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THE TRI-STATE'S CLASSIC ROCK STATION
GO 106 News Archives for 2012-01

Local News


Additional Charges Filed in Robberies, Home Invasions

Four individuals who were arrested in December for several armed robberies and home invasion robberies have had additional charges lodged against them. Twenty-year old Cory Joseph Crabtree, 24-year old Cody Crabtree, along with 22-year old Gregory Thomas Laisure and 35-year old Melvin Ray Howell III have all been charged with armed robbery, burglary, first-degree assault and related charges. Information was developed from the earlier arrests that enabled investigators to obtain new charging documents for the suspects. Three are being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on bonds, ranging from $500,000 to $525,000.  Howell remains incarcerated in Pennsylvania, pending extradition to Maryland, as well as the charges related to other armed robberies and home invasion robberies.

 

Second Burger King Suspect Arrested

A second suspect has been arrested in connection with the breaking and entering at the Frostburg Burger King in December. Twenty-five year old Lonaconing resident Michael Clay Blubaugh, who along with Llany Vega, are accused of entering the restaurant in the early morning hours of December 12th, and removing an undisclosed amount of cash from the safe. He is currently being held on $55,000 bond on the charges lodged against him. Vega remains free on personal recognizance, pending his next court appearance.

 

Kidnapping Attempt Investigated

The Mineral County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a possible kidnapping attempt last week in the Cut-Off Road area of Route 220. Police say a man approached a 14-year old girl, as she was getting off the school bus, and offered her a ride. The suspect is described as having blond, spiked hair and driving a late 80’s or early 90’s vehicle with primer all over it. Police are looking for a suspect, so they can identify a motive for his actions. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office at (304)-788-0441.

 

Sexual Misconduct Alleged in Keyser

A Keyser city council candidate has accused unnamed senior city officials of sexual misconduct, and those charges have been forwarded to the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office, the state’s Ethics Commission and local law enforcement agencies. Candidate Mark Tranum says five city employees have approached him on the issue, including supervisors who spoke of misconduct by “the mayor’s office,” involving several city workers. Tranum says he won’t go into details, because he was advised not to, by the Attorney General’s Office.

 

Man Arrested on CDS, Trespassing Charges

Twenty-five year old Cumberland resident Michael Robert Caswell was arrested Sunday for trespassing on CSX property in the area of Queen City Drive. He was also found to be in possession of CDS paraphernalia. He was issued criminal citations for both, and released from the scene.

 

Fiber Line Installation Set

The City of Cumberland is letting the public know that North Mechanic Street, from Market Street to Pershing Street will be under flagging conditions for aerial fiber line installation. Work will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Use caution in the area of construction and follow the detour route in place. Any questions should be directed to Clint Wade at (304)-366-0845.

 

Smoke Alarms News Conference Set

A smoke alarms fire and life safety news conference has been scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Cumberland Fire Station #1. The purpose is to provide the media and public with accurate and up to date information regarding working smoke alarms, and their importance in providing life safety efforts during a fire. A presentation of 60 smoke alarms by the Cumberland Firefighters, Local 1715 President Ken McKenzie will occur during the conference.

 

Delegate Introduces Wastewater Legislation

Delegate Shane Robinson of Montgomery County has introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would ban the treatment of wastewater created by other states, in the  hydraulic fracturing process. It does not, however, address wastewater created in Maryland, although there is no “fracking” taking place in the state at this time.

 

Vandals Strike in Everett

Police are investigating a rash of vandalism that took place late last week. Business owners and others discovered black, spray-painted messages and drawings on buildings and a Jeep there. The word “Crips” was spray painted at various locations. Another vehicle was left with a flat tire, when someone broke or cut the valve stem. Anyone with information is asked to contact Everett Borough Police.

Local News


Man Sentenced in Animal Cruelty Case

Cumberland resident Ricky Adams has been sentenced for his part in the so-called “Ducky” case from last year. Adams was sentenced to two, 90-day sentences which were suspended. He was placed on supervised probation for three years, with the condition of 100 hours of community service at the Allegany County Animal Shelter. He also was ordered to pay restitution of $1,372 to the appropriate parties, and was prohibiting from possessing or residing with a canine for the term of his probation.

 

Woman Sought in Skating Rink Assault

A female suspect is being sought in connection with the alleged assault of several children at the Star-Lite Roller rink Saturday evening. The woman got into a verbal altercation, which turned physical, with a number of children. She allegedly punched, slapped, and pushed several of the children. She left the scene, which occurred around 10 p.m. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Maryland State Police at (301)-729-2101.

 

Victim Suffers Burns in Fire

An unknown victim suffered burns to his face in an accidental fire in the 700-block of Maryland Avenue early yesterday afternoon. Two other occupants of the home escaped injury. The structure is owned by Vicky Kasecamp. The cause has been traced to one of the occupants smoking near oxygen. Neither the identity nor the gender of the victim was  known.

 

Ruling Expected in Request for New Sexual Assault Trial

A Bedford County judge is expected to make a ruling within 30 days, on whether to grant a new trial for Barry Lee Crespo. He was found guilty in March of 2009 on various sexual assault charges involving a 14-year old girl between late October and November of 2007. The incidents took place n both Bedford County and Berks County, Pennsylvania; Crespo was a mentor to the victim in the Youth Advocate Program, and claims his lawyer in the case was ineffective.

 

Charges Against Berlin Trio Dropped

Three Berlin residents who had prostitution charges brought against them, had the counts dropped, as part of a plea agreement. Sixty-three year old Jerry Streng, 34-year old Tonia Good and 50-year old Jacqueline Eubanks all pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and as part of the agreement, agreed to seek drug and alcohol evaluations. They also must complete any recommended treatment, before they are sentenced in three months. Eubanks and Good were charged with conspiracy to commit prostitution, while Streng was charged with patronizing prostitutes.

 

WVSBDC Offers Small Business Workshops

Two small business workshops are scheduled for Wednesday, February 8th in Moorefield, West Virginia. The workshops, “Business Fundamentals” and ‘Sustainable Growth” are part of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center new training and business coaching program. Both workshops will be held in the Hardy County Rural Developmnent Authority. To register, call (304)-530-4964.

 

Flush Tax Could Triple; Septic Fees Could Double

Under Governor Martin O’Malley’s proposed consumption-based tax for public water and sewer users, the fees for the so-called “flush tax” could triple, while septic users could see the fee double to a $60 cap. Under the proposal, homes on public water in the Baltimore-Washington suburbs would be the largest contributors to the Bay Restoration fund through the flush tax. The proposal caps the tax at $5 per month, or $60 annually. A consumption-based tax would lower the monthly payment to about $1.80 for a “low end user.” However, the fee would increase to over $9 per month for “high end users,” those using 8,000 gallons or more per month.

 

 

Maryland Realtors Alarmed Over O’Malley’s Mortgage Deduction Plan

The Maryland Association of Realtors is expressing alarm over a plan from Governor Martin O’Malley, which would cap state income-tax reductions for people who make more than $100,000, a change which would have a big impact on mortgage interest deductions. Under the plan, a single Maryland taxpayer whose federal adjusted gross income is more than $100,000 would see a ten per cent reduction in the amount they could claim in state income tax reductions. A single earner making more than $200,000 would see a 20 per cent reduction.

 

New Archbishop Should Be Named and Installed in March

Cardinal-Designate Edwin O’Brien says the new Archbishop of Baltimore should be named and installed by the end of March. O’Brien says he doesn’t know who that person will be, but he will remain in place until the installation. O’Brien succeeded William Keeler in 2007, and was recently selected to the College of Cardinals in Rome.

 

Local News


Man Sentenced in Animal Cruelty Case

Cumberland resident Ricky Adams has been sentenced for his part in the so-called “Ducky” case from last year. Adams was sentenced to two, 90-day sentences which were suspended. He was placed on supervised probation for three years, with the condition of 100 hours of community service at the Allegany County Animal Shelter. He also was ordered to pay restitution of $1,372 to the appropriate parties, and was prohibiting from possessing or residing with a canine for the term of his probation.

 

Woman Sought in Skating Rink Assault

A female suspect is being sought in connection with the alleged assault of several children at the Star-Lite Roller rink Saturday evening. The woman got into a verbal altercation, which turned physical, with a number of children and the suspect. She allegedly punched, slapped, and pushed several of the children. She left the scene, which occurred around 10 p.m. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Maryland State Police at (301)-729-2101.

 

Victim Suffers Burns in Fire

An unknown victim suffered burns to his face in an accidental fire in the 700-block of Maryland Avenue early yesterday afternoon. Two other occupants of the home escaped injury. The structure is owned by Vicky Kasecamp. The cause has been traced to one of the occupants smoking near oxygen. Neither the identity nor the gender of the victim was  known.

 

Ruling Expected in Request for New Sexual Assault Trial

A Bedford County judge is expected to make a ruling within 30 days, on whether to grant a new trial for Barry Lee Crespo. He was found guilty in March of 2009 on various sexual assault charges involving a 14-year old girl between late October and November of 2007. The incidents took place n both Bedford County and Berks County, Pennsylvania; Crespo was a mentor to the victim in the Youth Advocate Program, and claims his lawyer in the case was ineffective.

 

Charges Against Berlin Trio Dropped

Three Berlin residents who had prostitution charges brought against them, had the counts dropped, as part of a plea agreement. Sixty-three year old Jerry Streng, 34-year old Tonia Good and 50-year old Jacqueline Eubanks all pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and as part of the agreement, agreed to seek drug and alcohol evaluations. They also must complete any recommended treatment, before they are sentenced in three months. Eubanks and Good were charged with conspiracy to commit prostitution, while Streng was charged with patronizing prostitutes.

 

WVSBDC Offers Small Business Workshops

Two small business workshops are scheduled for Wednesday, February 8th in Moorefield, West Virginia. The workshops, “Business Fundamentals” and ‘Sustainable Growth” are part of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center new training and business coaching program. Both workshops will be held in the Hardy County Rural Developmnent Authority. To register, call (304)-530-4964.

 

Flush Tax Could Triple; Septic Fees Could Double

Under Governor Martin O’Malley’s proposed consumption-based tax for public water and sewer users, the fees for the so-called “flush tax” could triple, while septic users could see the fee double to a $60 cap. Under the proposal, homes on public water in the Baltimore-Washington suburbs would be the largest contributors to the Bay Restoration fund through the flush tax. The proposal caps the tax at $5 per month, or $60 annually. A consumption-based tax would lower the monthly payment to about $1.80 for a “low end user.” However, the fee would increase to over $9 per month for “high end users,” those using 8,000 gallons or more per month.

 

Maryland Realtors Alarmed Over O’Malley’s Mortgage Deduction Plan

The Maryland Association of Realtors is expressing alarm over a plan from Governor Martin O’Malley, which would cap state income-tax reductions for people who make more than $100,000, a change which would have a big impact on mortgage interest deductions. Under the plan, a single Maryland taxpayer whose federal adjusted gross income is more than $100,000 would see a ten per cent reduction in the amount they could claim in state income tax reductions. A single earner making more than $200,000 would see a 20 per cent reduction.

 

New Archbishop Should Be Named and Installed in March

Cardinal-Designate Edwin O’Brien says the new Archbishop of Baltimore should be named and installed by the end of March. O’Brien says he doesn’t know who that person will be, but he will remain in place until the installation. O’Brien succeeded William Keeler in 2007, and was recently selected to the College of Cardinals in Rome.

Local News


Man Sentenced to Ten Years

Seventy-year old Cumberland resident George Sell has been sentenced in federal court to ten years in prison, followed by ten years of supervised release. Sell had pleaded guilty to helping run a child pornography website. He was the administrator of a website, dedicated to trading child pornography images. The website was hosted on servers in Virginia and Texas, and was and was shut down by the government in 2008. Silver Spring resident, Terry Lee Nolley pleaded guilty in October to being involved with the same website, and was sentenced to 97 months in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release.

 

Two Arrested in Frostburg Burglary

Two people have been arrested in the burglary of a Frostburg residence Monday evening. Twenty-three year old Justin Andrews and 21-year old Lacey Jean Getson or Corriganville are accused of breaking into a Hawthorne Drive residence and ransacking the home, looking for valuables. The homeowner, who had been away from the residence for a short while, reported that an antique rifle was taken. Andrews is currently being held without Bond, while Ms. Getson is being held on $35,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Pace Reception Held

The 36th annual PACE Reception was held last night at the Loew’s Annapolis Hotel, featuring local elected officials, business leaders and other citizens. The reception is held each year to highlight Western Maryland to members of the General Assembly.

 

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for Today

While local lawmakers want to put drilling for Marcellus Shale natural gas on the fast track, Governor Martin O’Malley hasn’t set a final report on the issue until August of 2014. The Marcellus Shale Advisory Committee has set a meeting today in Annapolis. The committee is exploring the best practices for the industry, and whether the exploration can be done safely. Baseline studies for the environmental impact of Marcellus Shale drilling should cost anywhere from $1 million to $1.5 million, according to the Cumberland Times-News.

 

Area Mourns Loss of Sports Legends

The Cumberland area is mourning the loss of two local sports legends-Ronald “Ronnie” Cage and Ed Schwarz. Cage was a well known basketball official, and funeral services are scheduled for today at 11 a.m. at the Scarpelli Funeral Home on Virginia Avenue. Schwarz, a retired teacher in the Allegany County School System, played for legendary Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant while at the University of Maryland. Funeral services for Schwarz are scheduled for tomorrow at the Scarpelli Funeral Home in Cresaptown at 1 p.m.

 

Edwards, Beitzel Seek Increased School Funding

Maryland State Senator George Edwards and Delegate Wendell Beitzel are pursuing a statewide legislative effort to cap losses of state funding for K through 12 education, incurred by Allegany and Garrett Counties. In Governor Martin O’Malley’s FY 2013 budget, there is a 5.5% cut in funding for Allegany County and an 11.8% cut for Garrett County. This is on top of the approximately 6 per cent cut that the two jurisdictions took in funding during the FY 2012 budget. Due to the budget cuts, the Garrett County Board of Education is examining the possible closure of up to three elementary schools.

