Portions of Oakland Evacuated After Accident
A two-block radius of Oakland was evacuated yesterday, including the courthouse, the Garrett County jail, Appalachian Crossroads and the surrounding areas, after an 18-wheeler, carrying about 10,000 gallons of propane, overturned along Route 219. A spokesperson for the Maryland State Police at McHenry says there was a minor fuel leak in the truck, but no propane escaped. The Maryland Department of the Environment arrived on the scene to "upright" the truck. The incident was initially reported around 9:30 a.m., and it took several hours before the accident scene was cleared.
Former Keyser Resident Arrested
Fifty-four year old Rose Talbert, formerly of Keyser, was arrested there, following a disturbance on North Main Street. Ms. Talbert, who now lives in Richwood, West Virginia, was arrested after refusing leave the front porch of a residence there. She was charged with assault and public intoxication, and taken to the Potomac Highlands Jail.
Massachusetts Avenue Home Rebuilt
The home of Darrell Lee Powell, which had been destroyed by fire last July, has been rebuilt. Powell decided he wanted to remain part of the neighborhood, after the electrical fire caused about $30,000 in damage to the structure. Powell expressed thanks to not only those who rebuilt the home, but also the neighbors, who contributed both donations and well wishes.
Man Served with Arrest Warrant
Cresaptown resident Marcus Craig Younger was served with a bench warrant for failure to appear. He was taken to the District Court Commissioners' Office for a bond review. Following that, he was released on personal recognizance.
Police Investigate Stolen Trailer
The Maryland State Police Barrack at McHenry is investigating a stolen trailer, from Hardesty True Value, Incorporated. Sometime over the course of this past weekend, a person or persons went onto the Hardesty property and took the 2014 Car Mate Enclosed trailer. It is six feet by twelve feet, and had three ladder racks on top. The Maryland State Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at (301)-387-1101.
Schools Open Today and Monday
All Allegany County Public Schools and offices are open, both today and Monday. The Maryland State Board of Education granted a request to use those days as instructional make-up days for students. Additionally, the last day of school for students will now be Wednesday, June 11th, and it will be a three-hour early dismissal.
Chamber Presents Plaque to Teacher of the Year
During the April Allegany County Board of Education meeting, the Chamber of Commerce presented a plaque to Dana Reinhardt, the 2014-2015 Allegany County Teacher of the Year. She is a third-grade teacher at George's Creek Elementary School. The Chamber's Education Committee is a strong and active voice for business/education partnerships within the county and the region.
Mineral Grants $18,000 to Library
The Mineral County Board of Education granted the Keyser-MIneral County Public Library $18,000 for the coming fiscal year and to give $1,000 to the Piedmont facility. Of the $18,000 given to Keyser, the bulk will come from a levy, and an additional $5,000 will come from fiscal 2014 carryover funds.
NWS Schedules Weather Spotter Class in Petersburg
The National Weather Service is presenting a Weather Spotter class in Petersburg on April 30th. The class, which will be held at upper level 5 of the Grant Courthouse from 6 to 9 p.m. SKYWARN is a national network of volunteer severe weather spotters, and are trained by the National Weather Service Forecast Offices on how to spot severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and flooding. If you are interested in taking the class, call the Grant County Office of Emergency Services at (304)-257-5451.
President Declares Federal Disaster
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the state of Maryland to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the snowstorm on February 12th and 13th. Presidential action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private, non-profit organizations on a cost sharing basis for emergency work in Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties. Federal funding is also available on a cosxt-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
O'Malley Comments on Marijuana Legislation
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed the state's marijuana decriminalization bill on Monday. While several prosecutors had urged him to veto the bill, O'Malley observed that very few go to prison for a first or second marijuana offense. This law allows police officers to issue citations, rather than conduct a full-blown arrest. Governor O'Malley still maintains this is an experiment Maryland should not be engaged in; part of his thinking involves jobs that open in the state that require federal background checks and security clearances. Concerns of racial disparity played a role in his decision; Governor O'Malley says that involvement with marijuana can be an impediment to employment.
Chief District Court Judge Named
Prince George's County Judge John Morrissey has been named the next chief judge of the State's District Court. Morrissey will succeed District Court Chief Judge Ben C. Clyburn when he retires next month. Morrissey will oversee the court's 34 locations and nearly 2,000 employees, including the state's 116 judges. The state District Court has a budget of $165 million, and processes more than 1.7 million cases per year.
Capito, Tennant Keep Pace with Contributions
U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito brought in more than $817,000 for her U.S. Senate bid last quarter, and her likely opponent Natalie Tennant, kept pace by raising almost $800,000. the two are vying for the post now held by U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, who is retiring after five terms. Projections are that both candidates will win the May primary; while a Republican has not won a West Virginia Senate election since 1956, political analysts give Capito the edge in the general election.
Two Proposals Offered for Footer Building
The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority has two proposals on hand for the development of the Footer Dye Works building. However, those names will not be released for now. The proposals were due last Friday, and a committee of state-level officials has been formed to examine the offers. More details on the offers will be released as regulations permit.
Safe Streets Warrant Initiative
A total of 33 people were served with 36 arrest warrants, during last week's April Safe Streets Initiative, conducted by the Cumberland City Police Department. The public and other police agencies were responsible for the roundup, with charges ranging from failure to appear, to violation of court orders, to more serious offenses, including assault and sex offenses. The operation took place last Monday through Friday.
Woman Pleads Guilty in Fraudulent Fundraising Case
Somerset, Pennsylvania resident Mandy Lee Klinkner has pleaded guilty of holding a fraudulent fundraiser for a four-year old cancer patient. Ms. Klinkner had been charged with felony counts of theft by deception, theft, and receiving stolen property. She actually had pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct, a third-degree misdemeanor.
Student Charged in Tech Center Incident
Juvenile petition charges have been filed against a 17-year old student at the Mineral County Technical Center, following an incident on Monday. The student threw a 21-year old into a wall. The students, who are both mentally challenged were, "horsing around," according to Keyser Police Chief Karen Shoemaker. The victim was taken to the hospital with injuries to his face and other lacerations.
Keyser Approves FY 2015 Budget
The city of Keyser has approved its 2015 Fiscal Year budget, which includes expenditures of $1.5 million, or $23,000 less than the current fiscal year. The budget, which was submitted to the State Auditor's Office last month, will be adjusted in early summer as the city receives final numbers from its current budget. Some areas that received a reduction in funding are public safety, the street department, and funding for the city attorney.
Groups Opposing Sunday Hunting
Governor Martin O'Malley had been urged to veto legislation that would expand hunting on Sundays here in Western Maryland. The Maryland Ornithological Society and the Maryland Horse Council both opposed the move. Until the bills that would authorize hunting deer and other game on private and public lands in Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick counties were passed, the practice has generally been prohibited in the state, though numerous exceptions have been made.
Cumberland To Begin Recycling Program
As part of a new, three-year deal with Burgmeier Hauling of Altoona, the city of Cumberland will begin a recycling program. Burgmeier is being paid $750,000 per year for three years, and Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim says recycling will help the city reach its goal of waste stream reduction, as mandated by the state of Maryland.Mayor Grim says the public will be provided with educational materials prior to the start of recycling; the intent is to offer recycling pickup on the first trash pickup of the week in the various neighborhoods. Mayor Grim commented on recycling types of paper materials.
Easter Egg Hunt Set
The city of Cumberland, with the help of Frostburg State University Recreation Program students and 4-H will host the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Constitution Park on Friday. Activities start at noon, with the actual egg hunt at 1 p.m., in the area of the tennis courts. The kids should bring a basket or bag for eggs, and prizes will be awarded in each age group.
Fracking Film, Discussion Set Monday
Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," will be discussed this Monday at Allegany College of Maryland. A film, entitled, "Gasland, Part II" will be shown, and a panel discussion on the subject will follow. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Zimmer Theatre in the College Center. The panel discussion will follow the film. Admission is free and open to the public.
Chamber Hosts Legislative Wrap Up
The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce will host a Legislative Wrap Up breakfast next Tuesday at the Ali Ghan Shrine Club. The breakfast begins at 7:30 p.m., with members of the Western Maryland Delegation providing a recap of business legislation and issues addressed during the 2014 Legislative Session in Annapolis. A question and answer period will follow.
Two Year Old Dies After Drowning
A two-year old boy was found face down in standing water on a pool cover in Maugansville died this past weekend at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The unidentified toddler wandered away from family members, and was found about 2 p.m. on the cover of an above-ground pool.
Homeland Security Official Charged
A former supervisor with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been charged with misusing his government-issued credit card at the Charles Town casino. Fifty-five year old Gene Protogiannis of Lovettsville, Virginia was indicted on 45 counts of wire fraud; the offenses allegedly occurred last year, when he used the card to receive cash advances at the Hollywood Casino. Nearly $116,000 were withdrawn. He faces up to 20 years in prison, along with a $250,000 fine on each of the 45 counts against him.
Young Woman Found Dead
A 25-year old woman was found dead in Bedford County Sunday morning, and the Pennsylvania State Police there are investigating. The woman was found inside a mobile home at the Fillo Trailer Park, along Route 52 in Bedford Township. Both the State Police and coroner were on the scene for most of the day. Bedford County State's Attorney Bill Higgins says the cause of death is undetermined, and an autopsy is planned.
Frostburg Officer Assaulted
The Frostburg Police Department handled 127 calls over this past weekend, one of which resulted in the injury of an officer. While investigating a large party at 38 Paul Street, Patrolman Zapf was struck in the head by Deara D. Parker. She was subsequently arrested and charged with second degree assault, among other counts. Also charged was Johnny Bentley Norris. The charges were issued on a criminal summons, and they include second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. Officer Zapf was treated for minor injuries at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center Emergency Room.
WMHS CEO Comments on Alliance
The alliance among the Western Maryland Health System, Frederick Regional Health System, and Meritus Health has been in the works for some time, but now it has a name-Trivergent Health Alliance. Barry Ronan, Chief Executive Officer of the Western Maryland Health System, says the facility looked at 50 different names, and one that was not copyrighted. While the three looked at the spectrum of a loose association to a full merger, it was decided the best way to go was an alliance. Ronan says the alliance encompasses shared services, revenue, information technology, and pharmacy services, among others. The alliance affects 1100 employees, with annual expenditures of $370 million. The CEO's of each system began discussing an alliance when it became evident there would be changes in the health care system. With more risk involved, Ronan says with a reduction in revenue, it was calculated that at least a billion dollars in revenue would be needed to remain viable.
PSC Ordered to Help Utility Customers
The Maryland Public Service Commission has ordered utility companies to give customers "a break," in light of this past winter, which brought frigid temperatures. The PSC is ordering utilities to apply energy assistance grants to both the generation and distribution charges on customer bills. For its part, Potomac Edison has expressed its willingness to work with customers on late bills. P.E. offers zero interest payment plans for many customers who are behind in their bills.
Tax Sales Set
Both Allegany and Garrett Counties have set the dates for their annual tax sales. The Allegany County sale will take place on April 30th at the county office complex, beginning at 10 a.m. In Garrett County, the sale is on May 2nd, at the Garrett County commissioners public meeting room. To be removed from the tax sale in Allegany County, property owners must make full payment on all charges no later than 4:30 p.m. on April 29th.
Assault Results in Drug Charge
Twenty-four year old Leonard Lewis Livengood was issued a criminal citation, charging him with possession of CDS paraphernalia. Cumberland City Police responded to a home in the 500-block of Valley Street in reference to an assault complaint. While inside, police found a marijuana smoking device. He was released, after he was issued the citation.
