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Local News

Missing Man Found Dead in Mineral County


A Cash Valley Road man, who had first been reported missing on Thursday, was found dead with his vehicle that had caught fire. Eighty-six year old Billie Eugene Smith was pronounced dead, after he was found by two hunters along Schell Road, off of U.S. Route 50. No foul play is suspected, although certain aspects of the case are currently under investigation, along with an autopsy that will determine the cause of death.



Man Arrested for Kidnapping, Assault


Cumberland resident Brian Russell Price is being held on a quarter-million dollars bond, following a Friday incident in which he is accused of assaulting a former girlfriend, holding a knife to her throat, and forcing her to drive around in her vehicle. She was able to escape at a gas station and call 911. Price was arrested about 8 p.m. And taken to a District Court Commissioner. He faces numerous charges including kidnapping, carjacking, using a dangerous weapon with intent to injure and reckless endangerment.


Suspicious Device Investigated


Cumberland City Police responded to the First Presbyterian Church late Friday morning, for a report of a suspicious item. Church employees found a small item, with wires attached to it, outside of the church. The Cumberland Fire Marshal and the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office determined  that it was not an explosive device, and did not contain any harmful substances. The purpose of the item could not be determined and it did not appear to have been related to any criminal activity. The investigation into the incident has been closed.



Siren Icon on ACHD Page


The Allegany County Health Department has posted a red “siren” icon on the main page of its site, with links to important information about the current flue season. There has been a sharp increase, both locally and nationwide, since December, in the number of flu cases, with many experiencing more severe symptoms this season. It is urgent that anyone who has not received a vaccination, to get their flu vaccine while supplies are available.



Downtown Assault Investigated


A 28-year old Cumberland woman was arrested for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend in the vicinity of Baltimore Street and Henderson Avenue. Ashley Nichole Scardina caused minor injuries to her boyfriend in the attack. He did not require medical assistance. After being arrested and processed, she received a hearing before a District Court Commissioner. Ms. Scardina was released on personal recognizance, pending trial.



Four Arrested for CDS During Traffic Stop


A total of four people-two each from Cumberland and Wiley Ford-were arrested following a traffic stop in the area of Virginia Avenue, near River Avenue. While Cumberland City Police were trying to assist with a safety seat, they noticed saw the front seat passenger remove a pocket knife from his pocket. Also, they noticed a quantity of marijuana in the passenger compartment. Taken into custody were Wiley Ford residents Parry Nelson Hamilton and Amanda Catherine Smith, along with Cumberland residents Rhonda Lynn Fazenbaker and William Forsythe Wagner. All were charged with CDS possession and possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana. After processing, they were all released pending trial.




Westernport Gets Green Light to Sell Water to NewPage


The town of Westernport will now be able to sell about 2.2 million gallons of "raw" water from the Savage River Reservoir to NewPage Corporation. In turn, the company will pump about $100,000 annually to the town's coffers. Westernport has been given permission, after six years, from the Maryland Department of the Environment to sell the water to NewPage. For its part the new revenue for Westernport will be able to replace aging water lines in the community, and will help offset water rate increases for its residents.



DNR Releases Geological Map


The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has created a new geological map for Garrett, Allegany, and Western Washington counties that will provide information on the region's geology, and will guide decisions about the wise use of its landscape and natural resources. With the potential for the Marcellus shale to serve as a natural gas resource, the updated map will serve as a land management tool, helping decision-makers balance the impact of human activity with the preservation of natural resources.



WVSDB Given Go-Ahead for Proposed Plan


The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind have been given the go-ahead by the State Board of Education to buy more property and to expand services. The model program would emphasize independent living skills for young adults with hearing and vision problems who have graduated from high school. While $3.4 is needed for the full restoration project, the School Building Authority granted WVSDB a million dollars in a 3 per cent statewide grant to update facilities at the Romney campus.



Public School Rankings Released


The annual rankings of public schools has been released by Education Week, and Maryland is at the top of the list, with a "B-plus" grade, rating the state at 87.5 per cent. No state received an "A" grade. The next highest state was Massachusetts with a "B" grade. Evaluations were done in several areas, including K to 12 achievement, standards assessments and accountability. Rounding out the top five was New York, along with Virginia and Arkansas.



Bill Would Create Fines for Open Meetings Violations


A Maryland State Delegate, Dan Morhaim, is planning to introduce legislation that would put some "teeth" into the regulatory powers of the Open Meetings Compliance Board, allowing it to fine public bodies for illegally closing meetings. Civil penalties could be up to $1,000 for the first offense and up to $10,000 for a third offense. Even if the board opts to not impose the fines, the members of any public body violating the act would have to personally sign an acknowledgement that the Open Meetings Board had ruled against them. The findings could then be admitted as evidence in any subsequent lawsuits.


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