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Alisha Yocum

Beth Ohler & Co. recently started as a new team of J&B Real Estate. Ohler, who has been an agent for J&B Real Estate for seven years now leads her team out of the company’s office in Walkersville. Ohler says opening her new company allows her to maximize the team’s reach and allows for more flexibility in providing all the great services they offer!

Ohler’s team will include three additional agents and an administrative/marketing assistant. Combined, the team has over 14 years of experience.

Whether you are looking to sell or looking to buy your first home, a farm, land, or a townhouse, Ohler says she is ready to help you. The company even offers discounts for first responders!

When asked what advice Ohler had for the current real estate market, she advises sellers to use someone local who knows the market, so they can develop a strategy to maximize your sale. For buyers, she had similar advice: Don’t wait. Contact a realtor as soon as possible, even as much as a year out, so you can make sure everything is in order for when you are ready to buy.

Ohler resides on her farm in Thurmont with her husband, David, and two daughters, Madison and Jordyn.

When not selling real estate, you will find her around town at the softball fields or showing livestock her family raised on their farm. Ohler is also known for her support of the local community.

In December, Ohler connected with her parents at Kelco Plumbing and brother at Bulletproof Roofing to provide a Santa’s Workshop event for the community. Ohler says she hopes to do more events like this in the future, as giving back to the community is an important part of her business.

For more information about Beth Ohler & Co., view the advertisement on page 24.

Beginning mid-April, the YMCA of Frederick County, working with the Town of Thurmont, is bringing several six- to eight-week-long classes to the town of Thurmont, as well as a one-day youth basketball clinic.

The YMCA of Frederick County has two branches and seven locations (including Camp West Mar in Sabillasville), but provides programs and services out of about 40 locations throughout the county, including before/after school care in 25 elementary schools and 8 Head Start classrooms. And, now, they are bringing programs to Thurmont, using Thurmont Regional Library and Thurmont Community Park. Programs will include:

Painting and Drawing, Mondays, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Thurmont Regional Library.

Youth Run Club, Thursdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Thurmont Community Park.

Let’s Get Healthy, Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Thurmont Regional Library.

Flying Cows Basketball Skills Clinic, May 14, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (incl before/after care), Thurmont Community Park.

This is not the first time the YMCA has brought programs to Thurmont, but it is the first time in about two years. During COVID, the YMCA offered some one-day, family-friendly events outside at Thurmont Regional Park, but this is the first time the YMCA is bringing full-session, long programs, spanning a variety of program departments, including Arts & Humanities, Youth Sports, and Healthy Living.

The YMCA has been working with the Town of Thurmont to approve programs, find locations, and market the upcoming services. They recently attended the Thurmont town meeting and presented about the YMCA and the offered programs.

“We are so excited to be working in collaboration with the YMCA of Frederick County to bring the “Y On The Fly” programs to Northern Frederick County. The programs being offered for the spring session cover a wide range of interests for all ages. There is something for everyone,” says Vicki Grinder, economic development manager for the Town of Thurmont.

As part of its strategic plan, the YMCA is focusing on “offering vital Y programs and services throughout Frederick County by expanding programming.” The YMCA has hired Jon Watkins as director of Community Outreach to build and expand relationships with local governments and other organizations and nonprofits.

“Our mission is to provide critical services to those in underserved communities. We are excited about re-engaging in the town of Thurmont and look forward to learning more about the needs and interests of Thurmont residents,” says Chris Colville, president and CEO of the YMCA of Frederick County.

The YMCA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and provides programs to build a healthy body, mind, and spirit for all. Through their annual campaign, they provide financial assistance, ensuring everyone has access to programs and services to learn, grow, and thrive. To learn more about financial assistance or programs and services offered, please visit

The following are the statuses of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg from the town planner’s report:

Federal Stone (Creamery Road, east side of US 15) — Under construction.

Seton Village — The applicant is seeking planning commission approval of a subdivision plat to convert two condominium units into two recorded lots. Town staff met with the applicant to discuss the forest conservation requirements.

Emmitsburg Distillery (East Emmitsburg Industrial Park II Lot 4) — Update plans have been received, and town staff is reviewing them.

Christ Community Church (Creamery Road) — The applicant has resubmitted site plan for review. A landscape plan stamped by licensed landscape architect and a final review of the lighting plan are still pending.