 

Man Held in Shotgun Incident

Westernport resident Curtis Hester is being held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following a domestic incident, during which he allegedly pointed a shotgun at a female victim and threatened her life. Hester faces numerous charges. The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

 

Street Closures Announced

South Central Avenue, from Park Street to Maryland Avenue, will be closed to all traffic this evening from 5 to 10 p.m. Also, the eastbound lane of Harrison Street, accessing Westbound Interstate 68, will be closed to all traffic. Use alternate routes to access westbound Interstate 68. Motorists should use caution in this area, due to increased pedestrian traffic at the Liberty Gardens Parklet.

 

Canal Place Authority to Meet Wednesday

The Canal Place Authority will meet in a special executive session next Wednesday at 4 p.m., at the offices of the Allegany Arts Council at 9 North Centre Street. The lone item on the agenda is a personnel discussion, most likely to discuss the resignation of Executive Director Renee Bone. After next Wednesday, the Canal Place Authority is due to meet on February 21st at 1:30 p.m.

 

Cracker Barrel May Locate in Somerset

Cracker Barrel spokesperson Jeanne Ludington has confirmed the company is looking to locate in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. It is one of several locations under consideration, and the process from finding a site to actually opening a restaurant can be lengthy, and no timetable has been established, if Somerset was chosen. Most new Cracker Barrel stores employ 150 people, and the company does not make official announcements about an opening “until the shovel is in the ground,” according to Ms. Ludington, in an article in the Somerset Daily American newspaper.

 

Suspect Identified in Hagerstown Shooting

The victim of a shooting earlier this week on Jonathan Street in Hagerstown has died. Twenty-nine year old Christopher Lee Follett died yesterday at the Meritus Medical Center; his body will be transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for a final ruling on the cause of death. Charges against twenty-eight year old Juan Sylvester Barnes, which originally included attempted second degree murder, will be amended appropriately.

Local News


Woman Arrested on Second-Degree Murder Charge

Fifty-three year old Karen Yvette Towson has been charged with attempted second-degree murder, following a stabbing at 947 Maryland Avenue Tuesday evening. Cumberland City Police found a man with a stab wound to the leg, inside the apartment. He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment. Both Cumberland City Police officers and members of the C3I unit interviewed witnesses and conducted the investigation. Ms. Towson faces related charges. She was taken to District Court for a bond hearing, and held on $100,000 bond. She is awaiting a bond review.

 

Decision on New Allegany High in Spring

School officials traveled to Annapolis to speak to the Board of Public Works on the possibility of a new Allegany High School, but won’t find out about funding the project until spring. Superintendent Dr. David Cox and five members of the Board of Education spoke about ten minutes to state their case. Dr. Cox feels the meeting went well. The presentation included photos of the current conditions at the school, including the boiler room and dilapidated auditorium.

 

Warrant Issued for Sexual Assault Case

A warrant has been issued in Somerset County for a man who is accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year girl there. Twenty-two year old Nicholas Fate Krzysko is being sought on charges of aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault, along with one count of corruption of minors. Krzysko, who had been living under a bridge, contacted a woman in January, saying he was having marital trouble and asked to stay with her. He later was watching a movie with the girl, when he allegedly sexually assaulted her. Anyone with information is asked to call the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-445-4104.

 

Chief Commends Officers

Cumberland City Police Chief Charles Hinnant is commending the work of several city police officers during last Friday’s double-fatal fire on East Harrison Street. Chief Hinnant says the first officer arrived on the scene at 6:05 a.m., while two more arrived at 6:08. Within a matter of minutes, Cumberland Fire Department crews were on the scene, and were able to remove 7-year old Paige Ford from the building. She later died at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Neither the fire crews nor the police officers were able to rescue 4-year old Jymera Ford. The cause of the fire has not yet been released.

 

New General Manager for Omni Bedford Springs

Lee Bowden has been hired as the general manager of the Omni Bedford Springs resort, replacing Scott Stuckey. Bowden, who has a master’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant management from Cornell University, has had two other positions running historic, renovated resorts.

 

State Jobless Rate Declines in December

Maryland has claimed its lowest unemployment rate in three years, declining in December to 6.7 per cent. While 1200 private sector jobs were lost, Maryland added more than 3,000 jobs. The latest national jobless rate stood at 8.5 per cent. Some of the biggest losses during December were in the professional and business services area, along with construction and manufacturing. Other gains were posted in state and local governments, educational and health care services.

 

State Considers Constitutional Amendment

Maryland is considering a constitutional amendment that would remove any state, county, or municipal official from office at the finding of guilt, instead of when the official is sentenced. The amendment was introduced by several delegates, and will be cross-filed in the Senate. The measure would need to be approved by Maryland voters in November, and would apply when an official is either convicted or pleads guilty to a crime that currently requires removal from office at sentencing.

Local News


Maryland Woman Charged in Somerset Stabbing

Twenty-year old Maryland resident Ashley Kamilah Arnold has been charged in connection with stabbing a man three times with a kitchen knife in Somerset County, Pennsylvania late last week. She is alleged to have stabbed 21-year old Justin John Seeley, when he tried to separate Ms. Arnold and 18-year old Ashanti Matthews. Seeley was treated and released from Somerset Hospital. Arnold is being held on $50,000 bail.

 

Lonaconing Man Held on Burglary, Theft Charges

A 21-year old Lonaconing man remains jailed in the Allegany County Detention Center, on a total bond of $27,500. Wade Eston Alt was originally stopped on a traffic violation, and it was later determined he was a suspect in a recent burglary in the Barton area. He was accused of disabling the power to a residence, breaking in and stealing several items, including cash and firearms. He was charged with burglary and theft, along with tampering with an electric pole or lines.

 

Keyser Farm Service Office May Close

The proposed consolidation of USDA Farm Service Offices in West Virginia may result in the closure of the Keyser office. The FSA provides a number of services to area farmers. A public hearing has been set for next Thursday, February 2nd, at 1 p.m. at the Mineral County Health Department to discuss the possible closure. This will be the only hearing, where public comment will be taken.

 

MTA Changes Policy on Selling Used Cars

Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson, in an attempt to save the county money and upgrade the department’s fleet of cruisers, had looked to buying used cars from the Maryland Transportation Authority. However, the MTA now places the cars up for auction to dealers and the public; previously, police agencies had been able to request them. The MTA tells Sheriff Robertson they no longer allow this practice. The Sheriff’s Office has received budgetary money to buy only two new cruisers this year, and he is enlisting the aid of Delegate Kevin Kelly to upgrade the fleet.

 

Cumberland Man Arrested for Assault, Destruction of Property

Nineteen year old Dustin Lee Liller was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property, following an incident Monday evening on North Lee Street. Liller allegedly assaulted a family member and destroyed property during the incident. Following a bond hearing, he was released on his own recognizance.

 

Business Fined for Violating Anti-Smoking Laws

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has fined the Wildwater Inn on National Pike for two separate violations of the Clean Indoor Air Act. The business was fined $100 by the state agency, and an additional $200 by the Garrett County Liquor Control Board. The Wildwater Inn allegedly violated the act by failing to prohibit smoking on two separate occasions, one in October and the other in November.

 

Beitzel Comments on FY 2013 Budget

Delegate Wendell Beitzel says there are several items of importance to Western Maryland in the Fiscal Year 2013 state budget. Allegany County stands to lose 3.2 per cent in aid to local government and primary and secondary education funds, under the proposal; for its part, Garrett County may lose 7.6 per cent of its funding. He and Senator George Edwards are urging their colleagues to take a look at the disparity in funding for the region that has resulted from the current economic crisis. He is urging citizens to voice their opposition to the educational cuts.

 

Ehrlich Uses Campaign Funds to Defend Schurick

Former Governor Robert Ehrlich allegedly used $168,000 in leftover campaign funds to pay for defense attorneys in Paul Schurick’s fraud trial. Schurick is a former aide to Ehrlich. A campaign finance report, filed last week by the Bob Ehrlich for Maryland Committee, shows the payments. Schurick, who is to be sentenced February 16th, is accused of authorizing a 2010 Election Day, automated call campaign to suppress the African-American vote by falsely suggesting that Governor O’Malley had already won and voters could stay home.

 

Restaurant Association Wants Alcohol Tax Amended

The Restaurant Association of Maryland is hoping to get the Maryland alcohol tax amended. The tax includes anything related to serving a drink. If, for example, a drink is served at a wedding, and there was a bar on a table with a tablecloth and glasses, the 9 per cent tax would apply to not only the drink, but also anything related to serving it, including the cloth, the table, and the glasses. Many restaurant owners believe neither the public, nor legislators, understood the law and what it meant.

Local News


Cause of Fire Likely Accidental

The cause of Friday morning’s fatal fire on Harrison Street that took the lives of two young children is believed to be accidental in nature, although a specific cause has not been released. It is known the fire originated in the first floor living room. Seven-year old Paige Ford and 4-year old Jymera Ford lost their lives in the 6:05 a.m. fire. Their mother, Tandra Ford, and an infant were able to escape the blaze.

 

Robbery Victim Sustains Injuries in Attack

The 89-year old Mount Pleasant Street victim of Saturday’s home invasion in Frostburg was hospitalized for treatment of several injuries, including a broken hip, a fractured wrist and head lacerations. The daytime robbery led to the arrest of 28-year old Zachary Winner. Also arrested was 21-year old Melissa McAteer, who allegedly lied to police when investigators came to Winner’s residence, asking if he was inside. She remains jailed, in lieu of $25,000 bond, in connection with the incident.

 

Officers Taken to Hospital

Three Western Correctional Institution officers were treated at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center late last week, after being exposed to pepper spray. They had been dealing with an uncooperative inmate who had refused to return to his cell. The inmate suffered a minor laceration to the head, and was treated by prison medical personnel.

 

Former Employee Arrested in Breaking and Entering

A former employee of the Frostburg Burger King has been arrested in a December breaking and entering of the business. Twenty-one year old Llany Vega is accused of breaking into the restaurant, through the roof, during the early morning hours of December 12th. He is accused of disabling the surveillance camera system, and removing an undisclosed sum of cash, before fleeing the scene. Vega surrendered to authorities, and was released on personal recognizance, pending his next court appearance. An accomplice has been identified and future charges are pending.

 

Man Arrested in WMRMC Disturbance

Cumberland resident John William Shoemaker was arrested, following an incident at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on Friday. Shoemaker is accused of assaulting another patient at the facility. He was charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and affray.

 

Flu Clinic Set for Friday

The Allegany County Health Department has scheduled a flu clinic for Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shots are also available every Wednesday, from 1 to 4 p.m., with no appointment necessary. The Health Department can bill Medicare and Maryland Physicians Care. The ACHD is not currently a participating provider with Blue Cross-Blue Shield and now cannot accept BC-BS insurances. Each year, influenza results in the hospitalization of roughly 200,000 people in the U.S.; nearly 36,000 people nationwide die from influenza-related complications.

 

College Placement Tests in Progress

The Allegany County Public School system will administer a college placement test to all junior students, now through the end of the month, in an effort to identify students who are eligible for college courses before course selection for their senior years. For those students who do not pass the placement test, and if their schedule will allow, a college placement prep course will be offered, beginning February 1st. The school system has worked cooperatively with Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University to secure a College Preparation Intervention Program Grant.

 

Briner, Schiffour Earn Earl Paul Memorial Award

Taylor Schiffour and Ryan Briner recently received the Earl Paul Memorial Awards at the 2012 Fort Hill High School football banquet. The awards are named in memory of Fort Hill Special Education teacher and founder of the Fort Hill football buddy program; the awards are sponsored by the Allegany County Special Olympics. Taylor Schiffour received the Outstanding Spirit award, and Ryan Briner received the Earl Paul Memorial Award for outstanding service to his church and community, as well as being a member of the Fort Hill football team. He is also a participating member and leader of the of the football buddy program.

 

Gas Tax, Teacher Pensions Under Consideration

During this third week of the 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly, Governor Martin O’Malley is unveiling the bills he wants lawmakers to consider this year. Among those is the finalization of the transportation budget, which is expected to include an increase of 23.5 cents in the gasoline tax. However, many legislators agree that won’t happen this year. Also, the Governor’s budget includes a plan to have county governments pay half the cost of teacher pensions. This week, officials from the Maryland Association of Counties will address concerns about the impact of the Governor’s plan on county taxpayers, during a hearing of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

 

Local News


Investigation into Cause of Double Fatal Fire Continues

Deputy State Fire Marshals are continuing to investigate the cause of the double fatal fire on East Harrison Street Friday morning. Seven-year old Paige Ford and four-year old Jymera Ford lost their lives in the 6:05 a.m. blaze. The childrens’ mother, Tandra Ford was treated for smoke inhalation injuries received in the fire, and an 8-month old infant escaped the fire unharmed. About 100 firefighters from Allegany and Mineral counties were on the scene. Three firefighters received non-life threatening injuries, and were treated and released from the hospital. Damages have been set at $200,000.

 

Hagerstown Man Indicted on Rape Charges

Nineteen year old Bryan Wayne Whitmore of Hagerstown has been arrested, after being charged by an Allegany County Grand Jury on charges of rape and assault. The incident stems back to September of last year, when Frostburg Police were alerted to a victim being treated at the hospital for a sexual assault. Forensic evidence was gathered and forwarded to the Maryland State Police Crime Lab for analysis, and Whitmore was identified as the suspect. Bond was set at $10,000. Whitmore posted bond, and is free, pending his next court appearance.

 

Frostburg Woman Victim of Strong Armed Robbery

Frostburg resident Zachary Winner has been arrested in connection with a strong-armed robbery which occurred Saturday afternoon in Frostburg. Winner allegedly forced his way into the home of an elderly Mount Pleasant Street woman. He shoved her to the ground and removed jewelry from the residence. Investigators found some of the victim’s jewelry at Winner’s Old National Pike residence. Also arrested was 21-year old Melissa Ann McAteer of Frostburg. She is charged with obstruction of justice and making a false statement to a police officer. Both received an initial appearance before a District Court Commissioner.

