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THE TRI-STATE'S CLASSIC ROCK STATION
GO 106 News Archives for 2012-05

Local News


New Page Law Firm Now Bankrupt

The firm that represented the NewPage Corporation until recently, has filed for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. New Page was billed more than a million dollars last year by the law firm. Dewey and LeBoeuf represented the company until May 14th, when Proskauer Rose, LLP  took over many of the duties of representing the paper manufacturer. Dewey and LeBoeuf is headquartered in New York City.

 

 Man Charged With Arson

Twenty-two year old Andrew Eugene Robinson has been charged with arson, after the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office determined he intentionally set ordinary combustibles on fire in his bedroom at the Archway Station facility at 501 Fayette Street. The incident occurred on May 23rd at about 1 a.m. The fire caused heat and soot damage in the area of the fire, inside a heat duct in his bedroom. Damages were estimated at $1,000. Robinson was charged with first degree arson and five counts of reckless endangerment.  

 

Man Arrested on District Court Warrant

A nineteen-year old Cumberland man was arrested on a District Court Warrant on Monday. Brady Aaron Twigg is accused of being inside a residence in the 100-block Columbia Street and had been removed by the residents after an altercation. He left the area, and returned with several others, including three juveniles, two of whom were armed with knives. Twigg allegedly had a baseball bat. A fight ensued and Twigg allegedly assaulted another with the baseball bat. Charges were filed against Twigg and juvenile petitions were filed with the Department of Juvenile Services.

 

Vehicle Thefts Reported on West Side

The Cumberland City Police continue to remind residents to lock their cars, following numerous reports of thefts from vehicles on the West Side. Personal property was removed from the vehicles. There are no suspects at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cumberland City Police Department or Allegany/Mineral County CrimeSolvers.

 

Keyser City Employee Resigns

Keyser City employee Bonnie Hannas has become the third employee to resign, following the resignations of the City Administrator and administrative assistant Carissa Fazenbaker. In her letter of resignation, published in the Mineral News-Tribune, Ms. Hannas claimed that she had been treated unfairly and disrespected, and that she had been in a hostile work environment. While the City Administrator position is an appointed one, the other two are regular employees.

 

FSU to Offer Computer-Related Programs

Frostburg State University will soon be offering a Bachelor of Science degree in secure computing and information assurance, a program unique to the Western Maryland region. The program was approved by both the University System of Maryland Board of Regents and the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The program focuses on how to secure digital communications, information and access while being connected to the global community. The secure computing and information assurance program will be housed in FSU’s Deparrtment of computer Science and Information Technologies.

 

Bank Robbery In Preston County

Authorities in both Pennsylvania and Maryland have been notified that a bank robbery suspect is on the loose. The WesBanco branch bank in Bruceton Mills was robbed Tuesday afternoon. It’s not clear whether the suspect was armed, but he left with an undisclosed amount of case. The FBI and West Virginia State Police are investigating, and more details could be released soon.

 

First Round of Signatures Submitted for Marriage Referendum

The Maryland Marriage Alliance has handed in more than 113,000 signatures in its effort to place the same-sex marriage issue on the referendum ballot in November. Traiditional marriage supporters say they need 55,000 valid signatures to get the measure on the ballot, and need to have 18,000 of those by today. The executive director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance says this is a non-partisan issue, and noted that petitions are even coming in from Allegany and Garrett counties.

 

“No Child Left Behind” Waiver for Maryland

Maryland, along with 7 other states, have received a waiver for the “No Child Left Behind” law. Eighteen other states and the District of Columbia have also applied for a waiver and could receive approval in the coming weeks. President Obama has granted waivers in exchange for promises from states to improve how they prepare and evaluate students. Federal lawmakers agree the law needs to be changed, but disagree on how to do that.

Local News


Woman Arrested After Car Accident

A twenty-five year old Cumberland resident was arrested, following a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Hill Top Drive and Prince George’s Street Monday afternoon. Kara Noel Baker of Elwood Street ran a stop sign there, and hit the other car. Ms. Baker had stated she had no identification with her, and acknowledged the accident was her fault. It was discovered she had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. Her purse and vehicle were searched and a hypodermic syringe and spoon were discovered. She faces numerous charges and was held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $45,000 bond.

 

Frostburg Homes Target of Thieves

Six vacant homes in the Frostburg area have been heavily damaged, as a suspect or suspects have removed copper piping. Houses on Center Street, East Main and West Main were targeted, and thousands of dollars in damage has been done. The Frostburg Police are warning landlords to regularly check on their properties to guard against such thefts. Residents are also asked to report any suspicious activity to police.

 

Westernport Woman Arrested on Burglary Charge

Westernport resident Amanda Jones has been charged with fourth-degree burglary, following an incident over the weekend. She allegedly entered a residence at 313 Hammond Street, through a window. A subsequent investigation led to her arrest. She was held on $3,000 bond, following a hearing in District Court.

 

Man Arrested After Store Robbery

Twenty-year old Moorefield resident Pabon Christian Toledo was arrested shortly after allegedly robbing the El Palomo Grocery store on North Main Street over this past weekend. He was arrested at a Clay Street residence in Moorefield. Toledo allegedly robbed the victim while displaying a long-bladed knife, receiving about $200. He remains jailed in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.

 

Rape Reported in Hancock

A woman, who was walking her dog in Hancock, was reportedly raped Monday night. The incident happened in the area of Canal Street between 11:00 and 11:30 p.m. The victim reported that the assailant was a man in his mid-20’s, and was wearing glasses. Anyone with any information is asked to call (240)-313-2185.

 

Secretary Urges Larger Juvenile Facilities

The state’s juvenile services secretary would like to expand the size of privately run residential facilities for young offenders. Sam Abed says there is currently a shortage of beds. There are long-term plans to build a 48-bed facility in the Baltimore region, and expansion of existing private facilities would be subject to public review.

 

“Stink Bugs” Still Prevalent in the State

Although many people are not seeing them in quite the numbers as last summer and fall, the so-called “stink bugs” are still around, and may be getting ready to attack gardens and orchards in the region. Many orchardists are expecting to see them feed on fruits, and advise spraying insecticide and other pest controls to try to stop them before they do much damage.

 

Epinephrine Now Required in All Maryland Schools

Governor Martin O’Malley has signed a bill into law that requires all Maryland schools to maintain an emergency supply of epinephrine in order to respond to a growing trend of severe allergic reactions among school-aged children. The bill would also give schools the authority to administer the hormone in cases of severe allergic reactions. Nurses and other school personnel will be trained in how to administer dosages of epinephrine. 

Local News


Woman Arrested After Car Accident

A twenty-five year old Cumberland resident was arrested, following a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Hill Top Drive and Prince George’s Street Monday afternoon. Kara Noel Baker of Elwood Street ran a stop sign there, and hit the other car. Ms. Baker had stated she had no identification with her, and acknowledged the accident was her fault. It was discovered she had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. Her purse and vehicle were searched and a hypodermic syringe and spoon were discovered. She faces numerous charges and was held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $45,000 bond.

 

Frostburg Homes Target of Thieves

Six vacant homes in the Frostburg area have been heavily damaged, as a suspect or suspects have removed copper piping. Houses on Center Street, East Main and West Main were targeted, and thousands of dollars in damage has been done. The Frostburg Police are warning landlords to regularly check on their properties to guard against such thefts. Residents are also asked to report any suspicious activity to police.

 

Westernport Woman Arrested on Burglary Charge

Westernport resident Amanda Jones has been charged with fourth-degree burglary, following an incident over the weekend. She allegedly entered a residence at 313 Hammond Street, through a window. A subsequent investigation led to her arrest. She was held on $3,000 bond, following a hearing in District Court.

 

Man Arrested After Store Robbery

Twenty-year old Moorefield resident Pabon Christian Toledo was arrested shortly after allegedly robbing the El Palomo Grocery store on North Main Street over this past weekend. He was arrested at a Clay Street residence in Moorefield. Toledo allegedly robbed the victim while displaying a long-bladed knife, receiving about $200. He remains jailed in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.

 

Rape Reported in Hancock

A woman, who was walking her dog in Hancock, was reportedly raped Monday night. The incident happened in the area of Canal Street between 11:00 and 11:30 p.m. The victim reported that the assailant was a man in his mid-20’s, and was wearing glasses. Anyone with any information is asked to call (240)-313-2185.

 

Secretary Urges Larger Juvenile Facilities

The state’s juvenile services secretary would like to expand the size of privately run residential facilities for young offenders. Sam Abed says there is currently a shortage of beds. There are long-term plans to build a 48-bed facility in the Baltimore region, and expansion of existing private facilities would be subject to public review.

 

“Stink Bugs” Still Prevalent in the State

Although many people are not seeing them in quite the numbers as last summer and fall, the so-called “stink bugs” are still around, and may be getting ready to attack gardens and orchards in the region. Many orchardists are expecting to see them feed on fruits, and advise spraying insecticide and other pest controls to try to stop them before they do much damage.

 

Epinephrine Now Required in All Maryland Schools

Governor Martin O’Malley has signed a bill into law that requires all Maryland schools to maintain an emergency supply of epinephrine in order to respond to a growing trend of severe allergic reactions among school-aged children. The bill would also give schools the authority to administer the hormone in cases of severe allergic reactions. Nurses and other school personnel will be trained in how to administer dosages of epinephrine. 

Local News


No Trial Date in Shirey Case

 

There has been no trial date set in the capital murder case of Cumberland resident Mark Alan Shirey, because defense attorneys are awaiting reports from experts. Shirey is charged in the death of Michael Simpson, who was his ex-wife’s boyfriend; the couple had been divorced for about ten years at the time of the incident.  Simpson was killed at his home in Cumberland Valley Township. Shirey, who was arrested in Maryland and extradited to Bedford County, has been held without bail since April of 2011.

 

 

Man Sentenced in Robbery of Pharmacy

 

Twenty-one year old Dulin Jimmy Mayhew was sentenced to a year and a day in a Maryland prison, but he may face as much as 17 more years for a probation violation from Virginia. Mayhew was sentenced on a single count of conspiracy to commit robbery, in connection with an incident at Steve’s Pharmacy on October 27th of last year. However, he had been on probation in connection with a conviction of felony burglary in Virginia, and his prison time could be extended.

 

 

Cumberland Man Held on $20,000 Bond for Assault

 

Cumberland resident Kevin Paul Bailey is being held on assault and reckless endangerment charges, in connection with a incident over this past weekend. A female victim was seen at District Court, with injuries. A Cumberland City Police officer took her to police headquarters to take a statement and have her injuries checked. She implicated Bailey in the assault, and he was arrested at a Pear Street residence. He is being held on $20,000 at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

Four Vying for Three Keyser Council Seats

 

Four people, including two former mayors, are in the running for three open seats on the Keyser City Council. The election will be held on June 5th; Terry Liller, incumbent Ed Miller, Sr., along with former Mayors Roger Newlin and William “Sonny” Rhodes have filed in the election.

