… Preparing Your Home to Sell in the Spring Selling Season, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 6 p.m.

6…… Dominoes, Thurmont Senior Center, 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 12:30 p.m. Also: 13, 20, 27.

6…… Thurmont Business Network (TBN) Meeting, The Dirty Dawg, 224 N. Church St., Thurmont. 8-9 a.m.

6…… Knitting/Crochet Group (Thursdays), Emmitsburg 50+ Center, Gym, 300A South Seton Ave., Emmitsburg. 11 a.m.

6…… Holy Thursday Service, Thurmont UMC, 13880 Long Rd., Thurmont. 7 p.m. Led by Rabbi from The Chosen People Ministry.; 301-271-4511.

6…… Bar Bingo, AMVETS Post 7, 26 Apples Church Rd., Thurmont. Doors open 5 p.m. Open to public. Also: Apr. 13, 20, 27.

6…… AMVETS Post 7 Ladies Auxiliary Easter Bake Sale, 26 Apples Church Rd., Thurmont. 5-8 p.m.

7…… The Journey to the Cross, Deerfield UMC, 16405 Foxville Deerfield Rd., Sabillasville. 7:30 p.m.

7 …… Good Friday Service, Tom’s Creek UMC, 10926 Simmons Rd., Emmitsburg. 7 p.m.

7…… Bingo (every Friday night), Thurmont Event Complex, 13716 Strafford Dr., Thurmont. Doors open 5 p.m.; Bingo 6:45 p.m. Tip jars; food; jackpot up to $1,000. Benefits Thurmont Community Amb. Srv.

7…… Pickleball (Fridays), Emmitsburg 50+ Center, Gym, 300A South Seton Ave., Emmitsburg. 12:30 p.m.

7…… ZUMBA, Thurmont Senior Center, 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 10:15 a.m. Also: 14, 21, 28.

8…… Children’s Easter Egg Activities, Graceham Moravian Church, 8231A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 10 a.m.

8…… Greenhouse Kids (All Ages), The Greenhouse Café, 14410 Lake Royer Dr., Cascade. $10/child (includes a plant, pot & figurine). 1 p.m.; [email protected]; 301-781-7408.

8…… Bingo, Rocky Ridge Vol. Fire Co., 13516 Motters Station Rd., Rocky Ridge. Doors open 5 p.m.; games 7 p.m. Come hungry; food available for purchase.

8…… Annual Easter Bake & Flower Sale, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 15 N. Church St., Thurmont. 9 a.m.

8…… Thurmont Main Street Pop-Up Shop, Thurmont Plaza, 224 N. Church St., Thurmont. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 12 unique vendors, home-baked goods, food truck.

8…… Food Truck (every Sat. in April), at The Dirty Dawg, 224 N. Church St., Unit C2, Thurmont. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

8…… Celebrate Spring Storytime & Egg Hunt, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 10:30 a.m.

9…… Community Easter Sunrise Service, Emmitsburg Council of Churches at Grotto of Lourdes, 16330 Grotto Rd., Emmitsburg. 6:30 a.m.

9…… Easter Sunrise Service, Graceham Moravian Church, 8231A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 6:10 a.m.; Lovefeast 7:15 a.m.; Regular Service 10:15 a.m.

9 …… Easter Sunday Service, Tom’s Creek UMC, 10926 Simmons Rd., Emmitsburg. 9 a.m.

9…… Join Deerfield UMC to Experience the Resurrection of Our Savior at Mt. Zion UMC, 13010 Mt. Zion Rd., Sabillasville. 7 a.m. Easter Sunrise Worship w/Easter breakfast. Worship 9 a.m.

11….. Firehouse DJ, AMVETS Post 7, 26 Apples Church Rd., Thurmont. 7-10 p.m. Free & open to public.

13….. Bunko, Thurmont Senior Center, 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1 p.m.

13….. Digital Learning, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 10 a.m.

13….. Thurmont Senior Center Fundraiser at Roy Rogers, Thurmont. 5-8 p.m.

14….. Gift Card Bingo, Union Bridge Fire Hall, 8 W. Locust St., Union Bridge. Doors open 5 p.m.; games 7 p.m.

14-16……. “Beth Watson” Book & Yard Sale, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 15 N. Church St., Thurmont. 8 a.m.-Noon.

15….. Thurmont Greenfest, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Activities for whole family, live music, food truck, demonstrations & more.

15….. Food Truck (every Sat. in April), at The Dirty Dawg, 224 N. Church St., Unit C2, Thurmont. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

15….. Prime Rib Dinner, Thurmont AMVETS Post 7, 26 Apples Church Rd., Thurmont. 5-8 p.m.

15….. Thurmont Main Street Pop-Up Shop, Thurmont Plaza, 224 N. Church St., Thurmont. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 12 unique vendors, home-baked goods, food truck.

18….. Greenhouse Kids (Infant – Pre-K), The Greenhouse Café, 14410 Lake Royer Dr., Cascade. Read along & spring craft. 11 a.m.; [email protected]; 301-781-7408.

19….. Benefit Fundraiser for Rex Davis, Thurmont Kountry Kitchen, 17 Water St., Thurmont. A portion of the day’s receipts will go to the family for uncovered medical expenses. 301-271-4071.

19….. Library Day Thurmont Senior Center, 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 10 a.m.

19….. Bingo, AMVETS Post 7 Ladies Auxiliary, 26 Apples Church Rd., Thurmont. Doors open 5 p.m.; games 7 p.m.

19….. Testing Your Nutrition IQ, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 10 a.m.

20….. Seated Massage by Marie, Thurmont Senior Center, 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

20….. Historian Debra McCauslin: Africans Americans During 1700 and 1800’s, Fairfield Area Historical Society, Village Hall, 108 W. Main St., Fairfield, PA. 7 p.m. Free.

