Canal Place Expansion Delayed
Any expansion plans for Canal Place may be put on hold. State officials have told the authority that Maryland can't afford to proceed with expansion of the Heritage area. State officials say it is too understaffed and underfunded to proceed with the plan. Canal Place officials were surprised, because they felt the plan was coming to fruition, after months of work and review from participants across the state.
Ridgeley Could Limit Video Gambling
Two newly elected Ridgeley town council members-who, before their election, were behind a movement to oppose the opening of another gambling operation in Ridgeley-have now voted to prohibit any future businesses from having video lottery machines. An ordinance recently introduced, would limit to 35, the number of gambling establishments. That number includes the proposed Canal Hotspot; a license for the establishment became active earlier this month. There will be a second reading of the ordinance at next Tuesday's council meeting.
Elk Plan Scrapped
A plan to reintroduce Rocky Mountain elk to Allegany and Garrett Counties has been scrapped because of concerns of vehicle collisions, crop damage and the potential for disease. A meeting was held nearly two years ago, and early opposition to the plan came from the Garrett County Commissioners and the Maryland Farm Bureau. Public support, despite the projected revenues from visitor spending, never materialized for the plan.
Ridgeley Closes Community Center
In an effort to gain control of spending, the Ridgeley Mayor and Council have decided to close the community center, if only temporarily. That alone can save the town about $1,000 per month. The center will reopen as necessary. The town will also take a look at the rate structure for renting the facility. Members of the Mayor and Council are also looking at other ways to save money.
Fire Ruled Accidental
There has been a determination in Sunday's fire that did a total of $90,000 in damage to a Massachusetts Avenue home. The Cumberland Fire Marshal's Office says an appliance, plugged into a floor outlet, sparked the blaze at the home of Darrell Lee Powell. Nobody was home at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries. The Red Cross is assisting the family.
Man Faces Two Theft Charges
Cumberland resident Paul Harman is charged with theft in connection with two incidents in the downtown area over the last several days. Harman was seen allegedly shoplifting from a business in the 300-block of North Center Street. Additionally, there was another warrant on charges of theft. Harman allegedly entered a business on Howard Street, where he ordered food without paying for services rendered. Bail was set at $5000.
Officer Recognized with Award
Cumberland City Police Officer Anthony Tringler was recently recognized with the Police Department's Life Saving award, as well as a commendation from CSX Corporation. Corporal Tringler saved a man who had been laying on the railroad tracks near the Amtrak station. He was pulled to safety as a train passed. The incident occurred on May 5th.
Rucker Appointed Mineral 911 Director
A veteran of emergency response has been appointed the new director of the Mineral County 911 Center. David Rucker had served with the Department of Homeland Security and subsequently joined the Clinton, Maryland fire department. He moved to Keyser from Prince George's county in 1975, when his parents opened the Village Card Shop in downtown Keyser. Rucker began his duties on Monday.
Jailhouse Gang Leader to Plead Guilty
A man who was indirectly responsible for an investigation into the Baltimore City Jail will plead guilty at a hearing on August 6th. Tavon White is accused of running a jailhouse gang there, and impregnating several guards. A plea deal with federal prosecutors calls, in exchange for a guilty plea, a sentence of 20 years in prison on charges of racketeering and conspiracy. White's plea agreement indicates he was the commander of the Black Guerilla Family, and was involved in smuggling drugs and cell phones into the jail. He will also admit he impregnated four female guards.
Jail Rates May Decline
The cost of housing prisoners in the eastern portion of West Virginia. Jail rates have been on the rise for Eastern Panhandle counties, but under a new bill, West Virginia counties will now be paying less to house prisoners at the state's regional jails. A previous rate of $48.80 per inmate is now 5-cents less. The Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg currently has more than 400 inmates, including prisoners from Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan Counties.
West Virginia Unemployment Rate Below National Average
Unemployment in West Virginia decreased slightly last month, and was estimated at 6.1 per cent. The national unemployment rate remained at 7.6 per cent. The number of residents without a job is 48,400, which is down 1700. Manufacturing jobs increased, while the biggest job loss was quoted at 2500 in government.