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James Rada, Jr.

Note: Portions of this article are pulled from a series of articles The Catoctin Banner ran in 2014 about the history of newspapers in Northern Frederick County.

William R. “Bo” Cadle, Jr., died January 21, 2020, at the SpiriTrust Lutheran Village in Gettysburg with his wife, Jean, by his side. Although no longer living in Emmitsburg, the Cadles left their mark on how northern Frederick County receives its news.

The Cadles started the monthly Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch in 1993. You can still read old copies of the newspaper at www.emmitsburgchronicles.com.

“Volunteers helped us do all sorts of things. An unexpected and greatly appreciated alliance between people in the community (readers and merchants and the worker-bees) over the following months helped the paper to gain firmer footing,” Bo Cadle wrote in a 2002 editorial.

Bo was born October 10, 1931, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  He graduated from Frederick High School, received a degree in science from the University of Maryland, served two years in the Air Force and then earned his Master’s in Education. Although not a trained newspaper man, Bo had a desire to contribute to his town by keeping its residents informed of local news.

A couple years later, after he started his own paper, Bo encouraged Lori Zentz to get into the newspaper business. Chronicle Press had started the Catoctin Banner in 1994, but by 1995, Art Elder was looking to sell the paper. The Cadles already had the Regional Dispatch running, so they contacted Zentz about taking it over.

Zentz saw a need for local news in Thurmont. WTHU in Thurmont was publishing the Thurmont Times, but this was seen more as a coupon supplement than a newspaper. The Gazette published a Thurmont/Walkersville edition, but it, like the Frederick News Post focused more on happenings around Frederick. Meanwhile, the Regional Dispatch was primarily focused on Emmitsburg. The Catoctin Banner was eight pages when Zentz took over, and it grew steadily, at one point reaching 32 pages. Her goal was to create a paper that was about Thurmont.

Both the Banner and Dispatch continued operating independently, focusing mainly on their respective areas.

Cadle nicely described a community newspaper when he wrote in 2002, “As far as we know, there were few, if any national conversations, ever held, but the Dispatch chatted on. Writers, of less than national stature, but with their unique voice, kept us informed of what was going on in our churches, clubs, service organizations, and homes across the greater community. Local merchants and groups were willing to bend their bottom-line thinking and underwrote the Dispatch by placing ads or making donations to insure that the Dispatch was able to pay its way. Small-town journalism was taking root, not spectacularly but the entire community, the Dispatch’s extended family, was contributing and the paper became a household word.”

In 2002, the Cadles decided to pass on the Disptach to Raymond and Jennifer Buchheister. They changed the name to The Emmitsburg Dispatch, and eventually started publishing a sister publication, The Thurmont Dispatch. The Buchheisters published each newspaper twice a month. The Dispatch newspapers ceased publication in November 2008. Just a year before, Deb Abraham Spalding had taken over publishing The Catoctin Banner and also received helpful advise from the Cadles.

The Catoctin Banner continues publishing and living up to its name. It combines the news and events of the Catoctin region in much the same way some elements of both Emmitsburg and Thurmont have combined.

Although Bo is gone, we at The Catoctin Banner still remember his positive impact on our history, the history of our local newspapers, and the history of the greater Emmitsburg area.

On Saturday, March 21, 2020, Trinity United Church of Christ and the Thurmont Lions Club will be partnering together to provide a benefit breakfast for Luke Bradley (pictured right) to help the family with his medical expenses. Luke is the 10-year-old son of Tracey and Dan Bradley, and the grandson of Rick and Judy May of Thurmont and Edward and Shirley Bradley of Taneytown. The family has lived in the community for many years. Luke is a fifth-grader at Thurmont Elementary School.

Luke has been a fighting underdog from the start. He was born six weeks premature due to his mother suffering from pre-eclampsia late in her pregnancy.  He was delivered by emergency C-section and spent two months in the NICU at Frederick Memorial Hospital. During that time, he contracted an infection that delayed him from coming home.

During his first two years of life, Luke’s development was slow, and his parents started noticing that he was not reaching the normal milestones for a two-year-old.  After being examined by doctors, it was determined that Luke had Cerebral Palsy, which was likely caused by brain trauma at birth.  Cerebral Palsy can present itself in many different ways, depending on the part of the brain affected. In Luke’s case, the muscles in his legs contract, which makes it difficult and painful to walk. He wears leg braces to keep his feet flexed, and he also uses a walker to get around.  As he grows, these things need to be updated to accommodate his size. 

The condition has also manifested itself in the way of nerve damage to his eyes. Luke has undergone surgery to help improve this, be he still suffers from low vision and requires glasses to help improve his vision. A few years ago, he also began having seizures while sleeping, so he is on daily medication to help prevent this from happening.

Luke has had numerous surgeries over the years. He’s had several rounds of Botox injections into his leg muscles to help relax them, and he now has a Baclofen pump installed subcutaneously in his abdomen with a catheter that delivers medicine directly to his spine. 

In May of 2019, he had major surgery performed at Johns Hopkins in an attempt to straighten out his hips, knees, and ankles.  The tension from his muscles contracting tends to cause his legs to twist, so during the seven-hour surgery, they inserted many plates and screws to straighten his legs and make walking easier. After two weeks at Johns Hopkins, Luke was transferred to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital for six weeks of extensive therapy.  In the beginning, with casts and knee immobilizers on both legs, he was confined to his bed and a wheelchair. As therapy progressed, he eventually regained his mobility and was able to return home in July. During the rest of the summer, he worked to build up his stamina, in hopes of joining his fifth-grade class in September. This coming summer, he will be facing another surgery to remove the hardware they inserted, but recovery from this should be much easier.