Garrett County Schools Finish on June 17th
Garrett County Schools were closed a total of 20 days this school year, and the Maryland State Department of Education has granted a five-day student waiver for the system. that means the last day of school in Garrett County will be Tuesday, June 17th. June 13th, 16th, and 17th will be two-hour early dismissals. Schools will be closed on Good Friday, but the other days for Easter vacation have been designated as make up days.
Pet Vaccinations Set
The Allegany County Health Department is holding its annual Spring Vaccination Clinic on Sunday, April 27th. The event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the George's Creek Elementary School. Vaccinations for cats and dogs over the age of 4 months will be $5.00. All animals must be in a carrier or on a leash. For more information, contact Misty Joy at (301)-759-5047.
State Won't Enforce Campaign Contributions
Following a landmark Supreme Court ruling, election officials in Maryland say they will no longer enforce a state law that imposes an overall $10,000 limit on campaign contributions in a four-year election cycle. They will continue to enforce a law, limiting individuals to contributing no more than $4,000 to a particular candidate during an election cycle; however, donors can give $4,000 to as many candidates as they'd like.
CareFirst Dominates Enrollments
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has signed up more than 53,000 people through the health exchange website, but even more called the carrier and enrolled directly because of online technical problems. Almost 65,200 had enrolled in private insurance3 through the four carriers selling on its website during the same time frame.
Name Selected for Affiliation
Trivergent Health Alliance has been selected as the name of the new affiliation among the Western Maryland Health System, Frederick Regional Health System, and Meritus Health in Hagerstown. According to the Western Maryland Health System Facebook page, the new alliance will help each organization achieve shared goals of enhancing the quality of care, improving population health, and reducing the cost of providing care. The post also credited Clay Jones of the WMHS Finance Department for coming up with the name.
Missing Child Found Safe
A child who had been reported missing early yesterday afternoon has been found safe. Cumberland City Police say they conducted an extensive search for the 9-year old, who had been reported missing from her Arch Street residence. The child was located at a friend's residence in South Cumberland, and she was returned to her home.
Four Arrested for Drug Possession
Four people were stopped Saturday evening on Route 219, south of Friendsville Road, and charged with marijuana possession. Kristyn Lyn Wilson of Lubbock, Texas, along with Patrick Eric-Stevon Staten of Capitol Heights, Maryland, Paris Shaquille Hal of District Heights and Danielle Ileen Kirk of Washington, D.C. were charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia on a criminal citation and released.
Firing Range Given Go-Ahead
The Allegany County Commissioners have given approval for development of a law enforcement firing range and training facility at Mexico Farms, on county-owned property. County employees will build the facility and the only outstanding expense will be an eight-foot fence surrounding it. Money that was saved from the construction of the new sheriff's office will be used toward the expected costs of building the fence. That was quoted at about $4500.
FSU Planning Security Facility
Frostburg State University is planning to build a new public safety building, which will be twice the size of the current building, which is 2500-square feet. The original campus police station, which was built in 1953 on University Drive, will be replaced by a 5,000-square foot building, which will be located on Braddock Road.
Charges Dropped Against Elk Garden Man
Attempted second-degree murder and other related counts have been dropped against Elk Garden, West Virginia resident Roger Lee Paugh. He had been accused of shooting Westernport resident Dustin Loy. Following an investigation, it was determined that Loy's gunshot wound to the hand had been self-inflicted. Loy will be charged with providing false information to law enforcement.
Man Sentenced to Prison in Sexual Abuse Case
Hampshire County resident Harry Wright has been sentenced to at least 20 years in prison, after pleading guilty to eight counts of sexual abuse. Wright will serve no less than 20 years, but no more than 100 years in prison. He was also fined $1,000 for each count. While two witnesses testified against Wright at the sentencing, three testified on his behalf.
Two Pennsylvania Men Face Drug Charges
Two Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania men have been arrested for allegedly transporting heroin through Somerset County. Both Joe Molina-Delgado and Lewis Henderson were allegedly transporting the drugs, valued at over $30,000, when they were stopped on the Pennsylvania Turnpike at Somerset. There were 2,000 stamp bags of heroin found in the car, which would likely have been sold for $15 to $20 per bag on the street.
Cumberland Man Charged with Theft
Thirty-five year old Cumberland resident Joseph William Wood has been charged with theft, after allegedly failing to pay for a taxi cab ride. The criminal citation was issued in the area of Fourth Street at Seymour Street in South Cumberland. He was released from the scene, pending further action in District Court at a later date.
Former Frostburg Mayor Passes Away
Services will take place today for former Frostburg Mayor William "Bill" Davis, who died Friday at the Frostburg Village Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He was 81. Davis had also been a teacher in Allegany County Schools, and was a real estate agent. Internment will be at the Frostburg Memorial Park.
Master's Program in Nursing at FSU Approved
Although the program still needs approval by the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the University System of Maryland gave its approval to a master's degree in nursing at Frostburg State University last week. The program will address a shortage of nursing educators, and adds a master's degree, with an emphasis on either education or administration. Only FSU will have an online option to make the program more attractive to working nurses with scheduling conflicts.
Maryland Man Added to Most Wanted List
A former high-ranking State Department official has been added to the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List, after brutally killing his wife, mother and three sons in 1976. William Bradford Bishop bludgeoned the victims with a sledgehammer in an upper-class Bethesda, Maryland neighborhood then, and has been spotted in several foreign countries and the United States, but has never been arrested. Bishop would now be 77 years old, and a reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest.
O'Malley to Sign Decriminalization Bill
Governor Martin O'Malley will sign the marijuana decriminalization bill today, despite prosecutors across the state urging him to veto the legislation. The bill would reduce the penalties for possessing less than 10-grams of the durg from 90 days in jail, to civil fines, starting at $100. He is also expected to sign a bill to expand medical marijuana use.
Family Dollar to Close 370 Stores
Family Dollar Stores has announced it is closing 370 stores in the United States, but it is unclear whether the closures will affect any local or regional facilities. The chain has stores in more than 45 states; slow sales were cited as a factor in marking the decision. A final statement on which stores would be closing has not been made.
Maryland Ranks High In Foreclosures
The state of Maryland has the third highest foreclosure rate in the country, despite fact that foreclosure rates are down more than 20 per cent across the country. A spokesperson for RealtyTrac says it has seen rates increase, and that has been the trend for the past two years in the state. About 1 in 189 homes in Maryland are in foreclosure.
Common Core Legislation Approved
Common Core is often a controversial topic in Maryland, but there wasn't much opposition to three pieces of legislation that have received final approval in the General Assembly. The bills address concerns about testing and implementation. Maryland State Education Association President Betty Weller says time, flexibility, and resources were needed. Weller says Common Core State Standards are the biggest education change she's seen in her career, and more tweaks may be needed as they are implemented.
Farimont Man Injured by Power Lines
Eugene Boyce, of Farimont who is a delivery driver for Lowe's in Morgantown, is in UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, after suffering electrical shock during a delivery this past Friday. Boyce was delivering supplies in a large boom truck on Sand Springs Road near Cheat Lake, when he tried to raise overhead power lines to allow the truck to pass underneath. He was found on the roof of the truck cab and was Life Flighted to Pittsburgh.
Winchester Court Coming to LaVale
A shopping area, entitled "Winchester Court" is coming to the Winchester Road area, across from Western Sizzlin' Steak House. Penntex Ventures from Greensburg, Pennsylvania is developing the area for shopping; another anchor building of 17,000 square feet is already committed to a national retailer. The original structure, which housed Maple Mountain Industries, was built in 1965. Opening of Winchester Court is scheduled for next spring.
County Tax Collections Down
Income tax collections are expected to drop over $858,000 for fiscal year 2015, but that will not require "devastating" cuts, according to finance director Jason Bennett. The situation isn't as bad as in recent years, when the county had to reduce its workforce by 18 per cent. On the positive side, about $700,000 per year will be coming from the Rocky Gap casino operation. The county is in the midst of its budget process, and proposals reflecting the shortfall, will be presented at next week's meeting.
Terrapin Run Plan Under Fire
State officials continue to slam the Terrapin Run project, which would consist of 920 homes near the Green Ridge State Forest. According to a state planner, growth areas should be confined to areas where infrastructure can be supported; originally, Terrapin Run called for 4300 units there. Along with the shortfalls in infrastructure, other concerns included a lack of provisions to protect against agricultural, farmland and other sensitive areas. the hearing on the plan was continued until May 21st at 5 p.m.
Cumberland Man Arrested in Break In
Cumberland resident Michael Butler is free on $3,000 bond, after being charged with the breaking and entering of a Bowery Street residence in Frostburg. Butler fled the home, when the residents returned, and discovered him. Butler had entered the residence and was gathering up laptop computers and other valuables, before being confronted by the residents. He was found at another home in the 100-block of Bowery Street and arrested.
Marijuana Arrests Made
Two men have been arrested in the Friendsville area, in separate incidents, and charged with marijuana possession. In the first Dumfries, Virginia resident Donte Campbell was stopped on Interstate 68, at the one-mile marker; he was charged and issued a criminal citation, before being released. The second incident saw Martinsburg, Maryland resident Aaron Tisdale was issued a criminal citation and released, after being stopped in the area of eastbound Maple Street, west of First Avenue.
Preston Murder Trial Continues
The trial of a Preston County man, accused of the May, 2012 murder of Leslie Layman continues this week. Masontown resident Denny Franklin Ervin is charged with first-degree murder in Ms. Layman's death. Ervin is accused of shooting her, at least once, with a .22-calibre revolver. Ervin and Ms. Layman had previously been in a domestic partnership, which was termed as "stormy."
Water Project Meeting Set
The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting, regarding a possible future water project for Barrelville/Sunnyside. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 30th at 7 p.m., at the Mount Savage Fire Hall. Residents of that area and all interested citizens are invited to attend. On hand will be representatives of the Department of Public Works, to answer questions and discuss details about the project.
Methadone Clinic Draws Criticism
A methadone clinic, which is scheduled to open in Williamsport on April 24th, has triggered a reaction from citizens in area. A meeting was held this week with Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore. Where to place the clinic, safety concerns, and monitoring those using the clinic were discussed. Traffic congestion from limited parking has been the most common issue at the current clinic, located on Day Road in Hagerstown.
Grand Jury Indicts Man in Fatal Stabbings
A Washington County grand jury has indicted 19-year old Joseph William Minoglio, who is accused of stabbing his grandparents to death at their Keedysville home. New, related counts were added to the indictment. Both 84-year old Joseph Michael Minoglio and his 78-year old wife, Peggy, were found dead in their home on March 15th. Their grandson has been charged with two counts each of first and second-degree murder, and first and second-degree assault.
O'Malley Allows More Gaming Permits
Governor Martin O'Malley has signed a bill into law, that would allow more gaming permits for non-profit organizations in Frederick County. Civic and charitable groups will now be able to hold up to four gaming events each year, with major prizes of more than $5,000. The Veterans of Foreign Wars requested the bill, and will allow non-profits raise additional money, and do more for the community.
Hopkins Strike Enters Third Day
About 2,000 employees of Johns Hopkins Hospital-most of whom are service and maintenance workers-vow to remain on the picket line, at least through today. According to the workers, the hospital failed to offer at least $14 an hour for every worker, with the local union charging that some of those workers make so little, they have to rely on public assistance for basic needs. For its part, Johns Hopkins says that although it's moving forward, they continue to negotiate in good faith to reach a fair settlement for all.
