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Nicholas DiGregory

The record-breaking winter storm that struck the eastern United States in late January has gone by many names: , Snowpocalypse, Snowzilla, Snowmageddon. But whatever one is inclined to call it, Winter Storm Jonas, as meteorologists at the Weather Channel have officially deemed the storm, has made history across the East Coast, with record-setting snowfall, wind speeds, and low temperatures.

While Winter Storm Jonas had already begun to affect the East Coast as early as January 20, the bulk of its damaging effects were felt during the weekend of January 22-24. This was due primarily to what CNN meteorologist Chad Myers referred to as to as anything but the H&F.

This was the peak of Maryland’s trolley age. In 1922, the price of Henry Ford’s Model-T had fallen from approximately $950 in 1910, to around $348, the storm’s “supercharging:” when Winter Storm Jonas’ eastern edge reached the jet stream in the Atlantic Ocean, the winds and water temperatures of the ocean significantly increased the storm’s power, turning it into the lumbering behemoth of a snowstorm that buried much of the eastern United States.

As of January 25, Winter Storm Jonas had affected over 85 million people and dropped an average of almost 23 inches in major cities along the East Coast. Here are some statistics that illustrate the winter storm’s tremendous impact:

  • Approximately 22 million people were still snowed in as of January 25.
  • Associated Press reports from January 25 blame as many as 30 deaths on the storm. Causes of death ranged from traffic accidents to heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • From January 22-25, more than 12,000 flights were canceled, as record-setting snow accumulation blocked runways at the Ronald Reagan Washington National, Baltimore-Washington International, and Washington Dulles International, airports.
  • Conservative estimates from utility companies highlight more than a million people without power.
  • The following ten states had declared a state of emergency as early as January 22: Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia. Washington, D.C. declared a snow emergency.
  • Sustained wind gusts in some areas reached as high as 76 miles per hour, which would classify the storm as comparable to a Category 1 hurricane.
  • Federal buildings were shut down throughout the eastern United States; even the United States Post Office announced disruptions in service in Maryland and Virginia.

As of January 25, several major cities were still reeling, as city officials struggled to direct snow clean-up efforts. On January 24, Washington D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser led more than 2,000 volunteer snow shovelers in an attempt to clear the vital roadways of the Nation’s Capital. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a press conference on January 24 that clean-up of the city’s many minor roads and alleyways may take up to two weeks.

Winter Storm Jonas’ heavy snowfall caused several adverse scenarios across the East Coast. On January 23, in Stafford County, Virginia, a man was forced to deliver his child at home when the heavy snowfall prevented emergency responders from reaching his home. Later that same day, a similar scenario occurred in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Emergency dispatchers guided both new fathers through the delivery process, and reports from local news sources say that both babies are doing well.

The winter storm’s wrath was also felt by thousands of attendees at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on January 22. A national event, the March for Life is an annual protest attended by thousands of anti-abortion activists who march through the Nation’s Capital in objection to the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision to legalize abortion in America. Despite the impending storm, the organizers of the march elected to go through with the protest. While the march occurred without incident, hundreds of attendees were stranded in their buses on the way home. One notable large group was composed of several hundred college students from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, who were trapped on the Pennsylvania Turnpike from the evening of January 22 until the morning of January 24.

Despite all of the negative effects of Winter Storm Jonas in other parts, locally, the massive snow was handled with patience and perseverance. Many people found ways to turn the event into fun. One such method, deemed the Snow Challenge, involves wearing nothing more than a bathing suit while jumping into a snow pile. The craze, which has gone viral on social media websites, has contributed to many laughs during the seriousness of the winter storm.

The record-breaking winter storm that struck the eastern United States in late January has gone by many names: Blizzard 2016, Snowpocalypse, Snowzilla, Snowmageddon. But whatever one is inclined to call it, Winter Storm Jonas, as meteorologists at the Weather Channel have officially deemed the storm, has made history across the East Coast, with record-setting snowfall, wind speeds, and low temperatures.

While Winter Storm Jonas had already begun to affect the East Coast as early as January 20, the bulk of its damaging effects were felt during the weekend of January 22-24. This was due primarily to what CNN meteorologist Chad Myers referred to as the storm’s “supercharging:” when Winter Storm Jonas’ eastern edge reached the jet stream in the Atlantic Ocean, the winds and water temperatures of the ocean significantly increased the storm’s power, turning it into the lumbering behemoth of a snowstorm that buried much of the eastern United States.

As of January 25, Winter Storm Jonas had affected over 85 million people and dropped an average of almost 23 inches in major cities along the East Coast. Here are some statistics that illustrate the winter storm’s tremendous impact:

  • Approximately 22 million people were still snowed in as of January 25.
  • Associated Press reports from January 25 blame as many as 30 deaths on the storm. Causes of death ranged from traffic accidents to heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • From January 22-25, more than 12,000 flights were canceled, as record-setting snow accumulation blocked runways at the Ronald Reagan Washington National, Baltimore-Washington International, and Washington Dulles International, airports.
  • Conservative estimates from utility companies highlight more than a million people without power.
  • The following ten states had declared a state of emergency as early as January 22: Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia. Washington, D.C. declared a snow emergency.
  • Sustained wind gusts in some areas reached as high as 76 miles per hour, which would classify the storm as comparable to a Category 1 hurricane.
  • Federal buildings were shut down throughout the eastern United States; even the United States Post Office announced disruptions in service in Maryland and Virginia.

As of January 25, several major cities were still reeling, as city officials struggled to direct snow clean-up efforts. On January 24, Washington D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser led more than 2,000 volunteer snow shovelers in an attempt to clear the vital roadways of the Nation’s Capital. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a press conference on January 24 that clean-up of the city’s many minor roads and alleyways may take up to two weeks.

Winter Storm Jonas’ heavy snowfall caused several adverse scenarios across the East Coast. On January 23, in Stafford County, Virginia, a man was forced to deliver his child at home when the heavy snowfall prevented emergency responders from reaching his home. Later that same day, a similar scenario occurred in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Emergency dispatchers guided both new fathers through the delivery process, and reports from local news sources say that both babies are doing well.

The winter storm’s wrath was also felt by thousands of attendees at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on January 22. A national event, the March for Life is an annual protest attended by thousands of anti-abortion activists who march through the Nation’s Capital in objection to the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision to legalize abortion in America. Despite the impending storm, the organizers of the march elected to go through with the protest. While the march occurred without incident, hundreds of attendees were stranded in their buses on the way home. One notable large group was composed of several hundred college students from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, who were trapped on the Pennsylvania Turnpike from the evening of January 22 until the morning of January 24.

Despite all of the negative effects of Winter Storm Jonas in other parts, locally, the massive snow was handled with patience and perseverance. Many people found ways to turn the event into fun. One such method, deemed the Snow Challenge, involves wearing nothing more than a bathing suit while jumping into a snow pile. The craze, which has gone viral on social media websites, has contributed to many laughs during the seriousness of the winter storm.