 

 

Economic Development Director Lobbies for Flight School

 

Economic Development Director Shawn Hershberger spoke on several strategic economic development initiatives during a recent Cumberland Mayor and City Council meeting. One of the points of discussion was to attract a flight school to the Greater Cumberland Airport. Another suggestion is the further development of the health care corridor along Willowbrook Road, which includes Allegany College of Maryland, The Western Maryland Regional Medical Center and the Allegany County Health Department.

 

 

Traffic Patterns Changed

 

The city of Cumberland Engineering Department says travel lanes in the area of Washington’s Headquarters at the National Road monument will be reduced today. Flaggers will be present in the area. The department is urging caution; delays are to be expected between the hours of 7 a.m. And 5 p.m.

 

 

Same Sex Marriage Supporters Claim Momentum; Opponents Turn in Petitions

 

While a new poll suggests that support in the state may be increasing, opponents of same sex marriage are hoping to force the issue to referendum in November. A recent Public Policy Poll of 852 Marylanders shows 57 per cent would vote in favor of same sex marriage, while 37 per cent would vote against. Meanwhile, the Maryland Marriage Alliance has handed in its first batch of petitions and has until June 30th to submit a total of 55,736 signatures to bring the issue to the voters in November.

 

 

Money Raised for Flight 93 Memorial

 

A recent fundraiser netted $2 million for the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, but $12 million is still needed to finish it. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as House Speaker John Boehner hosted the Evening of Remembrance last week. The first phase of the memorial was dedicated in September, and honors the 40 passengers and crew members who died on September 11th, 2001 in Somerset County.

Local News


GOP Members Oppose Another Special Session

Some Republicans in the Maryland General Assembly are not in favor of another special session, to consider expanded gambling in the state. They say special sessions should be called in times of true crisis, and that any discussion of gambling expansion should be discussed during the regular 90-day session. Governor O’Malley has indicated a special session could be held the week of July 9th, if a work group on the matter reaches a consensus.

 

Four Arrested for Drug Violations in Interstate 68

Four residents of Golden, Colorado have been charged with various drug counts, following a stop on Interstate 68 westbound. An officer stopped the vehicle, because it had an equipment violation, and a K-9 unit detected the presence of drugs. Taken into custody were 24-year old Reilly Allen; 24-year old Shaina Kubalak, along with 25-year old Joshua Kubalak and Christopher Lamay. The three men were each held on $15,000 bond, while Shaina Kubalak’s bond was set at $2,000.

 

Upgraded Crossings in Garrett County

The Maryland State Highway Administration and Garrett County officials have announced two upgraded pedestrian safety crossings along Route 219, near the Deep Creek Lake area. The safety enhancements are near Quarry Road and Trader’s Landing. The new $150,000 safety enhancements include advance crosswalk flashers, new lighting and pavement markings for enhanced visibility.

 

Chase Streeet to be Closed

The City of Cumberland Engineering Department, on behalf of Columbia Gas of MD and its contractor Shaffer Construction, would like to notify the public that Chase Street will be closed between Fayette Street and Cumberland Street Tuesday through Friday June 1, 2012.  A Detour Route will be in place.  Please use caution in the area of work and obey all traffic control signs. 

 

School System to Offer 2012 Summer School Courses

The Allegany County Public School System is offering a variety of 2012 summer school options, including original credit courses, Credit Recovery Summers School, HAS Prep/Bridge Summer School and Attendance Summer School. The deadline to register is Friday, June 1st. Information and applications can be found on the school system’s website, www.acps.allconet.org, or by calling Marsha Miller at (301)-759-2021 or Ben Brauer at (301)-759-2410.

 

STAR Project Community Workshops Planned

The Sustainable Transformation of the Appalachian Region, or “STAR” project, in partnership with the Greater Cumberland Committee and other groups, will be hosting two upcoming community workshops. The purpose of the program is to prepare a “primer” for economic development planning for Western Maryland. The first workshop will be held on Thursday at the Will O’ The Wisp restaurant in McHenry, while the second will be held on Monday, June 4th at the Cumberland Country Club. To RSVP, contact Juli McCoy at 9301)-722-0090.

 

Man Bitten By Rabid Fox

A Somerset County man was bitten by a fox that the victim thought was a cat. A group of people attended a bonfire earlier in the month, and the victim believed the fox to be a cat, and tried to push it out of the way. He was bitten and the fox was killed, and sent it away for testing. It turned out the fox was positive for rabies. The man who was bitten is seeking treatment and doing well.

 

Former President Golfs at Bedford Springs

Former President George W. Bush was a guest for a round of golf at the Omni Bedford Springs resort on Thursday. He took a private jet from Texas to the Bedford County Airport, where Secret Service agents escorted him to the course. He had planned a visit last year, but had to cancel due to bad weather. Bush, however, wasn’t the first U.S. President to visit Bedford Springs. James Polk stayed there in 1848, and nine more-including seven sitting presidents have been to Bedford Springs since Polk’s visit.

 

Local News


Board Approves IAC Recommendation

The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved the Interagency for School Construction’s recommendation for school construction projects, including the Allegany High School project. The next step in the process will be the solicitation of proposals for architectural engineering services for the design of the new school at the former site of the Braddock Campus of the Western Maryland Health System.

 

Keyser Approves Water, Sewer Increases

A new rate schedule for water and sewer charges in Keyser will take effect in 45 days. The Mayor and Council approved an increase in the rates, which had not changed since 1999. Mayor Randy Amtower  notes that it is an approximate 127-per cent increase. The city is currently building a new wastewater treatment plant, which should be completed in late 2015.

 

Two Arrested After Altercation

Two Cumberland men were arrested and face a host of charges, in connection with an incident in the 500-block of Woodside Avenue on Wednesday evening. A person had asked some friends to help move some items out of a residence, but there was an altercation with relatives. One of the people helping to move furniture was struck with a wooden club several times and a window was broken out of his vehicle, as he was attempting to leave the scene. Arrested were 44-year old Keith Alan Rae and 49-year old Mark Edward Rae. Keith Rae was held without bond, while Mark Rae’s bond was set at $15,000.

 

Supporters Plan City Gathering

Supporters of the state’s same-sex marriage law will hold a rally in downtown Cumberland in July. The group, called Cumberland Setusfree, began as a Facebook page. Organizers recognize that the law, passed during the General Assembly session, will likely go to referendum in November. The goal of the rally is to have local speakers telling stories of why the law is important to them.

 

Hiring Process to Begin for Administrator, Assistant in Keyser

The city of Keyser is beginning the process of hiring an administrator, an administrative assistant, positions on the inflow and Infiltration team and the water department. As far as the Administrator position goes, the city is forming an interview panel, consisting of professionals from the community. They will perform the interviews and choose the top three candidates.

 

Bus Accident in Romney

A school bus, being taken for a test drive, crashed through a utility pole on U.S. Route 50 in Romney, in front of Eastern Building Supply. No children were on the bus, and the driver was taken to Hampshire Memorial Hospital, observed and released. The driver went through the mandatory drug and alcohol testing and was cleared at the hospital. Police are not saying what caused the accident, and it remains under investigation.

 

Two Arrests Made in Hampshire County

The Hampshire County Sheriff’s office made two arrests this week. Slanesville resident Norman Scott Fuqua was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant. He had been wanted in Frederick County, Virginia for felony grand larceny. Capon Bridge resident Joshua Allen Bowyer was arrested on a fugitive warrant as well. Bowyer was wanted in Winchester, Virginia on felony burglary and grand larceny charges. Both were transported and released to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.

 

Four Residents Arrested for Hotel Robbery

Four Frederick residents have been arrested in connection with the robbery of the Motel Six hotel on Massey Boulevard in Hagerstown. One of the four is being charged with second-degree murder, and is being held on a million-dollars bond. Law enforcement authorities say Tony Jones demanded money from three women and stabbed one of them multiple times. She was taken to Meritus Medical Center for treatment.

Local News


One Person Removed From Keyser Meeting

One person was escorted from the Mineral County Courthouse, where the Keyser Mayor and Council held a hearing on revised water and sewer rates last night. Several Keyser Police Department officers were present for the meeting, where city officials also accepted the resignation of the city administrator and administrative assistant. City Administrator Deborah Pamepinto affirmed her desire to resign, despite the fact she had “backtracked” on her original request.

 

Charges To Be Filed Against Two Juveniles

The Department of Juvenile Justice will be filing charges against two Fort Hill High School students, who are accused of assaulting another over a six-month period. The victim told Cumberland City Police and the School Resource Officer that the assaults were taking place during school hours, near the gymnasium. After being identified, the two suspects were suspended from school. The investigation is ongoing.

 

Keyser Man Sentenced to Prison on Sexual Abuse Counts

Thirty-nine year old Keyser resident Robert Rhodes was sentenced to 125 to 295 years in prison, after being convicted on more than 30 charges of sexual abuse and related charges involving six female minors. He will serve the sentenced in one of the state’s maximum security prisons. He was convicted in October, having initially been charged with more than 50 counts.

 

Senator Edwards Chosen As Work Group Alternate

Senator George Edwards has been chosen as an alternate to a work group considering gaming expansion in Maryland, as announced by Governor Martin O’Malley this week. While he says he doesn’t know what an alternate is supposed to do, he believes table gaming should be allowed as surrounding states allow it, and those who want to gamble, are doing it elsewhere. The first meeting of the group will be held June 1st in Annapolis.

 

Cumberland Man Charged with Assault

Twenty-eight year old Steven Morris was released on personal recognizance, following a domestic incident in the 600-block of Columbia Avenue on Tuesday. Morris allegedly assaulted another person, as the result of a verbal argument. He was charged with second-degree assault, following a bond review hearing.

 

 

 

Swimming Prohibited at Somerset County Park

Swimming has been suspended at Kooser Lake in Somerset County, due to unsafe conditions related to too much sedimentation and algae. The swimming area is typically four to five feet deep, but levels have dropped to as low as 18 inches in some spots. Fishing will continue to be allowed, and fish caught at the lake are safe to eat. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will have the lake dredged shortly after the Labor Day holiday, with New Enterprise Stone and Lime assisting in the process.

 

Attempted Abduction of Teen Reported in Hagerstown

The Hagerstown Police Department is looking for a man they say tried to abduct a 14-year old girl late last week. She was walking in the 400-block of West Franklin Street, when a green SUV, possibly a Subaru, pulled to the curb near her. The driver had asked the girl if she needed a ride, then grabbed her arm through the passenger side window of the car. She was able to break free. The suspect is a white male, between 40 and 50 years of age, with short gray hair and a “thick” build. A detective with the Hagerstown Police Department says it is a terrible thing for a young person to experience, and they are going to do as much as they can to solve the case.

