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WOMAN DIES IN BEDFORD COUNTY CRASH

A New Paris woman died in a two-vehicle accident at Allegheny Road and Milligan's Cove Road in Bedford County. Charlene Martin, a passenger in a car driven by Adam Gonsman of New Paris, died of her injuries. The crash occurred as Gonsman's vehicle was hit by one, driven by Donald Rose of Schellsburg, as Rose was crossing Allegheny Road from Watson Road, and had attempted to continue onto Milligan's Cove Road.


TWO CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH FATAL ACCIDENT

Two Garrett County residents have been charged, for allegedly buying alcohol for a person under the age of 21.  Fifty-three year old Terry Wayne Sharpless of Swanton and Oakland resident John Ronald Large were charged with obtaining and purchasing alcohol for an underage person. Charles Allen Frazee was killed in a single vehicle accident on June 1st of this year, after attending a campsite graduation party. Sharpless and Large allegedly purchased the alcohol at several establishments and then furnished to family members who were less than 21 years old.


MAN ARRESTED FOR CARRYING GUN AT WAL MART

A Pennsylvania man, 36-year old Angelo Cavallero, was arrested at Wal Mart in the Country Club Mall Friday evening, after he was seen walking into the store wearing a handgun holster on his hip. Police found two handguns on him, and he told authorities that he was on a road trip, and didn't realize he was in Maryland. He does have a gun permit from Pennsylvania. Additionally, State Police said he was in possession of a controlled dangerous substance.


LARGE MARIJUANA CROP FOUND IN LITTLE ORLEANS

The C3I Narcotics Unit, Maryland State Police Eradication Unit and the Maryland Army National Guard have discovered a large marijuana growing operation in Little Orleans. The discovery yielded a large number of "mature" marijuana plants, which could have yielded over 20 pounds of marijuana with a street value of over $20,000. The suspects in the operation have been identified as being from the Baltimore area. Several arrests are anticipated in the near future, and the investigation is continuing.


FATHER ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH ASSAULT

Harold Ivan Morris of the 500-block of Fayette Street, was arrested and charged with first and second-degree assault, along with reckless endangerment, following a weekend incident. Morris allegedly pointed a handgun at his son, and later grabbed him by the wrist. Police discovered a loaded handgun in the house, and it was seized as evidence. Morris was held at the Allegany County Detention Center, until he can be represented by his attorney.


JUVENILE ARRESTED ON NUMEROUS CHARGES

A 16-year old was arrested on Saturday afternoon, for setting fire to a cross tie on the tracks of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad bridge. He ran from the scene, but was stopped a short distance away. The tie was actually burning when the train, which was occupied by five employees, traveled on the track. The youth was charged with-among other counts-first degree malicious burning, arson, and disorderly conduct-and later released to the custody of Juvenile Services.


PARTY DISTURBANCE COMPLAINT RESULTS IN TWO ARRESTS

A party early yesterday morning in the 100-block of Grand Avenue, resulted in drug arrests for two men. Eighteen year old Matthew Ryan Thomas was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and was given a civil citation for possession of alcohol under 21. Grantsville resident Adam James Beitzel was charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. Both were released, pending further action in District Court.


VALENTINE JOINS MACo BOARD OF DIRECTORS

First term Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine has joined the MACo Board of Directors, replacing Garrett County Commissioner Gregan Crawford, who resigned his seat on August 1st. The MACo Board of Directors officially filled the vacancy during its August meeting. Valentine was first elected as a County Commissioner in 2010, and had previously served on the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, as well as a number of other committees.


FRANCHOT ADVOCATING POST-LABOR DAY SCHOOL START

Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot is advocating the start of school after the Labor Day holiday. Franchot believes it makes good economic sense, in that Maryland showed a zero percent Gross Domestic Product in 2013; he says the economy is not doing "what we are accustomed to have it do." Beginning school after Labor Day would simply have a good economic impact on the state. A commission, authorized by the Maryland Legislature, has voted 11 to 4 to propose the start of school after Labor Day. The next step, according to Comptroller Franchot, is to send the recommendation to the legislature in January of next year.



MDOT TERMINATES CSX AGREEMENT

The Maryland Department of Transportation has terminated its agreement with CSX, and has pulled the funding for a proposed location of the Baltimore Rail Intermodal Facility at Morrell Park in Baltimore. MDOT's commitment of $30 million in capital funding and the remaining $1.45 million will not be included in the draft six-year budget, which is expected to be released tomorrow. For two years, residential and business communities had voiced concerns over the potential impacts the project would have on their community. CSX was unable to address the concerns to the satisfaction of the community, MDOT, and the city of Baltimore.


MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO NATIONAL TIME-SHARE SCHEME

Charleston, West Virginia resident David Andrew Glynn has pleaded guilty in federal court on charges of conspiring to defraud time-share owners throughout the country, and will be sentenced on November 24th. Glynn admitted to setting up a company, called Mountain State Resales, LLC; time-share owners were told the company had buyers for their properties and were asked to send fees and expenses necessary to complete the sales. In all, Glynn admitted to receiving more than $86,000 from the scheme.

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LOCAL NEWS


MAN INDICTED IN ALLEGANY HIGH INCIDENT

Cumberland resident Brandon Simpson has been indicted in connection with an incident at Allegany High School earlier this month. Simpson disrupted band practice there by yelling and cursing, and, at one point brandishing a knife. Staff members directed the band to exit the athletic field, and one of the staff took a picture of the suspect. It was determined the staff members were placed in danger by his actions. He faces numerous charges, including assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.

 

"SAFE STREETS OPERATION" NETS 28 ARRESTS

The arrest warrant initiative, known as "Operation Safe Streets," has resulted in 28 arrests over a week. Several of those were taken into custody for failure to appear in court, violation of probation, failure to pay child support. There was one suspect, who was a fugitive from Pennsylvania, who was arrested for violation of probation. The operation was conducted by the Cumberland City Police and members of the Allegany County Sheriff's Department.

 

OUTAGE AFFECTS 2,000 CUSTOMERS

A power outage yesterday morning affected about 2,000 customers in lower LaVale. The outage, reported around 8:15, brought out Potomac Edison personnel, and disrupted power at Parkside Elementary and Cash Valley Elementary Schools. Power was restored about an hour later. Customers in the lower LaVale area and parts of the Haystack Mountain area were affected.

 

BASIN AT CANAL PLACE EMPTIED BY PUMP FAILURE

Two pumps have failed at Canal Place, causing the basin to drain, with vegetation taking over the water that is still there. The National Park Service and Canal Place officials are evaluating the situation, and will check the pumps and pipes for leaks, in an effort to restore the attraction. It may take some time to repair the pumps and pipes.

 

CASINO COMPANY LOOKS AT OPTIONS

Lakes Entertainment, owner of Rocky Gap Casino Resort, has hired a financial advisor on what they are calling "strategic alternatives." Macquarie Capital, based in Australia, will help the owners look at a variety of options for the company's future, including "potential acquisitions, joint ventures, and recapitalization." And, while that may sound vague, that is all the company is willing to say about future intentions.

 

ROUTE 219 EXPANSION PROJECT CONTINUES

It's been a year since ground was broken for the Route 219 expansion project in Somerset County. The project is making major headway, in that about four million cubic yards of earth has been moved; of the $110 million set aside for the project, about $41 million has been spent. The project will result in the paving of another 11-1/2 miles from Route 219 in Somerset to the Meyersdale bypass. The project should be completed by October of 2017.

 

ROOFER DIES AS THE RESULT OF HEAD INJURIES

An Everett, Pennsylvania man who had fallen off of a roof in Somerset County earlier this month, has died. Thirty-year old Gregory Beckett died as the result of a severe head injury. He had been working on a roof in Davidsville, when he lost his footing and fell to the ground. He was taken to the Somerset County Memorial Medical Center.

 

WOMAN ARRESTED IN DOMESTIC ASSAULT INCIDENT

Thirty-nine year old Cumberland resident Arika McMillan was charged with a count of second-degree assault, following an incident in the 200-block of Gay Street Wednesday evening. She had been arguing with a resident there, when it then turned physical. The victim sustained minor injuries that did not require medical attention, but she was arrested and taken for an initial appearance in District Court. She was released on personal recognizance.

 

HEARING ON KEYSER ANNEXATION SET

The Mineral County Commission has scheduled a public meeting on annexing just over 90 acres of land in the south end of town. The meeting will be held on September 23rd at 6:30 p.m. A West Virginia state regulation states the county may approve "minor boundary adjustments" without the city taking the proposal to the public for a vote. Commissioner Richard Lechliter says the city of Keyser's petition was "deficient in two areas," but did not say what those were. Additonal information should be submitted on the annexation by next Friday.

 

DEPUTY ARRESTS SUSPENDED DRIVER

The Allegany County Sheriff's Department arrested a driver, whose license was suspended. A traffic stop on McMullen Highway resulted in the arrest of Charles Trent Thomas of LaVale. He was taken to a District Court Commissioner and later released on his own recognizance.

 

MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION MAY MISS DEADLINE

The final regulations from Maryland's Medical Marijuana Commission are due in less than three weeks, but a public hearing held this week in Annapolis, was the group's first. Panel members were told the proposed rules are too burdensome and too vague for the program to work; advocates for medical marijuana say the rules and regulations could cause months of setbacks to a program that has already been delayed.

 

CONSERVATION CORPS BEGINS WORK

Thirty-two young people began work this week, volunteering for a year under the 2015 Chesapeake Conservation Corps program. More than 100 had applied for the position, where they will work with organizations on environmental projects that benefit the Chesapeake Bay. The trust's executive director Jana Davis says the experience is coveted, whether participants recently graduated from high school or college.

 

JUVENILE JUSTICE STUDY UNDERWAY

While West Virginia nearly doubled the rate at which youths were sent to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, there have been decreases, nationwide, in that practice. The West Virginia Intergovernmental Task Force is working with Pew Charitable Trusts to recommend improvements to the juvenile justice system, and will issue a report by December. The panel will draw from best practices from other states.

 

POSSIBLE FRAUD UNCOVERED BY AUDIT

"Additional instances of possible fraud or abuse" have been found during the final 18 months of former state Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass' tenure. The Department of Agriculture released an audit, which included questionable spending of nearly $662,000 of federal stimulus money in June of 2011 to install new refrigeration units at the Inwood Farmer's Market in Berkeley County. Auditors say it was a bad investment, in that the market lost an average of $100,000 per year for six years in a row.

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LOCAL NEWS


RIVER ACCESS DISCUSSED

Officials from several agencies were on hand for a meeting yesterday, in which boater access to the Potomac River was discussed. Representatives from the National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DNR, and other local officials discussed the possibility of an approach site, with the DNR objecting to the proposed site near the Merling Building on Beall Street. Lisa Gutierrez of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources says her group has concerns over safety issues. For his part, local businessman George Merling says he could have a site up and running within two months.

 

ESCAPEE SENTENCED IN GARRETT CASE

Washington, D.C. resident DeAndre Kelly has been sntenced to 19 years in prison in connection to a Garrett County case from 2011. Kelly was sentenced on charges of possession with intent to distribute narcotics, escape and for carrying and using a firearm in the relation to a drug trafficking crime. Following his release, he will be on five years of supervised probation.

 

COUNTY COULD HIRE VETERANS' "OMBUDSMAN"

Allegany County could adopt a program, similar to one in Carroll County, that would help veterans work through paperwork and bureaucracy to receive the benefits to which they are entitled. Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay called the potential position a "veteran's ombudsman," and would be a part-time, two-day-per-week position.

 

SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MAN LAST SEEN IN LAVALE

The search is continuing for a Gaithersburg man, who was last seen at the Super 8 Motel on National Highway in LaVale. Fifty-four year old Martin Rogers, a scientist with the National Institute of Health, was last seen August 22nd. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information, leading to his whereabouts.

 

MAN CHARGED IN SOMERSET STABBING

Nineteen-year old Anthony Tyler Campbell of Somerset County has been charged with attempted homicide, after he allegedly stabbed another man four times in the face on August 15th. Campbell was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment, along with counts of burglary, terroristic threats, and reckless endangerment.

 

DRUG COUNTS AGAINST TWO PITTSBURGH AREA MEN

Felony drug charges have been brought in Somerset County against two Allegheny County residents. Twenty-year old Darrell Jeffrey Mar or Verona, and Daleron Kameron Stewart of Wilkinsburg are charged with selling heroin and conspiring to distribute crack cocaine in Somerset.

