Currently viewing the category: "Featured Articles"

James Rada, Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As the town grew, factories began building in town.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by James Rada, Jr.


Residents Having Trouble With Mount Students

A group of Emmitsburg residents spoke to the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners during their June meeting about the continuing problems they are having with unruly Mount St. Mary’s students. Some students party too hard and create disturbances in town, including urinating on private property, breaking fences, exposing themselves to residents, and driving through closed alleys to get onto Main Street.

“They are treating Emmitsburg like a frat house and frat row,” Paul McKinley said.

Wayne Green, Mount St. Mary’s vice president and chief of staff, pointed out that the problems are being caused by a handful of students.

“I’m sorry to all of you that had to put up with that,” Green said.

To have any impact on the problem, the town and university would need to continue open communications about it. Green also urged the residents to communicate directly with him to get a quicker response to problems when they arise.

The town and university will work to develop a plan during the summer that can be instituted when the new school year starts in the fall.


New Planner Hired

As Emmitsburg Town Planner Sue Cipperly plans her retirement, the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners approved her replacement.

Zach Gulden was approved by the commissioners during their June meeting. He is one of thirty-eight people who applied for the position, and one of three who were interviewed by Town Manager Cathy Willets and Mayor Don Briggs.

Gulden is currently the Freedom Township manager and Upper Allen Township planner. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

He will start in his new position in July, allowing some overlap between his start and Cipperly’s retirement so that she can get him up to speed on the on-going projects. His annual salary is $55,303.88.


Town Cleanup Day Approved

The Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners approved a plan by resident Wayne Slaughter to hold the first Volunteer Community Cleanup Day in Emmitsburg on July 14. This initial cleanup will focus on the parks and community west of Seton Avenue.

Slaughter will also present a plan to create a botanical garden and walk within one of the town parks. The area he has in mind will have to be cleared of an invasive vine species and then replanted with native plants.

The commissioners said that they would be interested in hearing more about his idea.


Salary Schedule Approved

The Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners approved the town employee salary chart for the upcoming year. They also approved changes to when employees can receive their accrued benefits when they leave employment with the town. Employees will have to give two weeks’ notice when they leave to be eligible to receive the accrued benefits.


Town to Get Electric Car Charging Stations

The Town of Emmitsburg will receive a grant from the Electric Vehicle Institute that will fund four charging stations. The stations will be placed in the rear parking lot at the Town Community Center.

The town was required to sign a five-year agreement with the Electric Vehicle Institute. The stations will not cost the town anything. Electric consumption used by the charging station will be paid for by the driver charging the vehicle.

The commissioners also had to approve an addendum to their lease with Frederick County, which is the owner of the community center. The addendum change allows the charging stations to be installed.


Catoctin Heights Gets LED Streetlights

The Town of Thurmont has installed LED streetlights in Catoctin Heights. The lights were paid for with a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration. The lights will help reduce the town’s energy costs as the town moves toward becoming greens and sustainable.

Senior Center and Food Bank for CDBG Grants
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners are seeking a Community Development Block Grant to purchase a digital messaging sign for the Thurmont Senior Citizens Center and interior upgrades to the Thurmont Food Bank, including the air conditioning system.

Thurmont Approves Budget with 2-cent Property Tax Increase
The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved their Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget with a 2-cent increase to the property tax rate. The new tax rate is 30.41 cents per $100 of assessed value. With this increase, the budget is expected to have a $91,320 surplus of revenues over expenditures.
During the discussions, Commissioner Marty Burns had heated discussions with the other commissioners and Mayor John Kinnaird over past financial errors, funding for the Thurmont Addictions Commission, employee health costs, and employee raises.
“There are a lot of good things in this budget, but I don’t feel comfortable supporting any tax increase because we haven’t sat down and analyzed exactly what happened from three years ago to where we are today,” Burns said.
The tax increase passed 3-1, with Burns voting in opposition.
The $3.8 million general fund budget also passed 3-1, with Burns voting in opposition.

Remember to Maintain Your Property
The Thurmont Police Department released a message to the community that town ordinance forbids blowing cut grass, weeds, and leaves into town streets and gutters.
If yard waste is blown into a street, it must be removed within four hours. Yard waste also cannot be thrown into a storm sewer. Violators of this ordinance can be fined $50.



Mayor Don Briggs

The passing of beloved community family doctor, Dr. Alan Carroll, was a deep loss to our community. His practice of forty years is a part of tradition, part of our history. He was such a humble man, whose smile always beat his hand to greet you. It seemed I would always meet him going somewhere, mostly on his way to church. He was a wonderful husband and father of seven children, who filtered through our local schools and shared his and Rita’s graces. For me, there is something that Bishop Fulton J. Sheen had said, “A smile is laughter’s whisper and has roots in the soul,” and that is what you got every time you met the good doctor.

Because of weather and construction delays, the Square dedication scheduled for June 30 has been postponed until the fall.

Welcome to Emmitsburg, Richmond American Homes; your Model Grand Opening in the Brookfield subdivision drew many from near and far—what a gorgeous home that takes full advantage of the green mountain views and compliments the beautiful Brookfield setting.

Lib and I attended the Memorial Day Mass at St. Joseph’s Church and then joined the American Legion Honor Guard for visits to our six cemeteries, Legion Hall, and the Doughboy. It was wonderful to trail along for the solemn, respectful tribute to those who gave their lives, so we could live ours. At each stop, there was a 21-gun salute, a lowering of the Maryland flag respectively to our country’s flag, and the bugle sound of “Taps.”

The American Legion-VFW Honor Guard and the same from Thurmont held the annual Flag Day commemoration on June 14, at Memorial Park. As a tradition, the ceremony rotates location every year with Thurmont.

In June, I attended the Maryland Municipal League (MML) summer conference held in Ocean City, Maryland, and was a presenter for one of the sessions. As described by MML, my topic was “Sustainability According to Mark Twain.”  Mark Twain once said, “Common sense is not so common”; however, it should be common sense that we only use what we need and save the rest for future generations. In this session, the Town of Emmitsburg, winners of the 2017 Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award, reviewed what sustainability is, why it’s important, and the various sustainability projects Emmitsburg has completed. It was an honor.

At times challenging, the weather did break open to allow for our pool grand opening on June 2, with DJ music, food goodies, and sodas donated by Spike’s Auto and Tire of Emmitsburg.  Thank you to County Executive Gardner and three Veterans of Foreign War (VFW), Commander Marty Williams, Gene Lingg, and Pat Gjerde for joining us. Thank you, again, to our staff for pulling this together.

The grand opening of the new Seton Center is set for Tuesday, July 10, at 3:00 p.m. It’s a very green, green building, with special day lighting along the roofline to take advantage of borrowed light, solar renewable energy, water suppression fixtures, two dishwashers for cups and utensils—instead of using disposable paper cups and plastic utensils—and permeable pavers in the parking lot to reduce site runoff.

Thank you to the eight hundred firefighters from New Jersey who recently visited the National Emergency Training Center Campus for a weekend of Federal training. For about twenty-five weekends a year, we have firemen from different states come in for these trainings.

Welcome, summer!


