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Local travel advisor, Barb Cline (pictured above) of Barb Cline Travel, earned the elite Millionaires Club status with Cruise Planners®, an American Express Travel Representative, the nation’s largest and most-awarded travel advisor network.

As a member of the recently announced 2019 Millionaires Club, Cline is recognized as a top-producing travel advisor for Cruise Planners. She has been a full-service travel advisor in the Frederick area since 2009, specializing in Alaska, Europe, River Cruising, Multi-Generational Travel, and escorting groups all over the world!

Cruise Planners franchise owner, Cline, who plans customized vacations and specializes in personal and professional travel services is a member of the network’s 2019 Millionaires Club.

As a full-service travel agent, Cline is dedicated to offering superior customer service and planning customized cruise, land, and resort vacations for her clients. When people book through Cruise Planners Millionaires Club member, travelers can confidently know their vacation is being handled and managed by a proven professional. Client benefits include:

• My Trips Account — Once logged in, clients can view their past and upcoming trips, account information, specials, and more. In addition, they can submit payments for bookings and purchase travel insurance and shore excursions.

• Mobile App — The Cruise Planners Mobile App connects to clients’ My Trips accounts, giving them information about their upcoming trips and allowing them to book new cruises. It’s available for Androids and iPhones – Google Play and Apple App Store.

• Voice-Activated Alexa skills — Travelers have the ability to link their My Trips accounts to Amazon Alexa, letting Alexa provide important information about the upcoming trips.

• Price Tracker — Cruise Planners travel advisors’ system will continually check for any fare reductions on a clients’ cruise bookings, potentially saving clients’ money or giving them access to upgraded cabin types.

“As a Cruise Planners travel professional, I am also a small business owner and entrepreneur, dedicated to ensuring every customer has a personalized and memorable travel experience,” said Cline. “As an experienced, award-winning travel advisor, travelers will benefit from my years of expertise and trust that I will provide them the best vacation planning experience.”

Travelers can discover a world of vacation possibilities by reaching out to Barb Cline at 240-575-5966 or by visiting View the advertisement on page 40.

The Classmates4Life Foundation invites students at all levels—elementary, middle, and high schools—to enter a video and poster contest called Classmates4Life to curb drug abuse.

Contest creator and founder Billy Shreve says, “Drug abuse continues to be a serious problem in our county, our state, and our nation. Our community needs to do everything possible to make sure our young people are aware of the dangers of drugs. It’s also important that kids have the loudest voices rallying against drug abuse. The Classmates4Life video and poster contest is a creative approach to help make that happen.”

The contest is intended to send a message that preventing drug abuse is one of our county’s highest priorities. Several local organizations and businesses are collaborating as sponsors in the contest: Frederick County Public Schools, the Frederick County Health Department, Rotary Clubs of Frederick County, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, the PTA of Frederick County, the YMCA, Frederick Memorial Hospital, Frederick Community College, and Wells House.

The goal for students is to produce a creative video, 30-60 seconds long, that highlights drug-abuse danger and motivates their peers to choose life. The videos should answer one of two questions: at the elementary level, “How are drugs bad?”; at the secondary level, “How can drugs wreck your world?” Videos are due by Thursday, April 4, 2019.

This year, students are also invited to submit posters that capture the same anti-drug message. Posters, also due by Thursday, April 4, can be dropped off at the FCPS Central Office, located at 191 S. East Street in Frederick or at their school’s main office. The public can view each entry and vote on YouTube by clicking the thumbs up symbol for the one they deem best. Voting will take place from April 4-14. An expert panel of judges will also review the entries. Winners will receive prizes and attend a “red carpet” awards ceremony and resource fair at Frederick High School on Monday, April 15.

Prizes include: iPhone, GoPro, tickets to a Frederick Keys game, pool parties, pizza, and more. Classmates4Life began in 2016 and has over 74,000 views on YouTube. The most viewed video has 3,300 views.

