Portions of Oakland Evacuated After Accident
A two-block radius of Oakland was evacuated yesterday, including the courthouse, the Garrett County jail, Appalachian Crossroads and the surrounding areas, after an 18-wheeler, carrying about 10,000 gallons of propane, overturned along Route 219. A spokesperson for the Maryland State Police at McHenry says there was a minor fuel leak in the truck, but no propane escaped. The Maryland Department of the Environment arrived on the scene to "upright" the truck. The incident was initially reported around 9:30 a.m., and it took several hours before the accident scene was cleared.
Former Keyser Resident Arrested
Fifty-four year old Rose Talbert, formerly of Keyser, was arrested there, following a disturbance on North Main Street. Ms. Talbert, who now lives in Richwood, West Virginia, was arrested after refusing leave the front porch of a residence there. She was charged with assault and public intoxication, and taken to the Potomac Highlands Jail.
Massachusetts Avenue Home Rebuilt
The home of Darrell Lee Powell, which had been destroyed by fire last July, has been rebuilt. Powell decided he wanted to remain part of the neighborhood, after the electrical fire caused about $30,000 in damage to the structure. Powell expressed thanks to not only those who rebuilt the home, but also the neighbors, who contributed both donations and well wishes.
Man Served with Arrest Warrant
Cresaptown resident Marcus Craig Younger was served with a bench warrant for failure to appear. He was taken to the District Court Commissioners' Office for a bond review. Following that, he was released on personal recognizance.
Police Investigate Stolen Trailer
The Maryland State Police Barrack at McHenry is investigating a stolen trailer, from Hardesty True Value, Incorporated. Sometime over the course of this past weekend, a person or persons went onto the Hardesty property and took the 2014 Car Mate Enclosed trailer. It is six feet by twelve feet, and had three ladder racks on top. The Maryland State Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at (301)-387-1101.
Schools Open Today and Monday
All Allegany County Public Schools and offices are open, both today and Monday. The Maryland State Board of Education granted a request to use those days as instructional make-up days for students. Additionally, the last day of school for students will now be Wednesday, June 11th, and it will be a three-hour early dismissal.
Chamber Presents Plaque to Teacher of the Year
During the April Allegany County Board of Education meeting, the Chamber of Commerce presented a plaque to Dana Reinhardt, the 2014-2015 Allegany County Teacher of the Year. She is a third-grade teacher at George's Creek Elementary School. The Chamber's Education Committee is a strong and active voice for business/education partnerships within the county and the region.
Mineral Grants $18,000 to Library
The Mineral County Board of Education granted the Keyser-MIneral County Public Library $18,000 for the coming fiscal year and to give $1,000 to the Piedmont facility. Of the $18,000 given to Keyser, the bulk will come from a levy, and an additional $5,000 will come from fiscal 2014 carryover funds.
NWS Schedules Weather Spotter Class in Petersburg
The National Weather Service is presenting a Weather Spotter class in Petersburg on April 30th. The class, which will be held at upper level 5 of the Grant Courthouse from 6 to 9 p.m. SKYWARN is a national network of volunteer severe weather spotters, and are trained by the National Weather Service Forecast Offices on how to spot severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and flooding. If you are interested in taking the class, call the Grant County Office of Emergency Services at (304)-257-5451.
President Declares Federal Disaster
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the state of Maryland to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the snowstorm on February 12th and 13th. Presidential action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private, non-profit organizations on a cost sharing basis for emergency work in Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties. Federal funding is also available on a cosxt-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
O'Malley Comments on Marijuana Legislation
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed the state's marijuana decriminalization bill on Monday. While several prosecutors had urged him to veto the bill, O'Malley observed that very few go to prison for a first or second marijuana offense. This law allows police officers to issue citations, rather than conduct a full-blown arrest. Governor O'Malley still maintains this is an experiment Maryland should not be engaged in; part of his thinking involves jobs that open in the state that require federal background checks and security clearances. Concerns of racial disparity played a role in his decision; Governor O'Malley says that involvement with marijuana can be an impediment to employment.
Chief District Court Judge Named
Prince George's County Judge John Morrissey has been named the next chief judge of the State's District Court. Morrissey will succeed District Court Chief Judge Ben C. Clyburn when he retires next month. Morrissey will oversee the court's 34 locations and nearly 2,000 employees, including the state's 116 judges. The state District Court has a budget of $165 million, and processes more than 1.7 million cases per year.
Capito, Tennant Keep Pace with Contributions
U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito brought in more than $817,000 for her U.S. Senate bid last quarter, and her likely opponent Natalie Tennant, kept pace by raising almost $800,000. the two are vying for the post now held by U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, who is retiring after five terms. Projections are that both candidates will win the May primary; while a Republican has not won a West Virginia Senate election since 1956, political analysts give Capito the edge in the general election.
