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OC Blog
Travel news and tips about Ocean City, Maryland
Marylanders support post-Labor Day start for schools, poll says

With a new poll showing that 72 percent of Marylanders support the concept, Comptroller Peter Franchot plans to testify on Thursday a bill that would require Maryland public schools to start the academic year after Labor Day.

Franchot has been the chief cheerleader for what he calls his "Let Summer Be Summer" initiative, which appears to be gaining traction even though school administrators oppose it. As of 8:30 a.m., Franchot still planned to testify on the legislation as it receives its first hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee in the early afternoon. The comptroller's planned news conference on the topic was canceled due to snow.

The comptroller received a boost this week from a Goucher College poll of Maryland citizens showing that only 19 percent oppose the post-Labor Day start. Most Maryland school systems now begin the year in August.

Franchot's advocacy has already won the public support of two governors, Martin O'Malley and Larry Hogan, and a gubernatorial task force that...

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Ocean City bridge to undergo repairs through end of March

Starting March 4 the Route 50 bridge, one of two leading to Ocean City, will have at least one eastbound lane closed most days while it undergoes repairs to its mechanical systems.

The State Highway Administration said as single right lane will be closed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Occasionally the lane may need to close for 24 hours, officials said.

Visitors may remember that one span of the U.S. 50 drawbridge was stuck in the open position for several hours last July, leading to huge traffic backups.

SHA said the bridge was fixed temporarily at that time. "The work beginning now is a permanent fix to avoid another similar occurrence," said Donnie Drewer, a district engineer for SHA.

Drewer said the repairs were scheduled during the off-season to avoid impacting travelers. SHA will pause work March 13-16 so that visitors to the popular annual St. Patrick's Day festivities will not have to suffer delays.

While one lane will remain open during repairs, SHA said drivers may want to take an...

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Ocean City ranked No. 25 beach in the U.S. by TripAdvisor

Maryland is home to the 25th best beach in the United States, according to a recent survey from tripadvisor.com.

Based on reviews and ratings left on tripadvisor.com over a 12-month period, Ocean City's beach ranked #25 in the country -- the only mid-Atlantic beach to make the list. Search traffic in the website related to O.C. was up 8 percent over 2013.

The top beach in the U.S., according to tripadvisor.com, is Siesta Beach on Siesta Key, Fla., followed by Saint Pete Beach, in St. Pete Beach, Fl. In fact, nine of the top 25 U.S. beaches are in Florida, followed by seven in Hawaii and five in California.

The world's best beach, according to the survey, is Baia do Sancho, in Brazil. No U.S. beach placed in the top 10.

The list of the 25 top U.S. beaches is:

1) Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Fla.

2) Saint Pete Beach, St. Pete Beach, Fl.

3) Ka'anapali Beach, Lahaina, Hawaii

4) Wai'anapanapa State Park, Hana, Hawaii

5) Pensacola Beach, Pensacola Beach, Fl.

6) La Jolla Cove, La Jolla, Cal.

7)...

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Fire at de Lazy Lizard injures three in Ocean City

A three-alarm fire at a brew pub injured three people, including two firefighters, Tuesday morning in Ocean City.

Ocean City fire officials responded to a call at 9:51 a.m. for a building fire with people trapped at De Lazy Lizard Brew Pub near the Route 50 bridge.

Firefighters immediately rescued two people from the third floor, where officials said most of the fire damage was located. Multiple fire companies battled the blaze for more than two hours before bringing it under control just after noon.

Two Ocean City firefighters were transported to hospitals for treatment of minor injuries. The third victim was treated and released at the scene.

The fire was at the second location for the de Lazy Lizard, a brewery and pub where the restaurant crafts its own beers. It's within a short walk of the original de Lazy Lizard Bar

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Woman used app to steal from Ocean City restaurant

Ocean City police say a Salisbury woman has been charged with stealing $2,500 from a restaurant's bank account through a mobile phone app.

Police say 57-year-old Donna Prouty's husband works at the restaurant, which police did not identify. Police say her husband had an app on his phone that was used to accept payments from customers. Police say Prouty used the app to transfer $2,500 of the restaurant's money into her own accounts.

A warrant was issued for her arrest in November, and police say she turned herself in on Thursday. She's been charged with theft, theft scheme and unauthorized use of a credit card. She has been released on her own recognizance.

Prouty did not immediately return a message at a number listed for her.

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Dew Tour won't return to Ocean City this summer

The Dew Tour will not return this year to Ocean City for a fifth consecutive summer after organizers of the extreme sports competition said they will seek out new venues.

"Ocean City has been a fantastic host city and partner for the Dew Tour for the past four years," Dew Tour organizers said. "As we plan for a new season in 2015, we will be looking to reach different markets."

Ocean City officials said the town is "disappointed" about the change but stressed the successful partnership lasted longer than expected.

"Historically for the Dew Tour, they don’t stay in one location for a long extended time," said Jessica Waters, the town's communications manager. "The fact that they stayed for four years speaks volumes for the success they had here."

Last year about 100,000 people packed Ocean City for the five-day event held in June, along with some 100 athletes who competed in sports ranging from skateboarding to BMX bike riding. Organizers said the event, which offered free admission,...

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