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Inmate Sentenced in Death

An inmate at the Western Correctional Institution has been convicted of the first-degree murder of a fellow inmate. Corgiss Ross was sentenced to life, consecutive to the 10-year sentence which brought him into the correctional system. Ross is accused of murdering cellmate Jerod Pridget in November of 2012. Pridget later died at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma center in Baltimore. The case was investigated by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit and the Maryland Department of public Safety and Correctional Services.

 

New School $6.2 Million Short

The new Allegany High School is $6 million over budget. The updated price estimate on the facility is now $42.3 million. While the proposed three-story school has a number of features, it was pointed out at the Board of Education meeting that not having an auditorium would save around three-million dollars, and removing a bay of classrooms would save over a million dollars. And, estimates on the demolition of the former Sacred Heart campus of the Western Maryland Health System would cost around $4 million. Board officials are hoping that all projected funding sources come through; however, that would still leave the project nearly $3 million short.

 

Canal Place Authority Supports State Recommendation

The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority is in support of a state recommendation that future plans for Canal Place be turned over to the state. Chairman Rick Thayer agreed that a recommendation from the Maryland Department of Legislative Services be supported. A state plan for Canal Place is expected to be completed by the end of the year. County Commission President Mike McKay recently presented a plan to abolish the Canal Place Authority, with management shared by both the city and county.

 

Fires Termed "Accidental" In Nature

Two recent fires in the region have been determined to be accidental in nature. Sunday afternoon's fire on Old Dan's Rock Road caused $200,000 in damage to the home and its contents. The fire originated inside the house, and it is considered a total loss. A fire, early Friday morning on Lower White Oak Drive in Swanton, was electrical in nature. Damage to the mobile home, owned by Steven Fike, was placed at $10,000. Smoke detectors in the structure were present, but not activated.

 

Authority Interviews Applicants

The Mineral County Development planned to interview applicants for the position of executive director. There are 16 prospective candidates, and the position has been open since the January 1st retirement of Mona Ridder. Interviews for the position were held in executive session at the authority office at 87 North Main Street in Keyser.

 

Piedmont Foreman to be Named

The town of Piedmont is expected to name a new foreman at its meeting next Wednesday. There are 10 applicants for the position, and that field was narrowed to five, who will be interviewed today. The new foreman will replace John Shingler, who was recently released from a federal penitentiary, after serving a sentenced for being convicted of felony embezzlement in connection with FEMA trailers.

 

Ridgeley Community Center to Open

The Ridgeley Community Center will be reopening, following an agreement reached yesterday evening. Town Council members have entered into an agreement with Lamar Smith to lease the center for 25 hours per week for $20 per hour. Smith is a captain in the town's volunteer fire department, and the center will be used for baseball and softball practice; there are also plans to start a volleyball league at the center.

 

Sanitary District Meeting Set

The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting regarding the upcoming sewer rehabilitation projects in the Braddock Run Sanitary District. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 4th at 7 p.m. The location is the Mountain Ridge High School cafeteria in Frostburg. All customers in the Sanitary District, residents of Frostburg, along with all interested citizens are invited and encouraged to attend the meeting.

 

Police Serve Numerous Warrants

The Cumberland City Police served a number of warrants yesterday, including one for Jeremy Austin Kesner of Fort Ashby. He was arrested for driving an uninsured motor vehicle. Kesner was released after posting $250 bond. Twenty-nine year old Nathan Frye was served a bench warrant for failure to appear in District Court. And, Raymond DeSales Washington was arrested for violating a protective order. Washington was released on personal recognizance.

 

Course Selection Open

The window for Allegany County Public School students to register for 2014-2015 high school courses opens today. Students can make changes to their course selections until Wednesday, March 5th. The programs of study and course selection are available online at the school system's website. Hard copies of the Program of Study can be requested from school counselors.

 

Pennsylvania Holds Line on Community Colleges

The state of Pennsylvania will not provide a funding increase for its community colleges. In Governor Tom Corbett's proposed 2014-2015 budget, there is no increase earmarked. Federal stimulus money was budgeted for community colleges for two years under former Governor Ed Rendell. That money, however, disappeared during Corbett's first year in office.

 

Stormwater Fees Discussed

Stormwater has never been more visible politically in Maryland. A law, that requires the ten most populated jurisdictions to charge fees to treat or naturally filter the runoff is being debated. Legislation to modify the law, or repeal it, is expected. Opponents call the fees a "rain tax," and Bill Stack of the Center for Watershed Protection, says stormwater fees have been supported for years in other states without controversy, as a more transparent and equitable way to pay for water treatment. Stack adds that people are often surprised to learn how common stormwater utility districts are; one survey shows that there are up to 2,000 of them in place around the nation.

 

Tougher Penalties for Sexual Predators Proposed

West Virginia Delegate Mark Hunt is proposing two bills that would take a tougher stance on pedophiles who approach children and try to harm them. Hunt proposed similar legislation last year, but was not passed. He says the Legislature must move on it this year.

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