Five Charged in Sacred Heart Break-In
Five people-two adults and three juveniles were arrested in connection with last week's breaking and entering of the former Sacred Heart hospital building on Seton Drive. John Michael-Fraley and Jonathan Edward Urgiles and three 17-year olds were taken into custody. The Sacred Heart site, owned by the Allegany County Board of Education, is the site of the future Allegany High School. The five removed a single fire extinguisher and several other miscellaneous items. They are being charged with second-degree burglary, theft and destruction of property.
EPA Approves Route 219 Expansion
The Environmental Protection Agency has informed the Army Corps of Engineers it would not seek a higher review of the improvement and expansion of Route 219. This means the Army Corps will issue the final permit needed before construction can begin. Construction, for now, will expand Route 219 between Somerset and Meyersdale; the ultimate plan is to extend the roadway into Maryland and New York. The project has been 42 years in the making.
Potential Skydiving Business for Cumberland Airport
A Garrett County man, who operates a skydiving business in Garrett County, wants to explore the possibility of a similar business at the Greater Cumberland Municipal Airport. Neil Porter received his training while serving in the U.S. Army and was in business in Colorado for 10 years. Porter cited the Cumberland airport as having "a good landing area, great weather, field trucks and maintenance." He presented his idea at a recent meeting of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, and it was decided that, pending legal review, the business would be accepted at the airport, according to the Mineral News-Tribune.
Excess Funds Devoted to Employees, Vehicle Purchases
The city of Keyser's finances are better than expected and that excess will be devoted to its employees, and for the purchase of vehicles for the police and street departments. One of those expenditures will be a $100 clothing allowance for each of the city's 40 employees. Earlier this year, a 30-cent across the board pay increase was approved for employees as well.
Bedford Woman Arrested in Disturbance
Nineteen year old Mary Delisle of Bedford was released on her own recognizance, following a disturbance complaint in the vicinity of Seymour and Third Streets Monday evening. She was accused of acting in a disorderly manner and yelling at other individuals, including the officers. She failed to comply with their requests, and was taken into custody. She was charged with failure to obey a lawful order, disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct.
Georgia Man Arrested in Gun Incident
A thirty-seven year old Monroe, Georgia man was arrested in the parking lot of a local pizza shop in Garrett County Monday evening. James T. Cleveland allegedly brandished a .22-calibre semi-automatic pistol during an altercation with other individuals. The gun was recovered and Cleveland was placed under arrest.
Air Conditioner Stolen from Residence
The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating the theft of an air conditioner from a private residence in the 12000-block of Friendsville Road. The theft occurred either last Wednesday or Thursday. Anyone with information is asked to contact the McHenry barrack at (301)-387-1101.
Sobriety Checkpoint Set for Friday Night, Saturday Morning
The West Virginia State Police will conduct a sobriety checkpoint from Friday night at 8 p.m. until Saturday morning at 2 a.m. It will be in Mineral County, along Route 220, south of Keyser. The Governor's Highway Safety Program, in conjunction with the West Virginia State Police, will conduct events and patrols concentrating on the arrest of intoxicated drivers.
West Virginia Granted Waiver
The West Virginia Board of Education has received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education on a proposal seeking flexibility under the No Child Left Behind Act. The waiver frees the state's public schools, and allows them to focus on achievement and improvement, so that all students can be prepared for college and career success. The state board of education has identified 32 low-performing schools across the state as priority schools, making them eligible for extra funds and resources.
Rocky Gap Opening Tomorrow
The Rocky Gap Casino officially opens tomorrow, offering 558 slot machines and 10 table games in converted conference space at the Rocky Gap Lodge. A "test run" of sorts was completed yesterday; Rocky Gap will be Maryland's fourth casino, and will add 250 jobs. Private bondholders agreed to write off about $26 million to help Lakes Entertainment buy the resort for about $10 million. The lodge and golf course incurred an operating loss of $4.3 million in 2011.
Foreman Enters Guilty Plea
John Shingler, foreman for the town of Piedmont, has pleaded guilty to a charge of conversion of government property in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg. Shingler represented the town of Piedmont when he obtained six surplus travel trailers from the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property in 2009. Shingler claimed the property was being obtained for use by the city; the trailers were to be used for specific purposes, but were instead claimed by private citizens who paid for them. The value of the trailers was placed at $111,000. Shingler is facing a prison term of up to ten years and a fine of up to $250,000. He may also be ordered by the court to make restitution.
