Cause of Fire Likely Accidental
The cause of Friday morning’s fatal fire on Harrison Street that took the lives of two young children is believed to be accidental in nature, although a specific cause has not been released. It is known the fire originated in the first floor living room. Seven-year old Paige Ford and 4-year old Jymera Ford lost their lives in the 6:05 a.m. fire. Their mother, Tandra Ford, and an infant were able to escape the blaze.
Robbery Victim Sustains Injuries in Attack
The 89-year old Mount Pleasant Street victim of Saturday’s home invasion in Frostburg was hospitalized for treatment of several injuries, including a broken hip, a fractured wrist and head lacerations. The daytime robbery led to the arrest of 28-year old Zachary Winner. Also arrested was 21-year old Melissa McAteer, who allegedly lied to police when investigators came to Winner’s residence, asking if he was inside. She remains jailed, in lieu of $25,000 bond, in connection with the incident.
Officers Taken to Hospital
Three Western Correctional Institution officers were treated at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center late last week, after being exposed to pepper spray. They had been dealing with an uncooperative inmate who had refused to return to his cell. The inmate suffered a minor laceration to the head, and was treated by prison medical personnel.
Former Employee Arrested in Breaking and Entering
A former employee of the Frostburg Burger King has been arrested in a December breaking and entering of the business. Twenty-one year old Llany Vega is accused of breaking into the restaurant, through the roof, during the early morning hours of December 12th. He is accused of disabling the surveillance camera system, and removing an undisclosed sum of cash, before fleeing the scene. Vega surrendered to authorities, and was released on personal recognizance, pending his next court appearance. An accomplice has been identified and future charges are pending.
Man Arrested in WMRMC Disturbance
Cumberland resident John William Shoemaker was arrested, following an incident at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on Friday. Shoemaker is accused of assaulting another patient at the facility. He was charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and affray.
Flu Clinic Set for Friday
The Allegany County Health Department has scheduled a flu clinic for Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shots are also available every Wednesday, from 1 to 4 p.m., with no appointment necessary. The Health Department can bill Medicare and Maryland Physicians Care. The ACHD is not currently a participating provider with Blue Cross-Blue Shield and now cannot accept BC-BS insurances. Each year, influenza results in the hospitalization of roughly 200,000 people in the U.S.; nearly 36,000 people nationwide die from influenza-related complications.
College Placement Tests in Progress
The Allegany County Public School system will administer a college placement test to all junior students, now through the end of the month, in an effort to identify students who are eligible for college courses before course selection for their senior years. For those students who do not pass the placement test, and if their schedule will allow, a college placement prep course will be offered, beginning February 1st. The school system has worked cooperatively with Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University to secure a College Preparation Intervention Program Grant.
Briner, Schiffour Earn Earl Paul Memorial Award
Taylor Schiffour and Ryan Briner recently received the Earl Paul Memorial Awards at the 2012 Fort Hill High School football banquet. The awards are named in memory of Fort Hill Special Education teacher and founder of the Fort Hill football buddy program; the awards are sponsored by the Allegany County Special Olympics. Taylor Schiffour received the Outstanding Spirit award, and Ryan Briner received the Earl Paul Memorial Award for outstanding service to his church and community, as well as being a member of the Fort Hill football team. He is also a participating member and leader of the of the football buddy program.
Gas Tax, Teacher Pensions Under Consideration
During this third week of the 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly, Governor Martin O’Malley is unveiling the bills he wants lawmakers to consider this year. Among those is the finalization of the transportation budget, which is expected to include an increase of 23.5 cents in the gasoline tax. However, many legislators agree that won’t happen this year. Also, the Governor’s budget includes a plan to have county governments pay half the cost of teacher pensions. This week, officials from the Maryland Association of Counties will address concerns about the impact of the Governor’s plan on county taxpayers, during a hearing of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.