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LOCAL NEWS


COVENANT HOUSE PAYMENTS TO CONTINUE

 

Even though Cumberland Covenant House is being investigated for payment fraud, Medicaid payments will continue, based on the need for adult day care in Allegany County. The facility was facing a suspension of payments, beginning Saturday, as federal law dictates payments be suspended if allegations of fraud are "credible," which is a lesser standard. Medicaid payments were suspended earlier this year to over half of Washington, D.C.'s home health care providers, but were temporarily reinstated by order of a federal judge.

 

 

FLINTSTONE MAN FINED IN BEAR POACHING CASE

 

Forty-eight year old Steven McKee of Flintstone will be paying $1300 in fines and restitution, after he pleaded guilty to killing a black bear out of season. As the result of a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped a number of other charges against McKee, including one that he used bait to lure game, in an area of the county where it is prohibited to stem the spread of chronic wasting disease among deer. He was fined $500 for shooting the bear with a crossbow; he must also make restitution of $800 to the DNR for the bear, and a deer he shot and didn't report.

 

 

MAN HELD ON $10,000 BOND IN THEFT INCIDENT

 

Twenty-year old Cumberland resident Joshua James Connell was held on $10,000 bond, after he was arrested at a local scrap yard, trying to sell items stolen from a Market Street parking lot. Connell was arrested after a search of the vehicle was conducted at the scrap yard. It was determined that another person with him was not involved and was released. More items from the Market Street theft were located at Connell's home. The investigation is continuing and anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police.

 

 

WOMAN JAILED AFTER GARRETT COUNTY STOP

 

Sara Ann Kelly Gardner of Swanton, was jailed on both drunken driving and drug distribution charges, following a traffic stop on Maryland Highway near Edgewood Drive. Ms. Gardner was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, obstructing and hindering a police officer and driving while impaired. She was released after posting $5,000 bond, pending a District Court trial.

 

 

S.H.A. PREPARES FOR WINTER

 

Winter is coming and the State Highway Administration is ready! During a press conference at the SHA offices on Vocke Road, Tony Crawford, District 6 Engineer, says one new innovation this year is the "A.V.L.," or Automatic Vehicle Locator. The S.H.A. is also able to monitor the amount of salt that is being spread on the road, according to Crawford. Monitoring the use of salt will help reduce the amount used while maintaining and effective level of service. Pre-treating the roads is also done, using salt brine, before a predicted weather event.

 

 

 

TWO AREA FIRES REPORTED

 

Emergency crews responded to two fires in the area yesterday. The first was reported in Oldtown, at 23900 Mountain Lake Roads, just before 4 a.m. A house fire on Carol Avenue in Keyser was reported just before 3 p.m. In that incident, one person reportedly refused medical treatment at the scene. There was no indication of injuries in the Oldtown fire.

 

 

NO INJURIES REPORTED IN BUS ACCIDENT

 

No injuries were reported in an accident yesterday morning, involving a collision between a vehicle and Frankfort High School bus. The accident happened on school grounds, with several emergency responders on the scene, along with the school's resource officer.

 

 

RATE HIKE BEING NEGOTIATED

 

 A proposed $151.5 million rate hike request for two subsidiaries of First Energy Corporation is being negotiated with the West Virginia Public Service Commission. Hearings are being held this week, involving the request from Potomac Edison and Mon Power. The full rate hike request would raise the average customer's bill from $92.62 to $107.98.

 

 

AMBER ALERT CANCELLED

 

Twenty-seven year old Tiamarie Valenzuela and her two children were found in New Castle, Delaware Tuesday night, after she left Odenton, Maryland and threatened to drive off a bridge with them. The Amber Alert that had been issued was cancelled. Ms. Valenzuela called police herself after friends and family had told her about the alert. No criminal charges are pending in the case.

 

 

PARCC TESTS DELAYED

 

The Maryland State Board of Education has approved a framework for updating graduation requirements, and delays the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC tests until the 2016-2017 school year. PARCC tests for tenth grade English and Algebra I.

