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Local News

Man Arrested on Sex Charges

Twenty-eight year old Lonaconing resident Christopher Russell Pavlicek has been charged with sexual solicitation of a minor and two counts of second-degree assault. Pavlicek had allegedly solicited two girls, 12 and 13 years old, via the internet. The assault charge is from inappropriate physical contact he had with the victims at his home. He is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $20,000 bond, pending his next court appearance. And, the investigation is continuing by the C3I unit.


Highway User Fund Bill to Receive Hearing

A bill that has been filed in both the House and Senate that would increase the Highway User Revenue Fund to local governments will be heard next Tuesday. Local governments were receiving 30 per cent of the money from the Transportation Trust Fund; that amount has dwindled to about 5 per cent. The bill was filed by Senator George Edwards in the Senate, and by Delegate Wendell Beitzel in the House of Delegates.


Candidates File For Office

There are several candidates who have filed for the offices of Mayor and City Council and Allegany County Board of Education. Incumbent Mayor Brian Grim will be opposed by Mary Miltenberger and Jeffrey Grogg. City Council candidates include Seth Bernard, Dustin Freas, Sylvester Young, and incumbent David Kauffman. School Board candidates include Bill Davis, Lorelee Farrell, Wayne Foote, and incumbents Sara-Beth James and Laurie Marchini.


Edwards, Beitzel Unopposed

Senator George Edwards and Representative Wendell Beitzel will be unopposed in the coming election; however, current Delegate Kevin Kelly is being opposed by Jason Buckel, in District 1-B. Delegate LeRoy Myers is leaving statewide political office, and there are several candidates for the District 1-C seat. They include Nick Scarpelli, Ray Givens and current Allegany County Commissioner Mike McKay. Candidates for the office of Allegany County Commissioner include Kevin Shaffer, Tom Striplin, incumbents Creade Brodie, Jr., and Bill Valentine, Jake Shade and Mark Widmyer.


Rocky Gap Announces Expansion Plans

Rocky Gap Casino Resort had previously announced the addition of 150 new parking spaces, but it is also enlarging its Pro Shop and the kitchen at Signatures Bar & Grill. The fitness center will also be expanded and will include new exercise equipment. Landscaping will be added around the resort and new parking lot. Construction will begin this spring, and it was noted in a news release, that the expansion is compliant with the lease from Maryland's Department of Natural Resources.


Fire Destroys Garrett County Barn

A barn on Clifton Terrace in Garrett County was destroyed by fire, just before 7 a.m. yesterday. Numerous firefighters responded to the incident. The first units on the scene reported that the structure had burned to the ground. There were no injuries and the cause is being investigated.


Springfield Resident Charged With Arson

A twenty-year old Springfield, West Virginia resident, Evan Hunt, has been charged with arson, in connection with a fire at a house under construction at the Bird Ridge Estates. A citizen tip led to the arrest. He is being held on a bond of $20,000. Several Hampshire County volunteer Fire companies responded to the fire on February 18th.


Local Man Held on Bond

Cumberland resident Ryan O'Toole is being held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, awaiting a bond review,  following an incident earlier in the month at a Queen City Drive restaurant. O'Toole is accused of spitting on cars, and passengers in them, pounding on the vehicles and assaulting the passengers, and cursing at them. A private citizen reported the incident, and O'Toole was charged with three counts of second-degree assault, and one count each of disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.


SHA Truck Injures Driver

Seventy-four year old Cumberland resident Paul Williams was injured and taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, after his van was struck by a State Highway Administration dump truck. The accident happened in the roundabout of U.S. Route220. The truck, driven by Steven Hughes of Cumberland, was descending the ramp from eastbound Interstate 68, when the truck lost its brakes, entered the roundabout and clipped the rear of the Williams vehicle. The crash remains under investigation by the Cumberland City Police.


