WASHINGTON COUNTY MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN I-68 CRASH
Thirty-one year old Christopher Nicely of Washington County was killed in a motorcycle crash on Interstate 68, near mile marker 46 in Allegany County. Nicely died just before 4 a.m. Saturday when he failed to negotiate a right-hand turn, and struck a concrete barrier. I-68 was closed for several hours following the accident.
FROSTBURG MAN HELD IN CECIL COUNTY
Frostburg resident Germaine Wiggins is being held without bond in Cecil County, Maryland, charged with human trafficking and kidnapping charges. Wiggins is accused of holding two women, whom he met in Ohio earlier in the week, against their will. While the women admitted to being involved in prostitution, they agreed to have Wiggins work with them to arrange customers. They later told Wiggins they didn't want to work with him, and at that point, he threatened to kill them if they left. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are pending.
GARRETT SHERFF INVESTIGATES DOG SHOOTING
Garrett County's Sheriff's Office is investigating a dog shooting late last week along Lemoyne King Road in Oakland. They say it appears the dog was shot from a vehicle, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office or Garrett County Crime Solvers.
KEYSER MAN TASERED FOLLOWING ARREST
Keyser resident Ronald Kesner was held on $1,000 bond, following an incident late last week in the 200-block of South Main Street. Kesner was served with a domestic violence petition, and became disruptive during the arrest. At the police station, he continued to be disorderly, and was eventually tasered by police.
MISS ALLEGANY COUNTY IS THE NEW MISS MARYLAND
Jade Kenney, Miss Allegany County, is the new Miss Maryland, and was crowned in ceremonies Saturday night at the Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown. She is from Madison, Maryland, and represented the county in the annual event. Miss Northern Maryland Outstanding Teen, Sarah Robinson, was crowned Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen 2014.
CHAMBER SUPPORTING AUTOCROSS EVENT
The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has sent a letter to Creade Brodie, Jr., former chair of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, supporting the annual autocross event at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport. Brodie, however, resigned that position last week. The letter notes that a number of Chamber businesses have recognized the economic benefit of reviving the autocross event. The letter further requests that the PHAA reconsider its decision to not forward the application by National Road Autosport, LLC to the Federal Aviation Administration to continue autocross activities at the airport.
VIRGINIA MAN ARRESTED FOR DISORDERLY CONDUCT
Lorton, Virginia resident Lee Phillip was arrested early yesterday morning, following a disturbance at a business on Virginia Avenue. Phillip was screaming at another person in the parking lot, causing a large group to form. He refused to stop causing the disturbance and was arrested, but released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
MARYLAND AVENUE MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING DISTURBANCE
Maryland Avenue resident Christopher Platter was arrested over the weekend, following a disturbance at Jane Frazier Village. Platte and a juvenile were engaged in a fight when police arrived. Platter fled to an apartment, barricaded himself in a room, and tried to escape. The police entered the room and were assaulted by Platter. He continued to resist arrest, and was eventually tasered by officers. Following treatment at the Western Maryland Health System, he was taken for a bond hearing and held on $5,000 bond. Related to his arrest, Elizabeth Price was also arrested for failure to obey a police order and disorderly conduct.
SOMERSET MAN FACES ADDITIONAL MURDER CHARGE
Somerset resident Denver Blough now faces two charges of criminal homicide for the death of his pregnant girlfriend Caressa Kovalcik and their second child, Abrianna Kovalcik, who died about three weeks after being delivered by emergency cesarean section. He now faces several more charges in connection with the May 31st incident in Somerset County.
MAYOR DISCUSSES C.S.O. ISSUE
After nearly two decades of discussion, it looks as if the combined sewer overflow issue will be addressed in the county. Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim says every time there is a heavy rainstorm, the issue is brought to light. He says there are two ways of handling this situation. Or, the city can establish a storage tank at the wastewater treatment plant.
While the city is "not on board" with raising water and sewer rates, it certainly does not support digging up every city street to replace water and sewer lines. That, he says, would cost 10 to 20 times the amount of simply establishing a storage facility.
BARRACK CONDUCTS DUI CHECKPOINT
The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police conducted a weekend sobriety checkpoint on Route 219, south of Timber Ridge Road Saturday evening. As a result of the checkpoint, there was one arrest for marijuana possession, but none for DUI. However, a roving patrol resulted in two arrests for DUI. About 500 vehicle were stopped during the checkpoint. The purpose was to educate motorists on the effects of drunk and drugged driving.
DATE FOR QUEEN CITY MARATHON SET
An official date has been set and confirmed for the second running of the Queen City Marathon for Active Water. The date is March 28, 2015, pending completion of the permitting process. The Queen City Marathon is a sanctioned race, and is recognized as a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon. For more information and updates, go to "www.runthequeencity.com."
DRIVERS PAYING MORE FOR GAS
Maryland drivers are paying up to three cents more per gallon, when compared to just a week ago. The average price per gallon is $3.70, and that is two cents above the national average. In Cumberland, the average price is $3.77, among the highest prices in the state. This time last year, the average price was $3.49 per gallon.
COAST GUARDSMAN ARRESTED FOR DESERTION
Martinsburg, West Virginia resident Larry Christopher Shelby has been arrested by the U.S. Marshal's Service on a desertion warrant form the U.S. Coast Guard. Shelby was last seen in November of last year, after faking his own suicide in Harper's Ferry. In January, a warrant for desertion was obtained by the Coast Guard. He was arrested in the Sheetz parking lot on Edwin Miller Boulevard by the U.S. Marshal's Service Mountain State Fugitive Task Force. Shelby was taken to Washington, D.C., and returned to military authority.
AVERAGE W.VA. WORKER EARNED MORE LAST YEAR
The average worker in West Virginia earned just over $40,000 last year, up more than a percentage point from 2013. The average annual wage rose by $478. Highest annual wages were found in Boone County, with Tucker and Hardy Counties among the lowest wage earners. The data includes workers covered by state and federal unemployment insurance programs.
THEFT SUSPECT TURNS HIMSELF IN
Eighteen year old Romney resident Seth McDermott, who was wanted in connection with the breaking and entering and theft of a four-wheeler earlier in the month has turned himself into authorities. Bond was set at $14,000 and he remains in custody at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail. McDermott is accused of taking the four-wheeler from a residence along Bethel Church Road. McDermott turned himself in earlier this week.
PUBLIC HEARING FOR KEYSER ANNEXATION
A public hearing will be held before any areas of Keyser will be annexed. A "minor boundary adjustment" would include the Airport Addition and Bonnieview residential areas, along with several retail and restaurant outlets along Route 220. If those areas are annexed, they would receive city services such as police protection and snow removal; and, they would also be paying city taxes.
MAN CHARGED WITH SECOND-DEGREE ASSAULT
Cumberland resident Brandon Livengood was charged with second degree assault, in connection with an incident earlier this month outside of a Columbia Street business. Livengood allegedly yelled at the victim, while in their vehicle; as the victim tried to get out of the car, he allegedly pushed their car door shut, striking them. Livengood was served with the charges and released pending trial in District Court.
MARTIRANO SELECTED AS W.VA SCHOOL SUPERINTENDEN T
Dr. Michael Martirano of this area, has been selected as the new state superintendent of West Virginia schools. The West Virginia Board of Education this week, named Chuck Heinlein as the temporary State Superintendent, but later announced Martirano as the permanent replacement. Current State Superintendent Jim Phares will retire on Monday, and Martirano will be introduced at the State Board of Education meeting in Charleston on July 9th.
MINERAL BOARD WANTS REPAID FOR K.H.S. DEBT
The Mineral County Board of Education has made it clear...they want to be reimbursed for their help in financing the Keyser High School Athletic Complex. The Board has extended a $2.2 million line of credit to the Campaign for Keyser High Committee, to help them pay off the remaining debt. Keyser has been unable to meet the annual payment of nearly $280,000, since the first one came due in 2009.
HOGAN COMMENTS ON PRIMARY WIN
Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan has gone on the offensive since Tuesday's primary win, calling his opponent, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown "the most incompetent man in Maryland." Hogan says he is staying focused on the economy and taxes, and is looking forward to challenging Brown in November. It has been pointed out that the majority of registered voters in Maryland are Democrats; in fact Democratic gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur garnered more votes than Hogan. Only 25 per cent of registered voters turned out on Tuesday for the primary; Hogan acknowledges that Brown did very well...with a small turnout. He expects more voters to go to the polls on November 4th.
WINCHESTER WOMAN INDICTED FOR FELONY HOMICIDE
Twenty-four year old Jessika Smith has been indicted for felony homicide in the death of her two-year old daughter in December of last year. She is charged with two counts of child abuse, one for pushing her daughter and another for failing to get her medical attention. She could face up to 20 years on the felony homicide count and up to five years for each child abuse count. Her trial has been scheduled for September.
STATUE FUNDRAISER TOPS GOAL
A campaign to erect a statue in Morgantown, honoring the late Don Knotts has exceeded its fundraising goal. A recent gift from the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitor's Bureau pushed the total to over $53,000; the original goal was $50,000. Any additional funds would be used to maintain the statue and surrounding grounds. The next step is to determine where the statue will be located. Knotts portrayed the character, "Barney Fife" in "The Andy Griffith Show."
GRANDCHILDREN OF LOCAL COUPLE MURDERED
The grandchildren of David and Tammy Cowgill of Cumberland, Sara and Yishai Levy, were reportedly stabbed to death by their father on June 11th in Israel. The children's mother, Karen Cowgill-Levy, of Columbus, Ohio was divorced from the children's father, and according to an Israeli newspaper, custody of the children had been an issue between the parents. Ms. Cowgill-Levy and her children moved to the United States but courts ordered a twice-yearly visit with their father, Avi.
HOSPITAL DEMOLITION MAY EXTEND TO NEXT YEAR
Asbestos that is continually being discovered at the former Memorial Hospital, may extend the timetable for demolition into the spring of next year. A public meeting on the progress of the project will be held Monday at 7 p.m., at the Fort Hill High School auditorium. An additional $400,000 has been added to the project, after asbestos and other hazardous materials were discovered.
CONSULTANTS REPORT ON DEVELOPMENT PLAN
RKG Associates have updated an economic study of Cumberland; they were here yesterday, and shared a presentation on the status of the study. Among the goals in the study, according to the Cumberland Times-News, were the creation of jobs above the median income, reversing negative attitudes in the community, and creating a new image for Cumberland that can be marketed. One of the representatives of RKG noted that "Cumberland's story is being told by others, and it's not the right story. From an economic development standpoint, perception is reality."
SOMERSET VICTIMS IDENTIFIED
The two children who were killed when a tree hit a car in which they were riding in Somerset County have been identified. Eight year old Ryleigh Friewald and 6-year old Macayla Friewald were killed, and their mother, Ashley Lichty and her boyfriend, 36-year old Jason Heinbaugh, along with two other children in the car, were taken to the hospital. After the tree hit the car, it ran into a telephone pole. The Conemaugh EMS group has scheduled a meeting for tonight, to discuss the accident.
SCHLOSNAGLE MML PRESIDENT-ELECT
Friendsville Mayor Spencer Schlosnagle is the president-elect of the Maryland Municipal League for the 2014-2015 year. He will serve a year as president elect, before becoming president in June of next year. In addition, Cumberland City Council Member Nicole Wagoner will serve as the MML's 2014-2015 district vice-president.
FORMER TEACHER OF THE YEAR PASSES AT 43
The 2012-2013 Allegany County Teacher of the Year, Lee Ann Zlomek, passed away Tuesday at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center at the age of 43. She was an algebra teacher at Mountain Ridge High School and at Allegany College of Maryland. Friends are being received at the Durst Funeral Home in Frostburg this evening from 7 to 9 p.m. and tomorrow from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral services are scheduled for Central Assembly of God Church on Saturday at 11 a.m.
THEFTS FROM LAVALE VEHICLES REPORTED
The Maryland State Police and the Allegany County Sheriff's Office are investigating a series of thefts from parked vehicles in the LaVale area. Items were taken from parked vehicles, along the roadway and in a few separate neighborhoods overnight Tuesday. Police are reminding residents to lock their vehicle doors, and if anyone has information, they are asked to contact the Maryland State Police at (301)-729-2101.
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, DISORDERLY CONDUCT CHARGES
Twenty-five year old Andrew Roman of Cumberland was issued two criminal citations following an incident on Tuesday. Roman was accused of spray painting and engraving concrete that had just been poured in the 1300-block of Virginia Avenue. He was charged with destruction of property and disorderly conduct. He was released, pending trial in District Court.
