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THE TRI-STATE'S CLASSIC ROCK STATION
GO 106 News Archives for 2012-03

Local News


Property Dispute at Center of Manslaughter Incident

A property dispute over three trees, which began about six months ago, led to the killing of an Oldtown man early Wednesday evening on Packhorse Trail. Sixty-nine year old Alexander Malaska has been charged with manslaughter in the death of 43-year old Dennis Liller. Authorities were called to the scene earlier Wednesday evening, and the situation was thought to have been resolved and officers left the scene. Witnesses said a heated dispute between Liller and Malaska’s son, Mike, had become heated; they said Alexander Malaska came outside with a rifle and fired a .22-calibre rifle as the fight continued. One shot struck Liller, resulting in his death.

 

Capital Budget Passed by Senate

The Maryland Senate has approved an over $1.1 billion capital budget, with funding approved to make improvements at the C & O Canal National Historical Park in Williamsport. Maryland Senator George Edwards has asked for up to $320,000 in state money for the project , but only up to $175,000 was approved. The request for C & O Canal funding through a bond bill was unusual for Edwards, because the Williamsport section of the park currently is not in his district.

 

Committee Chair Accepts Changes to Septic Bill

The chair of the House Environmental Matters Committee, Delegate Maggie McIntosh, says she will forgo changes to a bill that regulates where septic systems can be installed, so that the legislation will make through the General Assembly. She says she is encouraging her colleagues to pass the bill as it stands, creating a four-tiered system that limits where new residential subdivisions can be located, especially in the state’s most rural areas.

 

State Looks to Increase Doctors For Shortage Areas

The state is once again seeking doctors who are willing to practice in needy areas of the state in exchange for up to $50,000 to repay student loans. The Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program began in 1996; since then, about 157 primary care doctors have gone through the program, working in Baltimore City and county, and in other areas like Garrett County. Maryland is expected to pick up to six more primary care doctors this year, and applications are being accepted through April 23rd.

 

Beitzel Sponsors Wildlife Poaching Act

Delegate Wendell Beitzel has sponsored the “Wildlife Poaching Act,” which penalizes hunters who have animals in their possession illegally. The bill has passed the House of Delegates on a 135 to 1 vote. Hunters could face fines and prison time, and have their hunting licenses suspended for up to five years. The fine could be up to $1500, with up to six months in prison for a first offense.

 

Teacher of the Year Selected

 

Mountain Ridge High School algebra teacher Lee Ann Zlomek has been selected as the 2012-2013 Allegany County Teacher of the Year. She, along with five other finalists and four other school-level teacher representatives, were honored at a celebration, held recently at Mountain Ridge High School. This is the 24th annual salute held. She graduated from Frostburg State University in 1999.

 

Romney Names County Chairs in Advance of Primary

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has released a list of county chairs in advance of  Tuesday’s primary. In Allegany County, Romney’s chair is Wayne Foote; in Garrett County, it is Brenda Butscher; and, in Washington County, his representative is Marilee Kerns. Romney was the first GOP candidate to visit the state I the weeks leading up to the primary.

 

Former Tavern Destroyed in Fire

A building, that formerly housed Mother McCree’s Tavern along Route 28  in Springfield, West Virginia, was destroyed by fire early yesterday morning. The building had been vacant for several years. The incident is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, with the cause and origin undetermined as of late yesterday morning. The call was initially received at 4:57 a.m.

 

 

Local News UPDATE


Oldtown Shooting Suspect in Custody

The Maryland State Police are investigating a fatal shooting, occurring last night in the area of Pack Horse Trail in Oldtown. A suspect, 69-year old Alexander Malaska, has been arrested and is being held on $300,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. He is being charged in the manslaughter death of 43-year old Dennis Liller of Pack Horse Trail.  The shooting arose from a property dispute between the two.  Along with the Maryland State Police, the Allegany County C3I unit was on the scene. The victim was shot in the side by a .22 rifle, according to dispatchers. A mobile crime lab from Calvert County was brought in to investigate the shooting.

 

Grand Jury Indicts Two

The Allegany County Grand Jury has indicted two people for their part in an attempted robbery, occurring recently at the Sears store in Country Club Mall. Forty-one year old Chanin Allison Clark of Slanesville, West Virginia and 28-year old Brandi Lynn Gaver of Romney were arrested in connection with the incident, involving a 77-year old male victim. Clark was arrested by the West Virginia State Police, and later returned to Maryland after waiving extradition. Ms. Gaver remains incarcerated at the Allegany County Detention Center on $10,000 bond.

 

Law Enforcement on K-2 Sweep

Law enforcement agencies have initiated Operation K-2. They combed Allegany County in search of businesses that sell the substance, commonly known as K-2 or potpourri. About 50 businesses were visited. Several purchases were made, and the substance will be submitted to the Maryland State Police Crime Lab, to determine if the substances purchases contain illegal chemical compounds. Officers will continue to make periodic purchases of the K-2 substance to ensure compliance with federal law and the Maryland Controlled Dangerous Substance Act.

 

Beitzel, Edwards Gain Approval for Wind Turbine Safeguards

The House Economic Matters Committee has favorably reported on House Bill 747, which would give the Garrett County Commissioners the authority to enact ordinances relating to setbacks and the decommissioning of wind turbines. The bill was introduced by Delegate Wendell Beitzel.  A companion measure, sponsored by Senator George C. Edwards, has already been unanimously approved by the entire Maryland Senate. Both measures must now be approved by the opposing chamber by midnight on April 9th, when the 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly ends.

 

Local Woman Arrested on Several Charges

Cumberland City Police served an arrest warrant on 30-year old Michelle Cook for several charges, including second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and false imprisonment. The charges stem from a domestic assault incident that occurred on March 23rd at a residence on Paca Street. She was taken to an Allegany County District Court Commissioner for a bond hearing, and was released on personal recognizance.

 

Referendum Launched to Reject Redistricting Law

MDpeition.com has launched a petition to bring the newly-drawn Congressional redistricting map to referendum in November. The emergency bill, passed last fall, has been opposed by the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards and every Republican member of the General Assembly. And, a Federal District Court Judge has called the map an “impermissible political gerrymandering” action that “crossed the line.”

 

Maryland Senate Passes Bill to Limit Septic Systems

The Maryland Senate has approved a bill to regulate where new residential septic systems can be installed. The legislation provides for a four-tiered system that counties are expected to use to limit where residential septic systems can be located, especially in the most rural parts of the state. State Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller called it a “compromise bill,” and disputed claims, primarily from Republican leaders, that the bill creates a “war on rural Maryland.”

 

 

Local News UPDATE


Oldtown Shooting Suspect in Custody

The Maryland State Police are investigating a fatal shooting, occurring last night in the area of Pack Horse Trail in Oldtown. A suspect, 69-year old Alexander Malaska, has been arrested and is being held on $300,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. He is being charged in the manslaughter death of 43-year old Dennis Liller of Pack Horse Trail.  The shooting arose from a property dispute between the two.  Along with the Maryland State Police, the Allegany County C3I unit was on the scene. The victim was shot in the side by a .22 rifle, according to dispatchers. A mobile crime lab from Calvert County was brought in to investigate the shooting.

 

Grand Jury Indicts Two

The Allegany County Grand Jury has indicted two people for their part in an attempted robbery, occurring recently at the Sears store in Country Club Mall. Forty-one year old Chanin Allison Clark of Slanesville, West Virginia and 28-year old Brandi Lynn Gaver of Romney were arrested in connection with the incident, involving a 77-year old male victim. Clark was arrested by the West Virginia State Police, and later returned to Maryland after waiving extradition. Ms. Gaver remains incarcerated at the Allegany County Detention Center on $10,000 bond.

 

Law Enforcement on K-2 Sweep

Law enforcement agencies have initiated Operation K-2. They combed Allegany County in search of businesses that sell the substance, commonly known as K-2 or potpourri. About 50 businesses were visited. Several purchases were made, and the substance will be submitted to the Maryland State Police Crime Lab, to determine if the substances purchases contain illegal chemical compounds. Officers will continue to make periodic purchases of the K-2 substance to ensure compliance with federal law and the Maryland Controlled Dangerous Substance Act.

 

Beitzel, Edwards Gain Approval for Wind Turbine Safeguards

The House Economic Matters Committee has favorably reported on House Bill 747, which would give the Garrett County Commissioners the authority to enact ordinances relating to setbacks and the decommissioning of wind turbines. The bill was introduced by Delegate Wendell Beitzel.  A companion measure, sponsored by Senator George C. Edwards, has already been unanimously approved by the entire Maryland Senate. Both measures must now be approved by the opposing chamber by midnight on April 9th, when the 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly ends.

 

Local Woman Arrested on Several Charges

Cumberland City Police served an arrest warrant on 30-year old Michelle Cook for several charges, including second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and false imprisonment. The charges stem from a domestic assault incident that occurred on March 23rd at a residence on Paca Street. She was taken to an Allegany County District Court Commissioner for a bond hearing, and was released on personal recognizance.

 

Referendum Launched to Reject Redistricting Law

MDpeition.com has launched a petition to bring the newly-drawn Congressional redistricting map to referendum in November. The emergency bill, passed last fall, has been opposed by the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards and every Republican member of the General Assembly. And, a Federal District Court Judge has called the map an “impermissible political gerrymandering” action that “crossed the line.”

 

Maryland Senate Passes Bill to Limit Septic Systems

The Maryland Senate has approved a bill to regulate where new residential septic systems can be installed. The legislation provides for a four-tiered system that counties are expected to use to limit where residential septic systems can be located, especially in the most rural parts of the state. State Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller called it a “compromise bill,” and disputed claims, primarily from Republican leaders, that the bill creates a “war on rural Maryland.”

 

 

Local News


Fatal Shooting in Oldtown; Victim, Suspect Unidentified

The Maryland State Police are investigating a fatal shooting, occurring last night in the area of Pack Horse Trail in Oldtown. A suspect has been taken into custody. The shooting arose from a dispute between the two. Along with the Maryland State Police, the Allegany County C3I unit was on the scene. The names of the victim and the suspect were not released. The victim was shot in the side by a .22 rifle, according to dispatchers. A mobile crime lab from Calvert County was brought in to investigate the shooting.

 

Grand Jury Indicts Two

The Allegany County Grand Jury has indicted two people for their part in an attempted robbery, occurring recently at the Sears store in Country Club Mall. Forty-one year old Chanin Allison Clark of Slanesville, West Virginia and 28-year old Brandi Lynn Gaver of Romney were arrested in connection with the incident, involving a 77-year old male victim. Clark was arrested by the West Virginia State Police, and later returned to Maryland after waiving extradition. Ms. Gaver remains incarcerated at the Allegany County Detention Center on $10,000 bond.

 

Law Enforcement on K-2 Sweep

Law enforcement agencies have initiated Operation K-2. They combed Allegany County in search of businesses that sell the substance, commonly known as K-2 or potpourri. About 50 businesses were visited. Several purchases were made, and the substance will be submitted to the Maryland State Police Crime Lab, to determine if the substances purchases contain illegal chemical compounds. Officers will continue to make periodic purchases of the K-2 substance to ensure compliance with federal law and the Maryland Controlled Dangerous Substance Act.

 

Beitzel, Edwards Gain Approval for Wind Turbine Safeguards

The House Economic Matters Committee has favorably reported on House Bill 747, which would give the Garrett County Commissioners the authority to enact ordinances relating to setbacks and the decommissioning of wind turbines. The bill was introduced by Delegate Wendell Beitzel.  A companion measure, sponsored by Senator George C. Edwards, has already been unanimously approved by the entire Maryland Senate. Both measures must now be approved by the opposing chamber by midnight on April 9th, when the 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly ends.

 

Local Woman Arrested on Several Charges

Cumberland City Police served an arrest warrant on 30-year old Michelle Cook for several charges, including second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and false imprisonment. The charges stem from a domestic assault incident that occurred on March 23rd at a residence on Paca Street. She was taken to an Allegany County District Court Commissioner for a bond hearing, and was released on personal recognizance.

 

Referendum Launched to Reject Redistricting Law

MDpeition.com has launched a petition to bring the newly-drawn Congressional redistricting map to referendum in November. The emergency bill, passed last fall, has been opposed by the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards and every Republican member of the General Assembly. And, a Federal District Court Judge has called the map an “impermissible political gerrymandering” action that “crossed the line.”

 

Maryland Senate Passes Bill to Limit Septic Systems

The Maryland Senate has approved a bill to regulate where new residential septic systems can be installed. The legislation provides for a four-tiered system that counties are expected to use to limit where residential septic systems can be located, especially in the most rural parts of the state. State Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller called it a “compromise bill,” and disputed claims, primarily from Republican leaders, that the bill creates a “war on rural Maryland.”

Local News


Fatal Shooting in Oldtown; Victim, Suspect Unidentified

The Maryland State Police are investigating a fatal shooting, occurring last night in the area of Pack Horse Trail in Oldtown. A suspect has been taken into custody. The shooting arose from a dispute between the two. Along with the Maryland State Police, the Allegany County C3I unit was on the scene. The names of the victim and the suspect were not released. The victim was shot in the side by a .22 rifle, according to dispatchers. A mobile crime lab from Calvert County was brought in to investigate the shooting.

