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THE TRI-STATE'S CLASSIC ROCK STATION
GO 106 News Archives for 2013-03

Local News


Rawlings Man Dies of Gunshot Injuries

Fifty-three year old Samuel George died Friday afternoon, from gunshot wounds sustained during a standoff with Maryland State Police Troopers Thursday night. The two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation. State Police investigators have conducted interviews with those who witnessed the incident, and the Allegany County State's Attorney responded to the scene and has been continually updated on the active investigation. The Maryland State Police Internal Affairs unit is also conducting an investigation into the police-involved shooting, which is standard procedure.


Woman Issued Citations in Hit and Run

Twenty-seven year old Miriah Slider of Frostburg was issued two traffic citations, following a hit and run incident in the 400-block of Fayette Street Saturday morning. She allegedly hit another person's vehicle there, and fled the scene. She was issued citations for failure to stop after an unattended vehicle damage accident, and failure to locate and notify the owner of an unattended vehicle of damage. She was released, pending trial in District Court.


Cumberland Woman Arrested in Vehicle Damage Accident

Cumberland resident Meagan Booth was charged with failure to control speed to avoid a collision and DUI-related charges following an incident late Friday evening on Furnace Street. She allegedly struck several unoccupied parked vehicles, before stopping on Lena Street. She was uninjured, and placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI. She was released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.


Man Arrested in Domestic Incident

Forty-seven year old Sperry Terrace resident Nicky Lee Linn was arrested, following a domestic incident. Linn was charged with second-degree assault. Linn allegedly assaulted his roommate over the cleanliness of their residence. Linn was released on personal recognizance pending trial.


Destruction of Property Reported in Grantsville

The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a malicious destruction of property incident in Grantsville that happened early yesterday morning. A group of three people were walking through the town; one of the three struck a mailbox, causing it to break into several pieces. Anyone with information is asked to contact the McHenry Barrack at (301)-387-1101.


SHA Begins Pothole Patching on Interstate 68

The Maryland State Highway Administration is planning to patch a number of potholes on the Crosstown Bridge this week, and motorists should expected single-lane closures. This is a long-term project, and motorists should plan for round-the-clock single lane closures, through Friday of each week. The eastbound exit of I-68 to Industrial Boulevard will be closed for patching next weekend, beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, through 8 p.m. next Sunday.


Telephone Book Recycling Campaign Announced

The 21st annual Telephone Book Recycling program is underway, organized and managed by the Allegany County Commissioners, the Solid Waste Management Board and the Allegany County Board of Education. Students from public and private schools are participating this year. All recycled telephone books help Allegany County reach its 20 per cent recycling goal, a mandate from the state of Maryland. Last year, 17,391 out-of-date telephone books were recycled during the campaign.


Bridge Preservation Work Begins on Two Bedford County Bridges

Beginning tomorrow, PennDOT will begin preservation activities on Kennels Mill Road in Londonderry Township and on Evitts Creek Road in Cumberland Township. The Kennels Mill Road work will consist of placing new expansion damas on each end of the structure, as well as placing a new latex modified concrete wearing surface. Work on Evitts Creek Road will consist of placing the new latex modified concrete wearing surface. Work on these projects should be completed by November of this year, and will cost approximately $1.5 million.


Roadway and Bridge Work To Begin on Route 56

PennDOT has announced that roadway and bridge work will begin today on Route 56, in East St. Clair Township, Bedford County. Work will include the resurfacing of 2.6 miles of roadway, including guiderail replacement, shoulder and drainage upgrades. Also included is the replacement one structure and the rehabilitation of a structure and box culvert. All work on this project is expected to be completed by June of 2014.


HCC Basketball Court to be Named for Jim Brown

Hagerstown Community College has announced that the school’s basketball court and first-floor arena space will be named after former athletic director and men’s basketball coach Jim Brown. Once the signage for the court is completed, the school will decide on a dedication date for the naming of the court. During his 23-year career at HCC, Brown had a record of 517 wins as the men’s head basketball coach; he originated the Hawk Booster Club, which has been instrumental in raising funds in support of HCC athletes. Brown’s son, Barry, is now the men’s head basketball coach at HCC.

UPDATED Local News


Shooting Suspect Wounded in Rawlings

A Rawlings man is being treated at a Baltimore area hospital after being wounded by a Maryland State Trooper. Fifty-three year old Samuel George repeatedly ignored commands to surrender and approached police with a loaded handgun. Maryland State Police received a call from the suspect's wife that George was firing shots and destroying their mobile home. He was also apparently threatening to kill himself in front of his wife. As they arrived, the Maryland State Police and the Allegany County Sheriff's Office confronted George at the intersection of Holly Avenue and Meadow Dale Drive. Officers repeatedly told him to drop the weapon. Sgt. Jason Crowe and Senior Trooper Eric Derham fired on George. Both have been placed on routine administrative leave, while the preliminary investigation continues.

 

Tempers Flare at County Budget Hearing

There was a heated exchange during yesterday's Allegany County budget hearings, regarding a supplementary request from the Board of Education to provide security in the county schools. The Board had requested an additional half-million dollars to implement the program. The disagreement, between Board Member Dr. Ed Root and Commission President Mike McKay centered around who is ultimately responsible for security in the schools. The discussion was scheduled for 15 minutes, but lasted nearly an hour.

 

Credit Union Successfully Bids on Foreclosed Property

First People's Community Federal Credit Union was the successful bidder on the McMullen Building on the northwest corner of the downtown Cumberland Mall. The building was purchased, after falling into default under its current owner, Larcorp, LLC; the purchase price was $500,000. First People's will retain control of the building. Another potential buyer for the property withheld a bid, due to a lack of details on the leases held by the current tenants, the Maryland One Stop Job Center.

 

Mineral County Employees to Receive Pay Raises

The Mineral County Commissioners have provided an $800 raise for all county employees. The raise was facilitated, in part, by county assessor Rose Ann Maine, who agreed to move one of her employees into the assessor's evaluation fund; she also agreed to pay for a statewide computer system for the county, which amounts to around $50,000. The raise amounts to an increase of about 39-cents an hour; Mineral County employees received no pay raise last year.

 

Keyser Woman, Friend Arrested

Twenty-one year old Keyser resident Kayla Suter was arrested on felony burglary and grand larceny charges, and her friend, 34-year old Joseph Pratt, was jailed for interfering in her arrest. Ms. Suter is being held at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $22,000 bond,  following her arrest. She has also been charged as a fugitive from justice from Allegany County. In addition, she faces a misdemeanor drug possession charge for carrying a syringe with suspected heroin residue, as well as a marijuana pipe and a quantity of suspected marijuana. Pratt is also being held at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $8,000 bond.

 

Sheriff Issues School Safety Message

Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson has released a statement, regarding school safety and his department's commitment to that goal. The Sheriff's Office is currently in the process of reviewing and updating plans and procedures for crisis management and prevention, in an environment that is constantly evolving. The Sheriff noted that due to a combined effort, the safety of our schools has been enhanced and is constantly being upgraded. The main objective of this initiative is prevention and personal safety  of each and every citizen using public facilities in the county.

 

One Jailed in Domestic Dispute

Thirty-seven year old Katherine Marie Bryant has been charged with second degree assault, following an incident Wednesday in the 200-block of Maryland Avenue. She is accused of kicking a man in the face. She received a hearing in Allegany County District Court and was held on $15,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Calendar Revised for Snow Days

The Allegany County Board of Education has approved a student make-up day schedule for instructional days missed during the current academic year. The last day of school for students will now be June 10th, and the last day for teachers is June 18th. The State Board of Education approved Superintendent Dr. David Cox's request to waive the three days of school missed in October, as the result of Hurricane Sandy, since Maryland was declared in a state of emergency. The last day of school will be a three-hour early dismissal.

 

Road Improvement Work Begins Monday in Somerset County

State road improvement work is scheduled to begin Monday in Somerset County. More than $6 million in road and bridge projects are planned for the county. One of those projects is a $1.9 million bridge project in Garrett, which will eliminate the open-grate structure that spans the Casselman River on Berlin Street. Two bridges in Upper Turkeyfoot and Addison are scheduled for replacement as well.

 

Meyersdale Woman Arrested for Assaulting Officer

A Meyersdale woman has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 23rd, in a case where she is accused of assaulting Berlin Borough police officer Michelle Piscitella earlier in the month. Twenty-six year old Sherri Lynne Livengood was initially stopped for speeding; her vehicle was searched and several items, including two spoons, a cut blue straw, and a clear Bic pen tube, along with rolled up one and five dollar bills. The items are commonly used for inhaling susbstances. Ms. Livengood is accused of kicking the door of the car into the officer and used her weight to slam the officer into her car. Ms. Livengood had to be tasered to subdue her.

Local News


Tempers Flare at County Budget Hearing

There was a heated exchange during yesterday's Allegany County budget hearings, regarding a supplementary request from the Board of Education to provide security in the county schools. The Board had requested an additional half-million dollars to implement the program. The disagreement, between Board Member Dr. Ed Root and Commission President Mike McKay centered around who is ultimately responsible for security in the schools. The discussion was scheduled for 15 minutes, but lasted nearly an hour.

 

Credit Union Successfully Bids on Foreclosed Property

First People's Community Federal Credit Union was the successful bidder on the McMullen Building on the northwest corner of the downtown Cumberland Mall. The building was purchased, after falling into default under its current owner, Larcorp, LLC; the purchase price was $500,000. First People's will retain control of the building. Another potential buyer for the property withheld a bid, due to a lack of details on the leases held by the current tenants, the Maryland One Stop Job Center.

 

Mineral County Employees to Receive Pay Raises

The Mineral County Commissioners have provided an $800 raise for all county employees. The raise was facilitated, in part, by county assessor Rose Ann Maine, who agreed to move one of her employees into the assessor's evaluation fund; she also agreed to pay for a statewide computer system for the county, which amounts to around $50,000. The raise amounts to an increase of about 39-cents an hour; Mineral County employees received no pay raise last year.

 

Keyser Woman, Friend Arrested

Twenty-one year old Keyser resident Kayla Suter was arrested on felony burglary and grand larceny charges, and her friend, 34-year old Joseph Pratt, was jailed for interfering in her arrest. Ms. Suter is being held at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $22,000 bond,  following her arrest. She has also been charged as a fugitive from justice from Allegany County. In addition, she faces a misdemeanor drug possession charge for carrying a syringe with suspected heroin residue, as well as a marijuana pipe and a quantity of suspected marijuana. Pratt is also being held at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $8,000 bond.

 

Sheriff Issues School Safety Message

Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson has released a statement, regarding school safety and his department's commitment to that goal. The Sheriff's Office is currently in the process of reviewing and updating plans and procedures for crisis management and prevention, in an environment that is constantly evolving. The Sheriff noted that due to a combined effort, the safety of our schools has been enhanced and is constantly being upgraded. The main objective of this initiative is prevention and personal safety  of each and every citizen using public facilities in the county.

 

One Jailed in Domestic Dispute

Thirty-seven year old Katherine Marie Bryant has been charged with second degree assault, following an incident Wednesday in the 200-block of Maryland Avenue. She is accused of kicking a man in the face. She received a hearing in Allegany County District Court and was held on $15,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Calendar Revised for Snow Days

The Allegany County Board of Education has approved a student make-up day schedule for instructional days missed during the current academic year. The last day of school for students will now be June 10th, and the last day for teachers is June 18th. The State Board of Education approved Superintendent Dr. David Cox's request to waive the three days of school missed in October, as the result of Hurricane Sandy, since Maryland was declared in a state of emergency. The last day of school will be a three-hour early dismissal.

 

Road Improvement Work Begins Monday in Somerset County

State road improvement work is scheduled to begin Monday in Somerset County. More than $6 million in road and bridge projects are planned for the county. One of those projects is a $1.9 million bridge project in Garrett, which will eliminate the open-grate structure that spans the Casselman River on Berlin Street. Two bridges in Upper Turkeyfoot and Addison are scheduled for replacement as well.

 

Meyersdale Woman Arrested for Assaulting Officer

A Meyersdale woman has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 23rd, in a case where she is accused of assaulting Berlin Borough police officer Michelle Piscitella earlier in the month. Twenty-six year old Sherri Lynne Livengood was initially stopped for speeding; her vehicle was searched and several items, including two spoons, a cut blue straw, and a clear Bic pen tube, along with rolled up one and five dollar bills. The items are commonly used for inhaling susbstances. Ms. Livengood is accused of kicking the door of the car into the officer and used her weight to slam the officer into her car. Ms. Livengood had to be tasered to subdue her.