MC KAY COMMENTS ON COUNTY FINANCES
Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay says that, over the past 18 months, the county has been fortunate, because of its fiscally conservative policy. Standard & Poor's has upgraded the county's bond rating twice, which is almost unheard of, especially for smaller counties. Commissioner McKay says the county is not ready to borrow money yet.He says the better the bond rating, the lower the interest rate on money that is borrowed.
RIDGELEY GEARING UP FOR CELEBRATION
This year is the 100th anniversary of Ridgeley's incorporation, and the town council is looking to businesses and others who would like to participate. The actual incorporation date is November 28th, but the celebration itself is planned for September 5th through the 7th. Music, entertainment, and walking tours are planned. Any groups or individuals who would like to participate should call the town hall at (304)-738-9400, extension 106.
MERITUS TO MANAGE HOSPITAL CENTER
Meritus Health has agreed to assume the interim management role of the Western Maryland Hospital Center in Hagerstown. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Meritus entered into a temporary contract this week. The six month deal is estimated to be worth up to $806,000, and will provide day-to-day operational oversight through new, temporary leadership.
MYERS ADVANCES IN COMMISSIONERS' RACE
Delegate LeRoy Myers, who has announced his intention to step down from the position, advanced in Tuesday's county commissioners' race. Three of the five incumbent Republicans advanced to the general election. Commissioners Terry Baker, Jeffrey Cline and John Barr took three of the top four spots, with Myers joining them. The general election will be held November 4th, with all five seats on the Washington County Commission will be up for grabs.
COMMISSION RELICENSES CASINOS IN WEST VIRGINIA
The West Virginia Lottery Commission voted to relicense all five casinos, despite declining revenues due to increased out-of-state competition. Lottery Director John Musgrave expects all five license holders to also renew; some of the casinos pay an annual licensing fee of $2.5 million, while the Greenbrier's fee is $500,000.
WEST VIRGINIA JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM STUDIED
West Virginia is embarking on a study of its juvenile justice system, and to look for ways to keep youthful offenders out of detention centers. The rate of youths being sent to juvenile facilities nearly doubled from 1997 to 2011. The review should be completed by December, and lawmakers will consider the suggestions during the January to March legislative session.
PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS UNOFFICIAL
In unofficial returns from last night's primary, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown will face Republican challenger Larry Hogan in November's gubernatorial election. Locally, Mike McKay defeated Ray Givens in the District 1-C race, and will face Nick Scarpelli in the general election. Jake Shade led the race for the Republican nominations for seats on the Allegany County Commission. He received the most votes, followed by incumbents Creade Brodie and Bill Valentine. Mark Widmyer received 1,624 votes. If those totals stand, Widmyer would be eliminated from the race.
GARRETT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS VOTED OUT OF OFFICE
The three sitting Republican commissioners were unseated during yesterday's primary election. Winners in the three districts were Larry Tichnell, Paul Edwards and Jim Hinebaugh, who will move onto the general election in November. In the Allegany County Board of Education race, all of the incumbents apparently will move onto the general election in November. If last night's unofficial totals stand, the only candidate for the board who would not move onto the general election would be Tammy Fraley. There are three seats open on the Board, with a total of six candidates in the general election.
FOUR CHARGED WITH FIRST-DEGREE MURDER
Four West Virginia residents have officially been charged with first-degree murder, in connection with the heroin overdose death of 38-year old Keyser resident Bobbie J. Blacka. Keyser residents Daisy Stewart, Melissa May Stewart, John Davis III, and Christian Pierce of Maysville are being held without bond at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail. Ms. Blacka was found unresponsive about 1 a.m. on the night of May 7th, but EMS was not called to the Keyser House facility until nearly 6 hours later. According to the complaint, the four traveled to Cumberland to purchase the heroin, and brought it back to Keyser.
CHILDREN KILLED WHEN TREE HITS CAR
Two children were killed, when a tree hit a car, traveling on Tire Hill Road in Somerset County Monday. The force of the tree falling on the car, sent it into the opposite lane. Two other people in the car were taken to the hospital with injuries, including a pregnant woman in the front seat of the car. She was likely the mother of the two children killed, but the identities are not known.
PIEDMONT MAYOR CALLS FOR SPECIAL MEETING
Piedmont Mayor Leon Garland called a special meeting of the mayor and council for Friday morning. The meeting is to discuss obtaining legal counsel to pursue its options in regard to the burned out buildings on Childs Avenue and Second Street. The meeting is open to the public.
WATER TO BE TURNED OFF IN PARTS OF WESTERNPORT
Water will be shut off in certain areas of Westernport, beginning at 10 p.m. tomorrow night, through about 5:30 a.m. Friday. The shut-off is to accommodate a water line tie-inon the new lines of the Phase Two Water Project. The shut off will affect all of Westernport Hill, Main Street, Church Street, Maryland Avenue, the 100-block of Philos Avenue, and the Franklin-Brophytown area.
BURGLARY SUSPECT JAILED ON $50,000 BOND
Cumberland resident Demond Scott is being held on $50,000 bond, following a burglary incident early yesterday morning in the 700-block of Baker Street. Scott is accused of breaking the glass in a rear door of the home and reaching inside to unlock the door. He also began arguing with the resident and fled on foot. Scott is also accused of removing property from the residence. He was taken to the Allegany County Detention Center, pending his next court appearance.
MAN ACCUSED OF STEALING GOLF CART
Cumberland resident Tariq Purnell was arrested and accused of stealing a golf cart from Allegany College of Maryland on Willowbrook Road. The cart was later found in the parking lot of the Allegany County Health Department. He was charged with theft, taken for an initial appearance in District Court and later released on his personal recognizance, pending trial.
MORE SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED TO GRAUDATES
Several 2014 graduates have earned prestigious scholarships, including a $10,000 Northrup-Grumman Scholarship. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, public information officer for the Allegany County Board of Education, says that Jacob Zembower, of Fort Hill earned the engineering scholarship. Two scholarships were earned by Mountain Ridge students, including the Edward and Sarah J. Moran Scholarship and the Community Trust Foundation Scholarship. Anna Broadwater and Haley Lindsay, who are both attending WVU in the fall, and Sharon Jones, who will be going to Allegany College, earned the Moran Scholarship. The Community Trust Foundation Scholarship was earned by Kylie Humbertson. She will be attending St. Francis University.
MAN ENTERS INSANITY PLEA IN MURDER, KIDNAPPING
A man, accused of murdering his ex-wife and kidnapping his daughter, has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Timothy Virts claims he is not criminally responsible for the crimes. He is accused of stabbing his daughter's mother to death on March 6th in Dundalk, and kidnapping his daughter, Caitlyn. He and the girl were later found in Florence, South Carolina on March 7th.
RESOURCE CENTER IN MARTINSBURG TO CLOSE
The West Virginia Aging and Disability Resource Center in Martinsburg is closing at the end of the month, due to state budget cuts. The center served Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties. The center had its budget cut by 7.5 per cent; only three of 11 centers in the state will remain open, including locations in Petersburg, Fairmont and Princeton.
MAYORS VISIT WHITE HOUSE
The Mayors of Ranson, Charles Town, and Morgantown were among 25 from around the country, to visit the White House to talk about technology and to help inventors make their mark. It was called "Makers Faire," and showed off some of the latest high tech gadgets. The goal for the inventors is to find uses for their products and produce them in the United States, employing American workers. President Barack Obama was on hand for the event.
VERSO RECEIVES CREDIT DOWNGRADE
The Verso Paper Corporation has received a credit downgrade from Moody's credit rating firm, which could affect the proposed merger between it and the New Page Corporation. The companies will merge if regulators approve the deal. Verso is the smaller of the two companies, and both are considered to be financially troubled.
PRIMARY ELECTION DAY IN MARYLAND
Today is Primary Election Day in Maryland. Voters will be going to the polls, to vote for candidates at the state and local level. Among the races that will set the stage for the November general election will be the gubernatorial contest, Maryland House of Delegates, Allegany County Commissioners, Cumberland City Council, and Board of Education. polls will be open until 8 p.m.
BEDFORD COUNTY PEDESTRIAN STRUCK, KILLED
Everett resident Donald Batholow was struck and killed by a vehicle on the Lincoln Highway in West Providence Township. The Pennsylvania State Police say he was hit by a vehicle driven by Rick Heidorn also of Everett, as he crossed both lanes of the highway Friday morning. The Pennsylvania State Police are continuing the investigation.
ALCOHOL, SPEED FACTORS IN ACCIDENT
The Garrett County Sheriff's Office says that alcohol and speed played a part in a crash early Sunday on Upperman Road. Jeremy Hinebaugh suffered non-life threatening injuries in the single-vehicle crash. He lost control of his car, which was traveling at a high rate of speed. The car crossed the center line, hit a utility pole, which caused it to fall. Electrical lines blocked the roadway for about three hours. He was treated at Garrett Memorial Hospital.
NO INJURIES IN BALTIMORE PIKE FIRE
Several volunteer fire and ambulance companies responded to a working fire in the 14,000-block of Baltimore Pike late yesterday morning. The Allegany County 911 Emergency Center dispatched engine companies, tankers and ambulance personnel. No injuries were reported.
RIG OVERTURNS ON ROUTE 220
A tractor trailer driver was uninjured in an accident yesterday, when his rig traveled out of control and overturned on Route 220 near the State Line. The truck came to rest along the side of the road, and traffic was unaffected by the accident. Several units from both Bedford County, Pennsylvania and Allegany County, Maryland were dispatched to the scene.
INMATE REMAINS JAILED ON WEAPONS CHARGE
Bedford County jail inmate Jeffrey Gilliam remains in that facility, after he was caught trying to make a knife from a plastic shampoo bottle. Gilliam had previous burglary charges dismissed against him, but now will face weapons charges during a preliminary hearing on July 2nd.
GRANT FOR KEYSER PARK PUT ON HOLD
The city of Keyser has deferred putting up new play equipment at the North End playground for a year. A grant, from a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, would have provided up to $20,000, but the city ran out of time to meet the criteria for the "Kaboom!" grant. The city would have matched that $20,000 grant with a similar amount of donated labor, materials, and equipment.
UPDATE ON DOGS REMOVED FROM RESIDENCE
The "Lucky 33" dogs that were removed from a Greene Street residence earlier in the month could now be called the "Lucky 39-plus," as one of the dogs had 6 more puppies since they were taken to the Animal Shelter. And, according to Becky McClarren, more are on the way. She notes the dogs have not been put up for adoption for several reasons, including the fact they have had no socialization skills. The animals have some health issues, including skin and eye conditions, but-when found-they were not starving. She commended the staff and volunteers at the Animal Shelter, but said Friday, June 13th was a "horrible" day.
SCHOOL STUDENTS SERVE ON STATE STAFF
For the first time in the Allegany County Association of Student Council's history, the organization will have two of its members serving on the Maryland Association of Student Councils' staff. Thorne Lindsey and Jenna Puffinburger, incoming juniors at Allegany High School, will serve MASC as the Evaluations Coordinator and the State Charity Coordinator, respectively.
ACM SCHOLARSHIP ANNOUNCED
Dennis Bittinger, a resident of Cumberland and 1976 graduate of Allegany College of Maryland's Forest Technology program, recently established a scholarship to assist forestry students who graduate from his Alma Mater, Fort Hill High School. He founded the scholarship in the name of his late brother, Robert Lee Bittinger, a 1967 graduate of Fort Hill and a U.S. Army combat veteran, who died in Vietnam in 1969. Dennis Bittinger is the chair of the Cumberland Shade Tree Commission.
TEACHER PREP PROGRAMS RATED AMONG BEST
Two of Maryland's teacher preparation programs were ranked among the best in the country. McDaniel College had the 19th best program in the country; Johns Hopkins University came in 22nd. The National Council on Teacher Quality ranked 836 institutions and more than 1,000 graduate and undergraduate programs at institutions of higher education.
SCHOOL GRADING SYSTEM POLICY TO BE IMPLEMENTED
A policy, first proposed during Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's State of the State address earlier this year, will soon be implemented in West Virginia. The Governor has proposed letter grades, "A" through "F" for all public elementary, middle and high schools, giving communities an idea of how well a school is doing. Schools that continue to perform poorly or when the county does not provide needed support, will be subject to intervention by the state.
BEDFORD RESIDENT KILLED ON ROUTE 30
Bedford resident Herbert Alvin Kisamore was killed Friday, when his vehicle was struck by a pickup truck on Route 30 in Bedford County, when its driver fell asleep. Kisamore was pronounced dead at UPMC/Altoona hospital early Friday morning. The pickup truck driver, 24-year old Breezewood resident Allen Leroy Carl, was not injured.