20….. Minecraft EDU, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 7 p.m.

20….. Monthly Birthday Party w/Special Music, Thurmont Senior Center, 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 12:30 p.m.

21….. Fundraiser Night, The Friends of the Emmitsburg Branch Library at Roy Rogers, 203 Frederick Rd., Thurmont. 5-8 p.m.

21-29 Thurmont’s Restaurant Week. Enjoy delicious food from locally owned restaurants in Thurmont. Bollinger’s Restaurant, Furnace Grill & Crabhouse, Los Amigos, Mountain Gate Family Restaurant, Roy Rogers, The Farmhouse Exchange, Thurmont Kountry Kitchen, Uncle Dirty’s Brew Works.

22….. Food Truck (every Sat. in April), at The Dirty Dawg, 224 N. Church St., Unit C2, Thurmont. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

22….. “Emmitsburg Spring Clean Up Day,” Meet at Parking Lot Behind Town Office, Emmitsburg. Volunteers needed to help pick up litter and loose trash from downtown, parks & adjacent areas. All cleaning supplies provided. 9 a.m. Following is annual Earth Day event in Community Park 12-2 p.m. Activities for kids and adults & frozen treats provided.

22….. Frederick Co. Takes Part in DEA’s “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day,” from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at two locations: Fred. Co. Health Dept. (350 Montevue Ln., Frederick) & Maryland State Police, Frederick Barrack (110 Airport Dr. E., Frederick). Dispose of potentially dangerous, expired, unused & unwanted prescription drugs, as well as used or unused sharps (including syringes, needles, lancets & auto injectors).

22….. Thurmont Main Street Pop-Up Shop, Thurmont Plaza, 224 N. Church St., Thurmont. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 12 unique vendors, home-baked goods, food truck.

22….. MotorSmoke Concert, Thurmont Event Complex, 13716 Strafford Dr., Thurmont. Doors open 6 p.m.; music 8 p.m.-midnight. $10/person. 5 Guys Band plus the Thurmont Boys are Back: Jimmy Rickerd and Rob Welch. Cash bar, kitchen open, tip jars & 50/50. Costumes welcome. Tickets: avail. at any Friday Night Bingo or 18 & older – Photo ID required.

22….. 7th Annual Ladies Day, Catoctin Church of Christ, 140 N. Carroll St., Thurmont. Lesson 9-11 a.m.; Box lunch 11:30 a.m. Bring friends, family & neighbors. Prayer, songs, encouragement & fellowship. RSVP (appreciated) to [email protected] or 301-271-2069.

22….. Lewistown UMC’s Soup Carryout. Pre-Order (vegetable soup and bean soup by the quart). $7/quart. Pickup: Apr. 29, Noon-4 p.m., 11032 Hessong Bridge Rd., Thurmont. Order: Joyce 240-288-8748 (indicate vege. or bean, quantity, name, phone number, pickup time).

23….. Wedding Open House, Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood, 12805A Mink Farm Rd., Thurmont. 1-5 p.m. Come & meet 30 amazing vendors. Free event. RSVP to [email protected]

23….. Face of America Rest Stop, Tom’s Creek Church’s The Promised Land, 10918 Taneytown Pike, Emmitsburg. 8 a.m.-Noon. After riders have passed through, a worship service will be held at The Promised Land and the “Unclouded Day” will play bluegrass Gospel music and patriotic songs.

23….. Western Movie Night, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 13025 Greensburg Rd., Smithsburg. 7 p.m.

24….. Pre-order Deadline for Thurmont Grange #409 Country Ham Sandwich Sale: Rodman 301-271-2104. $5 ea. Individually wrapped; made by Hemp’s Meats in Jefferson. Pickup: May 17, 3-6 p.m., Thurmont Grange Hall, E. Main St.

26….. Read to a Therapy Dog w/WAGS for Hope, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 6 p.m.

27….. Dungeons and Dragons: Let’s Play, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 6 p.m.

27….. Thurmont Grange Night & Bake Sale. Roy Rogers Restaurant, Thurmont. 4:30-8 p.m.

27….. Farkle, Thurmont Senior Center, 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1 p.m.

28….. Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser & Silent Auction, Rocky Ridge Firehall Activities Bldg., 13516 Motters Station Rd., Rocky Ridge. 4-7 p.m. $10/adult; $5/ages 12 & under. Proceeds benefit Monocacy Church of the Brethren Vacation Bible School.

29….. Fort Ritchie Community Center Spring Fling Craft Show, 14421 Lake Royer Rd., Cascade. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

29….. Thurmont Business Showcase, Thurmont Event Complex, 13706 Strafford Dr., Thurmont. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fun & free. Thurmont Amb. Co. selling delicious food.

29….. Exploration: Esports, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 2 p.m.

29….. Bingo, St. Anthony’s Shrine Upper Hall, 16150 St. Anthony Rd., Emmitsburg. Doors open 5 p.m.; games 6:30 p.m. Tip jars, 50/50, raffles. Food & baked goods for sale.

29….. Cash Bingo, Union Bridge Fire Hall, 8 W. Locust St., Union Bridge. Doors open 3:30 p.m.

29….. Food Truck (every Sat. in April), at The Dirty Dawg, 224 N. Church St., Unit C2, Thurmont. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

29….. Thurmont Main Street Pop-Up Shop, Thurmont Plaza, 224 N. Church St., Thurmont. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 12 unique vendors, home-baked goods, food truck.

30….. Plant/Cuttiing/Seed Swap, The Greenhouse Café, 14410 Lake Royer Dr., Cascade. Bring plants or seeds and trade with others. 1 p.m.; [email protected]; 301-781-7408.

30….. Frederick County 275th: Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm Tour, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 2 p.m.

