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LOCAL NEWS


STATE MAY RESUBMIT FLOODING INFORMATION

 

Congressman John Delaney is encouraging Maryland to submit new information on the local flooding of June 12th, when requesting federal aid. The damage threshold is just over $8 million when filing for federal aid, but Delaney says there are additional factors that can be considered by FEMA for disaster assistance. Meanwhile, a study may be done on flooding in the Bowling Greene area, and the damage incurred throughout the Route 220 corridor last month.

 

 

MIDLOTHIAN POSTAL MEETING SET FOR TODAY

 

A decision on the future of the Midlothian Post Office is imminent, and a meeting on a consolidation plan is set for today at the Trinity Assembly of God Church. Several options have been suggested, including reducing the hours at the facility, to subcontracting of services, to closing the facility completely. That meeting is set for 3 p.m. today.

 

 

RESTAURANT CLOSING FOR JULY, AUGUST

 

An aging air conditioning system, which sometime drove the indoor temperatures to over 80 degrees, has forced the temporary closing of the Culinaire Cafe in downtown Cumberland. The cafe is an educational facility and restaurant opened by Allegany College of Maryland in 2002. According to program director of the hospitality management and culinary arts program, the facility was closed each August, but, because of the latest developments, it was decided to close it in July as well.  

 

 

CUMBERLAND MAN FACES EX PARTE, DRUG CHARGES

 

Cumberland resident Timothy Winkler faces numerous charges, including failure to comply with a court order and CDS counts, following a Saturday incident in the 100-block of Seymour Street. Winkler allegedly entered a victim's home, assaulted the victim, and fled. There was a protective order in place, which prohibited him from being at the residence. He was later found and arrested, and found to be in possession of prescription drugs and paraphernalia. He was taken to District Court and remanded to the Allegany County Detention Center, pending a hearing.

 

 

MISSING BOY RETURNED HOME

 

A 15-year old boy, who had been reported missing since last Tuesday, was found Friday and returned home. Logan James Litton, of Prince Georges Street, left his parents a note, stating he was running away. He was found Friday around 5 p.m. in Cumberland by a family member. He was taken to Cumberland City Police Headquarters and later released to his father.

 

 

LEGION TOWN HALL MEETING SET

 

The Mountain District American Legion is having a Town Hall meeting next Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Allegany College of Maryland. The meeting is for all veterans to share their experiences, both good and bad, with the Maryland Veterans Affairs Health Care System and facilities. The event will be videotaped and sent to the American Legion National Headquarters. Representatives of the VA will not be present at the meeting. For more information, contact Mike Wade at (301)-876-3123.

 

 

APPOINTMENTS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR CLINIC

 

A free clinic, in partnership with the Department of Defense, The Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Allegany County HRDC is planned for August 13th through the 21st at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. Appointments are being scheduled by calling (301)-783-1775, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. At the clinic, general health, dental, and vision screenings will be done. There are no residency or income restrictions. Veterinary clinic appointments for spaying and neutering have been filled, but the staff is maintaining a waiting list, if there are cancellations.

 

 

P.E. PLANS W.VA. SERVICE INTERRUPTION

 

Potomac Edison is planning a service outage in the Augusta area of Hampshire County next Monday, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Upgrade work will be done in the area, and the outage is expected to affect about 1330 customers in the area of Route 50,just east of East View Estates subdivision to Dillon's Run Road. In case of bad weather, the work will rescheduled for the next day. Customers with questions can call Potomac Edison's Customer Service line at 1-800-686-0011.

 

 

VEHICLE CRASH ON ROUTE 219

 

Greensburg, Pennsylvania resident John Hanna was determined to be at fault in a vehicle/motorcycle collision on Saturday evening in front of Archie's BBQ on Route 219 in McHenry. Hanna, driving a Mercedes SUV, pulled into the path of a motorcyclist, and he was ejected from the bike. The motorcycle operator, who has not been identified, was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. No formal charges have been filed, but the Garrett County State's Attorney will determine if there will be charges filed against Hanna.

 

 

UPDATE ON ALLEGANY HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT

 

As had been announced, Total Wrecking and Environmental of Buffalo, New York has been selected to do the demolition work at the site of the new Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Allegany County Board of Education, says the cost of the project, taken from the 2012 Request for Proposals, was set at $36 million. At the time, three items were removed from the project, including an auditorium, a bay of classrooms and playing fields. The savings realized from the demolition work will help in adding the auditorium back into the building plan.

