James Rada, Jr.

It’s a new year, and with it comes a new beginning. It’s a chance for you to challenge yourself to meet some of the goals you want, whether it’s to lose weight, find a new job, save for a dream vacation, or something else.

We at The Catoctin Banner hope you can achieve all of your goals, and we want to do our part to help. Along those lines, you’re invited to participate in our New Year’s resolution contest (see more information on the right side of this page). If selected as a participant, we’ll provide periodic checks on your progress, and cheer you on throughout the year.

We’ve compiled a list of some tips for setting and completing your New Year’s resolutions so that 2017 is your best year so far.

Keep your resolutions reasonable. For instance, if you want to run a marathon, don’t expect to do it next month. Find a marathon near the end of the year, and lay out a plan that allows you to work your way up to full marathon. If you’re not used to running at all, you might want to plan on running a half marathon this year and a full marathon next year. WebMD suggested thinking of your willpower as a muscle. Use it more, and you will be able to handle more.

Don’t try to do everything at once. We have developed bad habits over time and getting rid of them will take time. If you try and correct all of your bad habits at the same time, you will dilute your efforts. Using the willpower as a muscle comparison, if you have a lot of exercises in your workout, you will find that your energy has fizzled by the time you do the last ones. If you are trying to change a lot of behaviors, you will wind up shortchanging some of them.

Expect setbacks. It is very unlikely that you’ll hit your goal without stumbling along the way. How many people have lost weight only to gain it back? Those who try to exercise more may suffer injuries that cause them to stop their workouts to recover. Keep your eye on the long-range goal. If you have a stumble, refocus your efforts and start again with renewed energy.

Set intermediate goals. Staying focused for a year on a goal can be draining. Set intermediate goals with rewards if you hit them. Before you run that marathon, you may want to set a goal to run a 5K, then a 10K, and then a half marathon. As you hit each goal, you go and buy yourself a small present as a reward for making the goal. In this way, reaching the goal and getting the reward is still fresh in your mind as you pursue the next goal. This technique also helps when you start to feel discouraged. You can look back and see how far you have come in pursuit of your goal and benchmarks that you have hit.

Appeal to your other senses. Some people have photos of the body type they want to have, and they hang them on their refrigerators to remind them of their goal. You might fill water jugs with the amount of weight you lose. As the number of jugs increase, you will feel invigorated since you can see how much weight you are losing. Record a motivational speech for yourself that you can play once a day to remind yourself of why you are trying to reach your goal.

Write your goals down. Put your goals down in writing and keep track of them. It will help keep you focused on the progress that you are making. Place your written goals where you can refer to them each day.

Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or look for support in the pursuit of your goal. This could provide you a new viewpoint that you hadn’t considered and could give you new strategies and ideas to aid you in reaching your set goal. It also helps to have someone to whom you’re accountable. Who wants to admit that they’ve failed? No one. Many of us will work even harder to make progress toward our goal, when someone is holding us accountable, so we don’t have to admit failure.

Compete in The Catoctin Banner’s New Year’s resolution contest. If selected to participate, you will have the community cheering you on as you seek to change your life for the better. Go for it!


The Catoctin Banner’s New Year’s

Resolution Contest

We, The Catoctin Banner Newspaper Team, want you to be the very best you can be in your life. We want to help you achieve! Submit your 2017 resolution to us by January 20, 2017, to enter our Resolutions Contest.

Up to three individuals will be selected to participate in our year-long contest. We will announce our contestants and their resolutions in February, give updates on their progress every couple of months, and cheer them on via Facebook. In December 2017, we’ll announce the winner of our contest and review their progress through the year. The candidate who achieves the most progress wins $100.

Submit your resolution to us via Deb Spalding (The Catoctin Banner) on Facebook, email to news@thecatoctinbanner.com, submit a contact form from our website, or stop by to enter in person at E Plus Copy Center in the lobby of Jubilee Grocery Store in Emmitsburg.

A resolution can be a personal challenge to get fit or lose weight, to kick a destructive habit, to do good things for others, or to earn something for yourself. It must be trackable, measurable, and attainable.

December 2016


Emmitsburg Institutes Voluntary Water Curtailment

The Emmitsburg mayor and commissioners voted on December 6 to implement Phase I water curtailment. This restriction asks residents on the town water system to voluntarily conserve water. It will remain in place until conditions change, and the curtailment can be lifted or more severe measures need to be taken.


Flat Run Bridge Work

Work on the Flat Run Bridge began on December 5, and continues. The work necessitates that the shoulder of Route 140 be closed; flaggers may direct traffic at times, which could create slowdowns.


