Numerous Companies Battle House Fire
Approximately 17 companies are on the scene of a working house fire, along Route 51, near the Spring Gap Post Office. The original call came into the Allegany County Office of Emergency Services at 4:26 a.m. Companies from Maryland and West Virginia responded. The house was abandoned and there is no word of injuries. Firefighters had difficulty because of a lack of a water supply, so a “tanker task force” was brought in to pump water from a nearby water supply. The Maryland State Fire Marshal has been requested to investigate the blaze.
Keyser Funeral Director Sentenced
Keyser businessman Brian Smith has been sentenced to 120 days in jail, on a charge of battery, stemming from the sexual abuse of a teenage boy. Smith was also ordered to be placed on three years’ probation, pay court costs and perform 100 hours of community service. He will report to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in Augusta on February 15th to begin the sentenced. Smith was sentenced to one year, with all but 120 days suspended. The conviction resulted from a plea agreement for Smith.
Fourth Arrest in Vandalism, Theft Case
A fourth person has been arrested in connection with a string of thefts and destructions of property that happened last month at several locations in Frostburg. Eighteen year old Kevin William Palsgrove of Elkton, Maryland has been charged with three counts of theft and one of malicious destruction of property for his part in the incident. As were three co-defendants in the case, Palsgrove was an FSU student this past fall, but is not enrolled now. The incident resulted in over $13,500 in damage and the theft of less than $100.00 in Christmas decorations. All of the defendants are free on their own recognizance, pending their next court appearance.
Pennsylvania Man Arrested in Cumberland
Hyndman resident Michael Roy Lantz was arrested on Frederick Street after he was seen operating a vehicle in an erratic manner. A K-9 unit responded to scan the car for drugs, and three hypodermic needles and two metal spoons were found under the drivers’ seat. He also did not have insurance on the vehicle, and the tags displayed belonged on another vehicle. He was released pending his trial in District Court.
Hyndman Council May Provide Space
The Hyndman Borough Council is exploring the possibility of providing the Hope for Hyndman Charter School with more space. The council said it will meet with its attorney, hopefully before a hearing is held on the closing of Hyndman-Londonderry Elementary School. There has also been some discussion about donating an undeveloped tract of land on the south end of town. However, there is some concern about locating additional space at the industrial park site, which is not near the present campus.
Cardin Comments on FAA Reauthorization
Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin says the change in the Essential Air Service subsidy contained in the reauthorization of the FAA bill will give Hagerstown Regional Airport a “good chance to keep the subsidy” for Cape Air’s commuter flights to Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport. The Senator added that the continuation of the subsidy will help “overall economic development” in the region.
Maryland May Face Bond Rating Downgrade
Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp says Moody’s bond rating service has reassessed the state’s rating and is keeping a negative outlook. The Treasurer says that Maryland faces a bond rating downgrade. The state is trying to prevent that from happening. Because of the large number of federal employees living in Maryland, any action by Washington to downsize will have a negative impact on the state.
Cell Phone Use Could Become Primary Offense
The House Environmental Matters Committee held a hearing yesterday on a bill that would make it a primary offense for talking on a handheld cell phone while driving; it is now a secondary offense. This means a police officer could pull someone over after seeing a driver talking on a cell phone. Presently, police can only issue a citation for talking on a cell phone, while another driving violation is observed.
DeWeese Guilty of Five Felonies
Former Democratic State Representative and House Speaker Bill DeWeese was found guilty of all but one of six felony corruption charges, resulting from a state legislative probe into the misuse of public resources. DeWeese is accused of using more than $100,000 of staff time and other state resources for his own political benefit. The jury took three days to reach the verdict.