 

Electrical Fire in Frostburg

A fire at 286 East Main Street in Frostburg early Friday morning has been ruled accidental and electrical in nature. The three-story, single-family dwelling is owned by Richard Kerr, and the fire did approximately $50,000 in damage to the structure and its contents. The fire was discovered by the owner. There were no injuries. The initial call was received at 3:00 a.m. Friday, and brought out approximately 50 firefighters from seven companies in Allegany, Garrett and Mineral Counties.

 

Police Looking for Help in Investigation

No arrests have been made in the murder of Daniel Corey of Romney, and city police there are seeking the public’s help. Corey was found dead at his home on South High Street of a gunshot wound to the upper chest area; he was pronounced dead at Hampshire Memorial Hospital. Anyone who may have seen or heard something around 8 p.m. on January 8th is asked to contact the police department at (304)-822-4060.

 

Commissioners Move to Appoint Jail Chaplain

The Bedford County prison board of directors is moving to appoint a new jail chaplain. At the meeting last week, it was explained to two new county commissioners that long-time chaplain Myrl Musselman had been dismissed by Warden Donald Orr, after 11 years of service. One commissioner, Chairman Kirt Morris, says he believes the commissioners should appoint a new chaplain to “take it off the warden’s plate.” The commissioners agreed that they should make the appointment, just as they do with other positions.

 

Gas Prices on the Rise

If you haven’t noticed, gas prices have been inching up, and are now at historic highs for January. The average price of regular-grade gasoline is $3.39 per gallon, 11 cents higher than at the start of 2012, and four cents higher than last week. Crude oil is now priced at $98.70 per barrel, down from $101.56 per barrel last week and $91 per barrel this time last year.

 

Animal Abuse Registry Proposed

Much the same as Maryland has a sex offender registry, one state lawmaker wants to create an animal abuse registry in the state. Senator Ronald Young says he has the support from animal rights advocates, who say the state needs the law now. The registry would prevent convicted abusers from getting another animal. If passed, the abuser’s photo and address would be listed on the registry for 10 years. The bill should be introduced in the General Assembly this week.

Local News


Two Children Dead in House Fire

Two children have been confirmed dead, as the result of a 4-alarm, row house fire at 309 East Harrison Street in Cumberland. A 6-year old girl and 10-year old girl perished in the fire. The 6-year old was rescued from a 2nd floor window in cardiac arrest; she was transported to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, where she died. The ten-year old was not located at first. The mother and 7-month old infant escaped without injury. About 100 firefighters from Allegany and Mineral Counties were on the scene. One firefighter from the Cumberland Fire Department was injured, but treated on the scene. Five row house units were affected by the blaze. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

 

Commissioners Introduce Bills on Water, Sewer Projects

The Allegany County Commissioners introduced three code home rule bills at yesterday’s meeting, dealing with water and sewer projects. If enacted, bonds will be issued for projects on Bedford Road,  a  Cresaptown water project, and a water distribution for Meder’s Lane. The projects total around $2.3 million. The Meder’s Lane project would affect only 14 homes, and that loan, for $350,000, would be paid back over a 30-year period.

 

New Charter Service For Bedford County

The Bedford County airport has announced a new charter service, with passengers being able to fly to nearly everywhere in North America. An on-demand air service, “Run by the Bun Air Corporation” will allow anyone to fly up to six people, round trip to airports in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Virgin Islands. Travelers will determine their own schedules, with delays and layovers nearly eliminated, because service is booked on an “as needed” basis.

 

Scholarship Fund Reminder of Concert

The Fort Hill Scholarship Fund is reminding residents of the Ricky Howsare concert on Saturday, February 4th at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. The Fort Hill Steel Band was recently included in the program line-up to entertain guests during breaks and intermission. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the show. To buy tickets, call (301)-777-2570.

 

Union Files Grievance Against Meyersdale Borough

The union representing the Meyersdale Borough Police Department is filing grievances against the borough council, and the secretary/treasurer of the Teamsters Local 205 will not sign a voluntary layoff agreement, until the officers return back pay. The issue will be discussed at the next borough council meeting on February 14th.

 

Washington County Law Enforcement Investigates Robbery

The Hagerstown Police Department is investigating an attempted strong-armed robbery at Wayne’s Country Store on West Washington Street Wednesday evening. An unknown black male entered the business and demanded money. He left the store, before receiving any money, but quickly returned. He then left the store a second time, again without receiving money. He fled northbound. He has not been identified and the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hagerstown Police Department.

 

Governor Unveils Budget, Tax Changes

Governor Martin O’Malley’s budget includes an increase in general fund spending by 1.9 per cent and $800 million in spending reductions. State budgets have increased every year during the O’Malley Administration by a total of 16 per cent. In his defense, 5,500 state jobs have been eliminated during his administration. There has been little talk about increasing the state’s gas tax, which is currently 23.5 cents. And, the Governor says he is not proposing a tripling of the state’s “flush tax” but would adjust fees, reflecting consumption.

 

“Suicide By Cop” Situation Ends in W. Va. Man’s Death

A Cross Lanes, West Virginia man is dead, following an incident in South Charleston, West Virginia. Forty-year old Tommy Gene Ransbottom had allegedly fired shots in the Cross Lanes area earlier this week. Later, he pointed a gun at police and was shot and killed by officers in a “suicide by cop” situation. The 911 tape was released earlier this week, and substantiates the fact that he ignored commands from officers to get on the ground, and that he was shot by officers, after he had pointed a gun at them.

Local News


Child Dies in Harrison Street Fire

A six-year old child died in this morning’s fire at 309 East Harrison Street, affecting 5 row houses in that area. The child was rescued from a 2nd floor window, but was in cardiac arrest. She later died at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The mother and a 7-month old infant escaped without injury, and a 10-year old female has not yet been located. About 100 firefighters were on the scene. The cause and origin of the fire remain under investigation.

 

Commissioners Introduce Bills on Water, Sewer Projects

The Allegany County Commissioners introduced three code home rule bills at yesterday’s meeting, dealing with water and sewer projects. If enacted, bonds will be issued for projects on Bedford Road,  a  Cresaptown water project, and a water distribution for Meder’s Lane. The projects total around $2.3 million. The Meder’s Lane project would affect only 14 homes, and that loan, for $350,000, would be paid back over a 30-year period.

 

New Charter Service For Bedford County

The Bedford County airport has announced a new charter service, with passengers being able to fly to nearly everywhere in North America. An on-demand air service, “Run by the Bun Air Corporation” will allow anyone to fly up to six people, round trip to airports in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Virgin Islands. Travelers will determine their own schedules, with delays and layovers nearly eliminated, because service is booked on an “as needed” basis.

 

Scholarship Fund Reminder of Concert

The Fort Hill Scholarship Fund is reminding residents of the Ricky Howsare concert on Saturday, February 4th at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. The Fort Hill Steel Band was recently included in the program line-up to entertain guests during breaks and intermission. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the show. To buy tickets, call (301)-777-2570.

 

Union Files Grievance Against Meyersdale Borough

The union representing the Meyersdale Borough Police Department is filing grievances against the borough council, and the secretary/treasurer of the Teamsters Local 205 will not sign a voluntary layoff agreement, until the officers return back pay. The issue will be discussed at the next borough council meeting on February 14th.

 

Washington County Law Enforcement Investigates Robbery

The Hagerstown Police Department is investigating an attempted strong-armed robbery at Wayne’s Country Store on West Washington Street Wednesday evening. An unknown black male entered the business and demanded money. He left the store, before receiving any money, but quickly returned. He then left the store a second time, again without receiving money. He fled northbound. He has not been identified and the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hagerstown Police Department.

 

Governor Unveils Budget, Tax Changes

Governor Martin O’Malley’s budget includes an increase in general fund spending by 1.9 per cent and $800 million in spending reductions. State budgets have increased every year during the O’Malley Administration by a total of 16 per cent. In his defense, 5,500 state jobs have been eliminated during his administration. There has been little talk about increasing the state’s gas tax, which is currently 23.5 cents. And, the Governor says he is not proposing a tripling of the state’s “flush tax” but would adjust fees, reflecting consumption.

 

“Suicide By Cop” Situation Ends in W. Va. Man’s Death

A Cross Lanes, West Virginia man is dead, following an incident in South Charleston, West Virginia. Forty-year old Tommy Gene Ransbottom had allegedly fired shots in the Cross Lanes area earlier this week. Later, he pointed a gun at police and was shot and killed by officers in a “suicide by cop” situation. The 911 tape was released earlier this week, and substantiates the fact that he ignored commands from officers to get on the ground, and that he was shot by officers, after he had pointed a gun at them.

 

 

Local News


Harrison Street Fire Reported

Numerous  companies are on the scene of a fire at 309 East Harrison Street. The fire has been upgraded to a four-alarm, working house fire. The Maryland Avenue exit, off Interstate 68 westbound has been closed. Motorists are also asked to avoid the Park Street area, as water running down Harrison Street, is freezing.

 

Commissioners Introduce Bills on Water, Sewer Projects

The Allegany County Commissioners introduced three code home rule bills at yesterday’s meeting, dealing with water and sewer projects. If enacted, bonds will be issued for projects on Bedford Road,  a  Cresaptown water project, and a water distribution for Meder’s Lane. The projects total around $2.3 million. The Meder’s Lane project would affect only 14 homes, and that loan, for $350,000, would be paid back over a 30-year period.

 

New Charter Service For Bedford County

The Bedford County airport has announced a new charter service, with passengers being able to fly to nearly everywhere in North America. An on-demand air service, “Run by the Bun Air Corporation” will allow anyone to fly up to six people, round trip to airports in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Virgin Islands. Travelers will determine their own schedules, with delays and layovers nearly eliminated, because service is booked on an “as needed” basis.

 

Scholarship Fund Reminder of Concert

The Fort Hill Scholarship Fund is reminding residents of the Ricky Howsare concert on Saturday, February 4th at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. The Fort Hill Steel Band was recently included in the program line-up to entertain guests during breaks and intermission. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the show. To buy tickets, call (301)-777-2570.

 

Union Files Grievance Against Meyersdale Borough

The union representing the Meyersdale Borough Police Department is filing grievances against the borough council, and the secretary/treasurer of the Teamsters Local 205 will not sign a voluntary layoff agreement, until the officers return back pay. The issue will be discussed at the next borough council meeting on February 14th.

 

Washington County Law Enforcement Investigates Robbery

The Hagerstown Police Department is investigating an attempted strong-armed robbery at Wayne’s Country Store on West Washington Street Wednesday evening. An unknown black male entered the business and demanded money. He left the store, before receiving any money, but quickly returned. He then left the store a second time, again without receiving money. He fled northbound. He has not been identified and the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hagerstown Police Department.

 

Governor Unveils Budget, Tax Changes

Governor Martin O’Malley’s budget includes an increase in general fund spending by 1.9 per cent and $800 million in spending reductions. State budgets have increased every year during the O’Malley Administration by a total of 16 per cent. In his defense, 5,500 state jobs have been eliminated during his administration. There has been little talk about increasing the state’s gas tax, which is currently 23.5 cents. And, the Governor says he is not proposing a tripling of the state’s “flush tax” but would adjust fees, reflecting consumption.

 

“Suicide By Cop” Situation Ends in W. Va. Man’s Death

A Cross Lanes, West Virginia man is dead, following an incident in South Charleston, West Virginia. Forty-year old Tommy Gene Ransbottom had allegedly fired shots in the Cross Lanes area earlier this week. Later, he pointed a gun at police and was shot and killed by officers in a “suicide by cop” situation. The 911 tape was released earlier this week, and substantiates the fact that he ignored commands from officers to get on the ground, and that he was shot by officers, after he had pointed a gun at them.

 

 

Local News


Harrison Street Fire Reported

Numerous  companies are on the scene of a fire at 309 East Harrison Street. The fire has been upgraded to a four-alarm, working house fire. The Maryland Avenue exit, off Interstate 68 westbound has been closed. Motorists are also asked to avoid the Park Street area, as water running down Harrison Street, is freezing.

 

Commissioners Introduce Bills on Water, Sewer Projects

The Allegany County Commissioners introduced three code home rule bills at yesterday’s meeting, dealing with water and sewer projects. If enacted, bonds will be issued for projects on Bedford Road,  a  Cresaptown water project, and a water distribution for Meder’s Lane. The projects total around $2.3 million. The Meder’s Lane project would affect only 14 homes, and that loan, for $350,000, would be paid back over a 30-year period.

 

New Charter Service For Bedford County

The Bedford County airport has announced a new charter service, with passengers being able to fly to nearly everywhere in North America. An on-demand air service, “Run by the Bun Air Corporation” will allow anyone to fly up to six people, round trip to airports in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Virgin Islands. Travelers will determine their own schedules, with delays and layovers nearly eliminated, because service is booked on an “as needed” basis.

 

Scholarship Fund Reminder of Concert

The Fort Hill Scholarship Fund is reminding residents of the Ricky Howsare concert on Saturday, February 4th at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. The Fort Hill Steel Band was recently included in the program line-up to entertain guests during breaks and intermission. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the show. To buy tickets, call (301)-777-2570.

 

Union Files Grievance Against Meyersdale Borough

The union representing the Meyersdale Borough Police Department is filing grievances against the borough council, and the secretary/treasurer of the Teamsters Local 205 will not sign a voluntary layoff agreement, until the officers return back pay. The issue will be discussed at the next borough council meeting on February 14th.

 

Washington County Law Enforcement Investigates Robbery

The Hagerstown Police Department is investigating an attempted strong-armed robbery at Wayne’s Country Store on West Washington Street Wednesday evening. An unknown black male entered the business and demanded money. He left the store, before receiving any money, but quickly returned. He then left the store a second time, again without receiving money. He fled northbound. He has not been identified and the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hagerstown Police Department.