 

State Board Revamping Suspension Policy

The Maryland State Board of Education is revamping its policy on school suspensions, and will try to deal with the problem to keep more students in the classroom, rather than out. An average of  6500 students are suspended every year. The Board is looking for input from both parents and educators. Local school systems, according to the Board, must better report the number of minority and special education students who are being suspended. They also will be asked to review long-term suspensions and expulsions.

 

Giordano Arrested for Indecent Exposure

Gary Giordano, who had been jailed for four months last year in connection with the disappearance of Robyn Gardner of Frederick, has been arrested for indecent exposure. He and another woman were arrested after they were found in an SUV inside an Annapolis parking garage. Giordano, who claimed innocence in the Gardner case, was released from an Aruba jail. Gardner’s body was never found.

 

 

 

Local News


Second Special Session May Be In July

The Maryland General Assembly may re-convene in July to consider the expansion of gambling in the state. If there is a consensus among the leadership, a special session will be held the week of July 9th. The Work Group to Consider Gaming Expansion will look at how to compensate the operators of the state’s five casinos, and will also determine the impact of allowing table games. If approved, the expanded gaming issue will go before voters in November.

 

No Tax Hike for City, Sewer Rates to Increase

Cumberland residents won’t pay higher taxes next year, but sewer rates will increase. The Mayor and Council will vote on a sewer rate increase at its next meeting. The operating margin of the sewer fund is a little more than $10,000, and city officials want to keep the $6 million fund operating in the black, according to the Cumberland Times-News.

 

Keyser Council Meeting Moved to Courthouse

In anticipation of a larger than usual crowd, the Keyser Mayor and City Council will move tonight’s meeting to the Mineral County courthouse. The agenda will include a public hearing on proposed increases to the city’s water and sewer rates. While the City Hall meeting room has a 55-person capacity, the courthouse could allow about 120 people. Along with the water and sewer rates, the city has also experienced ongoing citizen protests at the meetings.

 

Assistant to Resign Position in Keyser

Administrative Assistant to the Keyser Mayor and Council, Carissa Fazenbaker is set to resign at tonight’s meeting. While City Administrator Deborah Pamepinto was on medical leave, Ms. Fazenbaker was promoted to acting city administrator. However, Ms. Pamepinto has also resigned, leaving the city without an administrator. Council member Bill Roy has also resigned his position.

 

Teenager to Be Charged with Arson

A 16-year old boy is being charged with arson, in connection with the Walden United Methodist church in Piedmont last month. The fire caused more than $40,000 in damage to the church and an outbuilding was also destroyed. He was arrested after he was identified through video surveillance. He has also admitted to setting the fire.

 

Rail Trail Extension Work Could Start This Year

A plan to extend the Western Maryland Rail Trail could be approved by the National Park Service this summer, with construction possibly starting later this year. An environmental assessment looked at a section from Pearre, Maryland to Paw Paw, a section of the former railroad that is approximately 15 miles long. Maryland can contribute about $3.5 million in funding available for a section of the trail, approximately 4 miles long from its side of the Potomac River to Little Orleans.

 

Schools To Close Early

Two schools in Garrett County, Dennett Road and Kitzmiller will close at the end of the month, unless the Board of Education there decides to reconsider, or an appeal to the state to stop the closings materializes. The Garreett County Board of Education voted to close the schools permanently to cut costs. The schools are slated to close on May 30th, a day before the rest of the schools in the county close.

 

Man Found in North Carolina

The man police say jumped into the Potomac River last week, after trying to hit West Virginia State Police troopers with his car, has been found in Wilmington, North Carolina. David Windham was discovered Saturday. Police found his trying to cut down copper wire on the CSX access road in Berkeley Springs last week; troopers fired three shots at him, when he tried to hit them, and he disappeared into the river. He is being charged with attempted unlawful assault on a police officer and grand larceny. He is awaiting extradition back to West Virginia.

 

Man Surrenders After Hagerstown Standoff

A Hagerstown man is being held on three-quarters of a million dollars bond, after a standoff with police late last week. Forty-nine year old Neil Shawn LaPine told police negotiators he was going to “commit suicide by cop. Police arrived after they received reports a man had been making suicidal threats. He eventually was persuaded into surrendering to police. He has a preliminary hearing, set for June 6th.

 

Maryland Loses 6,000 Jobs in April

The state of Maryland lost 6,000 jobs in April, the largest monthly loss in the country during a month when most states gain jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor has also revised its estimate for March, showing the state losing 600 jobs, rather than adding 1500. The unemployment rate rose from 6.6 per cent to 6.7 in March, in part because more residents began looking for work, or tried again after giving up.

 

State Releases “Objectionable Plate List”

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has catalogued more than 4,000 words, phrases and letter-number combinations that won’t be put on a license plate. The agency’s “Objectionable Plate List” has been released, and while the list began decades ago, more and more have been added. The MVA sometimes gets input from the prison inmates who make the plates at Maryland Correctional Enterprises. They might alert the MVA to a drug or sex reference while manufacturing the tags.

Local News


Lakes Entertainment Buys Out Evitts for $590,000

The Cumberland Times-News is reporting that documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that Lakes Entertainment paid $590,000 to buy out its partner Evitts Resort, LLC, the firm that will build a slots parlor at Rocky Gap. The closing of the repurchase was May 14th. The State Video Lottery Facility Location Commission awarded the license of April 26th, and the proposal is on the Board of Public Works agenda for its June 20th meeting.

 

Accident Closes Interstate Exit

A tractor-trailer accident closed Exit 50, the Pleasant Valley Exit, of  Interstate 68 westbound near Rocky Gap State Park on Sunday.  The Maryland Department of the Environment was on the scene to offload what were termed “explosives and corrosives” from the trailer. A spokesperson for the Allegany County Office of Emergency Management said the truck was hauling potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide. There were no injuries, and the driver refused medical treatment. The incident was reported around 1:44 p.m.

 

Garrett County Fire Causes $50,000 Damage

A fire on Hill Street in Grantsville Saturday caused about $50,000 damage. The fire was ruled accidental in nature, with the failure of an attic gable vent fan at the home of Mark Diehl. The fire was discovered by a neighbor about 5:13 p.m. Saturday. About 30 firefighters from Grantsville, Bittinger, Deep Creek and Salisbury had the fire under control in about 20 minutes.

 

No Criminal Intent on Part of Councilman

Keyser City Councilman Clinton Faulk will not be charged in the disappearance of an ATV from the city of Keyser Streets Department. The vehicle had been stored at the garage for some time and Faulk-who is the city’s streets commissioner-moved the ATV to get it out of the way. Fellow council member Herman Judy reported the ATV missing; Faulk had taken it to the city’s sewer plant.

 

Lock Haven Man Jailed on Drug Charges

Lock Haven, Pennsylvania resident Russell Lee Domitrovich faces numerous drug charges, following a stop on Interstate 68 Sunday. Domitrovich was stopped after he was seen driving with a cracked windshield. A K-9 unit alerted officers to drugs in the vehicle. A quantity of marijuana and cocaine was found, and he was arrested and held on $6500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Moorefield Area Man Sentenced

Moorefield-area resident Walter Richard Pritts has been sentenced in connection with the brutal beating of a Hardy County businesswoman. Pritts was sentenced to no less than one, but no more than 5 years. He is technically eligible for parole with his current time served. Pritts had pled guilty to unlawful assault, and was because prosecutors tried to salvage what they could of the investigation and the case. The victim allegedly impeded the criminal investigation and commented that she would be willing to lie under oath about the allegations in order to keep Pritts from going to jail.

 

Police Schedule Youth Camp

The fourth annual Cumberland Police Department Summer Youth Camp will take place Monday, June 11th through Friday, June 15th. The camp will be held at the Salvation Army on Somerville Avenue. The Cumberland Police Department will once again partner with the Salvation Army in the effort. The cost to attend will be $25, and checks may be made payable to the Salvation Army. For more information, contact Sgt. Jim Hott at (301)-759-6501. Applications can also be accessed through the City of Cumberland Police Department website.

 

Fatal Accident in Hagerstown Area

A 22-year old Cascade, Maryland man lost his life over the weekend in a collision with a Federal Express tractor trailer in Washington County. For an unknown reason, Jon Gauss crossed the center line of Route 491, north of Route 64, and collided with the rig, driven by 50-year old James Frey of Boonsboro. Gauss was ejected from the vehicle. Route 491 was closed to traffic for about four hours. The Hagerstown barrack of the Maryland State Police continues to investigate the accident.

 

Man Found Safe in Potomac River

A Frederick-area man was treated and released from Frederick Memorial Hospital, after clinging to a rock in the Potomac River. The man, who had been tubing on Saturday, became separated from his friends, and was discovered by some fishermen Sunday morning. He was last seen by his friends about 6 p.m. Saturday. His tube crashed against a rock. Once found by the fishermen, the victim was given food and water, while he warmed up in a vehicle.

Local News


Police Seek Strong-Armed Robber

Law enforcement agencies are looking for a man, who robbed another of a deposit he was making at the M&T Bank on Industrial Boulevard Saturday morning. The victim reported the man approached him, struck him in the face with a forearm, causing him to fall to the ground. The suspect then took an undisclosed amount of money and fled the area on foot. It appeared he had hidden behind the hedges at the outside perimeter of the bank parking lot. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police, the C3I unit or Allegany/Mineral County CrimeSolvers.

 

Attorney Cites Code on Disrupting Meetings

To address what is being termed a “rapidly deteriorating situation” at Keyser Mayor and City Council meetings, Prosecuting Attorney James Courrier has issued a statement, outlining a law addressing the intentional disruption of meetings. Violating the law is punishable by a fine of up to $100, and jail time of up to 6 months. While he is not discouraging citizen participation, Courrier says it is a last resort to keep order and allow the city to conduct needed business. Keyser is moving Tuesday’s meeting to a larger venue, to accommodate an expectedly large crowd, as Council will consider water and sewer rate increases.

 

Police Issue Reminders to Motorists

The Cumberland City Police Department is offering a few reminders to motorists, regarding the parking of their vehicles on city streets. They are asking that vehicles be parked as close to the curb as possible, and in the direction of traffic. A second area of concern is vehicles that are parked on sidewalks, blocking alleys or travel lanes. They say it’s a major safety concern, as it forces pedestrians out into the roadway. The department will continue to enforce those regulations through written warnings, citations and the possibility of having the vehicle impounded if it is a safety hazard.

