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Verso to Buy NewPage Corporation

Verso Paper Corporation and NewPage Holdings, Incorporated have announced an agreement, under which Verso will acquire NewPage in a $1.4 billion deal. The combined company will have sales of approximately $4.5 billion and 11 manufacturing facilities in six states. NewPage had previously declined a deal with Verso, while NewPage was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The deal should be finalized during the second quarter of the year.


County Opens Warming Center

If you are experiencing a power outage during the cold weather and high winds, Allegany County has opened a warming center at the multi-purpose building at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. The center will be open through tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. Residents are being encouraged to take precautions in preparation for the weather event. Potomac Edison customers should report any outages to the utility by calling 1-888-544-4877.


Sheriff To Conduct Sobriety Checkpoint

The Allegany County Sheriff's Department is conducting a sobriety checkpoint at an undisclosed location this week, to promote awareness and reduce the number of alcohol-impaired drivers on the roads. The checkpoint will be clearly marked with signs, lights and uniformed officers. The department conducts several checkpoints throughout the year, in addition to utilizing special enforcement details specifically targeting drunken, drugged, and distracted drivers. Last year, the Allegany County Sheriff's Office investigated 183 crashes resulting in 134 injuries and 3 fatalities.


Oakland Fire Under Investigation

A fire, just after noon on Sunday in Garrett County, is under investigation by the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. The blaze, at 5629 Gorman Road, was first reported by a passerby at the home of Allen and Jennifer Moreland. Damages were set at $30,000. It was brought under control in ten minutes by 30 volunteer firefighters from several Maryland and West Virginia companies.


Hangar Restaurant Sold

The Main Street Hangar in Frostburg  was recently purchased at auction by Vivian and Greg Diehl, owners of Diehl's Ford Sales in Grantsville. The restaurant may be renamed, but plans are for it to open later in the summer. The former owners, Thomas and Lillian Jacobs, bought the building in 2005. The primary structure was built in 1925.


Keyser Investigating Car Thefts

The Keyser City Police are investigating at least a half-dozen complaints of thefts from parked cars. Thefts were reported on South Main Street, "A" Street, West Piedmont Street, and St. Cloud Street. The cars were apparently all unlocked, but there have also been recent reports of actual break-ins of locked vehicles. Anyone with information is asked to contact Keyser City Police.


Man Arrested for Marijuana, Outstanding Warrant

A Keyser man was taken into custody Sunday, and charged with possession of marijuana and on an outstanding warrant from Washington County. Thirty-five year old Tyrone Miner was initially stopped for making an illegal turn on West Oldtown Road. A K-9 scan of the vehicle led to the discovery of a small quantity of marijuana. And, police found out Miner was wanted in Washington County on a failure to appear count. He was taken to the Allegany County Detention Center, where he was held.


Man Arrested for Theft

Cumberland resident David Painter was arrested by Cumberland City Police on a charge of theft from a Canal Street business. Painter, an employee of the business, was observed on video surveillance, taking an undetermined amount of currency from the business. He was charged with theft of less than $1,000 and was later released, pending trial in Allegany County District Court.


LaRue Re-Elected Mineral County Commission President

In her final year in office, Commissioner Janice LaRue was re-elected president of the board. She has reiterated she won't be seeking re-election to office. Also during the most recent commissioners' meeting, committee assignments for state and local boards were approved.


Shelter Urges Pet Welfare

This is the coldest weather we have experienced in Allegany County in the past two decades, and no pet in the community can be assumed to be safe outside, during the overnight hours during the next couple of days. If you need assistance with keeping a pet safe from the weather, please call the Allegany County Animal Shelter at (301)-777-5930, or call local emergency services at "911." This is a true emergency situation and local residents who own outdoor pets are expected to act accordingly.


Wages, Taxes to Dominate General Assembly

Some Western Maryland delegates believe that efforts to raise the minimum wage, and a possible reduction in the corporate income tax will dominate the 2014 session of the General Assembly, which begins tomorrow. However, outgoing Delegate LeRoy Myers says the session will be as "quiet and non-controversial as possible for both parties" An unsuccessful bill to raise the state's minimum wage to $10 per hour by 2015 was introduced last year. Delegate Michael Hough, from Washington County, says he will introduce a measure seeking term limits for legislators.


Martinsburg VAMC Prepares for Extreme Weather

The Martinsburg Veteran's Affairs Medical Center has taken action to deal with the anticipated record-breaking cold weather by activating "Operation Veterans Respite." Any Veteran and family members in need of shelter should call the National Homeless Hotline at 877-424-3838. It's estimated that on any given night, there are an estimated 100,000 veterans on the streets. For more information on Veteran Homelessness, visit the VA Homeless Veterans website at ""


General Assembly Opens Tomorrow

The 434th session of the Maryland General Assembly opens tomorrow, but don't expect much controversy, since the primary elections are only five months away. Senate President Mike Miller says he expects to hold hearings on the health benefits exchange website, which has experienced problems. Miller responded to claims that the Governor and Lieutenant Governor have mishandled the situation.Miller said last year's federal sequestration has had an effect on the state's efforts to reduce its deficit. He feels this is the "beginning of the end" of the recession. Miller says Maryland went into the recession slowly, and is expected to come out of it in the same fashion.


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