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THE TRI-STATE'S CLASSIC ROCK STATION
GO 106 News Archives for 2011-09

Local News


Cumberland Man Sentenced in Child Porn Case

Seventy-two year old John Widdows of Cumberland has been sentenced to 18-1/2 years in prison for sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography. He was also sentenced to lifetime supervised release, including registration as a sex offender. Charges stem from videos seized, which show a girl engaging in sexually explicit conduct at Widdows’ direction. She was nine years old at the time, and Widdows was 67.

 

Three Bedford County Residents Arrested for Drug Dealing

The Bedford County Drug Task Force arrested three residents Tuesday. Thirty-year old Amy Bennett of Hyndman, 26-year old Marc Gorsuch, and 23-year old Sarah Guinn of Bedford were taken into custody, after a confidential informant allegedly purchased heroin from Gorsuch in the parking lot of Best Way Pizza on Lincoln Highway in Bedford. The other two were also at the scene of the purchase. Bennett was held on $100,000 bond, while bail for Gorsuch was set at $25,000. Guinn was arrested on a parole violation. Gorsuch and Bennett will receive a preliminary hearing next Wednesday at 9 a.m.

 

Woman Receives Additional Sentence for Escape

A Friendsville woman has received an additional seven-year sentence for escape Thirty-one year old Alisa Marie Shafer left the Garrett County Detention Center through the lobby, after creating a hold through the wall of the bathroom adjoining her cell. She pleaded guilty to the charge in August, and had originally been jailed on a charge of second-degree assault.

 

ARC Awards Grant to Maryland DBED

The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development for the Western Maryland Export Initiative. The project is expected to assist 20 businesses with export assistance and that will lead to $5 million in increased export sales by those firms. The grant will help Appalachian Maryland companies grow jobs by providing them with new overseas markets and increasing the value of goods and services, exported from Western Maryland.

 

Police Seeking Identity of Credit Card Thief

The Cumberland City Police Department and the C3I Criminal Investigative Unit are seeking the identity of a woman, garnered from a surveillance photograph from the LaVale Wal-Mart. In July, she is alleged to have stolen from a vehicle, parked at a private residence on Charles Street. Credit cards in the purse were also stolen and used at Wal-Mart. Anyone with information is asked to contact C3I, Cumberland City Police or the Allegany/Mineral County CrimeSolvers unit at (301)-722-4300.

 

Breakings and Enterings Investigated

The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office is investigating three residential breakings and enterings at homes which have been listed for resale either by a private owner or through a realty company. Entry was gained through forced entry through windows. Once inside, thieves stole copper pipe and wiring. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office. Any neighbors observing any suspicious activity are requested to call the Sheriff’s office.

 

Juvenile Arrested in Baseball Bat Attack

A juvenile was arrested and charged with first and second degree assault, along with reckless endangerment, following an incident early Wednesday evening near First and Arch Streets. One juvenile had been riding a bike in the area, when the other allegedly assaulted him with a baseball bat. After being charged, he was later released to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Services. The victim was transported to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment.

 

Bayard Post Office May Be Slated for Closure

The Post Office in Bayard, West Virginia is on the list for possible closure by the United States Postal Service. At a meeting Wednesday night, Bayard residents were informed that if it does close, residents will be able to get their mail at the Gormania Post Office, which now serves around 25 residents. In deciding on closure, the USPS weighs several factors, including the revenue and working hours that the post office operates.

 

Snow, Cold, Frost May Be Headed This Way

Believe it or not, the first snow showers of the season may be moving into the higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountains this weekend. Accuweather.com is reporting that much colder air will be moving into the East and South. Cold air will be targeting the Western Maryland and Western Pennsylvania areas.

Local News


Bids For Baltimore, Rocky Gap Rejected

One of two plans for a casino in Baltimore and one of three proposals for Rocky Gap have been rejected by Maryland’s slot machine commission. At Rocky Gap, a proposal by Allegany Entertainment Group and Potts Gaming, LLC to put 200 slot machines there, was rejected by the commission. There are still two other bids to consider, and they are from Landow Partners, LLC and Evitts Resort, LLC as two viable proposals.

 

One of Two Sets of Charges in “Ducky” Case Dropped

One person will go to trial and the other will not in the case of “Ducky,” the dog whose mouth was duct-taped shut last spring. Charges against Frederick Newton Lease have been dropped, due to a lack of evidence. However, the counts against Ricky Allen Adams will proceed as scheduled. The case against Adams is set for November 9th in Allegany County Circuit Court. Assistant State’s Attorney Sam Lane commented that as a prosecutor, he is only allowed to present cases where there is legally sufficient evidence that can be introduced at trial, and added that only hearsay evidence was presented against Lease.

 

Two Charged in Several Deep Creek Lake Burglaries

Two Grant County residents have been arrested, in connection with a string of burglary and theft charges, stemming from incidents at Deep Creek Lake residences. The burglaries occurred over a seven-month period. Taken into custody were Joshua Todd Culp and Jessica Dawn Picou. Both remain at the Garrett County Detention Center on bond; Culp is being held on $450,000, while Picou’s bail was set at $70,000. Taken in the thefts were DVD players, flat-screen televisions and other electronic items. They were arrested while in a campground area in Grantsville.

 

Allegany Museum Receives Grant

The Applachian Regional Commission has awarded a $150,000 grant to the Allegany museum, to carry out extensive renovations. The award was announced by Maryland United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin. The renovation project is expected to attract an extra 1,000 tourists annually, create six new tourism jobs and increase tourism revenue by just over $162,000. State sources will provide $150,000, bringing the total project funding to $300,000.

 

North End Domestic Dispute Results in Arrest

Thirty-four year old Cumberland resident Lester Lambert was charged with second-degree assault, following a domestic incident on Franklin Street early Wednesday morning. According to Cumberland City Police, Lambert and a female had been arguing, when he shoved a door to the residence open, striking the female in the face. She did not require medical attention. Lambert was taken for a District Court hearing and released on his own recognizance.

 

Three Injured in Route 50 Collision

Two Hampshire High School students and an Augusta woman were injured in a collision just before 7 a.m. yesterday on Route 50 at Hanging Rock. All three were taken to the Winchester Medical Center, with injuries to the teenagers described as “serious.” The crash happened as the students were enroute to school, when their car struck a 2011 Toyota Highlander, driven by 37-year old Rebecca Werner. The crash remains under investigation, and happened on a wet road surface because of rain.

 

Two Arrested in Keyser For Marijuana Possession

Two men, from Davis, West Virginia were arrested earlier this week, and charged with marijuana-related offenses. The two-Brandyn Hamrick and Brian Quattro, both 18 years old-were found to be in possession of marijuana in the parking lot of the Keyser Primary Middle School parking lot. As an officer approached the vehicle, the car pulled out, and the two were seen throwing items out the window. When recovered, about 24 grams of marijuana were found in the car and by the roadside.

 

Attempted Burglary Investigated

The Maryland State Police Barrack at McHenry is investigating an attempted burglary I the 200-block of Brant Road in Swanton. Sometime between September 18th and 21st, a person or persons tried to enter a garage attached to the house. Nothing appeared to be stolen or disturbed. Anyone with information is asked to contact Senior Trooper J.B. Schlossnagle at the McHenry Barrack. That number is (301)-387-1101.

 

Domestic Incident in Rockwood Results in Stabbing

Preliminary hearings are set for early next month in an incident that resulted in a stabbing in Rockwood, Pennsylvania. Fifty-three year old John Edwin Staton is accused of stabbing 51-year old Gregory Dane Wagner at Staton’s residence. As troopers arrived, they found Wagner holding an ax. Wagner also allegedly threatened everybody in the house, on Water Street. Staton is free on a $15,000 unsecured monetary bond, while Wagner was jailed, in lieu of $2,000 bond.

Local News


Man Guilty of Bank Robbery

A Mineral County jury deliberated for about a half-hour yesterday, before it found Charles Bruffey guilty of robbing the Fort Ashby branch of M & T Bank in December of 2009. Following the verdict, Bruffey’s bail was revoked and he was returned to the Potomac Highlands Jail. He is facing additional charges for robbing the same bank, just eight weeks before the first robbery. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered.

 

Midland Man Arrested in Motor Vehicle Theft

Nineteen-year old Midland resident Shawn Brooks Spiker was arrested Monday, for stealing a motor vehicle from a parking area behind Baltimore Street. Spiker had allegedly tried to steal another car earlier in the day. The Allegany County Sheriff’s Department located him in a wooded area in Westernport. He was then taken to the Cumberland City Police Department for processing. He was held on charges of motor vehicle theft, two counts of destruction of property, and two counts of being a rogue and vagabond. Bail was set at $30,000.

 

Postal Workers Rally in Baltimore

Postal workers from across the state rallied in Baltimore yesterday in support of a bill that could revive the U.S. Postal Service. The legislation would allow the agency access to $21 billion paid into its retirement fund, and allow the agency to become self-sufficient. Currently, the U.S. Postal Service is proposing to cut costs by laying off more than 110,000 workers and possibly closing 42 post offices and four processing facilities in the state.

 

Power Outage Affects Area

Several areas were affected by yesterday morning’s strong storms in the area. The power was disrupted at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, Allegany College of Maryland, and even the county’s 911 Emergency Operations Center. Power was restored by late morning.

 

Hunter Won’t Be Charged

A deer hunter, who used his crossbow to kill a bear in Garrett County this month, won’t be charged in the incident. The Maryland Natural Resources Police say the hunter was in a tree, when the sow started to climb into the tree. The bear climbed the tree again, coming within a few feet of the hunter, who was in fear of his life. He shot the female, and immediately called the wildlife office in Cumberland. Evidence found at the scene, near the Will O’ The Wisp, substantiated the hunters’ claim, and he was not charged.

 

Route 220 Work To Be Finished This Week

Improvement work along Business Route 220 at its intersection with the Bedford Grange Hall should be completed this week. The work, which includes widening a turning lane and improved sight distance and a traffic signal cost more than $2.5 million. The work began last November.

 

Former Senator Abandons Lobbyist Plan

Former State Senator Donald Munson of Washington County, whose goal was to join a lobbying firm, has abandoned those plans. Munson, who lost in the primary election against Christopher Shank, had been working on health care issues for Delegate John P. Donoghue, will close his Hagerstown office at the end of the year. However, he says he may run for office again, and hasn’t “ruled anything out.”

 

Robber Shot and Killed in Hostage Situation

A man, who had been wanted in connection with the robbery of the F & M Bank in Chambersburg, was shot and killed Monday, following a hostage situation near the Martinsburg Mall. Michael Silver, who was also wanted in West Virginia and Virginia, took a woman and her child hostage. Police had intercepted the car, and when Silver opened fire, officers fired back. He died at City Hospital in Martinsburg. The identity of the woman and child is not known.

 

Mountain State Tries to Jump-Start Housing Market

The state of West Virginia is offering loans with the lowest interest rate in its history to families with low to medium incomes. The West Virginia Housing Development Fund’s loans are at 3.125 per cent. The development fund’s money comes from selling bonds, borrowing money at an interest rate of about 2 per cent. The fund has about $25 million to loan at the 3.125 per cent rate.

 

Meyersdale Receives $50,000 Technology Grant

The Meyersdale Area School District will be able expand online course offerings, thanks to a $50,000 federal grant. The money will be used to fund professional development, increase course offerings and to purchase additional computers for the high school. Six new online courses were offered this year, and officials would like to add 15 more, including a military history class, sports and literature class and office procedures class.

Local News


Due to this morning’s lightning strikes and accompanying thunderstorms,

Allegany College of Maryland will be closed until 2 p.m. The Allegany County

Office of Emergency Management reports outages in North End, South End,

the 911 center itself and the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The

latter two are on generator power. The downtown Cumberland area has also

been affected. Again, Allegany College of Maryland will remain closed until 2

p.m.

