A1 A1
breaking centerpiece featured
Preserve Talbot History members to petition county council to stop Talbot Boys relocation

EASTON — Following the Talbot County Council’s recent 3-2 vote to relocate the Talbot Boys monument to a private park in Virginia, several Easton residents are planning to present a petition to rescind the council’s administrative resolution.

Three members from Preserve Talbot History, a local group focused on the historical context of the Talbot Boys statue and resistant to moving the statue, drafted a petition to the county council asking to create a numbered resolution to rescind the administrative resolution that authorized the relocation of the Confederate monument. The petition, signed by Lynn Mielke, David Montgomery and Clive Ewing, will be presented at the Tuesday, Sept. 28 council meeting.

The petition comes after council member Frank Divilio introduced an administrative resolution to relocate the monument to the Cross Keys Battlefield in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The approved resolution dictates that the monument would be placed under the custody of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Council members Pete Lesher and Corey Pack also voted in support of the measure.

Lesher and Pack have supported previous measures to move the Talbot Boys.

Representatives from the Preserve Talbot History group assert three main points in their petition: Divilio did not thoroughly investigate an alternative location for the Talbot Boys statue within the county; Divilio knowingly misrepresented the commitment from the American Battlefield Trust to accept the statue; and that there was no documentation to corroborate that the monument’s relocation would be funded by the Mid-Shore Community Foundation at no cost to Talbot County taxpayers.

Claims that Divilio misrepresented the trust’s commitment to take the statue arose after a letter from the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation began circulating on social media the day after the meeting. The letter, sent to Divilio and the four other council members just hours before the Sept. 14 council meeting, detailed the foundation’s preference to keep historical monuments in their original locations — a point that did not come up during the council discussion and vote on Divilio’s administrative resolution.

The petition also brought up council member Pack’s admission that the council had been advised by their legal counsel to engage the public on the Talbot Boys issue, but they chose not to.

Petitioners described Divilio’s administrative resolution as “procedurally deficient” and expressed that it should have been introduced as a numbered resolution or bill to allow for public comment.

Mid-Shore Community Foundation president Buck Duncan confirmed to The Star Democrat that the foundation does have a relocation fund established by the Move the Monument Coalition, but no additional details could be shared.

Ridgely Ochs, a spokesperson with the Move the Monument Coalition, also confirmed the group’s establishment of a fund at the Mid-Shore Community Foundation to which individuals can donate money. Private donors have also pledged a certain amount of money, she said, but she could not reveal donor names or donation amounts.

The petition also contends that the administrative resolution brought up “valid and substantive issues,” which served as new reasons for the council to provide an opportunity for public comment before voting, according to the document.

The Talbot Boys honors local residents who fought for the Confederacy and was erected on the courthouse lawn in Easton in 1916. The NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union have filed a federal lawsuit against Talbot County seeking the statue’s removal from public property.

The Talbot County Council meeting will be held in the Bradley Meeting Room at the Talbot County Courthouse on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.

Natalie Jones is a reporter at The Star Democrat in Easton covering crime, health, education and Talbot County Council. You can reach her with questions, comments or tips at njones@chespub.com.

Native American Festival held in Vienna

VIENNA — The feast grounds of old in Vienna hosted the annual Native American festival this weekend with music, food and dancing.

The 29th annual Native American Festival of Dorchester’s Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians was held Saturday, Sept. 18, and Sunday, Sept. 19, at the ball field in Vienna.

Musicians, storytellers, vendors and dancers participated in the festivities.

Local historian Tom Bradshaw said the location was the site of the feast grounds of the Native Americans who called the area home.

During a falconry demonstration, a bald eagle wheeled in slow circles over the ball field, an adult joined throughout the day by two juveniles eagles as well.

The eagles symbolize a message that festival goers have been blessed, and that spirits of friends and families are watching over the festivities, said Nause-Waiwash Vice Chairman Jerry “Gentle Bear” Hughes.

“We all had ball and had a decent turnout given COVID,” said Acting Secretary Casey Hughes, “We’re already planning the 30th.”

