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Business briefs - June 23

June 23, 2013

Potomac Edison

WILLIAMSPORT — Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., recently was recognized by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce with the 2013 Business Breakthrough Large Employer Partner in Business Award for the utility’s ongoing commitment to support small and minority-owned businesses.

In 2012, Potomac Edison purchased about 38 percent of its goods and services from small businesses, including nearly 20 percent procured from certified minority-owned businesses. The company does business with 48 local small businesses.

The Maryland chamber presented Potomac Edison with the award at a luncheon ceremony in Baltimore. The annual Business Breakthrough awards program showcases Maryland businesses for breakthrough performance, innovation and growth.

The Maryland Washington Minority Contractors’ Association nominated Potomac Edison for the award.

Potomac Edison spent $3 million with local contractors in 2011 to renovate its regional headquarters in Williamsport, with 20 percent of the dollars spent on the project for services and materials benefiting minority-owned businesses. The list of opportunities for small businesses to partner with Potomac Edison includes equipment, services, materials, construction ventures, legal, technology-related research and development, and testing.

For more information, go to www.firstenergycorp.com/content/fecorp/supplychain.html.
 
WILLIAMSPORT — Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., continues to conduct vegetation management work across its service area in Western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance system reliability.
 
To date, Potomac Edison tree contractors have trimmed more than 1,200 circuit miles of electric lines as part of the company’s $17 million vegetation management spend for 2013, with an additional 1,400 miles expected to be completed by the end of the year.

During the summer, Potomac Edison will conduct vegetation management in rural areas of Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery and Washington counties in Maryland, along with Berkeley, Grant, Hardy, Hampshire, Jefferson, Mineral and Morgan counties in West Virginia.   

The tree trimming and vegetation management work is done on a five-year cycle in Maryland to ensure proper clearances around electric circuits and equipment, and help reduce tree-related outages, particularly during severe weather.  Vegetation is inspected and trees are pruned in a manner that preserves the health of the trees, while also maintaining safe and reliable electric service for customers.

In some cases, trees that present a danger or are diseased are removed.

As part of its notification process, Potomac Edison works with municipalities to inform officials of vegetation-management schedules.  In addition, customers living in areas along company rights of way are notified prior to vegetation-management work being done.

All vegetation management work is conducted to national standards by Potomac Edison’s certified forestry contractors, including Asplundh Tree Expert Co. and Jaflo Inc.

For the 15th consecutive year, FirstEnergy, on behalf of its 10 utility companies, including Potomac Edison, recently was recognized as a Tree Line USA utility by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters.  The award recognizes utility companies that promote the dual goals of dependable utility service and abundant, healthy trees along America’s streets and highways.  Award-winning companies demonstrate excellence in tree care, training and public education.

Grays Home Solutions LLC

Grays Home Solutions LLC just outside Boonsboro recently was formed by Darren Gray and his son, Jerred, to offer options and solutions to owners of problem properties in the Tri-State area.  

The homes the company targets might be in need of repairs an owner doesn’t want to make or could be worth less than what is owed on the property.
 
Grays Home Solutions offers cash, which means no banks and no inspections to fail, and in most cases, can purchase homes in as few as seven days.  

Those who have burdensome properties may call 240-347-3141 or go to www.webuythetristate.com.

Big Cork Vineyards

ROHRERSVILLE — Big Cork Vineyards in Pleasant Valley, one of Maryland’s newest wineries, received five medals at the Maryland Winemasters Choice Awards, including two gold medals and a best in class acknowledgement.

The following awards were presented to Big Cork Vineyards:

• Best in class (off-dry): Vidal 2012

• Gold medal: Vidal 2012

• Gold medal: Late-harvest Vidal Blanc 2012

• Silver medal: Traminette 2012

• Bronze medal: Chardonnay 2012

This marks the seventh year for the annual Winemasters Choice Awards competition.

More than 25 winemakers judged submissions alongside members of the wine industry. More than 100 wines in 25 flights were sampled and critiqued. Wines were divided into categories based on their characteristics and judged in a blind tasting.

The annual competition precedes the Maryland Governor’s Cup Wine Competition, which is scheduled for Aug. 25. Wine submissions will be collected beginning in early August.

Big Cork samples and sells four white wine varietals at farmers markets, wine festivals and community events throughout Maryland. Wine will soon be available for purchase through the vineyard’s website, as well as at local wine stores and restaurants.

In the summer of 2014, BCV will open a 9,600-square-foot tasting room and farm winery production facility in Rohrersville.

Cider Mill House Bed and Breakfast

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — Cider Mill House Bed and Breakfast, at 130 Fourth Bridge Road in Hedgesville, recently was honored with an award for best website for an agritourism attraction or event by the marketing and development division of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, which sponsored the statewide competition.

Cider Mill House Bed & Breakfast is owned by Ed and Kat Cimaglio, and is part of their working farm operation. Their website is www.cidermillhouse.com.

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