Governor Signs Several Bills
Governor Martin O'Malley signed several bills yesterday, including one of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. The National Rifle Association and other opponents say they will immediately challenge that measure, which takes effect October 1st, in court. O'Malley also signed the first gas tax increase in 20 years. And, using a handheld cellphone to talk or text will be considered a primary offense, after October 1st. The first offense would be punishable by a fine of up to $75; fines increase up to $175 for a third offense.
DNR Boat Sinks At Deep Creek Lake
There won't be too many details until a report is filed, but a Department of Natural Resources boat sunk yesterday afternoon at Deep Creek Lake. The DNR boat was unmanned at the time, and it was brought to the surface with air bags. The 24-foot Ottercraft is a work boat and is able to lift heavy loads. Two staff members were in a boating accident, but no other information will be provided until the report is finished.
Second Case of Rabies In Garrett County
There has been a second case of laboratory-confirmed rabies in Garrett County. The case involved a goat in the southern area of Garrett County. The animal became ill, and died on Monday, May 6th. It tested positive for rabies; a total of seven peopled initiated post-exposure treatment for the virus, and an additional goat was vaccinated against rabies, and will be watched closely for six months.
Three Personnel Changes for County Schools
The new school year will see two new principals and a new chief academic officer for the coming year. Scott Sisler will replace Steve Wilson as principal at South Penn Elementary School. Candy Canan will become principal at the Center for Career and Technical Education. Kim Green has been named the chief academic officer for the school year. The appointments are effective July 1st.
Man Arrested After Forcing His Way Into Home
Twenty-year old Keyser resident Matthew Ryan O'Reilly was arrested after forcing his way into a home...the home of Mineral County Sheriff Jeremy Taylor. O'Reilly thought he was at his uncle's house; Sheriff Taylor's wife was able to call her husband to report the incident. O'Reilly had admitted to using about a gram of crystal methamphetamine earlier in the day. He is being held in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $10,000 bond.
State Police Seek Man In Connection to March Incident
The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is attempting to locate Brian Keith DeBerry. He is wanted in connection with a March 9th incident on Teaberry Lane in Accident. DeBerry is wanted on an arrest warrant, charging him with second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property charges. He may be in the Oakland, Maryland or Terra Alta or Fairmont, West Virginia areas. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police at (301)-387-1101.
Man Held Without Bond
A 27-year old Mount Savage man is being held without bond, following his arrest on Wednesday. Andrew Wade Ridgeley is charged with the fraudulent use of a credit card last February 13th and February 14th. He is charged with I.D. theft and 7 counts of illegal use of a credit card.
Baltimore Man Charged with Unauthorized Use
Baltimore resident Rodricus Marquees Wilkes is being charged in Cumberland with driving a vehicle without the owner's consent and unauthorized removal of property. The incident occurred earlier this week, when the victim lent Wilkes a car, but failed to return it after several hours. The victim could not get in touch with him, and enlisted the help of the Cumberland City Police. After his appearance in District Court, Wilkes was released on personal recognizance.
O'Malley, O'Reilly Battle It Out
It seems to be a war of words between Governor Martin O'Malley and talk show host Bill O'Reilly, when it comes to the corruption that has been uncovered in Maryland's jails. O'Reilly has referred to Corrections Secretary Gary Maynard as a, quote, "moron." O'Malley says he has no desire to fire Maynard. Meanwhile, Tavon White, who federal authorities call a gang kingpin, has complained about conditions in Cumberland, where he is being held, following his transfer from Baltimore.
Fewer West Virginians Seeking Unemployment Benefits
The state of West Virginia's unemployment rate declined four-tenths of a percentage point to 6.6 per cent in April, and this is the lowest rate in four years. The number of unemployed residents fell 2600 to 53,500. Trade, transportation, and utilities and other services added 200 jobs, while educational and health services showed the largest unemployment declines at 800.
Man To Stand Trial in Fatal Shooting of Sheriff
An October 21st trial date has been set for 37-year old Tennis Maynard, who is accused of fatally shooting Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum on April 3rd. Maynard pleaded not guilty to the charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and felony fleeing a police officer during Wednesday's arraignment hearing in Cabell County. A bond hearing has been set for June 17th in Huntington.
Myers Won't Seek Re-Election
Delegate LeRoy Myers has decided he will not seek re-election to the Maryland General Assembly next year. Myers, who represents parts of both Allegany and Washington Counties, says that while there was no single motivating factor in his decision, he is frustrated by the political dynamics in Annapolis. Myers was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2002, when he defeated then-Speaker of the House, Casper Taylor in a close race.