Despite all of the challenges Luke faces in his life, he continues to be a very happy and upbeat 10-year-old. He has an overwhelming love of sports, especially football. He has great intuition for the game and has helped out with coaching and announcing for the local CYA football team. The coach loves having him on the sideline, and he is a great inspiration for the team. When he can’t be on the field, he hones his coaching skills by playing sports video games and watching plenty of games on TV.  He also enjoys woodworking, and his dad has set up a workbench in the basement just for Luke.  He especially enjoys building the prefab kits from Lowes.

Luke’s daily schedule is complicated, and often includes physical therapy and doctors’ visits. His parents and grandparents work together to provide for his needs while also including stimulating activities. Luke will live with these—and many more—challenges his entire life. It would be great if we, as a community, could come together to provide support for him and his family. 

So, please come out on Saturday, March 21, 2020, from 6:00-11:00 a.m., to Trinity UCC, located at 101 East Main Street in Thurmont. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast, sponsored by Trinity UCC and the Thurmont Lions Club. There will be an abundance of good food and community fellowship.                              

James Rada, Jr.

For anyone watching President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address on February 4, a face seen in the gallery might have easily been mistaken for Santa Claus. It was Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird. He attended the event as a guest of Congressman Jamie Raskin.

“It was the chance of a lifetime to do something I never thought I would do,” Kinnaird said.

Rankin called Kinnaird a week before the event and asked him, “What are you doing next Tuesday?”

When Kinnaird found out that he was being invited to the State of the Union, he was surprised, to say the least. For one thing, Kinnaird is a Republican, and Raskin is a Democrat. “I thought there’s got to be lots of other people more deserving than me,” Kinnaird said.

Kinnaird arrived at Raskin’s office in the Cannon House Office Building around 5;00 p.m. From there, he and Raskin went to a reception in the Rayburn Office Building, hosted by Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland. He had the opportunity to speak with several other U.S. representatives while there. He then traveled on the Congressional subway from the office building to the Capitol Building. He and Raskin visited the Rotunda and Statuary Hall. They then attended a reception at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office. “It was jam-packed,” Kinnaird said. “I saw the speaker, but it was only from a distance.”

He also had the opportunity to speak with Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser about issues both municipalities deal with.

He also saw several of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. One even remarked on the Scotland pin that Kinnaird was wearing on his sports coat. It led to a conversation with the man for several minutes. “It was exciting to be in the company of all these people and talk with some of them,” Kinnaird said.

He also wore his Maryland tie, which many people remarked upon.

From his gallery seat, he had an excellent view of the podium. He was speaking with someone when he turned to see First Lady Melania Trump entering the gallery. She sat about a half a dozen seats away from him.

He had the chance to speak briefly with Brig. Gen. Charles McGee and his great-grandson for a few minutes before the address.

While the gallery guests were mixed somewhat between supporters and non-supporters of the President, Kinnaird said it was very obvious on the floor who was a Democrat and who was Republican.

“It was electric being in that room,” Kinnaird said.

Because of his nearness to the First Lady, Kinnaird can be seen on some of the pictures and video of the gallery when guests were announced.

He said the entire experience was humbling, and he was glad he was able to be there to represent Thurmont.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird and Congressman Jamie Raskin at the U.S. Capitol.

James Rada, Jr.

Although Emmitsburg has not been receiving complaints about brown water lately, town staff is looking for ways to fix known problems with the water system, so they don’t cause future problems. However, the fixes could cost $5.3 million, so the town needs to find a way to pay for these fixes.

Emmitsburg Town Manager Cathy Willets updated the town commissioners on the work staff has been doing on the water system.

Water samples were taken from various homes and locations around town that had reported brown water. The samples were sent to the Maryland Department of the Environment to be tested for iron, manganese, lead and copper, bacteria, turbidity, and pH and chlorine levels. Willets hadn’t been sent the results by the February meeting.

New parts had been ordered to replace failing parts on the water line, and the pressure-reducing valve was adjusted to run smoother. This could help reduce brown water in the line. The town also purchased a new clarifier for the water treatment plant that would better deal with the raw water coming into the plant.

“Our treatment process is doing its job,” Willets said. “It’s treating the water, but the water, unfortunately, hasn’t changed over the last couple of months.”

The commissioners also approved replacing a portion of the town water line that runs under Waynesboro Pike. It will require boring and the installation of a new 6-inch HDPE line under the road. The cost for this work is $23,800.

When the weather warms up, a line break on Tract Road will be repaired for $6,800.

Town staff has also met with the Middletown Town Manager to discuss how Middletown handled a brown water problem in 2013. Middletown did pay for water filters for some residents who met certain criteria; to fix their problem, they used funding from the Department of Community Housing and Development.

The town’s short-term plan is to increase pH levels of the water by adding ortho-phosphate. This will reduce tuberculation (flaking) in the water lines. The pressure-reducing valves will be replaced, and an automatic chemical feed will be added.

It is in the long-term where things get expensive. The water lines with tuberculation need to be replaced. These include lines on North Seton Avenue ($1.1 million, not including engineering fees), Waynesboro Pike ($750,000, not including engineering fees), and DePaul Street ($1.1 million, not including engineering fees). Future infrastructure projects include a Creamery Road Pump Station (estimated $2.5 million), and a clarifier at the wastewater treatment plant (estimated $800,000).

The total for these projects is $5.3 million, and the water fund only has $439,000 in cash in it. Money can be borrowed from other town funds but would have to be paid back. However, if too large an amount is used from the town reserves, it could make the town ineligible for certain loans because of the town’s change in finances.

Emmitsburg could get a 30-year loan currently at 3.15 percent from DCHD to pay for the work. If approved, the town could have the funding in the spring. Another option is funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This would be a 40-year loan at 2.25 percent, currently. Also, if eligible, the town could qualify for up to a 75-percent grant with a rate as low as 1.625 percent.

The Maryland Department of the Environment might also be able to provide some grant relief. However, Willets said MDE told the town that because there is “no health concern,” no immediate action has been taken. This is because previous water tests have shown that despite the discoloration, tests are within acceptable levels.

