TWO HOUSING AUTHORITY EMPLOYEES CHARGED
Two employees of the Cumberland Housing Authority have been charged with felony theft by the C3I unit. Fifty-eight year old Leroy Francis Bennett of Oldtown and 50-year old William Joseph Beechie of Frostburg are charged with stealing two large flat screen televisions, from a Klotz Mill apartment, after the tenant had passed away. Procedure requires that the next of kin be notified in order to make arrangements concerning property left behind. The two were charged and released pending their next scheduled court appearances.
DEAL REACHED WITH FIREFIGHTERS
Fire Fighters Local 1715 and the city of Cumberland have reached a tentative deal on a new contract. The agreement caps more than a year of negotiations, and was reached after the two parties met with a federal mediator over the past several months. While details were not made public, the union will meet on August 18th to discuss the potential new deal.
RAILROADS SUE M.D.E. OVER DISCLOSURES
Both CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway have filed suit against the Maryland Department of the Environment, over a May ruling which requires the disclosure of crude oil, being transported through the state. There have been several rail accidents involving the fuel, but the railroads maintain the release of that information would pose a security threat and compromise commercially sensitive information. For its part, the state will withhold the records until a ruling from the courts is made.
BOARD WANTS CRIMINAL CHECKS FOR DOCTORS
The Maryland Board of Physicians says it is seeking the authority to conduct criminal investigations for medical license applicants in the state of Maryland. The move comes after Dr. William Dando of Allegany County was convicted, and served time in prison for raping a woman at gunpoint in Florida in 1987. Details of his past came to light in May, when he was charged with molesting a patient at a walk-in clinic in LaVale.
AUTHORITY ADDRESSES AUTOCROSS AGAIN
The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority will send a letter to Maryland State Senator George Edwards, to clarify its position on the National Autocross Race. Interim Chairman Leon Hinkle presented a letter this week that stated, in part, that "after careful review, the decision was not to prohibit the event, but to not permit the event in the aircraft operational area of the airport." The Federal Aviation Administration has stated that hosting such an event may threaten funding for a new runway project at the facility.
NOTICE ISSUED FROM FOUNTAIN PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT
There was an 8-inch water line break in the area of Route 46 yesterday, disrupting service from Windy Hill Drive to the end of the line on Route 46. This includes all of the Fountainhead subdivision. A "Boil Water" notice has been issued for that area; the Fountain Public Service District is working to repair the break; residents will be notified when the advisory is lifted.
TWO ARRESTED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION
Two women were arrested in separate incidents, for probation violations. In the first, 31-year old Elizabeth Mae Price was taken into custody at Jane Frazier Village around 2 a.m. yesterday. She was held on $500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. In the second, 30-year old Taryn Denise Hartley was arrested, also for a probation violation. She was held in the Allegany County Detention Center on a $57.50 bond.
VANDALS OPEN HYDRANT IN BEDFORD
Vandals hit an area of the Bedford County Business Park, opening a fire hydrant, releasing about 200,000 gallons of water. The hydrant was opened for about three hours, before it was noticed by a person who lives near the park. Water levels in the tank had dropped about two-and-one-half feet, which jeopardized water pressure. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police in Bedford.
LIBRARY RENOVATIONS PLANNED
Renovations at the South Cumberland Library could begin as soon as next year, thanks to a combination of state and county funding. Changes to make the library more computer friendly, along with making it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act are two major renovations planned. The building's roof was recently replaced, and the work was finished last month.
FATAL VEHICLE COLLISION IN HAGERSTOWN
A 23-year old Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania man, Zachery Swope, was involved in a fatal collision with a pedestrian in westbound Route 40 early this morning. Swope had been driving along the road, when he hit 32-year old Robert Matthew Owen of Hagerstown, who was walking in the right turn lane of the road. Owen was taken to Meritus Medical Center and later pronounced dead. The initial investigation is being conducted by State Police. The road was closed for about three hours.
HAGERSTOWN ADDS MORE FLIGHTS
Beginning in December, Allegiant Airlines in Hagerstown will be flying to Orlando more than ten times per month, more than the current twice a week schedule. Between December 15th and January 1st, Allegiant will fly to Orlando ten times alone. And, beginning in January, a spokesperson for the airport says there will be even more bigger and better changes.
"GREEN TIMES THREE" GENERATES MILLIONS IN GRANTS
"Greening the Streets" makes communities more attractive, and new plants and grasses along roads and waterways also help filter out contaminants that eventually end up in the Chesapeake Bay. Three-point-seven million dollars are on the way to local non-profits, towns and schools to carry out projects for the "Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns" partnership. The Chesapeake Bay Trust, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the EPA announced funding recently. EPA Administrator Shawn Garvin comments. Garvin says the projects carry value beyond each neighborhood.
BEDFORD TEEN FATALLY INJURED
Sixteen-year old Bedford resident Colton Warren Tew was killed in a single-vehicle crash yesterday morning in Cumberland Valley Township. He failed to negotiate a right-hand curve on White Church Lane, and hit a tree alongside the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
POTOMAC CENTER HEARING SET AUGUST 26TH
There will be a hearing in Hampshire County Circuit Court on August 26th, regarding alleged abuse against a Potomac Center resident. The suit has been filed on behalf of "R.M," a 17-year old former resident, and names the Potomac Center and 12 employees there. The case is not a single-action case, but rather a class action case with "R.M." serving as a representative of all the victims of the abuse and neglect that is alleged at the Potomac Center.
BALTIMORE DRUG DEALER SENTENCED
Baltimore resident Daniel McQueen has been sentenced on charges of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and second-degree assault. Police were called to a Cumberland residence, where evidence of drug trafficking was seen; McQueen also assaulted a Cumberland City Police officer at the home. In total, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison-12 years on the drug charge; for the assault he was sentenced to three years, which will run consecutively to the other.
CORRIDOR "H" RESOLUTION SENT TO CONGRESS
The Robert C. Byrd Corridor "H" Authority has sent a resolution which will be sent to the House and Senate, urging them to get through their stalled negotiations on the transportation bill, so all states can plan their transportation infrastructure improvements. The Authority pointed out that as long as Congress continues to work on a year-to-year basis, there won't be enough federal funds available to complete the corridor by 2020.
FORT ASHBY RESIDENTS TO RECEIVE NEW ADDRESSES
Sometime within the next month, Fort Ashby residents will receive new addresses from the U.S. Postal Service. Postcards with the addresses where there are the least amount of homes will be sent out, and will finish in Keyser. The project will also allow emergency personnel to be able to identify residences.
CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES GRANT
The Cumberland City Police Department is receiving a $2700 grant to help purchase protective body armor. The Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention announced the grants, totaling just over $49,000 to eight local police departments in seven counties. Other departments receiving grants include Montgomery County, Prince George's, and Salisbury.
ASSAULT INCIDENT INVESTIGATED
Cumberland resident Antoinette Marie Washington is charged with fourth-degree burglary, assault and other counts, following an incident at a residence in the 600-block of Centre Street early Friday evening. She is accused of entering her ex-boyfriend's home, and assaulting him. She also damaged some items in the residence, and took his cell phone. She was taken into custody on Monday, charged, and released pending trial in District Court.
ROADS CLOSED FOR HILL CLIMB
Portions of Route 144 will be closed this Saturday and Sunday for the Polish Mountain Hill Climb. Road closures will take place between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., and will affect State Route 144, from its intersection with Town Creek road to the intersection with National Pike; additionally, it will be closed from the intersection with Town Creek Road to the intersection with Gilpin Road. Signs will be in place during the events.
COMMUNITY MEETING ON ALLEGANY SET
The Allegany County Public School System will hold a community meeting next Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Grace Memorial Community Church on Bishop Walsh Road. The meeting will be held to update the public on the progress of the Allegany High School Replacement Project, and specifically the demolition of the former Sacred Heart Hospital. The meeting will include an audio-visual presentation by Grimm & Parker Architects and Total Wrecking and Environmental. The public will have the opportunity to make comments and ask questions.
STATE POLICE WARN OF TELEPHONE SCAM
The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is warning residents about a new telephone scam. Callers ask residents for personal information; the number showing up on caller ID is similar to the person who is being contacted. The numbers are being "spoofed," and are false numbers. The State Police urge you to not provide any personal information. There are websites available, to keep you aware of current scams and complaints. They are "IC3.gov," and FCC.gov.
DOLLAR TREE BUYING FAMILY DOLLAR
Dollar Tree has announced it is buying Family Dollar, in an $8.5 billion deal. Family Dollar had attempted to increase sales by lowering prices on almost 1,000 items. As a result of the deal, Dollar Tree will have more than 13,000 stores in the United States and Canada, nearly three times as many stores as Walmart.
DELEGATE ADDRESSES IMMIGRATION ISSUE
Republican Baltimore County Delegate Pat McDonough is proposing what he calls "common sense" legislation that protects the citizens of Maryland, when dealing with housing illegal immigrant children coming into the state. McDonough says there should be a "full disclosure" website that states how many children are coming in, and how state funds are being used for programs and care. He also suggests building a "tent city" at the Mexican border. He points out that Catholic Charities has applied for a federal grant to house 50 children at the St. Vincent Villa in Timonium. McDonough says none of this is acceptable. He says that some of the children are not unaccompanied minors, and are coming across the border with adult relatives. Attorney General Doug Gansler says the Governor has the authority to exercise all aspects of McDonough's plan, but has not done so, to this point.
WOMAN TRANSFERRED TO ADULT PRISON
Eighteen year old Rachel Shoaf has been transferred to an adult prison, following her 18th birthday. She is now housed in the Lakin Correctional Facility in West Columbia. She was convicted of the second-degree murder of Star City teenager Skylar Neese. Her co-defendant in the case, Sheila Eddy, is serving her first-degree murder sentence at the same facility. Shoaf has a projected release date of April, 2028.
RESTORATION PROJECT ANNOUNCED
Allegany County officials are beginning a $60,000 restoration project, to repair damaged caused by recent flooding in the Braddock Run area, near the LaVale Lions Club field. Excavating Associates of Ellerslie will complete the project of repairing about 125 feet of the stream.
"DIRTY COAL" SENT ABROAD
President Barack Obama has initiated a strategy for reducing gases blamed for climate change, but the United States is shipping so-called "dirty coal" to other countries, thereby shifting the blame for cleaning up the environment on them. By doing that, it makes the United States appear to be making more progress than it is on the global warming issue. Locally, Western Maryland produced 2.2 tons of coal last year. There are 14 surface mines in Allegany County, and 13 in Garrett. The state's westernmost county also claims four deep mines, which produced over 933,000 tons in 2013.
RECYCLING POSSIBLE FOR HAMPSHIRE COUNTY
A Hampshire County group says they have enough signatures to put the recycling issue on the November ballot. The Hampshire County Recycling Co-Op says more than 560 signatures, well above the 395 required, have been turned into the Hampshire County Clerk's office. Ninety-per cent of the signatures on the petition are those of registered voters.
SUSPECT WAIVES PRELIMINARY HEARING
A Somerset County man, who is charged with killing his girlfriend and their infant child, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Denver Blough is charged with two counts of criminal homicide, aggravated assault and simple assault, along with one count of attempted homicide and reckless endangerment.
MAN SERVED WITH SUMMONS FOR DOMESTIC ASSAULT
Thirty-year old Jeremy Combs was served with a criminal summons, in connection with a domestic incident in Cumberland last week. A female victim claimed she had been assaulted by Combs, and suffered minor injuries. Combs was not located then, but was later served with the summons and released, pending trial in District Court.
MAN REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION
Oakland resident John Tucker remains in critical condition at Ruby Memorial Hospital, after his motorcycle struck an SUV in Garrett County Saturday evening. A 2013 Mercedes SUV, driven by John Hanna of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, turned into the path of Tucker's motorcycle on Route 219, ejecting him from the bike. Hanna, who suffered minor injuries, was determined to be at fault, although no charges have been filed, pending consultation with the Garrett County State's Attorney's office.
MINOR INJURIES IN HAMPSHIRE COUNTY CRASH
An Augusta man suffered minor injuries when his car collided with a flagpole outside of the front entrance of the Augusta Bank of Romney entrance. Police say mechanical issues may have contributed to the crash. Some of the bank's shrubbery and the outside of the building suffered minor damage. The case remains under investigation by the West Virginia State Police.
WESTMAR STUDENTS HOLD FOOD DRIVE
Westmar Middle School once again exceeded its goal for the "Hunger is No Game" food drive. The project is part of Sheila Riggleman's Math Service Learning Project. The group's annual goal is 500 items, and collections took place twice a week, from April 15th through May 30th. Sharee Pensyl's homeroom won this year's drive, with students donating more than 600 items. In total, 1,198 items were donated to the George's Creek Food Bank in June of this year.
FRESH AIR FUND WELCOMES GROUP
The Fresh Air Fund is welcoming 14 children from New York City tomorrow. The children will arrive at the Hampton Inn in Frostburg, and will be spending one or two weeks with volunteer host families in Oakland, Cumberland, Ridgeley, La Vale, Swanton and other cities in the region. Arrival is expected at 3 p.m. The Fresh Air Fund has hosted more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877.
FORMER CHIEF SENTENCED FOR EMBEZZLEMENT
The former chief of the Halfway Volunteer Fire Company has been sentenced for stealing money from the department. Fifty-four year old Jeffrey Ringer was sentenced to 18 months for one count of theft of less than $500, and 18 months for one count of theft scheme for less than $500. Six months were suspended from each sentence, meaning he will spend a year in the Washington County Detention Center.
O'MALLEY TO MEET WITH RELIGIOUS LEADERS
Governor Martin O'Malley met yesterday with religious leaders to discuss potential housing for thousands of children who have come to the U.S. illegally from Central America. Republican Baltimore County State Delegate Wade Kach says the administration is encouraging the situation, and is using the Archdiocese of Baltimore to further its agenda. Kach says the situation is unacceptable.