Mayor John Kinnaird

The past month has been very busy! Thurmont CAO Jim Humerick, CFO Linda Joyce, Main Street Manager Vickie Grinder, Commissioner Wes Hamrick, and I attended the 2018 Maryland Municipal League (MML) Summer Conference in Ocean City, Maryland. The opportunity to participate in seminars and discussion groups with other municipalities makes you realize that—big or small—all of our communities face similar issues. Every time I return from the MML Conference, I am reminded that Thurmont has benefited for many years from the knowledge and understanding we bring back from this worthwhile week. Three weeks ago, I attended the Project Open Space funding meeting for Frederick County Municipalities. Each year, we get together to allocate the State of Maryland POS funds for our communities. This meeting is always a very friendly event, with give and take from each community. I am pleased to say that Thurmont has been awarded $68,106 to help build a third pavilion at the Community Park, and an additional $13,320 to assist with the installation of lights on the Trolley Trail. I expect both of these projects to be completed within the coming year.

This coming month will be filled with lots of events and activities. The Guardian Hose Company Carnival will be held the week of July 9-14. There will be rides, games, great food, live entertainment every night, and bingo. Be sure to get the kids together for the Annual Parade on Thursday, July 12, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Join me for six evenings of fun, friends, and great food! On Friday, July 13, Fox 5 will be in Thurmont for a Zip Trip. Fox 5 will be broadcasting live, four times an hour, from 6:00-10:00 a.m. This will be a great opportunity for people to see our community and learn about what makes Thurmont special. Be sure to tell your friends and family to watch Fox 5 on July 13, and then come out to see the live broadcast. If you have not stopped at the Thurmont Main Street Farmers Market, you are missing out on some great local produce, beef, BBQ ribs, handmade crafts, pork, homemade jams, fresh baked goodies, and lots of other items! The market is held at the Municipal Parking lot on South Center Street every Saturday from 9:00 a.m.-noon. Be sure to stop and pick up some local goodness. The Town of Thurmont is sponsoring a recreation program in the Community Park on July 23-26 and July 30-August 2. The program is open to kids ages five to fifteen and will feature a different focus each day. The program runs from 8:30 a.m.-noon, and costs $10.00 per day or $35.00 per week. Be sure to stop at the Town Office or call 301-271-7313 to register your kids for this fun-filled summer program.

All of our schools are now out on summer vacation, and our children are outside riding bikes, skateboarding, playing ball, and having a great time. The one thing they may not be doing is paying attention to traffic when crossing our streets, chasing balls, or playing with friends. Please be extra careful on our streets and watch for kids playing near the roadway. They may not be aware of you and could run into the street; your additional care while driving could save a life.

The month of July affords the Thurmont Board of Commissioners a summer break from our regular schedule of weekly meetings. The only scheduled meeting of the month will be on July 24, unless an emergency requires an additional meeting.

I hope everyone has a wonderful July! As always, if you have any comments, concerns, or suggestions, I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or by email at

Deb Abraham Spalding

The Spring Fling event held on May 19, 2018, marked Vigilant Hose Company’s tenth year of hosting it. While this could have become a focus for a special celebration, the Spring Fling took on so many changes this year that the event’s diamond anniversary was almost forgotten in the mix. Most notably, the location changed from muddy fields and stony parking lots at Mount St. Mary’s University to the paved grounds at Vigilant’s own event complex on Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Also, the size of the grand prize was upgraded to a whopping $10,000.

Over the years, several Spring Flings have featured rain or other weather events which served to make things memorable. This year was no exception. With significant rain days before, and slight rain during, the event, the unfavorable weather created a solid excuse for ‘low’ attendance. It is important to note that there is “no mud” at the new location. The entire event was held on paved ground with the majority of that ground covered with large event tents. Regardless of the weather and conditions, 860 ticket holders checked in at the gate and made this fundraiser a continued success.

Spring Fling is a unique event that has been described as, “going to our local beach where all of our neighbors and friends are partying.” This year’s party included an option to play 25¢ bingo games inside the event building and a new Big 6 Wheel game outside. Both new activities were busy with customers all day.

One of the Spring Fling’s coordinators, Gabe Baker, said, “It’s a good thing it’s where it is now. The community supported us [Vigilant Hose Company] well.”

To view prize winners, please visit Plan now to attend next year’s Spring Fling. Bring sunshine!

A large crowd, undeterred by the rain, enjoyed Spring Fling in Emmitsburg.

Helen Topper sold holders inside the event building during bingo.

Herbie Click worked the slicers to cut meat for sandwiches.

Kathie Stambaugh was thrilled to win at the Spring Fling.

Sue Reaver, Kay Hollinger, and Kim Wivell sold tickets during Spring Fling.

Sandy Umbel and her daughter, Kayla, volunteered during the event.

Kim (left) and Marc Piermatteo (right) worked with Cliffy Shriner at the beverage tent.

Patty Kuykendall, JoAnn Boyd, Tom Ward, and Jenn Stahley kept track of the winners.

This photo shows the set up of Spring Fling at the new location on Creamery Road the day before the event.

James Rada, Jr.

Although milk and other dairy products are no longer delivered fresh to your door daily, they are still part of our everyday lives, whether it’s drinking milk, enjoying ice cream, or adding cheese to a dish. June is National Dairy Month and celebrates the contributions that the dairy industry makes to the economy and to our health.

Locally, many dairies have provided home delivery over the years. Milkmen had regular routes they traveled, first by wagon and then by truck, delivering fresh milk, cottage cheese, cream, and other dairy products. They would pick up the empty bottles and return them to the dairy, where they would then be washed and used again.

“The first one that I know of is Homarway Dairy,” said Dennis Black, a collector of milk bottles from the area.

The dairy was a partnership between Guy Hobbs, Lee Martin, and Daniel Weybright. Gall and Smith Dairy bought Homarway in 1932. This large operation in Emmitsburg and Thurmont was apparently the only local dairy where you could purchase a gill (1/4 pint). These small glass bottles were used for holding cream.

Although some of the local dairies sold raw milk, many did their own pasteurization. However, buying raw milk allowed for the buyer to skim the cream off the top of the milk as it separated. The milk, itself, also tasted thicker and richer, according to Black. Buyers also sometimes looked for dairy farms with particular cows. This is because certain breeds were known to have a greater or lesser fat content in their milk, which affected the taste.

“Pasteurization is what killed the local dairy farmer,” stated Black.

When pasteurization became the standard, and grocery stores installed refrigerated sections, customers began buying milk during their weekly grocery shopping. During the 1960s, the local milkman became a thing of the past.

“Bollinger Dairy was the last one in operation in Thurmont,” Black recalled.

Northern Frederick County had two Bollinger Dairies, which could be confusing at times. One operated in Thurmont and the other in Emmitsburg. Collectors can tell the difference because the dairies used different bottles. Bollinger’s Dairy in Emmitsburg always used embossed bottles, while Bollinger’s Dairy in Thurmont always used bottles with the lettering painted on them (pyro-glazed).

Black has created a display of bottles and caps from local dairies in the Thurmont Regional Library, on permanent loan. The display case is located next to the entrance to the Thurmont Center for Agricultural History in the library. Black is always looking for information and artifacts about local dairies that he might have missed. If you have any information, he can be reached at 301-271-4297 or

Dennis Black, avid collector of milk bottles in the area, showcases his bottles and caps from local dairies in the Dairies of Catoctin exhibit at the Thurmont Regional Library.

by James Rada, Jr.


Dog Park Open

The Emmitsburg dog park officially opened on Saturday, May 5, with thirty-plus dogs in attendance. The park—near the town tennis courts—has separate areas for large and small dogs. The park also includes water stations for the dogs and benches for the dog owners to rest on while their pets romp and play.

“It looked like everybody had a good time, including dogs and people,” said Commissioner Joseph Ritz, III.


