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LOCAL NEWS


TWO MORE ARRESTED IN ASSAULT INCIDENT

 

Two more men have been arrested, in connection with an assault incident on October 9th on Maryland Avenue. Twenty-two year old Charles Ace Casey and 25-year old Garrett Michael Ketterman were arrested Friday evening and charged for their part in the incident in which Jonthan Edward Harriss was charged with attempted 2nd degree murder. Casey was charged with first-degree assault and related charges; Ketterman was charged with second-degree assault. Both are being held in the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

MAN ARRESTED IN ARMED ROBBERY

 

Forty-two year old Wayne Eugene King was arrested Friday evening, and charged with armed robbery in the area behind the main Post Office on Park Street. The man said the suspect demanded his money, and pointed a handgun at him. When he showed he had no money on him, the suspect fled. A person, matching the description given was apprehended and taken to police headquarters. King was also charged with assault, reckless endangerment and using a handgun in a crime of violence.

 

 

KEYSER POLICE INVESTIGATE BURGLARY, ROBBERY

 

Keyser City Police say they have developed "persons of interest," in connection with the burglary and robbery at a North Water Street home last week. Three armed men held the resident of the home at gunpoint, while they robbed his home of guns and electronics. A shot was fired during the incident, but no one was hurt. The investigation is ongoing, and Keyser City Police have developed some suspects, based on photographic surveillance.

 

 

SYSTEM RESPONDS TO BED BUGS, LICE IN SCHOOLS

 

There have been specific reports of bed bugs and head lice in the Allegany County Schools, and the system has responded to those concerns. All custodial personnel are aware of specific instances of the bugs and lice, and are working diligently to clean any contaminated areas to ensure that all staff and students are provided a safe and supportive learning environment. If a school needed to be chemically treated, professionals that specialize in pest control would apply those treatments. Parents are also receiving letters on detecting, treating and reporting issues.

 

 

ANNEXATAION PETITION DENIED

 

The Mineral County Commissioners have denied a request from the city of Keyser to annex the Airport and Bonnieview additions into the city's corporate limits. The commissioners took about ten minutes late last week, to issue their decision. The majority of those affected by the move were in opposition to it. Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower noted the annexation was "necessary for the financial stability of the city," but the commissioners said he failed to demonstrate that annexation would adequately change the city's financial situation.

 

 

TWO BEDFORD AREA PHARMACIES ROBBED OF PILLS

 

The Pennsylvania State Police at Bedford have been able to identify the car, but are now looking for a person who robbed two pharmacies, one in Claysburg and another at Chestnut Ridge. Police say the man asked for all the oxycodone they had, but was only able to get the drugs at the Chestnut Ridge Pharmacy. They do believe the suspect is local and familiar with the area. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at (814)-623-6133.

 

 

MUSEUM TO HOLD THURSDAY RECEPTION

 

The Allegany County Museum is embarking on an endowment campaign, and will hold a reception Thursday evening, to introduce it. Dr. Julianne Ferris, of the Museum's Advisory Board, says they are in the process of converting office space into museum space, and will be giving up their rental income. Thursday's event is to establish the endowment fund.

The museum will feature about 14 different displays, including a major display of the Kelly-Springfield Tire Company. Others encompass glassware, local breweries, and a "Sleeping Beauty Room" for children. The reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m.

 

 

THREE ARRESTED ON METH CHARGES

 

Three people have been arrested in Preston County, in connection with a meth lab operation, allegedly run by Donald Stout. Tunnelton residents Tracy Sapp and Raymond Weaver, along with Kingwood resident James Moats have been charged with providing Stout with pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in methamphetamine. People who purchase such materials are known as "smurfs." Another person, 29-year old Shawn Capocelli, is wanted in the investigation, and is believed to be living in the Morgantown area.

 

 

TRANSPORTATION PROPOSAL ON NOVEMBER BALLOT

 

Maryland voters will decide if the state transportation fund should be strictly used for transportation issues. This constitutional amendment would decide if the fund can only be spent on transportation issues, unless the governor declares a fiscal emergency. Both chambers of the General Assembly would have to approve the transfer with a three-fifths vote. The so-called "lockbox" proposal would prevent the state from dipping into the transportation fund to make up for shortfalls in the state budget.