30      FREE Workshop for Church Leaders & Staff, First Baptist Church of Thurmont, 7 Sunny Way, Thurmont. 1-1:30 p.m. Lunch included. Learn how to prevent abuse in your church & how to respond if it happens. Open to all local churches. Register:

Deb Abraham Spalding

On a sunny, 11-degree morning in early February, Warren Schafer was making snow at his house in Thurmont.

Schafer is a 15-year-old freshman at Catoctin High School. While society and social media lead us to believe that high school freshmen are sitting behind their cell phone apps and cell phone cameras or mesmerized behind their computers immersed in someone else’s imaginary world in video games, be assured, Schafer is, too!

The difference between the average freshman and Schafer—an avid skier and ham radio operator—is that he’s using some of that time to continually challenge himself to make a better snow-making gun than those currently used in the ski industry. 

Thus, Thurmont’s “Snow Man” has been revealed!

Two years ago, Schafer’s snow-making prototype was his science fair project in middle school. He won first place in the Frederick County Science Fair in the Environmental Sciences category. He has taken that prototype and improved upon it again and again. The original design was built with parts from the local hardware store, and now he’s custom building them out of aluminum.

It is his goal to ultimately design and create a more efficient snow-making nozzle, one that uses less air, less electricity, and less water to produce more snow in less time than the current industry standards. Oh, and he’s recycling, too!

When asked if he’s achieved his goal this year, Schafer simply stated, “Yes, I have!” It’s a continual process.

Schafer explained, “We can make (a wet) snow when it’s 33 degrees if the humidity is really low. Snowmakers combine temperature and relative humidity together to create what’s called a wet bulb. As long as the wet bulb temperature is below 28 degrees, we can make snow.” 

Schafer recycles water from the backyard pool. Rainwater catches on a tarp on the pool while a pump sits on the tarp and pumps the water into a big tank. A hose connects to the tank and feeds the water to the snowmaker that is powered by a small pressure washer.

At the time of our visit, Schafer had created a sled run with snow four to six inches deep at the bottom and two feet deep in the middle, and he had just started building the hill.

The two-foot base in the middle took about two hours to create with Schafer’s tiny snowmaker. A feat that is impressive even to the novice! Imagine, in the near future, being able to create a snow run in your own backyard using Schafer’s snow-making system that you can purchase at the local hardware store.

Schafer will continue to improve his design more and more to advance the system until he’s satisfied. At that point, he will make his system fully automated from controls at his computer. There may even be an app for that!

Warren Schafer is shown with his snow-making system. The swimming pool and collection tank are shown to the left, leading to the electric connection, power washer, hose, tripod, and snow-making gun.

Warren Schafer is shown adjusting his snow-making system in February.

Part I

Richard D. L. Fulton

January 1921 saw the commencement of the pursuit of an unidentified beast among the rolling foothills of Appalachia in Adams County, Pennsylvania, a quest that resulted in the local inhabitants doing more damage to themselves than the sought-after creature. It did not take long for the local newspapers to label the efforts to shoot or kill the strange creature as the “gorilla war.”

The story begins with the reported sighting of a “monstrous animal” near Mount Rock on January 20, 1921.

According to The Gettysburg Times, the creature was spotted whilst sitting upon a rock. “When the monstrous animal saw that it was discovered by some Mount Rock citizens, it arose, stretched itself and disappeared into a nearby wood.” The beast was described as a “large gorilla.” 

However, on January 21, The Gettysburg Times noted that, in fact, the creature had been reported as having been sighted “for days” leading up to the newspaper’s January 20 coverage of the bizarre episode.

The newspaper went on to report, “When told this story, one Gettysburg citizen said, ‘It is evident that some of my Mount Rock friends are seeing more peculiar visions now than they did before the advent of the Eighteenth Amendment.”

The Eighteenth Amendment, of course, was one of the federal government’s first significant attempts at social engineering through the alteration of the U.S. Constitution, in which the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages were outlawed in 1920. This was the period of time during which this controversial, and ultimately repealed (via the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933), legislation became not-so-affectionately known as “Prohibition.”

In spite of Prohibition, the sightings continued—the next time by residents in several northern Adams County municipalities.

The day after the newspaper reported the initial story about the sighting of the unknown animal, it appeared, as the publication garnered more information regarding the incident, that there might be more than just alcohol involved. “Thursday afternoon and evening,” The Gettysburg Times reported, “a general chase with the gorilla as the objective was conducted by the residents of Idaville and vicinity.”

The Gettysburg Times reported that the animal had been described as possibly being a gorilla or a kangaroo, adding that the beast “was first seen at Snyder’s Hill between York Springs and Idaville where a number of men failed in a combined attempt to capture or shoot it.”

By 10:00 p.m. on the night of January 20, “50 men gathered on Pike hill near Idaville and again vainly tried to kill the elusive creature,” which The Gettysburg Times reported, “escaped across the snow to Daniels’ Hill near the Adams-Cumberland County line.”

Theories as to how this alleged “gorilla” managed to find its way into Adams County began to be seriously considered. The newspaper reported, “The theory advanced for the animal is that it escaped from a circus train that wrecked several months ago.” 

But no record of any circus train wreck in Pennsylvania could be found in any 1921 newspapers published before January 20.

The Gettysburg Times did note that, thus far, the only damage reportedly inflicted by the unknown was the “robbery of a smokehouse.”

The Gettysburg Times reported on January 25 the first casualty suffered as a direct result of the growing panic over the wandering, but as of yet unidentified creature, suggesting the concern had now spread into adjacent York County as well. “Stories of a wandering gorilla caused the shooting of a mule when Abraham Lau, of Franklintown, York County, mistook the animal for the much talked of wild beast.”  According to The Gettysburg Times, when Lau spotted what he thought was the much sought-after and alleged gorilla, “He became alarmed and went to the house for the gun [and] shot and badly injured his neighbor’s mule.” It would not be the first local animal to die in the quest.