Group Wants Additional Tobacco Tax
The Maryland General Assembly ended on Monday, but already one group is pushing for an additional $1 increase in the state's cigarette tax. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids is asking incumbent lawmakers and those running for office to sign a pledge, promising they will vote for the increase. Amy Barkley, of the group, says 64 per cent of Marylanders support the hike. The higher taxes go, the more people will quit smoking, and this "diminishing rate of return" may not produce the effect they want. As for the issue of electronic cigarettes, Ms. Barkley says lawmakers cannot, obviously, tax them by the pack.
Drones Used to Research Real Estate
Drones are being used in the Lewisburg area of West Virginia to test the real estate market. Foxfire Realty is utilizing the technology to provide panoramic aerial views of the farms and country estates they are marketing on behalf of their clients. The commercial use of drones by real estate professionals is allowed, although regulations for commercial use are not expected to be in place until September of next year.
Student Arrested in Stabbings
A 16-year old sophomore at the Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania is being charged as an adult in connection with a series of stabbings yesterday at the school. The juvenile stabbed up to 20 people at the school, with two in critical condition. His name has not been released.
Museum To See Improvements
The Allegany Museum will benefit from being included in the state budget. The museum will receive $250,000 for several improvements, including a new roof and other renovations. Museum officials approached Governor O'Malley last fall with its requests, without the benefit of meeting with local legislators, but later acknowledged that mistake. Officials want the facility to become a fully certified museum as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution of Washington.
City to Have Curbside Recycling
As a feature of its new contract with Burgmeier Hauling of Altoona, the city of Cumberland will be providing weekly recycling pickups. Mayor Brian Grim says citizens have requested the service. Burgmeier will be paid around $145,000 each year of the three year contract for recycling service.
Company Furloughs 40 Employees
Bedford Reinforced Plastics has announced the temporary layoff of 40 of its employees, but the company hopes to have them return to work in the near future. That number represents about one-sixth of its work force, who were furloughed last Friday; the slowdown is being attributed to poor economic conditions, with first quarter sales much slower than expected. There was no word on when the employees would be called back to work.
Somerset Man Arrested by Garrett County Deputies
Somerset, Pennsylvania resident Matthew James Shaner was arrested Tuesday night by Garrett County Sheriff's deputies. A call was received for law enforcement authorities to be on the lookout for a vehicle involved in a theft from Wal Mart. The car was stopped on Route 219, and a search of the vehicle resulted in stolen property, drugs and drug paraphernalia being found. He was charged with drug possession, making false statements to a police officer, and possession of a hypodermic needle. Additional charges against Shaner are pending.
Man Arrested for Discharging Gun
Keyser resident Donald Citarelli has been charged with shooting a deer rifle within 500 feet of a building. Police say alcohol was involved, and that the shot was fired during a domestic disturbance at Citarelli's home on West Piedmont Street. No one was injured, and Citarelli was taken to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, where he has since posted bail.
Man Arrested Following Domestic Incident
Cumberland resident Charles Robert Ballard, Jr., has been charged in connection with a domestic incident on Winton Place Tuesday. Ballard is accused of assaulting a woman by throwing her down on the bed; she was able to free herself, but Ballard also allegedly threw her to the floor and bit her finger. She was taken to the hospital for treatment; Ballard was arrested, and later released on personal recognizance, on a charge of second-degree assault.
Man Issued B & E Summons
Cumberland resident Michael Adrian Munday was issued a summons on a charge of fourth-degree burglary. He is accused of breaking into, and entering a home in the 900-block of Bedford Street on March 31st of this year. As he opened the window, a person in the home screamed, and he fled the scene. Charges were applied for in District Court, which resulted in the summons being issued.
Annual Tax Sale Set for End of April
The annual Allegany County tax sale will take place on Wednesday, April 30th at the county office building. The sale begins at 10 a.m. The tax lien sale of properties will be advertised four times in the Cumberland Times-News. To be removed from the advertisement, all taxes must be paid by 4:30 p.m. on April 29th.
Guard Sentenced for Assault
A former prison guard at the Roxbury Correctional Institution near Hagerstown has been sentenced to 30 months in a federal prison. Tyson Hinckle was sentenced for conspiring with officers to assault inmate Kenneth Davis in March of 2008. At one time, Davis had been incarcerated in Cumberland. Hinckle is the seventh former officer from RCI who has been sentenced in connection with the series of assaults on Davis. Sixteen former and current officers have been convicted.
Attorney General Calls for Probe
Attorney General Doug Gansler is calling for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the state health exchange's failed web launch. Gansler-who, himself, is a Democratic gubernatorial candidate-says the state's citizens would like to have some answers for when re-enrollment begins in November. Gansler called the failed website a "debacle," and said there was a lack of transparency and competition in awarding the original contract. Gansler responded to charges that his call for a special counsel was no more than a "campaign tactic." The Attorney General acknowledged that the issue is relevant to the campaign.
Auto Loan Companies Settle
The state of West Virginia has settled complaints with two Virginia auto loan companies over their debt collection practices. The settlement, reached in Jefferson County Circuit Court, involved Fast Auto Loans, Inc., and Virginia Auto Loans, Inc. Car title loans are banned in the Mountain State. The companies were accused of threatening prosecution in order to collect debts, charged excessive interest rates and failed to follow the law in seizing consumers' vehicles. The companies, as part of the settlement, have agreed to pay $450,000 to the state.
W. Va. Electric Bills Among Lowest in the U.S.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission has announced that the state is among those with the lowest electricity rates in the nation. West Virginia rates were the sixth lowest in the entire country. The only states with cheaper rates are Arkansas, Idaho, North Dakota, Washington and Louisiana. Rates are as low as they are, because of the abundant amount of natural resources in West Virginia, as well as oversight by the Public Service Commission.
Man Sentenced in Meth Case
Cumberland resident Gary Ray Bookheimer has been sentenced to 12 years of actual incarceration on charges of possession with intent to distribute meth, and manufacturing of the drug. Judge Gary Leasure sentenced him, following a trial in which he was found guilty on April 2nd. Prosecuting the case for the state was Assistant State's Attorney Samuel Lane; attorney Kelly Clark represented Bookheimer in the proceedings.
Contract Awarded to Altoona Company
The city of Cumberland's sanitation contract was awarded to Altoona-based Burgmeier's Hauling, which means the city will no longer utilize Advanced Disposal, which currently employs 20 Teamster's union workers. A spokesman for the union claimed that Advanced was the low bidder, but city officials disagreed with that. Burgmeier will be paid just over $750,000 per year for three years of residential hauling. There are also provisions in the contract for a weekly recycling pickup and bulk hauling.
Allegany Project Draws 14 Bidders
There are 14 different companies, which have expressed an interest in razing the former Sacred Heart Hospital, to make way for a new Allegany High School. Companies from as far away as California have obtained bid packages for the project. A pre-bid conference was held yesterday at the site of the former hospital, to take questions from interested contractors, nine of whom were at the meeting.
Former Coach Passes at 72
Ellerslie native Royce Waltman, who began his coaching career at Bedford High School, and went on to be a part of Bobby Knight's coaching staff at Indiana, passed away Monday night at the age of 72. His basketball record at Bedford was 277-113, where he coached from 1966 to 1981. Waltman later was an assistant to Knight with the 1984 gold-medal winning United States Olympic team. Waltman also coached DePauw, Indiana University, where he compiled a 99-38 record.
Preston County Residents Arrested on Drug Charges
Two Preston County residents are being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on drug charges. Thirty-nine year old Joseph Sirota and 23-year old Kelly O'Donnell face numerous counts, and were additionally charged with being fugitives from justice. Bond has been set at $75,000 for each.
FCI Inmate Sentenced for Assault
A current inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland has been sentenced to 12 additional months in prison for assaulting a correctional officer. Forty-four year old Rene Lapointe had been an inmate at a Hazleton facility at the time of the assault. Lapointe had entered a guilty plea in connection with the incident.
Two Taken to Hospital Following Monday Accident
Route 36, the Vale Summit Road and Cabin Run Road were closed for a time late Monday afternoon, following a two-vehicle accident. Twenty-seven year old Cassandra McKenzie filed to yield the right-of-way to a vehicle driven by 32-year old Amy Ravenscroft of LaVale. The injured were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center by ambulance for treatment of what are being termed non-life threatening injuries. Assisting at the scene were the Frostburg Volunteer Fire Department, Shaft Fire Department, Clarysville, and the Frostburg area ambulance service.
Rocky Gap Reports $4 Million in March
The Rocky Gap Casino Resort reported $4 million in revenues for the month of March, but the Maryland Live casino in Hanover took in about $61.8 million, contributing to a record-breaking $77.9 million haul in statewide casino revenue. Of the $77.9 million taken in by the casinos, more than half is tax revenue. More than $30 million will go to the state Education Trust Fund and the rest to various state and local programs. A portion of Rocky Gap's revenues is returned to the Allegany County Commissioners' scholarship fund, which helps provide higher education opportunities at Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University.
Work to Begin in Bedford County
Work begins Monday on the Richard Street Bedford Turnpike Interchange project. Work consists of concrete patching, minor paving and concrete grinding. Most of the work will be done between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. All work on the $1.2 million project will be completed by the beginning of September.
Maryland Lawmakers Wrap Session
The 2014 session of the Maryland General Assembly is history, but saw both a gradual increase in the state's minimum wage and the decriminalization of marijuana, for small amounts. In the waning hours of the session, Howard County Representative Warren Miller spoke against the minimum wage bill, calling it the "inflation bill."Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley spoke against a pay raise for legislators; he acknowledged there were representatives who were upset about a potential raise. Western Maryland Delegate LeRoy Myers won't be returning to Annapolis next year. Another legislator, State Senator Norman Stone, is retiring after 52 years at the State House, initially serving as a delegate. He says one thing he will not miss, if the frustration of not getting a bill passed.
Fight Reported at House Office Building
A fight between two men-not legislators-was reported on the final night of the 2014 session of the Maryland General Assembly. The fight, which took place inside the office of Harford County Delegate Mary Dulany-James at the House Office Building, was between two men who were brothers. One of the two was an aide to Delegate Dulany-James.
Minimum Wage, Marijuana Bills Pass
Maryland's minimum wage will increase to $10.10 per hour by the year 2018, as the result of legislation passed on the final day of the 2014 General Assembly session. The bill, which was one of Governor Martin O'Malley's signature pieces of legislation this year, was passed on a vote of 87-47, but not without debate. And, the Governor says he will sign a bill, which will decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. That was also passed on the last day of the General Assembly session.
Coney Fire Ruled Accidental
Last Friday evening's fire in a Lonaconing apartment building on Jackson Street has been ruled accidental in nature. The fire, which began in the kitchen of one of the units, has been traced to a malfunctioning electrical outlet. The property is owned by Droll's Rentals, LLC, and was occupied by Cody Lucas. A total of $60,000 in damage was done to the structure and its contents. Smoke detectors were present and activated. Seven occupants were displaced, and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.
Search Begins for Mineral School Superintendent
The search for a new Mineral County School superintendent will get underway shortly, and the deadline for application a little over a month away, on May 12th. Current Superintendent Rob Woy is retiring in June. the search will be advertised in the media, as well as trade publications. Woy replaced former Superintendent Skip Hackworth in 2011.
Suit Filed Against Potomac Center
A suit has been filed against the Potomac Center, alleging abuse; the suit further states the facility failed to supervise its employees. The suit was filed on behalf of an unnamed 17-year old former resident, who was at the center between November of last year and January of this year. Allegations of physical and emotional abuse are included in the suit. The teenager is developmentally disabled, and the suit was filed against the center and 12 employees.