 

NEARLY ONE-THIRD PARTICIPATE IN RECYCLING

About 30 per cent of households are participating in curbside recycling, according to a recent survey by Burgmeier's Hauling, Incorporated. Recycling is done on about 6 to 9 tons of co-mingled materials per week and four tons of paper per week, and Cumberland is on track to keep 61 tons of recycling out of the landfill by the end of this month. Recycling occurs on the first trash day of each week, running on an alternating week schedule of co-mingled products one week and mixed papers the following week.

 

SUMMONS SERVED ON CUMBERLAND RESIDENT

A criminal summons was served on 34-year old Timothy Adam Spiker of Cumberland. A private citizen applied for charges at District Court, and charges him with a fourth-degree sex offense.

 

MAN CHARGED IN DISTURBANCE

Cumberland resident Thomas Michael Marvin has been charged with possession of a sawed-off shotgun, stemming from a disturbance in mid-August. The incident happened in the 500-block of Hill Street; during the investigation, it was learned he had the weapon. The summons was issued after charges were filed in District Court.

 

MRHS "MEET THE SQUAD" NIGHT

Mountain Ridge High School will host its annual "Meet the Squad" night on Tuesday, September 2nd at 7 p.m. in the stadium. In the event of bad weather, the program will be moved into the main gym. Members of the fall athletic teams will be introduced, and there will be performances by the Diamonds, the cheerleaders, the band, and the color guard. There is no admission charge for the event.

 

SUBPOENAS ISSED IN HEALTH EXCHANGE INVESTIGATION

A federal audit of Maryland's flawed health care exchange website has developed into what is being called a "full blown investigation." Representative Andy Harris, Maryland's sole Republican Congressman, says the subpoenas have been issued to unknown people involved in the probe. He says he doesn't know if some people are not forthcoming with information, or if the Inspector General has come up with something that could yield criminal charges.

 

HOGAN HAS MONEY ADVANTAGE OVER BROWN

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan has a better than 3 to 1 fundraising advantage over his opponent, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown. Hogan is reporting $2.4 million to Brown's $760,000, although Hogan's fundraising for the general election campaign is essentially frozen; Brown can continue to raise money through the November 4th general election. Hogan received a $2.6 million lump sum payment from the state's public financing fund, after the June 24th primary.

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY LAWYER APPOINTED JUDGE

In a series of appointments this week, Governor Martin O'Malley named the lawyer who defends the General Assembly to a seat on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Friedman, an assistant attorney general, will replace Judge Albert J. Matricciani, who resigned earlier this year. In his role, Friedman also dispensed legal advice to state lawmakers and public officials.

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LOCAL NEWS


MAN SENTENCED FOR ROBBERY

A plea agreement will send a Frostburg resident to prison for ten years. Thirty-four year old Jeremiah Seib pleaded guilty to robbing First People's Credit Union in Short Gap in September of last year. He was indicted in January of this year. Seib turned himself in to Frostburg authorities, was extradited to West Virginia, and has been held at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail since that time. Seib will serve his sentence in a federal prison facility.

 

BALTIMORE SUSPECT ARRESTED IN CUMBERLAND

Twenty-three year old Dontray White of Baltimore, who is wanted there in connection with an attempted murder, was arrested in Cumberland yesterday. Investigators obtained several addresses of known acquaintances. He was eventually arrested at one of those locations. He was transported back to Baltimore, pending an initial court appearance.

 

GARRETT CIRCUIT JUDGE APPOINTED

Governor Martin O'Malley has appointed Raymond George Strubin as a Garrett County Circuit Court judge, replacing Judge James Sherbin, who announced his retirement in February of this year. Strubin had served as an assistant public defender in Garrett County, and had previously served as the assistant public defender in Washington County.

 

COMMUNICATION POLICY REVISED BY BOARD

The Allegany County Board of Education has revised its policy, regarding communication between staff and school board members. While some thought the policy was repressive, the new draft encourages communication between the two on  matters of policy, practice and procedure. The only exception to the policy is when a situation is of a sensitive nature, and could be heard in an appeal process by the school board.

 

TRAP SET FOR BEAR IN WARDENSVILLE

The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources have set traps for a bear that attacked a man and his dog in the George Washington National Forest near Wardensville last week. Steven Krichbaum was taken to Winchester Medical Center following the attack, while his dog was taken to an emergency animal hospital. The attack is considered provoked, because the dog had chased one of the bear cubs.

 

RIDGELEY GETTING SET FOR CENTENNIAL

The town of Ridgeley is getting ready for its centennial celebration next weekend. Opening ceremonies take place on Friday, September 5th at the Veteran's Memorial at the Gold Star VFW. Saturday's festivities include a breakfast at the Calvary United Methodist Church and a cruise-in at Nelson Auto Sales. The grand feature parade will get underway on Saturday, September 6th at 5:30 p.m.

 

RURAL COUNTIES COALITION GROWS

Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay says three more counties have shown interest in the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition. Discussions were held during the MACo Summer Conference in Ocean City on how to best advocate for Maryland's veterans. McKay says one aspect of the discussion was helping veterans "navigate" various programs available to them.

 

SUMMONS SERVED FOR RECKLESS DRIVING

Cumberland resident Michael Steven Ford was served with a criminal summons in connection with a motor vehicle crash that took place on May 14th of this year. Ford allegedly struck a parked vehicle while traveling on Race Street in south Cumberland. He was charged with both reckless and negligent driving.

 

FINAL CLINIC FOR 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR

The Allegany County Health Department is offering free TDAP and meningitis vaccinations, which are required for all students entering the 7th grade this school year. The final clinic will be held next Wednesday, September 3rd at the Health Department's Willowbrook Office Complex from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, call (301)-759-5082.

 

P.E. POLE INSPECTION AND REPLACEMENT CONTINUES

Potomac Edison crews have replaced or repaired about 1,000 wooden utility poles so far this year, as part of the company's annual inspection program. Year-to-date, P.E. has inspected about 21,500 wooden poles, with 2,354 of those in Cumberland and 1,744 in Oakland alone. The utility expects to spend over $2 million on the inspections. Each of the Southern Yellow Pine poles replaced, costs about $400 each.

 

WOMEN CHARGED IN MURDER-FOR-HIRE PLOT

Two Fayette County, West Virginia women have been charged in connection with a murder-for-hire plot. Sara Swaggerty and Tammy Bair have been charged. Swaggerty allegedly gave an undercover police officer $500 to kill her husband, who is currently charged with21 counts of sex crimes against children. Both are in the Southern Regional Jail. Police say she wanted her husband dead, and wanted it to look like an accident. She had offered $2500 to do the job.

 

PIRATE MINOR LEAGUE TEAM TO LOCATE IN MORGANTOWN

The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced plans to locate one of its minor league teams to Morgantown, West Virginia. The team will be relocating from Jamestown, New York, and will be playing its games at a new ballpark, being constructed at the University Towne Center. The WVU team will play there next spring, before the minor league "short season" begins in June.

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THREE CONVICTED IN FEDERAL DRUG CASES

Three people, who were responsible for a large drug trafficking operation in which cocaine was brought to the Keyser area from other parts of the country, each face up to 20 years in prison. Thirty-three year old Cedric Malachi Jones, also known as "BG" of South Ozone Park, New York-the so-called leader of the operation-pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Adrian Nicholas Sanchez, of Cumberland, and Christopher Lee Redman each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Both will forfeit thousands of dollars, and will each pay a $90,000 monetary judgment.

 

HEARING HELD FOR MURDER SUSPSECT

A hearing was held yesterday for Cumberland resident Robert Hernandez. He is accused of stabbing West Virginia University freshman Devante Waites at a Morgantown bar earlier this month; Waites died a few hours later at a Morgantown hospital. The hearing was held to decide if there is enough evidence to forward the charges to a Monongalia County grand jury. Hernandez was arrested less than 24 hours after the stabbing, and has been in jail, without bail, since that time.

 

OLDTOWN BRIDGE RE-OPENED

The Oldtown Toll Bridge, which had been washed out in June flooding, has reopened. Repairs took less time than was originally thought. The bridge is the only crossing of the Potomac River for 15 miles in either direction. The Oldtown Bridge is the only privately owned structure of its kind in the state.

 

AMERICAN WOODMARK TO ADD JOBS IN W.VA.

American Woodmark says it plans to add 80 full time jobs and invest $30 million at its facility in Moorefield. That would boost the site's employment to 655 workers. The company also plans to expand, adding 100,000 square feet to its facility. The expansion should be completed by the fall of next year.

 

BUS INVOLVED IN MINOR ACCIDENT

Allegany County Public School Bus #51, en route to Northeast Elementary School, caused minor damage to a parked passenger car on Pear Street at around 8:15 yesterday morning. There was no damage to the bus. Student arrival was slightly delayed due to the accident.

 

JEFFERSON STREET FIRE "INCENDIARY" IN NATURE

The Maryland State Fire Marshal has determined that a Saturday morning fire on Jefferson Street was arson. The fire was discovered by a neighbor who was awakened by smoke and observed a fire burning on the back porch of the vacant residence next to him. The structure is owned by Pieter Kloos; smoke detectors were in the building, but they did not activate. Estimated damages to the building were set at approximately $15,000.

 

MISSING MAN LAST SEEN AT SUPER 8

Authorities are looking for a Gaithersburg man, who was last seen at the Super 8 motel in LaVale. The family of Martin John Rogers is concerned about his emotional well-being. He was last spotted at the hotel on August 21st, and had been driving a 2001 Audi A-4. No sightings have been reported since that time. Anyone with information should call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at (301)-279-8000.

 

PLANNING FOR 2015 MINERAL COUNTY DAY

Mineral County Day is being planned for next January 15th in Charleston. Mineral will be partnering with Monongalia County  to highlight what each has to offer. Similar to Allegany County's annual PACE reception, Mineral County will produce a brochure, showing priority projects such as water/wastewater, transportation and economic development to state legislators.

 

MAN CHARGED WITH THEFT, BURGLARY

Thirty-eight year old Kelly Cole of Cumberland has been charged with burglary and theft, following an incident in the 200-block of Pennsylvania Avenue on Sunday. Cole is accused of breaking into a garage, and stealing several items, including a four-wheeler. Tracks from the ATV, led police to a separate garage, several streets over from the victim's residence. Cold was taken for an initial appearance in District Court, and held on $35,000 bond.

 

CONTROL BOARD TO HEAR COMPLAINTS

The Allegany County Animal Control Board will be taking public comment at a meeting to be held next Tuesday in Room 100 of the county office complex on Kelly Road. While there will be no discussion or action taken, comments will be considered at a future meeting. Residents who wish to speak are asked to sign up, prior to 6 p.m. Comments will be limited to five minutes per speaker.

 

TEACHERS PARTICIPATE IN "STEM" EXTERNSHIPS

Fifteen Allegany County public school educators recently had the chance to participate in the 2014 summer "STEM" externships. During the four-week job experience, teachers were provided with full-time work experience, as they shadowed employees and completed tasks or assisted with projects. Participating teachers also had the opportunity to contribute ideas and conduct informal interviews of staff and employees.

 

MARATHON TO OPEN REGISTRATION ON LABOR DAY

Labor Day will make the official opening of registration for the 2nd annual Queen City Marathon for Active Water. Online registration will be available through the official race website and "active.com." A printable, mail-in registration form is also available from the official event website, "runthequeencity.com." Early bird registration runs through December 31st, and is $60. The fee increases to $70 on January 1st.

 

CONEMAUGH HEALTH SYSTEM SOLD TO DUKE LIFEPOINT

The Conemaugh Health System is now owned by Duke LifePoint health care, which says it plans to pump about $400 million into the local economy with new facilities in Richland and Ebensburg. No employee layoffs are expected. A county judge approved the sale last week.

 

AMENDMENT PLACED ON STATE BALLOT

 Voters will consider a state constitutional amendment in November, which will limit when the Governor and Legislature can take money from the state's Transportation Trust Fund. Ragina Cooper-Averella, Triple "A" Atlantic's manager of public and governmental affairs, says the now-certified language deals with how the funds are spent.

 

MARYLAND TO SHARE IN SETTLEMENT

The state of Maryland is expected to see a portion of a settlement between U.S. regulators and Bank of America. The financial institution was accused of misleading investors into buying toxic, mortgage-backed securities. The agreement was for $17 million, and is the biggest settlement of any one company in U.S. history. Predatory lending and practices, such as "robo-signing" of foreclosure notices may have led to the housing collapse the fueled the Great Recession.

 

WEST VIRGINIA ACT SCORES UNCHANGED

A.C.T. college entrance exam scores remained virtually unchanged in West Virginia for the fourth straight year. Scores averaged 20.6 on the exam, but slight improvement was shown in reading scores. But they were unchanged in the science and math categories. English scores dipped slightly. Nationally, the average overall A.C.T. scores increased slightly to 21.0. 

