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GO 106 News Archives for 2012-04

Local News

Child Killed in Bedford County Accident

A five year old boy was killed and at least four people were injured in a two car collision early yesterday. The child was thrown from one of the vehicles, following the crash on Route 220 in Bedford Township. One car, traveling northbound, traveled into the southbound lane, hitting another vehicle on the driver’s side; the youngster was a passenger in the southbound car. Both drivers suffered major injuries and the crash remains under investigation.


Accused Robber Remains in Jail

A man suspected in the armed robberies of three banks on Industrial Boulevard in March, June, and September of last year, remains in jail on $750,000 bond. Forty-nine year old John Allen Talerico was indicted on various counts of armed robbery. No date has been set for his trial, which is expected to be held within the next three months. He also faces charges in connection with robberies in both West Virginia and Pennsylvania.


Hall Remains on Council

Piedmont City Council member Ray Hall is still in office, despite repeated pleas from the public and fellow elected officials to step down. However, it has been learned there is no precedent, either in West Virginia State law or the town charter, to remove someone from office. Elected officials and town employees have been under federal investigation for allegedly improperly purchasing six FEMA trailers in 2009; additionally, Hall himself was convicted earlier in the month on a misdemeanor count of attempted extortion.


Man Sentenced for Child Sexual Assault

Twenty-nine year old West Salisbury resident Corie Rex Hilliard of St. Paul Road has been sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison for multiple sexual offenses against a five-year old child. He pleaded guilty to six counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of a child less than 13 years old. He received no credit for time served, and he will have register as a sex offender with the state police.


Man Arrested on Drug, Paraphernalia Charges

A 26-year old Cumberland man was released on personal recognizance, following a disturbance on Virginia Avenue Thursday night. Travis Steven Deavers was allegedly intoxicated when causing the disturbance. City Police also found suspected marijuana and CDS paraphernalia on him. He was arrested at the scene on Virginia Avenue and taken to police headquarters.


Traffic Advisory Issued

The Cumberland Engineering Department is reminding the public that work is being done today in the far right southbound lane of North Mechanic Street, and it will be closed to allow for permanent repairs to the roadway. Work is taking place until 5 p.m. Parking in the 50-block of North mechanic Street, between Bedford and Baltimore, will be restricted during the work time. Motorists are advised that delays should be expected during this time.


Sierra Club Challenges Terminal

The Sierra Club is planning to block Dominion Resources plan to export liquefied natural gas from the booming Marcellus Shale formation. Dominion is seeking to export a billion cubic feet of natural gas per day through a terminal it owns in Cove Point, Maryland. The groups says the plan could result in major damage to the Chesapeake Bay and nearby Calvert Cliffs State Park in Maryland.


Maryland Employers Add 1500 Jobs in March

Maryland employers added 1500 jobs last month; despite that, the unemployment rate inched up, as the pool of would-be workers expanded more rapidly. The Marcy rate was quoted at 6.6 per cent, up from 6.5 per cent in February. Gains in employment were noted in professional and business services, the leisure and hospitality industry and trade, transportation and utilities.


Board Approves New State School Superintendent

The Maryland State Board of Education confirmed the selection of Lillian Lowery as the next State Superintendent of Schools. Ms. Lowery has been the secretary of education in Delaware since 2009, facilitating a strategic grant application process that led to Delaware being the first state to be awarded the federal Race to the Top grant. She being her duties on July 1st.

Local News

Rocky Gap License Approved

A slot machine license was approved by the Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission yesterday, during its meeting in Annapolis. The vote was unanimous, and a slots facility could employ 400 workers during construction and about 520 once it is opened. Lakes Maryland Development was awarded the 850-machine license. That number should grow to 1,000 machines in the second year of operation.


Man Sentenced for Armed Robberies

Cumberland resident Torrey Lamont Love has been sentenced to 77 years in prison for a series of armed robberies in the area. He was convicted on multiple counts of armed robbery, assaults and several other offenses, occurring during the first six months of last year. Due to alleged gang ties, State’s Attorney Michael Twigg requested the assistance of the Maryland Attorney General’s Gang Unit. Both Judges Timonthy Finan and Gary Leasure presided over the trials and sentencing of Love.


Husband, Wife Die in Garrett County Collision

Eighty-three year old Ralph Keefer and his 84-year old wife, Beatrice, are dead, following a collision with a utility truck on Route 135, near its intersection with Sand Flat Road. The truck was performing work on the side of the road. None of the utility company workers was injured, but the roadway was closed for a little over two hours. Charges are pending the final results of the crash investigation.


Moorefield Woman Sentenced to Life in Prison

Moorefield, West Virginia resident Vicki Mae Hawks has been sentenced to life in prison, with mercy, for killing her infant son last May. She pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in December of 2011. Last May 12th, the West Virginia State Police responded to her residence and found an infant in a plastic bag. The State Police Crime Scene Team determined the baby’s death was intentional.


Cardin Votes In Favor of Postal Act

Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin was a member of the majority to pass the 21st Century Postal Service Act; the final vote in the Senate was 62 to 37. Senate Bill 1789 was termed a “victory for individuals and businesses throughout our nation that depend on timely mail delivery.” To maintain those delivery standards, the U.S. Postmaster General has informed Senator Cardin that the Cumberland and Easton processing facilities will need to remain open.


Major Construction Activity Around I-68

Major construction activity is being undertaken below the I-68 overpass on Route 220. The Maryland State Highway Administration is working on that interchange to enhance safety and improve traffic operations. Weather permitting, work will be complete this fall. The work will require temporary traffic detours that will allow crews to construct a partial roundabout on Route 220. On Tuesday, crews will close the ramp from Route 220 and Greene Street to Westbound Interstate 68.


Commissioners Schedule Public Informational Meeting

The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public informational meeting for Tuesday, May 8th, on the bridge replacement project on Potomac Hollow Road over Moore’s Run, just east of Barton. The meeting will be held from 3 to 5:30 p.m. While no formal presentation will be given, individuals may arrive at any time to discuss the project with personnel from the Allegany County Department of Public Works.


Woman Charged with Trying to Bribe Officer

A Somerset County woman was arrested earlier this week, for trying to bribe a borough police officer. Lindsay Burrows allegedly offered Officer Christopher Pile a bribe, to keep from having her vehicle towed. Ms. Burrows also was driving under suspension without having a license. Her preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Local News

Cumberland Processing Center to Remain Open

Maryland U.S. Senator Ben Cardin has been told by the Postmaster General that the Cumberland mail processing center will remain open to meet overnight delivery standards. Senator Cardin says the overnight delivery standards will be incorporated in the 21st Century Postal Service Act, or Senate Bill 1789. The Cumberland facility employs 72 workers and handles approximately 77 million pieces of mail a year.


Tractor-Trailer Accident in Hampshire County

A Winchester, Virginia tractor-trailer driver was taken to Winchester Medical Center after crashing his truck on Route 29 Tuesday morning. The vehicle traveled off the east edge of the roadway and approximately 150 feet over an embankment. The driver was identified as 62-year old Gary P. Moore of Winchester, Virginia. The accident happened north of Pin Oak in Hampshire County, West Virginia.


C3I Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigations Unit is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The C3I agencies signed an updated agreement yesterday at City Hall, which will serve as a memorandum of understanding among the agencies involved. Since its inception in September of 1992, the agency has investigated over 20,600 cases, and has made over 6,000 arrests. The unit has successfully closed over 94 per cent of the cases it has investigated.


Chamber Hosts Legislative Breakfast

The 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly is over…for now. During yesterday’s legislative breakfast, hosted by the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, Maryland State Senator George Edwards says there may be, in fact, two special sessions-one to deal with the budget and the other on table games. And, because of a number of factors, Delegate Kevin Kelly believes the same-sex marriage referendum will be defeated in November.


Man Charged With Robbery and Assault

Thirty-four year old Cumberland resident Anthony Cooper has been charged with robbery and assault. Cooper allegedly assaulted a person in the area of Pear Street, and took both a cell phone and a sum of money. The victim was treated at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for minor injuries; Cooper, however, was held without bail, after being taken to a District Court Commissioner.


Customer Bill of Rights for Tax Riders

The Maryland Public Service Commission has put in place a Customer Bill of Rights for taxi passengers, with documents now placed in taxis that serve Cumberland, Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Cumberland. The posted rules inform passengers of their rights and responsibilities and facilitate communications with the PSC; for drivers, it will help in dealing with disorderly customers inside or outside of the cab. The rules were developed through a series of meetings among the Public Service Commission’s Transportation Division, Taxicab Advisory Committee and industry representatives.


Murder Suspect To Seek Bond

A Shinnston, West Virginia man who is charged with shooting and killing his daughter-in-law at the Hornbeck Road Walmart Saturday has waived his preliminary hearing and will request a bond hearing instead. Fifty-four year old Larry Mitchell, who is currently being held at the North Central Regional jail, is accused of shooting and killing Shannon Stafford last Saturday morning.

