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Local News

Fire Displaces Family

A fire Wednesday afternoon displaced the Roy Payne family of Hazen Road. The cause of the fire was determined to be combustible materials, placed too closely to a desk lamp. There were no injuries, and total damage to the structure and contents was placed at $30,000.


Bus Involved in Minor Accident

An Allegany County school bus was involved in a minor accident yesterday morning. Bus #35 was leaving Mount Savage School, and was hit by a passenger vehicle. No students were aboard the bus at the time of the accident. No injuries were reported.


Total Loss for Buildings Involved in Fire

Two commercial storage buildings were declared a total loss, following a fire Wednesday evening. The buildings were owned by John Squires, and were located on Dixon Road in Friendsville. The fire is currently under investigation by the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office and the dollar loss was placed at $410,000. The fire reportedly spread from one building to the other, causing a total loss of both buildings.


First Baby of the New Year Arrives Wednesday Afternoon

The first baby of the New Year wasn't born until early Wednesday evening at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Jayce Sturtz arrived a month early and was just over four pounds at birth. The parents are Kim Kifer and Joshua Sturtz of Mount Savage. The baby was delivered by Dr. Dale Wolford.


Somerset Guard Sentenced for Smuggling

Former Somerset County Correctional Officer Donald Lynch, Jr., was sentenced to two to 23 months in the Somerset County Jail. Lynch was charged with smuggling contraband into the State Correctional Institution at Somerset. The jail term will be followed by two years of supervised probation. He will also be required to perform 100 hours of community service and pay a fine of $500.00.


Man Held on $10,000 Bond for Trespassing

Cumberland resident William Bernier is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $10,000 bail, after he was arrested at the Union Rescue Mission on New Year's Day. Bernier was allegedly creating a disturbance, and was asked to leave. He returned, and was arrested. He was charged with both trespassing and disorderly conduct.


Public Schools Launch Facebook Page, Twitter Account

The Allegany County Public School System recently launched a Facebook page, as well as a Twitter feed in an effort to enhance communication with parents, students and the community. Both social media platforms will feature announcements, information about upcoming events, ACPS highlights, as well as school closings and delays. The Facebook page can be accessed by visiting The Twitter address is ACPS_Supt.


Large Drug Bust In Hagerstown

Three Hagerstown residents are in jail, following a large drug bust in Washington County. Police say about $50,000 worth of drugs were found inside a home on Hamilton Boulevard. Both heroin and methamphetamine were found, along with several guns and $9,000 in cash. Arrested were 23-year old Breezy Jill Beckette, 26-year old Cody William Grant, and 25-year old Daniel Matthew Anderson. A warrant is out for 25-year old Benjamin Joseph Beckette. The investigation is ongoing.


Pennsylvania Doctor Wants New Trial

A Tyrone, Pennsylvania doctor, who was sentenced 10 years ago for sex and drug offenses with teenage boys wants a new trial. Attorney Joel Seelye says his client, former doctor Barry Bender, wants either a new trial or some type of remedy to his case, because part of his plea agreement contained a promise the prosecution would not oppose his parole. Bender's defense attorney says there is also newly discovered evidence, and that the court's should step in and review the case.


Slots Boost Horse Breeding Industry

There is evidence that slot machine revenue has helped boost the Maryland horse-breeding industry. There is a 13-per cent increase in Maryland-bred mares and a 23-per cent increase in new stallions for the 2014 breeding season. Josh Pons, owner of Country Life Farms says a campaign has been launched to announce the rebirth of the horse racing industry in the state. The campaign is entitled, "The Colts are back."A portion of slots revenue has been set aside for horse racing purses, and Pons that in its heyday, the racing industry had about 2,000 mares that would run at both Pimlico and Laurel. Pons admits that slots do detract from horse racing profits. There is a movement to several neighboring states, but the Free State can boast of several Kentucky Derby winners.


Woman To Be Sentenced In Severe Case of Neglect

Charleston, West Virginia resident Susan Nicole Adkins faces from one to five years for overdosing on drugs last July, while her 2-year old son was found in the back seat of her car. She was found guilty by a jury of child neglect, creating a substantial risk of injury or death. She had injected heroin, and passed out. Her defense attorneys had argued that while her conduct needed to be addressed, she parked her car in such a way that it would be found if something happened to her. She will be sentenced on February 7th.


Declining Population Becoming Problem For West Virginia

One of the biggest problems West Virginia is facing is the decline in population. Economist Dr. John Deskins of West Virginia University says there is a "ripple" effect when young people leave the state. Markets become smaller for businesses, and that makes them less inclined to move into the state. Businesses consequently have fewer workers. Both the Mountain State and Maine both lost population during the past year.

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