 

Biker Hits Bear

Fifty-seven year old Morgantown resident Harry Eldred was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center Saturday, after his motorcycle hit a bear on U.S. Route 219, near Rabbit Hollow Road. He was ejected from the bike. There is no word on the extent of Eldred’s injuries, nor as to the fate of the bear. The Maryland State Police and a number of other emergency agencies responded to the accident, which was reported around4:50 p.m.

 

Man Issued Citation for Trespassing on CSX Property

Cumberland resident David Eugene Cooper was issued a citation, charging him with trespassing on private property Thursday night. Cooper had walked across the train tracks near the Amtrak station on Queen City Pavement. The area is marked with “no trespassing” signs. Cooper was released at the scene, pending his trial date in District Court.

 

Kahl Elected President of Association

Allegany County Director of Public Works, Paul Kahl has been elected as President of the County Engineers Association of Maryland for 2012-2013. The Association includes nearly 600 county, state, municipal and consulting engineers, as well as public works personnel, contractors and suppliers. Kahl has been employed by the county since 1989, having served in the Department of Public Works in a number of capacities; he was promoted to Director of Public Works in 2010.

 

Magruder Street To Be Closed Beginning Monday

Magruder Street, between Wallace and Lee Streets will be closed Monday through Wednesday, due to work by Columbia Gas of Maryland. Drivers are asked to use caution and obey all traffic control signs. They also should expect delays, while the closure is in effect.

 

Rocky Gap Memorial Day Observance Set

Rocky Gap Veterans’ Cemetery will hold its annual Veterans Day program next Monday, May 28th at 2:00 p.m. This year, the Guest Speaker will be former two-term Maryland State Senator John Bambacus. The public is invited to attend the program.

 

Rockwood Council Protests Train Stop

The Rockwood Borough Council is concerned about establishing a train stop in the town, partly because of safety issues, and partly because of financial concerns. One council member believes a stop would result in drugs being brought into the area. Another disagrees how the project would be funded, and who would pay for constructing and maintaining a train station. A meeting between council members and the Somerset County Commissioners is set for this Friday.

 

Petersburg Facility Set for Closure

The Petersburg,West Virginia postal facility has been marked for closure, making it one of four consolidations to be completed there, between now and February of next year. Petersburg’s processing work will move to Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The other three operations set to close in the Mountain State include are in Bluefield, Wheeling, and Parkersburg. Both U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin have issued statements, calling on the postal service to treat West Virginia fairly in its consolidation efforts.

Local News


Cumberland Unaffected by Postal Closures

The U.S. Postal Service still has plans to close dozens of mail processing centers, but the Cumberland location will remain unaffected, at least until January of 2014. The nearly bankrupt postal service says it can no longer wait, as Congress remains deadlocked on how to help. The Postal Service had been asked to hold off on closing any mail facility, until Congress could pass final postal overhaul legislation, but at this point, that hasn’t happened.

 

City Market Plan Put on Hold

The Downtown Development Commission has voted to put the City Market concept “on hold,” at least until economic conditions improve. An Annapolis firm, FranPoint Partners had been hired, at a cost of $2500, to study possible sites and economic conditions. The DDC, however, has voted to table the idea for the time being.

 

West Virginia State Police Seek Suspect

The West Virginia State Police are looking for a man they say fired shots at them, and who tried to run them down with a truck, near Berkeley Springs. David James Windham was allegedly trying to pull numerous strands of copper signal wire along the CSX Access Road with a truck. The troopers caught him in the act, and ordered him to stop. Windham allegedly accelerated, steering towards the troopers. They fired three shots. Windham ran over an embankment of the Potomac River near Hancock, but he was not located. Numerous law enforcement agencies are involved in the case. If anyone has any information, they are asked to contact the West Virginia State Police.

 

Two Seriously Hurt in Crash

Three people were taken to the hospital, following a three-vehicle crash on Route 135 near Westernport. The crash, in the area of the Tri-Towns Plaza, sent 80-year old John Maybury, Barton resident Dorothy Winebrenner and 42-year old Brenda Lee Smith of Keyser to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The accident happened as the Maybury vehicle cross the center line, striking the Winebrenner vehicle and the Smith car. Maybury and Smith suffered the most serious injuries. Charges are pending in the accident, according to the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Two Finalists for Garrett County Superintendent’s Job

There are two finalists for the job of Garrett County Superintendent of Schools, including Janet Wilson, the current chief academic officer for the Allegany County Public School System since 2010. The other finalist is Jeremy Raley, who is an assistant superintendent for administration and finance for the Shenandoah County Public Schools in Virginia, and a 1992 graduate for Fort Hill High School.  Wendell Teets unexpectedly retired last summer.

 

Woman, Juvenile Charged With Assault

Thirty-two year old April Burns and a 15-year old female juvenile were both charged with assault, following an incident on Wednesday in the area of East First Street and Grand Avenue. While Burns was released on personal recognizance, charges against the juvenile are being forwarded to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

 

Fire Destroys Fairhope Farmhouse

An over-100 year old home in Fairhope, Pennsylvania was destroyed by fire Wednesday. The home, along Danny’s lane, was owned by Mike and Carol Weimer, and was in an isolated area, so much so, that the fire may have burned for hours without anyone noticing. It’s unlikely the cause will ever be known. The Weimers had insurance on the home. The Berlin and Meyersdale Fire Departments responded to the fire.

 

Move To Bring Elk into Maryland

A survey done by pro-hunting groups finds that nearly 75 per cent of Marylanders are in favor of returning wild elk to the western portion of the state. However, the survey also finds opposition among some Western Maryland farmers and others, who fear the animals-which have not been in the state since the 1700’s-could jeopardize their livelihood, spread disease or damage their property.

 

Mother Files Suit Against Daughter’s Murderer

The mother of a Hagerstown woman, whose daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, has filed suit against him. Brenda MacBride Cole, mother of Heather Wynn Harris, has filed a civil lawsuit, both individually and as a representative of her late daughter’s estate, against Randy Houston McPeak. He pleaded guilty last year to first-degree murder in the June, 2010 shooting that resulted in Ms. Harris’ death. He held off police for several hours; Ms. Harris was taken to the hospital, but died a few days later.

Local News


General Assembly Approves Tax Hikes, Pension Shift

 

The Maryland General Assembly, during its special session, increased state income taxes on individuals who earn more than $100,000 per year and couples who make more than $150,000 per year. And, the state will begin shifting teacher pension costs to local governments over the next four years. A tax increase on tobacco products, other than cigarettes, was also passed. There may still be another special session later this summer, to deal with the issue of tabling gaming in Maryland.

 

Canal Place Executive Director Named

 

Deidra “Dee Dee” Ritchie has been named the new executive director of the Canal Place Heritage area, and will begin her duties on June 4th. She had previously been manager of the Garrett County Heritage Area and will replace Rene Bone, who resigned in February, after nearly three years in that position.

 

Mineral County Man Sentenced

 

Carpendale resident  Matthew Christopher Walters was among 14 people sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg. Walters was sentenced to 16 months in prison, after entering a guilty plea last October, to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had previously been convicted of burglary and second-degree assault in 2009.

 

Acting Administrator Relinquishes Duties

 

Acting Keyser City Administrator Carissa Fazenbaker has relinquished those duties, but will remain as administrative assistant to Mayor Randy Amtower. She had been the acting administrator in the absence of Deborah Pamepinto, who is on medical leave, at least until the end of the month. Ms. Pamepinto had resigned during the April 25tyh meeting, but the Council voted 3 to 2, to reject her letter of resignation. She has since had a change of heart, and wants to remain in that capacity.

 

Recall Petition Presented

 

A recall petition for Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower was presented to the city administrator this week. The petition was presented for certification, and the administrator has ten days to verify that the petition contains 100 signatures of registered voters who participated in the last election. If verified, the recall election would be held no less than 30 days or more than 40 days from the date of petition certification.

 

Former Commissioner, Engineer Pass

 

Former Allegany County Commission President Bernie Loar passed away Monday in Frederick. Commissioner Loar is survived by his wife, a son, daughter, brothers, sisters and several nieces and nephews. Friends are being received at the Scarpelli Funeral Home on Saturday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. And, former District 6 Engineer Wally Beaulieu passed away in Florida last Friday. Friends are being received at the Adams Family Funeral Home today from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral services are set for tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Mountains parish, Sts. Peter and Paul Shrine.

 

Keyser High Short on Fundraising Effort

 

Keyser High School is still having trouble coming with the $279,000 loan payment that is due on its athletic complex next month. A little over $2600 during the past two months, but they still anticipate raising up to $100,000 by the deadline. Those in charge of fundraising are investigating several avenues, to generate the money needed to meet the June 10th deadline.

 

Bedford County Wind Project Shelved

 

Plans for a 24-turbine wind farm on Dunning Mountain in Bedford County have been shelved, after many residents in the area opposed the project. Two other projects in the region, however, are moving forward. Another project, in Clearfield County is being halted, because of the economy and the end of tax credits for renewable energy. The Clearfield County project would have placed 40 turbines between Grampain and Luthersburg.

 

Motorcyclist Killed in Somerset County

 

A Somerset County motorcyclist died Tuesday evening, after he wrecked his bike on State Route 985 near Sipesville. Fifty-one year old Greg Conn lost control of his bike, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police were assisted by the Sipesville Volunteer Fire Department.

 

 

Archbishop of Baltimore Installed

 

William Lori was installed yesterday as the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Archbishop Lori is a believer in Catholic education, and notes that Catholic school enrollment in the state is increasing. His predecessor, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, now Cardinal O’Brien, however, closed 13 schools to help consolidate and save money.

Local News


Special Session Could Conclude Today

The special session of the Maryland General Assembly should be finished by today. The session was held to avert about $500 million in cuts, and includes tax increases on people who make more than $100,000 per year. Montgomery County’s Democrats are expected to push for an amendment to replace the income tax increase with an increase in the state sales tax rate from 6% to 7%. The General Assembly may re-convene later in the summer to consider table games legislation.

 

Man Held on Combined Bond

Cumberland resident James Derek Coffey is being held on a combined bond of $8500 in the Allegany County Detention Center. Coffey was arrested on a number of charges, including assault, violation of an ex-parte order, telephone misuse and harassment.

 

Hardy Voters Pass School Bond Issue

Students in Hardy County schools  will have two rebuilt high schools, as a result of a$21.5 million school bond passed in the most recent primary election. The bond passed by a sizeable, 12 per cent margin, and means that Moorefield High School will be rebuilt, with East Hardy High School being significantly renovated. The bond should be matched with a similar amount from the West Virginia School Building Authority.