 

Governor Unveils Budget, Tax Changes

Governor Martin O’Malley’s budget includes an increase in general fund spending by 1.9 per cent and $800 million in spending reductions. State budgets have increased every year during the O’Malley Administration by a total of 16 per cent. In his defense, 5,500 state jobs have been eliminated during his administration. There has been little talk about increasing the state’s gas tax, which is currently 23.5 cents. And, the Governor says he is not proposing a tripling of the state’s “flush tax” but would adjust fees, reflecting consumption.

 

“Suicide By Cop” Situation Ends in W. Va. Man’s Death

A Cross Lanes, West Virginia man is dead, following an incident in South Charleston, West Virginia. Forty-year old Tommy Gene Ransbottom had allegedly fired shots in the Cross Lanes area earlier this week. Later, he pointed a gun at police and was shot and killed by officers in a “suicide by cop” situation. The 911 tape was released earlier this week, and substantiates the fact that he ignored commands from officers to get on the ground, and that he was shot by officers, after he had pointed a gun at them.

 

 

Local News


Commissioners Introduce Bills on Water, Sewer Projects

The Allegany County Commissioners introduced three code home rule bills at yesterday’s meeting, dealing with water and sewer projects. If enacted, bonds will be issued for projects on Bedford Road,  a  Cresaptown water project, and a water distribution for Meder’s Lane. The projects total around $2.3 million. The Meder’s Lane project would affect only 14 homes, and that loan, for $350,000, would be paid back over a 30-year period.

 

New Charter Service For Bedford County

The Bedford County airport has announced a new charter service, with passengers being able to fly to nearly everywhere in North America. An on-demand air service, “Run by the Bun Air Corporation” will allow anyone to fly up to six people, round trip to airports in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Virgin Islands. Travelers will determine their own schedules, with delays and layovers nearly eliminated, because service is booked on an “as needed” basis.

 

Scholarship Fund Reminder of Concert

The Fort Hill Scholarship Fund is reminding residents of the Ricky Howsare concert on Saturday, February 4th at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. The Fort Hill Steel Band was recently included in the program line-up to entertain guests during breaks and intermission. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the show. To buy tickets, call (301)-777-2570.

 

Union Files Grievance Against Meyersdale Borough

The union representing the Meyersdale Borough Police Department is filing grievances against the borough council, and the secretary/treasurer of the Teamsters Local 205 will not sign a voluntary layoff agreement, until the officers return back pay. The issue will be discussed at the next borough council meeting on February 14th.

 

Washington County Law Enforcement Investigates Robbery

The Hagerstown Police Department is investigating an attempted strong-armed robbery at Wayne’s Country Store on West Washington Street Wednesday evening. An unknown black male entered the business and demanded money. He left the store, before receiving any money, but quickly returned. He then left the store a second time, again without receiving money. He fled northbound. He has not been identified and the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hagerstown Police Department.

 

Governor Unveils Budget, Tax Changes

Governor Martin O’Malley’s budget includes an increase in general fund spending by 1.9 per cent and $800 million in spending reductions. State budgets have increased every year during the O’Malley Administration by a total of 16 per cent. In his defense, 5,500 state jobs have been eliminated during his administration. There has been little talk about increasing the state’s gas tax, which is currently 23.5 cents. And, the Governor says he is not proposing a tripling of the state’s “flush tax” but would adjust fees, reflecting consumption.

 

“Suicide By Cop” Situation Ends in W. Va. Man’s Death

A Cross Lanes, West Virginia man is dead, following an incident in South Charleston, West Virginia. Forty-year old Tommy Gene Ransbottom had allegedly fired shots in the Cross Lanes area earlier this week. Later, he pointed a gun at police and was shot and killed by officers in a “suicide by cop” situation. The 911 tape was released earlier this week, and substantiates the fact that he ignored commands from officers to get on the ground, and that he was shot by officers, after he had pointed a gun at them.

Local News


Man Arrested in Breaking & Entering, Theft Case

Thirty-seven year old Corey Lucas Klingler was arrested in connection with the early December breaking, entering, and theft at the Schwab Company warehouse in the Potomac Industrial Park. He is alleged to have entered the air condition and heating units and removed the condensers and copper tubing. Copper pipe was cut and removed from other areas of the building, and a commercial paint sprayer was also taken. The total loss was valued at over $74,000. Klingler was developed as a suspect, and was charged with multiple counts of burglary and theft. He is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $35,000 bond, pending his next court appearance.

 

ASCI, Commissioners Talk About Default

The Garrett County Commissioners have discussed the implications of the default of the Adventure Sports International complex. ASCI has incurred $3 million in loans from private lending institutions to address unanticipated costs, and the legal, financial, and personnel aspects of the default are being considered. A more detailed review of the situation will be presented on February 7th, at the next public session of the Garrett County Commissioners.

 

Couple Charged in Domestic Assault

A Garrett County couple has each been charged with domestic assault, following an incident on Brobst Road in Accident Tuesday night. During the investigation, it was determined that Kathy Jo Cosner had threatened her husband, John, with a kitchen knife. Both were taken to the Garrett County Court Commissioner for a bond hearing.

 

Delegate Beitzel Announces Continuation of Scholarship Program

Delegate Wendell Beitzel has announced the continuation of the 2012 Delegate Scholarship for the college students of District 1-A. Each year, Delegate Beitzel has been fortunate to assist students from Garrett and Allegany Counties by investing in their future through the state of Maryland’s Delegate Scholarship program. There are some minimal requirements for applicants. Interested applicants should contact Delegate Beitzel’s office in Annapolis at (410)-841-3435.

 

Keyser Home Robbery Reported

Keyser City Police are investigating an armed robbery at a Carroll Avenue apartment Monday afternoon. The victim said three black men, wearing hooded clothing, entered the apartment; while one held a gun to her head, the other two went straight to where she had jewelry and stole it. They fled the apartment, in the direction of CSX property, about a half-block away. Anyone with information is asked to contact Keyser City Police at (304)-788-1311.

 

Group Arrested in County Wide Thefts In Somerset County

Five people have been arrested in a series of thefts in Somerset County last November, and more arrests are anticipated. Nineteen year old Zecharia Spencer-who was described as the “ringleader” of the group-and four others, including Anthony Williamson and Justin Taylor, along with two juveniles, were taken into custody. They were accused of breaking into cars all over Somerset County, and stealing money, electronics and guns, which were later sold. Police have recovered about a dozen stolen firearms, but there could be more.

 

Garrett County Service Interruption Scheduled

A planned electric service interruption has been scheduled for next Thursday, January 26th. Potomac Edison says service will be out in Gorman and Gormania and the surrounding areas of Grant and Garrett counties for about two hours, from 10 a.m. to noon. The outage is necessary to repair conductors on the transmission line serving the Gorman substation. It will affect about 394 Potomac Edison customers.

 

Parent Conferences Set for February 1st

Allegany County Public Schools will hold parent conferences on Wednesday, February 1st from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Lunch is scheduled in all schools from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. during which time teachers will not be available for conferences. Conference requests can be made through the end of January. Walk-ins will also be welcome during these times for parents of middle and high school students not previously scheduled by appointment.

 

Economy Most Important to Maryland Voters

A poll from Gonzalez Research shows the economy is the number one issue for Maryland voters. Nearly half say the economy is the most important issue facing the state, while 11 per cent list taxes as their top concern. While Governor O’Malley’s job approval rating remains stable, President Obama’s rating has bounced back since the fall. Voters remain divided on the issue of same-sex marriage, and 63 per cent favor legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

Local News


Death Penalty, Budget in General Assembly Spotlight

About 60 opponents of the death penalty gathered in Annapolis Monday night for a rally. The featured speaker was Kim Davis, sister of Georgia Death Row inmate Troy Davis, who was executed in September. Davis maintained his innocence in the shooting of an off-duty Savannah police officer. Kim Davis said mistakes were made in the case, and that states cannot continue to kill innocent people in a “flawed system.” Prosecutors and the officers’ family, however, say they were certain Davis was guilty.

 

Labor Rally Features Governor’s Budget

Governor Martin O’Malley’s budget will include substantial increases in transportation projects. During a Monday night labor rally in Annapolis, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown says the budget will include proposals for roads, rail, the airport, the port and bridges-all with the goal of putting people back to work. Governor O’Malley has mentioned a gas tax increase and a hike in the state’s “flush tax” for sewage upgrades as being under consideration.

 

Canal Place Meets To Discuss Status

As the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority met yesterday to discuss the resignation of its executive director, Renee Bone, it also faced another question on its status. A state legislator, Delegate John Bohanan of St. Mary’s County, has asked the group whether it wants to remain a state agency or reorganize under a different umbrella. Ms. Bone will spend her remaining weeks as executive director gathering input and weighing the positives and negatives of various options. Her resignation is effective February 7th.

 

Education Officials Reconsider Plan

The Garrett County Board of Education has decided against a plan to move fifth-grade students into middle schools. A meeting was held at Southern Middle School, and officials are now considering an alternative that will be based on next school year’s kindergarten enrollment. The reconfiguration was part of a five-year plan that would call for the closing of Dennett Road, Kitzmiller and Friendsville Elementary Schools.

 

Somerset Woman Faces Assault, Child Endangerment Charges

Somerset County resident Jessica Stigers is in the Somerset County jail, following an incident on Monday, where she was accused of assaulting a bar manager and leaving her toddlers at home, so she could go out drinking. She also allegedly resisted arrest; as officers were taking her to the police station, she told police she had to get home to her children, who were all alone. The children, however, were taken in by a neighbor when they returned home from school. They are now in the custody of the Somerset County Children and Youth Agency.

 

Toughman Competition This Weekend

Final preparations are being made for the 13th annual Potomac Valley Original Toughman contest this Friday and Saturday night at Frankfort High School. This year, 133 area men and women have entered for the event. The list can be found at www.wvtoughman.com. This is a sanctioned event and will be supervised by the West Virginia State Athletic Commission.

 

WVSBDC Offering Small Business Workshops in Petersburg

Two small business workshops are scheduled for Wednesday, January 25th in Petersburg, West Virginia. They are “Business Fundamentals” and “Sustainable Growth,” and are part of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center. Both workshops are being held in the Region 8 Planning and Development Council Headquarters. For more information, call (304)-530-4964.  Registration is required by this Friday.

Local News


One of Two Rocky Gap Bids Rejected

A bid from former state Democratic Party Chairman Nathan Landow to build a casino at Rocky Gap was rejected by the Maryland Slots Commission, leaving only one group in the running. Landow’s group failed to provide the necessary financial and business data to support the bid, and the proposal was unanimously rejected. Evitts Resort, LLC, is the lone bidder now on the project. The group consists of a joint venture of three businesses, and has offered to open a casino with 850 slot machines. A final decision on that proposal will be made either late next month or in early March.

 

Czapski Questions Inflation Numbers

The Executive Director of the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, Stu Czapski,  is questioning a report from Moody’s Analytics that the Cumberland Metro Area has the highest inflation rate in the nation. This report comes on the heels of last week’s news that the area is one of the cheapest places in the nation to live, which represents an obvious conflict. The inflation rate was quoted at 5.3 per cent, and the metro area includes Cumberland, Allegany County and Mineral County, West Virginia. Czapski says he questions how experts arrived at the conclusion, rather than the rate itself.

 

ACM Considers Smoking Ban

Allegany College of Maryland, in response to faculty and student requests, is considering a campus-wide smoking ban, similar to the one at Frostburg State University. A task force has been appointed to study the opportunities and obstacles associated with such a ban. As of this month, statistics show that 639 college campuses nationwide, were smoke-free. FSU implemented a college-wide smoking ban in August of last year, according to the Cumberland Times-News.

 

Man Dies Jumping From Car

An Osterburg man was fatally injured last week, when he jumped from a moving vehicle in East St. Clair Township. Fifty-six year old Jay Altman was a passenger in a car, and intentionally jumped out of the vehicle, while it was in motion. He suffered a head injury, and later died at the Altoona Regional Health System. Police did not identify the driver of the vehicle, nor did they provide a reason Altman jumped.

 

Bedford Man Sentenced in Arson Case

Twenty-one year old Charles Keith Horsh was sentenced to 12 to 24 years in prison, in connection with the arson fire at the Trinity Lutheran Church property in Bedford County last year. Firefighters were called on June 8th to the parish house of the church; the blaze was contained, but damage was estimated at $250,000.

 

Mineral County Searches for Wanted Man

Keyser City Police, along with other law enforcement agencies, are searching for a man who fled the Mineral County Probation Offices last week. Thirty-year old Corbin Stone was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and also faces violation of probation charges in Maryland. Stone was nearly apprehended at his Orchard Street home, but fled there, and law enforcement authorities are still searching for him.

 

Man Charged with Vehicular Homicide

A Bedford County man has been charged with vehicular homicide, in connection with a crash in October that killed a Six Mile Run firefighter. Fifty-two year old Eddie Singer was killed when his car was hit head-on, by another driven by 45-year old Joseph Beltz. The accident happened on Main Street in Coaldale. Singer’s wife, Diane was also in the car with him. Charges were filed against Beltz in December. He was released on $100,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing will be held Wednesday in Bedford County.

 

Fire Deaths Decreased in 2011

The Maryland State Fire Marshal has announced a preliminary report, revealing 67 Maryland residents died in 56 fatal fires during 2011. Those fire deaths represent a 6 per cent decrease, compared o the 71 fire deaths occurring in 50 fatal fires in 2010. The number of fatal fires in 2011, however, represents a 12 per cent increase as compared to 2010. Garrett County was among those not experiencing fatal fires in 2011.

Local News


Man Arrested for Lonaconing Home Invasion

Following a standoff with Montgomery County Police, 23-year old Kensington, Maryland resident Brendan Patrick Orr was arrested in connection with a home invasion robbery, which took place earlier this month in Lonaconing. Orr is alleged to have entered a private residence with two others,  on Gill’s Hill, demanding “drugs and money” from the victims. The suspects had guns and fired a shot into the ceiling of the home. One of the victims identified Orr and he was taken into custody late last week.

