One Month Left In General Assembly Session
There are four weeks left in the 2013 Maryland General Assembly session; work this week is expected to begin on the transportation funding bill, proposed by Governor Martin O'Malley. A hearing on the bill is expected Friday afternoon; it would cut the gasoline excise tax from 23.5-cents-per-gallon to 18.5 cents, but phase in a four per-cent tax on the wholesale price of gas. Also, the House of Delegates is expected to take a final vote on the bill to repeal the death penalty.
Body Found at Ohiopyle State Park Tentatively Identified
A body found over this past weekend at Ohiopyle State Park has been tentatively identified as 29-year old Jeremy Walker of Somerset. Walker was last seen by his family on New Year's Eve; a search began on January 2nd and focused on the Youghiogheny River. A park ranger found the body in the River Saturday evening, and dental records are being used to positively identify the body.
Man Sentenced to Twelve Years
Oakland resident Kendall Shane Lowers has been sentenced to 12 years in prison on a charge of first-degree assault; he was found guilty in November of last year, but acquitted of attempted first and second-degree murder counts. Lowers was accused of stabbing 51-year old William "Bill" Sachs, who had gone to the Garrett County Sheriff's Office, covered in blood, reporting he had been stabbed by Lowers.
Sobriety Checkpoint to be Conducted
The Allegany County Sheriff's Office will conduct a sobriety checkpoint at an undisclosed location this week to promote awareness and reduce the number of alcohol-impaired drivers on the roads. The checkpoint is part of its traffic safety initiative to keep county roads safe for residents and drivers. The checkpoint will be clearly marked with signs, lights and uniformed officers, utilizing both marked and unmarked vehicles. They will be checking, not only for alcohol violations, but also for failure to use seatbelts, and failure to use child safety seats.
Students To Make Up Three Days
Allegany County School Superintendent Dr. David Cox will be recommending a makeup day schedule, for days missed because of bad weather. He has requested the state board waive the three days missed as a result of Hurricane Sandy, from October 29th through the 31st. He will recommend the last day of school be June 6th, one day later than originally scheduled; also, April 4th and 5th will be used as school days, an option indicated in the school calendar. The recommendations will be made during today's school board meeting.
Two Kentucky Residents Arrested on CDS Counts
Two residents from Kentucky were arrested on westbound Interstate 68, and charged with various drug offenses. They were initially stopped for traveling over the speed limit. Twenty-year old Lester Wellman of Inez, Kentucky and 21-year old Jeffrey Maynard were charged with various counts, including possession of marijuana, cocaine and CDS paraphernalia. Both were held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.
Lorton, Virginia Man Arrested for DUI
Lorton, Virginia resident Phillip Chandler was arrested by troopers from the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police, after witnesses reported an intoxicated driver in the area of the Slope Side Market in McHenry. Chandler failed field sobriety tests and was charged with DUI. he was later released, after being issued the appropriate citations and paperwork.
Washington County 911 Center Back in Service
Phone problems caused the Washington County 911 Center to lose service for about two hours Sunday afternoon. The phone system went down around 4:30 p.m., but service was restored by Verizon around 6:30 p.m.
Obama Nominates Former Maryland Labor Secretary
President Barack Obama is expected to name former Maryland Labor Secretary Thomas Perez as his choice to become the head of the U.S. Department of Labor. If confirmed, he would replace Hilda Solis who resigned in January. Perez has led the Justice Department's Civil Rights division since 2009, and previously served as Maryland's Labor Secretary.
O'Malley Backs Medical Marijuana Bill
Governor Martin O'Malley is expected to support a medical marijuana bill that would create a research-based program in Maryland. House Bill 1101 would create a commission, medical panel and oversight; however, O'Malley will only support the bill if it includes a number of amendments.
Commission Appoints Sheriff's Replacement
The Jefferson County Commission has appointed a former probationa and parole officer Peter Dougherty to replace Robert Shirley as the Sheriff there. Shirley pleaded guilty to federal charges he violated the civil rights of a suspect who was beaten after a 2010 police chase. Shirley is currently on home confinement, pending sentencing. Dougherty is currently the president of the Jefferson County Board of Education. At one time, he had worked as a staffer to former U.S. Representative Harley O. Staggers, Jr. He will take office immediately.
Spring Fire Burning Restrictions in Effect
West Virginia's spring forest fire season began Friday, and will continue through May 31st. Outdoor burning is now prohibited between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. State law requires that outdoor fires have a ring or safety strip of at least 10 feet around the debris pile, when burning is done. Burning must be limited to leaves, brush, yard clippings and other vegetative materials. Violations of the law could bring up to a $1,000 fine, along with a $200 civil penalty. Commercial burning is allowed during daylight hours, with a $125 permit for each site, issued by the Division of Forestry.