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Dates for Special Session Set

The Maryland General Assembly will convene in special session on Monday, May 14th, but lawmakers still don’t know the specifics of the legislation they will consider. It is known they will be addressing a tax bill that will prevent the so-called “Doomsday” budget, which now contains $512 million in cuts. The session may last two to three days. Representatives from both the House and Senate say an agreement on tax increases is close.


County Will Eliminate Department

Allegany County’s Commissioners will be eliminating a department because of a budget shortfall, but they aren’t saying which department will be affected. The move will put an unknown number of employees out of work at the end of the current fiscal year. The decision was made during an executive session on April 19th, and announced at yesterday’s commission business meeting.


Official Says Route 219 Funding Lacking

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch says the state cannot come up with $35 million needed to leverage $350 million for the completion of Route 219, until additional sources of funding are found. Maintaining the current system of highways, roads, and bridges is the priority of the state, under current budget conditions. He says toll credits need to be reinstituted, or increases in revenue must be seen, before the completion of Route 219 can happen.


National Day of Prayer Observed

Yesterday’s National Day of Prayer breakfast featured the eldest daughter of the Reverend Bill Graham, Gigi. Ms. Graham, during the breakfast, spoke of the need to accept God in their lives. She is a nationally acclaimed author. She began her visit to Cumberland on Wednesday, serving as the National Day of Prayer kickoff event at Central Assembly of God Church, according to the Cumberland Times-News.


Fredericksburg Man Faces Numerous Charges

Thirty-two year old Fredericksburg, Virginia resident Gregory Odum II, has been charged with two different weapons violations, and with driving 99 miles-per-hour in a 65 mile-per-hour zone. Odum was stopped on westbound Interstate 68; a canine scan revealed a .38-calibre revolver, several loose rounds of ammunition, and a knife with a nine-inch blade. He was held on $15,000 bail at the Garrett County Jail.


Grant To Bring Broadband Internet Access to Garrett County

The Appalachian Regional Commission has given a $250,000 grant to Garrett County, to expand Broadband Internet connectivity in Garrett County. The announcement was made by Maryland United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin. The Garrett County Commissioners will use the funding to deploy 50 miles of fiber, to help connect county facilities, schools, community colleges, health facilities and libraries.


Regional Airports Receive Funding

The Bedford and Somerset County airports will receive funding from the state, as part of a total $12.6 million package to enhance safety and improve facilities. Bedford County will receive just over $767,000 to rehabilitate and apron, parking area, access road and taxiway and to construct another apron. Somerset County will receive over $371,000 to update the airport master plan and to rehabilitate airport navigational aids.


Somerset Woman Recieves Credit For Time Served

A Somerset, Pennsylvania woman was given credit for time served, for her part in a kidnapping case. Twenty-eight year old Joni Lynn Keslar, along with another woman, were charged with luring a Somerset man to a cabin in the Bakersville area in 2008, where he was bound with tape and repeatedly beaten by several men, who believed he had stolen drug money. They realized they had made a mistake and dropped him off along a road, where he was picked up by a passing motorist and taken to a hospital. Ms. Keslar was sentenced to two to 23 months in jail, but was immediately paroled and given credit for time served.


Same Sex Marriage Opponents Collect Signatures

More than half of the signatures necessary to put the same-sex marriage issue on the ballot in November, have been collected. More than 30,000 signatures have been collected, but the Maryland Marriage Alliance needs to turn in 56,000 signatures by the end of next month to put the referendum on the ballot. Governor O’Malley signed the same-sex marriage measure into law several months ago, but the Marriage Alliance group is contending that marriage be defined as the union between a man and a woman.

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