CUMBERLAND — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot traveled to Cumberland on Wednesday where he visited the new Allegany High School, Friends Aware Inc., and Curtis' Coney Island Famous Weiners.
Franchot began his day with a visit to the new $55 million Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain. He was given a tour by several local officials including David Cox, Allegany County superintendent of schools; Jake Shade, Allegany County Commission president; Robin Summerfield, field representative for Sen. Ben Cardin; and Mike Calhoun, Allegany principal.
"It is really something special," said Franchot. "The extra money the state put in for the auditorium, it was money well spent. Aces up, is what I say. The kids seemed highly motivated and energized. As long as they can take care of it; it's not easy to maintain a beautiful school like that. I think it will be there at least as long as the former school was."
The new school replaced the former Allegany on Sedgwick Street, which served the community for 93 years.
Following his visit to Allegany, Franchot stopped by Coney Island Famous Weiners, where owner Gino Giatras has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the restaurant, which opened in 1918.
"Gino is a genuine personality," said Franchot. "I love stopping by. I'm looking forward to having my dog with everything, some french fries and a vanilla Coke made with his own vanilla syrup."
Franchot presented Giatras with a state certificate of recognition during the stop.
"This is in recognition of your 100th anniversary," said Franchot. "I think your dad is really smiling down on you.
"With gratitude for being a welcoming, friendly gathering place with great customer service and variety of delicious food, milk shakes and floats, and special appreciation for your delicious Coney Island-style wieners ... and for being a notable historic landmark. Best wishes for continued growth, success and prosperity."
Upon accepting the certificate, Giatras said, "I want to thank you everybody for being a part of my whole 100 years and may we have 100 more ... but not with me."
The 24-year-old Shade was also present for the visit.
"I have the youngest elected official in the state of Maryland, Jake Shade, with me. Would you like to say a few words?" said Franchot.
"No ... just two with sauce and fries," joked Shade.
During his visit, Franchot offered an update on some issues facing the state. He said he is continuing his push to promote craft brewing facilities across Maryland. He attempted to get a bill passed last year to ease restrictions on brewers' hours of operation and the rules for the sale of craft beer to distributors.
"The bill was treated pretty roughly, but I think next year we will have better luck," said Franchot. "We will begin pushing again. I'm optimistic."
Franchot said he would like to promote Maryland as a destination for craft breweries in the future.
The office of comptroller is up for grabs with the general election set for Nov. 6. Franchot said he is hoping to secure another four-year term as the state's comptroller.