PARK SERVICE ASSESSES ECONOMIC IMPACT
The West Virginia National Park Service is assessing the number of visitors to the state's scenic attractions, in an effect to see how many dollars they drive to local communities. The report looked at 2013 attendance at three different attractions, with total attendance topping 1.2 million visitors. They spent more than $51 million and helped to support 673 jobs in the state. Overall, there were about 1.5 million visitors to national park sites, and they spent $63 million.
STATE MAY RESUBMIT FLOODING INFORMATION
Congressman John Delaney is encouraging Maryland to submit new information on the local flooding of June 12th, when requesting federal aid. The damage threshold is just over $8 million when filing for federal aid, but Delaney says there are additional factors that can be considered by FEMA for disaster assistance. Meanwhile, a study may be done on flooding in the Bowling Greene area, and the damage incurred throughout the Route 220 corridor last month.
MIDLOTHIAN POSTAL MEETING SET FOR TODAY
A decision on the future of the Midlothian Post Office is imminent, and a meeting on a consolidation plan is set for today at the Trinity Assembly of God Church. Several options have been suggested, including reducing the hours at the facility, to subcontracting of services, to closing the facility completely. That meeting is set for 3 p.m. today.
RESTAURANT CLOSING FOR JULY, AUGUST
An aging air conditioning system, which sometime drove the indoor temperatures to over 80 degrees, has forced the temporary closing of the Culinaire Cafe in downtown Cumberland. The cafe is an educational facility and restaurant opened by Allegany College of Maryland in 2002. According to program director of the hospitality management and culinary arts program, the facility was closed each August, but, because of the latest developments, it was decided to close it in July as well.
CUMBERLAND MAN FACES EX PARTE, DRUG CHARGES
Cumberland resident Timothy Winkler faces numerous charges, including failure to comply with a court order and CDS counts, following a Saturday incident in the 100-block of Seymour Street. Winkler allegedly entered a victim's home, assaulted the victim, and fled. There was a protective order in place, which prohibited him from being at the residence. He was later found and arrested, and found to be in possession of prescription drugs and paraphernalia. He was taken to District Court and remanded to the Allegany County Detention Center, pending a hearing.
MISSING BOY RETURNED HOME
A 15-year old boy, who had been reported missing since last Tuesday, was found Friday and returned home. Logan James Litton, of Prince Georges Street, left his parents a note, stating he was running away. He was found Friday around 5 p.m. in Cumberland by a family member. He was taken to Cumberland City Police Headquarters and later released to his father.
LEGION TOWN HALL MEETING SET
The Mountain District American Legion is having a Town Hall meeting next Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Allegany College of Maryland. The meeting is for all veterans to share their experiences, both good and bad, with the Maryland Veterans Affairs Health Care System and facilities. The event will be videotaped and sent to the American Legion National Headquarters. Representatives of the VA will not be present at the meeting. For more information, contact Mike Wade at (301)-876-3123.
APPOINTMENTS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR CLINIC
A free clinic, in partnership with the Department of Defense, The Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Allegany County HRDC is planned for August 13th through the 21st at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. Appointments are being scheduled by calling (301)-783-1775, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. At the clinic, general health, dental, and vision screenings will be done. There are no residency or income restrictions. Veterinary clinic appointments for spaying and neutering have been filled, but the staff is maintaining a waiting list, if there are cancellations.
P.E. PLANS W.VA. SERVICE INTERRUPTION
Potomac Edison is planning a service outage in the Augusta area of Hampshire County next Monday, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Upgrade work will be done in the area, and the outage is expected to affect about 1330 customers in the area of Route 50,just east of East View Estates subdivision to Dillon's Run Road. In case of bad weather, the work will rescheduled for the next day. Customers with questions can call Potomac Edison's Customer Service line at 1-800-686-0011.
VEHICLE CRASH ON ROUTE 219
Greensburg, Pennsylvania resident John Hanna was determined to be at fault in a vehicle/motorcycle collision on Saturday evening in front of Archie's BBQ on Route 219 in McHenry. Hanna, driving a Mercedes SUV, pulled into the path of a motorcyclist, and he was ejected from the bike. The motorcycle operator, who has not been identified, was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. No formal charges have been filed, but the Garrett County State's Attorney will determine if there will be charges filed against Hanna.
UPDATE ON ALLEGANY HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT
As had been announced, Total Wrecking and Environmental of Buffalo, New York has been selected to do the demolition work at the site of the new Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Allegany County Board of Education, says the cost of the project, taken from the 2012 Request for Proposals, was set at $36 million. At the time, three items were removed from the project, including an auditorium, a bay of classrooms and playing fields. The savings realized from the demolition work will help in adding the auditorium back into the building plan.
SOME HEALTH INSURANCE REFUNDS DUE
Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell have announce that over 200,000 consumers in the state will benefit from $17.2 million in refunds from insurance companies this summer, averaging about $140 per family, because of the Affordable Care Act. The "80/20 Rule, " also known as the Medical Loss Ration rule, requires health insurers to spend at least 80 per cent of premium dollars on patient care and quality improvement activities. If insurers spend more than 20 per cent on profits, marketing and salaries, they owe a refund to consumers.
COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST HOGAN
The Maryland Democratic Party has filed a complaint against Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan, but his campaign says the allegation is "groundless." The charge alleges the campaign violated election law through a grassroots group called "Change Maryland," that Hogan formed. Hogan later bought the group to use for his campaign. Change Maryland conducted a September poll for $10,000 but it was not mentioned on a list of assets purchased by the campaign.
MAN SENTENCED IN ARSON CASE
Cumberland resident James Flohr entered a guilty plea to a charge of second-degree arson, and was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison yesterday. Flohr had four years of a 12-year sentenced suspended. He was sentenced by Judge Diane Leasure. He will also be placed on five years of supervised probation following his release. Flohr set fire to a mattress in an apartment on Altamont Terrace, following an argument with his girlfriend. The Cumberland Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire, before it caused extensive damage. The Fire Marshal determined the blaze was intentionally set.
COUNCIL CANDIDATE DIES AT 53
Fifty-three year old Cumberland City Council candidate Mark Fisher died Wednesday. He was a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and had been the owner/operator of Allegany Inspection Service. Fisher had also been a very active participant in Mayor and Council meetings, and had been a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. He also took part in meetings of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority.
PORTION OF CENTRE STREET TO BE CLOSED
Centre Street and westbound Interstate 68's ramp access from northbound Route 51 will be closed, beginning today through Monday. Traffic will be detoured along Queen City Drive to Harrison Street to Centre Street and the westbound I-68 ramp. The temporary closure will allow crews to blast and paint structural steel girders on the I-68 bridge ramps over Centre Street.
ENGINE ARRIVES IN CUMBERLAND
Locomotive 1309, which had been transferred from the B & O Museum in Baltimore, arrived in Cumberland yesterday, and will be used by the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and will be used when the "734" is taken in for repairs at the end of next season. The engine will be restored and placed in service. The Scenic Railroad arranged for the transfer from the museum.
GROUP AGAIN REQUESTS FUNDING
The Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization is once again asking that a portion of marriage license fees be given to them, to help them with their work of preserving 11 cemeteries in the county. The request has the backing of Delegate LeRoy Myers and the Reverend Alfred Deas of the Metropolitan AME church. President of the CHCO, Ed Taylor, is asking that $5.00 of the marriage license fee be granted to his group.
THREE ARRESTED FOR DISTURBING THE PEACE
Three people were arrested for disturbing the peace, after having been warned by Cumberland City Police. Twenty-four year old Victoria Quick, Crystal Frame, and 41-year old Floyd Ferguson had been arguing on Boone Street, and were warned by police. When police had to return, they were taken into custody. All were released, pending trial in District Court.
MAN ARRESTED ON ASSAULT CHARGE
Cumberland resident Nathan Herrell has been charged with second degree assault and disorderly conduct, following a call from a concerned citizen. Herrell allegedly was yelling at a 12-year old juvenile, as they were walking in the 400-block of Park Street. Herrell also allegedly pushed the victim against a wall. Following a hearing in District Court, he was released, pending trial.
MINERAL ADDRESSES "DOCK" DAYS
The Mineral County Board of Education expects good attendance from its students, and they are hoping the teachers will follow suit. The issue of "dock days"-or unpaid absences, costs the county thousands of dollars, and the board is revising its policy. It will accept comments from its employees until Monday. Teachers do receive paid leave; the state provides $450,000 for "subs," but the county says it is spending upwards of a million dollars to cover the time off.
COMMUNITY EVENT PLANNED FOR FAIRGROUNDS
The United States Department of Defense, in partnership with the Allegany County Health Department and HRDC are conducting an Innovative Readiness Training August 13th through the 21st at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. It's a free medical, dental, and veterinary clinic for are residents and their pets. Courtney Thomas, executive director of the HRDC, says special units, comprised of highly-skilled doctors, nurses, dentists, and veterinarians will be here to provide needed services to area residents. She commented on the specific services offered. The free event is open to all Allegany and Garrett County, Maryland residents, as well as those in Mineral and Grant County, West Virginia, and Bedford and Somerset counties in Pennsylvania. The demand, Ms. Thomas predicts, will be great, and the best advice is to call, beginning today at get an appointment. The number to call is (301)-783-1775.
TEMPLE MEMBERS RETURNING TO B'ER CHAYIM
A rededication service will be held in early November, but members of Temple B'er Chayim will be returning to their temple on August 17th. The first Shabbat service will be held on August 22nd, and the re-dedication weekend will be November 7th through the 9th. Shabbat is the Hebrew word for Sabbath.
RESIDENTS ARRESTED IN DRUG BUST
Two Oakland residents were arrested and are now facing drug counts. A traffic stop resulted in the arrest of Oakland resident Vaughn Veryl Winters, who allegedly had cocaine and other drug paraphernalia in his vehicle. A search warrant of his residence at 113 North Eighth Street resulted in the arrest of 48-year old Sheila Gale Hyde. Winters also faces felony firearm possession charges. Winters remains jailed on $50,000 full cash bond; Ms. Hyde is jailed on $20,000 full cash bond.
TODDLER DROWNS AT RAYSTOWN LAKE
Thirteen-month old Jamari Malik Benjamin of Lancaster County is the third fatality at Raystown Lake this summer. The child fell off of a boat on Wednesday morning and drowned. Several crews responded to the James Creek Boat Launch; the investigation is being handled by the Huntingdon County Coroner's Office and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Earlier this summer, on man from Duncansville and a woman from Carlisle drowned at the lake.
RIDERSHIP UP FOR ALLEGIANT
Ridership is on the upswing for Allegiant Air at the Hagerstown Regional Airport, since the beginning of the year. The carrier offers twice-weekly flights to Daytona Beach and Orlando, Florida. Nearly 18,000 people have come through the airport terminal as departing or arriving passengers.
STATE SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES DISCIPLINE GUIDELINES
The Maryland State School Board has voted to send out a set of discipline guidelines, intended to be a model for school systems as they move away from zero-tolerance policies of the past twenty years. The guidelines will provide advice to school systems on how to handle disciplinary issues. The guidelines help determine the severity of punishment in a variety of instances.
COUPLE FACE ADDITIONAL CHARGES
Joseph Christy and Summer McDaniel have had additional charges filed against them, in the case of the death of their 26-day old infant. Hardy County authorities have filed charges of child neglect resulting in death, concealment of a dead human body, and conspiracy to commit a felony. Both were arrested when they admitted to burying an infant child in the George Washington National Forest in the Wardensville, West Virginia area.
FIREFIGHTERS WANT TO INCLUDE PARAMEDICS
the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1715 is pushing for a plan to include paramedics and other emergency medical workers in the union. Allegany County currently has about 25 emergency medical workers, and with that addition, would expand the IAFF's presence in the area. Cumberland Fire Chief Don Dunn says he believes the inclusion will happen in September.
MOUNT SAVAGE FIRE CAUSE DETERMINED
A short, in an electrical outlet which ignited nearby combustibles, has been determined as the cause of a fire on Iron Rail Street in Mount Savage Tuesday afternoon. The house sustained a total of $30,000 in losses to the structure and its contents. The house was owned by Sandy Michaels and occupied by Susan and Kenneth Halcomb. It started in a second-floor bedroom, and took a total of 30 firefighters about 20 minutes to control. The occupants are being assisted by family.
ROADWAY UPGRADES IN FROSTBURG
Federal funding of $1.275 million has been granted to the city of Frostburg, to improve Braddock Road. The money, from an Appalachian Regional Commission grant, will be used to widen the road, and to add acceleration and deceleration lanes, and to make the required drainage adjustments. The project, which should create about 40 new jobs in the next four years, was jointly announced by Maryland United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin.
POLICE SERVE BENCH WARRANT
Twenty-two year old Cumberland resident Nicholas Kneisley was served with a bench warrant, stemming from a probation violation. Kneisley was placed on probation on an original charge of malicious burning. He was held on $7500 bail, following an appearance in District Court, and taken to the Allegany County Detention Center, pending his next court appearance.
KELLY ROAD HIT AND RUN INVESTIGATED
Cumberland City Police are investigating a hit and run in the 600-block of Kelly Road on Tuesday. The victim told police that an unknown vehicle struck the driver's rear side of a 2013 Nissan truck. There are no suspects or witnesses; anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.
MAN CITED FOR MISDEMEANOR POSSESSION
Forty-four year old Cumberland resident Eric Leatherman was cited for possession of marijuana under ten grams, following a traffic stop Tuesday evening. Leatherman had allegedly been speeding, and the officer detected an odor of marijuana. A probable cause search was conducted, and a small amount of marijuana was found. He was later released, pending trial in District Court.
SPEED LIMIT ON TURNPIKE INCREASED
The speed limit on a section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the eastern and central portions of the state has been raised to 70 miles-per-hour. The increased limit is in effect from the Blue Mountain exit, near Shippensburg, to exit 298 at Morgantown, just south of Reading. The remainder of the Turnpike speed limit is still 65 miles-per-hour.
