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Local News

Two Taken To Hospital After Fire

Two people, Steven Markle and his wife, Rebecca, were taken to Potomac Valley Hospital, after fire broke out at a McCoole Drive residence early yesterday morning. The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the blaze, to which the McCoole, Keyser, Piedmont, Potomac, and Fountain fire departments responded. Nobody was entrapped by the fire, which was confined to an outside porch. The Markles were released after being treated for smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire has been traced to smoking materials, which ignited a mattress. The mattress was moved to the front porch area of the home.  The American Red Cross and Potomac Edison were notified of the incident.


Driver Unhurt as Rig Overturns

A St. Louis, Missouri tractor trailer driver, James Blumer, was uninjured in an accident yesterday morning on Interstate 68 Eastbound, near the Finzel scale house. Although the Allegany County Hazardous Incident Response Team was notified, the rig was carrying packaged goods. Interstate 68 Eastbound was closed for a time, with traffic being routed through the scale house entrance and exit ramps. There was no further information on what may have caused the accident and any factors that may have contributed to it. Blumer refused medical treatment at the scene.


Delegate Reacts to FY 2014 Buddget

Governor Martin O'Malley's FY 2014 budget was released earlier this week, and it includes a million dollar FY 2013 deficiency appropriation for Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction studies. The studies will allow the agency to carry out provisions of the Governor's Executive Order, establishing the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling initiative. Delegate Wendell Beitzel observed that the budget will be much easier to complete the objective of eliminating the structural deficit, while also seeking to restore highway user revenue to local jurisdictions and to prevent further loss of education funding for our schools.


Chamber Addresses  Coal Tax Credit Issue

The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has written to Delegate Sheila Hixson, chair of the state House Ways and Means Committee, asking for the preservation of the tax credit for Maryland-mined coal. The letter is signed by Bill DuVall, chair of the Chamber's legislative committee, and Stu Czapski, executive director of the Chamber. In explaining the ramifications of a coal tax repeal, the letter noted that if local companies cannot absorb the losses from tax credit repeal, then jobs will be eliminated, with "harsh economic consequences" for the farthest reaching counties in the state.


Man Served with Three Warrants

The Cumberland City Police served 29-year old Cumberland resident Timothy Winkler with three warrants yesterday. The first involved an assault incident in August of last year at a Maryland Avenue residence. The second, also occurring in August of last year, involved the burglary and trespassing of a home on Maryland Avenue. The third warrant was for failure to appear on an original charge of disorderly conduct. For all three, the total bail amount was $12,500.


Mineral Assessor Answering State Questions

Mineral County assessor Rose Ann Maine is among six of her colleagues, answering questions before the Property Valuation Training and Procedures Committee in Flatwoods, West Virginia. In the Mineral County case, she is being questioned about alleged non-compliance with state regulations regarding property valuations in the business area, south of town. Forty-six of the Mountain State's 55 counties were cited for one type of violation in regard to sales, valuations and other issues. This marks the first time Maine's office has been called before the West Virginia PVC Board.

Possible Stiffer Penalties for Cell Phone Use in Car


Talking on a cell phone, while driving is now considered a secondary offense in the state of Maryland, but if a Frederick County delegate has his way, it will be "bumped up" to a primary offense. Delegate Galen Claggett says it is irresponsible to be driving, especially at higher speeds, while talking on a cell phone, and that more crashes are being blamed on using the cell phone while driving. The proposed bill is also expected to include points on a driver's license and increased penalties. Talking on a cell phone while driving is illegal in ten states.


Gubernatorial Race Already Underway

The State Board of Elections has released 2012 finance reports that show there is a virtual three-way-tie for the top Democrats who are mostly likely to run for Governor. They include Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler, and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. They have each raised around a million dollars each, to this point. Polls indicate that most voters are not committed to any of the candidates as of yet.


WV Supreme Court Won't Hear Marple Case

The West Virginia Supreme Court has declined to hear an emergency petition for a case, involving former State Superintendent Jorea Marple. Ms. Marple was fired by the State Board of Education in December of last year. She had notified the Board that she planned to sue. Attorneys for Ms. Marple have not yet made a decision on how to proceed in the case.


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