Recorder, Police Chief Leaving Romney Posts
Both the Romney City Recorder and its police chief are leaving their positions in the next several months. Eighty-three year old Iliff Maphis has been the town recorder for the past twenty years, and will be leaving on the last day of June. Chief Donald See is also a twenty-year veteran, and will be retiring on May 30th.
Woman Cited for Cell Phone Use While Driving
Ridgeley, West Virginia resident Teresa Ann Rose was cited for using a cell phone while driving, following a single-vehicle accident on Route 220 and Willow Run Road. She was traveling northbound, when her car went out of control and crashed into some mailboxes, along the shoulder of the highway. Ms. Rose was taken to the hospital by the Tri-Towns Rescue Squad, and later cited for using a handheld telephone, while the car was in motion. a first-time offense carries a fine of $83.
New Jersey Fugitive Captured in Somerset County
A New Jersey man, who was on the state's 12 most wanted list for more than 20 years, was captured in Somerset County this past weekend. James Barclay was wanted for aggravated sexual assault. At the time, he pleaded guilty to those charges, but failed to show up for sentencing in the Garden State. He was found in Boswell, Pennsylvania by U.S. Marshals and the Pennsylvania State Police over this past weekend.
Destruction of Property Reported
Cumberland City Police are investigating a destruction of property incident in the 300-block of Helen Street on Sunday. A person had thrown a brick through the windshield of an unoccupied BMW. There are no suspects, but Cumberland City Police are asking for information at (301)-777-1600.
Budget Workshops Set for This Week
The budget process for Fiscal Year 2015 is continuing, and there is a budget workshop meeting set for this week. The first budget workshop meeting will be held Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Allegany County Office building. The preliminary budget will be presented on Thursday, May 1st and the finalized document will be presented on Thursday, June 5th at 5 p.m. during the Allegany County Commissioners' public business meeting.
New Immunizations for School Students
Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, there are new immunization requirements for children entering the seventh grade, which includes a "T-DAP" vaccine and a meningococcal vaccination. In addition, all students entering kindergarten must now have had two varicella vaccinations. A child has up to 20 days from the start of school to show proof of vaccinations. Allegany County Public Schools open for the 2014-2015 school year on Monday, August 25, 2014.
Former Council Member Faces Second Theft Charge
Former Hagerstown city council member and attorney Kelly Cromer is facing a new theft charge. She was initially sentenced last week on a charge of theft between $10,000 and $100,000 for stealing more than $12,000 from the grandchildren of a woman whose estate she administered. She is now charged with stealing money from a man in late November, 2012. The trial on the new charges is set for July 10th.
Audit Shows Felons Voted in 2010 Election
The Maryland Office of Legislative Audits shows that 15 felons cast ballots in the 2010 gubernatorial election, even though they are prohibited from doing so. Between October of 2011 and March of 2012, more than 380 people had violated their probation, but were not removed from voter lists. In some cases, auditors found that sentences had been extended up to eight years. The Office of the State Prosecutor has been informed of the 15 felons who should not have voted.
Index Charts Race, Ethnicity in Maryland Kids' Test Scores
A new index that tracks how kids are doing in Maryland breaks it down by race and ethnicity. The Annie E. Casey Foundation report tabulates milestones and situations connected with child well-being, such as preschool, attendance, math and reading test scores and other factors. Laura Speer, with the Casey Foundation, says there are profound differences between Asian-American and white children, compared to African-American and Latino kids. Children of color are predicted to be the majority of children in the United States in just four years, according the Census Bureau. Add about 20 years to that, and they will be the majority of adults, too. Speer says that's why the disparities cannot be ignored.
WV School Superintendent Retiring
The State Superintendent of Schools in West Virginia, James B. Phares, has announced his retirement, effective June 30th. The move was unexpected, but not a surprise to state board of education president, Gayle Manchin. His announcement came at the same time that an Iowa firm was hired to conduct a national search for his replacement. Phares officially took office in January of 2013.
Minimum Wage, Marijuana Decriminalization Pass
The Maryland State Senate was working overtime on Saturday, giving approval of a minimum wage bill by a 34-13 vote. The legislation would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2018. The House will have to move quickly on the bill, as today is the final day of the 2014 General Assembly session. The House has given preliminary approval to decriminalize marijuana possession, eliminating charges for possessing small amounts of marijuana and reduce the offense to the severity of a traffic violation. The bill goes to the Senate today for final approval.
Local Legislation Passes
Two pieces of legislation, with a direct effect on this area have passed in the final hours of the Maryland General Assembly. One of those bills would help develop the upper stories of downtown commercial buildings, while the second would aid school districts with declining enrollment, including those in Allegany and Garrett counties. That bill would mandate the state to supplement shortfalls in the state aid formula. Since 2009, Allegany County has lost almost 12 million dollars, which is 15 per cent of the board of education's budget.
Jackson Street Fire Investigated
A fire on Jackson Street in Lonaconing is being investigated by the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. Two apartments in the building were damaged, with at least one of the residents displaced by the fire. There were no injuries, and the building was evacuated without incident.
Hyndman Man Arrested for DUI, Assault
Hyndman resident Jamy Lacomb was arrested by Cumberland City Police Saturday afternoon, but later released on his own recognizance, pending his next court appearance. Lacomb had knocked on the door of a Linden Street home, and was found in a vehicle at the rear of the home. When arrested, Lacomb allegedly grabbed an officer by the shirt, and damaged a pair of the officers' sunglasses. He was charged with driving under the influence, second degree assault and destruction of property.
Mineral To Decide on School Calendar
The Mineral County Board of Education has set a special meeting for tomorrow, to decide on the proposed 2014-2015 school calendar. At stake is when to actually begin the school year, and to comply with a 180-day requirement for instruction. One proposal would begin the year on August 7th, and dismiss for the summer on May 21st, if there are no more than 7 snow days. The second proposal would begin the year later in August, and end the school year on May 29th, provided there are no more than 7 snow days.
P & Z Commission Sets Comprehensive Plan Meeting
The Allegany County Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on Wednesday on the final draft of the Allegany County 2014 Comprehensive Plan. The plan consists of ten chapters, addressing issues such as housing, transportation, public facilities, mineral resources and economic development. The meeting is set for 5 p.m. at the Allegany County office building on Kelly Road.
Water Distribution Work Announced
Phase two of the Westernport water distribution project gets underway today. The project is primarily focused on Johnson Street, and the area west of it. Work begins at the intersection of Johns and Front Streets and will continue up Johnson Streets. Those residing in the area should expect delays and be attentive of street closures and detours. Parking is being prohibited within the active work area.
Bank Robbery Reported in Somerset County
The First National Bank on Main Street in Stoystown was robbed Friday afternoon, just before 3 p.m. A man went into the bank, demanded money, and fled the scene. He was described as being about 5 feet, five inches in height, wearing blue jeans, a black hoodie, a camouflage jacket and mask, and carrying a yellow umbrella. The same bank was robbed less than a year ago, on May 6th.
Bedford To Benefit From Act 89
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has announced more than $2.1 billion in highway and bridge projects in the North Central and South Central regions of the state. Act 89, clears the way for such projects as a resurfacing of nearly 8 miles of Pennsylvania Route 36 from the Bedford County line to Taylor, Blair, and Freedom Townships. Also Pennsylvania Route 26 in Bedford County will receive just over 10 miles of resurface work.
Deputy Hits, Kills Pedestrian in Washington County
A Washington County Sheriff's Deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave, after striking and killing a pedestrian on the Dual Highway in Hagerstown Thursday morning. Twenty-eight year old Lindsay Cyndle Eldessocky was hit by Deputy First Class Bryan Teets. Ms.Eldessocky was taken to Meritus Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead. Deputy Teets was on duty at the time; at the conclusion of the investigation, all information will be reviewed by the State's Attorney's Office.
Board Votes to Revamp Health Exchange
The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange's board of directors voted to replace the technology in the state's badly flawed health-exchange website, instead of fixing its current system or partnering with the federal health care exchange. Maryland's Sixth District Congressman John Delaney says the state is trying to get the federal government to pick up the cost of the switch. He points out that Maryland spent several hundreds of millions of dollars to build the website.
Delaney says Maryland had an original enrollment goal of 150,000, but only achieved 50,000 by last Monday's deadline. And, Delaney says that for months, he had been advocating for Maryland to switch to the federal website.
Task Force Clears Nearly 1300 Cases
The Mountain State Fugitive Task Force arrested 941 fugitives last year, clearing 1298 cases. A breakdown of the cases shows 17 homicide warrants were executed, but nearly 750 warrants were executed for narcotics violations. There were also 146 sex offender warrants, 101 for burglary and 99 for weapons offenses. The Northern District of West Virginia includes 31 participating agencies, 3 full time and 77 part-time task force officers.
West Virginia to Lose Population
Beginning in 2016 and continuing through 2030, the state of West Virginia will experience a decline of 20,000 residents, according to a study from West Virginia University. A U.S. Census report shows that deaths outpaced births by about 1,000 last year. The report also projects that the share of the state's population of those over 65 will grow about 23 per cent by the year 2030.
Committee Approves Minimum Wage Increase
The Senate Finance Committee has approved a bill to raise Maryland's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and it could hit the full Senate floor by today. Supporters are hoping the final bill can clear the House and Senate by the time the legislative session ends on Monday night. Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley, who sits on the Finance Committee, believes the increase is not a good idea for the Maryland economy. Some of the changes made by the Senate are beneficial; however, he believes any minimum wage increase should be decided by the federal government. On another subject, Brinkley says he is not surprised by the health board's decision this week to scrap the state's website and adopt software, developed by Deloitte Consulting, which is used by the more successful exchange in Connecticut.
Two Arrested in Recent Drug Raid
Thirty-three year old Charles McCord and 23-year old Molly Ann Nelson have been arrested, as a result of what Frostburg authorities call one of the largest drug busts to happen there in recent memory. A drug raid at an Ormand Street residence in late March resulted in the recovery of marijuana, hashish, LSD, and nearly $26,000 in cash. Both McCord and Nelson were released after posting bond. Frostburg Police Chief Royce Douty noted that this is the type of drug activity that is taking place, not only in Frostburg, but also throughout Allegany County.
Firing Range Proposed
Allegany County is considering the construction of a shooting range for law enforcement training on land near PPG Road in Mexico Farms. J. Robert Dick, chief of the County's Division of Public Safety, says the facility wouldn't cost a lot of money, and would be located close to the existing public safety building. County staff could do most of the work. A fence would be built around the range; that could be purchased by the county, and installed by an outside contractor.
Harford Joins Rural Counties Coalition
The Maryland Rural Counties Coalition continues to grow, as Harford County Executive David Craig joined as an Associate Member, expanding the membership to 11 counties. The Coalition, which includes Allegany, Frederick and Washington counties, represents nearly 1.2 million Maryland residents. The coalition is charged with strengthening their policy-related standing in Annapolis. Since December of 2011, seven additional counties have now become members.
Pennsylvania Man Charged with CDS Possession
Brownsville, Pennsylvania resident Christopher Lockhart has been charged with possession of marijuana and CDS paraphernalia. Lockhart was stopped for speeding Wednesday afternoon on Route 40, in the area of Pig's Ear Road. A vehicle search resulted in the discovery of the marijuana and paraphernalia. He was processed, and later released from the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police.
Women Issued Summonses For Children's Absenteeism
Thirty-five year old Cumberland resident Naomi Smith has been arrested for failing to send her children to school numerous times between August 27th of last year through March of this year. She was served with the summons and released, pending trial in District Court. Additionally, 42-year old Tracy Bender of Cumberland was cited for failing to send her child to school, with absenteeisms, dating from August of last year, through March of this year. She, too, was served and released, pending trial in District Court.