Wi-Fi Concerns

The Emmitsburg commissioners and community deputy expressed concerns during a recent town meeting of people sitting in the lobby of the town community building to use the library’s free Wi-Fi after hours. The deputies have received complaints about loud music and marijuana smoking by some of the Wi-Fi users. The deputies plan to pay attention to the area and, if needed, send those people who are acting inappropriately away. They have the authority to do this because the area has no loitering signs posted.

Dog Park Site Selected

The Emmitsburg mayor and commissioners selected a wooded site behind the tennis courts of Community Park to serve as the site of the town’s new dog park. The site is still considered part of Community Park and should address most of the concerns that residents have expressed over past months about different proposed locations of the park.


Pavilion Fees Set

The Emmitsburg mayor and commissioners voted to charge residents $50 to rent the pavilions in the town park. Non-residents will be charged $100. On top of these fees, there is an additional $25 refundable security deposit required. The money from the reservations will be used to purchase the maintenance supplies needed for the parks.


New Town Clerk Hired

Madeline Shaw has been hired as the new town clerk for Emmitsburg. She will take over the position left vacant when Cathy Willets became the town manager. Shaw was chosen from among more than seventy candidates who applied for the position.

In addition, Amy Naill and Terri Ray both received promotions when their current responsibilities were expanded. Naill is now the parking and code enforcement officer, and Ray is the town office manager.



Open Burning Permits Change

The Thurmont Town Office no longer issues open burning permits. The permits must now be obtained through the Frederick County Health Department at 350 Montevue Lane in Frederick, or you can call 301-600-1717.


New Traffic Signal

The traffic signal on the square is being replaced and upgraded. Rather than four poles holding the lights up, there will now be two poles with 50-foot-long arms. Pedestrian crossing assistance devices will now be on all four corners of the intersection. All wiring for the lights will now be underground.

The project could cause traffic delays at times, and there may be flaggers at the intersection directing traffic. Use caution when traveling through the intersection.


$13,675 Raised for Hurwitz Fund

The Catoctin High football, cheerleading, and student spirit groups recently donated $750 to the Patty Hurwitz Fund. The group sold t-shirts and collected cash donations during the October 14 game.

Local businesses also helped raise funds during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October). Gateway Candy and Gateway Liquors had employees wear pink on Fridays and donated $1.00 from every pink bottle of wine sold. The candy store sold lollipops with pink breast cancer awareness ribbons and pink ice cream.

Dr. Jon Moles of Gateway Orthodontics donated money from every patient who got pink braces during October.

Eyler Flea Market Stables donated 10 percent of their sales of Fridays in October to the Hurwitz Fund.

The town also sponsored a 5K race and some other breast cancer-related activities. All in all, Thurmont raised $13,675 for the Hurwitz Fund.

Mayor John Kinnaird

It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone! This past year, we had a lot of things going on in Thurmont, and I am happy to say that many improvements were made for the good of our residents. We completed another year’s worth of I & I infrastructure upgrades, including several new manholes and replacing and relining several damaged main waste water lines.  This long-term project is helping ease the burden on our waste water plant, and has made a significant dent in the inflow issues we have been working to resolve. The sidewalks on Main Street, Water Street, and North Church Street are now in great shape, and the new street light project is completed. You will notice that we have added to the Christmas decorations on the new street lights as well. There is a new gazebo in the Mechanicstown Square Park ready to welcome visitors as they take a break from the day’s business. The town has also purchased new work trucks this year, including a new pole/auger truck for the Electric Department, with the capacity to handle the longer poles required with the increasing electric loads. The Waste Water Department purchased a new high-pressure truck, with a vacuum system for cleaning our manholes and lines. Streets received a new dump truck with snowplow and salt spreader, as well as a new pickup and plow. We are very proud of the quick response all of our employees give when it snows, and these new vehicles will help insure that our streets are open as soon as possible for our residents when bad weather hits. The Water Department also got a new service truck, and they installed a generator at one of our wells, so in an emergency, the well can keep producing water. I want to note that all of our employees are doing a great job and all of our departments work together in emergencies to make sure repairs are made in a timely manner.

Thurmont is seeing some growth in residential capacity, with the town house project on Park Lane and several infill residential projects. I also want to welcome a new business to Thurmont, with the arrival of Playground Specialist to their new facility on Apples Church Road. Criswell Chevrolet continues to make amazing improvements to their recently acquired property on Frederick Road. I want to thank all of the businesses in Thurmont for investing in our town! A strong business base helps to insure the success of our community. As part of Thurmont’s commitment to insure a healthy business climate, we are establishing a new Economic Development position within our staff. This person will work to help promote our town to new businesses and will work with all of our existing businesses to help strengthen our community.

As always, I can be reached by phone at 301-606-9458, email at jkinnaird@thurmont.com, or by mail at Mayor John Kinnaird, P.O. Box 17, Thurmont, MD.

As the new year starts, I look forward to working on many projects and opportunities to help our town be the best it can be, and I hope everyone enjoys the new year!

