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The Thurmont Lions Club will be hosting two Northern Frederick County Candidates Forums in October for the upcoming elections. On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at the Thurmont Middle School, a candidates forum will feature those running for the County Council District 5 and County Council At Large seats.

On Wednesday, October 17, also at 7:00 p.m. at the Thurmont Middle School, the Northern Frederick County Candidates Forum will showcase the candidates running for the County Executive and House of Representatives 8th District seats.

This Northern Frederick County Candidates Forum series will highlight those issues that are important to our area, allowing the candidates to present their views and allowing the constituents of our area to get to know the candidates so that they can make informed decisions on Election Day. The Thurmont Lions Club does not endorse any one candidate for office, but rather presents an opportunity for our communities to know who is seeking to represent them in our local and national governments.

Catoctin High School will host various activities all school year to commemorate the school’s 50th anniversary. Anniversary activities are planned for Catoctin’s Homecoming on October 5, 2018. Before the homecoming football game, an anniversary parade will be held; a reception will be held in the cafeteria at the high school before the game. During the reception, alumni can snack, socialize, and tour the school. Committee members are looking for memorabilia from the last fifty years that can be photographed, scanned, and/or displayed in the school for the 2018-2019 school year. In addition, families where multiple generations have graduated from CHS, please visit to find out how to contribute to this celebration this school year!

The CHS Student Government Association and CHS Sports Boosters will host activities to commemorate the anniversary throughout the year. Stay tuned for details.

Emmitsburg residents, we need your help! Please join Emmitsburg for the third Emmitsburg Volunteer Community Clean-Up Day on Saturday, September 8, 2018, from 9:00 a.m.-noon. Volunteers will pick up and dispose of loose trash and litter from the parks, roads, and alleys in the downtown Emmitsburg area. Meet at Memorial Park (just behind the Post Office) at 8:15 a.m. for a light breakfast and to organize into teams. Plastic bags, gloves, and garbage pokers will be provided. Cleanup begins east of Seton Avenue on both the north and south sides of Main Street, working towards the Silo Hill/Main Street intersection (where the Jubilee shopping center is located).

We had great first and second Clean-Up Days. Thanks to all the volunteers who picked up well over 100 pounds of trash and litter. This is simple hands-on work that needs to be done to help keep Emmitsburg a beautiful community. If you have a passion for your community and a little extra time on September 8, please come out for the third Emmitsburg Volunteer Community Clean-Up Day.


James Rada, Jr.

Thurmont got its day before the camera as Good Day DC on FOX 5 in Washington, D.C., spent the morning of July 13, 2018, filming in town. The hosts and crew of the television show traveled to Thurmont and broadcasted from various locations around the town from 6:00-11:00 a.m.

“Our whole purpose in participating was to expose Thurmont and north county to millions of viewers,” said Vickie Grinder, economic development manager for Thurmont.

To be considered for one of the “zip trips,” Grinder had to submit a portfolio of information about Thurmont to FOX 5 last year. It included a list of events, history of the town, places to visit, and much more.

“It was a lot, but as a town, we had all these great things to show them,” explained Grinder.

The announcement of the 15 trips was made in May. One location is visited each Friday during the summer. Grinder said that to the best of her knowledge, Thurmont is the smallest town that the crew has visited. “Thurmont shined just as much, if not more than those larger places.”

Zip Trips showcase local restaurants, schools, and businesses. They interview members of the community who come out to watch the broadcast and host lots of activities.

Hosts Tucker Barnes, Maureen Umeh, and Annie Yu set up their central location at the open field next to PNC Bank on East Main Street.

Some of the other locations and people featured were:  Mechanicstown Park; Gateway Brass Ensemble, directed by Morris Blake;  Linda Elower, ESP dance director; Timeless Trends; Eyler Family Stables; Cunningham Falls State Park; Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler; Mayor John Kinnaird; Josh Bollinger, Bollinger’s Family Restaurant; Tony Testa, Rocky’s Pizza; Cindy Grimes, J&B Real Estate; Thurmont Little League coaches and players; and Sam Feng, owner of Simply Asia.

Kinnaird was quizzed on Thurmont trivia, although he was given the questions and answers ahead of time.

“I think I would have scored 100 percent even without the answers,” stated Kinnaird.