Man Served Summons for February Burglary
Fort Ashby resident Malcolm Parsons was served a criminal summons for fourth-degree burglary, in connection with an incident in February of this year. Parsons is accused of entering a West Oldtown Road residence, and damaging a screen in the process. He was observed by a neighbor, climbing out of a window, and running in an unknown direction. There was no property taken, nor was anyone harmed. He was served and released, pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
Bedford County Town Still Without Clean Water
Six Mile Run in Bedford County experienced a roof collapse at its water facility in mid-February, and the approximately 300 residents there are still without clean water to use. Officials there say they have been working hard to rebuild the facility, and that, along with and insurance settlement, they are look for state help to pay for about $80,000 in repairs. Residents have been on a "boil water" advisory since the collapse, and an emergency water permit was issued, but that expires a week from tomorrow.
Security Increased at MCI
Prison officials at MCI-Hagerstown have increased security, as the result of an increase in contraband found there. Cell phones appear to be a significant problem, and an ongoing investigation has not implicated any correctional officers or employees. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is combating the problem by investing more than $1.1 million in gate-entry security measures.
Ignition Interlock Bill Passes House
A bill, known as the "Blow-N-Go" bill has passed the Maryland House of Delegates, and will now go to Governor Martin O'Malley's desk, to be signed. The bill requires repeat DUI offenders to use an ignition interlock system to make sure they're under the legal limit, before driving. If they are unwilling to submit to the interlock system, they would have to hand over their driver's licenses for one year.
Funding Approved for Garrett County Schools
The Operating Budget Conference Committee has met and approved just over $464,000 in additional funding for the Garrett County school system for this coming year. While the final budget has not been passed, both the House and Senate sides of the committee agreed on the figure. Both Delegate Wendell Beitzel and Senator George Edwards both sit on the Committee, and worked to get the funding approved. Senator Edwards commented that the legislation would help Garrett County Financially, until the wealth study is completed.
Complaint Filed Against Historical Society
A woman has filed charges against the Allegany County Historical Society, charging that wheelchair access provided by several buildings it controls, do not meet state and local disability requirements. Marilynn Phillips filed the complaint with the Maryland Civil Rights Commission. Ms. Phillips has had a mobility disability for 67 years, because of polio, contracted at age 2. The Allegany County Historical Society has been in touch with Ms. Phillips on the matter.
Bids on Sacred Heart Demolition Being Accepted
Bids are being accepted for the demolition of the former Sacred Heart Hospital on Seton Drive, the site of the new Allegany High School. Officials are hoping the school can be built and opened by the fall of 2017. Bids should be submitted by 1:30 p.m. on May 13th. The contract calls not only for the removal of the hospital building itself, but also grading, temporary fencing, and relocation of utilities, among other stipulations.
Entertainment Announced for Downtown
"Cumberland Comes Alive" is the theme for entertainment this spring and summer on the downtown Cumberland Mall and at Canal Place. Sandy Saville, of the Downtown Development Commission, says bands will be coming in from New York City, Richmond, Virginia, and there will also be local talent featured weekly at both locations.
Mount Savage Arrested for Drunk Driving
A Mount Savage man driving in the Cumberland area, was arrested yesterday, and charged with driving under the influence. Joseph Malloy was seen using a cell phone while driving. An Allegany County Sheriff's Deputy determined that Malloy appeared to be intoxicated. An open container of alcohol, as well as several other unopened ones were found. He was charged with driving under the influence, driving while impaired, violating a license restriction for alcohol, and using a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle.
Two Arrested on Drug Charges
Kevin Eugene Pratt, of Romney and Jeremy Whetzel of Cumberland were arrested by Cumberland City Police Tuesday afternoon, and now face several drug charges. A traffic stop and vehicle search revealed at least two hypodermic syringes, along with a bag, containing 77 large capsules of heroin. The approximate street value was $2300. Pratt was charged with possession of CDS paraphernalia and a hypodermic needle. Whetzel faces counts of heroin possession, possession with intent to distribute, along with possession of CDS paraphernalia and a hypodermic needle. He was held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $7500 bond. Pratt was released on personal recognizance.
Wildlands Legislation Passed
The Maryland General Assembly has passed legislation that would expand the state's Wildlands System by 50 per cent. Some of those Wildlands are located in both Allegany and Garrett Counties. Over 22,000 acres of sensitive state-owned lands will be permanently protected, because of the bill. More than 90 per cent of citizens surveyed by the Maryland Greenways Commission have said some parts of Maryland should be left in their natural state forever.
Somerset Inmate Sentenced for Attack
An inmate, who was charged with assaulting a state prison guard has been sentenced to 40 months to 10 years in prison. Fifty-year old Mark Wilson The incident happened last Memorial Day weekend, and he will serve the sentence concurrently with the one he is now serving for robbery.
ACM Sets Open House
Allegany College of Maryland will hold an open house on Saturday, April 12th, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The 17th annual event will highlight the more than 60 career programs designed for the workplace. There are nearly three dozen transfer programs in which students can enroll in to continue at four-year colleges. There will also be a random drawing of tuition vouchers, totaling
$3,000. Six, $500 awards will be drawn at 2:15 p.m.
Audit Reveals "Questionable" Purchases
An audit, released this week, shows at least four state employees used state-owned credit cards to buy all kinds of personal items, worth nearly $260 million. The 24-page report from the Maryland Office of Legislative Audits revealed that one employee turned in bogus, or doctored receipts to make it look as if the purchases were legitimate. One State Health Department employee bought several items, including toys. The employee pleaded guilty and spend six months in prison. In another instance, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services bought nearly $40,000 in gift cards. The employee implicated in that also pleaded guilty and spent six months in prison. Additionally, the employee had to make restitution.
Firefighters Remain on Scene of Columbia Street Fire
Numerous fire companies were on the scene of a fire this morning at 249 to 251 Columbia Street. The Allegany County Office of Emergency Services says Cumberland units were on the scene, with mutual aid from District 16, LaVale, Wiley Ford, and Cresaptown. There is now one engine from Cumberland, watching for "hot spots." Two firefighters were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment. It is known that residents of those two homes escaped unharmed. The Maryland State Fire Marshal is also on the scene, and the American Red Cross also responded, and is aiding the affected families.
Multi-Count Federal Drug Indictment Filed
Nine people have been arrested in Keyser, Allegany, and Garrett counties, as part of a 73-count federal drug indictment. The indictment charges cocaine trafficking and money laundering. The lead defendant in the case is Cedric Malachi Jones of Florida. Jones faces 58 counts. If convicted, each defendant faces up to life imprisonment on the conspiracy charges alone. Those indicted from Keyser include Paul Ellis, Dixie Sherylann Layman, Samaria Alice Clifford, Robert Lee Jessie, Christopher Lee Redman, and Troy Aaron Wilt. From Oakland, Sheena Collins was indicted, as was Adrian Nicholas Sanchez of Cumberland, and Dominique Stephens of Westernport. From Ranson, West Virginia, Tequila Smith was indicted. Others from out of the area include Ebony Ishia Haynes Jack of Palm Coast, Florida, along with Travis Sinclair Howard of Palatka, Florida.
General Assembly Enters Final Week
The Maryland House and Senate are expected to be working overtime this week, in anticipation of next Monday's final day of the 2014 session. Any bill that does not clear the House and Senate by midnight next Monday will be considered dead, and will have to be considered next year. Both chambers will have some evening, and possibly a weekend session to complete its work load.
One Killed in Bedford County Crash
Tractor-trailer driver Damion Lobban was killed in a single-vehicle crash Saturday morning. Police say he fell asleep while rounding a curve on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, near the 158-mile marker in West Providence Township. Passenger Benjamin Blue, who was in the sleeper section of the rig, was thrown from the truck and suffered major injuries.
Keyser Woman Served With Bench Warrant
Keyser resident Jacqueline Kile was served an arrest warrant for failure to appear in Wicomico County. Cumberland City Police took her to the District Court Commissioner's Office for a bond review, and she was ordered held on $3,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Cumberland Man Charged with Assault, False Imprisonment
Cumberland resident Dalton Brimhall was served a criminal summons, in connection with an incident that occurred on March 23rd. He allegedly became angry with a woman, spat on her, flicked cigarette ashes on her, and bent her fingers back. The incident happened on Arch Street. He was charged with second-degree assault and false imprisonment, and later released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
Council Member to Take Parks Spot
Piedmont Council member Paula Boggs will be doing double-duty, as she has agreed to take over the parks and recreation spot, vacated by the resignation of Gary Bradley last month. Ms. Boggs is also serving as street commissioner, and will take on the additional duties temporarily, until a replacement for Bradley is named.
Telephone Recycling Underway
Students from the Allegany County school system are participating in the telephone book recycling campaign, now in its 22nd year. The project is managed by the Allegany County Commissioners, the Solid Waste Management Board, and the Allegany County Board of Education. All recycled telephone books help Allegany County reach its 20 per cent recycling goal, a mandate from the state of Maryland.
Minimum Wage Bill Remains in Committee
Although the House of Delegates has approved an increase to the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour by the year 2017, legislation remains in a Senate Committee. Senator Mac Middleton, chair of the Senate Finance Committee wants a minimum wage bill to also address an increase in what the state pays personal care aides from non-profit organizations who work with the severely disabled. Senator Middleton says some aspects of the minimum wage bill need to be addressed. Middleton says the Governor is committed to the personal care aides. Middleton says the vacancy and turnover rates are significant, around 33 per cent.
Man Convicted of Child Abuse Death
A 12-member jury has found a Martinsburg man guilty of the child abuse death of his son. Twenty-one year old James Mauldin will be sentenced on May 29th. Mauldin was convicted of the New Year's Day death of three-year old Kaiwon Connelly. Mauldin was found guilty of several charges, including death of a child by a parent, guardian, or custodian by child abuse.
West Virginia Has Slowest Growing Personal Income
West Virginia has the slowest growing personal income rate in the U.S., due, in part, a decline in mining and other industries. Personal income grew only about 1.5 per cent last year; the highest growth was recorded by North Dakota at 7.6. per cent. Even though declines were reported in mining, durable goods, manufacturing and construction in the Mountain State, mining-including oil and gas extraction, were major sources of personal earnings growth in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas last year.
House Approves State Budget
The Maryland House of Delegates has preliminarily approved a $38.7 billion state budget. The budget includes raises for state workers, but does not include any new taxes. Differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget must be resolved, and approved by both, before the General Assembly session ends on April 7th.
Students Taken To Hospitals
Thirteen high school students, returning from a bus trip from Washington, D.C., were taken to area hospitals Saturday night. The students, from Uniontown, complained of being sick, and the bus made an emergency stop at the Marathon Gas Station in Friendsville. They were Junior ROTC students. The preliminary cause of the sickness was food poisoning, and they were taken to Uniontown, Ruby Memorial, and Garrett Memorial hospitals for treatment.
Two Charged with Vehicle Theft
Dylan Schrock and Levi Crosby of Oakland have been charged with stealing a pickup truck from Martin's Auto Salvage. The truck was stopped when Garrett County Sheriff's deputies noticed the vehicle had no license plates. Both are in the Garrett County Detention Center on $5,000 bond each. The arrest was made 20 minutes after the truck was reported stolen.
Maplehurst Pays Back Taxes
The Maplehurst Country Club in Frostburg paid its back taxes on Friday, and will not be sold at a tax sale. The club had owed Allegany County nearly $70,000 in back taxes, dating back to 2010. The golf course is due to open on April 6th.
