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NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | December 21, 2011
The president of a for-profit cheer and dance business told The Herald-Mail that the volunteer fire company in Hagerstown had been sending a monthly check to his business in return for the parents of youth cheerleaders working in the fire company's gaming operation. The money was used to help families offset the cost of cheer and dance training and competition, said Scott Braasch, president and co-owner of the Pennsylvania-based Cheer Tyme Inc. Jim Hovis, director of the Washington County Office of Community Grant Management, said he began a preliminary investigation into the matter about three weeks ago after The Herald-Mail asked him about the situation.
NEWS
January 16, 1997
By GUY FLETCHER Staff Writer ANNAPOLIS - What a difference a year makes. Last year, members of Washington County's delegation to the General Assembly agonized over controversial tip jar gaming legislation, passage of which took the entire 90 days of the session. This year there will be no bill. Gov. Parris N. Glendening has vowed to veto any gambling laws. Even though the county bill likely would have been relatively minor, and not aimed at expanding gambling, delegation members said any piece of gaming legislation would be in trouble this year.
NEWS
April 2, 1997
By GUY FLETCHER Staff Writer ANNAPOLIS - After being stalled in a Maryland House of Delegates committee for more than a month, legislation to make minor changes to Washington County's tip jar gambling law appears to be facing long odds for passage. With the end of the legislative session just five days away, several lawmakers concede that the county bill might never be brought to the floor for a vote, amid fears that it would become a vehicle for broader gambling legislation in other parts of the state.
NEWS
October 19, 1999
The Washington County Gaming Commission wants the County Commissioners to change its rules and regulations to better reflect commission policy, County Attorney Richard Douglas said Tuesday. The County Commissioners place local nonprofit organizations on a list to tell the Gaming Commission they want them considered eligible for tip jar funds, Douglas said. But not all nonprofit organizations on the list are considered charitable organizations by the Internal Revenue Service, Douglas said.
OPINION
By ART CALLAHAM | October 23, 2011
The firefighters and emergency service folks have been taking it on the chin lately, so maybe it's time to remind everyone of the valuable service that is rendered by this dedicated group of first responders. There are few better feelings than knowing your local fire company and emergency service group are staffed and on duty when you go to bed tonight. Along with the police, this is public safety at its finest. I certainly don't want to intimate that there are not evident accountability problems with fire and rescue bookkeeping.  However, those problems have little to do with our community's gaming law, or with the use of those funds to provide for part of our community's public safety.
OPINION
November 13, 2011
Firefighters and emergency services personnel have been the subject of many Herald-Mail stories in recent weeks. I'd like to take this space to recognize the valuable service that is rendered by this dedicated group of first responders. There are few better feelings than knowing your local fire company and emergency service group are staffed and on duty when you go to bed at night. Along with police, this is public safety at its finest. I certainly don't want to intimate that there are not evident accountability problems with fire and rescue record keeping.
NEWS
March 17, 1997
By GUY FLETCHER Staff Writer A controversy over interpretation of Washington County's tip jar gambling regulations - a conflict potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in gaming proceeds donated to charity - has led many local fraternal organizations to sue the county. In a suit filed in Washington County Circuit Court, 23 clubs and organizations alleged that the County Commissioners and the county Gaming Commission have "arbitrarily" assessed payments against clubs from their tip jar proceeds.
NEWS
By BRENDAN KIRBY | April 15, 1998
The Washington County Commissioners and the director of the agency that administers the county's gambling tax praised changes to the tip jar law that will result in hundreds of thousands of additional dollars for charities and fire and rescue companies. On Saturday, the state legislature amended the gaming law to require private clubs that sell tip jars to turn over 15 percent of their profits to the Washington County Gaming Commissioner for distribution. The new law eliminates in-kind contributions.
NEWS
By GUY FLETCHER | March 18, 1998
Panel approves gambling legislation ANNAPOLIS - Two pieces of legislation that would amend Washington County's three-year-old tip jar gambling law are meeting little resistance in the Maryland General Assembly. The county's legislative delegation won a preliminary victory Monday night when the House Judiciary Committee voted to approve one of the bills, which would remove the current gaming bill's expiration date of July 1, 1999. "I think it's a good bill to have the regulations in place," said Del. Ann Marie Doory, D-Baltimore, who chairs the House gaming subcommittee.
NEWS
February 13, 1998
To Leon Brumback of North Hagerstown High School and other local educators providing youth with historical information during February, which is Black History Month. To Washington County's delegation to the Maryland General Assembly, for amending the "sunset" clause out of the county's gaming law. Ninety-nine percent of those in the county agree: This law works well. To the 990 people who responded to a Hagerstown city survey asking them if they'd be willing to join a neighborhood association.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com | October 10, 2012
Several hundred members of area social clubs, veterans groups and nonprofit organizations flocked to the Franklin Fire Company in Chambersburg on Tuesday night hoping to make sense of a revised state gaming law. The Small Games of Chance seminar, hosted by the Franklin Fire Co., was intended to clear up confusion about the recording and reporting process of HB 169, officially known as Act 2 of 2012. Todd Merlina, enforcement officer supervisor with the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, told the crowd that the law is an improvement to the outdated small games of chance law from 1988.
