Currently viewing the tag: "the catoctin banner"

James Rada, Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy Photo

by James Rada, Jr.


Water Line Relocation Agreements

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

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

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

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


Burn Ban

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


Town Planner Retiring

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


Town Receives Clean Audit

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


Pool Management Team Approved

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


Thurmont Senior Tax Credit Applications

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


Thurmont Green Fest

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


Remembering Donald Lewis

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


Commissioner Liaison Appointments

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


Youth Program Discussion

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

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


 Mayor Don Briggs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hoping that everyone has a wonderful Easter.


 Mayor John Kinnaird

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thurmont Business Showcase

The Thurmont Business Showcase on Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at the Thurmont Event Complex, will feature businesses and nonprofit organizations from the Thurmont area. There’s something for everyone! View the advertisement on page 3 for more information and to find out where you can download an application.

Emmitsburg Lions Club “Rock & Roll” Dance

On April 7, 2018, the Emmitsburg Lions Club will sponsor a “Rock & Roll” dance at the Emmitsburg Ambulance Company building at 17701 Creamery Road. The Dance will feature sounds from the 1950s and 1960s, played from 8:00 p.m. until midnight by the “Rock N Roll Relics” band. This is a “BYOB” venue. All proceeds support charitable events in the Emmitsburg area. View the advertisement on page 4 for more details and how to get your tickets today!

Free Matinees at Main Street Center

Mark your calendars for two must-see, free April matinees at the Main Street Center in Thurmont: April 14—Battle of the Sexes; April 28—New In Town. Matinee times are 2:00-4:00 p.m. View the advertisement on page 20 for more details.

2nd Annual 5K Family Fun Run/Walk

Come out and participate in the 2nd Annual Family Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. at Eyler Park in Thurmont. The Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club will be managing the race, and all proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House. View the Anytime Fitness advertisement on page 39 for more details on the 5K Run/Walk and how to get your $5.00 discount when you register!

Lewistown Suppers Are Back

Get your tickets for the Lewistown Volunteer Fire Department’s Baked Ham, Fried Oysters & Shrimp Supper on April 21, 2018, from 12:00-5:00 p.m. View the advertisement on page 17 for ticket information and for details about the raffle.

Thurmont Lions Club Blood Drive

The Thurmont Lions Club is holding a Blood Drive at the Thurmont Senior Center on Sunday, April 8, 2018, from 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. View the advertisement on page 17 for more details.

Slow Poultry Seminar at Deer Run Farm

Join Deer Run Farm in Emmitsburg on May 12, 2018, for a “Slow Poultry Seminar,” with poultry judge and standard-bred chicken advocate, Jim Adkins, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (registration opens at 8:30 a.m.). Tickets are $25.00 (before May 4). You must pre-register; seating is limited. Ticket price includes lunch and training materials. View the advertisement on page 8 for more information.

Yard & Bake Sale to Benefit Jennifer Bennett & Family

Come out to the Yard & Bake Sale on Saturday, May 19, 2018, being held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Creagerstown, from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Event is hosted by Thurmont United Methodist and St. John’s Lutheran of Creagerstown. View the advertisement on page 33 for more details and for information on how to rent your space today.

Tastefully Simple Open House

Everyone is invited to come out to the Tastefully Simple Open House event at St. John’s Church in Sabillasville on April 22, 2018, from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Come enjoy great food, meal ideas, spring and summer products, and lots of fun. View the advertisement on page 14 for more details.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel & St. Anthony’s Bingo

You won’t want to miss Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Anthony’s Bingo, being held at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg on Saturday, April 7, 2018. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., with games starting at 7:00 p.m. Ticket price includes a spaghetti dinner, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. View the advertisement on page 8 for more information and for how to purchase your tickets today!

Two Exciting Upcoming Events at Fort Ritchie

Register now for the Bass Fishing Tournament on Saturday, April 21, and the Solar Plunge on Sunday, April 22, at Fort Ritchie Community Center in Cascade! Fishing Tournament is 7:00-11:00 a.m.; doors open for Solar Plunge at 11:00 a.m., with Plunge at noon. View the advertisement on page 39 for more details and how to register today!

