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Winchester Court Coming to LaVale

A shopping area, entitled "Winchester Court" is coming to the Winchester Road area, across from Western Sizzlin' Steak House. Penntex Ventures from Greensburg, Pennsylvania is developing the area for shopping; another anchor building of 17,000 square feet is already committed to a national retailer. The original structure, which housed Maple Mountain Industries, was built in 1965. Opening of Winchester Court is scheduled for next spring.


County Tax Collections Down

Income tax collections are expected to drop over $858,000 for fiscal year 2015, but that will not require "devastating" cuts, according to finance director Jason Bennett. The situation isn't as bad as in recent years, when the county had to reduce its workforce by 18 per cent. On the positive side, about $700,000 per year will be coming from the Rocky Gap casino operation. The county is in the midst of its budget process, and proposals reflecting the shortfall, will be presented at next week's meeting.


Terrapin Run Plan Under Fire

State officials continue to slam the Terrapin Run project, which would consist of 920 homes near the Green Ridge State Forest. According to a state planner, growth areas should be confined to areas where infrastructure can be supported; originally, Terrapin Run called for 4300 units there. Along with the shortfalls in infrastructure, other concerns included a lack of provisions to protect against agricultural, farmland and other sensitive areas. the hearing on the plan was continued until May 21st at 5 p.m.


Cumberland Man Arrested in Break In

Cumberland resident Michael Butler is free on $3,000 bond, after being charged with the breaking and entering of a Bowery Street residence in Frostburg. Butler fled the home, when the residents returned, and discovered him. Butler had entered the residence and was gathering up laptop computers and other valuables, before being confronted by the residents. He was found at another home in the 100-block of Bowery Street and arrested.


Marijuana Arrests Made

Two men have been arrested in the Friendsville area, in separate incidents, and charged with marijuana possession. In the first Dumfries, Virginia resident Donte Campbell was stopped on Interstate 68, at the one-mile marker; he was charged and issued a criminal citation, before being released. The second incident saw Martinsburg, Maryland resident Aaron Tisdale was issued a criminal citation and released, after being stopped in the area of eastbound Maple Street, west of First Avenue.


Preston Murder Trial Continues

The trial of a Preston County man, accused of the May, 2012 murder of Leslie Layman continues this week. Masontown resident Denny Franklin Ervin is charged with first-degree murder in Ms. Layman's death. Ervin is accused of shooting her, at least once, with a .22-calibre revolver. Ervin and Ms. Layman had previously been in a domestic partnership, which was termed as "stormy."


Water Project Meeting Set

The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting, regarding a possible future water project for Barrelville/Sunnyside. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 30th at 7 p.m., at the Mount Savage Fire Hall. Residents of that area and all interested citizens are invited to attend. On hand will be representatives of the Department of Public Works, to answer questions and discuss details about the project.


Methadone Clinic Draws Criticism

A methadone clinic, which is scheduled to open in Williamsport on April 24th, has triggered a reaction from citizens in area. A meeting was held this week with Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore. Where to place the clinic, safety concerns, and monitoring those using the clinic were discussed. Traffic congestion from limited parking has been the most common issue at the current clinic, located on Day Road in Hagerstown.


Grand Jury Indicts Man in Fatal Stabbings

A Washington County grand jury has indicted 19-year old Joseph William Minoglio, who is accused of stabbing his grandparents to death at their Keedysville home. New, related counts were added to the indictment. Both 84-year old Joseph Michael Minoglio and his 78-year old wife, Peggy, were found dead in their home on March 15th. Their grandson has been charged with two counts each of first and second-degree murder, and first and second-degree assault.


O'Malley Allows More Gaming Permits

Governor Martin O'Malley has signed a bill into law, that would allow more gaming permits for non-profit organizations in Frederick County. Civic and charitable groups will now be able to hold up to four gaming events each year, with major prizes of more than $5,000. The Veterans of Foreign Wars requested the bill, and will allow non-profits raise additional money, and do more for the community.


Hopkins Strike Enters Third Day

About 2,000 employees of Johns Hopkins Hospital-most of whom are service and maintenance workers-vow to remain on the picket line, at least through today. According to the workers, the hospital failed to offer at least $14 an hour for every worker, with the local union charging that some of those workers make so little, they have to rely on public assistance for basic needs. For its part, Johns Hopkins says that although it's moving forward, they continue to negotiate in good faith to reach a fair settlement for all.


Group Wants Additional Tobacco Tax

The Maryland General Assembly ended on Monday, but already one group is pushing for an additional $1 increase in the state's cigarette tax. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids is asking incumbent lawmakers and those running for office to sign a pledge, promising they will vote for the increase. Amy Barkley, of the group, says 64 per cent of Marylanders support the hike. The higher taxes go, the more people will quit smoking, and this "diminishing rate of return" may not produce the effect they want. As for the issue of electronic cigarettes, Ms. Barkley says lawmakers cannot, obviously, tax them by the pack.


Drones Used to Research Real Estate

Drones are being used in the Lewisburg area of West Virginia to test the real estate market. Foxfire Realty is utilizing the technology to provide panoramic aerial views of the farms and country estates they are marketing on behalf of their clients. The commercial use of drones by real estate professionals is allowed, although regulations for commercial use are not expected to be in place until September of next year.

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