The eventual hope of Grinder and Kinnaird is that people will see the segments about Thurmont and decide to visit. The afternoon of the broadcast, Grinder heard that someone had seen the show and visited Eyler Family Stables Flea Market, which was included in a list of the five stops that visitors need to make while in Thurmont. Grinder also said that during the weekend after the broadcast she received five emails requesting more information about the town.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird poses with FOX 5 Good Day DC’s Annie Yu and Maureen Umeh at the filming in Thurmont on the morning of July 13, 2018.

Photo Courtesy of

The 62nd Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show will be held at Catoctin High School, located at 14745 Sabillasville Road in Thurmont, on September 7-9, 2018.  All events, activities, and entertainment are free.

Free entry of exhibits will take place on Thursday evening, September 6, from 6:00-9:00 p.m., and on Friday, September 7, from 8:30-11:30 a.m., in the new gymnasium and in the Ag Center. Judging will begin at 12:30 p.m. Commercial exhibits may be entered on Friday, September 7, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The show will open to the public at 6:00 p.m.

On Friday night, September 7, the opening ceremonies will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium, where the 2018-2019 Catoctin FFA Chapter Ambassador will be announced. In addition, this year’s program will feature the 42nd Annual Community Flag Ceremony and honor Catoctin High School’s 50th anniversary. At 8:15 p.m., the annual Baked Goods Auction will begin immediately following the program, with the Grand Champion Cake, Pie, and Bread sold at 9:00 p.m. Buyers are welcome to purchase baked good items to support the Community Show and many local organizations.

On Saturday, September 8, the Community Show is open from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.  Activities include a Market Goat, Beef, Sheep and Swine Fitting & Showing Contest in the Ag Center, from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. In the front lawn of the school at 10:00 a.m., there will be a Pet Care Seminar by Dr. Jonathan Bramson of the Catoctin Veterinary Clinic, immediately followed by the Pet Show at 10:30 a.m. A petting zoo, farm animals, and pony rides will also be held on Saturday and Sunday in the upper parking lot area, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

The Thurmont Academy of Self Defense will present a martial arts program in the small gymnasium at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, and the Elower-Sicilia Productions Dance Program will have a 3:00 p.m. program in the auditorium.

The Thurmont Grange will serve its turkey and country ham supper in the school cafeteria, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. on Saturday night, September 8. Prices are: $13.00 for adults and $7.00 for ages under twelve. Carryouts are $14.00. In the auditorium at 4:30 p.m., an Open Mic Showcase of Talent by local teen performers will be held. At 6:00 p.m., the Catoctin Mountain Boys will feature musical entertainment. At 7:00 p.m., the Taylor Brown’s Elvis Tribute Show will be held.

On Saturday night, the 44th Annual Catoctin FFA Alumni Beef, Sheep & Swine Sale will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Ag Center, selling approximately 8 goats, 22 swine, 10 sheep, and 9 beef steers. Buyers are welcome and encouraged to attend.

On Sunday, September 9, activities begin at 9:00 a.m. with the Dairy Goat Show, followed by the Dairy Cattle Show.

At noon on Sunday, the Catoctin FFA Alumni Chicken Bar-B-Que will be held in the cafeteria. Prices are: $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for ages under twelve. Carryouts are $11.00. A Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull will be held at 12:30 p.m. in the Ag Center area.

In the auditorium, the Catoctin Mountain Boys will feature musical entertainment at 12:30 p.m., and the Taylor Brown’s Elvis Tribute Show will be held at 1:30 p.m. The 35th Annual Catoctin Mountain Log Sawing Contest will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the Ag Center, with classes for adults and children. The 39th Annual Robert Kaas Horseshoe Pitching Contest will begin at 1:00 p.m. on the softball field behind the school.

Exhibits must be removed on Sunday, September 9, from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Any exhibits not removed may be picked up from the school’s Agriculture Center on Tuesday, September 11, from 9:00 a.m.-noon.

By early August, the Community Show booklets can be found in local Thurmont and Emmitsburg area businesses. New residents of the community are urged to enter exhibits—and it is free to enter—and be a part of the Community Show, the largest in the State of Maryland. Please note rule and class changes to Dept. 12’s Arts, Painting & Drawing and Dept. 13’s Arts & Crafts Departments, as well as minor changes to several departments this year. Departments include: Fresh Fruits, Fresh Vegetables, Home Products Display, Canned Fruits, Canned Vegetables, Jellies & Preserves, Pickles, Meats, Baked Products, Sewing & Needlework, Flowers & Plants, Arts, Paintings & Drawings, Crafts, Photography, Corn, Small Grains and Seeds, Eggs, Nuts, Poultry & Livestock, Dairy, Goats, Hay, Junior Department and Youth Department.

