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James Rada, Jr.

Five young Labrador retrievers bounded into the Frederick Youth Center on a cold Thursday night, pulling their trainers behind them. Still puppies, they wanted to romp, play, and explore. They slid on the wooden floor, as they strained their leashes to visit nearby people or other puppies.

This wasn’t a play-date for them, though. Pretty soon, they were calmed down and one-by-one they were asked to show their mastery of basic commands. They had to go to their rug and lay down on command and come to their trainer on command. They were also walked around the room to experience different smells and tactile sensations.

These puppies are destined for bigger things than chasing squirrels around a yard. They are only puppies now, but in a couple of years they will help blind people lead independent lives. These puppies are part of the Guiding Eyes For The Blind Program.

“Our job is to raise the puppies to be sent to New York, where they can be trained to be guide dogs,” said Beth Propps of Emmitsburg.

She and her family have raised three dogs, from approximately eight weeks old until they are eighteen months old. Propps first got involved with the program in 2009, when she saw a newspaper ad asking for volunteers.

“We do miss the puppies when they leave—they’re all such characters—but we know going in we’re only going to have them for a short time,” Propps said.

Guiding Eyes has been around since 1954, so they have developed a program based on seeing what has worked in the past. Since all of the puppies that the organization trains each year can’t be trained in New York, where the Guiding Eyes headquarters is, local organizations like Guiding Eyes Catoctin have been set up to handle the pre-training of puppies.

“They tell you exactly what needs to be done each day,” Propps said. “Then the puppies are evaluated weekly to see how they are doing.”

The pre-training involves things that are good for every dog to know. House manners. Obey voice commands. Control their youthful exuberance. The local families also make sure to expose the dogs to a variety of stimuli, such as train noises, crowds, and farm animals.

Not all dogs are cut out to be guide dogs, though. When the dogs are eighteen months old, they are evaluated for the New York program, and again upon completion of the program. Those dogs that don’t make the cut are often used as companions for autistic children or police dogs to be trained to sniff out drugs or bombs. A few might be used in a Guiding Eyes breeding program. If none of those options work, then the dog is adopted out to a loving family.

Guiding Eyes depends on volunteer puppy raisers to provide the love, support, and direction the puppies need to prepare them for formal training as future guide dogs. No prior experience is necessary, as Guiding Eyes provides training and support for raisers; raisers attend local classes and puppy evaluations. 

For more information or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer puppy raiser or simply want to learn more, take a look at these websites: Guiding Eyes Catoctin: and Guiding Eyes For the Blind:


Puppy-in-training, Endora, is shown with her raiser, Susan Allen.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.


James Rada, Jr.

You may notice some new road signs in Thurmont indicating that you are on The Gateway Trail.

The signs were approved by the Thurmont Mayor and Board of Commissioners in January, as a way to start promoting the new hiking and biking trail before the weather turns warm.

Thurmont Main Street Manager Vickie Grinder told the commissioners that the idea was “to create a buzz” about the trail.

In 2012, Catoctin Mountain Park had nearly 250,000 visitors, but only a small portion of those visitors extended their visit into Thurmont, according to Grinder. She believes that The Gateway Trail will help encourage visitors to come into town after their visit to the park.

The trail begins at the Trolley Trail in town. From Memorial Park, it runs along Park Lane to Frederick Road to South Altamont and west along West Main Street. At that point, the trail will tie in with a trail that the National Park Service is developing down to the Lewis Property. Once complete, visitors will be able to hike from Thurmont up onto Catoctin Mountain and back.

Eventually, the goal is to run the trail through Community Park and build a bridge at the back of the park that crosses the highway and ties into the Lewis Property from that direction.

The mayor and commissioners approved $350 for up to twelve signs to mark the trail. This would allow people to start using the trail this season. Grinder said that it would put the trail “on the map” for possible funding for trail improvements next year.

“This can work,” Grinder told the commissioners. “It will work. It is just going to take a concerted effort by all parties.”

The Palms Restaurant Adds New Hours

Deb Spalding

Terry (Orndorff) Ryder and Doug Long, proprietors of The Palms Restaurant, located at 16-20 West Main Street in Emmitsburg, will now open the restaurant on Tuesdays, from 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

Customer hours the rest of the week remain the same: Wednesdays through Saturdays, 7:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; Sundays 7:30-11:30 a.m., with only breakfast served; Closed on Mondays.

Terry has a long history at the restaurant. She was hired in 1981 by Adam Mott, and worked there full-time for seven years. She left for a job at the Provincial House.

