Somerset County

Local News
11:43 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Somerset County on Track with Sandy Relief Money

Hurricane Sandy

Somerset County has committed half of the $8.6 million in Sandy Relief money to a number of projects including 11 new homes that could cost close to $2 million to construct.

Another $1.1 million has been earmarked for a study of public housing that saw severe flooding during the 2010 storm.

Somerset County director of planning Gary Pusey said the county is focusing on the county’s purchase of three houses, some $3.2 million slated for home rehabs and $1 million for the county’s Economic Development Commission.

The grant expires in July.

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Local News
11:44 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Somerset County Wind Farm Inches Forward

Credit Tom Corser / creative commons

The Somerset County Planning and Zoning Commission has just approved the regulations that could pave the way for a major wind farm project.

It now goes to the County Commissioners for final approval.

The 3-to-1 vote gave the green light for the turbines to be 575 feet, that is, 175 feet higher than the previously agreed to.

The approval brings Pioneer Green Energy one step closer to building its 25 wind-turbine farm that would spread across thousands of acres between Marion Station and Westover in southern Somerset County.

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Local News
10:06 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Opposition to Wind Project in Somerset County

Credit clean energy council

Nearly 200 people crammed into the Princess Anne civic Center with most being critical of the proposed wind farm in Somerset County.

Harvey Kagan from the Westover area said the areas where wind turbines had been built the property values went down.

He said nobody wants to buy property that is within 1500 feet of a turbine because of the noise.

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Local News
9:39 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Wind Turbine Project to Move Forward in Somerset


Pioneer Green Energy says it plans to move forward with a wind turbine project in Somerset County despite its objections to certain restrictions in recommendations proposed by the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

The Planning Commission has decided to accept an extension to allow more time for reviewing and revising the draft ordinance.

The $273 million project would place 25 wind turbines in Westover.

Planning Commissioner Gary Pusey said that the current draft that involves the 400 foot turbines would be set back by at least 1-thousand feet.

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Local News
11:49 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Proposed Restrictions Could Doom Wind Project in Somerset County

Credit creative commons

Pioneer Green says new recommendations to tighten restrictions on wind turbines would end plans for a wind farm in Somerset County.

This warning comes after the governor vetoed a bill in Annapolis that would have delayed construction for over a year so that a study could be conducted on the impact of the turbines on the radar at the military installation on the Patuxent River.

By a majority vote the Somerset County Planning and Zoning Commission decided to lower the nighttime maximum noise level to 40 decibels, that is 15 decibels below the Maryland standard of 55.

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Local News
7:37 am
Fri September 12, 2014

FEMA Seeks Overpayments for Superstorm Sandy Recipients


The Federal Emergency Management agency is investigating 45-hundred households that it says may have received overpayments  in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

After hurricane Sandy hit FEMA sent out some $1.4 billion in aid to residents along the East Coast – especially in New York and New Jersey.

In Maryland Somerset County residents were hit the hardest.

And many are now just getting their homes rebuilt.

Tina Throne, a Somerset County resident, told WBOC that she was surprised to hear some people may have to pay money back.

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Local News
8:33 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Upgrading Regulations for Somerset County Wind Farm Project

Credit creative commons

The Pioneer Green Energy wind farm project will take center stage over the next two weeks as the Somerset County Planning Commission reviews an ordinance drawn up two and half years ago for regulating wind energy.

Planning director Gary Pusey says the commissioners want to see if the ordinance is still appropriate for the project.

Among other issues is a provision that requires each turbine to be reviewed by the county’s Board of zoning Appeals.

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Local News
1:36 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Mikulski Urged to Withdraw Language Delaying Wind Farm

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md)
Credit official photo

Maryland lawmakers, environmental groups and wind energy advocates called on Senator Barbara Mikulski to pull non-binding language in the Defense spending bill that would delay the wind turbine project in Somerset County.

The provision calls on the Navy not to sign onto any agreement to develop the wind farms until the second phase of an MIT study is completed on the impact of the turbines on the Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

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Local News
8:12 am
Tue August 12, 2014

All Somerset County School Children to Get Free Meals

Credit Don Rush

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (AP) - Education officials say starting with the first of day school, all students in Somerset County will receive free breakfast and lunch, regardless of household income.

The Board of Education says 72 percent of students already qualified for free or reduced-price meals. That statistic helped the county qualify for the Community Eligibility Provision.

Schools spokesman Leo Lawson tells The Daily Times of Salisbury that the program puts students on an equal playing field and removes the stigma of poverty.

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Local News
9:31 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Authorities Search for Tanisha White, Missing Since Wednesday

Tanisha White
Credit family photo

Maryland State Police are searching for Tanisha White who was last seen in the Salisbury last Wednesday.

The teenager from Somerset County was wearing a black T-shirt, camouflage leggings and brown boots.

