No Railroad Strike in Near Future
There won’t be a strike by CSX workers, nor will there be a lock out in the near future. President Obama has issued an executive order, appointing a five-member board to look into a labor dispute, affecting freight railroads, but not passenger service. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen had voted to strike earlier this month; the executive order provides for a two-month negotiation period, between labor and management, along with an additional 30 days to decide whether to accept a recommended settlement, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
Cigarette Tax Opposed by Local Lawmakers
A proposal to place a $1-per-pack tax on a pack of cigarettes is not sitting well with local lawmakers. The AARP of Maryland is pushing for the tax, but State Senator George Edwards says that if they want to do away with smoking in Maryland, the General Assembly should pass a law, banning the sale of any tobacco products in the state. Delegate Kevin Kelly, called the proposal “outrageous,” noting that people do not have the money to pay more taxes.
Police Say Man Was Armed; Family Says He Was Carrying a Stick
The man who was shot and killed by a compound bow in Somerset County was carrying a weapon, according to police; family members of Tony Bittinger say he was only carrying a piece of wood. More details are being released about the shooting late Sunday afternoon, along the Lincoln Highway. The name of the Central City man who shot Bittinger has not been released. No charges have been filed, and the investigation is continuing.
Bald Eagle Case is Closed
The Maryland Natural Resources Police say a bald eagle, found dead along Hazen Road in Cumberland last month, died of natural causes and the case is closed. A hole in the eagle’s body was made post-mortem. The bird was discovered September 16th . However the probe into the death of a northern goshawk in Garrett County in June is still being investigated.
Man Arrested in Assault Incident
Thirty-nine year old Cumberland resident Thomas Heinrich Lee, Sr., has been arrested in connection with an alleged assault that took place in the 200-block of Pear Street. Lee is accused of spitting on, punching and kicking the victim during the assault. He was held on $8500 bond, and the victim was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment of injuries sustained in the incident.
Misprint in Calendar Clarified
The Allegany County Board of Education is correcting an item that appeared in the printed and online version of the Town Planner. It shows that schools are closed on Friday for the Maryland State Education Association Convention. That is a mistake, and the MSEA Convention is actually being held next Friday, October 21st, and school will be open.
Expansion Slated for Bedford County Business Park
A company in the Bedford County Business Park is planning to double its size there, in part, due to the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry. Rex Heat Treat, one of the original tenants in the park, will build a 30,000-square foot building to service “expanding markets.” At least seven more employees will be hired following the expansion. Long-range plans call for a doubling of the Rex Heat Treat workforce.
Bedford Board Facing Major Cuts
The Bedford County Emergency Food and Shelter Program is facing a $30,000 reduction in funding, making it more difficult to stock food banks and pantries. The program had previously been awarded just over $39,000, now has just over $6300 in allocations to the food bank and shelter program. At a board meeting this week, some decisions were made on how to most effectively allocate the money, with $1,000 going to the Breezewood Trucker Traveler Program, and the balance to the Bedford Food Outreach.
State Police Investigate Possible “Bid-Rigging” Activity in Meyersdale
The Pennsylvania State Police are looking into possible violations of the Anti-Bid-Rigging Act in Meyersdale, in particular the borough’s bids for various construction projects at the Meyersdale Community Center, repairs for the borough secretary’s office, and the renovation of the center’s basement to house a police station. They are looking into whether a local contractor hired to renovate the police station was involved in bid pooling, in which several bidders conspire to split up contracts, and to ensure each gets a certain amount of work. Instead of confidential bids, the vendors discuss their bids to guarantee that each wins a share of the company’s business.