“In 1999, Frank Davis talked me into coming back full-time,” said Terry. His mother, Dot Davis, needed the help, so she worked with Frank and his wife, Julie, to run the establishment. In August of 2001, Terry and Doug purchased the business.

The restaurant stands on a solid reputation for good food. “Everything is homemade,” said Terry.

Customer favorites include soups, crab cakes, the crab & cheddar melt, the real hot turkey sandwich with fries, and the desserts. Despite the chilly weather, the soft ice cream machine is up and running for hot fudge brownie sundaes and pie a-la-mode. Breakfast is also popular at The Palms Restaurant.

“On Sundays, if you get in before the door locks, you will get your breakfast,” said Terry.

The bar at The Palms is also open. Stop by for the popular Orange Crush that also comes in Ruby Red Grapefruit, Orange Cranberry, and Watermelon flavors. When the restaurant is open, The Palms’ bar is also open. Stop in until 10:00 p.m. on Wednesdays; 11:00 p.m. on Thursdays; and 12:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Specials this month include Roast Turkey on Thursdays and Pan Fried Chicken on Wednesdays.

Call 301-447-3689 for carryout.


Pictured are Terry Ryder and Doug Long, owners of The Palms Restaurant in Emmitsburg.

Photo by Deb Spalding

Main Street Groomers Open Shop in Emmitsburg

Deb Spalding

Judy Cochran opened the first Main Street Groomers shop with her twin sister, Cindy Grimes, in Thurmont a few years ago.

Since that first opening, Cindy has shifted her attention to her real estate business, while Judy has opened additional shops on several Main Streets: Taneytown, Walkersville, Middletown, and, most recently, Emmitsburg.

Greta Gray is the full-time groomer at the Emmitsburg location. She’s been grooming for over a year, having completed her training at the Thurmont shop.

Main Street Groomers is a full-service groomer for dogs and cats. They will give your pet a bath, a shave, a haircut, a clipping, a nail trim, clean their ears, brush their teeth, and so on.

“Most people will choose their groomer by location. We have a great reputation for being a full-service, friendly groomer. We take very good care of our dogs and cats,” said Gray.

Shop owner Judy Cochran said, “It’s important to me to ensure that our customers receive the best of care. Our pets are members of our families, and we treat them as part of our family while they visit.”

Customer, Eric Lewis of Emmitsburg, took his boxer named Koolie to the Emmitsburg Main Street Groomers, because he received their colorful flier in the mail. “I chose this groomer because of location. Greta is doing a great job,” said Lewis.

Emmitsburg’s Main Street Groomers is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. until the last appointment. Appointments are requested for all services, except nail clipping. Walk-ins are accepted for nail clippings for $10.00 (mornings are recommended).

Please ask about their Bath Therapy program for dogs with allergies or skin issues!

Pets of all sizes, colors, breeds, and temperaments are welcome to the shop. All pets will be pampered equally. Services start at $25.00, but specific prices will be determined when the scope of services is defined.

Stop by 321 West Main Street, Suite 1, in Emmitsburg, or call 301-447-3100 for more information. Find Main Street Groomers on Facebook and online at


Greta Gray at Emmitsburg Main Street Groomers with Shay Gray and Koolie Lewis.

Photo by Deb Spalding 

Seton Village Now Fully Leased

James Rada, Jr.

It didn’t take long for the new Seton Village Apartments in Emmitsburg to fill up. The apartments were open for occupancy in November 2014 and the last of the forty-three units was occupied in early February 2015.

“The people who are moving in love the property, and they love the community,” said Karen Williams, the community manager for Humphrey Management, who handles the leasing of the apartments.

Homes for America, a non-profit housing development corporation, redeveloped one wing of the Daughters of Charity Provincial House and converted the A wing into forty-three senior apartments. The apartment sizes range from 600 square feet to 900 square feet. They include a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and handicap-accessible designs.

Homes for America is based in Annapolis, Maryland. It specializes in creating affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households, in particular those that include seniors or people with special needs. Since 1994, Homes for America has created 67 housing communities that contain 5,258 rental units in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Delaware.

Williams said that the apartments and its residents have integrated well with the other non-profit and business operations in the building. The apartments share their building with the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the Daughters of Charity Archives, and St. Joseph’s Ministries.

While some of the residents in Seton Village already lived locally and simply relocated, other residents moved into the community from out of state.

“We have residents from Massachusetts, Florida, and Texas,” Williams said. “With the family from Texas, their family lived locally and was able to relocate them here when they heard about the apartments.”

Seton Village, which began two years ago, received a federal loan to help purchase the property. As long as the community continues to meet certain conditions, the loan will not have to be repaid.