 

Grand Jury Indicts Two

The Allegany County Grand Jury has indicted two people for their part in an attempted robbery, occurring recently at the Sears store in Country Club Mall. Forty-one year old Chanin Allison Clark of Slanesville, West Virginia and 28-year old Brandi Lynn Gaver of Romney were arrested in connection with the incident, involving a 77-year old male victim. Clark was arrested by the West Virginia State Police, and later returned to Maryland after waiving extradition. Ms. Gaver remains incarcerated at the Allegany County Detention Center on $10,000 bond.

 

Law Enforcement on K-2 Sweep

Law enforcement agencies have initiated Operation K-2. They combed Allegany County in search of businesses that sell the substance, commonly known as K-2 or potpourri. About 50 businesses were visited. Several purchases were made, and the substance will be submitted to the Maryland State Police Crime Lab, to determine if the substances purchases contain illegal chemical compounds. Officers will continue to make periodic purchases of the K-2 substance to ensure compliance with federal law and the Maryland Controlled Dangerous Substance Act.

 

Beitzel, Edwards Gain Approval for Wind Turbine Safeguards

The House Economic Matters Committee has favorably reported on House Bill 747, which would give the Garrett County Commissioners the authority to enact ordinances relating to setbacks and the decommissioning of wind turbines. The bill was introduced by Delegate Wendell Beitzel.  A companion measure, sponsored by Senator George C. Edwards, has already been unanimously approved by the entire Maryland Senate. Both measures must now be approved by the opposing chamber by midnight on April 9th, when the 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly ends.

 

Local Woman Arrested on Several Charges

Cumberland City Police served an arrest warrant on 30-year old Michelle Cook for several charges, including second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and false imprisonment. The charges stem from a domestic assault incident that occurred on March 23rd at a residence on Paca Street. She was taken to an Allegany County District Court Commissioner for a bond hearing, and was released on personal recognizance.

 

Referendum Launched to Reject Redistricting Law

MDpeition.com has launched a petition to bring the newly-drawn Congressional redistricting map to referendum in November. The emergency bill, passed last fall, has been opposed by the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards and every Republican member of the General Assembly. And, a Federal District Court Judge has called the map an “impermissible political gerrymandering” action that “crossed the line.”

 

Maryland Senate Passes Bill to Limit Septic Systems

The Maryland Senate has approved a bill to regulate where new residential septic systems can be installed. The legislation provides for a four-tiered system that counties are expected to use to limit where residential septic systems can be located, especially in the most rural parts of the state. State Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller called it a “compromise bill,” and disputed claims, primarily from Republican leaders, that the bill creates a “war on rural Maryland.”

Local News


General Assembly Approves Health Care Reform Element

The Maryland General Assembly has approved legislation that would implement part of the federal health care reform law. The bill would create a framework to provide coverage to 700,000 uninsured residents in the state. Monday’s action builds on last year’s legislation passed last year to create the health care exchange, a mandate of federal health care reform. The federal health care reform law is currently being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Chances of Passing Little Orleans Bill “Slim”

A bill, filed by Delegate LeRoy Myers, dealing with a local school board decision to end the Washington County School Choice program, is “running out of steam,” admittedly by Myers himself. Neither of the bills introduced met Monday’s “Crossover Day” deadline. Myers efforts have been strongly opposed by the local Board of Education, and other related agencies. The Maryland State Board of Education has since upheld the local decision to end the program, and bring students from the eastern end of the county into Allegany County schools.

 

Garrett County Agrees to Take Over ASCI

The Garrett County Commissioners have agreed to take ownership of the Adventure Sports Center International, and is spending $600,000 to secure the assignment of the debt from Susquehanna Bank. They will, in turn, split the debt and distribute half of it to First United Bank & Trust. The $600,000 expenditure will be paid with  the hotel/motel tax from Garrett County.

 

Four Charged in Bedford County Home Invasion

Four men, who are already jailed in Allegany County, faces home invasion charges in the state of Pennsylvania. Cody and Cory Crabtree, along with Gregory Laisure and Zachary Huffman have been charged with a December home invasion on Evitt’s Creek Road, and the assault of the couple who live there. During that home invasion robbery, money, prescription medication and firearms were taken, and the couple was also beaten during the incident.

 

Two Arrested in Pot Bust Identified

Two residents of the Whitacre Tailer Court in Short Gap have been charged in connection with a marijuana growing operation there. Thirty-one year old Arron Paul Weisenmiller and Kristy Dawn Gordon were taken into custody on Sunday night, after deputies discovered drugs, worth $83,000,  on Lots 9 and 30 of the trailer court. Other paraphernalia, such as growing materials and measuring devices, were also found. Weisenmiller has been jailed on $24,000 bond in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.

 

Keyser Discusses Junk Ordinance,  Feral Cats

The Keyser Mayor and City Council has decided to delay action on two agenda items-the city’s junk ordinance and the issue of feral cats running loose in the city. There are neither state or local laws in dealing with stray cats, and the matter will discussed later. On the junk ordinance, it was decided the current plan is old, complex and difficult to enforce. The city may possibly examine the law, and possibly rewrite the ordinance, which is rather time-consuming.

 

Gibralter Also Seeking Massachusetts Post

Frostburg State University President Dr. Jonathan Gibralter is among the six finalists for the post of chancellor of the University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth. He is also one of three finalists for the president of the University of Kentucky position. Dr. Gibralter had previously served as president of Farmingdale State College. The six finalists will visit the Massachusetts campus early next month.

 

Attempted  Abduction in Somerset Reported

The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the attempted abduction of a nineteen year old in the parking lot of the Save-A-Lot in Somerset late last week. The teen was described as having the mannerisms of a young child. The man tried to lure him into his truck, but the teen did not, and told his mother, who brought it to the attention of police. The suspect is described as having a black goatee, with black and gray hair, and wearing a black tee shirt. If you have any information about the incident, or may have been in the parking lot around 4 p.m. Friday, you are asked to contact the Somerset barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police.

 

Woman Arrested on Burglary Charges

Cumberland resident Ashley Blank was arrested Monday  on several burglary charges. She is accused of first, third, and fourth degree burglary and theft of less than $1,000, stemming from a theft investigation that occurred earlier this month at a residence on Henderson Avenue. Following a District Court hearing, she was held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Inspection Shows Blast Did Not Cause Flooding

An inspection from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reveals that a mine blast did not cause flooding in the Hooversville area of Somerset County last week. Inspectors say the abandoned mine was in such bad shape, that it could have burst at any time. The water was not acidic, so the DEP does not believe there is any permanent damage to nearby streams.

 

Part-Time Officer Hired In Somerset

The Somerset Borough council has hired a part-time police officer. Kevin Huzsek will begin his duties once his field training is completed. Somerset lost an officer last month, after he was accused of accepting a bribe. Officer Jason Ponczek is facing both felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly accepting $500 in exchange for withholding charges against someone. He resigned from his position after the charges became public.

Local News


General Assembly Approves Health Care Reform Element

The Maryland General Assembly has approved legislation that would implement part of the federal health care reform law. The bill would create a framework to provide coverage to 700,000 uninsured residents in the state. Monday’s action builds on last year’s legislation passed last year to create the health care exchange, a mandate of federal health care reform. The federal health care reform law is currently being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Chances of Passing Little Orleans Bill “Slim”

A bill, filed by Delegate LeRoy Myers, dealing with a local school board decision to end the Washington County School Choice program, is “running out of steam,” admittedly by Myers himself. Neither of the bills introduced met Monday’s “Crossover Day” deadline. Myers efforts have been strongly opposed by the local Board of Education, and other related agencies. The Maryland State Board of Education has since upheld the local decision to end the program, and bring students from the eastern end of the county into Allegany County schools.

 

Garrett County Agrees to Take Over ASCI

The Garrett County Commissioners have agreed to take ownership of the Adventure Sports Center International, and is spending $600,000 to secure the assignment of the debt from Susquehanna Bank. They will, in turn, split the debt and distribute half of it to First United Bank & Trust. The $600,000 expenditure will be paid with  the hotel/motel tax from Garrett County.

 

Four Charged in Bedford County Home Invasion

Four men, who are already jailed in Allegany County, faces home invasion charges in the state of Pennsylvania. Cody and Cory Crabtree, along with Gregory Laisure and Zachary Huffman have been charged with a December home invasion on Evitt’s Creek Road, and the assault of the couple who live there. During that home invasion robbery, money, prescription medication and firearms were taken, and the couple was also beaten during the incident.

 

Two Arrested in Pot Bust Identified

Two residents of the Whitacre Tailer Court in Short Gap have been charged in connection with a marijuana growing operation there. Thirty-one year old Arron Paul Weisenmiller and Kristy Dawn Gordon were taken into custody on Sunday night, after deputies discovered drugs, worth $83,000,  on Lots 9 and 30 of the trailer court. Other paraphernalia, such as growing materials and measuring devices, were also found. Weisenmiller has been jailed on $24,000 bond in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.

 

Keyser Discusses Junk Ordinance,  Feral Cats

The Keyser Mayor and City Council has decided to delay action on two agenda items-the city’s junk ordinance and the issue of feral cats running loose in the city. There are neither state or local laws in dealing with stray cats, and the matter will discussed later. On the junk ordinance, it was decided the current plan is old, complex and difficult to enforce. The city may possibly examine the law, and possibly rewrite the ordinance, which is rather time-consuming.

 

Gibralter Also Seeking Massachusetts Post

Frostburg State University President Dr. Jonathan Gibralter is among the six finalists for the post of chancellor of the University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth. He is also one of three finalists for the president of the University of Kentucky position. Dr. Gibralter had previously served as president of Farmingdale State College. The six finalists will visit the Massachusetts campus early next month.

 

Attempted  Abduction in Somerset Reported

The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the attempted abduction of a nineteen year old in the parking lot of the Save-A-Lot in Somerset late last week. The teen was described as having the mannerisms of a young child. The man tried to lure him into his truck, but the teen did not, and told his mother, who brought it to the attention of police. The suspect is described as having a black goatee, with black and gray hair, and wearing a black tee shirt. If you have any information about the incident, or may have been in the parking lot around 4 p.m. Friday, you are asked to contact the Somerset barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police.

 

Woman Arrested on Burglary Charges

Cumberland resident Ashley Blank was arrested Monday  on several burglary charges. She is accused of first, third, and fourth degree burglary and theft of less than $1,000, stemming from a theft investigation that occurred earlier this month at a residence on Henderson Avenue. Following a District Court hearing, she was held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Inspection Shows Blast Did Not Cause Flooding

An inspection from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reveals that a mine blast did not cause flooding in the Hooversville area of Somerset County last week. Inspectors say the abandoned mine was in such bad shape, that it could have burst at any time. The water was not acidic, so the DEP does not believe there is any permanent damage to nearby streams.

 

Part-Time Officer Hired In Somerset

The Somerset Borough council has hired a part-time police officer. Kevin Huzsek will begin his duties once his field training is completed. Somerset lost an officer last month, after he was accused of accepting a bribe. Officer Jason Ponczek is facing both felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly accepting $500 in exchange for withholding charges against someone. He resigned from his position after the charges became public.

Local News


General Assembly Enters 12th Week

Yesterday was “Crossover Day” in the General Assembly, which means was the deadline to pass bills in at least one chamber of the legislative body. A House-Senate conference committee is expected to be formed to negotiate a final version of a state budget and tax bill. The Senate is expected to take a final vote on a proposal that regulates where new septic systems can be installed. And, it is expected to debate, and possibly vote on, a bill to expand gambling in the state.

 

Garrett County Woman Faces Charges

Garrett County resident Miranda White is facing attempted murder charges after trying to run over her ex-boyfriend in Oakland. She and the ex-boyfriend got into an argument in the Oakland Town parking lot Sunday night; she then stole his vehicle, chased him down Second Street, and ran over him before crashing into the side of the “Brewed Awakenings” coffee shop. The extent of the man’s injuries and the amount of damage to the coffee shop are unknown. She was being held in the Garrett County Detention Center on a quarter-million dollar bond.  

 

Two Arrests Made in Pot Bust

The Mineral County Sheriff’s Office has made two arrests and seized over 60 marijuana plants from a mobile home in the Whitacre Trailer Park in Short Gap. They were originally called Sunday morning for a report of shots fired, and deputies found not only the plants, but also grow lights and other materials used to manufacture the drug. The original discovery was made at Lot 30; additionally, the residence at Lot 9 was also searched and over a pound of marijuana was found, along with containers and measuring devices. The street value of the drugs seized was around $83,000. The suspects in the incident have yet to be identified.

 

Piedmont Councilman Resigns

Piedmont City Council member Bob Fike has resigned his position, effectively immediately. He presented his letter of resignation on Thursday, and in it, he cited since the most recent city election, the council meetings have been filled with “hard feelings, arguments and paranoia.” He emphasized that his resignation had nothing to do with what he termed the “FEMA fiasco,” and that he was not going to represent the citizens of Piedmont under the “terrible conditions” he had mentioned.