Please visit the Community Show’s website for the entry exhibit list, schedule of events, and more information at:

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show is sponsored by the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin FFA Alumni, Maryland State Grange, and the Maryland State Agricultural Fair Board.


The Optimist Club of Frederick held it’s ninth annual Fish with a Cop program on Saturday, June 9, 2018, at the Camp Airy pond in Thurmont.  There were twenty-seven boys and girls from across Frederick County that took part in the program. There were twenty-eight officers from the Sheriff’s Department, Maryland State Police, Frederick City Police, Brunswick Police, Thurmont Police, and the Natural Resource Police that participated in the program.

The officers picked up the children from their homes and transported them to the pond. They were then given a Zebco combo rod and reel, along with tackle from the Optimist Club. The officers worked with the kids on developing their fishing skills, along with developing a better relationship with law enforcement. When the fishing was done, the Optimist Club held a cookout and fish fry for the children and officers. The officers then took the children back home.

The following sponsors contributed to this program: Safeway Foods, Wegman’s, Weis, Giant Eagle, The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock for stocking the pond with trout, Camp Airy for use of their pond, Camp Airy Director Tim Olson for all of his assistance, Zebco for the fishing equipment, and Frederick County elementary schools. Because of these sponsors and policemen who volunteered their time, the children had a very memorable experience. The Optimist Club hopes that in a small way this connected the children in a positive way with law enforcement. Thanks again to all who helped with this program.

Pictured from left are: (first row) Damien Latenser, Nadeem Barry, Kenner Lopez, Kevin Gomez, Cameron Sweeting, Rekhai Snowden, Olivia Herrman, Brett Balderson, Austin Balderson, Kiley Quill, Liam Chalmers, Leroy Rambert, Cody Wilfong, Club President Earl Gamber, District Governor Bill Stone; (second row) Det. Jeff Putman, OFC. Scott Pyon, TFC. Jonathan Deater, Ofc. Sara Evans, Cpt. Dwight Sommers, STR. Nicholas Farioli, Cpl. Josh White,  Sgt. Paul Schur, MT. Matthew Crouse, Sgt. Todd Hill, Tr. Kyle Knowles, Cpl. Joshua Keeney, OFC McKenzie Divelbiss; (third row) Gavin Hasenei, Skyler Shoemaker, Marques Swaizer, Cole Stitely, Nathaniel Springer, Branson Strouth, Elizabeth Chang Mi Milam, Tylique Fletcher, Domingo Martinex; (fourth row) Cpl. Chad Adkins, O’Shay Rambeert, DFC. Samantha Foland, DFC. Nicholas Constantine, DFC. Ira Redman, Ret. Maj. Gary Morton, Cpl. Tim Duhan, Cpl. Jacquelyn Drukenis, OFC. Keith Donovan, Dep. Tyler Conaway, Antony Brown, DFC. Shayne Virts, DFC. Brian Stocks, Tr. Kyle Knowles, DFC. Gary Biser, Explorer Takin Abbasian, Explorer Addison White, William Smith, Darrin Frey, DFC. Sean Vanderwall. Not pictured: Lindsay Levine, senior associate advisor to the Sheriff’s Expolrers.

Jack Walker

Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day epitomizes the town’s spirit and aims to bring the community together for a day of fun and celebration. Entering its thirty-seventh year this past June, it continues to encourage community involvement and to energize neighborly pride.

On June 30, 2018, the schedule for Community Day was set, with many activities and choices of friendly competitions, ranging from games and contests to running races to riding bikes. The day started with breakfast at the Vigilant Hose Company, which was followed by a 6K run. Games and contests followed, with the greased pig chase, tug-o-war, sack races, and watermelon and pie eating contests.

Cliff Sweeney, representing the Emmitsburg Lions Club said, “The Community Swimming Pool was free to the public for swimming all day. The concession stand at the pool was open for the first time in twenty years, thanks to the efforts of members of the Emmitsburg Lions Club and the Boy Scouts.”