Mayor Don Briggs

During the month of December, Emmitsburg lost an outstanding member of the community when Bob Hance of the Carriage House Inn passed away. The Hance family has hosted the Annual Evening of Christmas Spirit in Emmitsburg the first Monday evening in December for the past twenty-eight years.

Mayor Briggs wrote the following letter to his friend, Bob, after attending the Evening of Christmas Spirit on December 5, 2016.


Robert “Reds” Francis Hance (March 19, 1961–November 23, 2016)

Dear Bob,

For Emmitsburg this was another special Christmas. To tradition on the ordained first Monday evening in December, the square was aglitter and again poised for the lighting of the town tree.  Under a canopy of uncertain skies, collars up to meet the crisp night air, our focus gathered on the stairs of the old hotel for the cherubim-like voices of the children’s chorales of Christ Community Church and Mother Seton School. Signaled by a visit by Santa arriving on a 1940s Vigilant Hose fire truck, three of our wisest, drawn from our youth, Jacob, Joshua, and Jeremy Talcott, then lit the tree before leaving for the Carriage House Inn for the 28th Annual Evening of Christmas Spirit. There, seemingly endless lines to see Santa, go on a hay ride, or for hot dogs and hot chocolate waited excitedly. On the second floor, all enjoyed comfort and local group entertainment. Your dream, your gift to the community.

Since taking office, our schedules seldom meshed, but a beep or a wave was enough for those many years of working together. Whether it was for the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA), working to support FEMA/Fire Services, or supporting your great love—the Emmitsburg Lions Club, there was always joy and laughter when working with you. 

With time, Lib and I came to eat out less and missed the comforts of the Carriage House Inn, so instead made it a practice of ordering carryouts, as the Carriage House food quality was special.

Thank you for the tireless energy and humble persistent nudge you brought to serving the community. Always there, always willing. You will be missed.

We’ll do our best to keep things going.


Vickie Grinder has been named as the new Economic Development Manager for the Town of Thurmont. Grinder has recently served as Thurmont’s Main Street Manager, a part-time position, since 2013. During her tenure as Thurmont’s Main Street Manager, Grinder has overseen many popular events, including Christmas in Thurmont, the Thurmont Business Showcase, the Main Street Farmers’ Market, and the annual Art and Wine Strolls.

Grinder’s new responsibilities will include the promotion and marketing of business and economic development interests within the town, providing guidance to existing businesses, attracting new business opportunities to Thurmont, and continuing to oversee the Thurmont Main Street program.

“We’re looking forward to increasing our economic development efforts in Thurmont. Vickie’s professional contacts and her determination for the success of Thurmont’s business community will prove to be invaluable as we move forward,” stated Thurmont Commissioner and Main Street Liaison Bill Buehrer.

Grinder, who resides in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, is scheduled to begin working in her new position on January 17, 2017.

The Town of Thurmont is inviting all interested parties to bid on the following surplus equipment:

  • 1999 Chevrolet C-7500 Dump Truck. Unit comes with snow plow and salt spreader; 5 speed hi-lo transmission. Mileage: 36,241. Minimum bid is $500.
  • 1982 GMC 7000 Dump Truck. 5-speed manual transmission. Mileage: 85,741. Minimum bid is $500.

Both vehicles are available for viewing. Please call 301-748-5748 for questions or to schedule an appointment for viewing the vehicles. Bids will be received until 3:00 p.m. on January 13, 2017, at: Town of Thurmont, PO Box 17, Thurmont, MD 21788.

dsc_3324-1Congratulations to this year’s winner of The Catoctin Banner newspaper’s 5th Annual Holiday Home Decorating Contest!  This year’s winner receives $50.00 (please call 301-447-2804 to claim your prize). This beautifully decorated home in Thurmont is adorned with thousands of lights and festive lawn decorations, so much so that it was hard to capture all the beauty in one photo!

For years, we have wanted a mascot character to represent this good-news community newspaper at events and parades. At one point a few years ago, John Nickerson (AKA Gnarly Artly, who draws our monthly cartoon) created a newspaper character as a mascot for us, but it was not used due to the cost of creating it as a costume.

Now, we’d like to reach out to our greater community to submit your ideas and artistic renderings of a fun character that can fill this role. What will it be? An animal, a cartoon character, an object? You choose it, create an artistic rendering, and submit your entry to us by April 30, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. The winner will receive a cash prize and the artistic credit for the creation.

Submit your art to us via Deb Spalding (The Catoctin Banner) on Facebook, email to news@thecatoctinbanner.com, submit a contact form from our website, or stop by to enter in person at E Plus Copy Center in the lobby of Jubilee Grocery Store in Emmitsburg. We know there is an abundant amount of talent throughout our communities. Let your talent shine!