Getz Computers and Communications Opens in Emmitsburg

Deb Spalding

Getz Computers and Communications is now open to service all of your IT needs at 402 West Main Street in Emmitsburg. Proprietor, Brian Getz, of Emmitsburg, has eighteen years of experience in basic networking and cabling, personal computer repair, laser printer repair, laptop repair, virus removal, spyware removal, operating system upgrades, and just about anything to do with a personal computer.

Before opening the store, Brian worked out of his house. He had two reasons for moving into a retail space: (1) Internet service—he did not have good service in his home; (2) Retail inventory—he’d like to sell retail computer items such as mice, keyboards, HP computers, print cartridges, and the like.

Call Brian Getz at the new Getz Computers and Communications shop for all of your IT needs at 301-447-4292. Brian can also help to dispose of old equipment, but he cautions customers that there may be a cost involved, especially when the customer would like the data on the hard drives to be erased or shredded before a computer is junked.

Brian can also coach computer “dummies” with the basic use and function of their computers. He will go to your location or you can stop by the shop.

There is convenient free parking on both sides of the street outside of his shop.


Pictured are Brian Getz and his son, Zachary.

Photo by Deb Spalding

DSC_0208The Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department held its annual banquet in their banquet hall on February 7, 2015.

President Donald Stull, Sr. presented the welcome, Renae Coolidge gave the invocation, and Chief Vicky Martin gave chief’s comments. Donald Stull awarded Life Membership to Joe Linton. About Joe, he said, “His pay’s about like mine… a big ‘Thank you,’ but we have a lot of fun!”

This past year, new floors and gear lockers were installed in the department’s engine bay. Drills were conducted for water rescue and vehicle entrapment extrication. The company handled 653 calls, more than the previous year.

Eric Smothers of the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Association swore in the officers. He said, “Traveling the county, I know it takes a lot of folks to make a department run. It takes a constant effort to get volunteers across the county and nationally. Thank you all very much for volunteering.”

Administrative officers included: President, Donald Stull, Sr.; Vice President, Chuck Jenkins; Secretary, Karen Stull; Assistant Secretary, Shari Jenkins; Treasurer, Lena Stull; Assistant Treasurer, Delbert Stull; and Board of Directors, Jacob Howell, Donald Martin, Kenny Miller, Scott Stonesifer, Steve Stull, and Wayne Stull.

Line Officers included: Chief, Vicky Martin; Deputy Chief, Wayne Wachter, Jr.; Assistant Chief, Doug Wallick, Jr.; Assistant Chief, Mike Fogle; and Captain, Scott Stonesifer. Scott Martin was assigned as Chair of the Training Committee.

A seven minute video was presented showing a review of the year in pictures. Renae Coolidge held a memorial service for Rosalie Keyser Garver who passed September 12, 2014.

ToDSC_0204p Fire Responders were:  Mike Stull (46), Lisa Monday (56, 70 EMT), Jake Howell (67), Donald Stull (83), Steve Stull(83, 46 EMT), Frani Wachter (83, 41 EMT), Mike Fogle (91, 41 EMT), Donald Martin (126), Wayne Wachter, Jr. (130, 122 EMT), Wayne Stull (133, 123 EMR), Beth Wachter (136. 122 EMT), and Top Responder Vicky Martin (175, 111 EMT). Also recognized for EMR responses were Brianna Wachter (81) and Stephanie Wachter (93).

Members of the Fire Police were recognized: Steve Stull, Thomas ‘Doc’ Wachter, Ronnie Myers, Diana Bryant, Mike Toms, and Bobby Black. Also recognized were new Fire Police Donald ‘Bud’ Howerton, Kenny Miller and Fred Baudrau.

Allison Rostad

DSC_0170-1The Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company held its 26th Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, January 31, 2015, at their station. The event included a social hour with music by Mike Mahoney of Dr. Mudcat’s Medicine Show D.J., followed by a dinner buffet provided by Sunnyway Catering Services. Father John Holliday of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church led the invocation.

The awards ceremony opened with Eric Stackhouse, assistant chief operational officer and vice president administrative officer, emceeing the program. Stackhouse first introduced guest speaker Clarence “Chip” Jewell, Director/Volunteer Chief with the Division of Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services (DFRS), who gave a presentation on the necessity of having volunteers remain within the field. Following Jewell’s presentation, Company President Mary Lou Little, gave her remarks on the past year’s trials and tribulations.

“Members have learned to work very well with each other,” Little explained about the company and their overall reaction to being placed on second due status this past year. “Our supporters never gave up on us,” she continued, “they stuck by us as always.” The banquet’s underlying message was unity and perseverance.