 

Federal Grand Jury Indicts West Virginia Residents

Residents from Maysville, Petersburg, Moorefield and Cabins, West Virginia are among 14 people indicted by a federal grand jury in Martinsburg. Forty-one year old Consuelo Bosley of Maysville was indicted for possession of material used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine in Grant County. Moorefield residents Larry James Martin and Amanda Lipscomb face similar charges in Hardy County. Eleven others were named in the indictment, mostly for the manufacture and intent to distribute the drug.

 

Rockville Woman Held on Officer Assault Charge

Forty-year old Rockville, Maryland resident Paula Renee Carrasquillo is being held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following an early Sunday morning incident at a business on Pershing Street. Officers responded to the report of an assault at the business. One of those in the crowd became belligerent and began to assault the officer. She reportedly kicked several others as they were trying to put her into a police vehicle. She was eventually charged with three counts of second degree assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

 

Woman Taken to Hospital Following Crash

Forty-seven year old Hyndman resident Karen Minnick was taken to the hospital, following a two-vehicle accident Friday morning on State Route 56. She slowed down for a vehicle turning left, when she was struck from behind by a 17-year old boy, driving a 2006 Hyundai Tiburon, near Hammond Hill Road. The boy and a passenger in her car were uninjured. The accident happened around 10:47 a.m., according to the Pennsylvania State Police at Bedford.

 

Fire Damages Friendsville Apartment

Damage estimates have been placed at between $10,000 to $15,000 as the result of an apartment fire on Water Street in Friendsville Sunday. The fire began in a bedroom of the ground-level apartment. Friendsville Fire Chief Terry Spear was alerted by Natural Resources Police Corporal Walt May, who was in the area and spotted smoke coming from the building.

 

Three Suspects Sought in Hagerstown Murder

Three black males are being sought in connection with a homicide on Linwood Road in Hagerstown early yesterday morning. The victim, thirty-five year old Alfarad A. Evans, was pronounced dead at Meritus Medical Center. A female resident at the home was not harmed in the incident. Witnesses reported three black males, in baggy clothing, ran from the residence toward Nolan Village, after gunshots were heard. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hagerstown Police Department at (301)-790-3700.

Local News


House Preliminarily Approves Budget

The Maryland House of Delegates has given preliminary approval to a package of bills that includes a $35.9 billion state budget and a bill that raises income tax rates for Marylanders earning over $100,000 annually. The so-called “flush tax” has been doubled from $30 to $60, and an amendment, which would eliminate a proposed shift of half of the cost of teacher pensions from the state to county governments, was rejected. Another change, approved by lawmakers, was one that would allow lottery tickets to be sold online.

 

Fire Reported in Wiley Ford

Investigators are searching for the cause of a fire on Tysinger Lane in Wiley Ford Saturday morning. The home is owned by Chuck Bittinger, whose family was not at home at the time of the fire around 4 a.m. Damages to the house and the contents was placed at about $200,000. The West Virginia Fire Marshal was notified to investigate the cause.

 

Post Office Closure Not a “Done Deal”

The president of AFSCME Local 1633, representing Allegany County employees, says the closure of the postal sorting facility in Cumberland is not a “done deal.” Jack Davis addressed the Allegany County Commissioners recently, and urged those in attendance to contact U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, to voice support for keeping the facility in Cumberland. A moratorium has been placed on closing any facility until May 15th. Plans to close the Cumberland facility were announced late last month.

 

I-68 Drug Arrests Made

What began as a speeding violation ended with the arrests of two men for drug violations. Nicholas Kapuscienski of New Jersey and Darren Amelio were arrested on Interstate 68 eastbound, near Lower New Germany Road,  for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, consisting of a smoking pipe and a metal grinder, used to prepare the suspected marijuana. Both were taken to District Court for an initial appearance.

 

Board Receives Fundraising Update

The Mineral County Board of Education has received an update on fundraising for the Keyser High School Athletic Complex debt. Approximately $6600 has been raised in the last two months, bringing the total for $47,400, for this year. Two major fundraisers have been scheduled for May and June, with tickets being sold to over 53 vendors. Another update on the effort will be done in May.

 

Man Arrested for Disorderly Conduct, Trespassing

Cumberland resident William James Izzett has been arrested in connection to an incident that occurred Thursday night at about 10 p.m. He went into a business on South George Street and began to create a disturbance. He also allegedly created another disturbance at another business in the area. He received an initial appearance in District Court and was held on $3,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Small Business Workshops Slated

A workshop on “Business Fundamentals” is scheduled for 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11th in Petersburg. The workshop is part of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center’s training and business coaching program. The workshop will be held in the Region 8 Planning and Development Council building, 8 Airport Road, in Petersburg. Registration is required by Friday, April 6th. To register, call (304)-530-4964.

 

Eight Killed in Charleston Home

Nine people, including seven young children, were killed over the weekend in Charleston as a woman was celebrating her 26th birthday. A seventh child was on life support, and the fire is being termed the deadliest blaze in more than 60 years. The home had an improperly mounted smoke detector, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. It appeared to have originated on the first floor of the home. Alisha Carter-Camp was among the victims; she was the one celebrating her birthday when the fire broke out.

 

Mikulski Becomes Longest-Serving Woman in U.S. Congress

Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski has become the longest-serving female in Congress. For more than 35 years, Senator Mikulski has represented the state on Capitol Hill. When she became a Senator in 1986 there was only one other woman, a Republican. Now, there are 17 female Senators. One of Senator Mikulski’s priorities over the years has been women’s health, writing the law requiring federal standards for mammograms and she fought for uninsured women to get screenings for breast and cervical cancers.

Local News


Suspect Linked to Multi-State Robberies

It is believed the suspect who robbed the BB & T branch bank in Fort Ashby earlier this month is the same person who robbed banks in Cumberland on three occasions recently and a bank in Osterburg, Pennsylvania in December of 2010. A comparison of bank surveillance photos led law enforcement officials to that conclusion. The most recent robbery in Fort Ashby is under investigation by the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from C3I investigators in Cumberland and the Pennsylvania State Police at Bedford.

 

Myers, Kelly Clash Over School Attendance Bill

While Delegate LeRoy Myers urged the House Ways and Means Committee to pass his bill allowing some Allegany County students to attend school in Washington County, fellow Delegate Kevin Kelly argued against it. Delegate Myers’ bill is aimed at ending a dispute whether students attend school in another county if traveling to a school in their home county “is not feasible.” For his part, Delegate Kelly wants to honor the process that allows local decision-making.

 

Two Arrested in Hampshire County

Two people were arrested in Romney this week, and it was discovered one was a fugitive from justice in Allegany County. Twenty-two year old William Diehl and Ashley Twigg, both 22 years of age, were arrested and charged with possession of Salvia. Diehl is also a fugitive from justice in this county. Deputies arrested the suspects near the Romney Fire Hall, after they appeared to be under the influence. Both were taken to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.

 

Fugitive Arrested Following Chase

A 27-year old Augusta resident was arrested following a pursuit that led from Capon Bridge to Delray on Tuesday. David Mugridge was a suspect in a petit larceny case at the Family Dollar Store in Capon Bridge. When police tried to stop him, a chase ensued and ended at the intersection of Mystic Mountain Road and Route 29. Mugridge was also discovered to be a fugitive from justice in Virginia. The case remains under investigation and Mugridge remains in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.

 

Bridge Flooded After Blasting

A road and bridge in Somerset County suddenly flooded after nearby blasting opened an old, unused, water-filled mine. Millions of gallons of water were released from the mine, after blasting along Shade Street off Route 403 east of Hooversville. Water rose five feet over the bridge that connects to a nearby neighborhood. Emergency crews are working to clean up the area and divert water.

 

Two Arrested in String of Burglaries

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with a series of burglaries in Cambria and Somerset Counties. Chad Buchanan and Corey Snyder are accused of  breaking into homes and stealing cash, jewelry, and other items in several daytime robberies. Some of the items were sold in eBay and they also tried to cash in other items at a local jewelry store. Police are expected to file more charges in the case; some of the suspects were supporting a drug habit through the thefts.

 

Allegiant Air Returns to Hagerstown

Allegiant Air, which previously provided air service out of Hagerstown Regional Airport will again be offering flights between Hagerstownand Orlando. The nonstop jet service between Hagerstown will begin May 25th and will operate twice weekly between Hagerstown and Sanford International Airport. The flights will generally be on Fridays and Mondays; initially, flights from Orlando to Hagerstown will cost $59.99.

Local News


Armed Robbery at Piedmont Legion

Several people playing cards at the Piedmont American Legion were robbed at gunpoint early yesterday morning. There were no injuries in the 12:40 a.m.  incident, when two black male suspects entered an upstairs room through a rear door, brandished a gun, and demanded money from several victims. They then ran from the area. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office at (304)-788-0441. There were no further details on a description of the suspects.

 

Two More Arrested in Sweep

Two more suspects have been arrested in connection with a warrant sweep that began on Monday. Thirty-year old Justin Travis Scarpelli was arrested for violation of probation and was held on $40,000 bond. Twenty-seven year old Ashley Nicole Scardina was arrested for theft, and was released on her own recognizance. Investigators are continuing to search for other suspects who are currently wanted, and will continue the operation until they are apprehended.

 

Garrett County To Assume Ownership of Course

Garrett County will assume ownership of the Adventure Sports Center International, after the developer of the site defaulted on more than $3 million in bank loans. However, the county won’t be liable for the center’s bank debt. The deal will not affect plans for the International Canoe Federation to hold its 2014 world whitewater paddling championships there. In a related story, the center’s executive director, Matt Taylor, is leaving to become the executive director of the Westwind Stewardship Group in Oregon.

 

Dr. Gibralter Finalist For Kentucky Presidents

Dr. Jonathan Gibralter, president of Frostburg State University is one of three finalists for the position of President of Northern Kentucky University. He began his duties at FSU in 2006, succeeding Dr. Catherine Gira. All three of the finalists for the Northern Kentucky job will visit the campus next month and the school should make its decision by the middle of next month.

 

House Votes to Charge For Drilling Studies

The Maryland House of Delegates has approved a measure that would charge a $15-per-acre fee to finance studies on best practices for extracting natural gas from Marcellus Shale. The fee would raise roughly $1.8 million to pay for the studies. Supporters of the bill cite health and environmental concerns about the drilling process, while opponent are asking why businesses that would help create jobs should have to pay for a study to determine whether they can do business in this area of the state.

 

Grant, Hardy County Residents Indicted

Eleven Grant County residents and two from Hardy County have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Martinsburg. Most of the charges stem from illegal drug activity from 2009 through 2011. If convicted, the suspects face a variety of fines and prison sentences. The indictments were the result of investigations conducted by a variety of law enforcement agencies, including the West Virginia State Police, the Pendleton and Grant County Sheriff’s Departments and the Petersburg Police Departments.

 

Proposal Would Double “Flush Tax”

The House Environmental Matters Committee has passed a bill that would double the state’s “flush tax” from $30 per year to $60. The bill would enable the state to finish upgrades to the 67 largest sewage plants in the state to reduce Chesapeake Bay pollution. The flush tax is now $2.50 per month.

 

Incident Brings Indecent Exposure Charge

Cumberland City Police responded Tuesday to a report of indecent exposure at a business in the 200-block of Williams Street. Witnesses say they observed a man, standing outside of a vehicle in the parking lot, exposing himself. Sixty-three year old Lawrence Silvers was arrested at the scene and charged. He was held on $10,000 bond in the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Frostburg State University Honored for Community Service

Frostburg State University has been honored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, as a leader among institutions of higher education for their support of volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. FSU was admitted to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.

 

Report Card Distribution to be Delayed

The third marking period report card distribution, originally scheduled for April 13th has been delayed until April 18th. In response to a change in the date for the Maryland Primary Election, the school board amended the 2011-2012 school calendar to include a spring break for students, which in turn, has pushed report card distribution back one week. Schools and offices will be closed on April 3rd for Primary Election Day.

 

Man Sentenced for Murder of Former Girlfriend

Randy McPeak has been sentenced to live in prison for the fatal shooting of his former girlfriend, Heather Harris in June of last year. McPeak pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and related charges last November 28th in Washington County Circuit Court.  He would have to serve at least 15 years, before being eligible for parole. Ms. Harris died five days after the shooting, which also included McPeak holding law enforcement authorities at bay for 7-1/2 hours at her Dual Highway home.

 

More Cuts, Tax Hikes Next Year

Maryland Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller says there are merits to both the House and Senate versions of the proposed fiscal year 2013 budget, but changes made by the House version could mean deep cuts and the need to raise revenue next year. The House proposal would raise income tax for fewer taxpayers than the Senate version, and rejects the Senate and Governor O’Malley’s plan to apply the state’s sales tax to online purchases.  The House plan would not raise enough money to handle the state’s $1 billion deficit, according to Miller.