Blair Garrett

Off the beaten path, tucked away in a quiet corner of Blue Ridge Summit, lies the Orvis Hill Country shooting range, where members can shoot clays, hunt wildlife, and be a part of a tight-knit community.

The gun club offers a variety of activities and perks for members and non-members, but the crew has big plans for events in the future. While you need to be a member to go on the upland bird hunts on the 572-acre property, non-members are still encouraged to shoot clays and take in the mountain scenery.      

Orvis Hill has big plans for its official grand opening April 6-7, 2019, where they plan on bringing vendors and potentially thousands of hunting and sport fanatics to see what the group has to offer.

“We’re sending out a lot of invitations for the grand opening,” Orvis Hill Manager Jeremy Mays said. 

The grand opening is a lead-in to much more for Orvis Hill, which plans to offer members a variety of fun events to bring its tight-knit community even closer.

“We’re going to do a guns and clubs event, where they’ll shoot here in the morning and then they’ll go play golf at Liberty or a local course,” Mays said.

The massive property still has plenty of area prime for development, with the group only using about 150 acres and featuring a plethora of clay shooting bunkers and stands.

“We have a 15-station course, 100 round clays,” Mays said. “We still have plans to move things around and reorganize, but that will come eventually.”

While the club has been open to accepting new memberships for a short time, the growth of the member list has been substantial over the past couple months. “The growth has been really good, so it’s exciting,” Mays said.

Orvis Hill also utilizes local hunters to lead members to have a fun and safe time.

“For our upland hunts, we have all local guys who bring their dogs in, and they’ll run the hunt,” Mays said. “They also do a safety speech beforehand.”

Orvis Hill has more to offer than just hunts, though, allowing members to enjoy the community and the comradery that the shooting grounds offer. The Orvis lodge is a log cabin formerly used as a deer hunting facility, which offers several cozy rooms for members to kick back and relax after a long day.

“We have a member room here where after they’re done hunting, guys will just come up and sit, drink, talk, and smoke cigars,” Mays said.

The future for Orvis Hill is bright though, with events like fly fishing and competitions on the horizon.

“We want to get some stuff going on the clays side of things as far as competitions after our grand opening,” Mays said. The team is also looking into developing youth programs for young outdoorsmen to participate in. 

For those looking to get away and have fun with friends or family, or those who are looking to be a part of a sportsmen community, Orvis Hill Country Shooting Grounds sits off Gladhill Road in Blue Ridge Summit and features a pro shop with hunting gear, apparel and everything in between.  

James Rada, Jr.

Catherine “Cat” Szafran remembers that when her family left Spain, a bonfire at her house burned for four days, for the purpose of consuming her father’s artwork. Years later, when the Barnstones left England, a bonfire burned for a week, again turning Myron Barnstone’s work to ash.

It wasn’t that his work wasn’t exceptional. Barnstone had an excellent reputation as an artist in Europe. The truth was that he didn’t want to pack up the paintings for the move or leave the unsettling images he painted behind. Much of his work visualizes the way he saw the Holocaust and nuclear war survivors.

“He also did floral pieces that don’t slap you as hard,” Szafran said.

Leaving Europe, Barnstone moved his family to Pennsylvania, where he opened the original Barnstone Studios near Allentown. It was a destination for students from around the world who wanted to learn painting and drawing from Barnstone. The self-taught artist had developed a way of teaching art, which is called the Barnstone Method.

When Barnstone died in 2016, Szafran set about to honor her father’s legacy and continue teaching the Barnstone Method. She brought out the remaining works her father painted and opened the Barnstone Studio in Thurmont at 202A E. Main Street last September.

“This is a nice, little town working toward becoming more artistic,” said Szafran, who lives in Frederick.

She also noted that commercial space is much more affordable at the north end of the county, and that the location is a half hour closer to Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley, where a lot of her customers live. The studio has about five hundred pieces of art from Barnstone.

“We are selling his work to fuel the education side,” explained Szafran.