 

 

Local News


Counties Must Bear Costs of Teacher Pensions

Even though Allegany and Garrett counties receive a disparity grant from the state of Maryland, that funding won't cover the cost of teacher pensions, which were shifted from the state to the counties last year. In Allegany County, the grant was just over $9 million, while in Garrett County, it was more than $2.5 million. County officials from both Garrett and Allegany say that is the amount they had expected.

 

ATK Planning for Expansion

The Allegany Ballistics Laboratory plant along Route 956 may be expanding. ATK is improving about 20 acres of land,  in anticipation of future expansion. Drainage systems and other features are now being installed, according to the Mineral News-Tribune. The project also calls for two new storage magazines for explosives, which will replace older storage units. This project is generating about $6 million, and 35 construction jobs, for the local economy.  

 

Man Arrested on Outstanding Warrant

A Friendsville man, who had an outstanding arrest warrant, was apprehended in the 200-block of Maple Street in Friendsville Tuesday. Michael George Reed was wanted on  charges of fourth degree burglary and trespassing. He was also found to have a quantity of prescription pills in a bottle with the label removed. He was held on $5,000 bond.

 

Cumberland Woman Faces Assault Charge

Cumberland resident Kimberly Hoyman is being charged with an assault incident, that allegedly took place last weekend on North Centre Street. The person who filed the complaint alleged that Hoyman assaulted her on Saturday at her residence on North Mechanic Street. She was served and released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.

 

Berkeley County Residents Named in Indictment

Four Berkeley County residents have been named in an indictment, charging them with various drug distribution counts, involving heroin and oxycodone. Sixty-six year old Patricia Brinkmeyer, 43-year old Frank Brinkmeyer, along with Charlotte Jenkins and Michael B. Smith were named in the nine count indictment. If convicted, each of the defendants faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine on each count.

 

Allegany To Participate in Way2GoMaryland Tour

A statewide campaign, "Way2GoMaryland," runs through April 12th, and delivers messages on preparing for college to several middle and high school school students in Western Maryland. Allegany High School is among those schools participating in the campaign. During the tour, students will actively participate in discussion topics that include selecting college-readiness courses, developing study skills, engaging in student involvement, and how to pay for college. For more information, go online to "www.way2gomaryland.org" or contact Linnita Hosten at lhosten@usmd.edu, or call (301)-445-2739.

 

Cell Phone Use While Driving Could Become Primary Offense

The Maryland State Senate has approved, on a vote of 40-6, legislation that would make talking on a cell phone while driving a primary offense. Motorists could be pulled over and ticketed, if the measure is approved. Hands-free phones would continue to be permitted, if the bill becomes law. Twelve states and the District of Columbia have laws banning the use of hand-held phones while driving; only Maryland and West Virginia have made it a secondary offense. West Virginia, however, will start enforcing its law as a primary offense in July.

 

Flight 93 Summer Hours Delayed Until May 1st

Another victim of the federal government's sequestration is the Flight 93 Memorial. Summer hours for the memorial will begin on May 1st, rather than April 1st, as had been planned. The memorial will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. As part of the sequester, many government programs were cut or reduced, including hours at national memorials. Despite the delay in summer hours, the National Park Service says it will still move forward on breaking ground for a visitor center and pedestrian bridge at the site.

 

West Virginia to Speed Up Background Checks

The West Virginia State Police will make it easier for organizations that serve children, the elderly, and disabled individuals to obtain the results of federal background checks of potential employees. The State Police have revised a policy to allow the state's background check contractor, MorphoTrust, to submit potential employees fingerprints to the FBI. MorphoTrust would receive the results and provide them to the employer. Previously, the employer had to obtain the fingerprints from MorphoTrust and submit them to the FBI with a signed release from the job seeker. The job seeker would receive the results and provide them to the employer.

 

Local News


Two Arrested Following Indictment

Thirty-two year old Randall James Kelley II and 26-year old Stephanie Lynn Wright, both of Frostburg, were arrested at a local motel in Clarysville on Monday. The arrests are the result of an indictment handed down by the Allegany County Grand Jury, charging both with a series of thefts from vehicles throughout the county. Both were charged w ith 46 counts, related to a total of 14 different victims that law enforcement personnel have been able to verify. Both remain jailed at the Allegany County Detention Center, pending their next court appearance. Investigators are asking victims to contact the C3I unit, to make arrangements to view the recovered property and claim what is theirs. That number is (301)-777-0326.

 

Bedford District Attorney Announces "March Madness"

In what was being called Operation March Madness, the Bedford County Drug Task Force and the Pennsylvania State Police attempted to serve arrest warrants on approximately 21 local drug dealers in an early morning raid yesterday in Bedford County. The operation caps an 8-month Drug Task Force investigation into local drug trafficking operations.  All defendants were arraigned at the Office of Magisterial District Judge Kathy Calhoun. District Attorney Bill Higgins stresses that the charges against these individuals are merely an accusation, and that the defendants are presumed innocent, until proven guilty.

 

Sequestration to Affect Garrett Head Starts

Garrett County Head Start and Early Head Start operations will close for one month, as the result of the federal government's budget sequestration. The closing of the nine-month Head Start on April 12th and the twelve-month Head Start option on July 12th were among a number of service and employee reductions announced by the Garrett County Community Action Committee to accommodate the federal government's mid-year impoundment of fiscal year 2013 funds. About 300 children and their families and 57 Community Action employees will be impacted by the Head Start action alone. Other cutbacks will affect Community Action's Weatherization, Senior Citizen, housing and core organization activities.

 

Senator Mikulski Visits Cumberland

Maryland United States Senator Barbara Mikulski visited the area yesterday to discuss ways the federal government can help to improve economic growth and job opportunities in the area. The Cumberland Times-News states that the Senator Mikulski spent nearly two hours in closed door meetings with community leaders. Among the items discussed were the U.S. Route 220 North/South Corridor and post-secondary education and public safety.

 

Keyser Police Find Loaded Handguns in Car

A Kingwood, West Virginia man was held in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $1850 bail, after he was initially stopped for suspicion of DUI; police also found two loaded handguns in his vehicle. Twenty-year old Julian Cullum and two other men were stopped on South Main Street, near Fort Avenue. A 9-mm handgun and a .45-calibre handgun were found in the car; Collum was carrying an additional loaded clip for the .45.  Cullum's Blood-Alcohol content was .062; drivers under 21 can be charged with DUI for a BAC of between .02 and .07. Cullum's two passengers were not charged.

 

Chamber Opposes Transportation Bill

The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has written a letter to the Chair of the Senate Rules Committee, Katherine Klausmeier, opposing the Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2013. In the letter, Executive Director Stu Czapski and Legislative Committee Chair Bill DuVall, urged the Maryland Legislature to strongly consider the impact of increased gasoline and diesel fuel costs on the residents and businesses in the rural parts of the state. And, the letter notes the increases will create numerous negative consequences to businesses and will further drive business away from the state of Maryland. Finally, it requests that the Transportation Trust Fund be protected to ensure that resources are used as intended.

 

Cumberland Woman Cited for Failing to Send Child to School

Thirty-five year old Cumberland resident Billie Jo Gibson has been cited by Cumberland City Police for failing to send her child to school on several occasions. The charges stem from an investigation that was initiated early last month by a Cumberland City Police School Resource Officer. The summons was served, and Ms. Gibson was released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.

 

Two Arrested in Maryland Avenue Area Robbery

Two Cumberland men were arrested for robbing another person of $30 in the area of Broadway Street and Maryland Avenue Monday night. Forty-six year old Mark Smith approached the victim, while 35-year old Darryl Powell, Sr. grabbed the victim, who had just left a Maryland Avenue business. Both Smith and Powell were held on $25,000 bond each. The victim did not require medical attention.

 

PennDOT Awaiting Permit

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is awaiting one more permit before it can advertise for bids for the construction of Route 219 between Meyersdale and Somerset. The joint waterways permit will be coming from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers once they agree that stream and wetland mitigation concerns are being addressed. PennDOT says it cannot advertise for bids until that permit is received.

Local News


Two Arrested Following Indictment

Thirty-two year old Randall James Kelley II and 26-year old Stephanie Lynn Wright, both of Frostburg, were arrested at a local motel in Clarysville on Monday. The arrests are the result of an indictment handed down by the Allegany County Grand Jury, charging both with a series of thefts from vehicles throughout the county. Both were charged w ith 46 counts, related to a total of 14 different victims that law enforcement personnel have been able to verify. Both remain jailed at the Allegany County Detention Center, pending their next court appearance. Investigators are asking victims to contact the C3I unit, to make arrangements to view the recovered property and claim what is theirs. That number is (301)-777-0326.

 

Bedford District Attorney Announces "March Madness"

In what was being called Operation March Madness, the Bedford County Drug Task Force and the Pennsylvania State Police attempted to serve arrest warrants on approximately 21 local drug dealers in an early morning raid yesterday in Bedford County. The operation caps an 8-month Drug Task Force investigation into local drug trafficking operations.  All defendants were arraigned at the Office of Magisterial District Judge Kathy Calhoun. District Attorney Bill Higgins stresses that the charges against these individuals are merely an accusation, and that the defendants are presumed innocent, until proven guilty.

 

Sequestration to Affect Garrett Head Starts

Garrett County Head Start and Early Head Start operations will close for one month, as the result of the federal government's budget sequestration. The closing of the nine-month Head Start on April 12th and the twelve-month Head Start option on July 12th were among a number of service and employee reductions announced by the Garrett County Community Action Committee to accommodate the federal government's mid-year impoundment of fiscal year 2013 funds. About 300 children and their families and 57 Community Action employees will be impacted by the Head Start action alone. Other cutbacks will affect Community Action's Weatherization, Senior Citizen, housing and core organization activities.

 

Senator Mikulski Visits Cumberland

Maryland United States Senator Barbara Mikulski visited the area yesterday to discuss ways the federal government can help to improve economic growth and job opportunities in the area. The Cumberland Times-News states that the Senator Mikulski spent nearly two hours in closed door meetings with community leaders. Among the items discussed were the U.S. Route 220 North/South Corridor and post-secondary education and public safety.

 

Keyser Police Find Loaded Handguns in Car

A Kingwood, West Virginia man was held in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $1850 bail, after he was initially stopped for suspicion of DUI; police also found two loaded handguns in his vehicle. Twenty-year old Julian Cullum and two other men were stopped on South Main Street, near Fort Avenue. A 9-mm handgun and a .45-calibre handgun were found in the car; Collum was carrying an additional loaded clip for the .45.  Cullum's Blood-Alcohol content was .062; drivers under 21 can be charged with DUI for a BAC of between .02 and .07. Cullum's two passengers were not charged.

 

Chamber Opposes Transportation Bill

The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has written a letter to the Chair of the Senate Rules Committee, Katherine Klausmeier, opposing the Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2013. In the letter, Executive Director Stu Czapski and Legislative Committee Chair Bill DuVall, urged the Maryland Legislature to strongly consider the impact of increased gasoline and diesel fuel costs on the residents and businesses in the rural parts of the state. And, the letter notes the increases will create numerous negative consequences to businesses and will further drive business away from the state of Maryland. Finally, it requests that the Transportation Trust Fund be protected to ensure that resources are used as intended.

 

Cumberland Woman Cited for Failing to Send Child to School

Thirty-five year old Cumberland resident Billie Jo Gibson has been cited by Cumberland City Police for failing to send her child to school on several occasions. The charges stem from an investigation that was initiated early last month by a Cumberland City Police School Resource Officer. The summons was served, and Ms. Gibson was released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.

 

Two Arrested in Maryland Avenue Area Robbery

Two Cumberland men were arrested for robbing another person of $30 in the area of Broadway Street and Maryland Avenue Monday night. Forty-six year old Mark Smith approached the victim, while 35-year old Darryl Powell, Sr. grabbed the victim, who had just left a Maryland Avenue business. Both Smith and Powell were held on $25,000 bond each. The victim did not require medical attention.

 

PennDOT Awaiting Permit

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is awaiting one more permit before it can advertise for bids for the construction of Route 219 between Meyersdale and Somerset. The joint waterways permit will be coming from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers once they agree that stream and wetland mitigation concerns are being addressed. PennDOT says it cannot advertise for bids until that permit is received.

Local News


Two Arrested Following Indictment

Thirty-two year old Randall James Kelley II and 26-year old Stephanie Lynn Wright, both of Frostburg, were arrested at a local motel in Clarysville on Monday. The arrests are the result of an indictment handed down by the Allegany County Grand Jury, charging both with a series of thefts from vehicles throughout the county. Both were charged w ith 46 counts, related to a total of 14 different victims that law enforcement personnel have been able to verify. Both remain jailed at the Allegany County Detention Center, pending their next court appearance. Investigators are asking victims to contact the C3I unit, to make arrangements to view the recovered property and claim what is theirs. That number is (301)-777-0326.