 

 

O'MALLEY RAISES MORE THAN $700,000

 

Governor Martin O'Malley has raised just over $710,000 during the third quarter of this year. O'Malley's term will end in January, and he has traveled extensively on behalf of other Democrats, while laying the groundwork for a potential Presidential bid in 2016. Governor O'Malley is beginning to receive more donations from outside the state.

LOCAL NEWS


INFECTED NURSE TRANSFERRED TO N.I.H.

Nina Pham, one of two nurses infected with the Ebola virus while caring for a patient in Dallas, was flown into the Frederick Municipal Airport last night, and later transferred to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda. She was taken to a special biocontainment unit, only one of four in the United States. Pham came down with Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died of the disease.

 

COMPLAINTS LEAD TO FIVE ARRESTS

Citizen complaints and police calls to several Maryland Avenue residences led to the arrest of five people on Wednesday evening.  A three month investigation into the sales and distribution of various narcotics, including heroin and crack cocaine being sold, led to the arrests of Thomas Shannon Stevens, Amanda Lynn Lewis,  Jon Pierre Lopez, Shannon Nicol Grapes, and Robert Wayne Burkett. The raid was conducted by units from the Cumberland Police Department, the Garrett County Special Response Team, and the Maryland State Police "STATE" team. The Allegany County Department of Social Services also assisted on the scene, with the placement of three children, all under the age of six. The investigation is continuing with additional arrests anticipated.

 

COMMISSIONERS SUSPEND AUTHORITY MEMBERS

The Mineral County Commissioners are notifying its representatives on the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority that they are officially suspended from service until the ongoing disagreement over state jurisdiction is settled. The PHAA oversees the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport, and has been involved in a controversy over which state's Open Meetings Law to observe. The members of the Authority-Bill Smith, Monroe Johnson, and Leon Hinkle-will not participate in the meetings until the issue is resolved.

 

INVESTIGATION INTO ACCIDENT CONTINUES

The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a Wednesday evening accident on Route 495 at Dry Run Road. A 2001 Subaru, driven by 45-year old Bruce G. Vanwagner of McHenry, traveled off the road and struck a mailbox, before coming to rest. Responding were the Bittinger Fire Department, Northern Garrett Rescue Squad, and Trooper Five; the investigation is continuing.

 

BOND SET AT $17,500 IN ARREST

Cumberland resident Tracy Rae is being held on a total of $17,500 bond following her arrest at the corner of South and Second Street on Wednesday. She was arrested on an outstanding warrant for theft and related charges; also found on her were a crack cocaine smoking device, a syringe, one baggie of suspected heroin and two baggies of suspected crack cocaine. She is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

KENNEL CLUB TO HOST SHOW

The Upper Potomac Valley Kennel Club is holding its 61st annual dog show, today through Sunday at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. Becky Rephan, with the kennel club, says the Cumberland show is a precursor to shows such as the nationally-known Westminster dog show. About 120 breeds will be represented, with about 600-700 dogs on hand for the show. There is a minimal $3.00 parking fee for the show, which will include performance groups. These include obedience training, and what is known as "Rally." During the weekend show, a service dog from the area will be honored. "Blue" Dieterle responded to a woman who came to participate in the show several years ago.

 

 

NINE CHARGED WITH DRUG TRAFFICKING

Nine members of a Baltimore-based drug trafficking enterprise have been indicted by a federal grand jury. The group has ties to Virginia, New York, and Texas, and prosecutors say they are linked to the 2012 murder of Baltimore resident John Moore in Baltimore. Police seized 30 kilos of cocaine from Moore, and his murder has been tied to the cocaine seizure.

