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Economy On The Rise

Two recent magazine articles point to a thriving economy in the Cumberland area, despite the local unemployment rate and other factors. The Cumberland Metropolitan Statistical Area’s economy is doing well, according to two recent online publications, NewGeography.com and AreaDevelopment.com. The Cumberland Times-News reports that the Leading Locations report says Cumberland is ranked 30th in “economic strength in the “recession busting” category and 30th in the “economic strength” category, out of 365 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

 

Resident Killed in Single-Vehicle Crash

A 20-year old man was killed in a single-vehicle accident over this past weekend. Samuel Colton Alt was killed, when his 1996 Toyota Tacoma crossed the center line on Route 50 in New Creek. The truck then traveled into the eastbound lane, and went off the roadway edge, where he struck a tree, head on. He was the only occupant of the vehicle in the 6:49 a.m. accident, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Couple Pleads Guilty to Murders

Thirty-seven year old Lorie Ann Taylor-Keller and her husband, Nakia Keller of Virginia, have pleaded guilty to more than a dozen charges, stemming from the slayings of a West Virginia family in October of 2009. They were accused of killing Taylor-Keller’s ex-husband, his wife and her five year old daughter in Hardy County. They will be sentenced on September 6th.

 

Bedford Street Resident Held on $50,000 Bond

Eighteen-year old Dylan Michael Werner is being held on $50,000 bond, and is charged with the breaking and entering of a Cole Street residence. Werner’s arrest is the result of an investigation which was begun earlier in the month. He is being charged with first and third-degree burglary and possession of marijuana.

 

Funding Announced for Garrett County Heritage Area

The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced the approval of a $30,000 grant to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce to develop a Strategic Initiative Program that will increase tourism in the area and help create jobs in heritage tourism. Garrett County was recently authorized as a state Certified Heritage Area entitled, “Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area.” The program will include establishment of the heritage Area website and use of other social media tools, purchasing and installation of four kiosks, hiring a consultant to research and compile the history of Garrett County, including interpretive signage and the creation of multimedia materials.

 

“Bring Our Jobs Home” Rally Planned

The Western Maryland Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and its 39 member labor unions will gather at the office of Congressman Roscoe Bartlett next Monday. A rally is being held to express the need for the Congressman’s positive vote on the upcoming Bring Our Jobs Home Act. The legislation will be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate shortly after the July 4th Congressional recess. The event will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Congressman’s Frederick Street office.

 

Somerset Inmate Charged with Assault

Berlin resident David James Zimmers is being charged with assault and disorderly conduct, after he was accused of beating and injuring his cellmate with a heavy, brown shower shoe. The incident allegedly occurred on April 22nd. The sale of the hard-soled shower shoes was banned in the jail about five years ago. Some of the shoes are brought in by inmates from state prisons or other county jails. The new shower shoes are made of a lighter material, similar to Styrofoam.

 

Possible Arson Investigated in Terra Alta

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a fire that happened at a restaurant just after midnight Sunday. A fire broke out at Pitty Pat’s restaurant, which had undergone some renovations, and was due to reopen soon. An electrical fire was ruled out, as the utilities had been shut off; a witness reported seeing the building catch fire, after someone threw something onto its porch. The number for the arson hotline in West Virginia is (800)-233-FIRE.

 

Hagerstown Police Continue Murder Investigation

Hagerstown City Police are continuing their investigation into a deadly shooting at a house on Guilford Avenue that left one man dead. The police are receiving cooperation from witnesses at a birthday party, but still do not have a suspect. Antonio Michael Joyner was shot and taken to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Joyner’s body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Baltimore for an autopsy.

 

Same Sex Marriage Issue to be on November Ballot

The Maryland Marriage Alliance has turned in an additional 39,000 signatures to place the same-sex marriage issue on the ballot in November. About 122,000 signatures were turned in last month, bringing the total to 162,000. The group only needed 56,000 signatures to put the issue to a referendum vote. More than 100,000 signatures have been validated by the Board of Elections.

 

Supreme Court Upholds Congressional Map

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Maryland’s new Congressional map, and has affirmed that the state’s prison population can be counted at their last known address. Previously, prisoners were counted at their correctional institutions, which some critics said unfairly increased the population of prison towns. Opponents of the plan say it disenfranchises those prisoners who don’t have a last known address.

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