DEER CAUSES FATAL ACCIDENT
Connellsville resident Ralph Striner was killed Friday, when a deer went through his windshield. Striner was driving on Route 30 in Bedford County, when the deer was struck by Lynda Gregg of Arnold, Maryland. The deer bounced off of her car, and into Striner's windshield, killing him. The Pennsylvania State Police continue to investigate.
BABY DIES 20 DAYS AFTER MOTHER IS SHOT
A Somerset County baby, who was delivered by emergency caesarian section after her mother was shot, has died. Twenty-day old Abrianna Lyric Kovalcik died early Friday morning at Pittsburgh Children's hospital. Her mother, Caressa Kovalcik was shot and later died at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. Kovalcik's boyfriend and Abrianna's father, 25-year old Denver Blough, is charged with the murder of Caressa Kovalcik. It is unclear whether he'll be charged with his daughter's death. He has a preliminary hearing on July 31st.
TWO ARRESTED IN JANE FRAZIER INCIDENT
Two people were arrested early yesterday morning in an incident at Jane Frazier Village. Twenty-four year old Dominique Dante Weedon was reported to have had a gun. When police arrived, he threw an open container of liquor into a yard there. He resisted arrest and was held on $2500 bond. Also arrested was Marion Rose Bowie of Cumberland, who had allegedly interfered with the arrest. She too was held on $2500 bond, and taken to the Detention Center.
JUVENILES CHARGED WITH ARSON
Two juveniles have been charged with arson, in connection with a Saturday morning fire at a detached garage at 14 Grant Street in Frostburg. Frostburg Police assisted fire investigators in charging the juveniles with second-degree arson, destruction of property, malicious burning, and fourth-degree burglary. The fire was brought under control in about 10 minutes, and damages were estimated at $35,000.
FOUR RESIDENTS CHARGED IN FATAL OVERDOSE
Four West Virginia residents have been charged in connection with the fatal overdose death of Keyser resident, Bobbie Jean Blacka, whose body was found in early May in the Keyser House apartment building where she lived. Keyser residents Melissa May Stewart, John Henry Davis, and Daisy Marie Stewart and Maysville resident Christian Nicole Pierce have all been charged with first-degree murder, and are being held without bond. Autopsy results showed Ms. Blacka's death was caused by a heroin overdose. Her body was found in Daisy Stewart's apartment.
BALTIMORE MEN SENTENCED ON DRUG CONVICTIONS
Two Baltimore men have been sentenced on drug charges in Allegany County Circuit Court. Twenty-seven year old Eddison Pegus was sentenced to a total of seven years, after having been found guilty of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Karl Stovall Chambers was sentenced to a total of four years on the same charge; he was additionally sentenced on a single, unrelated count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, for which he received an additional eight years, four which will run consecutive to the previous count.
DUI CHECKPOINT SET
The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police will conduct a DUI checkpoint this Saturday, preceded by an operational briefing at 8 p.m. During the checkpoint, troopers will be attempting to detect and apprehend violators of the Maryland imparied driving laws. The goal is to reduce the number of alcohol related collisions occurring in Garrett County.
FRANKFORT RECEIVES $300,000 FOR STADIUM REPAIRS
The Mineral County Board of Education has voted to give Frankfort High School up to $300,000 to upgrade their track, restrooms and bleachers at Falcon Stadium. Frankfort Principal Joe Riley made the request, noting the bleachers were in need of repair, as were the bathrooms there. The six-lane track needs to be widened to eight lanes. Any cost overruns would be handled by the Frankfort Athletic Boosters.
CUMBERLAND RECYCLING BEGINS JULY 1ST
If you live in Cumberland, you should know curbside recycling begins on July 1st. Mayor Brian Grim says, that by now, you should have received your burgundy recycling bin, provided by Burgmeier Hauling, the city's new trash collector. Mayor Grim says this will be curbside, single-stream recycling. Included with the recycling bins are directions on what is being accepted, including paper. Glossy paper and magazines can be placed in the bins, as well as newspaper.
POLICE IDENTIFY MOTHER, DAUGHTERS FOUND DEAD IN HAGERSTOWN
Hagerstown Police have identified the mother and her two daughters who were found dead inside a parked vehicle at the Western Heights Middle School last week. They say Allison Keyonda Puck and her two daughters-Shania Unique Gill, 18 months, and Shameka Allison Gill, six months-were also found dead in the car. Allison Puck was an illegal immigrant from Guyana, but had a passport to come to the United States. Police are looking to establish a cause of death for all three.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE RISES IN MAY
The unemployment rate in Maryland for May inched back up to 5.6 per cent, with employers shedding 1300 jobs. The biggest gains in May came from the education and health services sector, which added 3,000 jobs, and the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 2800 jobs.
SMOKING BAN TO GO INTO EFFECT
Berkeley County's "Clean Air Regulation of 2014" goes into effect on July 1st, and will ban smoking in all work and public places. There are 26 counties in West Virginia that now have comprehensive ordinances for not smoking in work and public places. There is, however a concern from business owners that they may lose some of their customers.
WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY CUTS $20 MILLION
West Virginia University is hoping to achieve about $20 million in budget cuts, through job cuts or the outright elimination of several departments. More than a hundred positions have been eliminated, including positions that had been vacant.
BUFFALO FIRM CHOSEN FOR DEMOLITION
The bid from, a Buffalo, New York firm to demolish the former Sacred Heart Hospital on Haystack Mountain was accepted during a special meeting of the Allegany County Board of Education yesterday. Total Wrecking and Environmental, LLC bid $1.4 million for the job, which is being done to clear the way for the new Allegany High School. The bid was far below the projected cost in the $2.2 million to $3.5 million range.
LILLER ELECTED MCDA PRESIDENT
Terry Liller has been elected as the new president of the Mineral County Development Authority; he replaces Tom Braithwaite, who had been serving as interim president following the resignation of then-president Dave Boden. Also on the agenda this week was a discussion about lowering the value of the shell building, located in the Fort Ashby Business and Technology Park, therefore saving about $1,000 in annual insurance costs.
SHA TO CLOSE PORTION OF ROUTE 135 NEAR NEW PAGE
The Maryland State Highway Administration will remove part of a rock outcrop that extends over the edge of Route 135 (Pratt Street) near the New Page mill in Luke, Maryland next week. The work will require lane closures with a flagging operation between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The SHA says you should either allow extra time, or consider alternate routes for that three day period.
NEW IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS
There are new immunization requirements for students entering the 7th and 12th grades in West Virginia. Parents should make an appointment with their child's doctor before the start of the 2014-2015 school year. For more information, go to the website, "www.dhhr.wv.gov."
MAN SERVED WITH SUMMONS FROM MAY
Forty-eight year old Robert Paul Simpson has been served with a criminal summons, stemming from a theft investigation that was reported to Cumberland City Police on May 1st. Simpson is charged with theft of less than $100.00.
ANIMAL SHELTER BREAKS GROUND
The Allegany County Animal Shelter held a groundbreaking for its newest building, on Furnace Street yesterday. Becky McClarren, of the Animal Shelter board, says the hope is to have a portion of the newest building completed before winter. She also credited Maryland State Senator George Edwards, who sponsored a $100,000 bond bill to help with construction, during the 2014 General Assembly session. The current shelter was originally designed to be a "kill" shelter. Ms. McClarren noted that the county has donated the Sheriff's Office building, which will be used for administration, when the new Sheriff's Office is completed on Kelly Road. The current animal shelter building will be used for animal control.
SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT NEXT THURSDAY
The Maryland State Police will conduct a sobriety checkpoint next Thursday, at an undisclosed location in the county. Allied police agencies will take part in the checkpoint, designed to reduce the number of drunken and impaired drivers on the road. Saturation patrols will also be conducted by the Cumberland barrack during the July 4th holiday weekend.
GARRETT BOARD TO MEET TUESDAY
The Garrett County Board of Education will meet on Tuesday to consider, in part, the School Attendance Area Committee updates and recommendations. Action may be taken on the issue during the special business meeting. It has been scheduled for 6:00 p.m., when the board will meet in executive session. The public portion of the meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.
CUMBERLAND HOSTING MOTORCYCLISTS
The city of Cumberland is hosting anywhere from 500 to 700 Harley bikers, coming to town for the Maryland/Delaware HOG Rally. They will be in town through Monday. Tonight, the group will be showing off their bikes as part of Cumberland Comes Alive. The city is also expecting at least 200 or more bicyclists on Sunday for the Bike Sojourn on the Great Allegheny Passage. They'll return to the area on June 27th.
PETERSBURG WOMAN INDICTED
Petersburg, West Virginia resident Beth Harman Ours has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Elkins on several drug counts. Ms. Ours was charged with one count of distributing ecstasy, two counts of distribution of oxycodone, one count of distribution of diazepam, and one count of the distribution of hydrocodone. If convicted of all charges, she could face up to 35 years in prison.
HAGERSTOWN PLANT SHUTTING DOWN
The Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown is closing, displacing about 100 employees. A 153 to 66 vote favored the restructuring and phasing out the operation at the Hagerstown location. Some of the employees could be transferred to the Pacific Press Publishing Association. The company reported a nearly $1 million loss in 2013.
EARLY VOTING ENDS IN MARYLAND
Despite predictions of a low voter turnout for early voting, the Maryland State Board of Elections reports that more people have voted early this year, compared to any primary election. More than 74 per cent of those casting ballots have been Democrats, with more than 24 per cent, Republicans. In Allegany County, early voting was set at around 1 per cent of registered voters. Early voting ended last night, and experts say they expect around a 20 per cent voter turnout next Tuesday.
MAN SENTENCED FOR DOGFIGHTING, OTHER CHARGES
Piedmont resident Timothy Paul Stewart has been sentenced to a total of 20 years in federal prison, for operating a dog-fighting operation. He was convicted earlier this year of that charge, along with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Additionally, 33-year old Shannon Marie Broadwater was sentenced to three years in prison for her role in the sale of crack cocaine. She had been convicted of illegal use of the Internet to facilitate the distribution of crack.
FIREWORKS TO BE SHOT FROM BISHOP WALSH
The city of Cumberland's annual Fourth of July fireworks display will be shot from the girls' softball field at Bishop Walsh School on Haystack Mountain. The city has hired Starfire Corporation of Carrolltown, Pennsylvania to shoot the fireworks this year, and will be firing larger, 6-inch shells. The display should be visible from areas across Cumberland, LaVale, and in Mineral County.
ATTORNEY ADDRESSES PROBLEM PROPERTY
Allegany County Attorney William Rudd has written to Delegate Kevin Kelly, regarding possible violations of the county's junk law, at 13004 Fleetwood Drive. In the letter, Rudd noted that the county has retained the services of Jayci Shaw Duncan of the Skidmore, Alderson & Duncan law firm to undertake an investigation. At the conclusion, Ms. Duncan will generate a report that will be distributed to the neighbors, press, and public at large.
WATER CONSERVATION REQUESTED
The town of Westernport is asking residents to conserve water until 3 p.m. today, because of work scheduled to happen at the Horse Rock pump house. Some of the areas affected are all or Horse Rock, Cosgrove's Lane, Stoney Run, Kelly Avenue, and Likens Avenue.
SUSPECT SOUGHT IN SERIES OF BREAK-INS
A "person of interest" has been developed in a series of vehicle break-ins in the Keyser area. A person, whose image was captured on video, had tried to sell a camera and GPS unit at a Keyser pawn shop. The suspect is wearing a T-shirt that reads, "Must Hunt Deer." Anyone with information is asked to contact Keyser City Police. Possible victims of the break-ins are asked to contact police if they believe their stolen items may be in storage at the department.
DAYTIME BURGLARY IN OAKLAND AREA
The Garrett County Sheriff's Office is investigating a daytime burglary of a home in the Hutton area near Fingerboard Road on Tuesday. A reward may be offered for information in the case; anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office through the website, "www.garrettcountycrimesolvers.org," or by calling the office at (301)-334-1911. Those leaving tips may remain anonymous.
SPECIAL BOARD MEETING SCHEDULED
The Allegany County Board of Education has scheduled a special session for this afternoon at 4 p.m., to consider awarding a bid to demolish the structures on the Braddock Hospital Campus. The bid opening was held last month, and a subsequent special meeting was postponed. The Board will meet in Executive Session following the special session to discuss personnel matters.
COUNCIL MEMBER ADDRESSES CSO ISSUE
Cumberland City Council member David Kauffman has called for a public session to discuss and address the future of the combined sewer overflow abatement. The meeting would be to discuss ways to allocate resources efficiently. Kauffman says the city of Frostburg has been successful in separating combined storm and sewer lines there. Councilman Kauffman says it would be cost prohibitive to Cumberland to do a complete separation of lines. No matter what the solution, Kauffman says the area needs to send a unified message, regarding both the CSO situation, and other matters of local interest.