Mount St. Mary’s University E Wing Improvements (South Seton Avenue) — The planning commission conditionally approved the plan, and staff provided additional comments for the applicant to address. The applicant has yet to satisfy all the conditions of approval, particularly regarding the lighting plan.

St. Joseph Church (North Seton Avenue) — Applicant summited an improvement plant for the installation of a ramp that meets ADA standards. Staff is currently reviewing it.

Development Pipeline/Applicant Interest

Frailey Property Annexation — A potential developer is interested in developing the portion of the property within the town boundary before annexing and developing the rest of the property.

Emmit Ridge — Town Staff will meet with the DRB Group regarding a sketch plat.

Rodney McNair Property Annexation — Town staff is awaiting an annexation application.

James Rada, Jr.

After two years of meetings for planning and approvals, the new, larger Goodwill retail store in Thurmont is under construction. While not complete, the end is in sight.

The new 17,850-square-foot store on Thurmont Boulevard, behind the Taco Bell/KFC, is expected to be finished by the end of November, with a grand opening sometime after that. The location is part of 2.95 acres in the Thurmont Business Park, according to planning documents.

The new, larger store will replace the current store on East Main Street and is conveniently located near shopping, banks, and restaurants.

The concept plan was first presented to the Thurmont Planning Commission in January 2022. The preliminary plans were presented in May and June of that year.

All new Goodwill stores, including store relocations like in Thurmont, will have drive-thru donation centers, according to a statement from Kristen Jones, senior manager of marketing and communications for Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley.

“We know that larger stores with more square footage will provide our shoppers with more product offerings at an affordable price,” the statement said. “[W]e’re committed to making a positive economic impact in Frederick and Carroll County, which includes increased employment opportunities for community members. Last year, we provided more than 300 jobs in the communities our stores serve.”

Mayor John Kinnaird said the Planning and Zoning Commission has handled reviewing and approving development plans, and the Board of Commissioners hasn’t provided much input on this project.

Kinnaird said the current Goodwill location has a “horrendous” parking situation, and there isn’t much room for the business to grow.

“Some nights, it’s surprising how many people are shopping at Goodwill, so I’m sure that their own customers’ needs have probably driven them to look for another location,” he said. “Any business that expands is great. It shows there’s a need for it, and they have the customer base to justify the expansion.”

Thurmont Town Planner Kelly Duty echoed Kinnaird and said the current Goodwill location has consistent problems with parking. When she passes by the store, it’s busy, she said.

“I think this definitely will be a benefit to the community at large. This will take a business where parking is an issue, it’ll move it to the general business district,” Duty said. “It’ll be easier to access by all.”

When Tamara Manahan of Sabillasville decided to open a business with her daughters, Mallery Sheppard and Jordan Reaver, it only seemed fitting to pick a name that indicated a change in direction. Manahan was looking for a new location for her permanent makeup business, and Sheppard, a hairstylist, had just moved back to the area after her husband completed six years as an airborne combat medic at Ft. Bragg. Reaver had also just completed her nail technician training. Together, they came up with the name Studio Veer, which is located at 204 Chambersburg Street in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. They believe that God had sent them in this new direction, with an opportunity to provide personalized care to their clients in a comfortable and intimate setting. Manahan says she doesn’t see this as just a business, but as a ministry. They love hearing their clients’ stories and journeys and helping them feel beautiful and confident.

Manahan has been doing permanent makeup for over eight years and offers services such as micro-blading, brow shading, combination brow, permanent eyeliner and lip color, tattoo removal, and, her newest service, fine line tattoos.

If you are looking for hair care, the studio offers full hair-care services, but Sheppard , who has been licensed since 2016, specializes in low-maintenance color, lived-in blondes, fashion shades, and gray blending. Reaver offers complete nail services, including manicures, pedicures, and beautiful nail art.

These ladies are proud to be women and a family-owned business, but they are also proud and passionate about their “Sunshine Project.” This program is for those who may need a little extra ray of light in their lives. Perhaps, someone is struggling through illness, the death of a loved one, divorce, financial struggles, and more. Studio Veer is asking for nominations of someone who could be blessed with a little extra sunshine in their life through a manicure, pedicure, haircut, etc. Text 301-302-6632 to make a nomination.

Studio Veer is open by appointment only. See their advertisement on page 12 for more details.

