Pair Arrested in Murder Plot
Cumberland resident Robert Tappia and Keyser resident Katrina Ellifritz are in jail, on charges that the two plotted to kill Ellifritz’ husband. An investigation revealed the two had been involved in a relationship and they allegedly conspired to kill her husband. Tappia had allegedly displayed a handgun in October, and had threatened to kill the victim. The investigation is continuing.
Man Found Guilty in Animal Cruelty Case
Cumberland resident Ricky Allen Adams was found guilty on charges of animal cruelty and conspiracy to commit animal cruelty, in the case involving “Ducky,” the dog whose muzzle was duct-taped shut earlier this year. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered for Adams, and he will be sentenced at a later date. The case was prosecuted by attorney Samuel Lane and Thomas Werthman of the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Second Meyersdale Teacher Charged
Thursday’s news that a Meyersdale Area School District substitute teacher and assistant football coach had been arrested for allegedly having sex with a student, is not the first incident of its kind in that area. Steven Alan Schrader was charged this week; at the end of last month, Joshua Steven Covert was charged with three counts each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and corruption of minors. He was the former band director at Meyersdale. A relationship began at the end of last school year, and continued through the current one. He resigned in September. Covert will face charges in Somerset County court as well.
Temporary Street Closures Announced
Through Monday, weather permitting, milling and paving operations for Park Street and Williams Street will cause the temporary closure of streets and alleys that connect with them during the hours of 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Residents are asked to use the alleys that parallel Park Street and Maryland Avenue. The city of Cumberland’s Engineering Department is advising motorists to take alternate routes to avoid the construction work, if possible.
School Board Approves Purchase, Contract Extension
The Allegany County Board of Education has voted to approve the purchase of property on Humbird Street, as well as extend the contract with Grimm and Parker Architects for the feasibility study of Allegany High School. School system staff members negotiated for the purchase of property on Humbird Street located directly behind John Humbird, which includes a duplex house on a double lot. Plans are to demolish the house and convert the area into a parking lot for school staff, and thus help remedy the school’s off-street parking issue.
Demolition on House Destroyed by Fire in Keyser
Demolition work has begun on a Willow Avenue property that was destroyed by fire in August. The cost of the demolition will be covered by a lien against the property. Keyser Police Officers Donald Saville and Scott Brantner were also commended for alerting residents to the August 2nd fire, and helping them escape the burning building. The cause of that fire was determined to be accidental in nature, caused by a faulty electrical line under the porch of the building.
Disaster Assistance Announced
Enrollment for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance program or “SURE,” will begin on Monday, November 14th in Hampshire County. Along with Hampshire, other counties receiving a disaster designation for 2010 include Berkeley, Grant, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton. The agricultural assistance program stipulates that a producer’s operation must be located in a county that was declared a disaster for 2010 and have at least a 10-per cent production loss that affects one crop of economic significance. For more information on the SURE program, contact the Hampshire County Farm Service Agency office at (304)-822-3020.
National Emergency Alert Test Called a Failure
Wednesday’s test of the national Emergency Alert System did not go exactly as planned on Wednesday. Problems were reported across the country. In some instances, broadcasters failued to interrupt programming for the test; FEMA says the test was the beginning of a much larger effort to strengthen and upgrade the nation’s public alert and warning system. FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission says, for now, it’s back to the drawing board, and that ongoing testing is the only way to work out the bugs in the Emergency Alert System technology.