The record-breaking winter storm that struck the eastern United States in late January has gone by many names: Blizzard 2016, Snowpocalypse, Snowzilla, Snowmageddon. But whatever one is inclined to call it, Winter Storm Jonas, as meteorologists at the Weather Channel have officially deemed the storm, has made history across the East Coast, with record-setting snowfall, wind speeds, and low temperatures.

While Winter Storm Jonas had already begun to affect the East Coast as early as January 20, the bulk of its damaging effects were felt during the weekend of January 22-24. This was due primarily to what CNN meteorologist Chad Myers referred to as the storm’s “supercharging:” when Winter Storm Jonas’ eastern edge reached the jet stream in the Atlantic Ocean, the winds and water temperatures of the ocean significantly increased the storm’s power, turning it into the lumbering behemoth of a snowstorm that buried much of the eastern United States.

As of January 25, Winter Storm Jonas had affected over 85 million people and dropped an average of almost 23 inches in major cities along the East Coast. Here are some statistics that illustrate the winter storm’s tremendous impact:

  • Approximately 22 million people were still snowed in as of January 25.
  • Associated Press reports from January 25 blame as many as 30 deaths on the storm. Causes of death ranged from traffic accidents to heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • From January 22-25, more than 12,000 flights were canceled, as record-setting snow accumulation blocked runways at the Ronald Reagan Washington National, Baltimore-Washington International, and Washington Dulles International, airports.
  • Conservative estimates from utility companies highlight more than a million people without power.
  • The following ten states had declared a state of emergency as early as January 22: Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia. Washington, D.C. declared a snow emergency.
  • Sustained wind gusts in some areas reached as high as 76 miles per hour, which would classify the storm as comparable to a Category 1 hurricane.
  • Federal buildings were shut down throughout the eastern United States; even the United States Post Office announced disruptions in service in Maryland and Virginia.

As of January 25, several major cities were still reeling, as city officials struggled to direct snow clean-up efforts. On January 24, Washington D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser led more than 2,000 volunteer snow shovelers in an attempt to clear the vital roadways of the Nation’s Capital. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a press conference on January 24 that clean-up of the city’s many minor roads and alleyways may take up to two weeks.

Winter Storm Jonas’ heavy snowfall caused several adverse scenarios across the East Coast. On January 23, in Stafford County, Virginia, a man was forced to deliver his child at home when the heavy snowfall prevented emergency responders from reaching his home. Later that same day, a similar scenario occurred in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Emergency dispatchers guided both new fathers through the delivery process, and reports from local news sources say that both babies are doing well.

The winter storm’s wrath was also felt by thousands of attendees at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on January 22. A national event, the March for Life is an annual protest attended by thousands of anti-abortion activists who march through the Nation’s Capital in objection to the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision to legalize abortion in America. Despite the impending storm, the organizers of the march elected to go through with the protest. While the march occurred without incident, hundreds of attendees were stranded in their buses on the way home. One notable large group was composed of several hundred college students from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, who were trapped on the Pennsylvania Turnpike from the evening of January 22 until the morning of January 24.

Despite all of the negative effects of Winter Storm Jonas in other parts, locally, the massive snow was handled with patience and perseverance. Many people found ways to turn the event into fun. One such method, deemed the Snow Challenge, involves wearing nothing more than a bathing suit while jumping into a snow pile. The craze, which has gone viral on social media websites, has contributed to many laughs during the seriousness of the winter storm.

pic cover maybe

Thanks to those of you who sent blizzard photos to our Facebook page (The Catoctin Banner is hosted under the name Deb Spalding on Facebook for the time being). We picked just one photo from the masses to post here. The kids at Miss. B’s Family Child Care make snow memories during the blizzard of 2016!

James Rada, Jr.

Training Center,Besides helping residents before and after the fires in Emmitsburg, the American Red Cross and Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) set out to stop fires from happening again.

Beginning on December 12, 2015, volunteers began going door to door to offer smoke alarm checks.

“Emmitsburg’s all-volunteer fire department, the Vigilant Hose Company, was challenged, to say the least, in terms of firefighting and rescue efforts, but, in spite of significant challenges, managed to accomplish what many locally, all across Northern Frederick County and surrounding counties, continue to say was amazing,” stated Wayne Powell with Vigilant Hose Company.

Vigilant Hose Company has offered installation of free smoke alarms for years, but with the two fires in town in December, residents’ interest in having their smoke alarms checked increased. The first fire occurred on Wednesday, December 2, 2015, mid-afternoon, at Paul’s Pit Stop on South Seton Avenue and the apartments above it. The second fire occurred on Monday, December 7, 2015, at 112 West Main Street, a few doors west of the Vigilant Hose Company fire station. In the second fire, two residents died from injuries, and one person was seriously injured.

“For years, VHC has installed free smoke alarms, but the men and women of the VHC knew they had to take full advantage of public attention—or ‘window of opportunity’ as it’s known,” said Powell.

Homeowners who had previously turned away volunteers doing smoke alarm checks were suddenly interested in having their alarms checked. First responders, community leaders, Mount Saint Mary’s University staff and students, and employees from the National Emergency Training Center, all pitched in to cover as many homes as possible.

Powell pointed out that the smoke alarms were free only as long as the volunteer teams were allowed to install them.

“We have found that if we give them away without installing them, they wind up in a drawer and people forget about them,” Powell said.

He also said that some people took the batteries out and used them for other things. The smoke alarms that Vigilant Hose Company installed now have a ten-year long-life battery built into them that can’t be removed.

Despite years of Vigilant Hose Company public fire education and year-round smoke alarm promotion, teams found a number of homes with no smoke alarms at all, many non-working units, and others well over ten years old, plus a few with one alarm in homes with more than one sleeping level.

The initial results from the December home fire safety visits and smoke alarm checks was: seventy-eight homes visited and two hundred seventeen smoke alarms installed within three hours. Volunteers were broken into seventeen on-the-street “Safety Teams.” Their goal was to check and see if a smoke alarm was installed on each level and each sleeping area of a residence. A “Go-Team” at the fire station provided smoke alarm expertise from a smoke alarm expert of the U.S. Fire Administration staff, as well as additional literature and alarms as needed, plus handling other normal duties including fire calls.

“Phone call requests for VHC visits have been coming non-stop from across the community ever since,” Powell commented.

As of January 10, 2016, two hundred forty-eight smoke alarms had been installed.

Vigilant Hose Company has carried smoke alarms on its emergency vehicles for years in order to install them whenever possible. They routinely conduct safety presentations to any and all groups who allow it.

Those seeking further information or wish to schedule a visit, contact the Vigilant Hose Company via its website at www.vigilanthose.org or call the fire station at 301-447-2728.

Red Cross 121215 on TV

A Safety Team hit the streets in Emmitsburg on December 12, 2015; they were welcomed by residents, with many others now asking for visits.

Nicholas DiGregory

If you tuned in to Jeopardy! on December 3, 2015, you would have seen Rocky Ridge’s own Kelly Wright crowned a Jeopardy! champion. The twenty-six-year-old, who graduated from McDaniel College in 2011, earned a total of $7,700 in winnings, with a first-place victory on the December 3 show and a third-place victory on the December 4 show.