 

 

 

SOME HEALTH INSURANCE REFUNDS DUE

 

Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell have announce that over 200,000 consumers in the state will benefit from $17.2 million in refunds from insurance companies this summer, averaging about $140 per family, because of the Affordable Care Act. The "80/20 Rule, " also known as the Medical Loss Ration rule, requires health insurers to spend at least 80 per cent of premium dollars on patient care and quality improvement activities. If insurers spend more than 20 per cent on profits, marketing and salaries, they owe a refund to consumers.

 

 

COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST HOGAN

 

The Maryland Democratic Party has filed a complaint against Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan, but his campaign says the allegation is "groundless." The charge alleges the campaign violated election law through a grassroots group called "Change Maryland," that Hogan formed. Hogan later bought the group to use for his campaign. Change Maryland conducted a September poll for $10,000 but it was not mentioned on a list of assets purchased by the campaign.

LOCAL NEWS


MAN SENTENCED IN ARSON CASE

Cumberland resident James Flohr entered a guilty plea to a charge of second-degree arson, and was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison yesterday. Flohr had four years of a 12-year sentenced suspended. He was sentenced by Judge Diane Leasure. He will also be placed on five years of supervised probation following his release. Flohr set fire to a mattress in an apartment on Altamont Terrace, following an argument with his girlfriend. The Cumberland Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire, before it caused extensive damage. The Fire Marshal determined the blaze was intentionally set.

 

COUNCIL CANDIDATE DIES AT 53

Fifty-three year old Cumberland City Council candidate Mark Fisher died Wednesday. He was a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and had been the owner/operator of Allegany Inspection Service. Fisher had also been a very active participant in Mayor and Council meetings, and had been a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. He also took part in meetings of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority.

 

PORTION OF CENTRE STREET TO BE CLOSED

Centre Street and westbound Interstate 68's ramp access from northbound Route 51 will be closed, beginning today through Monday. Traffic will be detoured along Queen City Drive to Harrison Street to Centre Street and the westbound I-68 ramp. The temporary closure will allow crews to blast and paint structural steel girders on the I-68 bridge ramps over Centre Street.

 

ENGINE ARRIVES IN CUMBERLAND

Locomotive 1309, which had been transferred from the B & O Museum in Baltimore, arrived in Cumberland yesterday, and will be used by the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and will be used when the "734" is taken in for repairs at the end of next season. The engine will be restored and placed in service. The Scenic Railroad arranged for the transfer from the museum.

 

GROUP AGAIN REQUESTS FUNDING

The Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization is once again asking that a portion of marriage license fees be given to them, to help them with their work of preserving 11 cemeteries in the county. The request has the backing of Delegate LeRoy Myers and the Reverend Alfred Deas of the Metropolitan AME church. President of the CHCO, Ed Taylor, is asking that $5.00 of the marriage license fee be granted to his group.

 

THREE ARRESTED FOR DISTURBING THE PEACE

Three people were arrested for disturbing the peace, after having been warned by Cumberland City Police. Twenty-four year old Victoria Quick, Crystal Frame, and 41-year old Floyd Ferguson had been arguing on Boone Street, and were warned by police. When police had to return, they were taken into custody. All were released, pending trial in District Court.

 

MAN ARRESTED ON ASSAULT CHARGE

Cumberland resident Nathan Herrell has been charged with second degree assault and disorderly conduct, following a call from a concerned citizen. Herrell allegedly was yelling at a 12-year old juvenile,  as they were walking in the 400-block of Park Street. Herrell also allegedly pushed the victim against a wall. Following a hearing in District Court, he was released, pending trial.

 

MINERAL ADDRESSES "DOCK" DAYS

The Mineral County Board of Education expects good attendance from its students, and they are hoping the teachers will follow suit. The issue of "dock days"-or unpaid absences, costs the county thousands of dollars, and the board is revising its policy. It will accept comments from its employees until Monday. Teachers do receive paid leave; the state provides $450,000 for "subs," but the county says it is spending upwards of a million dollars to cover the time off.