The Lewistown Ruritan Club recently held the installation of the following officers by Lew Sherman, assistant governor for Zone 3: Randy Green—Director; Richard Rippeon—Director; Robert Thompson—Secretary; Lew Sherman—Assistant Governor for Zone 3; Odale Martin—Treasurer; Jim Brown—Vice President; and Greg Warner—President.

The Lewistown Ruritan Club was formed on August 16, 1960, and has been prominent in Lewistown since its inception. The Club has been a mainstay of economic support for many community activities. The money to fund these activities is raised by holding their famous chicken BBQs six times a year, from May through October. The location along U.S. Route 15 brings in many travelers, as well as the regulars.

The Club also provides scholarships to local high school graduates, funded by the annual golf tournament.

The Lewistown Ruritan Club meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at Lewistown United Methodist Church.  

To find out more about this active local Ruritan Club or to become a member, contact James Brown at 301-898-5270 or any club member.


Lewistown Ruritan Club’s installation of officers.

For the past three years, Nola Schildt and Evan Laird have organized a fundraiser to support the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter (CVAS).

This past year, they presented $363 and miscellaneous supplies to Jennifer and Mary during CVAS Christmas Open House on December 8, 2019.

While at the shelter, Nola and Evan visited all the animals and enjoyed Christmas goodies. The two are already working on next year’s fundraiser.

Evan is the son of Nathan and Carrie Laird of Thurmont. Nola is the daughter of BJ and Maureen Schildt of Emmitsburg.


Nola Schildt and Evan Laird (pictured center) present Jennifer and Mary of the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter $363, along with miscellaneous supplies, that they raised from their fundraiser.

There will be a Community Food and Clothing Giveaway on Thursday, February 6, 2020, at the Thurmont Middle School cafeteria, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Please park in the back parking lot by the gym. Come and check out the winter coats available. Please bring your own bags for food and clothing. Hosted by Thurmont Middle School and the Maryland Food Bank.

Dennis Ebaugh, Sr. (pictured left) is celebrating 40 years as the facilities manager at St. Joseph Parish in Emmitsburg on February 4, 2020.

Denny was hired as a young 25-year-old by Rev. Francis X. Quinn, C.M. During his career at St. Joseph’s, he worked for the Archdiocese of Baltimore and 12 Vincentian pastors. He is the sole worker of the complex, and his duties include the upkeep of the church, the rectory, the parish hall, as well as all the grounds, which includes mowing, snow removal, and the maintenance and cleaning of two cemeteries.

Denny has commented that among the many projects he has done over the years, he is most proud of overseeing the building of the St. Joseph Parish Hall, where he served as the junior project manager; the Hall was completed in 1991. He also served as the project manager for St. Joseph Church Restoration beginning in 2003 and was completed in 2006.
Denny and his wife, Elaine, are members of St. Joseph Parish, where they are still very active in their parish. Another proud moment for Denny was when he received the Medal of Honor in 2003, presented to him by Bishop Francis Malooly (his wife was very proud, too!). Denny expressed to his fellow parishioners, as well as his past and present bosses/pastors, a sincere “thank you” for the many years that he was able to work for the parish. He plans on retiring sometime this year.

The Emmitsburg Food Bank’s hours will change on February 1, 2020, to the following hours: Monday—7:00-8:00 p.m.; Wednesday—7:00-8:00 p.m.            Friday—10:00-11:00 a.m.; Saturday—10:00-11:00 a.m. The Emmitsburg Food Bank is located at 130 S. Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg.

James Rada, Jr.

On December 2, 2019, Emmitsburg residents celebrated its annual “Evening of Christmas Spirit,” sponsored by the Carriage House Inn, the Town of Emmitsburg, and the EBPA.

 The evening began with the lighting of the town Christmas tree at the Community Center. Before and after the illumination, youth choirs from Emmitsburg delighted attendees with their Christmas songs.

Following the short tree-lighting ceremony, the crowd moved down to the Carriage House Restaurant for the rest of the evening.

 A line of children quickly formed at the entrance of the restaurant to meet with Santa. Other children were inside in a dining room, making Christmas decorations.

Tina Ryder of Emmitsburg came with her niece, Vivienne Weiant, age six. It was Ryder’s first time attending. “It’s pretty cool. We really like the hayride,” Ryder said. “This is a good event. It gets all the kids to come out.”               

Outside, people could take a hayride or enjoy hot dogs, hot chocolate, and cookies. More food was upstairs in JoAnn’s Ballroom, as were the musical performances by area groups. Each year, around 800 hot dogs and 30 gallons of hot chocolate are served at the event.

Katelyn Mills of Thurmont was attending for her second time with Kristen Mills, age 10. Kristen said her favorite things about the evening were talking to Santa and taking the hayride.

Chris Fluke of Emmitsburg brought his children to the event. “This is a great event,” he said. “We really like riding around town on the hayride and seeing the lights.”

Ellie Fluke, age six, said she cried the first time she sat on Santa’s lap, but now she really likes coming to see him.

The Carriage House Inn sponsors the Evening of Christmas Spirit each year as a tribute to JoAnn Hance, who was the wife and mother of the Carriage House founders, Bob Hance and his father, Jim.

Local children dress up as angels for the Nativity scene at the Carriage House Inn during the annual An Evening of Christmas Spirit.

Everyone enjoys the musical entertainment in Joanne’s Ballroom at the Carriage House Inn during An Evening of Christmas Spirit.

Grace Eyler

Thurmont’s annual Christmas in Thurmont is a magical time each year for so many reasons, and this year was no different. The event was held on December 7, 2019, and people flooded the streets to bring holiday cheer and to celebrate the season of giving. From face painting to horse and carriage rides, to a Christmas Train Display and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, to the award-winning ESP Dance performance, a wonderful time was had by all.

Elle Smith, and her boys, Jack and Sam, enjoy the day out, along with their Aunt, Teresa Covell. Dylan Owen (back) enjoys chatting with families and educating kids about model trains.