Garrett County Fire Determined to be Arson
A Sunday morning fire on Sanders Lane in Garrett County was deliberately set, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. There were no injuries, and damages totaled $70,000. The origin of the fire was inside the home and was discovered by the owner, Ashley Spady. Along with several fire companies, both the Garrett County Sheriff's Office and Potomac Edison responded. Anyone with information is asked to contact the fire marshal's office at (301)-766-3888.
Teen Victim Identified
Fifteen year old Kaleb John Rightenour has been identified as the victim of last Saturday's crash, involving his all-terrain vehicle at the Bedford County dirt track near New Enterprise. Rightenour, of Martinsburg, Pennsylvania was a sophomore at Northern Bedford High School, and was enrolled in the school's welding and technical program. His death was the first in 30 years at the track. President of the Blair-Bedford Dirt Drags, Bill Ickes, says he is devastated by Saturday's events. Grief counselors and local ministers are being made available to the students at his school.
Ridgeley Woman Jailed on $2500 Bond
Thirty-five year old Ridgeley resident Crystal Smith was jailed on $2500 bond, following an incident on Maryland Street in Keyser. She was charged with domestic assault for threatening to slam her two-week old baby onto the sidewalk, if the child's father did not come out of his residence to talk to her. She was additionally charged with domestic battery for grabbing the father during the incident. He was given temporary custody of the child, and was also granted a temporary restraining order against Ms. Smith, which, in effect, bars her from regaining custody.
Man Charged With Malicious Burning
A nineteen-year old Cumberland man was arrested and faces a number of charges in connection with an incident in the vicinity of the Sunshine Laundry at Greene and Chase Streets. Patrick Norman Younger was arrested on Allegany Street. He is accused of setting a trash can on fire at 20 Chase Street. He was positively identified by a witness, was arrested and held on $2500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Domestic Dispute Results in Arrest
A Grantsville man was taken into custody and charged, in connection with a domestic incident Sunday evening on Castle Ridge Road in Grantsville. Maryland State Police determined that a domestic assault occurred between Stephen Wilt and hit live-in girlfriend, Sherry Lynny Fike. It was also learned that Wilt had also assaulted Brady Lynn Fike, who resides with the suspect. Wilt was charged with second-degree domestic assault. He was taken to a Garrett County Court Commissioner for a bond hearing.
Service Interruption Planned in Hampshire County Area
Potomac Edison is planning a service interruption tomorrow from 9:30 to 12 noon in the Hampshire County area. Crews will be working on lines, beginning at the Verizon Building in Burlington to Russeldale Road and down Williamsport Road to the Hampshire County Line.
Shooting Reported in Meyersdale
The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a shooting incident on Broadway Street in Meyersdale Borough Sunday evening. The original call was for a domestic dispute; on e person was taken to Conemaugh Meyersdale Medical Center for treatment. It is not known if the gunshot wound was self-inflicted.
Head of State Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Leaving
A 26-year veteran of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is leaving for a federal job. The head of the unit, Jesse Ballard, is going to work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. DPSCS handles investigations of inmates, detainees, employees and others. The Department has recently come under fire after a federal indictment, charging 25 people in a contraband conspiracy was handed down. The indictment included 13 correctional officers.
Bedford Racer Dies of Injuries
A 15-year old Bedford County racer died Saturday night at the Bedford County Dirt Racers Dirt drags. The incident took place when the racer lost control of the quad racer; it struck a tire barrier on the side of the track, causing the machine to flip. The driver was thrown from the vehicle, and struck a light pole. The operator died when medical personnel were attempting to treat the injuries. The investigation from the Pennsylvania State Police is continuing.
Sections of Bridge To Close This Week
The State Highway Administration is closing a section under the Crosstown Bridge, beginning today, as work continues to repair, clean and paint the more than half-mile bridge over the city. The parking area under the bridge between Queen City Drive and South Centre Street will close; this is a permit-only parking area, and is operated by the city of Cumberland. Permit holders will be directed to another nearby parking area. Beginning Saturday, June 1st, the parking area under the bridge, between South Johnson Street and Bridge Street, west of Wills Creek, will also close. Both sections will be closed for several months.
C3I Investigating Breaking and Entering
The C3I unit is investigating the breaking and entering and theft from the former Sacred Heart Hospital building on Seton Drive which is currently owned by the Allegany County Board of Education. Unknown suspects had broken a window to gain entry to the building. Video surveillance led to the identity of the four. They removed a single fire extinguisher and several other miscellaneous items. Criminal charges will be filed.
