At City Dock in Annapolis, Marylands Natural Resources Police unveiled their hot new Bay vessel this week: a 45-foot, 16-ton boat manufactured by SeaArk Marine, Inc. in Arkansas. The deep-vee hull boat, christened Chesapeake, will be stationed at Solomons and deployed for homeland security near Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant and the Cove Point gas facility. Lets hope she doesnt have a future full of adventures like those created by the novelist who lives on those shores, Tom Clancy
Also in Annapolis, new figures show that it paid to toil in the soil last year. Maryland farmers $1.74 billion receipts last year were up 19 percent over 2003 and 25 percent better than 2002, Maryland Agriculture Statistics Service reported this week. Corn had the best profit increase (36 percent) followed by vegetables (32 percent). Were eating enough of both local crops this season to raise 05 sales by at least a percent
In Dunkirk, firefighters are celebrating Sen. Barbara Mikulskis good connections to the tune of $164,635. Mikulskis Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee funds the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which makes one-year grants to fire departments for firefighting vehicles, training and equipment or fire education and awareness. Some 20,400 departments applied this year. The Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department will upgrade its self-contained breathing apparatuses and buy new turn-out gear
In St. Marys County, the welcome mat is out for Hurricane Katrinas student victims. St. Marys College of Maryland this week joined the ranks of colleges and universities offering to enroll Gulf Coast students displaced by that terrible storm. We feel a special bond with students who suddenly find themselves without a college, said college president Maggie OBrien
Our Creature Feature is a rare good news item from New Orleans where, it seems, they had a better disaster plan for animals than for people. The Audubon Zoo reported just three fatalities two otters and a raccoon in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
It helped that the zoo is on higher ground than much of New Orleans. But 14 staffers also stuck out the disaster to carry out a plan years in the making that stockpiled several days of food for some 1,400 critters. We tried to plan for whats impossible to plan for, observed zoo curator Dan Maloney.