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Local News

Child Custody Motive for Murder

An ongoing child custody issue was the motive for last week's murder of Slanesville-area resident Michael O'Hara. Investigators believe he was killed by his estranged wife, Mandy, and John Shoemaker. Contrary to rumors, the murder was not related to alleged drug activity, and Chief Deputy Nathan Sions is asking the public to respect the family, with regard to online postings and comments. The cause of Michael O'Hara's death was a stab wound to the neck.


Hospitals Sign Letter of Intent

Frederick Regional Health System, Meritus Health, and the Western Maryland Health System have announced that a letter of intent has been signed among the three organizations, in which the parties agree to explore new initiatives for cooperation and mutual support that will advance key components of healthcare reform. These include better care, reduced cost, and a focus on population health management for the Western Maryland region. A feasibility study was conducted in June, that evaluated the merits of a possible affiliation. There will be further updates on the possible collaboration of the three health care systems.


Coalition to Hear Transportation Officials

Updates to the Route 219 and Route 220 projects will be heard during the regular monthly meeting of the North-South Appalachian Highway Coalition tomorrow. The Greater Cumberland Committee will hold its annual meeting in the Atkinson room of the Frostburg State University Lane Center. Representatives from Maryland and Pennsylvania will talk about project updates. As a total corridor, the Route 219 and Route 220 projects will create 10,000 permanent and 20,000 construction and construction-related jobs in the region.


Teens Confess to Setting Fires

Two teenagers have admitted to starting three separate fires on Little Cacapon Road Tuesday. One of those fires destroyed a house. Nineteen year old Colton Clower and a 17-year old juvenile were charged in connection to the incidents. The juvenile was released to the custody of his parents. The house was declared a total loss, and there were 22 hay bales destroyed. The investigation is continuing.


Special Meeting Held Between Maryland, West Virginia Officials

A meeting between Maryland and West Virginia officials was held at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport. The Potomac Highlands Regional Airport Authority discussed what authority chair Creade Brodie termed "some big things coming down the road," including a runway renovation project. Frostburg State University President Dr. Jonathan Gibralter has expressed an interest in serving on the airport authority. Current member Nick Scarpelli offered to give up his seat so Dr. Gibralter could serve.


City Man Arrested on Drug Charges

Fifty-four year old Cumberland resident Joseph Wilson Butler was arrested Tuesday, and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. A CDS complaint led officers to the area of Baltimore Avenue; Butler was allegedly found smoking marijuana behind the Brunswick Bar. He was taken into custody, and released after his was issued the two criminal citations.


Man Held on $5,000 Bond for Assault, False Imprisonment

A Cumberland man is being held on $5,000 bond, in connection with an alleged assault and false imprisonment incident from mid-September. Darrell Thomas Soules is accused of hitting a female victim in the face and stomach, and for keeping her from leaving a North Mechanic Street residence. Soules was charged, following a hearing at the District Court commissioners' office. He was then taken to the Allegany County Detention Center.


Tri-State College Night Set for Next Week

Tri-State College Night is set for next Tuesday, October 8th. The 46th annual event will take place at Allegany College of Maryland's Bob Kirk Arena, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tri-State College Night is sponsored by the Allegany County Guidance Counselor's Association, and gives students the opportunity to make decisions about furthering their education. And, on an added note, Ms. Cross says parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for today. The elementary conferences are being held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from noon to 3:30 p.m.


Man Waives Hearing on ATV Assault Charges

Friedens resident Derek Kyle Maust has been charged with a number of assault charges and reckless endangerment, after he was accused of running over a man with an ATV in Shade Township. The incident allegedly occurred on June 19th on School Road in Shade Township.
The victim suffered several injuries. Maust then crashed the ATV along old state Route 30 and Cemetery road in Stonycreek Township.


Westernport Sets Meeting, Closings, Parade Plans

The Westernport Mayor and Commissioners will hold a council meeting this Monday at 7 p.m. It was also announced the City Building will be closed on October 14th, in observance of Columbus Day. Town officials say Westernport's  Halloween Parade will be held on Saturday, October 26th at 1:00 p.m. Line-up will be at the Piedmont American Legion at 12:30 p.m. Finally, Trick-or-Treating will be held on October 31st, from 6 to 8 p.m.


Suns May Move To Virginia by 2015

The Hagerstown Suns minor league baseball team, has formally applied to relocate to Fredericksburg, Virginia in time for the start of the 2015 baseball season. The application will be formally reviewed by baseball officials. Fredericksburg is working to finalize plans for a proposed stadium, which is expected to cost $29 million.

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