The biking events, coordinated by Emmitsburg commissioner and avid mountain-biker Tim O’Donnell, served to engage the public with a sport that perfectly fits the topographic mold of the Catoctin Mountain area. The biking events included a thirty-mile, ten-mile, five-mile, one-mile, and a children’s bike rodeo. O’Donnell has deep-rooted ties to the mountain biking innerworkings of the Emmitsburg area, developing the mountain bike trails at Rainbow Lake. He also organized sessions to teach the public about the “expectations of coaching,” with spokespeople from the Maryland League of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. Coaches train mountain bikers to compete in races, a fundamental step in the success of competitive mountain bikers.

O’ Donnell’s daughter, Tara, took attendance for the incoming bikers and assisted in some bike rides, including the children’s bike rodeo. Tara described the bike programs and Heritage Day as “community-oriented” and “fun,” bringing people together to celebrate what shapes the community. The efforts of the O’ Donnells in promoting mountain biking throughout the Emmitsburg area continue to have positive impact on the community, combining athletics and interaction with the unique landscape and environment our region has to offer.

The day continued with other activities, including Bingo, an art exhibit, wagon rides, musical performances by the likes of Home Comfort Bluegrass Band and Ray Owens, as well as assorted contests. A beer garden was held at the baseball field. An art contest exhibit was held at the Emmitsburg Branch Library for Emmitsburg-area students in first through eighth grades under the theme “Freedom is…”; Civil War wagon tours ran for two hours and showcased the rich history of the town. The Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day Parade featured local firefighters, baton throwers, scouts, and politicians, many of whom threw candy along the street to spectators. To finish off the night, an expansive and beautiful firework show was displayed across the night sky.

Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day continues to unite the community and bring people together for a day of summer fun.

Winners of the contests this year are the following: for the greased pig chase—Caeli Miravelle (ages 1-6), Austin Welch (ages 7-11), CJ Upchurch (ages 12-16), and John Mark Miravelle (ages 17 and up); for the singles sack race—Noah Leibensperger, 1st place, Keane Burns, 2nd place (ages 1-4), Addison Welch, 1st place, Savannah Phebus, 2nd place (ages 5-8), Joshua Hahn, 1st place, Madison Ball, 2nd place (ages 9-12), Michael DiJulio, 1st place, Matthias Buchheister, 2nd place (ages 13-16), TJ Burns, 1st place, and Jack McCarthy, 2nd place (ages 17 and up);

for the doubles sack race—Noah Leibensperger and Keane Burns, 1st place (ages 1-4), Addison Welch and Savannah Phebus, 1st place, Tierney Burns and Bridgett Ball, 2nd place (ages 5-8), Tessa McKenzie and Samantha Orndorff, 1st place, Joshua and Wesley Hahn, 2nd place (ages 9-12), Meara and Caeley McVearry, 1st place, Matthew and Joseph Horil, 2nd place (ages 13-16), Danial and Jack McCarthy, 1st place, and Abby McCarthy and Will Hibbert, 2nd place (ages 17 and up);

For the egg toss—Deandre and Adrianne Phebus, 1st place, and Denise and Bob Maddox, 2nd place.

For the water balloon toss—Kim and Dale Shields, 1st place, and Abby McCarthy and Will Hibbert, 2nd place.

For the pie eating contest—Jameson Ebaugh, 1st place, Emmaus Vera, 2nd place (ages 4 and under), Cecilia Love, 1st place, Grady Abruzzese, 2nd place (ages 5-8), Thomas Love, 1st place, Meara McVearry, 2nd place (ages 9-12), John Lane, 1st place, Jean Pembroke and CJ Upchurch, 2nd place (ages 13-16), Jack McCarthy, 1st place, and Theresa Buccheit, 2nd place (ages 17 and up).

For the watermelon eating contest—Keane Burns, 1st place, Landon Dodson, 2nd place (ages 4 and under), Sophia Legare, 1st place, Cecilia Love, 2nd place (ages 5-8), Meara McVearry, 1st place (ages 9-12), Jacob Ebaugh, 1st place (ages 13-16), Dennis Ebaugh, 1st place, and Jack McCarthy and Will Hibbert, 2nd place (ages 17 and up).

(left) Caeli Miravelle (ages 1-6 group) wins first place in the greased pig chase.

(right) Men ride horseback down the streets of Emmitsburg during the parade.

Austin and Addison Welch proudly show their awards won at Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day.

