Wicomico County

Local News
10:27 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Hogan Wins, Conway Loses, GOP Dominates Wicomico County

Larry Hogan Victory Speech Broadcast on WBAL
Credit Don Rush

It was a good night for Republicans on Tuesday.

Larry Hogan beat the odds by besting Democrat Anthony Brown by a vote of 54 percent to 44 percent to become the only the second Republican since Spiro Agnew to ascend to the governor’s chair in Maryland.

Hogan beat back Brown’s attempt to be the first Maryland Lt. Gov. to succeed to the office and the first African American to hold the office Maryland.

During the campaign the Republican had battered Brown over tax hikes and the flawed rollout of the state’s health exchange.

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Local News
7:56 am
Mon November 3, 2014

FOP and Wicomico County Reach Agreement

Credit facebook

A contract agreement appears to have been reached between Wicomico County and the local Fraternal Order of Police.

F.O.P. President Mary Fisher says a deal has been struck that would protect any Wicomico County Sheriff deputies who have been injured on the job.

The new agreement also includes a deal on wage hikes.

Earlier this month the police organization had argued that the county had tried to change the contract so that it did not include disability protection which it said was essential.

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Local News
8:18 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Bicyclists Get Compromise on Expansion of Wicomico Athletic Center

Credit Don Rush

Biking advocates were relieved yesterday to learn that while Wicomico County will be expanding the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex to include more soccer and baseball fields a bike trail will still run through the area.

The expansion plan would wipe out most of the nearly 5-mile network of trails that were first established in 1996.

But there will be an access road leading to a creek with a bridge that would be built to provide access to 80 acres of land where new trails could be carved out.

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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
12:27 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Mixed Results for Eastern Shore County Bay Cleanup Efforts

Chesapeake Bay
Credit cbf.org

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says three Eastern Shore counties have failed to file plans with the Maryland Department of the Environment to clean up the bay over the next two years.

Those were Caroline, Dorchester and Worcester Counties.

In addition, CBF and the Choose Clean Water Coalition noted that Dorchester had not submitted a milestone progress report.

Meanwhile, the environmental groups said that Wicomico County has secured $700-thousand in county and outside grants…to begin designing and installing clean-up measures.

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Local News
8:01 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Parents Complain About Board of Ed Decisions in Wicomico County

Parents told the Wicomico County Board of Education that they are upset by two recent decisions about where their children will attend school in the coming year.

During a public meeting yesterday that they said they were opposed to the district decision to consolidate its Magnet accelerated learning program.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that parents with children enrolled in the Magnet program at Pemberton Middle School complained about the decision to only have the program at North Salisbury Elementary School for the 2014-15 school year.

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Local News
8:53 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Another Property Tax Hike for Wicomico County Residents

Credit Don Rush

Property taxes will go up again for the fifth straight year for Wicomico county property owners under a $129 million budget.

On a vote of 5-to-2 yesterday the County Council approved a hike of 5 percent in its annual budget.

This will increase the rate by 43 cents to $9.52 for every $1-thousand of assessed property value.

The increase will go into effect July 1st and is needed to compensate for a decline of 2.5 percent in county property values.

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Local News
11:46 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Wicomico Residents Could See Property Taxes Go Up

Credit Don Rush

A property tax hike could be coming to Wicomico County in the 2015 fiscal year.

County Executive Rick Pollitt says that with the budget he is reviewing for the next fiscal year a three cent hike is needed just to break even.

The revenue cap would provide an extra penny.

WBOC reports that one of the key concerns is coming up with enough money for road maintenance since the state took away a great majority of their assistance.

In addition, Pollitt says he wants to put more money into education.

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Local News
9:32 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Crime in Salisbury Sees Dramatic Decline

Credit Don Rush

The crime rate in Salisbury is at its lowest level in at least 10 years.

Part One crimes that include homicide, rape and robbery dropped to just 2,091 this past year -- close the target of 2,000 set by city officials in their efforts to bring down the crime rate.

There were three homicides in all of Wicomico County this year, compared with five in the county last year.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that of the 10-year span from 2004 to 2013, this was the first year there were no homicides within the city limits, though two were close to the city line.

