Somerset County

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Somerset County Commissioners wants Governor Larry Hogan to include money for tuition so that local students can go to Wor-Wic Community College tuition free.

County Administrator Doug Taylor told the Salisbury Daily Times that the county’s students are behind the average for residents with college degrees.

Only 19 percent of Somerset County residents have a college degree compared with Wicomico and Worcester counties where the percent is in the upper 30’s.

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Somerset county officials have taken out a loan of $177-thousand in an effort to keep local residents from having to face a 50 percent increase in their sewer bills.

Those fees were set to rise from $564 to $832 a year.

But the Salisbury Daily Times reports that there was an outcry by local residents at the potential hike so for now the county decided to take out the loan.

The county will not have to pay the loan for up to three years nor will it face any interest on the financial obligation.

Don Rush

Voters on the Eastern Shore flocked to the polls during the early voting period that ended yesterday.

Anthony Gutierrez, Election Director for Wicomico County, told WBOC that the goal had been to hit at least 10-thousand.

In Worcester County just over 63-hundred had gone to the polls while in Dorchester County the number was just over 32-hundred.

In Somerset County it was just over 23-hundred.

WBOC reports that election officials say early voting was up 18 percent from four years ago.

Don Rush

Across Delmarva the poultry houses have gotten bigger and they have found new neighbors. In Somerset County the situation found local residents up in arms and pitted against the poultry industry. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush has a look the story in part 2 of our series on the emergence of the large chicken houses. 

Maryland State Police

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (AP) - Prosecutors say the trials of two men accused of fatally stabbing a Baltimore stylist have been moved after new evidence indicates the crime took place in a different county.

Somerset County deputy state's attorney Wess Garner tells the Salisbury Daily Times on Wednesday that the trials of the men accused of killing 22-year-old Damon Jennings will take place in Baltimore County.

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The three Lower Shore Counties in Maryland have the highest rates of child abuse in the state.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the state Department of Health found that in 2014 ranked highest with 30.5 out of a thousand children suffered some abuse.

In Worcester County the figure was 29 out of a thousand while in Wicomico County it was 13.4 out of a thousand.

The national average is 8.5

Michele Hughes, executive director of the Life Crisis Center, told the Daily Times that she never sees fewer than 100 children who have suffered from abuse.

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WHITEHAVEN, Md. (AP) - The Whitehaven Ferry is returning to the waters of the Wicomico River.
 
The ferry is returning to service Tuesday after an overhaul. It has been offline since November.
 
The ferry serves as the only link across the Wicomico River between rural sections of Wicomico and Somerset counties.
 
A contractor has replaced the bulkhead on either side of the ferry ramp on the Wicomico side of the river and replaced the cable that pulls the ferry from one side of the river to the other.
 

Somerset County Seal

The population of Somerset has begun to decline.

From 2010 through 2015 there was a drop of 2.7 percent according U.S. census data.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the only other Maryland county to see its population decline is Allegany at 3.3 percent.

The paper says it is not clear why there has been such a decline.

The county has lost nearly 10 percent of its businesses and employees.

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One of the largest solar farms on the East Coast is set to be located in Somerset County.

The Somerset County has approved the plans by a Canadian firm to building a farms that will produce 150 megawatts of power just south of Princess Anne.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the first phase of the project will set to begin in May of this year and will generate 75 megawatts of power.

Meanwhile, in Northampton County officials halted the plans for a large solar farm.

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A solar power developer has plans for a 6 mega-watt commercial site on Plantation Road just northeast of Crisfield.

The project by OneEnergy Renewables would provide enough electricity for more than a 1-thousand homes from more than 21-thousand solar panels.  

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Maryland Public Service Commission has set a hearing for Wednesday in Princess Anne for public comment.   

In addition, the Somerset County planning commission will also have to give its okay.

A final decision is expected by Marth 11th for $17 million project.

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