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Local News

Man Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Homicide

Twenty-three year old Cory Childers of Bedford has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, in connection with an April 29th crash that killed a five-year old Hagerstown boy. In addition to that charge, Childers will be sentenced for aggravated assault by DUI, vehicular homicide and drunken driving. A dozen other charges were dropped. Each of the most serious convictions could lead to a maximum 10-year sentence and a $25,000 fine. The accident happened on Business Route 220; State Police say Childers' erratic driving was due to drug use and a blood alcohol level of around 0.2 per cent.


"Operation Safe Streets" Arrest Warrant Initiative

During the month of February, a new Warrant Initiative is being conducted  in cooperation with the Cumberland Safe Streets Program and citizen cooperation. The initiative will begin this coming Monday, and run through Friday, March 1st. The Safe Streets operation is seeking the public's help in locating 16 individuals on open arrest warrants. The charges range from assault, violation of probation counts, failure to appear, assault, and sex offender warrants. If you have any information, contact any of the local law enforcement agencies.


Capital Funds Request Cancelled

A request for state funding to rehabilitate and develop the Footer Dye Works Building has formally been withdrawn. The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority had requested $2.5 million in capital funds for the project. Citing a lack of bidders interested in developing the property, the Authority's Executive Director, Dee Dee Ritchie, withdrew the request via letter to members of the Western Maryland delegation and to Governor Martin O'Malley.


Chair, Board Member Resign

The chairman of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, Max White and board member Terry Malone have resigned, following what is being termed a "heated exchange" during Wednesday's executive session. The disagreement resulted from a discussion on possibly contaminated jet fuel, as Malone felt it was dangerous to utilize fuel that was 10 years old. Malone went as far as threatening criminal charges against airport manager Ryan Malone for various allegations; the board has appointed Creade Brodie, Jr., as chairman and will find two other members from Mineral County.


Harassment Complaint Leads to Drug Arrest

Cumberland resident Jessica Kristen Ball faces CDS possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, after Cumberland City Police were initially called to investigate a harassment complaint. When they contacted her, they detected a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from her residence in the 500-block of Bedford Street. She gave them a pipe, that was used to smoke marijuana. She was issued criminal citations and later released from custody.


Woman Arrested in Connection with January Incident

A Cumberland woman was arrested in connection with an incident that happened last month at the Circle "K" convenience store on Oldtown Road. Forty-one year old Traci Ruth Bender is accused of assaulting an 11-year old boy, who had been in a fight with her son. She faces several charges in connection with the incident, which allegedly involved several youngsters. She was initially taken to Allegany County District Court and posted $8500 bond.


Two Arrested in "Drug Running" Operation

Two people, one of whom was a 91-year old man, were arrested in Hampshire County after police acted on a tip they were bringing heroin into the area from Baltimore County. Ninety-one year old Kenneth Hirst, Sr., and 42-year old Carl Wolford were found to have 32 capsules of heroin, valued at more than $1200, when they were stopped on Route 50, near Cooper Mountain; needles and syringes were also found in the car. Wolford remained jail as of yesterday, on $25,000 bond.


Senator Edwards Seeks C & O Park Funding

Maryland State Senator George Edwards has introduced a bond bill, seeking $175,000 from the state for improvements to Lock 44, Lockhouse 44 and the Maryland Railroad Lift Bridge, as part of improvements to the C & O Canal National Historical Park in Williamsport. He had introduced a similar bill last year, seeking $320,000, but received only $175,000 of that funding request. The improvements are far from being funded, as restoration of the lift bridge  alone is expected to be approximately $2.2 million.


Three Deputies On Administrative Leave

Three Frederick County Sheriff's deputies are on administrative leave, after a 26-year old man with Down Syndrome died while in their custody. The death was ruled a homicide, in the case of Robert Saylor. Guards tried to remove him from a Maryland movie theatre, where he had finished watching a movie and refused to leave. He was handcuffed, but before leaving, Saylor began having what the Sheriff's Office said was a medical emergency. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died. The State Medical Examiner's Office say he died from asphyxia. Results of the investigation will be forwarded to the State's Attorney's Office, which will then decide on how to proceed.


Miller Addresses Transportation Revenue Hikes

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller is pushing for a three per cent sales tax on a gallon of gas, but House Republicans say the state needs better management of transportation revenue, not more taxes. Miller responded by calling them, "Neanerthals, in terms of their thinking," and obstructionists who are putting their political careers ahead of the needs of the state. Miller's plan will be heard by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee today.

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