BERETTA MOVING FACILITY OUT OF MARYLAND
It may be too late, but lawyers for the state are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit against a gun-control law; Beretta USA announced on Tuesday it was moving a production facility from Acoceek, Maryland to Gallatin, Tennessee. Governor Martin O'Malley says he wasn't worried about the announcement. The Governor says Beretta has been threatening to move, and when they did, they'd make a political point of it. Senate President Mike Miller says he wasn't bothered by the decision, even though the factory is in his district. Miller cited a Tennessee law involving handguns. Jeff Reh, a member of the Board of Directors for Beretta, USA says politics was the only consideration for the relocation. He said the company would have been thrilled to stay in Maryland, but cited the anti-gun political climate here. The executive, sales, and marketing and strategy offices are staying in Maryland; only the production facility itself is moving to Gallatin.
CHARGES FILED AGAINST WEST VIRGINIA COUPLE
Charges of felony child neglect, resulting in death, were filed against a West Virginia couple Monday. Police say 26-year old Carla Adkins of Ashton and 24 year old Jimmie Edwards of Milton took WIC money to buy infant formula; they then returned the formula for cash, and used the money to buy meth. The 20-month old child, Carson Adkins died in March of last year, after being fed whole milk, which he was too young to receive. He died of severe anemia, based on malnutrition. Both Adkins and Edwards are each being held on $500,000 bail.
PROSECUTOR WILL ATTEND INTERVENTION PROGRAM
A West Virginia prosecutor has agreed to attend a 32-week batterers intervention program, after being charged with domestic violence counts. Mark Plants is accused of hitting his 11-year old son more than 10 times with a leather belt in February. He is also accused of violating a domestic-violence protection order, which required him to stay away from his ex-wife and sons. For his part, Plants says he plans to remain as a prosecutor.
INMATE RECEIVES ADDITIONAL SENTENCE
Twenty-four year old Daniel Gardner, an inmate at the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, had an additional year added to his sentence after entering an Alford Plea in Washington County Circuit Court. Gardner, whose sentences run to 2054, entered the plea to a count of possession of a weapon in prison. The Alford plea acknowledges that the state had sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.
EXPLOSIVES FOUND ON GARRETT PROPERTY
TNT and blasting caps, dating to the 1960's, were found at a residence at the Herbert Meyers property on North Hill Road in Kitzmiller yesterday. The explosives were discovered in a storage area of the residence, and had been used for blasting tree stumps. The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Bomb Squad responded, and disposed of the items.
TWO GARRETT COUNTY DRUG ARRESTS
The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police made two drug related arrests in about six hours late last week. In the first, Marriottsville, Maryland residents Brittney Nicole Unger and Trent Huor were arrested on Route 39 in Oakland for possession of marijuana and other CDS-related material. The second stop took place in the same area, and resulted in the arrest of Lynchburg, Virginia resident Andrew William Whaley for possession of suspected cocaine.
PHAA TO DISCUSS OPEN MEETINGS LAW
The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority is scheduled to meet with its attorney, Roman Rozas III, tomorrow, to discuss open meetings law. The meeting will be held in a closed executive session, and will address whether the PHAA should follow Maryland or West Virginia. At a meeting held last month, the authority had voted to follow Maryland law, but there substantial differences between the two, when addressing the open meetings act.
POLICE INVESTIGATE HIT AND RUN
The Cumberland City Police are investigating a hit and run that happened in the 700-block of Park Street on Monday. An unknown vehicle struck the rear passenger bedside of his vehicle, a 2011 Chevy. There are no suspects or witnesses, but anyone who may have information should contact police at (301)-777-1600.
MARTIN'S RECALLS ORGANIC FRUIT
Martin's Food Markets have recalled certain organic peaches, plums, and nectarines, following a potential Listeria contamination. The fruits, from Wawona Packing Company. Customers who bought the fruit between June 1st and July 21st should throw away any unused portions and bring their receipt to Martin's for a full refund. For more information, go to "www.martinsfood.com."
CORRIDOR "H" NEARING COMPLETION
The "Road to Nowhere," Corridor "H," should be about three-quarters finished by the end of this year, or the beginning of 2015. Crews are working on a portion of the road from Davis and Thomas, West Virginia, connecting to Mount Storm or Bismarck. United States Senator Robert Byrd provided much of the funding while in office; following his death, the money became more scarce. The Corridor "H" Authority is now looking to the newly-renewed Transportation Trust Fund that was approved through May of next year. Right now, crews are only working on a few miles at a time.
STUDENTS EARN A.P. SCHOLAR AWARDS
Eight-five Allegany County public school students have earned Advanced Placement Scholar Awards, in recognition of their exceptional achievement on A.P. exams. The College board's A.P. Program provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement or both for successful performance on the A.P. exams. Nearly 20 per cent of the more than 2.1 million students worldwide who took the exams performed at sufficiently high levels to earn an A.P. Scholar Award.
PLANS UNDERWAY FOR 2015 FAIR
Believe it or not, planning is already underway for the 2015 edition of the Allegany County Fair and Ag Expo. Manager Kevin Kamauff says that during last week's activities, there were good crowds, even though the weather played a factor several evenings. Kamauff says his staff has the logistics of staging the fair "down to a science," and that they make things work, under all types of conditions. And, he says they have already started the work on next year's event.
GOVERNOR MEETS WITH FAITH LEADERS
Governor Martin O'Malley met with Maryland faith leaders Monday to discuss the unaccompanied immigrant children who have been coming across the border from Central America. Topics ranged from how to help reunite children with family already living in the country, to working with the current federal foster care system to help locate facilities for children to stay.
STATE GETS WAIVER EXTENSION FOR EVALUATIONS
The United States Department of Education has granted Maryland a one-year extension that will allow it to put off using annual test scores, given in grades three through eight, as part of a teacher's evaluation. It was an expected move, as Maryland legislators had already passed a law prohibiting the use of test scores until the 2016-2017 school year. State School Superintendent Dr. Lillian Lowery says Maryland will have to apply again next year for another extension.
HOPKINS TO PAY $190 MILLION IN SETTLEMENT
Johns Hopkins Hospital will pay out $190 million to more than 8,000 women, after a gynecologist secretly used a pen-like camera to record hundreds of videos and photos of his patient's sex organs during pelvic exams. The doctor, Nikita Levy, was fired days after the discovery, and has since committed suicide. The preliminary settlement is one of the largest on record in the United States, involving sexual misconduct by a physician.
MEYERSDALE RESIDENT KILLED IN SUNDAY CRASH
Meyersdale resident Wayne Krause died in an accident Sunday evening, when he was ejected from an all-terrain vehicle on Sand Spring Road in Summit Township. Krause, who was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, died when his Polaris Explorer ATV was being towed, after he had experienced mechanical problems. The brakes on the Krause vehicle failed, and struck the ATV that was towing him. He was thrown from the vehicle. The Pennsylvania State Police continue to investigate the incident.
SOMERSET MAN KILLED BY TRAIN
A Somerset County resident was struck and killed by a freight train in Westmoreland County. Twenty-two year old Christopher Reed of Windber was hit and died early Sunday morning in St. Clair Township. An autopsy was done yesterday. Authorities say Reed had been at a wedding a few hours prior to the incident.
TWO HURT IN OAKLAND WRECK
Two people were hurt late last week, when their vehicle went out of control, and into a culvert near the Garrett Highway and Pineview Drive. A car, driven by Sara Coddington of Oakland, with passenger Shawn Gittere went off the road. Both were taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital. Ms. Coddington was cited for driving while her license was suspended.
BUSINESS THEFT INVESTIGATED
The theft of cash from the "Wood and Worms" stand in Swanton is being investigated by the Garrett County Sheriff's Office. Approximately $150 were taken from a lock box at the business sometime between July 9th and 10th. Anyone with information should contact the Sheriff's Office at (301)-334-1911.
MAN ARRESTED FOR DISORDERLY CONDUCT
Thirty-four year old Cumberland resident James Welsh was arrested, following an early Sunday morning disturbance in the 200-block of Union Street. Welsh was allegedly acting in a belligerent manner towards family members and city police officers outside of the residence. He was repeatedly warned to stop, but failed to comply with the officer's request. He was arrested and taken to police headquarters for processing. He was cited and released, pending trial in Allegany County District Court. Welsh was charged with failure to obey and disturbing the peace.
TWO W. VA. SCHOOLS RECEIVE COMMENDATIONS
Two Mineral County Schools-Fountain and Burlington Primary-were recently audited by the West Virginia State Board of Education, and received commendations. However, there are several items to work toward improving during the coming year. At Fountain, some of the non-compliance issues included teachers not using state-mandated content standards and objectives; lowered teacher expectations; and, writing instruction in the classroom was not as frequent as required. At Burlington, the Board noted that the teacher work area and library/media center was too small; and, the counselor's office does not provide privacy.
BRIDGE PROJECT BEING COMPLETED
A project to reconstruct a pair of Interstate 70 bridges over Conococheague Creek, west of Hagerstown should be completed by the end of the month. The Maryland State Highway Administration says that, weather permitting, the project will be in its "final configuation" by then.
NATIONAL HARBOR CASINO UP FOR VOTE
Prince George's County is set to vote on the building plan for a $925 million MGM Casino at the National Harbor. The vote is considered the final hurdle before construction can begin. The proposal was approved by Maryland voters in a 2012 ballot question, and could open as soon as July, 2016, if the plan receives the necessary approval. It would house 3,600 slot machines and 140 table games.
HEALTH AGENCY REDUCES INSPECTIONS
The Maryland Office of Health Care Quality is reducing the number of medical facilities it inspects, due to a staffing shortage. The Office will turn over some of its oversight duties to accrediting organizations, while focusing on inspecting facilities with a history of serious problems. The Office of Health Care Quality oversees more than 14,000 facilities that handle some of the state's most vulnerable residents.
MARYLAND POISED TO CASH IN ON WIND
The water is waiting for wind power development, with a new report from the National Wildlife Federation showing that, while a handful of offshore wind projects are well on their way, there are still thousands of acres of Atlantic waters available. Report author Catherine Bowes is calling it a "golden opportunity" and points out that Maryland is ahead of many states. An auction next month of the state's Wind Energy Area will see bids from at least 16 companies. Bowes adds that all Atlantic Coast states need to set policies in order to push the turbines into the water, such as renewable energy standards.
MONEY RELEASED FOR W. VA. WATER PROJECTS
Watershed management projects for four West Virginia communities will receive just over $14 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service assistance program. Among the projects are one in the Potomac-New Creek-Whites Run area. The announcement was made by United States Senator Joe Manchin.
WVU PLAYER ARRESTED ON WARRANT
West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood is being charged with a felony count of "active intimidation to prevent a victim or witness from causing a complaint." He is accused of trying to intimidate a witness in the murder case of his friend, Zakee Lloyd, who is charged with the first-degree murder of 51-year old Manuel Oliveras of Wilmington, Delaware. Smallwood is free, after posting $40,000 secured bail. There's no word on his status with the WVU football team.
VETERAN GUILTY OF ATTEMPTED MURDER
Iraq war veteran Chris Fleming of Capon Bridge, West Virginia was found guilty of 14 of 15 charges brought against him, in connection with a shooting incident two years ago in Hampshire County. Fleming will be sentenced on September 17th for firing off at least 30 rounds in three different locations, ending in his surrender on Christian Church Road. Until his sentencing, he will be lodged in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.
I-68 CLOSED FOR TWO HOURS SATURDAY MORNING
Interstate 68 was closed for about two hours Saturday morning, when a Cumberland City Police cruiser became involved in an accident near the Johnson Street exit. The officer was investigating an earlier accident, when he hit a patch of diesel fuel, and lost control of the car. It struck the center median wall. The officer was taken to the hospital for treatment. The Maryland State Highway Administration responded to treat the diesel spill.
HIKER-BIKER PATH BUILT ALONG ROUTE 51
The State Highway Administration has partnered with the National Park Service to design a new, shared-use path along the south side of Route 51, between the tow path and the Potomac River Bridge. Hikers and bikers will now have a safer way to access the Oldtown Road Bridge over the river. The 1700 foot-long, 10-foot wide shared-use path is being constructed as part of a resurfacing project on Route 51, and should be completed by October.
MARYLAND MORTGAGE PROGRAM DROPS RATE
The Maryland Mortgage Program is dropping its rates by a quarter per cent for two months in Western Maryland to entice potential home buyers. Any program loans, reserved before September 10th, will be eligible for the reduced rate. A 30-year, fixed rate mortgage is now 3.75 per cent, rather than 4 per cent for first-time home buyers, and are in effect in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties.
GRANTS ANNOUNCED FOR W. VA. FIRE DEPARTMENS
Both the Burlington and Ridgeley Volunteer Fire Departments will receive grants through the federal Assistance to Firefighters grant program. Burlington will use nearly $90,000 in grant money to buy 14 self-contained breathing apparatus units. Ridgeley will use its portion of the grant, nearly $38,000 for purchasing hand tools, saws, ropes and self-contained breather apparatus units.
COMMISSIONERS AWAITING WORD FROM STATE DEPARTMENT
The Mineral County Commissioners continue to await word from the State Department on the circuit court's license to issue passports, and whether that will be re-activated. A growing work load and the loss of two employees forced Mineral County to discontinue accepting passport applications in March of last year. Since then, the county clerk's office has offered to be the passport agency in the county. The federal office in Philadelphia has informed Mineral County that its license to issue passports has expired, and that issuing passports must be handled by the circuit court office.
"UNITY BREAKFAST" HELD FOR DEMOCRATS
Democrats, who had opposed one another in the June 24th primary election, came together last week at what was being called a "Unity Breakfast." Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, the Democratic nominee for Governor, noted that there is "more that unites us, rather than divides us." And, he says Democrats ultimately share the same values.
Attorney General Doug Gansler,also a Democratic contender for Governor in the primary, says it's time to put the past behind them, and says the Democrats have a good team around the state.
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Lt. Governor Brown's running mate in November, echoed his running mate's remarks, noting the Democrats have had a spirited, passionate conversation on the issues over the past year.
