Another Arrested in Robberies
Another suspect has been arrested in connection with the robbery of a Cumberland Valley couple Sunday night. Thirty-five year old Melvin Ray Howell III, of Cumberland, was captured south of Hyndman on Wednesday. The Pennsylvania State Police conducted the search near the intersection of Route 96 and Stringtown Road. Howell was taken into custody without incident, and jailed on $150,000 cash bail. On the scene Wednesday were about two dozen state police vehicles, along with one personnel carrier and two vans. The area they searched is sometimes known as Hosselrode Hollow.
Cause of Death Released in Fire Investigation
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.
Cooperative to Enter into Agreement with County
The Maryland Broadband Cooperative, in partnership with the Allegany County Commissioners, is expected to enter in to an agreement, in which the county will provide access to space for MdBC electronics to light fiber along Interstate 68. This partnership brings the county into the Cooperative’s agreement with the state of Maryland, which received a $115 million federal stimulus grant for broadband availability throughout the state through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, or “B-TOP,” administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
An investigation into the cause of death is underway, but experts have identified the remains found in a wooded area near Shadyside Lane in Bedford several weeks ago. A forensic odontologist has identified the body as that of Audrey Rock Phoenix of Portland, Oregon. She had been designated as an “endangered missing person” by the Portland Police Department on May 18th of this year. Investigators are also looking into how she came to be in the wooded area.
West Virginia Remains Identified
A body found in the Monongahela National Forest last month has been identified as 58-year old Michael Hamner, of Thomas, West Virginia. The Tucker County Sheriff’s Department says Hamner was originally reported missing on January 13th of this year, and was found by deer hunters on November 19th. The West Virginia Medcial Examiner’s Office has not determined a cause of death, but foul play is not suspected.
Laurel Man Arrested on Assault, Endangerment Charges
Fifty-three year old Laurel resident Bernard Cornelius Fletcher has been charged with two counts of assault, and one of reckless endangerment, in connection with an incident Wednesday evening in the 900-block of Maryland Avenue. The victim told police she had been held at knifepoint by an acquaintance during the assault. She refused medical treatment. Fletcher was arrested and held without bail.
Bedford Man Enters Guilty Plea
Twenty-one year old Bedford resident Charles Keith Horsh has pleaded guilty to the burglary and arson of Trinity Lutheran Church in Bedford Borough on June 8th of this year. He is expected to be sentenced to 10 to 20 years in state prison on January 13th of next year. Damages to the parish house were estimated to be more than a quarter-million dollars. He has been housed at the Bedford County Jail since June 15th of this year, after failing to post bail, which was set I the amount of $500,000.
Missing Man May Be in Western Maryland Area
Baltimore County Police say a missing Baltimore man may be in the Cumberland/West Virginia area. Fifty-six year old David Alexander has been missing since December 6th. He left his Baltimore home for a doctor’s appointment, and never came back. He is described as 6 foot, two inches tall, weighing 220 pounds. He has blue eyes, grey hair and a mustache.
Delegate to Introduce Cell Phone Bill
A Baltimore County State Delegate will introduce legislation that would make the use of a hand-held cell phone a primary offense; it is now a secondary-type violation. The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to prohibit texting, emailing, or using any cellphone, while in the car. Delegate Dana Stein says that he will also work to make distracted driving a crime, although using a hands-free cell phone while driving would not be illegal under the bill he will propose.