Man Indicted in Child's Death
A Hampshire County grand jury has indicted Cody Orndorff of Green Spring. He is suspected of killing his girlfriend's child, 18-month old Leah Barnes, last October. Orndorff was charged with a count of death of a child by a custodian, involving child abuse and five more counts of child abuse resulting in injury. The grand jury formally indicted 25 people, with charges ranging from drug counts, sex-related crimes, sexual assault and distributing obscene material to a minor.
Damage Assessment Underway in Piedmont
Several houses on Second Street and a business on Childs Avenue, in what is considered the heart of Piedmont, West Virginia, were destroyed overnight Thursday. Two firefighters were treated at Potomac Valley Hospital. Thirteen residents were displaced by the fire. The library there sustained smoke and water damage, and the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
Three Positions Open on Mayor and Council
With a little over a month away until the filing deadline, only Mayor Brian Grim and Council member David Kauffman have announced their intentions to seek re-election. Councilman Nick Scarpelli announced his intention to the run for the House of Delegates seat being vacated by Delegate LeRoy Myers. The council seats of members Nicole Wagoner and Dave Caporale will be open in 2016. The deadline to file for this year's election is February 25th.
Canal Place to be Discussed
In a letter to Delegate Kevin Kelly, Senator George Edwards has promised a face-to-face meeting with all those involved with Canal Place. And now, that meeting has been set for Wednesday in Annapolis. Representatives from the City of Cumberland, Allegany County, Canal Place and the media will be on hand for the meeting. Delegate Kelly says his position is to be "transparent" on the issue and will insist the media be present. Kelly says he would like to see Canal Place directly under the jurisdiction of elected officials, who will be accountable to the taxpayers. if that happens and if they (the taxpayers) are not satisfied, they have the option of changing their elected officials. Delegate Kelly says he would like to see "all-around accountability" for Canal Place.
Vandals Deface Veteran's Memorial
Vandals have defaced the Veteran's Memorial on South Centre Street. A visitor there reported to police that a person or persons had spray painted a curse word on the memorial. There are no suspects or witnesses at this time, and it is not known how much it will cost to restore the memorial to its original condition, and anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.
Second Marking Period Extended
The Allegany County Public School System will extend the end of the second marking period for the school year, as the result of losing four instructional days due to bad weather. The end of the second marking period will be on Thursday, January 23rd, with a three hour early dismissal for students on Friday, January 24th. This Friday will now be a full day for students. Report card distribution will now be delayed until Monday, February 3rd. Schools will be closed for parent conferences on Thursday, February 6th, as originally scheduled.
50th Anniversary of B-52 Crash
Today is the 50th anniversary of the B-52 crash near Grantsville. The aircraft, armed with two nuclear bombs, was brought down by bad weather on Big Savage Mountain. Three of five crew members died, and two others survived the crash, but are now deceased. It took several days for the Air Force to recover the bombs and remove them from the crash site. Gerald Beachy, of the Grantsville Community Museum, is organizing a 50th anniversary memorial service on July 12th, when summer weather will make it easier for people to visit the sites.
Thousands of Gallons of Milk Spill in Bedford
A truck, carrying over 6,000 gallons of milk, crashed on Covered Bridge Road in Bedford County, spilling about 4,000 gallons of its payload. Some officials fear the milk could have an impact on the local wildlife population. The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital to be checked out, and Pennsylvania State Police continue to investigate the crash.
Potomac Edison Completes Local Upgrades
Potomac Edison has completed scheduled reliability projects designed to further enhance the electrical system and reliability in its Western Maryland and its Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia service areas. One of those projects involved replacing equipment at the Ridgeley substation, to help ensure reliability for 13,000 customers in Allegany County. The project also involved the inspection of 37,000 utility poles and the replacement of 250 poles, at a cost of about $2 million, in its service area.
Cases Could Go Before Law Judge
If some type of settlement is not reached this week, the meter-reading case involving Potomac Edison could go before a public utility law judge. Complaints involve some Western Maryland customers, who say they were being over billed, because the utility failed to read their meters as often as required by law. A formal settlement on the case was offered to P.E. on November 15th, and a written response was to have been provided by mid-December. For its part, FirstEnergy Corporation, parent company of Potomac Edison, acknowledged it missed some readings, but maintains its readings were fair.