DSC_01811“Another big challenge we faced was having our county funding withheld, because we’re not running first due calls due to the career staff being removed and housed at the fire company,” said Little. “We now had to pay 100 percent of all operating costs…we live every day, every week, every month by our original income budget. We raise every dime to continue to save the county millions of dollars.”

Although the company was hit with a tough year, they managed to raise over $5,000 to donate to scholarships to help students at Catoctin High School and Mother Seton School, as well as other non–profit organizations within the community. 

Little stated, “It is very important to us to be able to ‘give back’ to our community.” To close her remarks, she asked that each member of the ambulance crew stand so she could recognize them with the 2014 President Award, as it was a “no brainer” for her to choose the entire company for their efforts in keeping the company up and running.

 Chief Rose Latini then took the stage to present her remarks on the past year as well, calling the station “The little engine that could.” 

Although the company was on second due status for the majority of the year, they still managed to gain twelve new operational members, and are still recruiting.

“The past year has been a very rewarding road,” Latini explained, referencing Little’s statement about losing the career staff. “It allowed us time to take a look into the house and work with DFRS to get things where they are today. We’ve bonded as an operational team. I realized during that time the passion that our operational members had,” added Latini.

She applauded the members and presented the 2014 Chief’s Award to all members of the company saying, “There’s not one person in this company that did not rise to the occasion.”

Stackhouse returned to the stage and began calling the names of every member, as they all were to receive a reward from both the chief and president for their outstanding achievement throughout the year.

DSC_0175-1Little then presented Life Membership awards to members who had earned their gold cards: Eric Stackhouse, Beth Ruppel, and John Ruppel. The Training Award was presented to Smiley and Judy White, who came down to the station to help train EVAC members so they could qualify for their certifications.

Dan and Anne Reaver were presented a special award by Little, where she mentioned that the Company, “wouldn’t know where they’d be without them.”

Stackhouse recognized the Top 10 LOSAP: Pam Bolin (267); Vicki Long (285); Ed Little (349); Diane Kelly (380); John Ruppel (398); Kim Bolin (427); Beth Ruppel (513); Mary Lou Little (572); Dallas Bucheit (582); and Jim Wormley (596).

Top 10 Responders were:  (1) Rose Latini; (2) Jennifer Frushour; (3) Eric Stackhouse; (4) Colt Black; (5) John Ruppel; (6) Beth Ruppel; (7) C.N. Burriss; (8) Dallas Bucheit; (9) Brandon Burriss; (10) Lisa Eichelberger.

Lastly, Stackhouse recognized the members of Thurmont Ambulance Company 30 with a bronze plaque of their new social hall being built as a thank you for all their assistance throughout 2014.

As part of closing the ceremony, Stackhouse had a few presentations he wanted to give away himself. He invited both Little and Latini back up to the stage, where he presented each with an award. For Little, the Board of Directors decided to pay for the first month of internet service to be set up at her house, as she’s only been able to send and receive emails while at the station. She was also rewarded with a gavel from Stackhouse to have and use at meetings. For Latini, she was awarded a Company 26 winter jacket, as it seems she’s always cold. A round of applause was given for both for their hard work and dedication.

DSC_0178-1Judith White, Secretary of Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, installed officers. Operational Officers: Chief—Rose Latini; Assistant Chief—Eric Stackhouse; Lieutenants—Sara Johnston, Rose Mercandetti, and Rachel Rosebrock; Sergeants—Beth Ruppel and John Ruppel; and Honorary Lieutenant—Ed Little. Administrative Officers: President—Mary Lou Little; Vice President—Eric Stackhouse; Secretary—Vicki Long; Assistant Secretary—Kim Bolin; Treasurer—Pam Bolin; and Assistant Treasurer—Beth Ruppel. Board of Directors: Bob Dinterman—Donna Miller, Diane Kelly, and Ed Little.

During the Open House and Dedication Ceremony for the Town of Thurmont’s new Municipal Building, held January 31, 2015, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird was obviously very proud. His message was one of great appreciation for all the parties involved in bringing the project to fruition.

Town Commissioner Wayne Hooper had broached the idea of purchasing the former Daily Funeral Home property, located at 615 East Main Street, and renovating it for use as a new town municipal building. At the time, Town Commissioner Marty Burns was mayor and helped to jumpstart the project. Mayor Kinnaird took office as the bidding process for construction was about to begin.  Mayor Kinnaird stayed very involved in the project as it progressed.