I had a chance to ask Wright a few questions about her experiences on the show; here is what she had to say:

How were you chosen to take part in the Jeopardy! game show?

I initially took the Jeopardy! online test in April of 2015 and found out I had an audition in early May. The audition was in Boston on June 10, so I flew up for the day and had my audition. It consists of another fifty-question test, and then you do a little mock game so they can find out if you’re going to freak out and pass out or anything like that once you’re holding the buzzer. Then there’s a little impromptu interview, so they can get a feel for the possible contestants. After all that, you find out that you’ll be in their contestant pool for the next eighteen months, and you may or may not hear anything back during that period. So I was pretty shocked when I got a call from them in late August that they wanted me to come out and play. I guess I figured it would be a much longer wait, if ever!

What was the game show experience like?

The whole experience was completely amazing, and it was a great day. They tape a week’s worth of episodes in one day, and the two challengers are drawn randomly. The other contestants sit in the audience and watch the taping, just like everyone else. Everyone who works at the studio and with the show, and the other contestants, were awesome; there wasn’t any real feeling of super competitiveness since I think we were all just stoked to be there. When I initially found out I was going to be on the show, I was kind of terrified, but once the day was actually happening, the contestant coordinators with the show do such a good job at keeping people calm, I was never really as nervous as I thought I would be. There were definitely some jitters once I was actually standing behind the podium, though!

Do you have any favorite memorable moments?

The best thing about going on the show was that my ninety-one-year-old grandfather, Horace Wright, got to come along and watch me play. He’s the one who really pushed me to try out for the game, and getting to make him proud was the best possible outcome. One other cool thing was, after the taping was done, I got to go see the RV from Breaking Bad that they keep on the Sony studio lot. I’m a huge fan of Breaking Bad, so getting to see that in person was a great finish to a fantastic day.

How was interacting with Alex Trebek?

The best stuff with Alex comes at the end of the show, when the contestants and him are standing on the stage, just chatting. That’s when you really get to find out that he has a hilariously dry sense of humor. During my first show, we all chatted a little bit about hockey and the then-upcoming NHL season, and during the second show, he gave me a little bit of ribbing about my bone-headed final Jeopardy answer, and it was hilarious. How many people get to say that Alex Trebek made fun of them?

Rumor has it that you wore a lucky t-shirt on air? Is this true and, if so, what was the significance?

So, when I auditioned for the show in Boston during the summer, I was wearing an Alex Ovechkin shirt under my auditions clothes for good luck. When I found out I was going to be on the show, I figured I had to up the ante and I ordered a shirt from “Russian Machine Never Breaks”—it’s a Capitals blog run by guys from Frederick—that commemorated when Alex Ovechkin famously acted like his stick was on fire after scoring his 50th goal of …the 08-09 season. I knew I wanted to rock the red under whatever I was wearing for the show, and I like to think it brought me enough luck to join the ranks of the Jeopardy! champions.

How has life been since the show?

Since the show, everything has gone back to normal, thankfully. The week leading up to my shows was absolutely crazy; so many people were wishing me good luck and things really blew up. I’m very grateful that I had so many people rooting for me, but I’m even more grateful that everything died down quickly as well.

Jeopardy Photo

Kelly Wright of Rocky Ridge, crowned a Jeopardy! champion, is pictured with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek.

Deb Spalding

Community Gardens - wDebs article - by Jim HumerickThe Town of Thurmont formed the Thurmont Green Team in May, 2015, and is working towards certification this spring as a Maryland Certified Sustainable Community.  Sustainable Maryland is a voluntary certification program for municipalities in Maryland who want to go green, save money, and take steps to sustain their quality of life.

Residents from Thurmont and the surrounding communities comprise Thurmont’s Green Team, and it is these team members, chaired by Anita Philips, who attended training, implemented action items, measured progress, drafted a town ordinance, and are taking the required steps to achieve certification.

Some action items, such as establishing and promoting a local farmers market, energy audits, establishing and promoting a local business directory, a buy local campaign, and a yard waste program, had already been implemented before the Green Team was formed. The town earned points for conducting a municipal energy audit, measuring residential energy efficiency, converting street lights to LED lights, converting to paper biodegradable yard waste bags, hosting a buy local program and creating a local business directory.

Adding to that firm foundation, The Green Team has also completed additional action items in order to obtain points towards certification. New projects completed included the Pet Waste Program and Pet Waste Ordinance, and partnering with the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Sustainability Program.

One project of note is the Thurmont Community Gardens. Jim Humerick, Thurmont’s Chief Administrative Officer said, “This will be up and running in the spring and we’re really excited about it.” Registration began February 1 to lease 9’x11’ plots within the 30×100’ Community Garden area, located at Carroll Street Park, for $25.00 each. This is a great opportunity for all residents, but especially residents who live in apartments, townhouses and condos to enjoy gardening. For more information or to sign up, email Greg Daniels, Community Garden Coordinator at ThurmontCommunityGardens@gmail.com.  Applications can also be picked up at the Thurmont Municipal Offices.

Hillary Rothrock, a new Green Team member, took part in Frederick County’s Neighborhood Green Program which allowed homeowners to apply for funding for green improvements on their personal property. Rain barrels, minimizing rainwater runoff, compost, and a biomex rain garden are just a few of the improvements supported under this program. She said, “I think educating people about how easy it is to apply to make improvements is important to future sustainability.”

The Green Team is partnering with Frederick County for Residential Energy Efficiency Action. At www.FrederickGreenChallenge.org, residents learn about fifty actions that they can take to save energy. Here residents can earn points to become Certified Power Savers. Thurmont’s goal was to have 20 percent of households certified as Power Savers—a goal that was met in 2013. Residents who participate are automatically placed in an online Thurmont Green Team. To date, forty-one households have participated in the Power Saver Challenge.

The Green Team has several other projects that promote sustainability. With them come some really interesting volunteer opportunities. If you would like to serve on The Green Team, email  ThurmontGreenTeam@gmail.com or visit Thurmont Green Team on Facebook.

Green Team Chair, Anita Philips, urges each of us to, “Be a good ancestor now!”

Nicholas DiGregory

Despite statistical odds of 1 in 292.2 million, three superbly lucky winners picked the correct six-number combination to claim a piece of the record-smashing $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot on January 13, 2016. Each of the three winning ticket holders can claim about $533 million before taxes, or approximately $327 million should they cash in on the lump sum option. The winning tickets were sold in Munford, Tennesee; Melbourne Beach, Florida; and Chino Hills, California.

As of January 22, only the Munford winners have stepped forward publicly; John and Lisa Robinson of Munford, Tennessee, elected to take the cash lump sum of $327 million, paid out over a ten-day period.

In addition to the three jackpot tickets, eight tickets for the $2 million prize and seventy-three tickets for the $1 million prize were also sold. One of the $1 million tickets was sold at the Wawa on Urbana Pike in Frederick, Maryland.

More than 635 million Powerball tickets were sold across the United States, with approximately 26 million winning tickets for prizes ranging from $4 to $533 million.

