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County Considers Leaving State Retirement Program

Allegany County could leave the state retirement system, and offer county employees a defined contribution plan instead. Ten years ago, in fiscal 2002, the county sent $575,000 to the state for the plan; in fiscal year 2012, the county sent a check for $1.6 million. If approved, a new plan should be in place by July 1st, and the county could quickly realize savings, since there is a turnover of about 23 employees per year, according to county Finance Director Jason Bennett.


Complaint Filed Over Wind Turbines

A Green Mountain resident has filed a formal complaint with the West Virginia Public Service Commission over noise levels at the Pinnacle Wind farm. Richard Braithwaite claims excessive noise levels both inside and outside his home near the wind farm. He says the droning noise of the turbines is causing him headaches, and that he is unable to sleep or rest. He is asking the PSC to either fix the noise problem, or at least shut down the operation at night.


Shoplifting Suspects Arrested

Two women who had been accused of shoplifting at the LaVale Kohl’s store, were arrested Wednesday when their vehicle was spotted at the Frostburg Sheetz store, by an off-duty Frostburg State University police communications officer. Taken into custody after finding items allegedly taken from the Sheetz store were 19-year old Miyani Vaughn of Frostburg and 20-year old Chezmin Suter of Catonsville. Suter also faces charges of marijuana possession.


Assault Results in Student Arrest

A Garrett College student was arrested early yesterday, after allegedly assaulting his roommate over a stolen ski pass. Twenty-year old Christopher Lowry, originally from Phoenix, Maryland, was jailed on $2500 bond, set by a District Court Commissioner. He allegedly was holding a steak knife, when he forced open his roommate’s bedroom door to demand his property back. He was later arrested at another residence in McHenry.


Bedford Man Found Guilty in DUI Crash

A Bedford County man, who has had three previous DUI convictions, has been found guilty of a dozen other charges in connection to a crash in December, 2010, that left two teenagers seriously injured. Jim L. Best was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle while driving under the influence, as well as ten other charges. Severely injured in the crash were Everett Area High School senior Kyle Frankenberry and his girlfriend, McKenna Sipes. Best will sentenced at a hearing in May.


Morgan County Man Sentenced in Larceny Case

Thirty-four year old Morgan County resident John F. Wills has been sentenced to a year in prison, followed by a year of supervised release for fleeing from an officer and attempted grand larceny. He had previously been sentenced in 2006 to 41 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Wills was sentenced in federal court in Martinsburg.


Northrop-Grumman Offering Scholarship

Northrop-Grumman is offering a scholarship to students who plan to attend an accredited college or university in an approved engineering curriculum upon graduation. The program awards $10,000 to one deserving student in each of Maryland’s counties and Baltimore City. The scholarship funds may be used at the recipient’s discretion towards tuition, books, lodging or meals. For information, visit the Northrop-Grumman website at The applications are due March 31, 2012.


Hancock Man Charged with Having Sex With His Daughter

A Hancock man is facing 11 counts of third-degree sexual offenses and six counts of second-degree counts, after being accused of having sex with his 13-year old daughter and fondling another 13-year old girl. Both the accused and victims’ names are being withheld, to protect the victims in the case.


Infant Drowns In Hagerstown

Washington County Child Protective Services and the State Attorney’s office is investigating what appears to be an accidental drowning at a home on Ridge Avenue in Hagerstown. The child’s mother, Taria King, placed the infant in a bathtub, and had stepped away for an undetermined amount of time. Upon re-entering the bathroom, she found the baby in the water and unresponsive. She immediately called 911 and the baby was pronounced dead at Meritus Medical Center. A determination will made as to the negligence of the child’s mother.


Revenue Estimates Revised Downward

The state Board of Revenue Estimates has adjusted state revenue projections downward by about $80 million for the current fiscal year, and $50 million for the next one. They were due largely to lower-than-expected individual income tax collections, which are down about $101 million for this fiscal year. Corporate income taxes are up about $21 million.

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