 

Bedford District Attorney Announces "March Madness"

In what was being called Operation March Madness, the Bedford County Drug Task Force and the Pennsylvania State Police attempted to serve arrest warrants on approximately 21 local drug dealers in an early morning raid yesterday in Bedford County. The operation caps an 8-month Drug Task Force investigation into local drug trafficking operations.  All defendants were arraigned at the Office of Magisterial District Judge Kathy Calhoun. District Attorney Bill Higgins stresses that the charges against these individuals are merely an accusation, and that the defendants are presumed innocent, until proven guilty.

 

Sequestration to Affect Garrett Head Starts

Garrett County Head Start and Early Head Start operations will close for one month, as the result of the federal government's budget sequestration. The closing of the nine-month Head Start on April 12th and the twelve-month Head Start option on July 12th were among a number of service and employee reductions announced by the Garrett County Community Action Committee to accommodate the federal government's mid-year impoundment of fiscal year 2013 funds. About 300 children and their families and 57 Community Action employees will be impacted by the Head Start action alone. Other cutbacks will affect Community Action's Weatherization, Senior Citizen, housing and core organization activities.

 

Senator Mikulski Visits Cumberland

Maryland United States Senator Barbara Mikulski visited the area yesterday to discuss ways the federal government can help to improve economic growth and job opportunities in the area. The Cumberland Times-News states that the Senator Mikulski spent nearly two hours in closed door meetings with community leaders. Among the items discussed were the U.S. Route 220 North/South Corridor and post-secondary education and public safety.

 

Keyser Police Find Loaded Handguns in Car

A Kingwood, West Virginia man was held in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $1850 bail, after he was initially stopped for suspicion of DUI; police also found two loaded handguns in his vehicle. Twenty-year old Julian Cullum and two other men were stopped on South Main Street, near Fort Avenue. A 9-mm handgun and a .45-calibre handgun were found in the car; Collum was carrying an additional loaded clip for the .45.  Cullum's Blood-Alcohol content was .062; drivers under 21 can be charged with DUI for a BAC of between .02 and .07. Cullum's two passengers were not charged.

 

Chamber Opposes Transportation Bill

The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has written a letter to the Chair of the Senate Rules Committee, Katherine Klausmeier, opposing the Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2013. In the letter, Executive Director Stu Czapski and Legislative Committee Chair Bill DuVall, urged the Maryland Legislature to strongly consider the impact of increased gasoline and diesel fuel costs on the residents and businesses in the rural parts of the state. And, the letter notes the increases will create numerous negative consequences to businesses and will further drive business away from the state of Maryland. Finally, it requests that the Transportation Trust Fund be protected to ensure that resources are used as intended.

 

Cumberland Woman Cited for Failing to Send Child to School

Thirty-five year old Cumberland resident Billie Jo Gibson has been cited by Cumberland City Police for failing to send her child to school on several occasions. The charges stem from an investigation that was initiated early last month by a Cumberland City Police School Resource Officer. The summons was served, and Ms. Gibson was released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.

 

Two Arrested in Maryland Avenue Area Robbery

Two Cumberland men were arrested for robbing another person of $30 in the area of Broadway Street and Maryland Avenue Monday night. Forty-six year old Mark Smith approached the victim, while 35-year old Darryl Powell, Sr. grabbed the victim, who had just left a Maryland Avenue business. Both Smith and Powell were held on $25,000 bond each. The victim did not require medical attention.

 

PennDOT Awaiting Permit

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is awaiting one more permit before it can advertise for bids for the construction of Route 219 between Meyersdale and Somerset. The joint waterways permit will be coming from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers once they agree that stream and wetland mitigation concerns are being addressed. PennDOT says it cannot advertise for bids until that permit is received.

Local News


Operation "Takedown V" Announced

Operation Takedown V is happening this week, through Friday. This second warrant operation is being conducted as part of the Operation Safe Streets Initiative, and began yesterday. The Safe Streets Operation is asking for the public's help in apprehending 16 individuals on open arrest warrants. Charges range from failure to appear, to probation violations, to drug charges and assault. The goal of the Operation Safe Streets program is to involve the community in helping to make our streets safer. Local law enforcement authorities are looking to reduce the backlog of arrest warrants.

 

Barton Woman Served Criminal Summons

Thirty-year old Barton resident Juanita Lynn Covalt was served a criminal summons in connection with an incident that happened in May of last year. Cumberland City Police stopped Ms. Covalt in the area of Baltimore Avenue, after they received reports of a vehicle traveling erratically. The officer observed signs of impairment and requested that she participate in a battery of field sobriety tests. She was arrested for driving under the influence, after failing the battery of tests.

 

Bedford County Vandalism Reported

Two separate acts of vandalism were reported in Bedford County over the weekend. In the first, several PennDOT signs were damaged along Lake Gordon Road in Cumberland Valley Township. In the second, the window of a Toyota Camry was damaged, while parked on Pensyl Hollow Road in Bedford Township. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-623-6133.

 

Residents Work to Repair Bridge

Residents of the Sunnydale Addition in Mineral County have come together, to repair a bridge that was damaged by a Keyser Volunteer Fire Department ladder truck on February 23rd. Several residents have taken the initiative to repair the bridge, as it is the only access to their homes.

 

Bedford Girl Charged with Bringing Knife to School

A 14 year old Bedford County girl is being charged with bringing a pocket knife to school last Thursday. She is a student at Nulton Diagnostics School on East Pitt Street. The Pennsylvania State Police are continuing the investigation.

 

House Passes Medical Marijuana Legislation

The Maryland House of Delegates voted 108-28 on a bill that would legalize marijuana for medicinal use. The measure now goes to the Senate, and puts the state on a path toward developing medical marijuana in the state within a couple of years. The bill would create an oversight commission for medical marijuana programs. The commission is not expected to be operational until Fiscal Year 2016.

 

Frederick, Hagerstown Control Towers to be Closed

Air traffic control towers in Fredrick and Hagerstown will be shut down next month, as part of the across-the-board budget cuts mandated by Congress. A total of five towers are being shut down across the state, including those in Easton, Salisbury-Ocean City, and at Martin State airport in Baltimore County. The shutdowns are scheduled over a four-week period, beginning on April 7th. Some are concerned it could affect flight safety at those airports.

 

Firm's Bankruptcy Leads to Legislation

The recent closing and bankruptcy of a Maryland payroll company may lead to the regulation and oversight of that type of business in the state. Harford County Republican Senator Barry Glassman has introduced a commission to study the regulations of payroll service companies. The bill would create a commission, led by the Maryland Comptroller's Office. The company in question, AccuPay, is being sued, because it closed its doors earlier this month, leaving many of its 600 clients with unpaid federal and state tax bills.

 

Two Enter Federal Pleas

Two West Virginia residents recently entered guilty pleas in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg. Derek Deleon Brown entered a guilty plea to distributing crack cocaine in June of last year. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a one-million dollar fine. In the other case, Jason Saunders pled guilty to distribution of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of an elementary school. He faces a prison term of up to 40 years and a two-million dollar fine.

Local News


Bill Increases Registration Fees

 

The Maryland House of Delegates voted 76-63 on Friday to boost gas taxes to pay for roads, bridges and mass transit. What you may not know is that the legislation also increases vehicle registration fees, by $3.50; and, there is also an emergency medical services surcharge that will begin to appear on the registration. Registration for most cars would increase from $128 to $131.50 every two years. As for the gasoline taxes, they will go up at least 20-cents a gallon withing four years. Local Republican Delegates Wendell Beitzel and LeRoy Myers voted against the measure, as did Democrat Kevin Kelly.

 

 

Man Assaulted on Mall

 

An unidentified, 25-year old man was assaulted outside of the New Embassy Theatre over the weekend. A City Police Officer encountered a disturbance outside of the theatre, when he saw a man on the ground, unconscious and bleeding from a head wound. He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medica Center for treatment. Anyone with information, or those who may have witnessed the assault, is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.

 

 

Delays Expected on Armstrong Street

 

The West Virginia Division of Highways has announced the motorists travelling on Armstrong Street in Keyser can expect delays later this week. A construction company will be taking beams off of the old Keyser-McCoole Bridge over Armstrong Street on Thursday and Friday; the work could continue on Saturday, if necessary. Flaggers will be in place to direct traffic. Motorists should plan ahead and allow for extra travel time.

 

 

Woman Arrested on Heroin Possession

 

A Cumberland woman was being held on $3,000 bond, following her arrest for heroin possession. Forty-one year old Starla Agena Wirtley was stopped in the 400-block of Maryland Avenue for an equipment violation; a K-9 scan resulted in a positive alert. Heroin was located in her purse, and she was additionally charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and driving an uninusred motor vehicle.

 

 

McKay Joins Rural Maryland Council

 

Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay has been appointed to represent the Maryland Association of Counties on the executive board of the Rural Maryland Council. He joins Worcester County Commisisoner Louise Gulyas. He is serving his first term as an Allegany County Commissioner. The Rural Maryland Council "brings together citizens, community-based organizations, federal, state, county, and other municipal government officials as well as representatives of the for-profit and nonprofit sectors to collectively address the needs of Rural Maryland communities." It leadership includes representatives from government, business, and other sectors who claim interest in rural issues across the state.

 

 

Mountain Ridge Receives Top AFS School Award

 

Mountain Ridge High SChool has been selected to receive the "2013 Top AFS School" award from AFS-USA, a leading international high school student exchange program that has been active in the local region since the mid-1960's. Since Mountain Ridge opened five years ago, the school has hosted 17 students from 15 countries. Schools honored with this inaurgural award have partnered with AFS in a variety of ways to foster global citizenship through intercultural learning-both inside and outside of the classroom-through hosting international students and working with AFS-YSA to incorporate intercultural learning opportunities in the classroom.

 

 

County Budget Hearings Set for this Week

 

Allegany County has completed two of three weeks of budget requests. This Thursday, the commissioners will hear from Allegany College of Maryland, the Allegany County Board of Education, and the Public Library System. Various, other preliminary budget hearings will take place throughout April and May, and the budget is scheduled to be adopted on Thursday, June 6th.

 

 

Senator Introduces Protective Order Expansion Bill

 

Senator Christopher Shank of Washington County has introduced a bill that would increase the scope of a protective order to better protect some victims of domestic violence. It has cleared the Senate and is now headed for the House of Delegates for consideration. The bill would protect victims who are in, or who were formerly in, intimate relationships, but would not otherwise be eligible for a protective order.

 

 

West Virginia Considers Tax Hike on Tobacco

 

The state of West Virginia is considering a hike on tobacco products. A bill, introduced by Boone County Senator Ron Stollings, would increase the state tax on a pack of cigarettes from 55-cents, to $1.55. For other tobacco products, such as smokeless tobacco, the tax would go from 7 per cent to 50 per cent. Current state taxes on cigarettes in Pennsylvania are $1.60 and $2.00 in Maryland.

Local News


House Gives Approval to Transportation Funding

Preliminary approval has been given to a transportation funding measure that would impose a sales tax on gasoline and tie the current gasoline tax to the inflation rate. Some amendments were approved, including a measure that would cap any annual increase in gas taxes to 8 per cent. A final vote is expected today, and Democrats in the House say they have more than the minimum of 71 votes needed to pass it.

 

Raising Minimum Wage Bill Dead

The Senate Finance Committee has defeated a bill that would have raised the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 per hour by 2015. The vote was 8 to 3. The proposal was opposed by restaurant and other business owners. The House will consider a similar bill, but since it has been defeated by the Senate Committee, it probably won't be considered again this year.

 

Handgun Law Upheld in Fourth Circuit Court

A Maryland law, requiring handgun permit applicants to demonstrate a "good and substantial reason" for carrying a weapon outside of their own home, has been upheld by the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. The unanimous decision overturns a previous ruling, which stated the law violated the Second Amendment.

 

Toll Bridge Accident Victim Identified

The driver of the tractor trailer that went into the Potomac River at the Oldtown toll bridge Wednesday morning has been identified. Alberto Martinez was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center following the accident, where he "misjudged the angle" as he entered the bridge. The rig, which was filled with crossties, was partially submerged when Martinez was rescued by Ryan Hill, who is an employee of Koppers, Inc. Hill is also a member of the Cresaptown Fire Department.

 

Possible Meth Lab Discovered in Meyersdale

A possible methamphetamine lab was discovered on Celtic Avenue in Meyersdale Tuesday evening, the first such operation discovered in the borough. The landlord of the home alerted police, who then searched the residence and found items that could have been used to manufacture meth. In January, police found a suspected meth lab in Somerset borough along South Vincent Avenue. Two people were arrested in connection with that case.