LOCAL NEWS


WOMAN SENTENCED IN CRUELTY CASE

Carol Jean Detrick was sentenced yesterday in court, in connection to the "Lucky 33" animal cruelty case on Greene Street this past June. She will serve 33 days in jail, one day for each dog that was abandoned when she and her husband vacated their property at 661 Greene Street. She was also fined $500 in restitution as partial repayment of the thousands of dollars that were spent on rescuing and follow-up care for the animals. She will also serve three years probation, undergo counseling and be prohibited from owning or providing care for any animals. This sentence was identical to that of her husband, Robert's. He was sentenced on August 4th for his part in the case.

 

ROMNEY MAN HURT IN ATV ACCIDENT

Forty-year old Romney maintenance worker Edward "Sonny" Lewis is recovering in the ICU at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, after his four-wheeler rolled, and landed on top of him. Lewis had been riding in the woods off River Road at the time of the accident; he was flown to the hospital by the Maryland State Police Trooper Five helicopter. His son Derrick, a volunteer for the Romney Fire Department, was one of the responders.

 

ATV ACCIDENT KILLS 4-YEAR OLD GIRL

Four-year old Tailynn Felker  died, and three children were injured in an all-terrain vehicle in Somerset County late Monday afternoon. A 14-year old girl was driving, when the vehicle lost control near a Somerset County railroad crossing; the ATV rolled, and threw the four year old girl an unspecified distance. A 1-year old boy, a three-year old girl and a 9-year old girl were on board. The injured children were taken to the Meyersdale Medical Center.  None of the children were wearing a helmet.

 

NO CHARGES IN FROSTBURG FIRE

No charges will be filed in a minor fire Monday afternoon on Center Street in Frostburg. The Office of the State Fire Marshal says the occupants of 127 Center Street were attempting eliminate pests on the front porch, by using an ignitable liquid, and the fire was extinguished before any damage was done. There was no criminal intent. The two-story, wood-framed residence is owned by Joseph Gutman.

 

MEYERSDALE WOMAN ARRESTED IN BURGLARY

Forty-year old Meyersdale, Pennsylvania resident Lynn Firl was arrested in connection to a burglary in the 1800-block of  National Highway in Frostburg. The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police responded to a burglary in progress; Firl was arrested at the scene and charged with burglary and destruction of property. She is being held in the Garrett County Jail on $3,000 bond.

 

CHECKPOINT NETS ONE ARREST

One person was arrested as the result of a sobriety checkpoint, conducted last weekend on McMullen Highway near Warrior Drive. The Allegany County Sheriff's Department says a total of 580 vehicle passed through the checkpoint. In addition to one arrest, 11 citations were issued, along with five warnings for violations, including driving on a suspended license, speeding violations and registration violations. The Sheriff's Office, along with the Cumberland City Police and the State Highway Administration worked together on the checkpoint.

 

PLANE CRASH SURVIVORS NAMED

Two people who were involved in a plane crash in Preston County on Sunday have been identified. Tunnelton resident Richard Rhodes and Gabril Gabrilidir of Morgantown were in the plane when it went down off Ringer Road, just west of the Valley Point Airport. Both were taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital. There is no word on what caused the plane to go down, and the investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration is continuing.

 

TGCC MEETING SET FOR NOVEMBER 6TH

The Greater Cumberland Committee has scheduled its next meeting for Thursday, November 6th at 11:30 a.m. The Cumberland Country Club is hosting the meeting. Allegany College of Maryland President Dr. Cynthia Bambara will facilitate a panel on building awareness of how out educational institutions support regional workforce needs.

 

FREE CONCERT SET AT F.S.U.

Frostburg State University will host acclaimed modern rock quartet, Honor by August, next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be held in the Alice Maincur Assembly Hall in FSU's Lane University Center. The FSU concert will kick off the band's national tour. The Washington Post called Honor by August, "one of the most promising new talents on the East Coast. They have shared stages with the likes of Bon Jovi, Switchfoot, Imagine Dragons, and Third Eye Blind. The event also kicks off the Alzheimer's Foundation of America's "Raise Your Voice for Care" College tour, which helps raise awareness about a disease that has affected the lives of so many.

 

GAS PRICES CONTINUE TO DROP

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Cumberland is $3.12 per gallon. Prices around the region are reaching their lowest levels in more than three years, and in some areas, the price has dropped below $3.00 per gallon. That could also be the case, nationally, by the end of the year.

