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LOCAL NEWS


MAN INDICTED IN ALLEGANY HIGH INCIDENT

Cumberland resident Brandon Simpson has been indicted in connection with an incident at Allegany High School earlier this month. Simpson disrupted band practice there by yelling and cursing, and, at one point brandishing a knife. Staff members directed the band to exit the athletic field, and one of the staff took a picture of the suspect. It was determined the staff members were placed in danger by his actions. He faces numerous charges, including assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.

 

"SAFE STREETS OPERATION" NETS 28 ARRESTS

The arrest warrant initiative, known as "Operation Safe Streets," has resulted in 28 arrests over a week. Several of those were taken into custody for failure to appear in court, violation of probation, failure to pay child support. There was one suspect, who was a fugitive from Pennsylvania, who was arrested for violation of probation. The operation was conducted by the Cumberland City Police and members of the Allegany County Sheriff's Department.

 

OUTAGE AFFECTS 2,000 CUSTOMERS

A power outage yesterday morning affected about 2,000 customers in lower LaVale. The outage, reported around 8:15, brought out Potomac Edison personnel, and disrupted power at Parkside Elementary and Cash Valley Elementary Schools. Power was restored about an hour later. Customers in the lower LaVale area and parts of the Haystack Mountain area were affected.

 

BASIN AT CANAL PLACE EMPTIED BY PUMP FAILURE

Two pumps have failed at Canal Place, causing the basin to drain, with vegetation taking over the water that is still there. The National Park Service and Canal Place officials are evaluating the situation, and will check the pumps and pipes for leaks, in an effort to restore the attraction. It may take some time to repair the pumps and pipes.

 

CASINO COMPANY LOOKS AT OPTIONS

Lakes Entertainment, owner of Rocky Gap Casino Resort, has hired a financial advisor on what they are calling "strategic alternatives." Macquarie Capital, based in Australia, will help the owners look at a variety of options for the company's future, including "potential acquisitions, joint ventures, and recapitalization." And, while that may sound vague, that is all the company is willing to say about future intentions.

 

ROUTE 219 EXPANSION PROJECT CONTINUES

It's been a year since ground was broken for the Route 219 expansion project in Somerset County. The project is making major headway, in that about four million cubic yards of earth has been moved; of the $110 million set aside for the project, about $41 million has been spent. The project will result in the paving of another 11-1/2 miles from Route 219 in Somerset to the Meyersdale bypass. The project should be completed by October of 2017.

 

ROOFER DIES AS THE RESULT OF HEAD INJURIES

An Everett, Pennsylvania man who had fallen off of a roof in Somerset County earlier this month, has died. Thirty-year old Gregory Beckett died as the result of a severe head injury. He had been working on a roof in Davidsville, when he lost his footing and fell to the ground. He was taken to the Somerset County Memorial Medical Center.

 

WOMAN ARRESTED IN DOMESTIC ASSAULT INCIDENT

Thirty-nine year old Cumberland resident Arika McMillan was charged with a count of second-degree assault, following an incident in the 200-block of Gay Street Wednesday evening. She had been arguing with a resident there, when it then turned physical. The victim sustained minor injuries that did not require medical attention, but she was arrested and taken for an initial appearance in District Court. She was released on personal recognizance.

 

HEARING ON KEYSER ANNEXATION SET

The Mineral County Commission has scheduled a public meeting on annexing just over 90 acres of land in the south end of town. The meeting will be held on September 23rd at 6:30 p.m. A West Virginia state regulation states the county may approve "minor boundary adjustments" without the city taking the proposal to the public for a vote. Commissioner Richard Lechliter says the city of Keyser's petition was "deficient in two areas," but did not say what those were. Additonal information should be submitted on the annexation by next Friday.

 

DEPUTY ARRESTS SUSPENDED DRIVER

The Allegany County Sheriff's Department arrested a driver, whose license was suspended. A traffic stop on McMullen Highway resulted in the arrest of Charles Trent Thomas of LaVale. He was taken to a District Court Commissioner and later released on his own recognizance.

 

MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION MAY MISS DEADLINE

The final regulations from Maryland's Medical Marijuana Commission are due in less than three weeks, but a public hearing held this week in Annapolis, was the group's first. Panel members were told the proposed rules are too burdensome and too vague for the program to work; advocates for medical marijuana say the rules and regulations could cause months of setbacks to a program that has already been delayed.

 

CONSERVATION CORPS BEGINS WORK

Thirty-two young people began work this week, volunteering for a year under the 2015 Chesapeake Conservation Corps program. More than 100 had applied for the position, where they will work with organizations on environmental projects that benefit the Chesapeake Bay. The trust's executive director Jana Davis says the experience is coveted, whether participants recently graduated from high school or college.