Clarksburg Woman Injured in Wreck
Clarksburg, West Virginia resident Johanna Bang Tam Nguyen was injured in a single vehicle accident Saturday morning. He car traveled over an embankment an overturned, at the intersection of Paradise Point and Zeddock Miller roads. She was taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital for treatment.
State's Attorney Asking for Funding Increase
Allegany County State's Attorney Michael Twigg is asking the Allegany County Commissioners to fund a staff increase; staffing at his office has been unchanged for years. A growing caseload and a Maryland Court of Appeals ruling prompted Twigg to make the request. The decision mandates that people accused of crimes have attorneys at bail hearings. Last year alone, the State's Attorney's office handled 3,045 cases in District Court, which operates four days per week for criminal cases.
Stolen Vehicle Recovered
An Indiana, Pennsylvania man was arrested on Saturday, and charged with stealing a vehicle from Morgan County, West Virginia. Twenty-five year old Mathew Deyarmin was stopped on Industrial Boulevard, and it was discovered the vehicle he was driving, was stolen. He was eventually released on his own recognizance, pending trial. Additional charges are pending against him in Morgan County, West Virginia.
Man Charged with Child Abuse
Cumberland resident Charles George has been charged with both second-degree child abuse and second-degree assault, following a complaint on Pennsylvania Avenue. George is accused of striking the child in the buttocks with a canvas material-type dog leash. George was placed in custody and taken to the Cumberland City Police Department. He was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond, pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
Cumberland Man Accused of Assault
Cumberland resident Brian Shipway was held on a $5,000 bond, following an incident Saturday evening at a business on Industrial Boulevard. Ship is accused of grabbing a woman by the hair, and allegedly slapping her in the face. He received a bond hearing in District Court, charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. The victim did not require medical attention.
Crimesolvers Offers Cash Rewards for Information
Allegany and Mineral County Crimesolvers is still going strong, 33 years after its inception. Corporal Kevin Detrick, of the Maryland State Police, says Crimesolvers is used by law enforcement officers to generate tips on unsolved crimes. Cash rewards for information, anywhere from $100 to $1500, are given. Corporal Detrick says that law enforcement officials have benefited greatly from citizen input. Information can be shared by phone, at (301)-722-4300 or on the website, "alleganymineralcountycrimesolvers.com."
Commission Rules on Flight 93 Site
The value of the Flight 93 site in Stonycreek Township is $1.5 million. That assessment was confirmed by a U.S. District Judge in Pittsburgh. The previous property owner, Michael Svonavec argued that the property was worth about $23 million. The federal government paid $611,000 for the site, after condemning it under eminent domain in 2009.
GCC To Host Program on "TIF"
The Greater Cumberland Committee will meet on Thursday at Frostburg State University. The subject of the meeting will be the Tax Incremental Funding from PES Consulting. PES (Partners for Economic Solutions) is based in Washington, D.C., and will highlight the availability of TIF, as it already exists and help answer questions about why our region has been slow or stagnant as compared to areas to the east and west.
Enrollment Declines Expected
Enrollment at the University System of Maryland is expected to decline in the coming academic year, the first projected drop since the 1990's. The Baltimore Sun says that the University of Maryland-College Park, the University of Maryland-Baltimore, and Frostburg State University specifically, do not plan to expand greatly in the next decade.
Everett Man Bound Over for Trial
Enough evidence has been presented against Michael Edmonson of Everett, Pennsylvania to be tried on over 2400 counts of rape and sexual assault. During a hearing this week, the alleged victims testified; two of them are now in their early 20's, while the younger girl, now 15 years old, testified in court. The hearing lasted over two hours, and Edmonson will remain in the Bedford County Jail, in lieu of $100,000 bond.
Friendsville Woman Sentenced in Burglary
Friendsville resident Miranda Rae Bageant has been sentenced to ten years for conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary; all but 18 months of the sentence was suspended. She had sold jewelry to a pawn shop, which was taken from a northern Garrett County home. She wrote a letter of apology to the victims, and will be on probation after her release, with the condition that she make a payment of $545 in court costs.
Mineral County Approves Leaner Budget
The Mineral County Commissioners approved a projected budget for the upcoming fiscal year that is about $300,000 less than the current year's budget. All county contributions to outside agencies, including the Mineral County library, will stay at present levels. The commissioners opposed a pay raise, approved by the West Virginia legislature. One stipulation of the bill is that county officials would receive a pay raise, only if the county experienced a rise in revenue, which Mineral County did not.
State Supreme Court Denies Appeal
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has denied an appeal from inmate Barry Lee Crespo, formerly of Bedford. Crespo, serving a sentence at SCI-Mahanoy prison in Frackville, contended that his trial attorney, Phillip Masorti, was ineffective in defending him for sexually assaulting a 14-yer old girl. Crespo had been mentoring the girl in October of 2007 through the Youth Advocate Program. He sexually assaulted her in Reading, and then lied about being there.
Police Investigating Gun Theft
The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a case, in which a handgun was stolen from Willow Brook Lane in Bedford Township earlier this month. The .22-calibre revolver has a serial number of C00840. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bedford barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-623-6133.
Administrator Comments on Deteriorating Bridge
Potholes and deteriorating concrete on the Baltimore Street bridge over Will's Creek is making it difficult for some drivers to navigate. City Administrator Jeff Rhodes says that replacing the deck is 12 to 24 months out, but it is "on the radar." He says the plan is to completely replace the bridge decking. While bridges in and around Cumberland are inspected routinely, there is the issue of timing.
Reservoir Project Causes Parking Changes
Work will begin Monday evening on the Koontz Reservoir Replacement project in Lonaconing, and parking will not be allowed on Douglas Avenue, from the Route 36 intersection to the Beechwood Road intersection. Parking will be banned from 5 p.m. Monday evening through 5 p.m. Tuesday. Any vehicles parked in that area will be towed at the owner's expense.
Hardy County Schools Receive Computers
More than 100 computers and other technology accessories were given to Hardy County Schools this week. The equipment, which will be used by Hardy County Middle and High schools, and came from the office of Senator Joe Manchin, and the Computers for Learning program. For information on eligibility and how to apply, contact Senator Manchin's office.
Higher Education Discussion at ACM
A discussion on the future of higher education is taking place next Wednesday at Allegany College of Maryland. The collaborative discussion begins at 5 p.m. in the College Center, and is entitled, "The Future of Higher Education: How Should Higher Education Help Us Create the Society We Want?" Interested persons are asked to RSVP to Kara Riley at (301)-784-5606.
Fire Company President Victim of Fatal Crashes
The President of the Western Enterprise Fire Company of Hagerstown, Mitchell Dobbins, was one of the victims of Wednesday morning's crashes along Interstate 81.The accidents were caused by an unusual snow squall, which swept across the interstate, and caused a total of two deaths. There were several multiple collisions and injuries, along with two fatalities.
"Open Source" Textbooks Explored
The University of Maryland is experimenting with eliminating the cost of textbooks, by using "open source" electronic textbooks. They are comprised of materials gathered from various sources, and are not protected by copyright. Many are interactive, so that anyone with an internet connection can access them. Estimates are that about 1100 students at Maryland are saving a combined $130,000. M.I.T., the California State University System, and the Washington State College system are among those that have built libraries of free, online course materials.
West Virginia Considering Minimum Wage Hike
Maryland is not the only state struggling with the minimum wage issue; West Virginia recently passed legislation that would increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.00 per hour, beginning January 1st of next year, and increase to $8.75 in 2016. And, the arguments against raising the minimum wage are the same: employers could be forced to cut back on the hours of full-time workers and hire more part-time employees to abide by the new overtime definition.
Teen Jumps From Bridge, Later Charged
A 16-year old male juvenile was the subject of a water search yesterday afternoon in Will's Creek. An Allegany County School bus driver saw the boy jump from the Valley Street bridge and notified authorities. Cumberland City Police, along with the Cumberland Fire Department, and the Maryland State Police joined the search. He was later found, and placed under arrest, charged with disorderly conduct. He was released to the custody of his mother, pending further action in Juvenile Court.
Baltimore Man Sentenced in Bedford County
Baltimore resident Christopher Pope has been sentenced to 19 to 41 years in prison, after being found guilty in January on charges of robbery and other offenses. It was a drug deal, gone bad. Pope and his girlfriend had made arrangements to buy marijuana, but robbed another person, at gunpoint, of the marijuana. Pope had previously been convicted of robbery in Maryland and was, therefore, ineligible to possess a firearm. Pope is in the Bedford County Jail, and will be transferred to the Camp Hill, Pennsylvania prison to serve his sentence.
Brice Hollow Road Fire Ruled Accidental
A fire, early yesterday afternoon, was caused by a wood stove flue igniting the siding of a home on the Brice Hollow Road. The home, owned by Brian and Crystal Keefer, sustained about $5,000 in damage. Smoke detectors were present, but non-functioning, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. It took about 5 minutes for firefighters to control the fire.
Berlin Man Kills Himself When Police Arrive
A Berlin, Pennsylvania resident killed himself when police arrived at his home Sunday to interview him. Joseph Deem, of Salco Road, died of a self-inflicted wound. The police had wanted to interview him as part of an active investigation. Emergency responders pronounced him dead at the scene.
Cumberland Man Cited for Marijuana Possession
Cumberland resident Michael Wayne Harper was arrested and later given a citation for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. Harper was found spinning the wheels of his truck and driving erratically on Park Street. Harper was found to have both a marijuana pipe and a quantity of the drug in his car. He was also cited for spinning his wheels. He was released, pending trial.
Keyser Pool's Future in Doubt
Declining numbers and rising costs have prompted the Keyser City Council to consider keeping the city's pool closed. The Mineral County Board of Education is considering an early August start to school, and the pool would only be open a little over two months. Keyser could save over $100,000 by not opening the pool. Some of those savings, approximately $25,000, could be used for certain youth programs, and the city could then net $75,000 in savings this year.
Garrett County Housing to Receive Funding
Fourteen affordable rental housing projects throughout the state, including The Meadows in Garrett County, will be among those receiving more than $19.6 million in Rental Housing Funds and nearly $17 million in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The projects will create or preserve 971 rental housing units, add more than 2600 jobs, and put more than $230 million into the economy. They will help meet the affordable rental housing needs for working families, senior citizens and individuals with special needs in Baltimore City and nine counties.
Schools Participating in Phonebook Recycling
The 20th annual Allegany County Phonebook Recycling Campaign is taking place in all Allegany County public schools from April 1st through the 30th. The event aligns with Earth Day, on April 22nd. Last year, 12,606 phonebooks were collected by Allegany County students, and this year, cash prizes will awarded to the top five schools.
I-70 Crash Results in Fatality
A two-vehicle crash on Interstate 70 Sunday night left one man dead, and closed the Interstate for about three hours. Fifty-year old Larry Allen Martz of Mayport, Pennsylvania collided head on with a 2014 pickup truck, driven by 27-year old Brian Chatfield from Silver City, North Carolina. Martz was flown to Meritus Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. Other occupants in the Chatfield vehicle were treated at the scene and released. The Maryland State Police are continuing the investigation.
Williamsport Woman Sentenced in Sex Case
Williamsport resident Angela Grimm has been sentenced to four years in prison on two counts of sexual abuse of a minor. The victim, who was 16 at the time, may possibly have fathered a child with Grimm. The relationship began in 2006, and ended in 2012, and came to light when the victim's friend reported it to a school counselor. Grimm will be a registered sex offender for the rest of her life, following her release from prison.
