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OC Blog Travel news and tips about Ocean City, Maryland
OC Shark Tournament won't take place this summer

After 34 years, organizers of the annual Ocean City Shark Tournament have announced the event will not return this year and that the directors of the contest are retiring.

A post on the tournament's website over the weekend said the 2014 event was the last for the popular contest that attracted hundreds of shark anglers and even more spectators each year.

"Over the past 34 years, we have worked to develop an event that would be fun, exciting, and educational for both competitors and spectators," organizers wrote. "The goal was to provide an environment where shark anglers could compete for substantial prize money with responsible fishing practices."

In 2007, the Humane Society called for an end to the tournament, citing threats to shark populations. 

At the time, Mark Sampson, the founder of the tournament, told The Sun that many of the sharks were caught and released.

Last year, the three-day event had a payout of nearly $45,00, but only 18 boats registered. In 2012 and 2013, even...

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Another fire breaks out at De Lazy Lizard in Ocean City

Ocean City officials say another fire has broken out in a building that was heavily damaged in a blaze last month.

Ocean City spokeswoman Jessica Waters tells The Daily Times of Salisbury that a fire was reported about 5 a.m. Wednesday in the building on Philadelphia Avenue. Firefighters extinguished a fire on the second floor and damage was limited to a small area in one room.

The building, which housed 19 apartments and De Lazy Lizard pub, has been vacant since the Feb. 10 fire that gutted the upper floor. Three people, including two firefighters, were injured in that fire. Twenty people were displaced.

The cause of Wednesday's fire and last month's fire remain under investigation.

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Sofi's Crepes headed for Rehoboth Beach boardwalk

A Sofi's Crepes will open this summer in Rehoboth Beach, according to Ann Costlow, who opened her first creperie cafe next to the Charles Theatre in 2004.  

The Sofi's Crepes in Rehoboth Beach, which will be located at 100 South Boardwalk, will operate as a franchise. The franchisees are brothers William and Robert Frankis, who operate two Greene Turtle franchises in Rehoboth Beach, one of them on the boardwalk, as well as another in nearby Lewes.

William Frankis said he was looking for a food concession to occupy space adjacent to the Greene Turtle he operates on the  boardwalk. His brother was introduced to Costlow by a mutual friend, who thought a creperie might work well as a boardwalk concession. 

The brothers quickly agreed. "The convenience just screamed The Boardwalk," William Frankis said.

Originally from Stoneleigh in Baltimore, the Frankises also have a Greene Turtle in Aberdeen and another opening soon in Bel Air.

100 Things to do in Ocean City

Costlow said she is working...

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Ocean City prepares for possible arrival of Uber drivers

Ocean City officials are preparing for a possible expansion of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft in the resort town.

The Daily Times reports Uber started advertising last month to recruit drivers in Ocean City. But representatives for Uber and Lyft say neither firm has set plans to launch in Ocean City. An Uber spokeswoman says the company uses advertising to test a market's viability.

Uber doesn't operate in Ocean City, but city Solicitor Guy Ayres said officials have been considering how they would regulate the company there.

He said a law that let Uber drivers operate "without going through the same regulations and inspections and licensing fees and medallion costs" would put the city's taxi drivers at a disadvantage.

"The concern is that they be on a level playing field with the other similar-type vehicles that operate here and are regulated by the town," Ayres said.

Ocean City has a medallion system for approved drivers. They are subject to vehicle inspections and drug...

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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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