Two Proposals Offered for Footer Building
The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority has two proposals on hand for the development of the Footer Dye Works building. However, those names will not be released for now. The proposals were due last Friday, and a committee of state-level officials has been formed to examine the offers. More details on the offers will be released as regulations permit.
Safe Streets Warrant Initiative
A total of 33 people were served with 36 arrest warrants, during last week's April Safe Streets Initiative, conducted by the Cumberland City Police Department. The public and other police agencies were responsible for the roundup, with charges ranging from failure to appear, to violation of court orders, to more serious offenses, including assault and sex offenses. The operation took place last Monday through Friday.
Woman Pleads Guilty in Fraudulent Fundraising Case
Somerset, Pennsylvania resident Mandy Lee Klinkner has pleaded guilty of holding a fraudulent fundraiser for a four-year old cancer patient. Ms. Klinkner had been charged with felony counts of theft by deception, theft, and receiving stolen property. She actually had pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct, a third-degree misdemeanor.
Student Charged in Tech Center Incident
Juvenile petition charges have been filed against a 17-year old student at the Mineral County Technical Center, following an incident on Monday. The student threw a 21-year old into a wall. The students, who are both mentally challenged were, "horsing around," according to Keyser Police Chief Karen Shoemaker. The victim was taken to the hospital with injuries to his face and other lacerations.
Keyser Approves FY 2015 Budget
The city of Keyser has approved its 2015 Fiscal Year budget, which includes expenditures of $1.5 million, or $23,000 less than the current fiscal year. The budget, which was submitted to the State Auditor's Office last month, will be adjusted in early summer as the city receives final numbers from its current budget. Some areas that received a reduction in funding are public safety, the street department, and funding for the city attorney.
Groups Opposing Sunday Hunting
Governor Martin O'Malley had been urged to veto legislation that would expand hunting on Sundays here in Western Maryland. The Maryland Ornithological Society and the Maryland Horse Council both opposed the move. Until the bills that would authorize hunting deer and other game on private and public lands in Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick counties were passed, the practice has generally been prohibited in the state, though numerous exceptions have been made.
Cumberland To Begin Recycling Program
As part of a new, three-year deal with Burgmeier Hauling of Altoona, the city of Cumberland will begin a recycling program. Burgmeier is being paid $750,000 per year for three years, and Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim says recycling will help the city reach its goal of waste stream reduction, as mandated by the state of Maryland.Mayor Grim says the public will be provided with educational materials prior to the start of recycling; the intent is to offer recycling pickup on the first trash pickup of the week in the various neighborhoods. Mayor Grim commented on recycling types of paper materials.
Easter Egg Hunt Set
The city of Cumberland, with the help of Frostburg State University Recreation Program students and 4-H will host the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Constitution Park on Friday. Activities start at noon, with the actual egg hunt at 1 p.m., in the area of the tennis courts. The kids should bring a basket or bag for eggs, and prizes will be awarded in each age group.
Fracking Film, Discussion Set Monday
Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," will be discussed this Monday at Allegany College of Maryland. A film, entitled, "Gasland, Part II" will be shown, and a panel discussion on the subject will follow. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Zimmer Theatre in the College Center. The panel discussion will follow the film. Admission is free and open to the public.
Chamber Hosts Legislative Wrap Up
The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce will host a Legislative Wrap Up breakfast next Tuesday at the Ali Ghan Shrine Club. The breakfast begins at 7:30 p.m., with members of the Western Maryland Delegation providing a recap of business legislation and issues addressed during the 2014 Legislative Session in Annapolis. A question and answer period will follow.
Two Year Old Dies After Drowning
A two-year old boy was found face down in standing water on a pool cover in Maugansville died this past weekend at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The unidentified toddler wandered away from family members, and was found about 2 p.m. on the cover of an above-ground pool.
Homeland Security Official Charged
A former supervisor with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been charged with misusing his government-issued credit card at the Charles Town casino. Fifty-five year old Gene Protogiannis of Lovettsville, Virginia was indicted on 45 counts of wire fraud; the offenses allegedly occurred last year, when he used the card to receive cash advances at the Hollywood Casino. Nearly $116,000 were withdrawn. He faces up to 20 years in prison, along with a $250,000 fine on each of the 45 counts against him.
Young Woman Found Dead
A 25-year old woman was found dead in Bedford County Sunday morning, and the Pennsylvania State Police there are investigating. The woman was found inside a mobile home at the Fillo Trailer Park, along Route 52 in Bedford Township. Both the State Police and coroner were on the scene for most of the day. Bedford County State's Attorney Bill Higgins says the cause of death is undetermined, and an autopsy is planned.