Local News

IAC Approves Allegany Plans

The Allegany County Public School System has been notified that its official request for the approval of the site acquisition of the Western Maryland Health System’s Braddock Campus for use to construct a new Allegany High School has been approved by the Interagency Committee for School Construction at its recent meeting on April 18th. Dr. David Cox, superintendent of the Allegany County School System, noted that the project has cleared another hurdle and the system is committed to clearing the next one with the Board of Public Works. Grimm and Parker Architects will present the results and recommendations of their feasibility study at the school board’s May business meeting.


Rocky Gap License May Be Approved Tomorrow

The Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission is expected to approve a slots license during tomorrow’s meeting, set for noon in Annapolis. The item is on the Commission’s agenda for tomorrow. The state Board of Public Works would have to take final action on the issue; Lakes Entertainment is expected to be awarded the license.


Two Garrett County Schools To Close

The Garrett County Board of Education has decided to close both the Dennett Road and Kitzmiller Elementary Schools. The county did receive a half million dollars from the Garrett County Commissioners. However, the school system was a million dollars short in its budget. The schools will close at the end of this school year, and students will be directed to other Garrett County schools in the 2012-2013 school year.


ACS to Terminate 100 Employees

ACS in Frostburg has announced that about 100 employees at its facility will lose their jobs, as of May 31st. ACS employs about 400 people locally. Xerox, the parent company of ACS recently announced that 250 jobs have recently been added in Oklahoma City and about 380 in Rochester, New York. Published reports note that the layoffs are due to a loss of a customer contract at the facility.


Drivers Injured in Two-Vehicle Accident

A head on collision sent two drivers to the hospital Monday afternoon. Swanton, Maryland resident Johanna Wilson attempted to pass another car on Route 220 in Rawlings, when she hit another vehicle, driven by Rawlings resident Maryann Shoemaker. Both were transported to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Route 220 was partially closed for about 45 minutes. Wilson was charged with unsafe passing.


Part of Route 51 to Be Resurfaced

A portion of Route 51 will be resurfaced, beginning Thursday. The Maryland State Highway Administration will remove the top layer of asphalt, resurface, and restripe nearly three miles of Route 51, between the Evitt’s Creek Bridge and Uhl Highway. Weather permitting, the project will be completed by the end of June. Motorists should anticipate lane closures at any time between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., and they should exercise caution when driving in the area.


Delivery Man Charged with Indecent Exposure

Thirty-six year old Berlin resident Joseph Deem has been charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct and open lewdness. He is alleged to have exposed himself to several juveniles at the Glades Pike Trailer Court in Somerset Township. Deem had been driving through the trailer court, when he pulled alongside three juveniles.  On another date, the man was seen delivering pizzas from the same vehicle. A witness contacted the manager of the pizza shop; he, in turn, called police. His hearing is scheduled for May 1st.


Animal Control Board Seeks Members

The Allegany County Animal Control Board is seeking individuals to serve. The Board serves in an advisory capacity to the Allegany County Commissioners in all matters pertaining to the welfare of domestic animals in Allegany County, and is a volunteer position. Terms begin July 1st. Prospective board members should contact Richard DeVore, Director of the Department of Emergency Services at (301)-876-9155, extension 100, or email at to express their interest.


Traffic Group Reschedules Meeting

The City of Cumberland Traffic Group would like to notify the public that it will postpone its Thursday meeting, until the May 17th meeting at 10 a.m. in the second floor conference room of City hall. Multiple conflicts are causing the group to move the meeting.


Fostion Bail Raised to One Million Dollars

Jarvel Quincy Murice Fostion, accused of pulling a gun on a Hagerstown City police officer last Friday, has had his bond raised from $200,000 to $1 million at a bail review hearing Monday. Ironically, Fostion received first aid from another officer, after being stabbed six months ago. Fostion was the victim of a stabbing in October of last year. Fostion was taken into custody Friday evening at the Super 8 motel on the Dual Highway.

Local News

Storm Causes Power Outages, Delays

Yesterday’s springtime snow caused a power outage in the North End of Cumberland and other areas throughout the city, and a spokesman for the Allegany County Office of Emergency Services says about 1800 customers were affected. Power went out around 4 a.m., but had been restored by 7 a.m. The nor’easter also caused a number of delays and cancellations in the area. No major accidents were reported.


Oldtown Man Pleads Guilty in Tax Case

Fifty-year old Oldtown resident Kenneth Harold Hogan has pleaded guilty in connection to a 2008 tax evasion case in U.S. District Court. Hogan, who had been awarded a total and permanent disability by the Railroad Retirement Board in 1999, allegedly was working after that, earning an income “beyond the monthly allowable earnings” established by law. He also failed to file income tax returns from 2006 through 2008. He faces a maximum six months in prison and a $10,000 fine on just one of the charges. On the tax evasion count, he faces five years in prison and a $100,000 fine.


City Council to Consider Request

The Cumberland Mayor and City Council will review a request for a Centre Street business to allow outdoor dining during this evening’s meeting at 6:15 p.m. A lease agreement was tabled at last week’s meeting, which would have allowed Rhonda’s Corner Tavern to have outdoor dining. One resident has commented that there is a concern about handicapped access on the public sidewalk. If approved, the agreement would be effective through December 31st.


Bruceton Mills Woman Killed at Morgantown Walmart

A Bruceton Mills woman was shot and killed over the weekend at the Morgantown Walmart. The father of her estranged husband has been arrested in connection with the shooting. Shannon Stafford was to have met a family member there, and was still in her car when she was shot by Larry Mitchell of Shinnston. The shooting stemmed from an apparent ongoing domestic dispute. Mitchell was charged with murder and was held in the North Central Regional Jail.


More Charges in Somerset County Animal Cruelty Case

Somerset residents Jesse Aaron Shay and Angela Bartels are facing additional animal cruelty charges, after officials found the bodies of four puppies in a dumpster on Sunday. They are also accused of seriously neglecting horses on their property. Authorities had previously been to the Lincoln Highway home earlier this month, to remove two dogs, one of whom died. The remaining animals at the property were taken to the Humane Society of Somerset County.


Suspect Sought in Destruction of Property Incident

Information and a suspect or suspects are being sought by the Cumberland City Police Department on a destruction or property incident that occurred sometime early Sunday morning. Glass was broken out of the entry door to Ned’s Barber Shop on Front Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cumberland City Police Department or Allegany/Mineral County CrimeSolvers at (301)-722-4300.


System Accepting Students for Dual Enrollment Courses

Junior students took the Accuplacer College Placement Test in January, and students passing the English, reading, and/or math portion of the exam, which is a pre-requisite for taking early college dual enrollment courses during the 2012-2013 school year, still have time to select courses for the dual enrollment college course program. Students should contact their school counselors to confirm that a particular college course is available at their respective schools.


Girl Injured in House Fire Dies

A three year old girl, who was injured in a house fire last week in Hagerstown, has died. Hope Goins was pronounced dead on Friday. Her mother also died in the fire, while her father and grandfather survived. The cause of the fire appears to be accidental, but findings won’t be made official until evidence has been examined and witnesses have been interviewed.


Assault Suspect Arrested on Dual Highway

A man wanted for assaulting a police officer last week in Hagerstown, has been apprehended. Jarvel Fostion was taken into custody over this past weekend at the Super 8 Motel on the Dual Highway, without incident. He was charged with first and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, possession of a handgun, use of a firearm in commission of a violent crime and resisting arrest-related charges. Fostion allegedly pointed a gun at an officer, but dropped the gun and fled.

Local News

Piedmont Fire Ruled Arson

A suspect is being sought in a fire that damaged the United Methodist Church in Piedmont. Security video shows the alleged suspect walking behind the building when the fire was started. Moments later, the video shows smoke coming from an outbuilding. Anyone with information is asked to contact the West Virginia State Arson Hotline at 1-800-233-FIRE.


Bedford Mother Pleads “No Contest” To Charges

Alum Bank resident Gazella Victoria Oldham has pleaded no contest to charges she took her 11-year old daughter to a motel where the girl had sex with a traveling preacher. Ms. Oldham made the plea in response to charges of endangering the welfare of children, criminal solicitation and a misdemeanor charge of corruption of a minor. Charges of sexual exploitation of children and unlawful contact with a minor were dropped. Her sentencing is set for June.


Man Arrested on Drug Charges

Sixty-one year old Cumberland resident Louis Cornell Meade was arrested early yesterday morning suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. Meade was also found to be in possession of suspected cocaine, and other paraphernalia. He was taken to Allegany County District Court and released on his own recognizance.


Piedmont Pool Readied for Opening

Work is continuing on readying the Piedmont pool for the traditional Memorial Day weekend opening. Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ray Hall told officials that several items needed to be taken care of, before the Mineral County Health Department would allow it to reopen this year. Those items include the complete scraping and repainting of the pool, and the installation of hot water heaters.  Hall, who had recently been convicted of extortion in an unrelated case, thanked the Mayor and Council for “taking care of things at the pool.”