Alisha Yocum

Brad Nesbitt and his cousin, Troy Nesbitt, grew up watching their dads run a painting business, and the two recently decided to start their own venture, Nesbitt’s Painting.

The duo offers interior and exterior painting, drywall repair, deck and fence painting, and more. Brad says they mostly take on jobs in Frederick, Washington, Carroll, and Franklin counties, as well as parts of West Virginia, but they will travel further if requested.

Brad grew up in Sabillasville and now resides with his wife and their three kids in Smithsburg, while Troy and his wife are raising six kids in Keedysville.

When the two cousins aren’t sprucing up walls with a new paint color, you will find them deeply involved in their communities. Brad said that just like they both watched their dads run the painting business, they also learned the importance of community from them as well. Brad serves as a local youth minister, and Troy is an Army Veteran and is currently studying to become a minister. 

For more information, view their advertisement on page 32.

James Rada, Jr.

Taylor McCrea and Jean Churnesky in the Cracken Catering kitchen at the carry-out location in Blue Ridge Summit.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

Taylor McCrea has worked in catering since he was 17. For nine years, he worked with a catering and convenience store in the Blue Ridge Summit area. He took a break from it for two years to work in heating and air conditioning, but his heart was still with the food industry.

“I had an idea that I wanted to have a food truck, and then I found one for sale locally,” he said.

He bought it and started selling meals from it in August 2022. A little over a year later, Cracken Catering opened. He is helped by Jean Churnesky, who has worked with him since the start. The business not only offers catering and food truck service, but it also has a carry-out business on Buchanan Trail East in Blue Ridge Summit.

They are starting to be seen regularly at local events, making customers happy. One thing customers like is the home-cooked food.

“A lot of our menu is made to order,” McCrea said.

Besides Cajun offerings, steak subs, and chicken, you can also find specials of the day on the menu, such as pot pie or the Cracken Cubano, which is grilled ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and remoulade on a toasted French bread roll.

McCrea said he especially enjoys the catering side of the business. He can go to a customer’s event, set up on site, offer good food, and make the event less stressful and more enjoyable for his customers.

“That’s what gets me up in the morning,” he said.

The restaurant is located at 14085 Buchanan Trail East in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. Carry-out is available Thursday through Sunday, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. You can check the daily specials on their Facebook page.

Alisha Yocum

Ryan Ely is shown outside of E Plus in Emmitsburg.

As a kid, Ryan Ely said that being around his dad’s business, C Ely Signs & Graphics in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, he never really saw it as a future career for himself. However, after dabbling in other jobs, he realized that working in signs and graphics was what he wanted to do.

At just 22, Ely took over managing E Plus Graphics & Promotions in January and is looking to bring the community more! While they will still offer all their existing services, he plans to offer more large format signage, the ability to print on any substrate or material, and faster turnaround on apparel printing. Ely said he thinks Emmitsburg offers lots of opportunities to grow with all the businesses that are in the area. While they are planning to grow, E Plus will remain community-oriented, and long-time staff members, Blair and Grace, are still at the store helping customers.

E Plus is located at 1 E. Main Street in Emmitsburg. The store is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Alisha Yocum

Steve and Dawn Harbaugh, owners of Harbaugh Memorials.

Photo Courtesy of Dawn Harbaugh

Steve and Dawn Harbaugh, residents of Smithsburg, were driven to start a new business venture, Harbaugh Memorials, in September, based upon what they think is a need in the community.

Specializing in the sales and installation of high-quality granite memorials, the couple offers a diverse selection of headstone designs available in various granite colors. Beyond their commitment to craftsmanship, the Harbaughs say they are dedicated to simplifying the memorialization process for grieving families. Acknowledging the challenges of busy schedules, they hope to offer a flexible solution by doing custom design work that can be conveniently reviewed and approved via email. This approach accommodates individuals with busy schedules or those who may not be local to the area.

Emmitsburg New Business and Development Briefs

The following are the statuses of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg from the town planner’s report:

The following are the statuses of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg from the town planner’s report:

Federal Stone (Creamery Road, east side of U.S. 15) — Groundbreaking for this project was held last month.

Seton Village — The forest conservation and delineation applications need to be updated.