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LOCAL NEWS - UPDATE


MISSING MAN FOUND SAFE

 

Eighty-nine year old Lester John Hershberger was found safe this morning in Grantsville. He was reported missing Saturday night, and had left his residence by crawling out of a bedroom window on Hemlock Drive. The Maryland State Police say he had been suffering from dementia. However, he was found safe just after 7 a.m. this morning.

 

 

ANIMAL CRUELTY SUSPECT ARRESTED

 

Twenty-eight year old Christopher Adam Preston was arrested  Saturday, in connection with an animal cruelty case in which nine dogs died at an abandoned residence on McGill Drive. In all, he was arrested on eight counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, and related charges. He was ordered held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $8500 bond. The dogs had been abandoned in the home for about 6 to 8 weeks. The three surviving dogs were taken to the veterinarian for treatment of dehydration, starvation and anemia, due to flea infestation. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

 

 

 

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IN ALLEGANY COUNTY

 

Today is the first day of school in Allegany County for the 2014-2015 year. Drivers are being reminded to be extra cautious for students walking to school, and to stop for school buses, either picking up or dropping off students during the morning and afternoon. Dr. David Cox, Allegany County School Superintendent will be riding along with Bus #36, which begins its run in the Shade's Lane area. The bus will travel to the Allegany County Career Center and onto Bel Air.

 

 

PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT AIRLIFTED FOLLOWING FIRE

 

An Artemas, Pennsylvania resident suffered second and third-degree burns and was airlifted to the hospital, following a Friday afternoon fire. The blaze, which destroyed three structures at 139 Memory Lane, appears to be accidental in nature. About 40 hay bales in a building ignited, and sparked the fire. The hay fire rekindled early Saturday morning. The initial call involved about 40 firefighters from three states. The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

 

 

WATER SERVICE INTERRUPTED IN NORTH END

 

An emergency shutdown of water service in North End was ordered Saturday night, when an 8-inch water main ruptured on Ashland Avenue at Holland Street. A spokesperson for the Allegany County Office of Emergency Services says areas affected included Ashland Avenue, Piedmont Avenue and Holland Street at Roethe Avenue. At the time of the shutdown, there was little or no water service in the area, or at the Allegany County Nursing Home, as well as the North End area. Services have since been restored, but portions of Ashland Avenue will need repaving as a result of the water main break.

 

 

PENN AVENUE FIRE INVESTIGATED

 

Fire companies from Cumberland, Bowling Green and Ridgeley responded to a fire at 325 Pennsylvania Avenue Friday evening. The fire was reported at 7:58 p.m., and no injuries were reported. The cause of that fire remains under investigation.

 

 

COUNTY FINANCE DEPARTMENT WINS NATIONAL AWARD

 

The Allegany County Finance Department has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 22nd consecutive year. The certificate is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. The award is given by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for Allegany County's Fiscal Year 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

 

 

MAN ARRESTED FOR 2013 INCIDENT

 

Thirty-three year old Jamaine Johnson has been arrested in connection with an assault incident, that allegedly happened in December of last year. Cumberland City Police officers had responded to an incident in the 100-block of Potomac Street, in which the victim claimed Johnson had choked them. He fled the residence, and Johnson was arrested on Friday. He was charged with one count of second-degree assault and later released on personal recognizance.

 

 

BELLEVUE STREET CLOSED FOR REPAIRS

 

Bellevue Street, between Baltimore Avenue and Fulton Street is closed today for emergency sewer repairs. The City of Cumberland apologizes in advances for any inconvenience. Questions should be directed to the City of Cumberland Engineering Department at (301)-759-6600.

 

 

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY INVESTIGATED

 

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a destruction of property incident at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. Sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning, an unknown person or persons broke a window at one of the buildings there. Anyone with information is asked to contact Master Trooper DeLauter at (301)-387-1101.

 

 

OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED

 

The first Allegany County Opportunity Scholarships have been awarded to students attending Allegany College of Maryland or Frostburg State University. Classes begin today for ACM students, and will start on September 2nd at Frostburg. Funding for the scholarships is made possible through the county's share of revenues generated by video lottery machines at Rocky Gap Casino Resort.

 

 

NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETS

 

The Neighborhood Advisory Committee is meeting today at City Hall from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The special guest is Lieutenant Biser of the Cumberland City Police Department, who will be speaking about gangs and gang activity in the area.

 

 

FIRST "CITY STAR" AWARD WINNER ANNOUNCED

 

The Mayor and City Council presented the first "City Star Award" to Virginia "Ginny" Decker during the August 5th meeting. The award program has been initiated to recognize the unsung heroes in our community who have stepped up to do what's right and what's needed, and have made a positive impact on our lives, our neighborhoods and our community. Ms. Decker was recognized for her involvement in the "Let's Beautify Cumberland" program, of which she has been a member for 15 years.

 

 

OFFICIALS COMMENT ON FRACHOT'S INVOLVEMENT IN W. MD.

 

During last week's visit to Cumberland by Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot, several elected officials had the opportunity to publicly comment on his contributions to the office, and to the area. Maryland State Senator George Edwards noted that Franchot had given the William Donald Shaffer Award to Sandy Bell of Garrett County, who founded "Cindy's Fund."

 

 

MAN, DOG ATTACKED BY BEAR IN HARDY COUNTY

 

A Staunton,Virginia man, 59-year old Steven Krichbaum,  and his dog were injured, after being attacked by a black bear in the George Washington National Forest in Hardy County late last week. The man and the dog were walking in the woods, when they came upon a black bear and her cubs; the bear attacked and Krichbaum hit the bear with a rock to scare her off. Both he and the dog were able to escape; he was taken to the Winchester Medical Center for treatment, while the dog was taken to a local emergency animal hospital.

 

 

MAN CHARGED IN SOMERSET HOME INVASION

 

Twenty-six year old Somerset County, Pennsylvania resident William Albert Thompson has been charged with a home invasion, and has admitted to the crime. Thompson broke into a house and demanded money from an elderly woman at gunpoint. He made her drive to several banks to use the ATM to withdraw money. Video surveillance led to his arrest. He is a suspect in another home invasion in the area. For now, he is being held on $500,000 bond.

 

 

ALMANAC CALLS FOR "SUPER COLD" WINTER

 

The "Old Farmer's Almanac" is calling for a "super cold" winter for the eastern two-thirds of the United States this year, with above normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be in late December and early and mid-January, along with early to mid-February. It also predicts and warmer and drier than normal summer next year. The Almanac does have an 80 per cent accuracy rate, but its prediction for a very hot summer this year didn't quite come true.

 

 

NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR HYDROCODONE DRUGS

 

New restrictions on painkiller hydrocodone drugs will have an effect on how they are stored, stocked, transported, prescribed and dispensed. In West Virginia, drugs like Lortab and Vicodin are the number one prescribed controlled substance. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration is moving such drugs from Schedule III to a more restrictive Schedule II. The West Virginia legislature has passed a bill that limits hydrocodone drugs to no more than a 30-day supply and no more than two refills. That law, along with the federal guidelines, will both remain in effect.

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ANIMAL CRUELTY SUSPECT ARRESTED

 

Twenty-eight year old Christopher Adam Preston was arrested  Saturday, in connection with an animal cruelty case in which nine dogs died at an abandoned residence on McGill Drive. In all, he was arrested on eight counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, and related charges. He was ordered held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $8500 bond. The dogs had been abandoned in the home for about 6 to 8 weeks. The three surviving dogs were taken to the veterinarian for treatment of dehydration, starvation and anemia, due to flea infestation. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

 

 

SOMERSET MAN KILLED IN SINGLE-VEHICLE ACCIDENT

 

Somerset County resident Christopher Edward Maddy was killed in a single-vehicle accident Saturday on Monument Road. His car left the road and hit a utility pole. The vehicle then overturned. That accident remains under investigation.

 

 

GARRETT MAN REPORTED MISSING

 

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is seeking information on a missing elderly man. Lester John Hershberger of Hemlock Drive in Grantsville left his residence by crawling out of a bedroom window. He was last seen Saturday evening around 8 p.m. Anyone with information should contact the barrack at (301)-387-1101. He may suffer from demential and is known to have family in Ohio.

 

 

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IN ALLEGANY COUNTY

 

Today is the first day of school in Allegany County for the 2014-2015 year. Drivers are being reminded to be extra cautious for students walking to school, and to stop for school buses, either picking up or dropping off students during the morning and afternoon. Dr. David Cox, Allegany County School Superintendent will be riding along with Bus #36, which begins its run in the Shade's Lane area. The bus will travel to the Allegany County Career Center and onto Bel Air.

 

 

PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT AIRLIFTED FOLLOWING FIRE

 

An Artemas, Pennsylvania resident suffered second and third-degree burns and was airlifted to the hospital, following a Friday afternoon fire. The blaze, which destroyed three structures at 139 Memory Lane, appears to be accidental in nature. About 40 hay bales in a building ignited, and sparked the fire. The hay fire rekindled early Saturday morning. The initial call involved about 40 firefighters from three states. The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

 

 

WATER SERVICE INTERRUPTED IN NORTH END

 

An emergency shutdown of water service in North End was ordered Saturday night, when an 8-inch water main ruptured on Ashland Avenue at Holland Street. A spokesperson for the Allegany County Office of Emergency Services says areas affected included Ashland Avenue, Piedmont Avenue and Holland Street at Roethe Avenue. At the time of the shutdown, there was little or no water service in the area, or at the Allegany County Nursing Home, as well as the North End area. Services have since been restored, but portions of Ashland Avenue will need repaving as a result of the water main break.

 

 

PENN AVENUE FIRE INVESTIGATED

 

Fire companies from Cumberland, Bowling Green and Ridgeley responded to a fire at 325 Pennsylvania Avenue Friday evening. The fire was reported at 7:58 p.m., and no injuries were reported. The cause of that fire remains under investigation.

 

 

COUNTY FINANCE DEPARTMENT WINS NATIONAL AWARD

 

The Allegany County Finance Department has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 22nd consecutive year. The certificate is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. The award is given by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for Allegany County's Fiscal Year 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

 

 

MAN ARRESTED FOR 2013 INCIDENT

 

Thirty-three year old Jamaine Johnson has been arrested in connection with an assault incident, that allegedly happened in December of last year. Cumberland City Police officers had responded to an incident in the 100-block of Potomac Street, in which the victim claimed Johnson had choked them. He fled the residence, and Johnson was arrested on Friday. He was charged with one count of second-degree assault and later released on personal recognizance.

 

 

BELLEVUE STREET CLOSED FOR REPAIRS

 

Bellevue Street, between Baltimore Avenue and Fulton Street is closed today for emergency sewer repairs. The City of Cumberland apologizes in advances for any inconvenience. Questions should be directed to the City of Cumberland Engineering Department at (301)-759-6600.

 

 

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY INVESTIGATED

 

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a destruction of property incident at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. Sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning, an unknown person or persons broke a window at one of the buildings there. Anyone with information is asked to contact Master Trooper DeLauter at (301)-387-1101.

 

 

OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED

 

The first Allegany County Opportunity Scholarships have been awarded to students attending Allegany College of Maryland or Frostburg State University. Classes begin today for ACM students, and will start on September 2nd at Frostburg. Funding for the scholarships is made possible through the county's share of revenues generated by video lottery machines at Rocky Gap Casino Resort.

 

 

NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETS

 

The Neighborhood Advisory Committee is meeting today at City Hall from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The special guest is Lieutenant Biser of the Cumberland City Police Department, who will be speaking about gangs and gang activity in the area.

 

 

FIRST "CITY STAR" AWARD WINNER ANNOUNCED

 

The Mayor and City Council presented the first "City Star Award" to Virginia "Ginny" Decker during the August 5th meeting. The award program has been initiated to recognize the unsung heroes in our community who have stepped up to do what's right and what's needed, and have made a positive impact on our lives, our neighborhoods and our community. Ms. Decker was recognized for her involvement in the "Let's Beautify Cumberland" program, of which she has been a member for 15 years.

 

 

OFFICIALS COMMENT ON FRACHOT'S INVOLVEMENT IN W. MD.

 

During last week's visit to Cumberland by Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot, several elected officials had the opportunity to publicly comment on his contributions to the office, and to the area. Maryland State Senator George Edwards noted that Franchot had given the William Donald Shaffer Award to Sandy Bell of Garrett County, who founded "Cindy's Fund."

 

 

MAN, DOG ATTACKED BY BEAR IN HARDY COUNTY

 

A Staunton,Virginia man, 59-year old Steven Krichbaum,  and his dog were injured, after being attacked by a black bear in the George Washington National Forest in Hardy County late last week. The man and the dog were walking in the woods, when they came upon a black bear and her cubs; the bear attacked and Krichbaum hit the bear with a rock to scare her off. Both he and the dog were able to escape; he was taken to the Winchester Medical Center for treatment, while the dog was taken to a local emergency animal hospital.

