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Fourth Suspect Apprehended

A fourth suspect in a series of business and home invasion robberies was captured in the parking lot of a downtown Cumberland business yesterday afternoon. Gregory Thomas Laisure is being charged in connection with the robbery at the Brass Kactus on Offutt Street, Billie’s Gas-N-Grub in Flintstone, and at a private residence on Hawk Street in Rawlings. Earlier, the Pennsylvania State Police executed a search warrant at a private residence in Stringtown, Pennsylvania; as a result, investigators were able to find Laisure. Jerome and Cory Crabtree, along with Zachary Huffman are already in custody and have been charged in connection with the same incidents.


American Woodmark to Close Hardy County Facility

The continuing housing slump has caused the closure of the American Woodmark in Hardy County, West Virginia. That location, and another in Kentucky, will shut down by April 30th of next year. The Washington Business Journal says the company is closing its employee defined-benefit pension plans, effective May 12, 2012, shifting instead to higher company contributions to employee 401(k) plans. According to the company’s most recent annual report, American Woodmark employed about 3700 workers. An assembly plant in Oklahoma was idled in 2009.


Cause Of Death Determined in Triple-Fatal Fire

The identities of the victims of last Sunday’s fire on Estelle Street have been confirmed. Delores Crawford, Ruth Crawford and Kellie Lynn Appold died from smoke inhalation and thermal burn injuries, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office. It is known that the gas had been shut off to the home about two weeks before the incident, as a result of a leaking wall-mounted gas space heater. The victims had been using electric, oil-filled radiant space heaters. No evidence of smoke detectors was located, but it is known the occupants were approached in September in an effort to offer services such as free installation of smoke detectors, but were denied access to the home.


Fire Causes $5,000 Damage to Cresaptown Home

An off-duty State Police Officer is being credited with saving a McMullen Highway residence from destruction early yesterday morning. TFC. Mark Lechliter drove by the house, and discovered the fire. He took a fire extinguisher out of his vehicle and put the fire out. The structure was owned by Anne Miller and Joseph Morgan and was undergoing renovation, and therefore, unoccupied at the time. Smoke alarms were present and activated. The fire did $5,000 worth of damage, and was accidental in nature, caused by an overloaded electrical panel.


Westernport Man Faces Charges from DNR

Westernport resident Richard Allan Wilkinson faces numerous charges, in connection with an incident earlier this month in Garrett County. Wilkinson is charged with possessing a loaded weapon in a vehicle, failing to report a deer kill, hunting under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of alcohol, and exceeding the bag limit of deer. His vehicle was stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence; officers found a loaded rifle and fresh deer blood in the truck. They then located a freshly killed deer in his garage. No trial date has been set.


Humane Society Offers Poaching Reward

The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $2500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally killing a deer in Somerset County earlier this month. A ten-point buck had been poached in Jenner Township; witnesses hear and saw someone shoot the deer from a vehicle around 7 a.m. and saw a dark-colored Ford pickup truck with no cap drive away from the scene. Anyone with information should call the Pennsylvania Game Commission office at 1-888-PGC-8001.


Postal Service To Delay Cutbacks

The United States Postal Service is delaying the closure of 252 mail processing centers and 3700 local post offices until mid-May. The agency is giving Congress more time to pass legislation that would give it more authority and liquidity to stave off bankruptcy. The postal service is expected to default on a $5.5 billion payment to the Treasury, and is predicted to lose a record $14.1 billion next year. The postal service had planned to hold a public hearing next week on a proposal to transfer mail processing from Cumberland to Johnstown, Pennsylvania.


Inner Harbor Has Most Polluted Water in Maryland

The water in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has been determined to be the state’s dirtiest, polluted by storm water, bacterial contamination, and trash. Attorney General Douglas Gansler took a tour of the Inner Harbor earlier this week. He noted that cleanup begins further upstream, to the other cities and counties. Many jurisdictions have already submitted cleanup plans.


School Building Authority To Take Comment on Proposal

The West Virginia School Building Authority is allowing 30 days for comment by county school systems on a proposal, concerning who is working at school construction sites. The proposed policy would keep registered sex offenders and illegal immigrants off the work crews. SBA Executive Director Mark Manchin says the policy is proactive, and not reacting. The SBA is expected to approve the policy after the 30-day comment period.

Barry McKay
Barry McKay
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