Man Accused of Assaulting Father

Twenty-one year old Robert Lee Jeffrey Conner was released on personal recognizance, following an incident Thursday evening at approximately 6:00 p.m. Conner and another person had been arguing, and when his father tried to intervene, the father was assaulted with a typewriter, small board, and a small refrigerator door. The victim refused medical treatment and Conner was charged with second-degree assault.


Business Fundamentals Workshop Set

A workshop on “Business Fundamentals” will be held on Wednesday, May 2nd from 3 to 6 p.m. in Franklin. The workshop is part of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center training and business coaching program. The workshop will be held in the Pendleton County Development Authority Building on Thorn Creek Road, Suite 400. For more information or to register, call (304)-530-4964. The registration deadline is Friday, April 27th.


New State School Superintendent Named

Maryland has chosen its State Superintendent of Schools…Lillian Lowery, the secretary of education in Delaware will begin her duties on July 1st, just over a year after former superintendent Dr. Nancy Grasmick left that position. Before becoming secretary of education in Delaware, she had been the superintendent of schools in Delaware’s largest school district, where she closed a $17.5 million fiscal deficit, and returned the district to solvency. Dr. Lowery has degrees in education and policy studies from Virginia Tech.

Local News - UPDATE

Potentially Tragic Situation Averted

What could have been a tragic situation was averted this afternoon, as the Cumberland City Police and Allegany County Sheriff’s Negotiating Team talked a potential “jumper” off of the Blue Bridge. The person was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment, following the incident. On the scene were the Cumberland City Police Department, Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, the Cumberland Fire Department and its ambulance. Traffic was diverted away from the Blue Bridge during the negotiations.


County Could Cut Positions, Funding

Allegany County may have to cut between ten and 25 staff positions and reduce funding by up to two per cent, because of state budget cuts. Board of Education funding could also be held at Maintenance of Effort levels. Finance Director Jason Bennett has developed a three-step plan to help close a $3-million plus budget gap. If the General Assembly restores a disparity grant to Allegany County, there would still be a budget gap, and portions of the plan would be needed to close that shortfall.


Keyser City Officials Discuss Pool

The Keyser Mayor and City Council have received an estimate for renovating the city pool, to the tune of $417,000. Much discussion followed the proposal, including past consideration to a splash-park concept, and the actual costs for operating the pool each season. Despite the “hit” Keyser takes each year in operating the facility, there has been no indication it will close the pool. Officials there say the pool is a “service” to the community, according to the Mineral News-Tribune.


Schools Save Energy Costs

The Allegany County Public School System has achieved a 23 per cent energy cost savings, totaling over $6.2 million in a 109-month program, since forming a strategic alliance with Energy Education, a national energy conservation company. The school system recently received the company’s Chairman’s Sustainability Award, which lauds the organization’s success in implementing the company’s Transformational Energy Management process. 


Arbor Day Celebration Set at ACM

Allegany College of Maryland will celebrate Arbor Day on Wednesday of next week, with a presentation that will center on the benefits of trees around us, and conclude with a campus tree planting. The public is invited to participate. The program begins at noon in the College Center’s Gilpin Room. ACM is seeking designation in the Tree Campus USA program, administered by the Arbor Day Foundation. The goal complements Cumberland’s inclusion in the Foundation’s Tree City USA program, and its efforts to increase the urban tree canopy.


One Dead, Three Injured in Hagerstown Fire

One person is dead, and three others have been injured in a fire at a Summit Avenue apartment in Hagerstown Wednesday afternoon. The Hagerstown City Fire Marshal’s Office is trying to determine the cause. Killed in the fire was 43-year old Patricia Goins. Her daughter, three year old Hope is being treated at the Baltimore Burn Center. Her father, Quentin Coldsmith, as well as her husband, 50-year old Kenneth Goins are also being treated. In addition, a firefighter from the Halfway Volunteer Fire Company was treated for heat exhaustion. The fire occurred at 334 Summit Avenue in Hagerstown.


Property Tax Rate Remains the Same

Maryland’s property tax rate will remain at 11.2 cents per $100 of assessed property value, but Comptroller Peter Franchot is warning of rising debt-service obligations, to $1.4 billion, in the coming years. The state Board of Public Works met Wednesday, and maintained the rate. Former Governor Robert Ehrlich set the rate at 13-cents for several years, and the Board may have to think about reverting to that in future years.


FEMA Extends Benefits to Three More West Virginia Counties

Preston County, West Virginia is among three additional counties that have been included in federal assistance from recent tornadoes and flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says those counties are now eligible for federal assistance for temporary housing assistance, housing repair, and other benefits. Those seeking assistance are encouraged to call the FEMA hotline, or go online to

Local News

County Could Cut Positions, Funding

Allegany County may have to cut between ten and 25 staff positions and reduce funding by up to two per cent, because of state budget cuts. Board of Education funding could also be held at Maintenance of Effort levels. Finance Director Jason Bennett has developed a three-step plan to help close a $3-million plus budget gap. If the General Assembly restores a disparity grant to Allegany County, there would still be a budget gap, and portions of the plan would be needed to close that shortfall.


Keyser City Officials Discuss Pool

The Keyser Mayor and City Council have received an estimate for renovating the city pool, to the tune of $417,000. Much discussion followed the proposal, including past consideration to a splash-park concept, and the actual costs for operating the pool each season. Despite the “hit” Keyser takes each year in operating the facility, there has been no indication it will close the pool. Officials there say the pool is a “service” to the community, according to the Mineral News-Tribune.


Schools Save Energy Costs

The Allegany County Public School System has achieved a 23 per cent energy cost savings, totaling over $6.2 million in a 109-month program, since forming a strategic alliance with Energy Education, a national energy conservation company. The school system recently received the company’s Chairman’s Sustainability Award, which lauds the organization’s success in implementing the company’s Transformational Energy Management process. 


Arbor Day Celebration Set at ACM

Allegany College of Maryland will celebrate Arbor Day on Wednesday of next week, with a presentation that will center on the benefits of trees around us, and conclude with a campus tree planting. The public is invited to participate. The program begins at noon in the College Center’s Gilpin Room. ACM is seeking designation in the Tree Campus USA program, administered by the Arbor Day Foundation. The goal complements Cumberland’s inclusion in the Foundation’s Tree City USA program, and its efforts to increase the urban tree canopy.


One Dead, Three Injured in Hagerstown Fire

One person is dead, and three others have been injured in a fire at a Summit Avenue apartment in Hagerstown Wednesday afternoon. The Hagerstown City Fire Marshal’s Office is trying to determine the cause. Killed in the fire was 43-year old Patricia Goins. Her daughter, three year old Hope is being treated at the Baltimore Burn Center. Her father, Quentin Coldsmith, as well as her husband, 50-year old Kenneth Goins are also being treated. In addition, a firefighter from the Halfway Volunteer Fire Company was treated for heat exhaustion. The fire occurred at 334 Summit Avenue in Hagerstown.


Property Tax Rate Remains the Same

Maryland’s property tax rate will remain at 11.2 cents per $100 of assessed property value, but Comptroller Peter Franchot is warning of rising debt-service obligations, to $1.4 billion, in the coming years. The state Board of Public Works met Wednesday, and maintained the rate. Former Governor Robert Ehrlich set the rate at 13-cents for several years, and the Board may have to think about reverting to that in future years.


FEMA Extends Benefits to Three More West Virginia Counties

Preston County, West Virginia is among three additional counties that have been included in federal assistance from recent tornadoes and flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says those counties are now eligible for federal assistance for temporary housing assistance, housing repair, and other benefits. Those seeking assistance are encouraged to call the FEMA hotline, or go online to

Local News

Bedford County Woman Dies in Wreck

Twenty-seven year old Bedford County resident Nicole E. Wagner died Tuesday afternoon in a crash with a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections bus. Her car crossed the center line and hit the bus, headed in the opposite direction. Some of the prisoners in the bus were taken to Altoona Regional hospital for treatment of various injuries. Two schools in the area were “locked down” until all of the prisoners were accounted for; Route 22 in the area was closed for several hours.


Murder Suspect Arrested in Massachusetts

A man, wanted for the killing of a 17-year old Piedmont boy more than a decade ago, has been captured in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The U.S. Marshals Service says Vicky “Lucky” Bonilla was arrested by a fugitive task force unit. Bonilla had been wanted for the 2001 murder of Gabriel Lopez of New York at the VFW Post in Piedmont. The shooting was believed to be drug-related.


Railroad Bridge Could Become Part of Great Allegheny Passage

An old railroad bridge, near Southern States, could be rehabilitated and link the Great Allegheny Passage to North End. Plans to prepare the bridge are already being developed, with a total cost of about $75,000. Local volunteer and inmate labor would be used to construct the bridge, and would be used to accommodate bikers and hikers. The work would be funded by local and private funding sources.


Low-Flying Aircraft Prompts Calls

The Frostburg City Police received about 20 calls regarding a low-flying aircraft in the area between 8 and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night. One report stated that the aircraft was flying low over the Eckhart area, but it couldn’t be determined whether it was a fixed-wing aircraft or a helicopter. The Maryland State Police Medevac helicopter was not in the area at the time. The Allegany County 911 Center also received several calls during the incident.