Emmitsburg Distillery (East Emmitsburg Industrial Park II Lot 4) — The planning commissioner conditionally approved the site plan and improvement plan. Staff are waiting for the applicant’s response to their comments.

Development Pipeline/ Applicant Interest

Frailey Property Annexation — The DRB Group has expressed interest in developing this property with single-family homes/duplexes.

Emmit Ridge — The DRB Group has expressed interest in developing this property with single-family homes.

Rodney McNair Property Annexation — Town staff is awaiting an annexation application.

James Rada, Jr.

Don’t be surprised if you missed the opening of the Seton Avenue Barber Company in Emmitsburg. Paula Socks was able to open her new business in one month.

Socks is a familiar name to many residents of Emmitsburg. She cut hair at another business in town for two-and-a-half years.

“I left for four months, but I realized I missed the town,” Socks said. “It has the most genuine and kind people I’ve ever met.”

When she decided she wanted to return to Emmitsburg, she saw the space available and started planning her comeback to town.

She had a lot of what she needed. Her son deals in antique furniture, so she was able to get a couple pieces from him, such as an antique buffet that now serves as her counter. Other things like a barber chair and waiting seats, she was able to order quickly online.

“Things fell into my lap very quickly, and we opened in 30 days, which is very quickly,” she said.

The shop opened on November 13, 2023. The only hiccup she found was that by the time she opened, a lot of people had already had their hair cut for the holidays.

Although Socks lives in Hagerstown, she is happy to be back in Emmitsburg. During the four months she was away, she worked as a military barber in Thurmont.

“I like the people here, and it’s a bit slower pace than Hagerstown or Frederick,” she said.

As word gets out about the shop being open, she is seeing some of her former customers, as well as new walk-ins.

Socks has been doing hair for 30 years. “I give a really nice haircut at a fair price.”

That price is $16.00, although women’s hair is a bit more because they tend to have more of it. She also does Veteran’s haircuts for a donation, if they let her know they are a Veteran.

The Seton Avenue Barber Company is located at 130 S. Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and on Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Photo of Paula Socks by Deb Abraham Spalding

James Rada, Jr.

Dr. Olumide (Olu) Bolarinwa (pictured right) used to drive by Emmitsburg Family Dentistry on his way to go skiing at Liberty Ski Resort. It caught his attention because he was a fellow dentist. He then got to know Dr. Timothy Bringardner, and the two became friends.

So, when Dr. Bringardner retired, it wasn’t too surprising that Dr. Olu took over his practice even though he had a practice in Mt. Airy.

Under Dr. Olu’s care, the Emmitsburg Dental Center has been thriving, and it continues the tradition of patient-centered dentistry that Dr. Bringartner started.

Dr. Bringardner retired in January 2023 after nearly 40 years as a dentist. Dr. Olu took over at the end of February 2023.

He still lives in Mt. Airy with his family and takes the back roads to get to Emmitsburg. “I was already used to the drive because I would come this way to ski, so it doesn’t feel far and I enjoy the views on my drive,” Dr. Olu said.

Dr. Olu is a Nigerian immigrant. He came to America in 2006 and attended Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine at Boston University to get licensed as a dentist in the U.S. He obtained his DMD in 2016. He also received a Master’s in Global Health and one of several residency trainings in Dental Public Health, both at the University of California, San Francisco (USCF).

He wound up in Frederick County because he fell in love.

“I met my wife there (Boston University),” he said. “She was studying for her Ph.D. She had grown up in Mt. Airy, and she liked it there.”

He wound up taking over a practice in Mt. Airy, so when he took over Dr. Bringardner’s practice, he had prior experience and knew what to expect. This made it easier and helped make the transition more seamless for the patients.

Besides general dentistry, he also performs extractions, implants, child sedation, and other procedures.

While dentistry has become his calling, Dr. Olu didn’t always want to be a dentist. He wanted to be a professional soccer player. He still enjoys playing the sport, but when he was a young man in high school, his parents had to set him straight.

“They told me that while they weren’t opposed to me playing soccer, it wasn’t a career,” Dr. Olu said. “They said not a lot of people become professional soccer players, and I needed something I could make a living at.”

Being an obedient son, he looked at where his strengths were with his academics (the sciences), and started to look into medicine, eventually settling on dentistry. It is a decision that has benefitted not only him, but his many patients.

