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Local News

Home Destroyed by Fire in Garrett County

A Garrett County home with a value of nearly $400,000, was destroyed by fire early yesterday morning. Owned by Annalea Catulle, the fire was caused by the accidental discarding of ashes from a wood stove, outside of the home, which was located on Eden's Ridge Road in Oakland. The structure itself was valued at $270,000 and the contents, at $125,000. The family is assisted by the American Red Cross.


Closure in Smoke Hole Fire Zone

The United States Forest Service has closed an area around the Smoke Hole Fire, which is still burning in the Potomac Highlands area of West Virginia. The fire has been burning since Sunday, and the latest action was taken to ensure the safety of the public and firefighters battling the blaze. The closure order is in effect for up to 120 days, unless it is lifted by the Forest Supervisor.


Board To Apply For Funding

The Allegany County Board of Education is applying for, and hoping to receive, nearly $15 million in "Race To The Top" funding from the federal government. The Board announced this week it would apply for its portion, which makes funds available to eligible states. The board has several projects in mind for the funding, including extending broadband access to seven schools, and upgrading middle school science labs, equipment and technology.


Man Convicted on Felony Sex Charges

A Delray, West Virginia man, Harry Wright, Jr., has pleaded guilty in Hampshire County Circuit Court, to eight counts of sexual abuse involving a minor. Six other charges, which would have meant larger sentences, were dismissed without prejudice. All of the charges were felonies. Wright will be sentenced after a complete diagnostic and mental examination, which is expected to be finished early next year.


Police Investigate City Burglary

The Cumberland City Police are investigating a burglary in the 200 block of Cumberland Street, that happened sometime between October 31st and November 7th. A person or persons entered the home through an unlocked front door, and stole two bottles of prescription medication, and about $60 in coins. Anyone with information should contact City Police or the Allegany/Mineral County CrimeSolvers group.


Man Issued Citation in Hit and Run

Cumberland resident James Frazier was cited by Cumberland City Police earlier this week, after he allegedly hit a parked vehicle in the parking lot of the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Frazier hit the car as he backed out of a parking space, and is accused of leaving the area without making notification of the incident. He was found at his home, and issued a traffic citation. He was released, pending trial in Allegany County District Court.


WMHS Opens Center for Clinical Resources

The Western Maryland Health System has opened its Center for Clinical Resources, which offers support services that can help control patients' symptoms, so they can live life to the fullest. The Center will help patients manage their diabetes, heart failure, respiratory issues and anticoagulation medications. The new Center for Clinical Resources is located in Suite 300 of the Western Maryland Medical Arts Center. For more information, patients can speak with their primary care provider, or call 240-964-8787.


Commissioners Discuss MCDA Resignations

At least two former members of the Mineral County Development Authority-Steven Davis and Robert Cole-say the authority's lack of interest in better broadband communications was the main reason for their resignations. The Commissioners and authority member Jerry Whisner says the issue of improved broadband communication is being pursued but not at the price level that had once been proposed. The authority will meet again on Tuesday.


Toys For Happiness Sets Fundraisers

The Toys for Happiness campaign has several major fundraisers in the next two weeks. Jody Oliver, of the campaign, says there will be a spirit night at Roy Rogers' Restaurant this Thursday. There is a band bash at Woodchux Saturday, and of course, the Harvest Skate, which takes place the night before Thanksgiving at the Star-Lite Roller Rink on National Highway. Ms. Oliver says the wrapping area at the Country Club Mall will be open on Black Friday morning. On Friday, December 13th, there is the "Stuff The Truck" campaign at Ollie's parking lot in LaVale.


Changes Planned for Sheetz ATM Machines

Sheetz, Incorporated has announced it has reached an agreement with PNC Bank to provide in-store ATMs to more than 480 stores in six states, and the machines will be surcharge-free. The agreement includes more than 40 machines with DepositEasySM capabilities-offered by PNC-that allow customers to cash checks and deposit cash or checks without an envelope at any time. The ATMs will be installed during January and February of next year.


Additional Money Committed to Energy Initiative

FirstEnergy Corporation has announced it will invest an additional $2.8 billion over four years to expand its previously announced "Energizing the Future" transmission initiative. The main focus of the initial construction effort will be transmission power lines and substations in the Ohio and Penn Power areas. Work on the new "Energizing the Future" projects will begin next year and continue through 2017. The projects are designed to increase FirstEnergy's load serving capability in areas where future economic growth is anticipated.


Aide Convicted of Some Sexual Abuse Counts

A former aide at the Maryland School for the Deaf has been convicted of several counts of sexually abusing two of seven middle school girls who said he touched them inappropriately over a three year program. Clarence Taylor III was convicted of one count of child sexual abuse, but was unable to reach a verdict on four other counts. A retrial on those charges has been set for May 12th. He faces up to 50 years in prison at his sentencing on January 31st.


WVU Begins Search for  President

West Virginia University has begun the search for both an interim president and a permanent one. James Clements was named the 15th president of Clemson University this week. The Board of Governors will look for someone to advance the goals and have the same vision as Clements. WVU will undergo a reaccreditation process next year, with the last accreditation in 2003-2004.     

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