The Harrisburg Telegraph began carrying coverage of the mystery “gorilla” in Adams County as of the mule-shooting incident, but noted in the newspaper’s January 26 article that the “mule was not seriously injured by the shot.” 

On January 27, The Gettysburg Times reported that the “gorilla” had now been sighted near Waynesboro, in Franklin County. Regarding the multicounty hairy desperado, the newspaper reported, “Harry Shindledecker, an employee of the trolley company in Waynesboro, was on his way to work Wednesday morning [January 26]” and spotted the unidentified beast “while passing the baseball grounds.”  Shindledecker subsequently arrived at the Waynesboro trolley barn “in an excited condition,” and described the animal as having appeared to have been “about the height of a man.” 

The effort to end the alleged gorilla’s reign of imagined terror, now spanning three counties, heated up on January 26 when one local community launched what was described as an “armed posse” in pursuit of the creature in an effort to put an end to the affair once and for all.

Unfortunately, the only end that resulted from the effort was the life of one of the hunting dogs accompanying the impromptu posse.

The Gettysburg Times reported on January 28 that the “gorilla war” began on the night of January 26 when the beast was reportedly seen in an alley in Rouzerville, in Franklin County. “The word was quickly spread and the members of the Rouzervlle deer camp and every one [sic] else that had a rifle soon turned out,” the newspaper reported. “After the mobilization of marksmen was completed, the attackers in battle formation started up the mountain.”

The advance of the “skirmish line” had barely gotten underway when the creature, or at least what was believed to have been the creature, described now by The Gettysburg Times as a “chimpanzee,” was flushed out.   The newspaper reported, “Although a number of shots were fired, the chimpanzee kept on bounding toward the thicker brush of the slope.” 

The posse, as such, appears to have decided at this point in the attack to send for backup, which was hastily sent forward to bolster the assailants in the effort to capture or kill (most likely kill) the still essentially unidentified animal. The effects of the added firepower were audible in the nearby communities.

“The firing in the mountain was heard in the village and the town was soon in an uproar,” The Gettysburg Times wrote.  Some tactical genius among the combatants then decided “to form a great circle around the foothill where the animal was last seen,” the newspaper reported, adding, “Deployed in this fashion the grizzled hunters and young marksmen moved into the woodland.”   

In the process of searching the mountainside “halfway to Pen Mar” without any success at spotting the renegade creature, the hunt did result in yet another casualty. “A black dog running through the underbrush paid the death penalty when an excited hunter mistook it for an ape.”

To add insult to injury, not only had the mighty mountain warriors returned empty-handed, but when they gave up the pursuit and returned to Rouzerville, the creature had already beaten them there. “When the hunters returned from the mountains, the reports say the town was in a turmoil,” the newspaper reported, adding that, “… the animal had been seen there while the hunt was on.” 

The Gettysburg Times reported that the younger women in town who were out and about when the beast appeared were so terrified that escorts were provided to see that they got off the streets and to their respective homes safely until the “panic” had subsided. 

On January 27 or 28, the creature was again reported to have been seen near Monterey by two young men. “As they neared the Monterey golf links, they saw what they thought was a man approaching on all fours,” The Gettysburg Times reported, until the animal “rose on its hind legs and came toward them making gurgling sounds.”

Richard D. L. Fulton

Every year, an estimated 17,000 meteorites hit the Earth, according to researchers at the British University of Manchester and the London Imperial College, ranging in size from 1.75 pounds to 22 pounds, the larger ones being quite rare.

Just for the record, a space rock which has not fallen into the Earth’s atmosphere is termed as being a meteoroid. However, when the rock enters the atmosphere, it is then called a meteor (sometimes called a “shooting star”). Once it impacts upon the ground, the rock is then termed as being a meteorite.

There are basically three types of meteorites: (1) Iron meteorites (consisting primarily of iron and nickel and make up about 5.7 percent of the meteorites that strike the planet; (2) Stoney meteorites (which comprise about 92 percent of the meteorites that strike the planet); and (3) Stoney-iron meteorites (which comprise about 2 percent of the meteorites that strike the planet), according to

North Frederick County and southern Adams County, Pennsylvania, have each experienced a single confirmed strike, one confirmed and one unconfirmed hit in Emmitsburg, and one confirmed hit near Two Taverns in Adams County.

Of the three encounters of the meteoritic kind, little has been recorded regarding the Emmitsburg meteorite, with much more having been published regarding the Two Taverns meteorite (also referred to as the Mount Joy meteorite).  The Natural History Society of Maryland (NHSM) reported in its 1948 publication, The Maryland Naturalist, that “nothing at all seems to have been written of the finding of the Emmitsburg meteorite,” thus, the finder’s name has remained elusive.

The one confirmed Emmitsburg meteorite (classified as an iron meteorite) was discovered in 1854 and weighed in at just under one pound. 

Nothing seems to have been recorded regarding the circumstance under which it was found, nor when it fell, but the coordinates for where it was found, if accurate, were given as being 39 degrees 43 seconds north, and 77 degrees 18 seconds west, placing the discovery as having been found east of the current location of Mountain Liquors (geological discoveries were often referenced by the nearest town), according to Meteoritical Society records. In fact, Joseph Boesenberg, a former meteorite scientific assistant with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, previously told the reporter that the first published description was that written by a meteorite specialist, Aristides Brezina, in 1885. The next appearance of the meteorite was in the hands of meteorite dealer S.C.H. Bailey in the early 1900s.

Subsequently, the Emmitsburg meteorite fell into the hands of Dr. J.R. Clinton, of New York, and was soon after “thin sliced (cut into thin sections) and distributed to a number of institutions around the world, including in New York, Harvard, Washington, DC., Chicago, London, Vienna, and Gottingen, Germany).” But those only represent a portion of the meteorite. The remainder remains unaccounted-for.

