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Man Sentenced on Drug Charges in Garrett County

Pittsburgh resident Jacob Omar McDonald has been sentenced in Garrett County  to three years in prison, after pleading guilty to possession of heroin, with intent to distribute. Related charges against McDonald were dismissed as part of a plea agreement, and $820 in cash that was seized at the time of his arrest was ordered to be forfeited. Mc Donald was arrested at a Grantsville hotel, after the Garrett County Narcotics Task Force acted on an anonymous tip. He had more than 120 "stamps" of heroin in his possession at the time of the arrest.


Man Arrested in Domestic Incident

Alcohol was a factor in an early morning incident in which a man assaulted his wife in Clearville. Thirty-year old Mark Mills allegedly struck his wife, threw her to the ground and kicked her. The Pennsylvania State Police say Mills was driving home early yesterday morning with his wife and three children-ages 3, 7, and 11. He forced her out of the vehicle, then assaulted her. She did not seek medical treatment; Mills is being charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and recklessly endangering another person.


Short Gap Home Damaged by Fire

High winds made firefighting efforts difficult at a home on Joy Drive in Short Gap yesterday afternoon. There were no injuries, and nobody was home at the time of the fire at the Virgil Markwood residence. The initial call came in around 2:25 p.m.  Allegany County companies were alerted to be on stand by for some of the responding companies. There was no word on where the fire originated, or the cause, and the investigation is continuing.


Car Fire Investigated

The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a car fire on Arch Street late Sunday night. A 2003 Mercury Marquis, owned by Jordon Swisher, sustained about $2,000 in damage. The fire originated in the interior passenger compartment of the car. Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Fire Marshal's Office at (301)-766-3888.


Man Arrested Following Accident

Ridgewood Avenue resident William Scott Edwards was arrested Sunday, following a single-vehicle accident on Westbound Interstate 68, in the area of Beall Street. Edwards' vehicle had spun out of control and struck the median, and he claimed that he had been hit by another vehicle. Officers detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Edwards, who admitted he had drunk some vodka before driving. He failed a field sobriety test and was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. He was cited and released, pending trial.


Comprehensive Plan to be Presented

Allegany County will have a public hearing on its 2014 Comprehensive Plan in April. The meeting, set for Wednesday, April 9th at 5 p.m., will cover areas such as housing, transportation, public facilities, mineral resources, and other areas. The first ten chapter provide the background information for the last chapter, "Land Use and Implementation," that includes future land uses and proposed general zoning changes.


TGCC Presents Health Care Forum

The Greater Cumberland Committee will hold its next meeting on Thursday, March 6th at 11:30 a.m. at the Western Maryland Health System Auditorium. The program will include a regional overview and current collaborations that focus on the patient to maintain healthier communities, discussions on national health care reform and an examination on how we are impacted at the local level, and considerations of future trends and opportunities. Some of the presenters include Barry Ronan and Kevin Turley of the Western Maryland Health System, and representatives of Garrett Memorial Hospital and Potomac Valley Hospital.


Keyser Library Begins Fiscal Year "In the Hole"

The Keyser City Council has severely cut funding to its library, and the system will begin the new fiscal year operating at a deficit. Funding has been slashed from $13,200 to just $2,279, and with a state funding formula, the cuts equate to costing the library $22,000 as of July 1st. Most recently, the Mineral County Commissioners have provided about $55,000 annually, while the school board has contributed $13,000 in funding. The library also operates branches in Fort Ashby and Burlington.


Blown Tire Caused Accident

A blown tire on a tractor-trailer caused Interstate 70 eastbound to be closed for about 12 hours this past weekend. The driver, 37-year old Lawrence Thomas, was taken to Meritus Medical Center for treatment. The rig struck a guardrail and overturned in the center median early Saturday morning.


Maryland Revises Health Exchange Goals Downward

The state of Maryland has revised enrollment figures for its health insurance exchange downward. The state is expected to enroll 160,000 residents by March, as opposed to the 260,000 it had hoped for. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, in speaking before the Maryland Board of Public Works last week, criticized state officials for not having the Board review contracts for the exchange. Franchot expressed hope that future contracts be brought to the Board of Public Works, especially when hundreds of millions of dollars are involved. And, he called the procurement process, "flawed." He asked the Board of Public Works members to think about what would have happened if the problems with the health exchange website could have been anticipated. Yesterday, Maryland's Health Exchange Board voted to fire the state's prime information technology contractor, Noridian Healthcare Solutions.


Maryland Woman Sentenced in West Virginia Fraud Case

Suitland, Maryland resident Sheray McKay will be sentenced in June, and could face up to 20 years in jail, after pleading guilty to participating in a fraud scheme. She and other individuals solicited money, under false pretenses, from about 16 senior citizens living in West Virginia and other states. She and others posed as clergy members, lawyers, or family members and made false claims, including one of being in a traffic accident. The operation netted more than $60,000, and was obtained through wire transfers.


Bills Seek Road Repairs and Jobs

Two West Virginia senators are urging the legislature to consider bills to allot funds to repair roads and create jobs. Several bills addressing job creation have not advanced from committees. And, several others are trying to advance bills to address the state's crumbling roads during this spring's paving cycle. One senator says the roads are already in worse shape than he has seen in years.


Teacher Planning Bill Passes in Senate

West Virginia may allow its teachers to determine, for themselves, how to use their planning time. A bill passed late last week in the Senate, that stated, in part, administrators may not require a teacher to attend training, meetings, or any work-related event during a planning period. This includes parent-teacher conferences. The bill will not go to the house for action.

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