Mother Seton’s Coach & Vera Bradley Bingo

Got spring fever? Get your tickets today for Mother Seton School’s Coach & Vera Bradley Bingo on April 14, 2018. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with games beginning at 7:00 p.m. Event features specials, door prizes, raffles & more. View the advertisement on page 20 for more details.

Please Help EBPA Shape Its Future

The Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA) is reaching out to residents and businesses from Emmitsburg and the surrounding area to solicit their opinions on future community and economic development initiatives. To better understand your needs, the EBPA developed a brief survey that is included as an advertisement on page 3, and have also posted on the Town of Emmitsburg website. The EBPA is asking businesses and residents to complete the survey and to submit it by April 30, 2018, in one of three drop-off boxes: Emmitsburg Jubilee Food Store customer service desk, Emmitsburg Public Library, and Emmitsburg Post Office. To complete the survey, cut out the advertisement on page 3 or go to, click “Our Community,” then scroll down and click “EBPA Survey,” or just go directly to Please note that the survey on the website cannot be completed online, you must download and print it. The EBPA is offering dinner at the Carriage House and tickets to the Frederick Keys to two survey respondents. Please make sure you provide your name and contact information on the survey in order to be eligible for these prizes. Winners will be notified by May 6, 2018.

Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood — Annual Wedding Open House

ThorpeWood’s Annual Wedding Open House will be held on Sunday, April 22, 2018, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. ThorpeWood is located on Mink Farm Road in Thurmont. View the advertisement on page 12 for more information.

Bingo – Money & Coach Bags

Mark your calendars for the Money & Coach Bags Bingo at the Thurmont Event Complex on April 8, 2018. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. Bingo also features tip jars, door prizes, cash bar and kitchen, and much more! View the advertisement on page 10 for more information.

VHC’s Spring Fling Coming in May

Mark your calendars for the Vigilant Hose Company’s annual Spring Fling on May 19, 2018, from 12:00-5:00 p.m., at 17701 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Event features great food, entertainment, horseshoes, tip jars, and much more! View the advertisement on page 18 to find out how to purchase your tickets today before they are all gone!

Thurmont Event Complex Upcoming

The Thurmont Event Complex is holding two not-to-be-missed events in April. On May 5, 2018, a Gun Bash and Fried Chicken & Shrimp Dinner will be held; on May 12, 2018, don’t miss the Crab Legs, Steamed Shrimp & Chicken event (AYCE). View the advertisement on page 27 for more information and for how to get your tickets today!

Vigilant Bingo Bash

You won’t want to miss this all-inclusive Bingo Bash, to be held Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the Vigilant Hose Company’s Activity Building in Emmitsburg. Doors open at 4:00 p.m., a meal is served at 5:00 p.m., and games begin at 7:00 p.m. Twenty-two games and three jackpots. View the advertisement on page 17 for more details and for ticket information.

Spring Fling at First Baptist of Thurmont

First Baptist of Thurmont is holding a Spring Fling on Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 2:00-6:00 p.m., featuring games, crafts, music, moon bounce, and more! Free admission. View the advertisement on page 37 for more details.

Ladies Day at Catoctin Church of Christ

Join Catoctin Church of Christ in Thurmont for Ladies Day on Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Registration and light breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m. View the advertisement on page 39 for more information.

Eyler Stables Flea Market Spring Open House

Come and enjoy antiques, collectibles, furniture, and much more at the Spring Open House at Eyler Stables Flea Market in Thurmont on April 21-22, 2018, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. View the advertisement on page 23 for ticket information.

St. Anthony’s & Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s Cash Bash

Mark your calendars and get your tickets today for St. Anthony’s and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s Cash Bash on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 3:00-8:00 p.m., at 103 Church Street in Thurmont. There will be four winners each hour, plus music, entertainment, food, and games. View the advertisement on page 33 for more information.

