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Local News

Schleuniger Sentenced in Simmons Murder

Steven Schleuniger who pleaded guilty to the 2nd-degree murder of Lisa Simmons of Cumberland, was sentenced in Allegany County Circuit Court yesterday. Judge Timothy Finan sentenced Schleuniger to the maximum of 30 years in prison, without the possibility of parole. Schleuniger was allowed to plead guilty to 2nd- degree murder in exchange for cooperating with investigators by confessing to the murder of Lisa Simmons and showing them where he had buried the her body in Winchester, Virginia. Schleuniger also admitted to the July, 2010 murder of Tammy Myerly of Hagerstown; because of the plea agreement, Schleuniger will not be prosecuted in that case.


Zello Found Incompetent to Stand Trial

Finan Center patient Craig Harris Zello, who attacked a male nurse there last October has been found incompetent to stand trial in the case. He had been charged with attempted first-degree murder, and other counts, when he allegedly stabbed the nurse in the back of the head with a 7-inch galvanized metal spike. The victim was treated and released at the hospital following the incident.


Issues Discussed During Delegation Meeting

Several local issues of importance were discussed during a legislative meeting, held yesterday in Annapolis. During a conference call with the media, members discussed raising the speed limit on Interstate 68 to 70 miles-per-hour; bond funding for the Allegany County Animal Shelter and Friends Aware was also discussed. Delegate Wendell Beitzel also discussed increasing highway user funding for this area of the state. The delegation will meet today with all interested parties, to discuss the future of Canal Place and the Development Authority.


Burglary Suspect Turns Self In

A woman who was wanted in connection with a home burglary last Sunday, has turned herself into authorities. Forty-four year old Angela Lloyd of Westernport is accused of stealing about $32,000 in vintage coins from a Keyser residence. Police are still searching for former Keyser resident Robert Casto, who also has an arrest warrant for the June 17th burglary. Casto's name is now in the FBI's National Crime Information Center, which will alert any law enforcement officer to the outstanding warrant.


Traffic Disruption Possible Thursday

Traffic on Interstate 68 Eastbound, between LaVale and Cumberland and on Route 51 (Industrial Boulevard) from Lamont Street to Interstate 68 will be disrupted tomorrow evening, between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Local crews will be moving a large piece of equipment in the area. Drivers are asked to avoid those areas, if possible; otherwise, expect delays during those hours.


Woman Enters Probation Program

Meyersdale resident Angela Hutzell has been accepted into a first-time offenders probation program, after investigators say she helped her boyfriend, Michael Moore, move the body of 53-year old Frankie Sass' body out of her apartment and across Somerset in January of last year. Sass died of a drug overdose. Ms. Hutzell can have her record expunged, if she completes on year of probation. Moore is currently serving 10 months to 2 years in prison, after pleading guilty to the abuse of a course last April.


Traffic Proposals Won't Happen In Mineral County

Mineral County residents received some bad news during their day at the Legislature in Charleston, when they were informed three proposed traffic projects won't happen. Requests included a traffic light, at Fort Avenue and South Mineral Street, primarily for Potomac State College students, who would cross Fort Avenue to get to campus. The second denial came when a traffic signal placement was requested at Route 220 and Stoney Run Road. And the third would have provided a left turn arrow from Southern Drive onto Route 220.


Planned Power Outage for Hardy County Area

Potomac Edison has scheduled an electric service interruption for part of Hardy County on Tuesday, January 28th. The interruption will be from 9 to noon, and will affect about 2300 customers in the vicinity of Baker, Mathias, and Lost River. Specifically, the affected region will be the area from south of Baker to the Virginia state border, along the Route 259 border and the surrounding areas. It will be rescheduled for Tuesday, February 4th, in case of bad weather. Potomac Edison, while regretting the inconvenience, says it is necessary to ensure service reliability in the area. 


Hall of Fame Ceremony Rescheduled

The "We Are Fort Hill" Hall of Fame induction ceremony and luncheon, scheduled for Friday, January 24th has been changed from 12 to 12:30 p.m. to accommodate the now three hour early dismissal that day. Attendees are asked not to arrive prior to noon, so as not to interfere with school dismissal and bus traffic.


O'Malley Wants Minimum Wage Increase

Governor Martin O'Malley has come up with a figure for Maryland's minimum wage-$10 per hour, as compared to the present rate of $7.25. While Montgomery and Prince George's counties have already raised the minimum wage, Governor O'Malley would like to see the increase across the board in Maryland. And while he says this is the biggest issue of his final General Assembly session as Governor, O'Malley may see some opposition from business and restaurant owners, who say an increase could actually harm those it seeks to help by forcing employers to cut staff or hours, or even close down.


First Full Week of General Assembly

This is the first full week of the General Assembly session, and on the agenda is final approval of emergency legislation, submitted by the Governor to address those who couldn't get health insurance through the state's health benefit exchange website. Senate President Thomas "Mike" Miller says he would like to make the sessions more productive, and to balance the work load more evenly during the session. Miller says he had encouraged lawmakers to pre-file bills before the session began. Miller says that, traditionally, most of the major bills don't pass until the last day of the session.


Winchester Makes Top 10 Retirement List

Winchester, Virginia has been rated as on the top ten places to retire, according to AARP.  An article notes its proximity to Washington, D.C., and the fact that it offers below-average cost of living, and access to job training, for retirees who want to remain, at least partially, in the work force. The article also offers recreational opportunities and historic attractions.


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