Local News


Man In Custody After Domestic Incident

Twenty-six year old James Richard Lease is in custody, following an incident yesterday in McCoole. During a domestic incident with his girlfriend, he took the couple’s nine-month old child and fled their home on Red Maple Lane in McCoole. He was located by railroad tracks, just off of Route 135. Officers tried to convince him to release the child, and after repeated attempts, Lease was Tasered. The child was not injured, and Lease was charged with numerous counts, including assault, false imprisonment, and reckless endangerment. A search of the home was conducted and several firearms were removed.

 

Arson Determined in Auto Fire

Arson has been cited as the cause of an auto fire along the Mount Savage Road late Friday afternoon. The vehicle, a 2000 Camaro Z-28, was owned by Nathan Wagaman, and it sustained $3,000 in damage. The fire was discovered by a neighbor and originated in the passenger compartment. The Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigations unit is assisting the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office in the investigation.

 

Lonaconing Administrator Dies Sunday

Lonaconing’s town administrator, John Winner, passed away Sunday evening at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. He was 73 years of age. Winner was a lifelong resident of Lonaconing, and Mayor Jack Coburn credited Winner for securing many grants for the town, and called him “a large asset” to the community, according to the Cumberland Times-News. Visitation will take place today at the Eichhorn-McKenzie Funeral from 2 until 8 p.m. Funeral services are set for tomorrow.

 

 

Letter Carriers Circulate Petition

Postal carriers at the Keyser Post Office are circulating a petition, that would allow the postal service to avoid a financial shortfall they say could force the closure of thousands of facilities around the country. The petition is on the bulletin board of the lobby of the Keyser Post Office, and will be presented to Representative Nick Rahall in advance of Tuesday’s rally on behalf of the bill. The Mineral News-Tribune reports that the legislation, known as H.R. 1351, would “restore the U.S. Postal Service to sound financial footing, without using a dime of taxpayer money.”

 

Rural Development Funding for Sewer Project

Funding, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will fund a sewer upgrade project in Keyser’s Hawthorne Heights neighborhood. Nearly twenty per cent of a $15.5 million grant will go toward the project, as announced by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, along with Representative Nick Rahall. More than $2.6 million will be spent to replace existing sewer lines along Chestnut Street and in Hawthorne Heights. About 68 customers will benefit from the upgrades.

 

Juvenile Arrested For Assaulting Father

A 14-year old boy was arrested Saturday evening, and was charged with assaulting his father. The boy had been reported missing, but when he returned to his Lincoln Street home, he assaulted his father, after an argument turned physical. Following his arrest, he was taken to Police Headquarters, where he was  charged and processed. The Department of Juvenile Services was contacted and eventually returned the boy to his home.

 

Bribery Trial Gets Underway in Baltimore

The bribery trial of State Senator Ulysses Currie is underway in Baltimore. Currie had been a consultant for Shopper’s Food Warehouse, and allegedly asked to be put on the payroll of the chain. In exchange, Currie agreed to use his position as chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee to obtain liquor licenses for Shopper’s stores and have traffic lights installed near them. He was indicted in September of last year on eighteen separate charges, half of which were dropped in May of this year.

 

Union Blames Federal Government for Postal Problems

The best way to save the U.S. Postal Service is get the federal government out of the way, and let the Post Office operate as a private company…that, according to the Director of Organization for the American Postal Worker’s Union, Rich Shelley. He claims three independent audits have determined the USPS has overpaid pension funds by at least $55 billion, and the current employee health care is overfunded. He says there is mounting support for a bill that would place the postal on solid financial footing and preserve the current 6-day a week service, all without a single cent of taxpayer money.

 

Tomblin Has Ten Point Lead

Acting West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has a ten-point lead over his opponent, Republican businessman Bill Maloney, heading into next week’s special election. A poll of 500 potential voters shows that 46 per cent support Tomblin, while 36 per cent favor Maloney. Eighteen per cent are undecided. Tomblin has a 51 per cent favorability rating, according to the survey, taken by the Mellman Group, Incorporated. The special election will be held next Tuesday, October 4th

Local News Update


On Monday, 09/26/2011, at 11:04 AM, the Maryland State Police were dispatched to a private residence on Red Maple Lane in McCoole for a reported domestic assault. When they arrived they were met by the 35 year old female victim a short distance from the home. She reported that her boyfriend, 26 year old James Richard Lease, and she had been involved in an argument and he had shoved her to the ground several times, and had pointed a rifle at her and the couple’s 9 month old child, threatening them. She further advised that she thought Lease was still in the residence with the child.

    Troopers, with the assistance of the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Natural Resources Police set up a perimeter around the residence. Members of the Cumberland City Police CERT tactical assault team, the Maryland State Police STATE tactical assault team, the Maryland State Police medevac helicopter “Trooper 5”, and Investigators with the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigation Unit (C3I) also responded to the scene. Lease had apparently fled the residence with the child prior to the arrival of law enforcement in the area.

Reports of a male, carrying a small child, walking along the railroad tracks between McCoole and Westernport, began to come in to the emergency dispatch center. A search of the area was conducted, and Lease was located on the tracks just off Rt. 135. Officers attempted to convince him to release the child and surrender. After repeated attempts to do so, Officers had to use a Taser stun gun to subdue Lease.

The child was checked by ambulance personnel on the scene, and was not injured. The child was returned to the mother. Lease was taken into custody and transported to the hospital as a precaution as part of standard procedure whenever a stun gun is deployed. He was treated and released.

A search warrant for the residence was obtained and a search was conducted. Several firearms were removed from the residence.

Lease was charged with two counts each of 1st Degree Assault, 2nd Degree Assault, False Imprisonment, and Reckless Endangerment. He is currently awaiting an initial appearance before a District Court Commissioner.

Local News Update


Hostage Situation Ends; Suspect in Custody

The Maryland State Police say a hostage situation in McCoole ended without incident early this afternoon. Although few details are available, law enforcement authorities were on the scene, negotiating with a man, who was holding a nine-month old child hostage. The situation arose from a domestic incident at the home. During the negotiations, the man left the property, and was later apprehended. More details will be released as they become available from the Maryland State Police.

Local News


Woman Killed in Route 220 Accident Saturday

Twenty-three year old Jade Blizzard of LaVale was killed in a two-vehicle accident Saturday evening near Hannah Plaza along Route 220. The accident, which occurred around 9 p.m., occurred as Ms. Blizzard was driving north on Route 220, when her vehicle, for an unknown reason, crossed into the southbound lane, into the path of another vehicle, driven by Brook Atkinson of Cumberland. The accident remains under investigation. Route 220 was closed for about three hours.

 

Three Rocky Gap Bids Submitted

Three bids have been received to open a slots casino at Rocky Gap State Park. Those representatives include Paragon Project Resources , a real estate company owned by former state Democratic Party Chair Nathan Landow, and Potts Gaming LLC, a subsidiary of a St. Louis, Missouri company. Bids were due by 2 p.m. last Friday. The anticipated date for awarding the license is in December.

 

Inmate Killed at WCI in Cresaptown

 Maryland State Police are continuing their investigation into the murder of a state prison inmate Thursday night at the Western Correctional Institution. The cause of death for Saleem N. Abdullah was asphyxiation, but additional forensic tests are being conducted. A suspect in the murder is being held, but is not yet being identified. He, too, is an inmate at the prison. When the investigation is completed, the case will be presented to the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office for review and the determination of criminal charges.

 

`Tentative Date Set in Pines Arson Trial

A tentative date of April 23rd has been set for the trial of Kelly Bradley, co-owner of the Pines Restaurant in Keyser. She is accused of intentionally setting fire to the establishment, and the fire also destroyed the Wee Care Day Care Center and CitiFinancial. A status hearing on the case will be held on October 19th at 11:30 a.m. Rulings will be made on the admissibility of testimony questions and the motion for a change in venue.

 

ARC Funding Announced for Cresaptown Water Project

The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded a $175,000 grant to the County Commissioners to increase water volume, reliability and fire protection for the Cresaptown business district, located two miles from the Barton Business Park. The project is expected to create 236 new jobs and retain 264 existing ones. Local sources will provide $175,000, bringing the total project funding to $350,000. The grant was praised by both of Maryland’s United States Senators, Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin.

 

Schroeder Expands at North Branch Industrial Park

Schroeder Industries, LLC, a manufacturer of specialized Advanced Liquid Filtration Solutions, is again expanding its current operation in Allegany County at the North Branch Industrial Park. The company will expand by an additional 12,000 square feet and occupy the entire multi-tenant building there. The expansion is planned to be completed by January 1st of next year. Schroeder now employs 70 people in Allegany County.

 

Woman Arrested on Five Bench Warrants

A Williams Street woman was recently served with five bench warrants. Kendra Plummer  was served at the Cumberland Police Department, charging her with two separate counts of disorderly conduct; failure to appear for violation of probation hearing on a charge of possession of paraphernalia; malicious destruction of property/disturbing the peach; and, failure to obey a lawful order/resisting arrest. She was taken for a bond review and held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Hyndman Health Center Receives Grant

The Hyndman Area Health Center has received a $250,000 grant to relocate its Bedford operations into a larger facility by the end of this year. The Appalachian Regional Comnmission grant will assist with renovations to the former CompuTech building on South Thomas Street. Renovations at the new location represent a $1.4 million investment.

 

Maryland Revenue Projections Up for Budget Year

Maryland’s revenue estimates have increased by $195 million for the current budget year, due to better than expected income tax returns. During the Maryland Board of Public Works meeting, Comptroller Peter Franchot urged caution in spending the surplus, because the figures are masking soft sales tax returns. Earlier this year, Maryland budget writers announced a nearly one billion dollar surplus by at the end of Fiscal Year 2011.

Local News


Firefighter Injured in Little Orleans Blaze

A firefighter sustained first-degree burns in battling a blaze on Mann Road in Little Orleans early yesterday morning. The two-story, single family dwelling was owned by Kenneth Bowman, and losses were placed at $200,000. The fire remains under investigation, but is believed to have started in the basement of the home. The firefighter was held overnight at the hospital for observation.

 

Woman Escapes Serious Injury in Wreck

Cumberland resident Michelle Andrade escaped an accident yesterday, when her vehicle hit a utility pole and wrapped the SUV with live electrical wires. First-responders arrived on the scene and told her to remain in the vehicle, until Potomac Edison crews were able to shut off electrical power to the pole. She was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, and there were no charges filed.

 

Board of Public Works Approves Preservation

The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved 87 acres in the Bear Creek Rural Legacy Area in Garrett County. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, preservation of the property, owned by Delegate Wendell Beitzel and his wife, will permanently protect 87 acres of valuable agricultural and forest lands. The easement on the property will provide a permanent forest buffer of 2,990 feet of Bear Creek and its tributaries and extinguish 28 development rights.

 

DUI Checkpoint Set

The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Frostburg Police Department and the Maryland State Highway Administration, will be conducting a DUI checkpoint Friday from 9 p.m. to midnight in the area of Route 36 at Frostburg Plaza. Motorists are encouraged to use caution, when traveling through the area, and to remain alert.

 

Pizzeria Opening in Downtown Cumberland

A New York-style pizza shop is opening in downtown Cumberland on October 10th. “Uncle Jack’s Pizzeria and Pub” is opening at the former location of the Canal Pub. Owner Brian Dillon says one of the unique features of the restaurant will be two windows where passersby can watch chefs tossing the pies in the air. Dillon is the current owner of Pyzano’s Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant on Greene Street in Cumberland.