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Local News
10:59 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Producing Energy From Wicomico County Landfill

Credit Don Rush

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Wicomico County officials are considering a plant at the county landfill to convert solid waste into energy-producing gas.

The Daily Times reports that supporters say the plant would create a new local energy source and help dispose of tons of chicken manure. County Public Works Director Lee Beauchamp and other officials met with regulators in Annapolis on Wednesday to discuss permitting hurdles for the $75 million project.

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Local News
9:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Wicomico County Revenue Cap Should Be Changed, Study says

Credit Don Rush

Director of Administration Wayne Strausburg told the Wicomico County Council last night that a new study recommends changing the revenue cap on property the property tax.

The Sage Group study suggests that it switch from using the consumer price index to an index that measures components of government spending. 

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Strausburg believes the revenue cap as it is currently use is flawed and should be changed through a public vote.

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8:56 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Wicomico Fees Go Up in July

Credit Don Rush

Starting July 1 Wicomico County restaurant inspections, building permits and some other health department services will be getting more expensive.

The County Council voted 4-to-3 for hikes in the fees that have not seen an increase for seven years.

These services range from public pool license and septic installations to permits for wells and sewage disposal systems.

Council President Matt Holloway, who supported the fee increase, told WBOC that he blamed unfunded mandates handed down by the state but added that the hikes seemed fair

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11:44 am
Mon June 3, 2013

HIgh Court Upholds DNA Sampling for Arrestees in Maryland

Alonzo King
Credit Maryland Law Enforcement, mug shot

WASHINGTON (AP) - A divided Supreme Court says police can legally take DNA without a warrant from those arrested in hopes of using it to solve old cases.

The justices, on a 5-4 vote, say taking DNA samples from people who have been arrested for various crimes, long before their guilt or innocence has been proven, does not violate the Constitution.

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9:55 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Money Set Aside for Security at Wicomico Schools

Wicomico Middle School
Credit Wicomico County Schools website

Wicomico County has set aside money for the upcoming fiscal year to increase security at public schools.

There is $1.8 million for school security and technology upgrades that would go for more surveillance cameras, buzz-in systems and security training.

Andy Turner, Coordinator of Safe Schools for the district, told WBOC that officials will start shoring up vulnerabilities of the schools whose average age in 43 years old.

He said that the district would prefer to spend its money on enhancing student’s education but there is a need to ensure that children feel safe.

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9:10 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Wicomico County Roads Still in Need of Repair

Credit all-free-download.com

The list of road repairs in Wicomico County has been mounting over the years with county highway user fees going to transportation projects throughout the state.

This year the money the county is getting will see a major bump from $343-thousand in the last fiscal year to $615-thosuand in 2013.

But Wicomico County officials say that will still not make much of a dent in the backlog of highway projects that have zero funding.

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9:01 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Legislation Could Expand Alcohol Sales in MD

Credit all-free-download.com

There’s legislation in Annapolis that could provide a license to  stores, grocery stores, convenience stores and drug stores to sell beer and wine.

In Wicomico County, there are few grocery stores that sell wine and beer.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that they were grandfathered in during the mid-1990’s under article 2 B of the county’s alcohol law.

No new licenses have been issued for grocery stores to sell alcohol.

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9:16 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Property Assessments Drop in Wicomico County

Residents of Wicomico County saw their property assessments drop by as much as 20 percent.

That’s compared to a seven percent fall for the statewide average.

Within the one-third of the county properties receiving reassessments 94 percent saw their home values decline. 

The upside is that homeowners should see their property taxes do down at least for the first year.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the county is expected to readjust the property tax rate to get the maximum amount of money under the revenue cap.

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8:52 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Septic System Info on a Postcard

Wicomico County Council President Matt Holloway
Credit wicomicocounty.org

Facing compliance with Maryland’s new law restricting septic systems the Wicomico County Council will send out around 7-thousand postcards asking landowners to donate their property for a new designation that limits development.

Newly elected council President Matt Holloway told the Salisbury Daily Times that many people he talked to did not even know about the septic bill.

But they won’t be sent out right away.