Keyser Man Arrested on Traffic, Weapons Charges

Keyser resident Christian Arnold faces traffic and weapons charges, as well as battery on a police officer, following a two-vehicle accident on South Mineral Street. Arnold’s car rear-ended another, driven by Garrett Kiddy of Cumberland; the car driven by Arnold had an improper license plate, and a knife, with a 4-inch blade. He was also charged with battery, following an incident at the Keyser Police Station.


New Expert Named in Gerholt Case

A new expert has been hired in the John Gerholt case; Gerholt is charged with shooting and killing his wife outside of a McDonald’s Restaurant, where she worked, in 2008. The expert was approved by Senior Judge Daniel Howsare, after a previous expert didn’t help Gerholt’s case.


Former Detective Sues for Wrongful Termination

Former Somerset County detective Samuel Scott Fogelsong is suing the county and district attorney, claiming he was fired because he supported District Attorney Jerry Spangler’s re-election last year. He is asking for both compensatory and punitive damages for wrongful termination. Foglesong claims that he was not in a policy-making position in the district attorney’s office, and that firing him for political affiliation is against public policy.


Two Vehicle Arsons Investigated

The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating separate cases of vehicle arsons in Somerset and Huntingdon Counties. In Somerset, arsonists set fire to a pickup truck, owned by Clifford Tressler in the village of Gray in Jenner Township. Officials say they don’t know how the fire started; it was discovered between 2 and 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.


O’Malley Leaning Toward Special Session

Governor Martin O’Malley says he will call a special session of the Maryland General Assembly to deal with $512 million in budget cuts and to adopt a tax package. When that session will be held is in question. O’Malley says he is looking for a consensus on a session; when that happens, he will call the session. O’Malley was not specific about how far apart the House and Senate are, but it did not appear a special session will happen soon.

Local News

News Conference to Discuss Special Session

House Republicans in Annapolis are held a news conference yesterday, to discuss the possibility of a special session, as the Governor tries to broker a deal on a tax bill that would be the focus of the session. O’Malley says he will not call a special session until House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller come to an agreement on a tax bill. Leaders are urging Governor O’Malley to call the session, so a tax bill can be passed, thereby avoiding $512 million in spending cuts, set to take effect on July 1st.


Plans for New Allegany “Encouraging”

The Maryland Interagency Committee on School Funding is expected to approve plans today, to use the former Sacred Heart Hospital as the site for a new Allegany High School. Architects Grimm and parker are scheduled to report to the Board of Education early next month on how to best convert the former hospital into a school. If all goes well, the Board could solicit proposals for the design of the school by October.


Woman Charged with Fraud, Theft

A 25-year old Cumberland woman is accused of stealing from a relative. Megan Aline Chamberlain is accused of making numerous unauthorized purchases and withdrawals from a relative’s account at various locations throughout the county. She was charged by Cumberland City Police with fraud, theft, and 10 counts of unauthorized use of credit card numbers. At a District Court bond hearing, she was ordered held on $35,000 bond.


Two Groups Receive Funding

Friends Aware has received $250,000 and the Allegany County Museum received $200,000, as a result of state bond funding. Friends Aware had requested a total of $634,000 in state bond funding, while the Museum asked for $350,000. The county commissioners asked that the Allegany Museum be prioritized as it is completing the redevelopment of its building on Pershing Street.


New Piedmont Council Member Appointed

Robert Patenaude has been appointed to the Piedmont City Council, to fill the position left vacant by the resignation of Bob Fike. Mayor Skip Clifford says it is his impression that Fike did not want to return. Clifford then recommended Patenaude for the position, and it was approved on a 3 to 1 vote. Current Council Member Ray Hall, who has been urged to step down from the council, voted against the appointment. Hall was convicted of attempted extortion last week.


Violence on the Rise at Juvenile Facilities

Violence at a handful of Maryland’s juvenile detention facilities is on the rise. Staff members at the Victor Cullen Center used handcuffs to restrain youths only 36 times in 2010; last year, that number rose to nearly 200 times. At another facility, Cheltenham Youth Facility, there were 65 reports of “group disturbances,” up from only a dozen times in 2010. The Juvenile Justice Reporting Unit is attempting to address contributing factors, such as the length of time youths are spending in detention centers, along with overtime and turnovers among staff members.


Plane Crashes in Berkeley County

A single-occupant plane crashed in Berkeley County Monday. Crews were dispatched to what was originally termed an “emergency landing,” but found the plane on its roof just after 3:30 p.m.  There were no injuries. The pilot says he lost engine power. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash, located off of National Fruit Road.


Bagged Salad Recall in Maryland, Virginia

The Dole Food Company is recalling 756 cases of bagged salad, which could be contaminated with salmonella. The recall affects both Maryland and Virginia. There have been no illnesses reported, but they were distributed in 15 states. If you have a bag of the contaminated salad, you’re asked to simply throw them out. The “use by” date is April 11th, and contains a UPC code of 7143001057.



Local News

Ellerslie Robbery Suspect Sought

The Maryland State Police and C3I unit are on the lookout for a female suspect, who tried to rob Mr. T’s market in Ellerslie Sunday night. A woman wearing a mask and all dark clothing displayed a handgun; a customer entered the store and tried to intervene, causing her to run from the store in an unknown direction. A search of the immediate Ellerslie area and a wooded area outside residential neighborhoods was conducted on the ground and in the air. The C3I unit is continuing to investigate.


Sheriff Seeking Breaking and Entering Suspect

The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office is seeking a suspect who entered a Douglas Avenue home in Lonaconing, and assaulted a woman inside her residence Sunday night. The victim described her attacker as a black male, with a dark hoodie, and dark jeans. He was in her bathroom when she entered the residence; he then allegedly assaulted her and ran out the back door of the house. A search, with the help of K-9 units and the Medivac helicopter, was unsuccessful. Home owners in the area say he may have been in the area over a two-hour period. He may also have left in a dark-colored Jeep. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (301)-777-1585.


Panhandling Bill Effective June 1st

A bill designed to impose tighter controls on panhandlers has been signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley, and will become effective June 1st. The bill, sponsored by the Allegany County Delegation, passed both the House and Senate. The legislation allows Allegany County to begin a permit program for roadside solicitations, and can be issued for one calendar day per year.


Two Vehicle Accident in Lonaconing

A Barton woman is facing charges as the result of a two car accident on Route 36 in Lonaconing in the area of Jeff’s Tire. Twenty-seven year old Tarah Leigh Fazenbaker crossed the center line of the road and struck another vehicle, driven by 51-year old Thomas Jeff Reed of Frostburg. An Allegany County Sheriff’s deputy was following the Fazenbaker vehicle, and witnessed the accident. The road was closed for about 45 minutes. Both were taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.


Woman Pleads Guilty to Arson

Kelly Bradley, co-owner and manager of the Polish Pines restaurant, has pleaded guilty to second-degree arson in connection with the blaze that destroyed the restaurant and two other businesses in Keyser. Ms. Bradley entered an Alford plea, and a co-defendant, April Graham is still awaiting trial. Ms. Bradley’s trial was to have begun later this month, and the plea was entered during scheduled pre-trial motions yesterday.


Man Arrested on Assault Charge

A Whiteford, Maryland man was released on personal recognizance, following an assault incident early Sunday morning in the 100-block of South Centre Street. Twenty-seven year old William Joseph Rafferty was allegedly on top of another person, striking him in the head with his fist. He was also charged with disorderly conduct.


Mount Savage Principal Receives Honor

Mount Savage Elementary School Principal Gary Llewellyn has been selected as  the 2012 Maryland National Distinguished Principal. A surprise assembly was held yesterday at the school. The program recognizes excellence in elementary and middle-school level leaders who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character and climate for the students, families and staffs of their schools.


Gibralter To Stay at FSU

Frostburg State University President Dr. Jonathan Gibralter is staying at the school. He had been a finalist in presidential searches at both Northern Kentucky University and University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. He has withdrawn his name from contention. In a statement, Dr. Gibralter said that while he was honored to be considered for the positions, now would not be a good time to leave Frostburg State University.


Author Visits Cumberland

Author Jim Hollock was the guest speaker at the LaVale Book Club meeting this past weekend. Hollock is the author of “Born To Lose,” the story of Stanley Hoss. Hollock recounted the tale of Hoss, who kidnapped Linda Mae Peugot and her daughter Lori from the-then King’s Department Store along National Highway.  Their bodies have never been found, and Hoss hanged himself several years after the crime at a penitentiary in Pennsylvania. On hand for the presentation were former Judge James S. Getty and former County Investigator Bill Baker, who were both directly involved in the Peugot kidnapping case.


 Inmate Receives Additional Sentence

An inmate at the State Correctional Institution in Fayette County was sentenced to 33-1/2 to 70 years, after being convicted of rape and other related charges. Lark Allen Ramsey was convicted of raping a nursing assistant in June of 2008, while he was a prisoner at the State Correctional Institution-Laurel Highlands. He was also ordered to pay fines, a DNA testing fee and restitution to the district attorney’s office.


