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Local News


Bus, Truck Collide on Route 36; Several Injured

Route 36 was partially closed for nearly three hours yesterday morning, following the collision of a garbage truck and a bus, owned by Friends Aware, Incorporated. The truck, owned by Western Maryland Waste Systems and driven by Chris Shrout, crossed the center line and collided with the bus, driven by Robert Shoeberger. Both drivers and a passenger were taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. A female passenger was flown by Trooper Five to the hospital. The investigation is continuing by the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement division. Power was also interrupted in the area for a period of time as well.

 

Baltimore Man Sentenced for Drug Offenses

Twenty-nine year old Dante Chaz Joyner of Baltimore was sentenced to ten years in prison on cocaine distribution and obstruction and hindering charges. Joyner was sentenced by the Honorable Diane Leasure, a visiting judge of the Circuit Court for Howard County. Joyner was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and one year, which will run concurrently with the previous sentence, on the charge of obstruction and hindering. Prosecuting the case for the state was Assistant State’s Attorney Sam Lane; Mr. Joyner was represented by attorney Willie Mahone of Frederick.

 

Man Sentneced for Threatening Judge

Forty-one year old inmate Willie Ray Bryant, a prisoner in Cumberland, has been sentenced to more than four years for sending a threatening letter to a federal judge. Bryant’s sentence will run consecutively to a 40-year Maryland sentence and a 50-year Delaware sentence he must serve. Prosecutors alleged that, while in prison, Bryant smuggled out a letter, addressed to a U.S. District Court judge in September of 2010. In the letter to the judge, who had presided over one of Bryant’s prior criminal cases received the threatening letter.

 

Former CareFirst Building Purchased by Chessie

The former CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield building at 7 Commerce Drive, near Nave’s Crossroads, was sold to Chessie Federal Credit Union for $2.5 million. The announcement was made at yesterday’s Allegany County Commissioners’ building. The credit union will utilize the building as its headquarters, while the downtown location will be maintained as a branch of the credit union. There will be a 30-day period for “due diligence” in examining the property. Also during yesterday’s meeting the commissioners adopted the FY 2013 operating and capital budgets, totaling over $112 million.

 

Woman Charged with Assault of Mother

A Bedford County woman remains in the county jail, after being accused of assaulting her mother. Vicki Palmer was allegedly extremely intoxicated, when she went into her mother’s home and began assaulting her. The Pennsylvania State Police had previously been to the home. She was arraigned before a judge, but could not post bail. She was then taken to the Bedford County Jail.

 

Man Released Following Assault Incident

Fifty-eight year old Junis Thomas Clark was released on personal recognizance, following an incident on Henderson Avenue Wednesday night. Clark allegedly assaulted a female victim, who was transported to the hospital for treatment. He was searched and a smoking device, containing possible marijuana residue, was found in his pocket. He was charged with second degree assault, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

No Trash Collection Next Wednesday

There will be no trash collection in the city of Cumberland next Wednesday, July 4th. Residents of the affected areas should put their trash out the next regularly scheduled collection day. Any questions may be directed to the Public Works Department at (301)-759-6620.

 

Pilot’s Name Released in Fatal Plane Crash

The pilot who died in last Friday’s fatal plane crash near Coopers Rock State Forest has been identified as Richard Lee Lambert of Columbus, Ohio. While the West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office has not determined the exact cause of death, the trauma he sustained would not have been survivable. The plane crashed near the Monongalia/Preston County line, after striking a communications tower. The plane had just dropped off several passengers at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.

 

 

Local News


Accused Bank Robber Indicted

Fifty-year old John Allen Talerico has been indicted in U.S. District Court on five counts of bank robbery. The charges include the armed robberies of the M & T Bank on Industrial Boulevard, and the robbery of the Susquehanna Bank on Industrial Boulevard last year. The decision to transfer the case to federal authorities was made after discussions between the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s office and the U.S. Attorney General’s Office. If convicted,  Talerico will face substantially more time in the federal prison system, due to penalty enhancements.

 

Cumberland Man Sentenced on Drug Charges

Twenty-two year old Cumberland resident Dustin Charles Adams has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, on a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. The sentence was handed down in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. The investigation began in the spring of 2010; during the course of that investigation, Adams was arrested in Baltimore, calls were intercepted, and the homes of both his mother and sister were searched. Since that time, Adams has admitted that he conspired to distribute more than a kilogram of crack cocaine.

 

Student Sues Mineral board

A Keyser Primary-Middle School student is suing the Mineral County Board of Education for sexual assault by a teacher, that occurred in 2010. The student has named former employee Denise Fitch in the suit, along with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the Department of Military Affiars and Public Safety. The suit states that a group of students was at Fitch’s residence, visiting her daughter in 2010, when Fitch sexually assaulted the student.

 

Man Arrested on Destruction of Property, Theft Counts

Nineteen year old Leo Richard Durocher was released on personal recognizance, following his arrest this week. He is accused of breaking into at least three vehicle in the area of 232 Glenn Street, and taking items from at least two. Some of the items were recovered by police. He was charged with three counts of being a rogue and vagabond, 2 counts of theft under $100; destruction of property, and resisting arrest.

 

Oakland Man Sentenced to 12 Years on Burglary Charges

Oakland resident Scott David Collins has been sentenced to serve 12 years in prison, following his conviction on burglary charges. The sentencing came in Garrett County Circuit Court. On one count, he was sentenced to 20 years, with eight suspended; on the second, Collins was sentenced to 15 years, with seven suspended. They are to run concurrently and he will be on probation, following his release.

 

Fire Burns Somerset County Apartment Building

One firefighter was injured in a two alarm blaze at 217 Main Street in Boswell, which destroyed a vacant apartment building there. Moderate damage was done to the B.J. Maurer building, next door. The firefighter was injured when a wall collapsed on his legs. It’s not known whether arrangements have been made to tear down the apartment building, which has been vacant for about a year.

 

Seven Injured in I-70 Accident

Seven members of a Baltimore family were injured in an accident on Interstate 70. A car, driven by 52 year old Christopher Nnabuihe of Baltimore, blew a tire, causing him to lose control and flip several times. He and his six passengers were wearing seat belts, and one of the passengers was flown to Baltimore Shock Trauma with serious injuries. The eastbound lanes were closed for about two hours, while police investigated and reconstructed the accident.

 

Special Session Still a Possibility

Governor Martin O’Malley says calling a special session of the General Assembly to pass gambling expansion legislation is still a possibility, but puts the odds at “fifty-fifty.” He is planning on reaching out to members of the House of Delegates to determine interest in a sixth casino. Analysts with the Department of Legislative Services estimate another casino in Maryland could net at least $200 million in revenue annually. Calling a special session after July 9th remains a possibility, but any referendum measures on the 2012 ballot must be finalized by August 20th.

 

Investigation into Fatal Plane Crash Continues

The Federal Aviation Administration is continuing to investigate last Friday’s fatal plane crash near the Monongalia/Preston County line. The pilot was the only person on board, and was killed when the plane hit two communications towers and crashed. Passengers had been dropped off at a western Pennsylvania resort. Investigators are trying to determine how long it took for the plane to crash after the collision, and they are also looking at the plane’s structure.

Local News


Economy On The Rise

Two recent magazine articles point to a thriving economy in the Cumberland area, despite the local unemployment rate and other factors. The Cumberland Metropolitan Statistical Area’s economy is doing well, according to two recent online publications, NewGeography.com and AreaDevelopment.com. The Cumberland Times-News reports that the Leading Locations report says Cumberland is ranked 30th in “economic strength in the “recession busting” category and 30th in the “economic strength” category, out of 365 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

 

Resident Killed in Single-Vehicle Crash

A 20-year old man was killed in a single-vehicle accident over this past weekend. Samuel Colton Alt was killed, when his 1996 Toyota Tacoma crossed the center line on Route 50 in New Creek. The truck then traveled into the eastbound lane, and went off the roadway edge, where he struck a tree, head on. He was the only occupant of the vehicle in the 6:49 a.m. accident, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Couple Pleads Guilty to Murders

Thirty-seven year old Lorie Ann Taylor-Keller and her husband, Nakia Keller of Virginia, have pleaded guilty to more than a dozen charges, stemming from the slayings of a West Virginia family in October of 2009. They were accused of killing Taylor-Keller’s ex-husband, his wife and her five year old daughter in Hardy County. They will be sentenced on September 6th.

 

Bedford Street Resident Held on $50,000 Bond

Eighteen-year old Dylan Michael Werner is being held on $50,000 bond, and is charged with the breaking and entering of a Cole Street residence. Werner’s arrest is the result of an investigation which was begun earlier in the month. He is being charged with first and third-degree burglary and possession of marijuana.

 

Funding Announced for Garrett County Heritage Area

The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced the approval of a $30,000 grant to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce to develop a Strategic Initiative Program that will increase tourism in the area and help create jobs in heritage tourism. Garrett County was recently authorized as a state Certified Heritage Area entitled, “Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area.” The program will include establishment of the heritage Area website and use of other social media tools, purchasing and installation of four kiosks, hiring a consultant to research and compile the history of Garrett County, including interpretive signage and the creation of multimedia materials.

 

“Bring Our Jobs Home” Rally Planned

The Western Maryland Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and its 39 member labor unions will gather at the office of Congressman Roscoe Bartlett next Monday. A rally is being held to express the need for the Congressman’s positive vote on the upcoming Bring Our Jobs Home Act. The legislation will be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate shortly after the July 4th Congressional recess. The event will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Congressman’s Frederick Street office.

 

Somerset Inmate Charged with Assault

Berlin resident David James Zimmers is being charged with assault and disorderly conduct, after he was accused of beating and injuring his cellmate with a heavy, brown shower shoe. The incident allegedly occurred on April 22nd. The sale of the hard-soled shower shoes was banned in the jail about five years ago. Some of the shoes are brought in by inmates from state prisons or other county jails. The new shower shoes are made of a lighter material, similar to Styrofoam.