 

SCHOOLS DISMISS EARLY TODAY

Allegany County Public Schools will dismiss three hours early today. The three-hours will be used for teacher work time.

 

EARLY VOTING PROBLEMS IN MARYLAND

The Maryland State Board of Elections has examined about 20 voting units, after voters reported the machines displayed a different candidate than the one they selected during early voting. Twelve of the units were thoroughly tested, and the other eight were taken out of service. The board says it will continue to monitor reports. Early voting continues through tomorrow.

 

THREE-MINUTE MISTAKE COULD COST A LIFE

The Maryland State Fire Marshal is reminding residents that, when setting clocks back one hour this weekend, it's also a good time to check the battery in your home's smoke detectors. Research from the American Red Cross shows people think they have five minutes to escape from a fire, when, in fact, it's really only two minutes. A new Red Cross "Home Fire Preparedness Campaign" kicked off this month to set the record straight. Spokesperson Anne Marie Borrego says home fire drills may be the only way to beat the clock...and save lives. And, she has advice about how to conduct a fire-safety conversation with children.

 

NUMBER OF COAL MINING SITES DROPS

West Virginia now has only 96 active coal mining sites in the state; the number has continued to drop over the past two years, with 184 active mines at the end of 2012 and 152 at the end of last year. In the last two years, about 4,000 miners have lost their jobs. The industry is seeing a shift in production from mines in southern West Virginia to the northern section of the state. "Scrubber" technology was added to northern power plants during the 1990's, which enables them to burn high-sulfur coal found in northern West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

One Child killed in ATV accident in Somerset County


One Child killed in ATV accident in Somerset County
One child is dead and 3 others were injured as a result of an ATV accident around 5pm last evening on Scratch Hill Road in Summit Township, Somerset County.  State Police say 5 people were on the ATV, driven by a 14 year old girl, when it went out of control and rolled.  A 4 year old girl was thrown, and later died as a result of her injuries.  The children were take to Meyersdale Medical Center.  No helmets were worn.  The investigation is continuing.

LOCAL NEWS


CAR FIRE RESULT OF "DRUG MANUFACTURING"

North Centre Street was closed for several hours yesterday, after police say a car fire occurred, as the result of "clandestine drug manufacturing." The fire erupted inside the vehicle, as it was traveling on Centre; one of the two people in the car was taken to the hospital for treatment of burns, while the other fled the scene, prior to the arrival of police. A number of agencies, including the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office, the C3I unit, and the Western Maryland Clandestine Lab Team, responded.

 

LOCAL FACILITY UNDER INVESTIGATION

The Cumberland Covenant House on Paca Street is under investigation for alleged Medicaid fraud, and will lose those payments after November 1st. The center cares for nearly five dozen patients. A search warrant was executed last month. Delegate Kevin Kelly has been asked to contact the Governor's Office and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, asking that the payments continue until the legal issues are resolved. CEO Susie Root says that without the payments, Covenant House, quote, "won't last long."

 

GRAND AVENUE FIRE RULED "ACCIDENTAL"

Last Thursday's fire, in the 400 block of Grand Avenue, in which two children died, has been ruled "accidental" by the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. Three-year old Halaina Smith and 7-year old Emily Edwards died in the fire, with four other family members escaping. Five occupants of the property at 404 Grand Avenue were also able to escape. The fire originated in the living room of 402 Grand Avenue and quickly spread. Family and friends held a candlelight vigil at the site of the fire Saturday night.

 

JURY TRIAL ORDERED IN DOG DEATHS CASE

Former Bel Air resident Christopher Adam Preston will go on trial in early December on charges of animal cruelty, in connection to last summer's case involving the death of nine dogs on McGill Drive. Neighbors had complained of several dogs being left in the house for about eight weeks, and animal shelter officials found nine dead dogs in the house. Three remaining dogs survived, although they were suffering from dehydration, starvation and anemia due to flea infestation. Preston's trial is set for December 9th at 8:45 a.m. in Circuit Court.

 

POTOMAC STATE STUDENTS JAIL IN HOME INVASION

Potomac State College students Damien James Steward Brannon and Dwayne Tyrone Hudson were arrested in Washington, D.C., in connection with a recent home invasion in Keyser. The two were taken into custody on October 17th, two days after the home invasion in the 200-block of North Water Street. Police reports say three suspects, armed with a handgun, held the occupant at gunpoint, stealing weapons and electronic items from the home. A 15-year old was also arrested in connection with the case.