Volunteer Wendy Martyak gives directions and maps to eager participants, Morgan Gipe, Grant Zimmerman, Autumn Long, and Mason Knott, who look forward to the festivities of Christmas in Thurmont!

From left, Wayne Stackhouse, Pam Fraley, Linda Davis, Lori Brown, and Peggy White take a quick break for a photo opportunity with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Looks like Guardian Vol. Hose Co. made it to the nice list!

Model train conductor, Ed Maldonado from Frederick County Society of Model Engineers kept his train busy on Saturday entertaining children and adults visiting during Christmas in Thurmont.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Don Briggs

Here we are again at the end of another year, which always seems to bring reflection on the pluses and minuses for the year. In the plus column is the Catoctin Cougars bringing home the State Division 1A Football Championship, with a convincing 31-8 win over Dunbar High of Baltimore. The win is a valuable time capsule for the community’s strong bond with the school, meshed with the hard work and sacrifices of the kids, the families, the administration, the teachers, and the coaches, win or lose. We are so fortunate to have a school that provides a safe and competitive environment for a wide range of sports to offer students, to balance out with their educational curriculum demands.

As a minus, still on the heels of absorbing the Zurgables Hardware closing, comes the announcement that at the end of this year, the Shamrock Restaurant will close. After 57 years of lore and Celtic traditions comes the loss of another sliver of the Northern Frederick County personality. Places where you could step back in time to another generation’s template, the family-owned businesses, and they are disappearing. These are not just businesses, they are people. We are now all in a hurry, a pace that pushes us to chains and franchises as substitutes. I know this is not a new paradigm. We have a few of these special places left up our way. Use them; they are exceptional. To remember, “For everything has a season; and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Eccl 3:1).

With the Fiscal Year 2020 Community Legacy Grants Award to Emmitsburg comes the milestone that we will have reached $1,000,000 in grant funds and matching owner investment into downtown properties. We have only been in this program six years. Remember, our downtown is the foyer of each of our homes and businesses.

As we enter the winter months, please be careful on the roads.

On behalf of the town commissioners, the town staff, and my family is a wish to all for a Happy New Year.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a safe and happy New Year. Here we are in 2020; where does the time go? The Town of Thurmont had an excellent year in 2019, and I am looking forward to 2020!

A big part of our duties as mayor and commissioners is to plan ahead for our future; you can play a role in planning our future by participating in the upcoming Thurmont Master Plan Update.

This year, the Thurmont Planning Commission will be updating the Thurmont Master Plan. The first chance to get involved in the process will be at a public workshop on Thursday, January 16, 2020, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at the Thurmont Municipal Office, located at 615 East Main Street.

Your participation in the process is important! Please join us on January 16 and help us better understand the needs of the Town of Thurmont and plan for its future. The Thurmont Master Plan guides the Town’s growth, development, and conservation, and has been updated almost every ten years since the 1970s. The Planning Commission is seeking your input.

1. What would Thurmont look like if you had the power to make it any way you wanted?

2. What would you preserve about the Town, and what would you change about it?

3. Imagine you are in a future generation of Town residents. Tell us what would impress you most about the vision of today’s citizen planners?

Beginning in the spring of 2020, as part of the plan update process, the Planning Commission will publicly study and consider petitions from property owners who seek to change the zoning classification of their property. If you are interested in seeking a new zoning classification for your property, as part of this comprehensive Master Plan and rezoning process, please contact the Town Office for an application. Applications for rezoning consideration will be accepted through March 15, 2020. Rezoning applications will not be accepted or discussed at the January 16 workshop. Please keep watch for additional information regarding the Thurmont Master Plan Update.

The towns of Emmitsburg and Thurmont are in the process of discussing the possibility of bringing limited, circulating bus service to our communities. We are working with Frederick County to iron out details for this proposal, and we will be discussing the plan during an upcoming Thurmont Town Meeting. If you are interested in seeing a form of public bus service come to Thurmont, please watch for information about the date of the public discussion and join in the discussion. The success of this proposal depends on community support!

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please contact me via email at jkinnaird@thurmont.com or by phone at 301-606-9458.

by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg

DECEMBER 2019 Meeting

Town Wants to Connect Rutter’s to Emmitsburg

The Town of Emmitsburg wants to ensure that the new Rutter’s store, being built on the east side of Rt. 15, is connected to the town via sidewalks. The sidewalks would allow truck drivers, parking overnight at the site, to be able to walk into town to shop and eat without having to walk on the roads. The town is pursuing a variety of ways to get this accomplished by negotiating with the property owners, talking to state representatives, and withholding planning commission approval.

New Wayside Exhibits Announced

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners recently viewed draft versions of the proposed 2020 wayside exhibits that will become part of the historical walking tour the town is developing. Ion Design and Grove Public Relations are developing the waysides using a FY2020 Maryland Heritage Areas Authority grant awarded to the town. The four waysides, portraying the Great Fire of 1863 (North East Quadrant of Town Square), Vigilant Hose Company, Chronicle Press building, and Carriage House Inn building, will cost $12,032.

Town Committee Appointments

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners made the following appointments to town committees: Glenn Blanchard to Parks and Recreation Committee (term ending December 3, 2021); Sandy Umbel to Parks and Recreation Committee (term ending December 3, 2021);     Steve Starliper to Parks and Recreation Committee (term ending December 3, 2021); Amanda Ryder to Parks and Recreation Committee (term ending December 3, 2021); Shannon Cool to Parks and Recreation Committee (term ending September 21, 2021); Dianne Walbrecker to Board of Appeals (term ending December 15, 2022).

Forest Conservation Plan Updated

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners voted to forward changes to their forest conservation plan to the planning commission for review and recommendations. The plan needs to be reviewed whenever the State of Maryland updates its forestry laws to make sure the town plan remains in compliance.

