Commissioners Approve Scholarship Program
The Allegany County Commissioners have approved a program that would provide more money for those wishing to attend Frostburg State University or Allegany College of Maryland. The money would be provided from revenues from slots at Rocky Gap. The agreement for the Allegany County Opportunity Scholarship fund is for five years, and the county would have no say in awarding the scholarships.
Keyser Primary Opening on January 8
The new Keyser Primary School will be open on January 8th. Students who will be attending the school will not have to return until then, because of the transition. The new school will have 31 full-sized classrooms, along with nine small instructional spaces for speech, special education and therapy/physical therapy, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
No Movement on Keyser Pre-K/Head Start Building
No action was taken on the Keyser Pre-K/Head Start building during this week's meeting of the Mineral County Board of Education. Gina Spriggs, director of the Catamount Children's Center, now located in the Grand Central Business Center, was looking to possibly relocate the center in the Head Start building. The Grand Central Business Center will be closing on December 31st.
Dollar Store Opening Next Summer
At least one new Dollar General Store will be opening in the summer of 2014. Although the Mount Savage Road location is on track, but the Allegany County Board of Zoning Appeals denied a request for a special exception for construction of a building at Nave's Crossroads. That area is currently zoned for general urban development.
Police Respond To Vehicle Tampering
Cumberland City Police are investigating several vehicle tampering incidents in the 400 and 500-block of Louisiana Avenue. Several victims told policea that an unknown person or persons had entered their vehicles, rummaging through the glove boxes and consoles, looking for valuables. There are no suspects, and police are asking residents to lock their vehicles and taken items of value into their residences, and to not leave them in plain view during the Holiday Season.
Brothers Sentenced in Fraud Case
Two brothers, William and Ronald Kuchera, have been sentenced to five years probation each, for defrauding the federal government through their Windber defense firm. Charges against them were felony counts. They paid about $4.6 million in court-ordered forfeitures and restitution to the federal government.
Website Not Without Faults
Maryland is currently addressing nine major issues with the health care exchange website, and hopes to have 260,000 residents enrolled by the end of March. The deadline to be enrolled by January 1st is next Friday. Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown says all options are open, in order to meet the goal of over a quarter million residents enrolled. Governor Martin O'Malley commented that although the site is functional, he acknowledges it is not glitch-free. The Governor says the hope is to sign up 4 to 5 per cent of the state's population. As far as the website is concerned, Governor O'Malley says problems were expected.
Committee Recommends Cap on Spending
The Maryland Spending Affordability Committee has recommended the state's budget spending be capped at four per cent growth for the next year. The panel has also recommended cutting the state's budget deficit by $125 million. The spending affordability process was initiated in 1982, but its recommendations are not binding on the Governor. Finally, the committee has recommended maintaining the state's Rainy Day Fund at 5 per cent of estimated revenue, or about $803 million for Fiscal Year 2015.
Unemployment Decreases in West Virginia
The West Virginia unemployment rate is nearly a full percentage point below the national average, fall to 6.1 per cent last month. Nationally, the rate was 7 per cent. The total number of West Virginians without a job fell 1400 in November to 48,200. Increases were seen in non-farm payroll jobs, goods-producing, mining and logging, and in the financial services sector.
West Virginians Warned of Scam
West Virginia residents are being warned of a phone scam. People, pretending to work for the IRS, has threatened a number of residents, threatening them with arrest or other punishment, if they don't pay a certain amount, using a pre-paid debit card or money order. They use common names and fake IRS badge numbers, but they know the last four digits of the victim's social security number. Anyone who believes they may have a tax issue should contact the IRS immediately.