Local News


Four More Arrested in Sweep

Four more suspects have been arrested, following Monday’s warrant sweep involving nearly every Allegany County law enforcement agency. Taken into custody were 37-year old James Brian Smith of Flintstone for assault; James Edward Moellenkamp of Cresaptown and John Edward Blank of Cumberland, both on violation of probation charges; and, Timothy John Flynn of Keyser, who was arrested for driving with license privileges suspended. Additional suspects in the sweep are being sought.

 

Manslaughter Conviction Upheld

Former Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania resident Nicholas McKee will remain in prison, after the Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld his manslaughter conviction. McKee appealed his 35-year sentence, because he said there was insufficient evidence to convict him of reckless endangerment in the death of 6-week old Bella Appel in January of 2010. McKee is listed as the child’s father on her birth certificate.  The child’s mother, Jordan Appel, left Bella with McKee on January 3rd of 2010, later returned home to find her daughter in cardiac arrest. McKee told her he had accidentally dropped the baby, but experts say her injuries were caused by “vigorous shaking.”

 

Garrett Commissioners to Discuss ASCI Next Week

The Garrett County Commissioners will discuss the operation and management of the Adventure Sports Center International during next Tuesday during a 10 a.m. press conference. At issue is ASCI’s three-million debt obligation; the sports center’s board of directors is proposing the transfer of all of the center’s facilities, assets and operations to Garrett County. For their part, the commissioners say they won’t consider the conveyance if the debt obligations are still in play.

 

Board to Advertise for Bids

The Mineral County Board of Education has begun the bidding process for the new Keyser Primary-Middle School. Bids for the $13.5 million facility are being accepted through April 18th, and there will be a preliminary pre-bid meeting for contractors on April 4th at 10:30 a.m. at the board office. The design for the school includes 31 full-sixed classrooms, three special education classrooms and nine smaller instructional spaces for speech, special education and occupational/physical therapy.

 

City Council Discusses Trailer Issue

The Keyser Mayor and City Council discussed a trailer that had been located on South Main Street, in violation of city code. The owner of the lot where the trailer is located had received a building permit, related to garage repair, but did not allow for a full-sized mobile home. The owner is being cooperative on the issue, and has been asked to remove the trailer within 30 days.

 

Local Restaurants Fare Well in the “Free State’s Finest” Poll

Several restaurants in Allegany and Garrett Counties have been named in the 2012 “Free State’s Finest” poll from Maryland Life magazine. In Garrett County, Dutch’s at Silver Tree Inn was named the state’s finest restaurant. The “finest family restaurant” was Wendy’s Towne Restaurant in Garrett County. The Savage River Lodge garnered honors as having the finest dessert in the state, and the Queen City Creamery was voted as having the “finest ice cream.” The top gallery in the state is the Saville Gallery in Cumberland.

 

Governor Breaks Ground for Readiness Center

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin was in attendance earlier this week, as ground was broken on the Moorefield Armed Forces Radiness Center, north of Moorefield. The facility, adjacent to Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, will house the Hardy County 911 Center and the West Virginia National Guard 157th Military Police Unit. Total cost will be $20.3 million.

 

Disaster Declaration Expanded in West Virginia

More counties in West Virginia are being added to a federal disaster declaration. Included in that declaration is nearby Preston County, which was impacted by storms from February 29th through March 5th. Preston will receive public assistance, for what the state and local governments spent on cleanup and repairs. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has sought another disaster declaration for the victims of the storms.

 

Archbishop Named by Pope Benedict XVI

Bishop William Lori of the Bridgeport, Connecticut Diocese has been appointed the Archbishop of Baltimore. He succeeds now-Cardinal Edwin O’Brien. Archbishop-designate Lori was ordained in 1977, and had at one time been associate pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Landover. He is also former chairman of the Board of Trustees of Catholic University in the District of Columbia.

Local News


Warrant Sweep Conducted

A total of 21 individuals were arrested yesterday morning, and other arrests are pending, in a sweep targeting individuals wanted in the county for a variety of offenses. The charges range from violation of probation to robbery. Participating in the sweep were the Maryland State Police, the Cumberland City Police, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, Frostburg Police, the C3I Narcotics Task Force, the Allegany County Emergency Operations Center and the C3I unit. Suspects were processed and transported to the Allegany County District Court Commissioners’ Office for their initial appearance and those who were held, were taken to the Allegany County Detention Center, where they will be held until they post bond, or until their next court appearance.

 

DeVault Has Past History of Robberies

The man who was arrested last Friday after allegedly robbing the Lonaconing branch of First People’s Credit Union had only been out of jail for three weeks, after allegedly holding up the First united Bank and Trust branch in Piedmont. Alexander DeVault had posted bond in connection with the February robbery of the Piedmont bank, and was returned to Mineral County on February 23rd. DeVault had also served time in connection with the July, 2010 robbery of the Midland Firemen’s Club, and the armed robbery of the Oakland branch of First United Bank in 1994.  This time, State’s Attorney Michael Twigg is requesting that the court hold DeVault without bond.

 

Woman Killed in Weekend Accident

Seventy-six year old Springs, Pennsylvania resident Mary Miller was killed in a two-vehicle, head-on collision on Route 51 at Old Oldtown Road. A pickup truck, driven by Paw Paw resident Jason Hiett crossed the roadway while attempting to stop for a vehicle that had pulled off the roadway in front of him, and struck her vehicle around 3:06 p.m. Saturday. Heitt and a passenger in the Miller vehicle, Blaine Miller were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center.

 

BB & T Investigation Continues

The investigation into the armed robbery of the BB & T bank in Fort Ashby is continuing. The suspect entered the bank early Friday afternoon, displayed a handgun and demanded money. He was described as a white male and fled northbound on foot and possible entered a vehicle parked in the Poland Furniture lot. The car was described as a white, four-door sedan, which may have had dealer plates and a neon price across the windshield. The money believed taken from the bank was recovered.

 

Five Hurt in Snow Tubing Accident

Five people were injured in a snow tubing accident over the weekend at the Wisp Ski Resort, and are recovering. The tube carrying 14 people traveled off one of the downhill tracks and struck a light pole at the Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park. Two of the victims were airlifted to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, while three others were transported there by the Northern Rescue Squad. The Carboard Box Derby was held Saturday and was sponsored by the Deep Creek Lions Club as a fundraiser for the club’s blind skier program.

 

Woman Charged with Breaking and Entering

A Cumberland woman has been charged with the breaking and entering of a residence in the 600-block of Bedford Street. The victim’s ex-girlfriend, Tracy Malloy, tried to gain entry to the residence by tearing the screen door off the hinges and breaking two window screens. She was arrested and charged with fourth-degree breaking and entering, disorderly conduct and destruction of property. She was taken District Court and later released on her own recognizance.

 

ACM Hosts Sixth Congressional District Debate

Allegany College of Maryland his hosting a candidates’ forum this Saturday for candidates in Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District. According to campaign spokespersons, all 13 of the candidates, including incumbent Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, plan to be in attendance. The Democratic session will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., while the Republican session will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the ACM Center for Continuing Education.

 

Missing Child Located

Somerset County authorities have located a missing three-year old girl, nearly an hour after she wandered away from her home. The girl, who is autistic, wandered away from her backyard, and walked nearly three-quarters of a mile from home before she was found. The incident appears to be accidental, but is still under investigation.

 

Fatal Accident in Hagerstown

A 17-year old Washington County Technical High School student was killed in a single-vehicle accident Sunday on the National Pike, west of Garrow Drive. Seventeen-year old Quinn Alec Hoover died of his injuries at Meritus Medical Center. The crash occurred as Hoover had driven off the right side of the roadway for unknown reasons, and struck a culvert and telephone pole, before his car came to rest on its roof. Hoover had to be extricated from the car, before being taken to the hospital.

 

 

Local News


Robbery Suspect Arrested

Pasadena, Maryland resident Alexander Devault is being held in connection with the robbery of First People’s Community Federal Credit Union on Main Street in Lonaconing Friday afternoon. An Allegany County Sheriff’s Deputy, who was in the area, quickly made the arrest after the 2:40 p.m. incident. Devault is being charged not only with robbery, but also theft and resisting arrest, as he initially ignored refused orders to stop from the deputy. All of the cash taken during the robbery was recovered and none of the credit union employees was injured.

 

Oakland Man Killed in ATV Crash

Garrett County resident David Shillingburg was killed early yesterday in an ATV crash on Smith Drive. Shillingburg failed to negotiate an intersection, traveling into the woods; the ATV rolled on top of him. The accident, near Crescent Lane happened shortly after midnight yesterday. A further investigation is being conducted by the Maryland State Medical Examiner’s Office and the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Charges Remain Against Man

The Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office says that the report of all charges being dropped against Errol Caprice McCurrie is false. In a statement from Michael Twigg’s office, the case against McCurrie remains in place for violations of the Controlled Dangerous Substance Act. The matter was originally docketed by Circuit Court as a prayer for trial by jury. The matter, however was not forwarded to Circuit Court. It was for the waiver of a preliminary hearing. The charges are the same as in the original docketed case, and is currently pending in Circuit Court.

 

Residents Oppose Moorefield Recycling Facility

Several community members appeared at a recent meeting of the Moorefield Council, to oppose the location of a recycling facility at the site of the former American Woodmark facility. Hub Scrap, of Hagerstown, an industrial recycling company, has expressed interest in buying the building, but the residents are concerned about increased truck traffic, pests and hazardous waste. The citizen group, while not opposed to jobs or recycling, say they believe there are other areas that would be more preferable than the American Woodmark facility.

 

Senate Approves Budget, Income Tax Hike

Most Maryland taxpayers will be paying a little more, as the result of legislation, passed this week in the Maryland General Assembly. State Senator George Edwards voted “no” on the income tax increase.  The Senate also approved the state budget on a vote of 37 to 9. A separate budget reconciliation measure that includes cuts and taxes on tobacco other than cigarettes and applying the state’s sales tax to online sales was passed on a 34-12 vote.  The package of budget legislation now goes to the House of Delegates.

 

 

Senate May Vote on “Justice’s Law”

The Maryland Senate  may vote on a bill increasing the penalty for child abuse, causing death, from the maximum 30-years in prison to life. The bill is known as “Justice’s law,” after Justice Christopher Calvin Myers-Cannon, who was shaken to death in January of 2007. Hagerstown resident Floyd Edward Bingaman was sentenced to 30-years in prison for his death. The bill still has to go to the House as well.

 

Pennsylvania Voter ID Bill Passes

The Pennsylvania Voter ID bill has passed, requiring voters to show photo identification before their votes could be counted, beginning with this year’s Presidential election in November. Those without proper identification would be able to cast a provisional ballot. They would then have six days to get an acceptable ID and deliver a copy to county elections officers in person, by email, or fax. Governor Corbett is expected to sign the bill into law.

Local News


Driver in Fatal Crash Identified

The driver of a Pepsi truck that collided head-on with a school bus Wednesday afternoon in Somerset County,  has been identified. He is 31-year old Robert Dodson of Duncansville, Pennsylvania, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Twenty-two students, a driver and an aide from the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School district were returning from the Somerset County Technology Center when the crash occurred on Route 281 in Middlecreek Township. The Pennsylvania State Police are still investigating the accident.

 

Seven Arrested in Arsons

Six men and one woman have been arrested in connection with a series of Bedford County arsons that began in July of last year. Fires were intentionally set at several livestock barns, two unoccupied homes, and the Penn Air Motel. Six were from the Pennsylvania area and another-Keagan Parks of Washington State-were arrested. They include Donald Leo Stevey of Clearville; Wade Rhodes of Martinsburg, Pennsylvania; Dillon Fornwalt, Corey Divelbiss, and Misty Hafer of Everett; and, Charles Swankler of Hopewell.

 

U.S. Senate Passes New Transportation Bill

This week, the United States Senate passed its version of a new transportation bill, containing language from U.S. Senator Ben Cardin that would allow the U.S. Route 219 construction project from Somerset to Meyersdale to move forward. The prohibition on “toll credits” was reversed. It is hoped the Senate’s transportation bill will be one of the first items on the House of Representative’s agenda when it returns to session.

 

Woman Victim of Scam

Four unidentified men recently “scammed” a Hyndman woman out of $2,400 when they performed driveway work that should have cost about a hundred dollars, according to a professional company. The men arrived at her residence on March 5th, and offered to seal her driveway. They said they were from the Cumberland/Frostburg area. There were no markings, indicating the name of the company on the truck. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Bedford barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police.

 

Juveniles Charged With Attempted Robbery

Three juveniles are being charged with attempted robbery, when they tried to steal a pair of shoes from another boy in the Fourth Street area Wednesday evening. The victim reported the three tried to assault him twice, in an attempt to steal the shoes. The Department of Juvenile Services was contacted and released the juveniles to their families. Charges against them also include attempted theft of under $100, second-degree assault, affray and disorderly conduct.

 

Arrest Made in Threat Incident

Another bomb threat was made at Fort Hill High School on Wednesday, and as a result, an 11th-grade student has been arrested and charged. The student also faces additional, related charges. The student has been disciplined in accordance with the Allegany County Board of Education’s policy on student discipline.