Woman Declared Dead

A woman who was found hanging in a cell at the Washington County Detention Center has been declared dead. An autopsy was performed this past weekend on the body of Kristy Dawn Jenkins who was arrested last week for a violation of probation. She allegedly stole a $1300 guitar last year and pawned it for $50.00. An internal investigation at the facility is underway.


Special Session Could Cost Taxpayers

A special session of the Maryland General Assembly could cost taxpayers more than $20,000 per day. The daily costs include lodging, meals and mileage for lawmakers, as well as staff time, postage and printing charges. While the most recent special session on redistricting lasted only four days, the 2007 special session spanned 17 different days.


Court of Appeals to Decide on Dream Act

The Maryland Court of Appeals will decide if the so-called “Dream Act” will be on the ballot this fall. A group, known as CASA de Maryland, is appealing a judge’s decision to allow the referendum on the 2010 law. Arguments have been scheduled for June 12th on the issue. The measure provides college tuition discounts to certain illegal immigrants, but opponents blocked the law from taking effect last year by obtaining enough signatures to bring it to a referendum.


Local News

Hall Asked to Resign

Piedmont council member Ray Hall has been asked to resign by other members of the Mayor and City Council. Hall has been sentenced to a year in jail, following a conviction of attempted extortion. Hall refused to do so, saying he had “unfinished business.” Town attorney Jim Carskadon is in possession of a petition, calling for his ouster; however, Hall claimed that some of the signatures were not valid. Speaking for the Mayor and Council, Finance Commissioner Freda Fisher said that a vote to dismiss Hall from the Council would be taken at the next meeting.


Baltimore Man Arrested in Traffic Stop

Baltimore resident Jarrett Antonio McBurroughs was arrested Saturday afternoon, following a brief foot chase near Henderson Avenue. McBurroughs was stopped for a traffic violation; after he stepped out of his vehicle, he shoved the officer and ran. It was discovered that he was wanted on two warrants from Baltimore. He was taken to District Court and later held at the Allegany County Detention Center on those warrants.  


Man Jailed on Second-Degree Assault Charge

Eighteen year old Dylan Michael Werner has been jailed on $8500 bond, pending trial, on a second-degree assault charge. Werner is accused of assaulting his live-in girlfriend, grabbing her by the hair, throwing her to the ground and hitting her in the face. He left the Columbia Street residence, but was found a short time later at a residence on Bedford Street.


Garrett County Theft Reported

A suspect in the theft of items from a Jay Road Home in Finzel is being sought by the McHenry detachment of the Maryland State Police. The suspect entered the side door of the residence, and stole a black, 9-MM handgun and a black Nikon camera. He then ran from the residence and getting into a car on West Finzel Road. The car was running on a spare donut tire on the left front. Anyone with information is asked to contact TFC Nelson at (301)-387-1101.


New York Man Sentenced for Somerset Murder

Calvin Mallory, of Brooklyn, New York, has been found guilty of the first degree murder of Bryant Adderly in Somerset. The shooting was related to an illegal drug-distribution organization, of which both Mallory and Adderly were members. Adderly died of 22 gunshots to his head and chest. Others involved in the shooting will be sentenced on May 3rd.


Kitzmiller School Wins $5,000 in National Photo Contest

Kitzmiller Elementary School has earned a $5,000 gift from the “Box Tops for Education” photo contest. Former teacher Bridget Corbin snapped a photo of a rainbow over the school, and it was placed in competition with other photo finalists. Judges and the public voted on their favorite, and the Kitzmiller school photo received nearly 16,000 votes-the most of any of the submissions. It was selected from hundreds of  submissions from across the country.


Maryland State Police Investigate Rock Throwing Incident

The Maryland State Police are investigating an incident last night around 10 p.m., where several calls were received in reference to rocks being thrown at the Sandy Mile overpass on Interstate 68 Westbound. One car was damaged, but there were no injuries. The Maryland State Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Washington County Barracks at (301)-739-2102. The case is being investigated by Senior Trooper Faith.


O’Malley Accepts Partial Responsibility for Budget Meltdown

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is accepting some responsibility for the failure to replace $512 million in spending cuts with a package that included tax hikes and alternate savings. The Governor also was uncertain about when, or if, he will call a special session, adding that Republicans have prevailed by default so far in the budget debate, due to a lack of Democratic leadership, including his own.

Local News

Police Seek Man Who Walked Away from Hospital

Cumberland City Police are looking for a patient who walked away from the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center yesterday afternoon. They were unable to locate the 22-year old man, who had been committed to the facility on an emergency petition.  Police report he was wearing a hospital gown. During the incident, the Allegany County Board of Education decided to lock down certain schools in the area; dismissal occurred without incident.


County Agrees to Deal for Rocky Gap

Allegany County signed a formal agreement yesterday with Evitts Resort, the company that wants to bring slots to Rocky Gap Lodge and Resort. The agreement should generate around $900,000 per year in revenue for the county. Evitts is still seeking license approval from the Maryland Video Lottery Facility Locations Commission. Evitts plans to build a 50,000 square foot addition to accommodate around 1,000 gaming machines.


Cardin Announces Grant

Maryland U.S. Senator Ben Cardin has announced a $300,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and American Rivers to Frostburg State University, the Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The grant was given to reduce flooding, restore forests, and to promote local food production in the Potomac Highlands Region. The $300,000 grant is part of a comprehensive initiative to help protect and restore rivers in the Potomac Highlands Region.


SHA To Clean and Paint Several Bridges in Area

The Maryland State Highway Administration will begin cleaning and painting 17 bridges in Allegany and Washington counties next week. The $2.1 million investment will protect the metal on the bridges and prevent corrosion. The projects should be completed by the fall of next year. Among the bridges to be painted in Allegany County are the Maryland 936 Bridge over a branch of George’s Creek in Frostburg; the Maryland Route 51 bridge on Industrial Boulevard; and, Interstate 68, both east and westbound, over Midlothian Road.


Yoder Court Fire Ruled Accidental in Nature

The Maryland State Fire Marshal has ruled a fire in the 15,000-block of Yoder Court Wednesday afternoon, accidental in nature. A storage shed and a portion of the home was damaged. The estimated loss to the shed and the house was estimated at $23,000. The blaze began in a wood stove inside a wall at the shed. Firefighters were on the scene about 20 minutes.


Two Maryland Food Banks Merge

The Maryland Food Bank and the Food Resources of Hagerstown have united to form the Maryland Food Bank-Western Branch. It will become a central distribution point for a network of more than 120 soup kitchens, pantries and shelters in Allegany, Garrett, Frederick and Washington counties. The merger will allow the group to serve more than 52,000 residents, who struggle to provide food for themselves. The merger took effect April 2nd.


Missing Man Found Dead in Somerset County

An 87-year old man, who had been missing for more than a month, has been found dead in Somerset County. A truck, belonging to George Rachael, was found by two people riding all-terrain vehicles. Police don’t suspect foul play. He disappeared in early March, and his body was discovered about 15 miles from Cairnbrook.


Representatives Meet with Pennsylvania Governor on Route 219 Issue

Representatives from Somerset and Cambria counties in Pennsylvania and Garrett County, Maryland have met with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to discuss the progress of completing Route 219 from Meyersdale to Somerset. The “Continental 1” corridor is a proposed, 1500-mile direct route from Toronto to Miami, intended to develop business growth and faster, safer travel. Its current goal is to complete Route 219 from New York through Pennsylvania. A meeting of the North/South Appalachian Highway Coalition will be held later this month in Somerset.


Lawmakers Concerned About “Doomsday Budget”

Legislators approved a state budget that included budget cuts, but did not address increased state spending. The approved cuts amount to less than one-and-a-half per cent of the nearly $36 billion budget, and Democratic lawmakers argue that the cuts would be devastating. A spokesman for Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller says a special session will likely be called by mid-May to pass a tax bill. Then, local governments will know how much money they will receive as they consider their budgets for the new fiscal year.




Local News

House Fails To Pass Teacher Pension Legislation

The Senate approved it, but the House failed to take action on shifting teacher pension costs from the state to Maryland counties. The shift was to have been phased in, beginning with the coming fiscal year. The House and Senate had planned to tie the pension shift into tax increases that would have helped offset the burden.


Tensions High Among O’Malley, Miller, and Busch

During a bill signing ceremony this week, tensions were high among Governor Martin O’Malley, Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch. Governor O’Malley described the budget outcome this week as “pretty much the low point of my experience here.” O’Malley hasn’t said whether he’ll call a special session of the General Assembly, and Senator Miller notes that the state has until July 1st to have a special session to pass a plan to avoid the budget cuts that were made on Monday. The Governor did sign over 100 bills passed during this session.