The Emmitsburg Dental Center is located at 101 S. Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg. For an appointment, call 301-447-6662.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg New Business and Development Briefs

The following are the statuses of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg from the town planner’s report:

Federal Stone (Creamery Road, east side of U.S. 15) — Groundbreaking for this project was held last month.

Village Liquors & Plaza Inn (Silo Hill Parkway) — A preconstruction meeting is pending.

Seton Village — The forest conservation and delineation applications were received, and town staff are reviewing them.

Emmitsburg Distillery (East Emmitsburg Industrial Park II Lot 4) — Town staff are reviewing the site plan and improvement plan applications. Staff are waiting for the applicant’s response to their comments. The planning commission reviewed the application last month.

Development Pipeline/ Applicant Interest

Frailey Property Annexation — The DRB Group has expressed interest in developing this property with single-family homes/duplexes.

Emmit Ridge — The DRB Group has expressed interest in developing this property with single-family homes.

Rodney McNair Property Annexation — Town staff is awaiting an annexation application.

Deb Abraham Spalding

Ritchie Revival’s John Krumpotich was pleased to announce that the new Nisei Gallery on Fort Ritchie is now open in one of the finger buildings.

“Every time we turn the lights on in a building that has been dormant for 25 years, it renews the excitement,” said Krumpotich.

Visitors can’t help but notice the long line of identical buildings, set along the main street that is straight ahead upon entering the former Army base’s gate. Krumpotich said they’ve started a new “finger building” project that is a combination of boutique apartments, overnight rentals, and small commercial shops. 

He said renovations and leasing are going faster than they thought they would. The salon is open, an automotive shop is opening on January 1, and two additional buildings are leased with businesses coming soon.

Fall on the Fort wrapped up with Fall Fest. This event was entertaining for everyone, with arm wrestling competitions, pumpkins, hayrides, bands, and tours of the museum and gallery. 

There is plenty to see at the Ritchie History Museum and the new Nisei Art Gallery. Stop by soon or call Ritchie Revival at 301-241-2009 for leasing information.

The new Nisei Gallery is open for shoppers on Fort Ritchie in Cascade.

Photo by Deb Abraham Spalding

The following are the statuses of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg from the town planner’s report:

Federal Stone (Creamery Road, east side of U.S. 15) — A preconstruction meeting was held on October 18.

Village Liquors & Plaza Inn (Silo Hill Parkway) — A preconstruction meeting is pending.

Seton Village — The subdivision application has been received. The town is waiting for the forest conservation application.

Emmitsburg Distillery (East Emmitsburg Industrial Park II Lot 4) — The site plan and improvement plan applications have been received.

Development Pipeline/ Applicant Interest

Frailey Property Annexation — A meeting has taken place with a potential traffic engineer for this development of single-family homes/duplexes.

Emmit Ridge — Interest in developing 48 single-family homes.

Rodney McNair Property Annexation — Residential and Neighborhood Commercial potential zoning.

The U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) presented a thank you certificate in November to Dan Hanagan of Spike Auto Care & Tire Center in Emmitsburg for supporting NFA/ATF Fire Investigations classes on campus.

The commendation was presented to Dan Hanagan in recognition and appreciation of his support of the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy and the U.S Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Fire Investigation and Arson Enforcement Division, recognizing his ongoing assistance to investigators from law enforcement and fire agencies attending the Fire Investigations training classes to have access to vehicles for use in hands-on scenarios.

Pictured from left are Kevin Oliver, NFA Fire Investigations Training Specialist; Dan Hanagan; and Eriks Gabliks, NFA Superintendent.

The following are the statuses of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg from the town planner’s report:

Federal Stone (Creamery Road, east side of U.S. 15) — A preconstruction meeting is pending. Zoning permit was issued on August 23.

Village Liquors & Plaza Inn (Silo Hill Parkway) — A preconstruction meeting is pending.

Seton Shrine Museum Entrance (South Seton Avenue) — The deed of easement is pending. A zoning permit was issued on August 17.

Tenant Fit-out for Daughters of Charity Ministries (South Seton Avenue) — A zoning permit was issued on August 21.

Mount St. Mary’s University School of Health Professions (South Seton Avenue) — A zoning permit was issued on August 21.

The following are the statuses of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg from the town planner’s report:

Federal Stone (Creamery Road, east side of U.S. 15) — A preconstruction meeting is pending. Zoning permit was issued on August 23.

