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Man Sentenced to 15 Years

A Cumberland man who was found guilty of possession and distribution of drugs was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Allegany County Circuit Court. Thirty-seven year old Victor Safchuck was sentenced on charges of  possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of heroin. A search warrant, executed over two years ago, turned up crack cocaine, heroin, and other related materials. Judge Gary Leasure presided over sentencing in Circuit Court.


Business Owner Pleads to Misdemeanor

Earth Zone owner John Cozatt pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, in a plea agreement in Mineral County Circuit Court. He and his wife had been indicted in January on felony charges of selling synthetic marijuana in their stores, located in Keyser and Short Gap. In exchange for the plea agreement, charges were dropped against his wife. Several factors played into the case, including the lack of a criminal record, and the current ambiguity of the law. Cozatt's jail sentence was suspended, but he is required to perform 40 hours of community service, and pay $2500 each to the Mineral County Sheriff's Department and the Potomac Highlands Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force.


Yet Another Arrest in Meyersdale Meth Lab Case

There has been an eighth arrest in connection with a meth lab and dump site in Meyersdale. James Betz has been charged with both criminal conspiracy and operating a meth lab; both charges are felonies. Three other suspects have been arrested. Betz was held on $25,000 bond. He has a preliminary hearing set for 11 a.m., one week from today.


Woman Arrested in Domestic Dispute

A McHenry woman was arrested in a domestic dispute this week. Annie Mae Musier allegedly scratched a man who lives on Windy Way Road. He had marks on his head, neck and chest areas. She was charged with second-degree domestic assault by troopers from the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police.


Boden Elected President of Mineral County Authority

Dave Boden was elected as president of the Mineral County Development Authority, with David Webb as secretary. An election held at the June meeting, was determined to be invalid, because of the use of secret ballots and not following the West Virginia Open government Meeting rules. Webb ran unopposed for the secretarial position, and will hold that office until next July.


Finishing Work on Memorial Bridge to be Delayed

The new Keyser Memorial Bridge is in place, but it may be a while until the area is completely cleaned up. The project contractor was called to an emergency highway project near Martinsburg; crews from the West Virginia Division of Highways were sent to an emergency project on Interstate 81 that has been the scene of several accidents, including a recent fatal accident. That work will be done to reconstruct a highway ramp, along Interstate 81.


Attorney Appointed Judge

Romney attorney Charles Carl III has been appointed a circuit judge for the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court. The region includes Hampshire, Hardy, and Pendleton counties. The appointment was made recently by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. The vacancy was the result of  Governor Tomblin  appointing then-Judge Donald Cookman to serve as a state senator for West Virginia's 15th District.


Residents Asked for Highway Project Input

West Virginia residents are being asked for their opinions on any number of highway projects in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties and in Washington County, Maryland. An online survey is being conducted, and the deadline for responses is August 10th. The survey can be found at Hepmpo is an acronym for Hagerstown/Eastern Panandle Metropolitan Planning Organization.


Assistance Approved for Pennsylvania Counties

The western part of Pennsylvania has been hit the hardest by heavy rains and flooding, and that's why Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett applied for disaster assistance for businesses and residents. That request has now been granted for Fayette, Clearfield and Jefferson counties. It'll now be easier residents of those areas to apply for low-interest disaster loans. Businesses and non-profit organizations are also eligible for assistance.


Inmate Sought by Area Authorities

An inmate, on pre-release from the Maryland Correctional Training Center, walked off the job Wednesday evening, and is now being sought by area law enforcement authorities. Forty-one year old Dion Alves walked off his job at the Bulls and Bears Restaurant in Hagerstown. Alves is described as a black male, 5-feet, 11-inches tall, weighing 190 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white tee shirt and dark blue jeans.

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