“Doomsday Budget” Being Considered by Committee
The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee will be considering what Senate President Mike Miller calls a “doomsday budget.” It would cut the state’s $1 billion structural deficit in half, using only spending cuts, no tax hikes and no shifts of teacher pensions from state to county taxpayers. The cuts could total millions of dollars to Allegany and Garrett Counties in the areas of disparity grants and supplemental disparity grants, which could be cut by $2.5 million. Miller says that senators and delegates cannot agree, at this point, on any tax proposal, and disagree on the governor’s plan to shift half of the teacher pension costs to the counties.
Family Left Homeless by Fire
Seven family members have been left homeless by a fire Monday night on Jersey Mountain Road, east of Romney. Two adults and five children escaped without injury as a fire began in the flue of the residence and quickly extended into the walls of the home. The incident was reported at 9:40 p.m., and the last fire units left the scene shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Governors Urge Navy to Consolidate Operations
Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia are urging the U.S. Department of the Navy to consolidate its data centers at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory. The Fiscal year 2012 Defense Authorization Act is requiring the Navy to reduce space for information technology centers. They both say the Mineral County location has the capacity to meet new requirements, at an affordable price, with minimal capital investment, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
Airport Manager Termination Not Done Properly
The vote to terminate Terry Malone as manager of the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport may not have been done properly, according to chairperson of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, Cindy Pyles. According to the West Virginia Sunshine Law, no decisions or votes may be made during executive session. While a personnel issue may be discussed, the actual vote or decision must be done in open session. During the meeting in which the decision to fire Malone, there was no attorney present, nor was the legality of the issue brought to Pyles’ attention.
Student Charged in Threat Case
A Fort Hill High School student has been charged with leaving a threatening message in a bathroom of the school yesterday. An investigation by school and law enforcement officials determined that it was not a credible threat, and students were not evacuated. The student, who is charged with making a bomb threat and related charges, is being disciplined in accordance with the Board of Education’s policy on student discipline.
Casselman Bridge Closed to Visitors
As was announced last week, the Casselman River bridge in Grantsville has been closed indefinitely to foot traffic. It has not been used for vehicular traffic for some time, but has served as a footbridge for picnickers and fishermen. Parts of a stone wall have crumbled and fallen from the bridge. The damage was discovered over a week ago. The Maryland Park Service says it hopes to repair the bridge quickly, but has no timetable for the project.
Race To Impact City Traffic
Allegany College of Maryland is having a 5K run through the city of Cumberland as part of the college’s 50th anniversary celebration. Travel through the city on and near the race route will be impacted for a short period of time. The race starts at 9 a.m. at the Carver Center, located in the 300-block of Frederick Street. Runners will be in the Frederick/Decatur Street area, in the Baltimore Avenue area, and onto Willowbrook Road to the college. Several streets in the area will be closed, beginning at 8:50 a.m. The race should be finished by 10 a.m.
Two Plead Guilty to Sex Charges
Two Somerset County men will be sentenced on June 6th after pleading guilty to sex charges in two separate incidents. Thirty-five year old Eric Matthew kenned was charged with 948 counts of rape and related sexual offenses. The victim was 11 years old in 2004, at the time of the incidents. Meanwhile, Windber resident Francis Polimine pleaded guilty to three counts of statutory sexual assault and one count of indecent assault for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year old girl. Polimine is 46 years of age.
Winchester Hospital Recognized by U.S. News and World Report
The Winchester Medical Center has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as “high performing” in five specialties, including diabetes, geriatrics and urology. To be recognized, the hospital only had to be rated in at least one of 16 specialties. About 5,000 hospitals are evaluated annually, and U.S. News says they offer a high level of medical care to communities that might otherwise have limited options.