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NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | February 8, 2012
Some of Washington County's state lawmakers said Thursday that they preferred proposing tighter financial oversight than a new gaming bill contains, but the law won't allow it. Del. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, said legislators were legally limited in how much they could regulate budget reporting for tip-jar money that filters through the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association to individual fire and rescue companies....
NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | December 21, 2011
The president of a for-profit cheer and dance business told The Herald-Mail that the volunteer fire company in Hagerstown had been sending a monthly check to his business in return for the parents of youth cheerleaders working in the fire company's gaming operation. The money was used to help families offset the cost of cheer and dance training and competition, said Scott Braasch, president and co-owner of the Pennsylvania-based Cheer Tyme Inc. Jim Hovis, director of the Washington County Office of Community Grant Management, said he began a preliminary investigation into the matter about three weeks ago after The Herald-Mail asked him about the situation.
OPINION
November 13, 2011
Firefighters and emergency services personnel have been the subject of many Herald-Mail stories in recent weeks. I'd like to take this space to recognize the valuable service that is rendered by this dedicated group of first responders. There are few better feelings than knowing your local fire company and emergency service group are staffed and on duty when you go to bed at night. Along with police, this is public safety at its finest. I certainly don't want to intimate that there are not evident accountability problems with fire and rescue record keeping.
OPINION
By ART CALLAHAM | October 23, 2011
The firefighters and emergency service folks have been taking it on the chin lately, so maybe it's time to remind everyone of the valuable service that is rendered by this dedicated group of first responders. There are few better feelings than knowing your local fire company and emergency service group are staffed and on duty when you go to bed tonight. Along with the police, this is public safety at its finest. I certainly don't want to intimate that there are not evident accountability problems with fire and rescue bookkeeping.  However, those problems have little to do with our community's gaming law, or with the use of those funds to provide for part of our community's public safety.
NEWS
By ARNOLD S. PLATOU | arnoldp@herald-mail.com | October 5, 2011
From tip jar players' hands, to restaurants, bars and private clubs across Washington County, the money rolled in to the county's new gaming fund. In April 1996, in accordance with the county's gaming law, the county government issued its first check - for $124,215.60 - from the fund to the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association. What happened next is unclear. The money was divvied up, but how, why and on whose authority? Now, 15 years later, the answers to those questions hold the key to how much money the association keeps for itself and how much it gives each of its member volunteer fire and rescue companies.
NEWS
October 2, 2011
Below is an outtake from a 1995 law that set up distribution of gaming funds to charities and the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association: “Each year ... the commission shall distribute: “(I) 60 percent of the moneys deposited in the fund to bona fide charitable organizations in the county subject to any restrictions that the board may adopt by regulation; and “(II) 40 percent of the moneys deposited in the fund to the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association.” The law has since been ammended to dictate that 50 percent of the gaming fund money goes to charities and 50 percent goes to the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association each year, but the revised law does not stipulate what the association can do with the money.
NEWS
by Louis Thomas | April 25, 2004
This letter is in reference to the coverage of House Bill 1022 and Senate Bill 778 to make changes to the existing gaming law. It is time all facts are reported. The Washington County Restaurant and Beverage Association (WCRBA) filed an application for a wholesalers tip jar license in April 2003 with the Washington County Gaming Commission. The WCRBA met all requirements for a license. Since no action was taken by the gaming commission by August, a Mandamus complaint was filed to force the commission to issue a license.
NEWS
By LAURA ERNDE | March 23, 2000
ANNAPOLIS - Lawmakers heard no opposition Thursday about Washington County lawmakers' plans to hike the hotel tax and change tip jar gambling regulations. Combined, the two bills would raise $500,000 a year to reduce the county's water and sewer debt and at least $300,000 a year for economic development. A third bill, which creates the county's debt reduction fund, will likely pass the House of Delegates today or Friday. All three must pass the House of Delegates by Monday to have a chance of passing the Maryland General Assembly this session, which ends April 10. Delegation Chairman Del.Bob McKee, R-Washington, testified Thursday before two legislative committees.
NEWS
October 19, 1999
The Washington County Gaming Commission wants the County Commissioners to change its rules and regulations to better reflect commission policy, County Attorney Richard Douglas said Tuesday. The County Commissioners place local nonprofit organizations on a list to tell the Gaming Commission they want them considered eligible for tip jar funds, Douglas said. But not all nonprofit organizations on the list are considered charitable organizations by the Internal Revenue Service, Douglas said.
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