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Local News

Commissioners To Follow Staff Recommendations

The Allegany County Commissioners, most likely, will follow staff recommendations, and not change the county’s paper gaming taxation structure. The commissioners may, however, ask the Western Maryland Delegation to the General Assembly to look for a change in the law, which would give the commissioners more flexibility in setting local tax rates on the games. For-profit businesses had asked for a reduction in the tax rate earlier in the year; presently, that rate is 40 per cent.


NewPage Bonusing Executives

Even though it has filed for bankruptcy, NewPage Corporation is asking to bonus about 15 executives $1.5 million this year and the same amount for 2012. NewPage is also asking that many of the documents filed in support of the request be sealed, because it contains personal information about the executives and the company. A hearing on the request for the incentives is set for December 13th.


Maryland DNR Closes Deer Monitoring Station

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has closed a surveillance station at Green Ridge State Forest, as they are changing its tactics in monitoring deer for chronic wasting disease. The DNR will be sampling deer carcasses at butcher shops instead. The Green Ridge station has been staffed during the October muzzle-loading season. The agency says too few hunters voluntarily brought their deer to the surveillance station to justify staffing during this two-week firearm season. A deer, killed last year in the Green Ridge State Forest, was the first in Maryland to test positively for the disease.


Fire Determined To Be Accidental

Sunday morning’s fire on Darrows Avenue in Cresaptown was accidental in nature, with a space heater igniting combustibles in the basement of the home. Damage to the structure and contents was placed at $90,000. The home was owned by Richard Long; the family was displaced by the fire and is staying with relatives. Smoke detectors at the home were present and activated, and the one-alarm fire took about five minutes to control.


Stabbing Victim Released from Hospital

The victim of the early Monday morning stabbing in Oldtown was released from the hospital, and the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office says there could be more arrests in connection with the incident. Cumberland resident Jacob Lewis has been charged with assault, reckless endangerment and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and was jailed on $7500 bond. The Bear Hill Road incident remains under investigation.


Man Arrested on Burglary, Destruction of Property Charges

Cumberland resident Derrick James Swick faces several burglary charges and one of destruction of property during a Monday evening disturbance on East Third Street. Swick is accused of breaking into a storage shed, and trying to steal an ATV there. The victim was able to watch him breaking into the shed. He was arrested, and held on $30,000 bond.


Barton Man Arrested on Possession of Untagged Deer

Fifty-two year old Barton resident Kenneth Howe was arrested by the Maryland Natural Resources Police on Sunday afternoon. Howe was charged with two counts of possession of untagged deer. He allegedly removed the head and hide of a deer, before checking it in with the department, as well. The charges resulted from an investigation into deer being illegally killed in the area of Old Miller Road. The two illegally possessed deer were seized and donated to needy families.


Washington County Man Pleads Guilty in Shooting Death

Randy McPeak has pleaded guilty to the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend, Heather Harris, last June in Washington County. The charges against him included first-degree murder, false imprisonment and stalking. Heather Harris died from the gunshot wounds several days later, following a stand-off with police on the Dual Highway. Mc Peak will be sentenced within the next 60 days.


Giordano Returning to the United States

Gary Giordano is being set free, after being detained in Aruba for several months in connection with the disappearance of his traveling companion, Robyn Gardner. The FBI raided his home more than two weeks ago; Giordano is the only suspect in the disappearance of Gardner. If there is any new information, Giordano may have to return to the island, since Aruba does have an extradition treaty with the United States.


Former Fireman’s Sentencing Continued

For the fourth time, sentencing for a former Somerset County firefighter has been continued, because there is a question as to how much he owes in restitution. Thirty-five year old Charles Whipkey is accused of burning down an uninsured house in Confluence on August 24th of last year. Whipkey’s sentencing was continued twice before to establish the extent of the loss, and one other time because he was injured in an altercation at the jail, the day he was to be sentenced.

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