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Local News

Plan to Boost Transportation Revenues

Maryland's leadership has unveiled a plan to boost some transportation taxes to pay for roads and bridges. Governor Martin O'Malley wants to impose a wholesale tax on gas; at the same time, he wants to drop the excise tax on gas. His plan involves imposing a 4 per cent tax on the price of gasoline at the wholesale level, but cuts the 23.5-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline by five cents. Gas prices would increase by 2-cents per gallon, beginning July 1st, rising to 9-cents-a-gallon the following year. The plan was introduced Monday night, just minutes before the House and Senate went into session.


Meyersdale Man Accused of Molesting Girl

Eighteen year old Dylan Belcher is accused of groping a young girl on at least two occasions last fall at her home. He is currently being held on $20,000 bail on counts of indecent assault and unlawful restraint. Belcher has a court hearing, scheduled for next week.


Police Make Hospital Arrest

Fifty-four year old Jeffrey Thomas Michael was held in the Allegany County Detention Center, after creating a disturbance at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center early Monday evening. Michael, who has no fixed address,  was discharged from the hospital, after refusing medical treatment. He refused to leave and was arrested. He was taken to Police Headquarters, where he was charged on a criminal citation and released. He then told police he wouldn't comply with the citation, at which time he was charged with trespassing and taken for a bond hearing.


High Speed Chase Results in Arrest

Sixty-two year old Gore, Virginia resident William Ray Ritchie was arrested in Paw Paw, West Virginia following a high speed chase, which began on Route 51, near Moores Hollow Road Monday afternoon. An Allegany County Sheriff's Deputy reportedly clocked Ritchie traveling 98-miles-per-hour in a 50-miles-per-hour zone. A high speed chase ensued, and Ritchie was taken into custody by the Paw Paw Police Department. Numerous charges are pending against him, including DUI and fleeing and eluding. The Sheriff's Department is expressing its thanks to both the Maryland State Police and the Paw Paw Police Department for their assistance.


Hearing on Somerset Crossing Set for July

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has scheduled a public hearing on July 30th and 31st, regarding a railroad crossing on Route 281. The intersection separates Somerset Borough and Somerset Township, and has been the scene of several accidents. One of the more recent ones, in September of last year  involved a tractor-trailer, carrying mail. An accident in 2011 killed a motorist, when her car was struck by a locomotive. The hearing will be used to gather testimony, in an effort to best address conditions at the railroad tracks there.


Woman Killed in Jefferson County Fire

A Jefferson County woman was killed, but her daughter escaped during a fire early Monday morning. Sixty-five year old Jeanne Thomas died on her birthday, and her 25-year old daughter was taken to a hospital and released. Jeanne Thomas' body was found in the basement of the home and was taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Morgantown for an autopsy. There is no word on what caused the fire.


Mulkern Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography, Abuse Charges

A man, formerly of Hagerstown and Williamsport who was featured on "America's Most Wanted," before being arrested last year, has pleaded guilty to child pornography and child sex abuse charges in Washington County Circuit Court. Forty-six year old Robert William Mulkern, who allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 15-year old girl from Allegany County who had been placed in a foster home, could face 50 years in prison when he is sentenced later this year. The girl became pregnant in 2010, and in interviews with the Child Advocacy Center, recounted her relationship with Mulkern. In June of 2010, he was charged with 149 counts of manufacturing child pornography, nine counts of third-degree sex offense and one count of sex abuse of a minor.



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