 

"SUN" POLL SHOWS LITTLE SUPPORT FOR O'MALLEY PRESIDENTIAL RUN

The Baltimore Sun says support for a Martin O'Malley presidential run is "conspicuously low," and what little support he has, may be slipping. Nearly 6 in ten voters say they would not support O'Malley, if he decides to seek the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016. Nine per cent of voters say they would like to see who else will run before committing to any one candidate. This most recent poll was conducted October 1st through the 8th, and is based on interviews with 800 likely Maryland voters.

 

WEST VIRGINIA S.A.T. SCORES SHOW IMPROVEMENT

West Virginia school students showed improvement in core subject areas of reading, writing and math on the S.A.T., when compared to the previous year's test results. More than 42 per cent of West Virginia's S.A.T. takers met benchmarks for college and career preps while the number was 39 per cent nationally.

LOCAL NEWS


DEVELOPMENT PLAN PRESENTED TO CITY

 

A new economic development strategic plan, from RKG Associates of Alexandria, Virginia was presented at City Hall yesterday. It is hoped the plan will become a more targeted economic development effort in the future. The over $54,000 plan was funded by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Short, to long term goals, include the use of the former Memorial Hospital site, further development of Canal Place, Rolling Mill and the Willowbrook Road area, and the development of a Cumberland Shopping Plaza in South End.

 

 

MISSING TEEN SOUGHT

 

Bruce Bickling, a 16-year old Fort Hill student, has been missing since September 11th, and police are seeking the public's help in locating him. He has short, blond hair, blue eyes, and a thin build. He was last seen at the school and was wearing a white tee shirt, faded denim shorts and white tennis shoes. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police.

 

 

PRIEST REMAINS JAILED IN SOMERSET COUNTY

 

Father Joseph Maurizio remains jailed in Somerset County, accused of sexually abusing young boys while on mission trips to Honduras. This week, his finances were discussed, with his bank accounts indicating he had hundreds of thousands of dollars the government says he could use to escape the country. The money came from what were called "smart investments," and some are tied to the church and do not technically belong to him. Bond, if any, will be determined within the next ten days or so.

 

 

TGCC HOSTS COALITION MEETING

 

The Greater Cumberland Committee recently hosted its fourth annual North/South Appalachian Highway Coalition meeting at the Bedford Springs resort. The goal of the group is to advance economic development efforts in the region, and includes business, civic organizations, elected officials and government entities. It was learned at the meeting that about eight miles remain in completing the section of Route 219, from Meyersdale, Pennsylvania to the I-68 interchange.

 

 

INTERSTATE 68 TRAFFIC UPDATE

 

There are several traffic changes to be aware of, on Interstate 68 eastbound over the next several weeks. Beginning next Monday, and lasting through Friday, October 24th, the eastbound right lane of I-68 will be closed. The Exit 43B ramp to Industrial Boulevard may be detoured as well. On Monday, October 27th through Friday, October 31st, the eastbound I-68 right lane will remain closed; the exit 43C ramp to Queen City Drive may be detoured; and, the eastbound ramp from downtown may be detoured. Motorists should be prepared for possible delays during peak hours.

 

 

FAIRHOPE BATTERY THEFTS INVESTIGATED

 

About $1600 worth of vehicle batteries were taken from the area along West Street in Fairhope earlier in the month. The person or persons also tried to enter one of the township sheds, causing about $200 in damage. The investigation is continuing.

 

 

SCHOOLS ON TWO-HOUR DELAY TODAY

 

A reminder that Allegany County Public Schools are operating on a two-hour delay for today. There will be no morning kindergarten classes. This time is being used for staff professional development.

 

 

STATE POLICE UNVEIL NEW HELICOPTER

 

About 140,000 patients have been flown on Maryland State Police Medevac helicopters since the program began in 1970. Yesterday, a new, "state of the art" aircraft, the 'AW-139" was unveiled at the Greater Cumberland Municipal airport. Lieutenant Walter Kerr commander of the Helicopter Medical Operations division noted that Allegany County is the 6th of 7 regions to receive the new chopper. The technology it contains is mandated by the both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

 

 

COMMISSION TO MEET ON OCTOBER 27TH

 

The Cumberland Neighborhood Advisory Commission will meet on Monday, October 27th, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. Meetings are held on a monthly basis and are open to the public. For more information, contact City Hall at (301)-759-6424.