CUMBERLAND MAN CHARGED WITH THEFT
Cumberland resident Tyler Shaffer faces numerous theft-related counts, after a woman accused him of taking and forging personal checks, and having them cashed. City Police originally responded to a residence on Mountain View Drive in late April. Shaffer was charged, but then later released, pending trial at the Allegany County District.
WOMAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT
Cumberland resident Mary Dye was charged with second-degree assault, following an incident on East First Street late Tuesday afternoon. She is accused of hitting the victim in the face, and ripping his shirt, following a verbal argument. She received a District Court hearing, and was later released on personal recognizance.
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL SETS MEETING
The first public meeting of the Local Development Council will be held on Monday, June 30th at 7:00 p.m. at the Flintstone Volunteer Fire Company. All interested individuals are invited and encouraged to attend. Fifteen individuals were appointed to the council at the May 1st public business meeting.
SOMERSET COUNTY MAN ARRESTED FOR BURGLARY, THEFT
Garrett, Pennsylvania resident James Brian Hay was jailed on numerous charges of theft and burglary. Hay allegedly stopped at a home, spoke to the homeowner, and walked into the residence, and stole a wallet. Hay is also accused of stealing prescription medications; and, in yet another involved the theft of a chainsaw. The crimes targeted the elderly and Amish people, and happened over the last 12 to 16 days.
TURNPIKE TOLLS GOING UP AGAIN
For the seventh straight year, tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike are going up; a five per cent increase will take effect in January. The new rates will raise the cost of the most common toll for passenger vehicles by a nickel to $1.09 for E-Z Pass users and by a dime to $1.70 for cash customers.
FORMER FROSTBURG FIREFIGHTER KILLED IN ACCIDENT
A former member of the Frostburg Fire Department, Shawn Tasker, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Franklin County this past weekend. Tasker was a FFD member in the early 1990's, until he moved to Hancock, to become an officer with the Hancock Police Department. He had 21 years of service in Hancock. The accident happened in Mercersburg, when his motorcycle collided with a deer on a farming highway.
DEVELOPER CHOSEN BY CANAL PLACE
The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority has chosen a firm, which will negotiate the development of the historic Footer Dye Works building. The developer and what will be done with the building is confidential because of upcoming contract negotiations. The name of the developer and plans for the building could possibly be made public during next month's CPPDA meeting.
INMATE TREATED FOR NINE STAB WOUNDS
Western Correctional Institution inmate Cordell Jackson was stabbed nine times on Monday afternoon, and remains hospitalized. The 56-year old Jackson sustained non-life-threatening injuries, but received a wound to the back which medical personnel could not stop the bleeding. Jackson had been serving a life term on a conviction of first-degree rape, and was found by a correctional officer making his rounds.
LASHLEY FILES BID PROTEST
Gary Imes, owner of the Lashley Construction Company, says he has filed a bid protest over the award of a $3 million contract for a shell building in the Barton Business Park. The county had awarded the contract to Belt Construction earlier in the month, and Imes has hired a Baltimore law firm to handle the case.
FUNDING ANNOUNCED FOR BEDFORD ROAD FIRE COMPANY
Federal funding of $66,500 has been announced for the Bedford Road Volunteer Fire Department to purchase life-saving firefighting equipment. The funding was made available through the U.S. Department of Homeland's Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant, and jointly announced by Maryland's United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin. Bedford Road will use the funding to purchase rescue tools that are nearly 40 years old, including the "jaws of life," along with cutters, power generator units and air bags.
SHOTS FIRED, BUT NO INJURIES IN KEYSER
A man allegedly fired shots from the window of a Keyser home on Wayno Drive, off Stoney run Road late yesterday morning. The unnamed person was being evaluated by medical persoonel at the scene. Police were called to the area, for a disorderly person, and they, along with ambulance personnel were on the scene for over an hour and a half. There was no word on what sparked the disturbance.
HARASSMENT, DISORDERLY CONDUCT ASSAULT CHARGES FILED
Cumberland resident Jerry Dale Nixon faces numerous charges, following an incident at a Virginia Avenue business late last week. A citizen lodged a complaint that Nixon allegedly assaulted and harassed them inside the business. He continued to harass them by phone and electronic mail after the incident. He was served with the above charges, and released pending trial at Allegany County District Court.
CHARGES PENDING AGAINST TEEN
Charges are pending against a 16-year old, who was injured Sunday night on Maryland Avenue. The teen had allegedly been driving recklessly in the area of Broadway Street on a dirt bike; he was later involved in a two-car accident. The bike had no lights or required safety equipment for road use. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries. Various traffic and criminal counts will be forwarded to the Department of Juvenile Services.
L.B.C. ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS
The Let's Beautify Cumberland Committee is now accepting nominations for the next round of 2014 Blue Ribbon Award winners. Citizens are encouraged to consider residential, commercial or public property within the city of Cumberland that is maintained by a dedicated person or group. You can send the caretaker's name and property address to City Hall at (301)-759-6424. You can also email, "BeautifyCumberland@gmail.com," or place a message on Facebook at "www.facebook.com/Lets BeautifyCumberland."The deadline to submit entries is July 31st.
ERNST "DEPUTY FIRE MARSHAL OF THE YEAR" FOR 2013
Edward Ernst, assigned to the Western Regional Office of the State Fire Marshal, has been named recipient of the "2013 Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year" Award. State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci made the presentation during a ceremony at the Maryland State Firemen's Association annual convention in Ocean City on Monday.
WOMAN, CHILDREN FOUND DEAD IN HAGERSTOWN
A woman from Guyana, and her two children, ages 6 months and 18 months, were found dead in a car in the parking lot of Western Heights Middle School in Washington County. The victim's identities are being withheld, pending notification of next of kin. It is known the woman was from the Tri-State area, and the children's father lived in Hagerstown. The woman had recently moved from West Virginia to Hagerstown. The bodies are being sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore for an autopsy.
RISKY TEEN BEHAVIOR SHIFTING
Less cigarette smoking, soda drinking and physical fighting, but more time at computers and other tech devices...that's the snapshot from the new C.D.C. National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The government goal of reducing teen smoking nationally to less than 16 per cent has been met, but C.D.C. Director Tom Frieden notes that it's a fragile victory at 15.7 per cent-along with the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes, smoking pens and electronic hookahs.Stephanie Zaza is the director of the division of adolescent and school health at the C.D.C. She finds it alarming that 41 per cent of teen drivers admit to texting or e-mailing while driving, and urges parents to step in, to stop any behavior that takes a teen's attention away from the road.
O'MALLEY DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY
Governor Martin O'Malley has declared a state of emergency for both Allegany and Washington counties, as a result of last Thursday's heavy rains and flooding. Cited in the declaration were the Cresaptown and Bowling Green areas. The declaration will allow the state to assist local agencies with recovery efforts and would allow for the assessment of damaged local infrastructure, including roads, bridges, utility plants and buildings, for possible federal assistance.
DOGS REMOVED FROM GREENE STREET RESIDENCE
Over 30 dogs were removed from a Greene Street residence on Friday, after the tenants were evicted from it. The animals were taken to the Allegany County Animal Shelter by mid-afternoon, where veterinarians were called to examine and treat the dogs. The youngest was less than two weeks old. The Animal Shelter is looking for assistance, either monetary or volunteer. You can help by calling (301)-777-5930.
CITY SUPPORTING BOAT LAUNCH AREA
Although it may not happen this summer, the city and Canal Place officials are working toward a plan to bring recreational boat use to the Potomac River. The project does not entail removing the dam beneath the Cumberland-Ridgeley bridge; kayaks could be placed either above or below it. A site, adjacent to property owned by George Merling has been discussed as an option to place a boat launch.
JUNE 'SAFE STREETS' INITIATIVE CONDUCTED
The Cumberland Police Department arrested 19 people on a total of 21 arrest warrants during the June "Safe Streets" Initiative. Three of those arrested were criminally charged with offenses that were committed in the presence of the officers working the assignment. Charges ranged from failure to appear, child abuse charges, assault, sex offenses, and drug counts, among others.
PHAA DENIES AUTOCROSS EVENTS
The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority has again denied a request to hold an autocross event, sponsored by the National Road Autosport group. The PHAA has become concerned about having the race at the airport, due to possible damages to the hangars; however, the group said it would have provided a million dollars in liability insurance for the event.
TWO ARRESTED IN ASSAULT INCIDENT
Two men were arrested, following a fight early yesterday morning at a Mechanic Street business. Both 22-year old Leonard Alexander Britton and 35-year old Franklin Antoine Fitch were taken into custody, and were to have received a bond hearing yesterday.
F.S.U. RECEIVES "TIPS" AWARD
Frostburg State University has received an Award of Excellence from Tips, which trains resident assistants to recognize behavioral cues and respond to intoxicated students and underage drinking. TIPS was later incorporated into training for the students involved in SafeRide, a student-operated transportation system. Health Communications, Incorporated is the provider of the Tips, or Training for Intervention Procedures, program.
MIKULSKI RESPONDS TO V.A. MARYLAND HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
The United States Senate is working on bi-partisan legislation that will make sure all veterans get the care they need. Maryland's Senior United States Senator Barbara Mikulski says the average wait times for new, primary care patients in the state is 81 days, the fourth worst in the country. But, the good news concerns existing patients, where the wait is only four days. One solution, according to Senator Mikulski, is to establish what is called a "Veteran's Choice Card."The veterans would still be in the system, but could get care either in Baltimore, or seven other centers in more rural areas of the state. Senator Mikulski says she believes in the late Ronald Reagan's saying of "trust, but verify."
STORM CAUSES MAJOR DAMAGE IN CRESAPTOWN, BOWLING GREENE
Route 220 has been reopened, after last night's flooding in the Bowling Greene and Cresaptown areas. The road had been closed from Interstate 68 to Route 956 in Bel Air. Much of that area was underwater, as the result of heavy rains, which led to flooding in the area. Several other incidents were reported because of the storm including reports of a collapsed structure on Iris Avenue in Cresaptown, and a report of a possible road collapse on Douglas Avenue in Lonaconing. The Greene Street underpass was under water, and several people were rescued from their cars, which became stuck in high water. Other structure collapses were reported, as well as two fires.
GARRETT PLANS MAJOR RESTRUCTURING, CONSOLIDATION
Due to falling enrollment and a shrinking funding base, the Garrett County Board of Education has proposed a major shuffling of students, in a four-year plan to consolidate the school system. Public input will be taken at two meetings, scheduled for next week. The plan includes moving many students to different schools, with families reviewing their transportation options, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
DRIVER JUMPS FROM TRUCK
Lonaconing resident Gary McKenzie suffered minor injuries, when he jumped from his tractor-trailer, which ran off the road on Route 50 near Burlington Wednesday. McKenzie, whose truck was hauling three large bales of stainless steel, swerved to avoid hitting a deer, and the truck ran over an embankment. McKenzie jumped from the cab, and the rig traveled down the embankment and hit a tree. One bale of material came through the cab, crushing it. He was treated at Potomac Valley Hospital.
TORNADO REPORTED IN BEDFORD WEDNESDAY
A tornado reportedly touched down in parts of Bedford County on Wednesday, tracking through Wills Mountain and Evitts Creek past Rainsburg, northeast of Lake Gordon. No injuries were reported, but some major damage was; the National Weather Service toured the area yesterday afternoon, to confirm the tornado.
ACCUSED KILLER HAS HEARING
Somerset County resident Denver Blough-accused of shooting and killing his pregnant girlfriend-received a hearing in court this week. He is accused of shooting and killing Caressa Kovalcik; her baby was delivered by emergency C-section. This week's hearing was to have been a civil custody hearing for the newly-born child, and another 11-month old child, fathered by Blough. After a three-hour hearing in the judge's chambers, Blough was returned to jail. There was no word on the closed-door meeting.
KEYSER MAN JAILED IN DOMESTIC INCIDENT
Keyser resident Shaun Ellifritz is in jail at the Potomac Highlands facility, following a domestic incident Wednesday evening. Ellifritz is accused of assaulting a woman in the 100-block of Gilmore Street. He is also accused of holding her against her will, refusing to allow her to leave the residence on Tuesday or Wednesday.
FIRE BREAKS OUT DURING WEDNESDAY STORMS
A fire broke out in Bedford County Wednesday evening, during severe storms moving through the area. The fire was reported in a utility room in Saxton around 7 p.m., and caused extensive damage to one of the apartments. Time response was quick, in that the fire department was already staffed, due to the severe weather. No injuries were reported in the fire, and there was no indication it was related to the storms.