 

Man Arrested in Daylight Breaking and Entering

A 24-year old Cumberland man was caught in the act, breaking into a home in the 200-block of Cecilia Street Wednesday afternoon. Justin Tyler Braithwaite ran from the rear of residence, and a Cumberland City Police Officer apprehended him at the corner of Cecilia Street and Maryland Avenue. Police found various burglary tools and saw blades in his backpack. Also, police found a metal pipe, containing the residue of a controlled dangerous substance. He was ordered held on $8500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Man Arrested on Marijuana Charge

Mc Henry resident David Matthew Maxwell was arrested Wednesday on a charge of possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. He was stopped on Route 219 in Mc Henry, and the marijuana and paraphernalia were found inside of his vehicle, following a K-9 scan.

 

Man Settles Police Shooting Lawsuit

A Morgan County man, who was shot in the hip and abdomen by a sheriff's deputy has settled a lawsuit for $200,000. Ulysses Everett filed suit against Deputy S.A. Place and the Morgan County Commission. Place was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. The federal lawsuit alleges that Deputy Place used excessive force when he fired twice through Everett's front door while responding to a domestic disturbance report. Following the settlement, the lawsuit was dismissed.

 

Oxon Hill Resident Pleads Guilty to Drug Charge

Oxon Hill, Maryland resident Ronald Paul Lawson, Jr. entered a guilty plea is U.S. District Court in Martinsburg this week. Lawson was charged with "distribution of cocaine base within 1,000 feet of the Winchester Avenue Elementary School." He is free on bond, but faces at least one, and up to 40 years imprisonment and a $2-million fine.

 

West Virginia Receives "D+" Grade on Infrastructure

The Mountain State isn't doing much better than the rest of the country, when it comes to its infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers released its report card recently, and West Virginia received a "D+" grade. It is better than some, and worse than others. Several areas need a large amount of improvement, including bridges and highways. The report also notes that approximately $3 billion in wastewater treatment needs must be addressed within the next 20 years.

Local News


Stabbing Victim Identified

Cumberland City Police and the C3I unit are continuing the investigation into a fatal stabbing on Davidson Street Tuesday morning. They located the body of 30-year old Chad Dylan Robinette in the front room of the house; there was a single puncture wound in the victim's upper chest. An autopsy is being conducted, and investigators also interviewed four other people who were at the home, when the body was discovered. The investigation is continuing.

 

Driver Recovered from Potomac River

A tractor trailer driver was rescued yesterday morning from the Potomac River, after his rig went off the Oldtown toll bridge and into the water. The Bowling Green Water Rescue Team and other agencies responded to the scene, as the call was received just before 9 a.m. When they arrived, the driver was standing on top of the rig. He was later taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. A crane was being transported to the area to remove the rig from thne water.

 

Shingler Trial Postponed Until May

The trial of Piedmont town foreman John Shingler has been postponed until May. The trial will take place in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg. He has been charged with six counts of embezzlement of federal property, and was indicted in November of last year. The embezzlement involves the alleged illegal purchase of six FEMA trailers through the town of Piedmont in 2009. The trial has been postponed several times. The trial will be held on May 21st, beginning at 9 a.m. with jury selection.

 

Police Seek Hit and Run Information

Cumberland City Police are seeking the public's help in finding a car, which hit another vehicle in the 300-block of Williams Street late Tuesday, and then fled the scene.  A witness described the vehicle at fault, as being a Pontiac Grand Am or Grand Prix. Anyone with any information is asked to contact City Police at (301)-777-1600.

 

Land Open for Bid Through April 15th

The Chesapeake and Ohio National Historical Park is notifying the public that a 41-acre parcel of land, intended for agricultural use, is open for bid, now through April 15th. The parcel of land is referred to as Costlow Farm, and is located in the area known as Four Locks in Clear Spring. Applications are available through Jennifer Ryan at (301)-745-5859. You may also email her at Jennifer_m_ryan@nps.gov.

 

Work Begins on U.S. 522 Bridge Over Potomac

The Maryland State Highway Administration has begun work on the U.S. 522 bridge, over the Potomac River, between Hancock and Morgan County, West virginia. The work will be done at night, and require the bridge to be reduced to one lane, with flaggers alternating traffic, between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. each night, seven nights per week. The repairs are expected to take about five weeks, and will be finished in April, weather permitting.

 

Washington County Board Looking for Office Location

The Washington County School Board is still looking for a location for a new central office. Members and officials will meet early next week, to discuss the possibility of building on the former Allegheny Energy headquarters, for which they have offered a bid. The School Board will vote on whether to move ahead on the Allegheny Energy property on Downsville Pike during their April 2nd meeting.

 

Lawmaker Seeks Flat Income Tax Rate

A Washington County lawmaker has introduced a bill that proposes a flat income tax rate of 4.51 per cent in the state. This would apply to federal gross adjusted income for all Marylanders. The bill is revenue neutral, and seven other states-including nearby Pennsylvania-have a flat tax system. Critics of a flat tax say it would lead to greater income inequality.

 

State Senate Votes to Decriminalize Pot

The Maryland State Senate voted 30 to 16 this week, to decriminalize the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, but the legislation may meet with some opposition in the House of Delegates. The proposal would change the current penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine, to a $100 civil fine. Proponents say it would save the state money by relieving the strain such crimes put on the criminal justice system; opponents say that decriminalization  could increase drug use among youth.

 

Tomblin Orders Hiring Freeze

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has issued a temporary hiring freeze for all general revenue funded position in the executive branch of state government. Tax collections in the state are below estimates by $35 million and that number is expected to grow. There are no plans for furloughs or layoffs. The positions that are currently vacant or become vacant between now and June 30th won't be filled, unless they receive special approval from the Governor's office.

Local News


House Approves Revised Transportation Plan

The House Ways and Means Committee has approved a transportation revenue plan, but with changes to the original plan submitted by Governor Martin O'Malley. The bill approved Monday would apply a one per cent sales tax at the wholesale level on July 1st, instead of Governor O'Malley's proposal of two per cent. That sales tax would increase to 2 per cent on January 1, 2015, as compared to a 4 per cent increase in July 2014, again, as proposed by the Governor. Opponents of the increases say Maryland has mismanaged the transportation money in recent years to fill other budget shortfalls.

 

Police Find Stabbing Victim

An unidentified, 30-year old man was found dead early yesterday morning by Cumberland City Police, the victim of an apparent stab wound. Police were called to the 300-block of Davidson Street for a report of a man down. City Police and the C3I unit are investigating the case, including the circumstances surrounding his death. Further information will be released as it becomes available.

 

Decision on Footer Dye Works Building Tomorrow

The Governor's Consulting Commission will decide tomorrow whether to approve the Footer Dye Works Building for the National Register of Historic Places. If approved at the state level, the nomination will be passed onto the National Park Service for final approval.

 

Board Addresses Security Issue

The Allegany County Board of Education has approved a $110 million budget for FY 2014, and in that, there is an additional half-million dollars for enhanced school security. The board wants to add five resource officers and two mental health professionals to its staff, and the additional $500,000 would be used for that. The state of Maryland is making $25 million available in grants for school security in the next fiscal year.

 

Mineral Sheriff Wants to Add Deputies

Mineral County Sheriff Jeremy Taylor would like to have up to 15 deputies in his department, but realizes that the county's budget won't allow that to happen right away. The sheriff's office now has eleven deputies; the national average is to have one officer for every 1,000 residents. Having up to 15 deputies would mean one deputy for every 2,000 residents. Taylor has also asked the county commissioners for three additional cruisers, and a part-time law enforcement secretary.

 

"Operation Takedown IV" Termed a Success

The Cumberland City Police Department's Safe Streets Program has resulted in the arrest of 36 residents, as part of last week's warrant initiative. The latest initiative began last Monday, and ran until Friday. Forty-four arrest warrants were served. The operation was termed a success, due, in part, to citizen assistance and the hard work by all the officers that participated.

 

Vehicle Train Collisions Down, but High in Somerset

Four of seven train/vehicle collisions occurred in Somerset in the past five years, and all four were on Route 281. Three of those crashes happened at the Pleasant Avenue crossing and the fourth was along Route 281 a short distance away. Collisions between vehicles and trains in Pennsylvania fell by 4.8 per cent in 2012, but train pedestrian deaths and injuries rose 23.5 per cent, according to the rail safety education organization, Operation Lifesaver of Pennsylvania.

 

Gun Applications In Maryland Surge

The Maryland State Police have received about 26,000 gun permit applications since December, more than half of the 46,000 received in all of 2011. Many residents have flocked to gun shops to buy weapons that could be banned, beginning October 1st. The licensing division of the Maryland State Police is now working 21 hours per day, 7 days a week. They are also working to approve 60 new staff members to help with the backlog.

 

Two Arrested for Threatening Rape Victim

Two 16-year old girls have been arrested in Jefferson County, West Virginia, for making threats against the victim of a rape in Steubenville, Ohio. Two Steubenville teens were recently found guilty and sentenced in connection with the rape. One of the girls turned herself in, and the other was arrested. They are being held in the Jefferson County Juvenile Detention Center and will have an initial appearance before a judge this week.

 

Legislature Approves More Child Care Funding

The West Virginia has approved additional funding, including that for subsidized child care, while parents either work or go to school. The $29 million funding measure also contains $11 million to pay lawyers appointed to represent poor people charged with crimes. The Senate passed the bill unanimously, as did the House of Delegates. This is the first bill from Tomblin's agenda to pass.

Local News


Three Weeks Left in Session

There are just three weeks left in the General Assembly, and state lawmakers are hurrying to pass hundreds of bills before next Monday night's "crossover" deadline. Any one of the 2400 bills introduced this year must pass at least one chamber of the General Assembly, in order to give the other chamber enough time to pass the bill ahead of the end of the session, which is April 8th. One of the major bills that still needs to pass at least one chamber is the transportation funding bill, introduced by Governor Martin O'Malley earlier this month.

 

Former Student Sentenced for Murder

A former Frostburg State University student was sentenced to 14 years in prison yesterday for the November, 2011 stabbing death of fellow student Kortneigh McCoy. Shanee Liggins was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the murder, which happened outside of an off-campus Frostburg residence. She was also ordered to serve five years of supervised probation, upon her release from prison. She had originally been sentenced to serve 20 years, but six were suspended.

 

Man Arrested for Possession of I.E.D.

A Montana man was arrested Friday evening, after he was found to be in possession of an apparent improvised explosive device. Thirty-two year old Rebecca Lynn Hare said he was en route to visit a power plant in Niagara Falls, was found outside the Sheetz store in Petersburg, after complaints were received that he was soliciting money outside of the business. What was reported to be an improvised explosive device was found in his backpack. Hare was jailed at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in lieu of $3,000 bond.

 

Man Arrested for Causing Disturbance

A Cumberland man was arrested Sunday evening for causing a disturbance in the area of the first block of Greene Street. Thirty-year old George Thomas, Jr., was accused of standing in the middle of the roadway, yelling at passing vehicles and causing them to stop. A second call to police resulted in his arrest. He received a District Court hearing and was remanded to the Allegany County Detention Center on $5,000 bond, charged with both disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order.

 

Man Charged with Trespassing, Violating Ex-Parte Order

A Cumberland resident is being held on $25,000 bond, after his arrest for violating an ex-parte order. Thirty-three year old Richard Flanagan was initially served an arrest warrant for violating an ex-parte order. Following his release, he returned to a West Second Street address and assaulted a male subject in front of the residence. He was later located at his residence, and charged with violating the original ex-parte order and trespassing on private property.

 

Senator Works to Protect Memorials from Sequester

United States Senator Tom Coburn is working toward protecting historic areas, such as the Flight 93 Memorial in Somerset County from the federal sequester. Parks across the country could experience funding cuts, and Senator Coburn is asking Congress to shift money from other projects, to areas such as the memorial. Senator Coburn says the Flight 93 Memorial represents the final resting place for our loved ones.

 

Hardy County Names Chamber Director

Hardy County has named Mary Burgess as the new Executive Director of its Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Burgess is from the Los Angeles, California area, and graduated from U.C./San Diego with a degree in Literature. Her husband, Tom, was originally from the Charleston area; following their retirements from the Navy, the Burgesses opened a public relations firm.

 

Little Cacapon Access Road Widened

The West Virginia Division of Highways has completed the widening of the Little Cacapon Access Road to two lanes, with the exception of laying blacktop. The road had narrowed down to 14 feet up the grade off of Route 50, but has now been widened to 18 feet, which will be blacktopped. The Hampshire Review says the project lasted for about two weeks, and cost $20,000.

 

West Virginia Awaits Education Reform Bill

Voting on an education reform bill has been delayed twice by the West Virginia State Senate. Representatives have been meeting with stakeholders over several remaining issues, including teacher seniority, the 180-day calendar and Teach for America. Representatives say they are close to an agreement on Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's initiative.