 

 

BISHOP WALSH TO HOST PROGRAM ON DYSLEXIA

 

Bishop Walsh School's Pratt Program will be hosting Paula Moraine, the president of the Maryland Branch of the International Dyslexia Association on Saturday, October 25th at 10 a.m. the program will be held in the school auditorium. The topic will be "Learning and the Impact of ADHD, Dyslexia, and Executive Function. This is a free event. For more information, contact Stephanie Pratt at (301)-724-5360, extension 218.

 

 

ATTORNEY WANTS CHARGES DROPPED

 

An attorney for Catherine Hoggle, the Montgomery County mother whose children remain missing, says he wants charges against her dropped, because he says detectives improperly interrogated her inside a state psychiatric hospital this month.  Detectives spoke with her for at least 12 hours, trying to find out where the children were, and what she might have done with them. Since the case began in early September, she has refused to cooperate with police.

 

 

GAS PRICES AT LOWEST POINT OF THE YEAR

 

The national average price for regular gas is $3.18 per gallon, which is down 20-cents from less than a month ago, and 15-cents from a year ago. Virginia has the least expensive gas, with an average of $3.00 per gallon; Maryland is at $3.17, Pennsylvania at $3.31, and West Virginia at $3.33. The highest national average is in California, where drivers there are paying upwards of $3.60 per gallon.

LOCAL NEWS


DRUG BUST IN FROSTBURG

Thirty-six year old Baltimore resident Corey James Douglas, and 26-year old Tiffany Dawn Resh were arrested by the Frostburg Police Department  Monday on drug charges. The C3I Narcotics Unit, the Allegany County Sheriff's Department, and the Cumberland City Police assisted in executing a search warrant in the 200-block of Main Street. Cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin were seized, with an estimated value of over $21,000.  Douglas was held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $300,000 bond, while Ms. Resh was held on $25,000 bond.

 

CONSERVATION GROUP URGES FRACKING BAN

Trout, Unlimited is urging the state of Maryland to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas in the Savage River watershed. The group has added the area to its list of 10 places it says are threatened by fracking. Maryland officials are deciding whether to allow the "fracking" technique, which uses water mixed with sand and chemicals to break up rock deep underground, and release natural gas. For its part, Maryland Environmental regulators have said there is a moderate risk, which may harm aquatic life.

 

STORAGE UNIT FIRE RULED ARSON

The Maryland State Fire Marshal says a fire at Legacy Moving and Storage on Clement Street was intentionally set. It originated in a wooden storage unit on site, and spread to ten other wooden storage units nearby. Losses were set at $2500. The fire was discovered by a neighbor, and the Cumberland Fire Department extinguished the fire in about ten minutes.

 

TROOPER SAVES CHILD ALONG I-68

Trooper First Class Matthew Schoenadel is being credited for saving the life of an infant along Interstate 68 yesterday morning. Maryland State Police received a panic call from a woman, who said her grandson was not breathing. Trooper Schoenadel stopped the car, turned the baby on his stomach to clear his airway. The infant responded and began to breathe. He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment. Trooper Schoeandel is a nine year veteran of the Maryland State Police.

 

ALLEGANY UPDATE GIVEN AT MEETING

An update on the demolition work at the site of the new Allegany High School was given during last night's Board of Education meeting. The interior of the building is nearly complete, with the medical office building completely demolished. The total estimated cost of the school is $40 million, and officials say they are on track to open in 2017.

 

CDS, PARAPHERNALIA CHARGES FILED

Cumberland City Police arrested two area men on drug-related charges Monday evening, following a traffic stop on Interstate 68 eastbound. Both Ronald Browning of Ellerslie and Kenneth Wilson III or Cumberland were taken into custody. Browning was charged with possession of CDS paraphernalia, while Wilson was charged with possession of CDS, and three counts of possession of paraphernalia. Police recovered illegally obtained prescription medication and paraphernalia from the car. Both were eventually released from custody.