COMMISSIONERS RELEASE STATEMENT ON FUND BALANCE
Allegany County's bond rating was recently upgraded by both S & P and Moody's bond rating services; this will be especially important when the county prepares to borrow money for the new Allegany High School. The better a county's bond rating, the lower interest that is charged on loans. As a result of the upgrade, the county was able to save about a million dollars on its outstanding debt. At present, the county has a fund balance of no less than two months of general fund revenues.
TRAFFIC PLAN ANNOUNCED FOR HERITAGE DAYS
Heritage Days is this weekend, and some changes to the downtown traffic pattern have been announced. A portion of Mechanic and Baltimore Streets will be closed during the event; motorists traveling south on Mechanic Street will be diverted onto Frederick Street, where they can access Queen City Drive to by-pass the closed portion of Mechanic Street. There are other changes, and motorists should be aware of those. Heritage Days is scheduled from 10 a.,. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
MAN ISSUED CRIMINAL CITATION
Fifty-year old Cumberland resident John William Yoest was issued a criminal citation, following an incident Wednesday evening on the downtown Cumberland Mall. Yoest was creating a disturbance, and later threatened to assault a code enforcement officer. His behavior continued after Cumberland City Police arrived. He was taken to Police Headquarters, charged with a citation for disorderly conduct, and released pending further action in District Court at a later date.
PARENT CAFE EVENT CANCELLED
The Parent Cafe, set for next Monday at the YMCA, has been cancelled. Parents are encouraged, however, to attend the Dr. Kluth workshop, "Inclusion: What Every Parent Should Know," at the Ramada Inn of Cumberland on that day, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Parent Cafes will return again in the fall.
MARYLAND BRIDGES SUMMER "NUTRITION GAP
"Summer learning loss" is well known among educators, but there's also a slide in nutrition when the school doors close, and low income kids are most affected. Michael J. Wilson at Maryland Hunger Solutions says good food and a good education go hand-in-hand in helping students succeed. The director of the Food Research and Action Center, Jim Weill, says nearly three million children were served nationwide in 2013, about 160,000 more than in 2012.
ONE DEAD, ONE INJURED IN HAMPSHIRE CRASH
Baker, West Virginia resident Debbie Saul died and her 65-year old husband, Larry, was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment, following a single-vehicle crash Tuesday. The West Virginia State Police say Ms. Saul lost control of his pickup truck on Route 28, near Springfield; it ran off the road, hit some foliage, before coming to rest on the driver's side of the truck. Both Mr. and Mrs. Saul, were ejected out of the driver's side window. Neither was wearing a seatbelt. The investigation is continuing.
ALLEGED VICTIM CONSIDERING LAWSUIT
The victim who says she was molested by former LaVale MedExpress physician William Thomas Dando, says she is considering a lawsuit against him, and the State of Maryland Board of Physicians. The state medical board said last week that another female patient has made similar allegations, but has not pressed charges. The alleged victim was astonished when she learned Dando had served prison time for a 1987 Florida rape conviction. She is being represented by local attorney Kristen Bender. Dando's criminal trial is scheduled for September 3rd.
DEMOLITION PROJECT SLOWED BY DISPUTE
Two of nine contractors bidding on the demolition of the former Sacred Heart Hospital are disputing requirements in the board's minority hiring process. Two of those bidders have a problem the necessity of forms used in the process. One of the bidders asking for a waiver was the low bidder on the project; the waiver has been denied. The latest issue in the process will probably cause a delay of at least a month.
OLDTOWN MAN ARRESTED IN THEFTS
Fifty-year old Oldtown resident Donald Leo Fishel has been arrested in a series of thefts, including a lawn tractor from Naylor's Hardware on Industrial Boulevard. Fishel had sold a number of items to Scrap Brothers in Paw Paw, and the owner indentified Fishel as the one who had sold the items. Another lawn tractor, weed eaters, chain saws, lawnmowers and other pieces of equipment had been taken from several residences in the Oldtown area. Anyone who may have had a similar item stolen is asked to contact the C3I Unit at (301)-777-0326. The arrest capped an investigation among the Allegany, Morgan, and Hampshire County Sheriff's Offices and the C3I Unit. Additional charges are pending.
FUGITIVE ARRESTED IN RAWLINGS
Jacksonville, Florida resident Phillip Arnold Bennett, who had been wanted on assault and weapons charges there, was found and arrested Tuesday night in Rawlings. The Allegany County Sheriff's Office receive word he was in the area, and he was taken into custody around 10 p.m. Bennett was found hiding under a bed at a residence on Cool Breeze Drive. He is currently awaiting extradition back to Florida.
I-68 CLEANING AND PAINTING UPDATE
The State Highway Administration now says Salem Street will not be closed during the present phase of cleaning and painting the Crosstown Bridge. The project is part of a two-year bridge rehabilitation project; beginning this Monday, crews will work on the section of the bridge between Centre Street and the CSX railroad. An alternate staging area for equipment has been found to avoid the closure and detour of Salem Street.
RESIDENT HELD WITHOUT BOND IN ASSAULT INCIDENT
Cumberland resident Nathan Ray Frye is being held without bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following a Tuesday incident in the 400-block of Arch Street. Frye allegedly knocked an item off of a wall, that struck a female victim in the leg, causing an injury. Police also found a clear plastic baggie of suspected marijuana, black digital scales and a small container with marijuana residue. In all, Frye was charged with second-degree assault, possession of marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia.
GARRETT FIRE RULED ARSON
Arson has been ruled as the cause of a vacant dwelling on Cooper's Lane in Swanton. The fire was discovered by the property owner late Tuesday morning; it originated in the interior living space of the single-story home, causing about $10,000 in damage. Anyone with information is asked to contact the state fire marshal's office or the arson hotline at 800-492-7529.
CASH, MARIJUANA, PARAPHERNALIA SEIZED
Columbia, Maryland resident Simon Lee was charged, following a traffic stop on Interstate 68, east of Amish Road, Monday afternoon. Maryland State Police troopers found marijuana, marijuana hash, paraphernalia, and $2600 in cash, which were all seized. Lee was arrested and charged accordingly.
BUSINESS CENTER TO BE REHABILITATED
The Grand Central Business Center in Keyser, which has been closed since December 31st, may be rehabilitated through at $2,000 grant from the West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative group. The building is owned by First United Bank & Trust, buying it in 2011 when then-owner Kris Warner declared bankruptcy and the building was sold at auction. The city will take public input on what to do with the building, at a meeting next Wednesday at the Mineral County Health Department.
NEW LAW REQUIRES DEADBEAT PARENTS TO REPORT WINNINGS
A new law, which goes into effect October 1st will require those who owe child support and make money from gambling in the state, to report those winnings as part of their income. Frederick County Delegate Kelly Schulz, who sponsored the legislation, says some people claim they don't make enough money to pay child support, when they're earning a lot of money gambling.
LOW TURNOUT FOR PRIMARY PREDICTED
Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown has a nearly 2-1 lead over his closest challenger, Attorney General Doug Gansler in the gubernatorial race. On the Republican side, Larry Hogan also has a nearly 2-1 lead over Harford County Executive David Craig. Todd Eberly, professor of political science at St. Mary's College, says Marylanders should not expect a "massive turnout" for either the primary or general election in November. Eberly says he would be "impressed" if 20 per cent of registered voters would turn out for the Tuesday, June 24th primary. He adds it may very well be one of the lowest turnouts for any primary. Eberly observes that some people aren't aware the primary date was moved up; he also believes people don't perceive many differences among the Democratic candidates.
ONE DEAD, ONE INJURED IN HAMPSHIRE CRASH
Baker, West Virginia resident Debbie Saul died and her 65-year old husband, Larry, is at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, following a single-vehicle crash Tuesday. The West Virginia State Police say Mr. Saul lost control of his pickup truck; it ran off the road, hit some foliage, before coming to rest on the driver's side of the truck. Both Mr. and Mrs. Saul, were ejected out of the driver's side window. Neither was wearing a seatbelt. The investigation is continuing
ALLEGED VICTIM CONSIDERING LAWSUIT
The victim who says she was molested by former LaVale MedExpress physician William Thomas Dando, says she is considering a lawsuit against him, and the State of Maryland Board of Physicians. The state medical board said last week that another female patient has made similar allegations, but has not pressed charges. The alleged victim was astonished when she learned Dando had served prison time for a 1987 Florida rape conviction. She is being represented by local attorney Kristen Bender. Dando's criminal trial is scheduled for September 3rd.
DANDO PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO SEX OFFENSES
Former LaVale MedExpress physician Dr. William Thomas Dando has pleaded not guilty to the charges lodged against him, when he was indicted last month by a grand jury. He has requested a jury trial that has been set for September. Dando is accused of sexually assaulting a 41-year old woman during a medical examination at the MedExpress office. He had previously been convicted in Florida of sexually assaulting a woman at gunpoint, after breaking into her home. His medical license was suspended last week by the Maryland Board of Physicians.
SCHOOL SYSTEM RESTRUCTURES POSITIONS
Several administrative positions will be restructured in the Allegany County School System, in light of what is termed a "difficult" FY 2015 budget. Karen Bundy, Director of Secondary Education and Dennis Read, Energy Manager, will both retire at the end of June. Dr. Kim Green, currently the Chief Academic Officer will absorb Ms. Bundy's job responsibilities; Steve Lewis, Principal at Fort Hill, will take over all of Read's duties. Joe Carter will become the interim principal at Fort Hill for the coming school year, while Dave Smarik will shift into Carter's position as interim Math Supervisor.
GARRETT REIMBURSED FOR APRIL ACCIDENT
Garrett County has been reimbursed over $20,000 for costs associated with a tanker truck accident on April 16th. A tanker, carrying 10,000 gallons of liquid propane overturned in the Oakland Business District and traffic was detoured around the area. Reimbursements will go to the Garrett County Sheriff's Office, which had to relocate 45 inmates to the Allegany County Detention Center. The Garrett County Roads Department will also receive over $13,600 for its participation in the clean up.
AMTOWER RE-ELECTED AS KEYSER MAYOR
Incumbent Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower has been re-elected to that post, defeating his challenger, Council Member Herman Judy; he will lose his council seat on July 1st. Others elected to the council were incumbent Sonny Alt, Jennifer Bennett, and Eric Murphy.
CARPENDALE TROOPER ASSIGNED TO KEYSER
Trooper William Seth Weakley of Carpendale has been assigned to the Keyser Detachment of the West Virginia State Police. Trooper Weakley was a member of the 64th Cadet Class, which graduated last Friday at West Virginia University in Institute. He is a graduate of both Frankfort High School and Fairmont State University. He had formerly served as a deputy in the Mineral County Sheriff's Office, before becoming a state trooper.
WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT, ACTIVE WARRANT
Cumberland resident Amanda Yvonne Tallman was arrested following a traffic stop Monday evening on Elm Street. Ms. Tallman was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped; she had asked the officer to see if she had any warrants for her arrest, and she did. She resisted arrest by an Allegany County Sheriff's Deputy, and assaulted him. She was taken to the hospital for evaluation, and still faces numerous counts, for the assault on the officer, and assault charges stemming from an incident last Friday.
THREE RESIDENTS SENTENCED IN DRUNK DRIVING CASES
Three Garrett County residents were sentenced in connection with driving under the influence cases. Swanton resident Brandon William Robertson was sentenced to six months in the Garrett County Jail, and suspended all but two weekends. Sarah Elizabeth Coddington of Oakland, was also sentenced to six months in jail, but the sentence was suspended. And, Oakland resident Melissa Kay Morgan had her sentencing postponed; it will be scheduled in the near future.
ABSENTEE BALLOT DEADLINES SET
The deadline to request a 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election absentee ballot for mail delivery is next Tuesday, June 17th; the deadline for online delivery is Friday, June 20th. Any registered voter in Maryland may request and vote by absentee ballot. For more information on the Absentee Ballot option, contact the Allegany County Board of Elections at (301)-777-5931.
CARPENDALE TROOPER ASSIGNED TO KEYSER
Trooper William Seth Weakley of Carpendale has been assigned to the Keyser Detachment of the West Virginia State Police. Trooper Weakley was a member of the 64th Cadet Class, which graduated last Friday at West Virginia University in Institute. He is a graduate of both Frankfort High School and Fairmont State University. He had formerly served as a deputy in the Mineral County Sheriff's Office, before becoming a state trooper.
