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 Mayor John Kinnaird

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day and had the opportunity to spend time with your family. The Thurmont Main Street Farmers Market is now open on Saturday mornings at the Community Park. I encourage everyone to visit the market and any other community events we are having. Watch for upcoming Concerts in the Park and others.

You may have heard that the board of commissioners (BOC) has voted to join in a multi-jurisdictional law suit against manufacturers of PFOAs and related chemical compounds. These chemicals are known as forever compounds because they resist breaking down naturally. They were used in many products, including fire-fighting foam, waterproof clothing and boots, non-stick cookware, and even items like pizza boxes. These chemicals have managed to get into our drinking water sources, and recent changes in allowable levels from the Environmental Protection Agency and Maryland Department of Environment will require that Thurmont and thousands of other communities across the USA take action to remove these chemical compounds from our water systems. We are currently working with our engineering firm to design the filtration systems needed to bring our levels down to a non-detectable level. This will require filtration units at each of our water treatment facilities. Not only will we need the filtration equipment, we will also need to build additions to our treatment facilities to house the filters and plumbing and electrical equipment to operate them. The initial costs will be high, but what is more troublesome is the unknown costs for the safe disposal and replacement of the filter elements or filtration materials. Looking ahead, the BOC has decided to participate in the legal action in an effort to help cover the associated costs. The cost for upgrading the systems will fall on the consumers, so any relief we can get in a settlement will help off-set the costs our residents will be paying. We are moving forward with the design, purchase, and installation of the required equipment. It is our hope that we get support from the MDE or EPA and a settlement from the legal action to help defray the costs. We do not expect to be made whole by a settlement but we hope that funds will be awarded to help defray the costs. While the design and installation process is moving forward, I want to reassure everyone that we are following the guidelines set forth by the EPA and MDE.

Work continues on Frederick Road leading up to milling and resurfacing later this summer. The Thurmont Water Department installed three new 8-inch gate valves at the Frederick Road and Thurmont Boulevard intersection. This will ensure that a planned commercial improvement on Thurmont Blvd. will not require cutting the new blacktop. They have also installed a new 8-inch gate valve on the Moser Road water main at Frederick Road. This new valve will allow the crew to isolate the water main if it needs to be shut down in an emergency. A private contractor has been working to upgrade the storm water collection basin on Frederick Road. These are all over 40 years of age and have been having issues. The new basins will help improve the flow of storm water off of the road surface. They are also upgrading the sidewalk and entrance to Community Park in advance of milling and repaving. These projects have caused some delays and slowed traffic, but in the end, the new road surface will be well worth the inconvenience. The Town has just put out an invitation to bid on the milling and blacktopping. The contract should be awarded within a month, and at that time we will have an approximate start date for the final phase of work.

The Town of Thurmont will also be starting a rebuild of North Church Street this fall. This project will include the complete rebuilding of the water and waste water infrastructure on the roadway. The infrastructure has been in place for many years and sections are failing. We will be removing existing terra-cotta pipe wastewater lines and wastewater laterals. We will also be removing an abandoned water pump installation beneath the Church Street and Emmitsburg Road intersection. This work will provide much-improved services for residents served by the lines we are replacing. During the work, one lane will be closed and flagmen will be onsite to keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible. Once our work is finished the state will blacktop the roadway.

As always, please wear sunscreen, hats, and long sleeves when outdoors. Make sure your kids, family, and friends are also protected for their safety. I can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 301-606-9458.


Mayor Don Briggs

Why should we protect our mountains, farms, and historic districts? Because it defines us. Recently, our daughter moved to Lexington, Kentucky. She had sold her horse farm in Virginia, spent a year traveling around the world, and then, surprisingly, extended her horse-related career in the horse capital of the world: the bluegrass state. In a recent visit, we drove by miles and miles of horse farms with new foals abounding; ate lunch at Keenland Racetrack; toured the Kentucky Horse Park, home of the Olympic equestrian team; and watched the world-renowned Rolex three-day competition event. Our daughter’s grandparents’ farm was named Houyhnhnm, a name taken from the Jonathan Swift novel, Gulliver’s Travels. Houyhnhnm (pronounced win-em) was a mythical country of superior intellect horses. Though our daughter will be traveling a lot in her new role in the horse world, it sure seems and feels like she lives in that special place, the Camelot of horse lovers, Houyhnhnm. We’ve got it special, too. Let’s protect our special setting that forms us. Something akin to the Irish bard’s description, Dinnshenchas, the embodiment of place and who we are.

I attended and gave the welcoming address at the 42nd National Firefighters Foundation Memorial Weekend held on the weekend of May 6-7. The commemoration was previously held annually the first weekend in October. As in previous years, thousands of guests visited Emmitsburg to honor those who gave their lives in fire service. The weather cooperated for a fitting tribute for those firefighters who were always there for us. Many people have asked what my message to our guests was, so here it is:

“Good evening. On behalf of the residents of Emmitsburg and Northern Frederick County, welcome.

Thank you for again sharing this solemn tradition with us, the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service weekend, as today we honor these firefighters. 

Every year as mayor, I am given the honor to welcome you. And every year I have to call upon wisdom far greater than mine.

It is written that success in life is measured by whether we use the gifts/talents that we are given. It is also written, as if to answer that challenge, ‘Be not afraid.’

For your contributions to your communities across the county, responding to that call in the middle of the night, always that challenge is there and begs an answer.

As it was for these firefighters we honor today, the answer they gave was yes, and the answer they expect from you and all of us is: Be not afraid.

They were a success. They used their talents well. Welcome. Our town is yours.”

After many hours of preparation by a faithful group of volunteers led by the Lions Club and most of our civic groups, including the Knights of Columbus and Masons, the Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day will be Saturday, June 24. Great community event in Myers Community Park: vendors, games, multiple food choices, parade, and fireworks. 

Parks are alive with activities. People are enjoying the new bleachers for baseball and softball games in both Memorial and Myers parks. New covered places with grills are being used. More walkers are out and about now that the town is more connected with the sidewalk improvements throughout the town and missing connections in the parks that were made in the last decade. Again, we are becoming a well-connected pedestrian and bike-friendly town that is less car dependent and offers a diversity of both active and passive recreational opportunities.

The community pool opens on Memorial Day Weekend and will be open on weekends, then daily after schools let out. Pool party dates are set, one for each of the summer months. Check with the town office or social media sites for dates and times.

The Farmers Market, located on South Seton Avenue, opens on Friday, June 23, from 2:00-8:00 p.m., and is going to be spectacular. It’s our best one yet: lots of vendors, children’s activities, and an ice cream truck to boot.

Come on summer. Emmitsburg is here and ready for all to enjoy.


Burgess Heath Barnes

On May 13, town elections were held for two council positions. Congratulations to Commissioner John Cutshall on his re-election and to former Burgess, Bill Rittelmeyer, on his election to serve as a council member. Thank you both for stepping up to serve our town.

At our May 9 town meeting, I informed the council that, unfortunately, our request for funding of $257,892.64 to be added into the county budget for a needed major electrical panel replacement at the water plant was not added. We discussed other ways to get it replaced. We will reconcile our records and see what is remaining from the ARPA funds we received as one option.

I also was informed that our request to have a grant issued under the Community Parks and Playgrounds to build a bathroom in the east side of the park was not approved. It appears, from what I can see, that out of the 70-plus projects that were awarded under this year’s governor’s budget, only one went to Frederick County.

On a bright note, we did receive the denial letter the day before the deadline for next year’s POS grant deadline, so we submitted the project under that, along with the request for funding the skate park. The meeting for that will be on June 6, along with the other municipality leaders in the county to determine the funding allocations; hopefully, we are successful.

Commissioner Dana Crum informed us that she has scheduled the company to paint the much-requested pickleball lines onto the tennis courts. That should happen in the next few weeks. The maintenance men have also removed the old playground equipment in one section of the park and the new equipment will be installed in July or August. I also gave an update on the town hall. A site plan has now officially been filed with the county and is going through the forestation and storm water management permitting process at this time. Once those are approved, the process will begin flowing through the permitting channel, hopefully, at a quick speed.

The FY2024 budget was presented to the council and several items were discussed and some changes made. At the June 13 town meeting, the budget will be voted upon during the first half of the meeting and the two new council members will be sworn in to continue the second half of the meeting.

 As always, I encourage everyone to support Glade Valley Community Services (GVCS) if you have clothes or food donations, as they are always in need of items for members of the community. For more information, please contact GVCS by email at [email protected] or call 301-845-0213.

If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or by phone at 301-401-7164.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are at 6:00 p.m. on the first Monday of the month, as needed.

If you have an item for the agenda, it needs to be submitted 14 days before the P&Z meeting.

The current location for meetings is the St. John’s United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.

A few months ago, Conrad Weaver of Emmitsburg debuted his film documentary, called PTSD-911, which spreads awareness about PTSD among first responders.

Conrad is currently on a coast-to-coast bicycle tour to raise money for awareness. The documentary will be shown at Mount St. Mary’s University on July 13.

Watch Conrad’s coast-to-coast progress on Facebook at PTSD-911 Movie or online at

On May 24, 2023, the day of this edition going to print, he was riding along Middle Fork Clearwater River in Idaho. 

by James Rada, Jr.


Program Open Space Projects Decided

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners decided on a selection of projects to request Program Open Space money to fund. The total is estimated to be $479,500. It is unlikely that all of the projects will be funded this year, so they also needed to be prioritized.

The projects are:

Hunting Creek pedestrian bridge completion – $75,000.

New parking area for 89 spaces at Eyler Road Park – $250,000.

Expanding the East End Dog Park – $7,500.

Mountain Gate Trail from Weis to the Thurmont Library – $47,000 for materials only.

Two pickleball courts at East End Park – $100,000.

Town Oil Recycling To End

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to remove the oil recycling center that was located near the Thurmont Library. The site was badly used by people bringing oil or transmission fluid for recycling. In many instances, this resulted in oil being spilled on the ground and contaminating it. Tracy’s Automotive and Advance Auto will continue to take oil for recycling in town.

Property for Flood Mitigation Purchased

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently approved up to $80,000 for the purchase of .91 acres. The property is the last parcel that was needed so that work can begin on the Emmitsburg Road flood mitigation project. Once completed, it should alleviate the flooding problems along U.S. 15 to Emmitsburg Road and down to Woodside Avenue.

Social Media Policy Approved

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently approved a general social media policy for town social media accounts. The policy has two options. An account can be simply for dissemination of information and does not have to allow for the comments.

However, if the account does allow comments, it needs to be monitored so as not to allow for inappropriate comments, while at the same time not infringing on a person’s first amendment rights.

Thurmont Boulevard Postponed

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners have postponed development of Thurmont Boulevard for the foreseeable future due to the need to use funds to eliminate the trace amounts of “forever chemicals” found in the town’s water supply. They also hope that when they return to the project, they will have some better options for funding it.


Sewer and Water Rate Increases Coming

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners voted in April to start increasing sewer and water rates in town to bring the rates up to the point where the systems are sustainable. The discussion has been going on since last October.

“We can’t kick it down the road anymore,” Commissioner Frank Davis said.

During the public hearing, five residents spoke out against the increases, urging the town commissioners to find income from other sources or a different way to phase in the increases. The commissioners pointed out that they have reviewed a variety of plans, but they are all going to be painful. Also, for the town to be eligible for federal and state loans, they have to show they have a plan in place to be self-sustaining. In essence, to show they can repay a loan, they have to show they have enacted changes that would mean the town probably wouldn’t need to loan.

The commissioners voted:

    Increase sewer rates 3 percent a year.

    Increase water rates 36 percent a year for 5 years and then 3 percent a year, thereafter.

“Do I like it?” Commissioner Amy Boehman-Pollitt said. “No, I don’t. Do I want water? Yes, I do.”

Water rates haven’t increased since 2013, and sewer rates haven’t increased since 2006.

Sheriff’s Contract Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a contract from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office to maintain community deputies in the town. The contract for FY2024 was 5.1 percent greater than the current contract.

