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Spring Gap Fire Remains Under Investigation

The Maryland State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of a fire in Spring Gap yesterday morning. Ten or more fire companies from a two-state area battled the blaze in a vacant two-story, single-family dwelling, which was owned by Freda Minnick. The fire, which was discovered by a passerby, originated in the first floor area. The first call came in to the Allegany County Office of Emergency Services at 4:25 a.m. yesterday.


Beitzel Files Education Funding Bill

Maryland State Senator George Edwards has filed SB586, which caps the losses of education to a local jurisdiction at 5 per cent. Delegate Wendell Beitzel has now filed the House version of the bill. Senator Edwards’ bill has been assigned to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, while Delegate Wendell Beitzel’s bill will be assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee. Delegate Beitzel is inviting citizen input on the bill. You can email Delegate Beitzel directly at


Garrett, Allegany Schools Benefit from Alcohol Tax

The Maryland Board of Public Works has awarded grant money from the sales and use tax on alcoholic beverages to Allegany and Garrett County schools. The 2012 portion allocated to the western region of the state is $750,000. The Cumberland Times-News says that Northeast Elementary School was the beneficiary of over $124,000; in Garrett County, Broad Ford Elementary School received over $48,600 for exterior repairs.


James Resigns As FCRC Director

Sara-Beth James has resigned as the director of the Family Crisis Resource Center after two years. She is beginning a new job as a research analyst at Frostburg State University. She begins her new venture on February 20th, and her last day at the FCRC was Wednesday.


Oil and Gas Leasing Meeting Held in Somerset County

More than 200 property owners attended a meeting in Salisbury this week, and expressed a strong interest in leasing property to oil and gas drilling companies. The meeting was ordered by the Casselman Valley Landowner Group; in all property owners have shown an interest in leasing over 11,000 acres in several townships in Somerset County. One final meeting will be held on February 25th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Salisbury Fire Department. Anyone who owns one or more acres of land is welcome to attend.


Police Respond To Business Disturbance

Cumberland City Police arrested a 22-year old Cumberland woman, after she allegedly created a disturbance at a Paca Street business. Betty Dye was allegedly disrupting the staff and clients of the business, and it was requested she be removed from the property; she refused to leave and was forcibly removed. She was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace, and resisting or interfering with an arrest. She was held on $2,000 bond, following a District Court appearance.


Fire Deaths Continue to Decrease Statewide

Even though Allegany County experienced several fire deaths in 2011, the state of Maryland as a whole, experienced a decrease in fatal fires. Last year, 67 Marylanders died in 56 fatal fires, which is a 6 per cent decrease as compared to the 71 fire deaths occurring in 50 fatal fires in 2010. Garrett County was one of nine that experienced no fire fatalities in 2011.


MVA Announces Vehicle Email Registration

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration is launching a program, where vehicle registration renewal notices can be sent out through emails. The move will save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars, and is more environmentally friendly. Car owners can sign up their email address with the MVA, and when it is time to renew, an email will be sent to them. The renewal can also be handled online.

Barry McKay
Barry McKay
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