 

JUVENILE JUSTICE STUDY UNDERWAY

While West Virginia nearly doubled the rate at which youths were sent to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, there have been decreases, nationwide, in that practice. The West Virginia Intergovernmental Task Force is working with Pew Charitable Trusts to recommend improvements to the juvenile justice system, and will issue a report by December. The panel will draw from best practices from other states.

 

POSSIBLE FRAUD UNCOVERED BY AUDIT

"Additional instances of possible fraud or abuse" have been found during the final 18 months of former state Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass' tenure. The Department of Agriculture released an audit, which included questionable spending of nearly $662,000 of federal stimulus money in June of 2011 to install new refrigeration units at the Inwood Farmer's Market in Berkeley County. Auditors say it was a bad investment, in that the market lost an average of $100,000 per year for six years in a row.

LOCAL NEWS


RIVER ACCESS DISCUSSED

Officials from several agencies were on hand for a meeting yesterday, in which boater access to the Potomac River was discussed. Representatives from the National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DNR, and other local officials discussed the possibility of an approach site, with the DNR objecting to the proposed site near the Merling Building on Beall Street. Lisa Gutierrez of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources says her group has concerns over safety issues. For his part, local businessman George Merling says he could have a site up and running within two months.

 

ESCAPEE SENTENCED IN GARRETT CASE

Washington, D.C. resident DeAndre Kelly has been sntenced to 19 years in prison in connection to a Garrett County case from 2011. Kelly was sentenced on charges of possession with intent to distribute narcotics, escape and for carrying and using a firearm in the relation to a drug trafficking crime. Following his release, he will be on five years of supervised probation.

 

COUNTY COULD HIRE VETERANS' "OMBUDSMAN"

Allegany County could adopt a program, similar to one in Carroll County, that would help veterans work through paperwork and bureaucracy to receive the benefits to which they are entitled. Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay called the potential position a "veteran's ombudsman," and would be a part-time, two-day-per-week position.

 

SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MAN LAST SEEN IN LAVALE

The search is continuing for a Gaithersburg man, who was last seen at the Super 8 Motel on National Highway in LaVale. Fifty-four year old Martin Rogers, a scientist with the National Institute of Health, was last seen August 22nd. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information, leading to his whereabouts.

 

MAN CHARGED IN SOMERSET STABBING

Nineteen-year old Anthony Tyler Campbell of Somerset County has been charged with attempted homicide, after he allegedly stabbed another man four times in the face on August 15th. Campbell was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment, along with counts of burglary, terroristic threats, and reckless endangerment.

 

DRUG COUNTS AGAINST TWO PITTSBURGH AREA MEN

Felony drug charges have been brought in Somerset County against two Allegheny County residents. Twenty-year old Darrell Jeffrey Mar or Verona, and Daleron Kameron Stewart of Wilkinsburg are charged with selling heroin and conspiring to distribute crack cocaine in Somerset.

 

NEARLY ONE-THIRD PARTICIPATE IN RECYCLING

About 30 per cent of households are participating in curbside recycling, according to a recent survey by Burgmeier's Hauling, Incorporated. Recycling is done on about 6 to 9 tons of co-mingled materials per week and four tons of paper per week, and Cumberland is on track to keep 61 tons of recycling out of the landfill by the end of this month. Recycling occurs on the first trash day of each week, running on an alternating week schedule of co-mingled products one week and mixed papers the following week.

 

SUMMONS SERVED ON CUMBERLAND RESIDENT

A criminal summons was served on 34-year old Timothy Adam Spiker of Cumberland. A private citizen applied for charges at District Court, and charges him with a fourth-degree sex offense.

 

MAN CHARGED IN DISTURBANCE

Cumberland resident Thomas Michael Marvin has been charged with possession of a sawed-off shotgun, stemming from a disturbance in mid-August. The incident happened in the 500-block of Hill Street; during the investigation, it was learned he had the weapon. The summons was issued after charges were filed in District Court.

 

MRHS "MEET THE SQUAD" NIGHT

Mountain Ridge High School will host its annual "Meet the Squad" night on Tuesday, September 2nd at 7 p.m. in the stadium. In the event of bad weather, the program will be moved into the main gym. Members of the fall athletic teams will be introduced, and there will be performances by the Diamonds, the cheerleaders, the band, and the color guard. There is no admission charge for the event.

 

SUBPOENAS ISSED IN HEALTH EXCHANGE INVESTIGATION

A federal audit of Maryland's flawed health care exchange website has developed into what is being called a "full blown investigation." Representative Andy Harris, Maryland's sole Republican Congressman, says the subpoenas have been issued to unknown people involved in the probe. He says he doesn't know if some people are not forthcoming with information, or if the Inspector General has come up with something that could yield criminal charges.