3 things 9/28

1 Famous birthdays today: Actor Brigitte Bardot is 87. Actor-comedian Janeane Garofalo is 57. Actor Mira Sorvino is 54. TV personality/singer Moon Zappa is 54. Actor Naomi Watts is 53. Country singer Karen Fairchild (Little Big Town) is 52. Rapper Young Jeezy is 44. World Golf Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak is 44. Neo-soul musician Luke Mossman (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats) is 40. Pop-rock singer St. Vincent is 39. Comedian/actor Phoebe Robinson is 37. Rock musician Daniel Platzman (Imagine Dragons) is 35. Actor Hilary Duff (pictured) is 34.

2 On this day in history, in 1850, flogging was abolished as a form of punishment in the U.S. Navy. On Sept. 28, 1920, eight members of the Chicago White Sox were indicted for allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. (All were acquitted at trial, but all eight were banned from the game for life.) In 1928, Scottish medical researcher Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the first effective antibiotic. In 1991, jazz great Miles Davis died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 65. (More history on A4)

3 Lines of cars formed at British gas stations for a fourth day on Monday, as the government mulled sending in the army to help ease supply disruptions triggered by a shortage of truck drivers. As unions called for emergency workers to be given priority for fuel supplies, training had been taking place “in the background” for military personnel to drive tankers. The government said it had “no plans at the moment” to deploy troops, but was making preparations just in case. The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents almost 5,500 independent outlets, said Sunday that about two-thirds of its members had run out of fuel, as the truck driver shortage set off rounds of gas panic-buying. (Story on StarDem.com)

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center Executive Director Judy Wink displays an American kestrel during Easton Airport Day Saturday. The event also featured public tours, vintage airplanes and automobiles.

Birds of a feather

Dorchester council to review ambulance locations

CAMBRIDGE — The Dorchester County Council voted Sept. 22 to study the placement of the county’s paid ambulance units.

The vote comes as the newest development in situation that began in May when the county’s Paramedic 200 ambulance unit was moved to the county’s dog control facility on U.S. Route 50 near Vienna.

The move of the unit from a vehicle bay at the Eldorado-Brookview Volunteer Fire Company generated criticism about how the decision to move was made and about the county’s ability to provide adequate ambulance coverage to the northern area of the county.

The mayor and council of Hurlock and members of the town’s volunteer fire company expressed concerns at the town council meeting on Monday, Aug. 9, about the Paramedic 200 move and the increased strain on volunteer fire companies and their ambulances, as well as the county’s paid ambulance unit located in Hurlock, Paramedic 600.

Those concerns were summarized and relayed to the council during the Aug. 17 meeting by Councilman Lenny Pfeffer and raised again at Tuesday’s meeting.

Council discussion led to a motion from Councilman Ricky Travers to initiate the study the geographical siting of paid ambulance crews and the volume and dispersion of 911 calls in the county.

The controversial situation in May began when a personnel matter involving a Dorchester Emergency Services employee and a member of EBVFC prompted the move, and the unit remained stationed in Vienna even after the legal issue that was the basis of the personnel issue was resolved on June 1.

When the initial move took place, Council President Jay Newcomb said staff emailed him to notify that the transfer of the Paramedic 200 unit was taking place based on legal recommendations they received from the county’s attorney and the county’s state’s attorney, as well as the county’s insurance provider in reference to a personnel issue.

The unanimous vote from the council on Tuesday to initiate the study came after the council voted to grant EBVFC’s request for fill dirt from the Department of Public Works and for a waiver of certain fees by the Planning Department, both related to the construction of a new building for the fire department in a lot across the street from the main fire station in Eldorado.

The county’s ambulance service faces other coverage issues, with DES staff telling the county council at the March 16 meeting that staffing shortages and equipment problems were preventing a third ambulance from being put into service on weekdays in Cambridge.

The county currently has five active paid paramedic units in service, with two in Cambridge, one in Hurlock and one in Madison, in addition to the unit in Vienna, as well as six volunteer units.

Mike Detmer is a staff writer for the Dorchester Star and Star Democrat based in Maryland. You can reach him at mdetmer@chespub.com.

Hilary Duff, a cast member in the television series "Younger," poses at the Paramount Network, Comedy Central, TV Land Press Day 2019 at the London West Hollywood, Thursday, May 30, 2019, in West Hollywood, Calif.