Human Remains Identified
Human remains, found along the Great Allegheny Passage biking and hiking trail, have, in fact, been positively identified as those of nineteen year old Justine Marie Jackson. State Police are considering the case a homicide, and want to find Jonathan Beal, the boyfriend of Ms. Jackson; his whereabouts are unknown. She was last seen walking on Glade City Road September 14th. Someone had spotted the remains on the trail Sunday afternoon; it was not clear how long they had been there. The trail stretches about 140 miles from Homestead, near Pittsburgh and Allegany County, where it connects to the C & O Canal towpath to Washington, D.C.
Ridgeley Mayor Not Stepping Down
Ridgeley Mayor Jim Twigg is not stepping down, in spite of a petition being circulated, asking him to do so. There is an ongoing investigation of his alleged misuse of a government-issued credit card, and the petition asks that he leave office, at least until the state audit is completed. Twigg says he won't resign, unless the audit proved that he did something wrong.
Plans Moving Forward for Demolition of Braddock Campus of Hospital
The Board of Education, County Commissioners and City Council members visited the former Braddock Campus of the Western Maryland Health System to meet with contractors to drain the water-based systems in preparation for winter weather. This is the next step in the process of the Allegany High School capital project. This move will also substantially decrease the cost of utilities during the winter months.
Man Held on $50,000 Bond in Assault Incident
Memorial Avenue resident Ernest Lee Baker is being held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $50,000 bond, after being accused of the assault of two people early yesterday morning. Baker is accused of assaulting his estranged wife, and a man who was attempting to drop off Baker's estranged wife in the 100-block of Washington Street. He allegedly hit the man with a baseball bat, and three times in the face; he is also accused of slapping his wife in the face. Baker tried to leave the city limits, but was apprehended by a deputy from the Allegany County Sheriff's Office.
Fire Destroys Former Magistrate's Office
The West Virginia State Fire Marshal is investigating a fire at the former Hampshire County Magistrate's Office on Birch Lane. The fire broke out late Monday, with flames shooting through the roof. Numerous fire companies were called out to the fire; there were no injuries. Companies were called out shortly before 5 a.m. yesterday to deal with a rekindling, just before 5 a.m. Firefighters remained on the scene through yesterday morning.
Burlington Post Office Reducing Hours
The Burlington Post office will remain open, but with revamped hours. One of the options presented to residents was to close the facility, but a compromise has been reached, where the office will be open from 8:15 a.m. until 4:15 p.m., closing for two hours in the middle of the day for lunch. The manager of postal operations, Patty Jessee, there were 1,073 surveys mailed to residents, and about one-third were returned. The post office has to open by 8:15 a.m. when the mail is sorted and readied for delivery. It also has to remain open until 4:15 p.m., when mail is collected from the box.
Petersburg Social Security Office Reducing Hours
The Petersburg Social Security Office is reducing its hours, beginning next Monday. The office will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., effectively reducing the work day by 30 minutes. Also, beginning January 2 of next year, the office will close to the public at noon every Wednesday. All Social Security offices will be closed the day after Thanksgiving, although some employees will be working that day.
Red Cross Strike Looming
Teamsters Local 311 has sent a letter to the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region, warning of a work stoppage on Friday, if a new contract is not reached. The union represents about 50 employees involved in blood drive operations; for its part, the Red Cross is calling the warning of a work stoppage "irresponsible," and a potential disruption to blood collection operations to areas affected by Superstorm Sandy," which hit on October 29th.
Bishops "Stay the Course" on Gay Marriage, Birth Control
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has acknowledged that voters rejected the stand they took against same-sex marriage and birth control, but say they are "staying the course." Roman Catholic bishops strongly advocated traditional marriage, but a same same-sex ballot measure was approved in four states, including Maryland. They have also criticized the aspect of President Obama's health care mandate that provides coverage of contraceptives.
Record Enrollment at WVU
West Virginia University is reporting a record enrollment of 29,076 students, an increase of 90 over 2011. The freshman class of just over 5,100 students also tied the record, originally set in 2008. Among WVU, WVU Tech and Potomac State College of West Virginia University, the university system has 32,593 students.