A second, unconfirmed meteor fell into the Emmitsburg area around 1895 and landed in the yard of a home occupied by J.K. Hays and family. The family reported as having seen the meteor strike “about 100 yards from the house,” and Hays subsequently recovered the specimen, which he stated he kept in their basement. He described the meteorite as being oval-shaped and approximately eight inches by four inches. It was never shown to anyone with a museum or university, and some 40 years later, Hays said he could not find it, stating that he thinks his son “threw it out,” according to the NHSM.

Better known is the Two Taverns (Mount Joy) meteorite, probably because this meteorite, for decades after it was discovered, held the title of being the third largest meteorite that had been found in the United States, and the largest one that had been found east of the Mississippi.

The 847-pound  iron meteorite was discovered in 1887, according to the Harrisburg Telegraph, and it was later reported by The Gettysburg Times in 1925 that the meteorite had been found by Jacob Snyder, who was digging a hole for a fruit tree on his farm when he encountered “a stubborn hard stone,” The identification was subsequently confirmed at Gettysburg College, and subsequently sent to the Smithsonian Institute.

The Gettysburg Times reported in 1946 that, upon being found, the first use of a portion of the meteorite was forged into a cornhusker (which was subsequently lost). Specimens “sliced” from the rock made their way into various museums, including the Museum of Natural History in Vienna, Austria.

Not all of the Mount Joy meteorite made its way into museums.

The Gettysburg Times reported in 1925 that “several souvenirs were made from it by J.J. Epley… and several pieces are still in the hands of (a) Mr. Rudisill,” and that a “good sized piece” was still in the possession of Snyder, and later sold.  Those specimens, apparently, have yet to be accounted for.

James Rada, Jr.

Winged bee slowly flies to beekeeper collect nectar on private apiary from live flowers, apiary consisting of village beekeeper, floret dust on bee legs, beekeeper for bees on background large apiary

As the weather warms up, you might start to hear a buzzing as bees emerge from their hives to seek out pollen to create honey. They have spent the winter in their hives, clustered together, using their body heat to maintain warmth. With the outflow of bees, you might also notice people who look like they’re wearing radiation suits.

Dan Harbaugh of Emmitsburg maintains 35 beehives. He decided to learn about beekeeping after he retired because he wanted a new challenge. He took a class in Westminster offered by the Carroll County Beekeepers Association. He now sells his raw honey (meaning it is strained but not heat treated) at the Harbaugh Farm Greenhouse and Produce in Sabillasville.

Beekeepers will often sell additional products, such as beeswax, propolis, pollen, and even bees and hives.

Beekeeping has roots that go back to ancient Egypt. Workers keeping bees can be seen on the walls of ancient Egyptian temples. They knew what modern beekeepers know. Not only can bees be a source of honey and wax, but having them around improves the pollination of plants and flowers nearby.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Bee pollination is responsible for $15 billion in added crop value, particularly for specialty crops such as almonds and other nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables. About one mouthful in three in the diet directly or indirectly benefits from honeybee pollination.”

“Honeybees are critical to our food chain, and I respect them deeply,” said Kelly Frye-Valerio of Emmitsburg.

While beekeeping is not expensive, there are set-up expenses beekeepers usually buy. These include hive supplies, an extractor, a smoker, and protective clothing. These add up to a few hundred dollars to get started, but it may be nearly all of your costs for years except for the cost of bottling the honey.

These initial costs are unlikely to be covered in the first year you have a hive because it takes time to get a healthy hive established. Once a bee hive is established, it doesn’t take much to care for them. Keep the hives in the sun and near a source of food. Once a week or so, beekeepers will check the hives to make sure there is enough room for the bees.

You don’t need a large area to keep a hive. Frye-Valerio lives in a subdivision.

“My husband and I are looking to transition in to more of a self-sustaining lifestyle,” she said. “Until we are able to find the right property, we are starting with what we can do right now on our quarter of an acre in a subdivision.”  They maintain four hives on their property.

Bees range for up to two miles in their search for pollen. They will collect pollen from whatever plants are in the area. The honey is usually identified by the plants the pollen is collected from, such as clover honey or orange blossom honey. Harbaugh calls the honey he collects wildflower honey because there are no identifiable flowers dominating the area where his bees collect their pollen to make honey.

The hives that beekeepers raise are actually boxes that are stacked on each other. The boxes are about 18 inches square and 6 inches high. Each box is open on the top and bottom to allow the bees to move from box to box. Within each box hangs a series of frames on which the bees can build their honeycombs. As the frames in one box fill up with comb and honey, additional boxes are stacked on top.

There are a few ways that beekeepers can start a hive.

They can buy bees and a queen and place them in a hive. They can capture a bee swarm, or as is often the case, they remove a hive from a house.

Beekeepers will also examine the bees in their hives for signs of disease on a regular basis. The big concern is the Varroa Mite, which needs to be kept under control to keep the hive healthy.

Beekeepers are also helping the world. Mites, parasites, and pesticides have reduced the bee population worldwide. They are needed, however, because they pollinate plants and allow things to grow. In the winter, bees weakened by a mite infestation may die, and if there aren’t enough bees to maintain the colony, it will collapse.

“The beekeeper needs to prepare, protect, or manipulate the hives to prevent these problems,” Harbaugh explained.

When the time comes to bottle honey, the frames from the hive are placed in an extractor, which is similar to a large centrifuge and spun. Honey is pulled out of the comb and falls to bottom of extractor, where it drains out a spigot into a bucket.

The result is a tasty treat that many people think has more flavor.

DID YOU KNOW? Here are 15 facts about bees you probably didn’t know.

        There are 20,000 bee species, worldwide.