 

Maryland Politicians Discuss Taxes, Marcellus Shale

While an increase in the gas tax is more of a sure thing, Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller says an increase in the sales tax “is not happening.” Democratic leaders discussed increasing construction and jobs, Republicans are criticizing the slow movement on allowing drilling in Western Maryland’s Marcellus Shale. A final report with findings and recommendations isn’t due until 2014.

 

Bone Resigns as Executive Director of Canal Place Authority

Following the resignation of Renee Bone as the executive director of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, the board will meet tomorrow to discuss the issue. Andy Vick, chairman of the group, says they will be discussing a plan to move forward. Ms. Bone sent out an email last week, indicating she would be resigning, effective February 7th.

 

Mineral County Highlights Broadband Project

Mineral County representatives were in Charleston recently to discuss the availability of high speed internet service. Mona Ridder, Executive Director of the Mineral County Economic Development Authority, commented on how limited broadband is in the region, but county officials are moving forward, with or without state assistance. It should take about six months to establish high speed internet service, once construction begins.

 

School Board Recognizes Three ‘Schools of Distrinction’

The Allegany County Board of Education honored Cash Valley, Frost, and Mount Savage Elementary Schools for being chosen as Schools of Distinction for the 2011-2012 school year. The program recognizes and honors schools at each level, that exhibit high performance and/or significant improvement in student achievement. It is also designed to identify schools striving to become eligible for a Blue Ribbon School nomination for the Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools Award.

 

Fires Under Investigation

Two barn fires and one residential fire are under investigation in Bedford County. The barn fires were reported in Monroe Township, and have been identified as suspicious in nature. The other, at a vacant house on Fourth Street in Everett, has also been listed as suspicious. Damage in the barn fires was estimated at around $500 each.

 

6th District Race Draws 13 Candidates

The Maryland Sixth District Congressional race will see a total of 13 candidates for the April 3rd primary. Incumbent Representative Roscoe Bartlett is seeking his 11th term this year. Congressman Bartlett will see 7 challengers in the primary. The deadline to file for office in the primary election was last Wednesday at 9 p.m.

 

Utility Rates Rise in Mountain State

West Virginia residents paid an average of 2 per cent more for utilities last year, according to an annual report released by state Consumer Advocate Byron Harris. The report measures rates for gas, electricity, water, and telephone service. Driving the numbers up were the rates for electricity. Harris says he doesn’t believe natural gas prices will continue to decline, noting that, at some point it will hit bottom, then begin to rise. The average utility ratepayer in the Mountain State now pays just under $293 per month for gas, electric, water and telephone service. A year ago, that amount was $287.01.

Local News


Keyser Woman Charged in Attempted Robbery

Keyser resident Celesta Fawn Jamison has been arrested in connection with the attempted robbery earlier this week at the Fair Price Market in Westernport. She was identified after C3I investigators reviewed surveillance video from the business and obtained other evidence, linking her to the crime. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner, and is currently beingt held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $50,000 bond, pending her next court appearance.

 

Inmate Sentenced in Murder

Kim Lee Hargett has pleaded guilty to second degree murder, in connection with the death of Blas Mata-Aguilar. Mata-Aguilar was Hargett’s cellmate at the Western Correctional Institution, and was found unresponsive in his cell. Hargett received 20 years, consecutive to his current sentence. The incident occurred on February 2nd of last year. Hargett is now incarcerated at the North Branch Correctional Institution, and will be released on approximately 2055.

 

Man Shot and Killed in Romney

Police are seeking the public’s help in solving a case involving the fatal shooting of Daniel Allen Corey in Romney, West Virginia. Corey had been watching a football game Sunday evening, when he suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. He was found lying on the floor of a second-floor bedroom of his residence on High Street. Autopsy results and ballistics test results are being awaited, and additional information is being sought from the public.

 

More Time Added To Molester’s Sentence

Former Clearville resident Greg Allen Gibbs has been resentenced in connection to a case involving the molestation of three children, two of whom were his own. Gibbs was originally sentenced to 120 to 240 years; he has now been sentenced to 217 to 467 years. He and his ex-wife, Tammy Sue Gibbs, were accused of sexual abuse involving their 4-year old son and 5-year old daughter, as well as Tammy Gibbs’ 7-year old daughter from a previous relationship. They were first arrested in August of 2007. Greg Gibbs was convicted of all 29 counts against him.

 

Baltimore Woman Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison

Forty-eight year old Diana Lynn Vaught of Baltimore has been sentenced to ten years in prison, with an additional five year suspended sentence. She was charged in February of last year with multiple counts of robbery and other charges, when she stole a vehicle from a Cumberland woman in South Cumberland. She was apprehended a short time later in downtown Cumberland. She was charged with multiple counts of robbery. State’s Attorney Michael Twigg commended both the Cumberland City Police and other law enforcement agencies in apprehending Ms. Vaught.

 

Augusta Woman Pleads Guilty in Murder-for-Hire Scheme

Augusta, West Virginia resident Brenda Swisher has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a murder-for-hire scheme, in which she paid a would-be assassin to kill the wife of a former boyfriend. Last November, she contacted someone she thought was a hit man and offered $3500 to kill the woman, who works as a probation officer. She is currently free on bond, but faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

Man Arrested Following North Lee Street Assault

Nineteen year old Cumberland resident Dustin Liller was arrested, following an assault incident on North Lee Street Wednesday evening. Liller allegedly assaulted and threw the victim into a bathtub. He was later released on personal recognizance. The victim did not require medical attention.

 

Beitzel Announces Newsletter

Delegate Wendell Betizel has announced the continuation of his weekly e-mail newsletter to keep constituents more informed on issues during the 430th regular session of the Maryland General Assembly. The gas tax, same-sex marriage, and the flush tax will be discussed in the upcoming newsletters. Also, issues such as school funding and Marcellus Shale development will be addressed. For those who would like to receive the free, electronic newsletter, please contact his Annapolis office at (410)-841-3435 or email delegatebeitzel@gmail.com.

 

“Education Week” Shows Maryland Schools on Top

“Education Week” magazine has rated Maryland “number one” in schools across the country, which marks the fourth year in a row, the public school system gets the best grades in its class of 50 states. Last month, the U.S. government awarded Maryland a $50 million “Race to the Top” grant, based on efforts in early childhood education. Six criteria categories were used in grading schools. Just behind Maryland schools, those from Massachusetts, New York and Virginia, were the top schools in the country.

Local News


O’Malley Proposing $370 Million in School Construction

Governor Martin O’Malley is proposing more than $370 million in school construction funding in the fiscal 2013 budget. The amount represents the second highest single-year funding level in state history, and O’Malley says it brings the administration’s six-year school construction commitment to nearly $2 billion. Six million dollars will be included in the Aging  Schools Program.

 

Blast Felt in Area

Yesterday’s controlled blast in the Klondike area was part of an FBI test being performed in a remote location on open, unoccupied property. Several callers to the Allegany County 911 Center were told that the Maryland Bureau of Mines was notified in advance. The first blast occurred around 10:45 a.m. The blasts were conducted to dispose of explosive devices. No damage resulted from the blast.

 

Candidate Registration Closes

About 12 candidates have registered for two open seats on the Cumberland City Council, but one name that won’t be on the ballot is that of incumbent council member Harold “Butch” Hendershot. He has decided to withdraw his candidacy after 18 years. Hendershot says he feels it’s time to step down. The deadline to register was 9 p.m. yesterday, and the Maryland primary will be held on April 3rd.

 

Keyser Robbery Suspect Indicted

The Mineral County Grand Jury has indicted Stephen Mayhew, Sr., Stephen Mayhew, Jr., and Dulin Mayhew in connection with the October 29th armed robbery of the CVS in Keyser. Several other robbery and theft cases were also included in the indictments, including one in connection with the October robbery of the 7-11 in Keyser. Brent Redman was charged in connection with that incident.

 

Man Arrested for DUI, CDS Violations

A 26-year old Cumberland man was arrested, after his vehicle struck a house on Polk Street. The pickup truck’s bed was against the house, as police made contact with the owner, James Adam Knotts. He eventually failed a field sobriety test. In addition, police found suspected drug paraphernalia, including heroin residue, several types of pills and a marijuana smoking device. He was charged, taken for a bond hearing, and released on personal recognizance.

 

School Board Elects Officers

The Allegany County Board of Education held its annual election of officers, and Sara-Beth James was chosen to replace Mike Llewellyn as president of the board. Laurie Marchini will fill James’ chair as vice-president. Ms. James was originally appointed to the Board by Governor Martin O’Malley, to fill the vacant seat, left by the late Dr. Fred Sloan; she was elected to her first full terms on the school board in November of 2010.

 

Cardin Visiting Western Maryland

Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin will be visiting Western Maryland tomorrow. Senator Cardin begins his day in Frederick, and will be in Allegany County in the afternoon. About 1:30 p.m., he will visit the ongoing restoration at the B’er Chayim Temple on Union Street. Later in the afternoon, he will be touring Firefly Farms on Main Street in Accident.

 

Keyser Exempts Volunteer Firefighters from Drug Testing

The city of Keyser will not require volunteer firefighters to submit to random drug testing, as state courts have ruled against such testing of volunteers. The city is moving toward adopting a policy of testing all new city employees, as well as police officers and current workers who operate vehicles or machinery.

 

Jury Picked in Somerset County Rape Trial

A jury has been chosen in the case of a prison inmate, accused of raping a nursing assistant at the Laurel Highlands State Correctional Institution in Somerset, Pennsylvania. Lark Allan Ramsey will stand trial, beginning January 26th. The crime allegedly occurred on June 9, 2008, when Ramsey was housed in the skilled care unit of the prison’s medical building. The jury selection took a little over an hour.

 

Panel Denies Stay for W. Va. Congressional Maps

A federal three-judge panel has denied West Virginia state leaders’ request for a stay on a ruling, declaring  the state’s new congressional districts unconstitutional. The panel has also lifted a January 17th deadline for the Legislature to pass new maps. Lawmakers will have to come up with new congressional districts in time for the May 8th primary.

Local News


FSU Student Dies in Kayaking Accident

The body of 20-year old Frostburg State University student Robert Knorr has been recovered in the Blackwater River in Tucker County, West Virginia. Knorr, from Gaithersburg, had been with a group of friends kayaking on the water, when he became pinned under a rock. The boat came to the surface, but Knorr did not; swiftwater rescue teams were on the scene quickly, but had difficulty freeing him from the entrapment. His body was recovered about 9:30 Monday morning. Knorr was a junior at Frostburg State University.

 

Powell Appeals Death Sentence

A former Cumberland resident, accused of killing a Delaware police officer in 2009, is appealing his death sentence. Lawyers for Derrick Powell argued that the trial should have been moved out of the county, because of the publicity and that the judge erred by allowing the death penalty to be on the table. Officer Chad Spicer was killed on September 1, 2009. Powell was convicted in February of last year and sentenced to death in May.

 

Funding for ACM Announced

The Appalachian Regional Commission has given a grant of $54,000 to Allegany College of Maryland, to purchase computers and printers for its Workforce Training Lab Equipment Update. The award, jointly announced by Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, will be used to purchase the equipment for a number of programs, including Office Technology, Respiratory Therapy, and Automotive Technology. Estimates are that over 550 students will benefit from the new computers.

 

Cumberland Among America’s Ten Poorest Cities

Daily Finance magazine has rated Cumberland among the ten poorest cities in the country. According to the article, the median household income is just over $38,800; the unemployment rate was set at 8.6 per cent; and, 17.7 per cent of the population is living below the poverty line. Five of the top ten cities with the highest poverty rates are also among the ten cities with the lowest median income. Cumberland ranked 6th out of 10. Other cities in the top ten include Laredo, Texas; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and, Albany, Georgia.

 

Two Fires Ruled Suspicious in Nature

Two fires, occurring within a two-block area early yesterday morning have been determined to be related and suspicious in nature. Both fires happened out doors, with the first reported at 315 Williams Street, where a mattress and box spring were set on fire. The second was reported at 3:10 a.m., where firefighters found a box on fire in the vicinity of Emily Street and Central Avenue. Both fires remain under investigation.

 

Trees To Be Collected Friday

Christmas trees will be collected for recycling on Friday in the city of Cumberland. Residents wishing to recycle Christmas trees are asked to remove all decorations and place the tree at the curbside Thursday evening. For additional information, contact the Public Works Department at (301)-759-6620.

 

Dorsey Named Acting Planning Coordinator

David Dorsey will serve as the County’s Acting Planning Coordinator, filling the position left by Phil Hager, who has accepted a position with Carroll County. Before joining the county, Dorsey was employed by the Maryland Department of Planning’s Maryland Historical Trust in Greater Annapolis. He is a graduate of Frostburg State University, with degrees in both Urban Geography and one in History.

 

Keyser’s Center Street Closed Indefinitely

Center Street in Keyser is being closed indefinitely for the construction of the new Memorial Bridge. The street is a heavily traveled access point to U.S. Route 220 Northbound. The street was blocked last week to allow for work to begin on the southern approach to the bridge. Motorists, however, can access Route 220 by going one block south, on East Piedmont Street.

 

General Assembly Begins Today

The 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly begins today in Annapolis. The 90-day session will deal with several issues, including “Plan Maryland” which some legislators say is a “war” on rural Maryland. And, when the session convenes, House Speaker Michael Busch will become the longest-serving Speaker at 10 years. Busch says the most important issues this session will be same-sex marriage and the possibility of an increase in the state’s gas tax.

Local News


Man Killed in Route 220 Single-Vehicle Crash

Forty-three year old Brian Miller of Bedford died in a single-vehicle crash Sunday evening on Belden Road, near its intersection with Business Route 220. Miller traveled across both lanes of traffic, hit a wooden post, and went over a steep embankment. The car, a 2010 Dodge Challenger, came to rest in the parking lot of Structural Fiberglass, Incorporated. He was not wearing a seatbelt. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the 4:39 p.m. accident.

