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Local News

Man Charged with Soliciting Minors

Keyser resident Robert Arbaugh, who is on the sex offender registry, has now been charged with allegedly soliciting a local juvenile on Facebook. Not only has he been charged with solicitation, he faces an additional count of failure to register a change in information on the West Virginia Sex offender registry. He had requested to become friends with the juvenile on Facebook, and eventually asked to meet her in a secluded location. The information was turned over to authorities; Arbaugh was arrested when he showed up at the pre-determined location. He is currently in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $7500 bond.


McCoole Fire Department Shuts Its Doors

The McCoole Volunteer Fire Department has closed its doors, but fire and emergency response calls are being handled by other first-responders in that area. The department will hold a special meeting to dissolve the department or close its doors. The company had faced possible foreclosure, as the department fell behind in paying its note with Marquette Bank in Cook County Illinois.


Indictments Handed Down by Grand Jury

An Allegany County Grand Jury recently handed down seven indictments, including counts against Jocelyn Gordon of Hyndman, Pennsylvania. She is accused of automobile manslaughter and driving while intoxicated charges, that resulted in the death of Melanie Epperly on National Highway April 1st. Other indictments handed down include on against Kimberli Shewbridge, who was charged with a theft scheme greater than $100,000 and theft charges related to her employment at a local medical office.


Kirk Set to Retire At ACM

National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame Coach Bob Kirk announced his retirement as Allegany College of Maryland athletic director yesterday. He had stepped down from coaching about eight years ago, when assistant Mike Baker was named his replacement. Allegany College of Maryland baseball coach Steve Bazarnic will act as athletic director on an interim basis. Under his tenure, Coach Kirk amassed over 900 wins, including a 129 straight home court wins with the Trojans.


Two Arrested Following Disturbance

Lonaconing residents Jason Jeffries and Brandi Buskirk, both 24, were arrested following a weekend incident in the area of the railroad tracks near East Florida Way. Both were causing a disturbance, and troopers located drug paraphernalia on both. Jeffries was found to be in possession of a knife, with an eight-inch blade. Jeffries was charged with wearing and carrying a concealed deadly weapon, disturbing the peace and three counts of possession of CDS paraphernalia. Ms.Buskirk was charged with disturbing the peace, possession of CDS paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana.


Victim, Suspect Identified in Shooting

Fifteen-year old Neal Hammond has been identified as the victim in last Thursday’s fatal shooting in Bedford County. The suspect in the shooting-who is being charged as an adult-has been identified as Cole McConoughey. They, along with a third teen, had been playing “Russian Roulette,” when McConoughey placed the gun to Hammond’s head, and pulled the trigger. McConoughey has been released from jail, after his family posted $100,000 bail. Additional charges could be filed; a preliminary hearing has been set for Wednesday.


PBS Coals Lays off 225 Workers

PBS Coals in Somerset County has laid off 225 workers and idled five mine sites; the company operates 10 mines and two cleaning facilities. Company officials stressed the move was not a local issue, rather attributing the layoffs to the weak economy, escalating costs and decreased demands. The company still has closed to 800 employees and doesn’t anticipate any future layoffs. The layoffs are permanent for now, but officials will let workers reapply when the coal market rebounds.


Man Held on $10,000 Bond Following Breaking and Entering

Cumberland resident Eric Taylor is being held on $10,000 bond, following a breaking and entering complaint filed on Sunday. Taylor is accused of trying to gain entry into a residence on Maryland Avenue. He was found outside of the home and placed under arrest. He was charged with fourth-degree burglary, destruction of property, and disorderly conduct.


DNR Adjusts Black Bear Numbers

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is revamping its hunting rules for black bear, because the population has more than doubled since 2005. At least 782 bears live in Allegany and Garrett counties, up from 362 that were counted in a 2005 study. This year, hunters will be allowed to kill 80 top 110 bears during this years’ hunting season. The number of permits will increase from 260 to 340. Up to three hunters can hunt on one permit, which are awarded via a lottery system.


Washington Middle School Orientation Set

Washington Middle School will host an orientation for all incoming sixth graders on Wednesday and Thursday, August 15th and 16th. The orientation will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. both days. Students whose last name begins with the letters “A” through “M” are encouraged to attend orientation on Wednesdays, while those whose last names begin with “N” through “Z” are encouraged to attend on Thursday. Students will receive their 2012-2013 schedules and locks for lockers as well as have the opportunity to walk through the building.


Maryland Insurance Administration to Visit Garrett County

The Maryland Insurance Administration will be in Oakland on Wednesday, August 1st, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Representatives will be at the Frederick A. Thayer III Courthouse on Fourth Street. A variety of consumer materials on all types of insurance products, from annuities to title insurance and health, auto, and homeowners’ insurance is being offered. Outreach activities and consumer materials are available on the website, For information, call (410)-468-2360.


Decision on Special Session Expected

A decision on whether to hold a special General Assembly session on gambling in Maryland should come this week. Governor Martin O’Malley, who presented an expanded gambling proposal last Friday, now says he hopes to have a draft of the bill by this Friday. Adding a sixth casino in Prince George’s County, some feel, would oversaturate the market. If a special session is held, legislators would also consider adding table games.


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