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General Assembly Session Termed "Productive"

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller has described the 2013 General Assembly session as "productive." During the past three months, lawmakers have repealed the death penalty in Maryland, passed major gun control legislation, and approved a major gas tax proposal. Lawmakers gave final approval to a $37 billion budget, which does not raise taxes, on Friday. However, the gas tax will increase for the first time in 20 years. Several bills are awaiting Governor Martin O'Malley's signature.


Turnpike Arrest Results in $1 Million Worth of Heroin

A man was arrested on the Pennsylvania Turnpike at Somerset Friday, and was found to have heroin, with a street value of nearly a million dollars. Warren Greene IV was stopped for speeding; in the car, the Pennsylvania State Police found 1,000 bricks of heroin, or $50,000 of individual stamped bags inside. He was charged with possession with intent to deliver, and is being held in the Somerset County Jail on $750,000 bond.


Man Arrested for Marijuana Possession

Darlington, Maryland resident John Louis Sikalis was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute, following a traffic stop for speeding on Interstate 68. Following a positive alert for drugs from a K-9 unit, Sikalis admitted that he had marijuana in the trunk. The approximately street value of the drug was placed at $2240. He was taken for a bond hearing, and released on personal recognizance.


Garrett County Destruction of Property Reported

The bed of a white Chevrolet pickup truck was damaged while parked at a business on Chestnut Ridge Road, near Route 40. The incident was reported early Sunday morning. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Maryland State Police at McHenry. The number is (301)-387-1101.


Single Vehicle Accident Injures Driver

No charges were filed, but a 75-year old driver was taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital, following a single-vehicle accident Sunday afternoon. Glavis Sisler of Friendsville fell asleep while driving southbound on Herrington Manor Road, near Cranesville Road.  His vehicle left the roadway, struck an embankment and overturned. The Oakland Fire Department and Southern Garrett Ambulance responded to the scene.


Mineral County Extends School Year

Mineral County students will be going to school a day longer this year, as the result of a total of six days missed this year, due to the weather. While June 5th will be designated as an instructional day, June 6th has been designated as an "Instructional Support Day." It will count as an instructional makeup day for the students, but attendance is optional. June 10th is the final day for teachers.


Public Defenders Begin Furloughs

Federal public defenders are being required to take 15 furlough days this fiscal year, as a result of the government sequester. There are concerns that reduced schedules will strain an already overburdened court system and compromise rights to adequate counsel and a speedy trial. The nation's court system must absorb $350 million in spending cuts. The cuts also affect5 spending for probation officers, court clerks, court security and information technology programs. In Maryland, the federal public defender's office faces a five per cent spending cut, or a reduction of about $500,000.

Alice Cooper
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