Mayor Kinnaird asked former Mayor, now Commissioner, Burns to cut the ribbon. Burns was sure to point out that no one person gets all of the credit for the project. It was truly a combined effort by many, including Bill Blakeslee for applying for the money and grants to purchase the building and completing many of the renovations.

After the ribbon was cut, Mayor Kinnaird welcomed special guests, starting with Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. Gardner offered congratulations for a beautiful renovation that will serve the community for many years.

Frederick County Councilman Kirby Delauter said, “It’s a good day for Thurmont. Congratulations!”

Kinnaird recognized Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler; Thurmont Police Lt. Alan Droneburg; Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins; Lonestar Builders; Green Brothers Construction; Cornerstone Heating and Air Conditioning; Tier One Technology Partners; Quick Connect Communications; former Mayor Eileen Waesche; Lisa Nolan Humerick; Lowman Keeney with the Thurmont Ambulance Company; former Thurmont Superintendent of Public Works, Joe Fraley; Donna Voellinger, President of the Thurmont Historical Society; Carol Robertson, President of Catoctin Colorfest; Butch West and the Thurmont Public Works Department; Jim Brown, Project Manager; and other Town staff, including Harold Lawson, Randy Eyler, Tim Eyler, Brad Weddle, Dave Stevens, Gary Hodges, Lee Hanvey, and Russell Sanders. Town of Thurmont office staff members were also introduced, including Becky Long, Senior Administrative Assistant; Tracy Schur, Chief Financial Officer; Wanda Stottlemyer; Melody Dix; Lori Kaas; Debbie Ecker; and Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick.

Mayor Kinnaird gave praise to all parties involved and also recognized Jim Castle with the Department of Housing and Community Development, stating that, “We wouldn’t have gotten the grant money to purchase the building and complete the project without his help.”

A historian at heart, Mayor Kinnaird noted the history of Thurmont Town Offices. They were first housed in the basement of the Thurmont Bank Building on the square, and then moved in 1956 or 1957 to the Frederick Street location. Moving now to a property that was once owned by one of Thurmont’s former mayors seems fitting.


Pictured from left are Town Commissioners Bill Buehrer, Wayne Hooper, Marty Burns, Wes Hamrick, and Mayor John Kinnaird during the Dedication Ceremony for the Town of Thurmont’s new Municipal Building on January 31, 2015.

Photo by Allison Rostad

Grace Eyler

Jen Weddle, owner of Jen’s Cutting Edge hair salon, recalls memories of the start of her career. At age fifteen, she began working part-time for Catoctin Hair Studio as a shampoo girl. While attending Catoctin High School, the young stylist began her cosmetology education at VoTech in Frederick (what CTC is today). When the Catoctin Hair Studio salon closed, the opportunity arose for her to open her very own shop. At the young age of twenty, she opened Jen’s Cutting Edge Salon in the Cozy Shoppes in Thurmont. In 2010, long-time friend, Missy Morgan, joined Jen’s team, then Lois Gaber also joined in 2013. Jen takes care of the hair, and Missy and Lois schedule, take calls, and happily welcome their clients.

This year, Jen’s Cutting Edge hair salon is celebrating fifteen years in business. When the Cozy Shoppes closed, Jen was forced to relocate and set up shop at 12917 Catoctin Furnace Road next to Mike’s Auto Body.  This location is visible from Route US 15 near Catoctin Zoo.

“It’s been a quite a transition,” said Jen.

In her prior location, she also offered tanning. Jen plans on re-opening that tanning portion of the business in the future. In the meantime, every product and service that you remember from her previous location is available in the new location, and the new shop is only two miles away from the old location. In the past, people would park in the Cozy parking lot, crossing the busy street to get to her shop. The new location features easy and convenient parking, which makes it very accessible to senior or disabled clients, especially during bad weather. Another perk that came with her new location is a kid-friendly environment, with a tot-sized table and an assortment of interesting toys for entertainment.

“We are hair care for the whole family, and we are happy to give children their first haircut, and every cut from there on out!” said Jen.

With a strong focus on accommodating not only ladies, but the entire family, Jen offers a wide array of services, including haircuts, waxing, perms, updos, foil and cap highlights, and all-over dye. Jen’s Cutting Edge also provides high quality hair products and high-end nail polishes. Even though tanning isn’t currently offered, if you’re looking for discounted lotions or goggles for the local gym’s tanning beds, these great ladies will have you covered!

Appointments are highly recommended. To schedule your appointment, contact the salon at 301-271-0011. Hours of operation are Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Saturdays, 7:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Jen Weddle, owner of Jen’s Cutting Edge, is shown with one of her many loyal clients.

