Board Votes to Accept MOU With City of Cumberland, WMHS
The Allegany County Board of Education has voted to unanimously accept the Memorandum of Understanding between the Mayor and City Council of Cumberland and the Western Maryland Health System that will allow the school system to acquire the property located at the Braddock Campus of the WMHS to be used as the site for a new Allegany High School. The Braddock Campus is particularly attractive since it is located within the city limits, and the site also already has all major utilities in place and has relatively flat terrain, which makes it easier to repurpose. A presentation will be made to the Board of Public Works on January 25th of next year.
City Accepts Land Swap; Rhodes Hired as City Administrator
The Mayor and City Council voted 3-0 to accept the land swap deal in the hopes a new Allegany High School will be built at the former Braddock campus of the Western Maryland Health System. There were two abstentions, as Council Member Mary Beth Pirolozzi serves on the hospital system’s board of directors, and Concilman David Kauffman is employed by the school system. Also during last night’s meeting, Jeff Rhodes, who had been the acting city administrator, was permanently named to that position. He replaces Jeff Repp, who left the job earlier this summer.
April Trial Date Set for FSU Student
Shanee Liggins, who has been charged with murder in the death of fellow student Kortneigh McCoy, will stand trial on April 30th. She had her first court appearance yesterday in connection with the stabbing death on November 6th. Following the hearing, a pre-trial release amount was set at $350,000. Five days have been set aside for the trial.
State Attorney Appeals Reopening of Case
Garrett County State’s Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch is appealing the reopening of the 1980 murder conviction of a West Virginia man in the slaying of a Garrett County Sheriff’s Deputy, David Livengood. The appeal is based on the contention that the Judge in Roberto Rezek’s trial gave improper jury instructions. Rezek, at the time, was sentenced to life plus 15 years in the shooting death of Deputy Livengood.
Slots License To Be Awarded Early in 2012
A slots license for Rocky Gap State Park won’t be awarded until at least February, according to the Maryalnd Video Lottery Facilities Commission. Background checks on the officers of the companies bidding for the license must be conducted, and those checks probably won’t be finished until the end of next month. The two companies bidding for the license are Evitts Creek Resort LLC and Landow Partners LLC, a real estate company owned by former Democratic Party Chairman Nathan Landow.
Vandals Sought in Lonaconing Damage
Police are investigating the vandalism of Christmas lights in the town of Lonaconing. Mayor Jack Coburn says the town incurred anywhere from $600 to $800 in damage, with the majority of the vandalism taking place in the vicinity of the Iron Furnace and near Main and Union Streets. About 500 lights were damaged or stolen. The town has video surveillance near the locations where the damage occurred, and town officials and police are currently reviewing that.
Bedford Visitors’ Bureau Helps Non-Profits
The Bedford County Visitors’ Bureau has awarded over $36,000 to area non-profit attractions and events for promotion of projects next year. The bureau traditionally dedicates 10 per cent of the funds from its hotel/motel tax revenues to help non-profit attractions promote themselves. The beneficiaries from the Pennsylvania Consort to over $7700 for the Fall Foliage Festival.
Plan Maryland Takes Effect
PlanMaryland, which has been described by some as a usurpation of local power over land use, has been accepted by Governor Martin O’Malley. However, the Governor has described it as a framework for making wise decisions about where the state should invest in capital projects. Senate Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin, who plans to introduce legislation that would undo the plan, called the adoption of the plan by executive order, “the height of arrogance,” adding that it should have been brought to the legislature, in the form of a bill.
Maryland Unemployment Rate Falls Below Seven Per Cent
The Maryland unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 per cent in November, down from the 7.2 rate set in October. More Marylanders are in the labor pool, and 9500 fewer residents are unemployed. Maryland employers added 2,000 jobs in November. In West Virginia, the unemployment rate fell to 7.1 per cent. Mineral and Hardy counties’ rate remained unchanged, while Hampshire County’s rate rose last month, when compared to October.
Somerset County Holds Postal Meeting
More than 40 residents of New Baltimore, Pennsylvania attended a meeting Monday night to discuss the possible closure of several post offices in the Somerset County area. If the New Baltimore post office closes, a rural carrier from Berlin would add New Baltimore to its route. Lock-box cluster units could be used for residents’ mail, and their physical addresses would not change. An agreement has been announced to delay post office and mail processing center closings until May 15th at the request of several senators.