Hampshire County Grand Jury Hands Down Indictments
Among the record number of indictments handed down by the Hampshire County Grand Jury were 15, who were charged in last week's drug raid. Other charges against individuals ranged from sexual assault, possession with intent to deliver heroin, conspiracy and child neglect. A 57-year old Romney resident was indicted for eight sexual offenses, two counts of aiding and abetting the delivery of a controlled substance, conspiracy, child neglect creating risk of injury and other counts. Bond for Aaron Lamont White was set at $120,000.
Somerset County Man Killed in Motorcycle Accident
Fifty-eight year old Scott James of Somerset was killed Sunday afternoon, and his passenger was injured, when their motorcycle hit the rear of a car stopped to make a turn in Somerset Township. Both Scott James and passenger Valerie James were ejected from the bike. James hit a car, driven by Friedens resident Connie Stinebiser. Valerie James was then hit by another car driven by a 17-year old Somerset juvenile. No other injuries were reported, and the accident remains under investigation.
Man To Stand Trial for Vehicular Homicide
Twenty-three year old Somerset resident Casey Edward Miller will stand trial on vehicular homicide charges, in connection with an accident that killed his friend, Kody Gene Dwire in August of last year. A preliminary hearing was held with the defense acknowledging the prosecutor had enough evidence to hold all the charges over the Somerset County court. Miller remains free on $5,000 unsecured bond.
Ribbon Cutting at New Head Start Center
A ribbon cutting and grand opening were held yesterday morning for Cumberland's latest Head Start Center, located in the former Union Laundry Facility at 310 Seymour Street. The executive director of the HRDC, Courtney Thomas, says the center will serve 52 children, as was the result of a cooperative effort among the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the city of Cumberland, and the Allegany County Commissioners. Ms. Thomas says there was a need for a new Head Start Center.
Group Wants Secession
A group known as the Western Maryland initiative is calling on five Western Maryland counties to secede from Maryland, and to form their own state. Scott Strzelczyk, leader of the group, says they want an "amicable divorce" from the state, due to the liberal majority. They further would like to see a smaller state with more "personal liberty, less government intrusion, and less federal entanglements." The five counties, including Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick, and Carroll, represent 11 per cent of Maryland's population, and the majority of voters are Republicans in a heavily Democratic state.
Gun Business Booming in Maryland
The Maryland State Police have received over 85,000 gun-purchase applications through August 31st, as compared to 70,099 applications in all of 2012 and 46,339 in 2011. Gun dealers say they have been overwhelmed ahead of the law's October 1st effective date. State Police have increased their staff from 38 employees to 73 who are now working to process applications. Sixty temporary staffers are also rotating hours.
Governor Considering Probe Into Man's Death
Governor Martin O'Malley's Office says he is considering an investigation of the death of a man with Down Syndrome who died at a Frederick theatre in January of this year. He is also exploring all options to ensure that something similar never happens again in Maryland. Ethan Saylor died after police restrained him and placed him in handcuffs. The cause of death was asphyxiation; the manner of death was homicide because Saylor died due to police restraint. A federal investigation is underway by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Vaccines To Guard Against Four Strains of Flu
Maryland will be offering a little more protection with this year's flu shots; for the first time, certain vaccines will guard against four strains of flu, rather than the usual three. The so-called quadrivalent vaccines will make up only a fraction of the nation's supply of flu vaccine. Many pharmacies along with the state health centers will carry the quadrivalent vaccine.
Teenager Charged as Adult in Murder
A second teenage girl has been charged as an adult int he 2012 murder of Morgantown-area teen Skylar Neese. Seventeen year old Sheila Eddy's case has been elevated to adult status, while Rachel Shoaf has already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Neese' death. Neese, Shoaf and Eddy were all classmates at University High School in Morgantown. The prosecution will recommend a 20-year sentence for Shoaf, while the defense will request she be sentenced as a juvenile.