Recently Awarded Grants

The Town of Emmitsburg was recently awarded the following grants:

Rainbow Lake Parking Lot for $44,500 to pave a 10- to 12-space parking lot at Rainbow Lake.

Community Park Pavilion Improvements for $30,500 to install a new pavilion roof, repair rotting wood, pressure wash, sand/stain, replace 10 picnic tables.

Memorial Park Pavilion Improvements for $22,000 to repair pavilion rotting wood, pressure wash, sand/stain, replace 11 picnic tables.

Baseball Field Bat/Helmet Racks for $3,000 to purchase bat/helmet racks for the remaining three ballfield dugouts (fields #5, #4 and #2).

DHCD Operating Assistance Grant – Main Street Improvement Grant for $10,000 to replace 102 streetlights along Main Street.


 Mayor John Kinnaird

May is Skin Cancer Awareness month, and I want to help make you more aware of this common health issue. There are several different types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell skin cancer, and squamous cell skin cancer.

Nonmelanoma skin cancer is a very a common cancer in the United States, with more than 5 million people diagnosed each year. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are nonmelanoma skin cancers, are the most common types of skin cancer. Nonmelanoma skin cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer. It is more likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body than the more common forms of skin cancer. Melanoma is more common in men than women and among individuals of fair complexion. Unusual moles, exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time, and health history can affect the risk of melanoma.

Many skin cancers can be prevented by using sunscreen, wearing large-brimmed hats, long sleeves, long pants, and minimizing your direct exposure to sunlight. Be sure to keep these recommendations in mind for yourself and your family, especially your children. Sunburn can be the beginning of skin cancer that will not appear for many years.

Early detection is important for skin cancer, and the following are the things everyone should be on the lookout for:

A new, expanding, or changing growth, spot, or bump on the skin;

A sore that bleeds and/or doesn’t heal after several weeks.

A rough or scaly red patch, which might crust or bleed.

A wart-like growth.

A mole (or other spot on the skin) that’s new or changing in size, shape, or color.

If you see any of the above signs, please see a dermatologist and have it addressed. My experience with skin cancer began about 35 years ago when I had a half-inch diameter piece removed from my upper back. I went to Dr. Warner who told me it probably started when I got burned as a youngster. He often told me cancer can take years to mature and that I would probably have a continuing relationship with cancer. He was right. After seeing him for about 20 years, he ended up recommending that I visit the cancer center at Johns Hopkins. I have been going there ever since. Over the years, I have had several surgeries on my nose, including two skin grafts, two surgeries that required my nose to be cut wide open, and countless sessions with topical chemo treatments. All the skin from the inside of my left ear was removed a few years ago, and I still have issues with it. I have had at least eight surgeries on my cheeks and forehead, including one in mid-April and another scheduled for mid-May. These have ranged in size from one to two inches in diameter. My scalp has been the worst area for me, having at least a dozen surgeries. Many of those have been one inch in diameter but two of them were three inches across and went all the way to my skull. Those required me to change the dressing regularly and apply salve to the skin and bone. The first one was surgically closed after two months, and my lymph nodes were removed when it was closed. I then had 28 radiation therapy sessions to kill cancer in my nerves the doctor could not remove. Since the radiation, I experience constant pain in the front part of my head. The surgery last June took nine months to close up by granulation, meaning nine months of almost daily bandage changes and wound care. This April, I had another surgery on my left cheek and my lower left back, and I have more scheduled in May. I also have a shelf full of costly cancer drugs and cremes I use every day to try to slow the progress of my cancers.

I used to tell people that I had “pretend” cancer that could be treated and removed easily. After all these years, it has occurred to me that my cancer is far from pretend; it is with me every day and causes a lot of physical and emotional pain. This is the result of not wearing sunscreen or hats for my entire outdoor working career. Please do not make the same mistakes I did. Always use sunscreen and wear protective clothing; it can make a big difference in your health for years to come.

Questions or comments? I can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 301-606-9458.


Mayor Don Briggs

Reminder, the 42nd National Firefighters Foundation Memorial Weekend will be held this year on May 6 and 7. The commemoration previously held the first weekend in October, henceforth, will be held on the first weekend in May. This offers better weather probabilities and less roulette challenges than early October presents. Please welcome the thousands of guests who will be visiting Emmitsburg that weekend to honor those who gave their lives in fire service. I will greet families and friends on Saturday evening. It is one of the most special times for me. The Sunday memorial service is open to the public, but it does take on special arrangements in taking buses from the Mount. It is best to contact the Fallen Firefighters Foundation for directions. Check the website at If you can’t make it, stop what you’re doing on Sunday and listen to the bagpipes and siren at our firehouse at the end of the service, as it joins in with all the firehouses across the country that closes out the service as a final tribute to those very special people among us.

Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day is not too far away, on Saturday, June 24. It is led by the Lions Club, with most of the other civic groups, Knights of Columbus, Masons, and the town pitching in. It is a great community event in Myers Community Park, with vendors, games, multiple food choices, parade, and fireworks. Coming soon is an updated website: Visit it.

Pickleball, pickleball. Last spring, the town had a pickleball court template printed over the tennis court in Myers Park, so there could be the choice for optional use. As tennis activity on the court ebbs, “pickler” use is strong, very strong. By one estimate, across the globe, 32 million people played the game last year. To take a shot at the surge, one community is developing a 32-court indoor pickleball facility. A developing consensus for the reasons for the success of the game is that it’s a great workout, easy to learn, social, low impact, equipment is affordable, and you can play doubles.

Another recreational activity that is growing almost exponentially is disc golf. One estimate is that over 4,000,000 people are playing the game. Our town course, located in Myers Park, is one of the most attractive courses in the region, drawing users from multiple states for casual and tournament play. The activity comes with an amazing cadre of volunteers who mow, weed, and maintain the course. Give it a try; we have some discs at the town office (security deposit needed).

New bleachers for baseball and softball in both Memorial and Myers Parks, covered places with grills, new tot equipment at Silo Hill Park, and basketball court installation has now started.

We are becoming a well-connected pedestrian and bike friendly town that is less car dependent and offers a diversity of both active and passive recreational opportunities.

To our seniors with fixed incomes, the presence of Frederick Health is up here, increased transit services to Frederick helps. But this is a tsunami, with the increased cost for everything. This week, we spent $7-plus for a box of cereal. The remnant government program for food stamps that paid $193 a month pre-COVID and was increased to $215 per month during COVID now has been reduced to $40 a month. How does that work?

The community Pool will open on Memorial Day weekend and will be open on weekends then daily after schools let out.

With spring upon us, summer soon to be, Emmitsburg is out there for each of us to enjoy.

The status of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg:

    Federal Stone (Creamery Road, east side of U.S. 15) — Awaiting the submission of an updated site plan and improvement plans. Payment and Performance bonds are also being reviewed.

    Ripleigh’s Creamery (W. Main Street) — Delayed due to funding, but ice cream truck operation started in April.

    Seton Village (South Seton Avenue) — The Daughters of Charity Ministries, Seton Village Property is seeking to formally re-plat the property, creating two lots for purposes related to ownership. 

    Village Liquors & Plaza Inn (Silo Hill Parkway) — Owner has received conditional approval of the Addition Plat and is now seeking to have an updated site plan and improvement plat approved by the Planning Commission.

    McDonald’s (Silo Hill Parkway) — Additional driveway construction is planned.

    Mount St. Mary’s Seton Shrine E Wing (South Seton Avenue) — Renovations to accommodate nursing student clinical rotations is in the planning phase. Parking inquiry: Is the classification “commercial, business, technical or trade school,” which will require one spot per three students?

James Rada Jr.

The Gregory family of Big Hook Crane and Rigging operate cranes to carefully guide the crown atop the 26-foot statue of Mary at the Grotto at Mount St. Mary’s University.

Mary is shown being placed on her pedestal with her crown.

Brock Gregory (left) is shown with Mount St. Mary’s University President Tim Trainer.

Big Hook’s cranes are shown doing the work.

The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Emmitsburg will once again wear a crown of flowers on May 7. The annual crowning of the statue will take place after noon Mass.

The ceremony involves the large crown of silk flowers being blessed at the church and then carried to the statue. Two people are then lifted up in a man-basket to place the crown on Mary’s head.

“The crown is six to eight feet wide,” said Steve Gregory, an owner of Big Hook Crane and Rigging. “It takes two people to lift it and place it on her head.”

The iconic 26-foot statue of Mary overlooks the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and Mount Saint Mary’s University campus from atop the 78-foot Pangborn Memorial Campanile. The statue is located at the entrance to the Grotto, where the old Church of St. Mary had been constructed in 1805 by the university’s founder, Reverend John Dubois, and which has also served as a place of worship for Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, according to the Mount.

The ceremony has been happening since 2014, and Steve and Cecelia Gregory have always participated, along with their son, Brock, son-in-law Kyle Koelzer, and crew.

 Cecelia is a Mount Alumna with deep roots at the Grotto. Cecilia’s maiden name is Wivell and she is one of hundreds of Wivells in the area. It’s fitting that many family members have found their final resting place at St. Anthony’s Cemetery.

Cecelia’s brother, Jeff, wed his bride, Tammy, there, and the Blessed Mother can clearly be seen from the family farm in the valley below. Summer novenas hosted by Monsignor Phillips (who married Cecilia and Steve) were always well attended.

The Gregorys have donated the services of the crane and its operators each year. “Helping out with this means more to us than just a job,” Steve said. “We’re Catholic, and it’s part of being a part of the community.”

Not only is the statue in a tricky position to reach, but special care also has to be taken not to damage the statue. The man-basket is wrapped in blankets so as to not scratch the statue or damage the gold gilding.

The crown will remain on the statue’s head throughout the month of May. This Catholic tradition originated in Italy during the Middle Ages. It is called “The Thirty Day Devotion to Mary,” the May crowning. The ceremony honors Mary as the Queen of May and the Blessed Mother. Although the statue of Mary is crowned, Catholics recognize that it is not the statue that is celebrated but that which the statue represents: Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

The ceremony attracts close to 500 people, depending on the weather. “It seems to be getting more popular each year,” Steve said.

Big Hook Crane and Rigging was contacted in 2021 by Mount St. Mary’s University to remove the statue of Mary after she was found to be in dire need of structural restoration. That project required two cranes and the addition of other expertise, like Dan’s Welding and Fabrication. Everything was carefully evaluated by Brock, Steve, and the team of experts, including weights, welds, and placement of rigging to safely remove her on July 7, 2021, where she has stood since 1964.

She was loaded onto Big Hook’s truck and trailer for her journey to Manassas, Virginia, where she spent the next year getting structurally overhauled and restored. Finally, on July 29, 2022, Brock hauled her back to the Grotto, where she was restored to her plinth, overlooking St Joseph’s valley on July 30, 2022.

by James Rada, Jr.


Town Approves Bond Issue

After a public hearing, the Thurmont Commissioners voted for the ability to issue infrastructure bonds up to $6 million. The proceeds from the bond sale will be used to complete the Thurmont Boulevard project and the wetlands mitigation. The town does not necessarily need to issue the bonds, but the hearing and vote were necessary in order for the town to pursue other sources of funding for the project. Most of the people who spoke were not in favor of the town issuing bonds. The vote was 4-1 in favor, with Commissioner Bill Blakeslee voting against the motion.

State Funding for Park Projects

The Town of Thurmont was recently approved for state grant funding of four park projects in town:

        $220,083 for the Gateway Trail Pedestrian Bridge over Hunting Creek.

        $256,000 for the replacement of the Community Park Tennis Courts.

        $10,000 for the East End Dog Park watering stations.

        $20,000 for the Trolley Trail Interpretive Sign Project.

These project grants will require no match from the town.

Juneteenth Holiday

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to make Juneteenth a town holiday to be celebrated on June 19 each year. The holiday represents the date of the emancipation of the last slaves in the Confederate States. It became a federal holiday in 2021.

