Today In Salisbury’s History: Wednesday, Nov. 5, 1986

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 1986 —

  • In Tuesday’s elections, the local Democratic Party swept the ticket, creating an all-Democrat Wicomico County Council. Newcomers Julia Foxwell and Philip Tilghman will join incumbents Henry S. Parker, Betty K. Gardner and John M. Morris on the five-member at-large council. The nearest Republican contender was W. Blan Harcum, who finished sixth and missed tying Morris by 211 votes. Voter turnout was larger than expected, 57 percent of registered voters going to the polls.
  • By just 112 votes, Wicomico voters said they want stores to remain closed on Sundays. In an effort to repeal the county’s “Blue Laws,” the vote tally was 6,997 to prevent stores from operating on Sundays, to 6,885 to allow them to open. Board of Elections Chief Doris Bradley said about 320 absentee ballots remain to be counted, so the outcome could change.
  • Salary increases have been approved for several public offices in Wicomico County. Council members’ salaries will nearly double, going from the current $7,200 per year to $13,300. The Sheriff will receive an $8,000 raise, with a new annual salary of $28,000. The State’s Attorney’s annual pay will rise from the current $34,125 to $43,050.
  • Dr. George Herbert Sembly was honored by the Wicomico Medical Society for his years of service as a local physician. A member of the courtesy staff at Peninsula General Hospital Medical Center, Sembly will begin his 60th year of practicing medicine on Nov. 22. Sembly graduated from the Howard University Medical School and interned at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
  • Vernon Powell Shoes on Salisbury’s Downtown Plaza is celebrating its 50th anniversary in business. Phil Wright, the grandson of Vernon Powell, said his company’s ability to recognize and react to fashion trends has been a key to being in business for a half-century. Eleven years ago, for example, the company’s first store targeted at sporting-focused consumers — The Athlete By Vernon Powell. The legendary Vernon Powell died in 1985. He began his career working at R.E. Powell & Co. shoe store, then worked at Nock Shoes, before opening his own store in the Central Hotel on West Church Street in 1936.
  • Salisbury Mayor W. Paul Martin Jr. led a ground-breaking event for a new business park on Mount Hermon Road. Designed by Davis, Bowen & Friedel, Beaglin Park Plaza will offer a new concept in office leasing. The project is financed by Second National Building & Loan. Martin Associates will serve as the project’s real estate broker.
  • The new Perdue Farms Training Center has opened on Albert Street, behind the Giant Foods store in Salisbury. Perdue President Don Mabe said the center will host training for machine shop operators, maintenance workers and poultry equipment repair personnel. 
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