 

Update on Keyser Athletic Complex Fundraiser

Only about 10 per cent of the total payment for this year, has been made on the Keyser High School Athletic Complex. Principal Charles Wimer says that $27,900 has been raised. The school has failed to meet its payments the first two years on the complex; the Mineral County Board of Education has made the payments during the times they fell short. Through a series of fundraisers, the school is hoping to meet the total $279,000 payment, due in July.

 

Man Denies Stalking Elderly Pennsylvania Woman

A man who has been charged with murdering his second wife, after only three weeks of marriage, recently faced stalking charges in Somerset County. Seventy-six year old William McTonic allegedly sent the 76-year old woman flowers, drove by her house and called her repeatedly in July. Stalking charges were dropped, however, when a judge threw out a statement allegedly made to police by McTonic. The alleged stalking victim testified against McTonic at a hearing in connection to the murder case.

 

Meeting Held on Closing Post Office

About 50 people turned out for a meeting, regarding the possible closing of the Artemas, Pennsylvania post office. It is one of 3,660 facilities nationwide under consideration for closure. If Artemas does close, the post office that will handle deliveries for the area would be Warfordsburg in Fulton County. Comments made would be part of the record when the Postal Regulatory Commission decides which post offices will close.

 

O’Malley Considers Jobs Bill

Next month’s special session of the General Assembly was supposed to deal with legislative redistricting, but Governor Martin O’Malley may ask representatives to consider his jobs bill. The package could include an expansion of business tax credits for research and development and biotech investments, both of which have been popular. And, there is a third, yet-to-be-disclosed tax credit. O’Malley says ideas are still being developed.

Local News


Company Plans To Bid on Rocky Gap

A company, owned by former state Democratic Party Chairman Nathan Landow, plans to bid on the slots license at Rocky Gap State Park by tomorrow. The Washington Post says the bids close tomorrow, with a request for proposals issued in June. The anticipated date to award the license is in December.

 

Local Mail Center Under Consideration for Consolidation

It may be several weeks before we  know whether the Cumberland mail processing plant will be “consolidated,” as the U.S. Postal Service has it under review. The USPS is looking to close 300 of its 500 mail processing plants across the country. The Cumberland location has more than 100 workers. If the processing plant is closed, the retail operation should remain open.

 

Animal Shelter Wins Contest

The Allegany County Animal Shelter has won the state portion of a national contest, designed to aid animal rescue organizations. The Cumberland Times-News says the shelter will be the recipient of $1,000, and that there was some competition from some well-respected organizations. Nationally, the shelter ranked in the top 30 to 40 shelters nationwide during the course of the contest.

 

Suspects Developed in Bald Eagle Killing

The Maryland Natural Resources Police are developing persons of interest in the killing of a bald eagle on Hazen Road, near Rocky Gap State Park. The eagle was found, shot to death, by the caretaker of the property last Friday. The NRP believes that, either it was eating someone’s livestock, or a hunter shot it before realizing the consequences. Even though it was removed from the endangered species list four years ago, it is still protected by federal law. Fines of up to $1500 and a sentence of up to one year in jail can be imposed on anyone killing a bald eagle.

 

Keyser To Examine Regulating Cell Towers

The number of cell towers is expected to increase three-fold in the coming years, and the city of Keyser is looking to regulate the number in the city. At last week’s Mayor and Council meeting, representatives met with Jennifer Fox, owner of Fox Engineering, which has offices in Ripley and Fairmont, to discuss governing the number of towers in the city. While no action has been taken, the City Council is giving information received by Fox Engineering serious consideration.

 

Race May Slow Traffic

Although no local roads will be closed, a two-day foot race from Cumberland to Washington, D.C. may slow traffic in some areas this weekend. The Ragnar Relay/Washington, D.C. will be run this Friday and Saturday, and will pass through parts of Allegany and Washington Counties. There are 280 teams participating in the race, with each team using two vans. This is the fourth year for the 200-mile Ragnar Relay Series.

 

Almanack Makes Its Winter Predictions

The Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanack is calling for at least three “Nor’easters” this coming winter, with the severity depending on what happens to water in the Pacific Ocean. If the La Nina phenomenon does not return, the region will, most likely, face a “pretty wet” winter, with average temperatures and an increased likelihood of a more severe winter, with heavier snow in February. La Nina is characterized by colder than normal water in the eastern Pacific Ocean around the equator.

 

Angel Food Ministries Cancels Distribution in Washington County

Washington County’s Angel Food Ministries is the latest victim of the economy, canceling distribution of discounted boxes of food. They had been sending boxes of food to area churches across the country for years, but with rising food prices and delivery costs, they have had to cancel that. Angel Food Ministries has also had to lay off 90 employees, and there is doubt as to when, or if, the service will return.

 

Maryland Bracing for Possible Gas Tax Increase

The state of Maryland seems to be moving closer to a gas tax increase. In late April, a blue ribbon commission began exploring the possibility of a gas tax increase. Governor Martin O’Malley quips that there is one tax that the business community universally supports, and that is the gas tax; and, there is one tax that the general public universally and unanimously opposes-and, that is the gas tax. While drivers are being taxed 23.5 cents a gallon, there could be another increase of between five and ten cents per gallon.

Local News


Several Show Interest in Shops At Canal Place

Several prospective tenants have shown an interest in at least two units of the Shops At Canal place. During a meeting of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority yesterday, an update was given on two of the parcels, Units C-3 and C-2. Local Long and Foster Realtor Bill Chesno says that at least six people have shown an interest in locating there. The Authority has also re-taken possession of the former Footer Dye Works Building, and will update the requests for proposals to redevelop the structure.

 

Strong Armed Robbery in Frostburg

An elderly Carlos Road couple was the victim of a strong-armed robbery Sunday evening at their residence. An unknown man entered their residents, forcing them to give him cash. The suspect wore dark clothing and had dirt smeared on his face to conceal his identity. The Maryland State Police Medevac helicopter and a K-9 unit were unable to locate the suspect. The crime scene was processed by the Maryland State Police Evidence Collection unit, and anyone with information is asked to call any local law enforcement agency.

 

Augusta Murder Trial Moved to February

The trial of Augusta resident Joseph Sylvester Bennett-who is accused of first degree murder in the death of his fiancee’s one year old daughter-will be held in February in Mineral County Circuit Court. His attorneys had asked for additional time to prepare their case. Beginning on February 6th, the trial is expected to take two days. Bennett remains in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $75,000 bond.

 

Defendant’s Mental Capacity Debated

Whether or not John Gerholt is mentally challenged, and therefore ineligible for the death penalty in Pennsylvania, will be decided within the next ten days. A hearing was held earlier this week in the case, in which Gerholt, formerly of Mount Union, is accused of fatally shooting his wife, Karen, outside of a McDonald’s restaurant in Bedford County in November of 2008. The U.S. Supreme Court banned executions of mentally challenged defendants, and Gerholt’s attorneys contend he is mentally challenged.

 

South Carolina Resident Arrested on Burglary Charges

South Carolina resident Gavin Chapman Schaaff is accused of breaking into a Park Street home, and attempting to break into another on Maryland Avenue. The incidents allegedly happened late Monday evening. Shaaff is also accused of striking an officer in the chest and face. He is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

State Police Investigate Attempted Robbery

The West Virginia State Police are investigating an attempted robbery that took place earlier this month on Cunningham Lane, near Moorefield. The suspect posed as a disabled motorist, and the victim was attacked when he stopped to offer assistance. The victim was wrestled into a ditch, but eventually broke free and returned to his vehicle unharmed. Anyone with information on the incident should call Senior Trooper S.A. Nazlerod at (304)-538-2925.

 

Columbia Gas Repairs Begin Wednesday

The city of Cumberland’s Engineering Department, along with Columbia Gas of Maryland and its contractor, Shaffer Construction, is notifying the public that permanent repairs will be made to gas company patches on Gephart Drive, from Fayette Street to Thompson Street. The work will be done, weather permitting. Parking will be restricted as posted. The repairs should run through Friday. Questions or concerns should be directed to the City of Cumberland Engineering Department at (301)-759-6600.

 

Everett Groundbreaking Set

The Everett Area School District has tentatively set the first or second week of October as the time frame to break ground on the renovations and additions to its middle/high school complex. The project is about three to four million dollars short in financing, and the school board there is looking at other financing options, such as a traditional loan.

 

Delegate Freed From Federal Prison

Former Maryland Delegate Robert McKee has been released from federal prison, after serving his sentence for possession of child pornography. He had been sentenced to 37 months in prison, but was released after only 32 months because of “good time credit,’ which inmates receive, if they follow the rules. McKee, a former Washington County delegate, had been serving his time at the federal correctional institution at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Local News


Commissioners Did Not Violate Open Meetings Act

The Allegany County Commissioners did not violate any open meetings act laws in their decision to aid Little Orleans students to attend schools in Hancock. A decision was rendered on September 13th, by the State of Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board. A complaint had been filed by the Cumberland Times News, after the decision was announced on June 9th.

 

Task Force Appointed to Study Falling Rates At ACM

The Allegany College of Maryland Board of Trustees has appointed a task force to determine why completion rates have been declining. The “successful persister rate” for college students there has fallen from 95.6 in 2003 to 71.5 in 2006. Also on the decline is the rate of students who complete developmental courses, dropping from 28.8 per cent in 2003 to 21.7 per cent in 2006.

 

Bald Eagle Killed

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is investigating the killing of a bald eagle in the 14000-block of Hazen Road in Cumberland, along Evitt’s Creek. The dead bald eagle was found and reported last Friday. Evidence suggests the bird had been killed within a week of being found. The NRP is asking anyone with information to call the Communication Center at 1-800-628-9944 and ask to speak with Officer Jim Satterfield. The number for anonymous information is 1-800-635-6124, and that is the Catch a Poacher Hotline.

 

Green Mountain Project Operational by December 31st

The Green Mountain electrical generation project should be operational by December 31st, with 23 turbines, producing 169-kilowatt hours of electric per year. At a recent meeting of the Community Advisory Panel, residents were assured  that no surrounding community will lose electric, once the commissioning process begins.

 

Fire Destroys Mobile Home

A 16-by-42 mobile home was destroyed by fire over the weekend, and the cause remains under investigation. The home, at 11915 Colorado Avenue, was owned by Frederick Guthrie; the fire, which was discovered by a neighbory, originated in the kitchen. The estimated loss was set at a combined $60,000. The family is being assisted by the local American Red Cross.

 

Man Pleads Guilty to Abducting WVSD&B Student

A twenty-one year old man has pleaded guilty to the abduction and sexual assault of a 15-year old student. Joshua Lewis Duff is accused of abducting 15-year old Sara Isner from her Grafton home in January. Both are hearing-impaired, and Isner is a student at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. Duff allegedly sexually assaulted her several times during her captivity. Duff was indicted by a grand jury. He also faces charges in Ritchie County.

 

Baltimore Sun Highlights County Crime Rate

In a weekend article, the Baltimore Sun notes that the number of crimes per 100,000 is lower in 21 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions than it was 36 years ago. The three exceptions are two Eastern Shore Counties and Allegany County. Overall, Allegany County’s rate was the sixth highest in the state. Several business owners, law enforcement officials and politicians were interviewed for the article, with Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim noting the crime rate has traditionally been low, and he adds, “there’s only one direction you can go.”

 

Fort Hill Foundation Establishes Trimble Scholarship

Hundreds of friends, family and community members gathered at Fort Hill High School on Thursday, September 1st to pay tribute to the late Steve Trimble. Donations for the Steve Trimble Scholarship were collected from those attending the memorial service. Trimble’s wife, Gretchen, and their children generously donated $1,000 for the first scholarship in his name to be awarded at Fort Hill’s 2012 commencement ceremony.