Rev. Bob Kells

The last day of school is always filled with excitement for the students of Sabillasville Elementary School, as they prepare to head out for their summer break. For the past four years, several local churches have made this an extra special time by bringing the children books to read over the summer.

It started in 2015 when I joined the school’s volunteer program, along with several members from Weller UMC in Thurmont where I am the pastor. Volunteers at Sabillasville work with the children for an hour or more each week. We help them with reading and math, and whatever other tasks the teachers have for them. The work is personally fulfilling for the volunteers and is fun for the children, who look forward to working with the adults.

In the spring of 2015, I was volunteering with the kindergarten class. Summer was approaching and, as their teacher shared with me, summer is a time when the children are at risk of losing ground in many of the skills they developed during the year. Reading is one of those skills. I also learned some of the children do not have many books to read at home. That last piece of information got me thinking that this was something the church could help with.

After talking it over with Sabillasville Elementary School Principal Kate Kreitz, I asked our Missions Team to organize a book drive for the kindergarten class. The Thurmont Lions Club, which I joined the year before, has as one of its missions to promote literacy.  The Lions Club pitched in and donated book bags. The response was tremendous. We collected enough books that first year that each kindergartner got to take home seven books.

After the first year, the book drive grew to cover the entire school. We got some additional support from Deerfield UMC in Sabillasville, who agreed to cover the kindergarten books, while two other churches from nearby Rocky Ridge joined in to collect books for the other grades. Once again, the results were impressive. On the last day of school, each of the 120 children received a Lions Club book bag and three books of their choice.

The school book drive is fast becoming an annual tradition for these churches and the school they support.  This year, all of the children received three or four books; pencils and stickers; a book bag; and a card from the churches, wishing them a good summer and “Happy Reading!”

Not only is the book drive helping with the school, but Deerfield UMC has begun hosting a luncheon for the teachers and staff at Sabillasville at the start of the school year. “It’s a great time for the teachers to relax, to unwind, and to just socialize before classes start,” said Deerfield’s pastor, Ray Dudley.

The teachers help to shape the lives of the children to make the world a better place. By serving a luncheon, Deerfield shares the love of Jesus in the community.

The book drive and the teachers’ luncheon are just two ways local churches can give to the community. Both keep the churches engaged with their communities, and both contribute to the education of the children.

The children are the focus of these efforts. My hope and prayer is that they receive more than just the books. My hope and prayer is they’ll remember that in addition to their teachers and administrators, they have local churches that love them with the love of Jesus and want to see them to succeed—in school and in life.

Pictured from left: (standing) Pastor Ray Dudley (Deerfield UMC), Pastor Bob Kells (Weller UMC), Par Alexander, Henry Alexander, Joan Staub, Jim Monroe; (kneeling at table) SES Principal Kate Krietz; and four Sabillasville Elementary students.


James Rada, Jr.

It only took Dr. Alan Carroll a week to realize Emmitsburg was the place where he wanted to live and raise a family. When he died on May 17, 2018, he had resided in Emmitsburg for more than forty years, raised his family of seven, and become a part of the town.

Alan initially thought he would be a priest. He entered a seminary program and attended Loyola University in Chicago. Sometime during his years there, he began thinking life had another path for him to walk.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, but then spent another year taking science classes so that he could apply to medical schools. He was accepted at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Before he left for Maryland, though, he met and fell in love with Rita. The two were married in 1969.

He graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1974 and completed a residency in Family Medicine there in 1977. Part of the third year of his residency involved his working with a doctor in private practice for two months, or two doctors for one month each.

He was recommended to Dr. George Morningstar in Emmitsburg, and Alan planned on working with him for one month before moving onto another doctor.

“After Alan had worked with George for a week, he came home and said, ‘I hope I can work with him for two months. It’s really wonderful there,’” recalled Rita Carroll.

Dr. Morningstar allowed Alan to work with him for two months and then invited him to join his practice. When the Carrolls moved to Emmitsburg, they had to get used to living in a small town.

“The day we moved up here in July, there were no street lights on South Seton,” Rita remembered. She also remembers the town being very dark and quiet at night.

Because of his work with Dr. Morningstar, Alan had already started to fit in.

“Alan had already met a lot of George’s patients, and he really liked them,” Rita said.

They rented a house on South Seton for four years, but then had to move when their growing family became too cramped in the house. They moved out to Keysville Road for a while, and when Dr. Morningstar died in 1988, Alan purchased the doctor’s home and practice. This meant there was minimal disruption for the patients.