 

Local News


Prosecutor Must Collect Fees From Former Sheriff

 

Mineral County Prosecuting Attorney Jay Courrier must collect over $1400 from former Sheriff Craig Fraley to reimburse the county for conservator fees which were unaccounted for in the 2012 budget. The Mineral News-Tribune says the fees came up missing during the recently completed audit of the county's books. The conservator fees, which should have been deposited into the county's general fund were personally paid to the sheriff. In all, there were ten discrepancies in the audit from not only the former sheriff's office, but also from the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Farmland Protection Board.

 

 

Cumberland Man Arrested in Assault, Theft Incident

 

A Cumberland man was arrested and charged with robbery and second degree assault, following an incident on Virginia Avenue. Eighteen year old Joshua Clark was held on $35,000 bond, after he, a juvenile, and 18-year old Matthew Ryan Glaze were accused of assaulting another juvenile on Virginia Avenue, near Queen Street, forcibly taking his I-Pod. The juvenile was charged and released to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice, pending trial; officers were unable to locate Matthew Glaze.

 

 

Garrett County Man Arrested in Tucker County

 

Mountain Lake Park resident Cody Eugene Lucas has been arreted in Tucker County on drug charges. Lucas was stopped in St. George for a burned out tailight; officers detected an odor of marijuana coming from the car. They later found two baggies, containing marijuana, along with 25 sealed containers of the drug. A digital scale and smoking paraphernalia were also found. He has been charged with intent to deliver a controlled substance, marijuana. He is in the Tygart Valley  Regional Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

 

 

Police Arrest Burglary Suspect

 

The Maryland State Police arrested a Rowlesburg, West Virginia man after they responded to a burglary in progress Friday afternoon. Jeffrey Neil Paugh was at a house on Teaberry Lane in Accident; he was located as he was trying to leave the area. He was charged with burglary, trespassing and destruction or property. He was being held at the Garrett County Detention Center.

 

 

Man Charged Following Single-Vehicle Accident

 

Twenty-two year old Zachary Edward Malcolm was charged with negligent driving and driving under the influence of alcohol, following a single-vehicle crash on Brant Road. Malcolm. driving a 2005 Volkswagen, was traveling on Brant Road, when he hit a rock barrier wall and some shrubs; he overturned the vehicle. Cresaptown Fire and Ambulance responded to the scene.

 

 

Bowie Man Arrested for Burglary and Assault

 

A twenty year old Bowie, Maryland woman was arrested over the weekend, in connection with an assault that took place on Friday. Dajah Monae Johnson allegedly entered a residence in the first block of Columbia Street without permission and assaulted a female victim there. She was arrested and held on $8500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

Cumberland Man Arrested After Driving Stolen Vehicle

 

Cumberland City Police arrested 37-year old Darryle Robbins Hart on Saturday evening for operating a reportedly stolen vehicle. He was stopped on Wineow Street, and during a search of the car, various items were located in the trunk, which are commonly used to manufacture controlled dangerous substances. He was held on $15,000 bail at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

County Begins Budget Process

 

Allegany County has begun the FY 2014 budgeting process, and meetings begin this week. On Thursday, the Commissioners will hear from the Allegany County Health Department, the Sheriff's Office and the Allegany County Detention Center. Workshops are scheduled at various times during the latter portion of this month, and next. Preliminary budget hearings are set for April 25th, May 2nd, and May 9th. Final adoption of the budget is set for Thursday, June 6th.

 

 

Seven Dealers Arrested in Somerset County

 

The Somerset County Drug Task Force has arrested several more alleged drug dealers in its latest sweep. In its latest operation, 26-year old Meyersdale resident Michael Lynn Phillips and Daniel Richard Horning of Meyersdale, along with 22-year old Joshua Aaron Hay of Garrett were arraigned last week on charges of possessing and selling narcotics. Those arrests, and four others last week, were the result of a year-long investigation.

 

 

Man Receives Settlement in Suit

 

Somerset County resident William Mc Tonic has received a $4,000 settlement in a suit filed against two Conemaugh Township police officers, for allegedly violating his civil rights. Mc Tonic was arrested in 2009 for the murder of his estranged wife, 72-year old Ruth Ann Henderson of Jerome, Pennsylvania. He was jailed for 10 months until the charges were dismissed after evidence in the case was suppressed. McTonic claimed charges filed against him were intended to harass him; the investigation into Henderson's death is still underway.

 

 

Winter Was 15th Warmest For Maryland

 

Spring doesn't officially arrive until Wednesday, but climatologists say this past winter was the 15th mildest in the last 118 years. In Maryland, this winter is being termed "relatively mild," with an average temperature of 38.2 degrees, three degrees above normal. Precipitation was at normal levels in Maryland, and the nationally averaged precipitation totals of 7.1 inches was about two-thirds of an inch above normal, according to the report.

 

 

Cash Giveaways at Casinos Approved by House

 

The Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill late last week, that would allow casinos to give free cash to table game players; the measure now goes to the Senate. The bill allows casinos to give money to players in "promotional play," a marketing device to entice gamblers to Maryland's new table games, without having to count that cash as a casino profit. State law requires that 15 per cent of proceeds go to a state education fund, and five per cent to certain local governments. 

 

 

Local News


Former Treasurer Facing Forgery Counts

A Bedford County woman, who is the former treasurer of the Chestnut Ridge Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization, is facing 30 counts of forgery. Police say Leanna Gotshall of Osterburg stole more than $11,000 from the group. It took months to discover the missing funds, but several late notices, including some from Scholastic Book Fair, aroused suspicions. Several checks were allegedly forged, and Ms. Gotshall is also accused of stealing cash for various fundraisers. She is currently free on $75,000 unsecured bail.

 

Sheriff's Office Receives Approval

A project, for a new sheriff's office on Kelly Road, adjacent to the county office building, received approval yesterday from the county commissioners. A series of contracts for just over $60,000, was approved, to design and build the new offices. The firms initially hired by the county include Chaney Architects, East Hills Engineering and Regan Matonack and Associates.

 

Carpendale to Bowling Green Bridge Discussed

A bridge project, which would provide alternate access to and from Carpendale, via Bowling Green, was recently discussed during Mineral County Day in Charleston. The next step in the process is to do a feasibility study on the project. The town of Carpendale was featured during Mineral County Day, as a priority transportation project for the county.

 

Board Meets in Special Session Tuesday

The Allegany County Board of Education will meet in a special session on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Board offices on Washington Street. The purpose of the meeting is to consider adopting the Superintendent's Proposed 2014 Operating Budget. They will meet before that, at 5 p.m., to consider personnel issues and consult with counsel. All meetings, except for Executive Sessions, are open to the public.

 

Alleged Assault Incident Leads to CDS Arrest

A Granstville woman faces both misdemeanor assault and CDS charges, following an incident Wednesday on Foster's Inn Road.  Tiffany Tilgner allegedly assaulted her father, during an argument. The victim required no medical treatment. Troopers from the McHenry barrack also observed, in plain sight, smoking pipes and a suspected marijuana grinder. She received a hearing before a District Court commissioner.

 

Man Served Summons, Released Pending Trial

Frostburg resident Richard Pape was served a criminal summons, with charges stemming from a theft complaint received by the Cumberland Police in January of this year. Charges were filed at District Court, and they include conspiracy to commit theft of over $10,000 to under $100,000, and theft of over $10,000 to under $100,000. He was served with the criminal summons and released pending trial.

 

Commissioners Set Oldtown Road Meeting

The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting regarding the Oldtown Road area of Cumberland. Staff from the Allegany County Department of Public Works will discuss the proposed sewer rates. The meeting is set for Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Room 100 of the Allegany County Office Building on Kelly Road.

 

House Approves Repeal of Death Penalty

The Maryland House of Delegates has given approval to a bill that would repeal the death penalty. A final vote is expected today, and supporters say they have enough votes to pass the bill. The House spent several hours on Wednesday, debating and rejecting more than a dozen amendments to the bill.

 

Girls Found Safe; Step-Father Charged

This week's Amber Alert has been cancelled for Grace and Shaina Tenney, and Shaina's step-father, 57-year old Margel Tenney has been arrested. Margel Tenney was arrested on Interstate 79 Wednesday night, and faces not only abduction charges, but also sexual assault charges, involving Grace Tenney. He is being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $100,000 bail.

Local News


Federal Charges Possible for Bedford County Man

Federal charges are possible against Bedford County resident Stephen Weaver, as local charges against him are being dropped. Weaver, who was found guilty of raping two teenage female relatives, also faced unrelated weapons charges, including 10 counts of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. It could not be determined whether federal charges will be brought against Weaver, but sentencing on the rape charges will take place this summer.

 

McKay Appointed to Canal Place Authority

Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay has been appointed as a member of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority. Governor Martin O'Malley made the appointment earlier this week, and McKay will serve for the remainder of a term of four years, from June 1, 2011. He will take the oath of office to serve on the Authority in the near future.

 

Four Somerset County Men in Jail on Drug Charges

Four Somerset men were taken into custody on Tuesday, and several others are still being sought. The Somerset County Drug Task Force arrested William Haer, Michael Meyers, Eric Ryan Nolte and Daniel Horning; each faces various drug counts. Another resident, Michael Phillips, is supposed to have surrendered on felony counts of possession with intent to deliver.

 

Man Arrested in Domestic Incident

A Virginia Avenue man is facing charges, for allegedly assaulting his son on Monday. Fifty-four year old David Wayne Braithwaite allegedly grabbed him around the neck, put him in a headlock, and throwing him to the floor. The victim, an adult, did not require medical attention, but Braithwaite was charged with second-degree assault. A summons for Braithwaite was issued, after an application was submitted to Allegany County District Court.

 

Burglary, Theft, and Destruction of Property Charges Lodged

Cumberland resident William Wesley Blacker is being held on $50,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following his arrest. Blacker is accused of breaking into a business in the 100-block of Baltimore Street earlier in the month; he brought items into the store to pawn. A store employee recognized them as having been stolen and called police. Although Blacker had left the store, he was later apprehended and charged with second and fourth degree burglary, three counts of theft and malicious destruction of property.

 

"Our Town-Cumberland" To Re-Air This Weekend

If you missed it the first time around, Maryland Public Television is re-airing its latest documentary, "Our Town - Cumberland" on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. this is the third installment of the "Our Town" series, and the Cumberland edition was initially seen by 37,000 viewers. The 68 minute documentary, filmed by local Cumberland and Frostburg residents, includes narration and on-camera appearances by Cumberland native and actor William H. Macy.

 

Maryland Experiences First Rabies Death in 37 Years

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has reported the first rabies death in the state since 1976. The Department declined to release any more information to protect the privacy of the family. It is unknown how the person was exposed. Over the last ten years fewer  than five human cases were detected each year in the United States. If you are bitten by an animal you think might be infected with rabies, to to the hospital, so doctors can determine whether you need a series of shots.

 

Governor's Jobs Bill Is Passed

The Maryland House of Delegates has passed Governor O'Malley's proposal to create a grant process to help get people the skills for jobs that are in high demand. The vote was 115 to 23, and the Senate has already approved the measure. The program, entitled, the "Employment Advancement Now Initiative" will encourage regional training collaborations among businesses, non-profits, colleges and local governments.

 

Amber Alert Issued for Abducted Children

An Amber Alert has been issued for two West Virginia girls, who were allegedly abducted by a family member. Sixteen-year old Shaina Nicole Tenney is described as being 5 feet, 2-inches tall, weighing 225 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes. Police are also looking for 7-month old Grace Tenney. They were likely abducted by Margel Tenney, and reports indicate he is now driving a 2003 tan Ford Taurus, with West Virginia license plate number 2LW 179. It is believed Margel Tenney is headed to Texas.

Local News


Missing Man Positively Identified

A body found this past weekend at Ohiopyle State Park has been positively identified as that of 29-year old Jeremy Walker, who was last seen on New Year's Eve. A watch and dental records were used to help identify the Somerset man. A Fayette county deputy coroner says Walker drowned in the Youghiogheny River, and that the death is not suspicious in nature. Kayakers found his remains along the river Sunday evening. A memorial service for Walker is set for this evening in Somerset.

 

Council Votes on Footer Building

The Cumberland Mayor and City Council voted 3-0, to nominate the Footer Dye Works Building to the National Register of Historic Places. Mayor Brian Grim and Council Member Nicole Wagoner abstained from the voting. Federal money received for any preservation projects is dedicated and cannot be used for other city projects, according to the Cumberland Times-News.

 

ABL Receives Ammunition Contract

Allegany Ballistics Laboratory has received a $12 million contract to deliver ammunition to the Navy, beginning next year. However, the contract does not indicate an increased need for additional staffing at the ATK facilities in Minnesota, Virginia, and West Virginia. The multi-year contract has a potential value of $41 million over the course of about four years.