 

COMMUNITY EVENT PLANNED FOR FAIRGROUNDS

The United States Department of Defense, in partnership with the Allegany County Health Department and HRDC are conducting an Innovative Readiness Training August 13th through the 21st at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. It's a free medical, dental, and veterinary clinic for are residents and their pets.  Courtney Thomas, executive director of the HRDC, says special units, comprised of highly-skilled doctors, nurses, dentists, and veterinarians will be here to provide needed services to area residents. She commented on the specific services offered. The free event is open to all Allegany and Garrett County, Maryland residents, as well as those in Mineral and Grant County, West Virginia, and Bedford and Somerset counties in Pennsylvania. The demand, Ms. Thomas predicts, will be great, and the best advice is to call, beginning today at get an appointment. The number to call is (301)-783-1775.

 

TEMPLE MEMBERS RETURNING TO B'ER CHAYIM

A rededication service will be held in early November, but members of Temple B'er Chayim will be returning to their temple on August 17th. The first Shabbat service will be held on August 22nd, and the re-dedication weekend will be November 7th through the 9th. Shabbat is the Hebrew word for Sabbath.

 

RESIDENTS ARRESTED IN DRUG BUST

Two Oakland residents were arrested and are now facing drug counts. A traffic stop resulted in the arrest of Oakland resident Vaughn Veryl Winters, who allegedly had cocaine and other drug paraphernalia in his vehicle. A search warrant of his residence at 113 North Eighth Street resulted in the arrest of 48-year old Sheila Gale Hyde. Winters also faces felony firearm possession charges. Winters remains jailed on $50,000 full cash bond; Ms. Hyde is jailed on $20,000 full cash bond.

 

TODDLER DROWNS AT RAYSTOWN LAKE

Thirteen-month old Jamari Malik Benjamin of Lancaster County is the third fatality at Raystown Lake this summer. The child fell off of a boat on Wednesday morning and drowned. Several crews responded to the James Creek Boat Launch; the investigation is being handled by the Huntingdon County Coroner's Office and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Earlier this summer, on man from Duncansville and a woman from Carlisle drowned at the lake.

 

RIDERSHIP UP FOR ALLEGIANT

Ridership is on the upswing for Allegiant Air at the Hagerstown Regional Airport, since the beginning of the year. The carrier offers twice-weekly flights to Daytona Beach and Orlando, Florida. Nearly 18,000 people have come through the airport terminal as departing or arriving passengers.

 

STATE SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES DISCIPLINE GUIDELINES

The Maryland State School Board has voted to send out a set of discipline guidelines, intended to be a model for school systems as they move away from zero-tolerance policies of the past twenty years. The guidelines will provide advice to school systems on how to handle disciplinary issues. The guidelines help determine the severity of punishment in a variety of instances.

LOCAL NEWS


COUPLE FACE ADDITIONAL CHARGES

Joseph Christy and Summer McDaniel have had additional charges filed against them, in the case of the death of their 26-day old infant. Hardy County authorities have filed charges of child neglect resulting in death, concealment of a dead human body, and conspiracy to commit a felony. Both were arrested when they admitted to burying an infant child in the George Washington National Forest in the Wardensville, West Virginia area.

 

FIREFIGHTERS WANT TO INCLUDE PARAMEDICS

 the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1715 is pushing for a plan to include paramedics and other emergency medical workers in the union. Allegany County currently has about 25 emergency medical workers, and with that addition, would expand the IAFF's presence in the area. Cumberland Fire Chief Don Dunn says he believes the inclusion will happen in September.

 

MOUNT SAVAGE FIRE CAUSE DETERMINED

A short, in an electrical outlet which ignited nearby combustibles, has been determined as the cause of a fire on Iron Rail Street in Mount Savage Tuesday afternoon. The house sustained a total of $30,000 in losses to the structure and its contents. The house was owned by Sandy Michaels and occupied by Susan and Kenneth Halcomb. It started in a second-floor bedroom, and took a total of 30 firefighters about 20 minutes to control. The occupants are being assisted by family.

 

ROADWAY UPGRADES IN FROSTBURG

Federal funding of $1.275 million has been granted to the city of Frostburg, to improve Braddock Road. The money, from an Appalachian Regional Commission grant, will be used to widen the road, and to add acceleration and deceleration lanes, and to make the required drainage adjustments. The project, which should create about 40 new jobs in the next four years, was jointly announced by Maryland United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin.