Committee Appointments

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird recently swore in Kirby Delauter to serve on the Thurmont Board of Appeals and Ed Hutson to serve on the Thurmont Police Commission.


Sewer and Water Rate Increases Coming

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners is still considering how to implement the new water and sewer rates that will allow the system to be sustainable. The discussion has been going on since last October.

The recommended increases that it appears the commissioners will hold a hearing on this month are: (1) Increase sewer rates 3 percent a year; and (2) Increase water rates 36 percent a year for five years and then 3 percent a year, thereafter.

Water rates haven’t increased since 2013, and sewer rates haven’t increased since 2006.

New Park Grant

The Town of Emmitsburg was recently awarded a Program Open Space grant for $70,000. It will require a $37,500 match from the town. The grant is for a stormwater management plan to pave a 10- to 12-space parking lot at Rainbow Lake.

Commission Appointments

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners recently made the following appointments to town commissions:

        Scott Frager was reappointed to the Board of Appeals with a term of February 17, 2023, to February 17, 2026.

        Carolyn Miller was reappointed to the Parks and Committee with a term of March 13, 2023, to March 13, 2025.

        Martin Miller was reappointed to the Parks and Committee with a term of March 13, 2023, to March 13, 2025.

        Mark Walkers’ resignation from the Citizens Advisory Committee was accepted.

        Valerie Turnquist was appointed to the Planning Commission with a term of March 13, 2023, to March 13, 2026.


Mayor Don Briggs

With April comes traces of lengthening days, milder weather, and once again, the increasing choruses of activity in our parks. In addition to the hardy Emmitsburg Walking Club members (Look them up; they have a Facebook page), comes baseball and softball pushing the edges of each day for practice times. 

Earth Day will be celebrated this year on Saturday, April 22. Planned events start at 9:00 a.m. with a three-hour cleanup around town, fueled by the efforts of the town Citizens Advisory Committee members, families, and friends. For the second year, Stream Links will be planting trees at the wastewater treatment plant. More children-directed activities of plantings, games, music, and an ice cream truck are planned from noon to 2:00 p.m. behind the community center.

Once a year, it’s good to pay tribute to the original Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA)-sponsored scholarship fund, which now brims over $28,000. Thank you to all the businesses that made the educational opportunities possible. Also, the EBPA “Change for Food” program has now raised over $52,000 for the Emmitsburg Food Bank. Thank you to old-guard EBPA members, Allen Knott for accounting and Bob Rosensteel for the idea and collection of donations at different business locations in town. It is my understanding that Bob will be stepping back from collections, and Phyllis Kelley of the food bank will be taking over for him. Thank you to Bob and Allen for many years of service.  

In mid-March, I toured the three construction projects underway at the Daughters of Charity St. Joseph House, of which the Basilica is a part. The former main entrance area off the Porto Concierge is being renovated into three museum exhibit areas and a gift store. Completion is scheduled for this August. In the northeast corner of the building, the “C” wing’s first and second floors, that were previously the nursing home, are being repurposed to house up to 40 pre-seminarians for the Mount seminary. Completed construction and use is also scheduled for August of this year. The third project entails the terrace and the first floor of the “E” wing, adjacent to the new museum, being renovated for use by the new Mount Saint Mary’s School of Health Professions, scheduled to open August 2024.

On Saturday, March 25, Emmitsburg Walking Club member, Melissa McKinney, walked a marathon, 26.2 miles around the Myers Community Park exercise trail loop that was inspired, in part, by a similar event held annually, now in its 34th year in Los Cruses, New Mexico, that commemorates the WWII 1942 Bataan Death March in the Philippines. Melissa walked the 51 laps, toting a 15-pound rucksack for her cherished causes for Veterans, Team Red, White and Blue, and Soldiers Angels.

At an event I attended and spoke at, County Executive Jessica Fitzwater announced Emmitsburg and Thurmont will soon have more access to County Transit services, with a pilot program to launch as of Saturday, April 1. Added to the existing service will be a late-morning optional trip available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Every Saturday, there will be two round trips between Frederick to the benefit of all, including Mount students. Improved bus stops and updated signage are part of the new services. To learn more about Transit Services, visit, @TransITServicesFrederick on Facebook, and @TransitServices on Twitter.

Our sister city Lutsk in Ukraine is being hit with Russian missiles. Thank you, Cathy Bodine, Nathalie Raymond, and Dr. Bonnie Portier for the clothing collection for Ukraine. Take care and pray for our Ukrainian friends.

Hoping you have a wonderful Easter and its magnificent Sunday sunrise.


 Mayor John Kinnaird

Spring is here, the flowers are blooming, there are buds on the trees, and many of us are experiencing stuffy noses due to the pollen in the air. While Mother Nature has gotten this done, the town crews have been working hard at getting the baseball and softball fields in good order. They have also been cleaning up the parks and reopening the restroom facilities. The next couple of months will bring several changes to our parks facilities. The East End Park will be getting a new pavilion next to the all-access playground, replacing the aging pavilion. The dog park will be getting dog-watering fountains to help keep your four-legged friends cool in the summer and well-hydrated while they play. The Community Park will be getting a new tennis court, nets, and fencing; this is to replace the existing court. I expect that the tennis court will be unavailable for at least a month while this work is being completed, so your patience will be appreciated as this work moves forward. The Community Park will also get a pedestrian bridge at the rear of the park over Hunting Creek. This bridge will allow easy access to the park for residents on West Main Street, and it will provide a connection to the Gateway Trail from within the Community Park. The Gateway Trail is a trail leading from Thurmont into the Catoctin Mountain National Park.

I am proud to say that the water main project on Old Pryor Road has now been completed. This project is providing much-needed improvements to the water service for residents on Old Pryor; it has also provided a loop through the Hillside subdivision that will improve service there as well. Thanks goes to Guyer Brothers for completing this project on time, with as little disruption as possible.

You may notice some work has started on improvements to Frederick Road. The contractor has begun refurbishing the stormwater basins on both sides of the road. This is the first part of a project that will see sidewalks repaired, the roadway milled and repaved, and traffic lines reapplied. This project will take several months to complete. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, with flaggers directing the flow while the roadway is being repaired. These improvements will eliminate several sections of damaged sidewalks and result in a much smoother road for traffic. As always, once the road work begins, please drive slowly through the area and obey the traffic control devices and the flaggers. They are there to protect you and the workers.

There has been much talk recently about the forever chemicals in our drinking water. The EPA recently established 4ppt (Parts Per Trillion) as an acceptable level for drinking water. The Town of Thurmont has been working with our engineers and manufacturers to design filtration systems that will bring PFAS to an undetectable level. These filtration units will be installed at each of our water treatment facilities. The installation will require the construction of new buildings to house the units and the necessary plumbing to connect them to our system. I want to assure our residents that we are following the guidance of the MDE as we move forward with this effort and that we are investigating all funding sources available to get this project completed.


Burgess Heath Barnes

I am happy to report on some great developments at our March 14 meeting.  

Our planning and zoning committee presented to the council an updated drawing of the plans for our new town hall. The council unanimously approved the plans, and now I can happily report that they will be going to the county for the permit approvals. I am going to work as hard as I can to get it through the process quickly, because once those come back, we can break ground. This has been a long time coming, with the previous attempts to build on a smaller lot etc., but there is now light at the end of the tunnel. I have high hopes that we will be breaking ground by summer; once again, those are my hopes, not the set timeline.

We have a couple of things coming up in town and more details will follow. The community Easter Egg hunt, in partnership with the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department, will be April 1. The rain date will be April 8.

Reminder: Woodsboro has elections coming up on May 13. There will be two town commissioners up for election. To be eligible to run, you must be 18 years old and a resident residing in the town limits for a minimum of one year before the election. If you have an interest in running, please reach out to Mary in the town office. To be placed on the ballot, you will need to either attend the April 8 meeting and announce your intention to run or reach out to the town office prior to April 8 to appear on the ballot.

Just a reminder that there will be a public hearing at 7:00 p.m. on April 8 directly preceeding the monthly town council meeting. The two items up for discussion will be changing the town code to allow chickens, based on the parameters voted on in February, and to change the town’s grass height code from the current 18 inches to 8 inches.

As always, I encourage everyone to support Glade Valley Community Services (GVCS) if you have clothes or food donations, as they are always in need of items for members of the community. For more information, please contact GVCS by email at [email protected] or call 301-845-0213.

If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or by phone at 301-401-7164.

(left) Dr. Mike’s handicap-accessible office at 9 E. Main Street is in the old Knights of Columbus building in Emmitsburg’s Town Square, which had been the Guild for the canonization effort of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Courtesy Photo

Dr. Mike and his wife and office manager, Jane.

Photo by Grace Eyler

Dr. Michael Hargadon of Dha Dentistry in Emmitsburg has been a dentist for 39 years, 16 of which have been in Emmitsburg. His handicap-accessible office at 9 E. Main Street is in the old Knights of Columbus building in Emmitsburg’s Town Square, which had been the Guild for the canonization effort of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. He often said he was “working within a relic.” He and his wife and office manager, Jane, are considered traditional Catholics, in that they regularly attend the Latin Mass. They also belong to the 3rd Order of the Canons Regular of New Jerusalem.

Dr. Mike graduated from the University of Maryland’s Dental School in 1983. His practice consists of local residents, a group of referrals through The Seton Center, and patients from his prior offices in East Baltimore, West Baltimore, and Eldersburg, who followed him to Emmitsburg. He has also traveled abroad to do missionary dentistry in India, Tanzania, Peru, and Haiti.

Prior to going into dentistry, he worked as a microbiologist, receiving his master’s degree from the University of Maryland’s Dental School’s Microbiology Department.  His microbiology training has been a great base in managing healthcare offices.

He has also had political interests. In an effort to maintain and guard against the erosion of our constitutionally protected liberties, he ran for offices: Lieutenant Governor—Maryland Constitution Party 2010, House of Representatives—Maryland’s 7th Congressional District as a Republican, 2008 vs. Elijah Cummings, and Frederick County’s Republican Central Committee. 

Dr. Mike expresses thanks to all the residents of Northern Frederick County, but is steadfast, “It is time for me to fold up.” He feels he has been blessed with a great profession: dentistry. “Dentistry has been, to me, a blend of art, healthcare, and business. I know I love my patients because, for most days, my schedule is a list of my friends. While I have been fortunate to know many of my patients personally, others may have just known me as ‘the other dentist in Emmitsburg.’”

After selling the building at 9 East Main Street, Dr. Mike will walk away from his Emmitsburg office on or about July 1, 2023. His license will expire, and he will retire from the practice of dentistry.

The status of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg:

Federal Stone — (Creamery Road, east side of U.S. 15) Awaiting the submission of an updated site plan and improvement plans.

Ripleigh’s Creamery (W. Main Street) — Delayed due to funding, but ice cream truck operation starts in April.

Seton Village (South Seton Avenue) — The Daughters of Charity Ministries, Seton Village Property is seeking to formally re-plat the property, creating two lots for purposes related to ownership. 

Village Liquors & Plaza Inn (Silo Hill Parkway) — Owner is seeking to have an updated addition plat approved.

McDonald’s (Silo Hill Parkway) — Additional driveway construction is planned.

Mount St. Mary’s Seton Shrine E Wing (South Seton Avenue) — Renovations to accommodate nursing student clinical rotations is in the planning phase. Parking inquiry: Is the classification “commercial, business, technical, or trade school,” which will require one spot per three students?


 Mayor John Kinnaird

With the last two weeks of February surprising us with amazing weather, I think we are all looking forward to the warmth of the spring and summer months.

Now is the time to plan to attend many of our amazing events in the coming year. Here is a listing of some of the events we have planned for this summer: 2023 Concerts in the Park at Memorial Park, Green Fest, Restaurant Week, Thurmont Business Showcase, Thurmont Farmers Market, Art and Wine Strolls, Plein Air, Colorfest, Gateway to the Cure, and Christmas in Thurmont.

Information on these and many other events are available at

Questions, comments, or suggestions? I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or [email protected].