 

Babo Could Return Home Soon

Serge Babo, of Ridgeley, could be reunited with his wife and family in the very near future, as a hardship waiver has been approved, paving the way for him to return to the U.S. Babo was deported to his native Cameroon in August of last year, and has been away from his family since then. When he returns, he will be given a green card, and has ten years to apply for citizenship. His wife, Brittany, credits United States Senator Jay Rockfeller for helping speed up the process.

Local News


One of Two Shooting Suspects Arrested

One of two shooting suspects in a fatal Labor Day shooting in Ridgeley was arrested over the weekend in Williamsport, Maryland. Twenty-seven year old Rasjahnon Roberts was taken into custody, and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ryan Henry and the wounding of his brother Richard, both of New Jersey. Records indicate that Roberts is a resident of North Mechanic Street in Cumberland. He is being held at the Washington County Detention Center, pending extradition to West Virginia. His brother, Rashammach, is still being sought.

 

Man Arrested for Attempted Murder

A Cumberland man has been arrested and charged with attempted murder. David Antoine Lee was taken into custody in connection with an assault involving a knife, outside an establishment on Virginia Avenue. The stabbing sent two people to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Injuries were said to be non-life threatening. He was charged with one count of attempted 2nd degree murder, along with assault, reckless endangerment, affray and disorderly conduct. He is being held without bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Cumberland Man Held on Felony Assault Charges

Forty-six year old Cumberland resident Jeff Padgent is being held on $50,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, on charges of felony assault, in connection wqith an incident on September 9th on Virginia Avenue. He allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, dropped her off at the hospital, then fled. She sustained significant facial injuries in the incident.

 

Western Maryland Counties Considering Lobbyist

As the state develops a comprehensive statewide growth program, the five Western Maryland counties are considering hiring a lobbyist to promote their interests. The proposal would call for the commissioners from Allegany, Garrett, Washington, Frederick and Carroll counties to contribute $5,000 each toward a lobbyist. The comprehensive document, dubbed “PlanMaryland” has been released with revisions based on the response to the initial draft. The Maryland Planning Department is requesting public comment on the new draft through November 9th.

 

Somerset County Juvenile Dies From Gunshot Wound

The investigation into the fatal shooting of a Somerset County juvenile is being conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police. A juvenile male was pronounced dead at the Somerset hospital, from a single gunshot wound around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Investigators were processing the scene where the shooting occurred, and police are not searching for anyone in relation to the shooting.

 

Bike Ride Promotes Allegheny Trail

A group of Cumberland residents, including Cumberland City Council member Nick Scarpelli participated in a bike ride from Connellsville, Pennsylvania to Cumberland, to help promote the Allegheny Trail. The group left Cumberland on a CSX train on Thursday evening, stayed overnight in Connellsville. The first leg of the return trip ended in Rockwood, with the group’s arrival in Cumberland on Saturday.

 

Bedford Drug Supplier Arrested

The Bedford County Drug Task Force has arrested a 19-year old man, whom they believe was a drug supplier. Tyler Shomo faces three counts of delivery of a controlled dangerous substance and related offenses. A criminal investigation was begun earlier this year, and has included the arrest of a half-dozen criminal defendants over the course of the past two months. The allegations involve the delivery of heroin to an undercover State Police Vice Unit Trooper on three separate occasions, beginning in August of this year.

 

Restricted Access to Alley

The city of Cumberland Engineering Department says that, beginning Monday, and running through November 15th, there will be restricted traffic access to an alley between West Union Street and West Harrison Street. This will be at the Union Street intersection. Harbel, Incorporated is doing some work in that area. If there are any questions, contact Harbel, Incorporated at (301)-729-8303.

 

Health Department Holding Flu Clinics

The Allegany County Health Department has scheduled seasonal flu vaccine clinics for 2011. The next clinic will be held on Tuesday at the Midland Fire Hall from 4 to 6 p.m., and the third on Thursday, September 29th at the Oldtown Fire Hall from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. For more information on the clinics, including the cost, call the Health Department at (301)-759-5090.

Local News


Authorities Find Body of Swimmer

Authorities in Bedford County have recovered the body of Wesley Williams who went swimming in Lake Gordon in the area of Dam Road on Monday.  Fishermen in the area told police they saw Williams swim out approximately 30 feet from the shore line; they became concerned when they did not see him return to shore. His body was recovered yesterday morning.

 

Bel Air Earns National Blue Ribbon Status

Bel Air Elementary School has earned the designation as a national Blue Ribbon School, only one of six in the state of Maryland. The school will be invited to Washington, D.C. on November 14th and 15th, and will be honored by national officials, including the U.S. Secretary of Education. Last year, Bel Air was selected to be recognized as a 2011 Maryland Blue Ribbon School. Former State Superintendent of Schools, Nancy Grasmick visited the school, to honor all of the hard-working staff members for their dedication and commitment to student achievement.

 

Commissioners Commit to new Allegany High School

The Allegany County Commissioners have approved local funding for a new Allegany High School and other educational projects at yesterday’s meeting. The commissioners, who wanted more information on the estimated costs of the projects, had withheld local funding for several aspects of the Capital Improvement Plan. The commissioners moved up the date on the vote, which was originally scheduled for next week, and yesterday’s vote was unanimous.

 

Garrett College Receives ARC Grant

Garrett College will be receiving an over $264,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, to establish a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program. The program will better prepare workers for current and future jobs. In addition to the ARC funds announced by Maryland United States Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, state sources will provide $82,000, and local sources will provide over $182,000 bringing the total project funding to nearly $530,000.

 

Man Convicted of Child Abuse Charges

It took a Bedford County jury five hours to find Jeffrey Loshaw guilty of several counts of child abuse, in connection with an incident involving his girlfriend’s 8-year old daughter. The case went to the jury at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, and a verdict was returned around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. It is being called the worst case of child abuse that Children and Youth Services workers had seen in decades. The 33-year old Loshaw allegedly forced his girlfriend’s daughter to stand on a cooler, holding bags of heavy cans, forced her to drink hot sauce until she vomited, and locked her in an attic he said were full of ghosts, as forms of extreme punishment. Sentencing will come in mid-November.

 

Man Arrested in Burglary

A 20-year old local resident, James Adam Cage, was arrested earlier this week, after kicking in the door of a Carpendale residence, and trying to enter the home. The victim was awakened by the noise, and he allegedly fled after he had entered the residence. A juvenile is being questioned in connection with the incident, which remains under investigation.

 

Man Arrested in Domestic Incident

A Keyser resident, 33-year old Kenny Barmore, was arrested after he assaulted a woman at his Carroll Street residence. Barmore was arrested after police returned to the home; Barmore had punched out a window, which caused a severe hand injury. He was taken to Potomac Valley Hospital for treatment, then to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, where he remains, pending a court appearance.

 

Everett Situation Ends Peacefully

A situation involving an Everett woman who had barricaded herself in her First Street house, ended peacefully this week. The woman allegedly has mental health issues; her husband had called the crisis hotline for help, and there were fears it may have been a hostage situation. There were guns inside the home, so a Special Emergency Response Team was called in as a precaution. Nobody was threatened and no charges will be filed. Everett had been on a lockdown while the situation was being resolved.

 

Man Charged with Trespassing, Obstructing and Hindering

Cumberland resident Eastern Star Day was arrested by Cumberland City Police, in connection with an incident in July on Virginia Avenue. Day had been arguing in a residence and he was told to leave and not return. Day came back to the property, but left the area when police arrived. He was arrested Wednesday, and, following a hearing in District Court, was released on his own recognizance.

 

Welcome Center Opens Saturday

The new Welcome Center will open this weekend in downtown Cumberland. Any business or organization that would like to have their brochures, rack cards, menus and the like, should take them to Mall Mananger Ed Mullaney’s Office at 10 north Mechanic Street. If you would like to man the center, you may contact Mullaney at (301)-268-2135.

 

ACM Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Allegany College is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and several activities have been planned to mark the milestone. An event will begin at 1 p.m. with a classic car cruise-in and later in the afternoon, a free concert by the Fabulous Hubcaps. The events will be held on campus, and the Hubcaps’ show will be held on a covered outdoor stage, adjacent to the Physical Education Building. Food, soft drinks and ice cream will be available. Visitors are invited to bring picnic baskets and their own beverages, but they should realize that ACM is an alcohol-free campus.

Local News


Authorities Continue Search

Authorities in Bedford County were called in to search for a missing man earlier this week, they believe went swimming in Lake Gordon in the area of Dam Road on Monday. The missing man has been identified as Wesley Williams. Fishermen in the area told police they saw Williams swim out approximately 30 feet from the shore line; they became concerned when they did not see him return to shore. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-623-6133.

 

Cumberland Youth Charged in Knife Incident

A 15-year old Cumberland boy was arrested near his Pine Place residence Tuesday, after he tried to stab a family member and then fled the home. Two family members suffered minor knife wounds. He was charged with felony and misdemeanor assault, reckless endangerment and use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime. He was placed in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Services.

 

Garrett County Break In Investigated

The Garrett County detachment of the Maryland State Police is investigating the breaking and entering of a home on Pocahontas Road in Finzel, either Monday evening or Tuesday morning. A person or persons forced entry into a garage. There is no word on whether anything was taken. Anyone with information is asked to call the McHenry Barrack at (301)-387-1101. Callers can remain anonymous.

 

Attempted Arson Incident Investigated

Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the attempted arson of an unoccupied house at the intersection of Warrens Mill Road and Sand Springs Road in Salisbury. A person or person threw a flammable object through the window of the home, and ignited a small section of carpeting, a wall and drapery. The home is owned by Robert Wilburn of Grantsville. Anyone with information is asked to contact Pennsylvania State Police at Somerset.

 

Frostburg Teenager Assaults Family Members, Police

A 17-year old Frostburg teenager is accused of assaulting three family members and the Frostburg Police officers who arrived to investigate the complaint. The youth faces several counts of assault and one of resisting arrest. He allegedly assaulted his grandparents and 19-year old sister. He was eventually subdued with a Taser, and taken into custody, and later turned over to the Department of Juvenile Services.

 

Parent Conferences Set for September 29th

Allegany County Public Schools will hold parent conferences on Thursday, September 29th from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dinner is scheduled for 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., at which time teachers will not be available for conferences. All grade levels will allow for parents to schedule meetings with their child’s teacher. Conference requests should be made by noon on September 28th.

 

Local News


Police Search For Robbery Suspect

Cumberland City Police and other law enforcement units are investigating a robbery around 10:34 a.m. at the M & T Bank on Industrial Boulevard in South Cumberland Wednesday morning. This is the second robbery at the M & T Bank since March 11th. The suspect is described as a heavy-set white man, wearing a black hat, blue shorts and a gray tee-shirt. A black handgun was reportedly used in the robbery, and police believe this is the same suspect that robbed the bank earlier this year. The Maryland State Police Trooper Five helicopter and a K-9 unit were also utilized in the search for the suspect. As a precaution, the Allegany County Board of Education ordered a lock-in or Fort Hill, Washington Middle School, South Penn and John Humbird schools.

 

Man, Woman Treated Following Accident in Hyndman

Thirty-seven year old Cumberland resident Jason Bender and an unidentified 21-year old woman were treated at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, after Pennsylvania State Police  stopped them for speeding Monday evening. Both were found to have suffered major injuries. Bender told police he had crashed and was on his way to the hospital in Cumberland for medical treatment. It was also noted that Bender did not have a valid drivers’ license and was allegedly intoxicated. A legal blood draw was performed as part of the investigation.

 

Marijuana Recovered After Traffic Stop

Three people were arrested following a traffic stop on Industrial Boulevard Sunday evening, and charged with possession of marijuana. Forty-four year old Peggy Williams and 19-year old Andrew Cook of Cumberland, along with 22-year old Ridgeley resident Tyler Hoover were taken into custody. Following a hearing in Allegany County District Court, all three were released on personal recognizance.