 

POLICE SERVE BENCH WARRANT

Twenty-two year old Cumberland resident Nicholas Kneisley was served with a bench warrant, stemming from a probation violation. Kneisley was placed on probation on an original charge of malicious burning. He was held on $7500 bail, following an appearance in District Court, and taken to the Allegany County Detention Center, pending his next court appearance.

 

KELLY ROAD HIT AND RUN INVESTIGATED

Cumberland City Police are investigating a hit and run in the 600-block of Kelly Road on Tuesday. The victim told police that an unknown vehicle struck the driver's rear side of a 2013 Nissan truck. There are no suspects or witnesses; anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.

 

MAN CITED FOR MISDEMEANOR POSSESSION

Forty-four year old Cumberland resident Eric Leatherman was cited for possession of marijuana under ten grams, following a traffic stop Tuesday evening. Leatherman had allegedly been speeding, and the officer detected an odor of marijuana. A probable cause search was conducted, and a small amount of marijuana was found. He was later released, pending trial in District Court.

 

SPEED LIMIT ON TURNPIKE INCREASED

The speed limit on a section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the eastern and central portions of the state has been raised to 70 miles-per-hour. The increased limit is in effect from the Blue Mountain exit, near Shippensburg, to exit 298 at Morgantown, just south of Reading. The remainder of the Turnpike speed limit is still 65 miles-per-hour.

BERETTA MOVING FACILITY OUT OF MARYLAND

It may be too late, but lawyers for the state are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit against a gun-control law; Beretta USA announced on Tuesday it was moving a production facility from Acoceek, Maryland to Gallatin, Tennessee. Governor Martin O'Malley says he wasn't worried about the announcement. The Governor says Beretta has been threatening to move, and when they did, they'd make a political point of it. Senate President Mike Miller says he wasn't bothered by the decision, even though the factory is in his district. Miller cited a Tennessee law involving handguns. Jeff Reh, a member of the Board of Directors for Beretta, USA says politics was the only consideration for the relocation. He said the company would have been thrilled to stay in Maryland, but cited the anti-gun political climate here. The executive, sales, and marketing and strategy offices are staying in Maryland; only the production facility itself is moving to Gallatin.

 

CHARGES FILED AGAINST WEST VIRGINIA COUPLE

Charges of felony child neglect, resulting in death, were filed against a West Virginia couple Monday. Police say 26-year old Carla Adkins of Ashton and 24 year old Jimmie Edwards of Milton took WIC money to buy infant formula; they then returned the formula for cash, and used the money to buy meth. The 20-month old child, Carson Adkins died in March of last year, after being fed whole milk, which he was too young to receive. He died of severe anemia, based on malnutrition. Both Adkins and Edwards are each being held on $500,000 bail.

 

PROSECUTOR WILL ATTEND INTERVENTION PROGRAM

A West Virginia prosecutor has agreed to attend a 32-week batterers intervention program, after being charged with domestic violence counts. Mark Plants is accused of hitting his 11-year old son more than 10 times with a leather belt in February. He is also accused of violating a domestic-violence protection order, which required him to stay away from his ex-wife and sons. For his part, Plants says he plans to remain as a prosecutor.

LOCAL NEWS


INMATE RECEIVES ADDITIONAL SENTENCE

Twenty-four year old Daniel Gardner, an inmate at the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, had an additional year added to his sentence after entering an Alford Plea in Washington County Circuit Court. Gardner, whose sentences run to 2054, entered the plea to a count of possession of a weapon in prison. The Alford plea acknowledges that the state had sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.

 

EXPLOSIVES FOUND ON GARRETT PROPERTY

TNT and blasting caps, dating to the 1960's, were found at a residence at the Herbert Meyers property  on North Hill Road in Kitzmiller yesterday. The explosives were discovered in a storage area of the residence, and had been used for blasting tree stumps. The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Bomb Squad responded, and disposed of the items.

 

TWO GARRETT COUNTY DRUG ARRESTS

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police made two drug related arrests in about six hours late last week. In the first, Marriottsville, Maryland residents Brittney Nicole Unger and Trent Huor were arrested on Route 39 in Oakland for possession of marijuana and other CDS-related material. The second stop took place in the same area, and resulted in the arrest of Lynchburg, Virginia resident Andrew William Whaley for possession of suspected cocaine.

