Bob Culver

Wicomico Youth and Civic Center website

The Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury will be allowed to serve alcohol.

The county Board of License Commissioners gave the okay for the facility to serve beer, wine and liquor at the events.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it had been thought that the original deed had prohibited the serving of alcohol at the Center but a recent legal investigation found that was not the case.  

County Executive Bob Culver has pushed for permission to serve alcohol and it could make the center more attractive to those looking for a site to host their events.

official photo, logo

There is a standoff between Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver and County Library officials.

Culver issued a letter demanding that the library turn over 33-hundred square feet of space to store county voting machines.

That’s where the library’s Entrepreneur Center is located.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that library officials sent Culver a letter yesterday refusing to turn over the keys.

The letter said that they believed the space should solely be used for library purposes.

Don Rush

An environmental consultant says that it would be okay for Wicomico County to allow the large chicken house operation slated for Naylor Mill Road.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that John D. Hynes and Associates found that the Maryland groundwater protection rules would be strong enough to protect such areas as the Paleo Channel and nearby waterways.

The paper says that Monica Brooks, a local resident and critic of the project, called the report “passing the buck” to justify going forward.

creative commons

The proposed mega-poultry operation for Naylor Mill road riles up local residents as political leaders struggle with the new phenomenon in the chicken industry. Delmarva Public Radio's Patrick Lieb prepared this report.

Governor's Office

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is making stops on the Lower Eastern Shore this week.

He will make an appearance at the Delmarva Poultry Industry’s annual Booster Banquet at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center tonight.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that tomorrow he is expected to make some announcements about transportation projects at the Red Lobster in Salisbury.

He is also expected to huddle with Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver and county council members.            

Don Rush

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver unveiled his $135 million budget this week – a 5 percent increase over last year.

Under the plan county employees will get a 3 percent raise with a major contribution to the public school system to meet the rising number of new students.

On the education front high school grads would receive free tuition at Wor-Wic Community College.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Culver keeps a lid on estate taxes and business property taxes.

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Local leaders in Wicomico County and Salisbury gathered this week to figure out how to combat rising heroin and opiod addiction rates.

Just this week the county council voted to fund a program called Community Outreach Addiction Team that uses peer counselors to help those with addiction.

Among the attendees were law enforcement officials Sheriff Mike Lewis, County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello and Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan as well as political leaders County Executive Bob Culver and Mayor Jake Day.

Legislative efforts to allow alcohol sales at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center may not be needed after all.

The acting county attorney Paul Wilber says that he found the covenant keeping the center from selling alcohol was actually terminated in 1971.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that for years there was a belief that the sale of alcohol was prohibited.

But County Executive Bob Culver says that a deed search found the property had changed hands twice since the late S. Franklin Woodcock gave the county the 39 acres for the center and a veterans war memorial.

Center website

The Wicomico Youth and Civic Center could begin serving alcohol.

A measure approved by the House of Delegates would end a long dry spell and would allow the county to apply for a license from the Board of License Commissioners.

Eastern Shore state Senators Jim Mathias (D) and Addie Eckardt (R) sponsored the measure.

Mathias told the Salisbury Daily Times that he believed it would be administered responsibly.

County Executive Bob Culver said allowing the sale of alcohol was a key to $3 million in renovations for the next couple of years.

Don Rush

Maryland officials told Wicomico County residents that when it came to pollution from the planned mega chicken house operation along Naylor Mill Road there would be zero tolerance.

There were around 400 people who showed up at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center for last night’s meeting put together by County Executive Bob Culver.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that among the signs at the meeting – one read: “Save our water for our future.”

elizabeth prata / creative commons

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver is holding a public forum on the large chicken houses that are planned for the area.

Along Naylor Mill Road., north of Salisbury, a plan for a large chicken operation with 10 large houses, took country residents and local lawmakers by surprise

Local residents have been organizing and raising questions about the impact on property values as well as health and environmental concerns.

Local residents showed up at the Wicomico County Council meeting last night to express their dismay at the prospect of a poultry farm that is expected to have at least 10 chicken houses located just north of Salisbury along Naylor Mill Road.

Not only did the scale of the poultry house concern residents but they also worried about the impact on the Paleo Channel aquifer.

Council President John Cannon told residents that the research presented to them would be fully reviewed.

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A group in Wicomico County which is critical of a large proposed chicken operation near Naylor Mill Road is pushing to be heard by the County Council.

WBOC reports that Concerned Citizens Against Industrial CAFO’s is looking to be placed on the council agenda.

Monica Brooks, with the organization, told the television station that the group supports the small chicken farms but opposes the industrial sized operations.

A family in Virginia had proposed to build 13 chicken houses although it’s recently been reported they would come down to 10.

Don Rush

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver has issued a statement to reassure local residents about the large poultry operation planned for the Naylor Mill Road area.

Culver said that many of the statements at public meetings and in the media have been “less than accurate”.

But he added that he did have concerns about the issue and would reach out to experts who are charged with the responsibility of protecting public health and the environment.

Wicomico Public Schools logo

Wicomico County officials made their pitch to the Maryland Board of Public Works for $5 million to be used to construct a new West Salisbury Elementary School.

The Board of Education wants to fast track the funding for an opening in the fall of 2018.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Board of Education approved the schematic design for the school in early January.

The paper reports that a decision on the state funding won’t come for the 2017 fiscal year until May.

center website

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver wants to lift the ban on alcohol sales at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

And, he has the county’s attorney Paul Wilbur looking into whether it can happen.