Alan enjoyed his work. He liked working with the sisters in the nursing home across the street from his practice, and he liked living in a small town where he got to know everyone.

“His dad was in the Air Force, and they moved around a lot when he was younger,” Rita said. “He was looking for a quiet, good place to raise his family and do his work. He thought he found it here.”

After serving Emmitsburg for forty years, Alan closed his practice in mid-February. Rita said that he felt that it was time to close, and the changing nature of medicine and insurance made it unlikely that a single doctor would want to take over the practice.

He died on May 17 at the age of seventy-one. He left behind his wife and seven children: Sarah, John, Eric, Brendan, Peter, Amelia, and Ruth.

Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs called Alan a “wonderful doctor for our town.” He said during the June town meeting that Alan had served many generations of residents in town. “It means so much when you lose a person like that.”

Dr. Alan Carroll, served Emmitsburg for forty years and loved every minute of it.

Theresa Dardanell

Thurmont Regional Library Administrator Erin Dingle (pictured right) has lots of things to keep her busy after her retirement. She is looking forward to spending time with her family—babysitting her two grandsons, who live in Silver Spring, and attending sporting and school events with her two grandsons in Baltimore. She also plans to travel farther than Maryland, as she attempts to continue her goal of visiting all fifty states. Her passions include reading and gardening, which she will enjoy while her already-retired husband plays golf.

Dingle is also working on a research project about the Maryland State Sanitorium in Sabillasville, which opened in 1908. Because her father worked there, she grew up on the grounds of the facility. Her research includes original documents and oral histories from nurses and patients. The future of the research project might be a book one day.

Dingle started working at the Thurmont Library in 1987, when it was located on Water Street.  At that time, she lived near the library and walked to work for the evening shift. She reintroduced the children’s storytimes, as well as other programs.  When Margaret Bruchey Krone retired as branch manager, Dingle was promoted. She earned her Master of Library Science degree and became the regional library administrator when the new library opened on Moser Road in 2008.  When looking back over the last thirty years, she’s seen lots of changes: the card catalog was replaced by the computer system, the new library has a literacy corner in the children’s area, there is now a beautiful deck for everyone to enjoy nature, as well as study rooms, artwork on display, and an agricultural history room.  Many community programs have been added over the years; Dingle always looked for ways to increase community involvement, but she also gives credit to her “fabulous” staff for coming up with ideas and implementing them. She will miss the staff and the patrons who have become her friends. “I’ve loved every minute surrounded by books. It was just the perfect job for me.”

I asked Mayor John Kinnaird about Dingle’s contribution to the community. He replied, “Somewhere, there are everyday, run-of-the-mill librarians, but not here in Thurmont! Erin Dingle has played an important and integral part of the lives of the residents of Thurmont since taking her position thirty years ago. In the course of her career, Erin has been the only librarian many of the last two or so generations of youngsters have known. I drive by the library regularly and am always surprised to see how many people are there at any time of the day or evening. Under Erin’s leadership, the Thurmont Regional Library has become a central part of life for residents in and around Thurmont, with many well-attended programs and events suitable for all ages. The Thurmont Regional Library is recognized as one of the best libraries in the state; this recognition is due, in large part, to the efforts of Erin Dingle. Thurmont has benefited from having an outstanding librarian these past thirty years, and on behalf of the residents of Thurmont, I want to wish Erin a happy, healthy, and long retirement.”

James Rada, Jr.

Eliza Phillips took one last look around the Emmitsburg pool on May 26, 2018, and then climbed onto her lifeguard stand and blew her whistle to signal the new Emmitsburg pool was open. Her father, Hamblin, was the first person to jump in.

“The water’s not even cold,” he smiled. “This is nice.”

He explained that the water used to be cold because there was always a hose running into it to keep it filled since the old pool constantly leaked.

He was soon joined by adults and children who waded in from the shallow end or jumped off the diving board. Summer had arrived.

The Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners had decided last year to replace the pool after a pressure test showed that it could not be repaired. Also, the beams beneath the pool were damaged and needed to be replaced. Over the pool’s forty-five-year life, no significant work had been done on it. Because of the work being done to restore the pool, it was not open last year.

Although the new pool’s official grand opening was June 2, it actually opened for use on May 26.

