A brand new start

January 01, 2000

New Year's at Barracuda'sBy KERRY LYNN FRALEY / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Tri-State area residents rang in the millennium dancing and eating at New Year's Eve parties, socializing at church parties and praying at worship services, chatting at local bars, relaxing and watching TV at home and working.

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Local governments and police agencies reported no Y2K problems shortly after midnight.

For most area residents, the power stayed on and telephone calls went through, according to the utilities' spokespersons.

The first baby of the new millennium was born at Washington County Hospital at 2:07 a.m. to Tamara Goodrich and Jesse Godsey Sr., of Hagerstown. Wayne Lee Godsey weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces. Mother and baby were doing fine, according to hospital spokeswoman Maureen Theriault.

The last baby born in the 20th century was a girl born at 2:20 p.m. Friday to Amy Evans and Chris Harmon, of Mercersburg, Pa. Hannah Elizabeth Harmon weighed 8 pounds, 61/2 ounces.


Parties were everywhere. One of the largest gatherings of people in Washington County was at the Ramada Inn where about 1,300 people danced all night at three different venues.

Gamblers gathered at Charles Town Races in West Virginia and in Waynesboro, Pa., hundreds of people jammed the Square and Main Street in a community-wide party.

At Bethel Assembly of God Church on Wilson Boulevard, more than 200 young people played and partied, starting at 10 p.m. Friday. They were supposed to keep going until 7 a.m. today.

About 50 residents gathered about 9 p.m. at Potomac Towers in Hagerstown for a New Year's Eve bash.

And in a tradition 119 years old, more than 100 members of the Assembly Club gathered at their annual New Year's Eve formal party at the Four Points Hotel in Hagerstown.

The first emergency call of the New Year at Washington County's 911 Dispatch Center came at midnight with a complaint about fireworks going off in Williamsport.

For the rest of the Tri-State area, any concerns about computer-related glitches caused by the Y2K bug never materialized.

Allegheny Energy had a few minor outages that had nothing to do with Y2K, spokeswoman Cyndi Shoop reported shortly after midnight.

The millennium bug didn't affect Columbia Gas, Bell Atlantic or Sprint customers, according to spokespersons for the company.

Only one minor glitch - a telephone equipment problem unrelated to Y2K - was detected at Washington County Hospital Friday night, hospital vice president Raymond Grahe reported after the turnover to 2000.

The hospital was checking out its systems, however, and wouldn't finish until about 2 a.m., Grahe said.

No problems surfaced in Washington County and City of Hagerstown government or police systems, according to Austin Abraham, project coordinator for the city.

Police and emergency services in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle reported no Y2K glitches shortly after midnight.

In Franklin County's Y2K command center, everything was "nice and quiet. Nice and quiet," said Dennis Monn, emergency management coordinator.

The story was the same in county offices, where administrators checked systems at midnight.

Recorder and Register Linda Miller typed the date 2000 into property records to see if everything would come up on the screen.

"We're looking OK," she said.

Friday morning, Hagerstown Trust experienced a computer slowdown that was not related to Y2K, said spokesman David Barnhart.

Customers were still able to do their banking, he said.

The bank's computers became overloaded by a large number of requests for year-end reports from banks across the country, he said.

City National Bank in Martinsburg, W.Va., had about 50 customers Friday night as it headed into the year 2000 with plans to keep its drive-through window open until noon today.

There were no panicked runs on money, just regular banking transactions, said Katie Palmer, assistant vice president and bank manager.

After brisk sales of gasoline, kerosene, water, batteries and canned goods on Thursday, business in Y2K supplies tapered off on Friday, according to a sampling of Tri-State supermarkets and gas stations, who reported no Y2K glitches as the turnover to 2000 approached in the Tri-State area.

Watching midnight come around the world without any major problems seems to have reassured local residents, said a manager at the Martin's supermarket on Dual Highway in Hagerstown, who observed a noticeable drop in water sales between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Friday.

On Thursday and earlier Friday, people were stocking up on water, peanut butter, jelly and canned goods but not the milk and bread that flies off the shelves when a winter storm is forecast, he said.

Thursday was one of the busiest, if not the busiest, day ever at AC&T Food Mart on Wesel Boulevard, according to clerk Ed Grimes.

Most people were filling up their gas tanks and many were buying kerosene, Grimes said.

While the station had run out of gas earlier in the week, it was well prepared for the demand on Thursday and Friday, he said.

Friday was still fairly busy until about 7:30 p.m., then slowed down considerably, Grimes said.

The Texaco Food Mart on Buchanon Trail East in Greencastle, Pa., was also very busy Thursday and moderately busy Friday, though there were never long lines, according to a worker there.

Business was a little busier than normal at the Sheetz at W.Va. 9 and 480 in Kearneysville, W.Va. on Friday, with a steady stream of vehicles at the gas pumps, according to shift supervisor Emma Williams.

There were no shortages or glitches, Williams said.

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