Mayor Don Briggs

So many good things happened in February. One good thing is the town has been approved, for the tenth year, with Community Legacy Grant (CLG) funds for facade improvements of properties located in the historic area. This began when the state approved Emmitsburg as a Sustainable Community during my first year in office. A gauntlet lies ahead for property owners who choose to apply, including the Maryland Historic Trust approval. From humble beginnings, more formalized protocols have developed. Currently, after advertising the availability of funds, a committee of residents with both technical construction knowledge and community service resumes beyond reproach review the applications. All members of the committee have been approved by commissioners over the years for services to the community and some on more than one occasion. To date $455,000 in 50/50 grants have been dispersed, resulting in $988,000 in improvements. Thank you to the committee members for setting aside the time for this commitment.

Another good thing, on the first Friday of February, Conrad Weaver, my grandson Tyler Myles, and I attended the 17th Annual Ukrainian National Prayer Breakfast, held at Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. This is an event I have looked forward to attending after two Zoom meetings with Mayor Ihor Poishchuk of Emmitsburg’s Ukrainian Sister City Lutsk. We joined well over 300 people for a breakfast that featured a Ukrainian chorale in traditional dress; other recognized Ukrainian singers; Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant clergy, and Evangelicals. Also in attendance were three U. S. ambassadors, as many as six congressmen, one governor, and at least one mayor. More than 10 countries were represented, including Israel. To me, the most special attendees I had the opportunity to meet included Veteran soldiers, some bearing noticeably serious injuries from the ongoing defense against the invasion by Russia, and 10 children who lost their fathers in the war. They were touring the U.S. as part of a healing process program sponsored by a Ukrainian-American group, UKRHELP Foundation, based in Bellevue, Washington; Yurii Bezpiatko, member of our Sister City Lutsk City Council; and Ukrainian Ambassador to U.S., Oksana Serhiyivna Markarova. The ambassador may visit us in Emmitsburg.

The town council discussion on water rates was postponed until the March 13 town meeting. This will be the fifth time over the last year this topic has come before the council. There have been hours of discussions that included selecting a consultant to study water rates and reviewing the consultants’ findings. A lot of information is floating about, but the facts are that water rates were not raised during the last 12 years because the council approved raising sewer rates significantly twice during that time to accommodate the new $19.5-million sewer plant the town was required to build by the state. To note, if the commissioners come to an agreement on an increase in the water rate, only the water rate will increase, not the combination of water and sewer rate.

Another President’s Day has come and gone. Not much recognition attached to it any more it seems, just a day off as a part of a three-day weekend. The roots of the holiday are worth remembering. President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is on February 12, and President George Washington’s birthday is on February 22. These two were amazing people who rose from very humble beginnings to be presidents. Their lives are worth learning more about and not forgetting.

Ash Wednesday fell on February 22 and marked the beginning of a 40-day Lenten period that leads up to Easter, which falls on April 9 this year. It’s a good time to do things for those in our community who are more in need, starting with, perhaps, being more respectful.

Take care and enjoy the off-and-on days of sun and warmth as we get ready for all the many spring youth events.


Greetings to all! Our February 14 meeting was a busy, productive meeting.

The town commissioners and I went through the recommendations on an ordinance to allow chickens in town. Chickens are currently not permitted in town per the town code that was implemented in 1972. After several deliberations and changes, the vote was 3-1 to allow chickens in town. Yards less than one acre in size will be allowed up to five hens, and lots larger than an acre in size will be allowed up to 12 hens. No roosters will be allowed. This is the tentative approval. As per code, we are required to have a public hearing before amending the code. The public hearing meeting is scheduled for April 11 before our regular town meeting. At that point in time, unless the commissioners change their votes, the code change will be solidified, and all of the requirements will be codified. We will also be adding an additional code change proposal at the meeting, concerning residents’ grass height. The current code states grass can be 18 inches high. We will be proposing a change to a 9- or 12-inch height maximum.

Our planning and zoning committee sent the drawings back to the engineer for the site plan for our town hall building at their February meeting due to it not having enough green space up front to fit a sign and flagpoles. The engineer will have the revised plan back to P&Z for their March 6 meeting. If they approve it, then it will come to the town council at the March 14 meeting. If the commissioners approve the site plan, the next step is that it will be sent to the county for the permitting process to begin.

A reminder: Woodsboro has elections coming up on May 13. There will be two town commissioner seats up for election. To be eligible to run, you must be at least 18 years old and a resident within the town limits for a minimum of one year before the election. If you have an interest in running, please reach out to Mary in the town office.

We have started projects for grants that we have been approved for. Our three new flag poles have been installed at the Veterans Memorial where we will now be able to fly our American, Maryland, and Woodsboro flags all simultaneously on their own poles. In addition, construction will begin soon on the approved pavilion to be built in the upper side of the park by the disc golf course. I have also started the process of getting electricity run to the upper side of the park and will be working on getting the bathroom built up there as well. We were approved for a $214,000 grant for these projects so we will be beginning them soon. My goal is to have the electricity run before Woodsboro Days in October. In addition, we submitted a grant request to remodel the concession stand and upgrade the bathroom as well. We will have the answers for that when the governor’s FYI 2024 budget is approved.

 As always, I encourage everyone to support Glade Valley Community Services (GVCS) if you have clothes or food donations as they are always in need of items for members of the community. For more information, please contact GVCS by email at [email protected], or call 301-845-0213.

If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or by phone at 301-401-7164.

Woodsboro Town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. In addition, Planning and Zoning meetings are at 6 p.m. on the first Monday of the month as needed. If you have an item for the agenda, it needs to be submitted 14 days before the P&Z meeting. The current location for meetings is the St. Johns United Church of Christ located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD 21798. The public is always invited to attend.


Town Issues Water Notice

The Town of Thurmont sent a health-advisory notice to residents on town water that the Maryland Department had detected elevated levels of PFOS/PFOA in water samples MDE tested. Although residents did not need to take corrective action, the notice did advise that people with “a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your healthcare providers about drinking this water.”

The chemicals have been used in products for decades and most people have been exposed to them. You can read the entire notice on the town website.

Town Recycling Center Will Close

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to close the Moser Road Recycling Center. Since Frederick County stopped running regional recycling centers, the Town of Thurmont started running it with a $10,000 annual contribution to the costs.

However, the cost of running the center has escalated, in large part because of the non-recyclable items and trash that have been left around the recycling bin. Another factor has been rising inflation and fuel costs that have increased the cost of the program.

In recent years, the market for recyclables had all but disappeared. Income from selling recyclables helped offset some of the costs of the program.

In Fiscal Year 2021, the total cost of the program was $11,480, and after the county contributed its portion, the final cost to Thurmont was $600. In Fiscal Year 2023, the expected program cost is $38,220, with the town expected to pay $28,220.

“It’s getting to the point where it’s costing us too much to host it,” Mayor John Kinnaird said during a town meeting.

Another Step Made on Thurmont Boulevard

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners agreed on an ordinance that, if approved, will allow the town to borrow up to $6 million to complete the Thurmont Boulevard project. This is a project that has been in the works for years without much having been done.

Although the ordinance would allow up to $6 million in debt for the project, the preliminary estimate currently is that it will cost $4.4 million.

The next step in the process is to hold a hearing on the ordinance. Following public input, the commissioners can approve, change, or disapprove the ordinance.

Commission Appointments

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners reappointed Kirby Delauter to serve on the Board of Appeals and Ed Hutson to serve on the Police Commission.

Police Station to Get Heat Pump Replacement

The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners voted to award Holtzople Heating and Air Conditioning $27,602.96 to replace one of the heat pumps at the police station. This pump is no longer functioning and beyond repair. The money will come from the town’s unrestricted fund balance.


Ritz Nearly Accuses Mayor of Ethics Violation

Commissioner Joseph Ritz, III, raised concerns of a “potential ethics violation” during the February Emmitsburg town meeting. In recent years, the town has received a matching Community Legacy Grant from the Maryland Historical Trust for $50,000. Because the grant is competitive, the town’s Sustainable Community Workgroup decides who is awarded grant money.

Ritz said because the mayor appointed all the members of the workgroup, it may be a conflict of interest for Briggs to apply for the grant. The mayor said he did nothing wrong and said it was a petty matter, pointing out his record, so far, of bringing $8 million in improvements to the town.

Ritz replied, “A perceived conflict of interest is not a petty matter. You never know what people are thinking. You never know what people may say. I don’t think that’s petty at all.”

The Frederick News Post reported that Briggs chose to avoid the possibility someone might think he had a conflict of interest and asked his wife to withdraw the matching grant application for $12,500.

Ritz also had concerns that the applications that had been left at the podium during a meeting for anyone to see were not completed as stated in the directions, and the workgroup meetings were not broadcast.

Town Benefits from Park Grants

The Town of Emmitsburg received a Community Parks and Playground grant for $146,263 to replace the old swing set and playground tower and install a half-basketball court at the Silo Hill Playground. The playground equipment and basketball hoop have been installed; once the weather is warmer, the concrete for the court will be poured.

The town received a Program Open Space grant of $6,000 (requiring a $2,000 match) to install two pairs of permanent concrete cornhole boards in Community Park. These will also be installed once the weather is warmer.

The town also received another POS grant for $8,250 (requiring a $2,750 match) for an outdoor storybook trail in Community Park. For this trail, 30 pedestal exhibits will be installed along the trail. The exhibits will hold exchangeable storybook pages to tell a story as the trail is followed. This project is being coordinated with the library.

The town received two Community Parks and Playground grants, totaling $120,686, for Memorial Park. The grants will pay for a playground addition and a half-basketball court.

Pump Station Change Order Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a change order from Rummel, Klepper and Kahl for work on the Creamery Road Pump Station replacement project. The amount of $251,660.75 will cover the need for full-time construction inspection services by a resident project representative. The original control only included part-time services. It also covers engineering construction administration and post-construction support.

Town Receives a Clean Audit

Michelle Mills and Addie Blickenstaff, CPAs with Deleon and Stang, presented the results of the annual independent audit of Emmitsburg’s financial statements for Fiscal Year 2022. They gave the town an unmodified or clean opinion, which is the highest rating that can be given. The auditors had no difficulties performing the audit or had any disagreements with the management.

Citizens Advisory Committee Appointments

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners appointed Shelia Pittinger, an out-of-town representative, to the Citizens Advisory Committee for a term running from February 6, 2023, to February 6, 2025, and Amber Phillips to the Citizens Advisory Committee for a term running February 6, 2023, to February 6, 2025.

James Rada, Jr.

The new Emmitsburg Rutter’s at 10201 Taneytown Pike opened near the end of January. It has 8,200 square feet of space, with 14 gasoline fuel pumps and 5 high-speed diesel fuel pumps for commercial vehicles. The site was also designed with plenty of area for tractor trailers to park, so the drivers can rest and enjoy the facilities.

The store is open 24/7 and offers a convenience store with packaged goods and more than 700 beverage options. It also has a large menu of fresh food selections and offers free Wi-Fi.

“We’ve been doing well and getting pretty good crowds since we opened,” said Manager Steve Lee.

The store is expected to employ up to 50 people, who have a starting wage of $17.50 an hour.

To celebrate the opening of the new location, Rutter’s Children’s Charities will be donating $1,000 to The Arc of Frederick County, the Vigilant Hose Company, and Mount St. Mary’s University Food Pantry.

The Rutter’s chain of convenience stores is headquartered in Central Pennsylvania. Rutter’s operates 79 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia. Part of a family-managed group of companies, Rutter’s includes convenience stores, a dairy and beverage company, and a real estate company.

by James Rada, Jr.


For more information on the Town of Thurmont, visit or call 301-271-7313.

Residents Overwhelmingly Vote Down Annexation

During January’s special election, Thurmont residents voted 834-157 to not annex 16.7 acres of agricultural land into the town for high-density development. Although part of the property is already in town, and the lot in question was in the town’s master plan for residential development, residents gathered enough votes for the special election on January 17.

