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O'Malley Reveals Budget Tomorrow

Governor Martin O'Malley will unveil his fiscal 2014 budget tomorrow, and it is not certain if he plans to increase transportation funding. During last year's session, the Governor introduced a plan to impose a sales tax on gasoline, a plan that never made it out of committee. A bill that will receive a hearing this week includes a measure to prohibit election officials from releasing the names and addresses of people who sign petitions to get laws passed by the General Assembly on the ballot.

 

Man Turns Self Into Police

Frostburg resident Matthew Douglas Borror turned himself in to authorities last week, following an investigation by Frostburg Police and the C3I unit. Borror is accused of breaking into a Chestnut Street home and taking numerous items, including electronic equipment, jewelry, and prescription medication. Several of those items have been recovered, and Borror has been charged with first and third-degree burglary, felony theft and related charges. He was released on personal recognizance pending his next court appearance.

 

Restoration Project Begins Next Week

Renovation of the Interstate 68 bridge, over Cumberland and in the vicinity of Canal Place, begins next week. The two-year project spans the area at the western boundary at the tracks of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and extends eastward across South Mechanic Street to the municipal parking lots beneath the bridge. This is the first of a seven-phase project, to improve the Crosstown Bridge.  A public meeting to discuss details of the project will take place on February 7th, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Allegany Museum. The total cost of the project will be $14 million.

 

Convicted Murderer Wants Plea Overturned

A man who was convicted of shooting and killing his estranged wife in the parking lot of the Everett McDonald's, wants his plea tossed out of court. Forty-two year old John Gerholt claims his no contest plea should be overturned, because he says he was unaware he would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Gerholt's attorney and Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins both dispute his claim, noting that Gerholt knew the implications of his plea.

 

Cumberland Man Faces Felony Charges in Keyser

Cumberland resident Leo Rodenhauser was among more than three dozen people, indicted by the Mineral County Grand Jury last week. The Mineral News-Tribune reports that Rodenhauser led police on a chase through Keyser last October, that resulted in an accident in which two law enforcement officers were injured; one of the two remains on leave, recovering from his injuries. Rodenhauser, who was later arrested by Cumberland City Police, faces three felony and two misdemeanor charges. No court date has been set.

 

Traffic Notification for Today, Tomorrow

The City of Cumberland is notifying the public that Union Street will be closed from the South Centre Street intersection to the alley at the Center City Parking Garage exit. Traffic will still be able to exit into the alley from the parking garage, but will have to make a right turn onto Union Street when exiting. The pattern will be in effect both today and tomorrow, so that a new gas main and service lines can be installed.

 

Minor Fire Investigated

It took about five minutes to control a minor fire at 1012 Ella Avenue Sunday afternoon. The fire, at a vacant home owned by Michael Marriott, caused about $50 damage to combustible storage items that were kept in the basement. The fire was discovered by a neighbor, and the preliminary cause of the fire remains under investigation.

 

Cumberland Man Arrested for Violating Protective Order

Thirty-six year old Cumberland resident Ryan O'Toole  is being held without bail at the Allegany County Detention Center, following two weekend incidents. The victim, who had an Open Protective Order against O'Toole, alleges he assaulted her both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. She indicated she was going to take herself to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for evaluation, after officers observed minor injuries. O'Toole was charged with two counts each of second-degree assault and violation of a protective order.

 

Pennsylvania Counties Included in Federal Declaration

Bedford and Somerset Counties are among 16 counties eligible for federal funds, as a result of damage from Superstorm Sandy. Federal funding is now available to state and local governments and some private non-profit organizations for emergency work and repairing or replacing facilities damaged or destroyed by the storm. Federal money is also available for certain storm-related hazard mitigation efforts across the state. FEMA adds that more disaster relief could be approved in the future, if ongoing damage assessments show it's needed.

 

Parent Conferences Set for February

Allegany County Public Schools will hold parent conferences on Thursday, February 7, 2013. This year's conferences will also be a combined professional development day for staff. Parents of middle and high school students may request a conference appointment by e-mailing or sending a note to their child's teacher. Walk-ins will also be welcomed for parents not previously scheduled by appointment.

 

Audit Shows Billing Not Properly Investigated

The Office of Legislative Audits shows the Health Services Cost Review Commission did not adequately investigate the impact of hospital overbilling at four Maryland hospitals. The commission also did not discover the extent of prior year overcharges or the patients or payers that may have been overcharged. Overcharges of at least $13.2 million have been found at the four institutions. Auditors examined the results of procedure reviews for all hospitals for fiscal year 2009.

 

Rockefeller Will Not Run in 2014

West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller will not seek reelection to that post in 2014, capping nearly 50 years of public service in the Mountain State. Rockefeller made the announcement last week. He first came to West Virginia in 1964 as a VISTA worker, and has since served as a member of the state House of Delegates, Secretary of State, President of West Virginia Wesleyan College, Governor and United States Senator.

 

Jefferson County Sheriff Resigns

Jefferson County Sheriff Robert "Bobby" Shirley has resigned that post. The Sheriff was indicted by a federal grand jury in June on one count of violating the civil rights of suspect Mark Daniel Haines in December of 2010, and falsifying a document with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. He had been scheduled to go on trial next week in Martinsburg's U.S. District Court. Shirley had pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing last June.

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