 

SPRINGDALE STREET INCIDENT PROMPTS INVESTIGATION

Social media reports of the fatal stabbing of a dog in South Cumberland may be false. Cumberland City Police say Allegany County Animal Control is investigating a Monday evening incident, in which a dog suffered some type of injury. Reports from Cumberland City Police say it didn't look as if the dog was injured by an intruder, but the matter is still under investigation.

 

DEMOLITION OF MANSION DELAYED

The Keyser Mayor and City Council may, or may not, demolish the historic Alkire Mansion at Mill Meadow Park. The hope is that grants can be obtained to restore the 18th century structure, which has deteriorated over the years. Developing the building into a residence or business location has drawn only limited interest. Now, city officials are going to wait for about three months, to see if there are any viable grant options available.

 

"MAKING STRIDES" EVENT SATURDAY

The "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" event is this Saturday, beginning and ending on the Canal Place Festival Grounds. Breast cancer survivor Debbie Fornwalt says this is the first time she'll actually be participating in the walk. She says we are approaching the time when the disease will be eradicated. Ms. Fornwalt is a 3-1/2 year survivor, and advises that, although it is a difficult diagnosis and journey through treatment, the diagnosis should not be feared. Pre-walk activities begin at 10 a.m.; registration will begin at 9 a.m. She says she's had so much support from the cancer society, friends, and family...and that is a remarkable thing.

 

TWO-HOUR DELAY TOMORROW

Allegany County Public Schools will operate on a two-hour delay tomorrow. There will be no morning pre-kindergarten classes. The time is being used for staff professional development.

 

SOME HEALTH INSURANCE RATES MAY DROP

Some small businesses in the state may see a small drop in health insurance premiums next year; others may pay as much as 11 per cent more. New rates, which will go into effect in January, affect small firms with up to 50 employees, and not to large or self-insured firms or individuals buying coverage on the state's health insurance exchange. Evergreen Health Cooperative did not seek an increase, because it pledged to small businesses that signed on with the new provider that it would give them a two-year premium guarantee.

 

MARYLAND PERSONAL INCOME GROWTH SLOWS

Personal income in the state grew an estimated one per cent in the second quarter of 2014, compared to 2.5 per cent in the United States as a whole. Maryland's showing was the fifth worst of all states, and it follows four years of statewide incomes lagging behind the rest of the country. The average household income in the state was just over $96,000 last year, down about 3 per cent since 2007. Median household income dropped more than 5 per cent in real terms, to $72,483.

 

HANDS-FREE TECHNOLOGY MAY INCREASE DISTRACTED DRIVING

A study by Triple-A Atlantic says that hands-free technology in cars may actually increase the possibility of being involved in a crash. Once several states made it a primary offense to talk or text on your cell phone, car companies began installing hands-free systems. Triple A says that whether you are using a handheld or hands-free device, the actual risk of being involved in a crash quadruples, because utilizing cognitive skills can be more distracting than it would otherwise be.

LOCAL NEWS


VERSO CLOSING MAINE PAPER MILL

Verso Paper Corporation, which plans to purchase New Page, is closing a mill in Bucksport, Maine. The closure will happen before the end of the year, reducing the company's coated groundwood paper production capacity by approximately 350,000 tons and its specialty paper production capacity by about 55,000 tons. The facility is closing due to ongoing non-profitability. Verso says it will work with union officials and salaried employees on severance benefits and other assistance.

 

UTILITY WORKERS WANT NEW CONTRACT

Potomac Edison and West Penn Power employees want a new contract, and have been working without one since May 1st. System Local 102 recently rejected contract offers from First Energy Corporation. At issue are staffing levels, and post-retirement medical benefits. Efforts are underway to schedule more negotiations with First Energy.

 

TWO CHARGED ON OUTSTANDING WARRANTS 

Two people were arrested late Sunday morning on Virginia Avenue, and charged with marijuana possession. Thirty-two year old Robert Hess and 25-year old Stephanie Barb were stopped for a traffic violation; it was discovered that both had outstanding bench warrants for failure to appear for trial earlier in the month. They were both charged, but released on personal recognizance, pending trial in District Court.