 

Potomac Edison Schedules Service Interruption

Potomac Edison is scheduling a planned service interruption this Sunday from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m.; the rain date is Sunday, September 25th at the same time. The outage encompasses a large area of Baker, Mathias and Rio. It will take place in the vicinity of Route 259, including Branch Mountain. Another area affected will be Route 55, to Camp Pinnacle.

 

PVTA Restructuring Schedule

The Potomac Valley Transit Authority is restructuring its schedule between Romney and Cumberland. Effective October 31st, the service will only operate between the two points on Thursdays. The PVTA has recently introduced a reservation-based demand response transportation service, called “Romney Ready Ride.”

 

ACM To Host College Night

Allegany College of Maryland will once again host the Annual Tri-State College Night on Tuesday, October 11th from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the gymnasium. This is the 44th year for the event, sponsored by the Allegany County Guidance Counselors’ Association, strives to help high school students make educated decisions about post-secondary plans. Numerous colleges, universities and technical schools will participate. For more information on the 44th Annual Tri-State College Night, contact Beth Nightengale at Allegany College of Maryland via e-mail at bnightengale@allegany.edu.

 

Local News-Robbery Update


Police Search For Robber

 

Cumberland City Police and other law enforcement units are investigating a robbery around 10:34 a.m. at the M & T Bank on Industrial Boulevard in South Cumberland Wednesday morning. This is the second robbery at the M & T Bank since March 11th. The suspect is described as a heavy-set white man, wearing a black hat, blue shorts and a gray tee-shirt. A black handgun was reportedly used in the robbery, and police believe this is the same suspect that robbed the bank earlier this year. The Maryland State Police Trooper Five helicopter and a K-9 unit were also utilized in the search for the suspect. As a precaution, the Allegany County Board of Education ordered a lock-in or Fort Hill, Washington Middle School, South Penn and John Humbird schools.

Local News


Police Investigate Robbery

 

Cumberland City Police and other law enforcement units were on the scene of a robbery at the M & T Bank on Industrial Boulevard in South Cumberland earlier this morning. First reported at mid-morning, this is the second robbery at the M & T Bank in recent memory. There is no further information on the alleged robbery, nor the amount of money taken. It has not been confirmed that this was the same suspect, who robbed the bank in March. The suspect is described as wearing a black hat, a grey tee-shirt, and blue shorts. A black pistol was reportedly used in the robbery. The Maryland State Police Trooper five helicopter was also utilized in the search for the suspect.

Local News


Police Investigating Robbery

Cumberland City Police are on the scene of a robbery at the M & T bank on Industrial Boulevard. The call was received at mid-morning. This is the second robbery at the M & T location in recent memory. There is no further information on the alleged robbery, the amount of money taken, nor a description of the suspect.

Local News


Gaming Revenue Continues Decline

Gaming revenue, from tip jars and other similar games continue to decline in Allegany County. Gaming officials had estimated revenue at $434,000 for the fiscal year; instead actual receipts were set at just over $407,000. This represents a continuing decline over the past couple of fiscal years. Allegany County utilizes gaming funds to support volunteer fire and rescue companies and the Board of Education. Allegany and Washington Counties are the only two in Maryland to have legally regulated paper gaming.

 

Marijuana Growing Operation Discovered in Hardy County

 What is described as an “elaborate” marijuana growing operation has been discovered in the Meadow Hills subdivision of Baker, West Virginia. It is estimated to be worth $50,000, according to the West Virginia State Police at Moorefield/Petersburg. A search warrant led to the seizure of 54 marijuana plants located near a home there, and charges are pending in the case.

 

Route 220 Presentation Set

A presentation on the upgrades to Route 220 will be presented by city planner Dave Umling at tonight’s Cumberland Mayor and City Council meeting. The meeting is set for 6:15 p.m. The Route 220 presentation will include studies for improving the capacity and operational safety of the U.S. 220 National Highway System, between Corridor “H” in West Virginia and Interstate 68 in Cumberland.

 

Man Transported to Hospital, Causes Disturbance

A Cumberland man was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center this past weekend, and was later arrested for causing a disturbance there. Richard Lee Lloyd II was charged with disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order. He was taken to Allegany County District Court, and later to the detention center, where he was held on $2500 bond.

 

Man Held on $25,000 Bond

A Cumberland resident is being held on $25,000, following a robbery on the downtown Cumberland Mall. Eric Jason Burley is accused of yelling at his victims, and threatening to harm them. He went through both victims’ pockets. The female victim began to run and Burley allegedly hit her several times in the back of the head. Burley was later arrested on several counts, including armed robbery, theft, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and assault.

 

Car Fire Ruled Arson

Two car fires at Queen City Motors have been ruled arson by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. The vehicles, a 1994 Mercury Grand marquis and a 1995 Ford Taurus, were parked on Fulton Street. The total loss has been set at $2,000. The fires began in the interior of the vehicles. Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 877-890-0199.

 

Former Hospital To Be Used for Dorms

The former Potomac Valley Hospital on Mineral Street in Keyser will soon be used for Potomac State College student housing. The West Virginia University Board of Governors has approved the acquisition and renovation of the former hospital and property. The total cost of the 44,000 square-foot facility is $600,000. Renovation will begin this fall, and will most likely be completed in August of next year.

 

Electronic Recycling Set

Allegany County Government will have a collection of electronics on Saturday, October 1st, behind the Allegany County Office Complex from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. JVS Environmental, a recycling company based in Rockwood, Pennsylvania will be responsible for the disposition of the electronics. There is no charge to dispose of certain items, such as microwave ovens, cell phones, scanners and the like. However, there are charges for other items. Not included in the recycling event are any items with Freon, appliances/white goods, wooden speakers or vacuum cleaners.

 

Bedford Man Killed in Motorcycle Accident

A Bedford man was killed Saturday afternoon in an accident on mill Street in Schellsburg. Thirty-six year old Mark Keller did a “burnout” with his motorcycle, and lost control, going off the road and striking a pickup truck. He was not wearing a helmet, and died of injuries sustained in the crash. He had just left the parking lot of Judy’s Bar. The incident was reported around 2:12 p.m. Saturday.

Local News


Warrants Issued in fatal Ridgeley Shooting

Two suspects are being sought in the fatal shooting of Ryan Henry and the wounding of his brother, Richard, last weekend in Ridgeley. The Mineral County Sheriff’s Department has issued a warrant for the arrests of Rasshammach Roberts and his brother Rasjahnon Roberts. The shootings took place last Sunday morning, near the corner of Potomac and Lyons Streets, after an altercation began at a nearby Ridgeley tavern. The gun used in the shootings has been recovered. An article in a New Jersey newspaper does not indicate the hometowns of the Roberts brothers.

 

Man Held on $60,000 Bond

A Cumberland man is being held on $60,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following an assault Friday in an alley near Baltimore Avenue. David Lee Kesler is accused of attacking the victim, who was carrying a bottle of liquor, and stealing it. A photo lineup helped identify Kesler, who was later arrested.

 

Man Arrested for Indecent Exposure

A 62-year old Cumberland man has been arrested for indecent exposure at a Queen City Drive business. He was processed at Police Headquarters and held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. He faces two counts of indecent exposure, and one of disorderly conduct.

 

Man Charged with Assault, Theft, and Burglary

Twenty-one year old Tyler Poole is being held in the Allegany County Detention Center, following his arrest Sunday in the 300-block of National Highway. He is accused of forcing his way into an apartment, assaulting the occupants and throwing a stone through a car window. As they arrived on the scene, officers heard glass breaking and say him breaking several other car windows. He is being held on $20,000 bond.

 

County Agency Renamed

The Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security will be renamed the Department of Emergency Services. President of the Board of Commissioners, Mike McKay, announced the new name at the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony and the 9-1-1 Communications Day held by the County Commissioners and the department. Four divisions remain in the department, including the 911 Joint Communications Center, Emergency management, Emergency Medical Services and the Animal Control office and Shelter.

 

Local Aid Group Cancels September Distribution

The Angel Food Ministry sites in Bedford County will not have a distribution this month, and those who have already paid for their order will be receiving a refund. The cancellation was announced in an e-mail to member sites, and noted that “rising food and fuel prices and operational costs in the face of declining sales” led to the cancellation. Organizers are looking at re-examining and restructuring the operation.

 

Giordano Remains in Aruban Custody

A suspect in the presumed death of a Frederick woman in Aruba, Gary Giordano, will remain in custody for the remainder of the 60-day detention, imposed on August 31st. Giordano remains jailed, while authorities investigate him as a suspect in the disappearance and presumed death of 35-year old Robyn Gardner. His lawyer says there is not enough evidence to hold him.

 

Slots Revenue Drops in August

Slots revenue from Maryland’s two casinos fell nearly 16 per cent to $13 million in August. State officials say they are not basing their evaluation of the state’s slots program on a month-to-month basis, but rather they are looking at long-term performance. Revenue from the two casinos in Perryville and Ocean Downs was up in July from the previous month.

 

Attorney General Warns of “Fast, Easy” Loans

West Virginia’s Attorney General Darrell McGraw is warning of offers that promise “fast and easy loans,” from the Royalty Resource Network of Canada. The company charges no up-front fees, but consumers are required to send, in advance, a portion of the funds they intend to borrow. Once the funds are picked up, the company’s fake loan officers disappear with the cash. Mc Graw adds that no legitimate company or organization would require you to send money in advance, using a wire transfer service, in order to qualify for a loan.

Local News


Two Ellerslie Residents Killed By Train

Two Ellerslie residents were killed by a CSX train early yesterday morning. Twenty-three year old Jonathan Michael Soult and 18-year old Amanda Nicole Smith were killed at approximately 4 a.m., as the train approached the Schellsburg Road crossing in Ellerslie. The crossing lights and gates were activated by the approaching train and were working properly. The crew sounded the train horn to warn them, but the victims did not respond, and both were struck. The bodies have been taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. A joint investigation by the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, CSX, and the C3I unit is continuing.

 

Former Teacher Pleads Guilty

Former Mineral County teacher Denise Fitch has pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree sexual assault at her pre-sentence hearing circuit court. She has since resigned from her position with the Mineral County School system. She was arrested after telling a counselor that she had inappropriate contact with three teenage boys at her home in June of 2010. A date for her sentencing will be set, following a pre-sentence investigation.

 

Man Arrested for Fraudulent Prescriptions

McMullen Highway resident Chad Carter faces three charges after he tried to use a fraudulent prescription to obtain narcotics at a LaVale pharmacy on Wednesday. He is jailed on $7,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. Carder is also a suspect in an alleged purse snatching incident in LaVale last week. He had been wanted on a warrant on file with the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office as well.

 

Man Indicted in Second Robbery

Among the indictments handed down by the Mineral County grand jury was for Charles Edward Bruffey of Keyser, in connection with the February, 2010 robbery of the M & T Bank in Fort Ashby. He had previously been charged with the December, 2009 robbery of the same bank. His original bail amount was set at $100,000, and he has remained in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail since then.

 

Bail Set at $1 Million for Murder Suspect

 

Bail has been set at one-million dollars for a North Carolina man who is accused of murdering his wife, a former Frostburg resident. Kenya Mangum is accused of killing Amanda Mangum about a block from their home in Durham, North Carolina on July 17th. Kenya Mangum, who was arrested several hours after his wife was killed, will appear in court again in October.

 

 

Grants Announced to Boost Employment, Expand Internet Access

The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded grants, totaling $131,000 to three different projects in Western Maryland, designed to attract new jobs and businesses, aid job seekers and expand internet access. Two grants were awarded to Washington County; in Allegany County, the Board of Education has received $50,000 to help bring broadband Internet to the county.The county will also conduct a feasibility study, to determine how to leverage a new 37-mile fiber optic cable system, so that it can increase broadband availability throughout the county.

