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Suspect in Assault Also Convicted of Homicide

The suspect in this week’s assault of a 77-year old man at Sears in the Country Club Mall spent time in the Pennsylvania prison system, after being convicted of homicide in the 1994 death of a Pennsylvania man. Chanin Allison Clark was 24 years old at the time, and was convicted in the death of Rodney Willis Gardner of Glen Campbell, Pennsylvania. Gardner’s body was found in his vehicle, which was partially submerged in a small pond near his residence. Clark was released from prison in 2010.

 

K-2 Discussed by Board of Education, Law Enforcement Members

Members of law enforcement, the Allegany County School system and Health Department held a press conference on the harmful effects of K-2, or potpourri. The press conference, held at Allegany High School’s Media Center, focused on the fact that even though it is not yet illegal, the health effects on those who smoke or ingest it, can be devastating. Some of the effects are an increased heart rate, convulsions, and in at least one case-death. The state of Maryland is taking a pro-active stance, in that legislation has been introduced to ban the substance, marketed under several names, this year.

 

Accident Leads to Arrest

Frostburg City Police responded to a motor vehicle accident at Mountain Ridge High School yesterday. A 17-year old male struck, and drove over a stop sign and post. Officers detected a strong odor of marijuana. They found a pill bottle, and a clear plastic bag with suspected marijuana. He was taken to the Frostburg Police Department for processing and formal charges will be filed with the Department of Juvenile Services.

 

Beitzel, Edwards Propose Cable Legislation

Both Delegate Wendell Beitzel and Senator George Edwards have cross-filed legislation that urges the Maryland delegation to Congress to lobby the Federal Communications Commission regarding the availability of Baltimore/Washington television stations in Garrett County. Delegate Beitzel notes that citizens of Garrett County are “inundated” with the political landscape of Pennsylvania. He says residents there may know more about what is happening in Harrisburg than they do of their own elected representatives in Annapolis.

 

Oakland Woman Charged in Theft Scheme

Sixty-two year old Oakland resident Karen Sue Otto has been charged with seven counts of theft, in connection with the alleged embezzlement of over $40,000 from Hospice of Garrett County. She had been employed by Hospice for 27 years, and is alleged to have been stealing the money since 2004. She was released on personal recognizance following a hearing before a district court commissioner.

 

Business Center Warned of Deteriorating Wall

The city of Keyser has warned First United Bank, the owner of the Grand Central Business Center, than an old retaining wall at the southeast corner of its property is failing and in danger of collapse. Mayor Randy Amtower directed his staff to prepare a letter to the bank, and implied that legal action may be taken, if something is not done soon.

 

Somerset Accepts Water Project Loan

Somerset Borough Council has unanimously accepted a Pennvest loan of nearly $2 million, for new water distribution lines and a storage tank. The project will reduce the risk of water outages that occur for up to 40 per cent of borough customers on rare occasions. The 20-year loan term has a rate of just over 1 per cent for the first five years, and just over 2 per cent for the remainder of the term.

 

Public Defender Law Progresses

The Maryland law, requiring that poor defendants have a public defender present when district court commissioners are setting bail, may be repealed. The State Office of the Public Defender estimates it would cost about $28 million a year to comply with the court ruling. The cost would be equally high for prosecutors, who would also need to be present for bail hearings. The bill would also clarify that a defendant may not remain in custody for more than 48 hours without being presented to a district court judge.

 

Gambling Site Founder Indicted

The founder of one of the biggest online sports betting and casino games sites in the world has been indicted in Baltimore. Calvin Ayre, founder of Bodog.com, has been accused of conducting an illegal sports gambling site and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The indictment accuses Bodog and its conspirators moved at least $100 million from offshore accounts in Switzerland, England, Malta and Canada to bettors in Maryland and elsewhere, while paying $42 million for advertising to attract U.S. gamblers. The website has been shut down in the U.S.

 

Coroner Reacts to Pentagon 911 Report

Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller is expressing surprise about a Pentagon report that says partial, incinerated remains of some of the 9/11 victims that couldn’t be identified were sent to a landfill in Delaware.  The coroner says the only remains that left the are were DNA samples sent to federal researchers. Samples of victims were returned, while samples of the remains of the four hijackers are being held by the FBI for potential military tribunals. Miller further noted he didn’t know of any possibility of how Flight 93 remains would get to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

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