Besides selling art, Szafran continues to teach the Barnstone method to students. Master guides teach the method during classes and workshops. They are available live, on DVD, and online.

For collectors, the Barnstone Studios offers original works, artists’ sketches, and limited-edition prints. For the more-expensive pieces, Szafran offers a program called Home Is Where the Art Is. It allows collectors to purchase the art in twelve equal, interest-free payments.

If you would like to see Barnstone’s work, visit the Artist Angle Gallery at 124 S. Carroll Street in Frederick, which is hosting a Barnstone exhibit beginning February 9, 2019. The show, “A Celebration of Colors: Myron Barnstone’s Palette” will feature some of Barnstone’s brighter art.

Learn more about the Barnstone Studios at

Cat Szafron, owner of Barnstone Studios, sits in front of some of her father’s artwork that is available at the art studio.

Blair Garrett

Whether it’s fixing up European classics at his local full-service auto shop or rescuing a sinking business, Thurmont business owner and Discovery Channel star Chris Stephens is making an impact.

The Discovery Channel’s Garage Rehab, featuring Stephens and his two co-hosts, Russell Holmes and Richard Rawlings, tackle a struggling business each week in a race against the clock to set up auto shop owners around the country with a business plan for success. 

The hit show has just entered its second season, where Stephens and company are continuing to pour blood, sweat, and tears into building a life-changing garage for shops in desperate need of a business intervention.

Fortunately for Stephens, the difficulties of the expedited rehabbing of a struggling body shop has gotten easier throughout the development of season one, heading into season two.

“Nobody’s ever rehabbed a garage in about 7-8 days,” Stephens said. “When we first did it, we weren’t even sure if we could do it. Now we have it streamlined.”

Outfitting a shop with the correct equipment, tools, and training is a near impossible task to accomplish in a week’s time. But, implementing a business plan to bring the necessary changes for these families and companies to turn their futures around seems like a truly impossible feat.

Yet week after week, the Garage Rehab team hits the road and designs a game plan for success that is personally tailored for each location and demographic to build a better future. Spending time in the area, talking with locals, and doing market research gives the group an idea of what will work and what won’t, and Stephens takes that information and builds a foundation for the new garages.

Sometimes, the changes aren’t easy, but in the end, the rewards are felt by the families, friends, and communities built around these auto shops.

The show features Stephens and the crew fixing the issues plaguing the business, making changes to put them in a position to make money, and, eventually, revealing the brand new shops to owners with a touch of dramatic flair.

“My favorite day is always the last day when you’re giving it back to people,” said Stephens. “When you first start it, you don’t know them, you have no connection with them. But after you spend time with them at the beginning, and we bring their family in, the community comes together, and their friends come to help. So, at the last day, you get to see all those emotions come alive, and they see that people actually do care about their business and they want you to survive.”

The reveal is often an emotional passing of the torch, from the old, struggling business to the new and improved shop. But the team’s work is not done there. The training then begins, showing the garage owners how to use their new tools and resources to put them in a position to succeed for the future.   

Over the course of the two seasons so far, Stephens has been a part of a wide variety of garages, all with different stories to tell.

“We’ve done regular mom and pop body shops, and then we’ve done a lot of hot rod shops. We also did a motorcycle shop,” said Stephens.

When Stephens isn’t out touring the states with the Discovery Channel, you can find him turning wrenches on European classics at his auto shop off Putman Road. His brother, Marc, runs the day-to-day operations of their shop Eurotech Classics, which services all European cars, from vintage European roadsters to modern day Volkswagens. 

If you would like to catch new episodes of Garage Rehab, the show premiers Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. on the Discovery Channel, or you can find previous episodes online.     

Eurotech Classics business owner and star of Discovery Channel’s Garage Rehab, Chris Stephens.

Blair Garrett

Mountaindale Convenience Store offers more to its customers than just quality foods, hot meals, or gasoline.

Owners Rida and Julian Mitchell bring a warm, inviting atmosphere to the people of Thurmont, along with great service with a smile.