 

What It Could Mean to Win

Although no one sole winner was able to claim the $1.6 billion jackpot, three winning ticket holders are each entitled to an even cut of the prize money. Each of their shares in the winnings comes to approximately $533 million before tax, or about $327 million in cash.

To put into perspective just how massive these winnings are, the jackpot winners could use their pre-tax cash option earnings to:

  • Buy 177,717,391 gallons of gasoline at the national average price of $1.84 per gallon—or 289,673,913 gallons of gas with the $533 million of the annuity option.
  • Supply 93,428,571 people in third-world countries with clean drinking water for 20 years—choosing the annuity option could increase that number to 152,285,714 people.
  • Stay in Switzerland at the Hotel President Wilson’s Royal Penthouse Suite, which is currently the most expensive hotel room in the world at $80,000 per night, for a total of 4,087 nights—or 6,662 nights, with the money from the annuity option.
  • Buy at least ten private islands in the Caribbean—or double that number with the money from the annuity option.
  • Build an 86,000-ton cruise ship or a pair of Boeing 787 Dreamliners—while choosing the annuity option would allow a person to do both.
  • Give every person living in the United States $1.02—or $1.67 per person with the money from the annuity option.
  • Purchase, at its current value, one of the following nine National Hockey League teams: New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes, Arizona Coyotes, Florida Panthers—choosing the annuity option would allow consideration of the following teams as well: New Jersey Devils, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche, Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers.
  • Buy 81 Lamborghini Venenos, the most expensive car on the market at almost $4 million—choosing the annuity option would allow the purchase of 133 of the luxury vehicle.

 

What It Would Actually Mean to Win

While the aforementioned options would all be feasible with the gross Powerball jackpot winnings, winning such a large sum through the lottery system imposes a very different reality. While it is common knowledge that taxes must be taken out of the lottery winnings, there is also a slew of other hidden costs that can cut down the jackpot’s net value considerably. Some financial experts estimate that these hidden expenses can cost anywhere from $32 million to $117 million.

One such hidden cost is the need to hire a lifetime financial expert. Any FDIC bank is legally required to insure only up to $250,000, making it an insanely risky move to invest in the banks. Professional financial advisors can help with investment decisions and ensure that the money does not disappear, but their services are not cheap. An experienced financial planner can wind up costing millions of dollars over the years.

Another hidden cost that the jackpot winners must invest in is a tax attorney. The lottery is taxable income on the state and federal levels, and the burden of figuring them out and paying them in full is dumped almost entirely on the lottery winner. Thus, a tax attorney is vital for navigating through the befuddling world of tax bureaucracy. Luckily enough for the three jackpot winners, none of their states require a state income tax to be paid on their winnings. But one can be sure that all of the winners will need the help of a tax attorney when dealing with the IRS.

Beyond these two major hidden costs, the Powerball jackpot winners will probably have to put a small fortune toward umbrella insurance, estate lawyers, begrudging relatives, and many other surprises that come with a big lottery win. While the jackpot win may seem to be the best thing to ever happen to the ticket holders, it will inevitably become a huge hassle for them as well.

 

What If You Had Won?

Before the winning tickets were drawn, readers were offered a chance to share on The Catoctin Banner Facebook page how they would use the winnings. Here are some of the things they had to say:

  • Bryant Hoffman: “First, I’d buy a house. Then, I’d take a trip!”
  • Donna Houck: “First, I would take care of my family. Then I would buy a lot of homeless homes, and give them a trust to get them started. Have to really think about the rest. Lol.”
  • Jess Nutley: “I would pay off all my bills, build a house not a crazy size one. Set up a CD for each of my loved ones and their kids. I would pay off all my mother’s, brothers’ and sisters’ bills and my in-laws’ and donate a bunch to so many different places. And go on a huge family vacation for all of them.”
  • Jo Kerns: “I would help my family first and foremost. Set up college funds for my grandchildren. Then I would build a small cabin by a lake and of course buy me a boat and a new truck to pull it! Love the water and that’s where I would retire. I would also donate funds to cancer research and open a home for children who are abused.”
  • Wanda Koontz-Myers: “First I would get me a great CPA and lawyer. Then pay all my medical bills. Look into buying a large piece of land to build a rescue to rescue all the fur-babies I could. Hire people to help me take care of the rescue. Then help my family as much as I can out of debt. Then give to 4 Churches that I used to attend. Then help out as many Veterans and Homeless people that want my help and invest the rest and live off the interest!”
  • Janel Norton: “We decided we would buy the property from Stonewall Acres and Eylers land in Thurmont, build the current allotted amount of small farm houses then donate it all to Wounded Warriors for our Military families who need help healing from protecting our freedoms. The other plus is preserving the charm of Thurmont, we don’t need nearly 200 townhomes here.”
  • Denny Sweeney: “Hand it over to my wife of course! After that, who knows!”
  • Ashley Scott-Andrew: “I would like to start a cancer place, something like St. Jude but for adults and children!!! Where the patients would not have to pay a cent for treatment! I would name it after my grandmother, Doris Cullison, who lost her life to breast cancer. I would also start a scholarship up in her name for Mount St. Mary’s University since she worked there and education was so important to her!”
  • Emily Fry: “With that kind of dough I’d pay off everything I owe and be totally debt free & so would my family & a bunch of my friends! And I’ve always thought I’d take the Catoctin Class of ‘89 and their families on an all-expenses paid for cruise!”

 

Nicholas DiGregory

in come and gone. The last-second scramblers have stopped raiding the store shelves; gridlocked traffic no longer clogs every highway; and all of the in-laws have (hopefully) returned to their homes. The festivities to close out 2015 and to welcome 2016 are almost a month behind us, and that means you finally have time to relax and recuperate, right?

Unfortunately, the end of the holiday season does not mean that you are in the clear when it comes to crime. While the cold winter months of the new year see a considerable decrease in overall burglary and larceny, your new holiday goodies can make you a target for desperate potential thieves who are trying hard to make ends meet. New cars, appliances, and accessories purchased at holiday sale prices are all tempting objects for a thief who is looking for his next victim.

According to the FBI’s most recent crime statistics, property crime is the most common form of crime in the United States; the year of 2014 saw over 8.27 million recorded cases at a rate of 2,596 instances per 100,000 people. Home burglaries, that is, theft from a structure after unlawful entry, accounted for roughly twenty percent of those property crimes. Theft of items from vehicles accounted for another sixteen percent of property crimes.

Burglary and theft from vehicles are commonplace occurrences that can severely impact your life and the lives of those around you, should you fall victim. To help you protect yourself from such crime, I spoke with local law enforcement about how one can safeguard one’s property from thieves.

Security Tip #1: Think How a Thief Thinks When He Is Scouting for Victims

Thieves vary in skill level and proficiency, but they all tend to stick to a few trends when committing crime. First, thieves are far more likely to target a home or vehicle if they think no one is around. Your home and vehicle are most vulnerable when you are away from them. Thus, never leave signs that you are not home. If you are away from home for an extended period of time, try not to broadcast it over social media until you return home. Having a trusted friend check your mail and visit your home regularly while you are gone is often enough to deter thieves.