She also had her brown backpack that also had a T-shirt and black leggings.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that her mother told police her daughter has been missing since July 26th.

She said her daughter has been known to runaway but usually comes back within a day.


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Local News
1:45 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Mikulski Amendment Could Delay Somerset Wind Project

Credit creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A proposal to build a wind farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore within 56 miles of the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River could still be delayed until a study is complete, despite Gov. Martin O'Malley's veto of a bill that would have created a similar delay.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski has included an amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would require the Navy-commissioned study to be completed to further evaluate how radar use at the base could be affected by the wind turbines.

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Local News
9:31 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Tri-County Area Set for Maintenance Repairs on Five Bridges

Motorists on the Eastern Shore should get ready for work on five bridges in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties beginning this Friday.

Work crews will be setting up this weekend for cleaning and painting the bridges.

The Maryland State Highway Administration says it does not anticipate any lane closures or detours but says the staging areas for the maintenance will be set up on the shoulders for each bridge.

Another five bridges will be cleaned and painted later this year for a total cost of just over a million dollars.


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Local News
9:15 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Somerset Wind Project Encounters Local Delay


There’s another hurdle for the Great Bay Wind Energy project in Somerset County.

The wind turbine effort still has to get approval from the County Commissioners before it gets underway.

In the last legislative session Governor Martin O’Malley vetoed a measure that would have delayed the project for over a year.

After meeting with the county commissioner last Tuesday Commissioner Charles Fisher told WBOC that the board needed more time to come up with an ordinance.

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Local News
10:27 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Cooling Stations Open in Somerset County Amid Heat Wave


With temperatures still reaching into the 90’s Somerset County has opened up some cooling stations.

The Princess Anne Library and the Crisfield Library will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m.

The Somerset Senior Services Center will be open through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

And the Woodrow Wilson Community Center will also be open through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.      


Delmarvans Stay Cool


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Local News
9:21 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Fruitland Police Chief Arrested for DUI

Credit creative commons

Fruitland Police Chief Michael Phillips has been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol and driving while impaired after he was stopped in Somerset County.

The County Sheriff’s Office says that Phillips was released after being taken into custody Sunday on alcohol-related violation.

Phillip’s attorney John Phoebus told the Salisbury Daily Times that the police chief has asked the Fruitland City Council to put him on paid administrative leave until the charges are resolved which the council did.

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Local News
9:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

No Property Tax Increase for Somerset County Residents

Credit Don Rush

There will be no property tax hike for Somerset County residents.

But the 2015 $36.2 million budget will be spending $708-thousand less than the current year because of a fall in tax revenues and fewer grant awards for capital improvements.

The biggest chunk -- $11.2 million -- will go toward education.

Another $6.9 million will pay for public safety.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that instead of raising taxes the budget draws $3.7 million from its reserves to offset the decline in revenues.

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Local News
11:15 am
Thu April 17, 2014

MD Comptroller Backs Veto of Delay for Wind Farm in Somerset County

MD State Comptroller Peter Franchot
Credit official photo

Maryland state Comptroller Peter Franchot says Governor Martin O’Malley should veto legislation that would delay the construction of the wind turbine project in Somerset County by more than a year.

Franchot said the delay would have a profound impact on the local economy of one of the poorest counties in the state.

He pointed to more than 500 construction jobs, $44 million in tax revenues and $200 million in revenue from new investment.

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Local News
4:15 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Up To Governor to Decide Fate of Somerset County Wind Project

Credit creative commons

All eyes now turn to Governor Martin O'Malley as to whether he will veto the a measure that would delay the wind farm project in Somerset County by another year. Supporters of the project say this would effectively kill it, but opponents say the delay is needed to assess the impact of the wind turbines on the radar at the U.S. Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush examines the conflict with Jennifer Shutt, who has been covering the legislative session in Annapolis for the Salisbury Daily Times.

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Local News
2:32 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Somerset County Wind Turbine Delay Gets Legislative Approval

Credit creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley says he still has misgivings about a bill to set a 13-month moratorium on the development of tall wind turbines within 56 miles of the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River base in southern Maryland.

O'Malley wouldn't say Monday if he would veto legislation that has been sent to his desk. But the governor, who is a strong supporter of wind energy, says, "I have yet to conclude that windmills are quite the threat to Naval air radar that those advocating for this ban have concluded."

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Local News
2:38 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Delay in Somerset Wind Project Heads to MD Senate Floor


A measure that would delay a wind turbine project in Somerset County by 15 months has made it out of the Senate Finance Committee.

The delay would allow for the results of a $2 million study on the impact of the project on radar at U.S. Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

In addition, the measure would limit the height of wind turbines at varying distances at varying distances from the naval base.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Eastern Shore Democrat Jim Mathias voted no saying the issues could be dealt with through existing state and federal laws.