 

GROUNDBREAKING HELD FOR NEW SCHOOL

A groundbreaking ceremony was recently held for a new Burlington United Methodist Family Services School. Adjacent to the campus gymnasium, the new school will feature seven classrooms, a dining area and administrative offices. Senator Donald Cookman remarked during the ceremonies that although the staff deserves better, most importantly, the students deserve better.

 

THREE COMMENDED IN SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

Three Allegany County Public School Students were recently named Commended Students in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. Allegany students Ethan Greist and Kristin Ratliff, along with Makea Luzader of Mountain Ridge placed among the top five per cent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The three students were among the nearly 34,000 students throughout the nation being honored as Commended Students for their exceptional academic promise.

 

FSU NAMED "MILITARY FRIENDLY" FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT YEAR

Frostburg State University has been named a "Military Friendly School" for the fourth year in a row. The Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 per cent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America's military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

 

FROST NAMED "BLUE RIBBON" SCHOOL

Frost Elementary School was recently recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. Mia Perlozzo Cross, of the Allegany County Board of Education, says the school met rigorous state and national requirements, and was only one of six schools in the state to earn the designation. Ms. Cross noted that Frost also serves some of the county's economically disadvantaged students.

 

CVS EMPLOYEE SAVES ELDERLY WOMAN FROM SCAM

An employee of the CVS Pharmacy in Somerset is being credited with saving an elderly woman thousands of dollars. The 90-year old woman went into the store to buy several money orders, totaling around $3,000, when she was told her grandson had been arrested, and that he needed money for attorney fees and the like. The employee recognized it as a scam. Police are saying that if you receive a similar call, you can call police to verify if an arrest was made.

 

MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT, OTHER CHARGES

A man police say is homeless, was arrested in Somerset County Sunday, after he was accused of breaking into a woman's home and physically assaulting her. Forty-five year old David Fazenbaker was quickly arrested, after officers received information on his whereabouts. He will be charged with assault and related charges. He had been wanted on an outstanding warrant for stalking, harassment, and prowling.

 

ARREST MADE IN THREATS AGAINST SCHOOL

The FBI and West Virginia State Police have arrested 21-year old Justin Light, a former student at Musselman High School for making an online threat against Musselman High School. The threats were made on social media, through the compromised Twitter account of a former student. There was a strong police presence on the Musselman high school campus yesterday, and attendance was down over 50 per cent. Light is being held in the Eastern Regional Jail.

 

GAP BETWEEN CANDIDATES NARROWING

"The Baltimore Sun" released a poll on Sunday, showing the gap between gubernatorial candidates Larry Hogan and Anthony Brown is narrowing. The poll indicates Brown is leading Hogan by seven points, but many voters are undecided, and there is a 3-1/2 per cent margin of error. Election Day is three weeks from today.

 

W.VA. RECEIVES GRANT FOR METH LAB FIGHT

The West Virginia State Police will receive a million in federal funding to fight meth lab production. The two-year grant was announced, in part, by Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito. The State Police will use the funds to hire and train law enforcement personnel to investigate "meth" production and distribution; additionally, the money will be used for meth lab cleanup.

LOCAL NEWS


LOCAL CONTROL TO GRANT COUNTY SCHOOLS

 

The West Virginia State Board of Education returned local control to the Grant County School System last week. Five years ago, a reported cited "serious deficiencies" in the system, including a breakdown in leadership, a lack of advanced placement and honors classes, as well as individual schools failing to meet Adequate Yearly Progress five years in a row. The State Board could take over the school system in the future, if any of the original problems come up again, within the next five years.

 

 

WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN DRUG CASE

 

Thirty-year old Swanton resident Rebecca Lee Smith has pleaded guilty to distributing morphine to a woman, who later died. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered by Judge J. Frederick Sharer; she remains in the Garrett County Jail. Smith had been with the woman prior to her death; she later admitted to taking morphine pills to her home, offering them to the woman, and taking some of the pills herself.

