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Local News

Man Charged With First Degree Murder

Stephen George Schluniger,the live-in boyfriend of Lisa Ann Simmons, was arrested in Berkeley County, West Virginia and charged with first-degree murder. He waived extradition and was immediately returned to Allegany County.  Schleuniger is being held without bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. Ms. Simmons had been missing since September 5th; evidence found at her Browning Street home led investigators to file charges against Schleuniger. Although her body has not been found, all possible means of locating her have been exhausted. Authorities believe she is dead, and have since charged Schleuniger. The investigation is continuing by the Cumberland City Police and the C3I unit. A candlelight vigil for Ms. Simmons is planned for tonight at the Liberty Street stage at 7 p.m. The vigil will be held by former employees of the Brandenberg Center, where Ms. Simmons had once been employed.


Mall Manager Announces Retirement

Downtown Cumberland Mall manager Ed Mullaney has announced his retirement from that position to take care of some personal and family matters. Mullaney says he's met many wonderful people over the course of the last 15 years, but with the conclusion of the "Summer in the City" series and "Friday After Five," he has decided to "take some time off." Mullaney says the Mall is in good hands with Jennifer Light, his current co-manager. His former partner, the late Sue Cerutti, passed away unexpectedly several years ago. Mullaney noted it was a great opportunity to work with her, and that her legacy will live on.  The effective date of his retirement is October 31st. Mullaney says he has made the decision, and will now move forward.


Delegation, CPPDA to Meet Tomorrow

The Western Maryland delegation to the General Assembly will meet tomorrow with members of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay, a member of the CPPDA board, says the contract, which in part, provided funding from the hotel/motel tax for Canal Place, expired three years ago, but had been renewed for the past two. Commissioner McKay says that it may be time to revisit management and the whole purpose of Canal Place. McKay says CPPDA members have known for some time that funding was eventually going to "dry up." It has had plenty of time to achieve self-sufficiency. He compared it to a similar situation at Rocky Gap; once it transitioned to private hands, its mission was reviewed and it is now thrivin



Single Vehicle Accident in Garrett County

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police investigated an accident Monday on Route 42 off of Bishoff Road. A 2005 Honda Element, driven by Oakland resident Stuart Hamill, traveled off of Route 42, after he fell asleep. The car crossed into the northbound lane. It then struck an embankment and overturned. The Northern Garrett Rescue Squad and Deep Creek Fire Department responded to the scene.


Former Commissioner Killed in Wreck

A former Grant County, West Virginia Commissioner, Lester Carr, Jr., was killed in a single-vehicle crash Monday on Route 42 near Maysville. Carr was driving on the road, when his vehicle struck a tree. He was taken to Grant Memorial Hospital, where he passed away following the accident, which was reported around 1 p.m.


Sentencing Delayed for Woman Accused of Series of Arsons

Nineteen-year old Pennsylvania resident Brandy Sneider-Koontz has pleaded guilty to setting a number of fires in the Washington County area. She becomes the fourth person to enter a plea in the cases. As part of a plea agreement, she will have to perform 300 hours of community service, pay restitution, and testify truthfully in any other criminal proceedings involving her co-defendants. Sentencing has been delayed until December 17, and she is being held without bond until that date.


Flying Fortress, B-24 Coming to Hagerstown Airport

In honor of World War II veterans, the Collings Foundation's Wings of Freedom Tour is coming to the Washington County Airport October 9th through the 11th. The non-profit organization is bringing its B-17 Flying Fortress, a Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American P-51 Mustang to the Hagerstown Regional Airport. The planes will arrive about 2 p.m. onj October 9th,and will depart at noon on October 11th.


Judge Refuses to Block Gun Law

A federal judge has refused to block the implementation of Maryland's new gun law, partially because of the late date of the challenge. The judge also noted that it posed no imminent threat to core Second Amendment rights. Another lawsuit, according to the Associated Press, challenged a provision requiring prospective gun owners to submit fingerprints and to get gun safety training.


Maryland Food Bank Results Announced

The Maryland State Police and the State Highway Administration have announced the total food collected during Hunger Action Month in September. The drive was supported by donations from the public and the Maryland Department of Transportation headquarters and sister agencies, including the Maryland Transit Administration. Nearly 35,500 pounds of food, equal to 29,583 meals were collected from locations around the state, including over 3400 pounds of food collected in Hagerstown.


Fall Forest Fire Season Began Yesterday

West Virginia's fall forest fire season began yesterday, and will run through the end of the year. During this time, daytime burning is prohibited between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Outdoor burning is permitted only between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. State law requires a ring or safety strip around outdoor fires to keep it from spreading into the woods. Fines for violating the policy range from $100 to $1,000. An additional civil penalty of $200 will also be assessed. For more information, the West Virginia Division of Forestry's website is ""

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