TRANSPORTATION STUDY COMMENTS BEING ACCEPTED
The Garrett County Board of Education contracted with School Bus Consultants to conduct a Transportation Study from the recommendation of the 2013-2014 Facility Study. While a recommendation was made to move students from the southern end of the county, north. Public comment is being accepted until next Monday at noon. Comments can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BRUCETON MILLS MAN ACCUSED OF VEHICLE ARSON
Bruceton Mills, West Virginia resident Jackson Wolfe is accused of setting his 2001 Lincoln Continental on fire. Firefighters arrived on the scene and found a gas can and matches next to the car. Wolfe allegedly refused to answer the door when Preston County sheriff's deputies arrived. He was served with the arson charges while being housed at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on charges related to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
DENTIST PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHARGE
A former Hagerstown dentist, Vaqar Choudry, has pleaded guilty to one of two federal charges lodged against him. Choudry entered a plea to one count of distribution of oxycodone. He is also being charged with agreeing to provide oxycodone in exchange for sex with a minor. That charge is still pending, and a trial has been scheduled for next month.
STATE V.A. MEDICAL CENTER HAS 81-DAY WAITING PERIOD
The average wait times for new patients seeking a primary care physician at the VA Maryland Health Care System is 81 days, the fourth longest at facilities examined in a nationwide federal audit. First District Congressman Andy Harris, a Navy veteran, says that statistic is unacceptable. Harris says this is a systemic problem in the V.A., and is the number one complaint of his constituents. The top priority is those who have severe disabilities, where the V.A. pays the full costs of their medical care. Harris suggests redirecting veterans out of the system.
SUNDAY TORNADO CONFIRMED IN MARTINSBURG
It is now known that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Berkeley County on Sunday. It touched down at about 8:41 p.m. on Sunday, and lifted off the front porch of a home. Dozens of trees were either toppled or snapped in the area. It was on the ground for a total of three minutes.
WEST VIRGINIA FIRES ETHICS COMMISSION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
While there was no explanation for the move, the West Virginia Ethics Commission has voted to fire Executive Director Joan Parker. She was fist hired as the commission's deputy counsel in 2006. Some members of the state Senate were critical of Parker and the commission earlier this year, when they said she lobbied on a bill lawmakers were considering.
HOME INVASION SUSPECT STILL BEING SOUGHT
The suspect in yesterday morning's home invasion robbery in the 1,000-block of Frederick Street is still being sought by police. The suspect, believed to be a black male, entered the home displaying a knife, and stole jewelry, prescription medication, about $400 in cash, a television, and a 2010 Nissan Sentra. The vehicle has Maryland registration 03267HT. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous, and anyone who sees the vehicle is asked to contact the nearest police department.
INFORMATION SOUGHT IN STABBING INCIDENT
Cumberland City Police are looking for information on a stabbing that happened early last Saturday morning. A 29-year old patient was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center with a stab wound. He told police he was assaulted while trying to break up an argument between a man and woman at Jane Frazier Village. He described the couple as a black male and white female with dark hair. There were no other eyewitnesses to the incident and police are asking, that if you have information, to contact them at (301)-777-1600, the C3I unit, or CrimeSolvers.
ALLIANCE, CEO NAMED FOR HOSPITALS
The Western Maryland Health System, Meritus Health, and the Frederick Regional Health System have announced Trivergent Health Alliance as the name of their regional health care alliance. The group has also announced that, following a national executive search, Raymond Grahe, senior vice-president and chief financial officer for Meritus Health from Hagerstown, has been named chief executive officer of Trivergent Health Alliance MSO, the management services organization that is a subsidiary of the alliance.
UNIVERSITIES UPDATING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY
The University System of Maryland is updating its policies on sexual misconduct, as the issue receives more scrutiny from the federal government. Frostburg State University was the only Maryland School that was recently named among 55 colleges and universities that are being investigated for their handling of sexual abuse complaints under Title IX. Each university in the USM will be required to develop its own policy by December 31st.
GARRETT RESIDENT PLACED ON PROBATION IN SEX OFFENSE CASE
Garrett County resident William Russell Lyons has been placed on probation, and must register as a sex offender, as the result of a 2007 case. Lyons pleaded guilty to several charges then, and was sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison; of that, all but seven years were suspended, and Lyons has served that time. He was accused of committing the rape and sodomy of his girlfriend, and had also assaulted a child at a residence on White Rock Road.
MAN AWAITING SENTENCING IN METH CASE
Thirty-four year old Friendsville resident Dana Russell Stallard will be sentenced next month on a number of meth-related charges. Stallard was acquitted of some of the charges; however, his bond is revoked and he remains in jail. He'll be sentenced on charges which include the manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of the drug, and possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.
THREE ARRESTED IN ASSAULT INCIDENT
Three women were arrested following an incident Sunday afternoon in the 200-block of Pennsylvania Avenue. The three were actively fighting over property, which then turned into a physical altercation. Arrested were Kisha Johnette O'Haver, 32-year old Virginia Lynn Welsh, and 18-year old Marcia Lee York. All were released on personal recognizance, following an initial appearance in District Court.
2014 GRADS HEADED TO 53 COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Students in the graduating class of 2014 have been accepted to 53 different colleges, universities and technical schools across the country. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Board of Education, says there was a total of 619 graduates in the class of 2014. Two-hundred seventy-six graduates received almost $7 million in merit, academic, athletic, or senatorial scholarships. One Mountain Ridge graduate will be traveling to New Jersey to attend school in the fall, according to Ms. Cross.
P.E. COMPLETING INSPECTIONS, MAINTENANCE
First Energy Corporation is completing inspections and conducting equipment maintenance across its Potomac Edison area in western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia that are intended to enhance service reliability. Helicopters are completing inspections on nearly 1400 miles of transmission line circuits, located in the P.E. area. Crews are also inspecting distribution circuits, including transformers, capacitors, reclosures and lightning arrestors to ensure the equipment is operational, and the lines are ready to perform efficiently when an increased demand arises.
DELEGATE VOWS CONTINUED FIGHT AGAINST TRANSGENDER BILL
Delegate Neil Parrott is vowing to continue the fight to repeal the recently signed bill that would end discrimination against transgender people. Parrott says that although his group, MDPetitions.com came up short in its effort to place the issue on the ballot, Parrott is hoping to get the bill repealed in the next session of the General Assembly. The bill takes effect October 1st.
ARSON FIRE AT POTOMAC HEIGHTS MANSION
The Maryland State Fire Marshal has determined a fire at a mansion, overlooking the cliffs in Potomac Heights, Maryland, was arson-related. The fire began in the three car garage of the home, which was at one time, valued at $1.75 million. It was formerly owned by Robert J. Freeman, who had been sentenced to 27 months for obstructing bankruptcy proceedings in 2012. The last known owners of the property is Seed Faith International Church.
SEARCH FOR W. VA. SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT IS ON
The search for a new Superintendent of Schools in West Virginia is continuing. An educational executive leadership search committee says it has had contact with 248 individuals regarding the position; after that, 64 candidates, representing 43 different states submitted completed applications. Current State Superintendent James Phares is retiring on June 30th.
POLICE SEEKING SUSPECT IN HOME INVASION
Cumberland City Police are investigating a home invasion, which took place this morning in the 1,000-block of Frederick Street at 4:30 a.m. The unknown suspect is believed to be a black male, wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt, bandana covering his face and gloves. He entered the home through an unlocked side door, displayed a knife and demanded valuables. He allegedly stole jewelry, prescription medication, about $400 in cash, a television and a 2010 Nissan Sentra. The vehicle is silver, and has Maryland registration, 03267HT. The suspect is armed and considered dangerous. Anyone who sees the vehicle is asked to contact the nearest police department.
COMMISSIONERS AWARD CONSTRUCTION BID
The Allegany County Commissioners have approved a bid by Belt Construction to build a 40,000-square foot industrial shell building at the Barton Business Park, at a cost of just over $3.5 million. In connection with the shell building, the state has agreed to grant the county just over 27-1/2 acres of land in the park, at a cost of just over $1.1 million. It is hoped that both decisions will help improve the marketability of the Barton Business Park.
TWO JUVENILES CHARGED IN SOUTH PENN INCIDENT
Two 17-year old juveniles were charged in connection with an incident at the South Penn School last night, around 11 p.m. Witnesses called police when they saw the two on the roof of the school. The Cumberland Fire Department also responded, so police could use the ladder to access the roof. Both a member of the Board of Education and an employee of the school were also on the scene to assess any problems, but found none. The two were charged with attempted fourth-degree burglary and trespassing on school property. They were released to family members, pending action in juvenile court.
STOLEN VEHICLE RECOVERED IN CUMBERLAND
With the help of Onstar, the Cumberland City Police recovered a car, stolen from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and two people are in jail. Cumberland resident Joseph Lamb and 20-year old Harrisburg resident Jasmin Urrutia were in the car, when it was located on Grand Avenue, near Fourth Street. Officers also found marijuana and a .38-caliber handgun in the car. Lamb is being held on a $175,000 bond, while Urrutia's bond was set at $30,000. Additional charges are pending in the state of Pennsylvania for the motor vehicle theft and burglary.
RAIL TRAIL EXPANSION ANNOUNCED
The Western Maryland Rail Trail will see an addition of 3-1/2 miles by the summer of 2016. The new section will extend the path of the trail, near Sideling Hill Creek To Little Orleans, and expand the overall mileage of the trail to 24. The project is expected to cost $4.5 million, and will be advertised this fall.
EARLY VOTING BEGINS THIS WEEK
Early voting in the 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election begins this Thursday, and runs through Thursday, June 19th. Those who reside in Allegany County can vote at the early voting center, located at the Allegany County Office Complex on Kelly Road. On Election Day, various polling places will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 10 p.m.
ROCKY GAP WATER MEETING SET
A meeting on water facilities that was to have been done before the Rocky Gap casino opened, has been scheduled for later this month. Clean and plentiful water is needed for the resort, and even more so, now that the casino has been open for over a year. Among the topics of discussion for the meeting will be responsibility for funding the project.
MAN ARRESTED ON OUTSTANDING WARRANT
Cumberland resident Samuel Edward Crock was arrested early Saturday morning, following a disturbance on Linden Street. Crock, who had originally provided police with a false name, was told he could leave. However, it was discovered later he was wanted on an outstanding warrant. He was taken into custody and held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $6,000 bond.
BRIDGE REPLACEMENT IN GARRETT COUNTY
Construction starts on June 18th, to replace the U.S. Route 219 Bridge over Cherry Creek, about five miles south of Oakland. During construction, the bridge will be closed to traffic and a detour will direct motorists around the closure. The new, $2 million bridge will be open to traffic in late summer or early fall of this year.
COMMISSIONERS MEETING SET FOR OLDTOWN
The Allegany County Commissioners will hold their weekly public business meeting in Oldtown on Thursday, June 26th at 5:00 p.m., at the Oldtown Volunteer Fire Department. Since being elected, the Commissioners have held meetings in various communities in the county, including Barton, Flintstone, Frostburg, Lonaconing, Luke and Westernport.
BEDFORD ROAD WATER PROJECTS MEETING SET
The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting on upcoming water projects in the Bedford Road area. The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 26th at 7 p.m. at the Bedford Road Volunteer Fire Department. Residents of the area are encouraged to attend, as the county will be gauge interest in water projects and to set priorities of the multiple project areas.
POLICE SEARCH FOR ELDERLY MAN
Crews from Fayette and Somerset counties have been searching the area of the Ramcat parking area of Ohiopyle State Park, for an elderly man who was last seen walking on the Allegheny Passage Trail toward Connellsville. The man was last seen around 6:30 p.m. last Tuesday.
MAN SENTENCED FOR GIRLFRIEND'S MURDER
Preston County resident Denny Ervin will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, Leslie Layman. Additionally, Ervin was sentenced to five additional years for the wanton endangerment of Ms. Layman's children the night of her death. Ervin has 30 days to file an appeal, and will ask either for acquittal or a new trial.
VERONA, PA. MAN DIES IN WASHINGTON COUNTY ACCIDENT
Verona, Pennsylvania resident Robert Donald Sadler died in a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 70, eastbound Saturday morning. Sadler's vehicle left the westbound lanes, hit the median, then continued across the center median, and then both eastbound lanes of I-70, before coming to rest among trees and a fens on the right shoulder of the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene, while passenger Elaine Marie Sadler was taken to Meritus Medical Center for observation. the slow lane of Interstate 70 eastbound was closed for about 3-1/2 hours, reopening at about 2:30 p.m.
COMPANIES CONSIDERING POWER RATE INCREASE
Both Potomac Edison and Monongahela Power are considering a base rate increase, which will change the average PE customer's bill from $92 per month to about $106 per month. Factors in the proposed increase are a $48 million vegetation management project and covering the costs of monthly meter readings. There will be no changes on any bills, until an increase is authorized by the West Virginia Public Service Commission.