 

Keyser May Charge for Freedom of Information Requests

In an effort to avoid further controversy, and to make it easier for resident to obtain public information from City Hall, the Keyser Mayor and Council held a reading for a Freedom of Information Ordinance at this week’s meeting. In some instances, groups or individuals may have to pay for the information. Under the policy, the first five pages would be free, and any document with five or more pages would cost 10-cents per page.

 

ACM-Somerset Awarded Money for Addition

 

Allegany College of Maryland’s Somerset campus will be awarded $1.5 million in a state redevelopment grant to build an addition, housing a new work force development center. An  application was submitted in January to receive funding for the project, and the grant was announced by Pennsylvania State Senator Richard Kasunic.

 

DNR Announces CWD Regulations

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced new regulations to help stop the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer. The regulations apply to only a small part of Allegany County, but bans the use of bait and limits the movement of deer carcasses. Affected will be sections of Green Ridge State Forest, near Flintstone and Oldtown. The transport of certain parts of deer carcasses out of the area is restricted, unless the carcass is being taken directly to an approved deer processor in Allegany County.

Local News


Two Killed By Train in Ellserslie

Two Ellerslie residents were killed by a train this morning at the Schellsburg Road crossing. Twenty-three year old Jonathan Michael Soult and 18-year old Amanda Nicole Smith were struck by the train, despite the fact the crossing lights and gates had been activated by the approaching train, and were working properly. The bodies have been forwarded to the State Medical Examiners’ Office for an autopsy, to determine the cause of death. A joint investigation by the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, CSX, and the C3I unit is continuing.

 

NewPage Corporation Files for Bankruptcy

The NewPage Corporation, which operates the Luke paper mill, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in both the United States and Canada. The company has released a statement, noting that the it feels the filing is in its best, long-term interest, and for that of the stakeholders. The Luke mill will stay open during the bankruptcy proceedings, as the company has asked the bankruptcy court to allow the company to continue regular operations.

 

Cumberland Man Fatally Injured in Swimming Accident

Cumberland resident Craig Allen Cross was fatally injured this past weekend, in a swimming accident in Hampshire County. He was pronounced dead at the Winchester Medical Center. The accident occurred around 4:43 p.m., as he was swinging from a rope over the river, when he struck his head on a rock or another hard object, according to the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office. Cross’ death was ruled accidental.

 

Mineral Resident Among Those Indicted by Grand Jury

Among the indictments returned by the Mineral County Grand Jury was one for Stephen Wilson, a Keyser man, charged with embezzling almost $250,000 from the Short Gap Fire Department over a 14-year period of time. He was arrested last month, following a six-month investigation. Wilson is accused of transferring money from the fire department to his personal business, and paying bills with funds given to, or raised by, the fire department.

 

Slots Proposals Deadline Approaching

While the Maryland Board of Public Works has approved an upgrade of the water treatment plant at Rocky Gap State Park, the state has set a deadline of September 23rd for proposals to operate a slots parlor at the facility. The state gaming commission hopes to award a slots license in December. As for the water treatment facility, Watek Engineering Corporation of Silver Spring will oversee the quarter-million dollar design and construction of a new plant.

 

Fire At Maryland Avenue House

A fire, at an unattended house on Maryland Avenue sustained about $5,000 in damage Tuesday night. The two-story, wood-framed dwelling was located at 803 Maryland Avenue and was owned by Joyce Shavinsky. The preliminary cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is known it originated in the basement. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cumberland City Fire Marshal at (301)-759-6484.

 

Complaint Results in Drug Arrests

A complaint of loud noise led to the arrest of two Cumberland men earlier this week. The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office reports that 28-year old Nathan Pusey and John Robert Twigg were later arrested for possession of marijuana. Twigg was also charged with disturbing the peace, drug paraphernalia possession and possession of another controlled dangerous substance. Pusey was additionally charged with obstructing and hindering and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for alcohol. Following a hearing in District Court, both were released pending trial.

 

Two Public Transportation Meetings Set

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the state of West Virginia have scheduled two public meetings on the U.S. Tier One Planning Study, I-68 to Corridor “H.” The meetings will be held next Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Keyser Primary/Middle School. Another meeting will be held on Wednesday at the Bel Air Elementary School from 6 to 8 p.m. The purpose of the project is to develop an improved U.S. Route 220 transportation corridor, connecting Interstate 68 and the Corridor “H” improvements, to provide an upgraded north-south transportation system.

 

Mission of Mercy Seeking Votes

The Western Maryland Mission of Mercy, the free dental clinic that served 810 people last year, is seeking your vote. Tom’s Maine’s “50 States for Good” program is looking to grant money to worthwhile programs. The local program goal is to be one of 20 non-profit organizations to be eligible for up to $50,000 in funding. You can vote for the local Mission of Mercy, by going to the website www.50statesforgood.com.Please vote by Tuesday, September 13th.

 

Questions Remain in Multiple Killings, Suicide

There are many questions remaining in this week’s multiple shootings, which left six people, including the shooter, dead. Twenty-two year old Shane Riggleman may have been motivated by jealousy over an ex-girlfriend who lived a few miles west of Morgantown. Police say all who were killed, were shot by a high-powered rifle, including one victim, who was six months pregnant. Riggleman took his own life, along a Kentucky road on Monday. He had had several run-ins with the law, over the course of the last three years.

 

Woman Killed in Bedford County Crash

A Bedford County woman was killed in a two car crash in East St. Clair township. Sixty-year old Dianna Mock, a backseat passenger in a car driven by 80-year old Roselia Bridges, was killed as Ms. Bridges went through a stop sign, striking an oncoming vehicle. The other driver, James Giselman was uninjured. None of the occupants was wearing a seatbelt.

Local News


Two Reportedly Struck By Train

The Allegany County Sheriff’s Department is on the scene of an incident in Ellerslie, where two people were reportedly struck by a train early this morning. The incident was reported just before 4 a.m. The Sheriff’s Department is still on the scene, and is investigating. There will be more details as they become available.

 

NewPage Corporation Files for Bankruptcy

The NewPage Corporation, which operates the Luke paper mill, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in both the United States and Canada. The company has released a statement, noting that the it feels the filing is in its best, long-term interest, and for that of the stakeholders. The Luke mill will stay open during the bankruptcy proceedings, as the company has asked the bankruptcy court to allow the company to continue regular operations.

 

Cumberland Man Fatally Injured in Swimming Accident

Cumberland resident Craig Allen Cross was fatally injured this past weekend, in a swimming accident in Hampshire County. He was pronounced dead at the Winchester Medical Center. The accident occurred around 4:43 p.m., as he was swinging from a rope over the river, when he struck his head on a rock or another hard object, according to the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office. Cross’ death was ruled accidental.

 

Mineral Resident Among Those Indicted by Grand Jury

Among the indictments returned by the Mineral County Grand Jury was one for Stephen Wilson, a Keyser man, charged with embezzling almost $250,000 from the Short Gap Fire Department over a 14-year period of time. He was arrested last month, following a six-month investigation. Wilson is accused of transferring money from the fire department to his personal business, and paying bills with funds given to, or raised by, the fire department.

 

Slots Proposals Deadline Approaching

While the Maryland Board of Public Works has approved an upgrade of the water treatment plant at Rocky Gap State Park, the state has set a deadline of September 23rd for proposals to operate a slots parlor at the facility. The state gaming commission hopes to award a slots license in December. As for the water treatment facility, Watek Engineering Corporation of Silver Spring will oversee the quarter-million dollar design and construction of a new plant.

 

Fire At Maryland Avenue House

A fire, at an unattended house on Maryland Avenue sustained about $5,000 in damage Tuesday night. The two-story, wood-framed dwelling was located at 803 Maryland Avenue and was owned by Joyce Shavinsky. The preliminary cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is known it originated in the basement. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cumberland City Fire Marshal at (301)-759-6484.

 

Complaint Results in Drug Arrests

A complaint of loud noise led to the arrest of two Cumberland men earlier this week. The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office reports that 28-year old Nathan Pusey and John Robert Twigg were later arrested for possession of marijuana. Twigg was also charged with disturbing the peace, drug paraphernalia possession and possession of another controlled dangerous substance. Pusey was additionally charged with obstructing and hindering and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for alcohol. Following a hearing in District Court, both were released pending trial.

 

Two Public Transportation Meetings Set

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the state of West Virginia have scheduled two public meetings on the U.S. Tier One Planning Study, I-68 to Corridor “H.” The meetings will be held next Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Keyser Primary/Middle School. Another meeting will be held on Wednesday at the Bel Air Elementary School from 6 to 8 p.m. The purpose of the project is to develop an improved U.S. Route 220 transportation corridor, connecting Interstate 68 and the Corridor “H” improvements, to provide an upgraded north-south transportation system.

 

Mission of Mercy Seeking Votes

The Western Maryland Mission of Mercy, the free dental clinic that served 810 people last year, is seeking your vote. Tom’s Maine’s “50 States for Good” program is looking to grant money to worthwhile programs. The local program goal is to be one of 20 non-profit organizations to be eligible for up to $50,000 in funding. You can vote for the local Mission of Mercy, by going to the website www.50statesforgood.com.Please vote by Tuesday, September 13th.

 

Questions Remain in Multiple Killings, Suicide

There are many questions remaining in this week’s multiple shootings, which left six people, including the shooter, dead. Twenty-two year old Shane Riggleman may have been motivated by jealousy over an ex-girlfriend who lived a few miles west of Morgantown. Police say all who were killed, were shot by a high-powered rifle, including one victim, who was six months pregnant. Riggleman took his own life, along a Kentucky road on Monday. He had had several run-ins with the law, over the course of the last three years.

 

Woman Killed in Bedford County Crash

A Bedford County woman was killed in a two car crash in East St. Clair township. Sixty-year old Dianna Mock, a backseat passenger in a car driven by 80-year old Roselia Bridges, was killed as Ms. Bridges went through a stop sign, striking an oncoming vehicle. The other driver, James Giselman was uninjured. None of the occupants was wearing a seatbelt.

 

 

Local News


NewPage Corporation Files for Bankruptcy

The NewPage Corporation, which operates the Luke paper mill, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in both the United States and Canada. The company has released a statement, noting that the company feels the filing is in the best, long-term interest of the company and the stakeholders. The Luke mill will stay open during the bankruptcy proceedings, as the company has asked the bankruptcy court to allow the company to continue regular operations.

 

Cumberland Man Fatally Injured in Swimming Accident

Cumberland resident Craig Allen Cross was fatally injured this past weekend, in a swimming accident in Hampshire County. He was pronounced dead at the Winchester Medical Center. The accident occurred around 4:43 p.m., as he was swinging from a rope over the river, when he struck his head on a rock or another hard object, according to the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office. Cross’ death was ruled accidental.

 

Mineral Resident Among Those Indicted by Grand Jury

Among the indictments returned by the Mineral County Grand Jury was one for Stephen Wilson, a Keyser man, charged with embezzling almost $250,000 from the Short Gap Fire Department over a 14-year period of time. He was arrested last month, following a six-month investigation. Wilson is accused of transferring money from the fire department to his personal business, and paying bills with funds given to, or raised by, the fire department.

 

Slots Proposals Deadline Approaching

While the Maryland Board of Public Works has approved an upgrade of the water treatment plant at Rocky Gap State Park, the state has set a deadline of September 23rd for proposals to operate a slots parlor at the facility. The state gaming commission hopes to award a slots license in December. As for the water treatment facility, Watek Engineering Corporation of Silver Spring will oversee the quarter-million dollar design and construction of a new plant.

