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Local News

Man Dies in Skiing Accident


A Rockville, Maryland man was killed Saturday morning, while skiing at the Wisp Resort in Garrett County. Forty-year old James Jung-Jin Park was skiing on an advanced-level trail, but lost control and crashed into a tree line. He was taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The accident happened around 8:30 a.m.



Delegation to Submit Emergency Legislation


The Western Maryland Delegation to the General Assembly is drafting emergency legislation, to request a liquor license for the Rocky Gap casino, slated to open later this year. In a delegation meeting on Friday, the annual fees for the license were discussed. One of the licenses involved will cost $15,000 annually, with the fees to be paid on May 1st of each year. The bill will be cross-filed in Annapolis to provide for the license.



Chamber Addresses Further Use of Footer Funds


The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has written a letter to Andy Vick, chair of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority regarding the renovation of the Footer Dye Works Building. The Chamber is urging alternatives to the use of additional public funds to renovate the exterior of the Footer Dye Works building. The letter concedes a need for public and private funds for the building's renovation, but believes additional public funds should not be used if a viable developer cannot be secured in a reasonable amount of time. Should the Authority secure a viable developer, additional public funds should not be released without a strict contractual and financial commitment from the developer.



Sheriff Warns of Scam


The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to be on the alert for scams, following an incident on Friday. An elderly Lonaconing resident reported that a man called her, telling her that her grandson had been arrested in Haiti, and that she should wire $2,000 to have him released. She checked, and found that her grandson was safe, and in the United States. The investigation into that incident is continuing.



Man Charged with Drug Distribution


Twenty-two year old Ridgeley resident Thomas Hunt turned himself into police early yesterday, and now faces charges of drug distribution. Another person is expected to be arrested this week on the same charges. Several homes and a business in the Furnace Acres area were searched in connection with the case. The ongoing investigation involves the delivery of marijuana and prescription medication.



Positive, Negative Impacts of Fracking Discussed


While there are potential environmental concerns about the impact of natural gas drilling, or "fracking," the industry could generate as many as 1800 jobs by 2025 and the area could produce $300 million worth of natural gas annual in that time frame. The Maryland Secretary of the Department of the Environment, Robert Summers, spoke at a House Environmental Matters Committee meeting on Thursday. Some legislators are urging fewer restrictions. With too many, energy companies may be driven to other states.



Fire Destroys Garrett County Home


A fire, early yesterday morning, destroyed the Pysell Cut Road home of Joe and Mary Ellen Ingram in Garrett County. The residence was unoccupied at the time. The fire reportedly broke out in the office area of the dwelling. The call was initially received around 4:14 a.m., and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.



Destruction of Property Incidents Reported


The Cumberland City Police are investigating two destruction of property reports in the West Side area. They responded to the 500-block of Patterson Avenue for a report of a window, broken out of a vehicle. A purse was removed. In the second, they went to the 800-block of Gephart Drive, where an unknown suspect or suspects broke a rear window of a car parked on the street. Nothing was taken from the vehicle. There are no suspects in either case, and it is not known if they are related.



Sexual Assault Case in Somerset County


An Ohio man entered a plea in Somerset County Court, just days before his trial was to have begun, on charges he sexually assaulted a young girl about a decade ago. Fifty-seven year old William Walters entered an Alford plea, which means a defendant does not admit guilt, but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convict the defendant. He was living in Somerset borough, when he assaulted the girl between 2001 and 2004.



Hampshire Superintendent to be Appointed


The Hampshire County Board of Education intends to offer the position of Superintendent to Marianna Leone tomorrow night. The hire is effective on July 1st, at an annual salary of $90,000. She has been serving as interim superintendent, since her predecessor, Robin Lewis took a job in Beckley, West Virginia. Board president Gerald Mathias says he expects the motion to pass unanimously.


Three Considered for Senatorial Appointment


During a meeting of the 15th Senatorial District Democratic Executive Committee in Romney, three names were chosen to be considered to replace former Senator Walt Helmick. Hampshire County Judge Donald Cookman, Upshur County resident Mike Ross and Tom Hawes of Hardy County will be submitted to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for his consideration. Whoever is chosen, will have to run for re-election every two years.



Windber Hospital Closing Obstetrics Program


Windber Medical Center has announced it is closing its obstetrician wing by the end of March. Woman who had expected to deliver their babies there will now have to find an alternative plan. Two of the hospital's doctors are leaving and two others have asked to shift the focus of their practice. With those moves, the hospital decided it wanted to focus on gynecological care and not offer obstetrician services.



Man Held on Larceny Charges


A Monogalia County man is being held on $75,000 bond, after being arrested on larceny charges, stemming from Preston County. Thirty-one year old Chad Ringer is accused of burglarizing a Bruceton Mills home in December, and stole several items, including cash, a laptop and a crossbow. He is being held in the North Central Regional Jail.



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