 

No Swimmer Found in Potomac

Nobody has been found after police received reports of a man, trying to swim the Potomac River, from the West Virginia side to Maryland, near Hancock. Authorities were told by dispatchers that gunshots had been fired on the West Virginia side of the river, but they weren’t sure who fired the shots. A search was conducted by the Maryland State Police, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the National Park Service.

 

Potomac on List of Most Endangered

The Potomac River is the most endangered river in the United States, threatened by both urban and agricultural pollution. The Potomac provides drinking water for more than 5 million people, and recreational opportunities for many more in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. The annual report was released by the “American Rivers” group.

Business Fundamentals Workshop Set

A workshop on “Business Fundamentals” will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30th in  Parsons, West Virginia. The workshop is part of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center’s Training and Business Coaching Program. Registration is required by Friday, May 25th. To register, call (304)-530-4964.

 

Fire Marshal Finds Evidence of Manufacture of IED

The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office has evidence that improvised explosive devices were made at a residence near Hancock. The evidence was seized early Sunday from a home on Orchard Ridge Road. A suspect has been identified in the case. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.

 

Ex-Girlfriend Faces Charges in House Fire

 A Hagerstown woman faces serious charges after allegedly intentionally setting fires in her ex-boyfriend’s home. Kimberlyn White, an ex-girlfriend of the tenant, confessed to the arson, at 438 East Franklin Street,  and was arrested. She is being held on $500,000 bond at the Washington County Detention Center. The incident was reported Sunday night, bringing out the Hagerstown Fire Department. The Fire Marshal remained on the scene until 3:15 a.m. Monday.

 

Kitchen Stove Started Hagerstown Fire

A Hagerstown fire that resulted in two deaths was caused by an active burner on a kitchen stove. The fire, at 334 Summit Avenue, killed three-year-old Hope Goins along with her mother, Patricia Goins. Surviving the fire were Hope’s father, Kenneth Goins and Patricia Goins’ father, Quintin Coldsmith. Donations collected will go towards the Hope Goins fund at Susquehanna Bank locations, to help cover medical expenses and funeral costs.

 

Harassment on Social Media Sites Banned

During this past session, the Maryland General Assembly passed a law to expand the definition of electronic harassment. The law prohibits harassment on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. If found guilty, a person can face up to a year in prison, a $500 fine or both.

 

Local News


Special Session Underway

The General Assembly’s Special Session is underway, and is expected to last through tomorrow. Lawmakers are considering a number of tax changes and spending cuts to trim $500 million off the state’s structural deficit and avoid what Democrats are calling a “doomsday budget.” Income tax increases would affect about 16 per cent of Marylanders, and would be for individuals making $100,000 or more, or households making $150,000. Lawmakers are also expected to approve a plan to shift most teacher pension costs from the state to county governments over the course of four years, beginning with a 50 per cent shift, beginning in July.

 

Robbery Suspect Dies Of Natural Causes

A man, identified last week as a suspect in the armed robbery of the 135 Liberty Station in Oakland, has died of natural causes in Tennesssee. The Garrett County Sheriff’s Office says 61-year old Jerry Alston Cline was developed as a suspect; he allegedly entered the business, displayed a handgun and demanded money. He was given an undetermined amount and fled the business. It’s now known Cline died Friday in Tennessee, while visiting a relative.

 

Midlothian Man Sentenced to Prison

Thirty-five year old Christopher Minnick has been sentenced to ten years in prison, with all but 18 months suspended, for a third degree sex offense involving a four year old female child. Upon release, Minnick will be place on five years supervised probation, register as a sex offender for life and have no contact with the victim or her family. The case stemmed from an incident that occurred in July of last year.

 

Police Impersonator Sought

The Maryland State Police are seeking a man, approximately 30 to 40 years of age, who posed as an undercover police officer, in order to bilk another man out of money. The incident happened last week at the Country Club Mall, when the suspect approached the victim in the bathroom of the J.C. Penney Store at the mall. The suspect told the victim, who is 71 years of age, that he had violated the law, and would have to post bond. The victim withdrew money from his credit union and gave it to the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Maryland State Police, C3I unit or CrimeSolvers.

 

Cardin Addresses Affordable Care Forum

Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin addressed a forum on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, hosted by the Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission, the Western Maryland Central Labor Council, and the Alliance for Retired Americans. During his remarks Monday, Senator Cardin noted the ACA will provide health care coverage to more than 30 million Americans, including three-quarters of a million Marylanders. Maryland has received $34.4 million in grants, since the passage of the law in 2010, and has also provided $21.4 million to Maryland to create new health center sites in medically underserved areas.

 

Woman Sentenced in Murder-For-Hire Scheme

Augusta, West Virginia resident Brenda Lee Swisher has been sentenced to five years in prison in a murder-for-hire case in which she tried to hire someone to murder the wife of her ex-boyfriend for $3500. Upon release, she will be on three years’ supervised probation. She had pleaded guilty on January 11th to a charge of causing an individual to travel in interstate commerce from Virginia to commit the murder.

 

Mineral Commissioners Discuss Grant Funding

The Mineral County Commissioners recently approved resolutions to eight different grant applications, and agreed to ask state permission to use some leftover grant money for another purpose. Some of the grant money requested would be used to fund the Mineral County Historical Society’s projects at the Carskadon Mansion in Keyser, and $2500 for the purchase of cameras and $5,000 for equipment for the New Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

 

Man Released Following Drug Discovery

LaVale resident Christopher John Idol faces criminal charges for possession of drug paraphernalia following his arrest on Sunday. While being searched, police found a smoking device, containing alleged marijuana residue. He was taken to District Court for an initial appearance and released on personal recognizance.

 

Two Treated for Minor Injuries

Two Barton residents suffered minor injuries in a two-vehicle accident on Lower George’s Creek Road, near Moscow this past weekend. A truck, driven by 18-year old Jesse Matthew Pope crossed over the center line of the road and hit another pickup driven by 23-year old Mark Ryan Colmer. Both trucks had extensive front-end damage, but both drivers elected not to go to the hospital, and were treated at the scene. Pope was cited for failure to drive right of center.

 

Rail Trail Meetings Set this Week

Hancock is hosting one of two National Park Service Open Houses on a proposed extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail. The first meeting will be held tomorrow at the Hanock Town hall from 6 to 8 p.m.; a second is set for 8 p.m. Thursday at the Paw Paw School. Several alternatives are being considered for extending the trail, including one in which an extension would not be constructed.

 

O’Malley Bumped From National News Show

Governor Martin O’Malley was “bumped” form “Meet the Press” this past Sunday. The interview was cancelled to make room for an exclusive interview with a representative form J.P. Morgan Chase, which announced a $2 billion trading loss this week. O’Malley was expected to talk about President Obama’s announcement that he supports gay marriage.

 

Man Pulls Knife on Driver

Somerset Police are looking for a man who pulled a knife on another driver on Pleasant Avenue last week. The victim told police he was stopped in traffic, and had asked the man to turn down his music earlier when the two were pumping gas at the Sheetz store. Authorities are trying to identify the man with the knife. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

Local News


Senator Urges Support for Route 219 Completion

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey is lobbying for support of the completion of Route 219. The Senator has sent a letter to the conference committee, charged with coming to a compromise on the House and Senate-backed versions of the bill. About $35 million in matching funds will be needed to complete Route 219 from Somerset to Meyersdale.

 

Bank Holdups May be Related

Police are beginning to believe that a woman who robbed the Friendsville branch of First United Bank and Trust may also have robbed banks in Cambria and Blair counties last week. Surveillance photos and the manner in which she robbed the banks are similar. She is suspected of robbing banks in Salix, Pennsylvania and Tyrone. The Maryland State Police in Garrett County have contacted law enforcement authorities in Tyrone and Adams Township, while CrimeStoppers of Cambria County is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

 

Keyser Mayor Nearly Called on To Step Down

The Keyser City Council came within one vote this week to pass a resolution, calling on Mayor Randy Amtowner to resign. The vote was 3 to 2 against the motion. Meanwhile, the status of City Administrator Deborah Pamepinto remains unclear. The council vote to not accept her resignation. She had indicated that she no longer wished to resign. And, Council has agreed to reinstate the public comment portion of the meeting, limiting individuals to ten minutes.

 

Sierra Hygiene Renews Lease in Frostburg

Sierra Hygiene Products, LLC of California is renewing its lease with the county. The company is located in Frostburg, and focuses on the away-from-home paper market in North America, such as hand towels, bathroom tissue, soaps and sanitizers. The company located in Frostburg in 2007, and now employs ten people there.

 

Woman Charged With Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle

A 24-year old Cumberland woman has been charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, following an incident Friday in Cumberland. Ashley Elizabeth Blank allegedly took a person’s vehicle in the city without permission. She also allegedly gave a false name to officers. It was discovered she had been driving on a suspended license. Further criminal charges are pending against her, in connection with this incident.

 

Man Faces Motor Vehicle, Marijuana Charges

Twenty-seven year old Christopher Joe Clanagan of Cumberland was arrested over the weekend on Arch Street for driving at a greater than reasonable speed and a seatbelt violation. A passenger in the car told police that Clanagan had handed him a baggie of marijuana, in an attempt to hide it from the police. He was charged with possession of marijuana and driving on a suspended license. Following a District Court hearing, he was released on personal recognizance.

 

Rockwood Seeking Amtrak Station

The town of Rockwood is seeking an Amtrak Station, which would provide additional use for the remaining tracks and reconnect the town to the federal rail system. The Capitol Limited passes through there every day on trips from Pittsburgh to Washington. Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey is supporting a grant for the station, and he says having one in Somerset County would boost ridership for the Capitol Limited for those traveling to see the Great Allegheny Passage and the Flight 93 Memorial.

 

Tucker County Man Drowns In River

The body of a Tucker County man was found early Thursday afternoon, near the middle of the Dryfork River. Twenty-seven year old Derrick Reed of Thomas, was reported missing on Sunday, after jumping into the river during an outing with friends. Tucker County Sheriff tom Felton has said alcohol may have been a factor. The search was curtailed earlier in the week, because of high water. The official cause of death has yet to be determined.

 

Maryland Ranks High in Homeowner Delinquency

The state of Maryland is the fifth-highest ranking state for the number of homes with payments that are more than three months late. Maryland homeowners’ delinquency rate is now at 8 per cent, up from 7.8 per cent in March. Florida has the distinction of having the most number of residents who are behind on mortgage payments at 17 per cent. The rate is an indicator of pending foreclosures.

Local News


Woman Robs Pharmacy of Drugs

The Rite Aid Pharmacy on Bishop Murphy Drive in Frostburg was robbed of an undisclosed quantity of pills by a lone female suspect Wednesday evening. The woman handed a note to an employee, stating there was a bomb in the bathroom, and it would be detonated if the employee did not comply. She received the drugs and fled the store on foot. It was determined there was no bomb on the premises. While the investigation is continuing, law enforcement authorities are asking anyone with information to contact the Frostburg City Police, the C3I unit, or Allegany and Mineral County Crime Solvers.