Second, thieves like having a covert entrance and escape route. Trim or eliminate any dense shrubbery around your home and driveway. If you live near a forested space or in an area that is removed from other homes, consider putting up motion-sensing lights. Installing even a small fence can also help to discourage thieves.

Security Tip #2: Deny Thieves Easy Access to Your Home and Vehicle

This one should be obvious, but the reality is that many people unintentionally provide thieves with the means to steal their belongings. Always lock the doors and windows to your home and to your cars. Thieves look for easy access to a home or vehicle; they are more likely to steal from you if they can quickly enter and exit your home or vehicle. Never leave your vehicle running while unattended, even for a second. And be cautious when leaving your vehicle’s windows cracked on a hot day; an experienced thief can remove a car window fairly quickly if they can get their fingers through the gap.

Security Tip #3: Keep Track of Your Belongings

The average thief is not looking to make a fortune from his heists. Most thieves steal small items that they can see clearly prior to committing the crime. If you own an expensive computer, television, etc., try not to place it in your home where one can easily see it from an open window. The same goes for your vehicle; never leave a phone, GPS, or purse in your car where it can be seen.

Another way to protect your larger and more expensive belongings is by recording their serial numbers. If a thief steals a belonging with a serial number and tries to pawn or sell it, having that number on record can help find your belonging and implicate the thief.

Security Tip #4: Involve Others in the Community

Thieves prefer to strike victims who are isolated from others. By getting your friends, neighbors, and local law enforcement involved, you can protect yourself more easily and effectively. An active neighborhood watch program can intimidate thieves and assist police investigations should a theft occur. Should you see something suspicious, call the police and then alert your neighbors. Thieves will often reconsider visiting a neighborhood if they notice observant residents who communicate frequently with each other and the local police.

Security Tip #5: Be Smart!

While these tips can help to discourage thieves from stealing your belongings, it is important to note that no home or vehicle can be completely impregnable. If you should encounter a thief or have reason to believe that a thief has entered your home or vehicle, retreat to a secure location and contact the police immediately. And remember, nothing you own is worth more than your life.

 

 

 

James Rada, Jr.

While the design of the Thurmont Regional Library was inspired by the Catoctin Furnace, when you walk into the Thurmont Center for Agricultural History, you’ll see a different inspiration. Two windows from old Moravian Church that had been on Water Street in the late nineteenth Century, hang from one wall. On another wall hangs a grange mural painted in the 1960s by Elizabeth Holter Howard.

Tucked away in one corner of the library, the Thurmont Center for Agricultural History’s collections continue to grow.

“We are saving stuff for the future, when people start wondering more about the farms that used to be in the county and how they operated,” said Thurmont Library Manager Erin Dingle.

Mary Mannix, manager of the Maryland Room at the C. Burr Artz Library in Frederick, said that the idea for an agricultural history room first took root about seventeen years ago, when the Maryland Room obtained its first major agriculture-related collection: a set of annual reports from the county extension agent. There wasn’t room at the old library for the collections, so it remained at the Maryland room until the new library was built.

“We’ve been trying to collect primary and secondary information of the agricultural history and culture in Frederick County,” Mannix said. “A lot of it relates the county granges, which as a social organization have been a large part of agriculture in Maryland and the nation from post-Civil War to the mid-twentieth century.

Besides the extension agent reports, the room also has the Pomona Grange archives, extension service publications, Jefferson Grange archives, Maryland State Grange records, and many more. There are also private collections that have been donated to the room.

“You’ll see people using the room to find information regarding the history of family farms,” said Mannix.

The center also has local history, genealogy information, and microfilm copies of newspapers.

“People searching for the genealogy are probably the ones who use the room the most,” stated Dingle.

The center’s basic core genealogy resources can help a person trying to track down family members from Northern Frederick County.

Researchers can also find information about the area by searching through the Emmitsburg Chronicle, Catoctin Enterprise, and Catoctin Clarion on microfilm. There is also a small collection of local history books about the area.

“As agriculture continues to vanish from the area, I think more people will use the center as they want to find out more about agriculture history,” Mannix said.

The Thurmont Center for Agricultural History has the same hours as the library: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 1:00-5:00 p.m. on Sunday. To access the center, check in with the librarian at the reference desk. If you will need research help, you may want to call ahead to make sure a librarian will be available to help you.

If you can’t make it to the center, research requests are accepted at no charge, except for photocopies at $.20 per copy. Submit the request, in writing, with as much information as possible to Erin Dingle.

From the Mayor

Emmitsburg

by Mayor Briggs

The town received several late Christmas presents. On December 26, 2015, five Troop 727 Boy Scouts were awarded the Eagle Scout designation. Keegan X. Wright, Andrew Neibecker, Brendan P. Isaacson, Paul B. Slotwinski, and Stephen M. Lowe were awarded the prestigious achievement award at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor program held at St. Joseph Parish Hall. It was an honor to be present at the award ceremony and to see these young men tracking toward leadership in the future. Thank you to Scoutmaster Mary Neibecker and assistants, Christopher Anadale and Matthias Buchheister, for a job well done.

On January 1, 2016, Emmitsburg received more recognition, this time as one of ten “Most Beautiful, Charming Small Towns in Maryland” by onlyinyourstate.com. It sure is.

In mid-December, Emmitsburg was awarded its fourth State of Maryland Community Legacy Program (CLP) grant. CLP is a matching grant program to encourage property owners who live within the town Sustainable Community designated area to make exterior improvements to their properties. To date, over $150,000 in grant funds have been matched by that of owners equal to or in excess of for a total invested in the town historic district of over $325,000. Our goal is $400,000 by 2017.

In January, Lib and I, along with Councilman Glenn Blanchard and his wife, Maggie, attended the Vigilant Hose Company’s annual banquet and awards dinner. This is always a special event that we are honored to attend, this year even more so after the two fires in town in December.

With the mild fall, our solar field production exceeded expectations. As is the case, production dips in winter and early spring, with shorter days and typically cloudy days. The town is reliant on solar renewable energy to reduce the energy cost of residents by not competing with them for it, reduce costs, and enhance the environment. It is a twenty-year program.

January 2016

by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg

Emmitsburg Commissioners Will Hold Fewer Meetings

The Emmitsburg town commissioners voted in January to meet only once a month rather than twice a month, which they have done for the past few years. If additional meetings are needed during the month for some reason, they will be scheduled on an as-needed basis.

The commissioners are required by town charter to meet only once a month. According to Mayor Don Briggs, having town staff at each meeting costs $300 to $400. Cutting the meetings in half could save the town as much as $4,800 a year.

The commissioners have been meeting twice a month since 2002.

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

Thurmont

Applications Available for Thurmont Senior Tax Credit

If you are at sixty-five years old as of January 1, 2016, live within the corporate limits of Thurmont, and have a total gross household income of $70,000 or less, you may be eligible for a tax credit on your property. The application for the Thurmont Senior Tax Credit Application is available at the town office or online at Thurmont.com.

