Happening this week around the county …

The future of safe training for utility workers is here today thanks to Caleb Thompson and his company, Timpson Training in Havre de Grace.

Thompson, born and raised in Perryville, invented a device that allows men and women learning industrial electricity to train on actual equipment with a scaled back reaction from that equipment should a mistake be made.

”It’s a device that energizes a training yard to what distribution it has,” Thompson said.

So someone in training may get a jolt as high as 138 volts, but nothing as nasty as it would be if the mistake were made on the job, in the air on a transmission tower where the electricity traveling through those overhead lines starts at 69,000 volts. Distribution lines vary from 13,000 to 69,000 volts.

”We wanted to make a system to be integrated ... so it doesn’t blow you up if you make a mistake,” he said. “This is the leading edge of lineman safety training.”

The concept was so unique that Thompson quickly received a patent. Now the Timpson Training equipment can be found in the United States, Canada and South America.

”We’re working on European countries,” he noted, but added “everything in that unit is built and made in the US.”

Some of his original customers, such as Delmarva Power and BGE, are now upgrading to newer panels, he said. Each unit costs a couple hundred-thousand dollars.

”They install it and we do all the set up,” he said. “We provide the software and training.”

A graduate of Cecil County Public Schools and the tech school, Thompson would like to show today’s students his invention.

”It’s real-life application,” he said. “We created a safe environment for training.”

That’s something that will likely have to wait until the pandemic is over, he said.

•••

Chesapeake Water Company has only been open a week but owner Melanie Blomquist has already sold about 100 of either those large bottles or cases of 16.9 ounce bottles of Berkley Springs water.

Located at 2411 Theodore Road in North East, Chesapeake Water Company is located where Denton Water once stood.

”We bought the property and did not intend to do water,” Blomquist said Monday. “But there was demand for it.”

Along with the cases of 24 bottles, Chesapeake Water has cases of six 1-gallon jugs and 3- and 5-gallon jugs.

”We will be getting the coolers for the 3- and 5-gallon bottles,” Blomquist said.

Chesapeake Water Company is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Call 443-350-7272 for more information or go online to chesapeake-water-co.business.site

•••

There could be legislation in the 2021 Maryland General Assembly session seeking to allow for the sales of alcoholic beverages in grocery stores. Already allowed in 24 other states, the former head of the Maryland Retailer’s AssociationTom Saquella — and the president of Marylanders for Better & Wine LawsAdam Borden — propose that this change could boost Maryland’s revenues at a time when COVID-19 has deeply impacted the economy.

”We propose creating a statewide chain store license based on the different classes of retail trade,” the pair said in a joint statement. “A club store should not pay the same as a convenience store or grocers or drugstores. Having the state comptroller issue these statewide licenses for each location means that chains have uniform operations across all our 24 jurisdictions. These licenses can also harmonize Sunday sales and modernize other county-specific alcohol sales restrictions. Statewide licensing also facilitates collection of the substantial upfront licensing fees and ensures the revenue gets into the state general fund in a timely manner.”

”Gov. Larry Hogan should include the estimated economic benefit from legalized chain store alcohol sales in his upcoming state budget,” they said. “More importantly, Governor Hogan should make the budget contingent on the enactment of the authorizing legislation.”

•••

Customers of Aqua Pennsylvania that need help paying their water and wastewater bills can get assistance through the utility’s Helping Hand Fund.

Managed by Community Action Agency of Delaware County with help from a $20,000 donation by The Essential Foundation, Helping Hand can help pay off high balances as a result of loss of income through COVID-19.

“We are incredibly grateful for the Essential Foundation’s contribution to the Helping Hand program,” said Aqua Vice President of Customer Operations Georgetta Parisi. “We take our commitment to our communities seriously and understand how important it is to give back. We know that customers will greatly benefit from the bill assistance during this pandemic and are appreciative of donations like this, which help to sustain the program.”