 

Repp New City Manager in North Carolina

Former Cumberland City Administrator Jeff Repp has been hired as the city manager in Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina, and will begins his duties on April 16th. According to his three year contract, Repp will earn a starting salary of $78,000. Repp resigned last June as Cumberland City Administrator, after being on the job more than 17 years. Jeff Rhodes was appointed to the local position in December, after having been acting city administrator for about six months.

 

Sheriff Warns of Drunk Driving on St. Patrick’s Day

Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson is warning area residents about the dangers of driving drunk this St. Patrick’s Day. Sheriff Robertson is urging residents to have a designated driver on hand, or contact a cab company for a ride home, after participating in the Hooley Pub Crawl tomorrow, or if you’re just meeting a few friends for drinks after work. He also says that if you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement.

 

Man Treated for Fall From Ski Lift

An unidentified man fell from a ski lift on Wisp Mountain Wednesday morning. The man, in his 20’s, was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment. There was no word on how the accident occurred, nor how far up he was on the lift. The mishap occurred around 11 a.m.

 

Board Hears Project Update

The Allegany County Board of Education recently heard an update on the status of the Broadband Feasibility Study from Columbia Telecommunications Corporation. The firm is currently working to determine how to leverage a new 37-mile fiber optic cable system running through Allegany County, in order to increase broadband availability to residents. CTC’s next steps include exploring private sector partnerships and methods to facilitate private sector broadband, designing broadband network alternatives and developing business plan alternatives.

Local News


One Dead in Bus, Truck Collision

One person is dead and about 20 others-mostly students-were injured yesterday when a Pepsi tractor-trailer collided with a school bus on a road near Kingwood in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The accident occurred on Route 281, south of New Lexington, as the truck crossed over into southbound lanes, hitting the bus nearly head-on. The driver of the truck who was killed in the crash,  has not been identified, pending notification of family. At least eight of the injuries were treated at Somerset Hospital.

 

Domestic Incident Results in Arrest

A Cumberland man was released on his own recognizance, following a domestic assault in the area of Canal Street. The victim told police that Somers William McKinley, her husband, had assaulted her with a belt. Injuries to her shoulders and back were consistent with her account. He was arrested, taken to Police Headquarters for processing, and taken to District Court for his initial appearance. He was charged with second-degree assault.

 

Charges Dropped Against Drug Suspect

Charges against a Morgantown man, Errol McCurrie, were dismissed earlier this month. He had been charged on January 17th with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, along with possession with intent to distribute. Baltimore attorney Steven Silverman represented McCurrie, who filed a motion for the charges in Allegany County Circuit Court, be dropped.

 

Bennett Named 911 Communications Head

Roger Bennett has been named the Allegany County 911 Joint Communications Division Chief in the Department of Emergency Services. The announcement was made by County Administrator David Eberly. He is an adjunct professor for the University of Maryland’s University college and an adjunct fire instructor for the University of Maryland’s Fire and Rescue Institute.  Bennett graduated from Beall High School in 1983, and lives in Frostburg with his wife and daughters.

 

Man Jailed After High-Speed Chase

Winchester, Virginia resident Andre T. Walker remains in jail, following a high speed chase early Wednesday, ending when police deployed stop sticks on Main Street in Romney. Walker had tried to elude police after attempting to flee in a motor vehicle. He remains jailed on $12,500 bond at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail. Walker reportedly ran from the area, after his car became disabled; he was also allegedly combative with police as they were attempting to place him in the police cruiser.

 

Housing Grants Announced for West Virginia

Keyser and Piedmont’s Housing Authorities will be sharing in nearly $8 million in public housing grants. Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin say the funds are being administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funding will be used to house eligible, low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

 

Meyersdale May Reduce Officers’ Hours

The borough of Meyersdale may reduce the working hours of two full-time borough police officers, as the end of a 14-week layoff draws near. Officers Dave Holler and Matthew Wright were laid off in January because of financial problems. The council has approved bringing back the officers, when their layoff ends next month, but some council members want to see the officers’ working hours reduced.

 

Miller:Gas Tax Hike Unlikely During This Session

Maryland Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller says an increased tax on gas is unlikely because of high gas prices and the fact there is a proposal for an income tax increase to balance the budget. But, Miller did leave open the possibility of a special session in the fall to increase the gas tax, especially if fuel prices drop by then. Miller says lawmakers need to focus on the income tax increase to help cut an ongoing budget deficit in half.

 

Unemployment Rate Hits Three Year Low

Maryland’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in three years, with a rate of 6.5 per cent. That figure is nearly 2 full percentage points lower than the national average of 8.3 per cent. An improving jobless rate has been credited to hiring at technology companies, medical services, law and investment firms and for construction projects.

 

Salary Increases for State Judges

Beginning in Fiscal Year 2014, Maryland judges’ salaries will increase by roughly three per cent annually, hiking their pay by more than $14,000 over three years. Judges make an average of $151,852 annually, with the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals earning the highest salary, at $181,352. The measure was passed as a joint resolution, rather than a bill. Governor Martin O’Malley, whose wife is a district court judge will not have to sign it.

Local News


One Dead in Bus, Truck Collision

One person is dead and about 20 others-mostly students-were injured yesterday when a Pepsi tractor-trailer collided with a school bus on a road near Kingwood in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The accident occurred on Route 281, south of New Lexington, as the truck crossed over into southbound lanes, hitting the bus nearly head-on. The driver of the truck who died in the collision, has not been identified, pending notification of family. At least eight of the injuries were treated at Somerset Hospital.

 

Domestic Incident Results in Arrest

A Cumberland man was released on his own recognizance, following a domestic assault in the area of Canal Street. The victim told police that Somers William McKinley, her husband, had assaulted her with a belt. Injuries to her shoulders and back were consistent with her account. He was arrested, taken to Police Headquarters for processing, and taken to District Court for his initial appearance. He was charged with second-degree assault.

 

Charges Dropped Against Drub Suspect

Charges against a Morgantown man were dismissed against Morgantown resident Errol McCurrie earlier this month. He had been charged on January 17th with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, along with possession with intent to distribute. Baltimore attorney Steven Silverman represented McCurrie, who filed a motion for the charges in Allegany County Circuit Court,  be dropped.

 

Bennett Named 911 Communications Head

Roger Bennett has been named the Allegany County 911 Joint Communications Division Chief in the Department of Emergency Services. The announcement was made by County Administrator David Eberly. He is an adjunct professor for the University of Maryland’s University college and an adjunct fire instructor for the University of Maryland’s Fire and Rescue Institute.  Bennett graduated from Beall High School in 1983, and lives in Frostburg with his wife and daughters.

 

Man Jailed After High-Speed Chase

Winchester, Virginia resident Andre T. Walker remains in jail, following a high speed chase early Wednesday, ending when police deployed stop sticks on Main Street in Romney. Walker had tried to elude police after attempting to flee in a motor vehicle. He remains jailed on $12,500 bond at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail. Walker reportedly ran from the area, after his car became disabled; he was also allegedly combative with police as they were attempting to place him in the police cruiser.

 

Housing Grants Announced for West Virginia

Keyser and Piedmont’s Housing Authorities will be sharing in nearly $8 million in public housing grants. Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin say the funds are being administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funding will be used to house eligible, low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

 

Meyersdale May Reduce Officers’ Hours

The borough of Meyersdale may reduce the working hours of two full-time borough police officers, as the end of a 14-week layoff draws near. Officers Dave Holler and Matthew Wright were laid off in January because of financial problems. The council has approved bringing back the officers, when their layoff ends next month, but some council members want to see the officers’ working hours reduced.

 

Miller:Gas Tax Hike Unlikely During This Session

Maryland Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller says an increased tax on gas is unlikely because of high gas prices and the fact there is a proposal for an income tax increase to balance the budget. But, Miller did leave open the possibility of a special session in the fall to increase the gas tax, especially if fuel prices drop by then. Miller says lawmakers need to focus on the income tax increase to help cut an ongoing budget deficit in half.

 

Unemployment Rate Hits Three Year Low

Maryland’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in three years, with a rate of 6.5 per cent. That figure is nearly 2 full percentage points lower than the national average of 8.3 per cent. An improving jobless rate has been credited to hiring at technology companies, medical services, law and investment firms and for construction projects.

 

Salary Increases for State Judges

Beginning in Fiscal Year 2014, Maryland judges’ salaries will increase by roughly three per cent annually, hiking their pay by more than $14,000 over three years. Judges make an average of $151,852 annually, with the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals earning the highest salary, at $181,352. The measure was passed as a joint resolution, rather than a bill. Governor Martin O’Malley, whose wife is a district court judge will not have to sign it.

Local News


Robbery Suspect Arrested

The West Virginia State Police have arrested a suspect in the robbery of Penny’s One Stop convenience store Saturday evening. Twenty-nine year old William Ault of Ridgeley was taken into custody Monday afternoon. Numerous tips from citizens were received by law enforcement, along with numerous interviews that were conducted with witnesses in Allegany and Mineral Counties. He has been charged with robbery and theft. He is incarcerated in West Virginia, pending extradition to Maryland.

 

Man Pleads Guilty in Fatal Child Neglect Case

Augusta resident Joseph Bennett has pleaded guilty in connection to the death of his girlfriend’s daughter. He was sentenced to serve three to 15 years in state prison. The case involved one-year old Alexis May Harbaugh in July of last year. Bennett was said to have acted negligently, but not intentionally, resulting in the death of the infant. An autopsy determined the child had suffocated last July 11th at her Burlington home

 

Five Charged with Detonating “Soda Bottle Bomb”

That small explosion on Gephart Drive Monday night was the result of a “soda bottle bomb,” and five male juveniles have been charged in connection with the incident. The five suspects learned how to make the device online. The boys were charged with manufacturing, possessing and the use of a destructive device, among other counts. “Soda bottle bombs” are considered to be Improvised Explosive Devices, and it is considered to be a felony. The juveniles were released to the custody of their parents.

 

New Allegany Project Clears Another Hurdle

The Maryland State Clearinghouse has approved plans to build a new Allegany High School at the location of the former Braddock campus of the Western Maryland Health System. The Board of Education had submitted a request for site approval in December, and the approval is considered a significant step forward in the process.

 

Investigation into Double Fatal Fire Continues

The investigation into the January fire on Harrison Street that killed two youngsters is continuing. The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office says it knows the origin of the fire, but not the exact cause. The fire took the lives of 7-year old Paige Ford and her sister, four-year-old Jymera Ford.

 

Fire Traced to Front Porch Steps

Monday afternoon’s fire at Marsh Manor Court in McCoole has been traced to the front porch steps of the mobile home, and is under investigation by the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office. The blaze caused approximately $35,000 damage to the structure and its contents. It was owned by Randy McDonald and occupied by Russell Stallings, Jr. Smoke detectors were present, but no operating. If anyone has information, you are asked to contact the Office of the Fire Marshal at (301)-791-4758 OR (301)-729-5021.

 

Manns Choice Resident To Go To Trial

Manns Choice resident Richard Woy will be bound over for trial. Woy is accused of viewing images of nude children or children in sexually provocative poses online during February and March of last year. He faces 19 counts of sexual abuse of children, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility-all felonies. He is also charged in an unrelated case of sending explicit sexual material over the Internet. Woy’s $50,000 unsecured bond was not modified, and he is prohibited from contacting minors and using the Internet.

 

West Virginia Governor Expected to Sign Funding Bill

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin is expected to sign a bill, that would fund construction at Cacapon State Park in Morgan County. Senate Bill 362 provides for $3 million each year for 30 years from excess video lottery revenues to finance a $52.5 million state bond issue that will pay for additions and improvements at Cacapon and Beech Fork state parks. The bond issue will build an 82-room addition to the park’s lodge, a new dining room, and lounge with a commercial kitchen, meeting rooms, an indoor/outdoor pool and spa and make renovations to the park’s gold course.

 

Conflict Cited in Representing Defendant

A court-appointed attorney for Wardensville, West Virginia resident Amy Hartinger told a circuit court judge that he had a conflict of interest and couldn’t represent her. Hartinger acted as a police informant last year, buying drugs from various people in the Wardensville area. When those people were arrested and assigned court-appointed attorneys, they couldn’t represent Ms. Hartinger either. A canvas of attorneys in the courtroom showed they also had conflicts and Ms. Hartinger’s arraignment was postponed. She was arraigned on two separate indictments, one of which charged her with delivery of a controlled substance.

 

No Smoking Legislation Considered

A measure has received preliminary approval in the state Senate that would prohibit residents from smoking in a car with a passenger younger than eight years old. One senator tried to revise the bill, so that a violation of the proposed law would be a secondary, rather than a primary offense. Another amendment was proposed that would have prevented a child from riding in a vehicle in which someone had smoked at all.

Local News


Robbery Suspect Arrested

The West Virginia State Police have arrested a suspect in the robbery of Penny’s One Stop convenience store Saturday evening. Twenty-nine year old William Ault of Ridgeley was taken into custody Monday afternoon. Numerous tips from citizens were received by law enforcement, along with numerous interviews that were conducted with witnesses in Allegany and Mineral Counties. He has been charged with robbery and theft. He is incarcerated in West Virginia, pending extradition to Maryland.