The family has followed and finally capitalized on their dream of doing something bigger and better, opening up a second convenience store back in October. The new store provides all the same services as the existing previous one, but with expanded room and variety, and, of course, the same friendly customer service.

Owning a convenience store for nearly thirty years teaches you a thing or two about how things work. You learn to effectively manage costs, how to balance a budget, and the intricacies of how a business is supposed to run. But one thing you do not learn is how to connect with a community. That is a skill that must be cultivated, practiced, and then implemented with perfection.

The Mitchell family has cornered that country market feel, hitting home with the residents of the greater Thurmont area, and giving customers the exact atmosphere to make them feel at home while grabbing a bite to eat or a pack of their favorite sweets.

The initial store, still on Mountaindale Road in Thurmont, was taken over by the Mitchells in 1990. The store has that blue-collar town look, featuring the same faces that have been stopping in for decades, day after day. And even though the new second location has a brand-new kitchen, larger floor space and more varieties of sodas than a person could ever ask for, it has not lost an ounce of that same country charm.

“The bottom line is, we are a country store,” Julian said. “That old building was built in 1870. It’s always been a country store. I wanted to be able to do something bigger.”

The new location just off U.S. Route 15 on Putman Road offers a wider selection of goodies, deli meats, and bakery items, but the same friendly faces that have been there to offer a helping hand remain the same.

The business features a plethora of custom-made benches, frames, and counters made by locals, for locals. The countertops from the deli to the checkout counter all come from local people, which shows that the roots of this community run deep in Mountaindale Convenience Store. 

But with the location of the new store, it is no longer just the same crowd passing through. “We’ve got locals that have been checking us out to see what’s going on,” Rida said. “Most of the people are new people who we’ve never seen before, but I can see them becoming regular customers because we’ve already heard them say this is going to be their regular stop.”

The store has even been catering to a younger demographic, packing the coolers with popular craft beers and specialty drinks, gaining popularity in breweries across the nation. “My son has been helping us out with that,” Rida said. “We have got shelves and shelves and shelves full of craft beer, so when they come in here, they’re shocked to see it all.”

Through the highs and lows, Mountaindale Convenience Store is still thriving and looking forward to building new relationships with customers who stop in from places near and far. But one thing is certain, no matter how much growth and development the convenience store has, that comforting country-store feeling will always stay the same.

Mountaindale Convenience Store owner, Rida Mitchell, is shown inside the store’s second location, just off of U.S. Route 15 at Putman Road.

Photo by Blair Garrett

Fitzgerald’s Heavy Timber, located on Powell Road in Thurmont, received the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award for the restoration of Pine Bank Covered Bridge. Fitzgerald’s Heavy Timber is a full-service timber framing specialist, producing elegant, cost-effective building solutions by combining traditional craftsmanship and technical innovation.

Located in Western Pennsylvania, the Pine Bank Covered Bridge was originally constructed in the early 1800s and relocated to Meadowcroft Rock Shelter in the 1960s to become a part of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. The bridge serves as an essential part of their facilities; all visitors navigate through the parking area through the covered bridge. A conservation assessment conducted in 2012 noted numerous significant problems, including structural issues. Work on the bridge began in 2016 to remove deteriorated sections of the truss, splicing in new replacement timber, raising the elevation of the bridge to correct drainage issues, and installing a new standing-seam metal roof that returned the bridge to its original appearance.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Dean Fitzgerald at 301-639-2988 or e-mail

Pictured is the restored Pine Bank Covered Bridge at the Dedication Ceremony in 2018.

Courtesy Photo

Mayor James L. McCarron, Jr. began his presentation to The Taney Corporation by saying, “Sixty years is a long time to be contributing to the community with the folks Taney has hired & families they have supported…”

Since 1958, The Taney Corporation has helped to preserve the long tradition of wood sculptors and craftsmen that have been part of its history since its earliest days with its creation of quality stairs and stair parts.

