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Lightning Strike Kills Pregnant Woman

A Summit Township woman, who was nine months pregnant, was killed yesterday by a lightning strike in the 2600 block of Rockdale Road. Thirty-six year old Mary Yoder and her unborn child were pronounced dead shortly after the 11 a.m. incident. The woman, her husband and their two children were in the woods near their home, picking blackberries, when the storm hit. She took shelter under a tree, and a few minutes later, she was struck by lightning. Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller was called to the scene.


Keyser Man To Be Sentenced on Drug Charge

Keyser resident Malkum Muhammed Jennings faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of a million dollars, following a guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg. Jennings entered a plea of guilty to a federal charge of distribution of crack cocaine on July 18th. He is currently free on bond. The case was prosecuted by a number of agencies, including the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department.


Several More Indictments Handed Down

Several more indictments were handed down earlier this week, by an Allegany County Grand Jury. Anthony Portland was indicted on embezzlement and theft charges related to his employment. Both Michael Hapbell and Danielle Bonner were indicted together on various burglary and theft related charges, in connection with burglaries in Frostburg. Michael Beem faces burglary charges, related to an unoccupied home. And, Andrew Brehm was indicted on forgery and theft charges, related to his employment at the Frostburg Moose Lodge. All were given trial dates in Allegany County Circuit Court in the near future.


Taxi Driver Robbed in Grantsville

The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating the armed robbery of a taxi driver on Route 495, south of Grantsville yesterday afternoon. The Maryland State Police Medevac helicopter was dispatched to the scene, along with police K-9 units. The suspect is described as a black male, wearing a dark shirt and jeans. No injuries were reported in the incident.


Man Issued Citation for Possession of Paraphernalia

Fifty-year old Cumberland resident Michael French was issued a criminal citation for possession of drug paraphernalia and released, following a stop in the area of Grand Avenue and Industrial Boulevard early Monday evening. A K-9 scan of the vehicle yielded a positive alert, and a glass pipe-commonly used to smoke a controlled dangerous substance-was found in the vehicle.


Agencies Receive Grants for Body Armor

Among the agencies sharing in a grant from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention was the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office. The local agencies received $2200 for the purchase of body armor. Washington County received $7500 and Frederick County, $6300. Twenty departments in 14 counties received a total of $50,000. In 2010, 120 police officers were killed in the line of duty, with 59 having been shot during violent encounters.


One Maryland Broadband Coming to Allegany County

The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce hosted a presentation on bringing improved internet service to the area. One Maryland Broadband is designed to bring faster internet to county businesses, especially downtown Cumberland, in the hopes of leading to growth and attracting new employers. The service will also provide school students with access to video streaming and distance learning. The project, which is expected to cost more than $100 million, is expected to be ready by August of next year.


Former Keyser Chief Passes Away

Former Keyser City Police Chief Kipp Ellifritz passed away this past weekend, as the result of an accident on his farm. He served the city of Keyser as a police officer for 36 years. He is survived by his wife, children, two sisters and grandchildren. Friends may call at the Smith Funeral Home, Keyser Chapel today from 7 to 9 p.m. and tomorrow from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Services will be conducted at the Mt. Zion Church on Friday at 11 a.m. with Pastor Jerry Eisenhour officiating.


Four Regional West Virginia Counties in Federal Disaster Declaration

Grant, Hardy, Pendleton and Tucker counties have been included in a federal disaster declaration as a result of severe storms on June 29th. The declaration orders federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts. Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments, along with certain private, nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the storm. Additional designations may be made later, if requested by the state and if further damage assessments warrant the extra aid.


Bartlett Won’t Attend GOP Convention

Maryland’s Sixth District Congressman Roscoe Bartlett won’t be attending the Republican National Convention this year in Tampa. Congressman Bartlett will spend that time campaigning for re-election. Several candidates in other states have opted out of the convention, but Bartlett is the first Marylander to announce he will not attend the high-profile event. The Congressman’s opponent, John Delaney, has been asked to deliver a keynote speech at a luncheon during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Barry McKay
Barry McKay
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