Keyser Man Indicted for Setting House on Fire
Forty-four year old Keyser resident Robert Lee Suter, who was charged with allegedly setting his Sunnydale Addition house on fire, has been indicted by the Mineral County Grand Jury. Suter was charged with first and third-degree arson and destruction of property. Suter allegedly ignited items in the garage of the home, and the fire spread to the home, reportedly occupied by his wife, Barbara Suter.
Woman Sentenced in Fatal Reckless Endangerment Case
Forty-one year old Everett resident Susan Bonner has been sentenced to three weeks to a year in jail, for allowing her son to carry a handgun used during a fatal game of Russian roulette. She pleaded guilty in March to reckless endangerment. Her son took a gun to a friend's house and left it in a drawer. The friend got the gun and shot a third boy, 15-year old Neal Hammond, in July of 2012. Hammond died the next morning at a Johnstown-area hospital. The charges against the shooter were resolved in juvenile court. District Attorney William Higgins said Ms. Bonner was remorseful throughout the case.
Coburn Wins Eighth Term as Coney Mayor
Jack Coburn, running unopposed and garnering 96 votes, was elected to an 8th term as Mayor of Lonaconing. Four council seats will be filled by Mark Greenwald, Eric Wilkinson, Warren Foote and Danny Sloan, Jr. David Kidwell received 49 votes and two other incumbent council members chose not to run for another term.
First United Bank Closing Branch
First United Bank Corporation plans to close its Frostburg Community Office on New Georges Creek road as of August 30th. A lack of growth, to remain viable in the market, was given as one of the main factors in deciding to close the facility. There will be no loss of jobs, as employees will remain part of the organization. The corporation is also planning to make the transition as smooth as possible by offering workshops on use of internet banking, mobile and text banking eStatements and direct deposit services.
Warrants Served on Cumberland Man
The Cumberland City Police served four District Court bench warrants on 20-year old Matthew Jason Swick, and total bail was set at $26,500. He was served with warrants for failure to appear on an original charge of fraud; one of theft of less than $1,000; and, failure to appear to answer charges of assault, and a violation of probation count.
Woman Refuses to Leave Hospital, and Is Arrested
A 24-year old Cumberland woman, Corrina Louise Reeder was arested and charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct, following an incident at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on Tuesday. She had been a patient at the hospital, and refused to leave after being discharged. Officers escorted her from the premises, but observed her commit an assault and act in a disorderly manner. She was held on $2,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Ridgeley Mayor Indicted
Ridgeley Mayor Jim Twigg has been indicted by a Mineral County Grand Jury, on eight felony counts of fraudulent or unauthorized use of a government-issued purchase card. Twigg allegedly charged over $400 to the card; the Mayor, for his part, claims the town has been reimbursed for the expenses. He was unaware of the indictment, prior to a meeting of town officials last night. The charges were made during travel, on behalf of the town. Twigg could be removed from office, if found guilty.
School Board May Be Minimally Funded
The Allegany County Board of Education could be, for the first time ever, funded at the lowest possible level, as required by state law. A draft budget from the county recommends $29.8 million for the fiscal year; the board had requested $31 million. The board has been cut by nearly $11 million in state funding in the past four years. The state is expected to fvund the board $74.7 million, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
Accident Involving ACPS Bus
An Allegany County Public School bus, en route to Allegany High School, was involved in a minor traffic accident. The bus was turning left, off of Cumberland Street, when the back end hit an unoccupied, parked vehicle. There was only one student on the bus at the time, and no injuries. ACPS administrators, as well as law enforcement officers responded to the scene. The parents of the student on the bus were notified, and the school nurse examined the student as a precaution. No replacement bus was necessary.
Route 219 Southern Link Best Use of Funds
Completing the southern link of U.S. Route 219 is the best use of Pennsylvania Appalachian Development Highway System Funds. There is no section of the Appalachian system that is as far along as Route 219. Of a total of $500 million in ADHS funds, $305 million is promised for the completion of the 12-mile stretch of U.S. Route 219 from Somerset to Meyersdale. The balance of the money could be used for the final leg of Route 219 in Pennsylvania, from Meyersdale to the Maryland line and Interstate 68.
Judge to Address Mini-Marina Request
Oakland Judge Jim Sherbin will reconsider a request to establish a mini-marina at the Lakeside Creamery, and a decision is expected by June 1st. Business owner Bill Meagher has made the request for the mini-marina, but it's been determined that his property did not meet the minimum total lot or land area per use of 10,000 square feet in the ordinance, and instead a permit was based on a minimum land area of 6,000 square feet, according to the Cumberland Times-News. Attorney Greg Skidmore has requested Meagher repeat the zoning process.
