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O'Malley Proposes $336 Million for School Construction

Governor Martin O'Malley proposes spending $336 million across the state on school construction aid next year. The Governor made the announcement Monday, as part of a series of announcements he will make this week to unveil plans for the General Assembly session which begins today. The amount allocated for next year is less than the $396 million devoted to school construction this year-the second highest amount on record.

 

Rocky Gap Gains More Financing

In a deal that was closed in mid-December, the owners of Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort will now be able to finance a portion of the conversion of the property into a casino, by using the property, fixtures and furniture as collateral. An additional $17.5 million credit line will be established as a second mortgage on the property, owned by Lakes Entertainment. The loan will help to convert the existing convention space into a gaming facility.

 

Mayor Restricted From Traveling While Investigation Continues

Ridgeley Mayor Jim Twigg has been ordered to pay his own travel expenses, with no reimbursement, after he had requested the town clerk to book him a room and sign him up for a class. The Mayor is currently under investigation for the misuse of a government-issued credit card, known as a "P-Card." So far, the town audit has not been completed; when it is, it will be provided to the town and posted online.

 

Two Rhode Island Men Arrested in Garrett County

Two Rhode Island men were arrested yesterday by Troopers from the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Team on Interstate 68 in the Friendsville area. Eighteen year old Edwin Estevez and Javier Leonardo, also 18, were charged with possession of marijuana and possession of CDS paraphernalia. Their vehicle was initially stopped for a traffic violation; the odor of marijuana was coming from the car, and a search of the vehicle was conducted.

 

Log Home A Total Loss

A fire in Hampshire County completely destroyed a log home yesterday morning in the 1700 block of Core Road. The call was received around 8:42 a.m., which brought out at least five fire companies. Losses were placed at $350,000, and nobody was home at the time of the fire. The cause and origin of the fire is not known, and there were no injuries.

 

State Conducts Investigation at Shade-Central City School

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has conducted an investigation at the Shade-Central Elementary School in response to parental complaints. The department will issue a report on its findings within 60 days. Allegations include the disregard of individualized education programs, misconduct, inappropriate comments and aggressive and threatening behavior directed at students. A spokesperson for the school system says it will comply with departmental recommendations in response to the findings.

 

River Search for Somerset County Man

Search crews are looking at the Youghiogheny River, as they began a sixth day of searching for 29-year old Jeremy Walker of Somerset. He has not been heard from since New Year's Eve Crews began the search at Ohiopyle State Park, after his car was found there a week ago. A dog traced Walker's scene from his car to a bridge on the river.

 

Man Arrested for Marijuana Possession

A Greenway Avenue resident was issued a criminal citation for possession of marijuana, and charged with several motor vehicle violations, following a traffic stop Monday night. Fifty-two year old Leonard Yenchenko was observed, making an unsafe lane change. After being stopped, the officer noticed Yenchenko's eyes were bloodshot and glassy, with his speech being slurred. A strong odor of alcohol was also detected. And, a small bag of marijuana was found in his coat pocket. Along with DUI, DWI, and driving on a suspended license, he was also charged with possession of under 10 grams of marijuana.

 

Disaster Spending Taps Road Fund

The West Virginia State Road Fund was given a $6.5 million cash infusion last month, after three costly and unforseen disasters took much of its cash. The State Department of Transportation spent a lot of money on the June 29th derecho, Superstorm Sandy and a powerful natural gas explosion near Sissonville last month. The cost of the storms has totaled $30 million, while the final tab for repaving I-77 following the explosion has yet to be calculated. Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow said officials were able to make an early transfer to help offset the department's emergency costs, and the state is expecting some reimbursements from the federal government.

 

Former Superintendent Plans to Sue

Former West Virginia School Superintendent Jorea Marple is planning to sue the state Board of Education over her termination in November. She has sent a letter to the board, which was received after four prominent attorneys notified them she planned to sue over her firing. The letter demands she be returned to her job, along with an undisclosed amount of money, and a finding by the board that it acted inappropriately when it fired her.

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