 

Possible Arson Investigated in Terra Alta

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a fire that happened at a restaurant just after midnight Sunday. A fire broke out at Pitty Pat’s restaurant, which had undergone some renovations, and was due to reopen soon. An electrical fire was ruled out, as the utilities had been shut off; a witness reported seeing the building catch fire, after someone threw something onto its porch. The number for the arson hotline in West Virginia is (800)-233-FIRE.

 

Hagerstown Police Continue Murder Investigation

Hagerstown City Police are continuing their investigation into a deadly shooting at a house on Guilford Avenue that left one man dead. The police are receiving cooperation from witnesses at a birthday party, but still do not have a suspect. Antonio Michael Joyner was shot and taken to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Joyner’s body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Baltimore for an autopsy.

 

Same Sex Marriage Issue to be on November Ballot

The Maryland Marriage Alliance has turned in an additional 39,000 signatures to place the same-sex marriage issue on the ballot in November. About 122,000 signatures were turned in last month, bringing the total to 162,000. The group only needed 56,000 signatures to put the issue to a referendum vote. More than 100,000 signatures have been validated by the Board of Elections.

 

Supreme Court Upholds Congressional Map

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Maryland’s new Congressional map, and has affirmed that the state’s prison population can be counted at their last known address. Previously, prisoners were counted at their correctional institutions, which some critics said unfairly increased the population of prison towns. Opponents of the plan say it disenfranchises those prisoners who don’t have a last known address.

Local News


Man Allegedly Threatens Women With Rifle

A Frostburg man was originally being held on $25,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center following an incident Sunday evening on Old Dan’s Rock Road in Frostburg. Twenty-three year old Brandon Alan Frey allegedly brandished a loaded firearm, and threatened to shoot two females at his residence during an argument. He faces numerous charges, including two counts each of first and second-degree assault, two counts of reckless endangerment, and two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon, with intent to injure. Deputies from the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office recovered a loaded rifle that was allegedly used in the assault. The Midland Fire Department and George’s Creek Ambulance were placed on standby during the incident. Frey was released on his personal recognizance, pending his next court appearance.

 

Railroad Crossing Closed

The Baltimore Avenue Railroad Crossing will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. All turning traffic from the south side of the tracks to Baltimore Avenue, as well as all right turn traffic from the north side of the tracks to Queen City Drive will be affected. Traffic control devices will be in place. Use caution, and find an alternate route around this closure.

 

Chamber Urges Quick Marcellus Study

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is hoping to speed up the process of studying methods to safely extract natural gas from shale deposits in Western Maryland. The group sent a position paper to the county’s state legislators and business leaders in Allegany County. A position paper states acknowledges infrastructure constraints and potential environmental damage, but says the region cannot miss “this incredible development opportunity.” The value of the natural gas in just Allegany and Garrett Counties has been estimated at $48 billion; Utica Shale, which lies under the Marcellus layer, holds even greater economic potential.

 

Casselman Bridge Being Repaired

A hole developing beneath the Casselman Bridge is being repaired. Cut stones that are nearly 200 years old are being removed, but will be replaced, once the repairs are made. The Cumberland Times News says the deterioration of the bridge was noticed in late February; the bridge was immediately closed, along with the area beneath it. The work is being done by Carl Belt Construction.

 

Piedmont Rehires Assistant Clerk

The Piedmont Mayor and Council have voted to re-hire assistant clerk Nancy Wade, who had resigned in March. Ms. Wade left the position amid controversy and arguments over alleged improprieties by both elected officials and employees, but she wasn’t implicated in any of the investigations. The next scheduled meeting will be Wednesday at 6 p.m.

 

Commissioners To Cut Canal Place Funding

The Allegany County Commissioners have decided to phase out financial support for the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority from the hotel/motel tax, ending it completely after FY 2014. Hotel/Motel taxes from the Fairfield Inn are used to fund the authority. Canal Place is developing a plan for self-sufficiency when the funding ends. Executive Director Dee Dee Ritchie is looking for avenues to make Canal Place more of an attraction for tourists and locals alike.

 

Potomac Edison Addresses Complaints

Potomac Edison is working to hire more meter readers, following complaints filed with the Maryland Public Service Commission. The company had fallen behind with checking meters, and customers said it wasn’t fair. Some meters went unchecked as some readers were moved around the company, while others were tied up by widespread outages after storms. While the meters went unchecked, customers were paying for estimated usage on their bills for months. The company will officially respond to the complaints on July 6th.

 

Bartlett Fined by FEC

According to the Federal Elections Commission, Sixth District Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has repeatedly filed incomplete and inaccurate campaign finance reports. The Congressman was fined $5,000 this year, and has received 25 letters from the agency for incomplete reports over the last three years, more than any current member of the House of Representatives. For his part, the Congressman says his campaign has hired an accountant to sort out other issues; the difficulties began when his campaign began using new software to file reports electronically.

 

 

 

Local News


Double Fatal Accident in Garrett County

Interstate 68 Westbound was closed for several hours on Friday, as the result of a double-fatal accident at the 5-mile marker; two children were taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment. Killed in the single-vehicle crash was the driver, 34-year old Kanubhi B. Bhagat of Franklin Park, New Jersey along with 54-year old Pushpaben Bhagat, also of Franklin Park. The vehicle struck the median guardrail, traveled back across the westbound lanes, went off the north side and struck a State Highway Administration sign on the passenger side. The vehicle was severed in half. The investigation is continuing.

 

Miss Maryland From Garrett County

A Garrett County resident, Joanna Guy, was crowned Miss Maryland Saturday night, and will represent the state in the Miss America pageant. There were 23 other competitors in the pageant, held in Hagerstown. She will receive a $10,000 scholarship. Ms. Guy is a former Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen. Her ambition is to become a state legislator.

 

One Dead in Plane Crash

One person was reported dead in a plane crash Friday morning, near the Monongalia/Preston County line in West Virginia. The crash occurred along Sand Springs Road, near Cooper’s Rock around 10 a.m. The Medical Examiner and representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration were on hand. There was no indication of the type of aircraft, or how many people were on board.

 

Three Sentenced on Drug Charges

Thirty-five year old Jason Stottlemyer was sentenced to fifteen years, with five suspended, on a charge of possession with intent to distribute heroin. Sixty-year old Nancy Kosinski was sentenced to 14 years, with seven suspended, for distribution of cocaine. And, 30-year old Brandon Paige of Cumberland was sentenced to four years, with two suspended, on a charge of possession, with intent to distribute, marijuana. The sentences were handed down last week in Allegany County Circuit Court.

 

Cumberland Woman Arrested on Assault, Child Abuse Charges

Twenty-nine year old Ashley Renee Crawford was released on personal recognizance, following her arrest on Thursday. She is accused of assaulting a juvenile female during a domestic disturbance on June 17th in the 600-block of Maryland Avenue. She was charged with second-degree assault and second-degree child abuse. She received an initial appearance in District Court.

 

Public Meeting Set on Water, Sewer Projects

The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting regarding upcoming water and sewer projects in the Bedford Road Sanitary District. Staff from the Allegany County Department of Public Works will discuss the schedule and details of the planned projects. The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 28th at 6:30 p.m. at the Bedford Road Fire Hall.

 

Jazz Ambassadors Return to Cumberland

The internationally acclaimed U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors of Washington, D.C. are coming to downtown Cumberland on Wednesday. The concert is sponsored by Main Street Cumberland and the Downtown Cumberland Business Association. Opening for the Jazz Ambassadors is Ricky Howsare, winner of the 2011 “Cumberland’s Got Talent” at 5:00 p.m. The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 127, will start the evening with its color guard ceremony. In case of rain, the concert will be moved to the downtown armory on Centre Street.

 

Two Sentenced as Sexually Violent Predators

Boswell, Pennsylvania resident Eric Matthew Kennedy was sentenced to 10 to 40 years in state prison, in connection with 948 counts of rape and related sexual offenses, involving a child, who was 7 years old when the abuse began. The offenses occurred between February of 2004 and March of 2010. Francis Polimine of Windber was sentenced to two to five years in state prison for one count of indecent assault and three counts of statutory sexual assault, involving a 14-year old girl, beginning in July of 2009. Both were designated as sexually violent predators.

Local News


Official Cause of Fire Determined

Wednesday’s fire on Williams Street, which destroyed Russ’ Barber Shop, is being blamed on a faulty air conditioning unit in an apartment above the business. The occupant of the apartment, William Kaylor, along with several firefighters were taken to the hospital, possibly due to smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion. The fire began at 267 Williams Street and spread to adjacent buildings. It was brought under control around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday.

 

Inmate Charged With First-Degree Murder

An inmate at the North Branch Correctional Institution has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his cellmate there. Twenty-five year old Brian Cotter was indicted in the death of 57-year old Lewis Thompson, Jr. Cotter, from Dundalk, was serving a life sentence for the 2007 murder of Raymond Zubrowski. The victim, Thompson, was in prison, serving a 40-year sentence on a rape conviction from Anne Arundel County. Thompson was found unresponsive in his cell last December 11th.

 

Fire Investigation in Cresaptown

Insulation, which was ignited by sparks from power tools, is being cited as the cause of a fire at 14900 Grant Street in Cresaptown on Wednesday evening. The one-story, single-family dwelling is owned by Ruth Anne Babcock. The fire did about $1,000 damage to the structure. The fire began in the inside wall of affront bedroom. Ms. Babcock was assisted by the Red Cross.

 

Commissioners Oppose Sprinkler Law

The Allegany County Commissioners are opposed to a new state law, requiring all new homes to have sprinkler systems. They say it will send home buyers and builders to other, surrounding states that do not have the requirement. The state of Pennsylvania recently repealed its mandate.  A new sprinkler system cost around $3,000, depending on the size of the home. The unfunded mandate will be effective October 1st.