 

PHAA TO DISCUSS OPEN MEETINGS LAW

The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority is scheduled to meet with its attorney, Roman Rozas III, tomorrow, to discuss open meetings law. The meeting will be held in a closed executive session, and will address whether the PHAA should follow Maryland or West Virginia. At a meeting held last month, the authority had voted to follow Maryland law, but there substantial differences between the two, when addressing the open meetings act.

 

POLICE INVESTIGATE HIT AND RUN

The Cumberland City Police are investigating a hit and run that happened in the 700-block of Park Street on Monday. An unknown vehicle struck the rear passenger bedside of his vehicle, a 2011 Chevy. There are no suspects or witnesses, but anyone who may have information should contact police at (301)-777-1600.

MARTIN'S RECALLS ORGANIC FRUIT

Martin's Food Markets have recalled certain organic peaches, plums, and nectarines, following a potential Listeria contamination. The fruits, from Wawona Packing Company. Customers who bought the fruit between June 1st and July 21st should throw away any unused portions and bring their receipt to Martin's for a full refund. For more information, go to "www.martinsfood.com."

 

CORRIDOR "H" NEARING COMPLETION

The "Road to Nowhere," Corridor "H," should be about three-quarters finished by the end of this year, or the beginning of 2015. Crews are working on a portion of the road from Davis and Thomas, West Virginia, connecting to Mount Storm or Bismarck. United States Senator Robert Byrd provided much of the funding while in office; following his death, the money became more scarce. The Corridor "H" Authority is now looking to the newly-renewed Transportation Trust Fund that was approved through May of next year. Right now, crews are only working on a few miles at a time.

 

STUDENTS EARN A.P. SCHOLAR AWARDS

Eight-five Allegany County public school students have earned Advanced Placement Scholar Awards, in recognition of their exceptional achievement on A.P. exams. The College board's A.P. Program provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to take rigorous  college-level courses while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement or both for successful performance on the A.P. exams. Nearly 20 per cent of the more than 2.1 million students worldwide who took the exams performed at sufficiently high levels to earn an A.P. Scholar Award.

 

PLANS UNDERWAY FOR 2015 FAIR

Believe it or not, planning is already underway for the 2015 edition of the Allegany County Fair and Ag Expo. Manager Kevin Kamauff says that during last week's activities, there were good crowds, even though the weather played a factor several evenings. Kamauff says his staff has the logistics of staging the fair "down to a science," and that they make things work, under all types of conditions. And, he says they have already started the work on next year's event.

 

GOVERNOR MEETS WITH FAITH LEADERS

Governor Martin O'Malley met with Maryland faith leaders Monday to discuss the unaccompanied immigrant children who have been coming across the border from Central America. Topics ranged from how to help reunite children with family already living in the country, to working with the current federal foster care system to help locate facilities for children to stay.

 

STATE GETS WAIVER EXTENSION FOR EVALUATIONS

The United States Department of Education has granted Maryland a one-year extension that will allow it to put off using annual test scores, given in grades three through eight, as part of a teacher's evaluation. It was an expected move, as Maryland legislators had already passed a law prohibiting the use of test scores until the 2016-2017 school year. State School Superintendent Dr. Lillian Lowery says Maryland will have to apply again next year for another extension.

 

HOPKINS TO PAY $190 MILLION IN SETTLEMENT

Johns Hopkins Hospital will pay out $190 million to more than 8,000 women, after a gynecologist secretly used a pen-like camera to record hundreds of videos and photos of his patient's sex organs during pelvic exams. The doctor, Nikita Levy, was fired days after the discovery, and has since committed suicide. The preliminary settlement is one of the largest on record in the United States, involving sexual misconduct by a physician.

LOCAL NEWS


MEYERSDALE RESIDENT KILLED IN SUNDAY CRASH

Meyersdale resident Wayne Krause died in an accident Sunday evening, when he was ejected from an all-terrain vehicle on Sand Spring Road in Summit Township. Krause, who was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, died when his Polaris Explorer ATV was being towed, after he had experienced mechanical problems. The brakes on the Krause vehicle failed, and struck the ATV that was towing him. He was thrown from the vehicle. The Pennsylvania State Police continue to investigate the incident.

