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28 Feb

WCTR LOCAL NEWS

News Feb 28 click to listen

Beginning March 1, Eastern Shore commuters will get bus service to Annapolis and Baltimore...

 

Beginning March 1, Eastern Shore commuters will get bus service to Annapolis and Baltimore. The Maryland Transit Authority is beginning bus service on weekday mornings and afternoons at two locations, on Castle Marina Road by Western Auto and the other by the Kmart in Stevensville that will take commuters to the Westfield Mall in Annapolis where riders can then transfer to Baltimore. The buses will leave Kent Island between 5:30am and 7:30am and will depart from Baltimore and Annapolis between 3:10 and 5:10pm. The maximum fare would be $6 one way but will be free from March 1 to March 14 to encourage riders. For more information, call 1-866-RIDE-MTA

Beginning this week, the State Highway Administration will be doing brief nighttime closure of Rt. 301 at the Rt. 304 intersection. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) will set steel beams across US 301 (Blue Star Memorial Highway) at MD 304 (Ruthsburg Road) near Centreville in Queen Anne’s County. This work will take up to two weeks and is part of SHA’s $50 million project to convert the at-grade intersection to a full interchange. Crews will close one lane on US 301 and occasionally need to completely close the highway during evening/overnight hours, Monday-Friday, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. These full closures are necessary for motorist safety and will last approximately 15 minutes each as crews set and secure the beams. SHA encourages drivers to plan ahead and allow extra time for travel through this area during late night and early morning hours. The contractor may adjust work hours as necessary depending on weather and field conditions. SHA will use digital message signs to keep motorists informed of work dates and times.

A Wednesday afternoon fire at Skinner’s Neck near Rock Hall led to the death of a dog. The fire in the 5100 block of Skinner’s Neck Road broke out around 12:40pm and was caused by combustibles left too close to an unattended stove according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. One of two dogs in the home died in the fire. 25 firefighters from the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company took about 30 minutes to put out the fire and the fire caused about $40,000 of structural damage and $10,000 in damages to contents.

First District Congressman Andy Harris has released a schedule of town hall events. Two teletown halls will happen this week, the first on Monday, Feb. 27 at 5:30pm and the second will be Tuesday Feb. 28 at 6pm just before the State Of The Union Address. He will also host a live town hall event on Friday, March 31 in Easton to discuss a replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act. The time and location has not been set as of yet. For more information, call Rep. Harris’s office at 202-225-5311.

The Chestertown Police Department is looking for the suspect in a Tuesday night armed robbery. The robbery happened around 9:30pm at the Fish Whistle restaurant at the foot of Cannon Street. An employee went into the parking lot still wearing her black apron. As she began to sit in the driver’s seat, an unknown black male approached her from the side and aimed a black handgun at her demanding money. She screamed, and threw her apron at him. He took the apron containing a small amount of cash and fled the area on foot. Chestertown’s K-9 Henzo tracked the subject to Wilmer Park, where it is believed the suspect left in a vehicle. The suspect is described as a black male about six feet tall. He was wearing jeans and a dark hoodie. He had a paisley grey mask/bandana covering his face. Anyone who may have information, or learn of anything pertinent, is asked to call Detective Wilson of the Chestertown Police at 410 778 1800.

An early Thursday morning RV fire near Centreville was caused by a faulty refrigerator. The fire which broke out in a recreational vehicle parked on Dulin Clark Road around 4:30am was accidental and destroyed the RV valued at $130,000. No one was injured in the fire.

On Monday, Feb. 27, the Kent County Board of Education will hold a public hearing on their plan to close Millington and Worton elementary schools. The hearing will be from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Kent County High School auditorium in Worton. Also, written testimony will be accepted by the school system through March 10 and can be mailed to the superintendent’s office at 5608 Boundary Ave., Rock Hall, MD 21661 or emailed to pyiannakis@kent.k12.md.us. After the Monday hearing, the school board will meet and invite public comment on Monday, March 13, 6:30pm at their office in Rock Hall and again on Monday, March 20 at 6:30pm before the board votes at 7pm.