WEST VIRGINIA EXAMINES NEW POLLUTION RULES
West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin says that not a single coal-fired power plant in his state would be legal under the proposed EPA rules announced last week. The Mountain State says it will fight the proposals, and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey adds that removing a source of energy, such as coal, would have a destabilizing effect on the price of other energy sources. His office is examining the proposal closely, and he can foresee West Virginia and other state litigating the proposal, if the plan is put into effect. And, Morrissey adds it would be an aggressive fight to overturn the proposal, as it is written in its present form.
PHYSICIAN'S LICENSE SUSPENDED; MED CHI CONSIDERS BACKGROUND CHECKS
The Maryland Physician's Licensing Board, Med Chi, may consider, sooner than later, background checks for physicians applying for a medical license in the state. Actions are being prompted by the late-May indictment of Dr. William Thomas Dando, a physician at the LaVale MedExpress. Dando had previously been convicted of breaking into a woman's home and raping her at gunpoint in Florida in the 1980's; a second female has claimed that Dando molested her at MedExpress. He disclosed on his 1996 Maryland application that he had been previously incarcerated, but did not specify the crime. The Maryland Board of Physicians announced yesterday that Dando's license has been suspended. Maryland is one of 13 states that did not conduct background checks on physicians, as of September, 2013.
FIRE DEPARTMENT MEMBER SENTENCED
Corriganville resident Douglas Kiser-a member and trustee of the fire department there-was sentenced to three years in prison, with 18 months suspended. Kiser had been accused of stealing $5,000 in cash and gift cards from the safe room, and had staged the theft to look like a burglary. When released, Kiser will be placed on supervised probation for two years, and has been ordered to remain off the Corriganville Fire Department's property.
COMMISSIONERS ADOPT $120.3 MILLION BUDGET
The Allegany County Commissioners have adopted an over $120 million operating and capital budget for Fiscal Year 2015; the budget is $525,000 less than last year's budget, and addresses what they call "fiscal realities." The county, as did others across the state, came up short on Highway Revenue User Funds. A statement read by the commissioners noted that the state of Maryland retained a portion of those funds to be used for new mass transit systems in areas other than Allegany County.
DETOUR IN EFFECT, BEGINNING TOMORROW
The Maryland State Highway Administration continues its work below the Interstate 68 Crosstown Bridge, and beginning tomorrow, Salem Street will be closed to traffic for about three months. Salem Street connects Queen City Drive to South Centre Street and the on-ramp to westbound Interstate 68. The I-68 rehabilitation project should be finished early next year.
DELEGATES INTRODUCE COAL LEGISLATION
Mineral County Delegate Gary Howell is among a group of representatives who have introduced legislation ahead of last week's EPA regulations, regarding coal-fired power plant emissions. The Intrastate Coal and Use Act is being introduced, along with an effort to repeal West Virginia's Cap and Trade bill. The feeling among the delegates is that elected officials are in a better position to make decisions for West Virginia than unelected Washington bureaucrats.
COUNTY RESIDENT HAS RESTITUTION HEARING
Allegany County resident Curtis Pietro, formerly of Washington County, received a hearing in the Hub City this week, on charges he embezzled $800,000 from his former employer, Glessner Alarm and Communications. Pietro was the former chief financial officer for the company, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to felony theft scheme charges, as well as forgery and uttering counts. Pietro was not represented by counsel at the hearing, but rather wanted to begin making restitution to the company.
FIVE AREA RESIDENTS ARRESTED IN SEPARATE CASES
Five Keyser residents have been arrested in connection with several breaking and entering and theft cases. Among those taken into custody include Thomas Wright, who was arrested in connection with the burglary of a private residents on Main Street. Others arrested include Amanda Lewis and Jesse Cote; in the same case, Wiley Ford resident Jonathan R. Cook was arrested. And, Cumberland resident Douglas Black was arrested in connection with the alleged theft of newspapers at the Keyser Mall. He is also wanted in Pennsylvania, but that state has declined to extradite him.
OAKLAND RESIDENT COMMEMORATES D-DAY
Today is the 70th anniversary of the invasion of France, or D-Day. Oakland resident George Perrine was one of thirty men selected from over 1200 applicants to return to Normandy Beach for the celebrations commemorating the liberation of France. He and his group is traveling with The Greatest Generation Foundation, based in Denver, Colorado. Brian Williams, of NBC News and a film crew are traveling with the veterans, and will be airing a one-hour special this evening.
BISHOP WALSH TO HOLD ORIENTATION
Bishop Walsh School will hold a special kindergarten orientation on Monday, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Parents and children are invited to visit the classroom to learn about a typical kindergarten day at BW. For more information, contact the school at (301)-724-5360.
INVESTIGATORS WORKING TO IDENTIFY REMAINS
Investigators in Hagerstown are asking for the public's help in identifying skeletal remains found last month in the Marsh Run area. It is known the remains are those of a white male, approximately 6 feet in height. They are turning to the National Crime Information Center for help, and are also running DNA samples in other identification software.
PAPER COMPANY EXPANDING IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
National Golden Tissue of Hagerstown will be expanding next year, and is expected to hire about 120 new employees. Washington County's Commissioners have approved a $300,000 loan for the company, which will enable it to move into a new facility on Longmeadow Road. The space will be needed, as the company plans to open a storefront to sell their line of products to the community at a discounted price.
VETERANS MENTOR MARYLAND KIDS ON EDUCATION, HEALTH
A group of retired military leaders says it's a matter of national security to improve the health and education of children. "Mission: Readiness" is a group of some 400 retired generals, admirals and senior military leaders, including retired Brigadier General Denny Schulstad. Schulstad says one way to reverse the trend and to help get kids moving toward a healthier lifestyle is to promote and support programs that help provide them with safe routes to school.
ACCUSED KILLER HEADED TO ADULT PRISON
Rachel Shoaf, who has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Star City teenager Skylar Neese, will spend her 30-year prison sentence in an adult prison. Ms. Shoaf will turn 18 next Tuesday, but was sent back to a juvenile facility until she turned 18. She will be sent to Lakin Prison for women in Mason County sometime after July 25th; co-defendant Sheila Eddy is already a prisoner there, having pleaded guilty to first degree murder with mercy.
DRUG STORE PAYS SETTLEMENT TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Judy's Drug Store in Petersburg has paid $2 million to end a federal investigation into its operation. The drug store was accused of repeatedly filling prescriptions for such drugs as oxycodone and hydromorphone, not written for legitimate purposes. The investigation was prompted after a Hardy County physician wrote many of the illegitimate prescriptions, which were, according to the investigation, improperly filled by Judy's Drug Store.
ELLERSLIE MAN DIES IN BEDFORD COUNTY JAIL
Ellerslie resident Mark Cook died Tuesday in the Bedford County Jail, and Pennsylvania State Police are investigating. Cook, who had been arrested in April for charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, was in the recreation yard with other inmates. He experienced breathing difficulties, and asked for medical help. He was later pronounced dead at the jail, by the Bedford County Coroner.
KEYSER BOOSTER GROUP TO BE AUDITED
The Mineral County Board of Education wants to make sure that the money being given to the Keyser High School Athletic Boosters is "going into the right direction." The board is requesting documentation that of every fundraiser held, that 25 per cent goes to Keyser High principal Charles Wimer, 15 per cent to the athletic complex, and 10 per cent goes to the boosters. Since the board approved a loan agreement for the athletic facility in 2008, it hasn't been able to meet the annual payment of about $270,000.
THREE FROM BEDFORD COUNTY FACE DRUG COUNTS
Three residents of Bedford County have been implicated in a drug dealing operation in an around Blair County, Pennsylvania. Authorities say Kelsi Bergmann of Saxton, along with Chelsi Frye and Felicia Risbon are among 20 people arrested for allegedly selling, heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs. The arrests followed a year-long investigation, with information gathered from the alleged street-level dealers used to target mid-to-upper level drug dealers.
BEDFORD MAN HURT IN CRASH
Bedford County resident Nick Ketterman was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, following a single-vehicle crash on Route 144 near the Allegany Aggregates quarry. His car traveled out of control, overturned, and came to rest in the middle of the Roadway. The crash happened about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, and he was taken to the hospital by Flintstone Volunteer Fire Department ambulance.
MOTORCYCLIST INJURED IN PURSUIT
A man on a motorcycle, suffered injuries, and was taken to Conemaugh Hospital, following a police pursuit in Bedford County. John Mowry was trying to flee from police on Route 30 in West Provident Township, when he lost control, and crashed on French Creek Road. He will face charges such as fleeing or attempting to elude police.
POLICE INVESTIGATE BREAKING AND ENTERING
Cumberland City Police are investigating a breaking and entering incident in the 1600-block of Ford Avenue, which was reported Tuesday morning. An employee discovered someone had forced entry into the business, stole cash, along with various hand and power tools. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police or CrimeSolvers.
COUNTY SCHEDULES HYDRANT FLUSHING
Allegany County has scheduled fire hydrant flushing this month. Next week, the Public Works Division will be in the Bowling Green, Cash Valley, Corriganville and Ellerslie areas. The week of June 16th will see work being done in Bowman's Addition, Mexico Farms, and the North Branch Industrial Park. For the rest of June, hydrant flushing will take place in the Cresaptown, Messick Road, Shade's Lane and Williams Road areas. Residents are reminded to run water for several minutes until it is clear, before using it.
PARK POOL OPENING SATURDAY
The Constitution Park Pool will open Saturday, for its 75th year of operation. The pool will close next Monday and Tuesday, and will reopen on June 11th, the final day of school for the 2013-2014 year. It will continue then to be open through Labor Day.
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY INVESTIGATED
The McHenry detachment of the Maryland State Police is investigating a destruction of property incident in the 500-block of Beckman's Peninsula. A person or persons caused damage to the grinder pump of the Dalrymple residence, ultimately causing damage to the home. The incident happened sometime between early April and May 30th. Anyone with information is asked to contact the McHenry barrack at (301)-387-1101.
EQUIPMENT DAMAGED AT SOMERSET BUSINESS
Shaffer Block and Concrete Products in Somerset County sustained damage to several high tech computer screens, since March 30th. A person or persons allegedly shot pullets at the screens; and, the window of a front-end loader was also shot. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.
GARRETT SCHEDULES RABIES CLINICS
The Garrett County Health Department has scheduled the second in a series of low cost rabies clinics, set for next week. On Monday, a clinic will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Deer Park Fire Hall. The Bittinger Fire Hall will hold a clinic on Tuesday from 5 to 6 p.m. And, on Wednesday, Garrett College will host a clinic from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Maintenance Bay of the garage.
FLINTSTONE PARENT RECOGNIZED
A Flintsone parent and volunteer has been recognized by the Parent Involvement Matters Program. Dr. Matthew Crawford was the top award winner in the 2014 Maryland Parent Involvement Matters Program. Ms. Cross says Crawford was selected from a group of five state finalists.
OAKLAND RESIDENT COMMEMORATES D-DAY
Tomorrow is the 70th anniversary of the invasion of France, or D-Day. Oakland resident George Perrine was one of thirty men selected from over 1200 applicants to return for the celebrations commemorating the liberation of France. He and his group is traveling with The Greatest Generation Foundation, based in Denver, Colorado. Brian Williams, of NBC News and a film crew are traveling with the veterans, and will be airing a one-hour special tomorrow evening.
MAN CHARGED WITH SEX OFFENSES
Richard Alan Blank of LaVale is being charged with eight counts of third-degree sex offense, eight counts of sexual abuse of a minor and related charges. Blank, 43, is accused of an ongoing sexual relationship with a 15-year old female victim. He is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on a half-million dollars bond, pending his next court appearance, and authorities say the investigation is continuing and additional charges are anticipated.
GARRETT COUNTY MAN ARRESTED IN DOMESTIC INCIDENT
Garrett County resident Donald Guy has been arrested, and a female victim was taken to the hospital for treatment, following a domestic assault complaint on the Wilhelm Farm Road. He was charged with first and second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property, resisting arrest and second-degree escape. Guy was arrested at the scene and briefly escaped, before being taken into custody. He is being held without bond.
FROSTBURG ELECTIONS HELD
The city of Frostburg held its municipal election yesterday, and Mayor Robert Flanigan was re-elected with 357 votes of the total 446 cast. Donald Carter will once again serve as Finance Commissioner. Others elected were Walter "Bill" Mackay, as Commissioner of Public Safety; Woody Getz will serve as Commissioner of Public Works; and, Brian Alderton received a total of 354 votes for Commissioner of Water, Parks and Recreation.