Frostburg Woman Charged Twice

Frostburg resident Lillian Holder was served two arrest warrants by Cumberland City Police on Monday. In the first incident, she rented a vehicle from a local business and failed to return the vehicle, according to the agreement. She was further charged with issuing a bad check to a local business. She was released on her own recognizance on all charges, pending trial in Allegany County District Court.


Chestnut Street Resident Charged in Domestic Incident

Cumberland City Police have charged Chestnut Street resident Michael Shindledecker with second-degree assault, following an early morning incident yesterday. He is accused of hitting the victim in the face with his fist, during an argument over a cell phone charger. After being processed, Shindledecker was released on his personal recognizance pending trial at District Court.


Keyser Man Arrested, Also Wanted in Allegany County

Forty-one year old Keyser resident Gerald Baker was arrested as a fugitive from justice, as he is wanted in Allegany County for a traffic-related offense. Baker was stopped for running a stop sign. A check showed Baker was wanted here in Allegany County. During a search, nine narcotic pills for which he did not have a prescription, were found. Baker was released on a personal recognizance bond.


Senator Edwards Discusses Off-Road Vehicles, Marcellus Shale

Maryland State Senator George Edwards says a bill concerning off-road vehicles has received a hearing in the General Assembly. Senator Edwards says the bill would allow "ORV's" to run on private property, if an agreement with the property owner is signed, releasing the owner from liability. Recommendations are due from a Marcellus Shale Commission in August of this year. Senator Edwards acknowledges that some people do not want natural gas drilling at all. He says the key to drilling safely for natural gas is monitoring. If it is determined that there is a sufficient amount of gas, and it is close to a pipeline on the Maryland/Pennsylvania border, gas companies would not be dissuaded from doing it.


Deep Creek Dunk Raises $160,000

Last weekend's Deep Creek Dunk to benefit Special Olympics in Maryland raised $160,000, just shy of the project goal of $170,000. The Maryland Special Olympics has a goal of $2.5 million for the upcoming Polar Bear Plunge; so far, $1.7 million have been raised. Meanwhile, this weekend's 10th Annual Hooley Plunge is set for Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park. All money raised will remain in the community, benefitting the Allegany County Special Olympics and other programs for the developmentally disabled.


Marijuana, Birth Injuries, Health Care Debated

This is eighth week of the Maryland General Assembly session, with a number of issues-including the decriminalization of marijuana and a bill, setting up a birth injury fund-are being discussed. It was announced on Monday that the state's prime information technology contractor for the health care exchange has been fired. Noridian Healthcare Solutions had served as the prime contractor; replacing Noridian is Optum/QSSI, the general contractor hired in December. The marijuana legislation received a hearing in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee yesterday; Governor O'Malley says he is not inclined to support the legalization of pot. And, another bill that would set up a birth injury fund will receive a hearing tomorrow. Parents of children who suffer brain injuries would be able to access the fund, rather than sue the doctor or hospital.


MVA Secretary Appointed

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's new Administrator is Milton Chaffee. the Deputy Administrator is Christine Nizer. Chaffee is a 12-year employee of the MVA, and is being promoted from his current position as the Chief Deputy Administrator, a position he has held since May of 2006. Ms. Nizer has served as the Deputy Administrator for Central Operations and Safety Programs. Current MVA Administrator John Kuo has been named the Associate Administrator at the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The appointments of Mr. Chaffee and Ms. Nizer are effective March 1st.


Meth Lab Cleanup Bill Being Debated

A bill in the West Virginia legislature could end reimbursements for meth lab cleanups through the state's Crime Victims Compensation Fund. West Virginia is the only state in the country that,  within the fund, pays for meth lab cleanup expenses incurred, for example, by landlords. The state has paid more than $700,000 for meth lab claims just last year. The 2014 Legislative Session ends on Saturday, March 8th. For the bill to remain alive, it would have to advance to the House by today, which is the deadline for bills to move out of the chambers where they were introduced.


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