Besides a new pool, the pool house has a fresh coat of paint and the pavilion was treated to remove the bees. The parking lot was repaved and repainted. The new pool’s depths range from one foot to ten feet. The new pool is expected to be less expensive to run, primarily because water and chemicals won’t be leaking from the pool.

“I’m impressed with the parking lot,” Phillips commented. “You used to come close to bottoming out your car.”

RSV Pools is managing the pool. The company is also introducing its SWIMSAFE Program, designed to help identify unsupervised “non-swimmers.”

This year marks Eliza’s third year working at a pool. She began her first year as a gate guard for the Emmitsburg pool. This is her first year as a lifeguard. Eliza said that compared to her first year at the Emmitsburg pool, the new pool looks cleaner and won’t have as many issues.

“This is so much nicer than other pools,” Eliza said.

The pool will be open through Labor Day, noon until 7:00 p.m.

For more information, please call the Town of Emmitsburg at 301-600-6303 or email

The Fuse Teen Center isn’t actually a “center.” It will be a transient teen center,  comprised of a group of parents and concerned citizens hoping to provide activities for teens in the Thurmont area. Fuse is based on Christian principles; however, it is not affiliated with any particular church.

The founder of Fuse, Susan Crone, had been long considering how to provide a group for teens. As a response to several events in which teens were lost to suicide or overdose, Susan decided it was time to step out in faith. In February of this year, a group was formed, a core group of members were identified, and a mission statement was accepted by the core. The group originally called themselves “Abandon,” but after a reorganization of the core, Fuse was born.

Crone has been a teacher in Frederick County Public Schools for thirty years. “I have worked with many students touched by the death of a friend or a loved one who is struggling with depression or addiction. The number of my actual students who have died is so sad to me. I have to do something. I can’t just sit by anymore and let ‘no’ be the answer anymore. If Fuse fails, we lose nothing but our time. But if we do nothing, we fail for sure—and the cost is our teens. Someone has to do something, so I’m doing it,” stated Crone.

Other members of the Fuse team include Buddy Summers, Carly Crone (high school teen rep.), Liz Yingling, Emily Little, Thomas Treat (middle school teen rep.), Bryan Riffle, Rachel Hubbard, the members of RJ’s Lasting Strength Foundation, Doug Mongold, and many others.

The goal of Fuse is to build relationships—relationships between teens, relationships between teens and adults. So many relationships today are made and maintained over social media. Fuse hopes to give teens the opportunity to meet face-to-face in a positive envirnoment.

Fuse hosted its first event on May 5, 2018: a Cinco de Mayo-themed evening of games, talking, and tacos. Taco Bell and Food Lion provided donations for a spectacular buffet. A visit from “Tessa” the guinea pig made the evening complete. Fuse welcomed eighteen teens, thirteen volunteers, and another ten adults who came along for the ride. The event was held at Trinity United Church of Christ in Thurmont. Fuse extends its gratitude to the church for its willingness to take a chance on the group.

Fuse’s second event was a “School’s Out” picnic, held at Thurmont Community Park on Saturday, June 16, 2018. Fuse greeted the start of summer vacation with twelve teens and nine volunteers, along with many adults who stopped in to see how things were going.

The biggest undertaking for Fuse has been the negotiation with Trinity United Church of Christ in Thurmont to offer a “coffee house,” meeting twice a week through the summer, from 6:00-8:30 p.m.—one night for middle school teens and one night for high school teens. Two rooms of the church will be used to allow teens to gather for food, fun, and “Fuse-ing!” All teens are welcome.

Fuse Teen Center has joined RJ’s Lasting Foundation. RJ’s Lasting Strength Foundation, Inc” is a 501c(3) non-profit whose mission is to combat the heroin epidemic in Frederick County by spreading awareness and educating the community on the disease of addiction and overdose deaths. Fuse Teen Center activities fit in with its prevention goals. Fuse has also partnered with the Thurmont Addictions Commission under its prevention pillar, which is chaired by Mike Randall. These partnerships will allow Fuse to be visible to more people.

Fuse does not have funding. At this point, it is operating on the generosity of places like Food Lion, Taco Bell, Mountain Gate Restuarant, Shuff’s Meat Market, and friends and family. Donations of snack items are greatly appreciated. Monetary donations would also be appreciated and can be made out to RJ’s Lasting Strength Foundation – Fuse Teen Center. Monetary donations will be used to fund items that teens at the center request. Currently, teens have requested a projector to show movies and games on the wall, and a bowling game!

