Unemployment Rate Drops in November
The Maryland unemployment rate dropped from 6.7 per cent in October to 6.4 per cent in November; the state gained 8900 jobs last month. A combination of better job growth, coupled with the 2013 federal sequestration, caused an "open and down" year for jobs. A new federal budget deal from Congress could be a turning point for the state, with the expectation of a faster pace of job creation in the new year.
Police Investigate Jewelry Theft
The Cumberland City Police and C3I unit are investigating the theft of jewelry from a business in the 100-block of Virginia Avenue. The theft was reported on Sunday; several rings had been stolen from the business. A potential suspect has been identified, and is being sought for questioning. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600 or the Crime Solvers' hotline at (301)-722-4300.
Destruction of Property Reported
The Cumberland City Police Department is investigating a destruction of property incident at 758 Greene Street early Sunday morning. Officers saw that a store front window had been broken; however, there was no entry into the building. The damage is believed to have occurred around 4 a.m. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Police Department at (301)-777-1600.
Man Held Without Bond
Thirty-year old Cumberland resident David Lee Sines is being held without bail, following an incident on Sunday, where he allegedly tried to abduct two children from the grounds of an apartment complex on Oldtown Road. Sines was seen picking up two girls, ages 4 and 7. Witnesses yelled for him to leave the children, he ran. Sines was found a short distance away and placed under arrest. He was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and other sex offenses.
Funding Sought for Sewer Line Repair
The town is Meyersdale is looking for funding to replace some sewer lines along Beachley Street. Sewer plant operator Jeff McKenzie has identified one of the primary sources of sewer violations in the town. The Meyersdale Municipal Authority has authorized McKenzie and engineers from a local firm to look for funding for the repairs.
Attorney General Comments on Elections Ruling
Attorney General Doug Gansler, who is running for Governor, has responded to a State Board of Elections ruling, which allows candidates to raise money during the legislative session, even if they are on a ticket with someone who is barred from fundraising during the 90-day session. Gansler stressed that the ruling came from the State Board of Elections, and not from his office. Gansler questioned the ethics of the ruling, which in part, stated the Governor and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown are barred from raising money.
Bank Rejects Latest Takeover Bid
A $1.2 billion takeover bid by Men's Wearhouse has been rejected by Joseph A. Bank Clothiers, Incorporated. The board of directors at Bank, based in Hampstead, Maryland, says the proposed price undervalued the chain and was not in the best interest of its shareholders. If there would have been a merger of the two, it would have created a $3.5 billion retailer, with more than 1700 stores that experts say would better compete with department stores.
Labor Negotiations to Resume in 2014
Negotiations between the West Virginia University hospitals and the union representing more than 900 of its workers are scheduled to resume after the first of the year. The latest contract offer from Laborer's Union Local 814 was soundly rejected. Two issues causing concern are staffing and the fact that the union is not satisfied with a proposal to eliminate health insurance for union members who work 20 hours a week, starting in 2015. Negotiations will resume on January 6th.
Commission Approves New Betting Options
The West Virginia Lottery Commission has approved using electronic touch screens at the state's racetrack casinos as an option for betting on live table games. Electronic touch screen wagering on table games had been allowed, but the new option would allow players to bet from either the actual live table or from an electronic station. Table game revenues fell 36 per cent for the first five months of this fiscal year, and the innovations will hopefully help West Virginia casinos to compete with new and established gambling complexes in Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.