MARYLAND JOBLESS RATE RISES
The state of Maryland added 7700 jobs last month, but lost 6800 in the process, causing the unemployment rate to rise from 5.6 per cent in May to 5.8 per cent in June. Labor Secretary Leonard Howie attributes the trend to the end of the school year. Both the leisure and hospitality industries showed the strongest gains in June. Labor experts, however, say they expect the state's labor market to remain steady.
TEACHER ARRESTED FOR SOLICITING STUDENT
Elkins High School teacher Donald Johnson is in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $75,000 bond, after allegedly soliciting a 16-year old girl on a computer. Johnson is accused of exchanging explicit cell phone calls and text messages with a student. The victim also said Johnson asked her to send inappropriate photos. Steps to protect the safety of the student have been taken.
FOOD DESTINATION MAP INTRODUCED
The Appalachian Regional Commission has introduced a map of 283 food destinations in West Virginia, Maryland, and 10 other states. The locations, from New York to Mississippi include restaurants, markets, farms and fairs. The ARC is promoting the food economy of the 12-state region to address job declines in several industries, such as mining, chemical, and forestry.
MAN ARRESTED AT LA VALE WAL- MART
The Maryland State Police arrested 26-year old Michael Lucas of Fort Ashby at Wal Mart in LaVale yesterday morning. Lucas reportedly had a handgun in the rest room area of the store, and was spotted by a Wal Mart employee. He exited the bathroom, placing the .45-calibre handgun in a store bag. He walked to the pharmacy area, where he created a disturbance before returning to the bathroom. He was quickly taken into custody by the Maryland State Police. He was jailed in lieu of $35,000 bond, pending a bail review in District Court.
RAILROAD RECEIVES $85,000 IN FUNDING
The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad Development Corporation is the recipient of $85,000 from the Maryland Historical Trust. The money will be used to restore a former Western Maryland Railway Office Car. The car was built in 1918 as a private railroad car for New York's Peter Rouss, featuring an observation room, four bedrooms, a shower and bathrooms, and other amenities.
W.VA. STATE POLICE TO SET UP CHECKPOINT
The West Virginia State Police will conduct a sobriety checkpoint along Route 28 the weekend of August 8th and 9th. The checkpoint will be in effect from 8 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday, and is being done to increase awareness of the hazards of intoxicated driving.
AUTOCROSS DISCUSSED BY MCDA
The Mineral County Development authority made the recent ban on autocross events at the Cumberland Airport an agenda item at this week's meeting. It was reiterated that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority did not want to jeopardize federal funds by hosting "non-aerial" events, but it was pointed out that no fewer than eight autocross-type events were hosted on one day by county airports. A meeting between MCDA and the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority would be held in the future, to discuss the potential of future Autocross events here.
MAPLEHURST AUCTION CANCELED
An auction, scheduled Wednesday, of the Maplehurst Country Club in Frostburg was canceled, as a businessman there proposed buying the mortgage from First United Bank & Trust. Maplehurst is negotiating terms of the agreement, and the golf course continues to be open for play. Clubhouse events will be honored, as they are scheduled.
KELLY OPPOSES FREDERICK STREET BIKE PLAN
Delegate Kevin Kelly is opposing a plan from the city, to add a bike lane on Frederick Street, after receiving input from several neighborhood residents. Delegate Kelly is, however, in favor of "Share the Road" signs in that area, and has questioned Mayor Brian Grim on the logic of a proposed bike lane. Kelly believes that using a bike lane, which would presumably slow traffic in the area, should not be a factor in any decisions.
OWNER MAY SELL GREEN SPRING BUSINESS
The most recent "washout" of the Oldtown Bridge may force Green Spring Pub owner Ray Emerick to sell his business. The timeline for repairing the bridge is several months long and it future is uncertain. Many of its customers rely on the bridge to get to and from work. Emerick, who has owned the pub since 2005, cites toll increases and the times the bridge has been washed out, as two reasons for his reason to considering selling the business.
POLICE INVESTIGATE BREAKING AND ENTERING
Cumberland City Police are investigating a breaking and entering in the 500-block of Cromwell Terrace, in which about $10,000 worth of items were taken. Among the stolen items were an Applie i-Pad and a significant amount of jewelry. A person or persons gained entry to the home by kicking in the rear door, during the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:38 p.m. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.
DEPARTMENT IMPROVES RATING
The Central City Fire Department in Somerset County was recently upgraded in its Public Protection Classification, from a class 4 to a class 3. Fire companies are graded on a scale of one to 10,with one being the highest classification; a grade of 10 means departments aren't meeting the minimum criteria. The improved rating helps to decrease insurance premiums for the department.
REGIONAL AIRPORTS RECEIVE STATE FUNDING
Both the Bedford and Somerset County Airports will be receiving state and federal funding, to improve safety operations. In Bedford County, the airport will receive over $316,000 to buy additional land and to rehabilitate the weather observation system. In Somerset County, that facility will receive nearly $377,000 to remove obstructions and finish an apron rehabilitation. Statewide, the Keystone State will receive over $18 million for 35 airports there.
O'MALLEY DEFENDS CRITICISM OF IMMIGRATION POLICY
Even though Governor Martin O'Malley agrees with President Obama that sending thousands of unaccompanied children back across the U.S. border to Central America would lead to "certain death," the Governor is opposed to locating a shelter for the children in Carroll County. The Governor believes that congregate living should not be our first choice, and that the children should be housed in the least restrictive setting possible. The Governor believes that when children come here as refugees, they should be treated compassionately; the state, he says, has a long tradition of providing protection for refugees. O'Malley said he "didn't care" that some people believe the White House "threw him under the bus." Governor O'Malley says he believes sometime issues are made more complicated than they need to be.
HIGH SCHOOLS TO OFFER FREE I.T. CERTIFICATION
Students across the Mountain State will now have the chance to graduate with an informational technology certification, thanks to a collaboration between the West Virginia Department of Education and Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft's I.T. Academy will be used for West Virginia's high schools and career and technical schools, the virtual high school and the WVDE. The gap in the demand for I.T. professionals and the supply of qualified employees is predicted to be as high as 40 per cent over the next five to ten years.
W.VA. MEDICAL EXAMINER UNDERSTAFFED
Three of the six medical examiner's office positions in West Virginia are vacant, and a backlog of autopsy reports are creating problems in the judicial system. Autopsies are being prioritized, depending on the timetable for certain cases; two pathologists have been hired at the Medical Examiner's Office in Charleston, and will start by August 1st. But a current pathologist is leaving, and that will create two vacant positions.
CANDIDATE ASKS FOR REVIEW OF CAMPAIGN RULES
Cumberland City Council candidate Mark Fisher is asking the Cumberland Mayor and City Council to take a look at the rules surrounding campaign contributions and expense reporting. Fisher says he is not alleging wrongdoing, but would like to have some clarification on the issue. He is running for one of the seats that are up for grabs in the November general election. Incumbent David Kauffman is running for re-election, while Councilman Nick Scarpelli is stepping down to run for the District 1-C seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.
MAN ARRESTED AFTER WEEKEND CHASE
Maysville, West Virginia resident Joshua Gartin remains in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $9,000 bond, following a high-speed chase and brief foot pursuit in Mineral County. Police tried to stop Gartin in Keyser, but he refused with police giving chase. He was eventually arrested in the Knobley Road area. He faces numerous charges, including destruction of property, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and reckless driving.
BEAR KILLED IN COLLISION WITH CAR
A vehicle struck and killed a 200-pound male bear on Interstate 68 yesterday morning, about a mile west of the truck weigh station. The incident happened around 9:30 a.m. According a Facebook post, Toshia Miller said she was the one driving the car, when it struck the bear.
CANADIAN COMPANY BUYS PBS COALS
Toronto, Canada-based Corsa Coal Company has purchased Somerset County's PBS Coals for a reported $60 million cash transaction. PBS has been owned by a Russian company, Severstal since 2008, and includes 13 developed mines and two coal preparation plants. Two of the 13 mines are currently active. The transaction should be completed by the middle of next month; there is no word on how the purchase will affect PBS employees.
BEDFORD JAIL VISITORS ARRESTED
Two people who came to visit inmates at the Bedford County Jail, were themselves arrested Tuesday. Forty-one year old Tammie Lynn Wylie and 51-year old Kenneth Lloyd Bowser were arrested, after authorities determined they had been drinking. They were charged with driving under the influence. Bowser was additionally charged with possessing drug paraphernalia.
CUMBERLAND MAN ARRESTED FOR DISTURBING THE PEACE
Cumberland resident Joseph Ansel has been arrested for disturbing the peace, following an incident in the 400-block of Park Street on Tuesday. He was acting in a disruptive manner on a public street, and, after being warned to stop, he refused and was arrested. He was cited and released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
ACCIDENT SNARLS TRAFFIC ON ROUTE 220
The Allegany County Sheriff's Department was on the scene in the Bel Air area yesterday to investigate a three-vehicle accident. It was was reported to be a rear-end collision. Traffic was backed up in the Route 220 area, while the accident scene was cleared.
MAN CHARGED WITH MISDEMEANOR POSSESSION
Fifty-five year old Cumberland resident John Appold was arrested and charged with possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana. City Police saw a person walking in the 400-block of Maryland Avenue, with an open container of alcohol. They also saw that person hand what was later found to be a baggie of marijuana to another person. He was cited and released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
STADIUM TO BE CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS
Frankfort Falcon Stadium is undergoing some renovations, and will be closed until they are completed. The Mineral County Board of Education has approved bids for bleacher repair, asphalt prep work for the tract and work on the new bathrooms. But, volunteers are responsible for a number of projects, and will be painting the press box this evening. Volunteers are asked to bring their own paint brushes. The stadium will be ready in time for the Falcons' opener on Friday, August 29th.
BAND CHALLENGE THIS WEEKEND
This weekend's "Cumberland 3 Piece Blues Band Challenge" will have an international flavor to it, as one of the competing bands, The Alex Zayas Trio, comes from Barcelona, Spain. Events are being held Friday evening at Uncle Jack's, My Place and the Underground at Geatz's Restaurant on Paca Street. The winners of those competitions will compete Saturday night at 9 p.m. at the New Embassy Theatre for the right to open for Phil Wiggins at the New Embassy on September 20th.
O'MALLEY RAISES CAMPAIGN MONEY
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is considering a run for the White House in 2016, and has raised about $796,000 in the second quarter of this year for his political action committee. He raised a little over $104,000 in the first three months of this year, but did not solicit money during the 2014 legislative session. He now has a total of nearly $895,000. O'Malley will leave office in January of next year.
RESOLUTION ON CAMPAIGN SPENDING
A resolution, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Maryland's Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski would return campaign spending control to the states. Jonah Minkoff-Zern with the group Public Citizen, says the intention is to help reverse the effect that big money has had on elections following multiple U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have increased campaign spending limits. Minkoff-Zern says a Senate subcommittee approved Senate Joint Resolution 19 last month, there may be a full Senate vote later this summ er. The fact the Senate is considering a constitutional amendment is a win for the American people.
MAN ARRESTED ON FEDERAL CHARGES
Keyser resident Christopher Redman is being held without bail, on a federal parole violation charge. Redman was initially wanted for questioning about vehicle break-ins. After being combative, he was charged with obstructing an officer. And, police then learned he was wanted by the U.S. Marshal's Service on the federal charge.
COUNCIL RECOMMENDS PROJECTS FOR FUNDING
The Tri-County Council of Western Maryland has recommended 14 projects to be recommended for nearly $4.4 million in Appalachian Regional Commission funding. Along with the previously announced HART for Animals funding in Garrett County, the other 13 projects involve internet access, education, road projects, and health related issues.
GRANT AWARDED FOR FOOTER BUILDING ROOF
The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority has announced a $150,000 grant to replace the roof on the Footer Dye Works building. It was also learned that the group is still in negotiations with a potential developer. While the name of the developer is not known, there are unconfirmed reports that Michael Joy Development of Washington, D.C. and Chaney Architects of Cumberland are interested in the property.
BEDFORD COUNTY SHOOTING INVESTIGATED
There has been another shooting in Bedford County. The Pennsylvania State Police say 24-year old Jeffrey Sheeder was shot in the hand by William Maenner in a building in the 1500-block of Ashcom Road in West Providence Township on Monday afternoon. The shooting was a result of a dispute between the two. Maenner was taken into custody, with Sheeder suffering non-life threatening injuries.
AMBULANCE SERVICE COST MAY RISE
The Cumberland Mayor and City Council are considering an ordinance that would raise the cost of city ambulance service about $75.00, or to $500 for a base rate. City Administrator Jeff Rhodes says the hike is in line with federal rates for the service. the ordinance will receive two more readings, before being given approval by the Mayor and Council.
FIRST ENERGY TO REQUEST RATE INCREASE
First Energy of West Virginia may be requesting a rate increase of between 15 and 17 per cent, but the hike, if approved, will not go into effect until February of next year. Public comment will be taken in the fall on the request for the service, which oversees eight West Virginia counties, including Mineral, Hampshire, Hardy, Morgan, Jefferson, Berkeley, Pendleton and Grant counties.
NO INJURIES IN ROUTE 50 CRASH
There were no injuries in a two-vehicle mishap at the intersection of Ford Hill Road and Route 50 in Augusta on Monday morning. A car was stopped, to turn left onto Ford Hill Road, when it was struck by a truck, carrying a small excavator. In an attempt to avoid a collision, the truck damaged the right, rear fender of the SUV. Traffic was reduced to one lane for about 20 minutes, while crews cleared the scene and State Police investigated.
CUMBERLAND RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR CDS POSSESSION
Fifty-four year old resident Leo Durocher faces numerous drug possession charges, following his arrest in the area of Queen City Pavement on Monday. Two people were arguing in the area, and Durocher was later found to be in possession of suspected marijuana, and prescription medication that did not belong to him. He was released on personal recognizance, following a hearing in District Court.
MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT, DANGEROUS WEAPON COUNT
Forty-seven year old John Mishow of Cumberland was served a criminal summons, in connection to an assault incident on July 10th. He allegedly threw a brick at the leg of the first victim and hit a second one in the face. He was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, and possession of a dangerous weapon, with intent to injure.