Tom’s Creek UMC Presents Its Turkey & Oyster Supper

Come have dinner with Tom’s Creek UMC in Emmitsburg at its Turkey & Oyster Supper on Saturday, April 14, 2018, from 11:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Menu features oysters, roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cracker pudding, and more! View the advertisement on page 21 for more details.

Beagle Bed & Breakfast’s Grand Opening

You’ll find food, drinks, games, prizes, and furry friends at the Beagle Bed & Breakfast in Emmitsburg’s Grand Opening on Saturday, April 1, 2018, from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Bring your family, friends, and leashed dogs for some fun and to see what they are all about! View the advertisement on page 31 for more information.

Mutual Support Group at Harriet Chapel

Are you mourning the loss of a loved one? Join Harriet Chapel for a Mutual Support Group on April 12, 2018, at noon. Bring a snack to share. View the advertisement on page 13 for more information.

Keysville Summer Kickoff BBQ

On May 19, 2018, “It’s BBQ Time” at Keysville United Church of Christ in Keymar. Enjoy a platter with sides and dessert. Reservations only (4:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m.). View the advertisement on page 39 for more information.

Thurmont Green Fest

Thurmont’s Green Team is teaming up with Thurmont Regional Library to invite the community to the area’s first ever Green Fest on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at the library. This premier event will showcase a variety of waste-free, friendly venders and environmental activities for all ages. View the advertisement on page 3 for more details.

Thurmont Restaurant Week

Come out during the week of April 13-22, 2018, and support your local restaurants during Thurmont Restaurant Week, with restaurants offering prix fixe menus for some of their signature dishes. View the advertisement on page 13 for participating local restaurants and for more details.

Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company’s Meat Raffle

The Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company is holding a Meat Raffle on May 4, 2018. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Admission is just $10.00. View the advertisement on page 23 for how to get your tickets today.

Live Grill Demo at Zurgable Brothers Hardware

Come out for the live Holland Grill Demo on Saturday, April 14, 2018, from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., at Zurgable Brothers Hardware on Old Emmitsburg Road in Emmitsburg. View the advertisement on page 28 for more information.

Rocky Ridge VFD’s Fire Prevention/EMS Open House

On Sunday, May 20, 2018, the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Department Co. 13 is holding a Fire Prevention/EMS Open House at 2:00 p.m. Event features refreshments, door prizes, and more! Admission is free. View the advertisement on page 22 for more information.


The Town of Thurmont was recently recognized by the Maryland Recreation and Park Association and was presented the Best Activity Guide Award for populations serving under 50,000 people.

The Thurmont Walk, Bike & Drive Map and Guide provides hiking, biking, and driving information, along with showcasing parks, history, and popular attractions in Thurmont and the surrounding areas.

The award was presented to Thurmont Economic Development Manager Vickie Grinder at the Celebrating Excellence Marketing and Communications Awards Luncheon on March 1, 2018, at the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore.

“This guide is a great resource for our visitors, as well as our residents. I want to thank Vickie and her team for their hard work on this terrific project,” stated Mayor John Kinnaird.

Thurmont Economic Development Manager Vickie Grinder and Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick are pictured with the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association “Best Activity Guide” Award, following the awards luncheon in Baltimore on March 1, 2018.

The sonic algae control system has proven itself, both in reducing costs and controlling algae, in Rainbow Lake in Emmitsburg. Even so, there is room for improvement.

“We did see a significant improvement in water quality,” Emmitsburg Town Manager Cathy Willets told the commissioners.

She presented town staff’s comparison of the water system between April and December in 2016, before the LG Sonic algae control system was installed, and the same time frame in 2017, after it was installed.

Backwashes: Although the number of backwashes of the system was expected to decrease, they increased 9 percent (from an average of 10 per day to 10.87 per day).

Backwash water usage: The increase in backwashes was offset by the amount of water wasted to make clean water. This decreased from 19.71 percent in 2016 to 14.08 percent last year. This created a savings of 384,888 gallons of water monthly or the equivalent of 50.5 taps.

Average flow for the lake: The town exceeded its target flow for Rainbow Lake with the new system. The target had been 162,000 gallons a day. It was actually 159,600 gallons.

