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Local News

Two Arrested in November Burglary

Thirty-year old Harold Nichol and 32-year old Derrick James Swick, both of Frostburg have been arrested in connection with the breaking and entering and theft of about $20,000 worth of items from a Vale Summit residence last November 21st. Jewelry, a laptop, electronic items, firearms and other property was taken. Nicol was arrested in mid-December on unrelated charges, and he had one of the stolen guns. He is being held on total bonds of $71,000, pending his next court appearance. Swick was also developed as a suspect, and a warrant was executed at his residence on Pompey Smash Road in Vale Summit Wednesday. He is being held on $200,000 bond, pending his next court appearance. The investigation is continuing by the Maryland State Police and C3I unit.


Bank Robbery Suspect Indicted

Frostburg resident Jeremiah Seib has been indicted by the Mineral County grand jury for the robbery of First People's Community Federal Credit Union in Short Gap last September. Seib is currently jailed at the Potomac Highlands Regional facility. After the robbery, he walked into the Frostburg Police Department to admit to the robbery. On his transport to  Allegany County District Court, he tried to escape, but was recaptured by Frostburg Police officers.


Keyser Outage Affects Over 3,000 Residents

A power outage in Keyser affected about 3300 residents yesterday. The outage occurred around 8:30 and power was restored to everyone around 3:30 yesterday afternoon. The outage is being attributed to the extreme cold snap in the area. The Cumberland area experienced a widespread outage on Tuesday, due to a fire at the Corriganville substation. About 1800 residents were without power during the day on Tuesday.


Sideling Hill Bill Filed

After meetings with residents, Delegate LeRoy Myers has filed a bill in the House that would prohibit the use of off-road recreational vehicles in the Sideling Hill Wildlife Management area, and on state-owned property there. State Senator George Edwards has cross-filed the same legislation in the Senate. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources had wanted to allow off-road trails in Sideling Hill, but met with opposition from residents of the area. Concerns included noise pollution and other possible negative environmental impacts.


Topper Wins Special Election

Bedford minister Jesse Topper won this week's special election in the 78th Legislative District. The election was held to fill the seat of  longtime Representative Dick Hess, who passed away last year. In unofficial results, Topper received 4,269 votes to Democrat Barbara Barron's 925 tallies. Topper, a Republican Party officer in Bedford, will fill the remaining 10 months of Hess' term. The district boundaries will change in the November general election, with portions of Bedford and Huntingdon counties being exchanged for part of Franklin County.


Man Arrested on Assault Complaint

Cumberland resident Gary Smith is being held on $3,000 bond, following an incident in the 300-block of Pennsylvania Avenue in South Cumberland Wednesday evening. A woman had complained that she had been grabbed by Smith, but officers didn't see any injuries. Smith was escorted back to his apartment, and told not to have any contact with the victim. About an hour later, Smith returned to the woman's apartment. He was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, failure to obey, and disturbing the peace.


Mountain Ridge, Fort Hill Designated "STEM" Schools

Mountain Ridge and Fort Hill High Schools have been identified as Maryland Business Roundtable for Education "STEM" schools. Mia Perlozzo Cross, public information officer for the Allegany County Board of Education, says the schools are two of 49 in the state to receive that designation, and will be supported through the use of "STEMnet." A STEM Innovation School means that it will have access to hundreds of trained workplace volunteers who will co-teach STEM lessons, and motivate students to achieve, and to address real-world challenges posed by industry professionals for students to participate in proposing solutions to those challenges.


Hydrant Repair Slated

The Allegany County Department of Public Works will replace a fire hydrant on Piney Mountain Road, off of old Route 40 between LaVale and Frostburg on Tuesday. Water service to Piney Mountain Road and all side streets will be shut down, beginning at 9 a.m. The work should be completed by afternoon, and public water service will be restored at that time. Customers may experience some discoloration of water, but the Utilities Division will take measures to limit the discoloration.


House Allowed to Burn in Somerset County

A more than 100-year old farmhouse in Somerset County was allowed to burn, instead of trying to save the building. After several hours of trying to get the fire under control, it became clear to firefighters that it couldn't be saved, and was allowed to burn out. Firefighters encountered several problems including frigid temperatures and nearby frozen ponds, which couldn't be used to extinguish the blaze. Buses were also on the scene to help keep the firefighters warm, as temperatures hovered near zero.


Beretta Announces Facility in Tennessee

Italian gun manufacturer Beretta says it is building a new manufacturing and research facility in Tennessee; the $45 million plant should create 300 new jobs. The company, which operates a facility in Prince George's County, raised some objections to a wide-ranging gun control measure enacted in Maryland last year. House Minority Leader Nic Kipke says he hopes the state will be able to retain jobs here in the state. Kipke says the announcement was not a surprise, as Maryland has a high tax rate for similar businesses, one of the highest on the East Coast. He says Tennessee's tax rate is two points lower than Maryland's. One problem, according to Kipke, is that although Beretta could manufacture guns here and ship them elsewhere, they can't sell them in Maryland.


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