House Gives Approval to Transportation Funding
Preliminary approval has been given to a transportation funding measure that would impose a sales tax on gasoline and tie the current gasoline tax to the inflation rate. Some amendments were approved, including a measure that would cap any annual increase in gas taxes to 8 per cent. A final vote is expected today, and Democrats in the House say they have more than the minimum of 71 votes needed to pass it.
Raising Minimum Wage Bill Dead
The Senate Finance Committee has defeated a bill that would have raised the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 per hour by 2015. The vote was 8 to 3. The proposal was opposed by restaurant and other business owners. The House will consider a similar bill, but since it has been defeated by the Senate Committee, it probably won't be considered again this year.
Handgun Law Upheld in Fourth Circuit Court
A Maryland law, requiring handgun permit applicants to demonstrate a "good and substantial reason" for carrying a weapon outside of their own home, has been upheld by the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. The unanimous decision overturns a previous ruling, which stated the law violated the Second Amendment.
Toll Bridge Accident Victim Identified
The driver of the tractor trailer that went into the Potomac River at the Oldtown toll bridge Wednesday morning has been identified. Alberto Martinez was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center following the accident, where he "misjudged the angle" as he entered the bridge. The rig, which was filled with crossties, was partially submerged when Martinez was rescued by Ryan Hill, who is an employee of Koppers, Inc. Hill is also a member of the Cresaptown Fire Department.
Possible Meth Lab Discovered in Meyersdale
A possible methamphetamine lab was discovered on Celtic Avenue in Meyersdale Tuesday evening, the first such operation discovered in the borough. The landlord of the home alerted police, who then searched the residence and found items that could have been used to manufacture meth. In January, police found a suspected meth lab in Somerset borough along South Vincent Avenue. Two people were arrested in connection with that case.
Man Arrested in Daylight Breaking and Entering
A 24-year old Cumberland man was caught in the act, breaking into a home in the 200-block of Cecilia Street Wednesday afternoon. Justin Tyler Braithwaite ran from the rear of residence, and a Cumberland City Police Officer apprehended him at the corner of Cecilia Street and Maryland Avenue. Police found various burglary tools and saw blades in his backpack. Also, police found a metal pipe, containing the residue of a controlled dangerous substance. He was ordered held on $8500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Man Arrested on Marijuana Charge
Mc Henry resident David Matthew Maxwell was arrested Wednesday on a charge of possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. He was stopped on Route 219 in Mc Henry, and the marijuana and paraphernalia were found inside of his vehicle, following a K-9 scan.
Man Settles Police Shooting Lawsuit
A Morgan County man, who was shot in the hip and abdomen by a sheriff's deputy has settled a lawsuit for $200,000. Ulysses Everett filed suit against Deputy S.A. Place and the Morgan County Commission. Place was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. The federal lawsuit alleges that Deputy Place used excessive force when he fired twice through Everett's front door while responding to a domestic disturbance report. Following the settlement, the lawsuit was dismissed.
Oxon Hill Resident Pleads Guilty to Drug Charge
Oxon Hill, Maryland resident Ronald Paul Lawson, Jr. entered a guilty plea is U.S. District Court in Martinsburg this week. Lawson was charged with "distribution of cocaine base within 1,000 feet of the Winchester Avenue Elementary School." He is free on bond, but faces at least one, and up to 40 years imprisonment and a $2-million fine.
West Virginia Receives "D+" Grade on Infrastructure
The Mountain State isn't doing much better than the rest of the country, when it comes to its infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers released its report card recently, and West Virginia received a "D+" grade. It is better than some, and worse than others. Several areas need a large amount of improvement, including bridges and highways. The report also notes that approximately $3 billion in wastewater treatment needs must be addressed within the next 20 years.