 

 

MAN CHARGED IN SOMERSET HOME INVASION

 

Twenty-six year old Somerset County, Pennsylvania resident William Albert Thompson has been charged with a home invasion, and has admitted to the crime. Thompson broke into a house and demanded money from an elderly woman at gunpoint. He made her drive to several banks to use the ATM to withdraw money. Video surveillance led to his arrest. He is a suspect in another home invasion in the area. For now, he is being held on $500,000 bond.

 

 

ALMANAC CALLS FOR "SUPER COLD" WINTER

 

The "Old Farmer's Almanac" is calling for a "super cold" winter for the eastern two-thirds of the United States this year, with above normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be in late December and early and mid-January, along with early to mid-February. It also predicts and warmer and drier than normal summer next year. The Almanac does have an 80 per cent accuracy rate, but its prediction for a very hot summer this year didn't quite come true.

 

 

NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR HYDROCODONE DRUGS

 

New restrictions on painkiller hydrocodone drugs will have an effect on how they are stored, stocked, transported, prescribed and dispensed. In West Virginia, drugs like Lortab and Vicodin are the number one prescribed controlled substance. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration is moving such drugs from Schedule III to a more restrictive Schedule II. The West Virginia legislature has passed a bill that limits hydrocodone drugs to no more than a 30-day supply and no more than two refills. That law, along with the federal guidelines, will both remain in effect.

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SUSPECT TO BE RETRIED FOR MURDER

Taj Green will be recharged in the September 2011 shooting that killed a man and seriously injured his brother in Ridgeley. Evidence has been received that have led the Mineral County Sheriff's Department to believe Green was the one who fatally shot Ryan Henry, and seriously injured his brother, Richard. Green, along with Tavon Kearney and Rasjahnon Roberts were initially indicted in September of 2012 in connection with the incident.

 

ACTIONS TAKEN BY ANIMAL SHELTER BOARD

The Allegany County Animal Shelter Foundation has instituted a number of measures involving animal control, following the dog abandonment case on McGill Drive. Becky McClarren of the Shelter Foundation says that actions include the creation of a second telephone line, dedicated to animal control calls only; management will also review the previous day's phone log to guarantee all animal control issues have been addressed. The Shelter has, according to a statement read by Ms. McClarran, are accepting responsibility for the role in which the speed of the team's response played in the severity of the tragedy.

 

COMPTROLLER OPENS CUMBERLAND OFFICE

Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot has opened a Cumberland branch office in the Allegany County Museum building. An official ribbon cutting was held yesterday, even though the office has been open since July 1st. It offiers a broad range of services so taxpayers don't have to travel to the agency's primary offices in Annapolis and Baltimore. On hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony, including state, local and city officials. Former Maryland Speaker of the House Cas Taylor, who served with Franchot in the General Assembly, was also on hand for the ribbon cutting.

 

MCDA DISCUSSES CARPENDALE PROJECT

The Mineral County Development Authority is moving forward on establishing a bridge from Carpendale to Bowling Green. Two West Virginia state legislators have contacted Sam's Club about locating in the Carpendale area, and there has been some interest in establishing a boat launch in the area as well. The town is also looking toward a back-up water system; the request is among the Top 15 projects in the Region VIII Planning and Development Council's list of projects.

 

MAN ARRESTED ON SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGE

A Cumberland resident has been charged with second-degree assault and fourth degree sexual contact, following an alleged incident in mid-July. Paul Harman allegedly approached a female acquaintance while she was asleep and touched her without consent. He was released pending trial at Allegany County District Court. The victim did not require medical attention.

 

MAN ARRESTED ON THEFT CHARGES

Twenty-three year old Dustin Edwards was arrested by Cumberland City Police, in connection with two theft incidents in the first week of August. Edwards was accused of stealing a car battery from a vehicle in the 500-block of Cumberland Street; he is also accused of stealing electronic items from the 300-block of Cumberland Street. He was charged with theft of less than $1,000, along with theft of less than $100. He was released, pending trial in District Court.

 

TWO HOME INVASIONS REPORTED IN SOMERSET

Somerset Borough Police are investigating two home invasions that happened just hours apart. In the first, an intruder went to a home on Sanner Street where a woman and 82-year old were held at gunpoint, with the suspect demanding money. The man attacked the intruder with a stool, and he left. In the second, a masked man went into a home on Rosina Avenue, and forced an 82-year old woman to drive to an ATM, to get money. Surveillance video is being reviewed for any additional leads.

 

SOMERSET MAN FALLS FROM ROOF

A worker with Beckett and Sons contracting fell from a roof, while working at a home on Seneca Trail. It had been raining at the time, and the worker was putting sheeting on the roof to prevent rain from getting inside the home, when he fell. He suffered a head injury and was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for treatment.

 

"GREEN SCHOOLS" TOUR CONCLUDES TODAY

The U.S. Department of Education concludes its "Green Ribbon Schools Program" in West Virginia today. Earlier this week, the tour made a stop at Petersburg Elementary School. The program recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, and feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces.

 

MAN SENTENCED FOR SELLING HEROIN

Twenty-three year old Alexander Chase Rayner has been sentenced to 15 months in jail, after pleading guilty to distribution of heroin. Rayner sold the heroin to a man who later died of an overdose. He had originally been sentenced to seven years, but all but 15 months.

 

TICKS LOVE CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change is connected to all kinds of "critters," with a new National Wildlife Federation report detailing how those changes are affecting the outdoor experience in Maryland. N.W.F. senior scientist Doug Inkley emphasizes that hunters, anglers, bird-watchers and hikers have long known they have to cover up and watch for stinging and biting insects, but the risks are multiplying as seasons arrive earlier and later.

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WOMAN HELD ON $500,000 BOND

Twenty-eight year old Jessyca Kimble is being held on $500,000 bond, in connection with the stabbing death of her husband, Edward, late Tuesday afternoon. She is being charged with second-degree murder and related counts, after the two had an argument, which turned physical. Edward Kimble was stabbed in the upper left chest area, and he was pronounced dead at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center early Tuesday evening.

 

ALLEGANY, GARRETT RECEIVE  WATER FUNDING

Allegany County will receive the bulk of funding for water projects, as announced by Maryland United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin. Locally, nearly $4 million in loans and $762,000 in grants are being obtained through the U.S. Department of Agriculture rural Development Water and Wastewater Disposal Program. Much of that funding will be used to replace the Wright's Crossing pump station, which is in danger of failing and presents a public health risk. LaVale will receive a loan to install a water tank, and Oakland is being granted $30,000 to help fund the cost of a preliminary engineering report and environmental report to make improvements to its water facilities.

 

MAPLEHURST AUCTION ON HOLD AGAIN

A planned auction of the Maplehurst Country Club and golf course was canceled yesterday, so that a new loan contract could be finalized. The lien holder, First United Bank and Trust, foreclosed on the club due to two unpaid debts. An auction was canceled last month when an unnamed Frostburg businessman was given time to consider purchasing the mortgage. The club is still open for business.

 

HOPE REMAINS FOR FROSTBURG CINEMAS

There is hope for re-opening the Frostburg Cinemas 1-2-3, as the former R/C Theatres are trying to affiliate with California-based Movie Heroes. The first thing residents need to do, is to log on to the site at "moviesheroes.com/frostburg," and sign up for a $19.95 per month subscription service. There are other rates for couples and families. Once the theatre re-opens, subscribers could see as many movies as they would like, without additional charges.

 

MCDA DELAYS AUTOCROSS LETTER

The Mineral County Development Authority has decided to delay sending a letter, supporting the Autocross event at the airport, until legal issues are resolved with the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey has ruled that the airport authority should follow that state's open meetings law, not Maryland law, and that should be included in the by-laws.

 

FAILURE TO APPEAR WARRANT ISSUED

A Cumberland man, Edgar David Johnson, was arrested on a failure to appear warrant in Allegany County District Court. Johnson allegedly threatened to burn down a property on Altamont Terrace in May of this year. He was taken to District Court and held on $3,000 bond.

 

BACK-TO-SCHOOL CONVOCATION HELD

The 5th annual Back-to-School Convocation was held this week at Fort Hill High School. The Fort Hill show choir, The Sentinel Sounds, sang the National Anthem; the Fort Hill Marching Band provided the pre-program entertainment. One of the highlights of this years' program featured a memorial tribute video to former ACPS Teacher of the Year, Lee Ann Zlomek, who recently lost her battle with cancer. The winners of the 2014 "You Raise Me Up" awards were Susan Sommers, instructional assistant at Mountain Ridge High School, and Olin Perkins, recently retired physical education teacher at Cash Valley and West Side Elementary Schools.

 

PENNSYLVANIA TO UPGRADE AIRPORT FACILITIES

The Bedford County airport will benefit from a $3.4 million statewide investment, as announced by Governor Tom Corbett. Bedford will receive $187,500 to expand public parking at the facility. The statewide upgrades will provide more than 8400 jobs at 20 Pennsylvania airports. The state funding comes from the state's jet fuel tzx, and leverages $1.5 million in local matching funds.

 

COAL MARKET IN PENNSYLVANIA DISCUSSED

The Pennsylvania Coal Alliance recently held a summit in Somerset County to talk about coal production potential, and its future sustainability. The local economy in Somerset could take a huge hit, if the local mines idle for good. PBS Coals has laid off 255 workers since 2012; and, just last year, 134 more were out of work. Coal executives have noted that coal's biggest opponent is the federal government.

 

BERKELEY SPRINGS MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER

Berkeley Springs, West Virginia resident Wesley Andrew McCoy has been arrested and charged with murder, following the stabbing death of Justin Harold Buell of Great Cacapon. McCoy and his girlfriend had been arguing inside a residence on Route 522; Buell and at least three other mane arrived at the home, where McCoy and Buell began to scuffle. Buell ran, and McCoy chased him, and allegedly stabbed him in the neck. McCoy is being held without bond.

 

AUDIT FINIDS FAULT WITH STATE MEDICAL EXAMINER'S OFFICE

The Maryland Department of Legislative Services Office of Legislative Audits has found that the Office of the State Medical Examiner failed to comply with regulations, requiring competitive bidding in procuring medical supplies. The OCME says it will make the changes, to make sure state rules are followed. The Chief Medical Examiner's Office also says it will conduct an internal audit of all corporate purchasing card expenditures.

 

BINGE DRINKING REPORT RELEASED

The Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems has found that nearly half of Maryland's college students engaged in binge drinking during the past month. While the study shows Maryland campuses or no better or worse than other colleges, officials are determined to be better. University of Maryland Professor Amelia Arria says existing strategies are being refined as a result of the latest data received.

 

 

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WOMAN CHARGED WITH 2ND DEGREE MURDER

Twenty-eight year old Jessyca Laine Kimble has been charged with second-degree murder, after stabbing her husband, Edward Allen Kimble at their Broad Street residence in Midland. They had been involved in an argument, when Ms. Kimble allegedly stabbed him in the upper left chest area, with a steak knife.  Mr. Kimble went to a neighbor's house, but collapsed on the porch. His body will be taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. Ms. Kimble received an initial appearance before the District Court Commissioner, and the investigation is continuing.

 

LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST DOCTOR

A lawsuit has been filed against former MedExpress Doctor William Dando. In the suit, a Keyser woman is alleging Dando fondled her during an examination for a fall she suffered in September of last year. She contends MedExpress knew, or should have known, about Dando's 1987 conviction and incarceration for raping a woman at gunpoint in her home near Orlando, Florida. His license has been suspended and a trial for allegedly molesting another woman is set for September 3rd.

 

ACCIDENT VICTIM IDENTIFIED

A Virginia man has been identified as the person killed on Saturday evening in Oldtown. Fifty-three year old George Offerman suffered fatal injuries, when he fell from the tailgate of a pickup truck, operated by Peter Fred Hart of Sterling, Virginia. Two others, who were injured in the accident, were not identified. Hart was charged with driving under the influence, but no criminal charges were filed in connection with the death of Offerman.

 

MAN CHARGED WITH FELONY CHILD ABUSE

Thirty-five year old Andrew Christopher Conner is being charged with felony child abuse, resulting in injury, in connection with an incident where a one-year old child was impaled by scissors last week. The mother of the child and Conner were arguing at the Pine Wood apartments, when Conner became upset and hurled the scissors across the room, striking the child in the temple. The scissors lodged about two inches deep in the child's head. He underwent surgery in Morgantown. Conner is being held on $5,000 bond.