Village Liquors & Plaza Inn (Silo Hill Parkway) — A preconstruction meeting is pending.

Seton Shrine Museum Entrance (South Seton Avenue) — The deed of easement is pending. A zoning permit was issued on August 17.

Tenant Fit-out for Daughters of Charity Ministries (South Seton Avenue) — A zoning permit was issued on August 21.

Mount St. Mary’s University School of Health Professions (South Seton Avenue) — A zoning permit was issued on August 21.

The U.S. Postal Service is observing the 20th anniversary of the Postmaster General Heroes’ Program, which was created in 2003 to commend USPS employees who go above and beyond the call of duty in a variety of situations, such as assisting lost children, getting help for sick or injured customers, spotting fires, and more.

Around 5,500 individuals, known as PMG heroes, have been recognized through the program, which reflects a simple, yet powerful, idea: Because they know the habits of their customers and the rhythms of their communities, Postal Service employees are often the first to notify emergency personnel and render aid when something is wrong.

Delivering mail 365 days over the 20 years of the PMG Heroes’ program would equate to 7,300 heroes if we were to recognize a hero everyday. However, all our heroes are not recognized because of their humility, and often after assisting a member of their community, they continue their route without saying a word.

Most recently in Washington, D.C., letter carrier Donald Proctor saved a customer from choking. After dislodging a piece of cheese using the Heimlich maneuver and saving this customer’s life, he continued delivering mail and finished his day without sharing the story. It wasn’t until one month later the customer felt compelled and wrote a letter to the station manager, sharing the heroic story. They were reunited during a local PMG Hero event, and she was able to thank her “angel,” her new name for him.

This is one of many untold stories of everyday heroes at the Postal Service. 

Today, potential PMG heroes are nominated by postal colleagues. After approved nominees receive a commendation letter from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, they are featured in the “Heroes’ Corner” column on Link, the organization’s national employee news site, where it has become a popular mainstay. In 2020, “Heroes’ Corner” received a national award for excellence in employee communications.

But to be nominated, they need to hear from you, our customers, our neighborhoods, and our livelihood.

If you know of a PMG Hero, please contact your local post office and share your story.

To learn more, the PMG heroes’ stories are archived at to illustrate how Postal Service employees do so much more for their communities than deliver mail.

Geraldine Otremba, Cascade Resident

On August 2, the Washington County Zoning Board voted 4-1 to approve a new Dollar General Market that has been hotly opposed by local residents for two years as not in character with the unincorporated community’s rural setting. The applicant seeking a “special exception,” Outdoor Contractors Inc., has been seeking the exception to construct the store in what is recognized as a rural village zone.

The zoning board’s authority to grant an exception rests on the criterion of compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood. Special exceptions allowed include B&B’s, farm stands, and grocery stores. Cascade residents opposed to adding another Dollar General in Cascade filled the hearing room (three Dollar General stores are nearby in Blue Ridge Summit, and Wayne Heights, PA, and Emmitsburg, MD) and rallied around the town’s long-established grocery store, Sanders Market, which has provided fresh meat, produce, deli, and a full array of products for 60 years.

The zoning board first approved a special exception for the proposed Dollar General in May of last year. Cascade residents appealed the decision to the Washington County Circuit Court, which sent the appeal back to the Zoning Board to re-consider the request as a single special exception use.

The zoning board heard presentations from Outdoor Contractors and opponents of the project.

One resident testified in support of the exception, based on the allegation that the proposed Dollar General was “functionally similar” to a grocery store. Residents from Cascade, Sabillasville, Frederick, Hagerstown, Blue Ridge Summit, and Waynesboro testified in opposition to the exception, citing Dollar General’s own legal and financial filings describing the business as a general merchandise entity.

Opponents also offered first-hand recent photographs from in-person visits to existing Dollar General Markets, highlighting limited grocery offerings and moldy produce. Much of the discussion among the members of the zoning board focused on what is a common understanding of a grocery store. In the end, Board Member Tim Ammons appeared persuaded by an undated, unidentified photo of grocery shelves and voted with chairs, Jay Miller, Marvin Gower, and Bob Meyers to approve the exception. The local opponents through their attorney have said a further appeal is likely

The following are the statuses of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg from the town planner’s report:

Federal Stone (Creamery Road, east side of U.S. 15) — Performance bonds and tap fees are pending.