Medical Marijuana Vote Scheduled
The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is expected to consider a bill to expand medical marijuana in the state. Committee Chair Brian Frosh, who is also a Democratic candidate for attorney general, says he would like to form the legislation into a system that works. Frosh says he strongly supports the decriminalization of marijuana. Frosh believes the "wiser course" would be to keep the medical marijuana and decriminalization bills separate.
Coalition Would Like to See Tobacco Increase
The Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative would like to see a tobacco tax increase of a dollar a pack. Statewide, the group says 64 per cent of registered voters support the measure. Projected new revenue from increasing the tax rate by a dollar per pack could generate nearly $95 million. However, not everyone sees the need for another tobacco tax increase.
Men Indicted by Grand Jury
Two Terra Alta, West Virginia men have been indicted by a Garrett County Grand Jury on burglary charges, involving eight cases. Twenty-seven year old Dustin Jay Isennock an 20-year old Cody Allen Tusing have been charged in a series of burglaries that happened in the Deep Creek Lake area during the first two weeks of February. While Isennock has posted a $50,000 bail, Tusing remains in the Garrett County Detention Center.
Former Jail Secretary Sentenced to Prison
Bedford resident Sheila Suter, the former secretary at the Bedford County Jail, has been sentenced to up to five years in prison, after pleading guilty to embezzling nearly $50,000 from an inmate commissary account. She has been ordered to pay nearly $49,000 in restitution, and will be on probation for two years following her release from prison. Ms. Suter must also forfeit over $16,000 in her county retirement account. She will be transferred to the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
I-68 Left Lane Closures Start Tomorrow
Interstate 68, both east and westbound, in the vicinity of downtown Cumberland, will have its left lanes closed, beginning tomorrow morning, and running through April 10th. Drivers should expect delays during peak travel times. The work is part of a $14 million, two year bridge rehabilitation project in Allegany County. The lanes will be closed, around the clock, until the work is completed.
Maplehurst Taxes Due Next Monday
The Maplehurst Country Club may be the subject of a tax sale, unless its board can come up with over $67,000 in property taxes, dating back to 2010. City Administrator John Kirby pointed out that anyone's property that is more than two years in arrears is subject to a tax sale. City Attorney Michael Cohen has informed the Maplehurst Board that a payment of just over $67,000 must be made by the close of business next Monday, to satisfy the tax and interest payments that are due to Frostburg and Allegany County.
Trial Stemming from Council Meeting Set
An incident that occurred at a Piedmont Council meeting has led to assault charges against a resident, and will be hear in Mineral County Magistrate Court. Curtis Smith confronted then Council member Ray Hall about city workers using city equipment to repair a sewer line on his property. As it turned out, the broken water line was actually on city-owned property, so Hall had no basis for his argument. The trail will get underway at 9:30 a.m.
Severance Extradited to Virginia
Charles Severance, who is wanted for questioning in three Northern Virginia murders, is being extradited to Virginia through a Governor's extradition order. Severance, who at one time had lived on Browning Street in Cumberland, had been in a Wheeling West Virginia jail was held on $100,000 bond. For his part, Severance had stated he didn't want to return to Virginia.
Man Cited for Marijuana Possession
A Cumberland man, who had originally been stopped by Cumberland City Police for using a cell phone while driving, was later cited for possession of marijuana. Thirty-eight year old Jason Scott Deremer had a bag of suspected marijuana in the cup holder of his car. He was processed at police headquarters, and served with a criminal citation, before being released.
Cumberland Man to be Extradited
Cumberland City Police arrested Patrick Jonathan Wright last week on a fugitive warrant from Mineral County, West Virginia. He was taken to District Court, then held at the Allegany County Detention Center, awaiting extradition to face charges there.
Parole/Probation Has 50% Success Rate
The local Department of Parole and Probation, now known as Allegany County Community Supervision, North Region, can claim a 50 per cent success rate. Willie Greene, Senior Agent, says once a person is released from confinement, her office checks in with them three times a week. If they miss any meetings or have a positive urinalysis, then they will return to jail. Those who have just been released cannot leave the state of Maryland, and this is enforced through the use of a monitoring device. They must wear it for two months, and then move up another level.
Sheriff's Office Seeks Vandalism Information
The Allegany County Sheriff's Department is investigating a destruction or property incident that happened last week at the Midland baseball fields. Someone drove a vehicle onto the infield and outfield areas, causing damage to both, and also to the baseline of the field. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at (301)-777-1585, or Deputy Wildeson at (240)-362-1361. All calls can remain anonymous.
Commissioners Declare "Lefty Grove Day"
The Allegany County Commissioners are proclaiming next Monday as "Lefty" Grove day in Allegany County. On the opening day of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, Grove, of Lonaconing, will be recognized as a baseball legend. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and won the first American League Most Valuable Player Award. He also was selected to play in the first Major League All-Star game.
Jobs, Economy Important to West Virginians
Jobs and the economy are top priorities for West Virginia residents and about half of those surveyed, believe those issues were not adequately addressed during the regular Legislative session this year. More than half-51 per cent-said the state was on the wrong track, and 50 per cent said the Mountain State has one of the worst legal systems in the U.S. The survey, conducted by MBE Research, also showed that 51 per cent of those interviewed see lawsuits hurting job creation in the state.
Regional VA Hospital to Close ICU Unit
The James E. Van Zandt Medical Center in Altoona has announced plans to close its Intensive Care Unit on April 21st, and move away from emergency department care. The plan is for the hospital to become an urgent care facility. A few employees are being affected by the change, and are being offered reassignments to support other growing programs at the facility. Currently the center has four ICU beds.
Preston Woman Charged in Husband's Death
Kingwood, West Virginia resident Nicole Knotts is in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail for allegedly shooting and killing her husband, Matthew. His body was hidden in a bathroom under clothes and other household items. Matthew Knotts was reported missing this past Monday, and Maryland State Police entered the investigation when Nicole Knotts claimed her husband left with a Garrett County woman. Nicole Knotts has been charged with first-degree murder and concealment of a deceased human body.
ACM, Schools Present Budget Requests
The Allegany County Commissioners have begun budget hearings for Fiscal Year 2015, and yesterday heard from both Allegany College and the Board of Education. The school board has requested a 3 per cent increase in its funding, while Allegany College requested flat funding. ACM is planning on increasing tuition in 2015.
Inmate Indicted in Murder of Cellmate
An inmate at the Western Correctional Institution has been indicted in the beating death of his cellmate last September. Darnell Thompson is accused of killing 29-year old Jason Wallace, and has been charged with first-degree murder. Thompson presently is serving a life sentence for a 1996 murder conviction in Prince George's County. He is now being lodged at the North Branch Correctional facility.
Severance Remains in West Virginia Jail
Charles Severance, who has been called a "person of interest" in three Northern Virginia murders, remains in the Northern Regional Jail on $100,000 bond, as an Ohio County circuit judge has refused to lower his bail. Severance, who at one time had lived on Browning Street in Cumberland, continues to fight extradition to Virginia for questioning in the murders. His next extradition hearing will be held on March 31st.
Man Convicted of Dealing Heroin
Slanesville, West Virginia resident Robert Glenn Ford was found guilty of dealing heroin on Wednesday. The jury, which took only a half hour to deliberate, found Ford guilty not only of possession with intent to deliver heroin, but also possession of oxycodone with intent to deliver. He was arrested after a confidential informant, wearing a "wire," purchased heroin from Ford.
Drugs Reported Missing from Bedford Ambulance
Bedford Borough Police are entering an investigation, to see who stole drugs from Bedford Ambulance sometime in January. Drug Enforcement Agency protocol dictates that drugs are to be inspected on a daily basis. The drugs weren't named, because it may affect the investigation; it is possible the drugs, which had a value of less than $20, are being sold on the streets. The person responsible could face felony theft charges.
Somerset Fire Investigated
Three people escaped from a burning home earlier this week, and the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal is investigating the cause. The fire was reported on Ridge Road in Shade Township. A passerby alerted those inside to the fire, which was reported around 11 a.m.
No Comment on Mineral School Calendar
There was no public comment on two school calendars, proposed for Mineral County Schools for the 2014-2015 school year. The first calendar would make the first day of school August 7th, with the first semester ending before the Christmas break. The second would begin the year on August 14th, and end the first semester on January 9th. Both calendars provide for 180 days instruction, which will be required by the West Virginia Board of Education, starting with next school year.
Bridge Work Begins Monday
Preparation work will begin Monday for the rehabilitation of the Route 26 bridge in Everett borough. The work is part of a three-bridge rehabilitation contract in West Providence Township and in Everett. The initial phase will involve short term, daylight traffic control. and delays will be minimal. Beginning on April 1st, there will be a one-and-three-quarter mile detour, which should be in place until September 30th. Pedestrian access will be maintained on one side of the bridge at all times.
Man Arrested on Howard County Warrant
A Cumberland man was arrested Wednesday on a bench warrant from Howard County, Maryland. Forty-seven year old Douglas Wayne Black was wanted for failure to appear in court. He is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center, and is awaiting extradition back to Howard County.
Senators Receive "Robo-Calls" on Minimum Wage Bill
The Maryland State Senate may consider a minimum wage bill next week, but in the meantime, Maryland residents have been inundated with so-called "robo-calls" urging them to support Governor Martin O'Malley's bill. One of those residents in Democratic Senator Delores Kelly, who claimed her family received no fewer than 90 calls in one day, about her position on the bill.While State Senator Kathy Klausmeier didn't receive any robocalls, she did get a "letter" from a woman she discovered died three years ago. Senator Klausmeier foresees some sort of compromise on the bill. Senate Finance Committee Chair Mac Middleton would like to see a minimum wage bill that would include a raise for workers who work with the severely disabled, through various non-profit organizations. Currently, the state reimburses the labor costs of those workers at a rate of 35 per cent above the minimum wage.
Bill Could Provide Free Needles
A bill being considered in the General Assembly would provide free needles for heroin users in Baltimore City, and would cost taxpayers a quarter of a million dollars. The bill has passed in both the House and Senate, and must now go to the opposite chamber for approval. Currently, heroin users in Baltimore City must bring back a used needle to exchange it for a new one. Under the bill, they could receive several needles at once.
Public Comment To Be Taken on Cleanup
Public comment is being taken on a plan to clean up toxic waste around Allegany Ballistics Laboratory, with a local meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the South Cumberland Library meeting room. Action is being taken to reduce the threat of contamination to ground water and the North Branch of the Potomac River. The remediation work is being scheduled during this fiscal year, according to a public affairs officer for the Mid-Atlantic Naval Facilities Engineering Command.
Water Problems Temporarily Resolved
A leak and broken pump that led to the early dismissal of Hampshire County Schools yesterday, has been, at least, temporarily resolved. The leak in the water line was discovered yesterday morning, and the main pump in the Grassy Lick area then broke, which led to the problems. The Central Hampshire Public Service District has begun the process of getting a new pump, but it's not known how long that will take.
West Virginia Officials May Receive Pay Raise
Even though the Mineral County Commissioners opposed it, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin may sign a bill that would raise the pay of county elected officials by 12 per cent. The bill was passed during a special session of the Legislature last Friday. The local commissioners felt a raise would put an unfair burden on already strained county budgets.
Man Acquitted of Incest
Seventy-nine year old Bedford resident Richard Maine has been acquitted on all 29 charges of child rape and incest, involving his young family members. His defense attorney claimed there had been several inconsistencies in the stories of the alleged victims, and that an apparent admission of guilt from Maine was offered to stop what he termed "badgering questions." Following the acquittal, Maine was set to be released after more than a year in the Bedford County Correctional Facility.