 

Man Pleads Guilty in Fatal Child Neglect Case

Augusta resident Joseph Bennett has pleaded guilty in connection to the death of his daughter’s girlfriend. He was sentenced to serve three to 15 years in state prison. The case involved one-year old Alexis May Harbaugh in July of last year. Bennett was said to have acted negligently, but not intentionally, resulting in the death of the infant. An autopsy determined the child had suffocated last July 11th at her Burlington home

 

Five Charged with Detonating “Soda Bottle Bomb”

That small explosion on Gephart Drive Monday night was the result of a “soda bottle bomb,” and five male juveniles have been charged in connection with the incident. The five suspects learned how to make the device online. The boys were charged with manufacturing, possessing and the use of a destructive device, among other counts. “Soda bottle bombs” are considered to be Improvised Explosive Devices, and it is considered to be a felony. The juveniles were released to the custody of their parents.

 

New Allegany Project Clears Another Hurdle

The Maryland State Clearinghouse has approved plans to build a new Allegany High School at the location of the former Braddock campus of the Western Maryland Health System. The Board of Education had submitted a request for site approval in December, and the approval is considered a significant step forward in the process.

 

Investigation into Double Fatal Fire Continues

The investigation into the January fire on Harrison Street that killed two youngsters is continuing. The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office says it knows the origin of the fire, but not the exact cause. The fire took the lives of 7-year old Paige Ford and her sister, four-year-old Jymera Ford.

 

Fire Traced to Front Porch Steps

Monday afternoon’s fire at Marsh Manor Court in McCoole has been traced to the front porch steps of the mobile home, and is under investigation by the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office. The blaze caused approximately $35,000 damage to the structure and its contents. It was owned by Randy McDonald and occupied by Russell Stallings, Jr. Smoke detectors were present, but no operating. If anyone has information, you are asked to contact the Office of the Fire Marshal at (301)-791-4758 OR (301)-729-5021.

 

Manns Choice Resident To Go To Trial

Manns Choice resident Richard Woy will be bound over for trial. Woy is accused of viewing images of nude children or children in sexually provocative poses online during February and March of last year. He faces 19 counts of sexual abuse of children, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility-all felonies. He is also charged in an unrelated case of sending explicit sexual material over the Internet. Woy’s $50,000 unsecured bond was not modified, and he is prohibited from contacting minors and using the Internet.

 

West Virginia Governor Expected to Sign Funding Bill

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin is expected to sign a bill, that would fund construction at Cacapon State Park in Morgan County. Senate Bill 362 provides for $3 million each year for 30 years from excess video lottery revenues to finance a $52.5 million state bond issue that will pay for additions and improvements at Cacapon and Beech Fork state parks. The bond issue will build an 82-room addition to the park’s lodge, a new dining room, and lounge with a commercial kitchen, meeting rooms, an indoor/outdoor pool and spa and make renovations to the park’s gold course.

 

Conflict Cited in Representing Defendant

A court-appointed attorney for Wardensville, West Virginia resident Amy Hartinger told a circuit court judge that he had a conflict of interest and couldn’t represent her. Hartinger acted as a police informant last year, buying drugs from various people in the Wardensville area. When those people were arrested and assigned court-appointed attorneys, they couldn’t represent Ms. Hartinger either. A canvas of attorneys in the courtroom showed they also had conflicts and Ms. Hartinger’s arraignment was postponed. She was arraigned on two separate indictments, one of which charged her with delivery of a controlled substance.

 

No Smoking Legislation Considered

A measure has received preliminary approval in the state Senate that would prohibit residents from smoking in a car with a passenger younger than eight years old. One senator tried to revise the bill, so that a violation of the proposed law would be a secondary, rather than a primary offense. Another amendment was proposed that would have prevented a child from riding in a vehicle in which someone had smoked at all.

Local News


General Assembly Begins Tenth Week

The Maryland Senate is expected to approve its version of a state budget this week, which includes the broadest increase in the state’s income tax in 15 years. The bill includes Governor O’Malley’s plan to begin collecting the state’s sales tax on online purchases, an increase in the plan to increase wholesale tax on cigars and other tobacco products, and shifting the cost of teacher pensions from the state to county governments over four years. Lawmakers have a self-imposed deadline of April 2nd to pass the state budget.

 

Rawlings Resident Sentenced in Child Pornography Case

Thirty-six year old Rawlings resident Matthew Sluss has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for his part in a child pornography network that shared images of exploited children. Sluss was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. He had previously pleaded guilty to a count of interstate advertising of child pornography. Sluss utilized file sharing technology for tens of thousands of photos and videos, which were shared with more than 70 online friends.

 

Fire Destroys Deep Creek Drive Home

A fire, that caused more than $115,000 in losses to Eric Jacoby, has been determined to be accidental in nature. The fire was at 743 Deep Creek Crive. Nobody was hurt in the early morning fire on Saturday. The property is owned by John Prutilpac, Jr. Originating in a crawl space of the home, it was determined to be accidental in nature. Smoke detectors were present and activated, and the occupants are being assisted by family and friends.

 

Traffic Stop Results in Arrest

Wooster, Ohio resident Angela Fischer was arrested on eastbound Interstate 68 over the weekend. Originally stopped for speeding, officers discovered she had two, loaded .380 caliber pistols in the driver’s door panel. She was taken to the McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police, then to a District Court Commissioners office. After a bond hearing, she was released on personal recognizance.

 

Fire Reported in McCoole

A fire reportedly engulfed a mobile home yesterday afternoon at Marsh Manor Court in McCoole. Volunteer firefighters from two counties responded to the blaze, reported shortly before 1 p.m., when a neighbor spotted the fire. There were no injuries reported and the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating.

 

Police Called for “Out of Control” Teen

Cumberland City Police were called over this past weekend to a residence at Fort Cumberland Homes for a report of an out of control 13-year old. The officer tried to determine the problem, but she continued to yell and curse. When told she was under arrest, she kicked the officer in the leg and actively resisted arrest. She was charged and processed at police headquarters, and released to her mother, pending trial in Juvenile Court.

 

Cumberland-Carpendale Bridge  Discussed

A bridge, connecting Carpendale and Cumberland, was part of the discussion at the recent meeting of the Mineral County Development Authority. Building the bridge could be presented during next year’s Mineral County Day at the State Legislature in Charleston. The bridge, would be built in the northern end of Mineral County to the Upper Potomac Industrial Park, close to the on and off ramps of Interstate 68.

 

Capon Bridge Man Arrested for Drug Paraphernalia Possession

A Capon Bridge, West Virginia man was arrested late last week, after they found him sitting in his car with a gun and illegal drugs. Joshua Bowyer was taken into custody in Winchester. The matter remains under investigation by the Winchester Police Department. Bowyer was held on a $1,000 secured bond.

 

West Virginia Legislature Ends

The West Virginia Legislative session ended this past weekend, with some bills making it and some that did not. Both the House and Senate approved a bill that would ban texting and cell phone use while driving. Another bill, submitted by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, dealing with substance abuse, was passed without a conference committee. And, an education bill from the Governor dealing with annual evaluations of teachers and principals, also passed on the final day of the session.

Local News


Penny’s One Stop Robbed

Numerous police agencies are looking for a suspect, who robbed Penny’s One Stop Convenience Store in Bel Air late Saturday night. An unarmed person asked the clerk there for change for a dollar bill. When the clerk opened the register, the suspect reached over the counter and removed an undisclosed amount of money from it. The suspect fled from the area on foot, in the direction of Bel Air Plaza. A search was conducted, utilizing a K-9 unit, but officers were unable to locate the suspect.  The investigation is continuing by the Allegany County Sheriff’s Department and the C3I unit.

 

“Shamrock Shuffle” Results in Calls

The inaugural “Shamrock Shuffle” in Frostburg was held Saturday in Frostburg. During that time, police responded to 92 calls over the 24-hour period, not all related to the event. According to police, there were 11 traffic stops, a trespassing complaint, eight disorderly conduct complaints and 11 underage drinking violations, among others. Chief Royce Douty  noted that there were a number of vehicles parked on Main Street and in business parking lots, which indicated the some people exercised good judgment and left their cars parked.

 

Reward Offered In Theft Case

CrimeSolvers is offering up to a $1500 reward for information on the theft of several items from a trailer at the new Sheetz store at Nave’s Crossroads. A laser transit, cordless drill and other tools were taken. Callers may remain anonymous and do not have to appear in court. The number for CrimeSolvers is (301)-72204300.

 

Man Arrested in Assault

A Meyersdale man was arrested over the weekend accused of assaulting a woman along the Cumberland Highway. Duane Dale Huffman is accused of assaulting Tracy Keyser, also of Meyersdale. The Mount Savage ambulance transported her to the hospital, following the alleged incident, early Saturday morning.

 

Three Face Weapons Charges

The Somerset County men are facing charges in connection to an incident involving stolen weapons. Berlin resident David James Zimmers, along with Matthew Alexander Colflesh and Bradley Wayne Reedy of Somerset are accused of breaking into the Jared Meyers residence in November of last year, and stealing weapons and other items with a total value of over $3,000. The weapons were sold for drugs in Pittsburgh, according to a probable cause affidavit.

 

Man Charged in Baltimore Avenue Assault

Sixty-year old James Rubeck is being held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, after allegedly assaulting a family member at a residence on Baltimore Avenue. The victim sustained minor injuries during the incident. Responding to the incident were Cumberland City Police and the Cumberland Fire Department ambulance crew. Rubeck was charged with second-degree assault and  was jailed, following a hearing before a District Court Commissioner.

 

Health Department Urges Flu Vaccine

In an open letter to the community, Dr. Sue Raver, health officer with the Allegany County Health Department, is urging the public to get a flu vaccination. Flu season is still upon us, and the Health Department will offer flu vaccinations Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Willowbrook Office Complex. No appointment is necessary, and the vaccine will be offered on the main floor in the Physical Health area. Supplies of the vaccine are limited.

 

Man Arrested for Running Meth Lab

After attempting to flee from officers during a routine traffic stop, a Clear Spring man was arrested and charged with operating a methamphetamine lab at his home. Twenty-five year old Bryan Michael Davis has been wanted since February 6th, and was taken into custody after a car in which he was a passenger, was topped in the 100-block of East Main Street in Hancock. Agents from the Washington County Narcotics Task Force and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration raided his home and found numerous items commonly used to manufacture meth.

 

Senate Approves Income Tax Increase

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee has approved what is the broadest increase in income tax rates in about 15 years. The plan would boost rates for nearly everyone, including those who make more than $3,000 per year to those earning more than a half-million dollars per year. The bill would also include a plan to begin collecting the state’s sales tax for online purchases. In its present form, the legislation would also increase the wholesale tax on cigars and other tobacco products, equivalent to the tax imposed on cigarettes.

 

Texting While Driving Illegal in Pennsylvania

Texting while driving is now illegal in Pennsylvania. The fine is $50 for violating the law. The law bans using a wireless device for instant messages, email or other written communication, but drivers can still talk on the phone, while driving. Texting is also considered a primary offense, so police can pull you over for using the device. There were over 10,000 vehicle accidents due to distracted driving in 2010 alone.

Local News


County Considers Leaving State Retirement Program

Allegany County could leave the state retirement system, and offer county employees a defined contribution plan instead. Ten years ago, in fiscal 2002, the county sent $575,000 to the state for the plan; in fiscal year 2012, the county sent a check for $1.6 million. If approved, a new plan should be in place by July 1st, and the county could quickly realize savings, since there is a turnover of about 23 employees per year, according to county Finance Director Jason Bennett.

 

Complaint Filed Over Wind Turbines

A Green Mountain resident has filed a formal complaint with the West Virginia Public Service Commission over noise levels at the Pinnacle Wind farm. Richard Braithwaite claims excessive noise levels both inside and outside his home near the wind farm. He says the droning noise of the turbines is causing him headaches, and that he is unable to sleep or rest. He is asking the PSC to either fix the noise problem, or at least shut down the operation at night.

 

Shoplifting Suspects Arrested

Two women who had been accused of shoplifting at the LaVale Kohl’s store, were arrested Wednesday when their vehicle was spotted at the Frostburg Sheetz store, by an off-duty Frostburg State University police communications officer. Taken into custody after finding items allegedly taken from the Sheetz store were 19-year old Miyani Vaughn of Frostburg and 20-year old Chezmin Suter of Catonsville. Suter also faces charges of marijuana possession.

 

Assault Results in Student Arrest

A Garrett College student was arrested early yesterday, after allegedly assaulting his roommate over a stolen ski pass. Twenty-year old Christopher Lowry, originally from Phoenix, Maryland, was jailed on $2500 bond, set by a District Court Commissioner. He allegedly was holding a steak knife, when he forced open his roommate’s bedroom door to demand his property back. He was later arrested at another residence in McHenry.