In a related move, the commissioners also forwarded recommended changes to the town’s buffer zone to the planning commission for review and recommendations.

Town Sells House

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a contract to sell the house at 140 South Seton Avenue for $165,000. The house is on a larger piece of property, and the town is only selling 9,906 square feet that include the house. Besides putting the house back on the tax rolls and relieving the town of landlord duties, the income from the sale will go towards paying off the amount the town owes for the entire property.

Thurmont

DECEMBER 2019 Meeting

State Plans to Demolish Frank Bentz Pond Dam

The Maryland Department of the Environment Dam Safety Division has deemed the Frank Bentz Pond dam unsafe. Perry Otwell, director of engineering and construction at the Department of Natural Resources, told the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners that the state is planning to demolish the dam, probably in 2022. The dam is over 100 years old and was initially used to provide hydroelectric power to the town. Although it hasn’t been used that way for many decades, the pond created by the dam is a popular fishing spot.

The state also plans to build a small park on the land if the Town of Thurmont agrees to maintain the park.

Town Receives a Clean Audit

Independent auditor Zelenkofske Axelrod, LLC, conducted the annual audit of Thurmont financial statements for Fiscal Year 2019 and 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 have any disagreements with the management.

New Board of Appeals Members Sworn In

Ken Oland was sworn in as a member of the Thurmont Board of Appeals, and Elliot Jones was sworn in as an alternate member of the Board of Appeals.

Town Planning Colorfest Workshop

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners are planning a workshop to figure out how to deal with the decreasing revenues from Colorfest. Although this year’s Colorfest was successful, the town provided its services at a small loss of $530. The commissioners were not so much concerned about the $530 as they were about the decreasing number of vendors, particularly the commercial food vendors that pay the highest permit fees. The commissioners also acknowledged that the $530 loss did not take into account donations to the town from Colorfest, Inc. or the town’s donation of some parking space to the Patty Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund. These more than makeup for the deficit.

Nola Schildt of Emmitsburg, celebrated her 8th birthday in September. Instead of having her guests bring her gifts, she asked them to bring donations for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter. Her “gifts” filled the back of the car! On October 12, she delivered dog and cat food, toys, leashes, collars, blankets, towels, and cleaning supplies to the shelter. Great job, Nola!

Nola is the daughter of BJ and Maureen Schildt.

by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg

Free Parking for the Holidays

The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved not charging for metered parking in town from December 13, 2019, to January 2, 2020. Because some people still put money in the meters during this time, any money collected will be donated to the Emmitsburg Food Bank (50 percent), Lions Club Community Day fireworks (25 percent), and the Friends of the Emmitsburg Library youth programs (25 percent).

Dunkin’ Donuts Moving Forward

A plan for a Dunkin’ Donuts on the site of the Silo Hill Car Wash has been conditionally approved by the Emmitsburg Planning Commission. The commission put 26 conditions on their plan approval.

According to Town Planner Zach Gulden, most of the conditions aren’t major and are generally small items that are in the town code but were missed when the plan was put together.

More Sewer Relining Approved

The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved having Mr. Rehab, Inc., of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to reline sections of the town’s sewer system to decrease incidents of inflow and infiltration. Mr. Rehab was the lowest price among three bidders, and the company relined the sewer lines on East Main Street earlier this year. Mr. Rehab is charging $35.35 per linear foot for 8-inch pipe and $37.80 per linear foot for 10-inch pipe, and the approval locks in this price for three years.

For 2020, the relining projects are West North Ave. through Creekside Dr. to the creek, and from behind the post office to behind the school at manhole 33. This portion of the project is expected to cost around $107,419, which will be paid from the town’s sewer fund.

Town Approves Social Media Management Policy

The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved a policy guiding how the town’s social media accounts are managed. The town website remains Emmitsburg’s primary means of digital communication, but the town also has Facebook and Twitter accounts.

A policy was needed because public officials and government bodies have been running into problems recently over what can be posted on their sites, who can be blocked, and what is considered a public document. The policy also includes an attachment that outlines what visitors to the town’s social media accounts can say in a posted comment.

Long Appointed to Sustainable Communities Board

The Emmitsburg Commissioners unanimously appointed Mark Long to the Sustainable Communities Board. He is also a current member of the Emmitsburg Planning Commission.

Thurmont

Don Ely is Volunteer of the Year

The Thurmont Lions Club announced its Thurmont Volunteer of the Year during a recent meeting of the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners. The club received five nominees who were selflessly serving the Thurmont community. They are: Renae Coolidge, Paul Echard, Don Ely, Kyra Fry, and Rachel Mosiychuk.

“It is people like our five nominees who keep our community strong,” said Julie El-Tahir with the Lions Club.

Ely was selected as the 2019 Volunteer of the Year for his work helping the Thurmont Food Bank. He received a Shamrock Restaurant gift certificate, his name on a plaque listing volunteers of the year, and designating where a $400 donation from the Lions Club will go. Eli chose to have the Thurmont Food Bank get the donation.

The Lions Club has been recognizing Thurmont’s Volunteer of the Year since 2006.

Commissioners Sworn In

Mayor John Kinnaird swore in Commissioners Wes Hamrick and Bill Buehrer to serve new terms on the Thurmont Board of Commissioners. Hamrick and Buehrer were re-elected on October 29. Thurmont’s voter turnout for its municipal election was 11 percent, with 531 people casting 1,022 ballots. These numbers include 14 absentee votes.

Hamrick thanked the other candidates who ran for election and added, “It’s a very humbling privilege to be up here.”

Buehrer echoed those comments and said, “I am disappointed that only 11 percent of the people that are registered to vote in this community thought it as worthwhile to come out that day.”

Town to Acquire Moser Road Property

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to purchase a 10-acre parcel next to the town’s wastewater treatment plant. The town will use Program Open Space fund for the $150,000 purchase. This property will allow the Thurmont Trolley Trail to be extended outside of the town to the south. The commissioners’ hope is that the trail can become a much larger trail, extending to Frederick.