 

PIEDMONT CONSIDERS SEWER FUNDING OPTIONS

The town of Piedmont is considering a number of options to fund its sewer system, through possible grants and a loan from the local bank. The sewer system there is in need of repair, according to an audit from the Rural Water Association. The cost for repairs is at least $100,000; as for a loan to make the repairs, government officials there may seek the help of First United and Trust Bank.

 

PRESTON COUNTY PLANE CRASH

Emergency units were called to the scene of a downed plane in Preston County Sunday afternoon. A single-engine airplane crashed just west of the Valley Point Airport; two people were aboard the plane, and they were both flown to local trauma centers in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash. There was no word on the victim's identities or conditions.

 

CUMBERLAND MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT

Cumberland resident Joshua Tyler Corey Newton was charged with second-degree assault, following an incident late Sunday night in the 1000-block of Lexington Avenue. Newton allegedly assaulted another man, who claimed he threw a glass cologne bottle at him, and struck him in the face. He was arrested, taken to a District Court for his initial appearance and released on personal recognizance by a District Court Commissioner.

 

DIAZ AWARDED RECERTIFICATION

Matthew Diaz was recently awarded re-certification by the International Economic Development Council. Diaz first achieved the Certified Economic Developer designation in 2008. With over 12 years of economic development experience, Diaz has led Allegany County Government's Department of Economic and Community Development since 2006.

 

ENDOWMENT CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY

The Allegany Museum's Endowment Campaign is underway, with a kickoff reception held last Thursday. Dr. Julianne Ferris, of the Museum's Advisory Board, says they have been working to convert office space into museum space, and will be losing revenue because of that. She says one of the major features of the museum is the Kelly-Springfield Tire Company display. Dr. Ferris says both the Old German and Old Export breweries also have a display, and adds the endowment fund is critical for the long term success and survival of the museum.

 

ADULT ED ORIENTATION SESSIONS ANNOUNCED

The Allegany County Adult Education Program, offered by the Allegany County Public School system, will host a two-day orientation session on November 5th and 6th. During the orientation, individuals wishing to earn a high school diploma will be given an overview of both the G.E.D. and the National External Diploma. A student who satisfactorily completes the requirements of either program will be awarded a Maryland High School Diploma. To register for the orientation session or for more information, call (301)-687-8025.

 

EARLY VOTING ENDS THURSDAY

The Maryland Board of Elections is reporting the early voter turnout is higher among Democrats than Republicans; about 3.2 per cent of all eligible voters have cast their ballots, as of yesterday. Nearly 73,000 Democrats have cast their ballots, while nearly 34,000 Republicans have voted early. Centers will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through this Thursday.

LOCAL NEWS


ARSON RULED IN SATURDAY FIRE

 

A dispute between a mother and her 14-year old daughter, resulted in an arson fire Saturday night at the Fort Cumberland homes. A female juvenile used a cigarette lighter and paper to start the fire, and she has been charged with first degree arson, malicious burning and reckless endangerment. If convicted on all charges, the maximum penalties include 40 years in prison and/or $60,000 in fines. She was taken to a Department of Juvenile Services facility in Rockville, following her arrest.

 

 

MAN CHARGED IN DOMESTIC ASSAULT

 

Thirty-seven year old Ryan O'Toole has been charged with second-degree assault and theft, as the result of an incident last Tuesday on Polk Street. The woman alleged that O'Toole assaulted her by pulling her hair, punching her in the nose and biting her hand. She was treated at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. O'Toole also allegedly stole some prescription medications and fled the scene. He is being held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

POLICE ASK FOR HELP IN FIRE CASES

 

The Cumberland City Police are asking for help in solving the what is believed to be the intentional setting of fires in the East Offutt Street and Candoc Lane areas of South Cumberland. A total of three fires were found by a newspaper delivery person in the area, just before 5 a.m. yesterday. Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Solvers at (301)-722-4300.