Senator Cardin to Visit Western Maryland

Maryland U.S. Senator Ben Cardin will be visiting Western Maryland today . He’ll arrive at Frostburg State University to teach a political class at 9:30 a.m. About an hour later, he will announce a grant for $300,000, benefitting FSU, The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council. His final stop will be at noon, when he attends the meeting of the Greater Cumberland Committee at the Cumberland Country Club.


Polk Street Parking discussed at Council Meeting

A Polk Street resident spoke at last night’s Cumberland Mayor and City Council meeting, on the issue of parking problems on his street. Joe Delosier, however, says he is finished “fighting city hall,” and will move out of the city. The parking issue has been a problem for several years, as residents had to compete for spaces with students from the nearby International Beauty School. Delosier presented a petition with about 15 signatures from his neighbors, made his comments and promptly left the meeting before city officials could respond to his concerns.


Woman, Children Injured in Crash

Keyser, West Virginia resident Samantha Strother and her two children suffered minor injuries in a two-vehicle collision on Route 36 near Frostburg yesterday morning. Ms. Strother was hit from behind by another vehicle, driven by Frostburg resident Connie Iman, while waiting to turn into the Burger King restaurant, off of Route 36. Ms. Iman was issued a citation for negliegent driving.


Domestic Incident Results in Arrest

A Greene Street man was held on $45,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following a Tuesday incident. Twenty-three year old James Steven Whittington is accused of assaulting his live-in girlfriend; police had been at the residence earlier in the day, but Whittington allegedly held her against her will, and was unable to answer the door when police arrived. Whittington was charged with second-degree assault, false imprisonment and reckless endangerment.


Canal Place Authority to Hold Open House

The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, in partnership with the National Park Service and the city of Cumberland, will host an open house on Wednesday, April 25th, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the Canal Place Hertiage Area Management Plan Update. The meeting will be held at the Western Maryland Railroad Station, on the second floor. Interested parties may stop in anytime during those hours. The project is being undertaken to develop recommendations for project areas and opportunities associated with the authority.


SHA To Replace Oakland Drive in Garrett County

The Maryland State Highway Administration will mill and surface one mile of Oakland Drive, just east of Route 219 in Mountain Lake Park, beginning this Monday night. Work will include milling, patching, resurfacing and restriping Oakland Drive, between Route 135 and Deer Park Avenue. Work will take place Sunday through Thursday nights from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. The project is part of a $4.1 million area wide resurfacing contract, awarded to Keystone Lime Company of Springs, Pennsylvania.


Local News

Three Sentenced in Home Invasions

Three men have been sentenced for their part in the armed robbery of a woman in the Rawlings area in December of last year. Cory and Cody Crabtree and Gregory Thomas Laisure will serve a total of twelve years in prison; following their release, they will be placed on five years’ supervised probation. Two other co-defendants, Zachary Huffman and Melvin Howell have court appearances in the near future for their involvement in the robbery.


County Strikes Deal with Rocky Gap Group

The county has reached a deal with Evitts Resort, LLC for payment in lieu of taxes, making the slots casino at Rocky Gap one step closer to reality. The groups is seeking a license from the Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission. The proposed agreement stipulates that the county will receive $295,000 of .9 per cent of Evitt’s Resort’s annual operator share, whichever is greater. The money will be paid for up to 15 years under the agreement.


Airport Manager Candidates to be Interviewed

From a field of 20, the search for the manager position at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport has narrowed to seven. Those candidates will be interviewed today and tomorrow. Mineral County Commissioner Cindy Pyles, who is also chair of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, had asked Terry Malone to stay on until the position was filled, but Malone-whose contract was not renewed-left that position late last month. Commissioner Pyles also questioned the legality of Malone’s contract termination was handled, as no decisions or votes should be made in executive session, which was how that issue was handled. Cumberland attorney Jeff Getty, who is legal counsel for the authority, says, however, he believes the decision was handled properly.


Councilman Receives a Year in Jail

Piedmont Councilman William “Ray” Hall was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $500 on a charge of attempted extortion. Hall will also be liable for court costs and fees. Hall had alleged that a local restaurant had stolen personal information from a friend’s credit card and later used that information to “cyberstalk” his friend. He also allegedly asked for $20,000 to make the situation “go away,” but later reduced the demand to $10,000.


Jumping Victim Identified

The man who jumped from the Clarysville Bridge on Monday has been identified as 58-year old Jan Douglas Tuckley of Ridgeley. His body was found at the base of the bridge. His car was found on the bridge on Sunday. He was located in an area beneath the bridge that was almost totally obscured from view on Vale Summit Road. The body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.


Ohio Man Charged in Keyser Incident

Ohio resident Derrick Quarles was apprehended by the Maryland State Police, after he allegedly pistol-whipped one woman and assaulted several others Monday in Keyser. At the time of his arrest, police found a loaded handgun in plain view in the front seat of his car. Quarles was apprehended on Route 220, in the area of State Route 956 around 3:30 p.m.


Contractor, Current and Former Council Members Charged

A contractor, along with several current and former Meyersdale Borough Council members, has been charged in connection with an investigation into bidding practices. The charges stem from the renovations being made to the town’s community center on Main Street, with a total cost of over $85,000. Thirty-seven year old Rodney Eugene Butler was arrested for bid rigging. Former council members Franklin Edmunds and Ricky Lee Sechler and current councilman Thomas Deakins have also been charged. A preliminary hearing for all the defendants will be held on May 3rd in Confluence.


Former Band Director Pleads Guilty

Former Meyersdale Area High School band director Joshua Covert has pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault and one count of corruption of minors on Monday. Covert, charged with having a sexual relationship with a 16-year old female student, will be sentenced on July 12th. He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail and $30,000 in fines. He is in the Somerset County Jail, awaiting a decision on a bond revocation.


Conference Set for Saturday

The Western Maryland Family Support and Resource Centers will present “ADHD: Perspectives on Behavior and Parenting,” a conference for parents, family members, caregivers and professionals interested in helping children with ADHD, this Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The conference will be held at the Washington County Technical High School in Hagerstown. For more information or to register for the conference, contact Cheri Dowling at (443)-277-8899.

General Assembly Adjourns Without Revenue Plan

The Maryland General Assembly adjourned Monday at midnight, without passing a key revenue plan needed to avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts. Although he hasn’t said he would do so, Democratic lawmakers say they may ask Governor Martin O’Malley to call a special session for more time to work on a revenue package and possibly other measures such as an expansion of gambling. The budget, as passed, is balanced, as required by law.


State Revenues Could Mean Surplus for West Virginia

West Virginia tax collections for the month of March show withholding taxes up more than nine per cent and personal income tax and sales tax revenues were both above where the state tax department thought they would be for the month. The state is running ahead of last year by about six per cent. Sales tax revenues were $4 million above estimates in March and personal income tax revenue was nearly $10 million ahead of projections.

Local News

Murder Suspect Apprehended in Pennsylvania

Rasshammach Roberts, who had been wanted since September in a fatal Ridgeley shooting, has been apprehended in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania by members of a U.S. marshal Service Fugitive Task Force. Roberts was wanted for the fatal shooting of Ryan Henry, and the shooting of his brother, Richard, who was critically injured. Roberts remains in the custody of Pennsylvania and is awaiting extradition to West Virginia to face the charges. All four suspects related to the shooting have now been apprehended.


Sheriff’s Office Updates Pharmacy Thefts

The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office has released pictures of a breaking and entering of the Pharmacare facility on Bedford Road. On February 29th, a suspect used a large rock to break the glass in the front doors of the business to gain entry. A large amount of pain killing medication was taken. Then, again, on March 26th, the pharmacy was entered once again and a large amount of pain killing medications was stolen. The suspect is described as a white male, wearing dark clothing and gloves, covering his face in an attempt to conceal his identity. A second suspect was also believed to be outside of the business in a van, during the time of the incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact local law enforcement agencies.


Former Treasurer Awaiting Sentencing

The former treasurer of the Short Gap Volunteer Fire Company, Stephen Wilson, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement and is awaiting sentencing. Wilson entered the plea last week, and he now faces a prison sentence of one to 10 years, and the state of West Virginia will seek the maximum sentence. Wilson is accused of allegedly embezzling over $242,000 from the department. A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered, and Wilson remains free on bond, pending his next court appearance.


Domestic Incident Results in Arrest

Garrett County resident Kenneth Savage is being held in the county detention center on $3,000 bond, following a weekend incident in the 2500-block of Old Frostburg Road. Savage is accused of assaulting his mother’s husband, Gary Jones. Savage allegedly struck him several times, after knocking him to the ground. Jones was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment. Savage is charged with one count of first-degree assault, and a count of second-degree assault.


Man Dies in Jump From Bridge

For the third consecutive year, someone has died by leaping from the Clarysville Bridge. The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police are investigating an incident yesterday afternoon, where a man died after reportedly jumping from the bridge. There are no details on the identity of the victim, nor the circumstances surrounding the incident. In 2010, an Owings man died in a jump from the bridge, as did a 58-year old man in January of last year. 9


DHMH Warns Against Use of Baczol

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is warning against the use of an unapproved medicine, called Baczol, which contains an antibiotic that would ordinarily require a prescription and is ineffective against some of the conditions for which it is commonly purchased. This unapproved medicine, which is produced outside of the United States, has been found in a number of convenience stores that serve Latino communities and is marketed specifically for pediatric populations under the names of Baczol, Pediatric Baczol, or Baczol Antigripal.


