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Death Penalty Repeal Clears Committee

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee has approved Governor Martin O'Malley's bill to repeal the death penalty in Maryland. The vote was 6 to 5. The bill will now move on in the General Assembly. . The vote on Governor O'Malley's gun control bill, which faces a number of amendments, could be delayed. That legislation contains an assault weapons ban, and increased licensing requirements on handgun purchases.

 

Former Guard Found Guilty

A former Bedford County Correctional Officer has been found guilty of harassment in connection with an incident from August of last year. Twenty-six year old Schellsburg resident Ryan Clapper is accused of placing a set of handcuffs and shackles on a female inmate that had been stored in a freezer for nearly an hour. Clapper was sentenced to serve 45 days in jail, but will be afforded a period of 30 days to file an appeal with the Court of Common Pleas.

 

Car Crashes Into Business

An elderly driver crashed the rear of his car into Gianni's Restaurant in Frostburg last night, causing a partial collapse of the building. The driver told police he was attempting to parallel park, when he suddenly accelerated backward, in to the building. A structure collapse team was called in to evaluate the integrity of the building.

 

Ramp Closure This Weekend

The Westbound Interstate 68 ramp (Industrial Boulevard) will be closed tomorrow and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the Crosstown Bridge Rehabilitation Project. The closure will allow crews to install a construction platform over the ramp. The construction platform will be suspended from the bridge and will be used while crews sandblast and paint the underside of the bridge. Motorists should follow the posted detour; eastbound I-68, exit 43B ramp will remain open this weekend.

 

Traffic Stop Results in Arrests

A traffic stop Wednesday morning by an Allegany County Sheriff's Deputy, resulted in the arrest of two men. The driver of the car, 33-year old Keith Franklin Douglass, was driving on a suspended and revoked license. Douglass' passenger, 21-year old William Robinette of Lonaconing, was taken into custody on an outstanding bench warrant. Both were taken to District Court, and Douglass was held on $7500 bond. Robinette's bail was set at $500.

 

Man Released Following Domestic Incident

A Cumberland man was released on personal recognizance, after being accused of assaulting his girlfriend at a residence in the 200-block of East Union Street earlier in the month. Forty-one year old Charles Robert Bauman II, is accusing of hitting her two or three times in the face, causing her to have a bloody lip. She did not require any medical treatment for her injuries. and Bauman fled the area before police arrived. He was served with the warrant, then taken to District Court, where he was charged with second-degree assault and disturbing the peace.

 

Somerset Man Faces Sexual Assault Charges

Twenty-eight year old Jordan Deflori of Somerset County is facing trial on sexual assault charges. A woman claims Deflori gave her a ride home from a Boswell-area bar in December, and that he sexually assaulted her on a back road. Deflori is being charged with aggravated indecent assault and unlawful restraint. He is currently free on bond.

 

Mineral Commissioners Discuss Dam Funding

Flood control was addressed by the West Virginia Conservation Agency, in a recent meeting with the Mineral County Commissioners. Twenty-nine of the Mountain State's 170 flood control dams are in Mineral County, and Brandon Day of the agency is hoping the commissioners grant them at least $11,000 in the 2013-2014 budget to maintain those facilities. That amount is matched, dollar-for-dollar, by the state. However the Conservation Agency spent $37,000 on maintenance last year.

 

Fundraiser Held to Benefit Cystic Fibrosis

The students and staff at Beall Elementary School recently participated in the Great Strides Walk/Mini March to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The walk was dedicated to the memory of Beall student, Mya Harris, who lost her battle with the disease. The staff and students were successful in collecting $5,250 throughout the week to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The money will be used to help raise awareness and fund research and treatments needed to cure Cystic Fibrosis.

 

Pit Bull Ruling Closer to Passage

The Maryland House of Delegates is closer to passing legislation, reversing the designation of pit bull dogs as "inherently dangerous." Last year, Maryland's highest court ruled that pit bull owners and landlords would be held to strict liability standards for dog bites, without previous evidence that a dog was dangerous. The new measure increases protection for dog bite victims, presuming that all dog owners, regardless of breed, are assumed liable for attacks. A dog owner who is in court, following a dog bite incident, will have the chance to try to prove the dog was not dangerous.

 

Auditor Wants Cities to Pay for Audits

West Virginia State Auditor says more and more cities there are refusing to pay for state-mandated financial audits. Glen Gainer wants some action taken, concerning uncollectable debt. The law caps the cost of an audit at $4,000 for Class III and Class IV cities, but the bills are being ignored. Because municipalities are not paying, the debt has risen to about $1 million. Additionally, Gainer has reported that his fraud unit has uncovered about $1.6 million in fraud, and that there have been a number of convictions connected with people stealing public money.

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