In addition to the application, you will need proof of age and a copy of your latest tax return so that your gross household income can be verified.

Thurmont Community Park Closed to Vehicles

Thurmont Community Park will be closed to vehicles until the spring. Vehicles can still use the first parking lot next to Frederick Road. The park itself is still accessible to walkers, bicyclists, hikers, and tennis players.

 

View the Town of Thurmont’s website at www.thurmont.com or call the town office at 301-271-7313 for more information.

James Rada, Jr.

One is a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. One is a local businesswoman. One is a police chief. One is a college coach. One is a retired Catoctin High School teacher. They are all part of the group of first recipients of the Catoctin High Distinguished Graduate Awards.

Principal Bernard Quesada told the gathered seniors and freshmen that each year Catoctin High School graduates students who leave their mark on the world. “Since our first graduating class, Catoctin High School has served as a landmark for success,” he said.

The honorees were selected by the Distinguished Graduate Organization, which formed over the summer. The organization established the awards “To recognize distinguished graduates of Catoctin in the areas of Academics, Arts & Humanities, Athletics, Business, and Public Service. Former Catoctin staff members who have had a significant impact on graduates of Catoctin High School will be recognized.”

Gus Eyler, Class of 2001, was the Academics inductee. Eyler is a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Fraud Section. He also serves as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Maryland. While a Catoctin student, he played sports, served in student government organizations, and was a member of the National Honor Society. He lives in Kensington, Maryland, with his family.

Eyler praised the education he had received at Catoctin High. “Learn from these people,” he said. “Imitate their efforts. It will serve you well.”

Maggie Doll, Class of 1971, was the Business inductee. She is the owner of Gateway Candyland, a family business that has given many Catoctin students their first job. She is also very active in the community, helping with fundraisers for cancer patients, school organizations, local events, and location fire and ambulance companies.

She encouraged the students to be a part of their community. “Get off the texting. Get a personality. Learn to relate to people,” she urged the students.

Kate Robinson, Class of 2006, was the Athletics inductee. Robinson was a three-sport athlete while at Catoctin High. She took that love of sports with her and had a successful college athletic career and has become a successful college coach. In 2014, she was named first-ever head women’s lacrosse coach at Whitman College in Washington.

“Challenge yourself,” Robinson said. “Don’t be afraid of failure. Make your moments count.”

Greg Eyler, Class of 1974, was the Public Service inductee. After retiring from a twenty-five-year career with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office in 2005, he was appointed the Chief of Police for Thurmont.

Eyler urged the students to make a difference with their lives. “Nothing is more powerful, and I mean nothing, is more powerful than determination.”

Tom Sherald was the Former Catoctin Staff inductee. Sherald retired from the Frederick County Public School System in 2011, after thirty-nine years. He spent eighteen of those years teaching at Catoctin High. He spent most of his career teaching physical education.

He told the students that ideally their high school years will prepare them for their futures. “The jobs that many of you do may not even exist now,” Sherald said.

Besides a 2015 Distinguished Graduate Award, each inductee also received Catoctin High-themed gifts.

sherald

Pictured from left are Maggie Doll, Rachel Olson, Chief Gregg Eyler, Principal Bernard Quesada, Gus Eyler, Kate Robinson, Tom Sherald, and Keith Bruck.

Nicholas DiGregory

While the holiday season is usually accompanied by extravagant announcements of better, brighter, and more meaningless high-tech toys, there is one piece of recently-released technology that you may want to pay attention to: “smart” credit cards.

These “smart” credit cards, also known as “chip” cards, have been stealing headlines and filling search engines since their introduction earlier this year. Countless debates have been started regarding their security, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. There has been much speculation regarding these little pieces of plastic, but you can be sure of one thing: if you don’t have one in your wallet or purse yet, you probably will very soon.

The United States is slowly leaning towards full adoption of the integrated circuit cards that we know as “smart” or “chip” cards. Developed through a joint effort by EMVco—a consortium of the major credit card companies led by Europay, MasterCard, and Visa—integrated circuit cards were developed to make digital transactions more secure.

Until now, credit cards have solely utilized a magnetic strip to relay their digital signatures during purchases, a process that was relatively easy for hackers to counterfeit. The new integrated circuit chips do not have that weakness; when you insert a chip card into the card reader, it generates a one-time-use authorization code that must match the individual transaction. Additionally, chip card readers require a signature or pin to provide an additional layer of security.

But the question remains: Do these extra security features really work? According to the Smart Card Alliance, which was formed in 2012 to find a solution to magnetic strip credit cards, integrated chip cards have cut down fraud-related damages by sixty-seven percent in the U.K. and seventy-three percent in Canada. The Alliance expects a similar response in the U.S., once integrated circuit cards have been fully instituted.

While the additional security of integrated circuit cards has helped to streamline their widespread introduction in the United States, many companies and consumers have criticized the longer wait associated with a “smart” card purchase. If you’ve done any holiday shopping recently, you’ve probably experienced the high-tech hassle of the chip credit cards—or maybe you haven’t. That’s because only about twenty-five percent of major retailers are utilizing the microchip technology of the new “smart” credit cards, according to a survey conducted by ConsumerWorld.org.

Although ninety-nine percent of major retailers have installed integrated circuit card readers at their registers, only ten percent of those chains can actually use those readers at most of their stores. According to the ConsumerWorld.org survey, only Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Old Navy, Rite Aid, and Walgreens have fully adopted the integrated circuit card system.

Most other major retailers have expressed their intent to switch over to integrated circuit card readers once the holiday season has ended. Reasons for this rationale have varied with each company, although most of the retailers have emphasized that the holiday season is not the time to overhaul the purchase process by implementing new software and hardware, thus creating confusion among customers and employees alike.

While most major retailers will have instituted “smart” card systems by the early months of 2016, most experts believe that it will take the United States several years to switch over to the chip card system completely. Javelin Strategy and Research, a corporate research group that reviews transaction trends and practices, predicted that the United States will not fully adopt the integrated circuit card system until 2019. This is due mainly to the fact that smaller businesses will not be able to process chip cards until the card readers and their software becomes less expensive.

So what does all this mean for you as a credit card user? Well, although your credit card company is likely issuing new “smart” cards already—you may already have one—it may be a while before you can utilize their additional safety benefits at most of the stores you visit on a daily basis.

Deb Spalding

DSC_1904Throughout its fifty year history, teachers at Sabillasville Elementary School (SES) have shared sound knowledge with its children to give them a solid foundation; administrators have shown its children, by example, how to be honorable citizens and friends; community members have cared for the children by offering support and showing up when they’ve been needed.

November 18, 2015 was the 50th anniversary celebration of Sabillasville Elementary School at its “new” location (for the past fifty years) at 16210-B Sabillasville Road in Sabillasville.

Words learned as a student at SES make up this article. They convey heart-felt appreciation for being one of the lucky ones who was taught in this place. Learning at SES is warm and fuzzy, yet worldly and adventurous. Memories of learning here make one humble and so appreciative!