In a visit with the Glass Family and their staff, the mayor and city council of the City of Taneytown hereby declared a proclamation that November 8, 2018, is Taney Corporation Day.   

As a family-owned business, the Glass Family—Eric, Audrey, Jeff, and Brian—continue the tradition as the premier manufacturers of wood stairs and rails in the Mid-Atlantic. With the help of their dedicated craftsmen and entire staff, The Taney Corporation has been a mainstay in Taneytown, enjoying the support of the community throughout their sixty years of business.

Started in 1958, with four employees, the business has grown to seventy employees under the leadership of Eric Glass, who bought the business in 1962. His two sons joined the business in the early 1980s and continue the high levels of quality and service that are the cornerstones of their success.

The Taney Corporation is proud of its association with the City of Taneytown and looks forward to another sixty years in their wonderful community.

The Taney Corporation, celebrating sixty years in business on November 8, 2018, is presented an award from the Mayor and City Council of the City of Taneytown.

Megan Doolittle

Elower-Sicilia Productions (ESP) of Dance and Music in Thurmont is celebrating its 50th year in business, and the dancers continue to work hard and diligently on their new choreography. They had a great time performing some of their new dances at the Thurmont Colorfest. The rain didn’t hold them back!

ESP would like to thank all who came out and participated in the 8th Annual ESP 5K “Tutu Cute Edition.” A portion of the proceeds went to help support Maggie Kudirka (aka “The Bald Ballerina”).

Maggie is a Maryland native who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at the age of twenty-three, while she was dancing with the Joffrey Ballet Company in New York.  Maggie has been a strong advocate for breast cancer awareness. The money raised will help with the cost of Maggie’s increasingly large medical bills.

ESP will be holding a Bingo event at the Thurmont Carnival Grounds Activity Building on Sunday, November 4, 2018. Doors will open at 2:00 p.m. The cost is $10.00 admission for a 6-pack of regular games, specials, and jackpot. Early birds, 50/50, and additional cards are also available for purchase. Games are being played for restaurant and business gift card prizes. Early birds and 50/50 are monetary prizes, including a $200 jackpot. Delicious homemade food and baked goods will be available for purchase.

ESP is currently accepting sponsors for the 2018-2019 year. There are a lot of perks to sponsoring. Please contact the office if you are interested in becoming a sponsor. Please help our dancers make their way to the Nationals competition in June 2019.

The dancers have been hard at work with choreography and training for the new dance season. They will be traveling for regional and national dance conventions and competitions throughout the season, including Baltimore;  Norfolk, Virginia; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The dancers love to travel and work with master teachers from all over the world, but their favorite place to perform is for their home community. Other local performances for the season will include Thurmont Main Street’s Arts and Wine Stroll on November 9, 2018 (dancers will be performing between 6:00-7:00 p.m.); the ESP Showcase is scheduled for February 23, 2019, at Mount Saint Mary’s Knott Auditorium; and Frederick’s Festival of The Arts will be held in June 2019. The dancers are also excited to be performing at the Mount Saint Mary’s halftime show on December 8.

ESP specializes in all types of dance, including tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, acro, lyrical, and pointe. Classes are currently enrolling for the fall season.  For more information, contact the studio at 301-271-7458 or register online at Be sure to check them out on Facebook. ESP would like to give a special “Thank You” to the Thurmont community, The Catoctin Banner, and The Frederick Arts Council for all of their continued support.


Deb Abraham Spalding

It’s becoming an epidemic. People either don’t have health insurance or they can’t afford to use the insurance they do have. Whether needing basic health care from time-to-time, a sick visit, or suspecting a bigger health problem, the new Franklin Family Medicine Direct Primary Care (FFM) in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania—located in the shopping center near the Blue Ridge Summit Post Office—offers services that can help.

FFM founders, Dr. Gary Gallo and his wife Margie, a registered nurse, are the first in our area to offer Direct Primary Care (DPC) services. At the suggestion of their daughter, Jacki, a physician in the Family Medicine Residency program at UPMC St. Margaret’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, the family researched the DPC concept and took a year to set it up. The FFM DPC opportunity is new. “It’s all about good patient care and getting back to good service,”Dr. Gallo said.

