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Firefighters Remain on Scene of Columbia Street Fire

Numerous fire companies were on the scene of a fire this morning at 249 to 251 Columbia Street. The Allegany County Office of Emergency Services says Cumberland units were on the scene, with mutual aid from District 16, LaVale, Wiley Ford, and Cresaptown. There is now one engine from Cumberland, watching for "hot spots." Two firefighters were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment. It is known that residents of those two homes escaped unharmed. The Maryland State Fire Marshal is also on the scene, and the American Red Cross also responded, and is aiding the affected families.


Multi-Count Federal Drug Indictment Filed

Nine people have been arrested in Keyser, Allegany, and Garrett counties, as part of a 73-count federal drug indictment. The indictment charges cocaine trafficking and money laundering. The lead defendant in the case is Cedric Malachi Jones of Florida. Jones faces 58 counts. If convicted, each defendant faces up to life imprisonment on the conspiracy charges alone. Those indicted from Keyser include Paul Ellis, Dixie Sherylann Layman, Samaria Alice Clifford, Robert Lee Jessie, Christopher Lee Redman, and Troy Aaron Wilt. From Oakland, Sheena Collins was indicted, as was Adrian Nicholas Sanchez of Cumberland, and Dominique Stephens of Westernport. From Ranson, West Virginia, Tequila Smith was indicted. Others from out of the area include Ebony Ishia Haynes Jack of Palm Coast, Florida, along with Travis Sinclair Howard of Palatka, Florida.


General Assembly Enters Final Week

The Maryland House and Senate are expected to be working overtime this week, in anticipation of next Monday's final day of the 2014 session. Any bill that does not clear the House and Senate by midnight next Monday will be considered dead, and will have to be considered next year. Both chambers will have some evening, and possibly a weekend session to complete its work load.


One Killed in Bedford County Crash

Tractor-trailer driver Damion Lobban was killed in a single-vehicle crash Saturday morning. Police say he fell asleep while rounding a curve on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, near the 158-mile marker in West Providence Township. Passenger Benjamin Blue, who was in the sleeper section of the rig, was thrown from the truck and suffered major injuries.


Keyser Woman Served With Bench Warrant

Keyser resident Jacqueline Kile was served an arrest warrant for failure to appear in Wicomico County. Cumberland City Police took her to the District Court Commissioner's Office for a bond review, and she was ordered held on $3,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.


Cumberland Man Charged with Assault, False Imprisonment

Cumberland resident Dalton Brimhall was served a criminal summons, in connection with an incident that occurred on March 23rd. He allegedly became angry with a woman, spat on her, flicked cigarette ashes on her, and bent her fingers back. The incident happened on Arch Street. He was charged with second-degree assault and false imprisonment, and later released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.


Council Member to Take Parks Spot

Piedmont Council member Paula Boggs will be doing double-duty, as she has agreed to take over the parks and recreation spot, vacated by the resignation of Gary Bradley last month. Ms. Boggs is also serving as street commissioner, and will take on the additional duties temporarily, until a replacement for Bradley is named.


Telephone Recycling Underway

Students from the Allegany County school system are participating in the telephone book recycling campaign, now in its 22nd year. The project is managed by the Allegany County Commissioners, the Solid Waste Management Board, and the Allegany County Board of Education. All recycled telephone books help Allegany County reach its 20 per cent recycling goal, a mandate from the state of Maryland.


Minimum Wage Bill Remains in Committee

Although the House of Delegates has approved an increase to the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour by the year 2017, legislation remains in a Senate Committee. Senator Mac Middleton, chair of the Senate Finance Committee wants a minimum wage bill to also address an increase in what the state pays personal care aides from non-profit organizations who work with the severely disabled. Senator Middleton says some aspects of the minimum wage bill need to be addressed. Middleton says the Governor is committed to the personal care aides. Middleton says the vacancy and turnover rates are significant, around 33 per cent.


Man Convicted of Child Abuse Death

A 12-member jury has found a Martinsburg man guilty of the child abuse death of his son. Twenty-one year old James Mauldin will be sentenced on May 29th. Mauldin was convicted of the New Year's Day death of three-year old Kaiwon Connelly. Mauldin was found guilty of several charges, including death of a child by a parent, guardian, or custodian by child abuse.


West Virginia Has Slowest Growing Personal Income

West Virginia has the slowest growing personal income rate in the U.S., due, in part, a decline in mining and other industries. Personal income grew only about 1.5 per cent last year; the highest growth was recorded by North Dakota at 7.6. per cent. Even though declines were reported in mining, durable goods, manufacturing and construction in the Mountain State, mining-including oil and gas extraction, were major sources of personal earnings growth in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas last year.

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