        Bees are found on every continent except Antarctica.

        Honeybees have hairy eyes.

        Honeybees have five eyes: two large compound eyes with hexagonal facets and three   small simple eyes.

        The honeybee brain is sophisticated even though it is only the size of a grain of sugar.

        Some bee species, including honey bees, may have descended from wasps.

        All bees in a hive are aware of the presence of their queen bee. If she leaves, the entire colony knows within 15 minutes.

        Scent is very important to bees, and they are best at learning  new smells in the mornings.

        Bees cannot see the color red, but they can see the ultraviolet patterns in flowers, so they do visit red flowers.

Female bees can sting, but male bees cannot sting.

Bees have been trained as   bomb detectors and can detect hidden landmines.

Honeybees can be trained to detect illness in the human body.

Honeybees keep the inside temperature of their hives at    93° Fahrenheit.

Bees vibrate their bodies to create body heat to warm up the hive to 93°F if it is cold outside. Bees flap their wings like fans to create a breeze to cool the hive off to 93°F when it is hot outside.

Worker bees do the “waggle dance” to alert their hive sisters about where to find great new sources of water and nectar.

by Helen Xia, CHS Student Writer

Pi Day is an annual celebration of pi (π) that takes place on March 14. It’s a relatively new holiday, recognized as a national holiday in 2009. This notorious math symbol represents the ratio of any circle to that same circle’s diameter, which is approximately 3.14–why Pi Day is on March 14! This number, however, has no known end, so it’s an irrational number that continues forever, randomly. In fact, last year, Google Cloud broke the record for calculating the most digits of pi with 100 trillion digits.

Pi, sometimes referred to as “the most important number of the universe,” can be observed in all things involving curvature, rotation, or even matters with no obvious pattern. It’s a number that elegantly links the natural world together, regulating what seems to be beyond our control. For instance, it’s a number indispensable in engineering, since it deals closely with arcs, pillars, and other structures associated with diameter and circumference. Those who work in computer science may test the efficiency of a program by seeing how quickly it can calculate the endless number sequence of pi. Scientists working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) utilize this number to calculate the distance between stars via spherical trigonometry. The perimeter of The Great Pyramid of Giza—constructed about 4,500 years ago—divided by its height equates to 2π. That is only scratching the surface of the wonders of pi, and how a mysterious number could be behind so many of life’s processes.

While pi is relevant to a plethora of topics, you probably learned about it in your mathematics class. Math is the logical science of relative quantity, order, change, and relationships, which are all amalgamated to efficiently track, answer, and rationalize questions. Math’s reputation is often tarnished with labels such as “boring,” “tedious,” or “irrelevant,” but it deals directly with how different components of life—including you and me—interact with each other, so it’s far from irrelevant. However, “boring” and “tedious” are sometimes true—only sometimes, though. It’s also not as disliked as some may think; according to Gallup, 23 percent of teenagers in the United States name math as their favorite class in school, followed by science and social studies.

Math is dull for some, but for others, it’s a thrill to make sense of the world, so much so, that they make a career out of their love for this subject. In class, my teachers teach cheerfully and passionately, and I wanted to see how they—teachers of all subjects—personally view the beauty behind what they teach every day.

A common theme amongst the math teachers was that math satiated their mental hunger, similar to puzzles and riddles. “I love math because it is like a puzzle. I love all sorts of puzzles and, to me, math is just another type of puzzle to figure out,” my past math teacher explained.

“The cool feeling that comes when you get a solution that makes sense is a great [one].” Another teacher expounded upon the puzzle analogy, stating how “Sometimes, it’s very clear which pieces fit together and what your next step or steps may be. Other times, everything can be scattered, and it takes a lot of experimenting to figure out which pieces go where and how they all fit together. I love the feeling of solving something extremely complicated.”

Comparably, the quest for understanding holds true with teachers of all specializations. “As a life-long seeker of knowledge, I am very interested in English and math, but my love of reading from an early age has always made English more appealing to me, overall, than math,” my English professor responded. He had a very unique take on his aforementioned appreciation for math. “However, I have always loved music, and I notice and respect the mathematical foundation of music, which is very interesting and relevant. For example, the classic Pink Floyd song ‘Mother’ features a compelling, complex, interesting blend of time signatures, and this presented a challenge for the regular Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason, who ceded his percussion duties to session drummer Nick Porcaro. I am also very interested in numbers and statistics, as they relate to sports and literature; for example, the numerical precision of iambic pentameter. But English always wins, for me, compared to math, probably due to the power of stories that is inherent in English and history.”

The power hidden between the lines of literary works was echoed by another past teacher of mine, who replied, “I can learn something new every time I re-read a novel or have a discussion with students about a character, scene, etc. My perspective always changes, and I learn new things about the novel and myself.”

Interestingly, the science teachers I questioned both mentioned math in their answers–which makes sense, since “Science boils down to math applied to solve problems, model processes, or provide evidence,” as my biology teacher defined it. “I think one of the most important questions a teacher needs to be able to answer is ‘Why am I learning this?’ One of the big problems for students learning math, especially anything after algebra I or geometry, is that the material is too far removed from its application. Math seems too abstract to be of much use… If a student doesn’t pay attention in statistics or calculus, then biology, chemistry, and physics will never bloom into their full beauty.”

Similarly, my environmental science teacher described math and science as going “hand in hand.” She went on to say, “I love science. However, to me, science is something we can experience hands-on in our everyday lives, from what we eat to just walking outside. Science is in everything we do!” This may be combated by another math teacher, who explained, “Mathematics is used in some way in every person’s daily life. It may not be as explicit as solving equations or creating graphs, but mathematical modeling is a process that is used every day by everyone. Such data and observations provide statistics we can use to improve our community, well-being, and overall lives.”