SIGN STOLEN FROM GARRETT BUSINESS
The Maryland State Police barrack at McHenry is investigating the theft of a sign from Property Management Services on the Garrett Highway. The sign displayed the words, "We Have Renters, Homes Needed," and had the business phone number listed at the bottom. It is described as a black, metal frame sign, approximately 4-by-2 feet. It was stolen sometime between July 2nd at 9 a.m. and July 3rd at 3 p.m.
STATE POLICE ANNOUNCE NEW PROGRAM
The Maryland State Police have announced a new program, in which Special Olympics athletes will do "ride-alongs" with them. Colonel Marcus Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police says the program, "Champions on Patrol," will allow the athletes and their families can make a request to tour any barrack, and to do a ride along. Colonel Brown says the program creates a one-on-one relationship between the trooper and the athlete. Colonel Brown points out that there is a Maryland State Police barrack in every county in the state.
MEN SENTENCED IN MAUSOLEUM THEFTS
Two West Virginia men have been sentenced in connection with thefts from more than 20 caskets at a Martinsburg cemetery. Both David Paul Bowers of Hedgesville, and Richard Rowland Ruffner were sentenced to 26 years each in prison, after previously pleading guilty. Both took the stand to apologize, and attributed their addiction to heroin as the reason for the thefts. They broke into the Rosedale Cemetery in July of last year, stealing jewelry, and trying to sell it at a cash-for-gold business.
COUNTY INELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE
Allegany and Washington Counties will not be eligible for federal public disaster assistance, as the result of the storms of June 12th. Federal, state, and county officials received a letter from Kenneth Mallette the executive director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, which stated the county damage thresholds were nowhere near the required $8.02 million in damage, to be eligible for federal assistance.
COUNCIL DEVELOPING STRATEGY FOR USE OF FUNDS
A council, appointed by the Allegany County Commissioners on May 1st is developing a long-term strategy for the use of local impact funds from the Rocky Gap Casino Resort. The state is looking for a long-range plan for the use of the funds. So far, the Allegany College of Maryland Foundation is set to receive 45 per cent of the funds, with the Frostburg State University Foundation receiving 25 per cent. Other beneficiaries of the funds will be the local county fire and rescue units, Board of Education capital projects, and "pay as you go funds," which will receive 10 per cent of the funding.
TRESPASSING INCIDENT LEADS TO DRUG CHARGES
Cumberland resident Seth Thomas was cited for possession of marijuana and trespassing on private property, following an incident at the site of the former Memorial Hospital this past weekend. He and three juveniles were found on the property; two of the juveniles fled the area, but were later apprehended in the area of the Johnson Heights Medical Building on Kent Avenue. Thomas and a juvenile male were found at the former hospital property. The three juveniles face charges, which will be forwarded to the Department of Juvenile Services. For his part, Thomas was issued the citations and later released, pending trial in District Court.
MAN CHARGED WITH SECOND-DEGREE ASSAULT
Thirty-six year old Wesley Eugene Baker was charged with second degree assault, following a Sunday incident at the Ramada Inn on George Street. An argument between Baker and a female victim escalated, and Baker is accused of choking her; she also sustained other injuries. Baker was ordered held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $3500 bond.
MAN TAKEN TO RUBY FOLLOWING ACCIDENT
Ridgeley resident David Krampf was taken to Ruby Memorial hospital in Morgantown, following a motorcycle/car accident at Harrison and Mechanic Streets on Saturday. Krampf was injured when his motorcycle was hit by a car driven by Cumberland resident Steven Pullin around 11 p.m. The crash also injured a Ridgeley woman, who was a passenger on the motorcycle. Krampf was flown to Ruby for further treatment.
SHAFT FIRE COMPANY TO RECEIVE FEDERAL FUNDING
The Shaft Volunteer Fire Department will receive just over $207,000 in funding and $31,160 will go to the Frostburg Area Ambulance Service, as the result of federal funding through the United States Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters' Grant program. The money will be used by Shaft to buy 32 sets of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus and 24 additional facemasks. The ambulance service will use its portion of the grant to buy two automatic chest compression systems, to assist with emergency resuscitations.
MSA SCORES BRING EXPECTED SCORES
The final administration of the Maryland School Assessment yielded mixed results, as schools and teachers shift instruction to the new college and career-ready standards. Elementary students scored 87.9 per cent, as compared to 86.4 per cent in 2013, with the percentage of elementary students scoring somewhat higher as well. Middle school students scoring at the proficient level for reading was 78 per cent this year, as compared to 83.4 per cent in 2013. Complete results of the MSA testing are available at "www.mdreportcard.org."
HYDRANT FLUSHING CONTINUES THIS WEEK
The Allegany County Department of Public Works is continuing fire hydrant flushing this week in the Eckhart, Clarysville and Hoffman areas. Next Monday through Friday, flushing will be done in the McCoole area. Residents may experience some water discoloration during the process, and are advised to run water for several minutes until it is clear, before using it.
NO TRANSIT SERVICE ON JULY 24TH
A reminder, that Allegany County Transit personnel will participate in an Employee In-Service Training Day next Thursday, July 24th. Public transportation services will not be offered by Allegany County Transit. Neither fixed route bus service, nor All Trans vans will operate. Sessions will include CPR Refresher Training, Defensive Driving, Safe Vehicle Operations, and U.S. Department of Transportation CDL changes.
EAST BERLIN MAN SERIOUSLY INJURED
Sixty-five year old Samuel Tauser of East Berlin, Pennsylvania and Orrstown resident Carla Hershey were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, near Chambersburg this past weekend. Tauser was riding on a 2002 Harley-Davidson, and attempted to make a right turn; the bike struck another car's side mirror with his handlebar. The driver of the car was identified as 61-year old Chambersburg resident Gary Hershey. Both Tauser and Ms. Hershey were taken to the Hershey Medical Center for treatment.
DILLEY SELECTED AS JUVENILE CENTER SUPERINTENDENT
Dan Dilly has been named superintendent of the Kenneth "Honey" Rubenstein Juvenile Center in Tucker County, West Virginia. He had been acting superintendent of the facility since Division of Juvenile Services Director Stephanie bond left that position in February of last year. Dilly is a Tucker County native and a 1982 graduate of Fairmont State University.
SENATORS PRAISE PASSAGE OF C & O CANAL LEGISLATION
Maryland's United States Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski have announced Senate passage of legislation that will ensure the continued involvement of the C & O Can National Park Historical Park Advisory Commission in decisions that affect the C & O National Historical Park. The Advisory Commission was established to provide a vital link between the surrounding communitie4s and the NPS in overseeing the operation, maintenance, and restoration of the park.
MARYLAND RETAINS TRIPLE "A" RATING
Maryland has retained its Triple-A bond rating from the three major Wall Street bond rating agencies. When presenting his last budget earlier this year, Governor Martin O'Malley said his administration had cut spending by 9.5-billion dollars. O'Malley explained areas where state government has decreased, including eliminating the helicopter unit at the Department of Natural Resources.However, O'Malley explained that in spite of spending cuts, the size of state government has grown, as the population grows.
WEST VIRGINIA TO SHARE FEDERAL RECREATIONAL FUNDS
West Virginia is sharing a portion of more than $43 million in federal funds to help states with parks, outdoor recreation, and conservation projects; the Mountain State will receive more than $463,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was established by Congress in 1964 to ensure access to outdoor recreation resources and to provide money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water, and wetlands. State and local governments will be able to establish everything from baseball fields to community green spaces.
TRUCK ACCIDENT CLOSES I-68 SATURDAY
No charges were filed, but Interstate 68 eastbound was closed for over 5 hours Saturday, as the result of a tractor-trailer fire. The truck was hauling cantaloupes when its brakes caught fire just east of the Johnson Street exit. The truck became fully engulfed in flames, causing the tires to blow out. Heavy traffic was reported during the incident, which happened just after 4 p.m. The driver, Nana Amoako of Duluth, Georgia was not injured in the accident.
BREAKING, ENTERING REPORTED AT LAW OFFICES
A breaking and entering at the law offices of Rozas, Friend, and Kelly at 201 Washington Street was reported yesterday morning. The victim in the building, who is also a tenant, told police he was awakened to the sound of breaking glass. His kitchen window was broken, along with two additional windows. It appeared the suspects used a brick, but did not gain entry. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police.
MAN KILLED IN BEDFORD COUNTY MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Forty-year old Jason Simons was killed in a head-on collision in Napier Township in Bedford County over the weekend. Simons was driving on Mountain View Drive, when he went into the opposite lane of the road, and hit a car, driven by Karin Sedewar. Simons, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene; Ms. Sedewar suffered minor injuries, and her vehicle was extensively damaged.
COUNTY TO RE-BID PROJECT
Allegany County will rebid the project to redesign a 40,000 square foot shell building at the Barton Industrial Park. After the bid was originally awarded to Belt Construction in June, Gary Imes-owner of Lashley Construction-protested, and hired a Baltimore law firm to protest the award. Belt's bid has been rescinded and the process will begin again.
WOMAN SENTENCED TO PROBATION IN SCAM
Somerset County resident Mandy Klinkner has been sentenced to a year's probation for selling discount fundraising coupon booklets she falsely told residents would benefit a four-year-old girl with cancer. She kept the entire $2,000 raised, instead of giving it to the sick girl and the Sheetz Convenience Store chain. She was allowed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct rather than theft, but will also be required to repay the money.
RESIDENTS ASK TERRAPIN RUN BE REMOVED
Three residents spoke in opposition to the development of Terrapin Run in the Allegany County Comprehensive Plan at the most recent commissioners' meeting. Terrapin Run is a residential housing project near the Green Ridge State Forest, which would allow for the construction of more than 4,000 homes. Those opposed claim the plan has not gained broad-based support, and that a "rural, agricultural area" should not be turned into an "intense urban area." The County Commissioners will accept public comment for two more weeks.
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR CRASH OBSERVED
It was over 50 years ago that a B-52 bomber with the call sign "Buzz One Four" crashed near Grantsville. On board were five crew members and two nuclear warheads. An observance was held Saturday at the Little Crossings Memorial in Grantsville. Carol Wooten, the widow of Tech Sgt. Melvin Wooten, attended the service. She says that the plane left from Turner Field that day; she and her family, which included three young children, were living in Albany, Georgia at the time of the crash. One of the speakers, Air Force Lt. Colonel James Brown, said the crew members had "the right stuff," and exemplified the Air Force core values of "integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do."The ceremony featured a noon flyover from a Fairchild C-123 "Thunder Pig" plane. Major General Melissa Rank, a native of this area commented on the core values of the United States Air Force.The crew included Major Thomas W. McCormick, Captain Parker Peedin, Major Robert Townley, Major Robert L. Payne, and Tech Sgt. Melvin Wooten.
ARC AWARDS FUNDING FOR GARRETT COUNTY
The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced a quarter-million dollar award to Garrett County for the HART Center Phase II Workforce Training Program. The grant will allow HART for Animals, a McHenry non-profit organization, to finish the construction of a new center that will support 10 full time jobs and provide clinical space for 30 students from Garrett Community College's veterinary assistance program. Garrett County will match the grant; the announcement was made jointly by Maryland United States Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski.
TIGHT RESTRICTIONS FOR MARCELLUS DRILLING
Regulators from the state of Maryland are recommending some of the country's tightest restrictions on shale gas drilling, and the guidelines will be mandatory and not volunteer. Among the "best practices" recommended by the departments of the environment and natural resources include a general, 2,000 foot buffer between fracking rigs and private water wells. Also, companies seeking to drill for gas must file a comprehensive plan for all foreseeable gas development, rather than for each individual well.
LEGISLATORS ASK FOR INVESTIGATION
State Senator George Edwards and Delegate Wendell Beitzel have written a letter, asking Attorney General Doug Gansler to look into, quote, "alleged wrong doing and misappropriation of funds" that resulted in the closure of the McCoole Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department. Former members of the department have asked Gansler to look into a number of issues, including an investigation of the matter. Copies of the letter have been sent to both State's Attorney Michael Twigg and the Allegany County Commissioners.
AUDITORIUM TO BE PART OF NEW SCHOOL
The architectural firm, designing the new Allegany High School, says that due to savings from the demolition work of the former Sacred Heart Hospital, a new, $3 million auditorium could be added to the school. Superintendent David Cox says he hopes additional savings will be found, once bidding is finished for the new facility, scheduled to open in the fall of 2017.
MAN ARRESTED, HELD WITHOUT BOND
Cumberland resident Nathan Frye is being held without bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, after being arrested on a breaking and entering charge, which was a violation of his probation. Frye is accused of kicking in the door of a residence in the 400-block of Arch Street; he didn't take anything and ran when he encountered the victim. He made an appearance in District Court, before being ordered held without bond.
OPEN CONTAINER LEADS TO ARREST
Cumberland resident Joseph Edward Cody is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $8,000 bond, following his arrest on Wednesday. Police originally contacted him for having an open container of alcohol in the area of Park Street. It was also learned that police had two active arrest warrants for him, one for failure to appear in court in 2010, and the other for second-degree assault, fraud and identity theft related to a stolen credit card. The latter charges were filed, following a citizen complaint from earlier in the month.
OAKLAND MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING PURSUIT
Oakland resident Jacob Lynch has been charged with drunken driving and attempting to elude police, after he failed to stop for police in the Deer Park area Wednesday night. Lynch faces a number of charges, but was released yesterday, after posting $2500 bond. Police received a complaint of a possibly intoxicated driver, and he was arrested after a brief pursuit.
FIRE DESTROYS TRUCKS
A fire was reported Wednesday at Carl Belt, Incorporated on Milner Avenue in Bowling Green. The fire started while a diesel fuel tank was being welded in the back of a pick-up truck. The fire spread to a forklift truck, and damaged an exterior wall light. Firefighters remained on the scene for an hour and a half.
