State Digest


November 24, 2006

Garrett County

Hunting ban signs to remain

GRANTSVILLE --Bright yellow signs prohibiting hunting will remain posted on state forest land near the privately owned Savage River Lodge, the Department of Natural Resources says.

Hunters will be allowed to carry unloaded guns within the safety zone during the deer season that starts tomorrow despite language on the signs prohibiting weapons, Steven W. Koehn, field operations director for the DNR Forest Service, said at a public meeting this week.

The DNR approved the signs this year at the request of the Savage River Lodge, a 42-acre resort surrounded by 640 acres of the Savage River State Forest in Garrett County. The safety zone - 150 yards from the lodge and on either side of a private access road and a nearby hiking trail - angered local hunters who said the lodge got special treatment from the state.


St. Michaels

Gilchrest opposes marsh proposal

ST. MICHAELS --A proposed marsh that would be constructed off the Miles Point property in St. Michaels is opposed by U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, who said he will discuss "ecological mismanagement" and regulatory failures.

Gilchrest, a Republican, said he will contact state and federal agencies to talk about the project's viability, its impact on the area and the process of approving it.

Developer Midland Cos. Inc. agreed to maintain a 150-foot setback from mean high tide and the 279-house project. Originally, the setback would have been 100 feet.



Man gets 2nd life term for fatal beating

HAGERSTOWN --A Washington County man was sentenced this week for the second time to life in prison without parole for beating a 68-year-old Smithsburg woman to death during a burglary of her home.

Jack L. Hammersla Jr., 49, was convicted in Washington County Circuit Court in October of first-degree felony murder and second-degree murder in the Nov. 12, 2003, death of Shirley P. Finfrock.

A jury convicted him of first-degree premeditated murder and first-degree felony murder in 2004, but the Maryland Court of Special Appeals overturned the verdict in February. The appellate court ruled that evidence of Hammersla pawning jewelry stolen from Finfrock's home shouldn't have been submitted at his first trial.


Cecil County

Lack of plans for school causes concern

ELKTON --Cecil County's proposed capital spending plan for next year has support from county planning commissioners, but the members said they're concerned by the lack of plans for new schools.

"I'm concerned that there aren't any new schools planned for three years," said board member William Mortimer. "That's when the development's going to hit." County Treasurer Pamela Howard said she had similar concerns.


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