 

Rocky Gap Realizes Fourth-Quarter Profits

Lakes Entertainment says it showed a $2.8 million profit in the fourth quarter of last year, due in part to income from Rocky Gap State Park. Earnings reported came before any slot machines or table games are in operation at the casino. Along with that, the company says it plans to construct an events center, which is expected to open during the fourth quarter of this year.

 

Fracking Recommendations Issued

A report, prepared by the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science, is issuing several recommendations for hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," as it is commonly known. The process uses sand, water,  and chemicals to free gas from shale. The recommendations include prohibiting drilling within 2,000 feet of the surface, until it can be done safely near drinking water. The wells should be closed-loop systems, so that any spills can be contained. Another recommendation is that there should be no net loss of forest land. No drilling permits will be issued until the panel presents its final report in August of next year.

 

Cumberland Man Arrested on Warrant

Twenty-nine year old Cumberland resident Timothy Hart Winkler was arrested following a disturbance in the 100-block of Centre Street. A man and woman were arguing as police arrived; wanted checks were run on both, and it was discovered Winkler was wanted in West Virginia. A baggie of marijuana was also found. He was held without bond on the arrest warrant from West Virginia, and charged with having less than ten grams of marijuana.

 

Man Charged with Assault

A Cumberland man is being held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following his arrest on assault charges. Westley Alan Myers is accused of striking his girlfriend and throwing her to the ground. She had been treated at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, and was interviewed by police there. Myers was charged with second-degree assault.

 

Commissioners to Discuss Public School Security

The Allegany County Commissioners have invited representatives of the education, law enforcement, and political communities to a meeting next Monday, to discuss security in the county's public schools. The letter, signed by Commission President Mike McKay and Sheriff Craig Robertson, notes a recent discussion by the Board of Education on school safety, and cites pending legislation on the issue in Annapolis. The public meeting will be held at 9 a.m. in Room 212 at the Allegany County Office Complex.

 

ACM Observes Women's History Month

Allegany College of Maryland is planning an event this Saturday, which will feature female leaders from Western Maryland. The event is free and open to the public. The event is scheduled to run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the ACM Center for Continuing Education, and will be emceed by Al Feldstein, who will introduce the women to be honored for their public service.

 

Keyser To Discuss Pay Raises

The city of Keyser is planning to discuss a pay hike for city employees during this afternoon's meeting, set for 4:30 p.m. Mayor Randy Amtower and council members are looking ahead to the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1st. Also on the agenda are salary-related issues for the City Administrator and an increase for the city's tax clerk. based on additional duties she has undertaken in conducting building inspections.

 

Somerset Approve Resource Officer Proposal

The Somerset County school board has approved the proposal for a security resource officer to provide coverage for the district. The officer will be paid $32 per hour, working an eight-hour shift throughout the school year for 176 days. The yearly salary will be $45,000, and school officials are hoping that can be covered by a federal grant.

 

Probable Cause Found in Drug Case

Two Tucker County residents are being held  in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $75,000 bail each; they face numerous drug charges. John and Arica Boyles are charged with the delivery of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver cocaine after a controlled buy operation at a home in Randolph County. Law enforcement authorities also found almost a pound of crack cocaine and powdered cocaine.

Washington County Fatality Reported

The Maryland State Police are continuing an investigation into a pedestrian/vehicle collision that resulted in a fatality on Monday. The incident occurred on Sharpsburg Pike at Lyles Drive. Fifty-seven year old William Guth of Hagerstown struck 26-year old Priyanka Malik, also of Hagerstown. Ms. Malik died from her injuries. She was a native of India, working in the United States. The Maryland State Police Crash Team responded for collision reconstruction.

 

Body Found in Clear Spring

A body  was found Monday afternoon, in a wooded area of Ashton Road and Big Pool Road in Clear Spring, and it has been identified as that of 54-year old Leroy Francis Henson. A cause of death has not been determined; the body was taken to the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy. Henson was last seen on December 29th and he was reported missing on January 2nd. The Maryland State Police say there was no evidence of foul play. 

Local News


One Month Left In General Assembly Session

 

There are four weeks left in the 2013 Maryland General Assembly session; work this week is expected to begin on the transportation funding bill, proposed by Governor Martin O'Malley. A hearing on the bill is expected Friday afternoon; it would cut the gasoline excise tax from 23.5-cents-per-gallon to 18.5 cents, but phase in a four per-cent tax on the wholesale price of gas. Also, the House of Delegates is expected to take a final vote on the bill to repeal the death penalty.

 

 

 

Body Found at Ohiopyle State Park Tentatively Identified

 

A body found over this past weekend at Ohiopyle State Park has been tentatively identified as 29-year old Jeremy Walker of Somerset. Walker was last seen by his family on New Year's Eve; a search began on January 2nd and focused on the Youghiogheny River. A park ranger found the body in the River Saturday evening, and dental records are being used to positively identify the body.

 

 

 

Man Sentenced to Twelve Years

 

Oakland resident Kendall Shane Lowers has been sentenced to 12 years in prison on a charge of first-degree assault; he was found guilty in November of last year, but acquitted of attempted first and second-degree murder counts. Lowers was accused of stabbing 51-year old William "Bill" Sachs, who had gone to the Garrett County Sheriff's Office, covered in blood, reporting he had been stabbed by Lowers.

 

 

 

Sobriety Checkpoint to be Conducted

 

The Allegany County Sheriff's Office will conduct a sobriety checkpoint at an undisclosed location this week to promote awareness and reduce the number of alcohol-impaired drivers on the roads. The checkpoint is part of its traffic safety initiative to keep county roads safe for residents and drivers. The checkpoint will be clearly marked with signs, lights and uniformed officers, utilizing both marked and unmarked vehicles. They will be checking, not only for alcohol violations, but also for failure to use seatbelts, and failure to use child safety seats.

 

 

 

Students To Make Up Three Days

 

Allegany County School Superintendent Dr. David Cox will be recommending a makeup day schedule, for days missed because of bad weather. He has requested the state board waive the three days missed as a result of Hurricane Sandy, from October 29th through the 31st. He will recommend the last day of school be June 6th, one day later than originally scheduled; also, April 4th and 5th will be used as school days, an option indicated in the school calendar. The recommendations will be made during today's school board meeting.

 

 

 

Two Kentucky Residents Arrested on CDS Counts

 

Two residents from Kentucky were arrested on westbound Interstate 68, and charged with various drug offenses. They were initially stopped for traveling over the speed limit. Twenty-year old Lester Wellman of Inez, Kentucky and 21-year old Jeffrey Maynard were charged with various counts, including possession of marijuana, cocaine and CDS paraphernalia. Both were held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.

 

 

 

Lorton, Virginia Man Arrested for DUI

 

Lorton, Virginia resident Phillip Chandler was arrested by troopers from the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police, after witnesses reported an intoxicated driver in the area of the Slope Side Market in McHenry. Chandler failed field sobriety tests and was charged with DUI. he was later released, after being issued the appropriate citations and paperwork.

 

 

 

Washington County 911 Center Back in Service

 

Phone problems caused the Washington County 911 Center to lose service for about two hours Sunday afternoon. The phone system went down around 4:30 p.m., but service was restored by Verizon around 6:30 p.m.

 

 

 

Obama Nominates Former Maryland Labor Secretary

 

President Barack Obama is expected to name former Maryland Labor Secretary Thomas Perez as his choice to become the head of the U.S.  Department of Labor. If confirmed, he would replace Hilda Solis who resigned in January. Perez has led the Justice Department's Civil Rights division since  2009, and previously served as Maryland's Labor Secretary.

 

 

 

O'Malley Backs Medical Marijuana Bill

 

Governor Martin O'Malley is expected to support a medical marijuana bill that would create a research-based program in Maryland. House Bill 1101 would create a commission, medical panel and oversight; however, O'Malley will only support the bill if it includes a number of amendments.

 

 

 

Commission Appoints Sheriff's Replacement

 

The Jefferson County Commission has appointed a former probationa and parole officer Peter Dougherty to replace Robert Shirley as the Sheriff there. Shirley pleaded guilty to federal charges he violated the civil rights of a suspect who was beaten after a 2010 police chase. Shirley is currently on home confinement, pending sentencing. Dougherty is currently the president of the Jefferson County Board of Education. At one time, he had worked as a staffer to former U.S. Representative Harley O. Staggers, Jr. He will take office immediately.

 

 

 

Spring Fire Burning Restrictions in Effect

 

West Virginia's spring forest fire season began Friday, and will continue through May 31st. Outdoor burning is now prohibited between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. State law requires that outdoor fires have a ring or safety strip of at least 10 feet around the debris pile, when burning is done. Burning must be limited to leaves, brush, yard clippings and other vegetative materials. Violations of the law could bring up to a $1,000 fine, along with a $200 civil penalty. Commercial burning is allowed during daylight hours, with a $125 permit for each site, issued by the Division of Forestry.

 

Local News


Meyersdale Man Ordered to Stand Trial

 

Twenty-three year old Meyersdale resident Jonathan Beal will stand trial for the death of 19-year old Justine Jackson, whose body was found in a shallow grave along the Great Allegheny Passage. Beal will face counts of criminal homicide, aggravated assault and abuse of a corpse. Her remains were found last November 11th. For a time, Ms. Jackson had lived in the Ellerslie area, before moving to Pennsylvania.

 

 

New "Operation Takedown" Initiative Announced

 

"Operation Takedown IV" has been announced by area law enforcement agencies, in combination with the Cumberland Safe Streets Program and citizen cooperation. The initiative will run through Friday, with a goal of involving the community neighbors, public safety and social service partners in helping make our streets safer. The Safe Streets operation is seeking the public's help in locating 16 individuals, who have open arrest warrants.

 

 

Senator Edwards Introduces Voting Amendment

 

Maryland State Senator George Edwards has introduced an amendment to an early voting bill, that would enable some rural counties to add an extra voting center. The addition would allow counties larger than 400 square miles, but with fewer than 125,000 registered voters to increase early voting centers from one to two. The amendment woulc affect Allegany, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Washington and Worcester counties.

 

 

County Bond Rating Upgraded

 

Allegany County's bond rating has been upgraded from "A" to "A+" by Standard and Poor's Rating Service. As a result, the county will be paying less interest on money it borrows, both short and long-term. Earlier this month, Moody's Investor Services also upgraded the county's bond rating.

 

 

 

Man Released Following Domestic Incident

 

A twenty-seven year old Furnace Street man was released following a Friday evening domestic incident on Furnace Street. Jeremey Yetter and his child's mother were involved in a verbal altercation that turned physical. He is accused of pushing her in the chest, knocking her backwards. She said he grabbed her by the wrist. He admitted to striking her, but said it was done as a result of self-defense. Yetter was charged with second-degree assault.

 

 

Baltimore Man Arrested for CDS Possession, Paraphernalia

 

Twenty-year old Baltimore resident Shazib Ahmad Hussain was arestedand charged with possession of marijuana and possession of CDS Paraphernalia,following what began as a traffic stop early Saturday evneing. An officer observed what was termed a "one hitter" smoking device in his car. Additional CDS items were located, including a grinder with marijuana residue and a small baggie of the drug. He was utlimately issued two citations by Cumberland City Police.

 

 

Airport Fuel Tested; No Contamination Found

 

The fuel being sold at the Cumberland Regional Airport has been tested and was found to be contaminant-free. There  had been allegations by former airport manager and Potomac Highlands Airport Authority member Terry Malone that there was a possibility the fuel could be contaminated. However, a 15 point test revealed that everything was fine with the fuel. Malone and Authoritiy Chairman Max White both resigned at a February 20th meeting. The airport sells an average of 8,000 gallons of fuel per month.

 

 

Portion of Liberty Street to be Closed

 

Liberty Street, from the Pershing Street intersection  to Harrison Street is being closed from tonight at 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. tomorrow. Northern Pipeline, a contractor with Columbia Gas, will be making service tie-ins there. Drivers are urged to find an alternate route, but if you must travel in the area, use caution, obey all traffic control devices and be alert to workers in the area.

 

 

State Police Caution Residents on Scam

 

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is cautioning residents to be aware of a "scam" in the area. Some residents have been receiving phone calls, claiming that a family member has been involved in an accident, and that money should be sent via Western Union to assist the family member. Typically, the caller states that a family member is in need of medical treatment. If you recieve a similar type of call, contact your local police department to verify the information.