Frederick-based developer Cross and Company planned on a 24.5-acre mixed-use “intergenerational community” on the property. It would have included 172 homes, a day care center, and an assisted-living center.

With the vote results, the current plan cannot move forward, although something can be done with the portion that is already in the town boundaries.

Pavilion Rental Fees Increased

The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners voted to increase the rental fees for the pavilions in the town parks this year. The small pavilions will now cost $40.00 to rent and the large pavilions at Community Park will cost $60. The pavilion at Eyler Road Park is not included in this.

Purchases Approved

The Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners recently approved some capital purchases for various town departments.

The electric department is purchasing a pick-up truck from Fitzgerald’s in Frederick for $42,909.

The wastewater treatment plant will be installing an emergency generator system in the plant for $370,500. This will cover the cost of the machinery and the initial $5,000 fuel charge. Most of the funds ($322,000) come from the American Rescue Plan. The remainder will come from the town’s budget surplus.

The streets department is purchasing a dump truck from Crouse Ford for $103,923. Most of the cost ($100,000) was a budgeted capital expense. The remainder will come from the town’s unrestricted fund balance.

Nearly Five Acres Added to the Town

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved a resolution to annex 4.881 acres of property owned by Apples United Church of Christ and town-owned property into the Town of Thurmont.

Liaison Appointments

The commissioner liaison appointments for 2023 will remain the same as 2022: President Pro Tem – Wayne Hooper; Planning and Zoning – John Kinnaird; Thurmont Addictions – Wayne Hooper; Parks and Recreation – Wes Hamrick; Thurmont Ministerium – Wes Hamrick; Police – Bill Blakeslee; Board of Appeals – Bill Buehrer; Senior Center – Bill Blakeslee; Economic Development – Bill Buehrer; Special Activities – Wayne Hooper.

Zoning Changes Made

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners made some adjustments to the town’s zoning ordinance and how land can be developed.

The mayor and commissioners repealed the Traditional Neighborhood Floating Zone. This was a development option that had never been used in Thurmont. It had been applied for once, but not approved.

The mayor and commissioners also approved a Planned Unit Development zoning option for the town.


For more information on the Town of Emmitsburg, visit or call 301-600-6300.

Frailey Farm Developer Backs Out

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners announced during the January town meeting that the developer who was seeking to build new housing on the property was not pursuing the project. The reason given was that the economy was slowing and financing for the project was becoming more expensive.

The proposed plan would been to have the town annex the 118-acre farm and then the developer would build 300 homes on it. Although the farm was in the town master plan for future residential development, some residents were not happy with the idea.

System Upgrade Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved $56,937 for the ChemScan system at the wastewater treatment plant. A similar upgrade had been made at the water treatment plant and has been very successful.

Change Order Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a change order for Bearing Construction to have trees removed on the dam at the Silo Hill Basin. This was something that Frederick County Soil Conservation required per MDE guidelines. The cost for the change is $47,185. The board also approved an agreement with Barton and Loguidice for the Silo Hill Basin tree removal engineering services. This was part of the change order request that was not in the initial scope of work.

  The cost of the work is covered by the grant that is funding the project.

American Rescue Plan Monies

Emmitsburg received $3.2 million in American Rescue Plan funds. The first payment was in 2021, and the second payment of $1.6 million came last August. The money can be spent to support public health expenditures and address negative economic impacts; replace lost public sector revenue; provide premium pay for essential workers; and invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

The first payment was used for the water clarifier and pump station projects. Town staff recommended that the second payment be used for water infrastructure projects such as the 16-inch main water line, with which the commissioners agreed.

Amending Development Fees

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners amended the town ordinance to approve changes to the subdivision, plan review and annexation, and forest conservation procedures. The goal is that the developers will pay the legal costs the town incurs for work related to proposed developments. This will keep the taxpayers from having to pay for work on proposals that ultimately go nowhere.


Mayor Don Briggs

The New Year brought some excitement with Rutter’s opening Tuesday, January 17. With town approvals in hand and most of the county approvals, too, the protracted construction was complicated by supply chain issues, state highway approval, and state environmental approvals, but FINALLY, it is open. The station offers wide, spacious access to the many pumps, along with an attractive, open interior convenience store and deli. Lots of people were taking pictures and selfies. A good day for our community!

The Frailey Farm annexation intrigue as to its potential impact is no more. The developers notified the town over the Christmas holidays of their intent to not move forward with the project. They appreciated the time given by the community. Their reasoning centered around the timing and economic climate. The good news is it allows the community to assess where we are and what we want to see.

Duck and cover! COVID variations, flu bronchitis, and common colds seem to be flowing through the community. Finally, the flu got to our town office staff, which caused the moving of the town’s regularly scheduled meeting to Wednesday, January 18, 2023. A summary of the agenda items are as follows:

For consideration, approval of Bearing Construction change order for removal of trees on the dam at the Silo Hill Basin. Mandatory requirement from Frederick County Soil Conservation per MDE guidelines. Approved unanimously by the board members present, Commissioner O’Donnell not present.

For consideration, approval of agreement with Barton and Loguidice for Silo Hill Basin tree removal engineering services. Part of the change order request that was not in the initial scope of work. Approved unanimously by the board members present, Commissioner O’Donnell not present.

For consideration, approval of the HACH estimate for the ChemScan upgrade at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The Board previously approved a similar upgrade at the WTP. This was included as an asset project for the WWTP in the FY23 budget. Approved unanimously by the board members present, Commissioner O’Donnell not present.

For consideration, approval of Resolution 2023-01 bond reduction request for the Irishtown Road project. Approved unanimously by the board members present, Commissioner O’Donnell not present.

For approval, designation of the second tranche of the American Rescue Plan monies. Approved unanimously by the board members present, Commissioner O’Donnell not present.

For consideration, approval of Ordinance 2023-03 amendment to Title 16 changes to subdivision fees. Approved unanimously by the board members present, Commissioner O’Donnell not present.

For consideration, approval of Ordinance 2023-02 amendment to Title 17 changes to zoning fees. This ordinance will amend the collection process for zoning fees. Approved unanimously by the board members present, Commissioner O’Donnell not present.

 There are lots of events planned for the year: Earth Day, Tree City, Arbor Day, Community Heritage Day, National Night Out, just to name a few. I hope you join us! Dates and information to follow.

With the gathered gusto, as usual for the new year, comes a reluctant resolve to move the belt in a notch or two, again. So be it, the days are getting longer…


 Mayor John Kinnaird

As everyone must be aware, the referendum opposing the annexation of the Simmers property was successful and that project is now halted. This is a great example of residents getting involved in the processes regarding the growth of our community. Moving forward, I hope that more residents make themselves aware of what is happening with our master plan and planning and zoning topics before the need for public referendum arises. The agendas for planning and zoning, the board of appeals, and the board of commissioners are all posted on the website, The agendas identify the topics being discussed and those that action will be taken on. These agendas can be viewed on the video streaming page, along with videos of past meetings.

This spring and summer will see several public works projects starting. The first will be the replacement of the water line on Old Pryor Road. This work will include the replacement of outdated water mains and the installation of a new line tying into the Hillside subdivision. Only residents on Hillside Circle and Old Pryor Road will be impacted by this work. Next, we will be upgrading the stormwater catch basins on Frederick Road. The basins will be rebuilt and may require single-lane closures on Frederick Road, so please follow traffic control measures during this work. Once the catch basins are completed, we will be milling and repaving Frederick Road. This work will also require lane closures during the work. A new ball field will be constructed at East End Park to feature lighting for nighttime games. Construction of this new field should not impact residents. A new pavilion will replace the existing one at East End Park. This will involve removing the old pavilion and pad, then installing a new pad and a metal pavilion. Later this year, we will begin with a large project on North Church Street. This will involve replacing all the water and wastewater lines on North Church Street and installing new water service lines and lateral lines where needed. This will require long-term line closures during the project, with limited inconvenience to residents in the area as the work progresses. Once completed, North Church Street is scheduled to be resurfaced.

Please keep in mind our neighbors, friends, and family members in need of food and warm clothing over the winter months. Donations of non-perishable food, sanitary items, baby food, diapers, and cash donations to the Thurmont Food Bank will help ensure nutritious meals are available to those in need. Donations can be dropped off at the Thurmont Food Bank at 10 Frederick Road. Clothing donations to the Thurmont Clothes Closet at Thurmont United Methodist Church at 13880 Long Road in Thurmont will help families keep warm. Donations can be dropped at the donation box at the Clothes Closet. Any jackets, coats, and warm clothing you donate will be greatly appreciated.

Luckily, we have managed to dodge any accumulating snowfall, but that will probably end soon. When it snows, please try to keep vehicles off the streets wherever possible, so our snow crews can clear the streets to the curb. As much as you want to clear your driveway, try to wait until the trucks are finished, so they don’t plow your driveway shut. Sidewalks must be cleared within 24 hours of the snow stopping or within 36 hours if more than eight inches of snow accumulates. Snow cleared from sidewalks, driveways, etc. cannot be placed onto any streets. If you would like to volunteer to help senior citizens with snow removal, please contact the Thurmont Police at 301-271-0905.

As always, I am available at [email protected] or at 301-606-9458 if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions. I hope everyone has a great February!


 Mayor John Kinnaird

Welcome to the New Year! I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. I remember my parents telling me that the older we get, the faster time seems to pass. This past year really seemed to fly by for me, but looking back, I had a great time.

With winter upon us, be sure to be prepared for snow and ice. Keeping a bag of cat litter and a small shovel in your trunk can help you get out of snow and ice. Make sure your cell phone is charged when you go out and bring along warm clothing just in case you get stuck somewhere. Also, be sure to keep an eye on your elderly neighbors when bad weather hits. They may not be able to get out for groceries or to doctors’ appointments. When we do get snow, try to get your cars off the streets so that our plowing crew can clear the streets more effectively. Keep your pets indoors in the cold weather; otherwise, make sure they have clean bedding, fresh water, and ample food. In case of electric outages, keep your doors closed to retain heat in your house. Our electric crews respond to outages 24/7 and work hard to get repairs completed as soon as possible. If you or a neighbor depend on a medical device, such as an oxygen generator or respirator, you can call the non-emergency Fire/Police/ Rescue at 301-600-2071 and ask that the fire department provide an emergency generator. If you are elderly and can not clear your walkway, call the Thurmont Police Department and ask if any volunteers are available to help you clear your walkway.

There will be a special vote on January 17 regarding the Annexation of the Simmers property on Apples Church Road. Eligible Thurmont residents can vote on the annexation at the Guardian Hose Company Activities Building at 123 East Main Street in Thurmont. Voting will run from 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. This vote will be done with paper ballots. Results will be available after the votes are counted the following day.

The new calendar of important Thurmont dates, covering trash pickup, bulk trash, yard waste drop-off, etc., will be showing up in one of the town bills. One of the first important dates will be January 14 for bulk trash pickup and yard waste drop-off. Contact the town office at 301-271-7313 to see if you need stickers for any bulk trash items. Even if you don’t have anything that requires a fee or a sticker, be sure to let them know you will be putting out bulk trash. Yard Waste drop-off will be held the same day at the location on Moser Road. This service is for Thurmont residents only; be sure to have your permit showing when you arrive.

Please keep our less fortunate friends, neighbors, and family members in mind all year, but especially during these difficult winter months. Your donations of non-perishable foods and sanitary items to the Thurmont Food Bank and warm clothing, hats, and gloves to the Thurmont Clothes Closet will make a positive change in our community. Both organizations also accept cash donations.

I hope everyone has a great January! If you have any question, comments, or recommendations, I can be contacted at 301-606-9458 or by email at [email protected].


Mayor Don Briggs

According to a recent article predicated on Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics information, inflation slowed down as consumer prices grew by only 0.1 percent in November. The same study found that for the period of September 2020 through March 2022, food prices increased 12.2 percent and energy costs increased 13.0 percent. Hmmm, whoever ran those calculations at the bureau, with a good measure of certainty, Lib and I can say they do not shop in Northern Frederick County where we do.

