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Local News

Audit Recommends Improvements

The Office of Legislative Audits is recommending to the Allegany County School System that it improve internal controls, adopt more cost-effective processes, and to enhance policy direction. The examination, conducted between August of 2011 and March of last year, is not based on generally accepted accounting principles, but rather on government auditing guidelines. The review does not look at instructional or curriculum-based procedures.


Cause and Origin of Fire Determined

Deputy State Fire Marshals have determined the cause for the 7:18 a.m., six alarm fire on Monday that destroyed a three-story building in Williamsport. Firefighters from Allegany County, as well as companies from Washington, Frederick, and Montgomery County, Maryland and those from Morgan and Berkeley County, West Virginia battled the blaze at the building, known as "Wolf's On The Square." The fire originated inside an outbuilding housing an oil burning furnace that provided heat to the building. There was a mechanical failure, which ignited structural members of a porch roof of the building and traveled throughout the remaining structure. No injuries were reported during the incident.


Woman Arrested on Outstanding Warrant

An arrest warrant has been served on a Cumberland woman for failure to appear on an initial charge of being in possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Forty-year old Melissa Vanmeter was taken to District Court for an initial appearance. She was released on her own recognizance, pending trial.


Competition for Gambling Dollars in Region

A West Virginia website is acknowledging there will be more competition for gambling dollars, once the new casino at Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort opens in late May or early June. An article on the "WV Metro News" site notes that Lakes Entertainment-owner of Rocky Gap-recently held a job fair, and plans to hire about 100 people for jobs associated with table games. For those jobs, over 400 people were in attendance. The article further states that Rocky Gap will be unique, in that it will also offer a hotel, spa, gift shop, a golf course and other amenities.


Company Develops Non-Toxic Fracking Fluids

Some environmental groups say they welcome a possible new development in the fracking process, but others still have questions. Houston-based Halliburton has developed a product, called CleanStim, which is a non-toxic fluid used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Fracking is seen as a way to extract natural gas, in a rock-encased gas formation, known as Marcellus Shale. There is a portion of the shale running under the ground in Allegany County, but even more in Garrett County. At this point, it isn't known if it is feasible to have fluids for fracking that are totally non-toxic.


Gas Prices Continue to Rise

A gallon of regular gas has risen as much as 20-cents a gallon in the last couple of weeks in some areas of the region. Triple A says the reason includes violence in North African oil-producing countries and oil refinery problems in the United States. An upswing in the U.S. economy has also led to higher prices. They add that many companies will be switching over to summer-blend gasoline soon; even though it is more environmentally friendly, it is also more expensive.

Barry McKay
Barry McKay
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