Cumberland Man Charged with Burglary
Thirty-year old Cumberland resident Jason Robert Edwards was charged with burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property, following an incident early yesterday morning. Edwards allegedly threw something through the window of a West Second Street residence, and forced his way through a door. He also allegedly assaulted several people inside. He was charged and was awaiting an initial appearance in District Court.
Mc Coole Fire Protection Meeting Set
The Allegany County Emergency Services Board will have a public meeting on Wednesday, June 5th at 7 p.m., to discuss fire protection services in the McCoole area. Input is being sought from community members and the general public on the subject. The meeting will be held at the McCoole Cornerstone Ministries Church, on Queens Point Road.
Two Charged with Marijuana Growing Operation
Two Somerset, Pennsylvania residents were charged, after State Police found more than two dozen marijuana plants in Jenner Township. Twenty-one year old Johnathan Barr and Mary Elizabeth Beeman of Somerset were taken into custody. They were arrested after Somerset police came to their apartment to investigate a domestic incident with the pair. They volunteered information about a larger marijuana growing operation in Somerset County, and that information was passed on to State Police.
Maryland Tax Court Misses Deadlines
The Maryland Office of Legislative audits says that the Maryland Tax Court failed more than 40 per cent of the time to resolve homeowners' appeals of property tax assessments within 90-days of filing, as required by state law. The Tax Court missed the deadline by a month or more in 293 cases, or 41 per cent of the 720 appeals filed. They appeals were either filed or heard between July 1, 2010 and February 20th of this year. A prior audit showed a 62 per cent failure rate.
AccuWeather Predicts Active Hurricane Season
AccuWeather.com is predicting at least three hurricanes will make landfall in the U.S. this season, as opposed to four in 2012. Meteorologists are calling for 16 tropical storms, with four of those possibly developing into major hurricanes. An average year sees 12 tropical storms, 6 hurricanes, three of which a major hurricanes, and two storms that make landfall.
Attorney Sentenced for Defrauding West Virginia
An attorney from Belington, West Virginia was sentenced to 12 months and one day imprisonment for bill the state for services she did not perform. Lisa Weese, who had been a panel attorney in the circuit court of Barbour, Randolph, Tucker and Taylor counties billed the state for over $159,000, and will have to make restitution. She will self-report to a designated federal institution. The case was investigated by the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations.
Governor Signs Several Bills
Governor Martin O'Malley signed several bills yesterday, including one of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. The National Rifle Association and other opponents say they will immediately challenge that measure, which takes effect October 1st, in court. O'Malley also signed the first gas tax increase in 20 years. And, using a handheld cellphone to talk or text will be considered a primary offense, after October 1st. The first offense would be punishable by a fine of up to $75; fines increase up to $175 for a third offense.
DNR Boat Sinks At Deep Creek Lake
There won't be too many details until a report is filed, but a Department of Natural Resources boat sunk yesterday afternoon at Deep Creek Lake. The DNR boat was unmanned at the time, and it was brought to the surface with air bags. The 24-foot Ottercraft is a work boat and is able to lift heavy loads. Two staff members were in a boating accident, but no other information will be provided until the report is finished.
Second Case of Rabies In Garrett County
There has been a second case of laboratory-confirmed rabies in Garrett County. The case involved a goat in the southern area of Garrett County. The animal became ill, and died on Monday, May 6th. It tested positive for rabies; a total of seven peopled initiated post-exposure treatment for the virus, and an additional goat was vaccinated against rabies, and will be watched closely for six months.
Three Personnel Changes for County Schools
The new school year will see two new principals and a new chief academic officer for the coming year. Scott Sisler will replace Steve Wilson as principal at South Penn Elementary School. Candy Canan will become principal at the Center for Career and Technical Education. Kim Green has been named the chief academic officer for the school year. The appointments are effective July 1st.
Man Arrested After Forcing His Way Into Home
Twenty-year old Keyser resident Matthew Ryan O'Reilly was arrested after forcing his way into a home...the home of Mineral County Sheriff Jeremy Taylor. O'Reilly thought he was at his uncle's house; Sheriff Taylor's wife was able to call her husband to report the incident. O'Reilly had admitted to using about a gram of crystal methamphetamine earlier in the day. He is being held in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $10,000 bond.
State Police Seek Man In Connection to March Incident
The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is attempting to locate Brian Keith DeBerry. He is wanted in connection with a March 9th incident on Teaberry Lane in Accident. DeBerry is wanted on an arrest warrant, charging him with second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property charges. He may be in the Oakland, Maryland or Terra Alta or Fairmont, West Virginia areas. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police at (301)-387-1101.