 

TWO HOMELESS AFTER FIRE

Two people were left homeless after a fire on Church Street in Deer Park late Monday. Homeowner Joseph Harper and a child were displaced by the fire. Nobody was home at the time. Damages are estimated at approximately $185,000, and the victims were assisted by the American Red Cross.

 

KEYSER HIRING NEW OFFICERS

The Keyser City Police Department is hiring two more officers to replace a pair who are departing. One officer recently left, to follow his wife to Petersburg, where she had been hired for a better paying job. The other officer went to the Mineral County Sheriff's Office. The city police force includes 11 sworn officers, but because of attrition, it is often undermanned.

 

DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SHERIFF WARN OF SCAMS

Both Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins and Sheriff Charwin Reichelderfer are warning against scams seeking the immediate payment of money. In the most recent scheme, a caller, with a Middle Eastern accent, identifies himself as a sheriff's deputy, calling from the Detention Center. The caller demands a sum of money to avoid arrest. In another, the caller claims to need bail money immediately, and banking information is given to the caller. Both incidents are scams, according to the District Attorney and Sheriff.

 

MARYLAND PSC APPROVES SURCHARGE

The Maryland Public Service Commission has approved a request by Columbia Gas of Maryland, to impose a $2.00 monthly surcharge on residential customers. The utility says this will help pay for nearly $50 million in gas supply-line improvements. The PSC has determined that the request meets the requirements of a state law that allows utility companies to institute a surcharge to help finance infrastructure improvements.

 

BEDFORD COUNTY ROAD CLOSURE

Beginning today, a portion of Route 31 near the intersection of Powell Road in Harrison Township (Bedford County) will be temporarily closed. The closure is necessary to replace a failing pipe. The roadway is expected to be closed through Friday afternoon. Traffic will be detoured, using Route 30, Route 160, and Route 31.

 

WOMAN SENTENCED TO STATE PRISON

Twenty-four year old Clear Spring resident Brittany Michelle Ice has been sentenced to four years in prison. Ms. Ice, who was pregnant at the time of her arrest, entered Alford pleas to charges of second-degree assault and transporting a handgun in a vehicle. She also entered a similar plea to possession of marijuana.

 

APPALCHIAN MOUNTAIN I.R.T. CONTINUES THROUGH TOMORROW

The Appalachian Regional Training exercise, or I.R.T.,  is continuing through tomorrow at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. Free services are being offered to area residents in the medical, dental, and optical fields, and spay/neutering and rabies shot for pets through the HRDC, Allegany County Health Department, Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Western Maryland Health System. The work is being done by the Navy and Army Reserve's 48th Combat Support Hospital. Lt. Col. Janice Baker, of Fayetteville, North Carolina-working in veterinary services-says one of the goals is to ensure the health of animals in the area.

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FRACKING STUDY INCONCLUSIVE FOR TOURISM

A study of the impact of gas drilling in the westernmost part of the state has proven inconclusive. How fracturing would affect tourism in Garrett County was part of a discussion yesterday at Frostburg State University. To be included in a final report will be an admission on the committee's lack of information on the tourism impact, along with the lack of a cost analysis of a potential disaster, such as widespread contamination of drinking water.

 

BRIDGE WORK TO BE FINISHED NEXT YEAR

Work on the Crosstown bridge and other portions of Interstate 68 should be finished by the spring of next year. Workers are currently blast cleaning and painting the bridge in the vicinity of Centre Street. They are also repairing concrete in the area near Canal Place and the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. There will be at least one more closure of Centre Street sometime next month.

 

WINIFRED ROAD REPAIRS CONTINUE THORUGH TOMORROW

Repairs to a sewer main in the Winifred Road right-of-way will be extended through tomorrow. The project will replace 80 feet of 10-inch sewer main. The repairs were to have been finished yesterday, but additional work was necessary to finish the repair. Winifred Road will be closed between Oldtown Road and Michigan Avenue.

 

ROUTE 219 BRIDGE OPENED

The Maryland State Highway Administration has re-opened the Route 219 (Garrett Highway) Bridge over Cherry Creek near Oakland. It has been closed since mid-June, and is re-opening earlier than expected. Crews removed the old bridge, and built a new one, in time for the start of the new school year. The original bridge was built in 1922.

 

WATER OFF IN PORTIONS OF WESTERNPORT

Water will be off for about four hours today, in certain areas of Westernport. The water will be shut off in the 300 and 400-block of Vine Street, Division Street, from Vine to Walnut and the 300-block of Rock Street.

 

PHONE OUTAGE FOR MINERAL COUNTY

Repairs will be taking place on the phone communication lines in Mineral County Thursday evening, beginning at about 10 p.m. The outage will last about 8 hours. Frontier Communications says residents in the Keyser, New Creek, and Fountain areas, who are on the "788" phone exchange will be affected by the work. For those customers, there will be no dial tone during the 8 hour time frame. The Mineral County "911" Center has been notified of the outage.

 

MAN HELD ON $50,000 BOND

Twenty-seven year old Demond Scott is being held on $50,000 bond, following a domestic assault incident in the 300-block of Springdale Street. Scott got into an argument with his live-in girlfriend, and as she tried to leave, he is accused of repeatedly kicking her, pushing her against a wall,  and trying to strangle her. He also allegedly assaulted the victim's six-year old daughter. The victims did not require medical attention, but Scott was ordered held at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

VIOLATION OF EX-PARTE ORDER

Cumberland resident Joseph Wolfe was held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following two alleged violations of ex-parte orders. Wolfe violated the order by arguing with two individuals at a Park Street business; each had previously filed separate protective orders against him. He fled the area, but was arrested on Sunday, and taken to the District Court Commissioners' office for a bond review. He has been charged with two counts each of failure to comply with a peace order and disturbing the peace. He was also charged with violation of an ex-parte order.

 

AREA NATIVE BEGINS DUTIES SEPTEMBER 15TH

A native of this area, Michael Martirano will begin his duties as the superintendent of West Virginia schools on September 15th. Martirano had been the superintendent of the St. Mary's public schools here in Maryland. He was contractually obligated there until September. He will earn an annual salary of $230,000. The State Board of Education had lobbied the legislature to remove the $175,000 salary cap for the position. 

 

KEYSER POLICE LOOKING FOR BREAK-IN SUSPECT

The Keyser City Police are looking for 23-year old Thomas Wright, who is wanted on five outstanding warrants, charging  him with two counts of concealing stolen property, once count of fleeing from an officer, and two counts of shoplifting. A recent traffic stop revealed various items, similar to property that had been stolen from parked vehicles. However, no report had been filed on the items found, so he was not arrested. Two days later a resident reported some stolen items; they were similar to what Wright had in his property, and police continue to search for him.

 

WINNING PA. LOTTERY TICKET SOLD IN SCHELLSBURG

A "Cash 5" Pennsylvania lottery ticket, worth $225,000, was sold at the Shawnee Country Market in Schellsburg. The store will receive a $500 bonus for selling the winning ticket, with the winner facing a 25 per cent federal withholding. The winner should contact lottery officials or visit one of the seven offices across the Commonwealth.

 

GAS PRICES DROP; CUMBERLAND STILL HIGHEST

Gas prices dropped four cents at the pump last week, to $3.44 for a gallon for regular, unleaded gas. Cumberland, however, still has the highest gas prices in the state at $3.53. Hagerstown reports $3.38, while Salisbury was quoted at $3.35. The national average is $3.47, which is three cents more than the state average.

 

HIGHWAY USER FUNDS DISCUSSED

One of the major topics during the MACo summer conference was the continuing loss of highway user funds. Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay says that both gubernatorial candidates-Larry Hogan and Anthony Brown-have pledged to return highway user funds to the counties. Allegany County has lost 4 to 5 million dollars each year, and that affects the local budget tremendously.

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ONE KILLED IN SINGLE-VEHICLE ACCIDENT

 

One person was killed in a single-vehicle accident on Reckley Lane in the Oldtown area Saturday night. The accident happened as three passengers were on the tailgate of a pickup truck; they fell from the tailgate, with one passenger dying at the scene. The two others were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The investigation is being handled by the Maryland State Police. Identities of the victims are not being released yet.

 

 

AURORA WOMAN KILLED IN CRASH

 

Aurora, West Virginia resident Saunya Regina Sines was killed in a two vehicle accident late last week on Route 7. She was pronounced dead after her car was struck by a Dodge Ram pickup truck. Terra Alta resident Jerold Lee Sisler was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. The West Virginia State Police continue their investigation.

 

 

COMMISSION TO REVIEW SHALE ISSUE

 

The Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission is meeting today at Frostburg State University, to examine how to best manage shale drilling, should it be permitted. The Commission will meet from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Dunkle Building, Room 218. The commission was created by Governor Martin O'Malley, through an executive order, issued in 2011.

 

 

CLINICS CONTINUE THROUGH THURSDAY

 

Free health clinics, from the Appalachian Mountain Innovative Readiness Training program are open to the public through Thursday. Appointment openings are available for vision care, eye glasses, medical assessment, dental cleanings and rabies vaccinations for pets. All services are offered free of charge, and are provided by trained medical, dental and veterinary professionals. For an appointment, or availability, call (301)-783-1775.

 

 

ONE INJURED IN BIKE ACCIDENT

 

One person was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, following a weekend accident on Fifteen Mile Creek Road. Fire and ambulance units from Flintstone and Orleans volunteer fire departments responded to the accident that reportedly involved a motorcycle. The crash occurred about a half-mile from Interstate 68.

 

 

CUMBERLAND MAN CHARGED IN STUDENT DEATH

 

Thirty-three year old Robert Hernandez, of Cumberland, is being held without bond in the North Central Regional Jail, after he allegedly stabbed a West Virginia University student to death late last week. Hernandez is accused of killing Devonte Waites at a Morgantown bar. Waites was later pronounced dead at Ruby Memorial Hospital. Video surveillance of the incident led to Hernandez' arrest, which was made during a traffic stop.

 

 

STATE'S ATTORNEY TO INVESTIGATE DOG DEATHS

 

Allegany County State's Attorney Michael Twigg says his office is looking into the matter of the deaths of nine dogs, found inside a foreclosed home on McGill Drive in Bel Air late last week. Twelve dogs were found inside the home, which was owned by Christopher and Rachael Preston; the home entered into foreclosure in early December. A total of 12 dogs were found, with only three still alive. The three were taken to Mountainview Veterinary Services in Keyser, for care.

 

 

MAN HELD ON $8500 BOND

 

Cumberland resident David Kesler faces assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct charges in connection with an incident that happened Friday in the 200-block of Baltimore Avenue. Kesler had been screaming and acting in a disorderly manner. He approached an officer with a clenched fist and tried to reach for the officer's gunbelt. He was placed in the cruiser, and head-butted the window and cracked the glass. He also allegedly punched through a glass door at a nearby apartment building. He was additionally charged with malicious destruction of property and held on $8500 bond.

 

 

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING FEMALE

 

Twenty-nine year old Eric Plummer of Cumberland was arrested Saturday for assaulting a woman in the 300-block of Baltimore Avenue. Plummer allegedly pushed her against a wall, and elbowed her in the face. While the victim did not require medical attention, Plumer was taken to a bond review hearing at District Court, and released on personal recognizance, pending trial.

 

 

GROUNDBREAKING FOR WINCHESTER COURT IN THE FALL

 

Groundbreaking on the Winchester Court shopping mall, along Winchester Road,  will take place this fall. The space, according to Ted Donald of PennTex Venutres in Greensburg, is 98 per cent committed, but the tenants have yet to be announced. The mall is scheduled to open next summer.

 

 

LETTER TO BE DELIVERED TO TOMBLIN

 

Delegate Gary Howell is personally delivering a letter from Piedmont officials to West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, asking for assistance on the removal of almost an entire block of buildings that were destroyed by fire in early January. The correspondence was sent with six photos of the area, and includes a request for emergency funding to remove the remains of the buildings.

 

 

WATER TEMPORARILY OFF IN WESTERNPORT

 

Water will be off for about four hours today in a portion of Westernport. Service will be interrupted around 10 a.m., and will include Spruce Street from Johnson Street, to the end of Division Street.

 

 

BICYCLE LANE MEETING SET

 

A public meeting for the proposed Frederick Street Bicycle Lane Plan has been set for Thursday at 5 p.m. The meeting will take place at Cornerstone Baptist Church. The city of Cumberland is encouraging residents of the area to attend the public meeting, which will include city representatives, and those form the State Highway Administration.

 

 

GAMBLING REVENUES UP FROM A YEAR AGO

 

The Maryland Lottery and four casinos  saw an increase of 2.4 per cent over last year. Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency , acknowledges a decrease in lottery sales is attributable to growth in the casino industry. Revenues from Powerball, for example, are down $12 million in the state. The Horseshoe Casino, scheduled to open this month in Baltimore, will also have an effect on lottery sales. Martino says that over a billion dollars in winnings were paid last year; players receive 60-cents on every dollar spent. One casino that is not showing good numbers is the Perryville, Maryland casino. Martino denied that the location was not "working out."