An interesting question to ponder is whether math is invented or discovered. Some argue that math is, like any set of rules, manmade, and therefore invented. Others, on the other hand, claim that mathematics exists independently of humans and would have existed with or without us, making it a discovery and not something we created ourselves. What do you think? Philosophical questions like these may be difficult to answer, but they are excellent food for thought. Speaking of food, I think my pie is almost finished… (Not pi, because pi, an infinite number, is never finished!)


 Mayor John Kinnaird

With the last two weeks of February surprising us with amazing weather, I think we are all looking forward to the warmth of the spring and summer months.

Now is the time to plan to attend many of our amazing events in the coming year. Here is a listing of some of the events we have planned for this summer: 2023 Concerts in the Park at Memorial Park, Green Fest, Restaurant Week, Thurmont Business Showcase, Thurmont Farmers Market, Art and Wine Strolls, Plein Air, Colorfest, Gateway to the Cure, and Christmas in Thurmont.

Information on these and many other events are available at

Questions, comments, or suggestions? I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or [email protected].


Mayor Don Briggs

So many good things happened in February. One good thing is the town has been approved, for the tenth year, with Community Legacy Grant (CLG) funds for facade improvements of properties located in the historic area. This began when the state approved Emmitsburg as a Sustainable Community during my first year in office. A gauntlet lies ahead for property owners who choose to apply, including the Maryland Historic Trust approval. From humble beginnings, more formalized protocols have developed. Currently, after advertising the availability of funds, a committee of residents with both technical construction knowledge and community service resumes beyond reproach review the applications. All members of the committee have been approved by commissioners over the years for services to the community and some on more than one occasion. To date $455,000 in 50/50 grants have been dispersed, resulting in $988,000 in improvements. Thank you to the committee members for setting aside the time for this commitment.

Another good thing, on the first Friday of February, Conrad Weaver, my grandson Tyler Myles, and I attended the 17th Annual Ukrainian National Prayer Breakfast, held at Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. This is an event I have looked forward to attending after two Zoom meetings with Mayor Ihor Poishchuk of Emmitsburg’s Ukrainian Sister City Lutsk. We joined well over 300 people for a breakfast that featured a Ukrainian chorale in traditional dress; other recognized Ukrainian singers; Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant clergy, and Evangelicals. Also in attendance were three U. S. ambassadors, as many as six congressmen, one governor, and at least one mayor. More than 10 countries were represented, including Israel. To me, the most special attendees I had the opportunity to meet included Veteran soldiers, some bearing noticeably serious injuries from the ongoing defense against the invasion by Russia, and 10 children who lost their fathers in the war. They were touring the U.S. as part of a healing process program sponsored by a Ukrainian-American group, UKRHELP Foundation, based in Bellevue, Washington; Yurii Bezpiatko, member of our Sister City Lutsk City Council; and Ukrainian Ambassador to U.S., Oksana Serhiyivna Markarova. The ambassador may visit us in Emmitsburg.

The town council discussion on water rates was postponed until the March 13 town meeting. This will be the fifth time over the last year this topic has come before the council. There have been hours of discussions that included selecting a consultant to study water rates and reviewing the consultants’ findings. A lot of information is floating about, but the facts are that water rates were not raised during the last 12 years because the council approved raising sewer rates significantly twice during that time to accommodate the new $19.5-million sewer plant the town was required to build by the state. To note, if the commissioners come to an agreement on an increase in the water rate, only the water rate will increase, not the combination of water and sewer rate.

Another President’s Day has come and gone. Not much recognition attached to it any more it seems, just a day off as a part of a three-day weekend. The roots of the holiday are worth remembering. President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is on February 12, and President George Washington’s birthday is on February 22. These two were amazing people who rose from very humble beginnings to be presidents. Their lives are worth learning more about and not forgetting.

Ash Wednesday fell on February 22 and marked the beginning of a 40-day Lenten period that leads up to Easter, which falls on April 9 this year. It’s a good time to do things for those in our community who are more in need, starting with, perhaps, being more respectful.

Take care and enjoy the off-and-on days of sun and warmth as we get ready for all the many spring youth events.


Greetings to all! Our February 14 meeting was a busy, productive meeting.

The town commissioners and I went through the recommendations on an ordinance to allow chickens in town. Chickens are currently not permitted in town per the town code that was implemented in 1972. After several deliberations and changes, the vote was 3-1 to allow chickens in town. Yards less than one acre in size will be allowed up to five hens, and lots larger than an acre in size will be allowed up to 12 hens. No roosters will be allowed. This is the tentative approval. As per code, we are required to have a public hearing before amending the code. The public hearing meeting is scheduled for April 11 before our regular town meeting. At that point in time, unless the commissioners change their votes, the code change will be solidified, and all of the requirements will be codified. We will also be adding an additional code change proposal at the meeting, concerning residents’ grass height. The current code states grass can be 18 inches high. We will be proposing a change to a 9- or 12-inch height maximum.

Our planning and zoning committee sent the drawings back to the engineer for the site plan for our town hall building at their February meeting due to it not having enough green space up front to fit a sign and flagpoles. The engineer will have the revised plan back to P&Z for their March 6 meeting. If they approve it, then it will come to the town council at the March 14 meeting. If the commissioners approve the site plan, the next step is that it will be sent to the county for the permitting process to begin.

A reminder: Woodsboro has elections coming up on May 13. There will be two town commissioner seats up for election. To be eligible to run, you must be at least 18 years old and a resident within the town limits for a minimum of one year before the election. If you have an interest in running, please reach out to Mary in the town office.