 

SOMERSET MAN KILLED BY TRAIN

A Somerset County resident was struck and killed by a freight train in Westmoreland County. Twenty-two year old Christopher Reed of Windber was hit and died early Sunday morning in St. Clair Township. An autopsy was done yesterday. Authorities say Reed had been at a wedding a few hours prior to the incident.

 

TWO HURT IN OAKLAND WRECK

Two people were hurt late last week, when their vehicle went out of control, and into a culvert near the Garrett Highway and Pineview Drive. A car, driven by Sara Coddington of Oakland, with passenger Shawn Gittere went off the road. Both were taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital. Ms. Coddington was cited for driving while her license was suspended.

 

BUSINESS THEFT INVESTIGATED

The theft of cash from the "Wood and Worms" stand in Swanton is being investigated by the Garrett County Sheriff's Office. Approximately $150 were taken from a lock box at the business sometime between July 9th and 10th. Anyone with information should contact the Sheriff's Office at (301)-334-1911.

 

MAN ARRESTED FOR DISORDERLY CONDUCT

Thirty-four year old Cumberland resident James Welsh was arrested, following an early Sunday morning disturbance in the 200-block of Union Street. Welsh was allegedly acting in a belligerent manner towards family members and city police officers outside of the residence. He was repeatedly warned to stop, but failed to comply with the officer's request. He was arrested and taken to police headquarters for processing. He was cited and released, pending trial in Allegany County District Court. Welsh was charged with failure to obey and disturbing the peace.

 

TWO W. VA. SCHOOLS RECEIVE COMMENDATIONS

Two Mineral County Schools-Fountain and Burlington Primary-were recently audited by the West Virginia State Board of Education, and received commendations. However, there are several items to work toward improving during the coming year. At Fountain, some of the non-compliance issues included teachers not using state-mandated content standards and objectives; lowered teacher expectations; and, writing instruction in the classroom was not as frequent as required. At Burlington, the Board noted that the teacher work area and library/media center was too small; and, the counselor's office does not provide privacy.

 

BRIDGE PROJECT BEING COMPLETED

A project to reconstruct a pair of Interstate 70 bridges over Conococheague Creek, west of Hagerstown should be completed by the end of the month. The Maryland State Highway Administration says that, weather permitting, the project will be in its "final configuation" by then.

 

NATIONAL HARBOR CASINO UP FOR VOTE

Prince George's County is set to vote on the building plan for a $925 million MGM Casino at the National Harbor. The vote is considered the final hurdle before construction can begin. The proposal was approved by Maryland voters in a 2012 ballot question, and could open as soon as July, 2016, if the plan receives the necessary approval. It would house 3,600 slot machines and 140 table games.

 

HEALTH AGENCY REDUCES INSPECTIONS

The Maryland Office of Health Care Quality is reducing the number of medical facilities it inspects, due to a staffing shortage. The Office will turn over some of its oversight duties to accrediting organizations, while focusing on inspecting facilities with a history of serious problems. The Office of Health Care Quality oversees more than 14,000 facilities that handle some of the state's most vulnerable residents.

 

MARYLAND POISED TO CASH IN ON WIND

The water is waiting for wind power development, with a new report from the National Wildlife Federation showing that, while a handful of offshore wind projects are well on their way, there are still thousands of acres of Atlantic waters available. Report author Catherine Bowes is calling it a "golden opportunity" and points out that Maryland is ahead of many states. An auction next month of the state's Wind Energy Area will see bids from at least 16 companies. Bowes adds that all Atlantic Coast states need to set policies in order to push the turbines into the water, such as renewable energy standards.

 

MONEY RELEASED FOR W. VA. WATER PROJECTS

Watershed management projects for four West Virginia communities will receive just over $14 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service assistance program. Among the projects are one in the Potomac-New Creek-Whites Run area. The announcement was made by United States Senator Joe Manchin.

 

WVU PLAYER ARRESTED ON WARRANT

West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood is being charged with a felony count of "active intimidation to prevent a victim or witness from causing a complaint." He is accused of trying to intimidate a witness in the murder case of his friend, Zakee Lloyd, who is charged with the first-degree murder of 51-year old Manuel Oliveras of Wilmington, Delaware. Smallwood is free, after posting $40,000 secured bail. There's no word on his status with the WVU football team.

