No Major Damage From Earthquake
No major damage was reported locally from yesterday’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the East Coast. The epicenter of the tremor was near Mineral Virginia, and took place six-tenths of a mile underground. The U.S. Geological Service reports that aftershocks were felt as far north as New York City, and as far south as South Carolina. A spokesperson from the Maryland State Police says that the McHenry barrack felt the effects of the quake, to the west. In Washington, D.C., the Pentagon and Capitol buildings were evacuated, and three spires at the National Cathedral were damaged. There was a problem locally with cell phone service, due to the number of calls being placed following the quake.
Athey’s Exxon Destroyed by Fire
A fire at Athey’s Exxon in LaVale destroyed the business yesterday afternoon. The fire caused an estimated $150,000 in damage to the structure and an additional $100,000 to the contents of the building. Deputy State Fire Marshals determined the fire was accidental and originated in one of the automobile repair bays. Gasoline ignited during the removal process from the vehicle’s gas tank while on a repair lift. About 50 firefighters from several area fire companies had the blaze under control in about 45 minutes. Those responding to the 2:45 p.m. fire were LaVale, Bowling Green, Clarysville, Frostburg, Corriganville, Ellerslie, Cresaptown and Bedford Road.
Judge Denies Orleans Injunction
Allegany County Circuit Court Judge Gary Leasure has ruled in favor of the Allegany County Board of Education, in the case of Orleans parents who want to send their children to Washington County Schools. Judge Leasure says that while he is “sympathetic” to parents who are concerned about long bus rides into Cumberland, but “this does not constitute irreparable injury,” as had been stated in the complaint. In essence, this means that if Little Orleans residents want to send their middle school children to Washington County middle schools, they’ll be paying their own tuition. Dr. David Cox, Allegany County Superintendent of Schools says that he is pleased the court ruled in favor of the board, and that they will now not have to amend the Fiscal Year 2012 budget to allow for the tuition payment to Washington County.
Somerset County Man Wants to Withdraw Guilty Plea in Rape
Salisbury resident Rodney Lee Thomas wants to withdraw his guilty plea in connection with charges he raped a nine-month old baby. The court has continued the proceedings to allow time for a written motion for the withdrawl of the May 5th guilty plea. Thomas entered an Alford plea in May, which does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the prosecution could likely prove the charges. If eventually found guilty, Thomas faces anywhere from 70 to 212 years in prison.
Black Bear Applications Being Accepted by Phone
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now accepting phone-in applications from hunters wishing to participate in this year’s black bear hunting permit lottery. Applications are being accepted over the phone through Friday only. Applicants may call 1-888-579-6768 to apply. This year’s black bear hunting season is scheduled for October 24th through the 29th in both Garrett and Allegany counties.
Elk Reintroduction Being Discussed
The Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are announcing the formation of a partnership to determine the viability of elk reintroduction to Western Maryland. The biological, social and economic feasibility assessments will require a minimum of 12 months to complete and will be thoroughly evaluated before any decision is made.
Delays Expected for Memorial Bridge Traffic
Traffic delays are expected for the next three to four weeks at Keyser’s Memorial Bridge, while steel beams are being off-loaded for the new structure. Beams will be off-loaded between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Tuedays and Fridays, with the exception of the week of September 5th. Unloading will only take place on Wednesday of that week.
Firearm Theft Investigated
The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating the theft of two funds from a Bloomington residence. The guns, taken from 90 Hampshire Avenue, include a Mossberg 20-gauge shotgun and either a T.C. Hunter or Encore Muzzle Loader with a stainless steel barrel and camo stock. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at (301)-387-1101.
No Parking on Portions of Washington Street Today
The City of Cumberland Engineering Department, along with contractor Betizel Corporation, is notifying residents that parking will not be permitted on Washington Street, as marked, between Prospect Square and Allegany Street today. Staining of the newly-installed curb will be taking place. If there are any questions, please contact the City of Cumberland Engineering Department at (301)-759-6600.