 

 

 

WEST VIRGINIA ANNOUNCES "EBT SHOPPER" APP

 

West Virginia's Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Nutrition Services has announced a mobile phone app to make shopping easier. The "E.B.T. Shopper" app will enable WIC participants to verify the eligibility of foot items while shopping. The goal of the app is to use technology and innovation to ensure WIC benefits are easy to use, and to promote health food choices during grocery shopping. More than 45,000 West Virginians receive WIC benefits each month.

 

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GAS PIPELINE PROJECT PUT ON HOLD

A natural gas pipeline, that would have spanned five states, including Western Maryland, has been put on hold for the moment. Spectra Energy says it is suspending development work on the $4 billion project, but will continue to evaluate opportunities in the region. The line would have begun in Bedford, crossing into Allegany County, just west of Flintstone, via Route 220. The terminus of the project would have been in North Carolina. Had the project gone forward, survey work would have begun this month.


FROSTBURG CINEMAS TO CLOSE SUNDAY

Eight employees will be affected by the closure of the Frostburg Cinemas 1-2-3 on Sunday. The decision was made by R/C Theatres of Reisterstown. A petition has been started to keep the theatres open. The facility underwent a renovation as recently as 2012. Frostburg City Administrator John Kirby says the city has not been provided with any information on the closure.


MAN CHARGED WITH CHILD ABUSE

Twenty-six year old Timothy Rayne Bohn has been charged with second-degree child abuse, among other counts, as the result of an incident earlier this month on Arch Street. Bohn and the mother of the child had been in an argument, and he handled the child aggressively, while putting the youngster in a car seat. He was not arrested then, but was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for an evaluation. Charges were later filed, and he was released pending trial in District Court.


SERVICE CENTER TO RELOCATE FOR ONE DAY

Although the state of Maryland announced it would operate an essential service center for seven days for those affected by the June 12th flooding, it will relocate for only one day-this Saturday. The Essential Service Center will be at the Calvary Christian Academy Gymnasium parking lot from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Essential Service Center will return to the Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department on Sunday. All Allegany County residents impacted by the storm are strongly encouraged to visit the Essential Service Center.


GREENE STREET WORK ANNOUNCED

The city of Cumberland has announced that, beginning Monday, milling and patching work will take place on Greene Street, in the area between the Dingle and Lee Street. Work will last for about six days, and has been scheduled from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday through Thursday, weather permitting. Parking will be restricted nightly in the areas of the work. Signs will be posted in advance for the affected areas. Flaggers will be present, and drivers should expect delays during working hours.


FRANKLIN STREET CROSSING CLOSED

The Cumberland Engineering Department and CSX are participating in crossing improvements at Franklin Street. The crossing will be closed today through Tuesday, depending on the weather. The City Street Department will assist in road repairs so the work can be completed in a timely manner.


TWO INJURED IN SEPARATE ACCIDENTS

Two pedestrians were hurt in separate accidents, about a half-hour apart, in downtown Cumberland. In the first, at about 1:40 p.m., a pedestrian was injured at Baltimore Street and Queen City Drive. The second happened about 2:15 p.m. at South Mechanic Street, just past Pershing Street. One of those injured was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The pedestrian in the Baltimore Street area accident refused to be taken to the hospital.


I.R.T. APPOINTMENTS STILL AVAILABLE

Appointments are still available for the Innovative Readiness Training Program, happening at the Allegany County Fairgrounds through next Thursday. The hotline number is (301)-783-1775, and there are still openings available. Courtney Thomas, of the HRDC says that, presently, general medical screening appointments are available, along with vision and pain management sessions. Dental services are full, but with a waiting list. Spaying/neutering for cats and dogs also has a waiting list. But, rabies vaccinations are still available with no appointment necessary.


MOVIE CREW FILMS "MOUNTAIN THUNDER"

A movie crew was in Cumberland yesterday, filming "Mountain Thunder" for scenes for a movie, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The locomotive will be featured in the beginning of the World War II movie, "Ithaca." The movie is based on a 1943 novel," The Human Comedy," and reunites Ryan with her co-star in "Sleepless in Seattle." The movie is scheduled for release next year.

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TWO INCIDENTS LEAD TO THREE ARRESTS

Two domestic incidents resulted in three Keyser arrests recently. In the first, 23-year old Ethan Barbe was charged with domestic battery involving his girlfriend. In the second, both Kevin Sassaman and Joletta Rebobich were charged with domestic battery and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. That incident happened in the 100-block of Argyle Street. Mineral County Sheriff's deputies responded to that incident.


MAN HELD ON $10,000 BOND

Twenty-three year old Dustin Edwards was arrested earlier this week, in connection with two separate cases. In the first, he violated an ex-parte order, when he was at a residence in the 100-block of West First Street. He was also arrested in connection with a breaking and entering incident on Hill Street earlier in the day. He is accused of entering the residence and stealing some miscellaneous household items. He was held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.


WOMAN ARRESTED ON FORGERY CHARGES

Frostburg resident Angela Passman faces numerous forgery charges, after having forged a narcotics prescription at a medical office on Willowbrook Road. She was charged with forgery, possessing a forged prescription, and attempting to obtain CDS by altering a prescription. She was released, pending trial in District Court.


ROAD WORK SCHEDULED NEXT WEEK

Sewer main repairs are scheduled for next week on Winifred Road. Beginning Monday at 7 a.m., repair work will take place between Oldtown Road and Michigan Avenue. The repairs should only take a day. Questions or comments should be directed to the Department of Utilities at (301)-759-6644.


SERVICE OUTAGE SET FOR KEYSER

Potomac Edison has scheduled a service interruption for Keyser next Wednesday. The outage will occur between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., and will include much of the downtown Keyser area, Route 46, from Water Street to Knobley Mountain, and the Keyser Industrial Park. The work at three different locations will be done simultaneously, which will reduce the number of customers affected, as well as the duration of the outage. In case of bad weather, the outage will be scheduled for the next day.


RATE INCREASE HEARING SET

Columbia Gas has scheduled a hearing in the Cumberland area on a proposed rate adjustment. The increase will help fund an improved infrastructure. The hearing will be held on August 26th at 7 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in downtown Cumberland.


PARENTS ASKED TO PURCHASE MINIMAL SUPPLIES

The Allegany County Public School System is providing what they are terming "the most essential supplies" for students, when school opens on August 25th. Parents of elementary students are asked to buy items such as number-2 pencils, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, hard pencil cases, folders and book bags. Teachers will provide students with a list of required items during the first week of school. Parents of middle and high school students should purchase items such as pencils, loose-leaf paper, book covers, folders and book bags. Teachers will also provide a list of needed items during the first week of school.


AMERICA'S 9-1-1 RIDE TRAVELING THROUGH CUMBERLAND

"America's 9-1-1 ride will be coming through Cumberland tomorrow morning, between 8 and 9 a.m. Local coordinator Harlan Smith says the "America's 9-1-1 Foundation" is based in Leesburg, Virginia. In August of 2002, motorcycle riders began traveling to the three sites, raising money for a scholarship program for the children of first responders.
The riders will be traveling down South Mechanic Street on their way to Rocky Gap State Park, for a rest stop. Area residents can meet the riders there. The Bowling Green and Cresaptown Fire Departments will also be at Rocky Gap. In Cumberland, there will be a merchandise truck at the Cumberland Fire Station.Cumberland City Police say traffic will be temporarily stopped on the main route and all intersecting routes through the downtown area, while the riders pass through the area.


ASSAULT RIFLE BAN UPHELD

Maryland's new ban on assault rifles has been ruled constitutional by a federal judge. Assault rifles are defined as those having more than 10 rounds of ammunition. A collection of gun owners, stores and industry groups had sued the state, saying the ban violated their Second Amendment rights. Gun rights advocates say they plan to keep fighting.


WEST VIRGINIA PROSECUTOR WANTS TRIAL

A West Virginia prosecutor is asking to go on trial on charges of misdemeanor domestic violence charges, instead of participating in an intervention program. Mark Plants has been charged with domestic battery of his 11-year old son, with prosecutors saying he hit the boy more than 10 times with a leather belt in late February of this year. He is also charged with violating a domestic violence protection order, in which he must stay away from his ex-wife and their sons.

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COMMISSIONERS ATTENDING MACO CONFERENCE
The Allegany County Commissioners are attending the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference, through Saturday in Ocean City. Two thousand individuals are expected at the conference. Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine serves on two MACo Committees, legislative and education. The theme of the conference is "Ideas and Innovations," and the keynote speaker will be Mark Friedman, of the Fiscal Policy Studies Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Maryland Rural Counties Coalition will also meet during the conference.

CUMBERLAND MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED THEFT
Cumberland resident Dustin Edwards was held on $5,000 bail at the Allegany County Detention Center, after he allegedly tried to steal a lawnmower from a private residence on South Street. He had been seen hiding in a carport at the home, and was arrested there. He was charged with attempted theft of less than $1,000, obstructing and hindering and disorderly conduct.

CSX WORK DELAYED
Work, on the Franklin Street railroad crossing has been delayed. The work was to have begun today, through Friday. However, a scheduling conflict with CSX has prevented that work from being done now. The city of Cumberland and CSX will notify the public when the work will be done.

FSU NAMED ECO-FRIENDLY COLLEGE
Frostburg State University has been listed as number seven of 50 in Best Choice Schools' ranking of the nation's Eco-Friendly colleges, a salute to schools that have unique structures or lifestyle characteristics that make them leaders in sustainability. The online service reviewed more than 300 universities, and only 50 higher education institutions were judged to be the very best eco-friendly schools, under $25,000 a year.

TASK FORCE SEEKING FUGITIVE
The Mountain State Fugitive Task Force is looking for a man wanted on a number of warrants. Elan Bell-Veney is wanted on warrants charging him in the June 27th stabbings of five people at the Shipwrecked Bar and Grill near Martinsburg. He also has a federal warrant for violating his federal probation on a charge of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. He was released from federal prison in May of this year. He was previously convicted in the July, 2008 shooting death of the former owner of a club near Martinsburg. He is considered a dangerous, violent offender.

METRO AREA RECOGNIZED AS "RECOVERY LEADER"
The Hagerstown-Washington County and the Martinsburg area are being recognized as a "Rapid Recovery Leader by an online business publication, "Business Facilities." The honors are due to what are being called "impressive surges" in job creation, wages and salaries in the past year.

ALLEGIANT AIR CURTAILS FLIGHTS
Allegiant Air, out of Hagerstown has begun its yearly seasonal shutdown, effective through October 30th. Allegiant flights, from Hagerstown to Orlando-Sanford International airport will resume on Friday, October 31st.

ARTICLE RECAPS O'MALLEY'S VISIT
An article in "Business Insider" magazine has recapped last week's visit by Governor Martin O'Malley, and the preventive health care initiative taken by the state, and in particular, the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The article touched on O'Malley's acknowledgement of the failed health care website, but credited the WMRMC with being the catalyst for changing how hospitals do business.

PUSH FOR MEALS FOR MORE LOW-INCOME KIDS
Anti-hunger groups want next summer to be the best yet for low-income kids. They're backing the new Summer Meals Act of 2014, which would expand access to nutritious meals in high-poverty areas. Maryland Hunger Solutions' Michael J.Wilson says while the summer education gap is addressed with reading programs, learning camps, and take-home study kits, that's not the only need for children when school isn't in session.

Wilson says the bill has bipartisan support, and hopes the state's congressional delegation will be co-sponsors of the legislation.
    
ROMNEY CAMPAIGNING FOR G.O.P. CANDIDATES
Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be in West Virginia next week, campaigning for Shelley Moore Capito, Alex Mooney, and Evan Jenkins. On Tuesday, Romney will be at a fundraiser in Charleston and a jobs rally in Beckley. Romney won all 55 counties in the 2012 election.

WEST VIRGINIA CONSUMER SPENDING HIGHER
Consumer spending in the Mountain State is higher than it was before the Great Recession, but is lagging behind the nation in spending growth. Per capita consumer spending grew 3.2 per cent in 2012, when compared to 2011. As a whole, the nation grew 3.3 per cent. Each resident, on average, spent $30,642 on consumer goods and services, as compared to nationwide per capita spending of $35,498.

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MAPLEHURST GOING UP FOR AUCTION

A public auction of the Maplehurst Country Club in Frostburg has been scheduled for next Wednesday, August 20th. A previous auction was canceled, when an unnamed Frostburg businessman was given the chance to buy the property. At this point, the club has debts of over a half-million dollars with First United Bank and Trust. Next Wednesday's sale will take place at 11 a.m. at the Allegany County Courthouse.