 

Police Seek Robbery Suspect

The Allegany County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a young female suspect, who tried to rob the Fair Price Market in Westernport early yesterday morning. The female handed the employee a note, stating she had a gun and the she wanted money from the cash register. The employee refused, and told her to leave the business. She fled on foot, and did not display any type of weapon during the incident. Investigators have reviewed video surveillance and photos of the suspect were obtained. Along with the Allegany County Sheriff’s Department, the C3I unit is also investigating.

 

Three Keyser Men Rescued from Cave

Three Keyser men were rescued  from the Bone-Norman cave system in Greenbrier County last night. The three-Grant Blaisdell, Jay Pachino, and Matthew Stephens-had intended to return home Sunday evening, after entering the cave system Saturday. Their families became concerned and contacted emergency services. The three had become lost. They were, however, able to walk out of the caves. One of the men’s vehicles was found parked near the cave entrance early yesterday morning, but had been rescued as of about 8 p.m. last night.

 

Woman Arrested for Assault, Child Abuse

A Cumberland woman was arrested at the Western Maryland Regional Health System, and now faces a number of charges, including child abuse. She and other family members had been arguing over suspicious injuries to a 6-year old child. An investigation, which included members of Allegany County Child Protective Services, resulted in the arrest of 34-year old Courtney Elizabeth Huff. She was charged with child abuse, misdemeanor assault, and disorderly conduct. She was held on $7500 bail at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Family Offers Reward for Return of Pups

Mount Savage residents Jim and Vicky Benjamin are offering a $1,000 reward for the safe return of two, 8-month old German Shepherd puppies that went missing from their Mile Lane property on New Year’s Eve morning. The two dogs, Molly and Rosie, have black muzzles and tan bodies. There have been a few possible sightings, one in the Mount Savage area, and the other in the Washington Street area of Frostburg. Molly has a red collar and Rosie has a blue collar. Anyone with information can call (301)-268-8190 or (301)-268-0639.

 

Greater Cumberland Committee Holds Membership Meeting

The Greater Cumberland Committee held its membership meeting last week at the Cumberland Country Club. The meeting, which discussed the importance of participating in Mineral County Day and the PACE Reception, featured members of the Western Maryland Delegation, and representatives from Mineral County and the state of West Virginia. Mineral County Day will be held this week in Charleston, while the annual PACE Reception will be held later this month in Annapolis.

 

Hagerstown Man Arrested for DUI and Auto Theft

Hagerstown resident Benjamin Frederick Nelson was arrested Sunday evening and charged with auto theft, driving under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance and other counts. Nelson is accused of stealing a Jaguar Sovreign from the parking lot of a supermarket in Boonsboro; the owners had left it unattended and unlocked with the engine running. Nelson crashed the car and was arrested while walking along U.S. Route 40, near Mill Point Road. He was held in the Washington County Detention Center on $10,000 bond.

 

Same-Sex Marriage to be Debated

Same-sex marriage legislation will be one of the main pieces of legislation to be considered by the Maryland General Assembly, when it convenes on Wednesday. A same-sex marriage bill was passed in the Senate last year, but taken off the floor of the House, when supporters determined they did not have the votes to pass it. Governor Martin O’Malley is making the issue part of his legislative agenda this year, after largely staying on the sidelines during the 2011 session.

 

FDA Recalls Pastry Sold in Maryland

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recalling “Bloch’s Best” rugelach pastry sold in Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey. The company, based in New York, says some of the packaging omitted the presence of eggs as an ingredient, which can be problematic for some people with allergies. One illness has been reported. The pastry is sold in 14-ounce round containers, with a UPC code of “87062500954-8.” The pastry was distributed between November 2nd and December 22nd of last year

Local News


Man Killed in Route 220 Single-Vehicle Crash

Forty-three year old Brian Miller of Bedford died in a single-vehicle crash Sunday evening on Belden Road, near its intersection with Business Route 220. Miller traveled across both lanes of traffic, hit a wooden post, and went over a steep embankment. The car, a 2010 Dodge Challenger, came to rest in the parking lot of Structural Fiberglass, Incorporated. He was not wearing a seatbelt. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the 4:39 p.m. accident.

 

Police Seek Robbery Suspect

The Allegany County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a young female suspect, who tried to rob the Fair price Market in Westernport early yesterday morning. The female handed the employee a not, stating she had a gun and the she wanted money from the cash register. The employee refused, and told her to leave the business. She fled on foot, and did not display any type of weapon during the incident. Investigators have reviewed video surveillance and photos of the suspect were obtained. Along with the Allegany County Sheriff’s Department, the C3I unit is also investigating.

 

Three Keyser Men Rescued from Cave

Three Keyser men were rescued yesterday from the Bone-Norman cave system in Greenbrier County last night. The three-Grant Blaisdell, Jay Pachino, and Matthew Stephens-had intended to return home Sunday evening, after entering the cave system Saturday. Their families became concerned and contacted emergency services. The three had become lost. They were, however, able to walk out of the caves. One of the men’s vehicles was found parked near the cave entrance early yesterday morning, but had been rescued as of about 8 p.m. last night.

 

Woman Arrested for Assault, Child Abuse

A Cumberland woman was arrested at the Western Maryland Regional Health System, and now faces a number of charges, including child abuse. She and other family members had been arguing over suspicious injuries to a 6-year old child. An investigation, which included members of Allegany County Child Protective Services, resulted in the arrest of 34-year old Courtney Elizabeth Huff. She was charged with child abuse, misdemeanor assault, and disorderly conduct. She was held on $7500 bail at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Family Offers Reward for Return of Pups

Mount Savage residents Jim and Vicky Benjamin are offering a $1,000 reward for the safe return of two, 8-month old German Shepherd puppies that went missing from their Mile Lane property on New Year’s Eve morning. The two dogs, Molly and Rosie, have black muzzles and tan bodies. There have been a few possible sightings, one in the Mount Savage area, and the other in the Washington Street area of Frostburg. Molly has a red collar and Rosie has a blue collar. Anyone with information can call (301)-268-8190 or (301)-268-0639.

 

Greater Cumberland Committee Holds Membership Meeting

The Greater Cumberland Committee held its membership meeting last week at the Cumberland Country Club. The meeting, which discussed the importance of participating in Mineral County Day and the PACE Reception, featured members of the Western Maryland Delegation, and representatives from Mineral County and the state of West Virginia. Mineral County Day will be held this week in Charleston, while the annual PACE Reception will be held later this month in Annapolis.

 

Hagerstown Man Arrested for DUI and Auto Theft

Hagerstown resident Benjamin Frederick Nelson was arrested Sunday evening and charged with auto theft, driving under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance and other counts. Nelson is accused of stealing a Jaguar Sovreign from the parking lot of a supermarket in Boonsboro; the owners had left it unattended and unlocked with the engine running. Nelson crashed the car and was arrested while walking along U.S. Route 40, near Mill Point Road. He was held in the Washington County Detention Center on $10,000 bond.

 

Same-Sex Marriage to be Debated

Same-sex marriage legislation will be one of the main pieces of legislation to be considered by the Maryland General Assembly, when it convenes on Wednesday. A same-sex marriage bill was passed in the Senate last year, but taken off the floor of the House, when supporters determined they did not have the votes to pass it. Governor Martin O’Malley is making the issue part of his legislative agenda this year, after largely staying on the sidelines during the 2011 session.

 

FDA Recalls Pastry Sold in Maryland

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recalling “Bloch’s Best” rugelach pastry sold in Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey. The company, based in New York, says some of the packaging omitted the presence of eggs as an ingredient, which can be problematic for some people with allergies. One illness has been reported. The pastry is sold in 14-ounce round containers, with a UPC code of “87062500954-8.” The pastry was distributed between November 2nd and December 22nd of last year.

Local News


More Turbines Possible for Western Maryland

The Garrett County Permits and Inspections Division has issued a meteorological tower permit to a company for a tower in an area between Avilton and Frostburg, which could mean there’ll be more wind turbines in the area by next year. Synergics is doing an environmental wind study on what is known as Four Mile Ridge, and is proposing 20 to 24 wind turbines there. The earliest the project could be completed is next year, but most likely won’t be finished until later.

 

Board To Discuss Grading Policy

The Allegany County Board of Education is set to discuss its grading policy during a regular work session tomorrow. A report is due from a grading philosophy committee tomorrow evening. The local board of education decided last spring to take a look at the school system’s grading policy; the policy was last revised about five years ago.

 

Kensington Man Arrested in Frostburg

Kensington, Maryland resident Brandan Patrick Orr was arrested by Frostburg Police yesterday for trespassing on property, owned by Robert Falnagan. Orr had previously been told not to be on the property. He was taken to Allegany County District Court, given an initial court appearance hearing, and released on his own recognizance.

 

Sentencing Continued for Sex Offender in Bedford County

A Bedford County man, who in 2010 was sentenced to 120 to 240 years in prison for sexually molesting his three young children, will be resentenced at a later date. Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins says, if anything, Greggory Allen Gibbs will receive an increased sentence. Police say Gibbs and his wife, Tammy, committed the crimes against their children, beginning in 2004. Gibbs was convicted on 29 different charges in 2010, and sentenced to life in prison. Tammy Gibbs has since been released.

 

Mineral Board Expels Three Students

The Mineral County Board of Education has voted unanimously to expel three students, beginning next semester, and continuing through the fall semester of 2012. However, the student will be allowed to finish this semester and complete their finals. They will be allowed to re-enter Mineral County’s school system in January of next year. No reason was given for the expulsions.

 

Man Arrested for Trespassing on CSX Property

A Cumberland man was issued a criminal citation for trespassing on posted property. A police officer observed Timothy Alan Smith cross both sections of the CSX train tracks in the vicinity of Queen City Drive. The property is clearly marked “No Trespassing.” Smith was released at the scene, pending his appearance in Allegany County District Court.

 

Charges Against Somerset Man Withdrawn

Charges of harassment and stalking against 76-year old Somerset resident William McTonic were withdrawn. He had been accused of stalking and harassing Geraldine Bailey of Somerset, who had testified against him in a 2009 preliminary hearing on homicide charges in the murder of McTonic’s estranged wife, Ruth Ann Henderson. The murder charges were also withdrawn after evidence in the case was suppressed.

 

Archbishop O’Brien Elevated To Cardinal

The archbishop of Baltimore Edwin O’Brien, has been elevated to Cardinal in the Catholic Church. Cardinal-Designate O’Brien  will serve as a papal advisor to Pope Benedict the 16th, and will be eligible to vote in a papal election until his 80th birthday; he is now 72-years old. A formal ceremony, elevating the new cardinals, is being planned for February 18th. O’Brien is the first apostolic administrator in the history of the archdiocese to receive this honor. Three other Baltimore archbishops were elevated to cardinal since the archdiocese was founded in 1789-Cardinal James Gibbons, Cardinal Lawrence Shehan and Cardinal William Keeler.

 

Cardin Faces Another  Challenger

Incumbent United States Senator Ben Cardin will face yet another challenger in the April 3rd primary, as State Senator C. Anthony muse has announced his candidacy for the seat. Muse is in his second term as a state senator from Prince George’s County. There are nine Republicans seeking the GOP nomination.

Local News


Lonaconing Robbery Suspect Sought

The Maryland State Police and the C3I unit are investigating a robbery early yesterday morning at the Pit-N-Go gas station in Lonaconing. A suspect reached over the counter of the business while the register was opened and removed an undisclosed amount of cash. He then fled on foot, and authorities believe he had a vehicle parked in the area, in which he fled the scene. Video surveillance in the store was reviewed and photos of the suspect were obtained. The investigation is continuing and the scene was processed by the Maryland State Police Crime Lab.

 

Bus Accident In North End

An Allegany County public school bus was involved in a minor accident yesterday morning in the North End of Cumberland. The bus, en route to Braddock Middle School, was hit by a passenger vehicle running a stop sign. Emergency personnel responded to the scene, and the bus continued onto Braddock Middle School. Two students sustained minor injuries; one student was treated and released from the hospital.

 

Two Officials Won’t Run for Re-Election

Two officials in Allegany County politics don’t plan to run for re-election this year. Allegany County School Board member Jeff Metz says he doesn’t intend to seek a third term. Cumberland City Council member Mary Beth Pirolozzi says she won’t seek re-election either. The deadline for filing for office in the 2012 Presidential primary is this coming Wednesday at 9 p.m. The Primary Election is set for April 3rd, while the General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 6th.

 

Possible Vehicle ID in Fatal Hit and Run

The Garrett County Sheriff’s Office may have identified the vehicle that struck and killed Kenneth Wayne Friend of Swanton on December 8th along state route 495. Friend was on the way to shovel snow at a neighbor’s residence when he was hit. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Sheriff’s Office says they don’t know when to expect results from the analysis of evidence gathered at the scene.

 

Man Sentenced for Raping Infant

Salisbury resident Rodney Thomas has been sentenced to 20 to 40 years in state prison for raping a 9-month old infant. Thomas had been charged with two counts of rape and one count of aggravated indecent assault. Thomas will be classified as a sexually violent predator, and carries a lifetime address registration requirement. Thomas was also fined $1,000 and credited for 636 days served.

 

Meyersdale Lays Off  Two Officers

The Meyersdale Borough Council has voted to temporarily lay off two borough policemen for a period of 14 weeks, because of the town’s financial issues. Officers Dave Holler and Matt Wright will be furloughed, effective Monday. Meyersdale also has two part-time officers. The layoffs will save anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000.

 

Pyles Re-elected President of Mineral County Commission

Cindy Pyles has been elected to a second year as president of the Mineral County Commission. She is entering the lsst year of her second, six-year term as a Mineral County Commissioner. At a special meeting, the commissioners went over a stack of bills the commissioners had not addressed, and handed out committee and agency assignments.

 

Financial Aid Workshops To Be Held

The Allegany County Public School System will host several financial aid workshops in the near future, including one on Wednesday, January 11th at Allegany High School. Another will be held on Wednesday, January 18th at Mountain Ridge High School. A third will be held at the Career Center on Wednesday, January 25th. In addition to parent-teacher conferences on February 1st, a representative from ACM or FSU will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. in each school’s computer lab to assist with filling out the FAFSA online.