Along with the financial end, Helping Hand also provides customers with water conservation kits and tips on water saving measures.

For more information go to the aquaamerica.com website.

•••

If you are looking for a broad selection of food, toys and treats for your dog, cat, rabbit or ferret, Rock Springs Pet Supplies is now open at 1324 Rock Springs Road near Rising Sun.

Levi Glick and his family operate the store Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Saturday 9-4.

”I quit farming and I wasn’t ready to sit back,” Glick said as he and daughter Lizzie added more products to their shelves. Glick said as a member of the Amish community he doesn’t consider retirement. He sold the greenhouse operation in Pennsylvania to his son and moved to Maryland.

Rock Springs Pet Supplies will cater to pet parents and fans of wild animals.

”We have a large line of bird feeders and squirrel feeders,” Glick said. He plans to add fish supplies too. “We have everything for pets and our prices are lower.”

Come prepared to pay cash or check and call 410-618-7909 for more information.

•••

If you recently received a telephone call from SunSea Energy you have permission from the Maryland Public Service Commission to hang up on the caller. The PSC has told the retail company based in New Jersey that it must cease operations and give refunds to all in Maryland that signed up for the service.

The Office of the Maryland People’s Counsel alleges SunSea Energy uses unfair and deceptive practices to attract customers, of which there are 2,300 in the state. Nearly half of those customers were switched without a contract, in violation of Maryland law, among other issues.

At an Oct. 7 hearing the company admitted to the practice.

SunSea Energy also operates in New Jersey, Ohio, New York and Washington DC.

•••

Cecil County CARES 2 has $1.5 million available to help local businesses impacted by COVID-19. The application is available online at ccgov.org/government/economic-development however completed packages can be submitted no earlier than 8 a.m. Oct. 15. Anything arriving prior to that will be discarded.

Grant amounts range from $5,000 for a sole proprietor to $20,000 for a company with up to 100 full time employees. Money can be used for operating expenses, lease payment, telework equipment costs, personal protective equipment purchase, inventory acquisitions and more.

Even those who have received other CARES money, regardless of the source, can apply.

•••

Four Cecil County businesses have been recognized by Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland as Champions. Aquafin, Cecil County School of Technology, Micropore, Inc., and Thymly Products were named for their leadership in fighting COVID-19, workforce development, innovation or energy efficiency and sustainability.

Resiliency, diversity and community engagement were other categories among the 144 winning manufacturers.

All four Cecil County companies are now entered into a People’s Choice Award competition. To cast your vote go here: https://rmiofmaryland.com/2020-champions-of-md-manufacturing-peoples-choice-award/

•••

The Art Den, LLC in Rising Sun is working with the Rising Sun Lions Club this year by sponsoring and providing materials for local young artists to participate in the annual Peace Prize poster contest.

Well known Lion Bud McFadden said normally the civic group would work with Rising Sun Middle School art teachers to get entries but the pandemic put a wrinkle in that plan. McFadden said Bri Weidner and Chriztie Kaufman, owners of The Art Den, quickly volunteered to step in.

“They are giving supplies to middle school students that want to participate,” McFadden said.

The art should reflect the artist’s ideas about peace, such as their vision or how it can be accomplished.

Weidner said these young artists ages 11 to 13 are given their choice of medium and a large piece of heavy poster paper.

“If they want to paint we give them the paints and brushes,” she said. Other options are pencils, chalks, ink, or pastels. “It was to be flat. No 3D art.”

The Art Den at 10 East Main St. is open Monday through Saturday from noon until 8 p.m. The artist can work at home or at The Art Den. The last day to enter is Nov. 2. The Rising Sun Lions will select its winner and forward it to the regional awards level.

The 2019 winner, Mason Watters, received a $100 check from the Lions Club.

Business Beat is a weekly column on business happenings in and around Cecil County. If interested in having your business featured in this column, contact Jane Bellmyer at jbellmyer@cecilwhig.com or 443-245-5007.

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