 

 

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR CDS VIOLATIONS

 

Flintstone resident Ashley Lynn Bucklew was arrested, and later released on personal recognizance on CDS drug counts. Ms. Bucklew was stopped on Industrial Boulevard, and a K-9 scan of her car revealed the presence of CDS. She admitted the items were hers. Her purse was searched and additional CDS was located. She was charged with one count each of possession of CDS, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

WATER GRANT RECEIVED BY COUNTY

 

Maryland U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, along with U.S. Congressman John Delaney have announced that Allegany County will be receiving a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to upgrade critical water infrastructure in the county. The federal grant funding will be used to extend Allegany County water mains to connect the Rawlings community water system and to replace the existing aged distribution system. The funding will be used to construct a new water storage tank and treatment facility, bringing water to 345 homes and businesses to the Rawlings area.

 

 

CANAL PLACE CONSIDERS FUND REQUEST

 

The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority is considering a $2 million request for state funding, in assisting needed upgrades at the Footer Dye Works building and other infrastructure projects around the heritage area. Canal Place authorities recently entered into an exclusive agreement with Washington, D.C. developer Michael Joy, to develop the Footer building into a fully functioning mixed use facility.

 

 

BLACK BEAR RESULTS RELEASED

 

The Maryland black bear hunt yielded a total of 69 bruins harvested last week, slightly less than last year's total of 94. For the first time, the hunt was carried out as a four-day season, instead of being guided by a pre-determined quota. Over 3600 hunters applied for hunting permits; 450 were issued. Garrett County reported 57 bears taken, while there were only 12 from Allegany County.

 

 

LEAF COLLECTION BEGINS THIS WEEK

 

Leaf collection in Cumberland begins today, and will extend through the beginning of December. This week, the Seton Drive area will have leaves collected by the Cumberland Street Department; next week, leaf collection will take place on the Upper West Side; November 10th through the 14th, will see the lower West Side collected. Along with the collections, resident may also bag leaves and place them at the curb on their regular trash days.

 

 

STATE AGREES ON EBOLA PROTOCOLS

 

Health and hospital officials in the state have agreed on a coordinated strategy for dealing with potential Ebola patients. Carmela Coyle, the President and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association says potentially infected patients will be taken to one of three hospitals-Johns Hopkins, Medstar in Washington, D.C., or the University of Maryland Medical Center. The National Institute of Health is only one of 4 federal facilities that have biocontainment units.

 

 

 

RGA RUNNING ADS FOR HOGAN

 

The Republican Governor's Association is running a series of television ads for Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan. One of the ads highlights several tax increases approved during the O'Malley administration. Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, the Democratic candidate, leads Hogan by 9 percentage points, according to a Washington Post poll. Hogan's campaign says Brown is leading by only one percentage point.

 

 

UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS IN ALL W.VA. COUNTIES

 

The unemployment rate in West Virginia fell in all 55 counties in September, with the state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate set at 6.6 per cent. Hampshire County's rate was quoted at 5.1 per cent down from nearly 5.9 per cent in August. Other regional counties with declines in the unemployment rate were Preston County at 4.7, and Pendleton at 4.3. Mingo County was the only one with a jobless rate in double digits at 11 per cent.

LOCAL NEWS


TWO CHILDREN KILLED IN FIRE IDENTIFIED

Seven-year old Emily Edwards and five-year old Halaina Smith, who were sisters, were killed in an early morning fire yesterday, which broke out at 402 Grand Avenue in Cumberland. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is in the process of confirming the identities, and cause of death. The children's parents and two siblings escaped the fire uninjured. The neighbors, at 404 Grand Avenue-the other half of the duplex-also escaped uninjured. The blaze heavily damaged 402 Grand Avenue, while 404 received moderate smoke damage. Both families have been displaced and are being assisted by the American Red Cross. Two firefighters were treated at the scene for minor injuries. The origin and cause of the fire remain under investigation.

 

CUMBERLAND MAN KILLED IN MID-AIR CRASH

Cumberland resident Breandan McFawn was one of three people killed yesterday afternoon, when a plane and helicopter collided in mid-air near the Frederick Municipal Airport. McFawn was aboard a helicopter, which was involved in a training exercise, when it collided with the plane. Two men aboard the plane were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries.