Community Deputy Contract Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a contract with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office to continue the use of community deputies in Emmitsburg. The $276,403 contract increased by 3.15 percent or $8,712 over the current contract. The increase is due to anticipated salary increases for sheriff’s deputies and increasing fuel costs.


Commissioners Receive Budget

At the beginning of May, the Emmitsburg Commissioners got their first look at the fiscal year 2019 budget, and continued to review it during a second meeting in May. The property tax rate to fund this budget is expected to remain the same at 36 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The proposed budget includes a 5 percent increase to the general fund, which represents an increase of $88,080. The water and sewer fund is projected to increase by 2.63 percent due to expected residential and commercial development. Staff will also receive a 2 percent cost-of-living raise. Mayor Don Briggs pointed out that staff did not receive any COLA this year.

The final budget needs to be approved by the end of June.


Commissioners Begin Review of Ethics Code

Emmitsburg Town Manager Cathy Willets presented the mayor and commissioners an overview of the town’s ethics code and appeal procedures. The code helps “assure the people of the impartiality and independent judgment of officials and employees,” Willets said. This is a routine review with no major changes expected. Town staff will be making some recommendations for changes for simplifying the code and process.


Clock Erected on Town Square

A new four-sided clock has been erected on the town square as part of the square revitalization project. The clock is on the northeast corner of East Main Street and North Seton Avenue intersection.


FY 2018 Budget Introduced

In May, the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners received the proposed budget for the town for fiscal year 2018.

It is proposed to increase the town’s property tax rate by 3 cents to 31.41 cents per $100 of assessed value. The tax rate increase will generate $161,152 more in revenue to fund the budget.

Under the proposed budget, the general fund revenues are expected to be $3,876,040, with $3,643,679 in expenditures and $89,612 in capital expenses.

The water fund is expected to have $973,965 in revenues, with $847,093 in expenditures and $61,600 in capital expenses.

The wastewater fund is expected to have $1,623,326 in revenues, with $1,457,570 in expenditures and $135,436 in capital expenses.

The electric fund is expected to have $6,445,357 in revenues, with $6,210,464 in expenditures and $165,700 in capital expenditures.

Copies of the budget can be viewed at the town office or online at the town’s website.


Town Plans Summer Day Camp for Youths

Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer told the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners the result of the town survey about interest in a summer day camp program in the Community Park. The results of the survey were used to put together a plan for what to offer residents, the ages participants can be in the program, and the cost of the program.

The summer program “A Day in the Park” runs from July 23-26 and July 30-August 2 (Monday through Thursday), from 8:30 a.m.-noon each day. The program is for youths, ages five to fifteen, and costs $10.00 per day or $35.00 per week.

“We have a lot of parents who ask about this, and they’ve asked for several years,” said Mayor John Kinnaird.

The activities include meeting fire and EMS personnel, hiking, history talks, games, crafts, and sports.

Summer Park Coordinator Deb Spalding told the mayor and commissioners that the program is “one where we’re going to learn about Thurmont. We’re going to learn about parks, and we’re going to have fun in parks.”

You can register for individual days or entire weeks. Registration can be done at the town office or by calling 301-271-7313 to have a form sent to you. Each pre-registered participant receives a t-shirt and a reusable water bottle.


Commissioners Approve ADA Curbs

The Town of Thurmont has started to improve the curbs at many locations in town so that they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The town received a Community Development Block Grant for $63,000. This will not be enough to add forty-eight ramps at eighteen locations throughout the town, but it should get the majority of them done. Town staff has prioritized each curb based on the amount of pedestrian traffic it receives.

“I think we can certainly accomplish our goals by meeting the higher-pedestrian-traffic areas,” Chief Administrative Officer James Humerick said.

The mayor and commissioners approved RFP, Inc. in Middletown to do the work. If more CDBG funds become available, they will go towards improving additional curbs.


Police Car Bomber Pleads Guilty

The man who bombed a Thurmont police vehicle in 2016 recently pleaded guilty to malicious use of explosive material in a Baltimore federal court. Kyle Rutger Mueller placed a pipe bomb on Thurmont Police Officer Tim Duhan’s SUV. The resulting explosion damaged the vehicle, but no one was injured.

Both federal and local officers investigated and arrested Rutger on August 5, 2016. In his plea agreement, Rutger admitted to buying parts to build a bomb and being in the area of the explosion.

Although facing four bomb-related charges, Rutger only pleaded guilty to the one charge under the plea agreement. Rutger could serve up to twenty years in federal prison and face a $250,000 fine and supervised probation, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office will recommend a ten-year sentence. Sentencing will be on July 30, 2018.

Mayor Don Briggs

With the arrival of our timid spring, all the hard work of the town staff is finally evident. I mean, hours and hours of hard work, planning, grant writing, and construction administration: the new dog park, the renovated pool, and the entire streetscape of Main Street, Seton Avenue, and the square. Not to forget in April, we held our first Arbor Day community tree-planting celebration. Scouts and the Mount men’s rugby team were there to assist the community in the planting of twelve native – adaptive trees along the Willow Run winding channel through Community Park. Guests included County Executive Jan Gardner and Roger Wilson; Government Affairs and Public Policy Director (and also a Frederick City Alderman); Tonya Hoover, Superintendent of the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy (NFA); and Sister Martha with Seton Center Outreach. Also, representatives from the town council and staff, Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association, FEMA, Knights of Columbus, Lions Club, Council of Churches, Mother Seton School, Emmitsburg Elementary School, and residents all pitched in. We are now a Tree City USA town.

On the first Saturday of May, Catoctin High School student Aedan Myles had the honor of cutting the ribbon to open the new dog park. It was her drawing three years ago that prompted its development. Amid gifts, treats, and the music, “Who let the dogs out” and Elvis’ strumming, “You ain’t nothing but a hound dog,” thirty-plus canines of all varieties—to one person’s count—joined in. Another great community interaction event.

The renovated (really new) community pool will open on Saturday, June 2, at noon. It was very hard not having a pool last year. It is planned to be a special occasion, with County Executive Jan Gardner on hand for the ribbon-cutting.  Included in the renovations are landscaping, fencing, and a new roof for the changing-rooms building. There will be no charge for swimming on opening day.

Mid-Maryland baseball and the town present summer United Baseball Academy’s “Schools Out” Summer Baseball Camp, Monday, June 18, through Wednesday, June 20, from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (each day); lunch from 12:00-12:45 p.m. *Lunch is not provided; pack a lunch* Drop-off is 9:00 a.m., sharp; Pick-up is 3:00 p.m., sharp. Camp will be held at Emmitsburg Community & Memorial Parks. The cost is $130. This camp is free to residents of Emmitsburg (address verification required). Camp is for ages eight to fourteen. Registration: (click on the Schools Out Camp tab in the upper right corner). If you have questions about the clinic, please email them to or call 267-664-5059.

In May, I presented to the council the 2019 budget of $3,147,116. The council is obligated to approve a budget by no later than June 30.
In June, predicated on staff investigation, I will propose to the town council that we install four electronic vehicles (EV) charging stations at the Community Center parking lot.

The four-faced clock, the gift of Mount St. Mary’s University, is now set on the square. We are almost there. Again, thank you to everyone for your patience; we are getting great reviews on the brickwork and refreshed facades of buildings and the new setting. Rededication of the square will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 30, by the new town clock. This is also Community Heritage Day, a great day of food, vendors, entertainment, parade, and fireworks.

The first Pool Party will be held July 15, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Admission is $1.00. We will have a DJ, free hot dogs, and lemonade.