LOCAL NEWS


VETERAN GUILTY OF ATTEMPTED MURDER

 

Iraq war veteran Chris Fleming of Capon Bridge, West Virginia was found guilty of 14 of 15 charges brought against him, in connection with a shooting incident two years ago in Hampshire County. Fleming will be sentenced on September 17th for firing off at least 30 rounds in three different locations, ending in his surrender on Christian Church Road. Until his sentencing, he will be lodged in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.

 

 

I-68 CLOSED FOR TWO HOURS SATURDAY MORNING

 

Interstate 68 was closed for about two hours Saturday morning, when a Cumberland City Police cruiser became involved in an accident near the Johnson Street exit. The officer was investigating an earlier accident, when he hit a patch of diesel fuel, and lost control of the car. It struck the center median wall. The officer was taken to the hospital for treatment. The Maryland State Highway Administration responded to treat the diesel spill.

 

 

HIKER-BIKER PATH BUILT ALONG ROUTE 51

 

The State Highway Administration has partnered with the National Park Service to design a new, shared-use path along the south side of Route 51, between the tow path and the Potomac River Bridge. Hikers and bikers will now have a safer way to access the Oldtown Road Bridge over the river. The 1700 foot-long, 10-foot wide shared-use path is being constructed as part of a resurfacing project on Route 51, and should be completed by October.

 

 

MARYLAND MORTGAGE PROGRAM DROPS RATE

 

The Maryland Mortgage Program is dropping its rates by a quarter per cent for two months in Western Maryland to entice potential home buyers. Any program loans, reserved before September 10th, will be eligible for the reduced rate. A 30-year, fixed rate mortgage is now 3.75 per cent, rather than 4 per cent for first-time home buyers, and are in effect in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties.

 

 

GRANTS ANNOUNCED FOR W. VA. FIRE DEPARTMENS

 

Both the Burlington and Ridgeley Volunteer Fire Departments will receive grants through the federal Assistance to Firefighters grant program. Burlington will use nearly $90,000 in grant money to buy 14 self-contained breathing apparatus units. Ridgeley will use its portion of the grant, nearly $38,000 for purchasing hand tools, saws, ropes and self-contained breather apparatus units.

 

 

COMMISSIONERS AWAITING WORD FROM STATE DEPARTMENT

 

The Mineral County Commissioners continue to await word from the State Department on the circuit court's license to issue passports, and whether that will be re-activated. A growing work load and the loss of two employees forced Mineral County to discontinue accepting passport applications in March of last year. Since then, the county clerk's office has offered to be the passport agency in the county. The federal office in Philadelphia has informed Mineral County that its license to issue passports has expired, and that issuing passports must be handled by the circuit court office.

 

 

"UNITY BREAKFAST" HELD FOR DEMOCRATS

 

Democrats, who had opposed one another in the June 24th primary election, came together last week at what was being called a "Unity Breakfast." Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, the Democratic nominee for Governor, noted that there is "more that unites us, rather than divides us." And, he says Democrats ultimately share the same values.

Attorney General Doug Gansler,also a Democratic contender for Governor in the primary, says it's time to put the past behind them, and says the Democrats have a good team around the state.

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Lt. Governor Brown's running mate in November, echoed his running mate's remarks, noting the Democrats have had a spirited, passionate conversation on the issues over the past year.

 

 

 

MARYLAND JOBLESS RATE RISES

 

The state of Maryland added 7700 jobs last month, but lost 6800 in the process, causing the unemployment rate to rise from 5.6 per cent in May to 5.8 per cent in June. Labor Secretary Leonard Howie attributes the trend to the end of the school year. Both the leisure and hospitality industries showed the strongest gains in June. Labor experts, however,  say they expect the state's labor market to remain steady.

 

 

TEACHER ARRESTED FOR SOLICITING STUDENT

 

Elkins High School teacher Donald Johnson is in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $75,000 bond, after allegedly soliciting a 16-year old girl on a computer. Johnson is accused of exchanging explicit  cell phone calls and text messages with a student. The victim also said Johnson asked her to send inappropriate photos. Steps to protect the safety of the student have been taken.

 

 

FOOD DESTINATION MAP INTRODUCED

 

The Appalachian Regional Commission has introduced a map of 283 food destinations in West Virginia, Maryland, and 10 other states. The locations, from New York to Mississippi include restaurants, markets, farms and fairs. The ARC is promoting the food economy of the 12-state region to address job declines in several industries, such as mining, chemical, and forestry.

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