BOARD CONSIDERING DRASTIC BUDGET CUTS
The Allegany County Board of Education met for three hours yesterday, to consider $3.4 million in budget cuts, due to a dwindling general fund, and funding below optimum levels. The measures range from not filling vacated positions, cutting student programs, and adding a $25 athletic participation fee to offset rising transportation costs. The Board had asked for a three per cent funding increase from the Allegany County Commissioners; however, the Commissioners did not approve the increase, and cut $313,000 from the Fiscal Year5 2015 budget.
FROSTBURG MAN ARRESTED ON THEFT CHARGES
Frostburg resident Daniel Rhyan Gomer has been charged with eight counts of theft, with two being felony counts. Gomer was identified, through video surveillance, stealing a credit/debit card at the Frostburg Sheetz, then using it to buy $100 worth of gas at the Valero station; he also used the card in an attempt to buy a membership, valued at $119.95, to a private organization. He has confessed to the crime and was released, pending trial.
SOMERSET MAN SAYS SHOOTING WAS AN "ACCIDENT"
Somerset County resident Denver Blough says the shooting death of his pregnant girlfriend was an "accident." Doctors delivered the unborn child prematurely, and the baby is now fighting for her life. Blough remains in the Somerset County Jail, accused in the first-degree murder of 23-year old Caressa Kovalcik.
PIEMONT OFFICIALLY ENDS TRASH SERVICE
The city of Piedmont is officially out of the trash business, and residents there will have to make their own arrangements for garbage collection by July 1st. It was pointed out that Piedmont is the only community in Mineral County that has garbage collection, and the costs to continue to operate the garbage truck were "not feasible."
CUMBERLAND MAN ACCUSED OF THEFT, POSSESSION OF CDS
Cumberland resident James Rossell is accused of not only stealing another person's cell phone, but also of CDS possession. He was found walking on Canal Street, but fled toward the bridges that lead to Ridgeley. He was also seen dropping a plastic baggie into Wills Creek. The baggie was recovered. He was charged, received a hearing in District Court, and was later released on personal recognizance.
PENNSYLVANIA MEN ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION
McDonald, Pennsylvania residents Thomas Guyaux and Robedrt Corrick were arrested by troopers from the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police in Friendsville, and charged with marijuana possession and possession of CDS paraphernalia. The truck in which they were riding, was stopped for traffic violations.
ATTORNEY GENERAL COMMENTS ON EPA DIRECTIVE
While Governor Martin O'Malley has praised a new federal plan for reducing pollutants blamed for global warming, West Virginia-to say the least-is not "on board" with the plan, which targets coal-fired power plant carbon dioxide emissions. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey says the ruling, delivered Monday, is very "disturbing," and called it an "unprecedented federal overreach in the state."Attorney General Morrissey says that the federal effort would have a negative effect on jobs, and could lead to skyrocketing electricity bills...and, he says, that's a problem.If adopted, the federal plan for reducing emissions will have a negative effect across the country. He says it will particularly affect states which rely on coal for 50 per cent or more of their energy input.
RATE INCREASE REQUESTED FOR PINTO, HIGHLAND ESTATES AREAS
An increase in the water and sewer rate for the Pinto and Highlands Estates areas of the county is being sought by Maryland Water Services, Incorporated. The Maryland Public Service Commission will examine the request for an increase of just over 29 per cent for the 950 customers in Pinto, and the 40 in Highland Estates.
FIRE MARSHAL INVESTIGATES "EXPLOSIVE DEVICE"
The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating an incident where an "explosive device" was thrown at a residence on Wheeling Avenue in Mountain Lake Park yesterday morning. The device exploded, but there were no injuries. The incident took place around 1 a.m. yesterday, and the Fire Marshal's Office is continuing its investigation.
MAN HELD FOLLOWING ASSAULT INCIDENT
Frostburg resident Jeffrey Ward is being held on $3500 bond, following an assault incident Sunday afternoon in the vicinity of Harrison Street. Ward is accused of assaulting a woman in the car, and the victim jumped from a moving vehicle, after she asked Ward to stop the car. Ward was charged with second-degree assault, and received a hearing in District Court.
MAN CHARGED WITH FIRST, SECOND-DEGREE ASSAULT
Cumberland resident Michael Harper is being held on $7,000 bond, following an assault incident Sunday night in the 300-block of Furnace Street. Harper is accused of severely beating another person, who was found lying on a piece of furniture. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries, and Harper was charged with first and second-degree assault, during an initial appearance in District Court.
MAN HELD ON DRUG COUNTS, OUTSTANDING WARRANTS
Indiana resident Joseph Deaton was charged with heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia, following a traffic stop on I-68 in Grantsville. It was also discovered that Deaton was wanted in Indiana on outstanding warrants. He was held at the Garrett County Detention Center, awaiting extradition to his home state on the outstanding warrants.
PAIR ARRESTED NEAR OAKLAND
A Virginia couple was arrested on drug charges Saturday on Route 39, east of Oakland. Richmond resident Travis Hunton was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine and marijuana, and other drug paraphernalia. A passenger in the car, Lyndsay Eva George of Chester, Virginia was charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, and released. Hunton received a bond hearing in Garrett County District Court.
SOMERSET MAN ACCUSED OF STEALING FROM EMPLOYER
Somerset resident Robert Taylor is due in court late next month on charges of theft and receiving stolen property from Key Way Auto in Somerset County. Taylor is accused of stealing approximately $38,000 from the business. His initial appearance has been set for July 29th.
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY INCIDENTS INVESTIGATED
The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating two destruction of property incidents from this past weekend. In the first one, reported Saturday, someone drove a vehicle through the lawn of the Wilhelm Flats Recreational Area on Avilton-Lonaconing Road, causing damage. In the second, a person broke a large window at the Route 40 Elementary School main entrance. If you have information on either incident, contact the McHenry Barrack at (301)-387-1101.
TGCC MEETS THURSDAY AT POTOMAC STATE
The Greater Cumberland Committee will hold its next meeting on Thursday at Potomac State College of West Virginia University in Keyser. The meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., and the featured speaker will be Dr. Elizabeth Morgan, former Superintendent of the Year and advisor to America's Promise Alliance. Dr. Morgan was the former superintendent of the Washington County Public School System, and has been singled out as one of Maryland's "Top 100 Women."
REPEAL OF TRANSGENDER BILL FALLS SHORT
Those who oppose the so-called "transgender bill" in Maryland have conceded they are about 1,000 signatures short of having it placed on the November ballot. The bill bans discrimination against transgender people on matters relating to housing, employment, credit and the use of public accommodations. Opponents claimed the bill would enable predators posing as transgender people to enter opposite sex restrooms, and wanted the issue put to a vote.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAW TAKES EFFECT
Maryland's medical marijuana law went into effect on Sunday, but it may be some time, before it is put into practice. Dr. Paul Davies, the chair of the state's Medical Marijuana Commission, says they are working to get the regulations completed by September 15th; the regulatory process may take another 6 months to implement. Dr. Davies says the commission has heard from many growers who are interested in participating. The industry itself may not be "up and running" until the end of next year, or the beginning of 2016.
MAN SHOOTS HIMSELF MID-TRIAL
A Berkeley County man, Tracy Orr, who was on trial for fleeing from police, shot himself at his home late last week; he is currently in stable condition at the Winchester Medical Center. Orr was found with a bullet wound to the head, and the judge was forced to declare a mistrial. Orr also faces separate charges of arson and fraud in an indictment returned last week.
DHHR ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO WIC PROGRAM
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Office has announced changes for the special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, expanding access to fruits and vegetables, who grains and low-fat dairy. The guidelines provide for a $2 increase in the monthly amount for fruits and vegetables, from $6 to $8.
FATAL ACCIDENT IN GARRETT COUNTY
Eighteen-year old Charles Allen Frazee of Oakland died in a single-vehicle accident yesterday morning on Black Oak Drive in Oakland. Frazee lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree. He was pronounced dead at Garrett Memorial Hospital, and the accident remains under investigation.
PRESTON COUNTY MURDER-SUICIDE
Two people are dead, after 52-year old Paul Edward Sisler of Aurora, West Virginia shot his ex-wife, Reda, and then turned the gun on himself. The shootings happened around 4:30 a.m., Saturday morning, on Route 50, near Aurora.
WOMAN SHOT TO DEATH IN SOMERSET COUNTY
Twenty-three year old Caressa Kovalcik was killed in a shooting in Somerset County Saturday night. The father of her 11-month old son, Denver Blough was arrested and charged with criminal homicide, attempted criminal homicide, and several other charges. He is being held in the Somerset County jail, without bond.
ICE CREAM VENDOR SUFFERS HEAD INJURIES
Greene Street was closed for about 30-minutes on Friday afternoon, following an accident, involving "Mister Softee" ice cream truck driver, 78-year old Kenneth Rapson. Rapson had apparently fallen out of the truck in the area of Greene and Lee Streets. The truck continued on, and hit a car, occupied by Gerald Goldstein. Rapson was taken to the hospital for treatment of head injuries, and was released over the weekend.
MORGANTOWN MAN ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION
Twenty-eight year old Jamel Koreen Downing of Morgantown was arrested Saturday evening, along Interstate 68, west of the 12-mile marker. Downing was originally arrested for traffic violations, but was found to be in possession of marijuana. He was charged on a criminal citation, and later released.
WESTERNPORT ELECTIONS HELD
Westernport held its municipal election last week, and the newly-elected representatives will be sworn in this evening at the city building. J. Daniel Laffey was re-elected as Mayor, while C. Robert Lupton was re-elected as commissioner. Fred Pritts was also elected as commissioner. The swearing in ceremony will be held at 7 p.m., and a council meeting is set for tomorrow evening, also at 7 p.m.
FROSTBURG STATE TO OFFER M.S.N. DEGREE
Frostburg State University will begin offering an online Master of Science in Nursing degree, beginning with the fall, 2014 semester. The program will offer two options, Nursing Administration and Nursing Education. Prospective students would be registered nurses who have earned a bachelor's degree. For more information on the program, call (301)-687-4141 or visit "www.frostburg.edu/nursing."
BEL AIR ELEMENTARY WINS RECYCLING CONTEST
Bel Air Elementary School has won first place in the Allegany County Phonebook Recycling Campaign, which was held in all public schools during the month of April. While a total of 9,469 phonebooks were collected, Bel Air collected just over 1,000 of that number. Cresaptown Elementary took second place, and Northeast Elementary was third.
BUSINESS WINS TRAVEL ADVISOR AWARD
Curtis' Famous Weiners, in downtown Cumberland, has been awarded a 2014 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor Travelers. A letter, received by Curtis', noted that the award was earned on the quality of reviews and opinions offered to Travel Advisor over the past year. The Cumberland tradition consistently earned outstanding feedback from Trip Advisor travelers.
SOUTH END STREET FAIR SET FOR SATURDAY
The South End Street Fair will be held this Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m., on Virginia Avenue, between First and Second Streets. There'll be games, crafts, entertainment, and food. In addition, children can receive new shoes donated by Skechers, while supplies last. Proceeds will benefit the South Cumberland Business and Civic Assocation's Christmas Toy Drive. That portion of Virginia Avenue will be closed during the Street Fair on Saturday.
CANDIDATES COMMIT TO RAISING TOBACCO TAX
Over 200 candidates for the House of Delegates and Maryland Senate have signed a pledge to vote to increase the state's cigarette tax by one dollar, from $2 to $3 per pack. Dr. Brian Avin, the immediate past president of Med-Chi, says the cost of health care for smokers and other tobacco users is $2 billion per year. The revenues generated from the increased tax, will be used for tobacco cessation programs, according to Avin. Avin says past tobacco tax increases have decreased smoking in juveniles and adults.
THIRD PERSON CHARGED IN MAUSOLEUM BREAK-INS
A third person has been charged in connection with breaking into a Martinsburg Cemetery break in last year. Thirty-two year old Erick Wayne Arthur of Bunker Hill was charged with 23 counts of disinterment of a body, and one conspiracy count. Co-defendants David Bowers of Hedgesville, and Richard Ruffner of Martinsburg have pleaded guilty to the same charges, and will be sentenced in mid-July. The three are accused of opening caskets, removing jewelry from the bodies, and taking it to a "cash for gold" business, to exchange it for money.
FOOD STAMP USE ON THE RISE IN WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia is one of seven states to see an increase in the number of residents receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or "SNAP." The Food and Research Action Center says just over 362,000 residents received benefits in February, up nearly 2.5 from January, and 3.5 per cent from February of last year. Other states seeing increases in February of this year, include Maryland, Nevada, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania.
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