Ocean City

Don Rush

The Ocean City Town Council gave unanimous approval to a measure that allows smoking and vaping in certain areas of Northside Park.

It’s part of an ordinance that prohibits smoking and vaping in all city parks.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that in May the council approved a measure that restricted smoking on boardwalks to within 15 feet of a barrel designated for cigarette butts.

The council approved the exception during its Monday meeting.

cityoffortpierce.com

David Recor has quit his job as OC city manager.

Media outlets are reporting that his sudden departure was confirmed by Ocean City’s communications manager Jessica Waters today.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that she declined to provide any details.

His resignation was accepted by the Mayor and Town Council during a meeting yesterday.

WBOC reports that Mayor Rick Meehan will take on the city manager's job temporarily until a national search can fill the post.

Recor was involved in a car accident in which he drifted off the road and hit a sign.

U.S. Geological Survey

Ocean City got a rare look at a manatee last Sunday.

The last time was nine years ago.

It was seen around the Coast Guard station at around 10 a.m.

Jennifer Dittmar with the National Aquarium told the Salisbury Daily Times that another showed up on Tuesday in the Chesapeake Bay.

The paper reports that manatees are on the endangered species list.

In the warm summer months they come up from Florida with at least one being spotted in the Chesapeake Bay.

 

Don Rush

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Rehoboth Beach Police say a fifth lifeguard stand missing from the beach has been found off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the stand, one of seven that disappeared last week, was spotted on Tuesday.

A fishing boat spotted two stands floating about two miles offshore near Fenwick Island on Saturday and brought one back to shore. Officials say the U.S. Coast Guard brought in two. On Monday, a fourth was found washed up on a private beach in Bethany Beach.

Matt Forney

There were around 94 boats that went out over the weekend for the 28th Annual Tuna Tournament in Ocean City this weekend.

And coming out on top was Rob Wagner who pulled in over a half a million with the largest single tuna and heaviest stringer.

That was followed by Tyler Nichols and Ryan Yost  in both categories.

Delmarva Public Radio’s Don Rush has this report on what Matt Forney found at the event.

creative commons

The fireworks went off on time at Ocean City as tens of thousands packed the resort this weekend.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that business was booming with some locals saying it was one of the best July 4th they have had in years.

There were a few incidents during the holiday weekend.

A man fell from a third story balcony and was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

Meanwhile, there was a reported fire on a public bus on Saturday which had to be evacuated.

Don Rush

This July 4th tens of thousands of tourists are expected to pack the boardwalk of Ocean City. And, as Delmarva Public Radio's Rachel Taylor reports the resort feels like it is bouncing back from the Great Recession.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Authorities say a West Virginia teen is in stable condition after he fell from a fifth story window while attempting to flee the scene of an assault in downtown Ocean City.
 

creative commons

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Officials say a hammerhead shark that kept swimmers out of the surf in Ocean City has retreated back into Assateague Bay.

The latest sightings of the animal were confirmed by Maryland Natural Resources Police late Thursday afternoon. Officials say the hammerhead was about 300 pounds and about 8 feet long. The shark kept swimmers out of the water for nearly 24 hours.

ococean.gov

The Ocean City landscape could get a new landmark:

A giant blue and green beach ball structure with a splash pattern that will sit atop a tall water tower near the Route 50 bridge.

Public Works Director Hal Adkins told WBOC that the tower will be located on First Street and St. Louis Avenue.

And it is expected to be completed by September of next year.

Currently, there are a total of six elevated towers in the resort two of which are scheduled to be taken down after the new tower is completed.

Don Rush

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Street performers on Ocean City's boardwalk will now have to adhere to new rules due approved by the city council.
 
WMDT-TV reports the council voted unanimously Monday for three new ordinances with hopes they will ease foot traffic along the boardwalk and make the experience more enjoyable.
 

The new ordinances will forbid street performers from performing past 1 a.m., using props over 5 feet tall and requiring performers to sign up each week and weekend at city hall to reserve their spots.
 

Don Rush

Soon it could be easier to get around Ocean City on a bicycle.

Town officials are planning to put additional bike trails so the cyclists do not have to use some of the busy intersections such as Coastal Highway or Baltimore Avenue.

Town Council member Tom DeLuca told the Salisbury Daily Times that there were three different trails in the works.

The first would connect the Boardwalk to 62nd street.

Another would run from the Boardwalk to the downtown area.

A third would run from 62nd Street to the Delaware state line at 146th street.

Don Rush

There were around a quarter of a million people in Ocean City this past Memorial Day weekend which marks to the first day of the summer season.

And all of the 600 campsites were full.

With the big crowds and good weather many businesses have finally begun to see an end to the impact of the Great Recession.

Jessica Waters with the resort told the Salisbury Daily Times that it was an exciting start to the season.

creative commons

There is a report that a 23 year old West Virginia man is in critical condition after falling from a balcony in Ocean City last night.

Police say they were called to the scene in the 25th Street area at around 6:30 p.m. when he was treated by an Ocean City medical emergency team.

WBOC reports that eventually he was sent to Peninsula Regional Medical Center and then onto Shock  Trauma in Baltimore.

creative commons

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Transportation officials in Maryland are warning of higher than normal volume on the Bay Bridge because of Springfest in Ocean City, a celebration that includes food, arts and craft displays and free entertainment.

Officials say motorists should expect higher than normal traffic from Thursday through Sunday. Officials say that they will monitor traffic conditions throughout the weekend and, weather permitting, open an additional lane to eastbound traffic to help ease congestion.

La Quinta Hotel Website

The great recession may not be completely over but in Ocean City there’s some building going on.