At the December 6th regularly scheduled town meeting:

        Dianne Walbrecker was reappointed to the Board of Appeals. 

        Jack Pollitt was appointed to the Parks and Recreation. 

        Valerie Turnquist was appointed to the Planning Commission as an alternate member.

        Mark Walker was reappointed to the Citizen’s Advisory Committee. 

Agenda Items:

        A public hearing for consideration of Ordinance 2022-12 that would increase water and sewer rates over a three-year period. Tabled deliberation until February 2023.

        For consideration, approval of Ordinance 2022-13, which would change Board of Commissioners meeting to 7:00 p.m. Passed.

        For consideration, approval of the three-year sewer relining bid. Bid approved.

        For discussion and consideration, an offer from Richard Lindsay to purchase three acres from the Town of Emmitsburg, located near the WWTP. Accepted the Lindsays’ offer to purchase three-plus acres from the town of land they have cared for more than over 30 years.

        For consideration, approval of revertible forest conservation easement with Daughters of Charity.

        Daughters of Charity are providing a 9.2013-acre revertible forest conservation easement to the Town to plant trees for the 2023-2028 MS-4 permitting term. Parcel located on east side of US 15.  Approved.

        For consideration, amending the hours of the Farmers Market. Hours will be extended to 2:00-8:00 p.m.

The Christmas tree lighting went well. As part of the evening plan, an Ukrainian tribute to Lutsk our sister city was held. Thank you to DJ, Ramius Entertainment; the Christ Community Church Children’s Chorale; the Emmitsburg Community Chorale; and touching remarks by our guest tree-lighter, Natalie Randall, a native Ukrainian, now U.S. citizen. We invited V. Rev. Elia Yelovich of the Emmitsburg Orthodox mission church to bless the tree and all in attendance, as he did. To the follow up photos sent by staff to him, the V. Reverend responded, “…by far the best tree-lighting ceremony I have been to.” Let’s carry that perspective into 2023. We can do it. Emmitsburg is that special.

Thank you, Lions Club, Seton Center, businesses, and all of our churches for what you do for our children and elderly every day of the year. A special thank you to the Carriage House for delighting all with their generous annual Evening of Christmas Spirit.

Lib and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and you and your family have the best New Year ever!

by James Rada, Jr.


Annexation Comings and Goings

The town suspended the Simmers Property 16.7-acre annexation, which the Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners had approved last year.               

Thurmont residents submitted a petition with 1,154 verified signatures. The group, Envision Thurmont, collected the signatures and submitted them to the town office. Only 906 verified signatures (20 percent of Thurmont’s registered voters) were required to put the annexation to a referendum vote.

Now that the annexation has been suspended, a special referendum vote will need to be set to put the issue before the town.

In November, the town also introduced two more annexation requests. Apples Church United Church of Christ and a portion of town-owned property comprising 4.881 acres is requesting annexation. Thurmont United Methodist Church, a 4.3135-acre parcel, is also requesting to be annexed. Both of these properties will be zoned institutional if the annexations are approved.

East End Park Picnic Pavilion to be Replaced

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to replace the East End Park picnic pavilion with a new 30-foot by 30-foot pavilion to be built by Playground Specialists. The cost is $89,999 and will be paid for with a Program Open Space grant. The town will be required to pay $22,500 of the amount, which has already been budgeted.

Town Receives a Clean Audit

Mike Samson and Alison Burke with Zlenkofske & Axelrod, LLC, presented the results of the annual independent audit of Thurmont’s financial statements for Fiscal Year 2022. Samson gave the town an unmodified or clean opinion, which is the highest rating that can be given. The auditors had no difficulties performing the audit or had any disagreements with the management.

Town Makes Gateway to the Cure Donation

Economic Development Manager Vickie Grinder recently told the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners about the town’s 9th Annual Gateway to the Cure efforts for 2022. This year’s events generated $22,174 for the Patty Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund, which is more than $4,000 above what the town raised last year. The money will stay within Frederick County and go toward direct patient care.


Developer Wants Frailey Farm Annexed

Water and Sewer Rate Increases Postponed

Reluctant to drastically raise the town’s water rate for residents, the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners postponed making a decision on the increases. Instead, they asked staff to prepare some additional scenarios in the hopes of finding one that isn’t so drastic. They arrived at the decision after hearing from town residents and discussing it among themselves.

Rates are expected to rise. The question is just how much. The new rates are expected to be approved by the end of March so that they can be in effect for the following billing cycle.

Sewer Relining Bid Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a three-year sewer relining bid of $5,992 from Guyer Brothers in New Enterprise, Pennsylvania. The company utilizes a new technology that uses steam to thermo-cure the lining. It does not involve the use of chemicals like current technology, and the work is guaranteed for 10 years.

Meeting Time Changes

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners voted to change the meeting time for its monthly town meetings from 7:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. This should provide the board with a little extra time each month since the meetings have tended to run around three hours each month and sometimes longer.

Moving and Expanding the Community Garden

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners is considering moving the present community garden to a location next to where the Farmer’s Market sets up. This would also allow the garden to be expanded.


The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners made the following appointments and reappointment during its December meeting.

•   Dianne Walbrecker to the Emmitsburg Board of Appeals, with a term of December 15, 2022 – December 15, 2024.

•   Jack Pollitt to the Emmitsburg Parks and Recreation Committee, with a term of December 6, 2022 – December 2, 2024.

•   Valerie Turnquist as an alternate member to the Emmitsburg Planning Commission, with a term of December 6, 2022 – December 6, 2027.

•      Mark Walker to the Emmitsburg Citizen’s Advisory Committee, with a term of November 7, 2022 – November 7, 2024.


 Mayor John Kinnaird

Here we are, already in December! Thanksgiving has come and gone. I hope everyone was able to celebrate with family or friends. By the time you read this, Christmas in Thurmont will also be no more than a pleasant memory.

We are still left with the better part of December ahead of us! Getting together throughout the month with our family and friends while shopping, or at meals, parties, and faith-based events, we can all enjoy the spirit of the season. This is a season of personal reflection, of expressions of love for others, and of giving and sharing. Come Christmas Day, we will be watching children open gifts, enjoying a delicious meal with those close to us, and for many, the relaxation of a well-deserved afternoon nap. All too close to Christmas will follow the eve of the New Year, with more partying and celebration.

Please keep in mind those of our community that may not be as fortunate as others. Join in the Christmas spirit by making donations to the Thurmont Food Bank and Thurmont Clothes Closet. This is a great way to help others experience the joy of good hot meals and warm, comfy clothes for the cold months ahead. Food Bank donations of non-perishable foods and toiletries can be dropped off at their 7 Frederick Road location. There is a bin in front of the building for donations. The Thurmont Clothes Closet is located at the Thurmont Methodist Church on Long Road. There is a bin for donations at the rear of the church near the Clothes Closet.

I want to leave you with the final passages of one of my favorite stories. This story is about a man who had forgotten the value of both kindness and caring for others. He was reminded of these virtues during a night of reflection, terror, and joy. He discovered that it is never too late for us to mend our ways even as others laugh, and he promised to live out his life with kindness and caring in his heart and in his actions.

“Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a man as the good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed and that was quite enough for him. He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Everyone!”

Karen and I wish everyone the Merriest Christmas and the Happiest New Year. Please be careful in your travels and watch out for others.

Questions or comments? Contact me at 303-606-9458 or by email at [email protected]


Mayor Don Briggs

At the November 12th regularly scheduled town meeting, the commissioners concurred with the mayor’s recommendation to appoint Dan Garnitz to serve as a regular member of the planning commission for a term of November 7, 2022, through January 18, 2027. Additionally, the board concurred with the mayor’s recommendation to appoint Jack Pollitt to serve as an alternate member of the board of appeals for a term starting November 7, 2022, expiring October 1, 2025.

At the direction of the board of commissioners, predicated on an independent study of the water/sewer rates, water bills will increase 44+/- percent annually for the next three years, starting in January 2023, then 2024, 2025, and thereafter, an increase of 3 percent annually. 

The commissioners voted 4-0, with one member abstaining, to deny approval of an ordinance to allow the private shooting ranges in the industrial zone and the use of firearms at private shooting ranges in the town of Emmitsburg.

The commissioners relaxed some of the hunting restrictions and recreational usage at Rainbow Lake and watershed. Certain small game will now be allowed to be hunted during deer season.

The Maryland Mainstreet staff paid a visit to Emmitsburg for a tour of the town. The town currently is a Main Street Affiliate. For over a decade, the town has been recognized as a Maryland Sustainable Community which entitled, among other things, access to grants for private property facade improvements in the historic district that has contributed to over $1 million. Ultimately, full Mainstreet membership is the goal but can only be accomplished responsibly in terms of town staffing and funding capabilities.  

I attended a wonderful presentation on Ukrainian Icons by Kateryna Dovgan at Mount Saint Mary’s University. The slides of Ukrainian Icon art complemented Ms. Dovgan’s extensive knowledge and love as an expert art conservator that she poured into the presentation. The town and the Mount were joint sponsors for the event, with all donations going to the victims of Russo-Ukraine war.

I made a special presentation to the fourth-grade class at Mother Seton School on being mayor and what is going on in town. These presentations are always a joy. I try to alternate between schools in town; next year, I will visit Emmitsburg Elementary.

Congratulations to Emmy award-winner town resident Conrad Weaver on the rollout to a sold-out crowd of the world premiere of his latest film, PTSD911 (Post Traumatic Stress), on November 3, in Irving, Texas. Conrad put in well over three years of work, dozens of interviews, and lots of miles of travel in the production of this film. Next summer, Conrad plans to ride a bicycle across the country as a part of the rollout of the film to 25 cities nationwide.

Recently, Conrad and I had the honor to welcome Michael Zhorvrin, a Ukrainian ex-patriot, now USA citizen, up from Naples, Florida. Mr. Zhorvin played an important role in uniting the town of Emmitsburg to the City of Lutsk as a sister city. Mr. Zhorvin will deliver our town proclamation recognizing Lutsk as such personally to Mayor Ihor Poiishchuk within the next few weeks.

Don’t forget that December 5th is the town Christmas tree lighting, starting at 5:00 p.m. DJ and Christ Community Church child choir is at 5:45 p.m., the Emmitsburg Community Chorale is at 6:00 p.m., and Santa and the tree lighting is at 6:15 p.m. at the community center. This year, a special tribute to our sister city Lutsk in Ukraine will be incorporated into the program. Then, everyone will go down the street to the Evening of Christmas Spirit festivities at the Carriage House Inn.

Lib and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and our best wishes to you and your family for the Christmas season and New Year.

by James Rada, Jr.


Bond Sale Approved

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently approved the sale of $513,207 in bonds to finance the replacement of the Old Pryor Road water line. It is a 20-year loan from the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The project will replace the old water main, install new house services and meters, and replace asphalt pavement.

Guyer Brothers was previously approved as the contractor for the project. The company has already ordered material and is waiting for delivery.

PTA Asks to Keep More of Parking Fee

During a recent town meeting, members of the Thurmont school PTAs asked the Thurmont Board of Commissioners to reconsider the $4.00 fee they collect for the town for each vehicle they provide parking for during Colorfest.

During the festival, groups providing parking typically charge $15.00 for each car, of which $4.00 goes to the Town of Thurmont to help offset the town costs for security, buses, trash collection, and porta-potties. The PTA provides the volunteers to staff the lots, and they keep the difference between what they charge and the $4.00 fee to the town. It is a large fundraising opportunity for the groups.

Christy Donnelly, treasurer of the PTA for the elementary and primary schools, asked the town to consider not charging organizations a parking fee and instead raising the cost for vendor permits.

The commissioners did not support this, but they did agree to have the shuttle bus stop at the middle school to pick up and drop off people who park there.

Simmers Annexation May Go To Referendum Vote

Thurmont residents submitted a petition with 1,253 signatures that could put Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners vote to annex 16.7 acres of the Simmers property and rezone it for a high-density development to a vote by residents.