Grand people have attended SES. They live all over the world, around the corner, and across the street. They’ve achieved honor and impacted others. They’ve done for others as the teachers, administrators, and community at SES did for them. During the celebrations, some of these people traveled through the halls of the school and the media center where class photos and memorabilia were displayed.

The night’s ceremony started with a welcome from SES Principal, Kate Krietz. The Camp David Color Guard gave the Presentation of the Flags, just like they did at the twenty-five year anniversary celebration of the school.

Kate Krietz recalled that Joan Fry, a current volunteer at the school, had delivered a cake for the teachers on the first day the school was open to students in 1965. Ms. Fry was in attendance at the ceremony, and has written about the history of SES and former Sabillasville schools. Her three children attended SES.

SES students sang for the audience. “The National Anthem” was sung by McKenna Gisriel; Charlie McGinnis crooned “I Love the Mountains,” and students in the Cougar chorus roared the Sabillasville School Song and “My Town, My World.”

Time capsules, one for the twenty-five year celebration, one for the forty year celebration, and now one for the fifty year celebration, were available to view. The fifty year capsule includes special items from each class: kindergarten students made a book called “When we grow up” in which each student wrote about what they want to be when they grow up; first graders took selfies then paired the photo with a drawing of what they think they will look like when they graduate high school; second grade students created an All About Me activity; third grade students made a booklet with all of the reasons why they love SES with pictures; fourth grade students filled in the sentence, “When I think of Sabillasville, I think that…” with their thoughts; fifth grade students shared their favorite memory at SES. The time capsules were buried the following school day.

Jennifer Mullinex, President of the Sabillasville Elementary Parent Group, introduced special guests. Mark Pritts represented the Frederick County Board of Education for the evening. He was a new teacher in 1984 and 1985, assigned to SES. He remembered some people at SES whom he said, “…helped raise me to get started in my career” as a teacher. He remembered SES teachers Mrs. Buzzell, Mrs. Lingg, and Mrs. Dinterman, long-time secretary Mrs. Shirley Brown, cafeteria cook Mrs. Millie Eyler, and custodian Mr. Jack Miller. He expressed that he was very much supported by the staff and the community.

The next guest speaker, Brenda Main, is an SES alumna, who now works with the Frederick County Public Schools Transportation Department. She reminisced that she had Mrs. Summers in first grade, Mrs. Glover in second grade, Mrs. Tucker in third grade, and Mrs. Hodge in fourth grade. She remembered Mr. Jack Miller who she said, “…was so much more than a custodian. He greeted us when we arrived and wished us a good evening when we went home. About Millie Eyler in the cafeteria, she said, “She made the best darn pigs-in-the-blankets ever!”

Brenda started her bus driving career driving bus #57 at SES. Some of the students she drove home now have children of their own attending the school. For the last nine years, Brenda has been a bus driver instructor and said she brings every new driver up to SES. She said, “This is God’s country. I tell them the history here. Most people don’t realize the school is here. I teach them to drive these roads.”

Karen Locke, a former principal at SES stated, “Sabillasville Elementary School is Frederick County’s best public private school. This is the model that all schools should be made from. The personal touch, small class sizes, and dedicated community where the school is the heart. You’ve gotta love…this…school! Be proud that you went to Sabillasville.”

Special thanks to members of the 50th Anniversary Planning Committee for their coordination of the celebration; to the Sabillasville Elementary Parent Group for their support; to Pastor Bob Kells of Weller Methodist Church in Thurmont for his delivery of the Invocation; and to Reverend Mike Simane of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and St. John’s UCC in Sabillasville for his prayer and benediction.

Photographed on the stage where hundreds of class photos have been taken over the years, current and former staff of Sabillasville Elementary School are shown. First row left to right: Nicki Lingg (Kindergarten Teacher 1971-2001); Melanie Raynor, (music teacher); Kate Krietz, (Principal); Michele Firme, (Special Ed Program Assistant); Jennifer Rutherford, (Special Ed); Jim McGivern (5th Grade teacher 1986-1993); Haleh Paciotti (Literacy Specialist). Second row left to right: Barbara Buzzell (Media Specialist 1979-2002);  Brenda Smith (former student 5th & 6th grade when the school opened and taught 3rd & 4th Grades 1990-2008); Karen Locke (former Principal); Barbara Doney (4th Grade teacher); Shari Austin (reading intervention and 5th grade language arts teacher); Tamara Savage (Special Ed Instructional Assistant); Jane Orlando (Instructor Assistant); Tanya Wantz (2nd Grade Teacher); Janet (Tucker) Dinterman (Third Grade teacher 1971-1989). Back rows left to right: Mark Pritts (5th Grade Teacher 1984-1986); Peggy Laster (Aide 1965-1975); Jean Glover (2nd & 1st Grade Teacher 1972-1987); Maureen Schildt (5th Grade); Rose Hatcher (custodian); Heidi Hench (art teacher); Marnie Mortenson (3rd grade 19th year); Melinda Bentz (13th year Kindergarten); Michelle Mapes (Math Specialist and Tech Coordinator); Pam Ellenberg (1st Grade teacher 15 years); Jodie Miller (Lead Custodian 14 years); Karen Adams (2nd grade 1986-1997); Sue Valenti (1st grade 1986-2001); Paula Bowman (Secretary 25 years).

50th Anniversary Planning Committee

DSC_1913

Angie Hahn, Barb Messner, Michele Firme, Shelly McConnell, Jane Savage, Alisha Yocum, Jennifer Mullinex, and Kate Krietz.

Vanessa (Maccabee) Niemann, professionally known as “Gal Holiday,” came to live in the Catoctin Mountains with her family when she was eleven, and made many friends throughout the county at church and at school. As fate would have it, she left here as soon as she could and began a long journey musically that finally ended up in New Orleans, where she formed a Honky Tonk band called Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue.

Armed with powerhouse vocals and serious songwriting with bass player and music director, David Brouillette, Vanessa and Dave have made Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue a vehicle to keep country dancehall culture alive, while paying homage to classic honky tonk greats such as Hank Williams, Connie Smith, and Webb Pierce.

They perform in New Orleans regularly at popular hot spots. In November, she took a long journey back home by van to begin an East Coast tour with her band. She packed the Ott House in Emmitsburg on a normally quiet Thursday night with family, old friends, old fans, along with many new ones. After playing drums at the Ott House with the band, Ashley Maccabee—Vanessa’s “little  brother” as she affectionately calls him—continued to play with them for the rest of the tour. Gal Holiday and the Honkey Tonk Band will tour popular dance venues in Virginia, New York, and New England.

To hear the music “The Gal” and her band create is magical. Their energy and amazing talent, as well as Vanessa’s charisma and good looks, are the perfect formula for a great night, whether one just wants to listen or “dance baby, dance!”

As her mother, Christine Schoenemann Maccabee, said, “She makes a sad song happy.”

At the Ott House, there were smiles on every face, and the joy was palpable. It was indeed a great night for dancing, whether it was with the one you came with or with complete strangers.