Electric Department Purchasing a Wire Trailer

The Thurmont Electric Department will purchase a specialized trailer that allows town staff to make temporary aboveground connections during an electrical service outage. Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick told the commissioners that using the trailer allows the town to get customers’ service back quicker, while also allowing town staff to work on the problem in safer conditions.

The town received two bids for the trailer. It awarded the bid for the trailer to Comstar Supply in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, for $13,147. The cost of the wire for the trailer is $2,000. The town has allocated $23,000 for the trailer and wire, so the equipment is costing $7,853 under budget.

Town Sponsors Model Train Display

Thurmont is sponsoring a free model train display at 12 East Main Street in Thurmont every weekend through December 22. The display is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays. The Frederick County Society of Model Engineers and the Town of Thurmont are sponsoring the display.

Emmitsburg

Mayor Don Briggs

With a prompt from a timely spike of cold weather—perhaps, an awakening to the holiday season—and the closeout of the 2019 year, it’s a good time to look back at some of the things we did over the last year. 

•  With County Executive Jan Gardner, town staff, commissioners, Boy Scout Troop 727, arborists, and residents, we held our second Arbor Day tree planting (April). We planted along Willow Rill, where it crosses through the elementary school grounds.

•  With County Executive Gardner and the renewable energy-minded residents, we held the ribbon-cutting for the four electric vehicle charging stations (May). The stations are located at the town office/community center.

•  With town staff, we hosted three pool parties (June 21, July 12, August 16), drawing record attendance (for the whole season). The pleasant weather, food, Rita’s Ice, and new pool served as additional inducements.

•  With County Executive Gardner, the town held ribbon-cuttings for the first set of three wayside exhibits: the Doughboy, Emmit House, and town square (June). Next year, we’ll be adding exhibits for the Great Emmitsburg Fire, Vigilant Hose Company, Chronicle Press, and the Carriage House Inn.

•  Completion of replacing lighting in all town-owned buildings with LED lights. More energy efficiency, more savings.

•  Another spectacular Heritage Day (June).

•  The town purchased an electric powered vehicle (June), saving money.

•  The town hosted a shred event for paper, electronic recyclables, and old paint (June).

•  With Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, the town hosted National Night Out, featuring a SWAT vehicle, K-9 demonstration, and petting zoo (August). Over 500 attended.

•  Boys and Girls Club has come to Emmitsburg Elementary School (September).

•  County Executive Gardner and Frederick County Fire Rescue Museum officers attended a ribbon-cutting for William Cochran glass etching (October).

•  Construction of the disc golf course in Community Park began (October). Completion is scheduled for the spring 2020.

•  With County Executive Gardner, town staff, and commissioners, a ribbon-cutting was held for new all-accessible playground in Community Park (November). 

•  Hope you didn’t miss the EBPA-sponsored Turkey Trot run/walk Thanksgiving morning (November). So timely. A good way to bank some calorie-burn for the cascade of calories awaiting you later that day.

Not to mention:

• The town was awarded Tree City USA certification.

• The town was honored to receive the People Loving and Nurturing Trees (PLANT) award.

• The pool house interior renovation is planned to commence (waiting on contract from contractor).

• Proclamation—recognizing Francis Smith as the town of Emmitsburg Poet Laureate (August).

• Proclamation—Frederick County Goes Purple (September 2019); we decorated the town purple and had staff wear shirts.

• Proclamation—Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October).

At The Catoctin Banner deadline, Catoctin Cougars just blasted Brunswick to move on into the football playoffs. Keep it up Cougars!

Hoping everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Don’t forget our food bank.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving; time passes so quickly, it will soon be Christmas.

I want to invite you to join us on Saturday, December 7, 2019, for Christmas in Thurmont. The day’s event will be held at the Guardian Hose Company Fire Station at 21 North Church Street. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fire truck at 9:00 a.m. to start the day. Kids can stop by throughout the day and enter their names for the prize drawing. Adults can pick up a stamp map to visit businesses for a chance to win prizes. There will be free photos with Santa from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and Santa will be reading a story at the Thurmont Regional Library at 1:00 p.m. The Gateway Brass Ensemble will be performing from 8:45-9:15 a.m. The CHS Jazz Band will be playing sounds of the season at 4:00 p.m., and the ESP Dance Studio will perform at 4:45 p.m. There will be horse and carriage rides on December 7; call the town office at 301-271-7313 for reservations.

The Frederick County Society of Model Engineers will be hosting the Second Annual Model Train Display at 12 East Main Street, starting at 10:00 a.m. on December 7. The Thurmont Lions Club Christmas Tree will be dedicated at 4:45 p.m., and prize drawings will begin at 5:00 p.m. Refreshments will be provided by the Guardian Hose Company throughout the day. This will be a fun day for everyone!

The Frederick County Society of Model Engineers train display will be open to the public on Wednesday evening, December 11 (up to Christmas), from 5:00-8:00 p.m.; Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; and Sundays from 12:00-4:00 p.m. Our thanks to the FCSME and Acacia Lodge No.155 AF & AM for sponsoring this wonderful event. This is an amazing train display, and kids of all ages will enjoy visiting.

November 30 is Small Business Saturday. Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and provide a great local source for the services and products we all need and use daily, as well as provide local employment opportunities for our residents. I encourage you to shop local every time you can; our local restaurants and stores are owned by our neighbors and they return a lot of value to our community. Join the national Shop Local celebration by shopping locally on Saturday, November 30, and let our local businesses know that we support them!

