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Extra Sessions in Store for Lawmakers

House Speaker Michael Busch is telling legislators to expect both morning and evening sessions this week, as next Monday is "Crossover Day." That means bills have to be approved by at least one chamber of the legislature, so they can be considered by the opposing chamber during the final three weeks of the legislative session. There is also the possibility of a Saturday session to finish the work. Two major issues that remain are reducing the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana, and the Senate Finance Committee is now considering raising the minimum wage.


Forced Entry Investigated

Cumberland City Police are investigating the breaking and entering of the Western Maryland Central Labor Council office on North Mechanic Street this past weekend. The incident occurred as a person or person accessed the building by breaking a second-floor window, accessible from the roof of an adjacent building. Alcoholic beverages and other items were stolen from various rooms at the office. A previous burglary from December is still under investigation.


Officers Respond to Ramada Disturbance

A Cascade, Maryland man was charged with second-degree assault, following a weekend incident at the Ramada Inn early Sunday morning. The manager received a complaint about a fight in one of the rooms, involving Scott Andrew Thompson. A female victim had visible facial injuries, and Thompson was taken into custody. He received a bond hearing and was released on his personal recognizance.


Complaint Leads to Three Arrests

A suspicious vehicle complaint has led to the charging of three people on drug paraphernalia charges. A syringe, crack pipe, and a device used for snorting drugs was found in a car, driven by Cindy Lewis of Keyser. Also in the car were Kenneth Divelbliss of Rawlings and Cumberland resident Daniel Gore. All three were charged with possession of CDS paraphernalia, issued a criminal citation and released.


Potomac Center Investigation Continues

Allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the Potomac Center in Romney continue to be investigated, and it could take most of this year to finish. Two dozen children were removed from the center, with as many as 12 identified as victims of abuse, with ten suspects identified.  Removing the children has had a financial impact on the center, as fifty people have been laid off,  and the remaining staff cut to 32 hours per week. The management and staff of the Potomac Center are cooperating with the investigation.


Shelter Waiving Certain Adoption Fees

It's "all things Hooley" in the area this month, and at the Allegany County Animal Shelter. Spokesperson Becky McClarren says now is the right time to give back to the community, and has a special offer from the shelter.  Ms. McClarren says animals have many therapeutic qualities for the owners and family members. The Shelter is waiving adoption fees for families who have autistic or developmentally disabled members. She points out that many pet owners brought both service dogs and family pets to the recent Hooley Plunge at Rocky Gap.


BW Outranks in National PSAT Scores

The ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade students at Bishop Walsh School earned higher scores than the national average in the 2013 Preliminary SAT tests. The higher scores were reported in the critical reading, math and writing categories. An average of 3.5 million United States students take the preliminary SAT tests each year.  Bishop Walsh also learned that its most recent test scores for students in Advanced Placement course are among the highest in the world.


Garage Fire Investigated


The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office has determined a Garrett County fire this past weekend to be accidental. The fire was reported in the 6,000-block of Sang Run Road on the Greg and Robin Carr property. Losses were estimated at a total of $70,000. There was a mechanical failure in equipment in the detached garage of the home. The blaze was discovered by a passerby. Forty firefighters were on the scene, to contain the fire.



Berkeley County Murder Investigated

A 72-year old Martinsburg woman was murdered over the weekend, and authorities have begun an investigation. They say Martha Tyler's home was forcibly entered about two weeks ago, but it's not known if anything was taken from the home on Saturday. Ms. Tyler was pronounced dead at the scene, and an autopsy is being conducted at the State Medical Examiner's Office.


"Meth Bill" Dies in West Virginia Legislature

The so-called "meth bill" died in the waning hours of the West Virginia legislature Saturday. The bill would have made it more difficult for people to obtain certain cold medications, which contain materials used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Another bill, which would have paved the way for a pay raise for elected county officials, also failed Saturday night

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