 

 

Augusta Man Sentenced to Probation

 

Augusta resident Ryan Lambert Barnes was sentneced to five years probation recently in U.S. District Court. Barnes had previously pleaded guilty to selling a short-barreled shotgun, with no serial number on it to a confidential informant for $100. Conversation during the transaction revealed that Barnes knew the shotgun was too short and not registered. Investigating the incident were the Hampshire County Sheriff's Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

 

 

Gibble's Discontinues Production of Snacks

 

Gibble's snack products are disappearing from store shelves, as the company announced it is discontinuing the manufacturing of snack products; that announcement was effective Saturday. Gibble's potato chips and snacks have been produced in Franklin County, Pennsylvania since the late 1950's. The future of the plant, located just south of Chambersburg, is unclear, including the status of about 30 employees.

Local News


Warrants Executed by C3I, DEA and FDA

Five search and seizure warrants, related to the possession and distribution of synthetic drugs, were executed at five locations in the area yesterday. The C3I Narcotics Unit, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration executed the warrants at three commercial business locations, known as "Puff & Stuff," and at another private residence in the county. They were allegedly involved in the sale and storage of the illicit substances. The fifth warrant was served for the financial records and proceeds from the businesses. Charges are pending against all of those involved.

 

Grand Larceny Charges Filed

Grand larceny charges have been filed against a New Market, Virginia man, after he was accused of stealing nearly $1800 worth of Vera Bradley handbags from Dillon's Country Treasures in Romney late Tuesday afternoon. The West Virginia State Police say 32-year old Harold Allen Comadore Davis II was arrested at an establishment along Route 50, east of Romney. Several bags were located in his Ford Econoline van. Davis was taken to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, in lieu of a $2500 cash/surety bond.

 

Man Sentenced for Attempted Armed Robbery

Virginia resident Stephen Lee Mayhew has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, with five years suspended, for the attempted armed robbery of the Food Lion Market in Cresaptown on October 28, 2011. He displayed a handgun to two clerks and demanded money, but the clerks refused to open the register and he left the store. When released, Mayhew will be on five years of supervised probation.

 

Burlington Man Sentenced to Prison

Thirty-four year old Burlington resident Donald Davey has been sentenced to 37 months in a federal institution, after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of ammunition. He will also be required to undergo three years of supervised release, after his sentence is completed. Davey had previously been convicted of possession of counterfeit securities in the Northern District of West Virginia District Court.

 

Man Sentenced on Robbery Charge

Sixty-eight year old Alexander Devault was sentenced to ten years in prison, following his conviction of the robbery of First People's Credit Union in Lonaconing last March. He entered the bank and demanded money from the tellers; shortly after leaving the bank, he was apprehended by Deputy Ed Stanley of the Allegany County Sheriff's Department. The case was prosecuted by State's Attorney Michael Twigg. Devault was apprehended by public defender Michael Stankan.

 

Man Faces Numerous Burglary Counts

A Cumberland man faces multiple burglary counts, stemming from an incident in December of last year. Twenty-year old Dillon Nicholson is accused of going into a home on Henderson Avenue and stealing copper piping. He was charged with four counts of burglary and one count of theft, along with another count of malicious destruction of property. After his arrest, and a hearing in District Court, he was released on personal recognizance.

 

BPW Awards Recreational Funding

The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved Program Open Space Funding for projects in both Allegany and Garrett Counties. The town of Midland will receive $18,000 to inspect the play area and equipment, and install safety features at the Church Street playground. Garrett County will receive $22,000 to install additional playground equipment and construct a new pavilion at the Avilton Community Association Public Playground, providing the community with more recreational opportunities.

 

Somerset Looks To Upgrade Radio Communications

Somerset is looking to replace its antiquated, 30-year old radio communication system. Although the system has been upgraded, first responders still have to manually change radio channels when  traveling through different areas of the county. When a new system is installed, the county will retain the old system as a backup.

 

Two More Officers Charged in Beating

Two men, who were formerly correctional officers at the Roxbury Correctional Institution, have been charged in connection with the 2008 beating of an inmate there. Robert Harvey and Keith Morris have been charged on civil rights offenses in the beating of an inmate, identified as "K.D." The inmate was subsequently identified as Kenneth Davis. Three other former officers, including Ryan Lohr of Flintstone have pleaded guilty in connection to the same incident.

 

West Virginia Seeks Top Slash Taxes on Tracks, Casinos

The state of West Virginia has introduced a measure legislators hope will stave off competition from Maryland. A bill, introduced this week, would slash the taxes and fees the state's racetrack casinos would pay by an estimated $28.3 million a year, and allow them to scale back racing. For example,  the state's share of table game proceeds would drop from 35 per cent of gross receipts to 25 per cent. While a majority of gamblers at West Virginia's casinos hail from other states, the in-state share of gamblers is creeping upward for at least two of the casinos.

 

 

Local News


Senate Gives Preliminary OK to Death Penalty Repeal

The Maryland State Senate appears ready to approve the repeal of the death penalty in Maryland; approval from the Senate will send the measure to the House, where repeal supporters feel they have enough votes to send it on to the Governor for his signature. If passed, the Governor's bill would make Maryland the 18th state to abolish capital punishment. The state currently has five men on death row, but has not executed a prisoner since 2005. Since 2006, Maryland has operated under a "de facto" moratorium as a result of a court decision.

 

Allegany County Bond Rating Improves

Moody's Investor Service has upgraded its long term General Obligation rating for Allegany County from "A1" status to "Aa3." Moody's has applied the rating to the county's $9.3 million General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series of 2013. The upgrade reflects Moody's assessment of the county's financial outlook, which identified several conditions, including a trend of stable and healthy finances and manageable debt burden.

 

Bill To Ban Fracking Dies in Senate, Moratorium Possible

A bill to ban hydraulic fracking for natural gas has died in a Senate committee, but a bill that impose a moratorium on the practice remains very much alive. Senate Bill 514 was defeated in committee Tuesday, but an accompanying House bill remains technically alive. But with the Senate defeat, it makes passage through both Chambers doubtful.

 

House Fire Remains Under Investigation

The cause of Tuesday morning's house fire in Oakland is being investigated by the State Fire Marshal's Office. It was first reported just before 10 a.m. at 252 Maple Street in Friendsville. Six people were displaced by the fire, and there were no injuries. The American Red Cross is currently assisting the victims. Responding were the Grantsville Volunteer Fire Department and the Northern Garrett EMS.

 

Summons Served on Elkton Woman

A 24-year old Elkton, Maryland woman was served with a criminal summons, in connection with a complaint that was received on February 25th. A man reported that his vehicle had been damaged and a tire was slashed; Phillips was identified as a suspect. She was charged with destruction of property less than $500, and willfully tampering with a motor vehicle.

 

Senators Introduce Canal Bill

Maryland U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin have re-introduced legislation to ensure the continued involvement of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Advisory Commission in decisions that affect the park itself. The Advisory Commission was established more than 40 years ago to provide a vital link between the surrounding communities and the National Park Service in overseeing the operation, maintenance and restoration of the historic park.

 

Police to Monitor Somerset Schools

The Somerset Borough Council has approved a plan to have a borough police officer monitor all four Somerset Area Schools on a daily basis. The district will pay $32 an hour for a school resource officer to be in the district buildings eight hours a day for 176 days of the school year. They will serve on a four-day rotation, and school officials say they hope to get grants to pay for the protection.

 

Mandicott Elected to State Board

Frostburg State University's Bill Mandicott has been elected to a three-year term of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies' Board of Directors. As part of a rigorous nomination process, state arts agencies elected five outstanding leaders at the most recent NASAA Assembly in Washington, D.C. Mandicott has 30 years of professional experience in student affairs administration. He is currently the assistant vice president for Student and Community Involvement at FSU, and is former chair and artistic curator of FSU's Cultural Events Series.

 

Preston County Animal Shelter Temporarily Closing

At an emergency meeting this week, it was decided to temporarily close the Preston County Animal Shelter, as officials attempt to account for missing money and re-organize the operation. Controversy has been brewing at the shelter for several weeks, as the former director, Courtney Austin, has been at odds with the commissioners over postings on social media. Ms. Austin has since been dismissed for insubordination. She allegedly make comments about the shelter that were untrue; she has denied those claims.

 

Decision on Sex Offender Registry Sparks Discussion

A Maryland Court of Appeals decision that could allow some sex offenders to have their names removed from the statewide sex offender registry is creating some discussion. It is unclear how the ruling could affect the database. The appeals court ruled this week that a man, identified as John Doe, should have his name take off the registry because the requirement to do so violates the state constitution's restrictions on retroactive punishment. There are more than 8300 people on the sex offender registry in the state. Of that number, 1800 committed crimes before 1995, the year the database was created.

Local News


Plan to Boost Transportation Revenues

Maryland's leadership has unveiled a plan to boost some transportation taxes to pay for roads and bridges. Governor Martin O'Malley wants to impose a wholesale tax on gas; at the same time, he wants to drop the excise tax on gas. His plan involves imposing a 4 per cent tax on the price of gasoline at the wholesale level, but cuts the 23.5-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline by five cents. Gas prices would increase by 2-cents per gallon, beginning July 1st, rising to 9-cents-a-gallon the following year. The plan was introduced Monday night, just minutes before the House and Senate went into session.

 

Meyersdale Man Accused of Molesting Girl

Eighteen year old Dylan Belcher is accused of groping a young girl on at least two occasions last fall at her home. He is currently being held on $20,000 bail on counts of indecent assault and unlawful restraint. Belcher has a court hearing, scheduled for next week.

 

Police Make Hospital Arrest

Fifty-four year old Jeffrey Thomas Michael was held in the Allegany County Detention Center, after creating a disturbance at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center early Monday evening. Michael, who has no fixed address,  was discharged from the hospital, after refusing medical treatment. He refused to leave and was arrested. He was taken to Police Headquarters, where he was charged on a criminal citation and released. He then told police he wouldn't comply with the citation, at which time he was charged with trespassing and taken for a bond hearing.

 

High Speed Chase Results in Arrest

Sixty-two year old Gore, Virginia resident William Ray Ritchie was arrested in Paw Paw, West Virginia following a high speed chase, which began on Route 51, near Moores Hollow Road Monday afternoon. An Allegany County Sheriff's Deputy reportedly clocked Ritchie traveling 98-miles-per-hour in a 50-miles-per-hour zone. A high speed chase ensued, and Ritchie was taken into custody by the Paw Paw Police Department. Numerous charges are pending against him, including DUI and fleeing and eluding. The Sheriff's Department is expressing its thanks to both the Maryland State Police and the Paw Paw Police Department for their assistance.

 

Hearing on Somerset Crossing Set for July

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has scheduled a public hearing on July 30th and 31st, regarding a railroad crossing on Route 281. The intersection separates Somerset Borough and Somerset Township, and has been the scene of several accidents. One of the more recent ones, in September of last year  involved a tractor-trailer, carrying mail. An accident in 2011 killed a motorist, when her car was struck by a locomotive. The hearing will be used to gather testimony, in an effort to best address conditions at the railroad tracks there.

 

Woman Killed in Jefferson County Fire

A Jefferson County woman was killed, but her daughter escaped during a fire early Monday morning. Sixty-five year old Jeanne Thomas died on her birthday, and her 25-year old daughter was taken to a hospital and released. Jeanne Thomas' body was found in the basement of the home and was taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Morgantown for an autopsy. There is no word on what caused the fire.

 

Mulkern Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography, Abuse Charges

A man, formerly of Hagerstown and Williamsport who was featured on "America's Most Wanted," before being arrested last year, has pleaded guilty to child pornography and child sex abuse charges in Washington County Circuit Court. Forty-six year old Robert William Mulkern, who allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 15-year old girl from Allegany County who had been placed in a foster home, could face 50 years in prison when he is sentenced later this year. The girl became pregnant in 2010, and in interviews with the Child Advocacy Center, recounted her relationship with Mulkern. In June of 2010, he was charged with 149 counts of manufacturing child pornography, nine counts of third-degree sex offense and one count of sex abuse of a minor.

 

 

Local News


Operation "Takedown III" Executed

The most recent Safe Streets Initiative, executed between February 19th and March 1st, resulted in the arrest of numerous individuals. During the past three months, a total of 77 suspects were apprehended, 106 arrest warrants were served and 10 individuals with violent criminal histories were arrested. The most recent group of individuals face a variety of charges, ranging from assault to theft to failure to appear charges

 

Chamber Opposes Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave Bills

The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has sent letters to members of the General Assembly, opposing both a raise in the state's minimum wage and a bill that would require employers to offer paid sick leave to employees. Cost is the main issue, according to the Chamber letter on the minimum wage bill, stating that it would drive up employer costs. As for paid sick leave, the Chamber believes it would "further drive business away from the state of Maryland ."