 

Liberty Gas Station Robbed

Another  robbery has been reported in the area…this time, it happened at the Liberty Gas Station, at the intersection of Maryland Highway and Weber Road, just before 8:30 Wednesday night. The suspect is described as a white male, in his 60’s; he entered the station, showed the employee a gun and got away with an undetermined amount of cash. The employee at the station was not injured. If you have any information, you’re asked to call the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police.

 

Mayor Eliminates Public Comment; Council Member Resigns

Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower has removed the citizen complaint items from the Keyser City Council agenda, but that didn’t stop a number of residents who spoke during Wednesday’s meeting. Several recent meetings have seen shouting matches, accusations of sexual harassment at City Hall and standing-room-only crowds. In a related story, Councilman Bill Roy resigned during an executive session, held after the meeting Wednesday night. The council will now have to decide who to appoint to fill the position until the city election next month.

 

Modifications to School Calendar Approved

The Allegany County Board of Education has approved several modifications to the 2012-2013 academic calendar, based on recommendations from the superintendent. Key changes include the addition of the 190th day for teachers at the beginning of the school year, staggering elementary and secondary parent conference times, opening schools on days they were originally scheduled to be closed and creating a spring break after the Easter holiday. To see the revised calendar, visit the school systems website at www.acps.allconet.org.

 

Valley Street Man Arrested

Fifty-one year old Eric Taylor was arrested on Baltimore Avenue Wednesday afternoon, after exhibiting signs of driving while impaired. A police officer detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath; his speech was slurred and he acknowledged having two mixed drinks prior to driving. His privilege to drive in the state is currently revoked, and the officer also located 8 suspected controlled narcotics pills. The pills will be tested. Taylor was charged with DUI, DWI, driving to the right of center and driving while his license was revoked. He was released pending trial.

 

Cardin to Participate in Health Care Reform Forum

Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin will participate in a forum Monday at the HRDC building on Virginia Avenue. The subject will be health care, and it is being sponsored by the Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission, the Western Maryland Central Labor Council and the Alliance for retired Americans. The Affordable Care Act Forum begins at 10 a.m.

 

Marketing Airport Top Priority for Hagerstown

Marketing the Hagerstown Regional Airport is Washington County’s top priority for grant funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The three Western Maryland counties are expected to share an anticipated $1.3 million for the 2013 fiscal year. Other projects Washington County would like to see funded are a fiber-optic line extension at Hancock; money for the development of programs for Leadership Washington County; and funding for a wastewater-collection system project by the city of Hagerstown.

 

Macy’s Distribution Center finished

The Macy’s Distribution Center in Martinsburg has been finished; construction on the 1.3 million square foot building began in May of last year, and will serve as a distribution site for Macy’s online orders. The first phase of hiring is underway, with about 400 employees starting at the center; hopefully, that number will increase to 1,000 with an annual payroll of $32 million. It will be open for business in late June or early July.

Local News


Special Session Will Include Tax Hikes and Cuts

Next week’s special session of the Maryland General Assembly will include proposals, very similar to the one House and Senate budget negotiators approved in the final hours of the legislative session last month. Neither the House, nor the Senate, voted on the proposal. The so-called “Doomsday Budget” would have taken effect July 1st, unless lawmakers approved a tax bill, according to Governor Martin O’Malley. One aspect of the income tax law would see increased income tax rates for individuals with an adjusted gross income above $100,000 and above $150,000 for those filing joint returns.

 

Post Offices to Remain Open, Some with Shorter Hours

The United States Postal Service has backed down form a plan to close thousands of rural post offices, but some may have shorter hours. It had planned to close thousands of the outlets after May 15th, but rural areas expressed concerns that the closings would hurt their communities. Several local and regional post offices in both Maryland and West Virginia will operate with shorter hours.

 

Drought Watch Declared for the Area

Despite the forecast of rain over the next several days, Western Maryland remains under a drought watch. Rainfall in the region for the first four months of the year has been about 64 per cent of normal. The watch includes Allegany, Garrett, Washington, Frederick, Carroll, Harford and Cecil counties.

 

Miner Suffers Broken Back

A coal miner, who has yet to be identified, reportedly suffered a broken back in an accident at the Casselman Mine on Durst Road Tuesday evening. The man, believed to be in his 20’s, was trapped by a scoop bucket, pinned between that and the mine roof. He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition. The area of the mine where the accident happened, was ordered shut down by the MSHA. Mine production at the Casselman mine began in June of last year.

 

Unofficial Primary Results

Tuesday was Primary Election Day in West Virginia, and locally, the unofficial results are in. The Board of Education race saw Craig Rotruck garnering 1,569 votes to 1,187 for “Butch” Wahl. Jerry Whisner received 1400 votes to 936 for Leon Ravenscroft in the Republican race for Mineral County Commissioner. For Mineral County Sheriff, Craig Fraley received 1343 tallies to 448 for Craig Courtney.

 

Man Arrested in Breaking and Entering

A Cumberland man has been arrested in connection with a breaking and entering that took place on April 18th in the 300-block of High Bedford Street. Twenty-four year old Demond Arthur Scott was taken into custody on Tuesday, and charged with first and fourth-degree burglary and theft of less than $1,000. Scott was taken to District Court for his initial appearance and released on personal recognizance.

 

Meyersdale Pizza Shop Entered, Money Stolen

Nearly $1,000 was stolen from the Take Six pizza shop on Grant Street in Meyersdale, sometime between Sunday and Monday. Two bags, one containing cash and the other containing coins, were taken. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Somerset barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-445-4104.

 

Wallace Street Repairs Underway

Permanent repairs are being made to Wallace Street, and the work should run through next Wednesday. Parking is limited during the repairs, and residents are asked to obey the “No Parking” signs that are posted. Please use caution in the area of work and obey all traffic control signs. Drivers should also expect delays during this time period.

 

Man Arrested on First-Degree Murder Charges

A Masontown, West Virginia man was arrested in Preston County Tuesday night, charged with the first degree murder of 38-year old Leslie Layman. Forty-eight year old Dennis Ervin was captured by Preston County sheriff’s deputies after a brief search near Independence. Neither the details of the relationship, nor the relationship between Ms. Layman and Ervin was known. The investigation is in the preliminary stages and more information could be released later in the week.

 

Hagerstown Approves Funding for Multiuse Sports and Events Center

The city of Hagerstown’s willingness to contribute up to $400,000 annually over a 20-year period to support a multiuse sports and events center hinges on acquiring a long-term lease with the Hagerstown Suns. The City Council has voted to approve the motion, and an indirect contribution of $400,000 would come from the Washington County Board of Commissioners. That way, the city can contribute up to $800,000 toward the local share of debt service on the facility that is expected to cost about $30 million.

Local News


Special Session Will Include Tax Hikes and Cuts

Next week’s special session of the Maryland General Assembly will include proposals, very similar to the one House and Senate budget negotiators approved in the final hours of the legislative session last month. Neither the House, nor the Senate, voted on the proposal. The so-called “Doomsday Budget” would have taken effect July 1st, unless lawmakers approved a tax bill, according to Governor Martin O’Malley. One aspect of the income tax law would see increased income tax rates for individuals with an adjusted gross income above $100,000 and above $150,000 for those filing joint returns.

 

Post Offices to Remain Open, Some with Shorter Hours

The United States Postal Service has backed down form a plan to close thousands of rural post offices, but some may have shorter hours. It had planned to close thousands of the outlets after May 15th, but rural areas expressed concerns that the closings would hurt their communities. Several local and regional post offices in both Maryland and West Virginia will operate with shorter hours.

 

Drought Watch Declared for the Area

Despite the forecast of rain over the next several days, Western Maryland remains under a drought watch. Rainfall in the region for the first four months of the year has been about 64 per cent of normal. The watch includes Allegany, Garrett, Washington, Frederick, Carroll, Harford and Cecil counties.

 

Miner Suffers Broken Back

A coal miner, who has yet to be identified, reportedly suffered a broken back in an accident at the Casselman Mine on Durst Road Tuesday evening. The man, believed to be in his 20’s, was trapped by a scoop bucket, pinned between that and the mine roof. He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition. The area of the mine where the accident happened, was ordered shut down by the MSHA. Mine production at the Casselman mine began in June of last year.

 

Unofficial Primary Results

Tuesday was Primary Election Day in West Virginia, and locally, the unofficial results are in. The Board of Education race saw Craig Rotruck garnering 1,569 votes to 1,187 for “Butch” Wahl. Jerry Whisner received 1400 votes to 936 for Leon Ravenscroft in the Republican race for Mineral County Commissioner. For Mineral County Sheriff, Craig Fraley received 1343 tallies to 448 for Craig Courtney.

 

Man Arrested in Breaking and Entering

A Cumberland man has been arrested in connection with a breaking and entering that took place on April 18th in the 300-block of High Bedford Street. Twenty-four year old Demond Arthur Scott was taken into custody on Tuesday, and charged with first and fourth-degree burglary and theft of less than $1,000. Scott was taken to District Court for his initial appearance and released on personal recognizance.

 

Meyersdale Pizza Shop Entered, Money Stolen

Nearly $1,000 was stolen from the Take Six pizza shop on Grant Street in Meyersdale, sometime between Sunday and Monday. Two bags, one containing cash and the other containing coins, were taken. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Somerset barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-445-4104.

 

Wallace Street Repairs Underway

Permanent repairs are being made to Wallace Street, and the work should run through next Wednesday. Parking is limited during the repairs, and residents are asked to obey the “No Parking” signs that are posted. Please use caution in the area of work and obey all traffic control signs. Drivers should also expect delays during this time period.

 

Man Arrested on First-Degree Murder Charges

A Masontown, West Virginia man was arrested in Preston County Tuesday night, charged with the first degree murder of 38-year old Leslie Layman. Forty-eight year old Dennis Ervin was captured by Preston County sheriff’s deputies after a brief search near Independence. Neither the details of the relationship, nor the relationship between Ms. Layman and Ervin was known. The investigation is in the preliminary stages and more information could be released later in the week.

 

Hagerstown Approves Funding for Multiuse Sports and Events Center

The city of Hagerstown’s willingness to contribute up to $400,000 annually over a 20-year period to support a multiuse sports and events center hinges on acquiring a long-term lease with the Hagerstown Suns. The City Council has voted to approve the motion, and an indirect contribution of $400,000 would come from the Washington County Board of Commissioners. That way, the city can contribute up to $800,000 toward the local share of debt service on the facility that is expected to cost about $30 million.