Delmarva Public Radio’s Diamond Holton prepared a report.

Don Rush

There will be fewer seasonal officers for Ocean City this year.

Normally there are 100.

But this year the number will only be 70.

Ocean City Police Department spokesperson Lindsay O’Neal told WBOC that the agency has implemented polygraph screenings and psychological evaluations similar to those for the resort’s full time officers.

But officials say that there should not be any concern for public safety.     

They say that they will use safety aides for certain jobs that don’t require a sworn officer.

Trimpers Rides website

The famed Trimpers Rides is hitting the airwaves tonight.

The Fox Business Network is featuring the Ocean City amusement park on its “Strange Inheritance” program at 9 p.m. tonight.

The show looks at the people who come into possession of some unusual things as an inheritance.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the program will focus on a significant tax increase it faced ten years ago after being reclassified for condominiums that the park faced around ten years ago.  

The Trimper family has owned the park since the beginning of the 20th century.

Shark Tournament website

There won’t be another Ocean City Shark Tournament.

2014 was its last after 30 years.

There were three couples who organized the event.

And Mark Sampson told the Salisbury Daily Times that “it just felt that it was time.”

Among the struggles has been bad weather resulting in low attendance.

The paper reports that three couples had thought about making some dramatic changes but in the end decided that 2014 would be the last year.

At its peak there were more than 80 boats and it had become a tradition in Ocean City. 

Don Rush

Ocean City is has put the final touches on restrictions on smokers who come to the resort.

The measure would keep smokers back along the dunes.

For those on the Boardwalk they cannot light unless they are within 15 feet of an ashtray.

The fine for breaking the law would be $500.

On Monday the town council gave its approval by a 5 to zero vote.

There would also be designated smoking areas which could be changed by the council.

Local resident David Murdock told the Salisbury Daily Times that the issue for him was the danger of second hand smoke.

Don Rush

You will soon be able to pay for parking with your phone in Ocean City municipal lots.

The resort is taking plans from a number of companies but the biggest firm is the app Parkmobile.

Among the advantages is that the app would alert you to when your time is running out.

WBOC reports that the Ocean City Police Department issued over 58-hundred parking tickets last year.

The town is hoping that the new app will reduce those numbers.

Don Rush

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Two men who pleaded guilty to taking part in a street fight in Ocean City that left a Pennsylvania man fatally injured have been sentenced.

Twenty-two-year-old Christopher Kendall was sentenced to a year in jail, and 28-year-old Caleb Ochse was sentenced to 18 months Thursday in Worcester County Circuit Court.

Thirty-seven-year-old Justin Daniel Cancelliere of North Whitehall, Pennsylvania, was found unconscious in a parking lot on Aug. 24. He died later that day at a hospital.

alexander torrenegra / wikipedia

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Ocean City officials are preparing for a possible expansion of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft in the resort town.

The Daily Times reports Uber started advertising last month to recruit drivers in Ocean City. But representatives for Uber and Lyft say neither firm has set plans to launch in Ocean City. An Uber spokeswoman says the company uses advertising to test a market's viability.

creative commons

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - The State Highway Administration will begin repairs next month on the U.S. 50 bridge in Ocean City.

Ocean City police badge

The talks between the Ocean City police and the resort’s officials have stalled over the latest labor contract.

At issue is a cost of living adjustment which may have to go to arbitration.

Previous agreements have included an automatic annual 3 percent cost of living adjustment.

Union President Sgt. Shawn Jones told the Salisbury Daily Times that he wants to get his officers pay on par with other law enforcement agencies in the region.

The bargaining unit includes 90 officers from the rank 0f sergeant on down.

stockarch.com

When thousands come to Ocean City for the annual air show they will get a chance to see a demonstration by the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo Team.

The June event will display the superfighter which the only operational fifth-generation fighter aircraft in the world.

In addition, this will be the inaugural performance of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels in Ocean City along with the Breitling Jet Team.

Bryan Lilley, president of the OC Air Show, said that with the addition of the F-22 team the resort will have three of the biggest acts in the air show industry. 

Don Rush

Delmarvans began digging themselves out of this week’s snow storm.

In Salisbury stretching down to Snow Hill residents saw as much as 8 inches of the white stuff.

Ocean city saw 7 inches.

The Crisfield and Parsonsburg and Laurel areas saw around 6 inches.

And, up in Lewes and Bethany Beach there was 5 inches of snow.

Delmarvans Out and About

The snow fall ended around mid-morning when motorists stopped by a local gas station in Salisbury:

Angela Byrd

Come May 1st smoking a cigarette – even an electronic one – will be banned on the Ocean City Boardwalk.

In addition, the resort will restrict smoking to designated areas on the beach.

Council member Matthew James called this a healthy decision for the town.

He said that the new law accommodates smoking and non-smoking visitors to the resort.

James noted that there is even a place on the beach for everyone…for those who want to light up while allowing non-smokers to enjoy themselves.

dew tour

There will be no Dew Tour for Ocean City this year.

The skateboarding tournament decided not to return after four consecutive summers.

Colleen Hillgard with Alli Sports which puts on the competition said that the company will be looking this year to reach different markets.

An Ocean City spokeswoman told the Salisbury Daily Times reports that the company had reached out to the resort with the new saying that a format change would mean they would not be bringing the tour back to an East Coast beach this year.

creative commons

Electronic cigarettes have become so popular that Ocean City has even considered restricting them on the resort's beaches and Boardwalk.

But, there is a danger to this smokeless habit.

Poison control centers have been reporting more than double the number of calls in 2014 about exposure tio e-cigarettes and nicotine liquids.

Maryland News Connection reporter Debra Smith prepared this report.

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