Frostburg Officer Assaulted
The Frostburg Police Department handled 127 calls over this past weekend, one of which resulted in the injury of an officer. While investigating a large party at 38 Paul Street, Patrolman Zapf was struck in the head by Deara D. Parker. She was subsequently arrested and charged with second degree assault, among other counts. Also charged was Johnny Bentley Norris. The charges were issued on a criminal summons, and they include second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. Officer Zapf was treated for minor injuries at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center Emergency Room.
WMHS CEO Comments on Alliance
The alliance among the Western Maryland Health System, Frederick Regional Health System, and Meritus Health has been in the works for some time, but now it has a name-Trivergent Health Alliance. Barry Ronan, Chief Executive Officer of the Western Maryland Health System, says the facility looked at 50 different names, and one that was not copyrighted. While the three looked at the spectrum of a loose association to a full merger, it was decided the best way to go was an alliance. Ronan says the alliance encompasses shared services, revenue, information technology, and pharmacy services, among others. The alliance affects 1100 employees, with annual expenditures of $370 million. The CEO's of each system began discussing an alliance when it became evident there would be changes in the health care system. With more risk involved, Ronan says with a reduction in revenue, it was calculated that at least a billion dollars in revenue would be needed to remain viable.
PSC Ordered to Help Utility Customers
The Maryland Public Service Commission has ordered utility companies to give customers "a break," in light of this past winter, which brought frigid temperatures. The PSC is ordering utilities to apply energy assistance grants to both the generation and distribution charges on customer bills. For its part, Potomac Edison has expressed its willingness to work with customers on late bills. P.E. offers zero interest payment plans for many customers who are behind in their bills.
Tax Sales Set
Both Allegany and Garrett Counties have set the dates for their annual tax sales. The Allegany County sale will take place on April 30th at the county office complex, beginning at 10 a.m. In Garrett County, the sale is on May 2nd, at the Garrett County commissioners public meeting room. To be removed from the tax sale in Allegany County, property owners must make full payment on all charges no later than 4:30 p.m. on April 29th.
Assault Results in Drug Charge
Twenty-four year old Leonard Lewis Livengood was issued a criminal citation, charging him with possession of CDS paraphernalia. Cumberland City Police responded to a home in the 500-block of Valley Street in reference to an assault complaint. While inside, police found a marijuana smoking device. He was released, after he was issued the citation.
Garrett County Schools Finish on June 17th
Garrett County Schools were closed a total of 20 days this school year, and the Maryland State Department of Education has granted a five-day student waiver for the system. that means the last day of school in Garrett County will be Tuesday, June 17th. June 13th, 16th, and 17th will be two-hour early dismissals. Schools will be closed on Good Friday, but the other days for Easter vacation have been designated as make up days.
Pet Vaccinations Set
The Allegany County Health Department is holding its annual Spring Vaccination Clinic on Sunday, April 27th. The event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the George's Creek Elementary School. Vaccinations for cats and dogs over the age of 4 months will be $5.00. All animals must be in a carrier or on a leash. For more information, contact Misty Joy at (301)-759-5047.
State Won't Enforce Campaign Contributions
Following a landmark Supreme Court ruling, election officials in Maryland say they will no longer enforce a state law that imposes an overall $10,000 limit on campaign contributions in a four-year election cycle. They will continue to enforce a law, limiting individuals to contributing no more than $4,000 to a particular candidate during an election cycle; however, donors can give $4,000 to as many candidates as they'd like.
CareFirst Dominates Enrollments
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has signed up more than 53,000 people through the health exchange website, but even more called the carrier and enrolled directly because of online technical problems. Almost 65,200 had enrolled in private insurance3 through the four carriers selling on its website during the same time frame.
Name Selected for Affiliation
Trivergent Health Alliance has been selected as the name of the new affiliation among the Western Maryland Health System, Frederick Regional Health System, and Meritus Health in Hagerstown. According to the Western Maryland Health System Facebook page, the new alliance will help each organization achieve shared goals of enhancing the quality of care, improving population health, and reducing the cost of providing care. The post also credited Clay Jones of the WMHS Finance Department for coming up with the name.
Missing Child Found Safe
A child who had been reported missing early yesterday afternoon has been found safe. Cumberland City Police say they conducted an extensive search for the 9-year old, who had been reported missing from her Arch Street residence. The child was located at a friend's residence in South Cumberland, and she was returned to her home.
Four Arrested for Drug Possession
Four people were stopped Saturday evening on Route 219, south of Friendsville Road, and charged with marijuana possession. Kristyn Lyn Wilson of Lubbock, Texas, along with Patrick Eric-Stevon Staten of Capitol Heights, Maryland, Paris Shaquille Hal of District Heights and Danielle Ileen Kirk of Washington, D.C. were charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia on a criminal citation and released.