Band Festival Set for this Week

The annual Allegany County All County Band Festival will be held on Wednesday and Thursday in the auditorium at Fort Hill High School at 7 p.m. each evening. All concerts are free and open to the public. The fifth and sixth grade All County Bands will perform Wednesday, and the junior and senior high schools will perform on Thursday.


Jobless Rate Down in West Virginia

West Virginia’s unemployment rate has been better the last three months, and that is forcing a reduction in extended unemployment benefits for some state residents. The state will reduce the amount of time under extended benefits from 20 weeks to 13 weeks. About 2,000 West Virginia residents could be impacted by the reduction. A three-month, seasonally adjusted unemployment average is at slightly less than 8 per cent.


Texting While Driving Now Illegal in West Virginia

Beginning July 1st, texting while driving will become a primary offense in the state of West Virginia; talking on a cell phone will be considered a secondary offense until July of next year, when it too, will become a primary offense. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin made three stops around the state last week, as he signed the bill into law. That becomes a primary offense in July of next year.

Local News

Teen Arrested in Duck Slaying

A 14-year old boy from Carlos has been arrested in connection with the killing of a duck at Glendening Park in Frostburg last week. Criminal charges are being forwarded to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. The youth has been released to his parents, pending further action.


Piedmont Official Guilty of Attempted Extortion

Piedmont Commissioner Ray hall has been found guilty of attempted extortion in Mineral County Magistrate Court. Hall had threatened to do damage to a local restaurant, after he accused employees of stealing a friend’s personal credit card, and later used that information to “cyberstalk” his friend. He was charged with attempted extortion, because the transaction of money was not completed. Attempted extortion carries with it a penalty of two to twelve months and a fine of $50 to $500. His sentencing is set for tomorrow at 3 p.m.


Pair Charged with Marijuana Possession

Two Cumberland residents have been charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, after they were found at Constitution Park. Twenty-year old Hans Irvin and 19-year old Caroline Hughes were arrested during an after-hours patrol check. As a Cumberland Police officer made contact with them, an odor of suspected marijuana was detected. A probable cause search of the vehicle was done, and a quantity of suspected marijuana was recovered. They were released on personal recognizance, following a hearing in District Court.


Former Band Director Allegedly Violates Bond

A former Meyersdale Area High School band director, charged with having a sexual relationship with a 16-year old female student is in the Somerset County Jail. Thirty-eight year old Joshua Steven Covert is accused of violating terms of his bond, by making contact with the alleged victim via Facebook and through two text messages sent from his wife’s phone. Covert is charged with three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and corruption of minors.


Wanted Garrett Man Apprehended

A man wanted in connection with the robbery and assault of two Garrett, Pennsylvania teenagers has been arrested in Berks County. Samuel “Sammy” McFarland is being held on $50,000 straight bond. He is accused of taking $13 in cash, a pack of cigarettes and a cell phone from the two. He struck one of the two in the abdomen, and threatened to kill him if he contact police.


State Plans to Appeal Gun Permit Ruling

The Maryland Attorney General’s office is planning to appeal last month’s ruling that a portion of the state’s gun law is unconstitutional. The notice was filed in federal court. While the ruling is under appeal, the Maryland State Police won’t make decisions on applications in which approval rests solely on the portion of the law that is being contested.


Bill To Modify Child Support Passed by Senate

The Maryland State Senate has passed a bill modifying a law that allows prisoners to ask the courts to suspend child support payments. The measure was passed on a 25 to 21 vote, allowing the payments to be altered without any action from a prisoner. Opponents say it is unfair, in that criminals are allowed to walk away from support payments while in jail. The bill now moves onb to the Governor to be signed.


Local News

Primary Turnout Lowest in Over 30 Years

The turnout in Maryland for this past Tuesday’s Presidential Primary was the lowest in at least 32 years. Only about one-fifth of registered voters cast a ballot, but that does not include absentee and provisional ballots. Allegany County, however, reported the highest voter turnout in the state at nearly 27 per cent.  According to political science professor at the University of Baltimore, John Willis, says, however, the primary turnout is not a good predictor for the number of people who will go to the polls in November.


Convicted Dealer Sentenced to Prison

A convicted drug dealer was sentenced to 26-1/2 years in prison Tuesday in Circuit Court. Thirty-two year old Dwight Courtney II of Frostburg, will spend the first 25 years of his sentence without the possibility of parole or probation, since he is a repeat offender. He was found guilty in January on multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, and the manufacturing of marijuana, along with other related offenses.


Duck Stabbed in Frostburg Pond

A duck was found stabbed yesterday morning at the Glendening Recreational Complex in Frostburg. The weapon used was a National Wild Turkey Federation folding knife with a three-inch blade, making it unique. Frostburg City Administrator John Kirby is checking with the Frostburg City Police Department, to see if animal cruelty charges can be brought against whomever is responsible.


Man Arrested on 11-Year Old Warrant

A Keyser man, who had been living in New Mexico, turned himself into Keyser Police this week. Fifty-one year old Brian Grubbs had been wanted for the past 11 years on a warrant for failure-to-appear charges, based on an old DUI case.


Show to Feature Local Homicide Incident

“America’s Most Wanted” will feature a local case of a man, who has eluded police since last September. Rasshammach Roberts is wanted by both federal and local authorities for the killing of Ryan Henry and the attempted murder of his brother, Richard, last year in Ridgeley. He is considered armed and dangerous. Roberts is considered armed and dangerous. His brother and another man have been apprehended. “America’s Most Wanted” airs at 09 p.m. tonight on the Lifetime channel.


Man Arrested in Domestic Incident

A Cumberland man is being held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following a domestic incident Wednesday evening. Forty-eight year old Angelo Lopez is accused of assaulting a family member, and destroying property during the incident. The victim sustained minor injuries and did not need medical attention.


Provost Candidates to Visit Potomac State

Three candidates will be visiting Potomac State College of West Virginia University next week to interview for the position of provost. The three candidates include Cindy Kelley, dean of academic affairs at West Virginia University at Parkersburg; Leonard Colelli, dean of the Eberly College of Science and Technology at California University of Pennsylvania; and Warren Meyers, associate dean for academic affairs at WVU’s Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Current campus provost Kerry Odell will be leaving that position on June 30th.


County Recycling on May 5th

Allegany County is conducting a collection of electronics on Saturday, May 5th at Frostburg State University. The event will be held in the parking lot, at the corner of College and University Avenues from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. JVS Environmental, a recycling entity from Rockwood, Pennsylvania, will dispose of the electronics. More information can be obtained at the Allegany County government website,


Sobriety Checkpoint Set for Mineral County

A sobriety checkpoint will be held in Mineral County Friday evening from 8 p.m. until Saturday morning at 2 a.m. It will be conducted along Route 28. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program, in conjunction with the West Virginia State Police, will conduct events and patrols concentrating on the arrest of intoxicated drivers.

Local News

Rocky Gap License Not Yet Issued

A slots license for Rocky Gap has yet to be issued, because of an agreement on payment in lieu of taxes has not been reached. The Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission met on March 27th, but did not award the slots license, but it is hoped an agreement can be worked out as soon as possible. There is no time frame or deadline to work out the agreement, although the anticipated award date was last December.


Two Acknowledge Guilt in Robbery

Two West Virginia residents have admitted their involvement in a robbery of the FNB Hampshire Square bank last month. Twenty-two year old Mark Yost of Shanks and Shannon Martin of Romney have acknowledged their part in the incident, in the robbery of a woman, trying to make a night deposit at the bank. She was uninjured and no weapon was displayed. Twenty-two year old Romney resident Justin Brown was charged in connection with the incident; he allegedly provided a false statement to officers in connection with the investigation.  


Trial in Stabbing Case Set for June

A trial date of June 6th has been set for an Oakland man, charged with attempted murder. Forty-year old Kendall Shane Lowers is charged in the case. The victim, 52-year old William Sachs, needs to be located and is not in the Oakland jurisdiction. Lowers is charged with attempted first and second-degree murder and first-degree assault. Lowers remains at the Garrett County Detention Center, in default of $250,000 bond.


Panhandling Law Moves Through General Assembly

A bill to outlaw pandhandling in the county is moving through the General Assembly, having passed the House of Delegates on a vote of 130 to 1. It also received a favorable report by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. No date has been set for the Senate vote, but the General Assembly is scheduled to end this Monday.


Lonaconing Fired Ruled Accidental in Nature

A fire at 16 Island Street in Lonaconing has been ruled accidental and electrical in nature. The call was received at 3:47 p.m. Tuesday, bringing out seven fire companies and the George’s Creek Ambulance to the scene. The house is owned by Joe Rowen III, Timothy Rowan and Mary Louise Muir. At the time of the fire, Joe Rowan, Jr., Joe Rowan IV, and Timothy Rowan were at the home. It originated in the first floor kitchen. There were no injuries and the family is being assisted by other family members.