Overtime: Overtime at the water plant was reduced by 31 percent or nearly $3,000.

Chemical costs: Although some chemical usage increased (DE and coagulants), the overall chemical costs decreased from $33,533 in 2016 to $24,440 in 2017.

One problem that is being worked on by LG Sonic is improving the system’s effect on brown algae. “The device performed excellent when dealing with blue-green algae,” Willets said. “It struggled in the fall with brown algae. We are working on ways to combat brown algae more.”

The new system may actually have put the town ahead of the curve in one regard. The Environmental Protection Agency is monitoring algae toxins to decide on whether federal standards need to be set. The LG Sonic system has reduced the toxins in Rainbow Lake without using lots of potentially harmful chemicals.

The National Park Service is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program at Catoctin Mountain Park. This is an exciting opportunity for high school students to spend the summer doing meaningful work in a national park. The YCC program is scheduled to last for eight weeks beginning on June 18, 2018 and ending on August 10, 2018.

The program is open to teens, fifteen through eighteen years of age. All applicants who meet the eligibility requirements listed on the application will be considered. The position will require daily outdoor labor, working in heat, and using a variety of hand tools. The work projects include trail maintenance and construction, exotic plant control and removal, monitoring of rare plant populations, gypsy moth monitoring, painting and rehabilitation projects.  Enrollees will be selected through a random drawing. Previous enrollees may only be considered in the event that an insufficient number of new applications are received. The rate of pay will be $9.25 per hour and increase to $10.10 per hour after July 1, 2018, to match the state minimum wage in Maryland.

Applications may be obtained at the Catoctin Mountain Park Visitor Center at 14707 Park Central Road, Thurmont, MD 21788, or by contacting Becky Loncosky at

Completed applications may be emailed to or mailed to Becky Loncosky, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788.  The deadline to apply is April 15, 2018.  If you have questions concerning this program, please contact Ms. Loncosky by email or at 301-416-0536.

Submitted by Natalie Bentz, Rocky Ridge Club Reporter

During the month of February, the Rocky Ridge 4-H Club participated in many activities.

On February 11, the Rocky Ridge 4-H Club met at the Thurmont Pizza Hut to travel together to Sky Zone Trampoline Park, located in Hagerstown. When everyone was ready, we put on our special, nonskid sky socks. Kids, and some brave parents, jumped on trampolines, played dodge ball, climbed the rock wall, and jumped in the foam pit for two hours. After leaving Sky Zone—tired and sweaty—we met back at the Thurmont Pizza Hut for a pizza party. Everyone had a great time!

On Monday, February 12, the Rocky Ridge 4-H club met at the Frederick Mall to kick off Ag Week. Monday night’s activity consisted of a hand cranked ice cream making competition. The Rocky Ridge 4-H Club made mint chocolate chip ice cream and orange dreamsicle ice cream. Even though our club did not win, we all had a good time and the ice cream was delicious.  Congratulations to all the teams that placed.

The community service for the month of February was to do a good deed for someone. Every member in the club participated by doing nice things for parents, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. Good deeds consisted of: holding the door for the person behind you, helping friends with homework, helping parents with chores, putting away grocery carts for the elderly, picking up trash, donating time or money to a good cause, and/or helping a teacher. “Be kind, help our fellow community members to make a better place.”

Members of the Rocky Ridge 4H Club.

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show committee met recently to begin planning the 62nd Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show. The show will be held at Catoctin High School, located at 14745 Sabillasville Road in Thurmont, on September 7-9, 2018.  Officers elected at the meeting were: President Rodman Myers, Vice President Robert Valentine, and Secretary Jennifer Martin. Other committee members are Sue Keilholtz, Jessica Valentine, Robert Wiles, David Harman, Niki Eyler, Cheryl Lenhart, Ray Martin, Carol Long, Chip Long, Sharon Lewis, Denise Valentine, Amanda and Paul Dennis, Clifford Stewart, Helen Troxell, Cathy Little, Karen Myers, Sue Sanders, Patty Johnston, Laura Keilholtz, Jim Barth, Kay Barth, Thad Bittner, Amy Jo Poffenberger, and Daniel Myers, and two representatives from the Catoctin FFA Chapter.