As you may know, the Town of Thurmont recently made a $21,000 donation to the Patty Hurwitz Breast Cancer Awareness Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital. This is the fifth year our residents and businesses have joined forces to support this vital effort. This year’s donation brings our five-year total to over $80,000! This year, we held several public events, including a Zumbathon, Golf Classic, our Annual 5K, a Pumpkin Decorating Contest, and the pink light bulb sales. Over forty local businesses participated in this year’s event, and countless residents helped by making direct donations or by visiting supporting businesses. I would like to express my personal gratitude to the members of the Team United U-13 Soccer Team for raising $4,000 by winning all their soccer matches in October. The kids from Team United, all our residents and businesses helped us realize this amazing milestone and are true Thurmont Heroes!

As always, I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or by email at jkinnaird@thurmont.com.

The 63rd Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show continues to give back to our local communities by making a $575 donation to each of the Thurmont and Emmitsburg Food Banks. 

These donations were made possible by contributions from the following areas of the Community Show: the Silver Offering, a free-will collection taken during the show, and the sale of both the Youth and Junior Department Champion Cakes during the annual Baked Goods Auction. 

This year, the Youth Department’s Champion Cake was a Carrot Cake baked by Jessica Martin of Thurmont, which was purchased by Thurmont’s Mountain Gate Family Restaurant for $800. The Youth Department is for ages 11-18.  

The Junior Department’s Champion Cake was a Sour Cream Pound Cake baked by Madison Ott of Thurmont and purchased by John and Maggie Doll, also of Thurmont, for $225. The Junior Department is for ages 10 and under.

The Community Show committee, officers, and countless volunteers thank all the baked goods buyers and everyone who contributed to the Silver Offering. The generosity of the Community Show’s attendees, the local businesses, and the citizens make these donations possible to both the Thurmont and Emmitsburg Food Banks.  

Pictured from left are John and Nancy Wine, food bank volunteers and Thurmont Grange members; Jessica Martin, Youth Dept. Champion Cake baker; Harold Bollinger, food bank volunteer; Pastor Sally Joyner Giffin, food bank coordinator; Laura Robeson, food bank volunteer; Sue Keilholtz, Community Show Youth Dept. chairperson; Rodman Myers, Community  Show committee president; Stephanie Ott, Community Show Junior Dept. chairperson; and Owen Ott (representing his sister, Madison Ott), Junior Dept. Champion Cake baker. 

Thanks to Gateway To The Cure business participants’ donations, along with events held throughout the year, the Town of Thurmont was able to present Patty Hurwitz with a check for $21,000 at the November 19, 2019, town meeting.

A few businesses came out to talk about their promotion/donation at the check presentation: Catoctin Veterinary Clinic, Gateway Orthodontics, Emmitsburg News Journal, Roy Rogers, and the CYA Soccer Club. It was a night to shine for the Town of Thurmont, to show how great the businesses, residents, volunteers, and CYA Soccer Club really are, and how a community comes together each year for this incredible campaign. All proceeds from Gateway To The Cure are donated to the FMH Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund.

Fundraiser participants proudly presented a check for $21,000 to the Patty Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at a Thurmont Town meeting in November.

Emmitsburg’s accessible playground ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Saturday, November 2, 2019. The ribbon was cut by Mayor Don Briggs with Commissioner Tim O’Donnell, Catoctin Area Civitan’s Ginger Malone, Commissioner T.J. Burns, Commissioner Cliff Sweeney, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, and Frederick County Councilman Michael Blue. This new playground will allow children of all abilities to play side-by-side for years to come.

Donors for this project include the Department of Housing and Community Development, Department of Natural Resource (Program Open Space), and the Catoctin Area Civitan Club.

During the annual Catoctin Colorfest, Inc. banquet at Simply Asia in Thurmont on November 18, 2019, Carol Robertson, president of Catoctin Colorfest, Inc., reported that the weather during the annual Colorfest event, held in October, was the “best ever!” The sunny, calm, temperate weekend resulted in record numbers in attendance, sales, smooth operations, and favorable public opinion.

Statistics to note include that The Thurmont Ambulance Company sold almost 11,000 apple dumplings, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church sold 490 crab cake sandwiches. Catoctin Colorfest, Inc. had 237 food and craft vendors that produced $14,290 in permit revenue for the town.

It was with happiness that Carol presented $20,308.17 to various community organizations who support the event. The Guardian Hose Company: $1,500; Thurmont Ambulance Company: $1,500 and two vendor spaces; Thurmont Police Department: $1,500; Catoctin High FFA Scholarship Hog: $1,650; Catoctin High School Student Scholarships: $4,500; Town of Thurmont garden supplies: $168.17; Commissioners of Thurmont: $5,000; Gift Cards $100; Thurmont Food Bank: 220 meal baskets worth $3,500; a bereavement basket: $150; Christmas decorations for Mechanic’s Town Park: $100; and family Christmas meals: $150.

Recognition was observed in the memory of John Brown, a founder of Catoctin Colorfest and past president, who passed this past July. Carol recalled that he would tumble gems for sale during the early events before opening his jewelry business in Thurmont.

The 57th Catoctin Colorfest, Inc. event will be held October 10-11, 2020.Members of the Colorfest, Inc. Board of Directors and representatives of recipient agencies (from left): Jeff Wood (Catoctin Colorfest), Jim Humerick (Town of Thurmont and Thurmont Ambulance Co.), Mary Edwards, Frank Taylor, Mike Ancarrow, Carol Robertson, Nancy Mooney, Ted Zimmerman, and Cathy Maverick (Catoctin Colorfest), Harold Bollinger and Sally Joyner-Giffin (Thurmont Food Bank), Wayne Stackhouse (Guardian Hose Company), and John Kinnaird (Town of Thurmont).

The Emmitsburg Food Bank and the Catoctin Pregnancy Center held an Open House on November 9, 2019, for the public to see their newly relocated facilities. They are grateful for all the people in town who came forward to make this happen. Phyllis Kelly recognized these people that afternoon.