 

Five Schools Make Kiplinger’s “Best Value” List

Five Maryland schools are among the top 100 values in public colleges and universities, according to Kiplinger’s magazine. They include the University of Maryland, Towson University, Salisbury University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The University of North Carolina ranked the best value overall.

 

Local News


Suspect Arrested in 7-11 Robbery

Twenty-nine year old Frostburg resident Michael Hanson has been arrested in connection with the robbery of the 7-11 on Main Street early Tuesday  morning. The Frostburg City Police and the C3I unit made the arrest. Hanson is accused of forcibly taking the clerk to the cash register to remove the money. He then fled on foot, with an undetermined amount of cash. Law enforcement authorities say that this case is unrelated to last month’s robbery at the same location. Hanson was arrested at his home and is being held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $100,000 bond.

 

Delegation Holds Pre-Session Meeting

The Western Maryland Delegation to the General Assembly held its annual pre-legislative meeting last night at Allegany College of Maryland. Among the groups expressing concerns were teachers and personnel, along with members of veterans’ groups. The teachers thanked the legislators for their continued support and asked them to continue fighting for education funding. The veterans groups turned out to lobby for slots for local VFW posts and help for the Cumberland Office of the Maryland Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The General Assembly session begins next week in Annapolis.

 

Pair Receives Preliminary Hearing in Death of Toddler

A Somerset County couple received a preliminary hearing, in connection to the smothering death of 18-month old Baylee Svenungsen. Her mother, Amanda, and Cody Schartiger have been charged. Ms. Svenungsen has been released from jail for a nominal bail, which is uncommon in a homicide case where bail isn’t an option. Schartiger remains jailed. The child was found dead in her crib in August; at the time she and her mother had been living with Schartiger at his home along Park Street in Ursina, which is in Somerset County.

 

Man Arrested in Breaking and Entering

Twenty-eight year old Carl Raymond Skidmore was found hiding in a bathtub at a Virginia Avenue residence, after allegedly breaking into the property. The property owner directed Cumberland City Police Officers to a set of footprints that led to an open door in the 300-block of Virginia Avenue. Skidmore was placed into custody, and officers found 9 individually wrapped baggies, containing suspected marijuana. He was charged with possession, possession with intent to distribute and fourth-degree burglary. He was held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Bedford Commissioners Hold First Meeting

The new board of Bedford County Commissioners held their first meeting this week, and-as is tradition-the highest vote recipient, Republican Kirt Morris, was elected as chair. Republican Steve Howsare will serve as vice-chairman and Democrat Paul Crooks will be secretary. While the commissioners follow the previous board’s guidelines on public input, they have agreed to answer questions at meetings, something that the previous board stopped doing, after clashes with the public. The commissioners are also reviewing the budget adopted by the outgoing board, and have until the end of the month to make any changes.

 

Special Olympics Basketball Getting Underway

The Allegany County Special Olympics will be holding basketball practice Friday at 5:00 p.m. in the gymnasium at Second Baptist Church in Cumberland. Participating athletes will be taught dribbling, shooting, and rebounding skills. They will then be placed on teams for the upcoming season. All participants with all skill levels are welcome to try out for the team. For more information, contact Julian Thomas at (301)-724-1088 or Dottie Turner at (301)-689-5590.

 

Cold Weather Shelter Drive

GO-106 Radio and the DelFest Foundation are sponsoring a Cold Weather Shelter Drive on Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The goal of the drive, with a drop-off point at Braddock Square,  is to assist homeless people in the community by donating items to the community’s cold weather shelter, located at the Union Rescue Mission. Representatives are accepting cash (with checks payable to the DelFest Foundation), travel-sized toiletry items, baby products, baby formula and diapers and wet wipes.

 

Concert Planned to Benefit Scholarship Fund

A concert, by local performer Ricky Howsare, will be held at the Fort Hill High School auditorium on February 4th, to benefit the Fort Hill Scholarship Fund. Howsare is the winner of both the 2010 Canal Place “Cumberland’s Got Talent” competition and the 2011 Rising Star talen show in Bedford. The event will be held at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 5:45 p.m. Tickets are available through any Fort Hill Scholarship Fund board member, or by visiting the Book Center, D’Atri’s on Columbia Street, Oscar’s Restaurant, Roy Rogers or Fort Hill’s main office.

 

West Virginia Map Voided

A three-judge panel has announced the current West Virginia redistricting map is unconstitutional, because it does not provide equal representation in each district. The ruling was 2 to 1. West Virginia candidates are scheduled to begin filing for the 2012 elections in less than two weeks, but the ruling could change that. Lawmakers must either redraw the state’s three congressional districts or submit proposed alternative plans.

 

 

Local News


Suspect Arrested in 7-11 Robbery

Twenty-nine year old Frostburg resident Michael Hanson has been arrested in connection with the robbery of the 7-11 on Main Street early Wednesday morning. The Frostburg City Police and the C3I unit made the arrest. Hanson is accused of forcibly taking the clerk to the cash register to remove the money. He then fled on foot, with an undetermined amount of cash. Law enforcement authorities say that this case is unrelated to last month’s robbery at the same location. Hanson was arrested at his home and is being held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $100,000 bond.

 

Delegation Holds Pre-Session Meeting

The Western Maryland Delegation to the General Assembly held its annual pre-legislative meeting last night at Allegany College of Maryland. Among the groups expressing concerns were teachers and personnel, along with members of veterans’ groups. The teachers thanked the legislators for their continued support and asked them to continue fighting for education funding. The veterans groups turned out to lobby for slots for local VFW posts and help for the Cumberland Office of the Maryland Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The General Assembly session begins next week in Annapolis.

 

Pair Receives Preliminary Hearing in Death of Toddler

A Somerset County couple received a preliminary hearing, in connection to the smothering death of 18-month old Baylee Svenungsen. Her mother, Amanda, and Cody Schartiger have been charged. Ms. Svenungsen has been released from jail for a nominal bail, which is uncommon in a homicide case where bail isn’t an option. Schartiger remains jailed. The child was found dead in her crib in August; at the time she and her mother had been living with Schartiger at his home along Park Street in Ursina, which is in Somerset County.

 

Man Arrested in Breaking and Entering

Twenty-eight year old Carl Raymond Skidmore was found hiding in a bathtub at a Virginia Avenue residence, after allegedly breaking into the property. The property owner directed Cumberland City Police Officers to a set of footprints that led to an open door in the 300-block of Virginia Avenue. Skidmore was placed into custody, and officers found 9 individually wrapped baggies, containing suspected marijuana. He was charged with possession, possession with intent to distribute and fourth-degree burglary. He was held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Bedford Commissioners Hold First Meeting

The new board of Bedford County Commissioners held their first meeting this week, and-as is tradition-the highest vote recipient, Republican Kirt Morris, was elected as chair. Republican Steve Howsare will serve as vice-chairman and Democrat Paul Crooks will be secretary. While the commissioners follow the previous board’s guidelines on public input, they have agreed to answer questions at meetings, something that the previous board stopped doing, after clashes with the public. The commissioners are also reviewing the budget adopted by the outgoing board, and have until the end of the month to make any changes.

 

Special Olympics Basketball Getting Underway

The Allegany County Special Olympics will be holding basketball practice Friday at 5:00 p.m. in the gymnasium at Second Baptist Church in Cumberland. Participating athletes will be taught dribbling, shooting, and rebounding skills. They will then be placed on teams for the upcoming season. All participants with all skill levels are welcome to try out for the team. For more information, contact Julian Thomas at (301)-724-1088 or Dottie Turner at (301)-689-5590.

 

Cold Weather Shelter Drive

GO-106 Radio and the DelFest Foundation are sponsoring a Cold Weather Shelter Drive on Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The goal of the drive, with a drop-off point at Braddock Square,  is to assist homeless people in the community by donating items to the community’s cold weather shelter, located at the Union Rescue Mission. Representatives are accepting cash (with checks payable to the DelFest Foundation), travel-sized toiletry items, baby products, baby formula and diapers and wet wipes.

 

Concert Planned to Benefit Scholarship Fund

A concert, by local performer Ricky Howsare, will be held at the Fort Hill High School auditorium on February 4th, to benefit the Fort Hill Scholarship Fund. Howsare is the winner of both the 2010 Canal Place “Cumberland’s Got Talent” competition and the 2011 Rising Star talen show in Bedford. The event will be held at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 5:45 p.m. Tickets are available through any Fort Hill Scholarship Fund board member, or by visiting the Book Center, D’Atri’s on Columbia Street, Oscar’s Restaurant, Roy Rogers or Fort Hill’s main office.

 

West Virginia Map Voided

A three-judge panel has announced the current West Virginia redistricting map is unconstitutional, because it does not provide equal representation in each district. The ruling was 2 to 1. West Virginia candidates are scheduled to begin filing for the 2012 elections in less than two weeks, but the ruling could change that. Lawmakers must either redraw the state’s three congressional districts or submit proposed alternative plans.

 

 

Local News


Police Arrest Suspect in Robbery 

Twenty-nine year old Frostburg resident Michael Hanson has been arrested in connection with the robbery of the 7-11 there early yesterday morning. The Frostburg City Police and the C3I unit made the arrest. Hanson is accused of forcibly making the clerk remove cash from the register. He then fled on foot, with an undetermined amount of cash. Local law enforcement agencies are working to determine if Hanson robbed the same store less than a month ago.

 

Fires Reported in Region

Several fire companies responded to a house fire at 641 Henderson Avenue yesterday afternoon. The fire spread into a wall from a wood burning stove. Units were on the scene for several hours. In Short Gap, a home was destroyed along Route 28 yesterday afternoon. The cause of that fire has been determined to be electrical in nature. There were no injuries in either incident.

 

Accidents Caused By Weather

The Maryland State Police responded to at least eight accidents along Interstate 68 yesterday, as the result of the snowstorm that passed through the area. Troopers from the Hagerstown barrack provided assistance. Interstate 68 was closed down for about two hours. The accidents occurred in the area from Orleans Road to 15 Mile Creek.

 

Hearing Held for Stabbing Suspect

A preliminary hearing was held yesterday for Kendall Lowers of Garrett County, who is accused of stabbing William Sachs of Oakland last November. Probable cause was found in the case, and Lowers remains jailed at the Garrett County Detention Center, in lieu of $250,000 bond. Sachs walked into the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident. He was later flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

 

Two Arrested on Bench Warrants

A routine traffic stop early Monday in the vicinity of North Mechanic Street resulted in the arrest of two men on outstanding warrants. The driver, 21-year old Cody Randall Feaster, was found to be driving on a suspended license, and was wanted on an outstanding warrant, charging him with theft and forgery and one charging him with failure to pay court fines. The passenger, 19-year old Matthew Jason Swick was wanted on two bench warrants for violation of probation. He gave officers a false name, resulting in additional charges of giving a false name to avoid apprehension, as well as obstructing and hindering an investigation.

 

Purse Stolen from Oldtown Road Business

A Cumberland woman was arrested for stealing a purse at an Oldtown Road business. The victim reported that the purse had been stored inside the business. Video surveillance led to the arrest of 37-year old Beverly Pendergast. She was charged with misdemeanor theft. She received a District Court hearing and was released on her personal recognizance pending trial.

 

Assistant DA position Filled

Leslie R. Childers-Potts has been appointed to fill the position of First Assistant District Attorney in Bedford County. The position was recently vacated upon the election of Travis Livengood to Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. The Bedford County Commissioners approved the hiring of Ms. Childers-Potts at yesterday’s commissioners’ meeting at an annual salary of $40,000.

 

Claysburg Man Dies in ATV Accident

Claysburg, Pennsylvania resident Gary Knisely was killed late last week while riding an ATV in Kimmel Township. At its intersection with Ben Claar Road, the ATV traveled through the intersection  when it came to rest on the shoulder of Knisely Road. Knisely was found underneath the front end of the vehicle, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Gas Prices Could Hit $5 Per Gallon

One industry analyst believes gas prices could rise to around $5 per gallon, if the political situation in Iran continues to deteriorate. Patrick DeHaan of Baltimoregasprices.com says gas prices are up by almost 7-cents in the last week and showed no signs of decreasing. Prices are up 18-cents a gallon than this time a year ago, and 6-cents higher than a month ago. Prices are reportedly around $3.23 a gallon statewide.

 

Ranger Fatally Shot Had Regional Ties

A National Park Service Ranger, shot to death in Mount Ranier National Park over the weekend, had once worked at the C & O National Historical Park. Ranger Margaret Anderson was killed Sunday, and police have now positively identified the body of a gunman, suspected of killing her. Benjamin Colton Barnes, an Iraq war veteran, had fled to the park, following a shooting near Seattle. The park was evacuated and Barnes’ body was found on Monday. She leaves a husband and two young children.

Local News


Police Investigate 7-11 Robbery

Frostburg City Police and the C3I unit are investigating yesterday morning’s robbery of the Frostburg 7-11 store around 3:45 a.m. A subject, described as a white male, about 5’7” to 5’9” in height, entered the store and forcibly took the store clerk to the cash register and demanded the clerk give him all of the cash. The clerk complied and the suspect left on foot. He is described as wearing a camouflaged “hoodie” with the inscription “Black Diamond” across the back. He was also missing his front top teeth. Police are working to determine whether this suspect is the same person who robbed the 7-11 store less than a month ago. Anyone with information concerning the incident should call the Frostburg Police at (301)-689-3000.

 

Fires Reported in Region

Several fire companies responded to a house fire at 641 Henderson Avenue yesterday afternoon. The fire spread into a wall from a wood burning stove. Units were on the scene for several hours. In Short Gap, a home was destroyed along Route 28 yesterday afternoon. The cause of that fire has been determined to be electrical in nature. There were no injuries in either incident.

 

Accidents Caused By Weather

The Maryland State Police responded to at least eight accidents along Interstate 68 yesterday, as the result of the snowstorm that passed through the area. Troopers from the Hagerstown barrack provided assistance. Interstate 68 was closed down for about two hours. The accidents occurred in the area from Orleans Road to 15 Mile Creek.