Firing Range Given Go-Ahead
The Allegany County Commissioners have given approval for development of a law enforcement firing range and training facility at Mexico Farms, on county-owned property. County employees will build the facility and the only outstanding expense will be an eight-foot fence surrounding it. Money that was saved from the construction of the new sheriff's office will be used toward the expected costs of building the fence. That was quoted at about $4500.
FSU Planning Security Facility
Frostburg State University is planning to build a new public safety building, which will be twice the size of the current building, which is 2500-square feet. The original campus police station, which was built in 1953 on University Drive, will be replaced by a 5,000-square foot building, which will be located on Braddock Road.
Charges Dropped Against Elk Garden Man
Attempted second-degree murder and other related counts have been dropped against Elk Garden, West Virginia resident Roger Lee Paugh. He had been accused of shooting Westernport resident Dustin Loy. Following an investigation, it was determined that Loy's gunshot wound to the hand had been self-inflicted. Loy will be charged with providing false information to law enforcement.
Man Sentenced to Prison in Sexual Abuse Case
Hampshire County resident Harry Wright has been sentenced to at least 20 years in prison, after pleading guilty to eight counts of sexual abuse. Wright will serve no less than 20 years, but no more than 100 years in prison. He was also fined $1,000 for each count. While two witnesses testified against Wright at the sentencing, three testified on his behalf.
Two Pennsylvania Men Face Drug Charges
Two Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania men have been arrested for allegedly transporting heroin through Somerset County. Both Joe Molina-Delgado and Lewis Henderson were allegedly transporting the drugs, valued at over $30,000, when they were stopped on the Pennsylvania Turnpike at Somerset. There were 2,000 stamp bags of heroin found in the car, which would likely have been sold for $15 to $20 per bag on the street.
Cumberland Man Charged with Theft
Thirty-five year old Cumberland resident Joseph William Wood has been charged with theft, after allegedly failing to pay for a taxi cab ride. The criminal citation was issued in the area of Fourth Street at Seymour Street in South Cumberland. He was released from the scene, pending further action in District Court at a later date.
Former Frostburg Mayor Passes Away
Services will take place today for former Frostburg Mayor William "Bill" Davis, who died Friday at the Frostburg Village Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He was 81. Davis had also been a teacher in Allegany County Schools, and was a real estate agent. Internment will be at the Frostburg Memorial Park.
Master's Program in Nursing at FSU Approved
Although the program still needs approval by the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the University System of Maryland gave its approval to a master's degree in nursing at Frostburg State University last week. The program will address a shortage of nursing educators, and adds a master's degree, with an emphasis on either education or administration. Only FSU will have an online option to make the program more attractive to working nurses with scheduling conflicts.
Maryland Man Added to Most Wanted List
A former high-ranking State Department official has been added to the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List, after brutally killing his wife, mother and three sons in 1976. William Bradford Bishop bludgeoned the victims with a sledgehammer in an upper-class Bethesda, Maryland neighborhood then, and has been spotted in several foreign countries and the United States, but has never been arrested. Bishop would now be 77 years old, and a reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest.
O'Malley to Sign Decriminalization Bill
Governor Martin O'Malley will sign the marijuana decriminalization bill today, despite prosecutors across the state urging him to veto the legislation. The bill would reduce the penalties for possessing less than 10-grams of the durg from 90 days in jail, to civil fines, starting at $100. He is also expected to sign a bill to expand medical marijuana use.
Family Dollar to Close 370 Stores
Family Dollar Stores has announced it is closing 370 stores in the United States, but it is unclear whether the closures will affect any local or regional facilities. The chain has stores in more than 45 states; slow sales were cited as a factor in marking the decision. A final statement on which stores would be closing has not been made.
Maryland Ranks High In Foreclosures
The state of Maryland has the third highest foreclosure rate in the country, despite fact that foreclosure rates are down more than 20 per cent across the country. A spokesperson for RealtyTrac says it has seen rates increase, and that has been the trend for the past two years in the state. About 1 in 189 homes in Maryland are in foreclosure.
Common Core Legislation Approved
Common Core is often a controversial topic in Maryland, but there wasn't much opposition to three pieces of legislation that have received final approval in the General Assembly. The bills address concerns about testing and implementation. Maryland State Education Association President Betty Weller says time, flexibility, and resources were needed. Weller says Common Core State Standards are the biggest education change she's seen in her career, and more tweaks may be needed as they are implemented.
Farimont Man Injured by Power Lines
Eugene Boyce, of Farimont who is a delivery driver for Lowe's in Morgantown, is in UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, after suffering electrical shock during a delivery this past Friday. Boyce was delivering supplies in a large boom truck on Sand Springs Road near Cheat Lake, when he tried to raise overhead power lines to allow the truck to pass underneath. He was found on the roof of the truck cab and was Life Flighted to Pittsburgh.
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