David Swomley and Ronnie Wivell came to her when they retired from their dry wall business, Entrepreneur Ventures, in July and offered their location for rent. It was perfect for both the food bank and pregnancy center’s needs. Next, the Masons came forward and said that they could help build the room they need for the clients to get their food. Ron Cool and Mike Lovejoy offered to take on that project; within two weeks, the room was finished. Eric Glass offered to remove the many shelves his company had made for the food bank many years ago and reinstall them at the new location. He sent Dale Hilbert and Chris Gephart to reinstall the shelves. Finally, Knights of Columbus came to move the large items, such as the freezers and refrigerator, and all the food that had been packed in boxes by many volunteers the week before. It all went smoothly, and Phyllis Kelly “is grateful to all those that helped.”

Boy Scouts Troop 727 from Emmitsburg collected 1,001 items for the newly relocated Emmitsburg Food Bank. Doug Lowe is the troop leader. The food bank would like to thank the scouts and the community for all their contributions.

Frederick County Fire & Rescue Museum

The Frederick County Fire & Rescue Museum will have a special holiday open house in conjunction with the “Museums by Candlelight,” being held throughout Frederick County, on December 14, 2019, from 12:00-7:00 p.m. The museum will have many artifacts from every fire company in Frederick County. The museum features the “Old Lady” hand pumper of the United Fire Company and United Volunteer Fire Company of Libertytown, as well as the ornate 1893 hose carriage “Romeo,” owned by the Independent Hose Co. No. 1 of Frederick. The newest addition to the museum is the magnificent William Cochran glass etching “Volunteers” on display in front of the museum. The museum will stay open until 7:00 p.m. to afford visitors an opportunity to see this beautiful art, brightly lighted during evening hours.

The open house will also feature a visit from the North Pole Fire Chief. Fire prevention and life-safety materials will be available for adults, as well as fire helmets and fire safety coloring books for the kids. Again this year, the museum will also serve as a drop-off point for Toys for Tots during the special museum hours on December 14.

The Frederick County Fire & Rescue Museum is located at 300B South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg and will be open from on December 14, from 12:00-7:00 p.m., for this special holiday treat. 

Pictured is the lighted William Cochran etching “Volunteers,” located in front of the Frederick County Fire & Rescue Museum, 300B South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg.

On October 22, 2019, the Thurmont Lions Club celebrated its 90th Anniversary on its Charter Night, held at Shamrock Restaurant. SVDG Charlie Croft presented to the club a certificate from District Governor Evan Gillett in recognition of its 90 years of service. Past International Directors Ted Reiver and Richard Liebon greeted the audience. 

SVDG Croft presented an International President’s Certificate of Appreciation to Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird for all he does for the Thurmont Lions Club and the Thurmont community. 

Mayor Kinnaird presented two proclamations to the club: one from the Town of Thurmont and the other from the State of Maryland. A great honor!

Lion Dianne McLean received  a Melvin Jones Fellow, and Lion Doug Favorite received a Life Membership.

In addition, four chevron members were recognized: Lions Joyce Anthony and George Bolling (20 years) and Lions Joann Miller and Kim Grimm (10 years). The committee recognized the past presidents and those members with 30-plus years of service.

The necrology service remembered Lions Cindy Wantz, John Hart, and John Brown.

Lion Dianne McLean receives a Melvin Jones Fellow: (from left) Lion Joyce Anthony, Lion Dianne McLean, PDG Paul Cannada.

Lion Doug Favorite receives a Life Membership: (from left) President Joyce Anthony, Lion Doug Favorite, 2nd VDG Charlie Croft.

International President’s Certificate of Appreciation is presented to Mayor John Kinnaird of Thurmont: (from left) Lion Joyce Anthony, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird, PID Richard Liebno.

Camille Kime (pictured above), with Karaoke Buddies, was a recent guest speaker for the Thurmont Lions Club.

Karaoke Buddies is an all-volunteer organization that provides individuals with disabilities a safe social setting to gather with their friends to dine, sing, dance, and not be judged by anyone. Camille’s disabled granddaughter, Taylor, likes to do all of those activities, so Camille started Karaoke Buddies in 2010. She developed the idea after she saw Taylor come out of her shell while singing karaoke.

Karaoke Buddies is a monthly get-together that fills the First Baptist Church of Frederick gymnasium with nearly 500 people. The last Friday of every month, the event includes a free hot meal, a disc jockey’s entertainment, and karaoke to people of all ages with a variety of disabilities.

The cost for food and supplies comes to about $1,000 a month. Camille is always out in the public fundraising. She has many volunteers who show up each month to help with the logistics. Everything is free to the individuals with disabilities. The hours and money it takes could make one question how she keeps going—she gives so much financially, as well as in labor, support, and love.

Camille said, “My parents taught me to love these children who are God’s special chosen ones. I have loved them all my life, especially my granddaughter, Taylor. My heart bursts with love for her.” 

For additional information, please visit the Thurmont Lions Club website at www.thurmontlionsclub.com or call 240-288-8748.

Thurmont Lions Club’s first September meeting fell on the 9/11 anniversary. Its guest speaker was Cindy McGrew, who talked about Operation Second Chance (OSC). 

OSC began in 2004 and is a 501(c)(3) organization, composed of patriotic citizens committed to serving its wounded, injured, and ill combat Veterans.  OSC supports Veterans and their families while they recover in military hospitals, building relationships and identifying and supporting immediate needs and interests. OSC is dedicated to promoting public awareness of the many sacrifices made by our Armed Forces. Their goal is to provide support for the soldiers and marines while they are at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and then to further assist them when they transition either back to duty or back to civilian life.

Cindy McGrew decided to leverage her business knowledge to provide some much needed financial relief to the families of American service members injured in combat. For the past 14 years, the non-profit organization she started has provided financial assistance and cold hard cash for everything from rent to groceries, to childcare, to mortgage payments, and even fishing trips. OSC is a national organization with chapters in Montana, Colorado, Texas, New York, Florida, and many other states. By the end of the summer, OSC has provided six million dollars in cold hard cash.