Today In Salisbury’s History: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 1996

Tuesday, Aug. 6, 1996 —

  • The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office is stepping up patrols after a rash of daylight thefts have been plaguing county neighborhoods for several weeks. Lt. Gary Baker said neighborhoods including Rustic Acres, Pine Bluff Village and several off of Riverside Drive have been struck. “It’s ridiculous,” said Baker. “I’m seeing three or four of these reports a day. They’re stealing as many as 20 lawnmowers a week.” He said gardening equipment and ladders are also being stolen from garages.
  • Democratic congressional candidate Steven Eastaugh has apologized for a campaign brochure that suggested he was born in Cambridge in Dorchester County and was, therefore, an Eastern Shore native. Eastaugh, who is challenging incumbent Republican Wayne Gilchrest, was born in Boston and his family moved to nearby Cambridge, Mass., when he was 2 weeks old. Eastaugh said the brochure was a mistake and he hadn’t proofread it.
  • A wet summer has pretty much destroyed the Eastern Shore’s tomato harvest for 1996. Up to 18 inches of rain has fallen in the last four weeks, which has caused red-ripe tomatoes to explode in their fields like water-filled balloons. Willards farmer Ralph Lewis predicted most tomatoes will now scald and turn yellow as the sun cooks them on the vine. When there were still local canning houses on the Shore, many damaged tomatoes could be saved. Now that they have to be hauled longer distances for processing, most tomatoes will be left to rot on the fields.
  • Frustrated by delays in dealing with derelict housing, Salisbury officials have new plans to tear down houses in cases where property owners let condemned houses sit vacant. Mayor Paul Martin said that the city demolished a house on Lake Street last month that had been damaged by fire after being condemned and boarded up. The Mayor placed money in this year’s budget to pay for further demolitions, as needed.
  • Police Chief Coulbourne Dykes, riding atop his quarter-horse “Golden Bar,” was the star attraction at the National Night Out Against Crime event held in the North Camden neighborhood. Youngsters lined up to pet the horse, which is part of the Salisbury Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Division.
  • Montana’s Steakhouse & Sports Pub on Beaglin Park Drive closed last week — and owner George L. Ralph Jr. said it will not reopen. The once-popular business is for sale, Ralph said. He blamed a plethora of eatery competition for Montan’s closing. “There are just too many restaurants in Salisbury right now and the sales aren’t there,” said Ralph, who opened the establishment in 1990.
  • Now that he’s settled in as the new president of Salisbury State University, Dr. William C. Merwin said his first goal is to increase fund-raising efforts for instructional technology. Merwin is looking for a multi-million-dollar donor to endow the School of Education and Professional Studies. Merwin said he will not only uphold SSU’s academic reputation — he will greatly increase it.
  • In an effort to hold Detention Center inmates accountable for their health care costs, Wicomico County will hire a collection agency to recover thousands of dollars in medical costs run up by those previously held for crimes. Warden John Welch said the effort would likely only capture a fraction of the $500,000 in medical costs the county spends each year on inmates.
As your community newspaper, we are committed to making Salisbury a better place. You can help support our mission by making a voluntary contribution to the newspaper.