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Earthquake Near Richmond; Aftershocks Felt in Western Maryland

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the East Coast Tuesday afternoon, with the epicenter near Richmond, Virginia. The U.S. Geological Service reports that aftershocks were being felt as far north as New York, and as far south as South Carolina. Callers from the Western Maryland area also reported feeling the aftershocks shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday. A spokesperson for the Maryland State Police says that no damage has been reported locally, but even the McHenry barrack in Garrett County felt the effects of the quake.


Fire Reported at Athey’s Exxon

A fire was reported around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday at Athey’s Exxon in the 1200-block of National Highway in LaVale. According to the Cumberland Times-News, the service bays were engulfed in flames. Fire and police units from around the area were on the scene. Traffic was being controlled in the area, and the incident was being referred to as a “working business fire.”


Taxes May Be on Special Session Agenda

The special session of the legislature in October may include discussion on more taxes. The General Assembly is being called into special session to approve a new congressional district map for the state, but the state is facing a $1 billion shortfall, and talk of additional taxes may be added to the agenda. While some say a special session may not be the best venue for talk of additional taxes, Senate President Mike Miller says that while there is a need for new revenue, he would rather focus the special session on creating jobs.


Decision on Little Orleans Students Could Come Today

A decision on the lawsuit filed by about 20 Little Orleans residents, whose children attend Washington County Middle Schools,  against the Allegany County Board of Education should come today. The local board is phasing out the Washington County School Choice Program, because of budget constraints, and wants the students to attend Washington Middle School in Cumberland.


Organization Says Allegany County Children Have High Poverty Rate

The national organization, Kids Count, says the poverty rate among children living in Allegany County is among the highest in the state, but statistics for those children are, in many cases, equal or better than the state averages. The county rate is at more than 20 per cent; statewide, Maryland had the lowest incidence of child poverty in the nation. One positive aspect of the report is health care, available for children in Allegany County.


CDBG Will Benefit Five Local Projects

Several projects in the area will benefit from over $6.2 million in Community Development Block Grant Funding. The projects are located in Frostburg, Mount Savage, Lonaconing, Midland and Accident. Frostburg received a half-million for the separation of combined sanitary and storm water lines. Other funding will be used to repair sewer lines in Mount Savage, and money for the installation of emergency gernerators at Lonaconing’s water treatment plants.


Pyles Elected President of West Virginia County Commission Association

Mineral County Commissioner Cindy Pyles is the new President of the West Virginia County Commissioners’ Association, and will remain in that position until next August. She was nominated by the commissioners from Boone County, and the opposition ceded to her unanimous election. Commissioner Pyles says she is very honored to have the opportunity to serve such a diverse and hard-working group of elected officials, according to the Mineral News-Tribune.


“Mission of Mercy” Set for October 28-29 at Fairgrounds

The Western Maryland Mission of Mercy is a two-day free dental clinic, providing free services to people who could not otherwise afford dental care. This year, the event will be held on October 28th and 29th at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. The Western Maryland Mission of Mercy is in the running for up to $50,000 in funding as part of Tom’s of Maine’s 50 States for Good Program. A public vote, at the website, www.50statesforgood.comwill determine 6 winners. Five will receive $20,000 in funding and the organization with the most votes will received $50,000. Residents are urged to go online and vote for the Mission of Mercy event.


Transportation Forum To Be Held in September

“Cumberland by Road, Rail, and Water” will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 10th at the Allegany Museum on Pershing Street. The C & O National Historical Park, along with several co-sponsors are planning a special transportation forum, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Cumberland Road, also known as the National Road. There is a registration fee for the event; for additional program information and to register, go online to,or call (301)-722-8226.


Solar Farm Proposed for MCI at Hagerstown

The Maryland State Public Service Commission is considering plans for a solar farm, which would be the state’s largest. It is being proposed for state prison land, near the Maryland Correctional Institution near Hagerstown. Developers are seeking certification for a 20-megawatt solar-panel array on 250 acres. The Board of Public Works had previously agreed to lease the land to the company. The project would create about 125 construction jobs and would boost the state’s effort to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas.


One Dead in Westminster Domestic Incident

The investigation is continuing into a weekend incident in which a Carroll County man stabbed his  estranged wife, and then himself. Police say Lisa Harvey of Westminster is in critical condition, and that her husband, 50-year old Douglas Harvey died from self-inflicted stab wounds. The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is the lead investigator in this case.

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