Thank you to Mayor John Kinnaird and Thurmont Main Street Economic Development Manager Vicki Grinder for a second season of developing a north county description insert for the Frederick News-Post. It was, again, a privilege for me to write, and for Emmitsburg to be a part of it. We look forward to working with Thurmont on the fall edition.

Mayor John Kinnaird

If I told you that I could see into the future, many people would question my sanity, but I know it is possible to see our future if we just take the time to look. No one can see specifics of what is to come, but I have met with and spoken to the very people that will craft our future, and I am impressed! Of course, I am referring to the next generation of residents currently attending our schools.

It has been my honor to speak to students at all of our local schools, and I can assure you that they are up to the task ahead. Several weeks ago, I spent a morning talking with students at the Thurmont Elementary School about a wide range of topics, including our local government and immigration. Every student was very attentive, and they asked many thoughtful questions. As part of the fourth grade program, I invited the students to write an essay, describing what they would do if they were mayor. After careful consideration, the teachers selected two essay winners: Lily Winn and Chase Jackson. As essay contest winners, Lily and Chase were invited to our meeting on May 22 to read their essays and to participate in the meeting. I thank all the students for participating in this contest and want you to know that every essay was wonderfully written and expressed a genuine interest in our community.

I also had the opportunity to speak to some of the third-term Honor Roll students at the Thurmont Middle School (TMS). It was surprising to see how many students qualify for inclusion in the Honor Roll at TMS. My congratulations to each of the TMS Honor Roll students, their parents, and their teachers! It is obvious that the student body at TMS is determined to enter adulthood as well-educated and socially responsible individuals.

I encourage all adults to take advantage of any opportunity to visit our schools and to see how positive our youngest residents are about our community and their future in it. I want to express my thanks to all the teachers and staff at the schools for their amazing compassion and dedication to the education of our youth. Finally, thanks to the parents for investing in the future of our community by raising these considerate and well-rounded future leaders.

While I am thinking about our youth, I want to remind everyone that the Town of Thurmont is hosting a Summer Park Program, “A Day in the Park.” The program will be held at the Thurmont Community Park on July 23-26, and again on July 30 -August 2; hours are 8:30 a.m.-noon. A different theme will be featured each day, and the cost is $10.00 per day or $35.00 per week. Activities include crafts; hiking; games; a visit by Fire, EMS & Police personnel; baseball; and local history. Be sure to register for this great summer program, so your children can join in on the fun! You can stop at the town office to register or call 301-271-7313 and ask to have a registration form sent to your home.

With the school year coming to an end, I want to encourage everyone to be extra careful while driving in our neighborhoods. Children are not always aware of their surroundings, and as they adjust to summer break, please be on the lookout as they play with their friends and cross our streets.

If you have any questions or comments, I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or by email at

Warm weather and clear skies welcomed players, parents, and families to Thurmont Little League’s Opening Day on Saturday, April 14, 2018. With some games beginning as early as 8:30 a.m., everyone was eager to enjoy their first day on the field for the season. At 10:00 a.m., a few hundred people gathered around the main field waiting for the Opening Ceremony to begin.

“I’ll be honest, it’s my honor to support you all and support the kids…” said new president, Jeremy Johnson, as he graciously thanked all in attendance. He commended his volunteers, board of directors, team managers, coaches, team moms, umpires, concessions, and everything in between, for making Thurmont Little League so successful.

Catoctin Dental was recognized for being Thurmont’s Grand Slam Sponsor. This year, a new scoreboard was donated and will soon be placed on the minor league field, sponsored by J&J Trash Service.

Every year, the league relies heavily on community support from not only its volunteers, but the local businesses as well. This year’s team sponsors for the Majors division include: Ace Hardware, sponsoring the Brewers; Unanet, sponsoring the Cubs; Rocky’s Pizza, sponsoring the Diamondbacks; Thurmont AMVETS, sponsoring the Nationals; Catoctin Dental, sponsoring the Orioles; PJ’s Roofing was sponsored by PJ’s Roofing, Inc.

As for the Minors, the sponsors include: Highland Yards Landscaping, sponsoring the Astros; Center of Life Chiropractic, sponsoring the Blue Jays; Cubs, sponsored by Monocacy Lawn Care; G&S Electric, sponsoring the Diamondbacks; Affordable Glass, sponsoring the Dodgers; Mearl R. Eyler Painting and D/Law, sponsoring the Orioles.

Instructional Division sponsors include: Woodsboro Bank, sponsoring the Cubs; Roy Rogers, sponsoring the Nationals; Ashby Transportation Consults, sponsoring the Orioles; PJ’s Roofing, Inc. also sponsoring the Phillies; J&J Trash Service Inc., sponsoring the Pirates; Black’s Funeral Home, sponsoring the Royals.

The T-Ball Division had a total of eight teams for the season. Sponsors include: Amber Hill Physical Therapy, sponsoring the Cardinals; Med One Pharmacy, sponsoring the Cubs; Davis Systems, sponsoring the Dodgers; American Legion Post 168, sponsoring the Indians; Sticky’s Designs, sponsoring the Marlins; Tobacco Free Frederick, sponsoring the Orioles; Shamrock, sponsoring the Pirates; Dave Siess Construction, sponsoring the Yankees.

This year’s Intermediate Division will consist of two teams (11-13 year-old), with great talent and skills. Thurmont Lightning will be led by Joe Wehage and Thurmont Thunder will be led by Brent Reynolds.

During the ceremony, DJ Brian Moe invited Thurmont’s famed 2017 All-Star team on the field, recognizing their handwork and dedication that brought them so far last year, achieving District 2 and State Champions. They competed in the Mid-Atlantic region finals and took second place. The All-Stars consisted of Braden Manning, Peyton Castellow, EJ Lowry, Logan Simanski, Josh Skowronski, Braden Bell, DJ Shipton, Donovan Baker, Joey McMannis, Griff Puvel, Connor Crum, and Will Gisriel, with Head Coach Tim Castellow and Assistant Coaches, Ed Lowry and Chris Skowronski.

Last year, Thurmont 9-11 All-Stars also followed their older counter parts to District 2 Championships and played in the state Tournament, held in Easton, Maryland. Players included Mason Ferrell, Dallas Baker, Jordan Moore, Peyton Cramer, Ben Krauss, Gavin Watkins, Garrett Worth, Zane Shugars, Caden Diggs, RJ High, Rylan Manning, and RJ Etzler, with Head Coach Ryan Ferrell and Assistant Coaches Wayne Watkins and Jake Baker.

As DJ Brian Mo led the Player’s and Parent/Volunteer Pledge, the crowd recited in sync, leading up to the first pitch, which makes every season officially baseball season in Thurmont. This year, the Clingerman family, who has been on the fields many times to play ball, lost their beloved brother, son, and uncle, Colton Clingerman. In his honor, Reed Clingerman thanked the Thurmont Little League for all of their support. “Thurmont Little League is the glue of the community. We all come together, we are all here.” Little brother, Asher Clingerman came forth to throw the first pitch.

Closing the ceremony, Aubrie Gadra volunteered her talents to sing the “National Anthem.” After a touching performance, families were dismissed to enjoy the rest of the beautiful day on the fields and to play ball.

by James Rada, Jr.


Updating the Emmitsburg Parking Policy and Rates

Many of the Emmitsburg parking rates haven’t been raised since 2003, so the mayor and commissioners have started considering updating the parking policies and raising the parking rates. While it does not appear that the meter rate will change, some parking fines and permit fees may be increased. The increased fines that are being considered are for left-side parking, parking in a snow emergency route, and parking for 48 consecutive hours in a metered spot.