 

Road Work To Begin on Route 220 Approach

The Maryland State Highway Administration is beginning work Monday on the Maryland approach to the U.S. 220 bridge over the Potomac River, between McCoole and Keyser, West Virginia. The improvements are part of an ongoing joint project, led by the West Virginia Department of Highways to replace the Keyser-McCoole Memorial Bridge, which began in the spring of 2010 and will be completed by the spring of next year, weather permitting. The new bridge is being constructed adjacent to the existing bridge.

 

Gambling Group Fails to Reach Consensus on Gambling

A work group that has been studying gambling expansion in the state has failed to reach a consensus on the issue, and there won’t be a special session of the Maryland General Assembly. The group had been studying whether to allow table games, such as blackjack and roulette at five already-authorized casinos. It was agreed that the state should not lower taxes on casino operators, after approving an income tax increase for those earning more than $100,000 per year. Maryland State Senator George Edwards was an alternate member of the group.

 

Man Held on $10,000 Bond

Forty-eight year old Gary Ray Bookheimer is being held on $10,000 bond, following a disturbance involving a knife late Wednesday afternoon. He entered an apartment and accused several people of stealing his cellular telephone. He allegedly picked up a knife and threatened a victim inside the building. He was eventually taken into custody. He was charged with first and second degree assault, disorderly conduct, failure to obey a lawful order and resisting arrest. He is being held in the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

West Virginia PSC Delays Increases

The West Virginia Public Service Commission has delayed the implementation of major increases to the city of Keyser’s water and sewer rates. A petition, circulated by a number of citizens, forced a full review by the commission. Any increases, if approved, won’t go into effect until November 4th.

Local News


Fire Destroys Barber Shop

A fire, reported just before 5:30 p.m. destroyed a two-story, wood-framed structure at 267 Williams Street,  just around the corner from Maryland Avenue. The city of Cumberland Fire Department was assisted by several volunteer companies, who worked in 90-degree heat to battle the blaze, which was finally controlled around 8:40 p.m. The fire began in an air conditioning unit in an apartment above Russ’ Barber Shop. The occupant of the apartment, William Kaylor, was reportedly taken to the hospital. Russell Bittner, who owned the barber shop, would have marked 52 years in the same spot this August.

 

Goad Among Guests Evacuated Following Explosion

Former Allegany County Sheriff David Goad and his family were among more than 5,000 guests who were evacuated at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville Tuesday evening. There were no injuries in the explosion, which occurred around 8:15 p.m. Guests were allowed back into the hotel around 3 a.m. yesterday. Hundreds of sheriff’s from around the country were staying at the convention center for the National Sheriff’s Association, and Goad is on the National Sheriff’s Association Board of Directors. Suspicious activity was ruled out, but the building incurred up to $750,000 in damages to an escalator, walls and the ceiling.

 

Board Votes to Approve Sale of Rocky Gap

The Maryland Board of Public Works voted 3-0 to approve the sale of Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort, and to establish a slots parlor at the facility. Meanwhile, a group looking to expand gambling in the state has not been able to reach a consensus on adding a casino in Prince George’s County. Senator George Edwards is an alternate member of the group discussing the expansion of gambling in the state.

 

Woman Arrested for Assault

Cumberland resident Vicky Melvin was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, following an incident Tuesday in the vicinity of Baltimore and Front Streets. Ms. Melvin allegedly hit another person on the head several times with a glass bottle. She was later located at her residence and placed under arrest. She was held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. The victim did not require medical attention.

 

County and Chamber Form Partnership

The Allegany County Commissioners and Chamber of Commerce have announced the creation of a strategic partnership to further the shared economic development interests of Allegany County and the business community. The partnership will provide an opportunity for collaboration in the development of future strategic initiatives. The group’s efforts will parallel the County’s preparation of an economic development for the new land use Comprehensive Plan, currently underway.

 

New Council Member Sworn In

New Keyser City Council member Terry Liller has been sworn in, as its newest member. Liller won election to the council during this month’s election, but was not supposed to take office until July 1st. Council member Bill Roy, however, resigned, and the Council decided to fill the vacancy immediately by appointing Liller to Roy’s seat. Liller will serve as Streets Commissioner. Also elected were incumbents Clint Faulk and Ed Miller, who will join “Sonny” Alt and Herman Judy on the five-member council.

 

Domestic Violence Shelter Closes in Bedford County

Bedford County’s Mary Jane Mitchell House-the county’s only domestic violence victims’ shelter-closed this month, due to budget cuts. The facility had been operated in Everett by the Your Safe Haven victim’s center, and its lease was scheduled to expire in several weeks. Its last two paid employees were laid off, and its residents have been moved to out-of-county facilities.

 

Somerset County Man Found After Leaving Personal Care Home

Sixty-nine year old Hillel Seymour Chigev, a resident of a personal care home in Somerset County, was found unharmed on Tuesday, after he wandered away from the facility on Monday. He had been last seen around 1 p.m. Monday, and was found when he walked into an unspecified business in Fayette County on Tuesday morning. The owner of the business then called police. While it is not being identified, the personal care home is located in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, near Confluence.

 

Woman To Go To Trial on Bribery Charges

Thirty-year old Somerset County resident Lindsay Burrows will go to trial on charges she threatened to bribe a police officer. She allegedly offered Somerset Borough Police Officer Christopher Pile money to keep from having her car towed on April 24th of this year. She was charged with bribery in official and political matters, and lesser charges of disorderly conduct and driving while a license is suspended or revoked.

Local News


Fire Destroys Barber Shop

A fire, reported just before 5:30 p.m. destroyed a two-story, wood-framed structure at 267 Williams Street,  just around the corner from Maryland Avenue. The city of Cumberland Fire Department was assisted by several volunteer companies, who worked in 90-degree heat to battle the blaze, which was finally controlled around 8:40 p.m. The fire began in an air conditioning unit in an apartment above Russ’ Barber Shop. The occupant of the apartment, William Kaylor, was reportedly taken to the hospital. Russell Bittner, who owned the barber shop, would have marked 52 years in the same spot this August.

 

Goad Among Guests Evacuated Following Explosion

Former Allegany County Sheriff David Goad and his family were among more than 5,000 guests who were evacuated at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville Tuesday evening. There were no injuries in the explosion, which occurred around 8:15 p.m. Guests were allowed back into the hotel around 3 a.m. yesterday. Hundreds of sheriff’s from around the country were staying at the convention center for the National Sheriff’s Association, and Goad is on the National Sheriff’s Association Board of Directors. Suspicious activity was ruled out, but the building incurred up to $750,000 in damages to an escalator, walls and the ceiling.

 

Board Votes to Approve Sale of Rocky Gap

The Maryland Board of Public Works voted 3-0 to approve the sale of Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort, and to establish a slots parlor at the facility. Meanwhile, a group looking to expand gambling in the state has not been able to reach a consensus on adding a casino in Prince George’s County. Senator George Edwards is an alternate member of the group discussing the expansion of gambling in the state.

 

Woman Arrested for Assault

Cumberland resident Vicky Melvin was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, following an incident Tuesday in the vicinity of Baltimore and Front Streets. Ms. Melvin allegedly hit another person on the head several times with a glass bottle. She was later located at her residence and placed under arrest. She was held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. The victim did not require medical attention.

 

County and Chamber Form Partnership

The Allegany County Commissioners and Chamber of Commerce have announced the creation of a strategic partnership to further the shared economic development interests of Allegany County and the business community. The partnership will provide an opportunity for collaboration in the development of future strategic initiatives. The group’s efforts will parallel the County’s preparation of an economic development for the new land use Comprehensive Plan, currently underway.

 

New Council Member Sworn In

New Keyser City Council member Terry Liller has been sworn in, as its newest member. Liller won election to the council during this month’s election, but was not supposed to take office until July 1st. Council member Bill Roy, however, resigned, and the Council decided to fill the vacancy immediately by appointing Liller to Roy’s seat. Liller will serve as Streets Commissioner. Also elected were incumbents Clint Faulk and Ed Miller, who will join “Sonny” Alt and Herman Judy on the five-member council.

 

Domestic Violence Shelter Closes in Bedford County

Bedford County’s Mary Jane Mitchell House-the county’s only domestic violence victims’ shelter-closed this month, due to budget cuts. The facility had been operated in Everett by the Your Safe Haven victim’s center, and its lease was scheduled to expire in several weeks. Its last two paid employees were laid off, and its residents have been moved to out-of-county facilities.

 

Somerset County Man Found After Leaving Personal Care Home

Sixty-nine year old Hillel Seymour Chigev, a resident of a personal care home in Somerset County, was found unharmed on Tuesday, after he wandered away from the facility on Monday. He had been last seen around 1 p.m. Monday, and was found when he walked into an unspecified business in Fayette County on Tuesday morning. The owner of the business then called police. While it is not being identified, the personal care home is located in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, near Confluence.

 

Woman To Go To Trial on Bribery Charges

Thirty-year old Somerset County resident Lindsay Burrows will go to trial on charges she threatened to bribe a police officer. She allegedly offered Somerset Borough Police Officer Christopher Pile money to keep from having her car towed on April 24th of this year. She was charged with bribery in official and political matters, and lesser charges of disorderly conduct and driving while a license is suspended or revoked.

Local News - Williams Street Fire


Companies Battle Blaze

Numerous fire companies are on the scene of a fire in the vicinity of 267 Williams Street. Included in that area are a hobby shop, Russ’ Barber Shop and a private residence, near the intersection of Williams Street and Maryland Avenue. Drivers are asked to avoid the area while companies battle the blaze. There is no word on injuries. Heavy smoke is reported in the area. The call came in to Allegany County’s Office of Emergency Services before 7 p.m.

Local News


Companies on Scene of Fire

Numerous fire companies are on the scene of a fire in the vicinity of 267 Williams Street. In that area are a hobby shop, Russ' Barber Shop and a private residence. Drivers are asked to avoid that area, while companies battle the blaze. There is no word on injuries. Heavy smoke is coming from the area. The call was received by the Allegany County Office of Emergency Services before 7 p.m. this evening.

