House Vote on Minimum Wage Bill Today
The Maryland House of Delegates may vote on increasing the minimum wage in the state to $10.10 per hour by 2017. Amendments dealing with expanding the exemptions from the higher minimum wage bill were defeated. Another change, which would have linked future minimum wage hikes to the inflation rate, was also defeated. The Senate version of the bill is also expected to be revised, before a vote is taken.
National Pike Home "Total Loss"
A home, on National Pike across from the Flintstone Elementary School, was completely destroyed by fire yesterday afternoon. The two-story home, owned by Edward and Sheila Wharton, sustained a total of $90,000 in damage. The cause was ruled accidental, due to the failure of a wall outlet. The Flintstone Elementary School schedule was affected by the fire, as some buses were delayed, having been re-routed by police and fire personnel to the back entrance. The Whorton family is being assisted by the American Red Cross.
Firefighters On Scene of North End Incident
An off duty Cumberland City firefighter, Lt. Tim Malone is being credited for discovering a structure fire in the 700-block of North Mechanic Street early yesterday afternoon. The flue of a woodburning stove clogged, causing smoke to run from the metal insert into the attic area. There were no injuries and no damage was reported, but the area was blocked off for a short time.
Edwards' Bills Moving in General Assembly
Several bills, sponsored by State Senator George Edwards are making their way through the legislative process. One bill, which would remove the ex-officio member from the Allegany and Garrett County Boards of Education have passed both the House and Senate, and will now be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill which would prohibit Sideling Hill as an off-road vehicle trail has also passed, and is on its way to the House Environmental Matters Committee. The Property Tax Credit for upper stories of commercial structures has unanimously passed the Budget and Taxation Committee and will be heard on the Senate floor soon.
Sunday Alcohol Sales Being Considered
The Garrett County Liquor Control Board has asked for legislation that would allow voters to decide on Sunday liquor sales, both on and off premises, The House Economic Matters Committee considered the on-premises sale bill earlier in the week. Some election districts already have Sunday sales and other merchants want to be able to do the same. The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce also supports Sunday sales for alcoholic beverages.
Guns Stolen In Bedford County
The Bedford Barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police is investigating the burglary of a Liberty Township residence in Bedford County late last month. During the break in, a case of beer was consumed on the premises, and several valuable weapons were stolen, including a pre-Civil War era pistol; a 410-gauge shotgun the was made in 1914; and two black powder derringer pistols. The guns were taken from the 1600-block of Wall Street, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-623-6133.
Cattle Stolen from Hampshire County Farm
Eighteen black Angus cows were stolen earlier this week from the Elkhorn Farm in Hampshire County. Thieves entered the farm, owned by Denzil and Danny Smith and stole the livestock, which weighed between 500 and 600 pounds each. The cows could be valued at about $1,000 each. Authorities say the theft had to have been well planned; a $500 reward is being offered for any information leading to a conviction.
Two Arrested for Trespassing, Disturbing the Peace
Two Cumberland residents were served with criminal summonses, and later released, accused of several incidents between the end of February and this past Sunday. Forty-one year old Joesph Ansel and 42-year old Sherry Johnson are accused of repeatedly harassing and threatening to assault a Park Street resident. Joseph Ansel is also accused of spitting on the victim. Both will face trial in Allegany County District Court.
Marking Period Extended, Board Reclaims Days
Earlier this year, the Allegany County Board of Education was forced to extend the second marking period. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, spokesperson for the board says because of recent bad weather, they have been forced to extend the third marking period. Ms. Cross says the third marking period will end on Friday, April 4th, and there will be a three-hour early dismissal on Monday, April 7th. The board has reclaimed April 17th and 21st as instructional days. Schools have been closed for 15 days during the 2013-2014 school year. The Maryland State Board of Education had granted a waiver to the local board, to reclaim President's Day in February.
Hagerstown, Suns Deadlocked in Negotiations
Negotiations between the city of Hagerstown and the Suns are deadlocked. The minority owner of the team, Tony Dahbura, says the team has agreed to pay a lump sum of $50,000 for two additional years. The fee had been $1 per year, until recently. The Suns are optimistic an agreement can be worked out.
Statewide Amber Alert Issued
Police are searching for an 11-year old girl, after her mother was found murdered in their Dundalk home. Caitlyn Virts is possibly with her father, 38-year old Timothy Virts, and police are concerned for her safety. Timothy Virts is the chief suspect in the murder of Caitlyn's mother, 36-year old Bobbie Jo Cortez. Virts is reportedly driving a black Dodge Durango with Maryland license plates 5AJ4458.
Maryland Adjusts Testing Dates
Because of the days lost during the latest snow storm, Maryland Education officials are giving local school systems more flexibility in adjusting the days they give the Maryland School Assessments. The original 12-day window can be extended two more days, until March 14th. Make up tests can be given between March 17th and 18th. The MSA Science Test will begin as scheduled on March 24th, and will close on April 11th. This is the final year for MSA testing, which has been given for more than a decade in grades 3 through 8.
Casino Revenues Grow
Casino revenues grew, in February by more than $15 million since last February. All casinos showed increased revenue, including the Rocky Gap Casino Resort, which took in $3.1 Million after being in operation for just 9 months.