Minimum Wage Debated in Annapolis
Governor Martin O'Malley wants to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by July of 2016, and also wants to tie future increases to the federal cost of living index. House Economic Matters Committee Chairman Derrick Davis says there are strong feelings on both sides of the issue. Senate President Thomas "Mike" Miller believes the Governor's figure of $10.10 per hour is too high. Davis says he is not a big fan of the various minimum wage proposals; he says it can lead to a competitive disadvantage situation. There are still several weeks left in the General Assembly session, and a vote on the issue is not imminent.
Future of Canal Place To Be Discussed
Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay has come up with the draft of a plan for the future of Canal Place, which includes the abolition of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, and the creation of a smaller board. That would include representatives of both the city and county. McKay's plan would also have the state continue to own the property, but allow the city to manage and market the shops and the festival grounds. The Authority is scheduled to meet today.
Two Injured in Garrett County Collision
A two-vehicle collision on New Germany Road sent two people to the Western Maryland Health System early yesterday morning. Baltimore resident Todd Wyche was northbound, when he lost control of the car, and hit a Chevy Silverado, operated by Merrill Bittinger of Grantsville. Wyche and a passenger, Usha Tyson of Baltimore were taken to the hospital; Bittinger was not injured in the collision.
Crews Battle Midland Fire
There were no injuries, but a home on Old Dan's Rock Road suffered serious damage in Sunday afternoon's fire. A dozen crews arrived on the scene, and Allegany County road crews were also there to treat snow and ice-covered roads. No injuries were reported, and the fire broke out shortly after 3:30 p.m. The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause.
Maryland Crews Respond to Morgan County Fire
A number of crews from Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania responded to a house fire in Morgan County, West Virginia Sunday evening. The home on Willey Lane sustained heavy damage. There were no injuries, but it is believed some pets perished in the fire.
Man Involved in Single-Vehicle Crash
Fifty-eight year old Frostburg resident Clyde Michael was apparently uninjured in a single-vehicle accident early Sunday morning. Michael's vehicle ran off the travel portion of eastbound Interstate 68, just east of the Route 220 on-ramp. The car landed on its roof. Michael was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for further evaluation. Eastbound Interstate 68 was shut down for about 45 minutes following the crash.
Man Dies While Fleeing Authorities
A man who had been wanted by authorities for failure to appear, jumped into the Big Coal River and died this past weekend. He has been identified as 43-year old James Alfred King III of Charleston, and deputies were attempting to arrest him for failure to appear on methamphetamine charges. He was also wanted on felony charges in Virginia. Another man who was with King also jumped into the river, but was arrested.
Pseudoephedrine Bill Considered in Charleston
A bill that would require a doctor's prescription for cold medications containing pseudoephedrine is being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee in West Virginia. "Pseudo" is the main ingredient in methamphetamine, and lawmakers are trying to reduce meth manufacturing in the state. Sales of medications, containing pseudoephedrine are limited and tracked in the Mountain State; a complaint of many residents is that they don't want to go through the process of getting prescriptions for medication they can now buy over the counter.
Teacher Raise Being Proposed
The West Virginia Senate's Education Committee is proposing a $1,000 pay raise for all teachers across the state. The goal of the bill is to attract highly qualified teachers to West Virginia. Another aspect of the legislation would increase the minimum salary for entry-level teachers to $43,000 by 2019. The bill has passed to the Finance Committee.