 

 

KEYSER RESIDENTS SENTENCED

 

Two Keyser men were among four people who were recently sentenced in U.S. District Court on cocaine-related charges. Thirty-one year old Troy Wilt was sentenced to ten months in prison for cocaine distribution; thirty-five year old Paul Ellis was sentenced to five years probation, for money laundering, involving about $1500 in proceeds from the cocaine sales. Both pleaded guilty, following an investigation by the Potomac Highlands Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

 

 

WOMAN ARRESTED IN LAPTOP THEFT

 

Cumberland resident Bridget Brianne Michael was arrested over the weekend, and charged with the theft of a laptop computer from a Frederick Street residence, while the occupants were asleep. The victim identified a possible suspect and officers confirmed it during the investigation. She was charged with theft of less than $1,000. Ms. Michael was released pending trial in District Court.

 

 

MAN SERVED SUMMONS, RELEASED

 

A Cumberland man was released pending trial, following an incident in the parking area of the Cumberland City Police Department on Saturday. Sixty-two year old Ronald Diggs was allegedly being verbally disruptive, and acting in an unusual manner. Diggs ran into the garage door, bounced off, and allegedly assaulted an officer, before being placed into custody. He was charged with two counts of second-degree assault.

NEW ROMNEY PLANT TO BE OPERATIONAL BY SPRING

 

A new sewage treatment plant could be "under roof" by November, and operational by May of next year. Construction began in February of this year, and will serve not only the city, but also the high school, middle school, the hospital and the nursing home there. Rates will increase for customers of the system, from the current minimum rate of $24.82 to $29.50. Over a thousand homes will benefit from the new treatment plant.

 

 

 PLANS IN THE WORKS FOR GREENE STREET

 

Alta Planning and Development is under contract to develop a complete street plan for historic Greene Street, and will be concerned with the overall historical character of the street and surrounding environment. Public input is being taken. To be included with all upcoming project meetings, contact Siera Wigfield at cumberlandmpo@allconet.org,or call (301)-722-6360. The plan is being developed at the request of the Cumberland Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the first project meeting is expected to be held early next year.

 

 

"WE ARE FORT HILL" GROUP INDUCTS H.O.F. MEMBERS

 

The We Are Fort Hill organization recently inducted four new members in to the school's Hall of Fame, including Dr. John "Jack" Hamilton, Jr., Dr. Donald S. McCoy, Dr. John Millar and Dr. Linda Weber Dunbar. The recognition luncheon was held at the school on September 27th. Nominations for next year's Hall of Fame are being accepted through January 31st of next year. Nominees must have graduated from Fort Hill fifteen or more years ago, and should be based on significant achievements in lifetime endeavors. Nomination forms are available at "www.forthillhs.com."

 

 

S.A.T. SCORES DROP, TEST TAKERS INCREASE

 

More students are taking the S.A.T. in Maryland, but average scores on the college readiness exam dropped significantly, falling below the national average for the first time in years. Policy changes in Baltimore and Prince George's counties have contributed to the overall drop. Those systems allowed every high school junior to be given the test. Statewide, the average score dropped five points in reading, math, and writing.

 

 

'HUNGER FREE" OPTION RECEIVES SCHOOL KUDOS

 

Breakfast and lunch in school at no charge...it's a new program in place for all public schools in Somerset County, Maryland, and about a dozen schools in Washington County. The idea behind the "Community Eligibility Provision" is that if schools are located in high-poverty areas, most of the students already qualify for free or reduced-price school meals-so why not ditch the paperwork and offer the meals to all students? Dr. John Gaddis, of the Somerset County school system, says it's working out better than he thought it would. Pam Christoffel of the Washington County Hunger Group, says the program brings relief to families facing economic struggles.

Michael J. Wilson, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, is encouraged to hear about the success in implementing the program in all Somerset County Public Schools, and there are hundreds of other eligible schools in the state. Wilson says the program not only reduces childhood hunger, but administrators appreciate the reduction in paperwork.

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