West Virginia PSC Approves Second Rate Hike
The West Virginia Public Service Commission has approved a second utility rate increase for Keyser, authorizing a 15-per cent sewer rate hike to pay for a $2.6 million sewer upgrade in the Hawthorne Heights neighborhood. The Mineral News-Tribune notes the increase will also affect residents of New Creek and McCoole, Maryland, whose sewer systems feed into Keyser's. However, New Creek residents will see an 8 per cent increase, while McCoole's will be 7 per cent.
Charges Pending in Accident
Charges are pending against a driver who hit a telephone pole on Cumberland Street early Monday morning. The car then overturned onto its roof. Traci Glotfelty was extracted from the car, after she hit the pole, and her vehicle overturned after striking the front porch steps at 216 Cumberland Street. Two streets signs were also damaged; Allegheny Power was notified and later responded to assist with the damage caused to the light pole. Her vehicle was towed from the scene.
Nemacolin Plans Summer Opening
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort plans to open the "Lady Luck" casino in early July, featuring 600 slot machines and 28 table games. General Manager Rich Laudon says they are hoping to attract customers from the Uniontown, Pennsylvania and Morgantown, West Virginia areas. The casino is in the process of hiring employees, with Laudon noting he has been pleased with the quality of the applicants for the positions.
Housing Workshop Set for May 21st
A free housing workshop is set for next Tuesday, for residents of Hampshire, Grant, Hardy, Pendleton, and Mineral Counties. The Region 8 Planning and Development Council and the West Virginia Housing Development fund are co-sponsoring the workshop, which is being held for those interested in purchasing a home, but afraid to take the first step. The workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mineral County Health Department in Keyser. To register, call (304)-257-2448.
Former Sheriff Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison
Former Jefferson County Sheriff Robert Shirley was taken into custody, and will spend the next year in federal prison for his role in the 2010 beating of a bank robber, following a high-speed chase. Shirley had requested he report to a federal facility on his own, but that was denied. He will also have to pay over $1800 to the victim, convicted bank robber Mark Daniel Haines. Shirley will also be on probation for 18 months following his release. Haines had also been incarcerated at the Allegany County Detention Center some time ago.
Police Investigate Commercial Burglary
The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a commercial burglary at the Folks Glass Company in Grantsville over this past weekend. A person or persons stole several tool boxes, which contained several miscellaneous hand tools. Also taken was a 20-gallon Craftsman air compressor. They were taken from a box trailer on the business parking lot. Anyone with information is asked to call the State Police at (301)-387-1101.
Council Member Sentenced to Six Months
Everett Borough Council member Charles Karns was sentenced to five days to six months in jail in connection with a 2009 driving under the influence charge that endangered the lives of two pedestrians. Karns was sentenced yesterday. In April of 2009, Karns blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit, when he nearly struck two female pedestrians near the Penn West bar and hotel; he later crashed into an embankment.
Man Arrested for Creating Disturbance
Forty-two year old Frostburg resident David Leo Cassady was arrested, and faces several counts in connection with a disturbance on Virginia Avenue Sunday. Cassady had been causing a disturbance in that area, and he appeared to be intoxicated and angry. He also allegedly made threats towards a Cumberland City Police Officer. As he was being transported to the Police station, he became combative with officers and refused to comply with any requests. He was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, failure to obey a lawful order and resisting arrest. He was later released on a $500 unsecured bond.
Potomac River Project Conversation Set
The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a "Potomac River Project Community Conversation" on Thursday, June 6th at the Allegany Museum. The forum will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Several groups, including the city of Cumberland, have been working to develop a vision for the Potomac River that not only involves the removal of the Potomac Industrial "Blue Bridge" Dam, but also has the potential to develop new recreational and economic opportunities in the long term.
Extra Gas Tax Funds For Bridges?
At least one Maryland State Senator is hoping some money from the recently passed gas tax increase will go toward repairing or replacing bridges maintained by the State Highway Administration. As of April, 87 of Maryland's 2,572 bridges were structurally deficient, that doesn't mean they are unsafe, but that they have areas that need to be repaired or replaced. Another 373 bridges are classified as "structurally obsolete," which means they are too narrow, or are otherwise not built to current standards. Among the bridges cited is the Crosstown Bridge in Cumberland, which will cost $17.3 million to clean, repair and paint, in conjunction with another bridge project on Maryland Route 51 over the CSX Railroad and Canal Parkway. Senator George Edwards says the bridge needs a complete remodeling.