ALLEGANY COUNTY FAIR OPENS TOMORROW
The 29th annual Allegany County Fair opens tomorrow. Although the fair has been a part of Allegany County since 1869, the county began sponsoring it in 1985. Kevin Kaummauf, manager of the fair, says a new ride from Reithoffer attractions-called "Air Race," is making its national debut here. tomorrow's events include a demo derby; there will be a food drive on Sunday, sponsored by Reithoffer.Kamauff says planning for the 2015 fair will be done during this year's events.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO ASSIST WITH CLINIC
The Allegany County Health Department is looking for volunteers to assist with much needed clinical services to Western Maryland and the surrounding region. The Appalachian Mountain Innovative Readiness Training will take place at the Allegany County Fairgrounds from August 13th through the 21st, and event organizers are now scheduling volunteers to participate as data entry/clerical assistants, general clinic support, veterinary clinic support, patient guides and parking assistants. A web-based form has been created to register interested volunteers, and can be found at "www.tinyurl.com/IRTVolunteers." Veterinary clinic volunteers may call (301)-759-5040; all other volunteers may call (301)-783-1775.
COUNCIL MEMBER NAMED AS URBAN RENEWAL COMMISSIONER
Newly-elected Keyser City Council member Jennifer Bennett has been named the head of the re-created Urban Renewal and Development Commissioner. The current council members will remain in their present positions. One of Bennett's duties will be to work with the city building inspector to help fight blight in the city.
HOGAN TO USE PUBLIC CAMPAIGN MONEY
Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan says he'll use public campaign finance money for his general election run, a move that could tap out the state's fund unless it's replenished. He'll be eligible for about $2.6 million to spend on his campaign, and will be limited to that amount. Both the state central committee for the Republican party and the local central committees could spend an additional $1.8 million each to help Hogan's campaign.
W. VA. SUPERINTENDENT OF THE YEAR NAMED
The West Virginia Association of School Administrators has named Pendleton County Superintendent Doug Lambert as the State Superintendent of the Year. He will represent the Mountain State at the National Superintendent of the Year Competition in San Diego, California in February. Lambert has been the superintendent in Pendleton County since 2005, and had previously served as principal for the Pendleton County Middle/High School, beginning in 2002.
PRESTON COUNTY REGAINS SCHOOL CONTROL
The Preston County School System is being returned to local control, after West Virginia seized control in 2009, after a number of problems were discovered with finances, facilities, and general leadership. An audit team reviewed the system earlier this year, and says that leadership of the county board of education was one of the reasons local control was returned. The Preston County School system at one time had a $1.5 million deficit, but that has been reduced to below $60,000.
OUTAGE NUMBERS DWINDLING
As of today, there are still 3,710 residents in Allegany County without power, due to Tuesday's storm. In Garrett County, there are a little over 1,000 residents. In West Virginia, Mineral County has 245 homes without power; other numbers are 449 in Hampshire County, 1,068 in Morgan, 829 in Preston, and 250 in Hardy County. Potomac Edison, in cooperation with Martin's Markets were distributing three gallons of water and 2, 10-pound bags of ice for the utility's customers.
INVESTIGATION INTO INFANT DEATH CONTINUES
The autopsy on the infant whose body was found in Hardy County last weekend has been completed and the West Virginia State Police are awaiting the results. The parents of the child, Joseph Christy and Summer McDaniel could face more charges, depending on autopsy results. Right now, they are charged with four counts each of felony child neglect.
MARTIRANO WELCOMED AS STATE SUPERINTENDENT
Dr. Michael Martirano has been welcomed as the new State Superintendent of Schools in West Virginia. Martirano, from St. Mary's County, was originally from this area, and he spoke to members of the state board and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin about the importance of the hiring process in education, recruitment, and the importance of the attendance rate and on education outside of the classroom.
WOMAN ARRESTED ON POSSESSION CHARGE
Thirty-two year old Cassandra Kay Porter of Cumberland was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, after being approached by Cumberland City Police for allegedly trying to sell alcohol to juveniles. The incident allegedly happened in the area of the Western Maryland Train Station. When police asked her for identification, she declined. She also declined when police asked to check her purse. She did admit she had an aluminum marijuana pipe inside her purse. She was issued a criminal citation and later released, pending a District Court trial.
ROTRUCK CHOSEN AS MINERAL COUNTY BOARD PRESIDENT
Craig Rotruck has been unanimously chosen as president of the Mineral County Board of Education; he was nominated by outgoing president, Kevin Watson. Rotruck was first elected to the board in 2008, and re-elected in 2012. He will serve as president for the next two years. He had served as vice-president for the past four.
WMSRR TO RECEIVE B & O LOCOMOTIVE
The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad will be receiving a locomotive next week, donated by the B & O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. CSX Transportation and Trailer Train Corporation are donating their equipment and time to bring the 1949 steam train to Cumberland. Mike Gresham, manager of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, says the current Baldwin steam train will be "going down" for repairs at the end of next season.The "1309" locomotive from Baltimore was built in 1949, and holds the distinction of being the last steam locomotive built for a railroad in the United States. Gresham says the Scenic Railroad is seeking donations, both corporate and private, to help with the restoration. Gresham also notes that ridership is up by 10 per cent already this year; last year, ridership rose by 4 per cent. The website to make donations to the train restoration is "www.wmsrf.org/join."
CANAL PLACE TO SHOW "FROZEN"
The Disney movie, "Frozen," will be shown on the festival grounds at Canal Place this Saturday, at dusk, or approximately 8:45 p.m. The movie is open to the public, free of charge, and is sponsored in part by Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, and Nick Scarpelli's Campaign for the House of Delegates, District 1-C. Music Express will be performing before the movie and various food and beverage vendors will be on site. Attendees should plan on bringing their own chairs, if they're not comfortable sitting on the lawn.
TEACHER ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
Hedgesville High School teacher Erin Thomas has been charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a student. Thomas says the 31-year old teacher allegedly had a relationship with a female student that began last year, when she was a freshman. The alleged victim's boyfriend says Thomas harassed them both on Facebook. Thomas is currently on administrative leave.
CHILD KILLED AT CARROLL COUNTY CAMP
A child was killed during Tuesday evening's storms in Carroll County. Eight other members of a Christian summer camp at the River Valley Ranch were injured when a tree crashed onto a group of campers. Counselors tried to rush the children to safety, from an open-air pavilion to an enclosed area at the top of a hill. All of the other campers and counselors have been accounted for.
W. VA. PRESIDENT TO EARN $775,000 ANNUALLY
West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee will be earning an annual salary of $775,000 under his new contract. His base earnings will be $650,000, with a $125,000 supplement to be paid by the WVU Foundation. He will also be eligible for annual raises under the two year contract. He began his duties this week. Gee had earned around $2 million annually as Ohio State's president, before returning to WVU, where he was president in the 1980's.
STATE-OWNED PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOLS SEE TUITION HIKE
Students at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities will see an approximate three per cent tuition hike in the coming school year. Tuition will go up by about $99 a semester, to $3,410, the cost for full-time students who are Pennsylvania residents. The State System of Higher Education is experimenting with flexible pricing plans, and will evaluate effectiveness after two years.
STORM CUTS POWER TO THOUSANDS
It may be several days before power is completely restored to the entire Maryland/Pennsylvania/West Virginia area, due to the storm that moved through the area late yesterday afternoon. Todd Meyers, spokesperson for Potomac Edison, says that 8500 residents in Cumberland had no power initially, while Frostburg reported 1800 outages. He adds that crews worked throughout the night, repairing the damage.Garrett County reports thousands without power. In Mineral County, there were 4300 customers out; in Hampshire County, there were 6400 outages reported. And, in Bedford, 4100 customers had no power. Somerset County, where West Penn Power is the service provider, 1600 residents were out. The priority, according to Meyers, is transmission lines first, followed by work on distribution lines. These outages were all due to a powerful front, with squalls and 60-plus mile per hour winds which moved through the area. There were some power lines on the ground, and some roads are closed due to downed trees. Meyers says that residents should report outages, and not assume P.E. already knows about them. He also says that a downed line, should be considered a "live" line and not to touch it.Crews are mobilizing to restore power but again, it could be several days before customers completely have service restored.
GARRETT ELECTION RESULTS CONFIRMED
A Garrett County election canvass has confirmed that all three Garrett County Commissioners were voted out of office in the June 24th primary. Paul Edwards defeated incumbent Jim Raley in District 2; Larry Tichnell unseated incumbent Gregan Crawford; and, Jim Hinebaugh best Bob Gatto by about three-and-one-half per cent of the votes.
TWO CITED FOR M.D.E. VIOLATIONS
Oakland resident John Verkouteren has been cited by the Maryland Department of the Environment for non-compliance with the state's lead law, and the department is seeking $33,000 for the alleged violations, involving a single property. Additionally Southern States Cumberland Cooperative was cited for violation of the state's above-ground storage tank law. MDE is seeking a fine of $6,000 for the alleged violations.
MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING PURSUIT
Mathias, West Virginia resident Terry Morris was arrested Sunday, following a vehicle and foot pursuit in Hardy County. Police had attempted to stop Morris, but he fled into Baker, West Virginia. During the pursuit, his vehicle hit a Hardy County Sheriff's Department vehicle, causing him to lose control and crash. He briefly fled on foot, but was apprehended. He was initially taken to Winchester Medical Center in Winchester for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash.
POLISH MOUNTAIN HILL CLIMB PLANS CONFIRMED
The Polish Mountain Hill Climb celebration will take place the weekend of August 1st through the 3rd. The event is sponsored by the Flintstone Volunteer Fire Department and National Road Autosport. There will be a Friday night cruise-in at the fire hall, and events will be held on Saturday and Sunday, between 6 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
GAS THEFT INVESTIGATED
The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating the theft of gas from the Exxon gas station on Route 219 at Sang Run Road. The vehicle was a dark blue Jeep SUV, possibly a Compass or Liberty, with Maryland tags. If anyone with information regarding the incident, please contact Trooper First Class Whetzel at the McHenry barrack. The number is (301)-387-1101.
POLICE SEEK SILVER SPRING JUVENILE
Leandro Ovalles of Silver Spring, Maryland is being sought by the Maryland State Police for stealing a 1996 Jeep Cherokee from Allegany County, and later crashing it into a State Highway Administration mowing tractor on I-70 eastbound. Ovalles fled the scene of the crash, and was tracked into the Williamsport; he was not apprehended. He is also person of interest in an attempted burglary of an occupied residence in that area. If sighted, residents are asked to contact "911," or the Maryland State Police at Hagerstown.
MINERAL SHERIFF RESPONDS TO 327 INCIDENTS
The Mineral County Sheriff's Department responded to 327 incidents during the month of June. Forty-nine arrests were made. Traffic stops accounted for 79 incidents; there were 17 calls to assist other law enforcement or emergency agencies and13 motor vehicle accidents. Other incidents included domestic calls, disturbances, several welfare checks and juvenile complaints.
RESIDENTIAL THEFT INVESTIGATED IN GRANTSVILLE
A Remington rifle and a box of coins were stolen from a home on Platter Road in Grantsville. The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating the burglary. If anyone has information, they are asked to contact the McHenry barrack at (301)-387-1101. A reward is being offered for information, leading to an arrest.
CUMBERLAND MAN ISSUED CRIMINAL SUMMONS
Cumberland resident Michael Dennis McKnew, Sr. was served with a criminal summons on second-degree assault and disorderly conduct charges. The charges were filed as the result of an incident on Boone Street this past Sunday. McKnew was issued the criminal summons and released, pending a trial date.
MOUNTAIN RIDGE TEAM PLACES 7TH
The Mountain Ridge High School Envirothon team placed seventh overall at the Maryland State Competition in Centreville, Maryland. The team only trailed the first-place Carroll County team by 45.8 points. This was their first state competition appearance since overthrowing Allegany High School on April 30th, at the Allegany County Envirothon competition, held at Rocky Gap State Park.
GAS DROPS SLIGHTLY
The average price for gallon of regular-grade gas in Cumberland is a full ten cents higher than the national average, at $3.75 per gallon. Despite dropping in other areas of the state, rising crude-oil prices are expected to keep prices high nationwide through the month of July. Tensions in Iraq are expected to keep prices high.
HOPKINS, ALLEGHENY PARTNER IN RESEARCH
Pennsylvania's Allegheny Health Network and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center are partnering, in the hopes it will lead to advancements in cancer treatment and care. Part of the agreement includes creating a fund for cancer research, and will partner in a number of areas. The two announced in January they planned to form a partnership.
TOMBLIN URGES RESOLUTION OF SHORTFALL
West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has joined the National Governor's Association in urging Congress to resolve the federal Highway Trust Fund shortfall. Federal transportation laws and programs are set to expire at the end of September. The U.S. Highway Trust Fund receives money from the federal fuel tax, which is used to fund road construction and maintenance.
HANDGUN RECIPROCITY AGREEMENT ANNOUNCED
West Virginia now has full concealed-carry reciprocity with Nebraska, making it the 31st state to have an agreement with the Mountain State. That means concealed handgun licenses issued by either state will be recognized by the other. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey says the agreement is a positive step for legal gun owners who live in both states.
INFANT'S BODY FOUND IN HARDY COUNTY
Thirty-two year old Colorado resident Joseph Allen Christy has been arrested in Hardy County, after he led authorities to a campsite, where he had allegedly killed and buried his 26-day old son, Ashter James Christy. West Virginia State Police at Morgantown stopped Christy and Summer Lynn Snow McDaniel, of Missouri, after they were attempting to flee from law enforcement. There were four other children in the car, ages 11, 7, 4, and 2. They then notified the Moorefield-Petersburg detachment about a possible child death. During the interview, Christy had confessed he had killed the couple's infant son at a Hardy County campsite. Christy is being held without bond in West Virginia's North Central Jail.
FATAL ACCIDENT IN HAMPSHIRE COUNTY
Thirty-five year old Ryan Smith was killed and a motorcycle sidecar passenger Sarah Taylor, was taken to the hospital, following a motorcycle accident Friday in Hampshire County. Smith was traveling south on Clarence Taylor Road, when he lost control of his 2013 Ural motorcycle; both were ejected and landed in a rocky area off the bank of the South Branch River. While the crash remains under investigation, it is believed alcohol was a factor.
