House Approves Revised Transportation Plan
The House Ways and Means Committee has approved a transportation revenue plan, but with changes to the original plan submitted by Governor Martin O'Malley. The bill approved Monday would apply a one per cent sales tax at the wholesale level on July 1st, instead of Governor O'Malley's proposal of two per cent. That sales tax would increase to 2 per cent on January 1, 2015, as compared to a 4 per cent increase in July 2014, again, as proposed by the Governor. Opponents of the increases say Maryland has mismanaged the transportation money in recent years to fill other budget shortfalls.
Police Find Stabbing Victim
An unidentified, 30-year old man was found dead early yesterday morning by Cumberland City Police, the victim of an apparent stab wound. Police were called to the 300-block of Davidson Street for a report of a man down. City Police and the C3I unit are investigating the case, including the circumstances surrounding his death. Further information will be released as it becomes available.
Decision on Footer Dye Works Building Tomorrow
The Governor's Consulting Commission will decide tomorrow whether to approve the Footer Dye Works Building for the National Register of Historic Places. If approved at the state level, the nomination will be passed onto the National Park Service for final approval.
Board Addresses Security Issue
The Allegany County Board of Education has approved a $110 million budget for FY 2014, and in that, there is an additional half-million dollars for enhanced school security. The board wants to add five resource officers and two mental health professionals to its staff, and the additional $500,000 would be used for that. The state of Maryland is making $25 million available in grants for school security in the next fiscal year.
Mineral Sheriff Wants to Add Deputies
Mineral County Sheriff Jeremy Taylor would like to have up to 15 deputies in his department, but realizes that the county's budget won't allow that to happen right away. The sheriff's office now has eleven deputies; the national average is to have one officer for every 1,000 residents. Having up to 15 deputies would mean one deputy for every 2,000 residents. Taylor has also asked the county commissioners for three additional cruisers, and a part-time law enforcement secretary.
"Operation Takedown IV" Termed a Success
The Cumberland City Police Department's Safe Streets Program has resulted in the arrest of 36 residents, as part of last week's warrant initiative. The latest initiative began last Monday, and ran until Friday. Forty-four arrest warrants were served. The operation was termed a success, due, in part, to citizen assistance and the hard work by all the officers that participated.
Vehicle Train Collisions Down, but High in Somerset
Four of seven train/vehicle collisions occurred in Somerset in the past five years, and all four were on Route 281. Three of those crashes happened at the Pleasant Avenue crossing and the fourth was along Route 281 a short distance away. Collisions between vehicles and trains in Pennsylvania fell by 4.8 per cent in 2012, but train pedestrian deaths and injuries rose 23.5 per cent, according to the rail safety education organization, Operation Lifesaver of Pennsylvania.
Gun Applications In Maryland Surge
The Maryland State Police have received about 26,000 gun permit applications since December, more than half of the 46,000 received in all of 2011. Many residents have flocked to gun shops to buy weapons that could be banned, beginning October 1st. The licensing division of the Maryland State Police is now working 21 hours per day, 7 days a week. They are also working to approve 60 new staff members to help with the backlog.
Two Arrested for Threatening Rape Victim
Two 16-year old girls have been arrested in Jefferson County, West Virginia, for making threats against the victim of a rape in Steubenville, Ohio. Two Steubenville teens were recently found guilty and sentenced in connection with the rape. One of the girls turned herself in, and the other was arrested. They are being held in the Jefferson County Juvenile Detention Center and will have an initial appearance before a judge this week.
Legislature Approves More Child Care Funding
The West Virginia has approved additional funding, including that for subsidized child care, while parents either work or go to school. The $29 million funding measure also contains $11 million to pay lawyers appointed to represent poor people charged with crimes. The Senate passed the bill unanimously, as did the House of Delegates. This is the first bill from Tomblin's agenda to pass.