We have started projects for grants that we have been approved for. Our three new flag poles have been installed at the Veterans Memorial where we will now be able to fly our American, Maryland, and Woodsboro flags all simultaneously on their own poles. In addition, construction will begin soon on the approved pavilion to be built in the upper side of the park by the disc golf course. I have also started the process of getting electricity run to the upper side of the park and will be working on getting the bathroom built up there as well. We were approved for a $214,000 grant for these projects so we will be beginning them soon. My goal is to have the electricity run before Woodsboro Days in October. In addition, we submitted a grant request to remodel the concession stand and upgrade the bathroom as well. We will have the answers for that when the governor’s FYI 2024 budget is approved.

 As always, I encourage everyone to support Glade Valley Community Services (GVCS) if you have clothes or food donations as they are always in need of items for members of the community. For more information, please contact GVCS by email at [email protected], or call 301-845-0213.

If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or by phone at 301-401-7164.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are at 6 p.m. on the first Monday of the month as needed. If you have an item for the agenda, it needs to be submitted 14 days before the P&Z meeting. The current location for meetings is the St. Johns United Church of Christ located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.


Town Issues Water Notice

The Town of Thurmont sent a health-advisory notice to residents on town water that the Maryland Department had detected elevated levels of PFOS/PFOA in water samples MDE tested. Although residents did not need to take corrective action, the notice did advise that people with “a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your healthcare providers about drinking this water.”

The chemicals have been used in products for decades and most people have been exposed to them. You can read the entire notice on the town website.

Town Recycling Center Will Close

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to close the Moser Road Recycling Center. Since Frederick County stopped running regional recycling centers, the Town of Thurmont started running it with a $10,000 annual contribution to the costs.

However, the cost of running the center has escalated, in large part because of the non-recyclable items and trash that have been left around the recycling bin. Another factor has been rising inflation and fuel costs that have increased the cost of the program.

In recent years, the market for recyclables had all but disappeared. Income from selling recyclables helped offset some of the costs of the program.

In Fiscal Year 2021, the total cost of the program was $11,480, and after the county contributed its portion, the final cost to Thurmont was $600. In Fiscal Year 2023, the expected program cost is $38,220, with the town expected to pay $28,220.

“It’s getting to the point where it’s costing us too much to host it,” Mayor John Kinnaird said during a town meeting.

Another Step Made on Thurmont Boulevard

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners agreed on an ordinance that, if approved, will allow the town to borrow up to $6 million to complete the Thurmont Boulevard project. This is a project that has been in the works for years without much having been done.

Although the ordinance would allow up to $6 million in debt for the project, the preliminary estimate currently is that it will cost $4.4 million.

The next step in the process is to hold a hearing on the ordinance. Following public input, the commissioners can approve, change, or disapprove the ordinance.

Commission Appointments

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners reappointed Kirby Delauter to serve on the Board of Appeals and Ed Hutson to serve on the Police Commission.

Police Station to Get Heat Pump Replacement

The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners voted to award Holtzople Heating and Air Conditioning $27,602.96 to replace one of the heat pumps at the police station. This pump is no longer functioning and beyond repair. The money will come from the town’s unrestricted fund balance.


Ritz Nearly Accuses Mayor of Ethics Violation

Commissioner Joseph Ritz, III, raised concerns of a “potential ethics violation” during the February Emmitsburg town meeting. In recent years, the town has received a matching Community Legacy Grant from the Maryland Historical Trust for $50,000. Because the grant is competitive, the town’s Sustainable Community Workgroup decides who is awarded grant money.

Ritz said because the mayor appointed all the members of the workgroup, it may be a conflict of interest for Briggs to apply for the grant. The mayor said he did nothing wrong and said it was a petty matter, pointing out his record, so far, of bringing $8 million in improvements to the town.

Ritz replied, “A perceived conflict of interest is not a petty matter. You never know what people are thinking. You never know what people may say. I don’t think that’s petty at all.”

The Frederick News Post reported that Briggs chose to avoid the possibility someone might think he had a conflict of interest and asked his wife to withdraw the matching grant application for $12,500.

Ritz also had concerns that the applications that had been left at the podium during a meeting for anyone to see were not completed as stated in the directions, and the workgroup meetings were not broadcast.

Town Benefits from Park Grants

The Town of Emmitsburg received a Community Parks and Playground grant for $146,263 to replace the old swing set and playground tower and install a half-basketball court at the Silo Hill Playground. The playground equipment and basketball hoop have been installed; once the weather is warmer, the concrete for the court will be poured.

The town received a Program Open Space grant of $6,000 (requiring a $2,000 match) to install two pairs of permanent concrete cornhole boards in Community Park. These will also be installed once the weather is warmer.

The town also received another POS grant for $8,250 (requiring a $2,750 match) for an outdoor storybook trail in Community Park. For this trail, 30 pedestal exhibits will be installed along the trail. The exhibits will hold exchangeable storybook pages to tell a story as the trail is followed. This project is being coordinated with the library.

The town received two Community Parks and Playground grants, totaling $120,686, for Memorial Park. The grants will pay for a playground addition and a half-basketball court.

Pump Station Change Order Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a change order from Rummel, Klepper and Kahl for work on the Creamery Road Pump Station replacement project. The amount of $251,660.75 will cover the need for full-time construction inspection services by a resident project representative. The original control only included part-time services. It also covers engineering construction administration and post-construction support.

Town Receives a Clean Audit

Michelle Mills and Addie Blickenstaff, CPAs with Deleon and Stang, presented the results of the annual independent audit of Emmitsburg’s financial statements for Fiscal Year 2022. They gave the town an unmodified or clean opinion, which is the highest rating that can be given. The auditors had no difficulties performing the audit or had any disagreements with the management.

Citizens Advisory Committee Appointments

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners appointed Shelia Pittinger, an out-of-town representative, to the Citizens Advisory Committee for a term running from February 6, 2023, to February 6, 2025, and Amber Phillips to the Citizens Advisory Committee for a term running February 6, 2023, to February 6, 2025.