Jens Cutting Edge 2

Photo by Grace Eyler

Country Butchering

A Country Butchering will be held on February 21, 2015, at the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company. A pancake breakfast will be served on the morning of the butchering, from 6:00-10:00 a.m. Benefits the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company.

Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Events

The Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association in Fairfield will host the following events in February 2015: Cash Bingo at 1:00 p.m. on February 1; Bar Bingo at 7:00 p.m. on February 6, 13, and 20; Wagner Shoot on February 7 and 21; Meat Shoot on February 14; Valentine’s Day Dinner on February 14; Meat Raffle and Buffet on February 27.

MSS Thirty-One, Coach & Vera Bradley

Mother Seton School (MSS) is holding a Thirty-One, Coach & Vera Bradley Bingo on February 21, 2015, at Mother Seton School, located at 100 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with games beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 if purchased in advance or $25.00 at the door the night of the event.

His Place Car Show

Mark your calendar for the 6th Annual His Place Car Show, being held on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at Mother Seton School, located at 100 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Event features three awards each, for five categories; raffle, food, door prizes, and more.

Moving Sale

A Moving Sale will take place February 20-22, 2015, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Cozy Inn, 103 Frederick Road in Thurmont. Items for sale include 450 salt and pepper shakers, home decor, Camp David and Cozy items, figurines; coffee table, claw foot tub, hutches, cupboard, safes, desks, cabinets, sewing machines, stained glass canopies; office items such as computers, binders, swivel chairs, and stationary, and much more. Also a mini doughnut making machine will be sold.

Rental spaces are available (all inside).

All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner

The American Legion Riders are sponsoring an All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner on Sunday, February 15, 2015, from 1:00-4:00 p.m., at Woodsboro American Legion, located at 101 W. Elizabeth Street in Woodsboro, Maryland. The cost is $10.00 per person (children under 12 years old are free). Tickets can be purchased at the door.

EVAC Bingo Bash

Don’t miss Bingo Bash at Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company (EVAC) on March 21, 2015. Doors will open at 4:00 p.m., with games beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $40.00 if purchased in advance, and $50.00 if purchased at the door the night of the event. Bingo features twenty-two games, paying $250 each, with three $1,000 jackpots, plus a meal.

Vigilant Hose Company’s Annual Spring Fling

The Vigilant Hose Company will host their annual Spring Fling event on May 16, 2015, on the grounds of Mount St. Mary’s University. It’s time to get your ticket. Contact Chris Stahley at 301-447-3081, John Glass at 301-447-3648, Gabe Baker at 301-447-2212, or Bill Boyd at 717-6423-9717 for more information or to arrange your purchase.

St. John’s Christian Preschool’s Open House

St. John’s Christian Preschool will hold an Open House on Friday, February 27, 2015, from 9:00-10:00 a.m., at 15 North Street in Thurmont.

Hazel's Thrift StoreGrace Eyler

On January 3, 2015, Anita Marsellars opened Hazel’s Thrift Store on the square in Emmitsburg. This is Marsellars’ first business venture, in honor of her late mother, Hazel.

“She was such a kind-hearted person who loved to give back to her community,” said Marsellars.

With that in mind, Marsellars understands how the costs of living continuously creeps up over time. This leaves many in need of an affordable alternative for clothing, electronics, accessories, home items, toys for children, and other such items. Marsellers brings a wide array of very lightly used merchandise into her store for customers to purchase at a low price.

“I wouldn’t want to sell anything to my customers that I wouldn’t buy myself,” she said.

To make sure she brings the best quality of used goods to Emmitsburg, she travels as far as Ohio, North Carolina, and other bordering states to build her inventory. Many of the clothing items are even brand names—Coach Purses are displayed on the wall.

Marsellers, who makes a commute from Germantown to Emmitsburg every day, is very familiar with this area, attending Emmitsburg Auction’s weekly auctions. When CJ’s recently closed their storefront and relocated to their South Seton Avenue location, she jumped on the opportunity to rent the vacated space to open Hazel’s Thrift Store.

She said that while preparing the store, “We’ve had many people stopping in to take a look around, or do a little shopping. Also, many locals have been stopping in to welcome me to Emmitsburg.”

Stop by and visit “Miss Anita” Marsellers at Hazel’s Thrift Shop on the square of Emmitsburg. Her door is open from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and closed on Sundays. If you have any questions, just give Anita a call at 301-447-4323.

Deb Spalding

On Tuesday, January 6, 2014, the public was invited to enjoy the Irish tradition of Women’s Little Christmas at Shamrock Restaurant in Thurmont.