 

CUMBERLAND BENEFITS FROM FINANCING PROGRAM

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is selling more than $41 million in bonds through the Local Government Infrastructure Financing Program. That means, for Cumberland, an influx of about $7 million in cash, to provide much-needed resources for items such as vehicle equipment, ambulance service, and street, water, and sewer system improvements. The DHCD issues bonds on behalf of counties, cities or the agencies, to finance projects that serve the community at large.

 

FIRE IN FROSTBURG QUICKLY CONTAINED

A fire in the basement of a Tisdale Street home was quickly contained late yesterday afternoon. The fire was first reported around 5:15 p.m. Crews said light smoke was coming from the one-story structure. The occupants were out of the home when firefighters arrived; they took about 10 minutes to control it.

 

RESIDENT SENTENCED ON METH CHARGES

Dana Russell Stallard of Friendsville was sentenced to 11 years in prison, after having been found guilty on several drug charges in June. Stallard was accused of operating a meth lab in a residence where he was staying. He was arrested last November by the Garrett County Narcotics Task Force, with help from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

 

BEDFORD COUNTY COUPLE DIES IN CRASH

Everett residents William and Margaret Reyan died in a Sunday morning crash in McConnellsburg. They were traveling on the Lincoln Highway on a motorcycle, when they struck the front end of a Chevrolet pickup truck. They lost control and crossed into the opposite lane. William Reyan was pronounced dead at the scene, while Margaret Reyan died shortly after the crash. The truck driver was not injured.

 

ASSAULT, MARIJUANA CHARGES FILED AGAINST MAN

Twenty-seven year old William Alexander Atkinson was arrested after police were called back to a residence on Independence Street Sunday. A woman had reported that Atkinson allegedly assaulted her; he fled the residence, but was later located in the yard. Officers also found a clear plastic baggie of suspected marijuana on him. He was arrested, processed, and received a hearing before a District Court Commissioner. He was ordered held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $4,000 bond.

 

KEYSER PARK UNDERGOES INSPECTION

North End Park in Keyser recently underwent an inspection from the Mineral County Health Department, and, contrary to social media reports, the park was not closed. Admittedly, there are rotted posts in a pavilion at the park, but they do not pose a threat to its structural integrity. Right now, the plan is to replace the lower portions of the rotted posts, which will not require the upper roof assembly to be rebuilt.

 

HILLSHIRE, PINNACLE MERGER OFF

A proposed merger between Hillshire Brands and Pinnacle Foods-the parent company of Snyder's of Berlin-is off. The merger was announced in mid-May, but terminated in June. A new deal, expected to close next month, appears to be the reason for the canceled merger between the two.

 

SOMERSET ADDS SNOW DAYS TO 2014-2015 YEAR

Instead of using holidays and vacation days throughout the school year, the Somerset Area School District will have days added to the end of the school year. The announcement was made by Superintendent Krista Mathias.

 

FRANCHOT WANTS TO DELAY SCHOOL OPENING

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is launching a petition drive to delay the opening of Maryland's public schools until after Labor Day. His campaign is entitled, "Let Summer Be Summer," with his goal of collecting 10,000 signatures before the General Assembly reconvenes in January. Franchot believes that starting school after Labor Day would be good for the state's economy, and allow families to spend more time together. A state task force has voted in favor of requiring the state's 24 school systems to push back their start date to September.

 

TAX-FREE SHOPPING WEEK UNDERWAY

Maryland's annual tax-free week is underway, with certain clothing and footwear items, valued at $100 or less, exempt from the state's 6 per cent sales tax. Patrick Donoho, president of the Maryland Retailers Association, says the tax-free week helps to increase traffic. Donoho says the average amount spent on apparel and shoes is $339.52. He adds back to school sales started earlier this year; with its apparent popularity, Donohue commented on expanding the scope of tax-free week.

 

MOTORISTS PAYING LESS FOR GAS, MORE IN CUMBERLAND

On average, Maryland motorists are paying five cents less, per gallon of gas. However, Cumberland remains at the top of the list for the highest cost in the state. Triple "A" Mid-Atlantic says the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas is $3.48, down from $3.53 a week ago. In Cumberland, however, the price was quoted at $3.59, 11-cents higher. A year ago, the average price per gallon in the state was $3.62.

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FLOOD RELIEF GRANTS AVAILABLE

 

Disaster relief grants of up to $5,000, are now being made available to residents of Allegany and Washington Counties, as the result of damage from flooding on June 12th. While flood damage amounted to several million dollars, it did not reach the $8 million threshold required for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance. A center to help residents has been opened locally at the Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department, and will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., through next Sunday. Residents should bring copies of receipts or other documentation, detailing damage to their homes or personal property.

 

 

GARRETT COUNTY DEVELOPER PLEADS GUILTY

 

Garrett County developer Lewis Strosnider has pleaded guilty in a bank fraud conspiracy case. Strosnider faces up to 30 years in prison in connection to the scheme, involving three properties in Western Maryland and West Virginia. He acknowledged his role in the fraudulent transactions, which caused three banks to lose more than a million dollars. He could face up to 30 years in prison, when sentenced on November 19th.

 

 

MAYSVILLE MAN DIES IN CRASH

 

Twenty-two year old Maysville resident William VanMeter died in a Sunday morning crash on Route 42. The preliminary investigation showed that VanMeter, for an unknown reason, crossed the highway and hit a heavy-duty pickup truck, head-on. The two people in the truck were not identified. The accident remains under investigation by the Grant County Sheriff's Office.

 

 

I-68 WESTBOUND ONE LANE THIS WEEK

 

A reminder to avoid traveling on Interstate 68 westbound this week, as the road will be a single lane, at least through Friday. Depending on the weather, State Highway Administration crews will be working in that area, pouring concrete for the final sections of the new bridge deck, Patterson Avenue will be closed at the I-68 overpass between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. tonight and tomorrow. The project began last summer and should be completed by late November of this year, weather permitting.

 

 

FRANKLIN STREET CROSSING TO CLOSE

 

The Franklin Street Crossing, over CSX tracks will be closed this Wednesday through Friday, weather permitting. The closure is necessary to complete repairs, before school starts. The City Street Department will assist CSX with road repairs, so the work can be completed in a timely manner.

 

 

FLEETWOOD DRIVE MATTER CONSIDERED CLOSED

 

A dump site on Fleetwood Drive is not a violation of county law. The Allegany County Commissioners addressed the matter at last week's meeting. The site is owned by a county employee who works in code enforcement, and leases the property to a construction firm. However, Delegate Kevin Kelly is questioning the findings of the report, in that none of the neighbors was consulted during the investigation.

 

 

DELEGATE CHALLENGES AIRPORT INFORMATION   

 

West Virginia Delegate Gary Howell  says there is a "fair amount of incorrect information," regarding the use of the Cumberland Regional Airport in Wiley Ford. In a letter to Dr. Gregg Wolff, incoming chair of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, Delegate Howell questioned why non-aeronautical events at the airport would jeopardize FAA funding. And, there is the question of whether the airport is considered a Cumberland entity, or one from West Virginia. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's opinion is that, as far as open meetings laws are concerned, they apply to the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, the governing organization of the airport. The next meeting of the Airport Authority will be August 28th.

 

 

MAN CHARGED WITH 2ND DEGREE ASSAULT

 

Twenty-two year old Charles Ace Casey was arrested Saturday at a Maryland Avenue residence, and charged with the second-degree assault of a female victim. Casey was accused of hitting the woman in the back of the head during an argument. He was arrested and taken to Cumberland Police Headquarters. He was later held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $3500 bond.

 

 

STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING SWANTON THEFTS

 

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating the theft of two golf carts and a self-propelled lawnmower from two sheds located on Beckman's Peninsula Road in Swanton. One of the golf carts is described as a white, electric powered "Easy Go" cart with a white fiberglass roof; the other displayed various Pittsburgh Steeler decals. The mower is a a gray, Honda self-propelled lawnmower with a bagger. Anyone with information is asked to contact the McHenry barrack at (301)-387-1101.

 

 

IRT PROGRAM BEGINS WEDNESDAY

 

The Innovative Readiness Training Program will begin Wednesday at the Allegany County Fairgrounds, and run through August 21st. The program, sponsored by the Allegany County Health Department and HRDC, will address restorative and preventive dental care, pain management, and endocrinology services. Veterinary care will also be offered to pets. The program is open to anyone, regardless of income.

 

 

HOSPITAL CENTER FINED FOR DEFICIENCIES

 

The Western Maryland Hospital Center in Hagerstown has been fined $150,000 for 43 state and federal deficiencies in the state-run residential care facility. The report from the Maryland Office of Health Care cited numerous deficiencies due to poor executive leadership and management practices, as well as safeguarding medication. Since that report, Meritus Health has taken over interim management at the hospital center.

 

 

O'MALLEY TALKS HEALH EXCHANGE, IMMIGRATION

 

During his visit to Western Maryland last week, Governor Martin O'Malley acknowledged the state did not do a good job in administering the health care exchange website. He does, however, have more confidence in the current I.T. staff, which is working on the new website when enrollment opens in November. He would prefer, at this point, for people to talk about the health information exchange. He also addressed a Department of Homeland Security request to move 50 immigrant children to Salem Children's Group in eastern Garrett County; the request was turned down. Citing a lack of transparency on the issue, Governor O'Malley says he believes congregate living sites are not the way to go for the children. He notes there is a difference between federal foster care and state foster care.

 

 

 

CONTRACTOR COMMENTS ON TEMPORARY TRUST FUND BILL

 

The West Virginia Contractor's Association Executive Director Mike Clowser believes the federal government should have passed a six-year federal highway bill instead of a "stop-gap" measure to continue the Federal Highway Trust Fund program through May of next year. Clowser says that without a multi-year deal, West Virginia and other states may be hesitant to start major road projects, in fear funding will run out before they complete them.

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CASINO REVENUES TOP $4 MILLION IN JULY

Casino revenues at the Rocky Gap Casino Resort topped the $4 million mark in July, up 19.7 per cent from July of last year. Local shares of the revenue for Allegany County have been projected at $700,000 annually; for July, that number was just over $100,600. Much of the money now goes to a scholarship fund for Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University. But the local funding use could change, and may be spent for infrastructure improvements, economic and community development, public services and improvements, among other items.

 

MURDER SUSPECT SURRENDERS IN LA VALE

A North Carolina man, who is wanted in connection with a murder there, turned himself in to the Maryland State Police in LaVale earlier this week. Twenty-six year old Brandon Jawon Pompey of Greensboro was arrested at the local barrack. He is wanted on first-degree murder charges, stemming from a July 11th shooting in which Clarence Eugene Toran was killed, and 22-year old Terrance Allen Toran was wounded. Pompey was in Maryland because he has family ties here.

 

DEALER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS

Baltimore resident Daniel McQueen was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison on drug possession and distribution charges, and for assaulting a Cumberland Police officer. McQ         ueen was arrested when officers discovered some evidence of drug trafficking. During the arrest, one officer was assaulted.

 

FLOOD STUDY OF BOWLING GREEN TO BE DONE

Delegate Kevin Kelly has request a study of flooding problems in Bowling Green, and the State Highway Administration will look at the water runoff situation over the next several months. The study will begin in about a month, and should be completed by the end of t the year.

 

PHAA NOT IN DANGER OF LOSING FUNDS

The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority is not in danger of losing airport development funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, if approved by the agency. The FAA has the ultimate say on whether to permit non-aeronautical events on airport property. It had been decided earlier this summer to allow autocross races outside of the fence at the airport, but National Road Autosport members say there isn't a place to hold the races, outside of the fence.

 

MINERAL BOARD CONSIDERS LINE OF CREDIT

The Mineral County Board of Education is considering a line of credit, in the amount of $16,000 for the Keyser Primary School to install play equipment for the second, third and fourth grade sections of the school. Two pieces of equipment have already been constructed, with that money coming from fundraising efforts by the PTO and the school itself. Boy Scout Nicholas Miller, is currently building some sandboxes at the school, as part of his Eagle Scout project.

 

NEARLY 4,000 CASES FILED IN MINERAL COUNTY IN 2013

According to the West Virginia  State Supreme Court of Appeals, over 500 cases were filed in Mineral County Circuit Court last year. Along with that, 3490 cases were filed in Magistrate Court during the same time period. The majority of cases filed in Circuit Court were civil cases; of the criminal cases filed, 135 were felony cases.