FFM gives us an opportunity for primary health care that we can afford. Now, those who have no insurance, those who have insurance with high deductibles, and employers who want to offer their employees a healthy benefit, have an option that works.

FFM is a family medical practice where an affordable monthly membership fee pays for all of your primary care, routine, and sick visit health needs, plus 24-hour access by phone with Dr. Gallo for any medical question or concern. Dr. Gallo’s DPC services are affordable so that those with no insurance will have these basic health services covered, and those with high deductibles can opt to use DPC rather than pay the high price out-of-pocket for their sick visits and routine medical care (thus the advantage of offering this perk by an employer).

Basically, by cutting out the middleman (the insurance companies), the office staff who make the calls to haggle with insurance companies are no longer needed, thus reducing the overall inflation within the health care system. DPC membership is affordable and smart.  Membership is just $70.00 per month per adult, plus just $10.00 per month for each child under the age of twenty-six. Dr. Gallo serves people of all ages, regardless of where the patient resides—Maryland, Pennsylvania, or any other state if in the area for a long-term temporary assignment. Please note that, at this time, Medicare patients are not eligible for membership in FFM.

With FFM membership, here’s what you get for NO ADDITIONAL FEE: a yearly physical with routine bloodwork (FFM has its own lab in-house, so standard blood work is included in DPC); yearly well-child checks; health maintenance visits; sick visits with in-house testing (if needed for strep, mono, flu, etc., plus no additional fee for antibiotics if needed); recommended vaccinations; and 24-hour access by phone to your doctor for any medical question or concern. Those suffering from—or suspecting they may have—diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, COPD, and/or asthma may find that FFM is an affordable way to manage their care with this opportunity. FFM uses prescription drug affiliates that cost less than even our cheapest pharmacy. Prescriptions are either picked up locally or mailed directly to your home.

When needing specialist visits, radiologic diagnostic studies, therapy, and non-routine labs and testing, FFM has established, and continues to expand upon, a local-area network of providers who will offer these services at discount pricing. Does this mean we should all start to opt out of our high-priced, high-deductible insurance? Firmly, No! But, DPC services are just beginning and the future is bright with alternatives to the costly practices currently faced in our insurance-based health care system.

Dr. Gallo explained that FFM club members rarely have to wait to be seen, and they receive more time with the doctor for more thorough care. Hundreds of DPC practices have opened around the country, and the concept is revolutionizing our nation’s broken healthcare system.

Originally from the Pittsburgh area, Dr. Gallo, Margie, their son Marcus, and daughter Jacki moved to the area in 1999. Dr. Gallo earned a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a law degree at Georgetown University Law School before pursuing a career in medicine. He graduated from East Tennessee State University’s Quillen School of Medicine, then completed the Family Practice Residency Program at Latrobe Hospital in Pittsburgh. He has been Board Certified in the specialty of Family Medicine since 1999, and he is a member of the American Academy of Family Practice Physicians, as well as the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

It is a bonus that while operating FFM, Dr. Gallo is the managing partner physician with Waynesboro Family Medical Associates (WFMA) in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Thus, there is a flow of service that can transition beyond basic and sick services to either the traditional care at WFMA or the local-area providers through FFM. Please note that the two practices, FFM and WFMA, are separate entities.

If you think FFM may serve your needs, call 717-785-1151 to learn more and to set up a free get-to-know-us introductory visit. The address of the office is 14961 Buchanan Trail East, Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. Visit for more information and see their ad on page 31.

Margie Gallo, Registered Nurse, and Dr. Gary Gallo, are shown outside the Franklin Family Medicine offices in Blue Ridge Summit.