Gal Holiday has shared stages and performed with many other talented musicians, including Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Tim McGraw (Jazz Fest), Wayne Hancock, and other notorious crooners. After almost a decade, Gal Holiday continues to evolve through original compositions, which dominate their most recent release, “Last to Leave.” This song was featured in a statewide advertising campaign for Louisiana Propane.

Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Band will not be a regular local act, but will likely come back once or twice a year, we hope. Visit www.galholiday.com for more information.

gal holiday (2)

Vanessa Niemann is pictured performing, with her bass player and music director, David Brouillette, behind her.

In the light and fragrance of a trimmed beeswax candle, award-winning artist Rebecca Pearl recently completed a historic portrait of the Graceham Moravian Church entitled, Morning Star Graceham Moravian Church, 1892.

The Graceham Moravian Church was organized in 1758, and the current building was erected in 1797, a combination parsonage, church, and school; the current sanctuary was added in 1822. The painting shows the Church in the original red brick, prior to a change to white stucco in 1942, and several later additions.

Before beginning Morning Star, Ms. Pearl read a History of Graceham and watched a Moravian Christmas Homecoming video created by the congregation. She was intrigued with the beauty and simplicity of Moravian traditions and architecture and, in particular, with the spiritual significance of the joining of home and sanctuary.

Speaking of her experience, Ms. Pearl said, “This was far more than just doing a painting of a building. With the great help, love, and support of Pastor Sue Koenig and the parishioners, this work of art was conceived. The collaboration gave me an insight and education of the history of the Moravian people from centuries ago to present time. I had no idea of the gentle simplicity and deep faith in the “Lamb” of God by these people. I love the magic of the Moravian Star and the beautiful symbol it carries.”

The painting was unveiled at the formal opening of the new Main Street Center in Thurmont on Friday, November 13, 2015, the same building that was the Thurmont Moravian Church, built in 1874. It was one of eight churches included in a second painting unveiled the same evening by Ms. Pearl, entitled the Spires of Mechanicstown.

Ms. Pearl met with members of the congregation in the church’s Heritage Room, sharing faith beliefs, practices, and traditions of the Moravian Church, looking at photographs and images of postcards from the late 1800s from the church’s records, and provided by the congregation and the Moravian Archives. The Joint Board, with input from the congregation, suggested the Christmas Eve setting. (Portraits of the present-day church in spring were painted by artist Rebecca Bennett, daughter of the Rev. Warren and Mrs. Doris Wenger, as a gift for the congregation’s 250th Anniversary in 2008.)

Ms. Pearl is graciously giving a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the prints to the Graceham congregation; in turn, the congregation will use the funds received to support ministries and services in the community.

Ms. Pearl will share her journey of the painting at the 10:30 a.m. worship service at the Graceham Moravian Church on Sunday, November 29. A reception for conversation with Ms. Pearl and print signing will follow the worship. The church is located at 8231-A Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont.

Prints of Ms. Pearl’s painting, Morning Star Graceham Moravian Church 1892 are available in two sizes: (14”x18” and “12×17”) at $95.00 and $55.00. A few larger prints (22”x30”) are available on request at $175.00. Ms. Pearl may be contacted at rebeccapearl123@gmail.com.

 

This year marked the 10th Annual Scotty’s Ride, held September 26, 2015. Riders departed at 10:00 a.m. from Emmitsburg’s Jubilee parking lot, with approximately two hundred motorcycles roaring west on Route 16 to visit their first stop: Blue Ridge Summit Sportsman’s Club. The ride then continued on to the Mountain House, located in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania. The ride also stopped at Yianni’s Greenwood Tavern in Fayetteville, Pennsylvania (formally Bobbie A’s), and then circled back to Dave and Jane’s Crab House in Fairfield, Pennsylvania.

All Scotty’s Ride participants reunited at Kerry and Val Shorb’s home in Emmitsburg for the “After Ride Celebration”, along with friends and family from all over who didn’t ride but came out to celebrate the benefit event that evening. Approximately four hundred people attended Scotty’s Ride making this one of the largest turnouts for the celebration. Participants enjoyed live entertainment with the band,”RedLine”, a “Closest to the Pin” contest, Corn Hole tournaments, good food and refreshments. John McCabe of Fairfield, Pennsylvania was the winner of the raffle for a 2016 Indian Scout motorcycle or $10,000.

Kerry Shorb was proud to announce that this year marked the tenth annual Scotty’s Ride and to date has donated approximately $100,000 to families and children with medical needs. Scotty’s Ride thanks all of you who came out to support a great cause. Special thanks to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department, the Frederick County Fire Police, and the Town of Emmitsburg. Sponsors included: My Father’s Footsteps Hair Design, Jubilee Foods, Big Hook Crane & Rigging, Sons of the American Legion Post 121, Francis X Elder Post 121 American Legion, Ladies Auxiliary Post 121, Mountain Liquors, Inc., Trout’s Supreme Seafood, Steve Bittle Tent Rentals, Gettysburg Elementary School, Main Street Sweets, AMVETS Riders Chapter 172, AMVETS Post 172, Toops Troops, Greene’s Trucking, Heritage Cycles, LLC, M & O Exterior Applicators, Inc., Hobbs Cycle, Hillside Inn, AC & T Co., Gateway Farm Market & Candyland, The Ott House, Harrington’s Equipment Co., State Line Gun Exchange, Silo Hill Exxon, Carleo’s Italian Restaurant, The Carriage House Inn, E Plus Copy Center, Window World of Frederick, Ventura’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Village Book & Table, Rick’s Power Washing & Connie Few, Baugher’s Country Restaurant & Fruit Market, Redland Embroidery & Desserts, Dougherty Ice Co., Napa Auto Parts, Advanced Auto Parts, Ace Distributing, No Anchovies, Paul’s Pit Stop, Beaver Dam Lumber, LLC, Bollinger’s Restaurant, The Links at Gettysburg, Zurgable Brothers, Inc., Rube’s Crab Shack, LLC, Harley Davidson of Frederick, Battlefield Harley Davidson, Sunrise Soap Company, Mountain View Golf Club, Emmitsburg New-Journal, Shriver’s Meats, Grandma Gems Family Restaurant, Tahiti Sun, VCP Vanessa’s Corner Pub, Tony’s Café and Pizzeria, The Palms Restaurant & Bar, Hernley’s Polaris/Victory, Hobbs Auction, McDonalds, Zales Jewelers, Stouffer’s Custom Cycles, Ernie’s Texas Lunch, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, Inc., Mountain House, Yianni’s Greenwood Tavern, Dave & Jane’s Crab House, Tim & Pam Duffy, Jim Shorb & Nancy Haines, Ronnie Cool, Darin Fitzgerald, Tony Young, Craig Hahn & Candy Richardson, Doug & Angie Foley, Brian & Kim Stavely, Mike & Cheryl Kulkusky, Doug & Laurie Smith, Moe & Pam Kendall, Tim Wantz, Katherine Dowell, Jeannie Clark, Michael & Kathy McCabe, Chuck and Becky Riggs (In Memory of their daughter Brooke).