On Friday night, the 2018-2019 Catoctin FFA Chapter Ambassador will be announced. In addition, this year’s program will honor the 50th anniversary of Catoctin High School. The baked goods auction will begin immediately following the program, and the grand champion cake, pie and bread will be sold at 9:00 p.m.

Entry of exhibits will take place in the new gymnasium and in the agriculture department area on Thursday, September 6, 6:00-9:00 p.m., and on Friday, September 7, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Judging will begin at 12:30 p.m. Commercial exhibits may be entered on Friday, September 7, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The show will open to the public at 6:00 p.m.

On Saturday, September 8, the show opens at 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities include a Market Goat, Beef, Sheep and Swine Fitting & Showing Contest, from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at the Ag Center at the school. The Pet Show will be held at 10:30 a.m., outside the front of the school. The petting zoo, farm animals, and pony rides will also be held on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday night, the Thurmont Grange will serve their turkey and country ham dinner in the school cafeteria, from 3:00-7:00 p.m.  Entertainment for Saturday and Sunday will be announced at a later date. There will be no admission charged for the entertainment.

The 44th Annual Catoctin FFA Alumni beef, sheep & swine sale will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Ag Center area on Saturday night.

Activities begin on Sunday, September 9, at 9:00 a.m., with the Goat Show, followed by the Dairy Show. The Decorated Animal Contest has been eliminated. At noon, the Catoctin FFA Alumni Chicken Bar-B-Que will be held in the cafeteria. The 39th Annual Robert Kaas Horseshoe Pitching Contest will begin at 1:00 p.m. The Log Sawing Contest will begin at 12:30 p.m., under the show tent in the Ag Center area. A Peddle Tractor Contest for kids will be held on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., also in the Ag Center area, although the times for starting the events may be changed.

Exhibits must be removed on Sunday, September 9, between 3:00-6:00 p.m. Please note the new deadline to pick up items.

If you would like to be a new advertiser in the show booklet, please contact Rodman Myers at 301-271-2104 to obtain advertising information or via email at Past advertisers should have recently received letters for advertisements for this year. The deadline for advertisements is May 5, 2018. The Community Show booklets can be found in local Thurmont, Emmitsburg, and surrounding area businesses in late July or early August. New residents of the community are urged to enter and be a part of the Community Show, the largest in the State of Maryland.

There will be changes to some departments. Departments include:  Fresh Fruits, Fresh Vegetables, Home Products Display, Canned Fruits, Canned Vegetables, Jellies & Preserves, Pickles, Meats, Baked Products, Sewing & Needlework, Flowers and Plants, Arts, Paintings & Drawings, Crafts, Photography, Corn, Small Grains and Seeds, Eggs, Nuts, Poultry & Livestock, Dairy, Goats, Hay, Junior Department and Youth Department.

There is no entry fee. Please visit our website for updated information at

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show is sponsored by the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin FFA Alumni, the Maryland State Grange, and the Maryland State Agricultural Fair Board.

Thurmont Troops Take Highest Awards

The Francis Scott Key District encompasses scouting troops in all of Frederick County. The district holds an annual dinner to present awards to troops, packs, and crews, and to thank volunteers for outstanding service to scouting.

This year’s Cub Pack of the Year was Cub Scout Pack 270. Crew of the Year was Venturing Crew 270, and Outstanding Unit was awarded to Boy Scout Troop 270 for the Francis Scott Key District.

Awards are rigorous and are based on a point-system, on areas of administration, advancement of youth, recruitment and retention, program planning and execution by youth and district, and national participation.  Congratulations to the Thurmont area scouts for their achievements, and thank you to all the adults who make these programs for our youth possible.

Carie Stafford, associate advisor of Venturing Crew 270, is pictured accepting Venturing Crew 270 Crew of the Year Award from Bill Desmond, District Chairman of Francis Scott Key District.