Village Liquors & Plaza Inn (Silo Hill Parkway) — A preconstruction meeting is pending.

Seton Shrine Museum Entrance (South Seton Avenue) — The deed of easement, county approval, and signatures from town representatives are pending.

Tenant Fit-out for Daughters of Charity Ministries (South Seton Avenue) — This project is under review, and a county building permit is pending.

Mount St. Mary’s University School of Health Professions (South Seton Avenue) — This project is under review. A zoning certificate and county building permit are pending.

On the former Fort Ritchie military base in Cascade, the Fort Ritchie Museum continues to collect historical memorabilia. Those who may have historical items or information to donate to the collection may contact Landon Grove at the Fort Ritchie offices in the old firehouse onsite.

In December, Meritus Health opened the first and only primary care clinic in the community and expanded to full-time hours for all ages in June.

Mountain Top Ice Cream Shop is open behind the firehouse on weekends through October. 

Flat Top Salon and Suites at 14310 Castle Drive is now open and houses several businesses including Winsome Woods, Orchid Oasis Day Spa, The Kera Studio, Radiant Artistry, and Chemically Lavish. A ribbon cutting will be held on August 4 at 10:00 a.m. to introduce these businesses that offer a various spa treatments, massage, sound healing, and beauty services. The Tap Room and Artisan Village are slated to open this fall! Stop by Fort Ritchie and check them out!

Courtesy Photos

Meritus Health ribbon-cutting in June.

Mount Saint Mary’s University (MSMU) has announced the hiring of a new athletics director, replacing retired Athletics Director Lynne Robinson.  Robinson’s retirement was effective in August. Hired as the new director was Brad Davis, whose term began effective in August.

University President Timothy Trainor said, “We enthusiastically welcome Brad and his family to Mount St. Mary’s,” adding,  “As we enter our second year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, we look forward to his leadership and collaboration with our excellent coaches and staff in positively developing our student-athletes in mind, body, and spirit, as well as in building on our winning tradition.”

Davis was hired by the Mount following a successful five-year tenure at Mercyhurst University in Erie, according to MSMU Assistant Sports Information Director Matt McCann, further noting, “The Mercyhurst ‘Lakers’ boast a similar-sized department to the Mount, with 26 varsity programs and 750 student-athletes.”

Davis said, “I am honored and humbled to be named the next athletic director at Mount St. Mary’s. The Mount is a special place with special people and plenty of potential.”

He further stated, “There is tremendous energy and excitement throughout campus, and I am ecstatic to join President Trainor’s leadership team and meet the Mount faithful. I was impressed with President Trainor’s vision immediately, and I look forward to working with our student-athletes, coaches, and staff to achieve success together.”

The five years Davis supervised Mercyhurst were transformative. Rebuilding the Lakers’ structure, mission, and culture, administrative and head coaching hires helped Mercyhurst attain the top spot in the Pennsylvania States Athletic Conference (PSAC) for promoting diversity in 2021-22. Teams recorded a department-wide GPA of 3.4 with a 90 percent Academic Success Rate in six out of seven years, according to McCann.

Mercyhurst President Kathleen Getz stated, “Brad arrived at Mercyhurst five years ago with vision, passion, and experience to elevate Laker Athletics to the next level,” adding, “He has been an asset to Mercyhurst, enhancing our athletics programs and facilities, while being thoroughly dedicated to our student-athletes and to the integrity of our university.”

Getz said, “We are grateful for his contributions to Mercyhurst, and we wish Brad, his wife Kristin, and their son Brecken all the best as they embark on a new chapter in their lives.”

Jeremy Gibson, director of Athletics, Merrimack College, stated, “Mount Saint Mary’s has made a great decision in naming Brad Davis to lead its athletic programs. Brad was an outstanding colleague at Merrimack College and made a meaningful impact at Mercyhurst. I am certain he will enjoy similar successes at the Mount.”

Gary Manchel, head Men’s Basketball coach, Mercyhurst University, stated, “Mount Saint Mary’s University made a fantastic choice with Brad Davis. Brad is a leader with great vision, who not only wants to win the right way but also enable all student-athletes to have the experiences they deserve. He is a person who represents the best values between education and athletics. Coaches will truly enjoy working with Brad while competing for championships.”

