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Peace talks: Briefs

January 08, 2000

Like old home week for some journalists

For some national reporters covering the peace talks in Shepherdstown it's like coming home.

Several reporters working for major newspapers have summer homes in the Eastern Panhandle, and have been staying at them while covering the talks.

Barry Schweid, who has worked as a diplomatic correspondent for the Associated Press in Washington for 25 years, owns a home in Honeywood on the Potomac, one of the first subdivisions built by Berkeley County developer Bruce Van Wyk.

Although Schweid has been staying in a Shepherdstown area motel during the talks, he said he planned to go to his Falling Waters home Friday night and have dinner with Van Wyk, a close friend.

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Norman Kempster, who covers the U.S. State Department for the Los Angeles Times, has been staying in a home he owns in Harpers Ferry. Kemster works for the newspaper's Washington bureau.

O'Hurley's throws party for reporters in town

A well-known shop in Shepherdstown threw a party for Israeli and Syrian reporters Thursday night.

It was supposed to be a low-profile event for the foreign reporters, said Jay Hurley, owner of O'Hurley's General Store along Flowing Springs Road.

But when 23 musicians walked through the door to provide entertainment, O'Hurley knew he was in for a night.

About 50 people danced the night away and enjoyed dishes such as lemon rice and lamb stew.

"What a time we had," O'Hurley said.

About 13 Israeli and Syrian reporters came to the party, O'Hurley said.

Mayor: Business as usual for parking tickets

There was a rumor around Shepherdstown that the town was not issuing traffic tickets during the peace talks. It was thought tickets were not being issued in the spirit of peace.

Not so, said Mayor Vince Parmesano, who has vowed to have a "business as usual" atmosphere in town.

No food for Secret Service during talks

A group of youngsters living on High Street in Shepherdstown became concerned about U.S. Secret Service agents getting hungry while working at a post outside the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center last week. They inquired about taking cookies to the agents, said Shepherdstown resident Clara Bjorlie.

Bjrolie, who has press credentials to cover the talks, asked U.S. State Department officials if cookies could be taken to the agents.

State Department officials said no. Food cannot be taken to agents while they are working, Bjorlie said.

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