Outside the dining room windows that day at Shamrock, diners observed beautiful soft snow falling, as they settled in the fire-warmed dining room listening contently as singers, Nita Corn and her daughter Eileen, sang Irish and holiday tunes. For the folks who ventured out, it was an enjoyable afternoon.

Shamrock’s Donna Demmon welcomed visitors by visiting each table. She explained that after the ladies in Ireland have worked to create a festive holiday for their families, they are rewarded with a girl’s outing to celebrate. 

“Ladies would go to the pub and sit and have a Guinness. The publican (man or woman who owns the pub) would serve them free corned beef sandwiches on Women’s Little Christmas. We’re serving to everyone who comes in today, ladies and gentleman, a complimentary Reuben Sandwich,” said Demmon.

Donna enjoyed visiting the folks at each table and making sure they understood the tradition that was being celebrated. She presented each table with free corned beef pinwheels.

Before the snow, Donna said that the reservations for the event were more than she had hoped, but with the weather conditions, many did not venture out. She plans to host the event annually and continue to share the tradition.


Shamrock Restaurant’s Donna Demmon is shown serving Jackie Campbell, Carol Robertson, and Kathy Cogan corned beef pinwheels during Little Women’s Christmas.

The P.A.K.N. Program (Police and Kids Night) is a free drop-in cooperative between the Thurmont Police Department and the Frederick County Division of Parks and Recreation. This is a fun opportunity for youth ages 11-17 to play pick-up basketball, soccer, kickball, flag football, or just hang out with friends. It’s a place to interact with the Thurmont Police officers in a relaxed atmosphere. Located in the Thurmont Recreation Center (the county-run Recreation Center in the gym of Thurmont Middle School), this activity is held every third Thursday of the month. The next P.A.K.N. drop-in will be held February 19, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

“We have a great program, we need to spread the word to community members,” said Carrie Sprinkle, Recreation Coordinator with Frederick County Parks and Recreation.

Thurmont’s Police Chief Greg Eyler said, “The program is a way we, the police, can interact and meet many of the kids in town. We believe the program will be beneficial for us and the kids and it promotes our community policing efforts. There are many programs and activities for the kids.  We wanted to provide a more personal one where the kids could see that their police officers have a different side to them, not just the official side. The police department and the Frederick County Division of Parks and Recreation believe in this program, and we are hopeful that attendance will increase.  Interaction and communicating with the citizens, no matter what age, is of utmost importance. It builds a foundation of trust, which is one of our goals.”

Just drop in and have some fun! Call 301-600-2936 with any questions.

James Rada, Jr.

Lewistown Elementary School student, Nik Contreras, hunches over a notebook, writing down figures for a loan he needs to buy a bison for his farm. Coming up with his total, he flips to another page and begins sketching a design for the corrals on his farm. It’s all part of his business plan.

Then the school bell rings and recess is over.

Nik is only nine years old, but he has a vision for his future, and it is centered around the huge shaggy animals from western lore, typically called buffalo.

“The settlers in the West knew about European buffalo, and, since bison looked like buffalo, that’s what they called them,” Contreras said.

A few years ago, Nik saw his first bison at a park in Virginia, and they captured his imagination. He liked their big heads and shaggy bodies.

He began drawing them in a sketchbook and searching for pictures on the internet of bison that he could use for models. He happened to click on one of those pictures, thinking it would enlarge, but instead it took him to the National Bison Association website.

He began exploring the website, learning more about bison and how to raise them for meat like cattle.

“People tell me why not raise cattle, but I say bison is better,” said Nik. “You don’t need to feed them as much. They can take care of themselves better than cows. You just need nice grass and water.”

Nik can tell you all about considerations for planning a ranch on which to raise bison. He continues researching them, because his plan is to eventually buy his own ranch.

His first step toward this goal is to buy his first bison. Many places around the country will sell bison at auction, just like a cattle auction. His research has allowed him to pick out an auction where he believes he can find the best deal. He has also found out that he can get an unsecured Rural Youth Agriculture loan for up to $5,000.

Now, he just has to turn ten, which will happen later this year.

Nik is now a junior member of the National Bison Association, and he also became the very first junior member of the Eastern Bison Association.

“They’re great people,” said Cindy Burnsteel, Nik’s mother. “They answer his e-mails and calls and treat him as they would any other adult.”

Since becoming interested in raising bison, Nik has attended different round-ups, visited a number of bison ranches, and even lobbied members of Congress about the benefits of bison meat.

“It tastes better than beef,” Nik said. “It’s a little sweeter. It’s also low in fat and cholesterol. You can use it to make a lot of things, like soup, tacos, and burgers.”