 

TRESPASSING NEAR WASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS

A Cumberland resident, 48-year old Nicky Lee Linn, was arrested Wednesday for trespassing at George Washington's Headquarters on Greene Street. Linn attracted the attention of a passerby, due to his acting in a disorderly manner. He was placed under arrest, issued two criminal citations, and released pending trial in District Court.

 

FORMER FIRE CHIEF FILES TO WITHDRAW PLEAS

The former administrator and chief of the Halfway Volunteer Fire Company in Washington County has filed a motion to withdraw Alford pleas on two counts of misdemeanor theft. This latest development came after Jeffrey Ringer had been sentenced to a year in jail for misusing department funds. His attorney says that the Alford plea would never have been entered had he known Judge Dana Moylan Wright had a "policy" to incarcerate all prople convicted of theft from a non-profit organization. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but acknowledgement that the prosecution had sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

 

HOGAN COMMENTS ON IMMIGRATION, ECONOMY

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan believes Governor Martin O'Malley is "way off base" in dealing with the current immigration crisis, involving children. Hogan says that the state can't even take care of its own children, and that there is a difference in being here legally and breaking the law. He termed the situation, "total anarchy."

 

HOGAN ADDRESSES MARYLAND BUSINESS CLIMATE

Many have said the climate is not conducive for business, and Hogan cited the Beretta gun manufacturing operation as  a prime example. He calls Beretta the "latest victim of the O'Malley-Brown" policies. Hogan himself has met with Beretta leadership. Hogan says Governor O'Malley's attitude about the company moving its manufacturing operation elsewhere was "flippant," and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown-Hogan's opponent-said he was glad they were leaving. Hogan notes that he has heard that nearly half of the residents in the state said they would leave...if they could.

 

HOPKINS PREPARES TO MANAGE EBOLA RISK

Johns Hopkins Hospital is taking the necessary steps to manage the risk of Ebola. There is a growing concern that it could spread to the United States, and while the possibility, no matter how remote, still exists. The fatality rate of the virus is 90 per cent, and can be spread through bodily fluids. The likelihood of an Ebola patient coming to Hopkins is nearly impossible, but they want to make sure they are ready.

 

UTILITY REQUESTING RATE INCREASE IN PA.

First Energy Corporation, the parent company of Potomac Edison in Maryland, is requesting an increase in Pennsylvania, to help pay for infrastructure improvements. In a request filed Monday, First Energy is requesting an 8.6 per cent increase, translating into revenues of $119.8 million. For example, a customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month, would see his or her bill increase $19.58, or a total of just over $140 per month.

 

W.VA. REVENUE COLLECTIONS BELOW PROJECTIONS

The West Virginia Department of Revenue says collections are more than $17 million below estimates for July, the first month of the fiscal year. To balance the budget, the state's economy needs to grow by about 4 per cent. The two largest sources of revenue, consumer sales tax and personal income taxes both came in below estimates.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR DISRUPTING BAND PRACTICE

 

Cumberland resident Brandon Simpson was charged with disturbing a school operation and disorderly conduct, after an incident at Allegany High School Tuesday evening. Simpson walked onto the baseball field, where the band was practicing, and began yelling and cursing. He also displayed a pocket knife. The students were evacuated to the school. Simpson fled, but was later served with a criminal summons, as well as a "No Trespassing" letter issued by the Board of Education. He was released, pending trial.

 

 

WOMAN ARRESTED ON WARRANT

 

Forty-three year old Christina Marie Driver faces charges in connection with an incident that happened Sunday on Washington Street. She was charged with second-degree assault and disturbing the peace. She was also served for failing to follow conditions of her probation in connection to a separate incident. She was taken to the Allegany County Detention Center and held on a bond of $307.50.

 

 

BENCH WARRANT SERVED

 

Frostburg resident Travis Dixon was served a bench warrant for failure to appear in Allegany County District Court in late July. He had been charged with driving an uninsured vehicle. Dixon was eventually released on personal recognizance, pending trial in District Court.

 

 

FORMER MAYOR ATHEY DEAD AT 78

 

As was reported yesterday, former Cumberland Mayor Ed Athey passed away Tuesday at the Western Maryland Health Center. He served as Mayor from 1992 to 2000. One of his biggest accomplishments, according to the Cumberland Times-News, was convincing Allegany and Mineral Counties to share in the cost of operating the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport. He also spearheaded the Let's Beautify Cumberland Campaign. Funeral services will be private, and handled through the Scarpelli Funeral Home on Virginia Avenue.

 

 

PENNSYLVANIA MAN FACING DRUG CHARGES

 

Springs, Pennsylvania resident Shane Wisseman was arrested on Route 40 near Grantsville Monday afternoon. A traffic stop led to a probable cause search of his car. Found in the vehicle was marijuana, along with CDS paraphernalia. He was charged on a criminal citation and released from the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police.

 

 

DRIVER REMAINS HOSPITALIZED

 

The driver of a truck hauling trash that overturned in Pennsylvania, a mile from the Maryland State Line, remains hospitalized at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Forty-six year old Claysburg resident Eric Weyandt was injured when the truck overturned while negotiating a curve on Route 220. He was charged with driving at an unsafe speed. Trash was strewn over a large area, and the road was closed for about five hours on Monday.

 

 

NO PASSPORT SERVICE AT MINERAL COUNTY COURTHOUSE

 

A proposal to share duties when processing passports at the Mineral County courthouse has been denied by the U.S. State Department. The county's license to issue passports has expired, and the State Department says the circuit clerk's office was the only location in the courthouse that would be eligible to be re-activated. As a consequence, the same employees who handle passport applications cannot handle other vital records, such as birth certificates.

 

 

"9/11" RIDE RETURNS TO CUMBERLAND NEXT WEEK

 

The "9/11" Memorial Ride will be coming through Cumberland next Friday morning, August 15th. The riders should arrive in Cumberland around 8 a.m., and travel down Mechanic Street on their way to Rocky Gap State Park. Cresaptown and Bowling Green Volunteer Fire Departments will provide the Bucket Fire Truck with a large garrison flag. A truck will arrive at the Cumberland Fire Station around 7 a.m., offering memorabilia. The 9/11 Foundation funds a scholarship program for the children of active first responders. The ride is held in August to respect each site and the survivors, allowing them to mourn during September. The motorcyclists will then travel to Washington, to visit the Pentagon site, and then on to Ground Zero in New York.

 

 

O'MALLEY VISITS WMRMC

 

Governor Martin O'Malley has set a goal of improving the health of Maryland citizens by changing the way health care is provided, through preventable hospitalizations. During a tour of the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center yesterday, the Governor talked about bringing about wellness, while driving down the cost of health care. He noted that other hospital Chief Executive Officers come here to learn from the Western Maryland Health System business model.

 

 

LAWMAKERS OPPOSE PRESIDENT'S OIL STANCE

 

Eight members of the Maryland Congressional delegation have sent a letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to reconsider the use of seismic air guns to explore for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean. They says the technology is "incredibly harmful" to marine life, and that Maryland depends on the ocean for seafood and ocean-based tourism. For its part, oil lobbyists say drilling for oil and natural gas could generate $195 billion in investment and spending between 2017 and 2035.

 

 

FAMILY SUING DAUGHTER'S KILLERS AND THEIR MOTHERS

 

The family of Skyler Neese is suing the convicted killers of their daughter and their mothers. Dave and Mary Neese say in the suit their daughter's death caused both sorrow and anguish, and the loss of reasonably expected income, and they are also asking for reimbursement for funeral and burial expenses. The counts name Sheila Eddy, her mother, Tara Clendenen, Rachel Shoaf and her mother, Patricia Shoaf. Other counts in the suit are for negligence, reckless concealment and negligent supervision entrustment.

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CSX TO HIRE HUNDREDS, POSSIBLY THOUSANDS

CSX Transportation has announced plans to hire hundreds, perhaps thousands of workers to fill jobs at the railroad. A spokesperson for the railroad says it's not possible to speculate on whether those jobs will be coming to the Cumberland area specifically, or to Maryland in general. Currently, the local operation employs about 750 people.

 

MEXICO FARMS MAN FOUND DEAD

Mexico Farms resident Frederick Neef was found dead late yesterday afternoon, the victim of an ATV crash along the C & O Canal towpath. An intense search had been mounted for Neef, who left his home Sunday morning. Investigators believe he was traveling at a high rate of speed and lost control of the vehicle. The C3I unit assisted in the investigation.

 

O'MALLEY VISITING WESTERN MARYLAND

Governor Martin O'Malley will be at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center today, from 11 a.m. to noon. The visit is part of his "Governing for Results" series and will also include Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They will share new programs that have helped improve the health of the state, and drive down unnecessary hospital visits for Maryland residents.

 

WESTERNPORT MAN CHARGED WITH ARSON

Eighteen year old Westernport resident Joseph Broadwater has been charged with the arson of a property at 118 Kolberg Drive in Westernport. No injuries were reported in the fire, but it was determined it was deliberately set, using combustibles and a liquid accelerant. Damages were set at $35,000.  Broadwater has admitted to starting the fire. He was charged and later released from the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

GREENE STREET HOUSE PURCHASED BY CITY

The property at 661 Greene Street, where the "Lucky 33" dogs were rescued in mid-June, has been purchased by the city. Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim expressed gratitude that the city could purchase what has become a symbol of animal abuse in the city. The home will be demolished. The building was determined to be in "deplorable" condition and was purchased for $2,000 from Rickie and Barbara Ciccanti.

 

I-68 REDUCED TO ONE LANE NEXT WEEK

Westbound Interstate 68 will temporarily become a single lane in Cumberland, beginning Saturday; the lane reduction will last a week, until next Friday. The lane closure will allow crews to pour concrete for the final sections of the new bridge decks, as part of a Maryland State Highway Administration project to rehabilitate the two bridges. In addition, Patterson Avenue will be closed at the I-68 overpass between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. next Monday and Tuesday nights.

 

FORMER MAYOR PASSES AT 78

Former Cumberland Mayor Ed Athey passed away yesterday at the age of 78. The Scarpelli Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, which are incomplete at this time.

 

MAN CHARGED WITH DUI NEAR POTOMAC STATE

Twenty-five year old Colton Courtney was charged with aggravated DUI near Potomac State College. He was also charged with striking an unattended vehicle, and driving with an expired license. After hitting a car on Valley View Avenue, the car was found parked outside of "D" and White Streets. He was found in a nearby residence, and arrested. He aggravated DUI stems from the fact that his Blood Alcohol Content exceeded the threshold for a standard DUI charge.

 

BENCH WARRANTS SERVED

Twenty-two year old Cumberland resident Charles William Michael, III was served a bench warrant for failure to appear in District Court on a charge of possession of marijuana. He was released, pending trial in District Court. Forty-three year old Joseph Lee Wolfe was served a bench warrant for a probation violation, on an original charge of second degree assault. He, too, was released on person recognizance, pending trial in District Court.

 

CONVICTED MURDERER DIES IN PRISON

An Iranian immigrant, Brian Yasipour, Sr., who had been serving time for stabbing his four year old daughter to death in 2001, has died in prison. Yasipour died of natural causes at the SCI-Laurel Highlands facility. He had been serving a 21 to 47 year sentence for stabbing his daughter to death, saying he feared his wife planned to take the girl back to their native country. He was eventually found guilty, but mentally ill, of third-degree murder and lesser charges.

 

HOUSING MARKET RECOVERING

The housing market in Washington County is improving with a 19 per-cent jump in overall sales from January to June of this year. The average price of a home increased 4 per cent there, but the future of housing could be driving primarily by mortgage interest rates. A rise in interest rates would cause some prospective home buyers to jump into the market, because they fear even higher rates.

 

STATE HOLDS "EBOLA DRILL"

Because of "real world events," Governor Martin O'Malley held an Ebola-specific exercise this week, to test the state's ability to respond to the deadly virus. No cases have been reported in the state, and there is a low likelihood that there would be an outbreak here. The current outbreak in three West African nations has sickened more than 1300 people and killed at least 800.

 

RUPPESBERGER SAYS CONGRESS SHOULD HALT VACATION

Maryland's Second District Congressman Dutch Ruppesberger believes Congress should be called back from vacation to vote on a budget for next fiscal year, and pass an immigration reform bill. He notes that Congressional approval is at an all-time low; despite that, incumbents have experienced a 90 per cent re-election rate. He noted that Congress came back after an immigration bill was withdrawn. Ruppesberger noted that the most recent government shutdown lasted over 20 days and cost $24 billion. Another one remains a real possibility.

 

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT FOR CWA, FRONTIER

The Communications Workers of America and Frontier Communications have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract. The old contract expired in August of last year, and the new agreement was reached early Monday morning. There aren't many details about the tentative contract, but health care had been a roadblock during negotiations. The agreement is retroactive to last August, and if ratified, would run through August of 2017.


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