For this venture to prosper, Fuse is eager to have volunteers who are willing to commit to at least one night this summer. If someone would like to volunteer or donate, please contact Susan Crone at 301-676-1183, at , or at

Have you ever noticed the amount of trash that is strewn along Emmitsburg’s streets, alleys, sidewalks, and parks? Some of this loose trash can be attributed to wind storms blowing trash, waste, and recyclable items out of garbage cans, dumpsters, and recycle bins. Unfortunately, some of it is the result of littering. The Town of Emmitsburg would like your help cleaning it up. The litter is not only unsightly and unsanitary, but it can also be hazardous to humans and pets. The town has agreed to sponsor a Volunteer Community Clean-Up Day to help remove loose litter, paper products, plastic containers, bottles, cans, and so forth, throughout Emmitsburg. The town is planning to have these Community Clean-Up Days on the second Saturday of each month, beginning in July and running through October.

The town will supply the garbage bags and tools as necessary, but will be relying upon enthusiastic volunteers to help collect the trash, so it can be disposed of properly. The town will be divided into numbered sections, cleaning one section of the town each month. Depending on levels of participation, the volunteers will work in different parts of the same section, in groups of five to ten, under a team leader who will coordinate with the other team leaders. Team leaders will carry first aid, cleaning supplies, and water bottles. Volunteers will meet at a designated location within the section, where they will be assigned to a team leader and given clean-up supplies. Although team leaders will have a limited number of spare gloves available, volunteers should plan on bringing their own gloves. Team leaders will help remove the full garbage bags and drop them at a central location in each section, where the town will pick them up. The town will take before and after pictures of the sections to help promote the Community Clean-Up Day project, as well as group pictures of all the volunteers to help recognize their hard work. A light breakfast will be provided and bottled water will be supplied for all volunteers, beginning at 8:15 a.m. Team leaders will assemble their volunteers to begin working at about 9:00 a.m., finishing at noon.

The Town of Emmitsburg is hoping to have a great turn out to help clean up and beautify the community.

On Sunday, June 24, 2018, the Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) proudly placed into service its new “Ambulance 69” (A-69) with Amber Zimmerman and Chad Zimmerman running the call. A-69 replaces a unit that was over eleven years old. VHC Chief Umbel stated, “At a cost of over a quarter million dollars, the vision to begin setting aside funds for the new ambulance goes to the former officers and members of the former Ambulance Company who started the process of saving for a new ambulance several years ago.”

During this past year, the joint merger of the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company into the Vigilant Hose Company took place. Months of planning and coordination between the organizations and partner agencies allowed for the full process to be effective at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2018.

Following its arrival here, it took just over six weeks to get A-69 fully outfitted with all its life saving equipment, including radios and a range of items needed to obtain a ‘Seal of Excellence’ designation from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) and, very importantly, training response personnel to be familiar with the various technologies utilized onboard the unit.

Chief Umbel added, “Mounted on a Ford F-550 Chassis, the new ‘Type 1’ ambulance was manufactured by Road Rescue of Winter Park/Orlando, Florida, whose local dealer Atlantic Emergency Solutions of Manassas, Virginia, was very responsive to our particular community’s needs.” The cost of new A-69 exceeded over a quarter million dollars. One key feature is the Stryker Brand ‘Power-LOAD’ powered cot loading and fastener system improves patient and First Responder safety by supporting the cot throughout the loading, unloading, and transportation processes.

During the recent May 23rd ‘EMS Open House” event, held in recognition of National Emergency Medical Services Week, the new unit drew great interest from visitors, just as it has since its arrival. On behalf of the Town of Emmitsburg, Mayor Don Briggs presented VHC with a $6,000 check to help offset costs of EMS delivery locally.

A permanent plaque will soon be affixed to the unit, dedicating A-69 to all members of the former Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company who worked so hard to raise funds that allowed for the purchase and outfitting of equipment being carried. Those who have yet to see the new A-69 will get the opportunity to do so during Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day on Saturday, June 30, which begins with Breakfast at the Fire Station on West Main Street.

Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs (standing, center) presents a $6,000 check to VHC President Frank Davis; looking on is ‘Sparkey,’ Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, and VHC Auxiliary President Tina Ryder; kneeling are members of VHC’s EMS Committee, Jim Click, Chad Zimmerman, Amber Zimmerman, Alyssa Cool, and Dave Stonesifer.