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12:44 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Henry Parker Died This Weekend

Henry Parker, conduit.mdcounties.org

The longtime Wicomico County Council President Henry Parker died on Sunday, according to County officials.

Parker was on the County Council from 1982 to 1998.

The county’s athletic complex on Naylor Mill Road in Salisbury is named after Parker. 

9:10 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Adjustments In Redistricting for Wicomico County

Council Member Stevie Prettyman, msa.md.gov

The Wicomico County Council will take a look at some small changes in the redistricting map during its session tomorrow.

There have been concerns about the cost and a number of precincts that have as few as four people.

And the council members have asked officials to adjust small parts of the map before they give their blessing.

The proposed redistricting plan would have increased the number of precincts from 38 to 50 at a cost of $800 a piece.

10:06 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Ballot Measures Facing Wicomico County Voters


Wicomico County voters will be facing some charter changes this fall.

Among the measures on the ballot is one dealing with petitions filed with the election board.

It would require residents to gather 20 percent of the number of voters who cast ballots in the last presidential election or 10-thousand people whichever is fewer.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that currently the number is 15 percent of registered voters in the county.

8:45 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Exemption From State Fire Sprinker Mandate Extended in Wicomico County


The Wicomico County Council has extended the exemption for new one-and-two family dwellings from the state fire sprinkler mandate through 2015.

Council members have expressed concern about houses that are dependent on wells.

The Council voted 6-to-1 this week even though the modular housing industry says this would continue an uneven playing field.

In addition the Maryland State Fire Marshal William Barnard urged the council members to require the fire sprinklers because fires attack a home in a more dangerous way than in the past.

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12:20 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Wicomico County Opens Cooling Center Through Saturday

With temperatures expected to rise to triple digits over the next few days Wicomico County health officials say a cooling center will be open starting today to help residents keep cool.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the cooling center will be open today as well as Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Wicomico County Civic Center.

It will be located in Flanders Rooms 5, 6 and 7.

Residents will need to bring their own food, beverages, and medications.

Bottled water will be available.

No pets will be permitted.

8:43 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Wicomico County Faces Budget Shortfall


           The Wicomico County Council voted yesterday unanimously to hike the local income tax rate from 3.1 percent to 3.2 percent the maximum allowed by law.

            But, the legislative body put its budget on hold for the next two weeks after the County Council was told that there would be a $14 million spending mandate from the state.

            The Salisbury Daily Times reports the County’s top financial officer told the Council that this was double what they had anticipated from Annapolis for funding the Maintenance of Effort for the public schools.

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11:53 am
Fri March 23, 2012

No Burn Ban Expected For Wicomico County this Summer


            Maryland’s Lower Shore is not likely to see a ban on burning this summer with forecasters predicting temperatures moving closer to normal.

            AccuWeather Meteorologist Carl Erickson told the Salisbury Daily Times that this is despite the fact that the area is experiencing unseasonably weather…and slight drought conditions.

            So far this year he said there has been 6.6 inches of rain which is normal for this time of year.

9:27 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Proposed Teacher Pension Cost Shift Runs Into Strong Opposition In Annapolis



        Governor Martin O'Malley's plan to shift million of dollars in teacher pension fund costs to local counties is drawing strong opposition from Eastern Shore legislators and officials. 

        Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush has a look at the opposition and a proposed compromise. 

        Editors Note: Editorial work for Story from Melany Parlaman.


12:10 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Shellfish Harvesting Ban Lifted on Maryland Waterways





      BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland Department of the Environment has lifted shellfish harvesting restrictions in portions of three waterways following a decline in bacteria levels.

     Officials said Monday that an area of the Wicomico River at the border of Wicomico and Somerset counties has been approved for harvesting.

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9:09 am
Wed February 15, 2012

School Uniforms Could Be Coming To Wicomico County


            The Wicomico County School district inched closer to a school uniform program…next year for some schools…after yesterday’s board meeting.

            A final vote is set for next month. 

            The Salisbury Daily Times reports that so far 11 elementary schools and Wicomico High have expressed interest in the Consistent Attire Program.

             It would require students to select from a very limited range of colors and styles of clothing.

            But…it has drawn opposition from parents.

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