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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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