Laurel News Briefs
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Poker Run Benefit in Laurel
Muskrat Memorial Poker Run, Saturday, May 29, with proceeds to benefit a college fund set up for the children of Mike and Beverly Gray. Mike Gray was killed in a motorcycle accident last year and friends and fellow motorcyclists are coordinating the event. Registration is $8 and includes a reception after the event with music, door prizes and barbecue at Castaways Lounge, U.S. 13, in Laurel. Sign up for the event is from 8 a.m. to noon at Castaways Lounge. Non-riders are also invited to attend with $5 per platter fee. Rain date is June 5.

Memorial Day Service in Laurel
American Legion Post 19, Laurel, Memorial Day Service, Monday, May 31, at 11 a.m. at the Legion home, Rt. 24 (Millsboro Road). The Laurel High School Band will provide patriotic music and the guest speaker will be World War II veteran Johnny Janosik. World War II veterans will be honored. Lunch will be provided. Maurice Evans is Post Commander.

Fish Fry in Laurel
Fish Fry, Saturday, June 19, 4-7 p.m., Centenary Church, Market and Poplar streets,Laurel, $8 per person, $4 per child under 12, carry-outs available, sponsored by the Sonshine Class.

Tram to be in town for July 4th festival
By Tony E. Windsor

Plans are moving along in preparation for Laurel’s biggest celebration of the year. During a recent meeting of the Laurel Town Council, town manager Glenn Steckman shared an update on plans for Laurel’s Fourth of July Community Celebration. This year’s event will be Monday, July 5. Steckman said it was necessary for the council to vote on a request by the July 4th committee to allow the town’s major thoroughfare, Central Avenue, to be closed all day on Monday, July 5, from Market Street to Delaware Avenue. He said this area of Central Avenue is to be used primarily for a variety of food vendor booths. The area near the Laurel Senior Center is where the day’s entertainment is scheduled to be held. Steckman also said an auto show will be held along Front Street and a carnival and more food booths will be set up in the large lot between Central Avenue and Poplar Street, near the Insurance Market.
An addition to the Independence Day celebration this year is a tram that will drive patrons from parking areas to the main celebration areas at seven to eight designated points. Steckman said the town of Vienna will loan to Laurel a former Ocean City boardwalk tram for the celebration. “The tram will run in a continuous loop, taking people to and from the various parking locations,” he said. Councilwoman Ann Davis said she feels having Central Avenue closed for the day and using the boardwalk tram are wonderful additions to the community summer celebration. “I think the community will be very happy with these changes,” she said. The council voted to support the closing of Central Avenue for the July 4th Celebration. The request will now be taken to the Delaware Department of Transportation because Central Avenue is a state-maintained roadway.

School district looking at current expense referendum
By Mike McClure

Laurel director of finance Bill Hitch told the Laurel School Board that a tax transfer will be needed for the 2006 fiscal year, which will have to be approved through a referendum. Also discussed during last Wednesday’s board meeting were the district’s all-day kindergarten program and its teacher of the year nominees. According to Hitch, a tax transfer for the next fiscal year (2006) would be needed to get more money into the budget. The additional $378,000 is required to pay for current expenses, he said. A referendum would mean an increase in local current expense funds and a reduction in other funds, which would mean there would be no net increase in taxes. The current expense tax cannot be changed without a referendum. Newly re-elected board member Edward Jestice Jr., who thanked voters for their support, reported that representatives of the district will go to Dover during the first week in June to give a 10-minute presentation to the House Education Committee on the district’s all-day kindergarten program. The state has budgeted $1 million for the study of all-day kindergarten, which the district already has. “It’s a good way to promote the Laurel School District and what we’re doing with all-day kindergarten,” said Jestice. Later in the meeting, superintendent Keith Duda reported that he sent a letter to the state asking for Laurel’s share of the $7 million that school districts in the state had to return. “I would like to see us get that money back, and it’s something I don’t want to see let go,” Duda said. The district’s 2005 teacher of the year nominees are: Marilyn Neat, from P.L. Dunbar; Jenny Beck, North Laurel; Diane Palmer, Laurel Intermediate School; Paul Hayes, Laurel Middle School; and Tiesha Niblett, Laurel High School. The district’s representative for state teacher of the year will be announced at the end-of-the-year celebration.