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School Boards Ask for Financial Relief

The Allegany and Garrett County Boards of Education are asking members of the Western Maryland Delegation to the General Assembly for financial help, due to the loss of revenues in the state wealth formula and a declining student enrollment. The delegation has been able to help stem the losses, but it can't fund the entire loss of revenue from the counties.

 

Keyser May Pursue Condemnation Proceedings

To get started on a water system improvement project, the city of Keyser may begin condemnation proceedings against hold-out properties. Keyser hopes to begin work on the $5 million project in the spring, and it still needs 14 easements, but about ten fewer than it needs before work can begin. The easements would allow the city to enter private property to install or replace existing lines, or to perform other maintenance procedures in the future.

 

Frostburg Man Charged

Frostburg resident Harold Nicol was arrested, after a complaint was filed about three people looking inside of vehicles on Washington Street early Sunday afternoon. Nicol had a loaded nine-shot revolver in his waistband, and police discovered that he had a protective order that prohibited him from having a gun. He faces a number of related charges, and was held on $7500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Berlin Couple Found Dead

A Berlin, Pennsylvania couple was found dead in their home on Shanksville Road early yesterday afternoon. The bodies of 59-year old Karen Louise Harkcom and 57-year old Michael David Harkcom were found shortly after noon. Police say there is no danger to the public and further details were not available.

 

DNR Announces Survey Results

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently released the results of a survey regarding deer hunters and landowners in Western Maryland. The purpose was to gauge support for instituting mandatory antler restrictions for deer hunting in Allegany and Garrett counties, as well as assess awareness of venison donation programs in the region. The survey found support for antler restrictions, and substantial support for hunters and landowners for voluntary quality deer management, versus antler restrictions. Most respondents say they would participate in venison donation programs if they were located closer to their homes or hunting locations.

 

Washington County Authorities Search for Teen

The Washington County Sheriff's Office is continuing its search for a missing16-year old girl. Tabitha Wilson was last seen Thursday morning in Boonsboro, when she failed to return home from school. She is described as being about 5-feet tall, weighing about 115 pounds. She has hazel eyes and red hair, and was last seen wearing a grey sweatshirt with a blue design on it. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

 

Washington County Improving School Security

Washington County is improving security to the entrances to 15 of its public schools. About $852,000 has been budgeted for the improvements; design work was awarded to a Frederick firm, at a cost of $69,555. While some of the improvements may begin late this school year, but most of the work will be done over the summer break of 2014.

 

Homestead Tax Credit Deadline December 30th

Over a million Maryland residents have applied for the Homestead Tax Credit, in advance of a December 30th deadline. Those who do not submit applications by that date will lose their shot at the break for the 2014 tax year. The credit is designed to keep property taxes on homeowner-occupied residences from increasing more than 10 per cent each year. If you applied after 2007, you don't need to resubmit an application.

 

Holidays Can Break Maryland Family Food Budgets

The upcoming holiday break means no school for the kids, and for some, it may mean fewer meals. Molly McCloskey, director of the Maryland "No Kid Hungry" campaign, explains that families can't always stretch their food budgets to provide more weekday meals-let alone put aside a special Christmas dinner on the table. She says 270,000 Maryland children depend on SNAP food assistance, and those benefits were reduced last month. McCloskey adds that Marylanders are known for their generosity, and it's helpful to remember that hunger isn't a seasonal problem.

Blitz Results in Over 50 Sex Offender Arrests

A four-day law enforcement operation, aimed at verifying compliance of registered sex offenders resulted in over 50 arrests. Fifty-four of 317 registered sex offenders in West Virginia were not in compliance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. The initiative, termed "Operation Lump of Coal," was conducted in five West Virginia counties; a similar operation, in August, found 10 out of 209 registered sex offenders out of compliance.

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