 

Commissioners Approve Salary Increases

The Allegany County Commissioners have adopted the recommendations of a salary study commission, and will increase the salary of orphan's court judges and the sheriff. The changes would not take effect until after the 2014 general election; the commissioners' salaries will not be changed. The recommendations include an annual salary for the sheriff to $70,000 in 2015 and a three per cent each year after, with the salary reaching $76,491 in 2018.

 

Intersection to be Closed for Gas Line Tie-Ins

The city of Cumberland, on behalf of Columbia Gas of Maryland, has announced that Liberty Street, from the Pershing Street intersection to Harrison Street, will be closed from this evening at 6 p.m. until tomorrow at 7 a.m., weather permitting. The closure will allow the Columbia Gas contractor, Northern Pipeline to make service lateral tie ins in the area. If you must travel in the area, obey all traffic control devices and be alert to workers in the area.

 

Woman Killed in Somerset Crash

A Somerset County woman was killed in a two vehicle accident Sunday afternoon. Seventy-year old Eva Kline died when her car was hit by an SUV in Jenner Township. Both were taken to Conemaugh Valley Hospital. The Somerset County coroner is performing an autopsy. Ms. Kline was wearing her seatbelt, but the other driver, 19-year old Boswell resident Kyle Updyke,  was not. He was treated and released, and the investigation is continuing.

 

Man Arraigned on Vehicular Homicide Charges

Twenty-three year old Somerset resident Casey Miller has been arraigned on homicide by vehicle charges, in connection with a single-vehicle crash last summer. He is also charged with aggravated assault while driving under the influence. The crash occurred last August 20th at Chickentown Road and Skyline Lane in Somerset Township. Kody Dwire, 22-years old, was ejected from the car and died about six hours later.

 

Elderly Man Accused of Raping Relatives

A 78-year old Bedford County man has been jailed, after being accused of raping two young female relatives over a period of several years. Richard Main is charged with child rape, sexual assault and indecent assault. The victims were 8 and 10 years old when the alleged assaults began, and he continued with one of the girls until she was 15. He is accused of raping the girls as often as twice a week in his truck, home and barn.

 

Man Accused of Cell Phone Theft

Thirty-year old Cumberland resident Robert Cook has been charged with theft, after he was accused of taking a cell phone while at an after school athletic function at a Cumberland middle school. Cook was seen by surveillance cameras taking the phone that was in a hallway near the victim's belongings. He was served and released, pending trial in Allegany County District Court.

 

Variety Show Rescheduled

Due to predicted winter weather this week, the ACASC screening for the regional variety show is being rescheduled. The original screening date was this Thursday, but will now be held on Monday, March 11th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Allegany High School. The show itself is still scheduled for its original date of Friday, March 15th from 6 to 8 p.m. 

 

Indictments Filed Against RCI Officers

Two federal indictments have been handed down, charging a total of nine former or current correctional officers at Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, with a pair of beatings of an inmate in 2008. The grand jury indictments were filed last week in Baltimore. The first indictment lists four men and the second includes five more for their roles in the March 8th and 9th assaults of the inmate, who has been identified as Kenneth Davis. Three other RCI officers have already entered guilty pleas in connection with the alleged incidents.

 

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Insurance Lawsuit

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an insurance agent over the suspected death of Robyn Gardner of Frederick. Gaithersburg resident Gary Giordano is being sued by American Express, over a travel insurance policy taken out in Gardner's name. Giordano took out the policy before the couple's trip to Aruba, where Gardner vanished. The lawsuit says the policy is not enforceable, because the couple was never married. Giordano was arrested in connection with the disappearance, but later released because of a lack of evidence.

 

Baltimore Man Sentenced in U.S. District Court

Thirty-seven year old Baltimore resident Kevin Edward Moses was sentenced on drug charges in United States District Court in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Moses was sentenced to 262 months imprisonment, followed by six years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty in April of last year to one count of distribution of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a Winchester elementary school. He was cited as being part of a Baltimore-Martinsburg conspiracy which distributed heroin as part of its drug activity between 2008 and 2011. His sentence was more severe, because of his leadership role, use of a minor and distributing drugs within 1,000 feet of protected locations.

 

VA Schedules Creative Arts Festival

The Martinsburg VA Medical Center will host its annual Creative Arts Festival today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is a variety of art by local veteran artists, created independently within the last year. Many of the submissions were made in the Martinsburg VA Hobby Shop. Awards will be presented at noon. First Prize winners will advance to compete at the national level.

Local News


Baltimore Man Held on $150,000 Bond

 

A weekend traffic stop on Grand Avenue led to the arrest of a 19-year old Baltimore man. Mark Brown, who had originally given officers a false name, was found to have large quantities of suspected crack cocaine and cocaine, which were stored in individually wrapped plastic baggies; he also had a large sum of currency. He was charged with possession and distribution of crack and powder cocaine, and making a false statement to an officer. Brown was ordered held on $150,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

Hooley Plunge Raises Over $112,000

 

Saturday's Hooley Plunge at Rocky Gap State Park has raised at least $112,000 for the Allegany County Special Olympics and programs for the developmentally disabled in the area. Dr. Sean McCagh, organizer of the event, says more contributions are expected. Winner of the Chazz Offutt Community Spirit Award this year was Allegany County School Superintendent Dr. David Cox, for helping organize the public school effort in the community. The Unsung Hero Award was given to Brad Stafford, for his help in preparations for the Hooley Plunge. The tenth anniversary Hooley Plunge will take place on Saturday, March 1, 2014,

 

 

Mayor Holding Reimbursements

 

Ridgeley Mayor Jim Twigg is holding onto reimbursements he received, following his attendance at the West Virginia Municipal League mid-winter conference, until the ongoing investigation is closed. The probe is trying to determine if Mayor Twigg misused his town purchasing card for expenses. The town is awaiting action from the Mineral County Prosecuting Attorney on recent audit findings on the possible misuse of a "purchasing card."

 

 

Residents May Pay for Bridge Repair

 

Mineral County is not in a position to pay for repairs to the Sunnydale Drive bridge that partially collapsed beneath a fire truck weekend before last, so it may be up to residents in the subdivision to bear the brunt of the cost. County officials say they will help residents explore funding options to rebuild the bridge, including a claim against the fire department's insurance carrier for the cost of repair.

 

 

Mount Savage Woman Arrested

 

Forty-one year old Tracy Malloy was jailed on a $20,000 bond, after being charged with two counts of assault following an incident Saturday morning in the 600-block of Bedford Street. She allegedly struck her boyfriend in the mouth, and then knocked a phone from his hands when he tried to call for help. She also allegedly bit the man's roommate, who tried to intervene.

 

 

Fire Departments to be Honored

 

Members of 20 local fire departments will be honored by the Allegany County Commissioners during a Thursday ceremony at the Allegany County Office Building. "Encore for a Hero" will be held at 3:30 p.m. and will recognize difficult circumstances encountered, when a rash of house fires and weather conditions taxed their resources. The ceremony will take place in Room 100 of the county office building.

 

 

Driver Charged Following Accident

 

Frostburg resident Jonathan Duckworth was charged, following an accident Sunday on Parkersburg Road. He lost control of his car and struck a utility pole. He was charged with failure to control speed to avoid a collision, and driving without a license. The Allegany Sheriff's Department investigated, and Duckworth was released pending trial.

 

 

Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty

 

A former Roxbury Correctional Officer has pleaded guilty to the beating of an inmate at the facility in March of 2008. Philip Mayo, now of Rochester, New York, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. He faces up to five years in prison, along with a $250,000 fine and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 28th. Two other RCI officers, Ryan Lohr of Flintstone, and Dustin Norris of Martinsburg, West Virginia have also pleaded guilty in the case. Lohr is scheduled to be sentenced on June 18th.

 

 

Legislators Oppose Gun Control Bill

 

Maryland State Senator George Edwards voted against Governor Martin O'Malley's gun control bill that ultimately passed in the Senate late last week. However, Delegate LeRoy Myers says he will oppose the bill, when it is introduced in the House. Senator Edwards pointed out that the city of Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, but also a high number of residents who are killed with guns. He says if someone wants to commit a crime with a gun, they'll find one. For his part, Delegate Myers says there are already enough gun laws in the state.

 

 

Comptroller Wants Officers in Every Public School

 

Comptroller Peter Franchot says he is backing legislation that would put a police officer in every one of Maryland's 1400 public schools. According to one state delegate, the cost would be around 70 to 80-million dollars and about 900 new police officers would have to be hired in the state. There are about 500 schools with police on campus; some middle schools have assigned officers but none in the elementary schools.

 

 

Report Released on June "Derecho" Storm

 

A Maryland Public Service Commission report, recently released on last June's severe storm, notes that utility companies "need to be more responsive to outages," and that they should "develop strategies to address the needs of vulnerable populations." About 72,000 Potomac Edison customers were without power for several days; fallen tree limbs that interfered with power lines accounted for about 32 million hours of lost service in Maryland.

 

Local News


More Charges for Man in Theft, Tampering Cases

Additional charges have been filed against a Frostburg man, in connection with a series of thefts from vehicles in the Frostburg, Cumberland, LaVale and Bowling Greene areas. Thirty-two year old Randall James Kelley was initially arrested on February 12th by Frostburg police, as the result of an investigation into thefts from numerous vehicles in Frostburg. Kelly was located Wednesday, hiding at a residence in LaVale, in an attempt to avoid arrest. A District Court Commissioner released him on personal recognizance, pending his next court appearance.

 

Bridge Owner Receives Rate Increase

The owner of the Oldtown toll bridge has been granted a rate increase, which will allow for much-needed repairs and to make bridge operations more financially feasible. Monthly rates will increase from $14 to $45. Bridge crossing rates will rise from 50-cents to $1.50 for cars, trucks and vans. Tractor trailer drivers will have to pay $6, which is up from the current two-dollars per crossing.

 

Ligonier Man Killed in Somerset County Crash

Ligonier, Pennsylvania resident Steven Sherback was killed, and Stoystown resident Robert Blough was injured in a two-vehicle crash Tuesday on U.S. Route 30. Sherback was driving near the Route 219 Interchange, when his vehicle crossed the center line and hit a truck, driven by Blough. The 37-year old Sherback was pronounced dead at the scene by Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller.

 

Man Held on $20,000 Bond

Flintstone resident Randy Wayne Miller was charged with theft, following an incident in the 100-block of Bedford Street, where he had been living. Miller is accused of stealing approximately $2500 in cash and a cell phone from the home. He was charged, taken for an initial appearance in District Court and held on $20,000 bond in the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Two Sentenced in Spotlighting Incident

Two men have been sentenced after being convicted of spotlighting deer in October near Flintstone. Alex Steven Parker and Nathan Andrew Twigg, both 18, have lost their hunting privileges, been fined, sentenced to jail time and have forfeited equipment. They had entered guilty pleas earlier in February, when they were sentenced to a 60-day, suspended jail sentence. They will each be on unsupervised probation for two years.

 

Beitzel Appointed Workgroup Member

Delegate Wendell Beitzel has been appointed a member of a Business Climate Workgroup, a special committee which will engage Maryland's business community and make recommendations for future legislation to encourage private sector investment in the state's economy. House Speaker Michael Busch made the appointments, and the members will make short-term recommendations for this session and long-term recommendations for the next session to the Speaker and the House leadership.

 

Rocky Gap Cited in "Golf Digest" Magazine

The Rocky Gap Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course has been included in Golf Digest's list of America's 36 "Best Buddies-Trip Destinations" in its January 2013 issue. The Cumberland Valley Region was at number 21 on the list; the rankings were created by surveying the roughly 1100 Golf Digest course-rating panelists who produce the biennial rankings of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses.

 

Small Business Workshop Set

A workshop on "Business Fundamentals" is set for Thursday, March 21st, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Keyser. The workshop is part of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center training and business coaching program, "Three Step Jump Start" to help small business owners receive the right information at the right time. The workshop will be held at the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce Office. Registration is required by Friday, March 15. To register, call (304)-530-4964.

 

Stabbing Reported in Hagerstown

Two people have been arrested in connection with a stabbing incident early yesterday at a Security Road residence in Hagerstown. Twenty-seven year old Sabrina Michelle Thomas and 22-year old Lauren Bradley Dixon were arrested, and charged with attempted murder, first and second degree assault and reckless endangerment. The victim, a 23-year old woman, was found outside of the residence and taken to Meritus Medical Center for treatment, and later released.

 

Lawmakers Consider Raising Minimum Wage in Maryland

A proposed bill before the House and Senate, would boost the minimum wage in three stages to $10 an hour by July of 2015, and would then tie the wage to the cost of living. Minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour. Workers who receive tips would also get a 20 per cent increase in their wages, according to the bill. While restaurant owners testified against the bill in the House this week, other business owners were in favor, noting that it would help keep workers. The Senate version of the bill will receive a committee hearing next week.

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