In addition to duties at Mercyhurst, Davis serves as chair of the Atlantic Hockey Executive Committee and the PSAC Executive Committee. Past committee assignments include chairing the Division II National Advisory Committee for Men’s Lacrosse as well as the PSAC Advisory Council and PSAC Officiating Committee, according to McCann.

Before his time in Erie, Davis served at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts for 11 years. Beginning as the sports information director in 2007, he was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for External Relations in 2011, and again to Associate Director of Athletics one year later.

Regarding Athletics Director Robinson’s retirement, Davis said, “I would be remiss without recognizing Lynne Robinson, who has served the Mount for 42 years,” further stating, “The Phelan family is synonymous with the Mount, and I know there are big shoes to fill. I’m grateful to Lynne for her help and support during the transition.”

Joan Bittner Fry

In the early 1950s, there was a dance hall/restaurant in Sabillasville. My parents, Harold and Helen Bittner, owned it.  Previously, it had been a salvage yard owned by Buck Wierman and is now a church. Do you recall hearing about it?

The deed was transferred from Leroy A. Wierman to Harold A. Bittner on August 23, 1949. The restaurant and dance hall operated from 1950 to 1953. I believe milkshakes and sandwiches were 50 cents, soda was 5 cents, and soup was a quarter.

The Bend (so named because it was within the Western Maryland RR’s Horseshoe Bend in Sabillasville) was opened to give the young people of the community a place to gather. On Friday nights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight, dances were held with country bands such as The Carroll County Ramblers, Joe Phillips, the Young Brothers (Mehrle being one of the brothers), and The Sunnyside Ramblers. Some band members I can recall were Les Sanders (banjo), Glenn Wolfe (drums and spoons), Harland Benchoff, Larry Harbaugh (fiddle, and his memorable rendition of “The Orange Blossom Special”), Carroll Harbaugh (bass fiddle), and Jim and Jimmy Lynn (guitars). In the beginning, the band was paid $5.00; increasing to $15.00; then to $20.00, and then to $25.00. Those fellows sure didn’t play for three hours for the money!

For the Friday night dance, my late sister, Barbara, and I would make a supply of tickets each week. They were whatever we could dream up, and each had to have a punched hole with a string. Patrons were not to go outside during the evening. My mother was always on watch to be sure if you did go out, you had your own ticket when you returned. We would decorate with crepe paper streamers, which would sag as the evening warmed up. Sometimes, there was an abundance of dance wax on the hardwood floor.

I remember it well. This is where I learned to dance: Jitterbug, two-step, slow dance, Paul Jones—we did it all. Of course, I wasn’t even a teenager at the time, so I believe I was tolerated. There were some Filipino sailors stationed at Camp David at the time who could really dance. I loved it when I could dance with them. I wonder now what they thought. They seemed to enjoy our country shindigs because they were there often.

Some of the first recordings of attendance at the Friday night dances were 35, 29, 41, 62, 62, 67, 76, 78, 88, 83, 75, 94, 86, 73, 54, 80, 75, 108, 114, 84, 100, 126, 114, 118, 94, 105, 125, 122, 111, 94, 104, 84, and 119.

By the time the coin-operated amusement devices tax, the trader’s tax, the restaurant tax, the jukebox tax, and the cigarette tax were all taken care of, there was little to no profit; but as I said before, it was for the young people of the community. Soon, many of the local young men went into the service. This had an effect on the attendance at the dances and, in 1953, the business was closed. 

All I have left are memories and a table and a back bench from one of the booths. It was quite an era!

Photo by Blair Garrett

Tickets and cards from The Bend. 

10Tavern is a new business in Thurmont, located at 10 E. Main Street. The owners, Scott Austin and The Golf Group, purchased the former Thurmont Bar and Grill that had been in that location for nearly 40 years. They have rehabbed the entire facility on the inside and out to create a really “cool” place. They also hired an executive chef, Ray Taylor, who also serves as the general manager.

In 2010, the Golf Group opened Structural Systems and then purchased Hobb’s Hardware in Thurmont. Thurmont’s Commissioners and Economic Development Director Vickie Grinder are excited for additional shops and restaurants to select Thurmont as their business location, with the goal of making Thurmont a destination town.

Visit for more information about the restaurant and peruse the menu.