Local News


Rocky Gap Approval Coming Today

It is expected the Maryland Board of Public Works will sign off, and give final approval for a slots facility at Rocky Gap State Park, bringing both jobs and income to the county. According to the BPW agenda, Evitts Resort, LLC will invest $54.6 million to purchase the resort and construct a 50,000 square foot facility, adjacent to the resort. The Cumberland Times-News says closing is currently scheduled to be on or before August 3rd.

 

Sewer Rates To Rise in August

Sewer rates will increase for residential users in August, but not as much as initially expected. Residential sewer raters will increase by 7.5 per cent, or an average of $2.36 per month. The original idea was to propose an 8 per cent increase, which equates to a rise of about $2.51 per month, to replenish the city’s depleted sewer fund.

 

Robbery Suspects Due in Court

Two Somerset County, Pennsylvania residents, who are accused of several robberies in a three-state area, are due in a Pennsylvania courtroom this week. Forty-year old Corbin Will and 24-year old Nichole Durst are currently being held in Cambria County. The FBI says it expects to move the robbery charges to the federal level, after their initial court appearance. They are accused of robbing banks in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the M & T Bank in Friendsville, Maryland.

 

Superintendent Appoints Leaders for 2012-2013 School Year

Dr. David Cox, Superintendent of the Allegany County Public Schools, has announced the appointment of two interim leaders to assume vacated positions within the school system. Retired ACPS administrator Harry Smith, will replace the retiring Deborah Bittinger as the principal at the Career Center/Supervisor of Career and Technical Education Programs. Karen Bundy will replace Dr. Janet Wilson as Chief Academic Officer. Dr. Wilson was recently appointed Superintendent of the Garrett County Public School System. Both will assume their new roles, effective July 1st, and will serve in interim capacities for one year.

 

Sleeping Drivers Cause Two Separate Accidents

Two separate accidents, attributed to drivers falling asleep at the wheel while driving on Interstate 68, were reported yesterday. In the first, just before 6 a.m., Washington resident Antoine Moore was taken to the hospital after crashing near the Allegany/Garrett County line. In separate mishap, 34-year old Meyersdale resident Roger Beeman fell asleep while driving on State Route 3011. He ran off the road and struck two trees, according to the Pennsylvania State Police. He was transported to Somerset Hospital, and later charged with careless driving.

 

Unemployment Increases in 44 of West Virginia’s 55 Counties

Unemployment rose in 44 of West Virginia’s 55 counties in May. However, regionally, unemployment decreased in six counties, including Berkeley and Mineral Counties. The rate remain unchanged in Hampshire County. Four counties have unemployment rates higher than 11 per cent. Monongalia County-the home of West Virginia University-has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state.

 

Iron Furnace Run Set

The 24th annual Iron Furnace 5K run will be held on Saturday, June 30th at 8 a.m., in conjunction with George’s Creek Days in Lonaconing. The race begins at George’s Creek Elementary School, and finish at the historic Iron Furnace at the north end of town. Race day registration will be held from 7 to 7:45 a.m. at the elementary school. Applications are available online at www.qcstriders.org or at Personal Best Athletics. For more information, call (301)-463-6231.

 

Sheriff Pleads Not Guilty

Jefferson County Sheriff Bobby Shirley has pleaded not guilty to two federal charges. He is accused of using unreasonable force against convicted bank robbery suspect, Mark Daniel Haines, who is currently incarcerated at the Allegany County Detention Center. Shirley also faces a charge of falsifying records during a federal investigation. His attorney says he will continue to fulfill his duties as Sheriff; he won the primary election in May and intends to run in the November General Election. If convicted, Sheriff Shirley faces up to 30 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

 

Giordano Sues over Travel Insurance Claim

Maryland resident Gary Giordano is suing to collect on a travel insurance policy issued in Robyn Gardner’s name. Giordano, who was held for months in an Aruban jail on suspicion of being involved in her disappearance, says in the lawsuit that AMEX Assurance Company is required to pay him $3.5 million under terms of the policy, purchased before last summer’s trip. The policy was issued July 27th, and there is a 365-day waiting period, until a claim can be filed.

Local News


Water, Sewer Fees to Rise

The Allegany County Sanitary Commission is recommending a slight increase in the cost of water and sewer services. Sewer fees will go up $2 per quarter for most customers and water fees will increase between one and two dollars, depending on location, if the County Commissioners adopt the proposal. The increases won’t change the long-term operation of the systems at a deficit, and does not keep pace with what is needed to perform needed repairs.

 

Options Available for Mayor, Council

Following the announcement that businesses in the former Memorial Hospital would be relocating within six months, the Cumberland Mayor and City Council has several options regarding the disposition of the property. Cumberland City Council member Dave Kauffman says the city could find a buyer for the property or it could be razed, at a cost of over $3.5 million. Kauffman says the site could be used to build homes or senior housing units. It has been noted that several medical offices are staying at the hospital.  Kauffman adds the city could also coordinate demolition-if that is the option-with that of the former Braddock campus, the site of the new Allegany High School.

 

Vandalism Being Investigated

The Cumberland City Police Department is investigating a series of destruction of property crimes, where vehicles and houses were spray painted in the area of Hilltop Drive and Montgomery Avenue. The incidents occurred on Sunday. Anyone with information is urged to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.

 

Man Held on $20,000 Bond for Theft

Cumberland resident Charles Ray Brady is being held on$20,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center and there is an outstanding arrest warrant for another man in the case. Brady is accused of taking a wallet from a person in the 200-block of Greene Street on Sunday. The outstanding arrest warrant has been issued for Franklin Cecil White, Jr.

 

Briefing to be Held on Employment Needs of Veterans, Wounded Warriors

The Leadership Maryland Class of 2011 is hosting a regional briefing session on Thursday, focusing on the employment needs of Maryland veterans and wounded warriors who are returning from deployment overseas and those service personnel who are returning from active duty. The briefing will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the auditorium of the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Among the speakers will be Vice Admiral David Architzel, a case manager who helps wounded warriors transition to civilian life. Leadership Maryland graduate Sheri Sensabaugh, who is also the president of ACT Personnel Services, will serve as master of ceremonies.

 

Manchin Begins Energy Tour

West Virginia U.S. Senator Joe Manchin has begun a statewide tour of energy sites, and the first visit was to the Dominion Virginia Power Plant in Mount Storm late last week. Accompanying Senator Manchin was Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Ron Wyden of Oregon. They are gathering information to assist with the development of a renewed energy policy that will work for the entire country, according to the Mineral News-Tribune.

 

Convicted Child Molester Sentenced

A Somerset County man who has had a lifelong issue with pedophilia, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. Sixty-two year old John Wayne Hinton had requested a reduced sentence, but prosecutors say he deserved more time, because he molested four children under the age of 7, and acknowledged similar acts since he was 13 years old. Some of his victims were molested, after he met their families in church. He had previously pleaded guilty in February to molesting and photographing young girls.

 

Resort Wants National Harbor Casino

MGM Resorts says it would build a resort and casino at National Harbor near Washington, if Maryland authorizes a site there, but only if the state lowers the tax rate on gambling revenue, and if it allows table games. Current law in Maryland permits five casinos in the state, which feature only slot machines. MGM is the world’s largest casino operator, with a dozen casinos, including the MGM Grand and the Mirage.

Local News


Weekend Stabbing on Maryland Avenue

One person is in custody in connection with a stabbing that took place on Maryland Avenue Friday evening. Erik Damon Baker is being held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. An argument in the 400-block of Maryland Avenue spilled into the parking lot of a nearby convenience store. A male victim had been stabbed with scissors, and additional puncture wounds from a knife, as the fight continued outside. The victim was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment.

 

Tenants at Memorial Being Evicted

The city of Cumberland has given tenants at the site of the former Memorial Hospital six months to relocate. The city is trying to get rid of the facility, which has cost taxpayers $2.5 million over the past two-and-one-half years. Among the dozen tenants at the facility are the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center and the J. Green Foods company. The city terminated an agreement last month with Ridgecrest Investments. So far, there have been no offers on the property.

 

Man Arrested at Mall

Springfield, West Virginia resident Jason Barber was arrested at the Country Club Mall Friday night. The Maryland State Police say a “suspicious” man was walking in the mall, wearing a badge, black uniform boots, and an empty pistol holster. Barber was paged to return to his vehicle, where police found a .22-calibre rifle and a loaded .22-calibre pistol in his vehicle, concealed under a rag between the front seats.

 

Water Shut Off at Big Run

The drinking water spigot at Big Run State Park has been shut off for six months, when Maryland Park Service officials learned that permanent residents of the area were using most of the water. People were found to be filling containers and taking the water to use elsewhere. The annual cost to Maryland Environmental Services is $15,000 for the treated water, and the park only made $11,000 on fees for camping. The shut off notice was placed on the park service website, and a signed was displayed at the campground.

 

No Liability for Keyser in Bankruptcy Lawsuit

The city of Keyser shouldn’t have any liability in a lawsuit filed over the residential Keyser House Building on Main Street. The owners of the building had defaulted on a $1.5 million bond, levied for the construction of the building, which is situated on three city-owned lots. An alternative payment plan was developed, and the ownership again defaulted on payments due, prompting the lawsuit. The city of Keyser is being represented by a Huntington attorney, whose fee is covered by Keyser’s insurance carrier.

 

Salisbury Cemetery Hit By Vandals

The Salisbury Cemetery was vandalized last week. A person or persons tore down flags and defaced a veteran’s monument. The cemetery has been around since the early 1800’s. One of the American flags was completely shredded, and authorities are asking anyone with information to contact the Somerset Barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police.

 

Construction Begins on Keyser Primary School

Work has begun on the construction of the $13 million Keyser Primary School, near the site of the current Primary-Middle School. Construction will take about 14 months. The new school will open in time for the start of school next fall.