 

HOGAN HAS MONEY ADVANTAGE OVER BROWN

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan has a better than 3 to 1 fundraising advantage over his opponent, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown. Hogan is reporting $2.4 million to Brown's $760,000, although Hogan's fundraising for the general election campaign is essentially frozen; Brown can continue to raise money through the November 4th general election. Hogan received a $2.6 million lump sum payment from the state's public financing fund, after the June 24th primary.

 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY LAWYER APPOINTED JUDGE

In a series of appointments this week, Governor Martin O'Malley named the lawyer who defends the General Assembly to a seat on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Friedman, an assistant attorney general, will replace Judge Albert J. Matricciani, who resigned earlier this year. In his role, Friedman also dispensed legal advice to state lawmakers and public officials.

LOCAL NEWS


MAN SENTENCED FOR ROBBERY

A plea agreement will send a Frostburg resident to prison for ten years. Thirty-four year old Jeremiah Seib pleaded guilty to robbing First People's Credit Union in Short Gap in September of last year. He was indicted in January of this year. Seib turned himself in to Frostburg authorities, was extradited to West Virginia, and has been held at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail since that time. Seib will serve his sentence in a federal prison facility.

 

BALTIMORE SUSPECT ARRESTED IN CUMBERLAND

Twenty-three year old Dontray White of Baltimore, who is wanted there in connection with an attempted murder, was arrested in Cumberland yesterday. Investigators obtained several addresses of known acquaintances. He was eventually arrested at one of those locations. He was transported back to Baltimore, pending an initial court appearance.

 

GARRETT CIRCUIT JUDGE APPOINTED

Governor Martin O'Malley has appointed Raymond George Strubin as a Garrett County Circuit Court judge, replacing Judge James Sherbin, who announced his retirement in February of this year. Strubin had served as an assistant public defender in Garrett County, and had previously served as the assistant public defender in Washington County.

 

COMMUNICATION POLICY REVISED BY BOARD

The Allegany County Board of Education has revised its policy, regarding communication between staff and school board members. While some thought the policy was repressive, the new draft encourages communication between the two on  matters of policy, practice and procedure. The only exception to the policy is when a situation is of a sensitive nature, and could be heard in an appeal process by the school board.

 

TRAP SET FOR BEAR IN WARDENSVILLE

The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources have set traps for a bear that attacked a man and his dog in the George Washington National Forest near Wardensville last week. Steven Krichbaum was taken to Winchester Medical Center following the attack, while his dog was taken to an emergency animal hospital. The attack is considered provoked, because the dog had chased one of the bear cubs.

 

RIDGELEY GETTING SET FOR CENTENNIAL

The town of Ridgeley is getting ready for its centennial celebration next weekend. Opening ceremonies take place on Friday, September 5th at the Veteran's Memorial at the Gold Star VFW. Saturday's festivities include a breakfast at the Calvary United Methodist Church and a cruise-in at Nelson Auto Sales. The grand feature parade will get underway on Saturday, September 6th at 5:30 p.m.

 

RURAL COUNTIES COALITION GROWS

Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay says three more counties have shown interest in the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition. Discussions were held during the MACo Summer Conference in Ocean City on how to best advocate for Maryland's veterans. McKay says one aspect of the discussion was helping veterans "navigate" various programs available to them.

 

SUMMONS SERVED FOR RECKLESS DRIVING

Cumberland resident Michael Steven Ford was served with a criminal summons in connection with a motor vehicle crash that took place on May 14th of this year. Ford allegedly struck a parked vehicle while traveling on Race Street in south Cumberland. He was charged with both reckless and negligent driving.

 

FINAL CLINIC FOR 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR

The Allegany County Health Department is offering free TDAP and meningitis vaccinations, which are required for all students entering the 7th grade this school year. The final clinic will be held next Wednesday, September 3rd at the Health Department's Willowbrook Office Complex from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, call (301)-759-5082.

 

P.E. POLE INSPECTION AND REPLACEMENT CONTINUES

Potomac Edison crews have replaced or repaired about 1,000 wooden utility poles so far this year, as part of the company's annual inspection program. Year-to-date, P.E. has inspected about 21,500 wooden poles, with 2,354 of those in Cumberland and 1,744 in Oakland alone. The utility expects to spend over $2 million on the inspections. Each of the Southern Yellow Pine poles replaced, costs about $400 each.

 

WOMEN CHARGED IN MURDER-FOR-HIRE PLOT

Two Fayette County, West Virginia women have been charged in connection with a murder-for-hire plot. Sara Swaggerty and Tammy Bair have been charged. Swaggerty allegedly gave an undercover police officer $500 to kill her husband, who is currently charged with21 counts of sex crimes against children. Both are in the Southern Regional Jail. Police say she wanted her husband dead, and wanted it to look like an accident. She had offered $2500 to do the job.

