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Local News

Frostburg Woman Killed in Route 956 Crash


Thirty-six year old Frostburg resident Kelly Dent died Friday afternoon at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, following a three-vehicle crash on Route 956, east of Waxler Road. Fort Ashby resident Brian Haddix swerved out of control and then back onto the highway, where it struck a vehicle driven by Ms. Dent. Haddix then struck another vehicle, driven by 32 year old James Ott of Ridgeley. Ms. Dent's vehicle traveled down a small embankment and struck a tree. Haddix,  Ott, and 27-year old Ryan Morgan of Cumberland were all taken to the hospital. The accident remains under investigation by the Mineral County Sheriff's Office.



Keyser Man Accused of Arson


Keyser, West Virginia resident Robert Lee Suter is in jail without bond, after being accused of setting fire to his home; the fire spread to an adjacent garage and a neighboring residence in the Sunnydale Additon. A Keyser Fire Department ladder truck was also damaged as an access bridge to the property collapsed. The Mineral County Sheriff's Office and the West Virginia State Police had been at the Suter residence to investigate a domestic complaint about an hour before the fire was reported. The fire originated in the garage, and total damages wer set at $200,000; there were no injuries.



Safe Streets Initiative This Week


A new warrant initiative is being undertaken this week, in conjunction with the Cumberland Safe Streets Program and citizen cooperation. The initiative begins today, and will conclude on Friday. There are 16 individuals wanted, on open arrest warrants. Charges range from assault to robbery, fraud and theft, and violation of probation. Citizens are urged to contact their local law enforcement agency or Allegany/Mineral County Crimesolvers.



Additonal Arrests in Bomb Threat


Three male, eighth grade students have been arrested in connection with the February 12th bomb threat at Northern Middle School. After conducting interviews with Northern faculty and students, the three were taken to the McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police and released to the custody of their parents. During the February 12th incident, students and faculty were evacuated to Northern High School, while a search of the school was conducted. No explosive device was found.



Woman Accused of Robbery


A Cumberland woman faces charges of robbery, assault and resisting arrest, following an early Friday morning incident in the area of South Street and Industrial Boulevard. Twenty-four year old Whitney Nicole Hollingsworth took a bag of money from a taxi driver; she ran into a residence on West Industrial Boulevard. A resident there led police to a room where Hollingsworth was, and the money bag was found under the mattress. The money, however, was not found. She was placed under arrest, but she resisted, and had attempted to kick the windows out of the patrol car. She received a bond hearing in Allegany County District Court.



Woman Charged in DUI Accident


A Pennsylvania woman was charged with being under the influence of heroin and Ecstasy, following a single-vehicle crash on Route 30 Friday afternoon. Twenty-seven year old Tracie Riley struck a guardrail and spun around in the roadway. Her passenger, 36-year old Fred Dixon was taken to Conemaugh Hospital in Johnstown in serious condition. She was taken to Bedford Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, and later jailed on $25,000 bond.




Man Waives Hearing in Arson Incident


A Somerset County man will stand trial on charges he started a Thanksgiving night fire in Johnstown that destroyed three buildings. James McDonald, of Windber, has waived his preliminary hearing on 40 criminal counts. The charges are related to a November 22nd blaze in the 600 block of Coleman Avenue in the city's Moxham neighborhood. A criminal complaint said McDonald admitted to setting the blaze to get back at his girlfriend's husband.




Penelec Reduces Customer Rates


Those who are customers of Penelec will see another decrease in their price of electricity, beginning on Friday. The residential rate for electricity will go from 7.07 cents per kilowatt hour to 6.98 cents, a 1.6 per cent decrease. The rate has dropped in four of the past five quarters. Penelec serves some 600,000 customers in 31 western Pennsylvania counties, and is a subsidiary of First Energy Corporation.



Prosecutor Promises Thorough Investigation


The Frederick County prosecutor is promising a thorough investigation into the death of a 26-year old man with Down Syndrome on January 12th. Robert Ethan Saylor died of asphyxiation at a Frederick County movie theatre; deputies tried to forcibly remove him from the theatre and the death has been ruled a homicide. The State Attorney's office will conduct its own investigation, before deciding whether to bring criminal charges against the officers, or whether to present evidence to a grand jury.



West Virginia Grand Jury Returns Indictments


Six indictments were recently returned by a federal grand jury in Elkins, West Virginia. Among those named in the indictments was 47-year old Barbara Ann Spiva of Elkins, who faces 10-counts, in connection with the manufacturing of methamphetamine at various times last year. If convicted, she faces 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on the first count; and, 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for counts three to ten.


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