On Tuesday, a Kent County man was sentenced after being convicted of deer poaching. 28-year-old Ronald Wayne Roe of Worton was found guilty of trespassing and poaching after shooting a 17-point-buck on private property in September. Roe was sentenced by District Judge John Nunn III to pay $5,000 restitution and perform 80 hours of community service. He also received a $500 fine, $250 suspended, three years of unsupervised probation and his hunting privileges revoked for two years.

Immigration was the topic of conversation at the Tuesday night Chestertown mayor and council meeting as two groups filled the upstairs meeting room to discuss the pros and cons about the possibility of Chestertown becoming a sanctuary city. Several speakers represented a the activist group Indivisible who are concerned about the plight of immigrants in the community while others were there led by the chair of the Queen Anne’s County Republican Central Committee who asked local GOP members to flood the meeting to remind the town that the rule of law still stands on the Eastern Shore. Mayor Chris Cerino pointed out that he doesn’t think that a sanctuary city status makes sense for Chestertown because the town would not have contact with federal immigration officials since anyone arrested is sent to the Kent County Detention Center and he, plus the town council members said they believe that locally this is better dealt with at the county level than at the municipal level.

Also at Tuesday’s Chestertown mayor and council meeting, the town got an update from Kent County’s information technology director Scott Boone on the county’s fiber-optic installation. Boone said that Phase 1 is almost done with connections completed in Chestertown, Betterton, Galena, and Millington and the next step for Chestertown is to install fiber lines for business and residential connections. Brett Hill of FTS Fiber said the installation downtown will be done in the back of buildings to avoid digging up streets and to minimize disruption of business. Councilman Sam Shoge asked if the town will get improved Wi-Fi and cell phone connections and Hill said yes that antennas can be installed on street light poles and traffic signals.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Tuesday night Kent County Commissioners meeting was cancelled. The county reminds residents that residents can keep up to date by going online at kentgov.org or you can call the county offices at 410-778-4600.

Chestertown residents may have noticed that construction has started on the new Royal Farms store at the roundabout at the intersection of Morgnec Road and High Street next to Gateway Park. The entrance and exit for the store will be at the roundabout. This larger Royal Farms with gas pumps and an expanded food menu replaces the old Royal Farms store at the corner of Cross Street and Maple Avenue that closed last fall. After the closing, the employees were transferred to the Kingstown store in preparation for the move. According to Royal Farms operations leader Ralph DeSantis, construction of the store should take about six months with the store opening shortly after that.

Despite plans to close two of the county’s elementary schools, the Kent County Board of Education and superintendent Karen Couch will still continue to offer free pre-Kindergarten for county children who turn 4-years-old on or before Sept. 1. Registration information is available by March 15 and the sign-up period will be in May.

The topic of immigration will be on the agenda of Tuesday evening’s Chestertown mayor and council meeting. Members of an immigration task force say that they are focusing on immigration issues and are not pushing that Chestertown become a sanctuary city as has been reported. A sanctuary city is a municipality that chooses not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities on reporting or detaining undocumented immigrants within their boundaries. President Trump has signed an executive order cutting off federal funding to such cities. Timothy Kingston, the chairman of the Queen Anne’s County Republican Central Committee has written a letter to the town saying that the 36th District delegation is working to make sure that Chestertown not become a sanctuary city and that State Senator Steve Hershey has talked to Mayor Chris Cerino. Cerino told the “Kent County News” that he has talked to Senator Hershey. Kingston also said that word has gotten out to the Kent County Republican Central Committee and they want to flood the meeting with those opposed to the idea. Originally a discussion was scheduled for the last meeting on Feb. 5 but was postponed. Mayor Cerino said that state legislation may address the issue and said that this is probably better dealt with at that level and not by a small town.

The town of Chestertown is looking for a qualified volunteer to serve on the Chestertown Historic District Commission. Meetings are held at 5pm on the first Wednesday of the month and anyone interested should send a letter of interest and two-page resume to Mayor Chris Cerino at 118 N. Cross Street, Chestertown, MD 21620 or for more information should call Kees de Mooy at 410-778-0500.

Women In Need has donated a Dodge Ram 15-passenger van to the Bayside HOYAS. The van was originally used for WIN’s Alley Teen Center from 2007 to 2015 and will now be used by the HOYAS to travel to games around the county and the Eastern Shore.