Candidates Lining Up for Gubernatorial Race
There are several Democratic candidates who may be interested in being Maryland's next governor, along with several Republicans. Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown announced his candidacy last weekend, and has the support of Governor Martin O'Malley. Other potential candidates are Attorney General Doug Gansler, and Congressman Dutch Ruppersburger.
Mass Litigation Suit to be Heard in West Virginia
A mass litigation trial against some of the nation's tobacco manufacturers will be decided in a Charleston, West Virginia courtroom. About 700 plaintiffs claim they were harmed by tobacco use in cases filed against Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, American Tobacco Company, Brown and Williamson and Lorillard. If the companies are found liable, the cases will be broken down into smaller groups. Ten more judges would be appointed to hear those cases.
State Police Stress Work Zone Safety
The West Virginia State Police are making their presence known in work zones, in an effort to stress the importance of driving safely through construction zones. Interstates are a dangerous place to work, so the State Police are taking the initiative to place officers at the beginning of work zones to get motorists to pay attention. They are urging motorists to pay attention to speed limit signs and to slow down when driving through work zones. And, drivers should also be mindful of the crews working on the state's roadways.
Man Served with Three Warrants
A Frostburg man was served with three arrest warrants over the weekend, and is being held without bond in the Allegany County Detention Center. Thirty-six year old Joshua Ian Cline is accused of breaking into a Memorial Avenue residence in April, and stealing an electronic gaming system valued at about $400. He also damaged a screen in breaking into the home. Cline is also being held on child support contempt charges, and failure to appear.
Man Held on Sex Offense Charges
Cumberland resident Roger Martz was arrested during a traffic stop over the weekend. During the arrest, it was discovered he had an outstanding warrant, stemming from a citizen complaint filed in District Court. A woman claims she was sexually assaulted by Martz in November and December of last year. He was held on $35,000 bond.
No Charges in Garrett County Collision
No charges were issued, but one person was taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital, following a two-vehicle collision on the Garrett Highway at Friendsville Road over the weekend. McHenry resident Lesa Maust was making a left turn from Garrett Highway onto Friendsville Road; she struck another vehicle, driven by 65-year old Donald Harvey Umbel of McHenry. Mr. Umbel was taken to the hospital for injuries sustained during the collision.
Keyser Mayor Moving to Increase Fire Fee
Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower is proposing that fire protection fees be increased to cover the expense of the Keyser Volunteer Fire Department. There has been no increase in fees for the past eight years. The Mayor is proposing increasing the fee to $2.40; they are collected as part of the monthly water bill. Last year, the fee generated $59,000, but expenses totaled $79,000. The deficit was covered through a reserve fund, which is rapidly being depleted, according to the Mineral News-Trivbune.
Mountain Ridge Schedules Combined Spring Concerts
The Mountain Ridge High School Band has had a banner year, depsite a pending embezzlement case against one of the organization's volunteers. The Mountain Ridge Concert Band, the Marching Band and the Jazz Orchestra have all garnered a number of accomplishments this past school year,and the groups will be presenting their combined spring concerts next Saturday and Sunday. The concertswill be held on Saturday evening at 7 p.m., and Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. Proceeds from the ticket sales will be distributed equally between the band and choral programs.
USS Somerset to be Commissioned in Philadelphia
The USS Somerset, the Navy's newest amphibious transport dock ship, will be commissioned, or put into active service. The ship is named in remembrance of Somerset County, where hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The USS Someret was commissioned in July. Two other ships, the USS New York and the USS Arlington are also named to commemorate the other sites attacked that day-the World Trade Center towers, and the Pentagon.
O'Malley Expects More Firings
Governor O'Malley expects more firings and personnel changes, in light of indictments handed down, in connection wtih a drug and contraband smuggling ring at the Baltimore Detention Center. A total of 25 people, including 13 correctional officers were indicted last month. The Governor continues to express confidence in Secretary of Public Safety and Corrections, Gary Maynard. A reporter from "The O'Reilly Factor" questioned O'Malley about the scandal, which has been covered on the Fox Television show. For his part, O'Malley called O'Reilly's comments a "cheap shot," and vowed to "root out" the problem rather than "paper over them."
Toddler Dies of Methadone Intoxcaton
A 23-month old West Virginia toddler died of methadone intoxication, and her parents are now facing charges in connection with the case. Thirty-eight year old David Delauder and 31-year old Ida Evans Delauder of Barbour County are accused of giving their daughter, Ona Leann Delauder methadone they purchased on the street. When the parents awakened the next morning, the toddler was not breathing, and a nearby relative called an ambulance. they are being held at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $100,000 bond each.
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