 

Bedford Man Found Guilty in DUI Crash

A Bedford County man, who has had three previous DUI convictions, has been found guilty of a dozen other charges in connection to a crash in December, 2010, that left two teenagers seriously injured. Jim L. Best was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle while driving under the influence, as well as ten other charges. Severely injured in the crash were Everett Area High School senior Kyle Frankenberry and his girlfriend, McKenna Sipes. Best will sentenced at a hearing in May.

 

Morgan County Man Sentenced in Larceny Case

Thirty-four year old Morgan County resident John F. Wills has been sentenced to a year in prison, followed by a year of supervised release for fleeing from an officer and attempted grand larceny. He had previously been sentenced in 2006 to 41 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Wills was sentenced in federal court in Martinsburg.

 

Northrop-Grumman Offering Scholarship

Northrop-Grumman is offering a scholarship to students who plan to attend an accredited college or university in an approved engineering curriculum upon graduation. The program awards $10,000 to one deserving student in each of Maryland’s counties and Baltimore City. The scholarship funds may be used at the recipient’s discretion towards tuition, books, lodging or meals. For information, visit the Northrop-Grumman website at www.es.northropgrumman.com/engscholars. The applications are due March 31, 2012.

 

Hancock Man Charged with Having Sex With His Daughter

A Hancock man is facing 11 counts of third-degree sexual offenses and six counts of second-degree counts, after being accused of having sex with his 13-year old daughter and fondling another 13-year old girl. Both the accused and victims’ names are being withheld, to protect the victims in the case.

 

Infant Drowns In Hagerstown

Washington County Child Protective Services and the State Attorney’s office is investigating what appears to be an accidental drowning at a home on Ridge Avenue in Hagerstown. The child’s mother, Taria King, placed the infant in a bathtub, and had stepped away for an undetermined amount of time. Upon re-entering the bathroom, she found the baby in the water and unresponsive. She immediately called 911 and the baby was pronounced dead at Meritus Medical Center. A determination will made as to the negligence of the child’s mother.

 

Revenue Estimates Revised Downward

The state Board of Revenue Estimates has adjusted state revenue projections downward by about $80 million for the current fiscal year, and $50 million for the next one. They were due largely to lower-than-expected individual income tax collections, which are down about $101 million for this fiscal year. Corporate income taxes are up about $21 million.

Local News


Attorney To Enter No-Contest Plea

Garrett County attorney Ashley Shreve, who is accused of setting a fire at the Martinsburg law firm where she once worked, is expected to enter a no-contest plea to felony charges in Berkeley County Circuit Court. The presiding judge, Christopher Wilkes, will decide whether to accept a plea agreement on April 30th, during a plea and sentencing hearing. The fire, set in September of 2007, caused between $5,000 and $10,000 in damage to a law office. A DNA sample obtained from an envelope used to send a bomb threat matched a sample of Shreve’s.

 

Myers Introduces New School Attendance Bill

Delegate LeRoy Myers has introduced a new, and far less sweeping bill, addressing the out of county school attendance issue, which has caused a rift in the Western Maryland Delegation. The new bill is a scaled back attempt to at least partially accomplish the original objective. The bill would force the Board of Education to reverse its original decision not to include about two dozen middle school students in a clause that would have allowed them to continue at Hancock until they graduate from high school.

 

Trooper Shoots, Kills Man Following Crash

A Pennsylvania State trooper shot and killed a man he says assaulted him in a dispute, following a car crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Fulton County. A trooper from Everett initially responded to the crash, and upon his arrival, there was a verbal confrontation between the two drivers involved in the crash. One of the drivers encountered the trooper with two aggressive Rottweiler dogs, and struck the officer several times with a metal flashlight. The trooper shot the man, fatally wounding him. He was identified as 45-year old Daryl Jerome Berry of Columbia, Maryland.  The unidentified police officer was taken to the Altoona Regional Health System for treatment. State Police are investigating the incident.

 

Man Wanted in Allegany County Arrested in Keyser

A man, who was wanted on three separate warrants in Allegany County was arrested on North Main Street in Keyser late Tuesday afternoon. The arrest of 23-year old Dustin James Braithwaite was made without incident. He remains in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $5,000 bond, pending a hearing to extradite him to Maryland.

 

Fee May Be Levied for Gas Exploration

The O’Malley administration is supporting an initiative that would levy a fee on some 150,000 acres leased for gas exploration in Allegany and Garrett Counties. The fee would help pay for the study on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” on those tracts of land. Environmentalists support the bill, while business and oil industry representatives opposed the fee, arguing it could dampen prospects for drilling to boost the economy of the region.

 

Arson Suspected in Vehicle Fire

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigation an arson incident, involving a Chevy Minivan in the 700-block of Bedford Street late Tuesday afternoon. The vehicle, which was owned by Brent Cochran, was destroyed; a garage was also damaged by the fire. The blaze was discovered by a neighbor, and originated in the passenger compartment of the car. If anyone has any information, they are asked to contact the State Fire Marshal at (301)-791-4758 or the Cumberland City Fire Marshal at (301)-759-6484.

 

Keyser Councilman Cited for Illegal Dumpster Use

Keyser City Council member Herman Judy has been cited for unauthorized use of  a city-owned garbage dumpster. It is a misdemeanor offense, and Judy can either pay the fine or contest the charge at Magistrate Court. For his part, Councilman Judy told investigating officers he was given permission to use the dumpster on Carskadon Lane. The Mineral News Tribune also charged 66-year old Milton Baker with the same offense.

 

Charges Expected In Accident

Charges are expected to be filed against Lonaconing resident Breanna Dawn Duncan, as the result of an early morning accident early yesterday morning near the intersection of Shaft Road and Upper George’s Creek Road. She was apparently driving at a high rate of speed, lost control of her car and sheared off the porch of an Upper George’s Creek Road residence. She also hit three parked vehicles. She was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center and is expected to be charged, following her release from the hospital.

 

Blood Drive Sponsored by PharmaCare

There will be a public blood drive, sponsored by the American Red Cross on Tuesday at PharmaCare Home Medical Equipment, in Burton’s Shopping Center in LaVale. Hours are from noon to 6 p.m. Call PharmaCare at (301)-729-1780 or 1-800-RED CROSS, to schedule your appointment. Visit redcross.org for more information.

 

 

 

Local News


“Doomsday Budget” Being Considered by Committee

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee will be considering what Senate President Mike Miller calls a “doomsday budget.” It would cut the state’s $1 billion structural deficit in half, using only spending cuts, no tax hikes and no shifts of teacher pensions from state to county taxpayers. The cuts could total millions of dollars to Allegany and Garrett Counties in the areas of disparity grants and supplemental disparity grants, which could be cut by $2.5 million. Miller says that senators and delegates cannot agree, at this point, on any tax proposal, and disagree on the governor’s plan to shift half of the teacher pension costs to the counties.

 

Family Left Homeless by Fire

Seven family members have been left homeless by a fire Monday night on Jersey Mountain Road, east of Romney. Two adults and five children escaped without injury as a fire began in the flue of the residence and quickly extended into the walls of the home. The incident was reported at 9:40 p.m., and the last fire units left the scene shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday.

 

Governors Urge Navy to Consolidate Operations

Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia are urging the U.S. Department of the Navy to consolidate its data centers at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory. The Fiscal year 2012 Defense Authorization Act is requiring the Navy to reduce space for information technology centers. They both say the Mineral County location has the capacity to meet new requirements, at an affordable price, with minimal capital investment, according to the Cumberland Times-News.

 

Airport Manager Termination Not Done Properly

The vote to terminate Terry Malone as manager of the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport may not have been done properly, according to chairperson of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, Cindy Pyles. According to the West Virginia Sunshine Law, no decisions or votes may be made during executive session. While a personnel issue may be discussed, the actual vote or decision must be done in open session. During the meeting in which the decision to fire Malone, there was no attorney present, nor was the legality of the issue brought to Pyles’ attention.

 

Student Charged in Threat Case

A Fort Hill High School student has been charged with leaving a threatening message in a bathroom of the school yesterday.  An investigation by school and law enforcement officials determined that it was not a credible threat, and students were not evacuated. The student, who is charged with making a bomb threat and related charges, is being disciplined in accordance with the Board of Education’s policy on student discipline.

 

Casselman Bridge Closed to Visitors

As was announced last week, the Casselman River bridge in Grantsville has been closed indefinitely to foot traffic. It has not been used for vehicular traffic for some time, but has served as a footbridge for picnickers and fishermen. Parts of a stone wall have crumbled and fallen from the bridge. The damage was discovered over a week ago. The Maryland Park Service says it hopes to repair the bridge quickly, but has no timetable for the project.

 

Race To Impact City Traffic

Allegany College of Maryland is having a 5K run through the city of Cumberland as part of the college’s 50th anniversary celebration. Travel through the city on and near the race route will be impacted for a short period of time. The race starts at 9 a.m. at the Carver Center, located in the 300-block of Frederick Street. Runners will be in the Frederick/Decatur Street area, in the Baltimore Avenue area, and onto Willowbrook Road to the college. Several streets in the area will be closed, beginning at 8:50 a.m. The race should be finished by 10 a.m.

 

Two Plead Guilty to Sex Charges

Two Somerset County men will be sentenced on June 6th after pleading guilty to sex charges in two separate incidents. Thirty-five year old Eric Matthew kenned was charged with 948 counts of rape and related sexual offenses. The victim was 11 years old in 2004, at the time of the incidents. Meanwhile, Windber resident Francis Polimine pleaded guilty to three counts of statutory sexual assault and one count of indecent assault for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year old girl. Polimine is 46 years of age.

 

Winchester Hospital Recognized by U.S. News and World Report

The Winchester Medical Center has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as “high performing” in five specialties, including diabetes, geriatrics and urology. To be recognized, the hospital only had to be rated in at least one of 16 specialties. About 5,000 hospitals are evaluated annually, and U.S. News says they offer a high level of medical care to communities that might otherwise have limited options.

Local News


Judge Rules Gun Law Unconstitutional

A District Judge has ruled that Maryland residents do not have to provide a “good and substantial reason” to legally own a handgun, striking down as unconstitutional the state’s requirements for getting a permit. The objective of the Maryland legislation was to limit the number of firearms individuals could carry. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Fader has vowed to appeal the ruling. The case in which the ruling was made, involved a Hampstead man who obtained a handgun permit after fighting with an intruder in his home, but was denied a renewal three years ago because he could not show he had been subject to “threats occurring beyond his residence.”

 

Kroll Sentenced in Pennsylvania Assault

John Leroy Kroll of Cumberland has been sentenced to 18-1/2 to 37 years in prison for the 1980 sexual assault of a nine-year old girl in Bedford County. Kroll entered a guilty plea to all charges filed against him. The charges stemmed from an incident in March of 1980, in which Kroll kidnapped a girl from her Cumberland home. She was transported to Bedford County,  where she was sexually assaulted. Bedford County State’s Attorney Bill Higins credited his counterpart in Allegany County for Kroll’s prosecution for crimes committed in Maryland. Kroll will be taken to the State Correctional Institution in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.

 

Employee Resigns, Piedmont City Hall Closed

One employee has resigned and Piedmont City Hall has been closed “until further notice,” because of an illegally-called special meeting to discuss an ongoing investigation involving several of the town’s elected officials. Assistant Town Clerk Nancy Wade resigned, following a meeting last week. According to the Mineral News-Tribune, a major portion of the disagreement center around Commissioner Ray Hall’s statements that the meeting had been illegally called, because a notice on the city hall door did not state a reason for the meeting.

 

Man Arrested South of Bel Air

A Rawlings resident, Derik Sanders was charged with driving on a suspended and revoked license, following a stop on Route 220, south of Bel Air Sunday afternoon. An Allegany County Sheriff’s deputy stopped Sanders, with a female passenger telling the deputy that she and Sanders had been arguing and she was in fear that an assault was going to take place. She had sounded the horn of the car, to gain the attention of the deputy on patrol. He was charged, and taken to a District Court Commissioner. He was later released.

 

Public School Registration Set

Children who will enter public school for the first time in August will be registered on March 29th and 30th, at the appropriate elementary school, as determined by residence. A child entering the pre-kindergarten program must be four years old on or before September 1st of the school year in which they apply for entrance. There are other guidelines for children entering school. For more information, call the Board of Education’s Student Services Office at (301)-759-2001 or the Elementary Education Office at (301)-759-2012.

 

Edwards To Request Money for Canal Improvements

Senator George Edwards has submitted a bond bill request for up to $320,000 for improvements at the C & O Canal national Historical Park improvements in Williamsport. Republicans in the delegation say the state’s financial problems were too severe last year to ask for money. But Senator Edwards is going ahead with plans to ask for the money for improvements at Lock 44 and the lift bridge, as well as Lockhouse 44. Edwards represents a small portion of Washington County, but not Williamsport.

 

Budget at Center of General Assembly Session

The budget is at the center of the General Assembly, as it is now into its ninth week. Legislators have set an April 2nd deadline to approve the final budget. The General Assembly is considering everything from increasing income taxes to extending the sales tax to nearly 30 different services in an effort to close a $1.1 billion budget deficit. Lawmakers are also trying to come to an agreement on a bill to require public defenders to represent poor defendants at bail hearings.

