The Wicomico County Council held an emergency meeting on Friday to reverse its decision to lease warehouse space for the construction of a jail that would house federal Immigration prisoners and detainees. The county will walk away from a $22 million lease agreement with the feds, in which the county would receive $50-per-day for each federal inmate. A Missouri-based engineering firm was set to purchase the old Field Container Co. facility on Goddard Parkway and convert it to a 608-bed prison. The county would then lease the building and receive about $4 million in revenue. The council initially voted 4-3 in favor of the project, but the deal fell apart because of public opposition.
Tiny Tot day-care center -- a Lower Shore institution where lifelong friendships and childhood memories were formed -- will close its doors Sept. 1. “It’s time to retire and take some time for vacation,” said Thurman Moore, who operated the business on Robert Street for the past 54 years. Tiny Tot has a capacity for 200 children, but just 75 are currently enrolled there. An abuse allegation that came to light in a January investigation by Salisbury Police sent shock waves through the community and affected enrollment.
Several new doctors are set to join the medical staff at Peninsula Regional Medical Center. Dr. Un Y. Chin, a surgery specialist with a degree from George Washington University School of Medicine, has been granted privileges in Surgery and Vascular Surgery. Dr. Jason Arrington, a surgeon with a degree from the University of Miami Medical School, may engage in surgery and plastic surgery. Dr. Thomas N. Berry Jr., who holds a medical degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has been hired by Emergency Services Associates as an ER physician.
Officials with United Auto Workers Union No. 354 confirmed Friday that talks with Dresser-Wayne executives will resume Monday, following a two-week span of no communication. “We go back to the table Monday,” said Jack Hughes, the local union president. “How long will it last? I don’t know.” The union continues paying its striking employees $175 a week. The contract expired June 30; a July 13 offer from the company was rejected on a 291-93 vote.
Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach has moved into her president’s suite at Salisbury State University in preparation for her official inauguration next month. A former Spanish languages professor, she was hired away from Fairmount State College in West Virginia, where she also served as president. Dudley-Eshbach said that because the campus boundaries are already established because of surrounding commercial and residential properties, physically growing the institution will be difficult, and she will therefore focus on attracting better students by being more selective in the admissions process.
Perpetually wet weather this spring and summer has delayed work on the $62 million Route 50 Bypass in north Salisbury. “As soon as it stops raining, we’ll get back on schedule,” predicted Donnie Drewer, the State Highway Administrations’ District Engineer. The highway will be built in four phases, with three of those phases currently under way along separate route portions. The highway is slated for completion in 2003.
Salisbury City Council members are questioning the lobbying fees they must pay the Maryland Municipal League. According to City Council President Lavonzella Siggers, Salisbury $22,137 in annual fees are equal to what the significantly larger Baltimore City pays. Since 1946, MML has represented cities and towns across Maryland in General Assembly business. Salisbury is grouped in a payment tier that includes the state’s largest municipalities. Mayor Barrie Parsons Tilghman said MML was especially helpful when the city needed state help in raising police officer salaries.