 

Fire At Maryland Avenue House

A fire, at an unattended house on Maryland Avenue sustained about $5,000 in damage Tuesday night. The two-story, wood-framed dwelling was located at 803 Maryland Avenue and was owned by Joyce Shavinsky. The preliminary cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is known it originated in the basement. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cumberland City Fire Marshal at (301)-759-6484.

 

Complaint Results in Drug Arrests

A complaint of loud noise led to the arrest of two Cumberland men earlier this week. The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office reports that 28-year old Nathan Pusey and John Robert Twigg were later arrested for possession of marijuana. Twigg was also charged with disturbing the peace, drug paraphernalia possession and possession of another controlled dangerous substance. Pusey was additionally charged with obstructing and hindering and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for alcohol. Following a hearing in District Court, both were released pending trial.

 

Two Public Transportation Meetings Set

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the state of West Virginia have scheduled two public meetings on the U.S. Tier One Planning Study, I-68 to Corridor “H.” The meetings will be held next Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Keyser Primary/Middle School. Another meeting will be held on Wednesday at the Bel Air Elementary School from 6 to 8 p.m. The purpose of the project is to develop an improved U.S. Route 220 transportation corridor, connecting Interstate 68 and the Corridor “H” improvements, to provide an upgraded north-south transportation system.

 

Mission of Mercy Seeking Votes

The Western Maryland Mission of Mercy, the free dental clinic that served 810 people last year, is seeking your vote. Tom’s Maine’s “50 States for Good” program is looking to grant money to worthwhile programs. The local program goal is to be one of 20 non-profit organizations to be eligible for up to $50,000 in funding. You can vote for the local Mission of Mercy, by going to the website www.50statesforgood.com.Please vote by Tuesday, September 13th.

 

Questions Remain in Multiple Killings, Suicide

There are many questions remaining in this week’s multiple shootings, which left six people, including the shooter, dead. Twenty-two year old Shane Riggleman may have been motivated by jealousy over an ex-girlfriend who lived a few miles west of Morgantown. Police say all who were killed, were shot by a high-powered rifle, including one victim, who was six months pregnant. Riggleman took his own life, along a Kentucky road on Monday. He had had several run-ins with the law, over the course of the last three years.

 

Woman Killed in Bedford County Crash

A Bedford County woman was killed in a two car crash in East St. Clair township. Sixty-year old Dianna Mock, a backseat passenger in a car driven by 80-year old Roselia Bridges, was killed as Ms. Bridges went through a stop sign, striking an oncoming vehicle. The other driver, James Giselman was uninjured. None of the occupants was wearing a seatbelt.

 

 

Local News


Investigation Continues; Possible Suspect

The investigation into the Sunday morning shooting in Ridgeley is continuing, and progress is being made in the incident. The shooting killed New Jersey resident Ryan Henry, and seriously wounded his brother, Richard. Police say that a possible suspect has been identified in the case, although no arrest warrants have been issued. It is possible the incident was the result of a domestic situation, and that residents shouldn’t have to take more security precautions than usual.

 

Tractor Trailer Accident Snarls Interstate 68 Westbound Traffic

A crash involving a tractor trailer on Interstate 68 westbound yesterday around noon was caused, in part, by the rainy weather we have been experiencing. A rig, operated by Barulio Burgos of Orlando, Florida, hydroplaned on the wet pavement in the vicinity of the curve at Beall Street. Burgos lost control of the truck, and traveled across all lanes of traffic and struck the concrete median. No charges were filed against the driver. Burgos was treated at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center as a precaution.

 

Woman Sentenced in Three Cases

Frostburg resident Nyoka Lambert has been sentenced in three separate cases. She was sentenced in connection with a cocaine possession case, along with one involving burglary, and assault. Ms. Lambert was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison with four years suspended in the burglary case. The assault sentence will be served concurrently with all other sentences. Judge Gary Leasure heard the case in Allegany County Circuit Court.

 

Westernport Man To Serve Six Years in Prison

Fifty-eight year old Westernport resident Joseph Leroy Miles has been sentenced to six year in prison on a charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced by Judge W. Timothy Finan; upon release, he will be placed on five years of supervised probation.

 

Commissioners Schedule Public Meeting on Cresaptown Water Project

The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting on the Cresaptown Water Project. Community members and interested individuals are invited and encouraged to attend on Wednesday, September 28th at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Center for Career and Technical Education on McMullen Highway. Topics will include the water meter replacement project, the tank replacement project, the Route 220 water line project, and the effect on water and sewer rates.

 

FSU to Host Law Enforcment Day

The Frostburg State University Police will host the fifth annual Law Enforcement Awareness Day on Wednesday, September 14th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be held on the Lower Quad of the FSU Campus, near the Chesapeake Dining Hall. The event is free and ope to the public. In the event of rain, it will be held on Wednesday, September 21st.

 

Maryland Ends Fiscal Year With Surplus

The state of Maryland ended Fiscal Year 2011 with a general fund surplus of $344 million over previous budget estimates. The previous estimates projected the state would finish the fiscal year with a balance of $646 million. The additional money means it has a fund balance of $990 million. The surplus is attributed to strong performance in individual income tax collections.

 

Obama To Lay Wreath at Flight 93 Site

President Barack Obama will be present at this Sunday’s 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks in Somerset County, but it is not known whether he will make a speech. He and First Lady Michelle Obama will lay a wreath at the site. On Saturday, Vice-President Joe Biden will give the keynote address at the dedication of the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Security will be high this weekend, with people going through metal detectors. Thousands are expected to attend, and it is advised the public arrive at least two hours before each day’s event.

Local News


One Dead in Ridgeley Shooting

The investigation continues into an early Sunday morning shooting, which left a New Jersey area man dead, and another-possibly his brother-wounded. The shootings took place in the vicinity of a Ridgeley bar. Twenty-five year old Ryan Henry was killed; 23-year old Richard Henry was wounded. Both victims were initially taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center.  Several shots were fired in the 1:44 a.m. incident, but it’s not known how many individuals may have fired weapons, or what type of weapons were involved. Police are still searching for suspects.

 

Water Treatment Plant Needs Replaced

State officials have told Delegate Kevin Kelly and State Senator George Edwards that if a slots facility comes to Rocky Gap State Park, a failing water treatment plant will need to be replaced. The Board of Public works will consider a request from the Maryland Environmental Service tomorrow, to provide nearly $250,000 in funding. As it stands now, the existing treatment process does not meet drinking water regulations, and the Maryland Environmental Service has to rent temporary treatment equipment to remain in compliance with drinking water standards.

 

Woman Arrested on Assault Charges

A 20-year old Cumberland woman faces first and second degree assault charges, following a Sunday evening incident in the 100-block of Park Street. Mikki Kondilas allegedly stabbed her ex-boyfriend twice in the back, with a pair of scissors. Also during the incident, officers observed drug paraphernalia. She was being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $25,000 bond. She faces additional charges of reckless endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Red Cross Cuts Affecting Other Areas of the State

While Friday was the final day for the local chapter of the American Red Cross on Cumberland Street, other areas of the state are feeling the effects of the economy. A part-time, paid employee will be hired to oversee volunteer operations in Cumberland and LaPlata. Red Cross offices in Hagerstown and Frederick will remain open. Cuts made will total about $580,000 or about 25 per cent of the region’s budget. The Chesapeake Region of the American Red Cross includes not only Cumberland, but also Mineral County, West Virgina.

 

Overview to be Presented to TGCC

The Greater Cumberland Committee will be presented with an overview of the Power of 32 regional visioning initiative and its goals and strategies to transition this effort to the next level. The meeting will be held Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Members of TGCC will receive a better understanding that, in working towards a common good, the individual counties may join forces to alter the economic outlook for the benefit of all.

 

Insurance Administration Stopping in Cumberland

The Maryland Insurance Adminstration will be visiting the MVA on Winchester Road at the end of the month. The MIA offers a variety of consumer materials on all types of insurance products, from annuities to title insurance and health, auto, and homeowners’ insurance. They will be in Cumberland on Wednesday, September 28th from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Staff from the agency will be available to answer consumer questions.

 

Suspect’s Lawyer to Appeal Detention

The lawyer for a Maryland man linked to the disappearance of a Frederick woman in Aruba, will appeal the additional 60-day detention in the case. Fifty-year old Gary Giordano has not been charged with a crime, but is being held for another two months for questioning by Aruban authorities.

Local News


One Dead in Ridgeley Shooting

A New Jersey area man is dead, and another-possibly his brother-was wounded in an early Sunday morning shooting in the vicinity of a bar in Ridgeley. Twenty-five year old Ryan Henry was killed; 23-year old Richard Henry was wounded. Both victims were initially taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center.  Several shots were fired in the 1:44 a.m. incident, but it’s not known how many individuals may have fired weapons, or what type of weapons were involved. Police are still searching for suspects. The owner of My Place, Gary Butts, says the shooting did not happen at his establishment, but rather about a block up the street.

 

Sentence Handed Down in Heroin Case

Fort Ashby resident Matthew Austin Bell was sentenced in Allegany County Circuit Court in two separate cases. In the first, he pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and was sentenced to 2 years, 6 months in prison. In the second, he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin, and he received a 6-year prison sentence, which will be served consecutively to all other outstanding sentences, for a total of 8 years, 6 months in the Department of Corrections. The case was heard by Judge W. Timothy Finan.

 

Arrest Made in Cab Robbery

An 18-year old Cumberland man and two juveniles have been arrested in connection with the robbery of a cab driver in south Cumberland on August 16th. Trevon Marcel Emerson was one of three who robbed the driver in the area of Pennsylvania Avenue. The younger suspects will be handled through the Department of Juvenile Services. For his part, Emerson was held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $15,000 bond.

 

Man Arrested for Breaking and Entering

Forty-five year old Cumberland resident Nicky Linn is being held on $5,000 bond, following his arrest for the breaking and entering of a Patterson Avenue residence. Linn is accused of kicking in the front door of a female victim’s residence. He is charged with fourth-degree burglary, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

 

Police Arrest Wanted Resident

Cumberland City Police have arrested 20-year old Christopher Walker, who was wanted on two separate warrants. In the first, he is accused of stealing a moped from a Route 51 residence, and was later recovered in the area of Virginia Avenue. In the second, he was taken into custody on a warrant for failure to appear in District Court in August. He was held on a total of $4,000 on both counts.

 

Red Cross Cuts Affecting Other Areas of the State

While Friday was the final day for the local chapter of the American Red Cross on Cumberland Street, other areas of the state are feeling the effects of the economy. A part-time, paid employee will be hired to oversee volunteer operations in Cumberland and LaPlata. Red Cross offices in Hagerstown and Frederick will remain open. Cuts made will total about $580,000 or about 25 per cent of the region’s budget. The Chesapeake Region of the American Red Cross includes not only Cumberland, but also Mineral County, West Virgina.

 

Overview to be Presented to TGCC

The Greater Cumberland Committee will be presented with an overview of the Power of 32 regional visioning initiative and its goals and strategies to transition this effort to the next level. The meeting will be held Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Members of TGCC will receive a better understanding that, in working towards a common good, the individual counties may join forces to alter the economic outlook for the benefit of all.

 

Insurance Administration Stopping in Cumberland

The Maryland Insurance Adminstration will be visiting the MVA on Winchester Road at the end of the month. The MIA offers a variety of consumer materials on all types of insurance products, from annuities to title insurance and health, auto, and homeowners’ insurance. They will be in Cumberland on Wednesday, September 28th from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Staff from the agency will be available to answer consumer questions.

 

Suspect’s Lawyer to Appeal Detention

The lawyer for a Maryland man linked to the disappearance of a Frederick woman in Aruba, will appeal the additional 60-day detention in the case. Fifty-year old Gary Giordano has not been charged with a crime, but is being held for another two months for questioning by Aruban authorities. He says Gardner vanished while the two were snorkeling. Giordano had purchased an insurance policy for the trip and had tried to cash it in for $1.5 million after she went missing.

