Q&A with Coach Jim Berkman: ‘I like to compete in whatever I’m doing’

Jim Berkman is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA men’s lacrosse history. Stop for a moment and think about that: all-time; history; no one has led a lacrosse team to more wins; ever. Salisbury University’s 2015 season started two weeks ago. The Sea Gulls stomped in their home opener against Greensboro, but struggled to score […]

Sheriff Lewis: ‘We need full community involvement’

When Hunter Nelms announced in 2006 that he would end what had evolved into a beleaguered tenure as Wicomico County sheriff, everyone seemed to already know that Mike Lewis would be the next man to hold that post. Nelms, who had enjoyed 22-year tenure as the county’s top cop, had fallen victim to his oversight […]

Dave Ryan: Creating an environment where people want to live helps business

During the fall election, adding jobs to the local economy and spurring economic development were themes hammered by candidate Bob Culver.

Franchot in catbird’s seat as session convenes

There is a tradition in Maryland that the state comptroller somehow happens to be the most dynamic political leader in the state. Millard Tawes, it could be argued, was a much more interesting politician when he was comptroller, and performed in a much more reserved manner as governor. Louis L. Goldstein, who always wanted to […]

Mitzi Perdue: Frank’s greatest gift to us

Those of us who’ve devoted big parts of our professional careers watching and reporting on Frank Perdue will never forget the first time we encountered Mary Henderson Ayala. Mitzi Ayala burst on the Salisbury scene in spring 1988. Full of charm and energy, she dove head-first into the community. Frank’s “new girlfriend” became almost immediately Frank’s “new fiance” and then, even more quickly, Frank’s new wife.

Matt Maciarello: Convict the guilty, protect the innocent

Four years into the job, Maciarello — at age 40 — has faced some difficult cases: He prosecuted Thomas Leggs for the horrific murder of Sarah Foxwell; he has been called upon to find hard answers in to cases in which police officers shot people in self-defense; he’s working right now to aid the family of Edward Adkinson, distraught that their son’s killer, Jody Miles, might be escaping the justice that was served.

Chief Duncan: ‘Leadership is a daily challenge, one I readily submit to’

She’s a mom of six kids. And a surfer. And a cross-fitter. And police chief. Chief Barbara Duncan oversees an annual budget of $11 million and 102 police officers. The city’s first female chief, Barbara Duncan is a graduate of Pace University School of Law, where she earned a juris doctor degree. She didn’t want […]

Susan Purnell: ‘No better feeling than knowing your efforts have helped’

Whenever the politicians, economic development experts and other change-makers discuss bringing about positive change, they will inevitably talk about appealing “to the stakeholders.” The people with the most to lose or gain — those same people who know an issue or environs better than any outsider — must be involved in the conceptual process, and […]

WBOC’s Steve Hammond: ‘Trust is earned’

In a mass-media world where TV news stars are beholden as near-royalty, being the top anchorman in the No. 143 Nielsen TV Ratings Market might not seem like the “big time.” Your daily newscast is going to 160,000 homes in a three-state area, not the millions of households touched by the networks, or CNN or […]

Butch Waller is ready to roar another basketball year

In culture and literature, the lion symbolizes the astrological sign of Leo, which is said to rule the heart. Courage comes from the heart. Courage also comes from a person’s deep sense of personal authority, which creates the power to act in a way that meshes with that person’s spirit. A lion of a man is one who acts truly from the heart: He excels at leadership, achievement and the kind of success that encourages the accomplishments of others. Butch Waller, then, is truly “The Lion of Wi-Hi.” Over in the small gymnasium at Wicomico High School just off Glen Avenue, William H. “Butch” Waller Jr. is preparing for his 49th year of coaching basketball. Even at age 74, Waller remains an amazing physical specimen, with a physique crafted from years of continuous physical activity.

Few people live can remember time when Butch Waller wasn’t coaching Wi-Hi basketball. As hundreds of players have come and gone, the coach has built a 730-335 record. He’s the second-winningest active coach in Maryland. He’s won one state championship, finished runner-up in several state championships — most recently in 2013 — and has too many Bayside Conference and Regional Championships to list. Additionally, Waller coached baseball at Wi-Hi for 13 years, and has been umpiring baseball for 32 years, since leaving coaching. Wi-Hi’s longtime golf coach, he is about to be inducted into both the Eastern Shore Golf Hall of Fame and the Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame. Born in Salisbury, he’s lived here his whole life. A Wi-Hi grad, his only real time away was when he attended and worked at East Tennessee State University. Mike Dunn of OneSalisbury.com agreed to conduct this week’s Independent Q&A. Dunn was a successful athlete for Waller, playing baseball for him in the 10th and 11th grade, which turned out to be Waller’s last year at the helm of the Indians. Dunn and Waller have been friends for 37 years.