 

NO PLANS FOR COMMISSIONERS TO MEET WITH MINERAL

The Allegany County Commissioners say they have no plans to meet with the Mineral County Commissioners to discuss the ongoing controversy over jurisdictional law with the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority.  PHAA Chair Dr. Gregg Wolff wrote a letter to both the Allegany County Commissioners and Authority members, charging board members were suspended from participating in any further meetings because of what he called "petty politics and myopic personal agendas."

 

RACING MAY RETURN TO FAIRGROUNDS

Local businessman Craig Knippenberg, owner of Nationwide Insurance on Mechanic Street, is proposing the start up of racing at the Allegany County Fairgrounds next summer, with six to eight races on the card. Arrangements are being finalized to bring dirt track racing to the fairgrounds, with the track to be renamed the Cumbeland Speedway. The county has notified Oval Track promotions it will not extend its contract with the county for another year.

 

SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT SET

The Allegany County Sheriff's Office is conducting a sobriety chekpoint at an undisclosed location this weekend to promote awareness and reduce the number of alcohol impaired drivers on the roads. The checkpoints will be clearly marked with signs, lights, and uniformed deputies, who will utilize both marked and unmarked vehicles. They will be checking for violations including driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to use seatbelts, failure to use child safety seats, and handheld cellular devices. So far this year, the Sheriff's Office has investigated 336 motor vehicle crashes and conducted 1,474 traffic stops, resulting in 62 traffic-related arrests.

 

GARRETT MAN POSTS BOND IN TRAILER PARK INCIDENT

Garrett County resident James Chones is free on bond, following his arrest for an October 13th incident at the Lower White Oak trailer court in Swanton. Chones allegedly kissed the female occupant of a trailer, left and then urinated in her yard, before trying to enter another trailer. He was charged with assault, indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and two counts of  burglary.

 

HAMPSHIRE ROAD TO CLOSE FOR 3 DAYS

Paving and shoulder work will cause the closure of Dunmore Ridge Road, east of Augusta, next week. The work will stretch from Route 50, to about 2/3 of a mile north of Sedan School Road. Work will take place from 7:30 a.m. till dark next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Drivers should expect delays.

 

SENATOR OPPOSES FRACKING WASTE

West Virginia Senator John Unger wants to keep the waste material from hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" from entering the Mountain State. There have been discussions of using the LCS landfill in Hedgesville for the disposal of radioactive fracking waste. Unger fears that the waste could seep into portions of the Eastern Panhandle water supply. Pennsylvania has introduced a moratorium on dumping the material in the state's landfills.

 

YOUNGSTERS CAN TEACH ELDERS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY

"If you need help with your computer, ask a kid." That saying may be a joke, but AARP is taking it seriously by partnering the non-tech savvy with high school students in Maryland. At a recent event, about 80 students helped 80 seniors with technology questions. Mike Kulick, of AARP/Maryland says it doesn't take long for seniors to navigate their devices when they have a young coach by their side. Kulick adds that sometimes when family members are involved in the tech teaching, it can be frustrating, but these pairings with high school students bring different results.

 

GROUP WANTS RETAILERS TO STOP SELLING TOBACCO

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is launching a first-of-its-kind national campaign urging retailers to stop selling tobacco products. Several retailers such as Wegman's, CVS, and Target have already stopped selling the products. Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States; the state of West Virginia has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation. The end result of the Campaign is to ultimately create a tobacco-free generation.

LOCAL NEWS


CHILDREN DIE IN EARLY MORNING FIRE

A five-year old and seven-year old girls, now identified as Emily Edwards and Halaina Smith,  died in an early morning fire on Grand Avenue. The call was initially received at 2:55 a.m., when the occupants of 402 and 404 Grand Avenue were awakened by the sound of smoke alarms. The fire originated in 402 Grand Avenue where two adults and four children were sleeping; those at 404 Grand Avenue escaped without injury. Nearly 45 firefighters brought the blaze under control in about a half-hour. The children's bodies were taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore for autopsy. The joint investigation is being conducted by the State Fire Marshal's Office, the C3I unit, the Cumberland Fire Marshal's Office and Cumberland City Police to determine the origin and cause of the fire.

