O'MALLEY PROPOSING BUDGET CUTS
Governor Martin O'Malley is proposing several spending cuts, which will eliminate $84 million in planned spending for next year. O'Malley has asked the Board of Public Works to approve what is being called a "modest" set of cuts to the state's $16.1 billion general fund. About $10 million would come from the state's higher education institutions, but he says that would not affect tuition rates. At the beginning of the year, the Governor proposed a $39 billion state budget, in which spending actually increased by nearly 5 per cent.
KEYSER MAN SENTENCED IN FEDERAL CASE
Thirty-three year old Keyser resident Timothy Douglas Imperio has been sentenced to a year in federal prison on a number of drug charges. He had tested positively for the use of amphetamines, marijuana, suboxone and loracet. He also admitted to the use of Xanax. Several of the drugs were not prescribed to him. He also faced a number of other charges. He had previously been sentenced, and had his supervised release revoked. He was placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Service, pending designation to a federal prison.
SUMMONS ISSUED FOR PET HOARDERS
The C3I unit has filed up to 66 animal cruelty charges against Robert and Carol Jean Detrick in connection with the "Lucky 33" case. Nearly three dozen dogs were rescued by the Allegany County Animal Shelter on Friday, June 13th from their Greene Street home. The dogs continue to recover at the Animal Shelter and donations are being accepted at free concerts both tonight and tomorrow night at Canal Place.
COLUMBIA GAS PLANS BALTIMORE AVENUE IMPROVEMENTS
Columbia Gas will be making improvements in the Baltimore Avenue/Baltimore Street/Front Street/Park Street intersection, beginning on Monday. To make it more convenient, the work is being done between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. The work will last several weeks, and drivers should expect delays in the area, and changes to the traffic pattern.
MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT, RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT
Cumberland resident Mark Feodor Smith has been charged with second degree assault and reckless endangerment, following a Tuesday incident in the 500-block of Maryland Avenue. Smith allegedly assaulted a woman by "head butting" her, causing her to fall to the floor. He also tried to suffocate her. Following a hearing in District Court, Smith was held on $2500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
MAN ARRESTED ON OUT-OF-STATE WARRANT
Thirty-eight year old Cumberland resident John Edward Blowe was arrested on an out-of-state warrant, from Mineral County, West Virginia. He was served with the warrant, taken to District Court, and was ordered to be held without bail, pending extradition.
NO TRANSIT SERVICE ON JULY 24TH
There will be no Allegany County Transit Service on Thursday, July 24th, as the employees will be participating in an Employee In-Service Training Day. Neither fixed route bus service nor All Trans vans will operate. ACT is reviewing all aspects of safety as part of the county's Workplace Safety Program, according to Christine Howard, Allegany County Transit Division Chief.
NO TRASH COLLECTION TOMORROW
There will be no trash collection in the city of Cumberland tomorrow, due to the Independence Day holiday. Residents of areas affected by the change should put their trash out on their next regularly scheduled collection. Any questions may be directed to the Public Works Department at (301)-759-6620 or email, email@example.com. In Allegany County, all government offices will be closed, and there will no fixed route bus service and para-transit will also not operate.
FIREWORKS SET FOR TOMORROW NIGHT
The city of Cumberland's annual fireworks display is set for tomorrow night. Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim says there are two distinct changes to this year's display. One, they will be set off from the Bishop Walsh School girls' softball field. And, Mayor Grim says this year's fireworks will be bigger. The location was changed, due to new guidelines from the State Fire Marshal's Office, which caused some confusion last year. This year, the changes are being made to comply with those fire regulations. From the softball field, the fireworks can be seen virtually anywhere in the city. And, they'll be bigger and better than ever, due to a larger shell being ignited. The fireworks display is scheduled for dusk tomorrow night.
FIRE HYDRANT FLUSHING NEXT WEEK
Allegany County continues it fire hydrant flushing next week. Among the areas affected will be the Borden, Carlos, Shaft, and Morantown areas, along with Vale Summit and Zihlman. Residents may experience some water discoloration during the process. Water should be run for several minutes, until clear, before using it.
COLUMBIA GAS SEEKING RATE HIKE
Columbia Gas of Maryland is seeking a rate increase that would raise bills by about 2.7 per cent. The filing for the rate increase took place on Tuesday, with local legislators being notified by Mark Kempic, President of Columbia Gas. The company has about 33,000 residential and industrial customers. The Public Service Commission has suspended the effective date of the rate increase for 60, from the proposed effective date of July 31st to September 29th, to allow more study on the rate increase request.
HEROIN DEATHS ON THE RISE IN MARYLAND
The number of drug and alcohol deaths in Maryland rose from 799 in 2012 to 858 last year, and much of the increase is due to heroin, particularly when it is laced with fentanyl. Heroin-related deaths jumped 18 per cent between 2012 and 2013, continuing a rising trend. Last year, heroin deaths doubled, from 10 in 2012 to 21 in 2013.
UPMC BANS WORK DAY SMOKE BREAKS
Some 62,000 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center employees are affected by a ruling that bans taking smoke breaks or otherwise using tobacco during the work day. UPMC, which operates a facility in Bedford, offers a smoking cessation program to its employees. With 62,000 employees, slightly more than 10 per cent have reported using tobacco in a recent survey. About 280 of those employees have expressed an interest in quitting the use of tobacco.
WEST VIRGINIA CLOTHING VOUCHERS NOW AVAILABLE
West Virginia has announced that residents can now apply for school clothing vouchers for eligible children. Each will receive a $200 voucher, and those in foster care will automatically receive vouchers, along with children in families who currently receive cash assistance from WV WORKS. The deadline to apply is July 31st, and the families must use the vouchers at participating stores by October 31st.
W. VA. POWER COMPANIES PROPOSE INCREASE
Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power are proposing a 17 per cent rate increase. The companies, which are subsidiaries of American Electric Power filed the request with the state Public Service Commission. Company spokespersons said the increase is needed to recover costs tied to system maintenance and upgrades, along with major storm restoration efforts as a result of such weather events as the derecho and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.