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Outage Affects Over 1800 Customers


A transformer fire at Potomac Edison's  Corriganville substation left over 1800 customers without electrical power yesterday morning. The outage was concentrated to about 800 customers in the North End of Cumberland, but there were also reports in Ellerslie, Mount Savage, Corriganville, LaVale, and a handful in Barton and Frostburg. The fire was reported around 6 a.m., and soon after, warming centers were set up at the Mount Savage Volunteer Fire Department, Cash Valley Elementary School, and Braddock Middle School.



Burlington Man Charged in Home Invasions


Twenty-five year old Burlington, West Virginia resident Gary Dale Hamilton has been charged in two home invasions this past weekend in the Watercliffe Street area of Lonaconing. Hamilton, who had been held on drug charges, is being held on $20,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. Sheriff Craig Robertson said he obtained information on the robberies from residents of the area from a Facebook account; from that, a suspect was developed. Officers found evidence in Hamilton's backpack, that linked him to the crimes.



Layoffs Reported at Potomac Center


Nearly half of the employees at the Potomac Center in Romney have been laid off because of the recent investigation into sexual and other abuses against children. Low-level employee suspensions and terminations have taken place as well. Fifty people were laid off Friday, and the rest of the staff was cut to 32 hours, or a 20 per cent reduction in pay. The removal of the children has affected Medicaid payments, which were terminated when the children were removed from the three buildings. Hampshire County Prosecuting Attorney Dan James says the Department of Health and Human Resources, the West Virginia State Police and child advocacy centers across the state are working on the case.



Ex-Officio Bill Introduced


Maryland State Senator George Edwards has introduced a bill in the Senate to abolish the position of ex-officio member of the Allegany and Garrett County Boards of Education. The District One delegation has introduced a similar bill in the House. The county commissioners and members of the Board of Education agree with the bill, and if abolished, would eliminate a major source of tension between the two bodies.



Love's To Open in the Fall


Love's Travel Center will be opening in the fall at its Ali Ghan road location. The center will employ about 60 people. This will be the first location for Love's in the state of Maryland. The facility will include both a Subway and McDonald's restaurant. It is about 10,000 square feet, and will include seven diesel lanes and eight gasoline islands.



Summons Served on Cumberland Woman


Cumberland City Police have served a criminal summons on 36-year old Tabitha Yonker on obstructing and hindering charges, as well has harboring and fleeing felon. She became a suspect in the case, for allegedly misleading police officers as they tried to locate a fugitive. The suspect was located and arrested in her residence last week. Ms. Yonker was served with the summons and was released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.



Catholic Schools Week Celebrated


Bishop Walsh School in Cumberland and the St. Michael's Early Childhood Center in Frostburg have been holding events to celebrate Catholic Schools Week. Bishop Walsh will hold an open house tomorrow afternoon at 5:30 p.m. Today, St. Michael's holds its event on Main Street. Local Catholic School week will culminate with a liturgical Mass on Friday at 10 a.m. at the BW gymnasium, followed by a ribbon cutting of the school's newly renovated locker rooms, along with the new biology and chemistry labs at 12 noon. The public is invited to attend these events.



Keyser Will Continue To Add Fluoride


The city of Keyser has dropped plans to eliminate fluoride from its municipal water supply. The idea had been proposed, as a cost saving measure, but the savings would be only about $8500, or less than one per cent of the plants annual budget of over a million dollars. And, it wouldn't have resulted in a reduction of citizen's water bills. Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower thanked residents for their response, and noted it was the goal of the Mayor and Council to weigh public opinion on the issue.



Deadly Heroin Making Its Way Across Western Pennsylvania


Days after Garrett County Sheriff Rob Corley warned area residents about the dangers of a deadly type of heroin in Western Pennsylvania, health officials have reported that more than a dozen people fatally overdosed on it in just one week in the Pittsburgh area. The deadly strain, laced with fentanyl, is sold under various names, such as "Theraflu," "Bud Ice," and "Income Tax." Pennsylvania officials are working to warn other communities about the drugs and get them off the streets.



Postage Prices Rise


The price of a postage stamp has risen to 49-cents, and that is a ten cent increase in the past decade. The United States Postal Service says it has to keep up with rising costs and dwindling business. The hike will translate in to about two billion dollars in annual revenue for the Postal Service, which has experienced what a spokesperson called a "challenging" last few years.



"Bridge" Health Exchange Bill Passes


The Maryland Senate has approved legislation, providing temporary health insurance for those who could not get it due to technical problems with the state's website. To date, only about 450 people have signed up for the retroactive coverage. Senate President Thomas "Mike" Miller acknowledges that government makes mistakes, just like people do. In commenting on what some consider an "expensive solution" to a problem, Miller says it's only expensive if the state cannot get enough people to sign up. Miller says the state is doing what it can to make sure everyone who wants insurance, will get it.



Maryland One of 10 "Worst States for Taxes"


The state of Maryland has made the unenviable "Top 10 Worst States for Taxes," according to The Fiscal Times. The top state income tax rate is 5.75 per cent, and made the list, due to its relatively high taxes across the board. The article also notes that the state is considering a proposal that would lower the corporate income tax rate in the next five years from 8.25 per cent to 6 percent, bringing it in line with neighboring Virginia. The number one state for taxes? New York, with an 8.82 per cent income tax rate, and per capita property taxes of over $2300.

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