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Local News

General Assembly Approves Health Care Reform Element

The Maryland General Assembly has approved legislation that would implement part of the federal health care reform law. The bill would create a framework to provide coverage to 700,000 uninsured residents in the state. Monday’s action builds on last year’s legislation passed last year to create the health care exchange, a mandate of federal health care reform. The federal health care reform law is currently being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.


Chances of Passing Little Orleans Bill “Slim”

A bill, filed by Delegate LeRoy Myers, dealing with a local school board decision to end the Washington County School Choice program, is “running out of steam,” admittedly by Myers himself. Neither of the bills introduced met Monday’s “Crossover Day” deadline. Myers efforts have been strongly opposed by the local Board of Education, and other related agencies. The Maryland State Board of Education has since upheld the local decision to end the program, and bring students from the eastern end of the county into Allegany County schools.


Garrett County Agrees to Take Over ASCI

The Garrett County Commissioners have agreed to take ownership of the Adventure Sports Center International, and is spending $600,000 to secure the assignment of the debt from Susquehanna Bank. They will, in turn, split the debt and distribute half of it to First United Bank & Trust. The $600,000 expenditure will be paid with  the hotel/motel tax from Garrett County.


Four Charged in Bedford County Home Invasion

Four men, who are already jailed in Allegany County, faces home invasion charges in the state of Pennsylvania. Cody and Cory Crabtree, along with Gregory Laisure and Zachary Huffman have been charged with a December home invasion on Evitt’s Creek Road, and the assault of the couple who live there. During that home invasion robbery, money, prescription medication and firearms were taken, and the couple was also beaten during the incident.


Two Arrested in Pot Bust Identified

Two residents of the Whitacre Tailer Court in Short Gap have been charged in connection with a marijuana growing operation there. Thirty-one year old Arron Paul Weisenmiller and Kristy Dawn Gordon were taken into custody on Sunday night, after deputies discovered drugs, worth $83,000,  on Lots 9 and 30 of the trailer court. Other paraphernalia, such as growing materials and measuring devices, were also found. Weisenmiller has been jailed on $24,000 bond in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.


Keyser Discusses Junk Ordinance,  Feral Cats

The Keyser Mayor and City Council has decided to delay action on two agenda items-the city’s junk ordinance and the issue of feral cats running loose in the city. There are neither state or local laws in dealing with stray cats, and the matter will discussed later. On the junk ordinance, it was decided the current plan is old, complex and difficult to enforce. The city may possibly examine the law, and possibly rewrite the ordinance, which is rather time-consuming.


Gibralter Also Seeking Massachusetts Post

Frostburg State University President Dr. Jonathan Gibralter is among the six finalists for the post of chancellor of the University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth. He is also one of three finalists for the president of the University of Kentucky position. Dr. Gibralter had previously served as president of Farmingdale State College. The six finalists will visit the Massachusetts campus early next month.


Attempted  Abduction in Somerset Reported

The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the attempted abduction of a nineteen year old in the parking lot of the Save-A-Lot in Somerset late last week. The teen was described as having the mannerisms of a young child. The man tried to lure him into his truck, but the teen did not, and told his mother, who brought it to the attention of police. The suspect is described as having a black goatee, with black and gray hair, and wearing a black tee shirt. If you have any information about the incident, or may have been in the parking lot around 4 p.m. Friday, you are asked to contact the Somerset barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police.


Woman Arrested on Burglary Charges

Cumberland resident Ashley Blank was arrested Monday  on several burglary charges. She is accused of first, third, and fourth degree burglary and theft of less than $1,000, stemming from a theft investigation that occurred earlier this month at a residence on Henderson Avenue. Following a District Court hearing, she was held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.


Inspection Shows Blast Did Not Cause Flooding

An inspection from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reveals that a mine blast did not cause flooding in the Hooversville area of Somerset County last week. Inspectors say the abandoned mine was in such bad shape, that it could have burst at any time. The water was not acidic, so the DEP does not believe there is any permanent damage to nearby streams.


Part-Time Officer Hired In Somerset

The Somerset Borough council has hired a part-time police officer. Kevin Huzsek will begin his duties once his field training is completed. Somerset lost an officer last month, after he was accused of accepting a bribe. Officer Jason Ponczek is facing both felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly accepting $500 in exchange for withholding charges against someone. He resigned from his position after the charges became public.

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