The group, Envision Thurmont, collected the signatures and submitted it the town office. The signatures will be verified, and if there are at least 906 verified signatures (20 percent of Thurmont’s registered voters), the issue will be placed before town residents for a vote.

Potential plans for the property include building up to 194 homes, an assisted-living center, and a day care center.


Developer Wants Frailey Farm Annexed

A developer wants to build nearly 300 homes currently outside Emmitsburg, but he wants the property annexed into the town. A small portion of the Frailey Farm, which is southwest of Emmitsburg, is already within the town’s borders.

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners heard a preliminary proposal for the annexation. Jeff Ott of OPi Holdings told the commissioners that the development would offer townhomes priced in the $300,000 range, small single-family homes in the $400,000 range, and larger homes in the $500,000 range, although these are preliminary prices. It would also include a park and hiking and biking trails.

The property is in Emmitsburg’s 2015 Comprehensive Plan as being an area for future residential housing.

The commissioners expressed a number of reservations, but the process is just starting.

No Shooting Ranges in Emmitsburg

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners heard from town staff, their planning consultant, the town attorney, the applicant and his attorney, and other members of the public about an ordinance that would allow private shooting ranges in Emmitsburg. The commissioners voted 4-0 with one abstention against the ordinance.

Small Game Hunting

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a policy that allows small game hunting in the town’s watershed during the same time as deer and turkey hunting will take place.

Appointments Made

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners accepted the resignation of Dan Garnitz from the Emmitsburg Board of Appeals. The commissioners then appointed him as a regular member of the Emmitsburg Planning Commission, with a term running from November 7, 2022, to January 18, 2027.

They also appointed Jack Pollitt as an alternate member of the Emmitsburg Board of Appeals, with a term expiring October 1, 2025.

The Thurmont Grange #409 recently presented dictionaries to all northern Frederick County third-grade students. This is a community-service project called “Words for Thirds,” and all of the third-grade students in the Catoctin feeder system received dictionaries (Sabillasville, Lewistown, Thurmont, and Emmitsburg Elementary Schools).

The Grange is an agricultural organization, which is deeply rooted in the community. Many of its members are farmers, businessmen and women, and its focus is on community service, legislation, education, and agriculture. Many of our members hold local, county, and state offices to promote the Grange.

Every year, the Grange helps at events such as the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, the Frederick Fair (where they put in an exhibit at the Farm and Garden Building), the Catoctin Colorfest, and the annual Cookie Walk in December, to name a few. The Grange holds a Veterans’ Appreciation Night, and has also donated funds and items to the Thurmont Food Bank, Catoctin FFA, Boy Scouts, Catoctin Safe & Sane, and so forth. 

The dictionary has many features, such as the history of the Presidents of the United States, the solar system, sign language, and also the longest word in the United States.

Emmitsburg Elementary School (from left): (front row) Patrick Morgan, Payton Fritz, Clary Walker, Vivian Satterlee; (back row) Paulette Mathias, Robert Wiles, and Carolyn Wiles.

Sabillasville Environmental School (from left): David Savage, Michele Heerema, Emma Santos, Blake Wagaman, Mattee Lambert, Catherine Riggs, Ryan Balsley, and Jane Savage.

Thurmont Elementary School (from left): Jody Eyler, Caythee Ruby, Jennifer Reynolds, Carol Long, Nancy Wine, John Wine, Charlotte Donnelly, Carli Savage, Kaylee Hoff, Braden Weber, Aaron Oden, Caroline Stevens, McKinnly Glotfelty, Ryan Vorndran, Harper Strobel, Kam Dal, and Lukas Bromwell.

Richard D. L. Fulton

Note: The following account is based on the research of cultural geographer Dr. Raymond O’Brien and that of the reporter, conducted in the 1980s on the German Lutheran architecture and folklore of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

During the 18th century, thousands of German Lutherans migrated to Pennsylvania, and from there, pushed into neighboring states. They had begun their migration from the Germanic states in Europe in the 17th century by establishing settlements in New York. As the 19th century unfolded, their migratory numbers soared into the millions.

Regarding the surge in Pennsylvania, alone, Benjamin Franklin said that the Pennsylvania Assembly should consider German interpreters unless the migration could be dispersed to other colonies.

The story—or legend—of the Devil in Frederick began in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and spread throughout the country wherever the German Lutheran population migrated and settled.

The German Lutherans believed that the Devil was a physical being, in addition to a spiritual entity, and that, apparently, one of the evil one’s primary objectives was to follow the German Lutherans in its effort to punish them for their devout allegiance to Christianity.

The German Lutherans also believed that physical evidence could be found to prove that the Devil was present, and that physical measures could be employed to thwart his incursion into their homes and outbuildings.

Physical Evidence

The first item of physical evidence of the Devil dogging in the footsteps of the German Lutherans could be found in Bucks County in the form of a cave, known as the Durham Cave, because, according to the legend, the Devil followed the German Lutherans by migrating under the Atlantic Ocean and surfacing via this cave system. The cave, which was in more recent times quarried, still exists, although, it was fenced off sometime after the author had explored the outer chamber due to its dangerous nature.

The Devil, having initiated his pursuit from the Durham Cave all the way to Frederick County and beyond, left his “footprints” along his trek, thus confirming his physical trek. Those that were found in the 1800s appeared in flagstones of what was once the flagstone path that led to Saint Joseph’s College in Emmitsburg (shown above), and now reside in the Prince George’s County Dinosaur Park.

According to the early German Lutherans, as the Devil walked about, his three-toed footprints were literally burned into the rocks beneath his feet, and his tracks can be frequently found from the Connecticut Valley into North Frederick County and beyond.

Such tracks were found in the 1800s in the flagstones leading up to Saint Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Emmitsburg when the walkways were being replaced.  The dinosaur tracks had come from a quarry located on land that was since dubbed Silver Fancy, but not from the abandoned quarry commonly referred to as the “dinosaur quarry.” 

A survey conducted along Flat Run by the reporter in the early 2000s determined that the tracks actually originated from a (then heavily overgrown) flagstone pit, located a short distance north of the so-called  “dinosaur quarry”).

In spite of the few dinosaur tracks that were found in Emmitsburg, dinosaur tracks have been, and continue to be, more commonly encountered just across the Mason Dixon Line in Adams County, first in the 1930s, in the now-abandoned Trostle Quarry, located just east of York Springs, and, during the course of the past few years, another significant find of a considerable number of dinosaur tracks was discovered in an active quarry in Hamiltonban Township.

However, the tracks are no longer called the Devil’s footprints. They are presently known as the tracks of the long-extinct, non-avian dinosaurs. And of course, they weren’t burned into the rock. They were embedded by the dinosaurs when the rock was actually mud, some 220 million years ago. Other physical evidence manifested itself in explicably burned homes and outbuildings, or other “mysterious” natural or medical situations.

Warding off The Devil

Because the German Lutherans believed the Devil was a physical and spiritual entity, they developed measures they believed could prevent the Devil from gaining access to their homes and associated outbuildings, complete with a “secondary line of defense.”

Based on research conducted by cultural geographer Dr. Raymond O’Brien and that of the reporter in the 1980s, the first line of defense against the Devil was to paint window and door sills white, which apparently was not commonplace in America until the German Lutherans employed the method as a deterrent to prevent the Devil from accessing the buildings.

The presumption was that white represented spiritual purity, through which the Devil could not proceed.  However, “just in case,” the German Lutherans took additional precautions.

The porch roofs were invariably painted sky-blue in order to represent heaven, which, of course, no self-respecting Devil would dare pass under. The reporter verified that while working on a similar story for The Gettysburg Times, through recovering original paint chips from the porch ceilings of the “Jennie Wade” house (McClellan house) and “General Lee’s headquarters (Thompson House)”—both German Lutheran-constructed homes—had originally been sky-blue (the NPS failed to take this into consideration when they acquired “General Lee’s Headquarters” and mistakenly painted the roof ceilings white). 

To demonstrate the persistence even into modern times, when the reporter’s father started to paint the reporter’s grandmother’s porch at her home in Brunswick, he started to paint it white and she stopped him, telling him it had to be sky blue.  When he asked her why, she said she didn’t know except it had always been that way.

Not completely trusting the measures taken thus far, another feature was developed, which, like painting window and door sills white, also became popular and can be seen just about anywhere today—that being the creation of the “Cross-and-Bible” doors, which employ the cross and the “open pages” of the Bible above or below.”

Yet, all of this was not enough in the minds of the German Lutherans.  Just in case the Devil managed to get past all the aforementioned precautions, a means was developed of diverting the Devil into the basement where he would be compelled to exit… via the fireplace (which was in the basement of these early homes).

The German Lutherans would paint their basement fireplaces red (even if the fireplaces had been constructed of red bricks or fieldstones), in the hope that the Devil would mistake these fireplaces as portals back to Hell, and he would be enticed to enter and, thereby, depart from the premises.

Of course, when one is walking along at night near the forests or fields of Frederick County, perhaps that breaking tree limb or loud, rustling leaves could be a deer, but if one becomes overly concerned, just head for the nearest sky-blue porch or cross-and-Bible doors, or a home or barn with white-trimmed windows or door sills!

Emmitsburg Dinosaur Tracks: Courtesy of Pete Yancone, Senior Educator, The Maryland Science Center


 Mayor John Kinnaird

November will be a busy month! There are many events to participate in this coming month, and opportunities to spend time with family and friends.

November 8 is Election Day, and voters will be selecting candidates to serve as members of the Frederick County Council, County Executive, Clerk of the Court, Register of Wills, Judge of the Orphans Court, Judge of the Circuit Court, Judge of the Court of Special Appeals, and Sheriff. On the state level, we will elect State Delegates, State Senators, Treasurer, Comptroller, States Attorney, Lt. Governor, and Governor. National elections will fill seats for U. S. Representatives, and U. S. Senate. Elections can be confusing, especially with all the advertisements we are hammered with day and night. I ask everyone to look closely at each candidate you will be voting for and select those that you feel will represent us with dedication and honor. Each of us old enough to vote has the right to register to vote in local, state, and national elections, and I encourage everyone to vote on Election Day. Remember, your vote does count!

The Pop Up Shops are now open every Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., at the Thurmont Plaza Shopping Center, located at 224 N. Church Street, Suite B. Stop in for a great selection of jewelry, baked goodies, Colorstreet nail polish, Scentsy, hand-crafted seasonal gifts, handmade decorative signs, and other offerings. Each Saturday will feature a different food truck, thanks to the good folks at Dirty Dawg DIY Dog Wash! This is a great opportunity to pick up Thanksgiving housewarming gifts, stocking stuffers, and Christmas gifts for family and friends.

The Thurmont Community Christmas Tree Lighting will be held on Saturday, November 26, at 6:00 p.m. at the Mechanicstown Square Park. Join us to sing a couple of Christmas songs, see the Christmas tree lighting, and see the street Christmas decoration lighting. Also be sure to check out the lighting at Community Park. Keep a watch out for the Annual Christmas Decorating Contest. It’s a month off yet but take time to drive around Thurmont in December to see the amazing Christmas decorations on every street in town.

Christmas in Thurmont will be held on Saturday, December 3; details will be made available in a couple of weeks.

As you prepare to gather with family for Thanksgiving dinner, remember our friends and neighbors less fortunate than we are. Consider donating to the Thurmont Food Bank or the Emmitsburg Food Bank—cash or non-perishable foods will go a long way in helping our entire community realize a happy Thanksgiving. With cold weather coming, think about donating any wearable warm clothing, coats, gloves, hats, or winter footwear you may have to the Thurmont Clothes Closet, located on Long Road at the Thurmont United Methodist Church.

Karen and I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, I can be reached by cell phone at 301-606-9458 or by email at [email protected].


Mayor Don Briggs

Congratulations to newly elected Commissioner Amy Boehman-Politt and Commissioner Frank Davis (re-elected to a second term). Thank you to candidates Mark Long and Kevin Hagan for stepping forward and running good races.