 

Gas Prices Continue to Rise

Gas prices continue to rise, both in the state and nationally. Triple “A” is reporting the cost of a gallon of regular, unleaded was up seven cents nationally, 6 cents statewide, and 5 cents in the Baltimore area. Two service stations downstate have already topped $4 per gallon. The least expensive gas in the Baltimore metro area was $3.50 a gallon.

Local News


New Jobs To Be Added in Area

Hamilton Relay, a Telecommunications Relay and Captioned Telephone services provider, has announced that it is expanding its workforce and hiring for new positions at its Frostburg, Maryland center. Hamilton Relay has already expanded at other locations, and now plans to add another 44 workstations to its center in Frostburg. Currently, that location employs about 80 people, and the company has long-range plans to hire up to 85 to 95 new, full-time/part-time, day/evening and weekend job opportunities.

 

Drug Arrest Made on Interstate 68

A Colorado Springs, Colorado man has been arrested on several drug charges, following a traffic stop on Interstate 68. Carliss Lee Pritts was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was held on $10,000 bond at the Garrett County Detention Center, following a bond hearing with the District Court Commissioner.

 

Police Arrest Man Who Allegtedly Exposed Himself

Police have arrested a suspect in an indecent exposure case at the LaVale WalMart Thursday evening. Thirty-six year old Berlin, Pennsylvania resident Joseph Deem is accused of exposing himself to patrons, including several young males, between the ages of 5 and 10. Corporal Justin Cook of the Maryland State Police approached a suspect who was standing near a young male patron, trying to get the boy’s attention. Corporal Cook detained the suspect and released him to the custody of on-duty troopers who arrived at the scene. Deem was charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. He was held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $5,000 bond.

 

Hit and Run Leads Sought

The Cumberland City Police Department is looking for leads in a hit and run accident in the 300-block of Pulaski Street. An unknown vehicle struck another, causing damage to the passenger side front bumper and door areas. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.

 

Traffic Stop Results in Drug Arrest

A Piedmont,West Virginia man, who was originally stopped for speeding on Interstate 68 westbound, is now facing drug charges. Police say an officer located suspected marijuana in a car, driven by 27-year old Joshua Travis Smtih. It was also discovered he was driving on a suspended license. He was taken for an initial appearance in District Court and later held without bond in the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Mechanic Street Work Announced

The left lane of South Mechanic Street is being closed today for underground utility repairs. The City of Cumberland Engineering Department, on behalf of Verizon, says the left lane, nearest the Public Safety Building is being closed. Drivers are asked to use caution in the area, and be prepared for delays.

 

Commissioners Asked to Ban Sale of Synthetic Pot

Both Allegany County, Maryland and Mineral County, West Virginia are taking pro-active stances on ridding the area of so-called “fake pot,” K-2, or potpourri. Mineral County residents appeared before the county commission recently to urge leaders to take steps to ban the sale of the substance. Maryland has pending legislation on banning the sale, and Mineral County prosecutor Jay Courrier has plans to talk with the state attorney general to determine what the county can do in this type of a situation.

 

Local Access Channel Activated

The Allegany County Public School System has begun operating a local PEG (Public, Education, and Government) Access channel on Atlantic Broadband channel 97. The round-the-clock channel is being utilized to manage the content for PEG and is comprised of representatives from Allegany County Public Schools, Allegany College of Maryland, Frostburg State University, the Allegany County Library System, non-public schools, the City of Cumberland, City of Frostburg, and other community stakeholders. It is the goal of the channel to provide residents and Atlantic Broadband subscribers with a television-based medium to display programming that meets the needs and interests of the community.

 

Fiber Optics Coming to Hardy County

The first step in the installation of fiber optic service to businesses and residents of Hardy County is almost finished. An update was recently presented to members of the Hardy County Rural Development Authority at its monthly meeting. The Vice-President of Marketing and Human Resources for Hardy Telecommunications, Derek Barr, spoke on the status of the Fiber Anchor Ring and OneNet-Fiber-to-the-home. The Anchor Ring provides high-speed Internet to locations such as schools, medical centers and businesses. Requests for proposals on the OneNet-Fiber-to-the-Home should be out by Friday, March 16th.

Local News


Settlement Reached in Lawsuit

A settlement has been reached in the wrongful death lawsuit, filed against Tri-Star Mining, in regard to the April, 2007 collapse at the mine near Barton. The widows of Michael Wilt and Dale Jones will receive $100,000 to be split between both families. That amount is in addition to benefits received from workers’ compensation. Tony Wilt and Linda Jones agreed to the terms during a proceeding in Allegany County Circuit Court before Judge W. Timothy Finan.

 

Piedmont Officials Under Investigation

The West Virginia State Ethics Commission and the West Virginia State Police are looking into fraud allegations, allegedly involving Piedmont city officials. The investigation stems from an alleged violation of Federal Emergency Management rules and guidelines in how trailers were purchased and used, involving a misappropriation of funds. One state police official says he is fairly certain there will be criminal charges filed.

 

Shifting Teacher Pensions Would Be “Devastating”

Not only are Allegany and Garrett Counties expressing displeasure with the proposal to have local governments pay for some teacher pensions, a Howard County Executive says shifting pensions to individual counties would be “devastating.” Ken Ulman says his county would have to come up with $17 million in the first year alone, $21 million the second year, and $24 million in the third. He adds that local aid given by the state has already been reduced by a large amount.

 

Five Arrested in Drug Bust

Five people were arrested late last month in the 200-block of Fulton Street. Police responded to that location for a report of a loud disturbance. Officers noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside. A quantity of marijuana that would indicate an intent to distribute was found, along with scales, baggies and other related smoking devices. Brandon Lamont Fields and Umbori Gonda Watson from Baltimore, along with Deven Diallo Harris from Cumberland were arrested. Also, Washington, D.C. residents Jarmetrius Cordell Clark and Ryanita Chron Perry were also taken into custody.

 

Drug Distributor Sentenced to 30 Years

Former New York City resident Timmie Leonard Cotton has been sentenced to 30 years in prison on drug distribution charges. Judge Gary Leasure sentenced Cotton, after he pleaded guilty to charges, stemming from an October, 2011 investigation in Allegany County, initiated by the C3I Narcotics Unit. Prosecuting the case for the state was Assistant State’s Attorney Samuel Lane; Mr. Cotton was represented by Craig Kadish of Baltimore.

 

Police Respond to Domestic Incident

Cumberland resident Harold Virgil James has been charged with one count of second-degree assault, in connection with an incident that took place on Woodlawn Terrace Wednesday. The victim accused James of assaulting her, and at one point, pushed her down onto the couch, while she was holding their one-year old child. Officers observed some injuries to the victim, which were consistent with her account. He was held on $10,000 bond, following a District Court hearing.

 

County Begins Budget Process

Allegany County’s budget process will be getting underway later this month, and the public is invited to observe the process, beginning on March 15th. Several departments will be presenting budget requests, beginning at 1 p.m. Among the first departments to present requests will be the Allegany County State’s Attorney, Circuit Court and the Narcotics Task Force. Also on that date, the Social Services department, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, and the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority will make requests. Presentations will be held through the end of March. Then, there will be budget workshops, preliminary hearings, and the budget for FY 2013 will take place on Thursday, June 7th.

 

Commissioners Schedule Rawlings Water & Sewer Meeting

The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting, regarding potential water and sewer projects for Rawlings and Route 220. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 13th at the Rawlings United Methodist Church. Along with the commissioners, several other representatives will be on hand, including Paul Kahl, Public Works Director; Mark Yoder, P.E. Utilities Division Chief and project engineer, James L. Webber.

 

Sewer Plant Shows Profit

The city of Keyser’s wastewater treatment plant has turned a modest profit, in a year since controversy erupted over finances there. Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower reported last week that the plant has turned a year-to-date profit of just over $3,000. City workers in Keyser work at the treatment plant, and also perform a variety of other duties both at the lab and the treatment plant, along with backing up street workers on off-site projects.

 

Work Begins Monday on Greene Street

The City of Cumberland Public Works Department has announced that work will begin on improvements to Riverside Park on Greene Street, which will include a new monument to the National Road on Monday. The work will require that a portion of the park be closed to the public. All efforts will be made to keep as much of the park and the walking trail available to the public. Questions should be directed to the city of Cumberland Engineering Department at (301)-759-6600.

 

Governor Signs Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Governor Martin O’Malley has signed legislation, legalizing gay marriage in the state. It takes effect next January, unless it is brought to referendum in November. Opponents of the legislation have already submitted language for a ballot referendum to overturn the bill. Governor O’Malley noted that the state was founded on religious freedom, and at the heart of religious freedom is the freedom of individual conscience.

Local News


Suspect in Assault Also Convicted of Homicide

The suspect in this week’s assault of a 77-year old man at Sears in the Country Club Mall spent time in the Pennsylvania prison system, after being convicted of homicide in the 1994 death of a Pennsylvania man. Chanin Allison Clark was 24 years old at the time, and was convicted in the death of Rodney Willis Gardner of Glen Campbell, Pennsylvania. Gardner’s body was found in his vehicle, which was partially submerged in a small pond near his residence. Clark was released from prison in 2010.

 

K-2 Discussed by Board of Education, Law Enforcement Members

Members of law enforcement, the Allegany County School system and Health Department held a press conference on the harmful effects of K-2, or potpourri. The press conference, held at Allegany High School’s Media Center, focused on the fact that even though it is not yet illegal, the health effects on those who smoke or ingest it, can be devastating. Some of the effects are an increased heart rate, convulsions, and in at least one case-death. The state of Maryland is taking a pro-active stance, in that legislation has been introduced to ban the substance, marketed under several names, this year.

 

Accident Leads to Arrest

Frostburg City Police responded to a motor vehicle accident at Mountain Ridge High School yesterday. A 17-year old male struck, and drove over a stop sign and post. Officers detected a strong odor of marijuana. They found a pill bottle, and a clear plastic bag with suspected marijuana. He was taken to the Frostburg Police Department for processing and formal charges will be filed with the Department of Juvenile Services.

 

Beitzel, Edwards Propose Cable Legislation

Both Delegate Wendell Beitzel and Senator George Edwards have cross-filed legislation that urges the Maryland delegation to Congress to lobby the Federal Communications Commission regarding the availability of Baltimore/Washington television stations in Garrett County. Delegate Beitzel notes that citizens of Garrett County are “inundated” with the political landscape of Pennsylvania. He says residents there may know more about what is happening in Harrisburg than they do of their own elected representatives in Annapolis.

 

Oakland Woman Charged in Theft Scheme

Sixty-two year old Oakland resident Karen Sue Otto has been charged with seven counts of theft, in connection with the alleged embezzlement of over $40,000 from Hospice of Garrett County. She had been employed by Hospice for 27 years, and is alleged to have been stealing the money since 2004. She was released on personal recognizance following a hearing before a district court commissioner.

 

Business Center Warned of Deteriorating Wall

The city of Keyser has warned First United Bank, the owner of the Grand Central Business Center, than an old retaining wall at the southeast corner of its property is failing and in danger of collapse. Mayor Randy Amtower directed his staff to prepare a letter to the bank, and implied that legal action may be taken, if something is not done soon.

 

Somerset Accepts Water Project Loan

Somerset Borough Council has unanimously accepted a Pennvest loan of nearly $2 million, for new water distribution lines and a storage tank. The project will reduce the risk of water outages that occur for up to 40 per cent of borough customers on rare occasions. The 20-year loan term has a rate of just over 1 per cent for the first five years, and just over 2 per cent for the remainder of the term.

 

Public Defender Law Progresses

The Maryland law, requiring that poor defendants have a public defender present when district court commissioners are setting bail, may be repealed. The State Office of the Public Defender estimates it would cost about $28 million a year to comply with the court ruling. The cost would be equally high for prosecutors, who would also need to be present for bail hearings. The bill would also clarify that a defendant may not remain in custody for more than 48 hours without being presented to a district court judge.

 

Gambling Site Founder Indicted

The founder of one of the biggest online sports betting and casino games sites in the world has been indicted in Baltimore. Calvin Ayre, founder of Bodog.com, has been accused of conducting an illegal sports gambling site and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The indictment accuses Bodog and its conspirators moved at least $100 million from offshore accounts in Switzerland, England, Malta and Canada to bettors in Maryland and elsewhere, while paying $42 million for advertising to attract U.S. gamblers. The website has been shut down in the U.S.

 

Coroner Reacts to Pentagon 911 Report

Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller is expressing surprise about a Pentagon report that says partial, incinerated remains of some of the 9/11 victims that couldn’t be identified were sent to a landfill in Delaware.  The coroner says the only remains that left the are were DNA samples sent to federal researchers. Samples of victims were returned, while samples of the remains of the four hijackers are being held by the FBI for potential military tribunals. Miller further noted he didn’t know of any possibility of how Flight 93 remains would get to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

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