(THE PICKET)- U.S. Senate Democrats are holding a retreat today and tomorrow at The Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown and women who participated in the Jan. 21 March on Washington are organizing a march on Thursday.
Marchers are expected to gather on the sidewalk along Route 480 across the street from the Bavarian Inn, behind the Shepherd University football field on the sidewalk.
Thursday’s march is expected to last from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The march is being organized by the West Virginia women’s group on Facebook, and social media discussions are recommending the women bring “respectful protest signs and dress warmly.”
Both entrances to the Inn were barricaded Wednesday. One entrance was blocked by two Shepherdstown police and the other entrance was blocked by an officer in a black SUV. U.S. Capitol Police and National Park Service are providing security.
“We are aware of what is going on and working with U.S. Capital Police (in Shepherdstown),” Shepherdstown Police Chief Mike King said in a phone interview. “We will not be increasing our staffing at this time.”
“We are not expecting any traffic delays or detours at this time,” King added.
Reporters from CNN were also in town. They were seen chatting with townspeople at the Shepherdstown Sweet Shop with their van and camera equipment set up nearby.
The reporters said they were covering the retreat but having difficulty gaining access due to heavy security at the Bavarian.
An aide to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he will not be attending.
The Picket spoke with former Democratic Candidate for W.Va. House of Delegates, Rod Snyder, this afternoon about the Senate retreat and the Women’s March in Washington D.C. last weekend as well as the march planned for tomorrow in Shepherdstown.
“What’s really exciting about this retreat is that the entire democratic caucus will be here to organize and address issues together,” Snyder said, “Organization and cohesion is essential for our concerns with the incoming administration’s policies and the cabinet nominees.”
Snyder commented positively on the marches and tomorrow’s actions.
“I think that this gathering will show support to the senators and let them know that a large portion of American’s sympathize with their positions,” Snyder said.
This morning on I-270 one of the buses caring senators to the retreat was involved in an accident. Maryland State Police said that the fatal crash took place in Frederick on westbound I-70 at the ramp to I-270 northbound.
The preliminary investigation indicates that shortly after 9:00 a.m., all four vehicles involved were traveling westbound on I-70 at I-270.
According to witnesses, westbound travel lanes had slowed for merging traffic. There was a chain reaction collision in the travel portion of westbound I-70. All four of the vehicles were disabled in the crash.
The deceased victim involved in the crash was traveling alone in an SUV and pronounced deceased at the scene by EMS respondents. The victim is not being identified pending next of kin notification.
Three dump trucks were also involved in the crash. Two of the drivers were transported to Frederick Memorial Hospital. The occupants of the three dump trucks have not yet been identified.
The investigation is being conducted by troopers assigned to the MSP CRASH Team, with the assistance of troopers from the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division and troopers from the Frederick Barrack. Assistance at the scene is also being provided by personnel from Frederick County Fire and EMS.
Westbound I-70 at the ramp to I-270 northbound will remain closed for the investigation. MDOT State Highway Administration CHART personnel are on the scene coordinating the detour of traffic around the area. Drivers should check www.md511.org or dial 511 for the latest traffic and detour information.
More detailed information will be provided later today after it is available and families have been notified. There has been no word as to which officials were on the involved bus.
As Protesters prepare for tomorrow a sign making party was held at Four Seasons Bookstore.
Jessica Sharpless is Staff reporter for the Picket and can be contacted at email@example.com.
*Contributions were made by Pandora Affemann, a staff writer for The Picket, as well as former editor, Todd Bowman.