VERSO RENEGOTIATING TERMS OF DEBT
The Verso Paper Corporation has renegotiated the terms of its debt, so that it can merge with New Page, which owns the Luke Paper Mill. Verso is in debt, and recently had some of its debt notes downgraded by Moody's credit rating agency. Both Verso and New Page reported losses in the first quarter of this year. Plans for the merger of the two were announced in January.
SHAFFER RETIRES FROM COUNTY SERVICE
The Allegany County Commissioners have announced they have reached an agreement with Kevin Shaffer, who has retired from his employment with the county. The terms of agreement between the two are confidential. Shaffer expressed appreciation for having served the residents in county government; in turn, the county expressed its appreciation for his service. Pursuant to the parties' written agreement, no other comments are being provided by the parties involved.
ROCKY GAP PROFIT INCREASES IN JUNE
Rocky Gap Casino resort generated over $3.7 million from slot machines and table games in June of this year, a 50 per cent increase, when compared to June of last year. The casino resort operates 577 slot machines and 16 table games. In total, the state's four casinos generated just over $72 million in combined revenue.
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY INVESTIGATED
The Allegany County Sheriff's Office is investigating a destruction of property incident at the Artmor Plastics Warehouse on Wills Mountain. Over the past several weeks, a person or persons broke numerous windows in the building, with damages estimated at $6,000. A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. The property has a "no trespassing" sign, and anyone found on the property will be charged. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (301)-777-1585 or (301)-777-5959.
ALLEGANY STUDENTS RECEIVE TOP HONORS
Allegany High students Ethan Greist and Demetri Cendo recently received top honors as the national Gold Medalist, First Place, in the National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar and History award winners at the 2014 National History Day contest, held on June 19th. Their award represents only the second time since 1999 that an entry from the state of Maryland has won the Gold Medal at National History Day.
CHAMBER ANNOUNCES NEW WEBSITE
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce has launched a new version of its website, "visitdeepcreek.com," with a new branding of "Deep Creek Experience." The redesigned website makes it more user-friendly, and includes more graphics, a photo gallery, and featured specials. The site will allow members new opportunities to attract new customers and to promote their businesses.
MARYLAND JOINS MULTI-STATE LOTTERY ASSOCIATON
The Maryland Lottery has joined the Multi-State Lottery Association, a group of lotteries, based in Iowa. The association provides research and game development, and by joining, gives Maryland a seat at the table, as new games are developed, according to Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino. A new game, possibly coming to Maryland, would be the "Monopoly
Millionaires" game, with a top prize, capped at $25 million. If the top prize is not won, Martino says anything over $25 million would be added to a second-tier prize. Lottery sales are down 2 per cent, as of the end of last fiscal year. He acknowledges this is due, in part, to the impact from casinos. Martino notes the Horseshoe Casino will be the fifth in Maryland to open.
CHEAT LAKE ASSAULT INVESTIGATED
An unidentified and unresponsive man was found along the Morgan's Run road area of Cheat Lake. Police say he appeared to be the victim of an assault. He was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital. Authorities are not releasing his name nor his condition to protect the integrity of the investigation.
WEST VIRGINIA COMPUTER SWITCHOVER PLANNED
The state of West Virginia is switching over to a new computer system today, and it will affect every state agency in the way it processes its back office business functions. More than 3400 state employees will use the new system; for residents it could mean shorter lines at state offices, quicker responses to questions and concerns and less paperwork when documents need to be filed.
WEST VIRGINIA ENDS FISCAL YEAR IN THE BLACK
The state of West Virginia ended the fiscal year in the black by closing a $57 million budget gap. Additional steps were not necessary to close the gap, and it is the first time in recent years that no new tax laws took effect on July 1st.
WOMAN KILLED IN BOATING ACCIDENT
The body of thirty-six year old Francesca Harris was pulled from Raystown Lake on the Fourth of July, following a boating accident, in which the boat sank Thursday night. Ms. Harris went missing after the boat crash, around 10 p.m. Crews were called to the area around 3 a.m. Friday. Officials aren't sure what caused the boat to sink, nor all the details of the accident, but the investigation is continuing.
YOUNGSTER SUFFERS BURN INJURIES
A nine-year old boy suffered burns to over half of his body, and is now at the Western Pennsylvania hospital in critical condition. He suffered the burns to his upper torso, neck and arms, after igniting a sparkler outside of a tent in the Savage River State Forest in Swanton. The sparkler accidentally caught his shirt on fire, and he was taken by the Trooper Five Medevac helicopter to Pittsburgh.
SUSPECT ARRESTED IN BEDFORD COUNTY SHOOTING
One man was injured and another has been arrested in a shooting incident in Bedford County over this past weekend. Craig Showalter was shot, and 44-year old Steven Leroy Dunkle was arrested in West Providence Township on attempted criminal homicide and other charges, including drug charges and assault. An argument between the two led to the shooting. A subsequent search warrant led to the seizure of controlled substances, drug paraphernalia and several firearms from Dunkle's home.
WILEY FORD MAN JAILED WITHOUT BOND
Wiley Ford, West Virginia resident David Wolford was jailed without bond, after being arrested on an Allegany County Circuit Court bench warrant for failure to appear. He remains jailed, after being cited for alleged possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, when he was taken into custody.
FROSTBURG MAN ARRESTED IN DOMESTIC INCIDENT
Finzel Road resident Jeffrey Lee Custer was charged with first and second degree assault and reckless endangerment, following a domestic incident early Saturday morning. Custer is accused of striking his girlfriend in the face several times with a closed fist. He then left the residence with a rifle, threatening suicide; he was stopped on Aaron's Run Road in Garrett County. He surrendered after several hours of negotiation. He was later taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital for evaluation, and eventually charged. He was held on $25,000 bond.
MAN JAILED IN ASSAULT INCIDENT
Cumberland resident David Ronald Lion Christifer is being held on $8500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center after assaulting another man with a broken piece of 4X4 lumber. The incident happened in the 800-block of Bedford Street, after he and another man began arguing about an earlier incident, previously reported to police. Christifer faces four separate charges in the incident, including two counts of assault.
MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING SATURDAY INCIDENT
Forty-seven year old Robert Lewis Adams was held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, after barricading himself in an apartment in the 900-block of Gay Street. A woman had obtained a protective order against him, but he was found inside. Police forced open the door, and arrested Adams, who now faces numerous charges, including resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and assault.
WASHINGTON STREET B & E INVESTIGATED
Cumberland City Police investigated a breaking and entering in the 700 block of Washington Street early Saturday morning. The glass portion of a rear door had been broken. Evidence was collected at the scene and was sent to the Maryland State Police Crime Lab for analysis. A detective with C3I, as well as a Maryland State Police Crime Lab technician were on the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police or Allegany/Mineral County Crime Solvers.
EDWARDS COMMENTS ON EPA RULING
In response to the latest EPA ruling regarding coal fired power plants, Maryland State Senator George Edwards says that anything the United States would do to cut emissions from coal-fired power plants would be "miniscule," and that other countries aren't doing anything to help the cause. Senator Edwards says the first step in reducing carbon emissions is for power plants to install "scrubbers."He notes that coal accounts for 40 per cent of electricity generated in this country. And, the instability in other countries points to the fact that America must become energy independent.
CONTROVERSIAL HIRING POLICY IS LEGAL
The Anne Arundel Medical Center's policy to hire non-smokers and tobacco users is legal, and the trend is gaining more favor with employers across the country. Potential employees will have to prove they don't smoke or use tobacco, and while smokers are protected against discrimination in at least two dozen states, Maryland is not one of them.
TOMBLIN MAINTAINS HIRING FREEZE
West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin says the hiring freeze at the state government level will remain in effect indefinitely. The order affects all non-essential state positions, and it has saved West Virginia an estimated $33 million in the previous fiscal year's second half. The new fiscal year, which began last Tuesday, saw the state begin with a $3 million general revenue surplus, and could grow even further with better tax collections from June, which have yet to be reported.
VASES STOLEN FROM REST LAWN CEMETERY
The Allegany County C3I Unit is investigating the theft of 71 bronze and brass cemetery vases from Rest Lawn Memorial Garden on Cash Valley Road. The thefts occurred last Memorial Day weekend, and anyone with information is asked to contact the C3I unit at (301)-777-0326.
ATTORNEYS APPOINTED TO BOARDS
Attorneys J. Matthew Gilmore and James C. Eberly have been appointed to two county hearing boards. The Allegany County Commissioners appointed them to hear appeals of paper gaming decisions by the Allegany County Gaming office. They also were appointed to the Board of Appeals for Classified Employees, which deals with employee grievances. The appointments were made at last month's meeting at the Oldtown Fire Hall.
KEYSER RELAXES RESIDENCY POLICY FOR OFFICERS
It will now be possible for a resident of Cumberland or Frostburg to be a Keyser City Police Officer. The City Council there has revised its policy to include potential candidates within a 30-mile radius, in all directions, to Keyser. The old policy allowed for officers to be hired from Maryland, but they had to agree to relocate to Mineral County. New hires must now remain on the force for an extended period of time, or provide compensation to the city for training expenses.
MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING HIT AND RUN
Cumberland resident Michael Saunders were arrested for DUI and failing to stop for an unattended property damage accident in South Cumberland Wednesday evening. Officers responded to the 100-block of Blackiston Avenue for a hit and run complaint, and were given a description of the suspect vehicle. The driver was stopped on Maryland Avenue, and failed a series of Standardized Field Sobriety tests. He was charged, and later released, pending trial in District Court.
KEYSER MOVING FIREWORKS LOCATION
The city of Keyser, much like Cumberland, is changing the location of tonight's fireworks...but only slightly. The fireworks there will be set off on the Potomac State College Farm, about two blocks south of the previous location. Keyser's fireworks should get underway somewhere around 9:30 p.m. this evening.
PORTION OF ROUTE 40 TO CLOSE NEXT SATURDAY
Route 40, from New Germany Road to First Street in Grantsville, will be closed for about two hours next Saturday, for the 50th anniversary observance of the B-52 bomber crash there. The memorial service will be held at the B-52 monument at Little Crossings at River Road, about a mile east of the town. For more information on the event, visit, "www.BuzzOneFour.org."
BEDFORD BUSINESS OWNER CHARGED
Bedford business owner Armando Saldana, owner of Salsa's Mexican Grille, is being held on an immigration detainer, after he was charged with assaulting his wife, Sabrina. The incident allegedly occurred last Sunday morning, and Pennsylvania State Police responded at 8 p.m. There was evidence of an assault. Saldana is being charged with simple assault and harassment. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for next Wednesday.
ROUTE 26 RESURFACING BEGINS MONDAY
Work will begin Monday on a project to resurface nearly 11 miles of Route 26, the Clear Ridge Road, in Mann, Soputhhampton and Monroe Townships in Bedford County. Work will consist of milling, shoulder upgrades, paving, and guardrail improvements. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane during working hours, and will be controlled by flaggers. Depending on the weather, the project should be finished by October 15th.
"REVENGE PORN" COULD BRING TWO YEARS IN PRISON
The crime of posting "revenge porn" on the Internet could bring two years in prison and up to a $500 fine. Effective October 1st, the Maryland legislature passed the law during this General Assembly session, "revenge porn" is posting a compromising or sexually-suggestive picture on the Internet, with the intent of harming someone.
RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO FLY FLAG
Marylanders are being encouraged to fly the American flag for the Fourth of July holiday. U.S. flag code directs that flags on display 24 hours a day, be illuminated at night. Mike Buss with the American Legion National Headquarters says the flag is a symbol of unity that can be honored by all citizens, regardless of their political views. Buss encourages all Americans to fly the flag every day of the year.
O'MALLEY PROPOSING BUDGET CUTS
Governor Martin O'Malley is proposing several spending cuts, which will eliminate $84 million in planned spending for next year. O'Malley has asked the Board of Public Works to approve what is being called a "modest" set of cuts to the state's $16.1 billion general fund. About $10 million would come from the state's higher education institutions, but he says that would not affect tuition rates. At the beginning of the year, the Governor proposed a $39 billion state budget, in which spending actually increased by nearly 5 per cent.
KEYSER MAN SENTENCED IN FEDERAL CASE
Thirty-three year old Keyser resident Timothy Douglas Imperio has been sentenced to a year in federal prison on a number of drug charges. He had tested positively for the use of amphetamines, marijuana, suboxone and loracet. He also admitted to the use of Xanax. Several of the drugs were not prescribed to him. He also faced a number of other charges. He had previously been sentenced, and had his supervised release revoked. He was placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Service, pending designation to a federal prison.
SUMMONS ISSUED FOR PET HOARDERS
The C3I unit has filed up to 66 animal cruelty charges against Robert and Carol Jean Detrick in connection with the "Lucky 33" case. Nearly three dozen dogs were rescued by the Allegany County Animal Shelter on Friday, June 13th from their Greene Street home. The dogs continue to recover at the Animal Shelter and donations are being accepted at free concerts both tonight and tomorrow night at Canal Place.
COLUMBIA GAS PLANS BALTIMORE AVENUE IMPROVEMENTS
Columbia Gas will be making improvements in the Baltimore Avenue/Baltimore Street/Front Street/Park Street intersection, beginning on Monday. To make it more convenient, the work is being done between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. The work will last several weeks, and drivers should expect delays in the area, and changes to the traffic pattern.
MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT, RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT
Cumberland resident Mark Feodor Smith has been charged with second degree assault and reckless endangerment, following a Tuesday incident in the 500-block of Maryland Avenue. Smith allegedly assaulted a woman by "head butting" her, causing her to fall to the floor. He also tried to suffocate her. Following a hearing in District Court, Smith was held on $2500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
MAN ARRESTED ON OUT-OF-STATE WARRANT
Thirty-eight year old Cumberland resident John Edward Blowe was arrested on an out-of-state warrant, from Mineral County, West Virginia. He was served with the warrant, taken to District Court, and was ordered to be held without bail, pending extradition.