 

Obama Visiting Shanksville on September 11th

While he is not expected to speak, President Barack Obama will be coming to the Flight 93 anniversary commemoration next Sunday. The President and First Lady will be attending the Sunday event, but the time of their appearance has not been made public yet. Vice-President Joe Biden will give a keynote address on Saturday, at the memorial’s dedication. Singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan will also perform. Former Governor Tom Ridge will attend both days.

Local News


One Dead After Shooting

One person is confirmed dead and another injured, following a shooting at My Place in Ridgeley overnight. Units were called to the scene just before 2 a.m. A statement on the shooting is expected to be released later today. Investigating were the Mineral County Sheriff's Office, along with the Maryland State Police, Cumberland City Police, and the local C3I unit.

Local News


One Dead After Shooting

One person is confirmed dead, and another injured, following an early morning shooting at My Place in Ridgeley. Units were called to the scene, just before 2 a.m. Sunday. A statement may be released later today, detailing the incident. Investigating were the Mineral County Sheriff's Office, the Maryland State Police and the Cumberland City Police, along with the local C3I unit.

Local News


Agreement Would Allow Developers to Sell Property

Allegany County and the developers of Terrapin Run will be allowed to sell off the property, under an agreement which is still subject to approval by Circuit Court. Both the county and the developers had been in a battle against the Maryland Department of the Environment and planning officials, who were denying permits for the development. The case ended up in mediation. The developers say they probably will be able to dispose of the property.

 

Former Officer Sentenced for Smuggling Contraband

Former Correctional Officer Chad Struntz of Cumberland has been sentenced to two years of probation, after he pleaded guilty to smuggling a cellphone to an inmate at the Maryland Correctional Facility in Hagerstown. He also received probation before judgment during a district court appearance in Hagerstown. He admitted that he delivered cellphones to inmates at MCI on two separate occasions in return for money.

 

Aftershock Felt from Earthquake

Another aftershock from the August 23rd earthquake has been felt in Central Virginia, registering a magnitude of 3.4 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was four miles south-southeast of Mineral, Virginia, and happened around 5:09 a.m. Thursday. More than 20 aftershocks have been felt since the 5.8-magnitude quake in late August. Aftershocks may be felt for weeks, or even months after an initial quake.

 

Man Sentenced in Fatal Maryland Crash

Forty-eight year old Thomas Ray Beeghly of Oakland, has been sentenced to three years in prison for negligent homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Beeghly caused a January 1st crash that took the life of 84-year old Preston County resident Mary Jane Kope. Beeghly, who had previously pleaded guilty, allegedly had a blood-alcohol content of .20 at the time of the crash.

 

Woman Arrested for Marijuana Possession

Nineteen-year old Amanda Weimer of Cumberland was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, following a traffic stop on Queen City Drive Thursday morning. She claimed to be extremely nervous and shaking. When her vehicle was searched, several marijuana smoking devices and small baggie of marijuana were found. She was arrested and later released on personal recognizance, pending trial in District Court.

 

Everett Receives Federal Grant

The town of Everett is receiving a $600,000 federal grant from the Corps of Engineers to improve its wastewater system. The announcement was made this week by United States Representative Bill Shuster. Two projects have already been completed by the Everett Municipal Authority, and a third-which includes the replacement of the water mainand various parts of First Street and Ridge Avenue-is already underway.

 

Detention Extended for Gary Giordano

Aruban authorities have decided to extend the detention of Gary Giordano for 60 more days. Giordano is being detained in the presumed death of his travel companion, Robyn Gardner. Giordano has been in custody for nearly a month, and authorities can extend the detention further after the 60-day period is up.

 

First Mariner Stock Delisted

First Mariner Bancorp has been delisted from the Nasdaq stock market, and shares will now be traded on the over-the-counter bulletin board. This setback comes in the midst of the company trying to raise capital to close a deal that would keep regulators at bay, and the bank in business. First Mariner’s troubles began when the housing bubble burst, and this latest move is said to damage the bank’s reputation, and could cause difficulty in attracting new investors.

 

Local News


Local Red Cross Chapter to Close

The local chapter of the American Red Cross on Cumberland Street will close tomorrow. The decision was made, due to downsizing by the national chapter and as a response to the nationwide budget deficit. Two full-time positions will be eliminated, including that of director Bill Crawford, who had served in that capacity for 20 years. Four part-time positions have also been cut. The Red Cross will hire someone to work 20 hours a week in Cumberland, to deal with emergency responses.

 

Memo of Understanding Executed for Cumberland Meadows

A memorandum of understanding was executed this week, clearing the way for a 64-unit senior citizens housing project, adjacent to Allegany College of Maryland. Cumberland Meadows has been granted a temporary occupancy permit, which will be issued in the next few days. Land adjacent to Old Willowbrook Road was conveyed to the county by Allegany College of Maryland.

 

Statement Issued on Players’ Death

Frostburg State University has issued a statement regarding the death of football player Derek Sheely, who collapsed on August 22nd, and later died at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The statement recounted the events of August 22nd, when the Bobcat football team was running contact drills. Sheely displayed symptoms, requiring attention, and collapsed as he was being escorted off the field. Media reports have indicated that Sheely collapsed after experiencing a helmet-to-helmet direct hit during drills.

 

Two Men Arrested in South Cumberland Robbery

Cumberland resident Vernon Anderson and Gavin Chapman Schaaf were arrested following an incident Tuesday evening in South Cumberland. Schaff claimed to have been robbed and positively identified Anderson on South Street, near Second Street; the robbery took place over the purchase of illegal drugs. Officers found drugs on Schaaf, and in his vehicle. Anderson is being held on $15,000 bond, while Schaaf was held on $3,000 at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Sex Offense Charges Filed in Garrett County

A 27-year old Garrett County man is being charged in connection with alleged sex offenses against a juvenile female member of his household. Both the identity of the accused and the victim are being withheld to protect the identity of the victim. The charges stem from the alleged inappropriate touching of a 12 year old member of the household of the accused. The defendant had been awaiting a bond hearing, before a district court commissioner.

 

Garage Sustains $500 Damage in Fire

A residential garage along Flanagan Lane in Rawlings sustained $500 in damage early Wednesday morning. The structure, owned by Patricia Harris, burned because of an electrical malfunction. Six fire companies responded; it took them about five minutes to control the fire. It was discovered by the owner, and originated inside the garage.

 

Keyser Residents Oppose Mandatory Trash Service

Over 20 residents attended an informational meeting in Keyser, expressing their opposition to a mandatory, city-wide trash service. The residents noted that they did not want to replace the current system of contracting private haulers to remove the garbage. Mayor Randy Amtower pointed out that municipal service would eliminate garbage hoarders who don’t have regular pick up. The issue will be discussed further at an upcoming Council work session.

 

Mountain Ridge Student Selected For Boys Nation

Mountain Ridge student John Stark, who recently attended the American Legion Boys State Program over the summer, was selected to advance, to become one of two Maryland representatives at the American Legion Boys Nation. He is the first native of Frostburg to be chosen for this honor. As part of the program, he will given the opportunity to become part of the operation of local, county, and state governments. Students learn the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of franchised citizens and participate in activities, including legislation sessions, court proceedings and the like.

 

Keyser Pool Closed for Labor Day Weekend

The Keyser Pool has been closed and will not be opened for the Labor Day weekend. Due to declining attendance and ongoing maintenance expenses, the Mayor and Council there decided to close it a week early. It hasn’t been opened on weekdays since school opened last week in Mineral County. The city may consider closing the pool in mid-August in future years.

 

Unemployment Rate Increases in Bedford County

The unemployment rate in Bedford County rose to 9.3 per cent in July, which is up from 9.1 per cent in June. Those working or looking for work decreased from 26,600 in June to 24,400 in July. There was also a decrease in jobs within the county, almost all of them in local government, which would include the nine-month employees or school districts.

Local News


Local Red Cross Chapter to Close

The local chapter of the American Red Cross on Cumberland Street will close tomorrow. The decision was made, due to downsizing by the national chapter and as a response to the nationwide budget deficit. Two full-time positions will be eliminated, including that of director Bill Crawford, who had served in that capacity for 20 years. Four part-time positions have also been cut. The Red Cross will hire someone to work 20 hours a week in Cumberland, to deal with emergency responses.

 

Memo of Understanding Executed for Cumberland Meadows

A memorandum of understanding was executed this week, clearing the way for a 64-unit senior citizens housing project, adjacent to Allegany College of Maryland. Cumberland Meadows has been granted a temporary occupancy permit, which will be issued in the next few days. Land adjacent to Old Willowbrook Road was conveyed to the county by Allegany College of Maryland.

 

Statement Issued on Players’ Death

Frostburg State University has issued a statement regarding the death of football player Derek Sheely, who collapsed on August 22nd, and later died at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The statement recounted the events of August 22nd, when the Bobcat football team was running contact drills. Sheely displayed symptoms, requiring attention, and collapsed as he was being escorted off the field. Media reports have indicated that Sheely collapsed after experiencing a helmet-to-helmet direct hit during drills.

 

Two Men Arrested in South Cumberland Robbery

Cumberland resident Vernon Anderson and Gavin Chapman Schaaf were arrested following an incident Tuesday evening in South Cumberland. Schaff claimed to have been robbed and positively identified Anderson on South Street, near Second Street; the robbery took place over the purchase of illegal drugs. Officers found drugs on Schaaf, and in his vehicle. Anderson is being held on $15,000 bond, while Schaaf was held on $3,000 at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Sex Offense Charges Filed in Garrett County

A 27-year old Garrett County man is being charged in connection with alleged sex offenses against a juvenile female member of his household. Both the identity of the accused and the victim are being withheld to protect the identity of the victim. The charges stem from the alleged inappropriate touching of a 12 year old member of the household of the accused. The defendant had been awaiting a bond hearing, before a district court commissioner.

 

Garage Sustains $500 Damage in Fire

A residential garage along Flanagan Lane in Rawlings sustained $500 in damage early Wednesday morning. The structure, owned by Patricia Harris, burned because of an electrical malfunction. Six fire companies responded; it took them about five minutes to control the fire. It was discovered by the owner, and originated inside the garage.

 

Keyser Residents Oppose Mandatory Trash Service

Over 20 residents attended an informational meeting in Keyser, expressing their opposition to a mandatory, city-wide trash service. The residents noted that they did not want to replace the current system of contracting private haulers to remove the garbage. Mayor Randy Amtower pointed out that municipal service would eliminate garbage hoarders who don’t have regular pick up. The issue will be discussed further at an upcoming Council work session.

 

Mountain Ridge Student Selected For Boys Nation

Mountain Ridge student John Stark, who recently attended the American Legion Boys State Program over the summer, was selected to advance, to become one of two Maryland representatives at the American Legion Boys Nation. He is the first native of Frostburg to be chosen for this honor. As part of the program, he will given the opportunity to become part of the operation of local, county, and state governments. Students learn the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of franchised citizens and participate in activities, including legislation sessions, court proceedings and the like.

 

Keyser Pool Closed for Labor Day Weekend

The Keyser Pool has been closed and will not be opened for the Labor Day weekend. Due to declining attendance and ongoing maintenance expenses, the Mayor and Council there decided to close it a week early. It hasn’t been opened on weekdays since school opened last week in Mineral County. The city may consider closing the pool in mid-August in future years.

 

Unemployment Rate Increases in Bedford County

The unemployment rate in Bedford County rose to 9.3 per cent in July, which is up from 9.1 per cent in June. Those working or looking for work decreased from 26,600 in June to 24,400 in July. There was also a decrease in jobs within the county, almost all of them in local government, which would include the nine-month employees or school districts.

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