Edwards Testifies on Behalf of Bill
Maryland State Senator George Edwards testified before a House Committee this week, on behalf of a bill he is sponsoring, that would allow bow hunters to carry guns in some areas of Western Maryland. The bill would allow that, while hunting deer, and would affect western Washington County, as well as Allegany and Garrett.
Man Charged in Henderson Avenue Accident
A two-vehicle accident, on Henderson Avenue near Knox Street on Monday, resulted in charges for Lawrence Sanner. Both he and Shanise Louise Dunn were traveling northbound on Henderson Avenue, when Dunn stopped at a light; Sanner could not stop in time and hit the Dunn vehicle. She was taken to the hospital for treatment and Sanner was cited for failure to control speed to avoid a collision.
Stoystown Man Jailed on Assault Charges
Somerset County resident Robert Rigo is in jail, accused of severely beating another man at a party this past weekend. The victim, who is also a Marine, suffered a broken jaw, a broken cheekbone and other fractures. Witnesses told police the fight was over a woman, who was also at the party. Rigo has been charged with assault and a number of other counts in the past. He currently has two active cases against him.
House Considers Minimum Wage Bill
The Maryland House of Delegates is putting the final touches on a minimum wage bill that will be considered by the Senate in the coming days. As was reported earlier in the week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Mac Middleton says a possible smaller increase in the minimum wage could be considered, but with an increase in the earned income tax credit.
General Assembly Considering Common Core
The Maryland legislature is doing its homework on Common Core, with action on three bills recently to ease the transition. Maryland State Education Association President Betty Weller says it's encouraging to see that concerns about Common Core are being addressed, from ensuring that misaligned state standardized test scores aren't used punitively for a couple of years. Legislators are also looking to provide feedback on how to improve Common Core implementation. Weller points out that Common Core isn't what's being debated, but rather the need for other types of support, to help make the change to Common Core and that new evaluation systems happen smoothly.
Marijuana Decriminalization Law May Be in Trouble
House Judiciary Committee Chair Joe Vallario is opposing both the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, and may not let the bill out of committee. The next step in the process could be to amend the language of the Senate bill into another one. The Senate bill proposes reducing the penalty to possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana from 90 days in jail to a $100 fine. A similar bill passed the Senate last year, but never made it out of committee in the House.
Trooper Dragged by Vehicle, Suspect Fatally Shot
Details are sketchy, but Maryland State Police are investigated a fatal, trooper-involved shooting at the Salisbury barracks Tuesday night. A man went into the barrack to ask the duty officer to check on a vehicle repair, after he received a safety equipment repair order. The duty officer soon called for backup, and had reportedly been dragged by the vehicle. One of the backup officers and the duty officer fired their weapons, fatally wounding the suspect. More details are expected to be released, including the identities of those involved.
Cumberland Woman Killed in Hagerstown
Fifty-eight year old Cumberland resident Lisa Wellham was killed by a hit and run driver along Route 40 in Hagerstown early Monday morning. Police had earlier stopped her car at a sobriety checkpoint; authorities took her to a friend's house, and her friend later told police he last saw her walking toward the highway. She was apparently hit while walking toward her car. The driver of the hit and run vehicle is still being sought by police.
Man Sentenced in Stabbing
Nineteen-year old Dajon Lopez was convicted of first-degree assault in Allegany County Circuit Court yesterday, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but with ten suspended. He went into a Fairview Avenue home in October of last year, and stabbed a person. The motive was the relationship the victim was having with a former girlfriend of Lopez. The victim had surgery to repair the wounds. The case was investigated by the Allegany County C3I Unit and the Cumberland City Police Department.
Man Charged With Sex Offender Violations
Cumberland resident Cody Mycheal Harrold has been charged with providing false information as a sex offender. Harrold is jailed in the Allegany County Detention Center. Harrold told authorities that he was living in Maryland, when, in fact, he was living in West Virginia. He was recently arrested in Grant County, West Virginia and was extradited to Maryland on Monday.
Maryland Loses 9800 Jobs in January
The U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics says Maryland's employment base shrank by nearly 10,000 jobs in January, and had grown at a much weaker pace last year than originally thought. Even though the state has yet to recover all the jobs it lost in 2008 and 2009, there was an actual drop in unemployment figures, from 6.1 per cent in December to 5.8 per cent in January. Locally, Allegany County's jobless rate dropped to 7 per cent in November this past year, as compared to a rate of 7.5 per cent for November, 2012. Those are the most recent figures available.
Inmate Convicted in Death of Cellmate
North Branch Correctional Institution inmate Vernon Lee Cowan has been convicted of the second-degree murder of his former cellmate, Rickey Bailey. Cowan was sentenced to 30 years consecutive to the 60-year sentence he is currently serving. Bailey was found dead in the cell he shared with Cowan in February of last year. The motive for the murder stemmed from Cowan's wish to have a single cell, but had recently been assigned to share one with Bailey.
Severance Refuses Extradition
A former Cumberland resident, who is a person of interest in three murders in Northern Virginia, refused to waive extradition from West Virginia. Charles Severance, who had been arrested locally on assault and indecent exposure charges, is being held without bail in Wheeling, West Virginia. When Severance found out he was wanted for questioning in Virginia, he sought asylum at the Russian Embassy, but was denied. Authorities are working on a governor's warrant, which could eventually send Severance back to Virginia.
Hearing for Accused Rapist Continued
It may be several weeks before another hearing in the case of Michael Edmonson of Everett. Edmonson is charged with over 2400 counts of the rape and sexual assault of three girls, who were only around 5 years old at the time. Edmonson remains in the Bedford County Jail, in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Mineral Students Could Return August 7th
Mineral County students could be returning to class next year in early August, but will be getting out of school for summer much earlier. Beginning next year, the West Virginia Board of Education will require 180 instructional days, but that may not be attainable if the winter is especially harsh. So far this year, Mineral County has had 15 "snow days," and have only been in class for 172 days this year. While the first hearing on the calendar was held last night, the second has been scheduled as part of the regular board meeting on April 1st.
Man Released After Trespassing Citation
Twenty-eight year old Cumberland resident Elias John Fuller McMannis was cited for trespassing on city of Cumberland property Monday. He was found on the Fort Cumberland Homes property, arrested, and issued a criminal citation.
Garrett County Theft Investigated
The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a theft that happened sometime between March 4th and March 9th. The burglary/theft happened in the 1200-block of McAndrew Hill, with numerous automotive parts and tools stolen. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the barrack at (301)-387-1101.
Two Held in Death of Toddler
A Frederick County couple is being held in connection with the death of their 21-month old daughter. Frankie Williams, the baby's father, was charged last weekend with first-degree child abuse resulting in death. Now, the mother, Stephanie Williams is being held on charges of first-degree child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. Twenty-one month old Anayah Williams had visible bruises and marks on her body, and was pronounced dead Friday night at Frederick Memorial Hospital.
State Board to Formulate Waiver Plan
The Maryland State Board of Education meets next week to come up with a plan for instructional waivers for the public schools. Bill Reinhard, of the State Board, says the plan will include meeting the need of having 180 days of instruction, at the minimum. Reinhard says the local boards must show ways to make up the time lost, due to bad weather. Reinhard addressed one option: extending the school day. He says that has not yet been discussed at the state level. Allegany County Schools have now been closed a total of 16 days, with Monday's cancellation of classes, due to snow.
Man is "Person of Interest" in Murders
Charles Severance, who had been arrested several times in Cumberland in the early 2000's on charges of assault and indecent exposure, has been called a "person of interest" in three northern Virginia murders. Severance has been living in Loudon County, Virginia, but was taken into custody over the weekend on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Safe Streets Initiative Conducted
Another in a series of "Safe Streets" warrant initiatives was conducted last week. A total of 31 people were arrested on 32 warrants being served. Numerous charges were lodged, ranging from fraud, to violation of probation and theft, and obstruction of justice. The Safe Streets operation sought, and received, help from citizens in locating and apprehending those who were wanted.
Woman Hits Freight Train
A driver hit a CSX freight train early Sunday morning, but was not injured. Nikita Courtney Hall told police the brakes on her car failed, causing her to strike the train at the Franklin Street Crossing. When her vehicle struck the train, a safety alarm was activated. The train was stopped so it could be inspected. CSX officials noted the train did not appear to be damaged during the collision. Ms. Hall's vehicle was towed from the scene, as it suffered extensive damage to the front end.
Fire Unit Called to Bedford Road Sheetz
A unit from the Cumberland Fire Department was called to the Sheetz store at Nave's Crossroads yesterday morning. About 60 gallons of fuel apparently spilled from pump #7. It was unclear whether the fuel spill, which was reported around 7:35 a.m., was caused by a malfunction, or whether a customer had problems with it. Along with the Cumberland Fire Department, the Sheetz Corporation also had a cleanup crew on the scene. Units cleared the scene at about 1:10 p.m. yesterday.
Mineral Wants Bigger Share of Delinquent Taxes
Mineral County Sheriff Jeremy Taylor presented the Board of Education with a letter, requesting the county receive part of the share of recovered personal property taxes. Currently, the Board receives 71 per cent of total collections, and there are over $100,000 in delinquent property taxes at stake, some dating back to 2009. Personal property taxes are collected on items such as mobile homes, business inventory, and vehicles. The issue is on the agenda for tonight's Mineral County Board of Education meeting.
Somerset Man Arrested After Police Chase
Somerset resident Larry Eugene Tinkey is facing felony and misdemeanor charges, after leading police on a high speed chase early Sunday morning. The incident ended when he traveled off Deans Road, and his car came to rest in a farm creek. Speeds during the chase reached up to 90 miles per hour. He was injured and was taken to Somerset hospital.
Pennsylvania Man Arrested on CDS Charges
Pennsylvania resident John Patric Milligan was charged with possession of marijuana and CDS material during a traffic stop this past weekend in Garrett County. Milligan's car was stopped in the area of mile marker 22 on I-68. He was charged, then released.
Senate Debates Minimum Wage
The Maryland State Senate continues its work on a minimum wage bill for the state. Senator Mac Middleton, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, says there will be differences with the House version of the bill. There has been a proposal "floated" in the General Assembly, where the minimum wage would be set at $8.25 per hour, but with an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, according to Senator Middleton. Senator Middleton see a compromise of both an increased minimum wage and Earned Income Tax Credit.
Monday "Crossover Day" in Annapolis
Yesterday was "Crossover Day" in Annapolis, when lawmakers have to pass bills in at least one chamber, if they have any chance of getting to the Governor's desk. This week, the Senate will begin floor debate on its version of "Jake's Law," named after five year old Jake Owen who was killed in a car crash by a distracted driver. The Senate bill would impose up to a three-year jail term on distracted drivers who cause a crash, resulting in injury or death. The House passed its own version that would impose a one year sentence, and lawmakers will have to work out a compromise.
Keedysville Man Charged in Murder of Grandparents
A Keedysville man has been charged in the double murder of his grandparents. Nineteen year old Joseph Michael Minoglio is accused of stabbing his grandparents, Joseph and Peggy Minoglio. They were pronounced dead at their home. The grandson was arrested in Montgomery County, Virginia, while driving his grandparents' car, which was missing from their home. He is being held there, pending extradition.
AG Returns Money to State
The West Virginia Attorney General has returned about $16.5 million to the state's general fund in the last 14 months. About 9-million dollars was returned in the last week or so. The Legislature will use that money to plug a budget gap, and fund a program for senior citizens and disabled residents.