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Water Main Break in Bedford Street Area

The second water main break, in the area of Bedford Street, Independence Street and Henderson Avenue occurred yesterday afternoon. A 24-inch main burst, sending water through the area and flooding some structures. Water service in the North End area was disrupted for several hours last night. In the first break, on July 6th, flooded some businesses in the area, including the Adams Family Funeral home, and that caused over $300,000 in damage.


New Trial Requested in Infant Death

A new trial date of November 9th and 10th has been granted for Joseph Bennett of Augusta, who is accused of suffocating his girlfriend’s infant daughter in their Burlington home. He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 12-month old Alexis May Harbaugh. Bennett requested a new attorney at the last minute, and the jury trial was then postponed. The Mineral News-Tribune reports that Bennett remains incarcerated in the Potomac Highlands Jail.


Former Teacher Competent for Trial

Denise Fitch, the former Mineral County teacher accused of engaging in illegal sexual conduct with three teenage boys, has been deemed competent to stand trial. The incidents allegedly occurred in the fall of 2010, and the investigation in the case began after Fitch confessed to a psychologist and then her husband. Since being charged, it was reported she is going through a divorce, lost her job with the Mineral County Board of Education, was forced to sell her home and has filed for bankruptcy. Her next hearing will be on Monday, August 29th at 1 p.m.


Man Arrested in Domestic Incident

A domestic assault incident has landed a 52-year old Montgomery Avenue man in the Allegany County Detention Center on $25,000 bond. Steven Morozek is alleged to have pointed a gun at his wife; she ran from the residence and called the police. He left the residence as officers were positioned outside. The loaded gun was found under a couch in the home. He was charged with both first and second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment. He is being held on $25,000 bond.


First People’s Opens 10th Community Branch

First People’s Community Federal Credit Union has opened its newest branch in Accident, Maryland on Main Street. This is the tenth branch for the credit union. Codi Powell has been named branch manager, and Stephanie Beitzel is the assistant manager. The Accident branch will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, except holidays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Slanesville Residents Allegedly Part of Drug Sting

Slanesville residents John Malcolm and his wife Jill have been arrested as part of a multi-county drug sting in West Virginia. Both have been arraigned in Hampshire County on charges of conspiracy and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Bond was set at $75,000 each; both have posted bond and have been released from the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail near Augusta. The operation focused on several individuals allegedly distributing Oxycodone and Suboxone.


Funding Continued for Hagerstown Airport

President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday that continues funding for Cape Air, that flies out of Washington County Airport. The funding had been in doubt, but the subsidy is now guaranteed through the end of the year; Hagerstown can then apply for more funding into next year.


Vehicle Sought in I-70 Crash

A white or silver car is being sought in a Sunday night crash, which injured five people on Interstate 70 in Eastern Washington County. The car hit a vehicle, driven by Frederick resident Penny Marie Shiflett causing her to lose control, go off the right side of the roadway and overturn. She, along with three juvenile passengers were taken to Meritus Medical Center. Another adult passenger, Erin Lorraine Benjamin of Harrisburg was flown to Baltimore with serious inures. The vehicle that hit Ms. Shiflett should be a Pontiac or GM car, light in color with damaged to the right front of the vehicle. It should also have a broken headlight.


DEP Wants More Gas Well Inspectors

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection want to add more inspectors, with the anticipated increase in gas well sites across the state. To have the inspection program up to speed would cost an additional $2 million per year, and the DEP believes it can generate that kind of funding with new fees on drilling permits. There are 17 field inspectors for gas wells in the state; four are in southern West Virginia, with the balance in the northern areas, where the Marcellus Shale Development is happening.

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