General Assembly Approves Tax Hikes, Pension Shift
The Maryland General Assembly, during its special session, increased state income taxes on individuals who earn more than $100,000 per year and couples who make more than $150,000 per year. And, the state will begin shifting teacher pension costs to local governments over the next four years. A tax increase on tobacco products, other than cigarettes, was also passed. There may still be another special session later this summer, to deal with the issue of tabling gaming in Maryland.
Canal Place Executive Director Named
Deidra “Dee Dee” Ritchie has been named the new executive director of the Canal Place Heritage area, and will begin her duties on June 4th. She had previously been manager of the Garrett County Heritage Area and will replace Rene Bone, who resigned in February, after nearly three years in that position.
Mineral County Man Sentenced
Carpendale resident Matthew Christopher Walters was among 14 people sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg. Walters was sentenced to 16 months in prison, after entering a guilty plea last October, to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had previously been convicted of burglary and second-degree assault in 2009.
Acting Administrator Relinquishes Duties
Acting Keyser City Administrator Carissa Fazenbaker has relinquished those duties, but will remain as administrative assistant to Mayor Randy Amtower. She had been the acting administrator in the absence of Deborah Pamepinto, who is on medical leave, at least until the end of the month. Ms. Pamepinto had resigned during the April 25tyh meeting, but the Council voted 3 to 2, to reject her letter of resignation. She has since had a change of heart, and wants to remain in that capacity.
Recall Petition Presented
A recall petition for Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower was presented to the city administrator this week. The petition was presented for certification, and the administrator has ten days to verify that the petition contains 100 signatures of registered voters who participated in the last election. If verified, the recall election would be held no less than 30 days or more than 40 days from the date of petition certification.
Former Commissioner, Engineer Pass
Former Allegany County Commission President Bernie Loar passed away Monday in Frederick. Commissioner Loar is survived by his wife, a son, daughter, brothers, sisters and several nieces and nephews. Friends are being received at the Scarpelli Funeral Home on Saturday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. And, former District 6 Engineer Wally Beaulieu passed away in Florida last Friday. Friends are being received at the Adams Family Funeral Home today from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral services are set for tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Mountains parish, Sts. Peter and Paul Shrine.
Keyser High Short on Fundraising Effort
Keyser High School is still having trouble coming with the $279,000 loan payment that is due on its athletic complex next month. A little over $2600 during the past two months, but they still anticipate raising up to $100,000 by the deadline. Those in charge of fundraising are investigating several avenues, to generate the money needed to meet the June 10th deadline.
Bedford County Wind Project Shelved
Plans for a 24-turbine wind farm on Dunning Mountain in Bedford County have been shelved, after many residents in the area opposed the project. Two other projects in the region, however, are moving forward. Another project, in Clearfield County is being halted, because of the economy and the end of tax credits for renewable energy. The Clearfield County project would have placed 40 turbines between Grampain and Luthersburg.
Motorcyclist Killed in Somerset County
A Somerset County motorcyclist died Tuesday evening, after he wrecked his bike on State Route 985 near Sipesville. Fifty-one year old Greg Conn lost control of his bike, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police were assisted by the Sipesville Volunteer Fire Department.
Archbishop of Baltimore Installed
William Lori was installed yesterday as the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Archbishop Lori is a believer in Catholic education, and notes that Catholic school enrollment in the state is increasing. His predecessor, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, now Cardinal O’Brien, however, closed 13 schools to help consolidate and save money.