One of the suggested ordinance changes was not to allow parking within 25 feet of a stop sign. This caused a lot of concern for Commissioner Joseph Ritz, III.

“There’s going to be a lot of issues with that if we put that in,” Ritz said. Specifically, he said that North Gate had a lot of violators.

Town Manager Cathy Willets pointed out that it was just making the town ordinance consistent with Maryland state law. She said that it was a safety issue, dealing with visibility of the stop sign and intersection.

Ritz then wanted to know if it was state law why it needed to be in the proposed ordinance, because he felt the ordinance was overly long. Willets and Commissioner Tim O’Donnell explained that having it in the town ordinance gave the town parking enforcement officer the authority to take action against violators.

Other items were also discussed, and a few changes made.

“These ordinances aren’t done to target or punish people,” Willets said. “It’s to keep people safe.”

The suggested updates have been in the works for six months.

Town Will Continue Town Planner Position

With the retirement of town planner Sue Cipperly in July, Emmitsburg Commissioner Elizabeth Buckman suggested that maybe it was time for the town to do away with the position and use the Frederick County Planning Department to fill those duties.

She said that there isn’t a lot of growth in the town, and “Many of the community members don’t see it as needing to be a full-time position.”

Town Manager Cathy Willets noted that the town has multiple subdivisions still being built, and the planner is also in charge of code enforcement and town ordinances. Most importantly, Willets said, “They [Frederick County] don’t do that anymore.”

However, Buckman said that she wanted the town to look into the pros and cons of making the change.


Town Water Shortage Over

For the past few years, the Emmitsburg town wells have usually been well under the optimum level to meet the demands for water in town. At April’s Emmitsburg town meeting, Town Manager Cathy Willets told the commissioners, “Our well levels are the best we have seen in a very long time.”

Rainbow Lake is also at the spillway level. During February, 58 percent of the town’s water came from Rainbow Lake, 37 percent came from wells, and 5 percent came from Mount St. Mary’s.

The treatment plant also treated 782,000 GPD, of which two-thirds was wild water. Treating this water cost the town about $25,000. The plant also had exceeded its treatment capacity thirteen times during the month.


Commissioners Working Through Budget

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners have been working on developing the town budget that will go into effect on July 1. Currently, the operating budget is $3.67 million, which is up $122,061 over the current fiscal year. Based on changes initially made to the general fund, there is a projected $53,000 shortfall.

“So, we’ve got some trimming to do somewhere,” stated Mayor John Kinnaird.

The final budget approved by the commissioners will have to be balanced before it is approved.

The commissioners are also working on the capital budget, water fund, sewer fund, and electric fund. These require separate budgets.

Once the commissioners agree on a budget, it will be presented to the commissioners for public input and comment.


Commissioners Discuss Program Open Space Projects

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners discussed their priorities for potential Program Open Space (POS) funds. Among the potential uses for such funds might be another Community Park pavilion, lighting for the Thurmont Trolley Trail, a new sand volleyball court, and skateboard equipment.

One thing that the town probably won’t be getting with the funds is trees to replace the ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer. Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick told the board that trees cannot be purchased with POS funds.

Requests for POS funds are due May 5. The following month, Mayor John Kinnaird will meet with representatives from all of the Frederick County municipalities. Each municipality will have its own wish list of projects to be funded, and the leaders will have to decide on how to allocate the POS funds that the county receives.


New “Welcome to Thurmont” Signs Get Funded

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved spending $30,342 to construct and install two new Thurmont Gateway signs. The new signs will replace two of the existing four signs. The existing signs are on the major routes leading into the town. The town had allocated $24,000 for the purchase. The difference will be made up with money saved from a car purchase the town made.

The existing signs, which are ten years old and still in good condition, will be repurposed to other areas of the town. The remaining two signs will be replaced at a future date.

Although the money had been allocated for this use in the budget, Commissioner Marty Burns felt that the cost was too expensive, and the money could be better used for a more-pressing need, such as fighting drug abuse in Thurmont, fixing bridges, or paying down town debt.

Commissioner Bill Buehrer said that maintaining the signs was “a cost of promoting our community.”

The commissioners voted 4-1 to have Shannon-Baum Signs of Eldersburg do the work. The new signs are expected to last twenty-five years.


Commissioners Approve Bond to Pay for Water and Sewer Replacement

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted unanimously in March to borrow $2,945,000 to pay for water and sewer replacement along North Church Street. The money will be in the form of an infrastructure bond from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.


Inclusive Playground to Get ADA Restrooms

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners accepted a bid from Blue Line Construction in Emmitsburg to renovate an unused building at East End Park to make them ADA-compliant restrooms. The cost will be $33,100.

The bid was $5,200 more than the amount of grant funding the town has for the project. Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick told the commissioners that the difference could be made up out of the parks department budget.


Mowing Contract Approved

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved a bid of $71,750 a year for two years to have Mountain View Lawn Services do the mowing of town properties. Although this bid is significantly greater than the $44,000 per year that the town was paying, Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick said this increase was due to added acreage as well as pesticide application.


Mayor Don Briggs

Finally, spring is gaining some traction. Thank you to the town staff for promptly taking care of the late March snow—a great job done. And, thank you to Vigilant Hose Co. for feeding them when all the restaurants were closed.

With spring comes the new and renewed. McDonald’s will be getting a redo; design renderings are attractive.

Now at the Frederick County Fire and Rescue and National Fire Heritage Center shared museum on South Seton Avenue is the glass etching of nationally renowned public artist, William Cochran, depicting firemen and a fire truck responding to an emergency. The etching was in place at the old Independent Hose Company, No. 1 (IHC) building, located on West Church Street in the Frederick City Historic District. Thirty years ago, the building owner, who had purchased the property from IHC, commissioned Mr. Cochran to do the etching to commemorate the history of the fire company presence at one time on the site. Recently, the building was resold, and the new purchaser had no further use for the etching and approached IHC, which had space limitations. So, the glass panels were offered to the museum board. All of this has been going on during the 200th anniversary of the IHC.

Professional services were needed to bring the etching to Emmitsburg, as the work consists of three glass pieces together, weighing 1,500 pounds. It was our Emmitsburg Glass Company that provided those services. Thank you Emmitsburg Glass for ever so delicately doing whatever it took to deliver the etching to the museum, safe and sound.

Mr. Cochran has several public artworks in Frederick, including three wall murals and most notably his, “trompe l’oeil (“fool the eye)” stone bridge that transforms an otherwise standard bridge spanning the Carroll Creek Promenade into a spectacular tourist attraction.

I have known William for many years. Soon after being elected to my first term, I approached him about painting a wall mural in town. Unfortunately, at that time, other public efforts were unfolding that took precedence.

To have a William Cochran public artwork here is a tourist attraction asset for our community. It will complement not only our fire emergency services attractions, but also our green efforts. William and his wife, Teresa, specifically do artworks, “…to contribute to sustainable cities and healthy communities.” And we are one sustainable-oriented community.

The goal is to have the etching installed in a protective manner outside the museum. The museum boards, along with the town, are seeking grants and donations.

