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Brush Fire Spreads in Bedford County

The brush fire continues to burn on Will's Mountain in the southwestern corner of Bedford County, and it continues to spread. It has nearly doubled in size, and has consumed 300 to 400 acres since it started on Saturday. Fire crews have been working to contain the fire on the ground, and are using helicopters to conduct water drops on the flames. Yesterday's rain showers did little to help with firefighting efforts. Crews are continuing to burn out the southeast line of the fire.  In a related story, speed limits are being reduced to 45 miles-per-hour on Route 220, south of Bedford, because of limited visibility caused by smoke from the fire. Drivers are urged to use caution, and to yield the right of way to emergency vehicles.

 

Carbon Monoxide Causes Evacuation

The first floor of Cumberland's downtown Ramada Inn was evacuated yesterday, due to high carbon monoxide readings. A senior citizen prom was cut short and moved to the HRDC Center on Virginia Avenue. The carbon monoxide was traced to gas appliances in the kitchen, and the air inside was not being refreshed. The fire department cleared the scene a little after 1 p.m.

 

Mineral County Pursues Business

Mineral County's Development Authority is working to bring the manufacturers of Sriracha hot sauce to Mineral County. Delegate Gary Howell says Mineral County is courting Huy Fong Foods, and if successful, that could mean 60 full-time and 200 part time jobs to the area. The creator of the sauce now has a facility in Irwindale, California, but has been receiving complaints of a spicy odor coming from the factory. Keyser's and Fort Ashby's Industrial Parks are far enough away from heavily populated areas, and that would not be a problem. Delegate Howell has been in direct contact with the manufacturer.

 

Breaking and Entering Investigated

The Cumberland City Police are investigating the breaking and entering of a business in the 300-block of Valley Street. A hole had been kicked in the wall, where entry was made. About $600 in inventory and $150 in cash were taken, along with a television set. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.

 

No Injuries Reported in Truck Fire

There were no injuries in a truck fire yesterday afternoon on the Will's Creek Bridge in Cumberland. The fire was reported around 11 a.m. The driver said she noticed the fire as she was driving across the bridge. Both the engine compartment and passenger area of the truck were heavily damaged. There were no injuries.

 

Ridgeley Woman Arrested

Twenty-one year old Ridgeley resident Jessica Jones was arrested, after charges were filed in connection with an April 18th incident. Ms. Jones allegedly spat on another person, and threw an electronic device at him, striking him in the knee. The assault incident happened on Maryland Avenue. She was charged with second degree assault and disorderly conduct and released on personal recognizance pending trial.

 

Woman Charged with Making False Statement

Cumberland resident Sue Lilly was served a criminal summons and later released, after being charged with two counts of making a false statement to a police officer, and two counts of obstructing and hindering an investigation. Ms. Lilly claimed she had been assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, but it was determined no assault had taken place. She also allegedly made a false robbery complaint on April 4th, when she claimed to have been robbed of her medication.

 

Extradition Hearing Set for Today

A hearing will be held today on whether to extradite former area resident Charles Severance from West Virginia to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Severance has been called a person of interest in the killings of three northern Virginia residents. Authorities there say they want to speak with him about the murders. Severance is currently in a West Virginia jail, in relation to a Loudon County, Virginia firearms charge.

 

Mineral Board Earmarks Money for Libraries

The Mineral County Board of Education will be giving $5,000 to the Keyser-Mineral County Library; it has also earmarked an additional $1,000 to the Piedmont Library. Keyser's money will come from carryover funding for the current year. Board members say they would like to have contributed more, but there are other expenditures to consider, such as the Keyser Sports Complex and other bills that need to be paid.

 

Woman Cited for Brush Fire

 Bedford County experiencing its problems with the Will's Mountain brush fire; now, there's word that a Tucker County, West Virginia woman has been cited for a brush fire there. Firefighters responded to, and contained, a brush fire just before 1 p.m. Sunday. They were able to put the fire out, before it reached a nearby home. The landowner, who was not identified, was cited for burning during a prohibited period, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., and for allowing the fire to escape.

 

Delegation Discusses Session

The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce held its annual Legislative Wrap Up breakfast yesterday at the Ali Ghan Shrine Club. State Senator George Edwards considers the state's structural deficit one of the biggest issues in the General Assembly. After passing a $38.7 billion budget this year, Senator Edwards says the House and Senate now need to get together to address a $235 million deficit. He says it is an ideal time to do so, with a new Governor to be elected this year. Despite the local Chamber of Commerce's opposition, Maryland passed a minimum wage increase during the session. Senator Edwards says many say prices on various items will have to be  raised, to keep pace with the increased minimum wage.

 

FSU Chooses Chartwell's

Frostburg State University has chosen Chartwell's Higher Education Dining Services as its partner to manage food service on campus, beginning May 23rd. Chartwell's is recognized as the leading college and university food service provider in the United States, and will include made-to-order meals. A Subway franchise will open at Sowers Hall in the fall, and Starbuck's coffee will be offered at the start of the 2015 spring semester.

 

Virts Indicted in Amber Alert Murder Case

Dundalk resident Timothy Virts has been indicted for the murder of the mother of his children, and the abduction of his daughter, Caitlyn. He is additionally charged with the attempted sexual abuse of a minor relative. His wife's body was found on March 6th; police say Bobbie Jo Cortez' had been stabbed to death. Virts, who had been prohibited from being with his daughter, was found with her at a South Carolina motel on march 7th.

 

Maryland Spent $90 Million on Health Exchange Site

The state of Maryland spent over $130 million on its troubled health exchange website. Of that amount, over $90 million has been attributed to technology expenses. Governor Martin O'Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown have said the website is a small part of the exchange.

 

Western Md. Democratic Summit Set

The 10th annual Western Maryland Democratic summit will be held this Saturday at Hager Hall in Hagerstown, and will feature Mary Beth Cahill, who had been chief of staff for the late Senator Edward Kennedy, and had been campaign director for John Kerry's 2004 Presidential Campaign. Sixth District Congressman John Delaney will deliver the Morning Keynote address; Ms. Cahill will deliver the evening address. A straw poll for the 2014 Democratic candidates for Governor and Attorney General will also be held.

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