Have you noticed the renovations and construction that have taken place recently at the Emmitsburg and Thurmont McDonald’s locations? According to Thurmont McDonald’s Manager Rohan Seopaul, the work has been completed in Thurmont and continues in Emmitsburg. The construction included a change to the entire façade of the building, lobby area, bathrooms, and roof at each facility. In meeting ADA requirements, diners lost 25 percent of seating area, but the space is much more accommodating and modern. The dining area features game tables for adults and children. The ordering counter has an express lane for pick-up of in-store orders and internet orders that are placed through an app.

The owner of these McDonald’s locations owns a total of eight stores, including the McDonald’s in Walkersville, Taneytown, and others in the metro area.

A later second phase will address renovations in the kitchen and back of the restaurants.

Thurmont McDonald’s renovations are now complete.

Emmitsburg McDonald’s renovations will soon be complete.

Elizabeth Swindells

Chris Mills has been “in the biz,” the plumbing business, for twenty-seven years. He started working with his father after he graduated high school. Over the years, he has worked for multiple plumbing companies and gained valuable experience. Six months ago, he took that experience and opened his own plumbing company, Precision Plumbing, serving Maryland and Pennsylvania.

“I got to the point that I was tired of making other people money, and I decided it was time to start making my own,” said Chris.

Chris is keeping up the tradition of a “family business.” His only other employee is his son, Indy. Indy, a college student and a wrestling coach, works part-time with Chris. Chris’ intention is to keep his business small and focused on serving the community on a smaller scale. Being just a two-man business, customer service is a major point of interest for Precision Plumbing.

As a small company, with lower overhead, he is able to offer fair rates and 24/7 service. If there is a plumbing emergency, he is available at all hours of the day and night to control the situation. Chris also offers a 10 percent discount to both seniors and active military personnel. Chris genuinely cares to serve and give back to his community.

Although he prefers residential service, he also has extensive experience in commercial plumbing. He offers all general plumbing, but specializes in water treatment. “I enjoy doing neutralizers and water softeners.”

Chris explained that water treatment involves, “Filtering the water to take out any calcium and neutralizing the acidity in the water.” You’ll notice calcium as a crusty build-up on your drains. With this build up, your clothes may be “hard” and your skin and hair may be dry.

If you’re in need of water treatment, give Chris a call! He will be happy to help. He also does the repair, replacement, and installation of faucets, toilets, water lines, well pumps, and so much more. Contact Chris at 717-778-8429 or by email: Check out Precision Plumbing’s advertisement on page 4.

Pictured is Chris Mills, owner of Precision Plumbing.

Blair Garrett

A breath of fresh air has blown in to Emmitsburg’s Quality Tire and Auto, where new owner Ron Walter has continued to push consistency in a business that has been running for over forty years.

Former owner Bob Mort left big shoes to fill, but Ron and his wife, Maureen, have hit the ground running after taking over ownership in June 2018.

“There’re lots of people who come in and wonder where Bob went,” Walter said. “It’s good to let them know we’re going to help them and keep it a tire business.”

In a small town, it can be difficult to find a knowledgeable mechanic that people trust who will offer them good service and a fair deal. Choosing the right auto mechanic can often be a life-long professional relationship. Walter has managed to calm speculation that Quality Tire might close down, offering locals who have been serviced at the company prior to his arrival the quality they have come to expect.

“Everyone was afraid it was just going to close down, and all the local people were going to be without someone to help them,” Walter said. “So, we’ve been able to take over that and hopefully be able to continue the same thing Bob was doing.”

While the business is still brand new for the Walter family, the two have big plans for Quality Tire and Auto in the near future. “We haven’t gotten into auto repairs yet; we are waiting to get more organized and clean up to make more room. Once we do, we’re probably going to get into auto repairs.”

Walter spent the past thirty-five years as a mechanic, honing his skills that ultimately led him to take the reins as owner of his own business. But, even though Walter boasts a lifetime of experience, the transition to becoming a first-time business owner can be tough to adjust to without a solid support system.

Fortunately for Ron and Maureen, who are Thurmont residents, business has been steady enough to grease the wheels heading into the family’s new role. “It’s been so busy, we haven’t really had a lot of time to think about it,” said Walter.

