Murder Suspect Remains in Louisiana
Twenty-three year old Jonathan Beal remains in Louisiana, but is expected to be returned to Somerset County by next week, to face murder charges in the death of 19-year old Justine Jackson. Police took a computer from Beal's step-mother's house, that revealed he had been looking up plane tickets to Louisiana, but it's not certain how he got there, or how long he had been in Jefferson Parish. Beal was found hiding in a bathroom at a home in Merrero, a suburb of New Orleans.
ATK Layoffs Announced
Allegany Ballistics Laboratory at Rocket Center has announced a new round of about 50 layoffs. The reduction in force is because of the completion of production on several programs, but will not impact ongoing production programs. The total number of employees is approximately 1270; that number is down from 1350 employees before layoffs were announced last spring.
Sex Offender Spotted Near School
A man, who is a registered sex offender in the state of Maryland, was reportedly in the vicinity of Northeast Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon. He appeared to be taking pictures of students on the playground. A parent of one of the students notified school personnel, and was able to give them a physical description of the man, his vehicle and the license plate number. Law enforcement officials determined the car belonged to a registered sex offender and responded to the scene. The suspect had left the area by the time law enforcement personnel arrived.
Woman Arrested on Outstanding Warrant
Eighteen-year old Cumberland resident Amanda Tallman was arrested on an outstanding warrant, charging her in connection with an incident in October at a Queen City Drive business. A private citizen had filed the complaint against her. As officers attempted to place her in custody, she resisted arrest. She was taken to the Cumberland City Police Department for processing, the to the District Court Commissioners' office for a bond review. As a result, she was held on a total $6,000 bond on second degree assault and resisting arrest charges.
Assault Incident Near Post Office
Suspects have been developed in a strong-armed robbery incident yesterday near the main post office on Park Street in Cumberland. A female victim reported that her cell phone and money were taken from her. The suspects have been identified as two females in a white van. A spokesperson for the Cumberland City Police says that this was not a random act of violence.
Projections Show Increased Enrollment for County
The Allegany County School Board has received a 13-year enrollment data update, which shows that student population in the local public schools should be increasing in the coming years. Current enrollment has increased for the district by sixteen students, which has also caused future enrollment projections to improve. The school system receives funding, based on K-12 enrollment, excluding Pre-K. The study, conducted by Eperitus, and educational consulting firm, shows enrollment has declined 15 per cent since 2000; in two of the last three years, however, enrollment has declined by fewer than 100 students.
Second Annual Food Drive Set
The Frostburg Center for Creative Writing, in partnership with Main Street Books and A STAR! Americorps, will hold its second annual Thanksgiving Open Mic Reading and non-perishable food drive on Monday at Main Street Books in Frostburg, starting at 7:30 p.m. Participants and spectators are asked to bring non-perishable food items, preferably related to Thanksgiving. For more information, contact Jessica Palumbo at the Frostburg Center for Creative Writing at (301)-687-4340.
Salary Study Commission Meeting
The Allegany County Salary Study Commission will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, November 28th at 3:30 p.m. This will be at the Allegany County Office Building on Kelly Road, Room 408. The commission will meet with the Allegany County Sheriff at 3:30 p.m. at the Allegany County Board of Elections at 4 p.m.
Bartlett Blames Redistricting for Loss
Sixth District Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, defeated last week by Democrat John Delaney, says he lost the election due to Democratic gerrymandering and sparse support from fellow Republicans. Bartlett says he still could have won re-election, had the National Republican Congressional Committee put some money into his race. Bartlett raised $1.1 million, but Delaney outspent him 3-to-1.
Group Proposes Further Hiking Cigarette Tax
A group, called the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, is proposing another dollar-per-pack cigarette tax increase. The tax is now $2.00, and has been raised three times in the last 15 years. During that time, there has been a 32 per cent drop in cigarette smoking, which is double the national average. The $2.00 per pack tax rate ranks as the 11th highest cigarette tax in the country. It's too soon to tell if the proposal to add another dollar will get serious consideration when the next legislative session begins in January.