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Major Drug Busts in Allegany County
The Allegany County Sheriff's Department has made several major drug busts throughout the George's Creek area. A residence on Vine Street was searched, and a quantity of cocaine and marijuana was seized. An outstanding warrant resulted in the arrest of 39-year old William Barmor of the Bronx, New York. Other residences in the Westernport and Midland areas were searched and three more individuals were taken into custody on a variety of heroin, crack and marijuana charges. They include Baltimore residents Lamont Smith and Timmothy Lowell Brown, along with Westernport resident Keri Ann Donaldson. Smith is being held on $250,000 bond, while Brown is being held on $150,000 bond. Ms. Donaldson's bail was set at $30,000. The Allegany and Garrett County Sheriff's Offices, along with the C3I unit, the Cumberland City Police Department and the Maryland State Police all assisted in the investigation and subsequent arrests.

Attorney General Fines Hampshire Memorial
Hampshire Memorial Hospital is being fined $7500 for its involvement in collecting a debt collection fee on past due accounts. Without admitting that it committed any violations, the hospital is promising to take specific actions to resolve concerns of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. His office says it's unlawful for a health facility to charge interest. Hampshire's collection agency, Mosaic-from North Carolina-is not licensed to collect delinquent accounts in the Mountain State.

Ridgeley Emergency From Financial Difficulties
It may take a while, but the town of Ridgeley is hoping to emerge from its present financial difficulties. The town now has about $11,500 in bills coming in. As had been reported, the community center is being closed as a cost-saving measure, but it is hoped other activities could be planned to help offset the expense of utilities. Some suggestions include movies in the center, as well as volleyball, dodge ball, and basketball leagues.

Federal Indictments Returned Against Two West Virginia Residents
Petersburg resident Leonardo Ramos Rodriguez and co-defendant Megan Rohrbaugh of Rio have both been charged in a federal indictment, with conspiring to distribute oxycodone. Rodriguez is also named in four counts of distribution of heroin and/or oxycodone and two firearms charges. Both face up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy and distribution charges, and up to ten years in prison for Rodriguez on the firearms charges.

Juveniles Face Charges
Six juveniles were found on the helicopter pad of the former Memorial campus of the Western Maryland Health System Wednesday evening. They told police they entered the building through a door they found open, and went onto the roof. They were released to their parents, but may face charges through the Department of Juvenile Services. There was no damage reported as a result of the incident.

Residents Report Destruction of Property Incidents
The Cumberland City Police Department is investigating several destruction of property incidents, concentrated in the Montgomery County/Louisiana Avenue areas. Several vehicles had paint on them. There are no suspects, but residents-if they have any information-are asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.

County Honors Employees
Allegany County has presented its annual service awards for employees with five years or service or more. An employee appreciation event featured a presentation ceremony and a celebration picnic lunch. Fifty-two employees, with a total of 715 years of service were honored recently at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. Five of those employees were honored for 30 years of service, and five others achieved the 25-year mark.

Former Comptroller Burke Dies at 77
Former Cumberland City Comptroller Bill Burke has passed away at the age of 77. For a time, Burke also served as Cumberland City Administrator. He is survived by three daughters and one son, and arrangements are being handled by the Scarpelli Funeral Home, and his cremains will be interred at Sunset Memorial Park at a later date.  There will be a gathering in his memory on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Good Fellowship Club on Virginia Avenue.

Charges Filed Against Cumberland Man
Cumberland City Police have arrested 33-year old Christopher Fabbri, as the result of an investigation from mid-July. A purse had been removed from a car in the 20-block of Saratoga Street, and a credit card found in the purse was fraudulently used at several convenience stores in the Cumberland area. Video evidence showed a suspect using the stolen card. Fabbri was charged with two counts of unauthorized use of a credit card, and theft of less than $100.00.

Rash of Copper Thefts Reported in Somerset
Over two dozen telephone poles were damaged earlier in the week in Somerset County, as thieves tried to remove the copper from the wiring. A power company spokesperson warns that they risk electrocution when cutting telephone wires. Police there say they may have spotted the thieves on surveillance footage. The wiring has been repaired. Police believe copper is being stolen to sell, to provide money for drugs. Vandals will be prosecuted; they could receive jail time, and have to pay restitution for the repairs.

Cell Phone Use While Driving To Become Primary Offense
Using a cell phone while driving will become a primary offense in Maryland, beginning October 1st. It is already a primary offense to text while driving. In October, even if you are using your phone on speaker and have the phone in your hand, you'll be charged. The first offense will cost you a $40 ticket; a second offense means a $100 fine. Police advise the safest method is stopping the car and pulling off the road to make or take a call.

States Playing Role in Health Insurance Coverage
Under the Affordable Care Act, every state will have an "exchange" or marketplace where those who don't have health insurance can get coverage. About 14 per cent of Maryland's population is uninsured. Maryland currently has the lowest health insurance rates, after regulators reduced prices for packages offered through the state's health exchange. Rates for some plans were cut by as much as a third from what insurance carriers had requested. Competition has helped keep premiums lower than any other state.

Top Consumer Complaint is Car Problems
It's one of your biggest purchases, but it could also be your biggest headache. the Consumer Federation of America reports that auto issues are the top consumer complaint for 2012. CFA director of consumer protection, Susan Grant, says false advertising for new and used cars, and towing disputes are among the many problems reported.

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