The Emmitsburg Dog Park ribbon-cutting is scheduled for May 5, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. (rain or shine). There will be drawings for pet-related prizes. The park is located in Community Park, behind the tennis court. There will be separate areas for small and large dogs and water stations for each, to boot. Handlers will have nifty benches to relax and enjoy while their pets romp. With the opening comes a stepped-up responsibility for the users to take care of the park and leave it as you would like to find it. Clean up any mishaps and respectfully share the use of the dog park with others. Remember, we all love our special friends. Thank you to our donors. Through their tributes, benches and signs in the dog park were made possible. If you would like to have a similar tribute to one of your cherished pets, please call the town at 301-600-6300.

The community pool will open on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 26, at noon, and remain open through Monday. The pool grand opening will be held the following weekend, on Saturday, June 2, at noon. The pool will open on a weekly basis, starting on Friday evening, June 15.

Congratulations to Emmitsburg based Mid-Maryland United baseball 10U, 12U and 13U teams. All were big winners in early outings, defeating teams throughout the state and also in Pennsylvania. All this success before the teams even got onto our fields for their first practice on April 10. Three, and possibly four, baseball/softball programs are using our fields. Look for tournaments and clinics in June.

There is a wonderful feature article in the April edition of Frederick Magazine, “Emmitsburg the Green Town,” written by our own Jim Rada.  Thank you, Jim.


Mayor John Kinnaird

With spring here in full bloom, we are all thinking about the great outdoors! First and foremost, on most of our minds is getting outside for some fun and games. Thurmont has many great neighborhood parks, spread throughout town, that offer great facilities. These neighborhood parks feature basketball hoops, tot playground equipment, and picnic tables. The Community Park has a great walking trail, basketball courts, tennis courts, exercise stations, picnic tables, grills, two pavilions, and lots of wide open space to have fun. The Eyler Road Park has two great playgrounds; a pavilion; football, soccer, and lacrosse fields; and is a wonderful park for walking and running. The East End Park features a pavilion with picnic tables and an amazing all-inclusive playground, where children of all physical abilities can enjoy the opportunity to play outdoors. New ADA restroom facilities are currently being constructed at the East End Park, and paved walkways provide easy access to the playground and facilities. A new addition to our parks this year will be our summer program at the Thurmont Community Park. This program will feature organized games, activities, and maybe even day trips to local attractions. Be sure to be on the lookout for further details about this new program.

Thurmont is again sponsoring the Concert in the Park series at Memorial Park. The current schedule for the concerts feature the Thurmont Brass Ensemble for the Memorial Day Ceremony, and the Frederick Spires Brass Band on Sunday, June 10, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The concerts are a great, early evening event for the entire family. Bring along a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy an hour of great music with friends and family.

Another outdoor activity we will all be doing is yard work! For those that would like to dispose of your grass clippings in an environmentally positive way, the town offers grass clipping pickup every Monday morning, from April 2 through November 26, with the exception of October 15. Place your grass clippings at the curb in paper bags on Sunday evening for pickup early Monday. Clippings in plastic bags will not be accepted, and we ask that the bags weigh 40 pounds or less. The town also offers yard waste drop-off at the Moser Road location next to the Regional Library. The days are on Saturday, May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, October 20, November 10, and December 8. We accept a variety of yard waste, including grass clippings, leaves, small branches, flowers, vegetable plants, and other items, but no tree limbs over 6” in diameter and no tree trunks or root balls.

I am looking forward to a great spring and summer, and I hope you enjoy the upcoming season as well.

Any questions or comments? You can reach me at or by phone at 301-606-9458.

James Rada, Jr.

It was supposed to be the first day of spring on March 21. Instead, the region got snow, probably more snow than we saw all winter—when it’s actually supposed to snow—and it continued snowing into the second day of spring. Schools were closed. Events were canceled. There were lots of accidents.

One accident that got some national exposure was the school bus crash on MD 77, shortly before 4:00 p.m. on March 20. The driver lost control of the vehicle, about a mile west of Pryor Road. The bus veered off the winding road into Big Hunting Creek.

Luckily, the driver wasn’t injured, and no children were on the bus at the time. The bus was damaged, though, and MD 77 had to be closed. Traffic was detoured while the bus was pulled out of the creek.

Having lived on the mountain in Foxville while growing up, The Catoctin Banner Publisher Deb Abraham Spalding said, “It’s not uncommon to have more snow on the mountain than in the lower areas. This makes school bus navigation tricky for bus drivers who drive the mountain. My bus drivers, brothers Glenn DeLauter (late) and Paul DeLauter, used chains when I was riding the bus, and we still got stuck, sometimes.” Also, Shirley and Frank Riffle drove us for sporting events in all sorts of weather.

She reminisced, “For the longest time, I believed my father when he said he had four kids so he could weigh down the station wagon to make it up the mountain in snow. I survived many memorably terrifying adventures in the back of that station wagon, while Dad yelled, ‘Hang on!’ as he gunned the engine and fish-tailed the vehicle up to our house on Tower Road. I can laugh about that now, and I’m sure many people can relate.”

This school bus accident was just one of hundreds of accidents that occurred in Frederick County during the spring snow. Northern Frederick County didn’t get as much snow, in general, as the rest of the county and points west, but it was enough to cause plenty of problems. The mountain roads definitely presented more than their usual obstacles, and all of them had to be closed at some point, including Rt. 116 to Blue Ridge Summit and MD 550 to Sabillasville.

The National Weather Service put the snow totals for many places in the county at more than 20 inches, but Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick said Thurmont got 11 inches.

The heavy snow also brought down power lines in some areas. The Maryland State Highway Administration confirmed that besides the MD 77 closure due to the crash, MD 550 was closed an hour later due to a utility pole coming down.

Emmitsburg and Thurmont were able to keep their roads cleared better since their crews are not as spread out as county and state crews. Humerick said that in Thurmont, besides having full public works crews plowing during the day, nine employees stayed overnight to try and keep up with plowing Thurmont’s roads.

“We concentrated on the main roads first and then worked our way back to clearing the cul de sacs,” Humerick said. “Our guys took extra care to try and make sure that they didn’t plow anyone’s driveway in.”

After two days of snow, the sun came out, and temperatures warmed up enough that the snow began to melt, helping to clear the roads even more, and to raise hopes that spring is truly on the way.

Andrea and Tommy Webb’s dog, Sadie, was just as surprised by the spring snow as we all were.

Courtesy Photo

James Rada, Jr.

This is an election year that will offer residents choices in county, state, and federal races. Here is a list of the candidates running in Northern Frederick County. If you have questions about registering to vote, the ballot, or other election-related questions, call the Frederick County Board of Elections at 301- 600-VOTE or visit