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Local News
9:57 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Bill Delaying Somerset County Wind Project Could Face Governor's Veto


Legislation to delay the wind project in Somerset County could face a veto by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley as the state Senate prepares to take up the bill next week.

That's according to Mike Tidwell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network during a teleconference with reporters yesterday.

"We don’t expect the bill to get to his desk to begin with, but if it does one would assume he being a vigorous opponent of the bill would be facing the prospect of a possible veto."

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Local News
10:15 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Possible Delay for Wind Turbine Project in Somerset County


There could be a delay in putting up those wind turbines in Somerset County.

Representatives from the southern Maryland delegation in Annapolis told a committee hearing yesterday they were concerned the wind mills could cost jobs around the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

The House measure would prevent the state from approving the wind turbines that exceed a range of heights within the Atlantic Test Range used by the naval base.

The legislation would suspend construction of the 70 megawatt Great Bay wind project in Somerset County.

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10:39 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Deputy and Somerset County Working on Settlement

Somerset County Sheriff Robert Jones

A settlement could be in the offing within the next 45 days between Somerset county Sheriff’s Deputy James Troy Durham and County Sheriff Robert Jones and other county officials.

The Local Government Insurance Trust which represents the County Commissioners has asked the judge for a postponement to give both sides a chance to negotiate a deal.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the reason for the 45-day time frame is because the County Commissioners only meet once a week.

Durham was fired and then reinstated and is now seeking back pay and benefits.

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11:56 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Crisfield High Mourns Loss of Brad Mason

Brad Mason
Credit facebook

At 7 p.m. tonight Asbury United Methodist Church in Crisfield will be holding services in the wake of the death of Brad Mason who was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Marion Station. 

Mason was this year’s Crisfield High School valedictorian and headed to the University of Maryland College Park this fall to study engineering.

He also served as a student member of the Somerset county Board of Education for the last two years.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the accident but provided no further details.

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1:38 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

1st Biking Trail Considered for Somerset County

Credit Don Rush

If you plan on bicycling from Westover to Crisfield the Somerset County Commissioners could make it a bit safer.

County Administrator Doug Taylor told the Commissioners that the trail would follow the former railroad tracks.

But it would need to deal with the state’s 60-foot-wide right of way along the 13.5-mile stretch.

Julie Widdowson, the county tourism director, noted that unlike Wicomico and Worcester counties Somerset does not have any.

She said that this would boost tourism and bring more business to the region.

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9:25 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Expect Small Hike in Somerset County Property Taxes

Credit Somerset County Seal

There could be a small increase in property taxes for Somerset County residents.

The proposed 2014 budget is expected to hike the rate from 88.3 cents per $100 of assessed property value to 91.5 cents.

This would allow the county to get the same amount of tax revenue as the current year to make up for the decline in assessed property values during the Great Recession.

But the new rate is lower than it was four years ago.

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10:17 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Solar Power Facility

Somerset Solar Farm
Credit BITHENERGY website

BALTIMORE (AP) — A solar farm on the lower Eastern Shore will help power the University of Maryland Medical System.

University officials held a ribbon-cutting celebration Monday in Baltimore for the 25-acre solar power farm in Somerset County.

Constellation financed, owns and operates the solar power system. The University of Maryland Medical Center will purchase the electricity produced by the solar panels under a 20-year agreement with BITHENERGY, which developed the project.

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9:21 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Arson Fire in Somerset County


There has been a suspected arson fire in Somerset County.

It is the second such fire in the last two weeks.

But, the Maryland State Fire Marshall Office says the blaze in Eden does not appear to be connected to the more than 70 arson fires that have struck neighboring Accomack County since mid-November.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that no one was injured in the fire which only affected a small portion of the porch.

Authorities said that there was an odor from some kind of accelerant such as diesel or kerosene.

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8:36 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Friday Deadline Looms for FEMA Aid to Somerset County


If you had losses from Hurricane Sandy in Somerset County and are hoping to get some federal relief midnight tonight is the deadline to get your application in.

Residents are recommended to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency by phone or go on line to get an identification number.

Ron Roth of FEMA told the Salisbury Daily Times that about a dozen people have filed in the last two weeks…after the original February 12th deadline was extended to the 26th.

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9:35 am
Fri February 22, 2013

$150,000 in Grant Money for Somerset County Hurricane Victims

Crisfield during Hurricane Sandy

United Way for the Lower Eastern Shore says it is getting $150-thousand in grant money to help out communities in Somerset County which is trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy.

The funds come from the group’s Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund.

Rick Nelson, vice chair of the organization’s county branch, told WBOC that there were many elderly people on fixed incomes who are living “hand to mouth” in the wake of the Superstorm.

The date to begin filing for help is February 28 with their offices in Salisbury, Princess Anne and Crisfield.

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