As the two begin to settle into being first-time business owners, and as customers continue lining up for all of their tire services, the move has inspired a bit of confidence about the future of Quality Tire and Auto.

“I was a little worried about the transition, but everything went really smoothly, and Ron has picked up on everything so well,” said Maureen Walter.

Despite the whirlwind of changes over the past two months, all signs point to Quality Tire and Auto keeping the local tire business thriving for years to come. Call Quality Tire for more information at 301-447-2909 or visit the station at 17650 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg.

Pictured is Ron Walter, new owner of Quality Tire and Auto in Emmitsburg.

Blair Garrett

Tucked away in the mountains of northern Maryland lies a hidden gem not visible to the naked eye.

A combination of fine attention to detail and a deep appreciation of outer space has Yugen Tribe of Emmitsburg creating intricate keepsakes and jewelry for people around the world.

While the company’s reach has expanded to nearly every country on the planet, the business originally started on the shoulders of one woman, Lauren Beacham. “It started almost eleven years ago,” she said. “I was working as a gallery director in Frederick. I started making jewelry out of my own photographs, and it just started getting more and more popular. Eventually, I was able to quit my job and do it full time.”

Beacham’s artistic background paired beautifully with her scientific interests, building the foundation for her business to become what it is today. “I started designing jewelry about outer space, which was very niche, and I had no idea how it was going to go, but it really took off.”

Yugen Tribe’s variety of space-inspired jewelry has been featured in magazines, catalogs, and science-dedicated websites, catapulting its popularity into the stratosphere. “We started getting attention from very big catalogs, museums, companies, internet phenomenon, and it totally took off.”

With the ever-growing influx of business opportunities and demand of production, Beacham decided to branch out. She put the fourteen-hour workdays behind her, bringing in fellow science enthusiast Brittany Elbourn to help balance the vast needs of the business.

“It’s a combination of production, design, marketing, and customer service,” explained Beacham. “It’s just us two and we do everything.”

Between handling personal items for customers and the nearly six-month-long production boom for the holidays, the women of Yugen Tribe continue to find time to design new and interesting pieces for jewelry lovers everywhere.

In addition to the space-themed necklaces and bracelets, Yugen Tribe has worked on a line of heirloom pieces that provide special memories for their customers.

“We take customer photographs and put them into our jewelry, which tends to be more on the vintage side of things,” Beacham said. “We also do memorial stuff. A really popular seller is a bouquet charm. If a bride’s father passed away, she’ll send us his photograph; we’ll set it into this brooch (shown above), which she can attach to her bouquet, so he can still walk her down the aisle.”

The personal touch of these items seems to be the catalyst for the Tribe’s online success. The stories from customers behind personalized pieces give meaning to the work Yugen Tribe does. This builds a relationship that would normally be lost through a large corporation. “They share personal stories about who these people were to them,” Elbourn said. “It makes you feel connected to people.”

Despite all of the personal success for the duo, there has always been a major focus on giving back to the community and growing businesses. “One of the other things I really like doing is supporting other small businesses, especially women-owned businesses,” Beacham said. Yugen Tribe gives back quarterly, donating money to various organizations, including The Planetary Society, The Nature Conservancy, and The National Humane Society.

Developing a new business and taking the plunge to put all efforts into a new business can be a daunting task. For Beacham, her skill set gave her a unique talent that turned her ideas and creativity into a profession. Space-inspired jewelry is a hard market to crack, but fortunately, she has learned quite a bit along the way.

“It could turn out to be a total failure or it could be really amazing,” said Beacham. “But it turns out, the world is a whole lot nerdier than we thought.”

For more information about Yugen Tribe, please call 240-415-8137 or email

Pictured is Lauren Beachman, Yugen Tribe creater and owner.

A bouquet charm, one of the many unique keepsakes and jewelry designed and created at Yugen Tribe.

Photos Courtesy of Yugen Tribe