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Local News

More Details Released on Hampshire Murder


Hampshire County authorities have released more details on the murder of Michael O'Hara late last week. They say 36-year old Mandy O'Hara-his estranged wife-and 21-year old John Shoemaker broke into Michael O'Hara's house and killed him in his bedroom. They then wrapped the body in a tarp, tied to the back of their car and drove on Hickory Corner Road. They eventually dragged the body to the Cacapon River, where it was hidden under a tree. An eyewitness along the way made conversation with the suspects, who fled at a high rate of speed. The eyewitness chased the car to get a better description, but lost sight of it. Ms.O'Hara and Shoemaker, along with Gabriella Cutter-who is charged with conspiracy to commit murder-remain jailed without bail.



Diamond's Closed for Fire Code Violations


All occupants of the Diamond Apartments in Frostburg must be out by today. The lounge and apartments are being closed by the State Fire Marshal's Office due to violations of the State Fire Prevention Code. The seating capacity at the Acropolis Restaurant has also been limited. The violations include an antiquated fire alarm system, padlocked doors, and blocked exits in the nightclub. Nineteen residents, living in 16 units,  have been affected. Representatives of the Department of Social Services will be available today at the Frostburg Community Center to help relocate the displaced occupants.



Threat of Arson Charges Filed


A Creek Road man is facing up to five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine on an arson threat charge. Twenty-six year old David Duvall accused of threatening to set fire to his former residence in the 400-block of Chestnut Street. During an investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office, it was discovered that utilities had been turned off to the residence and Duvall had begun to remove personal property. The Deputy State Fire Marshal was assisted by the Cumberland Fire Department's Fire Marshal's Office during the investigation.



Addison Man Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident


Addison resident Charles Lancaster was killed and Jeffrey Nicholson of Confluence hospitalized, following a single-vehicle accident Friday night. Lancaster was traveling on Route 281 in Confluence, when he lost control, hitting a set of guardrails, going over an embankment and overturning on its roof. Nicholson was flown to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center by the Lifeflight helicopter; he received what were termed "major injuries" in the crash.



Lane Closures on Interstate 68 This Week


There will be left-lane closures in both directions of Interstate 68 this week, at the bridge over Patterson Avenue. Lane closures will run today through Friday, and motorists should be prepared for possible delays. Crews are pouring a new concrete deck for the portion of I-68 over Patterson Avenue. The work is part of a $10 million project to rehabilitate the I-68 bridges over Kelly Boulevard and Patterson Avenue. Weather permitting, the project will be completed next fall.



Local Funding for Developmentally Disabled Announced


Friends Aware has received a $185,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for the expansion of facilities and capabilities. The award was announced by Maryland United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin. Friends Aware provides vocational training, employment services and day habitation to individuals with developmental disabilities in Allegany County. The grant will expand and upgrade the 22,000 square foot facility on Holland Street in Cumberland. Friends Aware provides day habitation to 140 individuals. The grant will also enable Friends Aware to Create 15 new direct care staffing jobs by 2015.



Cumberland Man Arrested at Park Street Business


Cumberland resident Ryan O'Toole is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $5,000 bond. O'Toole had an outstanding arrest warrant for assault and other charges, and was found at a Park Street business Saturday night. When police arrived, O'Toole yelled and ran from the officer. The warrant stemmed from an alleged incident on September 24th, where he was accused of assaulting a woman and her 3-year old son. She had stated O'Toole had choked her and held her against her will.



Police Recover Stolen Items


Cumberland City Police have recovered two suspected stolen vehicles in South Cumberland. A Suzuki Quad-Runner four-wheeler, as well as a motor scooter were recovered. Both were believed to have been stolen during the past month. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.



New Uses Suggested for Former KHS Building


Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower is suggesting the former Keyser High School Building be used for a community and wellness center. Current tenants of the building have been told they must vacate the building by December 31st. The building was originally purchased by Morgantown businessman Kris Warner, and was re-purchased by First United Bank and Trust during a bankruptcy sale. Mayor Amtower, who says First United wants to get out of the real estate business, further suggested the building be used for a number of other projects, including the relocation of the Keyser Police Department, Mineral County Community Corrections and the Mineral County Development Authority.



Route 219 Earthwork Underway


Work on Route 219, between Meyersdale to Somerset is underway. It began about a week after the groundbreaking on August 27th. There are numerous subcontractors working on this phase of the project. Earthwork is the first of three phases, which also include bridges and pavement; the entire project is expected to be open to traffic in 2018.



Careers and Construction Trades Month Observed


The Allegany County school year is in full swing, with parent/teacher conferences and Tri-State College Night scheduled for October. Mia Perlozzo-Cross of the board adds that October is being observed as Careers and Construction Trades Month. Ms. Perlozzo-Cross also says free and reduced meal applications are due a week from tomorrow. She says not filling out the forms could have a negative effect on the school system.



FSU President Delivers Convocation


Frostburg State University President Dr. Jonathan Gibralter unveiled a new marketing identity, "Rolling Out The Future" during the Fall Convocation Friday afternoon. In addition to launching the new marketing identity-which includes signs, posters and letterhead-Dr. Gibralter addressed a number of questions regarding FSU's directions for the future, including how to make the institution become more relevant, how to build on what makes it unique, and how it fits into an ever-changing higher education landscape.

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