Local News


Man Arrested on Numerous Sex Charges

A registered sex offender from North Little Rock, Arkansas is being held on $350,000 bond, following an incident that began Monday afternoon. Todd Edward Sparks faces numerous sex offenses, allegedly involving a 15-year old girl from the George’s Creek area. Sparks posed as a 20-year old from Tennessee, when in fact, he was 36 years old. He met the victim through Facebook, and traveled to Allegany County to meet her. It was learned the two had checked into the Hampton Inn, and engaged in sexual contact. Sparks allegedly left the hotel and was located yesterday morning in the woods. He surrendered himself to authorities then. The investigation is continuing by the C3I unit.

 

Missing Man Located Safe

A man who had been reported missing on Sunday, was found safe the next day. Twenty-three year old Dennis Kerling of Lonaconing was reported missing from the Lonaconing area. A resident had reported seeing a suspicious male walking in the woods near his residence, and it was confirmed it was Kerling. A Maryland Natural Resources Police K9 was brought in, and a short time later, he was located. He had been in the woods for over 24 hours, with no food nor water. He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for an evaluation.

 

County Evaluating Operation and Organization of Government

The Allegany County Commissioners have announced an evaluation of the operation and organization of county government, and-more likely than not-downsizing. County staff has been directed to eliminate ten positions to save an estimated $475,000 for the upcoming FY 2013 budget. The commissioners have decided to eliminate the position of county clerk. Two management positions within the County Roads Division will be consolidated into one. Further reductions will include positions in the Public Works and Division of Public Safety. And, the county won’t move forward with filling vacant positions in the Department of Emergency Services, Finances, Planning and Public Works. In all, the county may be eliminating up to a total of 25 positions.

 

Architects Recommend Demolition of Former Sacred Heart

The architects for the new Allegany High School are recommending the buildings there be demolished, and a new facility be built, from the ground up. Grimm & Parker say renovating the existing buildings would be too expensive, and too complicated, and may not be possible at all. New construction, they say, would be the least expensive and costs could range anywhere from $10 million to $16 million, depending on the school’s square footage.

 

Two Cited for Assault, Disorderly Conduct

Two women, who had been fighting in the 400-block of Grand Avenue early Monday evening, were arrested by Cumberland City Police. Forty-four year old Mary Elizabeth Robinson and 30-year old Virginia Lynn Walker, both sustained injuries in the incident, but neither required medical treatment. They were both charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct, and were released on personal recognizance.

 

State Police Investigate Breaking and Entering

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a breaking and entering that happened sometime between April 28th and last Friday. Unknown suspects forcibly entered an unoccupied residence on Sale Barn Road. Once inside, the suspects unlocked several other doors and windows, before leaving. Nothing was taken, and no other property damage was done. Anyone with information is asked to contact the McHenry barrack at (301)-387-1101.

 

FSU to Offer Doctor of Education

Frostburg State University has received final approval to offer a Doctor of Educaiton in Educational Leadership, with the first students to begin studies in the fall. This applied doctoral program is FSU’s first, the culmination of more than three years of work by the FSU faculty and administration. Approval was required from the FSU Faculty Senate, the University System of Maryland, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the agency that oversees the University’s accreditation.

 

West Virginia Primary Held

Incumbent Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and Republican Bill Maloney will face off in the November general election. Both candidates won 83 per cent of the vote in yesterday’s primary. Last year’s special gubernatorial election saw Tomblin narrowly defeating Maloney for an unexpired term; the November election will be, of course, for a full, four-year term.

 

New Sheetz Set for Moorefield

Sheetz  has planned a new store for Moorefield, to be located on Ginny Lane and Route 220 North. Site plans were submitted, and the building plan for the nearly 6500 square-foot store has been approved. There will be seven gas pump islands, a car wash, a drive through, and parking for 39 vehicles.

Local News


Police Seek Robbery Suspect

The Maryland State Police are seeking a woman, in her mid-20’s, who robbed the First United Bank and Trust in Friendsville early yesterday afternoon. She entered the bank, gave the bank teller a note and demanded money. She left with an undetermined amount. The Maryland State Police Medivac helicopter and the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene, along with a State Police crime scene technician. Anyone with information is asked to contact the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police at (301)-387-1101.

 

Airport Manager Selected

Keyser, West Virginia resident Ryan Shaffer has been selected as the new manager of the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport. Shaffer will begin the part-time position on Sunday. Shaffer is a plane owner, commercial pilot and flight instructor for Shaffer Aviation. He replaces Terry Malone, who was fired by the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority in February.

 

Funding For Bedford Road Sewer Rehab Awarded

The Allegany County Commissioners have received an over $303,000 grant and a $510,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program, to help rehabilitate the Bedford Road sewer system. The sewer line replacement is necessary for the county to meet a Consent Order, which mandates a reduction of inflow and infiltration. Currently, the system is discharging raw sewage that could impact the Chesapeake Bay. The announcement was made by Maryland United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin.

 

Two West Virginia Motorcyclists Killed

Two Capon Bridge, West Virginia residents were killed over the weekend, following a brief police chase on Route 11. Twenty-six year old Jared Toothman and 21-year old Jenalee McGrane crashed their motorcycle into another vehicle, while being pursued by police. Two adults and four children in the minivan were all taken to Winchester Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.

 

Search Warrants Executed in Garrett County

Two search and seizure warrants were executed late last week in Deer Park, one on Edgewood Drive and the other on Peach Tree Lane. The warrants were the result of an investigation into a suspected “meth” lab. The search yielded items commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, along with marijuana and paraphernalia. The investigation is continuing and criminal charges are pending at the conclusion of the investigation.

 

Primary Election Day in Mineral County

Today is Primary Election Day in West Virginia. Early voting ended Saturday, with a little over 300 residents turning out to cast their early ballots. County Clerk Laurin Ellifritz noted that during the last presidential election, there were about 1700 early ballots. This past Saturday was the last day to have cast an early ballot.

 

Suspect Arrested in Hagerstown Robberies

A suspect has been arrested in connection with two robberies which took place over the weekend in Hagerstown. In the first, an attempted robbery was reported at “Phil and Jerry’s Meats and More” in Smithsburg. The suspect, armed with a screwdriver, fled the store before obtaining any cash. In the second, the same suspect robbed Liberty Fuels, also on Jefferson Boulevard. A vehicle description was broadcast, and police quickly took Mark Edward Ernest into custody. The Maryland State Police were assisted Washington County Sheriff’s Department in apprehending the suspect.

 

O’Malley to Consider Gambling

While next week’s special session of the General Assembly will be held to discuss tax increases, Governor O’Malley is hinting at another session this summer to address gaming. A proposal to legalize table games and bring a sixth casino to Maryland stalled in the legislature earlier this year. There is no time frame for when the Governor may create a gaming commission.

 

AccuWeather Predicts Stormy Summer, Normal Temperatures

AccuWeather.com is predicting several severe storms in Maryland this summer, but no prolonged heat spells. The summer weather outlook was released last week, and is calling for possible damaging winds and perhaps tornadoes in the early and middle parts of the summer. One or two significant rain events could hit in August, possibly including a tropical storm system. AccuWeather also says that current patterns will make the East Coast particularly at risk of tropical storm strikes.

Local News


Pennsylvania State Police Looking for Child Abductor

The Pennsylvania State Police are looking for a man who abducted a ten-year old girl in Somerset County late last week. The girl has since been released. Police used air support to look for an older model, dark-colored mini-van with several dents. The driver is described as a male with a thin build, a full beard and grey hair. He was last seen wearing a dirty-orange shirt, dirty, ripped jeans and no socks. State Police are asking anyone with information to call them at (814)-445-4104.

 

Man Indicted for Attempted Murder

Among the indictments returned last week by a Mineral County Grand Jury involves a case, where a man conspired with another man’s wife to kill him. Robert Tappia is currently housed in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, and was arrested in November, when a man told the Keyser Police Department he was the potential victim in a murder-for-hire scheme. Among the charges lodged against Tappia were attempted first-degree murder, attempted malicious wounding, and conspiracy.

 

Accident Injures Three

Three people were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on Saturday, following a crash in Interstate 68 at approximately 11:34 a.m. Flintstone resident James Stokes was traveling in the wrong direction on the Interstate, when he collided with a truck, driven by 51-year old Sean McCagh of Cumberland. In his truck was 19-year old Corey McCagh. The crash took place on Interstate 68 eastbound, near the 52-mile marker. None of the injuries was life-threatening, but Stokes was cited for negligent driving.

 

Pharmacy Break-In Probed

The Cumberland City Police and the C3I unit are investigating a breaking and entering that occurred at South Cumberland Pharmacy on Industrial Boulevard over the weekend. Police say several suspects forced open an entrance door at about 3:00 a.m. Saturday and stole a quantity of prescription medication pills. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police or CrimeSolvers.

 

Woman Severely Wounded in Attack

A Cumberland woman sustained severe head trauma in a baseball-bat attack in the 400-block of Grand Avenue Thursday evening. Arrested and charged with first and second degree assault, along with reckless endangerment was 23-year old Courtney Marie Wills Collins. The victim was struck in the head with the bat, and was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment. Ms. Collins was held on $100,000 bond, following a District Court hearing.

 

Five Arrested on Marijuana Charges

Five Garrett County residents were arrested late last week, after breaking into a model home in the 100-block of Hailee’s Lane in the Red Bush subdivision in the McHenry area. Several tried to flee on foot, but were apprehended. The five broke into the home with the purpose of smoking marijuana. Arrested were 19-year old Nichole Tichinel of Friendsville; Grantsville residents Cody Humberson and Zachary Merrill; and, McHenry residents Jorge Marquez and Nicholas Owens.

 

Senators Call for Moratorium Extension

Maryland United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin are joining with a group of 41 senators in calling on the United States Postal Service to extend the current moratorium on the closing of post offices or processing facilities until enactment of postal reform legislation. The current moratorium is scheduled to end May 15th. The Cumberland Area Mail Processing Center had been targeted for closure. In extending the moratorium, no closures would occur until the final postal reform legislation, which is expected to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives soon.

 

Two Sentenced in Fatal Shooting

Two Michigan men were sentenced in Somerset County Court last week for their part in the fatal shooting of Brooklyn, New York resident Bryant Adderly near Bakersville nearly three years ago. Toriano McCray was sentenced from 10 to 30 years in prison, while Roland Washington II received a 7-1/2 to 30 year sentence. The two were sent to “teach one of their own” a lesson for stealing from a drug organization. Another man involved in the shooting, Calvin Mallory, headed the organization and ordered the “hit” on Adderly.

