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A handful of Maryland schools, including two in the local area, are on the state’s short list of best schools. The winners of the Blue Ribbon School awards were announced Wednesday. Frost Elementry in Allegany County, and Northern Garrett High in Garrett County, are among the six that made the list out of Marylands’ 1,400 schools. In a special ceremony, state school leaders congratulated principals, teachers and parents on the prestigious award. The Blue Ribbon committee looks at a number of factors when judging schools, including test scores and grades, and attendance.



Tickets for the 15th Annual Potomac Valley ORIGINAL TOUGHMAN CONTEST, that will be held January 17th & 18th at the Frankfort High School Gymnasium, will go on sale this Saturday. Ticket prices are $20 general admission and $25 for reserved ringside seats. Tickets will be available at Blankenship’s Store in Wiley Ford, Parkview Liquors in Cumberland, Jolly Roger Liquors in LaVale, Grady’s One Stop in Fort Ashby, Chestnut Ridge Gas & Liquors in Grantsville and Riverside Sports National Hwy, LaVale . To purchase tickets online, or To sign up to fight or sign up to be a Ring Girl visit



 Charges are pending against a the owner of a used Subaru dealership next to the Tunnelton-Denver Elementary School in Preston County.  Nearly 40 students had to be taken to the hospital last Friday after students in the school building complained of breathing problems. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement officers said Wednesday the dealership may have been burning illegal materials.  The smoke from the burning materials was pulled into an outdoor furnace and pushed the smoke throughout the school.  The state Department of Environmental Protection is testing samples of the burnt materials to determine what was being burned. 



 With Mona Ridder serving her last day at executive director of the Mineral County Development Authority, a great deal of the meeting of the county agency Tuesday morning dealt with transition. In late October, Ridder announced her retirement from the development authority to be effective Jan. 1, 2014, and during the November meeting, board members suggested the last day for her could happen following the December meeting. The committee to seek an executive director is working toward creating a job description for the position while Commissioner Jerry Whisner told board members he had already received a resume for the position.



A Piedmont man has pleaded guilty to three felonies, including one tied to the operation of a dog fighting venture. Timothy Paul Stewart, 34, of Piedmont, entered pleas of guilty to conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of dogs for dog fighting. In October of this year agents served a federal drug trafficking indictment upon Stewart at his Mineral County home, where officers observed seven firearms in plain view. officers then returned with a federal search warrant to seize controlled substances, the seven firearms, and ammunition.  Officers then discovered evidence of an animal fighting venture including dogs, dog pelts, cages, and training equipment for the dogs in the basement. Officers also seized approximately 25 grams of cocaine base and $3,968 in U.S. currency. Stewart, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces up to 45 years in prison.



The We Are Fort Hill organization will hold the 2013 Fort Hill High School Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday, January 24, 2014, at Fort Hill High School in the media center.  This year the group will honor ten individuals who have made significant achievements in their lifetimes.

               The following Fort Hill alumni will become members of the school’s HOF:  James F. Combs, the Honorable George C. Eskin, Dr. Roseann Weber Harmon, Dr. John Archie Hardin, Dr. Walter L. Henry, Dr. Terri Ott Lally, the Honorable J. Frederick Sharer, Glen R. Shipway, Dr. Judy L. Twigg, and Shannon Workman.

            The public is invited to attend the luncheon at a cost of $15 per person.  

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