LOCAL NEWS


INVESTIGATION REVEALS HEROIN RING IN SOMERSET

Four people have been arrested in what police are calling a heroin trafficking ring between Somerset and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Drug deals were done in several Somerset locations, including the Arby's restaurant, the parking lot of a neighboring hotel, and even in front of the Somerset County courthouse. Arrested were Darrell Mar, Jr., Delron Stewart and Nakia Bostick. Mandy Klinkner, of Somerset County, had been in the company of the others, but, so far, is not facing any charges.  Ms. Klinkner admitted to stealing from a young cancer patient; she has since made full restitution.

 

KEYSER MAN ALLEGEDLY STABS FATHER

Thirty-two year old Keyser resident Gregory Kent Rotruck is in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on charges of attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his father Tuesday evening. Rotruck was arrested shortly after the incident, while his father underwent surgery at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Gregory Rotruck allegedly became combative, and broke a door jamb, and used that to hit a police communications officer. The dispatcher was treated at Potomac Valley Hospital and released. Rotruck also allegedly assaulted a police officer at the station.

 

MAN ARRESTED IN SEPTEMBER INCIDENT

Thirty-two year old Christopher Douglas Balderson of Cumberland has been arrested in connection with an assault incident in the 200-block of Virginia Avenue. Balderson allegedly struck a person with a closed fist, knocking him to the ground; when another person intervened, Balderson sliced the second victim's arm; that person was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment. Balderson posted $35,000 bond and was released, pending trial.

 

MAN CHARGED WITH VIOLATING PEACE ORDER

Twenty-year old James Raymnond Harry Searles was arrested and charged with violating a peace order, one hour after being issued the order. He was later taken to District Court for his initial appearance and released on personal recognizance by a District Court Commissioner.

 

PHAA CANCELS TONIGHT'S MEETING

The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority has cancelled its meeting for today, due to a lack of a quorum. Mineral County has suspended its representatives from attending the meetings for the time being; Allegany County also has one seat open. The items on the agenda would be moved to the next meeting for Thursday, December 4th.

 

BEAR HUNT  ENDS TODAY

Forty-eight bears had been harvested as of yesterday; the annual black bear hunt ends today in Allegany and Garrett counties. Nine of those had been taken in Allegany County, with 39 from Garrett. To reach the record number of bears taken last year, 49 will have to be taken and checked today.

 

COALITION REPORTS COMPLIANCE CHECKS

The Frostburg Community Coalition is reporting, during a check of Frostburg bars,  no violations of serving underage patrons alcohol were reported. A total of 103 checks were performed at the local establishments that had signed the FCC's Cooperating Alcohol Agreement. Seven violations were reported during the fall, 2013 semester.

 

WATER PROJECT MEETING SET

The Allegany County Department of Public Works has scheduled a public meeting regarding a potential water project for the Barrelville/Sunnyside area. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 5th at 7 p.m. at the Mount Savage Fire Hall. Residents of the area, and all interested citizens are invited and encouraged to attend.

 

EXCHANGE WEBSITE BEING TESTED

The state is testing its revamped health exchange website, utilizing technology from Connecticut, on how well it can handle thousands of users over different periods of time. Endurance tests will be run on the system to check how it operates under high loads, for long periods of time. The new website is set to open for people to browse on November 9th; enrollment begins on November 15th.

 

"FIVE PER CENT" CAN PROTECT KIDS FROM SEXUAL ABUSE

Thousands of Maryland residents are being trained to prevent child sexual abuse, in conjunction with local YMCA's as part of a goal to train five per cent of the country's adult population to provide a cushion of support for children of all ages. The Redwoods Group Foundation has been providing grants to cover the training costs. Michael Graves, of the Foundation, says one in ten children will be sexually abused before age 18; 90 per cent will be abused by someone they or the family knows and trusts.Graves says the training is not just for parents, teachers, coaches, and those with regular, direct contact with children; he wants everyone to consider it to provide neighborhood-level protection for all children.

 

SOCIAL SECURITY RECIPIENTS TO RECEIVE RAISE

For the third straight year, Social Security recipients will receive a slight cost-of-living increase. Sixty-million will receive a benefit increase, on the average of $20 per month. The cost-of-living adjustment, or "COLA," will also increase government benefits for millions of disabled veterans, federal retirees, and people drawing disability payments for the poor.

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