 

Man Arrested on Burglary Charges

Nineteen-year old Brady Aaron Twigg has been charged with burglary and theft of items valued at less than $1,000 in value. The arrest stems from an incident that happened  in the 300-block of Footer Place in late May. The victim said she found both her purse and television were missing. Twigg was developed as a suspect; during questioning, he admitted to having knowledge of the whereabouts of the television. He was taken to District Court for an initial appearance, and held on $15,000 at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Former Secretary/Treasurer Faces Theft Charges

A former Somerset County Secretary and Treasurer is facing forgery, theft and related charges in a case where she is accused of taking over $9800 during her time with Ursina Borough. Sixty-two year old Loretta Jean Thomas is accused of taking money from the borough’s liquid fuels tax fund, creating fraudulent invoices and altering checks to get the money. Ms. Thomas’ attorney says she wants to make restitution. She is currently free on an unsecured bond.

 

 

Local News


Weekend Stabbing on Maryland Avenue

One person is in custody in connection with a stabbing that took place on Maryland Avenue Friday evening. Erik Damon Baker is being held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. An argument in the 400-block of Maryland Avenue spilled into the parking lot of a nearby convenience store. A male victim had been staged with scissors, and additional puncture wounds from a knife, as the fight continued outside. The victim was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment.

 

Tenants at Memorial Being Evicted

The city of Cumberland has given tenants at the site of the former Memorial Hospital six months to relocate. The city is trying to get rid of the facility, which has cost taxpayers $2.5 million over the past two-and-one-half years. Among the dozen tenants at the facility are the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center and the J. Green Foods company. The city terminated an agreement last month with Ridgecrest Investments. So far, there have been no offers on the property.

 

Man Arrested at Mall

Springfield, West Virginia resident Jason Barber was arrested at the Country Club Mall Friday night. The Maryland State Police say a “suspicious” man was walking in the mall, wearing a badge, black uniform boots, and an empty pistol holster. Barber was paged to return to his vehicle, where police found a .22-calibre rifle and a loaded .22-calibre pistol in his vehicle, concealed under a rag between the front seats.

 

Water Shut Off at Big Run

The drinking water spigot at Big Run State Park has been shut off for six months, when Maryland Park Service officials learned that permanent residents of the area were using most of the water. People were found to be filling containers and taking the water to use elsewhere. The annual cost to Maryland Environmental Services is $15,000 for the treated water, and the park only made $11,000 on fees for camping. The shut off notice was placed on the park service website, and a signed was displayed at the campground.

 

No Liability for Keyser in Bankruptcy Lawsuit

The city of Keyser shouldn’t have any liability in a lawsuit filed over the residential Keyser House Building on Main Street. The owners of the building had defaulted on a $1.5 million bond, levied for the construction of the building, which is situated on three city-owned lots. An alternative payment plan was developed, and the ownership again defaulted on payments due, prompting the lawsuit. The city of Keyser is being represented by a Huntington attorney, whose fee is covered by Keyser’s insurance carrier.

 

Salisbury Cemetery Hit By Vandals

The Salisbury Cemetery was vandalized last week. A person or persons tore down flags and defaced a veteran’s monument. The cemetery has been around since the early 1800’s. One of the American flags was completely shredded, and authorities are asking anyone with information to contact the Somerset Barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police.

 

Construction Begins on Keyser Primary School

Work has begun on the construction of the $13 million Keyser Primary School, near the site of the current Primary-Middle School. Construction will take about 14 months. The new school will open in time for the start of school next fall.

 

Man Arrested on Burglary Charges

Nineteen-year old Brady Aaron Twigg has been charged with burglary and theft of items valued at less than $1,000 in value. The arrest stems from an incident that happened  in the 300-block of Footer Place in late May. The victim said she found both her purse and television were missing. Twigg was developed as a suspect; during questioning, he admitted to having knowledge of the whereabouts of the television. He was taken to District Court for an initial appearance, and held on $15,000 at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Former Secretary/Treasurer Faces Theft Charges

A former Somerset County Secretary and Treasurer is facing forgery, theft and related charges in a case where she is accused of taking over $9800 during her time with Ursina Borough. Sixty-two year old Loretta Jean Thomas is accused of taking money from the borough’s liquid fuels tax fund, creating fraudulent invoices and altering checks to get the money. Ms. Thomas’ attorney says she wants to make restitution. She is currently free on an unsecured bond.

Local News


Pair Arrested in Robberies

Two people have been arrested in connection with a series of bank robberies in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, including the robbery of a bank in Friendsville. Nichole Durst of Meyersdale and Corbin Will of Garrett,  have been taken into custody, in connection with the five thefts in May. Will is alleged to have driven the getaway car, while Ms. Durst robbed the banks. The bank heists took place in Tyrone and Salix, Pennsylvania; Friendsville, Maryland; and in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. The two were picked up after getting tips matching a car description.

 

Pair Arrested in Drug Bust

One of “Cumberland’s Most Wanted,” Brian Russell Price, was arrested Tuesday evening at the B.P. Gas Station on Hillcrest Drive, off of Interstate 68. Price had been wanted on several warrants, and an anonymous tip was received from a citizen, who saw Price at the station. He was taken into custody without incident. A search resulted in the discovery of suspected CDS material. Another person with Price, Tammy Sue Shoemaker, was also found to have CDS and paraphernalia in her possession. Both were taken for a District Court hearing.

 

Board Increases Meal Fee

The Allegany County Board of Education has approved a five-cent increase in the cost of school meals, due to a federally mandated shift to healthier school menus. Costs are being driven up by the requirement of fresh fruits, vegetables and other changes required by the federal government. Lunches must also include fewer favorites, such as tater tots and macaroni and cheese. The increase was approved as part of the consent agenda at this week’s Board of Education meeting.

 

Pennsylvania Man Killed in Farming Accident

A 62-year old Somerset County man was killed Monday when he was accidentally struck by a hay bale that fell ten feet from a loader. Glenn Lee Miller died just before 2 p.m. The fatal accident occurred as Miller was working on a farm; he was standing nearby, when a 700-pound hay bale fell off the loader, hitting Miller. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Panel Deadline Extended

The panel studying the impact of natural gas drilling in Western Maryland is getting more time to produce its second set of recommendations. Governor O’Malley has extended the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission’s deadline until December 31st to produce a draft report. Public comment will follow, and a final report will be issued on August 1st of 2013. The group’s third report is due August 1, 2014.

 

More Details on Orr Resignation

There are more details emerging on the resignation of Bedford County Jail Warden Donald Orr. Orr is said to have turned in his badge and keys about an hour before the county commissioners’ meeting. He had been on paid suspension since May 17th, after being placed under investigation for a May 14th incident that might never be fully explained to the public. The incident was a personnel issue, and not a criminal matter.

 

Man Arrested for Theft

Twenty-seven year old Jeffrey Allen Gallen was released on personal recognizance, after being charged with three counts of theft of less than $1,000. A theft complaint in April alleged that Gallen stole and pawned an item that was rented by the complainant in the case. He was taken to Allegany County District Court for an initial appearance.

 

Man Charged with Failure to Appear

Cumberland resident Brian John Hatlapatka was charged with failure to appear for a hearing on May 11th of this year. The original charges brought against the 40-year old Hatlapatka were the result of an incident in March, in which he allegedly stole a debit card and made several purchases and withdrawals from the victim’s account. He was held on a pre-set $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detetnion Center.

 

Wind Farm Plans Halted

The Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm project in Somerset County has been halted. The Gamesa Company’s six-year battle for a wind turbine farm there is over. The Shaffer Mountain decision won’t affect Gamesa’s local employees, in that it has a blade manufacturing plant in Ebensburg and several wind farms already developed in the region.

Local News


Board Comments on County Funding

The Allegany County Board of Education says the county is cutting back educational funding to the bare required minimum. During last night’s work session, one board member, Mike Llewellyn, said the county is profiting from the state’s arrangement to help pay teacher pension costs. While the percentage of the county budget used to fund education has dropped to about 35 per cent, the state average of funding per county is at about 49 per cent.

 

Teenager Loses Life in Accident

Sixteen year old Seneca Rocks resident James L. Huffman died in a single-vehicle crash Monday evening near the Grant-Pendleton County line. He was driving a 2000 Ford Ranger, when the truck crossed the center line, near State Routes 28 and 55, went off the edge of the roadway and traveled over an embankment. It came to rest on its top.

 

Crash, Domestic Incident Remains Under Investigation

Cumberland City Police are investigating a domestic disturbance in the 400-block of Arch Street early yesterday morning. Thirty-two year old Tammy Lynn Porter had been involved in a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of West Industrial Boulevard and Arch Street. She allegedly left the scene and traveled south on Arch Street. She then struck three parked vehicles, crossed Industrial Boulevard, then struck another parked vehicle, and ran into the side of a residence at 35 West Industrial Boulevard. She was injured and was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment.

 

Incumbent Wins Mayoral Election

Incumbent Luke Mayor Edward Clemons retained his seat in Monday’s election, winning over Joseph LaRue and Richard Miller, Sr. Also retaining their seats were Commissioners Janet Bryan, Thomas Clayton and James L. Lewis. Donna Fracasso will be joining the three incumbents, to serve a two-year term of office. Of the 57 registered voters in the town, 42 turned out to vote. The newly elected members will be sworn into office by the clerk of the Allegany County Circuit Court, Dawne Lindsey.

 

Boil Water Notice in Effect in Meyersdale

There is a boil water notice in effect, at least through today in Meyersdale, for customers of the Municipal Authority. An eight-inch water main at Second and Thomas Streets ruptured about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, and drained portions of the water distribution system. That line has been a problem before. People are being asked to boil water, not necessarily conserve it.

 

Warden Resigns Position in Bedford County

Warden Donald Orr has resigned that position at the Bedford County Jail. Orr had been suspended, due to an unspecified incident at the jail earlier in May. The Bedford County Free Press says that Orr’s resignation became effective yesterday.

 

More Charges Filed Against Accused Arsonist

The Hagerstown Fire Marshal’s Office is filing more charges against a man, who is accused of setting a fire on the front porch of a Virginia Avenue home in Hagerstown. Carl McNutt is also accused of call the Virginia Avenue residence several times last week, stating he was going to return and kill the occupant and burn the house down. He was arrested in Baltimore late last week, and is being held there without bond.