Nik even knows how he will raise the money to make loan payments and pay for the upkeep of his bison at a ranch. He is going to make bullwhips and sell them. It is a skill that he has been learning for quite some time, and he believes that he can make better ones than you can often purchase in stores.

Once the first bison he buys has had a few calves, he will sell it and raise the young ones. He will continue raising and breeding them, slowly growing his herd and his income until he has enough money to buy his first ranch. He figures that it will be in Michigan or Wisconsin.

Not surprisingly, he has also researched the places in the United States that have the best conditions for raising bison.

Bill Edwards of SB Farms in Hurlock, Maryland, and Nik Contreras are pictured, with bison bull, Captain Hook.


Photo Courtesy of Cindy Burnsteel

The Dirt on Minerals

by Bob Warden

I hope your hunting season went well, and your freezer is full of venison and your mind full of memories. My season was successful and I have plenty of bologna, chip, and hot dogs to get us through the year.

Now we start the real work to help our deer herd make it through the winter and into the spring, antler growing and fawning seasons. As soon as possible, if you are on private land, you need to start replenishing what the deer have lost through the breeding season and the cold winter months. By this, I mean helping them replenish fat reserves, vitamins, and minerals. I am big on deer nutrition for the health of the herd and for antler growth.

Through the winter, where it is legal, I use a grain-based product, Maxi-1 (15 percent protein) by WYLD Mineral products. Please do not use just corn. Deer need a variety of things, and only feeding them corn does not give them the protein they need. Corn is just a carbohydrate, and too much corn can actually change a deer’s digestive process. They can starve with a full stomach of corn. If you research it on the Internet, you will see what I mean.

As you can tell by my nickname, “Mineral Bob,” my big thing is getting the right minerals in my deer. You can do this year round but it is highly important from March through September. During these months, as things green-up, deer eat a lot of vegetation that is high in water and potassium, which will make them urinate more and in the process, they lose high amounts of salt, calcium, and phosphorus. By just putting out a salt block, the deer will be attracted to it, but will miss the two main minerals they need: calcium and phosphorus. These minerals will help in milk and fawn production, muscle development, and antler growth. So, use the salt as the attractant (this time of year deer crave salt) to get the deer to take in the other essential minerals for overall health.

Look at the labels on the product you use, choose as close to 30 percent total calcium and phosphorus as possible, with calcium being close to twice the amount of phosphorus. The amount of salt in your product is a well-debated topic. I use WYLD Minerals Orchard blend, which is 47 percent salt, 15 percent calcium, and 9.5 percent phosphorus, along with other trace minerals.

One thing to remember is that the closer you are to the ocean, the less salt the deer need.

Emmitsburg’s Green Efforts Paying Off

James Rada, Jr.

The Town of Emmitsburg recently replaced its street lights with LED lights. The result is that the cost to run those lights has dropped by nearly two-thirds.

This is just one of the ways that the town’s efforts to go green—while reducing costs and maintaining the quality of life in town—have paid off.

Last year, the town signed a resolution to participate in the Sustainable Maryland Certified Municipal program.

“It’s a state program with the University of Maryland Environmental Center that puts together a series of tasks or projects that lead toward the better use of community resources,” said Jerry Muir, who is coordinating the town’s certification efforts.

To become certified “Sustainable,” a municipality must accrue 150 points from a project list. According to a memo to the town from Muir, “These include, in general groupings, Local Food initiatives such as the Farmers Market; Energy Efficiency such as establishing a carbon footprint; Community Wellness programs; Green Business recognition; Land Use Planning and Conservation; Pet Waste disposal and education programs; Environmental Conservation Programs such as Tree City, Watershed Protection, etc.” There are dozens of projects a town can choose from to accumulate enough points.  

Emmitsburg had already been doing some of the potential tasks, such as having a farmer’s market and community gardens. Seeking the certification has pushed the town to look for new ways to become green. One such innovation was that the town built a solar energy field to provide it with 100-percent renewable energy.

“The long-term benefit is a better use of resources, and the town becomes a lot more environmentally aware,” Muir said.

He also added that should environmental grants become available in the future, the certification will help in winning them.

In Frederick County, Frederick City is already certified and Brunswick is working towards that goal.

“In the next few months, we should have enough points to be certified,” Muir said.

The last thing that Muir expects to be needed to accumulate enough points for certification is for the town to send out an energy survey. Once that is complete and the points added to Emmitsburg’s tally, certification can be made.

“The Mayor and Town Council have made an environmental commitment to become as environmentally efficient as can be,” Muir said.