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Local News

Paper Company Merger on Hold


The bond holders of Verso paper company are not "on board" with the New Page merger, so the deal is off, for now. Verso's bond holders are concerned about the debt exchange needed to finance a planned merger with the company. Despite trying to make a deal, the bondholders are presently unwilling to engage in "constructive dialogue."




Maryland May Eliminate Black Bear Quota


The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is considering a plan which would eliminate the black bear hunt quota, rather than opening the season for a pre-determined number of days. The plan would eliminate the need for hunters to call a hotline each night to determine the status of the hunt. Comments are being accepted at the DNR website, and a meeting has been set for Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Mountain Ridge High School cafeteria.




Circuit Judge to Retire


Garrett County Circuit Court Judge James Sherbin has announced he will retire, but will remain on the bench until Governor Martin O'Malley appoints his replacement. Sherbin has been a judge for 18 years. Nominations are being accepted through August 20th, but there is no time frame for making the appointment.




Car Fire Ruled Arson


A car fire early Friday morning in Westernport has been ruled arson, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. A 2007 Pontiac G-6, owned by Anthony Serpone was reported to be on fire on Front Street. Firefighters from Potomac, Tri-Towns and Piemont responded. There were multiple points of origin in the car. Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Fire Marshal's Office at (301)-766-3888.




Garage Fire Ruled Accidental


A fire in a garage on Neck Lick Acres Road in Oakland has been determined to be accidental in nature. The blaze a the Leroy Bernard property, caused about $70,000 in damage to the structure and its contents. The origination point was inside the building, and was caused by a faulty electrical outlet. Smoke detectors were present and activated. The fire was reported early Friday morning.



Delaware Man Issued Drug Citations


A traffic stop on Interstate 68 in Garrett County early Friday morning, resulted in the discovery of marijuana and CDS paraphernalia in a car, driven by 21-year old Maliek Shammack of Newark, Delaware. He was charged with possession of marijuana and CDS paraphernalia and released after signing them.




Cumberland Man To Be Extradited


Cumberland resident Travis Maurice Peck is awaiting extradition to the state of West Virginia, for failure to appear for a 2011 Grand Jury indictment in Mineral County. Peck was arrested after a traffic stop on Oldtown Road on Saturday. He was placed under arrested, and taken to Police Headquarters for processing. He was then taken to District Court and held in the Allegany County Detention Center to await extradition to Mineral County.




Some Bedford County Residents Without Water


More than 300 people in 120 homes in the Six Mile Run area of Bedford County have been without water since February 11th. The water company there had a roof collapse, with company members unable to filter water until there is a new building. Trucks had been bringing in water, but hoses were freezing, which made it difficult to deliver the water. Residents there are under a boil water advisory, which is expected to last for some time.



USS Somerset Commissioned


The USS Somerset was officially commissioned over the weekend, joining the U.S. Naval Fleet in Philadelphia. The motto of the ship is "Courage Through Adversity," and pays tribute to the passengers and crew of Flight 93, which crashed in Somerset County on September 11, 2001. The Somerset now joins the USS New York and USS Arlington in the Naval Fleet.




Chamber Urges Increase Highway User Sharing


The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has written to both House and Senate Representatives, urging favorable reports to bills dealing with increased local highway user revenues. The letter notes a 95 per cent reduction in Highway User Revenues, which makes it extremely difficult for local governments to maintain and improve local roadways. Prior to the reductions, local governments received about 30 per cent of the revenues, but now receive less than 10 per cent.




Potomac Valley Now Part of WVU System


Potomac Valley Hospital in Keyser is now a part of the West Virginia University United Healthcare System. The deal became effective over the weekend. WVU bought Potomac Valley for a reported $22 million. Potomac Valley is expected to offer more services in the future,  and to enhance those that already exist.




More Allegany County Make Up Days Announced


The Allegany County Board of Education has voted to change the Thurssday before Easter and the Monday after, as instructional make-up days for students. To date, Allegany County Schools have been closed due to bad weather a total of 14 days. With the most recent decision to reclaim the time around Easter, the final day for students will be Monday, June 16th; the last day for teachers will be Thursday, June 19th, barring no further calendar adjustments.



Heroin Bust Yields 15 Pounds


Pennsylvania State Police found 15 pounds of pure, uncut heroin in an air compressor during a stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Somerset late last month. Law enforcement authorities say this is unique, in that they have never seen this much unadulterated heroin before. It could be worth millions of dollars. Taken into custody were Illinois residents Maria Pina and her passenger Gilberto Ocampo. They both remain jailed on bonds of one-half million dollars each.




High School Course Registration Underway


Online high school course registration is underway for Allegany County students entering high school this fall. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, spokesperson for the Allegany County Board of Education, says the registration is ongoing, through Wednesday. Ms. Cross says that course selections are available on the school system's website, or hard copies are being made available through high school guidance counselors.





Harsher Penalties for Second-Degree Murder Possible


In a move that could have an impact on upcoming murder trials in the state, the Maryland Senate has unanimously passed a bill that increases the penalties for second-degree murder. The bill would change the maximum sentence for second-degree murder from 30 years to 40 years in prison. The bill will now go to the Maryland house of Delegates for consideration.



Tomblin's Brother Charged with Drug Crime


The brother of West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has been charged with selling the painkiller oxymorphone in the Chapmanville area of the state. Governor Tomblin acknowledged that this is a difficult time for his family, but commented that his brother must be held accountable for his actions. The case is being investigated by the U.S. 119 Task Force and the West Virginia State Police.


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