County Offices

County Executive: Kathy Afzali – Republican ( • Kirby Delauter – Republican ( • Regina M. Williams – Republican ( • Jan H. Gardner – Democratic (; County Council At Large: Philip Dacey – Republican ( • Danny Farrar – Republican ( • Justin M. Kiska – Republican ( • Jason Miller – Republican ( • Galen R. Clagett – Democratic ( • Kavonte Duckett – Democratic ( • Kai John Hagen – Democratic ( • Susan Reeder Jessee – Democratic ( • Mark Long – Democratic (www.MARKLONG.US) • Bud Otis – Unaffiliated (General Election Only) (; County Council District 5: Michael Blue – Republican ( • William M. Valentine – Republican ( • Shannon Bohrer – Democratic (; State’s Attorney: Charlie Smith – Republican (; Clerk of the Circuit Court: Sandra K. Dalton – Republican ( • Megan LeRoux – Democratic (; Register of Wills: Sharon Keller – Republican ( • Melissa Atherholt – Democratic (; Judge of the Orphan’s Court: Douglas D. Browning – Republican ( • Gloria Lynn Lewis – Republican ( • Mary Rolle – Republican ( • Nate Wilson – Republican ( • John Daniels – Democratic ( • Bonnie L. Nicholson – Democratic ( • Eugene N. Sheppard – Democratic (; Sheriff: Chuck Jenkins – Republican ( • Karl Bickel – Democratic (; Democratic Central Committee Female: Lauren Beacham – Democratic ( • Deborah Carter – Democratic ( • Maggi Hays – Democratic ( • Renee Knapp – Democratic ( • Mari Lee – Democratic ( • Mary Caroline Milam – Democratic ( • Deborah Reynolds – Democratic ( • Kaitlynn Sumpter – Democratic; Democratic Central Committee Male: Antonio Bowens – Democratic ( • Josh Cramer – Democratic • Thomas Stratton Gill – Democratic ( • Christopher Izzo – Democratic ( • William “Billy” Reid – Democratic ( • Thomas Gordon Slater – Democratic ( • Jay B. Smathers – Democratic ( • Tony Soltero – Democratic ( • Michael L. Sowell – Democratic ( • Gene Stanton – Democratic (; Republican Central Committee: Jeremy Darius Abbott – Republican ( • Kathy Afzali – Republican ( • Clayton Robert Boone – Republican ( • Barrie S. Ciliberti – Republican ( • Pamela Ciliberti – Republican ( • Dan Cox – Republican ( • Karen Dacey – Republican ( • Michael D. Hill – Republican ( • Joeylynn Hough – Republican ( • Cynthia Houser – Republican • Daniel J. Keller – Republican ( • Angela Ariel McIntosh – Republican • Connie Onspaugh – Republican • Joe Parsley – Republican • David J. Perez – Republican ( • Jesse T. Pippy – Republican ( • Mary Rolle – Republican ( • Billy Shreve – Republican ( • Carl C. Thomas, Jr. – Republican • Cynthia G. Trout – Republican (; Board of Education: Liz Barrett ( • Jonah Seth EisenbergMarie Fischer-Wyrick ( • Edison Joseph Hatter ( • Jay Mason ( • April Fleming Miller ( • Chaz Packan ( • Camden Raynor ( • Cindy Rose ( • Masai M. Troutman ( • Kim L. Williams ( • Karen Yoho ( • Brad W. Young (


State Offices

Governor / Lt. Governor: Larry Hogan / Boyd K. Rutherford – Republican ( • Rushern L. Baker III / Elizabeth Embry – Democratic ( • Ralph Jaffe / Freda Jaffe – Democratic ( • Ben Jealous / Susan Turnbull – Democratic ( • James Hugh Jones II / Charles S. Waters – Democratic ( • Kevin Jamenetz / Valerie Ervin – Democratic ( • Rich Madaleno /Luwanda Jenkins – Democratic ( • Alec Ross / Julie C. Verratti – Democratic ( • Jim Shea / Brandon M. Scott – Democratic ( • Krish O’Mara Vignarajah / Sharon Y. Blake – Democratic ( • Shawn Quinn / Christina Smith – Libertarian ( (Nominated by Party but appearing in General Election only) • Ian Schlakman / Annie Chambers – Green ( (Nominated by Party but appearing in General Election only); Comptroller: Anjali Reed Phukan – Republican ( • Peter Franchot – Democratic (; Attorney General: Craig Wolf – Republican ( • Brian E. Frosh – Democratic (; State Senator District 4: Michael Hough – Republican ( • Jessica Douglass – Democratic ( • Sabrina Massett – Democratic (; House of Delegates District 4: Barrie S. Ciliberti – Republican ( • Dan Cox – Republican ( • Jesse T. Pippy – Republican ( • Ysela Bravo – Democratic ( • Lois Jarman – Democratic ( • Darrin Ryan Smith – Democratic (; Judicial Court Judge: Julia Martz-Fisher ( • Ricky Sandy (


Federal Offices

U.S. Senator: Tony Campbell – Republican ( • Chris Chaffee – Republican ( • Evan M. Cronhardt – Republican ( • Nnabu Eze – Republican ( • John R. Graziani – Republican ( • Christina J. Grigorian – Republican ( • Albert Binyahmin Howard – Republican ( • Bill Krehnbrink – Republican ( • Gerald I. Smith, Jr. – Republican ( • Blaine Taylor – Republican ( • Brian Charles Vaeth – Republican ( • Ben Cardin – Democratic ( • Erik Jetmir – Democratic ( • Chelsea Manning – Democratic ( • Marcia H. Morgan – Democratic ( • Jerome “Jerry” Segal – Democratic ( • Richard “Rikki” Vaughn – Democratic ( • Debbie “Rica” Wilson – Democratic ( • Lih Young – Democratic ( • Arvin Vohra – Libertarian ( (Seeking to be nominated by Party but appearing in General Election only); Congress District 8: Bridgette L. Cooper – Republican ( • John Walsh – Republican ( • Victor Williams – Republican ( • Utam Paul – Republican ( • Jamie Raskin – Democratic ( • Summer Spring – Democratic ( • Jasen Wunder – Libertarian ( (Nominated by party but appearing in General Election only).

by James Rada, Jr.


Water Line Relocation Agreements

The Emmitsburg Commissioners signed two agreements with Milani Construction and the Maryland State Highway Construction, concerning the relocation of the water line necessitated by the Flat Run Bridge project.

The combined result of the two agreements is that the Town of Emmitsburg will not have to pay to relocate the water line. This is because the town did not agree to have the water line moved as part of the project.

Although SHA will bill the town for its share of the water line relocation (estimated to be around $19,000), Milani placed $28,500 in escrow that the town will use to pay for the costs.

“On the bright side, we’re getting a brand new water line in an old section of town,” Town Manager Cathy Willets told mayor and commissioners.


Burn Ban

Emmitsburg Town Manager Cathy Willets told the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners during their March meeting that the Frederick County Fire Marshall had announced an outdoor burning ban until further notice.


Town Planner Retiring

Town Planner Sue Cipperly will be retiring at the end of July, ending her ten years with Emmitsburg. The town will begin advertising for her replacement this month, with the goal of having someone in place by the end of the fiscal year in June.


Town Receives Clean Audit

The Town of Emmitsburg received a clean audit report from Auditor Michele Mills. This means that no material weaknesses in internal financial controls were found, and there were no non-compliance issues.


Pool Management Team Approved

As the opening of the new town swimming pool nears, the Emmitsburg Commissioners approved RSV Pools to manage operations this year. The company submitted the low bid of $54,489 to manage the new pool. The new swimming pool is expected to open on May 26, during Memorial Day weekend. It will be open from noon to 7:00 p.m., daily. It will close for the season on September 3.


Thurmont Senior Tax Credit Applications

Thurmont residents who are at least sixty-five years old and have a combined household income of no more than $70,000 can apply for the Thurmont Senior Tax Credit, if their municipal taxes are paid and current. The credit is only applicable to the primary residence. Applications can be obtained at the town office. The deadline to submit an application is September 1, 2018.


Thurmont Green Fest

The Town of Thurmont, Thurmont Regional Library, and Thurmont Green Team are sponsoring the Thurmont Green Fest on Saturday, April 21, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The event will promote green living, with games, nature crafts, information on how to save money with solar and geothermal energy, lessons on organic gardening, and more. Events will be held at the Thurmont Regional Library.