Acknowledging Appreciation

Girls Scouts in Frederick County take pride in recognizing area businesses and community organizations that support the Girl Scouts of America program.

Area businesses and community organizations allow troops to meet at their place of business, giving the Girl Scouts a safe and comfortable place to meet and grow. This year, Service Unit 37-4 in Frederick County recognized Lewistown Fire Company for ten years of continued service. Their continued support of the Girl Scout program has allowed for many activities and programs to come to fruition at the Lewiston Fire Hall. The Girl Scouts extend their gratitude for ten years of committed service to the Girl Scouts of Frederick County.

Patty Green and local Brownie Troop present a ten-year appreciation plaque to the Lewistown Fire Hall. Accepting the plaque are Karen and Steve Stull.

Acknowledging Appreciation

Boy Scout Troop 270 participated in the 58th Annual First Aid Meet Competition in Walkersville on March 3, 2018 (pictured right). The scouts compete against other youth from troops in the Francis Scott Key district, which covers all of Frederick County. The scouts are given hypothetical emergency scenarios to evaluate, then develop the correct care plan and respond. The competition teaches and allows scouts to do practical first aid as a team, under pressure, making it as close to a real situation as possible. Two patrols from Boy Scout Troop 270 participated and took fourth place and seventh place, respectively, out of twenty-three competing groups.


Corbin Deviney (pictured left), a senior at Catoctin High School, recently received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. He will be one of over 1,200 incoming freshmen, and was chosen from a highly competitive pool of nearly 20,000 applicants.

Corbin, the son of Jeff and Heather Deviney of Thurmont, is president of the Catoctin High School Student Government, Vice President of Catoctin High’s National Honor Society, and is active in several other student organizations. He represented Thurmont/Emmitsburg area last summer as a delegate for 2017 Maryland Boys State. He has earned varsity letters in cross country, indoor track, and baseball, and volunteers with an adaptive watersports organization and the Maryland League for People with Disabilities. Corbin will be the fourth generation of his family to serve in the Navy, and he will begin the Naval Academy’s traditional Plebe Summer in late June 2018.

The Thurmont High School Alumni Association will hold its annual banquet on Saturday, June 2, 2018, at the new Thurmont Event Complex, located at 13716 Stratford Drive, which is just off of Lawyer’s Lane, from Route 550 South of Thurmont. Social hour will begin at 5:00 p.m., with the meal served promptly at 6:00 p.m.

The classes ending in 3 or 8 will receive special recognition. Several basket raffles and a 50/25/25 raffle will take place. Five graduating seniors, related to Thurmont High School Alumni, will receive $1,000 scholarships.

The cost for the evening is $23.00 per person, which should be mailed to Viola Noffsinger, 12510 Creagerstown Road, Thurmont, MD 21788 (before May 18).

All alumnus of Thurmont High School and Catoctin High School classes (1969-1972), and friends, are encouraged to attend. Visit the alumni Facebook page: Thurmont High School Alumni Association.

Questions, special reports, or other information may be sent to or call 301-898-9898.

Mother Seton School’s admissions brochure has been presented with the Gold award by the Educational Advertising Awards in the “Brochure” category. A national panel of education industry specialists reviewed all entered pieces, presenting Gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit awards based on creativity, marketing execution and, message impact.

Mother Seton School partnered with Creosote Affects, an educational branding and marketing firm, to analyze changing market demographics and communicate the importance of a Mother Seton School education to new audiences. Together, Creosote Affects and Mother Seton School created an admissions brochure that combined clear, inspirational language and stunning photography to promote the school’s commitment to 21st-century learning, Catholic virtues and student success.

The back panel of the brochure unfolds to reveal an insert containing curricular information that corresponds to the prospective student’s age. Having a series of inserts to choose from allows Mother Seton School to provide parents with messaging that applies to their child’s stage of development.

Through the admissions brochure, Mother Seton School can express its value to prospective parents in a compelling and cost-effective way.

Mother Seton School’s admissions brochure received Gold at the Educational Advertising Awards in the Brochure category. A national panel of education industry specialists judged entries based on creativity, marketing execution, and message impact.