 

Former Deputy Sentenced in Hagerstown

A former deputy at the Washington County Detention Center has been sentenced to fifteen months in jail for bringing the drug Suboxone into the facility. Thirty-one year old Leslie Allen Martin is accused of bringing the drug, which is used to treat opiate withdrawal, to another inmate at the jail. Martin will serve the sentence in a local detention facility, rather than in a state prison.

 

Baltimore Number Six in Homicides

Baltimore City is no longer in the “Top Five” cities nationwide, with the highest homicide rates. However…it is number 6. According to the FBI, which released the figures this week, the homicide rate is at 31.3 per cent per 100,000 residents. Baltimore had 196 homicides last year, but that represented a 12 per cent decline in the number of murders. The total dipped below 200 for the first time since the 1970’s.

Local News


Frostburg Man Killed in Somerset County Crash

 

Frostburg resident Anthony Michael David Winter was killed in a single-car crash in Somerset County this past weekend. He was a passenger in a car, driven by Ronald Lee Streets. He lost control of the car on a curve, and it rolled over; both were thrown from the vehicle, and neither was wearing a safety belt. The accident happened on Route 160 in the Wellersburg area. Streets suffered what are being termed “major” injuries in the crash.

 

 

Man Remains Jailed on Bond

 

Pittsburgh resident John Whittingham remains in the Garrett County jail, after allegedly hitting a police vehicle and running from police over the weekend. Whittingham was allegedly driving in an erratic manner and without an inoperable brake light. He was also allegedly not wearing a seat belt. Police pursued the car for several miles, and at one point, he turned and hit a Garrett County Sheriff’s vehicle. He was arrested and jailed on $50,000 bond.

 

 

Woman Cited for Failure to Yield in Weekend Accident

 

Seventy-four year old Marlene Bittner of Mount Savage was cited for failure to yield right of way in a two-vehicle collision over the weekend at the entrance to D’atri’s Restaurant in LaVale. She had pulled into the path of a motorcycle, driven by Ellerslie resident Steven Bonner. He hit her car on the driver’s side, rear passenger door., He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment of injuries, while Ms. Bittner was not injured.

 

 

State Police Investigate Garrett County Burglary

 

The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating an attempted burglary at 57 Gorman Steyer Road in Oakland. Sometime over the weekend, an unknown person or persons tried to enter the residence. The suspect also moved a vehicle that was parked at the residence, and parked it at a different location on the property. Anyone with information is asked to contact the McHenry Barrack at (301)-387-1101.

 

 

Berkeley Springs Man Killed in Collision

 

Berkeley Springs resident David Wayne Mccumbee was killed Saturday afternoon, when he hit a tractor-trailer, head-on at the Potomac River Bridge on Route 522. Mccumbee crossed into the southbound lane, and hit a truck, driven by Jeffrey Edward Martin of Petersburg, Virginia. Alcohol is believed to have been a contributing factor. Mr. Martin sustained no injuries in the accident. The bridge on Route 522 was closed for about three hours. Authorities from both Maryland and West Virginia conducted the investigation.

 

 

Board Approves 5% Tuition Increase in West Virginia

 

The West Virginia Board of Governors has approved a five per cent increase for tuition and fees, effective this fall. The tuition increases amount to $145 more per semester for resident undergraduates and $449 more for non-residents on the main campus in Morgantown. The increases are slightly smaller at Potomac State College in Keyser, where both resident and non-resident undergraduates at Potomac State will pay $72 more per semester.

 

Local News


Law Enforcement Seeks Robbers; Cases May Be Related

 

Federal, state and local law enforcement efforts are being combined to apprehend a couple, connected to numerous bank robberies in the Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia region. Another robbery was reported Thursday afternoon near Morgantown, and the suspect vehicle matches the description of one used in a recent robbery in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. The two armed robbers are also believed to be connected to a similar crime in Friendsville. The couple, a man and a woman, are believed to be driving a light blue 1990’s-GMC or Chevrolet pickup truck.
 

 

Tornado Confirmed in Allegany County

 

An F-1 tornado, with winds of between 86 and 110 miles-per-hour, was confirmed in Eastern Allegany County, during severe storms on June 1st. The tornado occurred shortly after 6:30 p.m. about two miles to the west/southwest of Belle Grove, near the intersection of Orleans Road and Turkey Farm Road. The tornado was on the ground for just over a mile, and it snapped numerous hardwood trees and uprooted several others. There was no structural damage. A total of at least a dozen tornadoes were reported during the storm.
 

Woman Arrested in Disturbance

 

Twenty-nine year old Cumberland resident Melody Melvin was arrested in connection with a

disturbance near the Baltimore Street railroad crossing. She had been cursing and yelling and customers entering a business. She was previously contacted in the 200-block of Baltimore Street, where she was told to leave the area and create no further disturbances. She faces a number of charges, including disturbing the peace. Ms. Melvin was released on personal recognizance.
 

 

Residents Warned of Mail Scam

 

Residents are being warned of a mail scam, from a Canadian company, called Novation Capital Settlement. Residents are being told by letter, they have won a $150,000 sweepstakes, with a check enclosed. They are then asked to send $4,000 to help cover expenses. Residents are instructed to cash the check, and to send the expenses check from their own account. The enclosed check is bogus, and the entire sweepstakes is a scam. As they say, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
 

 

Beall Elementary Wins Recycling Contest

 

Beall Elementary School’s 436 students collected nearly 6,000 telephone books for recycling, a ratio of nearly 14 books per student. Flintstone’s 217 students collected just over a thousand books. The campaign is designed to enhance awareness of the importance of recycling. The campaign was organized and managed by the Allegany County Commissioners, the Allegany County Solid Waste Management Board and the Allegany County Board of Education.
 

 

Route 220 Work Begins Wednesday

 

Resurfacing and bridge rehabilitation work will take place on Route 220 on Wednesday. Specifically, bridge rehabilitation will take place on the structure over Route 869; the paving of approximately 4 miles of road will take place from Route 4009 to the Route 3021 overpass. The contractor for the $1.6 million project is New Enterprise Stone and Lime, and all work should be completed by October of this year.
 

 

Companies Respond to Barn Fire in Romney

 

Several fire companies responded to a barn fire on Grassy Lick Road in Hampshire County on Wednesday evening. The barn had been used as a house, but was vacant at the time of the fire. The property owner, who was not identified, is requesting an investigation. The call was received around 9:52 p.m., and by the time firefighters arrived, the structure was fully involved. There were no injuries.
 

 

Utility Company Warns of Scam

 

First Energy Corporation is warning customers of its 10 electric distribution companies to be wary of bogus claims that President Obama will help pay utility bills for residential customers through a special federal program. One of the companies is Potomac Edison. Customers are being asked to provide sensitive information, such as social security numbers, which presents an identity theft risk.  The scammers then supply customers with a phony bank routing number to pay their bills. However, no government dollars are applied to customer accounts and the full balance remains due.
 

 

Former Maryland Treasurer Richard Dixon Dies at 74

 

Former Maryland Treasurer Richard Dixon died Thursday at the age of 74. Dixon was Maryland’s first African-American treasurer. He suffered a stroke earlier in the week. He served as treasurer from 1996 to 2002, and had previously served in the House of Delegates before becoming treasurer.
 

 

Texting Ban To Take Effect July 1

 

A texting while driving ban will take effect in West Virginia on July 1st. Texting while driving will become a primary offense in the state, and using a handheld cell phone while driving will become a secondary offense. The cell phone offense will become a primary offense on July 1st of next year.

Local News


Oldtown Man Sentenced for Sexual Abuse Crimes

Sixty-three year old Oldtown resident Marvin Dale VanMeter has been sentenced to a total of 20 years of actual jail time, in connection with a series of incidents between June 1st and December of last year, in which he engaged in sexual acts with two minor male victims. VanMeter, who had temporary care and custody of the two boys, also provided them with alcohol. Following his release from prison, he will be placed on three years’ supervised probation with numerous conditions, register as a sex offender for life, have no contact with the victims or their families, be evaluated for, and complete any sex offender and drug/alcohol treatment. He must also submit a DNA sample to the sex offender registry and violate no laws of Maryland, nor any other state. An investigation was conducted by the C3I unit, specifically Detective Roger Plummer who, through the course of the investigation, identified Mr. VanMeter as the suspect.

 

Friendsville Fire Under Investigation

A fire, which caused about $30,000 in damage on the Friendsville-Addison Road Tuesday afternoon, remains under investigation. The mobile home was occupied by Violet Coddington. The fire began in the area of a rear, covered porch at the home. The victim was displaced and is being assisted by family.

 

Cumberland Man Held on $75,000 Bond

Forty-six year old Nicky Lynn is being held on $75,000 bond, following a disturbance in the 800-block of Sperry Terrace. Linn, involved in a domestic assault incident, flipped a table at the home which struck a juvenile in the face. Following his initial appearance in District Court, he was released on his own recognizance. Linn allegedly went back to the residence, and began causing further problems with the victim. The second time Linn was arrested; he was remanded to the Allegany County Detention Center to await his next appearance in court.

 

Mountainview Landfill to Extend Hours

After initially reducing its hours, county officials have announced that, starting next month, the landfill will be reopening on Mondays. County Public Works Director Paul Kahl noted Tuesday that the hours will increase from 40 to 49-1/2 hours per week, as a result of citizen feedback. If the plan is approved, the new hours will be from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

 

Keyser Athletic Complex Goal Met

Keyser High School has raised $102,000 for this year’s payment on the athletic complex. It’s not known where the balance of this year’s payment will come from on the facility. Officials are, however, counting on a $20,000 grant from the West Virginia legislature, $20,000 given to the complex by the athletic programs, and interest accrued from various investments.