Man Held Without Bond
A 27-year old Mount Savage man is being held without bond, following his arrest on Wednesday. Andrew Wade Ridgeley is charged with the fraudulent use of a credit card last February 13th and February 14th. He is charged with I.D. theft and 7 counts of illegal use of a credit card.
Baltimore Man Charged with Unauthorized Use
Baltimore resident Rodricus Marquees Wilkes is being charged in Cumberland with driving a vehicle without the owner's consent and unauthorized removal of property. The incident occurred earlier this week, when the victim lent Wilkes a car, but failed to return it after several hours. The victim could not get in touch with him, and enlisted the help of the Cumberland City Police. After his appearance in District Court, Wilkes was released on personal recognizance.
O'Malley, O'Reilly Battle It Out
It seems to be a war of words between Governor Martin O'Malley and talk show host Bill O'Reilly, when it comes to the corruption that has been uncovered in Maryland's jails. O'Reilly has referred to Corrections Secretary Gary Maynard as a, quote, "moron." O'Malley says he has no desire to fire Maynard. Meanwhile, Tavon White, who federal authorities call a gang kingpin, has complained about conditions in Cumberland, where he is being held, following his transfer from Baltimore.
Fewer West Virginians Seeking Unemployment Benefits
The state of West Virginia's unemployment rate declined four-tenths of a percentage point to 6.6 per cent in April, and this is the lowest rate in four years. The number of unemployed residents fell 2600 to 53,500. Trade, transportation, and utilities and other services added 200 jobs, while educational and health services showed the largest unemployment declines at 800.
Man To Stand Trial in Fatal Shooting of Sheriff
An October 21st trial date has been set for 37-year old Tennis Maynard, who is accused of fatally shooting Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum on April 3rd. Maynard pleaded not guilty to the charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and felony fleeing a police officer during Wednesday's arraignment hearing in Cabell County. A bond hearing has been set for June 17th in Huntington.
Myers Won't Seek Re-Election
Delegate LeRoy Myers has decided he will not seek re-election to the Maryland General Assembly next year. Myers, who represents parts of both Allegany and Washington Counties, says that while there was no single motivating factor in his decision, he is frustrated by the political dynamics in Annapolis. Myers was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2002, when he defeated then-Speaker of the House, Casper Taylor in a close race.
Keyser Man Indicted for Setting House on Fire
Forty-four year old Keyser resident Robert Lee Suter, who was charged with allegedly setting his Sunnydale Addition house on fire, has been indicted by the Mineral County Grand Jury. Suter was charged with first and third-degree arson and destruction of property. Suter allegedly ignited items in the garage of the home, and the fire spread to the home, reportedly occupied by his wife, Barbara Suter.
Woman Sentenced in Fatal Reckless Endangerment Case
Forty-one year old Everett resident Susan Bonner has been sentenced to three weeks to a year in jail, for allowing her son to carry a handgun used during a fatal game of Russian roulette. She pleaded guilty in March to reckless endangerment. Her son took a gun to a friend's house and left it in a drawer. The friend got the gun and shot a third boy, 15-year old Neal Hammond, in July of 2012. Hammond died the next morning at a Johnstown-area hospital. The charges against the shooter were resolved in juvenile court. District Attorney William Higgins said Ms. Bonner was remorseful throughout the case.
Coburn Wins Eighth Term as Coney Mayor
Jack Coburn, running unopposed and garnering 96 votes, was elected to an 8th term as Mayor of Lonaconing. Four council seats will be filled by Mark Greenwald, Eric Wilkinson, Warren Foote and Danny Sloan, Jr. David Kidwell received 49 votes and two other incumbent council members chose not to run for another term.
First United Bank Closing Branch
First United Bank Corporation plans to close its Frostburg Community Office on New Georges Creek road as of August 30th. A lack of growth, to remain viable in the market, was given as one of the main factors in deciding to close the facility. There will be no loss of jobs, as employees will remain part of the organization. The corporation is also planning to make the transition as smooth as possible by offering workshops on use of internet banking, mobile and text banking eStatements and direct deposit services.
Warrants Served on Cumberland Man
The Cumberland City Police served four District Court bench warrants on 20-year old Matthew Jason Swick, and total bail was set at $26,500. He was served with warrants for failure to appear on an original charge of fraud; one of theft of less than $1,000; and, failure to appear to answer charges of assault, and a violation of probation count.
