Piedmont Ethics Investigation Over

The West Virginia Ethics Commission has concluded its investigation, stemming from a complaint filed against former Piedmont Council Member Bob Fike. Fike, who owns the Herald Printing House in Piedmont, had been accused by council member Ray Hall, of improperly doing business with the city. Hall filed the complaint when he also provided the Ethics Commission with information about alleged improprieties regarding the purchase of FEMA trailers by the city. Despite being asked, Hall has refused to resign from his council position.


Woman Charged with Assault

Fifty-seven year old Vicky Lyn Melvin has been charged with second-degree assault, following an assault Monday afternoon on Baltimore Street. She allegedly assaulted her live-in boyfriend by shoving him, and hitting him in the mouth. The victim had an injury consistent with what he reported. She was released on personal recognizance.


Son Sentenced, Mother Awaiting Sentencing

A mother and son, implicated in concealing a firearm used in a double-shooting in Somerset Borough over a year ago, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and possession of a controlled substance. Duane David Hetz of Garrett was given credit for time served and immediately paroled. His mother, 52-year old Laura Lynn Hetz will be sentenced next month. Pittsburgh resident Samuel Lee Taylor was shot five times in the head and chest, and later died.


Insurance Administration to Visit Garrett County

The Maryland Insurance Administration will be visiting Garrett County next week. Trained staff will be on hand at the Garrett County One-Stop Job Center at 221 South Third Street next Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A variety of consumer materials on insurance products, including title insurance and health, auto and homeowners insurance will be offered.


Historic Home Destroyed by Fire

The Lavansville Home in Somerset County, which dates back to the 1850’s, was destroyed by fire Sunday morning. A state fire marshal says the fire is not suspicious, but more than $100,000 worth of damage was done. The family-Jeff and Lisa Richards and their three children-were not home at the time of the fire. Their 14-year old dog did not survive.


Hagerstown Police Looking for Assault Suspect

A Hagerstown man is being sought, following an assault in the area of Little Elliott Drive in Washington County. Forty-five year old David Martin Ross allegedly stabbed a woman twice in the back and fled the scene. The victim was treated and released from the hospital. Ross is still at large, and should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to contact Hagerstown City Police at (301)-790-3700, extension 234.


State Considers Raising Mandatory Age for Attending School

Although he has not signed it, the Maryland legislature has approved a bill that would gradually increase the age for compulsory public school attendance from 15 to 17 years old by the 2017-2018 school year. Governor O’Malley has not signed the bill, because it has financial implications that need to be reviewed after the state budget agreement is settled.


Transportation Secretary Leaving Post

Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley is stepping down on July 1st. She is resigning to pursue opportunities in the private sector. She was named to the post in September of 2009. There will be a national search to find her replacement, but no decision has been made as to whether an interim or acting secretary would move into the position.


West Virginia Trying to Stop Threatening Phone Calls

The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office is trying to stop seven debt collection agencies from doing business in the state. Assistant Attorney General Normal Googel has filed a lawsuit in Kanawha County against companies that are not licensed in West Virginia. He added that the companies call state residents and threaten them. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline is 1-800-368-8808.