Today In Salisbury’s History: Friday, Sept. 3, 1982

Friday, Sept. 3, 1982 —

  • For five years, the Little Sisters of Jesus and Mary have quietly helped poor people in Salisbury. But the religious order has been told it might have to cease handing out free food from its home in the Newtown Historic District. Following a complaint from someone in the neighborhood, the city’s Inspection Bureau has notified Sister Mary Elizabeth that distributing food from the order’s East Isabella Street address is a zoning violation. Mayor W. Paul Martin Jr. said the city will find a way to allow the sisters to continue with their food efforts.
  • Salisbury Realtor and developer William J. Ahtes said Thursday he has acquired the vacant Benjamin’s building on the Downtown Plaza and will convert it to a small boutiques mall and apartment complex. Ahtes’ budget for acquisition and renovation of the 30,000-square-foot building is $500,000. Ahtes said he was inspired to make the deal after receiving overwhelming public support for his effort to fix up the old Mangel’s building on the Downtown Plaza. 
  • Citing low public turnout at two previous hearings and concern that citizens aren’t fully informed, the Salisbury-Wicomico Planning & Zoning Commission will hold a third forum at the Civic Center. Commission Chairman John C. Somers Jr. said proposed changes to rules regarding advertising sign and residential zone regulations are substantial and merit public buy-in. The changes would be the first made to the plan since it was drafted in 1959. The proposed code defines five different types of residential zones.
  • Candidates for the Wicomico County Council and Maryland General Assembly recently gathered at a meeting of the Wicomico Democratic Club, held at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Emerson Avenue. Democrats seeking council seats include: Henry S. Parker, Billy Gene Jackson Sr., current council members Bruce Ruark, Betty Gardner, Victor H. Laws and Jack Morris. Democrats seeking seats in Annapolis include: James Balderson, Samuel Q. Johnson III, Alan Bradley, state Sen. Frederick Malkus, and Delegates William Horne, Daniel M. Long, and William Henry Thomas.
  • Salisbury Police Chief Coulbourn M. Dykes said his department is now as well-equipped as any metropolitan force in the nation with the addition of an Aviation Unit. Detective Rick Rohm, a pilot since 1977, will serve as the Salisbury unit’s man-in-the-sky, with the city renting an aircraft when needed from Bayland Aviation. Rohm is expected to back up air duties now handled by the State Police Medevac Unit and will be able to respond to emergencies within 20 minutes.
  • State Sen. Joseph J. Long is angry that Gov. Harry R. Hughes has appointed an Easton lawyer to the state’s Court of Appeals and not Wicomico Circuit Court Judge Richard M. Pollitt. “I think the Lower Shore is being discriminated against,” said Long, who promised he would oppose Hughes’ choice of William H. Adkins. 
  • Salisbury tennis promoter and businessman William F. Riordan presented a check for $100,000 to Peninsula General Hospital President John B. Stevens for a radiation-oncology unit that will be named in the memory of tennis player Chris Thomas. Riordan’s donation is part of a promise to match cash raised in the oncology unit campaign

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