Presented at the October 12th town meeting for consideration by the commissioners, and subsequently approved, was a proposal to retain Jakubiak & Associates, Inc. (Chris Jakubiak, AICP, principal), a Towson planning consultant firm. Duties will include assisting in planning and zoning functions, annexations, project review, development code amendments, land use and related studies, and comprehensive plan review.” Chris Jakubiak comes with significant years of experience in working with municipalities that include assisting the town in its 2009-2010 Comprehensive Plan update.

At the same meeting, consultants presented a study of town water rates. The study was prompted by the USDA opinion that town water rates are too low and need to be raised if the town should seek any further USDA financial assistance. The town has an ongoing deficit in the town water account. The study recommendation to raise rates was given, but by over 100 percent was a shock to many. If an increase was needed, why were they not raised gradually? A good question. Here is some reasoning. In the last decade, to accommodate the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, sewer rates were incrementally raised significantly in two steps. During the same time, raising water rates was considered repeatedly, but it was felt that coming out of the 2008-2009 recession, already raising sewer rates, getting through cleaning up discolored water from aged pipes, and weathering the COVID-19 pandemic, any increase in water rates would impose too much of a burden on residents. So, now we are dealing with an inflation surge that has not been seen in 40 years.

October activities I was honored to attend included: Thursday the 6th—Ribbon cutting for St. Joseph’s College – NETC wayside exhibits, EMI Deputy Hoover, DOC Archivist staff, myself, Maddy Shaw, and Vince Hodge, NETC MOSS Director; Saturday the 8th—41st Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, NETC campus. Welcoming address at Candlelight Service; Thursday the 13th—St John’s College, Annapolis – Santa Fe, Classics Seminar; Friday the 21st—Mount St. Mary’s University College of Liberal Arts Advisory Board meeting; Monday the 24th—Workshop with Commissioners – Frailey Farm Annexation, public workshop.

Town new business/development update: Emmit Ridge 2, potential residential subdivision, east side of Irishtown Road, no development plan. Federal Stone – proposed industrial building east side of US 15 off Creamery Road. Forest and site plans approved/awaiting submission of improvement plat. Frailey Farm – 100+ acres, annexation request. The property borders Myers Community Park to the west, south side of Frailey Road, east side of Annandale Road. Mason Dixon Logistics Park, 185+/- acres, east side of US 15, north of MD 140. Concept plan submitted – commercial/industrial park/potential zoning text and/or map amendment. State park and ride east of US 15, south of MD 140, MDOT/SHA restarted design on July 1, 2022; 30-percent of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. Ripleigh’s Creamery on East Main St. is working on a building permit from the county for renovations. Rutter’s – Expected completion end of October/early November 2022. Village Liquors and Plaza Inn – Property owner plan phasing the project (Phase 1) 1st story convenience area; and (Phase 2) 2nd & 3rd story hotel. Working on zoning permit submittal. Warthen’s Court proposed 5-unit townhomes – Sketch plan submitted.

The town, by proclamation, declared October 2022 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From the proclamation, in 2022 while considerable progress has been made, about 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women; an estimated 43,250 women will die from breast cancer in the U.S.; 2,710 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and approximately 530 men will die; one out of eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime; and there are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

Veterans Day is Friday, November 11; join the tour of local cemeteries, Doughboy, local Legion and VFW with honor guard. Thanksgiving Day, Thursday the 24th, is the annual Turkey Trot. The Evening of Christmas Spirit is on Monday, December 5.

by James Rada, Jr.


Recycling Costs are Skyrocketing for the Town

The Town of Thurmont is seeking help from the county to deal with the skyrocketing cost of maintaining a recycling center on Moser Road. Frederick County Government contributes $10,000 annually to the town’s recycling center costs, and the program is very popular among citizens, not only of Thurmont but surrounding communities as well.

However, in recent years, the market for recyclables has all but disappeared. Income from selling recyclables helped offset some of the costs of the program.

Another factor has been rising inflation and fuel costs that have increased the cost of the program.

In Fiscal Year 2021, the total cost of the program was $11,480, and after the county contributed its portion, the final cost to Thurmont was $600. In Fiscal Year 2023, the expected program cost is $38,220, with the town expected to pay $28,220.

This is a problem that the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners will be considering how to solve in the coming months.

Town Approves Purchase of RTV

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved the purchase of a Kubota RTV from Ripken Equipment in Frederick. It is an all-terrain vehicle with an enclosed cab that will have a snowplow. It will be mainly used to plow the 4.4 miles of sidewalks and trails that are maintained by the public works department. Currently, the town uses two snow blowers and an open-cab ATV. The vehicle will cost $19,887.92 and be paid for with the savings from the town’s purchase of an electric vehicle earlier in the year and highway user funds.

Town Approves Purchase of Trailer

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved the purchase of a utility trailer for the Streets and Parks Department. It will be used to haul a skid loader, a roller, and other equipment. It will be purchased for $9,718.20 from the Hitch Man in Taneytown. The town had already reserved $9,000 in the budget for the purchase. The remainder will come from the town’s capital reserve fund.

Roadway Resurfacing Projects Approved

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners awarded Pleasants Construction in Frederick a contract for $223,834.94 to resurface sections of Eyler Road, Tippin Drive, Allen Drive, Hunting Creek Drive, Stull Drive, Gateway Drive East and West, Amanda Court, and Carroll Street.

The project will be paid for with highway user funds and is expected to happen before the cold weather sets in.


New Commissioners Sworn In

During the October town meeting, Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs swore in the winners from the town election at the end of September. Incumbent Frank Davis and Amy Boehman-Pollitt won the election with 246 and 204 votes, respectively. In all, 290 votes were cast. Davis is serving his second three-year term. It is Boehman-Pollitt’s first term.

The other candidates for the two commissioner seats were Mark Long and Kevin Hagan. They received 64 and 60 votes, respectively.

Commissioner T.J. Burns chose not to run for re-election.

During the meeting, Briggs also made recommendations for the reorganization of the board of commissioners.

Tim O’Donnell will remain as board president. Joe Ritz III will serve as vice president and board liaison to the planning commission. Cliff Sweeney will serve as treasurer. Burns will serve as the liaison to the parks and recreation committee, and Boehman-Pollitt will be the liaison to the citizens advisory committee.

Commissioners Considering Raising Water and Sewer Rates

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners heard the recommendations from consultant Mike Maker with NewGen Strategies and Solutions for new water and sewer rates. The water and sewer rates were last increased in 2013 and 2014, respectively. It has become apparent that they need to be increased again to ensure the town has the funds to cover capital projects for the systems.

The commissioners are considering increasing the water rate 150 percent in fiscal year 2023 and then 3 percent a year for the following four years. Sewer rates may increase 3 percent a year from fiscal year 2023 to 2027.

The water increase is significant, but the rate increases would bring Emmitsburg rates in line with other communities its size in Maryland and allow the needed upgrades to the systems to be made.

The commissioners will hold a public hearing on the issue.

Town Hires On-Call Town Planner

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a contract to hire Chris Jakubiak to provide on-call town planning services to the town. His primary duty will be to advise and assist primarily with annexations, development project review, zoning and other development code amendments, land use and related studies, and with other similar tasks that may be requested by the town. He will be paid $205 per hour with an average of 16 hours of work a week expected.

Town Extends Christ’s Community Church Lease

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners extended the lease for Christ’s Community Church to remain at 303 West Lincoln Avenue for another two years. The rent will increase to $2,500 a month. The church is in the process of constructing their own building in town, but they still need to remain at their current location until it is completed.

Group Wants to Alter Doughboy Statue

The National Association of Black Veterans of Western Maryland has asked the Town of Emmitsburg to redo the plaque that lists the names of Emmitsburg’s Black World War I veterans separately from the White veterans on the Doughboy statue at the west end of town. Although Commissioner Frank Davis told the group that the families of those veterans asked that the plaque be left as it was when the issue came up in 2015, the group asked the commissioners to consider integrating the names into a new plaque. The commissioners agreed to add it to the agenda of an upcoming meeting.

Emmit Ridge 2 — The property is for sale.

Federal Stone — The forest and site plans have been approved. The next step is to submit an improvement plat with the town. Construction is being pushed back due to high construction cost caused by inflation.

Frailey Farm — The property is under contract. The proposed developer held a public workshop with the mayor and board of commissioners to discuss the project last month.

Mason Dixon Logistics Park (Trout Property) — The concept plan has been submitted to staff for a commercial/industrial park. Potential zoning text and/or map amendment applications are expected in the near future.

MDOT/SHA Park & Ride — MDOT/SHA restarted design work on July 1. It is expected that 30 percent of the project will be complete by the end of 2022.

Ripleigh’s Creamery — The owners are working on obtaining a Frederick County building permit.

Rutter’s — The project is under active construction. It is expected to be completed this month.

Village Liquors & Plaza Inn — Property owner has informed the town he is now phasing the project – Phase 1: first-story convenience area, and Phase 2: second- and third-story hotel. They are currently waiting on Frederick County improvement plan approval. Warthen’s Court 5-unit townhomes — A sketch plan has been submitted

Jan Guillory

Elias Lutheran Church in Emmitsburg was the birthplace of L’Arche Frederick Maryland back in February of 2009, with Jeanne Kuhn of Quirauk School Road introducing a small group to the idea of a community of L’Arche that would welcome adults with intellectual disabilities. Father Jon Greenstone was present that day, as well as Therese Kennedy and four or five other interested persons. L’Arche was to be an inclusive community with people with and without disabilities choosing to share life, have fun together, share a spiritual life, and some of them to live together in homes we dreamed of starting. It would be a part of L’Arche International, a worldwide community in 156 locations in 38 countries, featuring communities with homes, activity centers, workshops, or socially supportive gathering places, depending on the arrangements possible in the given locale of each one.

Some months later, Jeanne Kuhn convened a larger group of professionals from the wider Frederick County area at Mount St. Mary’s, with the help of Father Jim Donohue who had been as a seminarian himself an assistant at a home of L’Arche in Stratford Ontario. “Assistant” is what L’Arche calls the support professionals who have a helping role in each community but who, indeed, find themselves helped, often deeply, by the relationships they share with friends with intellectual disabilities.

The group of professionals at the November 2009 meeting included members of the faculty and staff of the Mount; a social worker from Rock Creek School, Bill Derbyshire, who is a Thurmont resident; Sister Frances, a Daughter of Charity; and numerous representatives of related professions from the Frederick Community, as well as several people experienced with communities of L’Arche in other areas of the United States. A planning group emerged, which Jeanne Kuhn faithfully led with the help of her husband, Jim. A planning group with monthly meetings, minutes, and gradually a structure of contact with L’Arche International, a representative of which encouraged the group to conduct social events in Frederick, where there would be a larger disability community.

Through Pam Zusi, the former director of Development for Mount St. Mary’s, the emerging L’Arche community found a welcome with St. Katharine Drexel church community for social events to be held monthly at St. John’s school gym. Therese Kennedy, one of the founding members from the little group at Elias Lutheran Church, had many friends among the disability community and encouraged them to attend events, among them Lauren Vignola of Thurmont who has been a lively participant up to the present. Therese continued with L’Arche until her death in 2017.

These social events continue to the present and have had 10 years of strong community impact. Mount St. Mary’s students help with or lead many of the events. Currently, a schedule can be found on our website at All are welcome.

L’Arche has hired a community leader, Megan Guzman, and recently has purchased a home at 1818 Lawnview in Frederick. Soon, that home will welcome three adults with intellectual disabilities and three support professionals to live together.

A part of our fun together has been creating the annual Let it Shine Variety Show, showcasing the talents of adults with intellectual disabilities and their friends by offering a stage show. This year’s show was held on October 15 at the Frederick Community College theatre.

L’Arche Frederick is open to anyone interested in participating or helping. We are happy to see L’Arche growing and thankful for all the support.

L’Arche Frederick friends enjoy a Friday Night Gathering in April 2022 at St. John’s Regional Catholic School.