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Local News

Meeting Between CPPDA, Delegation Held

There were no firm commitments made during yesterday's meeting between members of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority and members of the Western Maryland delegation to the General Assembly. However, the delegation would support the pursuit of funding efforts from the state and other potential sources. Canal Place is expected to face deficits of as much as $125,000 by Fiscal Year 2015. The state has spent more than $22 million on the tourism center, since it was established in the mid-1990's. Until recently, Canal Place had been the beneficiary of the county's hotel/motel tax, despite an agreement that expired several years ago.


Murder Suspect Viewed in 2010 Death

Stephen Schleuniger, who is accused of the murder of Lisa Simmons of Cumberland, is also being viewed in connection with the 2010 death of a Hagerstown woman, Tammy Myerly. A spokesman for the Hagerstown Police Department says that investigation remains open and active, in light of the Cumberland case. Schleuniger was arrested Tuesday in Berkeley County, West Virginia, in connection with the disappearance of Ms. Simmons. Her body has not been found, but police found enough evidence to charge him.


Union Sues City

The International Association of Firefighters, Local 1715, has filed suit against the city over contract negotiations. Cumberland and the union have not been able to reach an agreement on several issues, including the city's wish to make a change in health care coverage for employees. The purpose of the suit is to force the city into mediation, due to the impasse.


Keyser Man Arrested After Chase

Twenty-four year old Keyser resident James Simone, who was originally accused of shoplifting, was also cited for having 1.3 grams of marijuana. Simone allegedly took some items from the CVS Pharmacy in downtown Keyser; when police questioned him about the theft, he was found to be carrying 1.3 grams of marijuana. Simone was cited and released.


Cancer Fundraising Booklets Stolen in Somerset

The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating an incident where 200 fundraising booklets for a 4-year old cancer patient, were stolen. Rory Auman of Somerset has an aggressive form of kidney cancer. The booklets were taken from the Somerset Sheetz store, sold, and the money was never given to the family, which was unaware of the fundraiser. Anyone who may have purchased one of the booklets is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-445-4104.


Man Accused of Violating Protection Order

A Cumberland man was served with a summons, charging he allegedly violated a protective order, originally filed in Pennsylvania. Forty-one year old Wayne Simms is accused of following a woman, who had a protective order against him,  on Virginia Avenue. She filed charges in District Court. He was issued the citation and released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.


Mineral County Looking to Refurbish Tennis Courts

There are three Mineral County tennis courts that are in need of repair and/or resurfacing. The board of education there is moving to seek bids for the work at Frankfort High School, Keyser Primary-Middle School and at the South End Park in Keyser. The courts are used for instruction and matches in the county. At least three bids will be received before a decision is made. The tennis court issue is on the agenda for the next board meeting on October 15th at 6 p.m.


MCTC Inmate Hangs Self in Cell

An unidentified inmate, serving a life sentence for murder at the Maryland Correctional Training Center has hanged himself in his cell. Despite life-saving efforts by five correctional officers, and subsequent treatment from medical personnel, the inmate passed away. Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman Mark Vernarelli says the department has tried to reduce the number of suicides among inmates. There were 16 incidents in 2007; that number was reduced to five in 2012.


Health Website Experiencing Delays

The Maryland Health Connection website for federal healthcare exchanges went "live" ealier this week and almost immediately experienced problems. The Health Connection website, in a message to visitors, noted a connectivity issue, even though several of the other links were working.


Maryland Begins Cyber-Bullying Pilot Program

The state of Maryland has become the only state in the country, where educators will have access to a special channel on Facebook, to contact Facebook officials to remove posts that amount to cyberbullying of students. Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler says the Educator Escalation Channel will provide educators with a direct connection to Facebook to prevent bullying. Gansler says bullying may be subjective; what may be bullying to one, may not be to another.  Many young people, however, are exploring other social media, because their parents are on Facebook.


West Virginia Third Grade Reading Levels Below Average

Slightly more than seven in ten children can't read proficiently by the end of the third grade in West Virginia schools, and the West Virginia KIDS COUNT organization says the odds are slim they'll ever catch up. Seventy-three per cent of children is five percentage points worse than the national average. The highest proficiency levels were in Clay and Putnam counties, where more than 60 per cent of the children were reading at grade. Only six counties had rates of 50 per cent or higher; in 18 counties, fewer than 40 per cent of the fourth graders were proficient. Among the worst-performing counties were Hardy and Grant, where fewer than 3 in 10 students could read at grade level.


W. Va. Revenue Collections Off By $2 Million

State tax collections were off by two million dollars in West Virginia for the month of September. The state brought in $406 million during that period. Estimates have been off by a total of $34 million for the first quarter of FY '14. Revenues are expected to improve in the months to come, and there are signs of an improving economy according to State Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow.  The coal industry continues to struggle, but the rate of decline in production has slowed. Exports of metallurgical coal are also down.

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