Woman Refuses to Leave Hospital, and Is Arrested
A 24-year old Cumberland woman, Corrina Louise Reeder was arested and charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct, following an incident at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on Tuesday. She had been a patient at the hospital, and refused to leave after being discharged. Officers escorted her from the premises, but observed her commit an assault and act in a disorderly manner. She was held on $2,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Ridgeley Mayor Indicted
Ridgeley Mayor Jim Twigg has been indicted by a Mineral County Grand Jury, on eight felony counts of fraudulent or unauthorized use of a government-issued purchase card. Twigg allegedly charged over $400 to the card; the Mayor, for his part, claims the town has been reimbursed for the expenses. He was unaware of the indictment, prior to a meeting of town officials last night. The charges were made during travel, on behalf of the town. Twigg could be removed from office, if found guilty.
School Board May Be Minimally Funded
The Allegany County Board of Education could be, for the first time ever, funded at the lowest possible level, as required by state law. A draft budget from the county recommends $29.8 million for the fiscal year; the board had requested $31 million. The board has been cut by nearly $11 million in state funding in the past four years. The state is expected to fvund the board $74.7 million, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
Accident Involving ACPS Bus
An Allegany County Public School bus, en route to Allegany High School, was involved in a minor traffic accident. The bus was turning left, off of Cumberland Street, when the back end hit an unoccupied, parked vehicle. There was only one student on the bus at the time, and no injuries. ACPS administrators, as well as law enforcement officers responded to the scene. The parents of the student on the bus were notified, and the school nurse examined the student as a precaution. No replacement bus was necessary.
Route 219 Southern Link Best Use of Funds
Completing the southern link of U.S. Route 219 is the best use of Pennsylvania Appalachian Development Highway System Funds. There is no section of the Appalachian system that is as far along as Route 219. Of a total of $500 million in ADHS funds, $305 million is promised for the completion of the 12-mile stretch of U.S. Route 219 from Somerset to Meyersdale. The balance of the money could be used for the final leg of Route 219 in Pennsylvania, from Meyersdale to the Maryland line and Interstate 68.
Judge to Address Mini-Marina Request
Oakland Judge Jim Sherbin will reconsider a request to establish a mini-marina at the Lakeside Creamery, and a decision is expected by June 1st. Business owner Bill Meagher has made the request for the mini-marina, but it's been determined that his property did not meet the minimum total lot or land area per use of 10,000 square feet in the ordinance, and instead a permit was based on a minimum land area of 6,000 square feet, according to the Cumberland Times-News. Attorney Greg Skidmore has requested Meagher repeat the zoning process.
West Virginia PSC Approves Second Rate Hike
The West Virginia Public Service Commission has approved a second utility rate increase for Keyser, authorizing a 15-per cent sewer rate hike to pay for a $2.6 million sewer upgrade in the Hawthorne Heights neighborhood. The Mineral News-Tribune notes the increase will also affect residents of New Creek and McCoole, Maryland, whose sewer systems feed into Keyser's. However, New Creek residents will see an 8 per cent increase, while McCoole's will be 7 per cent.
Charges Pending in Accident
Charges are pending against a driver who hit a telephone pole on Cumberland Street early Monday morning. The car then overturned onto its roof. Traci Glotfelty was extracted from the car, after she hit the pole, and her vehicle overturned after striking the front porch steps at 216 Cumberland Street. Two streets signs were also damaged; Allegheny Power was notified and later responded to assist with the damage caused to the light pole. Her vehicle was towed from the scene.
Nemacolin Plans Summer Opening
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort plans to open the "Lady Luck" casino in early July, featuring 600 slot machines and 28 table games. General Manager Rich Laudon says they are hoping to attract customers from the Uniontown, Pennsylvania and Morgantown, West Virginia areas. The casino is in the process of hiring employees, with Laudon noting he has been pleased with the quality of the applicants for the positions.
Housing Workshop Set for May 21st
A free housing workshop is set for next Tuesday, for residents of Hampshire, Grant, Hardy, Pendleton, and Mineral Counties. The Region 8 Planning and Development Council and the West Virginia Housing Development fund are co-sponsoring the workshop, which is being held for those interested in purchasing a home, but afraid to take the first step. The workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mineral County Health Department in Keyser. To register, call (304)-257-2448.
Former Sheriff Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison
Former Jefferson County Sheriff Robert Shirley was taken into custody, and will spend the next year in federal prison for his role in the 2010 beating of a bank robber, following a high-speed chase. Shirley had requested he report to a federal facility on his own, but that was denied. He will also have to pay over $1800 to the victim, convicted bank robber Mark Daniel Haines. Shirley will also be on probation for 18 months following his release. Haines had also been incarcerated at the Allegany County Detention Center some time ago.
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