Maryland Historical Trust Accepting 2021 Preservation Award Applications

The Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) is accepting nominations for the 2021 Maryland Preservation Awards until September 30, 2020. MHT's annual awards represent the highest level of recognition for historic preservation in the state. Four categories of awards honor local governments, individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and others that have made outstanding preservation efforts. To submit a nomination for a particular award, visit the Maryland Historical Trust's Grant Application System. From the Historical Trust: Leadership and Service Awards…

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Talbot County Unveils Frederick Douglass Park

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass was honored Tuesday as a new outdoor exhibit was unveiled in Talbot County. The Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe features three outdoor educational exhibits, not far from where the Eastern Shore native was born. From WMDT's website: “This beautiful place inspired this incredible human being to rise up from his circumstances, to go farther than he ever thought he could go,” says Cassandra Vanhooser, the Director of Economic Development and Tourism…

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State Awards $5.1 Million in Matching Heritage Grants

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) has awarded $5.1 million in matching grants to 114 programs run by nonprofits, local governments, other organizations, to support heritage tourism projects and activities in the state’s 13 certified heritage areas. Organizations receiving awards include museums, parks, educational organizations, and other entities that steward and celebrate the unique cultural and natural resources located within Maryland’s Heritage Areas. “As Chair of the MHAA, I have seen first-hand how these grants…

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U.S. Senate Passes Great American Outdoors Act

The Great American Outdoors Act has passed the Senate by a vote of 73-25. The legislation would require full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and address much of the backlog of deferred maintenance across several federal agencies. Deemed the "biggest federal lands bill in 50 years," the Great American Outdoors Act would for the first time fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) with $900 million annually in fossil fuel…

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Hogan Lifts Stay-At-Home Order, Emphasizes Local Flexibility

Governor Larry Hogan today held a press conference to announce the commencement of Stage One of the "Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery." “The fight against this deadly disease is far from over. But because of the incredible courage you have shown and the extraordinary sacrifices you have made, Maryland and our nation can now at least begin to slowly recover" said Hogan. He announced that Maryland "has achieved the 14-day trend of plateauing and declining…

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Land and Water Conservation Fund Fights for Federal Stimulus Money

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition (LWCF Coalition), is advocating for a funding appropriation in the next stimulus package for infrastructure investments at national, state, and local parks, along with other public lands. Federal leaders have previously expressed support, but momentum has since stalled due to the COVID-19 crisis. Since its creation in 1964, the LWCF has used federal money to protect national parks, areas around rivers and lakes, national forests, and national wildlife…

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Garrett Formulating Plan to Reopen Vacation Home Rentals

Garrett County leaders this week met with local realtors to discuss plans for the reopening of local rental units once the health crisis subsides. Last month, Garrett County's health officer banned vacation home rentals, saying that a surge in COVID-19 cases would cripple local resources. Now, with a statewide recovery plan in place, Garrett County leaders are working with local realtors to formulate a safe, effective, and gradual plan to ease restrictions on the tourism…

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Worcester County Economy Predicted to Be One of the Hardest Hit in the Country

Worcester County could end up being one of the economically hardest hit regions in America due to the COVID-19 crisis. In an article published by USA Today, financial news service 24/7 Wall Street predicts that Worcester County, Maryland could be the eleventh hardest hit region in the U.S. from an economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The methodology used is based primarily on employment rates of hard hit industries, accounting for 80 percent of…

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Federal Judge Okays Ocean City Topless Ban

The U.S. District Court issued a ruling Tuesday upholding an Ocean City law enacted in 2017 that prohibits female toplessness in public spaces such as the beaches and the Boardwalk. A central issue addressed in the case was whether the local elected government was best positioned to gauge the resident's sensibilities. In 2016 an Ocean City resident and later plaintiff in the case asked the Town of Ocean City whether women were permitted to go…

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Worcester Bans All Non-Essential Short-Term Rentals

In accordance with Governor Larry Hogan’s Stay-At-Home order, the Worcester County Commissioners today declared that all non-essential, short-term rentals in West Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and all other unincorporated areas of Worcester County should be canceled until the order is lifted. The latest steps, outlined in a new emergency declaration, restrict short-term accommodations for hotels and rentals to essential lodgers. This includes but is not limited to hotels, motels, condo-hotels, rental properties, inclusive of private…

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