It’s been in place since 1946 when the property was donated to the county to include the Center and a veteran’s war memorial.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Center has seen a decline in attendance from around 239-thousand around 9 years ago to 169-thousand in 2011.

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The battle over the cost of fire and ambulance service by Salisbury for Wicomico County residents is going to a study.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the county says the cost is around $956-thousand while the city say it’s more like $2.2 million.

Next month the City and County Councils are expected to approve a contract with Tri-Data of Arlington, Virginia for the study.

The conflict over the cost heated up last April when then Mayor Jim Ireton threatened to withhold service if the city was not fairly compensated.

Don Rush

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver’s daughter has been hired as a revenue specialist in the county’s Finance Department.

An ethics commission has ruled that there are no violations in hiring Courtney Culver who will be paid $13 an hour.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the job description includes responsibilities for billing and collecting all Real Estate and other taxes for County Mall Tax notices.

Wicomico County is wrapping up its contract in December with Red Speed USA.

The company provided cameras hidden inside cars to cut down on speeding around area schools.

WBOC reports that County Executive Bob Culver said that the aim was to change the behavior of drivers and that it has done just that.  

The television station reports that an internal audit by the county found that the number of citations dropped from 500 in October 2012 to 100 last year.

Don Rush

Wicomico County’s economic initiative got off to a slow start this week when the County Council said it wasn’t sure it wanted to cough up all of the nearly $340-thousand for operating expenses.

Council President John Cannon said he thought $50-thousand was a better figure even though he considered bringing economic growth to the region a high priority.

He said he was not comfortable with the full amount until he knows exactly how it will be spent.

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BioCannatix wants to locate a medical marijuana site near Hebron in Wicomico County.

The company hopes to be one of the 15 companies that the state of Maryland chooses to grow medical marijuana.

WBOC reports that County Executive Bob Culver is neither for nor against the facility.

He told the television station that he is aware of at least six  outfits looking to locate in the county.

The company says the facility could cost up to $8 million to build and could provide 40 to 50 jobs.

Social by Echelon website

Within the last month two restaurants have closed in downtown Salisbury.

The latest is the barbeque place known as Social by Echelon which was hoped to be a key in bringing business back to the area.

The other restaurant was the Cellar Door owned by Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver.

It has been in business for the past two years.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Echelon had one of the most prominent locations at Main and Division streets.

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Confusion now reigns over whether there will be an expansion of the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex after all in conjunction with Salisbury.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that on Monday Mayor Jim Ireton said that Wicomico County officials decided against asking for a 35 acre donation from the City of Salisbury.

In addition, the paper reports that a hearing on the donation set for later this month has also been cancelled.

The city said that Wicomico County officials have indicated that they are looking at other pieces of property.

Wicomico County Schools logo

The central offices of Wicomico County Board of Education are on the move.

They will wind up at a new site at Northgate Business Park complex in the northern part of Salisbury.

The board has signed a 20 year lease for $253-thousand a year.

Currently, the board has a number of portable offices next to its office building with around 150 board employees.

The move follows an effort by Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver to move the offices to the old Bennett Middle School structure.

It was rejected by the County Council.


Mayor Jim Ireton says that he will table his July 1st deadline to withhold fire and emergency services in Wicomico County.

He said that he was taking – what he has called – the nuclear option off the table because he believes that the county leaders are negotiating in good faith to resolve their tax dispute.

Ireton made the threat in his effort to get an agreement to resolve the problem of many county residents not paying for these services provided by the city.

The city and county met on April 28th to begin discussions and that led Ireton to withdraw his deadline.

Don Rush

In the ongoing dispute over fire and EMS service Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver has some questions about any agreement with the city of Salisbury.

Mayor Jim Ireton has threatened to cut off city fire and EMS service to surrounding county areas by July 1st  if city taxpayers are not given some form of tax relief for those services.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that many of the questions center on funding mechanisms.

The two sides are to meet on April 28th to discuss the issue.


If there is no meeting between Mayor Jim Ireton and Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver by April 28th the Mayor says he will outline a number options to the public on the issue of city fire and EMS service to the county.

Ireton declared, ”You have city taxpayer money and you have to give it back.”

This week the Mayor said that if there is no agreement by July 1st on tax relief for city residents who provide fire and EMS services to the county he will keep those services to within the city limits.

Don Rush

Mayor Jim Ireton has set a deadline of July 1st for Wicomico County to come to an agreement on tax relief for city residents when it comes to providing  city fire and emergency services.

If the deadline is not met those services will no longer be extended beyond the city limits.

That was the message from the Mayor to the City Council yesterday during a discussion of his plans for the 2016 fiscal year.

Don Rush

The Executive Director of the Maryland Public School Construction Program David Lever says simply renovating the West Salisbury Elementary school is not an option.

The Salisbury Daily Times obtained a letter from Lever under and Freedom of Information Request in which he says that the current situation does not represent a safe environment for students in case of fire.

In addition, the state official says that the design of the school also has problems if there is an active shooting as well as accessibility for the disabled.

Don Rush

The Wicomico County Council yesterday turned back an effort by County Executive Bob Culver to halt the demolition of the old Bennett Middle School.

Culver’s 5 year capital improvement plan withdrew the money and called for using the building for county offices and moving the new athletic fields for the James M. Bennett High School to property on the athletic practice field on Division Street.

The council members questioned the timing of the decision to halt the demolition plans.