NO TRANSIT SERVICE ON JULY 24TH
There will be no Allegany County Transit Service on Thursday, July 24th, as the employees will be participating in an Employee In-Service Training Day. Neither fixed route bus service nor All Trans vans will operate. ACT is reviewing all aspects of safety as part of the county's Workplace Safety Program, according to Christine Howard, Allegany County Transit Division Chief.
NO TRASH COLLECTION TOMORROW
There will be no trash collection in the city of Cumberland tomorrow, due to the Independence Day holiday. Residents of areas affected by the change should put their trash out on their next regularly scheduled collection. Any questions may be directed to the Public Works Department at (301)-759-6620 or email, email@example.com. In Allegany County, all government offices will be closed, and there will no fixed route bus service and para-transit will also not operate.
FIREWORKS SET FOR TOMORROW NIGHT
The city of Cumberland's annual fireworks display is set for tomorrow night. Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim says there are two distinct changes to this year's display. One, they will be set off from the Bishop Walsh School girls' softball field. And, Mayor Grim says this year's fireworks will be bigger. The location was changed, due to new guidelines from the State Fire Marshal's Office, which caused some confusion last year. This year, the changes are being made to comply with those fire regulations. From the softball field, the fireworks can be seen virtually anywhere in the city. And, they'll be bigger and better than ever, due to a larger shell being ignited. The fireworks display is scheduled for dusk tomorrow night.
FIRE HYDRANT FLUSHING NEXT WEEK
Allegany County continues it fire hydrant flushing next week. Among the areas affected will be the Borden, Carlos, Shaft, and Morantown areas, along with Vale Summit and Zihlman. Residents may experience some water discoloration during the process. Water should be run for several minutes, until clear, before using it.
COLUMBIA GAS SEEKING RATE HIKE
Columbia Gas of Maryland is seeking a rate increase that would raise bills by about 2.7 per cent. The filing for the rate increase took place on Tuesday, with local legislators being notified by Mark Kempic, President of Columbia Gas. The company has about 33,000 residential and industrial customers. The Public Service Commission has suspended the effective date of the rate increase for 60, from the proposed effective date of July 31st to September 29th, to allow more study on the rate increase request.
HEROIN DEATHS ON THE RISE IN MARYLAND
The number of drug and alcohol deaths in Maryland rose from 799 in 2012 to 858 last year, and much of the increase is due to heroin, particularly when it is laced with fentanyl. Heroin-related deaths jumped 18 per cent between 2012 and 2013, continuing a rising trend. Last year, heroin deaths doubled, from 10 in 2012 to 21 in 2013.
UPMC BANS WORK DAY SMOKE BREAKS
Some 62,000 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center employees are affected by a ruling that bans taking smoke breaks or otherwise using tobacco during the work day. UPMC, which operates a facility in Bedford, offers a smoking cessation program to its employees. With 62,000 employees, slightly more than 10 per cent have reported using tobacco in a recent survey. About 280 of those employees have expressed an interest in quitting the use of tobacco.
WEST VIRGINIA CLOTHING VOUCHERS NOW AVAILABLE
West Virginia has announced that residents can now apply for school clothing vouchers for eligible children. Each will receive a $200 voucher, and those in foster care will automatically receive vouchers, along with children in families who currently receive cash assistance from WV WORKS. The deadline to apply is July 31st, and the families must use the vouchers at participating stores by October 31st.
W. VA. POWER COMPANIES PROPOSE INCREASE
Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power are proposing a 17 per cent rate increase. The companies, which are subsidiaries of American Electric Power filed the request with the state Public Service Commission. Company spokespersons said the increase is needed to recover costs tied to system maintenance and upgrades, along with major storm restoration efforts as a result of such weather events as the derecho and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
TRIAL DATE SET IN CASE
Barton resident Chad Custer will stand trial on December 3rd, having been charged with seriously injuring an 11-month old child. He had been indicted by a grand jury for child abuse and assault. The child was initially taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on
April 15th with severe internal injuries, and was later diagnosed with shaken baby syndrome. Custer pleaded not guilty to the charges, and is currently being held at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Special Prosecutor In FSU Police Case
A special prosecutor will be appointed to the case of a Frostburg State University police officer, Jarrett Devon Warnick, who is charged with second-degree sex offense and assault of a then-18 year old student. State's Attorney Michael Twigg made the request of Judge W. Timothy Finan yesterday morning, noting that it's standard procedure for prosecutors to request an outside prosecutor be appointed for cases involving charges against police. Trial has been scheduled for September 10th. The offenses allegedly occurred in 2009, when the alleged victim was attending Frostburg State University.
WOMEN ARRESTED ON NUMEROUS CHARGES
Twenty-five year old Ashley Baldwin and 19-year old Alisa Platt were arrested, following an incident at a Henderson Avenue residence on Monday. They allegedly had sent threatening message to the victims via the internet. They went to the residence and pulled the air conditioner unit from the window, trying to get into the home. They were each served with a criminal summons and released pending trial in District Court. They were charged with burglary, malicious destruction of property, disturbing the peace, and littering or dumping an item of under 100 pounds.
STREET CLOSURES ANNOUNCED FOR NEXT WEEK
The city of Cumberland Engineering Department has announced a number of partial street closures, effective next Monday at 6 a.m. Liberty Street, from Frederick Street to Union, Dexter Place from Centre Street to Liberty, and Pershing Street, adjacent to Liberty Street will be closed to traffic. The closures are necessary to complete improvements at the intersection of Liberty and Pershing Streets. It should last only 24 hours, but streets will reopen to traffic sooner, if possible. In case of bad weather, the closure will be rescheduled for Tuesday, July 15th.
C3I INVESTIGATES BURGLARY
The Allegany County C3I Unit is continuing the burglary investigation, involving a home in the 100-block of George Street in Frostburg last Friday. A person or persons broke into the home between June 25th and 27th, with a number of guns, electronic equipment and power tools taken. Anyone with information is asked to contact the C3I unit, or Allegany/Mineral County Crimesolvers.
SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES TOOL THEFT
The Mineral County Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft of tools and equipment from several trucks parked along Route 220, across from Wal-Mart. The tools were stolen between last Thursday night and Friday morning. The suspects cut the locks off the tool boxes; the items stolen were the workers' personal property. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at (304)-788-4107.
PIEDMONT COUNCIL APPROVES SALARIES
Piedmont city employees were recently granted a $1 across the board raise. The increased salaries will affect seven full time and two seasonal employees. In another matter, it was agreed to advertise for bids to obtain a garbage collector for the city, which would include the council chambers and other locations throughout the town.
FOURTH OF JULY AT CANAL PLACE
Two downtown businesses are creating a two-day "Gimme Shelter" musical fundraiser for the Allegany County Animal Shelter's "Lucky 33" dogs. Tomorrow, Victorian Creations is sponsoring a performance at 7 p.m., featuring Luke Hoover and an acoustic set from the Travis Minnick Band. The July4th start time has been moved to 4:30 p.m., so that the Crabby Pig can present the blues power of Bushmaster with Gary Brown. The Cumberland Comes Alive performance of the Sugar Foot Stompers is sponsored by Mezzo's. While both concerts are free and open to the public, donations for the Allegany County Animal Shelter are gratefully accepted. Also a wish list for the shelter is available online at "ashelterofhope.com."
ATTORNEY HIRED TO REPRESENT PIEDMONT
Attorney Roy Hardy of Keyser has been hired by the town of Piedmont to represent it, in the case of the burned out buildings on Childs Avenue and Second Street. The properties on Second Street were owned by the estate of the late Mickey Racco. The current owner of the property has not responded to a certified letter, addressing the situation. Piedmont's current attorney, Jim Carskadon, recused himself in the matter, citing a conflict of interest.
TEACHER EVALUATION GROUP APPROVED
A partnership between Maryland Education officials and a group of organizations has been formed, and it will help develop an important aspect of teacher evaluations. States, including Maryland, are struggling to develop new teacher evaluation systems and work to implement student achievement into the reviews. Maryland State School Superintendent Dr. Lillian Lowery says that while teachers are not opposed to being held accountable, but they do want fairness. The partnership will help underscore the importance of supporting teachers and principals as changes are implemented.
MAN FOUND SHOT TO DEATH ALONG TURNPIKE
Ohio resident Antwan Dash was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head along the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Somerset yesterday morning. Dash was found in his vehicle shortly after 2:30 a.m. and police remained on the scene until about 7 a.m. The investigation is continuing, and no further details have been released.
Pennsylvania Company Pays $4 Million Fine
Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Value Drug, Incorporated has agreed to pay $4 million for violating the federal Controlled Substances Act. Value was accused of failing to notify the Drug Enforcement Administration about supplying pharmacies with large or frequent orders of Oxycodone, including ones to a Hagerstown-area drug store.
MARYLAND BANS GRAIN ALCOHOL
Maryland has joined Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania in banning grain alcohol. The new law took effect yesterday. Maryland has also banned what are called "Vaportinis," which makes it possible to inhale alcohol through a glass straw.
WEST VIRGINIA RECEIVES JOB TRAINING MONEY
The state of West Virginia is receiving more than $6 million in federal funding for job training programs for laid-off workers. The United States Department of Labor is awarding nearly $155 million nationwide, through the Job-Driven National Emergency Grant Program. The money will train workers who lost a job through no fault of their own for jobs in high-demand industries.
ARSON CAUSED MEYERSDALE FIRE
Arson is being blamed as the cause of a large fire Sunday night in Meyersdale. One firefighter was taken to the hospital, as the result of the fire at "Slammerz," on Center Street Sunday night. The building was completely destroyed, and the buildings on either side suffered smoke and water damage. The fire caused about $160,000 in damage. The property was owned by David Schrock of Cary, North Carolina and a former resident of Meyersdale. Crews were on the scene through early Monday, controlling hot spots.
STATE MAY BUY TERRAPIN RUN DEVELOPMENT
The state of Maryland wants to buy Terrapin Run, and negotiations are currently underway for the sale. The county has continued to defend the inclusion of Terrapin Run in the 2014 Comprehensive Plan, despite objections among many residents, and state officials. A court case was put on hold, pending negotiations between the state and Terrapin Run for possible sale of the property. The current agreement will expire in October; after that, litigation could continue.
LOCAL AMBULANCE SERVICE CLOSES
Allegany Ambulance Service has closed, and according to the owners, Roy and Dottie Troutman, it's because of a dramatic drop in the number of transports. The last calls were yesterday morning. Allegany Ambulance will put its ambulances and related medical equipment up for sale.
MAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER FALL FROM CLIFF
A man was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, after falling about 50 feet from a cliff at Maple Landing and Dovedale Lane in Hampshire County. The extent of his injuries is unknown. He landed 20 to 30 feet from the water and had to be placed in a boat, and taken down river, to get to an ambulance. Several agencies and the Hampshire County Sheriff's Office responded to the incident.
TWO ARRESTED FOR CDS USE
Twenty-five year old Jared Anderson of Bedford and 24-year old Daniel Markle of Keyser were arrested in the 300-block of Bedford Street, after police received a report of possible CDS use in a vehicle. Markle was charged was a count of possession of drug paraphernalia; he was released on a criminal citation pending trial in District Court, and Anderson was charged with a count of CDS possession (not marijuana) and possession of paraphernalia. He was released on personal recognizance, pending his next appearance.
STOLEN CAR FROM BALTIMORE RECOVERED IN CUMBERLAND
A red Chrysler 300, which had been stolen from Baltimore, was recovered in the area of Park and Emily Streets in Cumberland Sunday. Police utilized the License Plate Recognition Device to confirm the car had been stolen. It was unoccupied and no suspect were developed. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.
RECYCLING NOW IN EFFECT IN CUMBERLAND
The city begins its single-stream, curbside recycling service today from Burgmeier's Hauling Service. The bins will be emptied the first trash day of the week, and every other week after that. Directions were included with the initial distribution of the recycling cans. Trash collection days will remain the same, and the service is being provided at no extra charge to city residents.
GARRETT BOARD TO MEET JULY 15TH
The Garret County Board of Education will hold its regular meeting on Tuesday, July 15th, instead of the originally scheduled date of July 8th. The meeting will be held at the Central Office in the Board Room.
SOMERSET MAN HELD ON $50,000 BAIL
A Boswell man is being held on $50,000 bail, after allegedly assaulting two Pennsylvania State troopers during a traffic stop. Twenty-seven year old Jonathan Timulak was initially stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence; in the process, he is accused of kicking one of the troopers and biting another. He was found to have drugs and paraphernalia in his possession. Due to the amount, Timulak was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
COUNTY SCHEDULES FIRE HYDRANT FLUSHING
Allegany County is flushing fire hydrants in the area during the month of July. Today through Thursday, work is being done in the Grahamtown, Lower Consol and Upper Consol roads, along with Wright's Crossing. Residents may experience some water discoloration during the flushing process. It is also recommended that residents run water for several minutes until it is clear, before using it.
GAS TAX INCREASE IN EFFECT
The state of Maryland phases in another portion of the gas tax, beginning today. Last year, the tax rose from 23.5 cents to 27-cents per gallon. Ragina Averella, of Triple "A"-Mid Atlantic says today's increase is known as the "C.P.I." tax, or the consumer price index tax, which allows for inflation. Gas will rise four-tenths of a cent, effective today. Maryland is seeing the highest gas prices since 2008, with an average of $3.70 per gallon. As far as having an impact on drivers, Ms. Averella says people are still traveling; the majority of residents need to drive. Along with the increased gas tax, she says the conflict in Iraq is raising gas prices.
WEST VIRGINIA CASINOS IN GOOD SHAPE
Despite revenue losses, the financial condition of West Virginia's casinos is sound. Total revenue dropped more than $140 million between the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years. An audit from an accounting firm cites competition from casinos in Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Since the report was issued, the West Virginia Lottery Commission voted to reissue table games licenses to all five casinos.
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