 

Somerset Man Sentenced for Threats

Somerset resident Brook Alexander Keefer has been sentenced to two to 12 months in jail for making threats against a Summit Township family, and a humane officer last year. In the first case, Keefer was upset over the potential paternity of a young child, and made threats against them. In September of last year, he allegedly threatened a humane officer who went to his home to check on the welfare of his dog. Along with court costs and fines, Keefer was ordered to write an apology letter to the victims, and submit it to his probation officer for review.

 

Hope for Hyndman School Holds First Graduation

The Hope for Hyndman charter school held its first graduation earlier this week, a year since the Middle School there closed. Twenty-seven students graduated Tuesday, and the school is expecting to gain more students next year, because the Hyndman-Londonderry Elementary School will not be reopening after the school board voted to close it too.

 

Email Scam Targets Soldiers and Military Retirees

Both the Internal Revenue Service and the Maryland Comptroller are warning of a new scam, targeting military personnel and retirees, as well as civilian workers. The emails claim that recipients of disability compensation from the VA may be entitled to more money from the IRS. The email contains a “.mil” domain, and requests recipients send copies of their income tax returns, Retiree Account Statements, and other pertinent financial data to a colonel in Florida. That way, a “con artist” can steal an identity. Any email or phone solicitation asking for your Social Security number should be cause for concern.

Local News


LaVale Teen Struck and Killed in Ocean City

A 15-year old LaVale girl, Samantha Jo Sweitzer, was struck and killed by a 17 year old boy, driving an SUV, in Ocean City Tuesday evening. The accident occurred as she was trying to cross Philadelphia Avenue at 21st Street. She was a student at Allegany High School.  The body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy. There are no charges pending against the driver at this time. He was released at the scene.

 

Search Underway for Bank Robbers

The Maryland State Police are part of the federal, state, and local law enforcement effort underway in three states to find a pair of robbery suspects who are believed to have committed multiple bank robberies during May in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. One of the suspects is being sought in connection with the May 7th robbery of the M & T Bank in Friendsville. Other robberies have taken place in Salix and Tyrone, Pennsylvania and in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia.

 

Delaware Man Charged With Possession of CDS

A Smyrna, Delaware man faces numerous drug charges, including possession of prescription pills with intent to distribute, following a traffic stop yesterday on Westbound Interstate 68 at Amish Road. Peter Bonsignore was initially stopped for speeding. Over 1,000 prescription pills were found hidden in his vehicle, with a street value of about $30,000, as well as marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was arrested and held on $50,000 bond at the Garrett County Detention Center.

 

Jefferson County Sheriff Indicted

The Jefferson County Sheriff, Robert E. “Bobby” Shirley, has been indicted on charges he used unreasonable force in making an arrest in 2010 and then falsified a report to obstruct a federal investigation. Mark Daniel Haines, who is currently a federal inmate housed at the Allegany County Detention Center in Cresaptown, filed a civil-rights lawsuit against Shirley and 14 “unknown police officers,” claiming he was severely beaten in December of 2010 after a failed bank heist and vehicle chase that ended in Berkeley County, West Virginia.

 

Public Schools Receive MSDE’s Race to the Top Grant

As part of a $3.7 million Maryland State Department of Education’s Race to the Top grant project, Allegany County has been awarded over $256,000 for infrastructure equipment purchases. The grant period is from June 1st of this year, through June 30,2013. The application for additional funds and equipment upgrades have been submitted to MSDE should future Race to the Top funding be awarded to the counties.

 

Man Sentenced on Involuntary Manslaughter Charge

Joseph Beltz, of Defiance, Pennsylvania, who has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter several months ago, was sentenced to 11-1/2 to 23 months in prison and will serve 3-years probation after that. Beltz was implicated in a crash that killed firefighter Eddie Singer in October of last year. Beltz was driving through Coaldale when he swerved into oncoming traffic in mid-October. Singer’s wife was driving and suffered serious injuries.

 

Woman Arrested on Disorderly Conduct Charges

Eighteen year old April Marie Hartman was issued a criminal citation, following an incident on Weber Street Tuesday evening. Cumberland Police responded to an argument in the street, and Ms. Hartman was asked to lower her voice, but did not. She was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct and later released to a family member.

 

Commissioner Repays Expenses

Former Bedford County Commissioner Gary Ebersole has reimbursed the county for over $2900 in mileage expenses he charged over a two year period. Former Commissioner Mike Herline has not repaid the $1700 he owes the county. A November, 2007 policy states that officials cannot be automatically compensated for mileage traveled inside county borders.

 

Local News


Better Quality Surveillance Photos Obtained

The Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigation Unit has obtained better quality surveillance photos, in connection with an incident that happened in early May at the Country Club Mall in LaVale. A man approached a 71-year old man, telling the victim he was under arrest; he was able to convince him to drive to his credit union and withdraw an undisclosed amount for a cash bond, before releasing him. The suspect is described as a white male, 30 to 40 years of age, and 6-feet to 6-feet, 3 inches in height. While the investigation is continuing, law enforcement authorities are asking anyone who can identify the suspect to contact the Maryland State Police, C3I Unit, or Allegany/Mineral County CrimeSolvers.

 

Sewer Rate Increase Delayed

The Cumberland Mayor and City Council voted unanimously last night to delay a vote on raising sewer rates, pending new information received about a long-standing industry pollutant surcharge. The matter will be brought up again in two weeks, so that the increase is based on the most accurate information available, according to Councilman Dave Kauffman.

 

Incumbents Returned to Office in Keyser Election

Ed Miller and Clinton Faulk were returned to office during yesterday’s Keyser City Election. Also elected was Terry Liller. Results showed that 1,064 residents turned out to vote. The three won out over former Keyser Mayors Roger Newlin and William “Sonny” Rhodes.

 

Man Drowns in Little Cacapon

An Upper Tract, West Virginia man drowned in the Little Cacapon River Monday afternoon.. Twenty-eight year old Farid Bude died as he was swimming across the river with his two daughters, ages 3 and 11, on his back. The older child was able to get the younger one, and swim to where another man, who was able to help them out of the river.

 

Woman Arrested on CDS Possession Counts

Twenty-six year old Samantha Jo Baker was released on personal recognizance, following a traffic stop on Monday, which yielded a baggie, containing suspected heroin. Originally stopped for an equipment violation, a K-9 drug scan of her vehicle resulted in a positive alert. The vehicle and its occupants were searched, and Ms. Baker handed the officer a baggie, containing suspected heroin. She was taken to police headquarters, processed and transported to District Court for an initial appearance.

 

Group to Have Booth At Heritage Days

The city of Cumberland’s Environmental Branch will have a booth set up on Saturday at Heritage Days. City staff and members of the Allegany County Solid Waste Board will be displaying a variety of information including promotion of the City’s Urban Tree Canopy, county-wide recycling, and compost bin and rain barrel pre-sales. A limited number of trees will be given away, courtesy of the City of Cumberland and the Cumberland Shade Tree Commission. The booth will be located at the corner of Prospect Square and Johnson Street.

 

Man Killed in Logging Accident

Terra Alta resident Jason Scott Wiles was killed in a logging accident in Marion County Monday. He was cutting a tree, shortly after 11 a.m., when it fell on him and crushed him. He was an employee of Backwoods Logging, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Foul play is not suspected. Officials with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the Division of Forestry are investigating.

 

Amtrak Station Could Cost $4 Million

An Amtrak station in Rockwood, Pennsylvania could cost upwards of four-million dollars, according to a feasibility study commissioned by the Somerset County Planning Commission. Somerset County Commissioner Pamela Tokar-Ickes says the proposal has strong merits as an economic generator, but at the same time, they are addressing the concerns of the community. There will be a fourth public hearing on the proposal. The feasibility study addressed where the station would be located, who will pay for its maintenance and what kind of security will be needed.

 

Twice-Convicted Robber Sues Another Bank

A former Hagerstown man, who is serving 20 years for two bank robberies, is suing another bank for not preventing a woman from emptying his PNC bank account. Fifty-nine year old David Zeller filed a claim against PNC, saying it failed to properly monitor his account after he was incarcerated. A judge ruled in favor of PNC, because Zeller had given his power of attorney to the woman, so she could transfer money from his account to another at the Washington County Detention Center. Zeller still has the option to file suit against the woman.

 

Verizon Offering Buyouts to 1700 Workers

Verizon Communications is offering buyouts to 1700 workers, mainly call center employees and technicians. The offer applies to less than 1 per cent of Verizon’s overall workforce; the company is cutting its wireline costs, as households cancel their phone lines, opting to go to competitors or rely on cellphones. If not enough people accept the buyouts, there is the possibility of layoffs at Verizon.

Local News


Man Found Dead in Overturned Car in Potomac

A 74-year old Oldtown man, Lawrence Kennell,  whose car went into the Potomac River off the Oldtown Bridge died late Sunday night. Kennell was found dead inside the 2004 Cadillac. The incident was reported to the Allegany County 911 Center just before midnight. Dispatched to the scene were the Maryland Natural Resources Police, the Maryland State Police medevac helicopter, and personnel from Oldtown, District 16 and the Springfield Volunteer Fire companies.

 

Bridge Renovations on Hold

A renovation of the Interstate 68 bridge, which was to have begun this spring will be readvertised following a bid protest. The project now, most likely, will be delayed until the spring of next year. The low bid of $13.9 million from Concrete General, Incorporated of Gaithersburg was contest by a Baltimore firm, Klicos Painting Company of Baltimore, which bid $14.5 million. The bidding process was upheld by the State Highway Administration, while Klicos appealed to the Maryland Board of Contract Appeals.

 

Two Remain in Hospital

Two people who were involved in Saturday’s triple-fatal accident in Springfield remain in the hospital. A 14-year old boy who was in the minivan, was transferred to a Morgantown hospital for surgery, and 51-year old Michzel Jachelski of Fort Ashby remains at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Thirty-two year old Frank Albert, 51-year old Karen Albert and a 9-year old boy were killed along Route 28 this past weekend.