 

Hearing Held for Stabbing Suspect

A preliminary hearing was held yesterday for Kendall Lowers of Garrett County, who is accused of stabbing William Sachs of Oakland last November. Probable cause was found in the case, and Lowers remains jailed at the Garrett County Detention Center, in lieu of $250,000 bond. Sachs walked into the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident. He was later flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

 

Two Arrested on Bench Warrants

A routine traffic stop early Monday in the vicinity of North Mechanic Street resulted in the arrest of two men on outstanding warrants. The driver, 21-year old Cody Randall Feaster, was found to be driving on a suspended license, and was wanted on an outstanding warrant, charging him with theft and forgery and one charging him with failure to pay court fines. The passenger, 19-year old Matthew Jason Swick was wanted on two bench warrants for violation of probation. He gave officers a false name, resulting in additional charges of giving a false name to avoid apprehension, as well as obstructing and hindering an investigation.

 

Purse Stolen from Oldtown Road Business

A Cumberland woman was arrested for stealing a purse at an Oldtown Road business. The victim reported that the purse had been stored inside the business. Video surveillance led to the arrest of 37-year old Beverly Pendergast. She was charged with misdemeanor theft. She received a District Court hearing and was released on her personal recognizance pending trial.

 

Assistant DA position Filled

Leslie R. Childers-Potts has been appointed to fill the position of First Assistant District Attorney in Bedford County. The position was recently vacated upon the election of Travis Livengood to Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. The Bedford County Commissioners approved the hiring of Ms. Childers-Potts at yesterday’s commissioners’ meeting at an annual salary of $40,000.

 

Claysburg Man Dies in ATV Accident

Claysburg, Pennsylvania resident Gary Knisely was killed late last week while riding an ATV in Kimmel Township. At its intersection with Ben Claar Road, the ATV traveled through the intersection  when it came to rest on the shoulder of Knisely Road. Knisely was found underneath the front end of the vehicle, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Gas Prices Could Hit $5 Per Gallon

One industry analyst believes gas prices could rise to around $5 per gallon, if the political situation in Iran continues to deteriorate. Patrick DeHaan of Baltimoregasprices.com says gas prices are up by almost 7-cents in the last week and showed no signs of decreasing. Prices are up 18-cents a gallon than this time a year ago, and 6-cents higher than a month ago. Prices are reportedly around $3.23 a gallon statewide.

 

Ranger Fatally Shot Had Regional Ties

A National Park Service Ranger, shot to death in Mount Ranier National Park over the weekend, had once worked at the C & O National Historical Park. Ranger Margaret Anderson was killed Sunday, and police have now positively identified the body of a gunman, suspected of killing her. Benjamin Colton Barnes, an Iraq war veteran, had fled to the park, following a shooting near Seattle. The park was evacuated and Barnes’ body was found on Monday. She leaves a husband and two young children.

 

 

Local News


Frostburg 7-11 Robbed

 

The Frostburg City Police are investigating another robbery at the Frostburg 7-11 store at 3:45 this morning. A white male entered the store, and forcibly took the store clerk to the cash register, then demanded all the cash from the register. The suspect then fled on foot. He is described as wearing a camouflaged hoody with the inscription “Black Diamond” across the back. He was also described as missing his front teeth. Anyone with information is asked to contact Frostburg Police at (301)-689-3000.

 

 

Rowlesburg Woman Dies in Oakland Crash

 

Rowlesburg, West Virginia resident Jacqueline Bell died en route to Garrett Memorial Hospital, in an accident that was most likely caused by an underlying medical condition. She struck the rear of a Chevy pickup on East Oak Street on Thursday, and had been complaining of severe pain on top of her head at the scene. She died as the ambulance reached the parking lot of the hospital. Police are awaiting results of an autopsy from the Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore.

 

 

Death Penalty Sought in Hardy County Murders

 

Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the 2009 slayings of a Hardy County family. Lorie Ann Taylor Keller, who along with her husband, are charged with the deaths of 36-year old Dennis “Chip” Taylor; Taylor’s wife, Allaina Whetzel Taylor and her five year old daughter Kaylee Whetzel. Taylor-Keller’s ex-husband is “Chip” Taylor. Several factors entered into the decision to seek the death penalty, including “substantial planning and premeditation” of the murders, multiple killings, and a vulnerable victim, 5-year old Kaylee Whetzel.

 

 

First Baby Of the New Year

 

The first baby of the New Year was born just before 5 a.m. Sunday to Debbie Grieves and Blair Carter at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Their daughter, Amiah Nevaeh Carter weighed in at 7 pounds, 2.6 ounces, and was 19-inches tall.

 

 

New Year’s Night Crash Kills Man

 

Somerset County resident Christopher Tressler was killed late New Year’s night, after crashing his all-terrain vehicle. Tressler was riding along Route 601 in Boswell, when he swerved off the road, hit a tree, and crashed into another tree around 11 p.m. He was thrown from the vehicle, and later pronounced dead at the scene.

 

 

Reward Offered for Information on Missing Vehicle

 

The owner of a black, 2000 Ford Mustang GT Convertible is offering a $500 reward for information leading to its return. The car was stolen sometime between December 1st and December 27th from a residential garage on Pysell Road in McHenry. The car has the words, “Bad Pony” in white stickers on the lower part of both doors. There is a white racing stripe over the hood and trunk, and it has black leather seats, with white panel inserts. All calls will remain anonymous. If you have any information on the car, contact Detective DeLauter of the Maryland State Police at (301)-387-1101.

 

 

General Assembly Could Approve Medical Marijuana

 

The General Assembly could give the green light to medical marijuana when it convenes later this month. However, state pharmacists will mostly likely not be part of the distribution portion of the program. Current proposals would give the go-ahead to so-called “compassion centers,” which could distribute the drug. Medical marijuana is used to treat many forms of illness and pain, such as seizures, severe nausea from cancer and other treatments, and muscle spasms.

 

 

Governor To Submit Legislation on Septic Systems

 

Although he was not specific, Governor Martin O’Malley says he will submit legislation regarding septic systems for large housing developments. The Governor says increased pollution from the systems is undermining state progress in protecting the Chesapeake Bay. Critics have called O’Malley’s septic-control policies a “war on rural Maryland,” but O’Malley says science if firmly on the side of those who want to control the growth of septic systems, typically used for large-lot developments in outer suburban and rural areas.

 

 

Powerball Prices Rising

 

Powerball tickets will now cost $2.00, with organizers hoping the price change will entice more people to play. The move is a strategy to separate Powerball from the MegaMillions game. Both are sold in 42 states, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C. Some who play Powerball say the price increase may keep them from playing more often, or not at all.

 

 

Somerset Foundries Closing

 

The Somerset Foundries company closed as of last Friday, and some employees say no notice was given. About 30 people will be out of work. The plant employed about 150 people ten years ago, but has downsized. The Foundry manufactured components for a variety of products, and shipped to industrial manufacturers in the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada. One worker said he didn’t believe the foundries were closing due to a lack of work, but that a representative from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration had been there twice in the past two weeks.

 

Local News


Rowlesburg Woman Dies in Oakland Crash

 

Rowlesburg, West Virginia resident Jacqueline Bell died en route to Garrett Memorial Hospital, in an accident that was most likely caused by an underlying medical condition. She struck the rear of a Chevy pickup on East Oak Street on Thursday, and had been complaining of severe pain on top of her head at the scene. She died as the ambulance reached the parking lot of the hospital. Police are awaiting results of an autopsy from the Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore.

 

 

Death Penalty Sought in Hardy County Murders

 

Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the 2009 slayings of a Hardy County family. Lorie Ann Taylor Keller, who along with her husband, are charged with the deaths of 36-year old Dennis “Chip” Taylor; Taylor’s wife, Allaina Whetzel Taylor and her five year old daughter Kaylee Whetzel. Taylor-Keller’s ex-husband is “Chip” Taylor. Several factors entered into the decision to seek the death penalty, including “substantial planning and premeditation” of the murders, multiple killings, and a vulnerable victim, 5-year old Kaylee Whetzel.

 

 

First Baby Of the New Year

 

The first baby of the New Year was born just before 5 a.m. Sunday to Debbie Grieves and Blair Carter at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Their daughter, Amiah Nevaeh Carter weighed in at 7 pounds, 2.6 ounces, and was 19-inches tall.

 

 

New Year’s Night Crash Kills Man

 

Somerset County resident Christopher Tressler was killed late New Year’s night, after crashing his all-terrain vehicle. Tressler was riding along Route 601 in Boswell, when he swerved off the road, hit a tree, and crashed into another tree around 11 p.m. He was thrown from the vehicle, and later pronounced dead at the scene.

 

 

Reward Offered for Information on Missing Vehicle

 

The owner of a black, 2000 Ford Mustang GT Convertible is offering a $500 reward for information leading to its return. The car was stolen sometime between December 1st and December 27th from a residential garage on Pysell Road in McHenry. The car has the words, “Bad Pony” in white stickers on the lower part of both doors. There is a white racing stripe over the hood and trunk, and it has black leather seats, with white panel inserts. All calls will remain anonymous. If you have any information on the car, contact Detective DeLauter of the Maryland State Police at (301)-387-1101.

 

 

General Assembly Could Approve Medical Marijuana

 

The General Assembly could give the green light to medical marijuana when it convenes later this month. However, state pharmacists will mostly likely not be part of the distribution portion of the program. Current proposals would give the go-ahead to so-called “compassion centers,” which could distribute the drug. Medical marijuana is used to treat many forms of illness and pain, such as seizures, severe nausea from cancer and other treatments, and muscle spasms.

 

 

Governor To Submit Legislation on Septic Systems

 

Although he was not specific, Governor Martin O’Malley says he will submit legislation regarding septic systems for large housing developments. The Governor says increased pollution from the systems is undermining state progress in protecting the Chesapeake Bay. Critics have called O’Malley’s septic-control policies a “war on rural Maryland,” but O’Malley says science if firmly on the side of those who want to control the growth of septic systems, typically used for large-lot developments in outer suburban and rural areas.

 

 

Powerball Prices Rising

 

Powerball tickets will now cost $2.00, with organizers hoping the price change will entice more people to play. The move is a strategy to separate Powerball from the MegaMillions game. Both are sold in 42 states, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C. Some who play Powerball say the price increase may keep them from playing more often, or not at all.

 

 

Somerset Foundries Closing

 

The Somerset Foundries company closed as of last Friday, and some employees say no notice was given. About 30 people will be out of work. The plant employed about 150 people ten years ago, but has downsized. The Foundry manufactured components for a variety of products, and shipped to industrial manufacturers in the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada. One worker said he didn’t believe the foundries were closing due to a lack of work, but that a representative from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration had been there twice in the past two weeks

Local News


Fatal Accident in Garrett County

Thirty-three year old Tonya Coleman was killed in a single-vehicle
accident on Deep Creek Drive early Friday morning. She was a passenger
in a car, driven by 34-year old Sabrina Davis of Cumberland. The
vehicle traveled off the roadway, colliding with the guardrail, then
overturning. Trooper Five was called to transport Ms. Coleman, but was
cancelled due to her unstableness for flight. She was extricated from
the vehicle, but later died from her injuries at Garrett Memorial
Hospital. Charges against Sabrina Davis are pending; the Maryland State
Police at McHenry are saying alcohol may have been a factor in the
crash.  

Joppa Resident Arrested Near Clarysville

Joppa, Maryland resident Richard Wayne Lewis was arrested last week,
and now faces a number of traffic and drug charges. Lewis crossed from
the eastbound to the westbound lane of Route 40 and struck the
guardrail. Based on the investigation and discovery aspect, Lewis was
believed to be under the influence of,  and in possession of a large
quantity of suspected PCP. He faces numerous charges, including driving
under the influence, possession of CDS and paraphernalia, and possession
of CDS, with intent to distribute. He was held on $7500 bond at the
Allegany County Detention Center. A sum of currency and a firearm were
also seized. The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State
Police and C3I assisted in the incident.  

Keyser Votes To Raze Two More Properties

The Keyser Mayor and City Council has voted to demolish two more
blighted properties. The two in question are located at 351 South
Mineral Street and at 61 Spring Street. Under Mayor Randy Amtower’s
plan, recouping the expense of razing the properties would be done
through a lien attached to the properties. Destroying the buildings is
estimated at between $4,000 and $8,000.  

TGCC Holding Membership Meeting

The Greater Cumberland Committee’s Membership meeting is set for
Thursday at the Cumberland Country Club, beginning at 11:30 a.m. The
agenda will include a panel discussion to highlight the importance of
participation in the upcoming Mineral County Days and PACE Event,
planned for late January. Mineral County Days are set for January 11th
through the 13th in Charleston.  

Local Area Spared from Sears Closings

A Sears store in Ellicott City, Maryland will be closing as part of a
company-wide consolidation announced last month. That is the only
Maryland store affected. Florida will be the hardest hit, with 11 Sears
or K-Mart stores closing there. Ohio, Michigan, and Georgia will shutter
six stores each. Sears had announced it would close up to 120 stores to
raise cash. Sears had previously announced that it planned to close a
branch at the Martinsburg Mall. Other stores on the list for closure in
the four-state area including ones in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania and
Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  

Gas Tax, Other Increases May Be On The Way

Governor Martin O’Malley is hoping the General Assembly will consider
tax hikes, as well as spending cuts during the upcoming session. Part of
the increases, he says, would be an increase in the state’s gasoline
tax. Earlier this year, a commission recommended a 15-cent-per-gallon
increase in the gas tax over three years. O’Malley says the state’s
23.5-cent-per-gallon gas tax, which was set in 1992, is not keeping pace
with the rising costs of infrastructure projects.  

Security Upgrade Set for Maryland Bridges

The state is preparing to spend up to $10 million for new hardware and
software to help keep major bridges in the state from becoming
potential terrorism targets. The money will be used to purchase closed
circuit cameras, radar systems, more tactical patrol boats and other
upgrades for the Bay Bridge, the Key Bridge and three other
highly-traveled toll bridges. The work should begin in the spring, and
last for up to a year and a half.

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