Local News


Dates for Special Session Set

The Maryland General Assembly will convene in special session on Monday, May 14th, but lawmakers still don’t know the specifics of the legislation they will consider. It is known they will be addressing a tax bill that will prevent the so-called “Doomsday” budget, which now contains $512 million in cuts. The session may last two to three days. Representatives from both the House and Senate say an agreement on tax increases is close.

 

County Will Eliminate Department

Allegany County’s Commissioners will be eliminating a department because of a budget shortfall, but they aren’t saying which department will be affected. The move will put an unknown number of employees out of work at the end of the current fiscal year. The decision was made during an executive session on April 19th, and announced at yesterday’s commission business meeting.

 

Official Says Route 219 Funding Lacking

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch says the state cannot come up with $35 million needed to leverage $350 million for the completion of Route 219, until additional sources of funding are found. Maintaining the current system of highways, roads, and bridges is the priority of the state, under current budget conditions. He says toll credits need to be reinstituted, or increases in revenue must be seen, before the completion of Route 219 can happen.

 

National Day of Prayer Observed

Yesterday’s National Day of Prayer breakfast featured the eldest daughter of the Reverend Bill Graham, Gigi. Ms. Graham, during the breakfast, spoke of the need to accept God in their lives. She is a nationally acclaimed author. She began her visit to Cumberland on Wednesday, serving as the National Day of Prayer kickoff event at Central Assembly of God Church, according to the Cumberland Times-News.

 

Fredericksburg Man Faces Numerous Charges

Thirty-two year old Fredericksburg, Virginia resident Gregory Odum II, has been charged with two different weapons violations, and with driving 99 miles-per-hour in a 65 mile-per-hour zone. Odum was stopped on westbound Interstate 68; a canine scan revealed a .38-calibre revolver, several loose rounds of ammunition, and a knife with a nine-inch blade. He was held on $15,000 bail at the Garrett County Jail.

 

Grant To Bring Broadband Internet Access to Garrett County

The Appalachian Regional Commission has given a $250,000 grant to Garrett County, to expand Broadband Internet connectivity in Garrett County. The announcement was made by Maryland United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin. The Garrett County Commissioners will use the funding to deploy 50 miles of fiber, to help connect county facilities, schools, community colleges, health facilities and libraries.

 

Regional Airports Receive Funding

The Bedford and Somerset County airports will receive funding from the state, as part of a total $12.6 million package to enhance safety and improve facilities. Bedford County will receive just over $767,000 to rehabilitate and apron, parking area, access road and taxiway and to construct another apron. Somerset County will receive over $371,000 to update the airport master plan and to rehabilitate airport navigational aids.

 

Somerset Woman Recieves Credit For Time Served

A Somerset, Pennsylvania woman was given credit for time served, for her part in a kidnapping case. Twenty-eight year old Joni Lynn Keslar, along with another woman, were charged with luring a Somerset man to a cabin in the Bakersville area in 2008, where he was bound with tape and repeatedly beaten by several men, who believed he had stolen drug money. They realized they had made a mistake and dropped him off along a road, where he was picked up by a passing motorist and taken to a hospital. Ms. Keslar was sentenced to two to 23 months in jail, but was immediately paroled and given credit for time served.

 

Same Sex Marriage Opponents Collect Signatures

More than half of the signatures necessary to put the same-sex marriage issue on the ballot in November, have been collected. More than 30,000 signatures have been collected, but the Maryland Marriage Alliance needs to turn in 56,000 signatures by the end of next month to put the referendum on the ballot. Governor O’Malley signed the same-sex marriage measure into law several months ago, but the Marriage Alliance group is contending that marriage be defined as the union between a man and a woman.

Local News


Piedmont Ethics Investigation Over

The West Virginia Ethics Commission has concluded its investigation, stemming from a complaint filed against former Piedmont Council Member Bob Fike. Fike, who owns the Herald Printing House in Piedmont, had been accused by council member Ray Hall, of improperly doing business with the city. Hall filed the complaint when he also provided the Ethics Commission with information about alleged improprieties regarding the purchase of FEMA trailers by the city. Despite being asked, Hall has refused to resign from his council position.

 

Woman Charged with Assault

Fifty-seven year old Vicky Lyn Melvin has been charged with second-degree assault, following an assault Monday afternoon on Baltimore Street. She allegedly assaulted her live-in boyfriend by shoving him, and hitting him in the mouth. The victim had an injury consistent with what he reported. She was released on personal recognizance.

 

Son Sentenced, Mother Awaiting Sentencing

A mother and son, implicated in concealing a firearm used in a double-shooting in Somerset Borough over a year ago, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and possession of a controlled substance. Duane David Hetz of Garrett was given credit for time served and immediately paroled. His mother, 52-year old Laura Lynn Hetz will be sentenced next month. Pittsburgh resident Samuel Lee Taylor was shot five times in the head and chest, and later died.

 

Insurance Administration to Visit Garrett County

The Maryland Insurance Administration will be visiting Garrett County next week. Trained staff will be on hand at the Garrett County One-Stop Job Center at 221 South Third Street next Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A variety of consumer materials on insurance products, including title insurance and health, auto and homeowners insurance will be offered.

 

Historic Home Destroyed by Fire

The Lavansville Home in Somerset County, which dates back to the 1850’s, was destroyed by fire Sunday morning. A state fire marshal says the fire is not suspicious, but more than $100,000 worth of damage was done. The family-Jeff and Lisa Richards and their three children-were not home at the time of the fire. Their 14-year old dog did not survive.

 

Hagerstown Police Looking for Assault Suspect

A Hagerstown man is being sought, following an assault in the area of Little Elliott Drive in Washington County. Forty-five year old David Martin Ross allegedly stabbed a woman twice in the back and fled the scene. The victim was treated and released from the hospital. Ross is still at large, and should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to contact Hagerstown City Police at (301)-790-3700, extension 234.

 

State Considers Raising Mandatory Age for Attending School

Although he has not signed it, the Maryland legislature has approved a bill that would gradually increase the age for compulsory public school attendance from 15 to 17 years old by the 2017-2018 school year. Governor O’Malley has not signed the bill, because it has financial implications that need to be reviewed after the state budget agreement is settled.

 

Transportation Secretary Leaving Post

Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley is stepping down on July 1st. She is resigning to pursue opportunities in the private sector. She was named to the post in September of 2009. There will be a national search to find her replacement, but no decision has been made as to whether an interim or acting secretary would move into the position.

 

West Virginia Trying to Stop Threatening Phone Calls

The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office is trying to stop seven debt collection agencies from doing business in the state. Assistant Attorney General Normal Googel has filed a lawsuit in Kanawha County against companies that are not licensed in West Virginia. He added that the companies call state residents and threaten them. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline is 1-800-368-8808.

 

 

Local News


Update on Fatal Bedford Accident

There are more details on a Sunday accident that killed a five-year old Hagerstown boy on
Route 220 in Bedford County. A northbound car, driven by Cory Childers of Bedford, crossed the center line and hit another vehicle, driven by 52-year old Rory Jenkins, with passenger Amanda Winters, the five-year old victim, and a two-year old boy. The five year old was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the crash. No charges have been filed.

 

Naylor’s Breaking and Entering Investigated

Law enforcement authorities are investigating the breaking and entering and theft from Naylor’s True Value Hardware on Industrial Boulevard Sunday morning. The glass had been broken out of the front door; the suspects entered the office area by forcing open a door, and taking an undetermined amount of cash. Also taken were numerous power hand tools, including chain saws, string trimmers and a plasma television. The total loss is estimated at over $4500. The safe was recovered later in the day on Starlite Drive, just off of Messick Road. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police, the C3I unit, or CrimeSolvers.

 

Woman Faces Possible Theft, Drug Charges

Twenty-four year old Heather Lynn Rotruck faces both possible theft and drug charges, following a stop Sunday afternoon. The Maryland State Police received an alert in reference to a possible theft that occurred in LaVale. A state trooper stopped Ms. Rotruck in Zihlman. When contacting Ms. Rotruck, the officer detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. He located marijuana and a smoking device, containing burnt marijuana in the vehicle. She was arrested for CDS possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. The original theft investigation is ongoing.

 

Student Arrested in Threat

A Fort Hill High School Student has been arrested after allegedly leaving a “threatening” message on a desk at the school yesterday. The message was discovered around 10 a.m., prompting an immediate investigation. It was determined to not be a credible threat, but the school was evacuated. The student was charged with making a bomb threat and other offenses, and will be disciplined in accordance with the board of education policy on student discipline.

 

Juvenile Suspect Arrested in Church Fire

A juvenile suspect has been arrested in connection with a fire that damaged the Waldon United Methodist Church in Piedmont last week. He was identified through a photo, captured from security video, of an individual near the scene of the fire. He has admitted setting the fire, but the incident is under investigation. The fire caused several thousand dollars in damages to the fellowship hall, kitchen and an outside storage building.

 

Hangars Being Demolished; Restaurant Locating at Airport

The hangars that were destroyed by fire at the Greater Cumberland Regional airport in December are being demolished, and new ones will be built. Soil testing, for oil and gas contamination, will still have to be done. A new restaurant will also be opening at the airport on or about June 1st. The new owner is from New Jersey, and the restaurant will be serving subs and sandwiches seven days a week. The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority won’t be meeting again until June 28th, unless a special meeting is called to name a new airport manager.

 

Traffic Affected on Oldtown Road Wednesday

A gas main replacement project will be getting underway tomorrow on Oldtown Road, between Long Drive and Sommerville Avenue. The gas main replacement will take place in the sidewalk on the south side of Oldtown Road. Traffic will be reduced to one lane with a flagging operation in place, and the work is projected to take approximately three months. Drivers should use caution while driving in that area.

 

Cardin To Attend Affordable Care Forum

Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin will be a member of a panel, discussing the Affordable Care Act on Monday, May 14th, at the HRDC building on Virginia Avenue at 10 a.m. Topics to be covered include Medicare and Under-65 Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, long term care, as well as insurance issues for the low-income and individuals with disabilities. There will be a question and answer period as well. Area elderly citizens are encouraged to attend. For more information on the event, contact the HRDC at (301)-777-5970.

 

Modifications Made to 2012-2013 School Calendar

The Allegany County Board of Education will consider modifications to the previously approved 2012-2013 academic calendar at the May business meeting. The key changes could include the addition of the 190th day for teachers at the beginning of the school year, the creation of a “spring break” after the Easter holiday, parent conference times and various student days that were formerly scheduled off.

 

Route 219 Expansion Awaiting Governor’s Approval

Construction could start on the Route 219 expansion project, once Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett approves it. As of late last week, project organizers were waiting on a $35 million commitment from the Governor. Estimates are that 2400 to 2600 jobs could be created, once the segment to Interstate 68 begins construction. Overall there will be between 8,000 to 10,000 construction jobs created.

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