Two New Jersey Men Arrested in Garrett County

Two New Jersey men were arrested by the Maryland State Police on Interstate 68 near Grantsville Tuesday morning. Originally stopped for a traffic violation, the troopers smelled an odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. After searching the vehicle, troopers located a baggie of prescription pills and suspected marijuana. Also hidden in the car were parts for two assault rifles. Taken into custody were 33-year old Renante Alisbo Mangaya and 30-year old Edwin Lee Class. Both received a bond hearing in District Court.


Cardin to Attend TGCC Membership Meeting

Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin is scheduled to attend the membership meeting of the Greater Cumberland Committee on Thursday, April 12th at 11:30 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Cumberland Country Club. Recently, Senator Cardin helped end the seven year prohibition of the states’ use of toll credits on the Appalachian Development Highway system projects and assured federal support for access roads in the three westernmost counties of Maryland.


Schools Awarded Literacy Grant

The Allegany County Public School System is the only one in the state of Maryalnd to have been awarded the Chesapeake Bay Trust, three-year environmental literacy grant. The grant, in excess of $100,000, will fund the work of the Allegany County Collaboration for Environmental Literacy, which includes Allegany County Public Schools, the Evergreen Heritage Center Foundation and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.


General Assembly Session May Be Extended

Governor Martin O’Malley has signed an executive order, extending the current legislative session, if lawmakers cannot resolve budget proposal differences. Legislators are still at odds over differences in two versions of the budget legislation. Governor O’Malley is also urging lawmakers to approve some form of increased transportation funding. Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller calls an idea of an increased sales tax, “dead in the water.” In a special session called by O’Malley in 2007, the sales tax rate was increased from 5 to 6 per cent.

Local News

Woman Dead in Two-Vehicle Collision

No charges have been filed, but the investigation into a fatal two-car collision Sunday night is continuing. The Maryland State Police say Jocelyn Gordon was driving westbound on Route 40, when she crossed into the path of another vehicle, driven by Melanie Epperly; Ms. Epperly died a short time later at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The fatal crash happened just after 9:30 p.m.


ATK Cuts 150 Jobs

Approximately 150 workers will lose their jobs at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory of Alliant Tech Systems over the course of the next six months. About 40 employees had volunteered for layoffs, before the mandatory furloughs were ordered. About 1350 employees worked at the facility before the layoffs, which were ordered because of the end of several defense programs and federal spending reductions.


Primary Election Day

Today is Primary Election Day in the state of Maryland, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters should vote at the polling place to which they are assigned. Voters in District 20 should also know their polling place has moved to the Ellerslie Volunteer Fire Department, instead of Corriganville. Cumberland residents who are not registered as either Democrat or Republican can still vote for the city council candidates on the primary ballot.


Fire Causes Minor Damage to Westernport Library

A fire, which is being termed “incendiary” in nature is being investigated by the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office. The fire, at the Westernport Public Library, did about $100.00 in damage to the structure, and was contained to the rear exterior of the building. The fire was discovered by a passerby. Anyone with information is requested to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal at (301)-729-5021.


Emergency Management Division Chief  Named

Allegany County Administrator David Eberly has appointed Susan Lee to be the Emergency Management Division Chief in the Department of Emergency Services. She joined Allegany County Government as an Emergency Services Planner in November of 2006, and was promoted to the position of Emergency Management Coordinator in March of 2008. She had been Acting Chief of the Emergency Management Division.


Burglary Complaint Leads to Drug Arrest

A burglary complaint resulted in the arrest of a Cumberland resident for marijuana possession on Sunday. Cumberland City Police responded to a downtown business for a possible burglary in progress. Two males were found near the rear of the business. During the investigation, 22-year old Justin Wayne Parr was found to be in possession of several baggies of marijuana. Parr was arrested and the second man was released after the initial report of a burglary was ruled out by officers. Parr was released, pending a trial in District Court.


State Budget Compromise Being Sought

There is one week left in this year’s General Assembly session, and lawmakers are waiting for members of a House-Senate Conference Committee to come to an agreement on the state budget, as well as a bill to increase income taxes. Lawmakers typically hold evening and weekend sessions during the final week, but both House and Senate leaders say they will try to avoid that this week, because of the Easter and Passover holidays. The session will end next Monday at midnight.


Two Charged in Counterfeit Scheme

Two Delaware women were charged with trying to pass counterfeit cash for high-end electronics at the Somerset Township Walmart yesterday. Kimberly Riddick and Tynita Lavelle Bailey had tried to purchase digital cameras, an iPad and laptop computer with fake $100 bills when police arrived. About $3500 in counterfeit currency was recovered, and police are looking for a third suspect in the  incident.


Wind Farm For Somerset County

One of the largest wind farms in the state of Pennsylvania is being planned for Somerset County. The Twin Ridges Wind Farm will be constructed in the Big Savage Ridge area of the county and will span four townships, including Southampton, Northampton, Larimer and Greenville. Sixty-eight turbines, generating enough electricity to power 40,000 homes, will be erected.

Local News-UPDATE

Woman Dead in Two-Vehicle Collision

No charges have been filed, but the investigation into a two-car collision Sunday night is continuing. The Maryland State Police say Jocelyn Gordon was driving westbound on Route 40, when she crossed into the path of another vehicle, driven by Melanie Epperly; Ms. Epperly died a short time later at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The fatal crash happened just after 9:30 p.m.

Local News

Suspect Arrested in Robberies

Law enforcement officials from Allegany and Mineral Counties, along with the Pennsylvania State Police and FBI have made an arrest in a series of bank robberies in a three state area. Forty-nine year old John Allen Talerico is being held on a half-million dollars bond, on connection with the thefts from various banks, including two from the M & T Bank on Industrial Boulevard, one in Osterburg, Pennsylvania and the BB & T bank in Fort Ashby. A tip, from a car dealer in Short Gap provided a tip on a person, who had taken a vehicle that was spotted during the BB & T robbery. Further charges against Talerico, who lives on Meder’s Lane in Cumberland, are pending.


CSX Plans to Hire in Maryland

CSX Corporation plans to hire more than 140 employees in Maryland this year. The new employees will be based primarily in Cumberland and Baltimore, will operate trains and maintain tracks, locomotives and rail cars. There are nearly 1400 miles of track to be maintained in the state. Applications are available at the company website. Last year, CSX hired about 4,000 employees, with nearly 350 of those positions in Maryland.


Two Arrested at Hospital

Winchester, Virginia resident Tara Hott and Krystal Twigg of Wiley For, were arrested at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on Saturday. They are accused of disrupting other patients and medical staff members at the hospital. They were told to leave once, but returned a short time later, leading to another disturbance. They were both released, pending trial in Allegany County District Court.


Tempers Flare at Piedmont Council Meeting

A crowd which was attending the most recent meeting of the Piedmont Mayor and Council, left the meeting while elected officials argued and pointed fingers over the investigation surrounding the alleged illegal purchase of FEMA trailers by the town in 2009. Council Ray Hall, whose complaint sparked the initial investigation, claimed nothing had been done or discussed about the issue at the time, and accused Mayor Skip Clifford of choosing to, quote, “blow him off.” The consensus was, however, to put the matter behind them, and move on with the business of the city.


Woman Arrested for Making False Complaint

Cumberland resident Elnora Virginia Jenkins was charged with making a false statement, following an incident Thursday evening in the 100-block of Paw Paw Way. She had called 911 several times about people in her home, who were guests of another resident. She was unsatisfied that they were not removed by the police, so she called to falsely report a breaking and entering. She was additionally charged with failure to obey a lawful order. She was held on $750 bond.


Rawlings Man Arrested for DUI

A Rawlings resident, Robert Wesley Knisley, was arrested after nearly causing an accident on McMullen Highway, and sideswiping another Thursday evening. Knisley was charged with numerous traffic offenses, including DUI, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. A passing motorist, who witnessed the accident, obtained the vehicle registration, which ultimately led to his arrest. He was taken to District Court for a bond hearing, and was eventually released on his own recognizance.


ACM Sets Open House

Allegany College of Maryland will hold an open house on Saturday, April 14th, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Prospective new students can register to win one of six, $500 tuition vouchers for credit study. They will be awarded by random drawing during the day. Prospective students can also learn about the dozens of ACM credit programs in career and transfer areas that prepare graduates for success.


Slain Officer’s Family Wants Service Weapon

The family of Smithsburg Police Officer Christopher Nicholson, who was killed in the line of duty in 2007 would like to have his service weapon back to place in a permanent memorial. The General Assembly is deciding whether the gun will be in working order or not. It is not clear whether the family will receive the gun in working order. Nicholson was shot and killed in December of 2007 by former Cumberland resident Douglas Pryor. Along with Nicholson, Pryor is serving a life sentence for also killing Alison Munson, with whom he had two children.


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