Remembering Donald Lewis

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners remembered former Thurmont Mayor Donald Lewis, who passed away in February. The commissioners, Mayor John Kinnaird, and audience members recalled their favorite memories of Lewis. “Donald was a great guy, a terrific mayor, a true gentleman, and can’t say enough about someone like Donald,” Kinnaird said. “Every town has at least one of Donald Lewis, and he makes it worthwhile living in the community, and he was great for our community.”


Commissioner Liaison Appointments

Mayor Kinnaird decided that he wanted to change the commissions that the town commissioners were acting as a liaison to, so the commissioners could get a broader picture of what is happening in the town. He said, “I think the more experience we have with different commissions and different ideas that are going on in our town is good for all of us.” The new liaisons, who began serving in March, are: Police Commission – John Kinnaird; Seniors Commission – Wayne Hooper; Planning and Zoning Commission – Bill Buehrer; Main Street/Economic Development Commission – Wes Hamrick; Thurmont Addiction Commission – Marty Burns; Board of Appeals – John Kinnaird; Parks and Recreation Commission – Marty Burns.


Youth Program Discussion

Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick explained a proposal that he had for summer youth programs in a town park to the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners.

“Our first thought for the first year is to do something as simplistic as we can to see if the community likes it or not, but we really don’t know what that is,” Humerick said. He may attempt to survey the community to see what kinds of programs they would like and what fees they would be willing to pay. Someone would need to be hired for the summer to run whatever programs are decided upon. The early thought is to have a two-week program in Community Park, with some day trips to the Catoctin Zoo or Cunningham Falls.  “I think this would be a really nice program for the community,” Humerick said. “I think that people will be interested in it.” The commissioners told him to move forward with his survey and see what he discovers.


 Mayor Don Briggs

In a late February journey to Annapolis, Commissioner Tim O’Donnell and I met up with representatives of other Frederick County municipalities to demonstrate our support at a hearing before a House of Delegates subcommittee on our earned share of highway user revenues (HURs). In 2009, just this side of absconding, the State of Maryland reduced our earned share of HURs funds, substantially. HURs are created from gasoline taxes. We need our share back. The funds are needed desperately for road repairs. So, if you don’t like your potholes or deteriorating road surfaces, I encourage you to please contact our state representatives: Senator Ron Young (, 301-858-3193); Senator Michael Hough (, 301-858-3713); and House of Delegates Kathy Afzali (, 301-858-3184).

We are gearing up for the annual spring visit by fourth-grade students to the town office. This year, students from Mother Seton School will not only visit us to observe, but also participate in town department activities. The day will end with students being posed questions and speaking from the mayor and board of commissioners’ dais.

I attended the Black History commemoration at the FEMA/National Emergency Training Center campus. The commemoration started with the presentation of the colors by our VFW Honor Guard. C. Lilian Virgil, Chief Mitigation Branch, Acting Chief, Preparedness Branch, Emergency Management Institute, gave a gracious welcome. Dr. Denis Onieal, Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator, U.S. Fire Administrator, and Steven Heidecker, Acting Deputy Superintendent, Emergency Management Institute, gave moving tributes. Interspersed were musical selections by renowned Gospel singer, Patricia Jones. Our very good friend to the needs of Emmitsburg, Roger Wilson, Government Affairs & Policy Director at Frederick County Maryland, Office of the County Executive, and also a Frederick City Alderman, was the keynote speaker. When our town has “irons in the fire” (which we do now), he has and always is there in support.

Thank you to all the volunteers who have put in hundreds and thousands of hours of service to our community. Backpacks for kids, food bank, pregnancy center, churches, Seton Center, and our scouts, to name a few, and now we welcome the new volunteers for our youth baseball. This year, three different groups will be using our fields, one of which is a girls’ softball team. The primary impetus for this change in use is homespun. We have a town resident with an excellent perspective and the successful experience to grow baseball here again. The refresh button has been pushed. The torch has been passed from one wonderful generation of volunteers to another. Fields are being prepped; clinics and games are being scheduled. A strong base is being redeveloped. Thank you to all who have volunteered over the years—baseball is coming back.

Coming up is our Community Arbor Day Tree Planting Celebration on Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 9:00 a.m.-noon at Community Park in Emmitsburg. Twelve trees will be planted. Planting will be done by a representative from community service groups and institutions, myself and town commissioners. Five River Birch, two Swamp White Oaks, and five Red ‘Autumn Flame’ Maples. Joining us will be Dr. Tim Trainor, President of Mount St Mary’s University, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Becky Wilson, Western Region Coordinator for Urban and Community Forestry and Mike Kay, Project Manager for DNR Forest Services. From the celebration, the town will become certified as a Tree City USA town in 2018. Light refreshments will be available. We plan to have a fall planting at a date to be announced.

In early March, we had a burst water line emergency along Flat Run, near the bridge construction area, and on a cold and damp weekday afternoon, no less. Perfect timing, too, right when the kids are coming home from school and the commercial area of town is starting to bustle with after-work activity. The inconvenience with a water shut-off would be immense, affecting all the businesses and residences east of Flat Run, but it would have to be done. Without hesitation, staff members in both the town office and field responded immediately and adeptly; town staff in notifying the affected businesses and residents by all means of social media, notices, personally or phone, and the field staff by going out and fixing the problem. The water service was back on in two hours, by 5:30 p.m., before dinner. Thank you, town staff.

The square revitalization and sidewalk project is approximately 80 percent complete. When we get beyond freezing weather, tree plantings and landscaping will begin.

Hoping that everyone has a wonderful Easter.


 Mayor John Kinnaird

As I write this, we are just recovering from the unexpected snow storm on March 20 and 21. What a surprise it was to have the biggest snowfall of the year on the first day of spring! I want to take this opportunity to thank all the hardworking men and women of the state, county, and our municipalities for their hard work and long hours keeping our roads clear during this snow storm. Hopefully, we can now move on to spring.

With spring comes a lot of new outdoor opportunities, and our children will be out there playing, skateboarding, and riding their bikes. Please be on the lookout for our children as they get back outdoors. They may not always be aware of their surroundings, so we need to be especially careful driving in our neighborhoods.

I want to invite everyone to try one or more of the many amazing restaurants we have during Thurmont Restaurant Week. This Thurmont Main Street event will be held April 13-22, 2018. Be sure to try something new or enjoy your favorite menu items at any number of local restaurants. Experience Thurmont’s locally owned restaurants and enjoy the prix fixe menu special or some of their signature dishes! Main Street is also hosting the Annual Thurmont Business Showcase on April 28, 2018, from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The Showcase will be at the Thurmont Community Ambulance Company Event Complex on Stratford Drive. Be sure to attend and see all the local businesses on display. There are always a few surprises and new businesses to learn about.

As we are all aware, the opioid and addiction epidemic continues to impact our communities and has touched all of our lives. The Thurmont Addiction Commission (TAC) has been created to help educate and inform our residents on three important pieces of the addiction puzzle. Education and Awareness, Support & Recovery, and Prevention & Outreach are the three pillars the members of TAC are helping address. Please visit the Facebook page to see when the next presentation will be held, and attend to learn about the signs of addiction and what you can do to help in this critical battle.

This past March 15, I attended the first meeting of a new group, intent on helping our youngsters choose a healthier and safer path through their teen years and into young adulthood. Abandon Teen Center will be hosting events and get togethers to help our youth set a path free of drug use and the many peer-pressure pitfalls they face. Please support this worthwhile organization, and take the time to discover if this group is an option for your children.

The nice weather will be bringing some road work and infrastructure improvements to our streets. Be aware and drive carefully whenever you see a construction site.

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