 

Man Strikes Child; Arrested for Assault

A fifty-five year old Cumberland man is facing first and second-degree assault charges, after allegedly striking a seven-year old child in the Decatur Street area late Sunday afternoon. Louis Levi Brown allegedly hit the child without provocation. The child sustained moderate injuries to his face, and was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center by family members. He was held on $70,000 bond and taken to the Allegany County Detention Center to await his next court appearance.

 

TGCC To Co-Host Maryland Coal Summit

The Greater Cumberland Committee’s Membership meeting is set for this Thursday; in partnership with the State Comptroller’s office and the Maryland Coal Association, the Committee will serve as co-host for the inaugural Maryland Coal Summit. TGCC members, industry experts and honored guest will engage in active panel discussions and presentations planned for this extended program showcasing the economic benefits and positive impact the coal industry has provided across the state and its surrounding region. The meeting is set for 11:30 a.m. at the Lane Center Atkinson Room at Frostburg State University.

 

Board To Consider Zoning Request

The Zoning Board of Appeals is set to review a request from a local resident on developing a property along the C & O Canal, which he bought at auction last year. Donelly Bohrer wants to use the land for a park center and a bed and breakfast. Zoning regulations, however, prohibit the house on the property, at 1 Elizabeth Street, to be used for an inn or conference center. Regulations state it could only be used as an office and/or single-family home, and portions of the site also fall within the 100-year flood plain. The Board has set a meeting for Wednesday at 4 p.m. to consider the matter.

 

Heritage Days Festival This Weekend

This weekend will mark the 44th annual Heritage Days Festival, in downtown Cumberland and in the Washington Street Historic District. A special aspect of this weekend’s festival is the dedication of the National Road monument at the foot of George Washington’s Headquarters at Riverside Park. The dedication will take place Sunday at 3 p.m. Along with hosting over 150 artisans and food vendors, Heritage Days will also feature tours of the tunnels under Emmanuel Episcopal Church, the site of the original Fort Cumberland.

 

Exercise Slated For Friday

The Berkeley County Health Department is holding an open “Point of Distribution” exercise at South Middle School in Martinsburg on Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a training exercise, to help prepare the area’s community partners and the public, in the event of a real bio-terrorism incident. The Department is inviting its emergency partners to assist them, as if this were a real emergency.

 

Nine Tornadoes Confirmed in the State

At least nine tornadoes touched down in Maryland over this past weekend, concentrated in the Prince George’s, Montgomery, and Carroll County areas. Two stronger, “F1” storms, with estimated winds of 86 to 110 miles-per-hour, were reported in Harford and Howard Counties. Damage in Harford County is expected to exceed a million dollars.

 

Tuition Hikes Set for Maryland Colleges

The Board of Regents for the Maryland University system has approved a 3 per cent tuition hike for most in-state students. The increase was approved last week, and this is the third year in a row that tuition has gone up. For those out-of-state, tuition will rise as much as 5 per cent at College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Employee salaries will remain largely frozen, except for a two per cent cost-of-living increase.

Local News


Three Area Residents Die in Crash

Three residents of Fort Ashby, including a 9-year old boy, were killed Saturday in a single-vehicle accident on Route 28, at the intersection with Goldsborough Road. Thirty-two year old Frank Albert, 51-year year old Karen Albert and the nine-year old died when their mini-van collided head-on with a tree. Two others were taken to the hospital. It was unclear who was driving the vehicle. While the investigation is continuing, police say alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

 

Wisp Owners Meet with Potential Buyers

The owners of the Wisp, Maryland’s only ski resort, have met with several potential buyers, but selling the resort is not inevitable. D.C. Development, LLC-the owners of the facility-are expected to file a plan of reorganization or debt restructuring that may preclude a sale of its assets. The partners blame slower-than-expected sales of homes at the Lodestone golf site for the financial woes that prompted them to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October. For now, it’s “business as usual” at the Wisp.

 

Road Work Slated

The City of Cumberland Engineering Department is notifying the public that, beginning at 6 p.m. this evening, the far right lane of south bound Route 51 will be closed from Third Street to Virginia Avenue until emergency sewer work is completed. Access to the Virginia Avenue underpass will be open. Drivers are urged to use caution in the work area, and obey all traffic signs.

 

Man Charged with Trespassing, Theft

Thirty-six year old Cumberland resident Paul Gower has been charged with burglary, trespassing and theft, following an incident on Weber Street. He is accused of entering a residence there, and stealing personal items from a residence. He was held on $15,000 bond.

 

Dog Poisonings Reported

There have been reports regarding several poisonings of dogs, especially in the South Cumberland area. Dog owners are reminded to keep a close watch on their pets. If you have any information on this rash of poisonings, you are asked to contact the Allegany CountyAnimal Shelter at (301)-777-5930.

 

Former Bedford County Commissioners Cited

Two former Bedford County Commissioners have been cited in an audit for receiving money they claimed for “in-county” travel. The Bedford County Free Press states that Mike Herline received more than $1700 and Gary Ebersole received over $2900. A policy was approved nearly five years ago, that stated no elected official would receive reimbursement for in-county travel. Three tax collectors, from Manns Choice, New Paris and Rainsburg, were also cited in the audit.

 

Somerset Woman Charged with Burglary

Somerset resident Tamara Shumaker of Baer Lane, is being charged with numerous burglary-related offenses, after she broke into a home with a young boy. She is charged with taking items from a home along 1st Street in Cairnbrook, such as a small portable gas heater, a white bag with a flashlight and charger wires. The rear door of the home was damaged, as well as windows and furniture.

 

PSC To Hear Billing Complaint

The Maryland Public Service Commission will hear a complaint that Potomac Edison is overbilling some Western Maryland electricity customers by failing to read their meters as often as required. The hearing has tentatively been scheduled for June 20th; the complaint was filed May 19th by Sugarloaf Conservancy. The group says the company has read its members’ electric meters an average of four times in the past 13 months, when they are required to read them every other month. The conservancy adds the practice results in usage estimates that exceed the amount of electricity consumed. Potomac Edison says it will respond to the complaint during the June 20th hearing. 

 

Frederick Woman Faces Child Abuse Charges

Frederick resident Elizabeth Tramonte has been indicted by a grand jury, in connection with the death of her three-month old son, Blake. The charge is first-degree child abuse, resulting in death, along with other offenses. The child suffered injuries to his face and head, and an autopsy concluded that his death was caused by multiple injuries and other factors, and therefore ruled a homicide. His death occurred last November.

 

Same Sex Marriage Opposition Collects Over 122,000 Signatures

Those working to repeal Maryland’s same-sex marriage law have collected more than twice the number of signatures needed for a referendum, most likely ensuring the issue will be on the ballot for voters to decide in November. If enough of the over 122,000 signatures are verified, the state would become the center of a national debate on the issue, both groups are preparing to spend millions of dollars before November.

 

Federal Officials Shut Down Tour Bus Companies

More than two dozen bus companies in six states, including Maryland, have been shut down for safety violations. The operators transport more than 1800 passengers a day along Interstate 95, between New York and Florida. Most of the routes either originate or terminate in New York City’s Chinatown District. The shutdowns cap a year-long investigation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Local News


Documentation Issues at Finan, Brandenburg

The State Department of Legislative Services has found problems with documentation for some purchases at the Thomas B. Finan Center and the former Joseph Brandeburg Center, with corporate purchasing cards, which were not promptly canceled when employees were terminated at both locations. The Cumberland Times-News states an audit was conducted from July 1, 2008 through June 30th of last year, and found that documentation was lacking documentation in certain instances, to support its compliance with State Procurement Regulations.

 

Woman Found Hanging in Washington County Cell

A Moorefield, West Virginia woman, who was jailed at the Washington County Detention Center, was found hanging from a bed sheet Wednesday morning. Thirty-five year old Crystal Rosenberger was taken to the Meritus Medical Center for treatment. She was being held on $40,000 bond on a bad check charge in Hancock, but was also being held on a retainer from Baltimore County on theft charges there.

 

Inmate Files Suit Against Sheriff, Other Officers

An inmate who is currently lodged in the Allegany County Detention Center is suing Jefferson County Sheriff Bobby Shirley and 14 unidentified law enforcement officers he says severely beat him after a failed bank robbery and vehicle chase in 2010. Mark Daniel Haines says officers repeatedly kicked him in the head and stomped on his face, while other officers threw him to the ground, and against a cruiser. He also alleges they punched him and shocked him with stun guns. The incident is alleged to have happened in late December, 2010. For his part, Sheriff Shirley’s attorneys deny the allegations.

 

ARC Grant for Garrett County

The Appalachian Regional Commission has granted Garrett County $250,000 for construction of the Meadow Mountain Trail. The ten-mile, multi-user trail, will build on the county’s effort to expand its outdoor recreation industry; it is projected to have an economic impact of more than $3 million. The funding will be used to complete the trail design, to construct the trail, and improve two railhead parking areas.

 

Council Will Advertise for Administrator

During a brief, five-minute meeting the Keyser City Council passed a motion to advertise for a new City Administrator. The job listing is available at the city office, and interested applicants will have 30 days to apply for the job. At the end of 30 days, a panel will be assembled to select three possible candidates.

 

Keyser Farm Service Office To Close

Keyser’s federal Farm Service agency, along with four others around West Virginia, will be closing in the coming weeks. There are currently 29 FSA offices in the state, and ten were on the short list for closure. The criteria for closure were the level of farm activity in the local area, and whether an office was in 25 miles of another FSA office. Employees remaining with the offices will be transferred to the nearest FSA office, so there were no job losses.

 

Incumbent Mayor Seeks Re-Election

Ed Clemons, Jr., the current mayor of Luke, is seeking re-election to that position in the June 11th municipal election. He announced his intention as he was elected by his fellow mayors to serve as the Allegany-Garrett Maryland Municipal League Chapter President.

 

County Schedules Electronic Recycling

Allegany County will have an electronics recycling event on Saturday, June 23rd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the County Office Building. Most, but not all, electronics can be recycled for free; the event is restricted to county residents. Individuals will be required to present a valid drivers license or another proof of residency, such as a current utility bill.

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