 

PIRATE MINOR LEAGUE TEAM TO LOCATE IN MORGANTOWN

The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced plans to locate one of its minor league teams to Morgantown, West Virginia. The team will be relocating from Jamestown, New York, and will be playing its games at a new ballpark, being constructed at the University Towne Center. The WVU team will play there next spring, before the minor league "short season" begins in June.

LOCAL NEWS


THREE CONVICTED IN FEDERAL DRUG CASES

Three people, who were responsible for a large drug trafficking operation in which cocaine was brought to the Keyser area from other parts of the country, each face up to 20 years in prison. Thirty-three year old Cedric Malachi Jones, also known as "BG" of South Ozone Park, New York-the so-called leader of the operation-pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Adrian Nicholas Sanchez, of Cumberland, and Christopher Lee Redman each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Both will forfeit thousands of dollars, and will each pay a $90,000 monetary judgment.

 

HEARING HELD FOR MURDER SUSPSECT

A hearing was held yesterday for Cumberland resident Robert Hernandez. He is accused of stabbing West Virginia University freshman Devante Waites at a Morgantown bar earlier this month; Waites died a few hours later at a Morgantown hospital. The hearing was held to decide if there is enough evidence to forward the charges to a Monongalia County grand jury. Hernandez was arrested less than 24 hours after the stabbing, and has been in jail, without bail, since that time.

 

OLDTOWN BRIDGE RE-OPENED

The Oldtown Toll Bridge, which had been washed out in June flooding, has reopened. Repairs took less time than was originally thought. The bridge is the only crossing of the Potomac River for 15 miles in either direction. The Oldtown Bridge is the only privately owned structure of its kind in the state.

 

AMERICAN WOODMARK TO ADD JOBS IN W.VA.

American Woodmark says it plans to add 80 full time jobs and invest $30 million at its facility in Moorefield. That would boost the site's employment to 655 workers. The company also plans to expand, adding 100,000 square feet to its facility. The expansion should be completed by the fall of next year.

 

BUS INVOLVED IN MINOR ACCIDENT

Allegany County Public School Bus #51, en route to Northeast Elementary School, caused minor damage to a parked passenger car on Pear Street at around 8:15 yesterday morning. There was no damage to the bus. Student arrival was slightly delayed due to the accident.

 

JEFFERSON STREET FIRE "INCENDIARY" IN NATURE

The Maryland State Fire Marshal has determined that a Saturday morning fire on Jefferson Street was arson. The fire was discovered by a neighbor who was awakened by smoke and observed a fire burning on the back porch of the vacant residence next to him. The structure is owned by Pieter Kloos; smoke detectors were in the building, but they did not activate. Estimated damages to the building were set at approximately $15,000.

 

MISSING MAN LAST SEEN AT SUPER 8

Authorities are looking for a Gaithersburg man, who was last seen at the Super 8 motel in LaVale. The family of Martin John Rogers is concerned about his emotional well-being. He was last spotted at the hotel on August 21st, and had been driving a 2001 Audi A-4. No sightings have been reported since that time. Anyone with information should call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at (301)-279-8000.

 

PLANNING FOR 2015 MINERAL COUNTY DAY

Mineral County Day is being planned for next January 15th in Charleston. Mineral will be partnering with Monongalia County  to highlight what each has to offer. Similar to Allegany County's annual PACE reception, Mineral County will produce a brochure, showing priority projects such as water/wastewater, transportation and economic development to state legislators.

 

MAN CHARGED WITH THEFT, BURGLARY

Thirty-eight year old Kelly Cole of Cumberland has been charged with burglary and theft, following an incident in the 200-block of Pennsylvania Avenue on Sunday. Cole is accused of breaking into a garage, and stealing several items, including a four-wheeler. Tracks from the ATV, led police to a separate garage, several streets over from the victim's residence. Cold was taken for an initial appearance in District Court, and held on $35,000 bond.

 

CONTROL BOARD TO HEAR COMPLAINTS

The Allegany County Animal Control Board will be taking public comment at a meeting to be held next Tuesday in Room 100 of the county office complex on Kelly Road. While there will be no discussion or action taken, comments will be considered at a future meeting. Residents who wish to speak are asked to sign up, prior to 6 p.m. Comments will be limited to five minutes per speaker.

 

TEACHERS PARTICIPATE IN "STEM" EXTERNSHIPS

Fifteen Allegany County public school educators recently had the chance to participate in the 2014 summer "STEM" externships. During the four-week job experience, teachers were provided with full-time work experience, as they shadowed employees and completed tasks or assisted with projects. Participating teachers also had the opportunity to contribute ideas and conduct informal interviews of staff and employees.

 

MARATHON TO OPEN REGISTRATION ON LABOR DAY

Labor Day will make the official opening of registration for the 2nd annual Queen City Marathon for Active Water. Online registration will be available through the official race website and "active.com." A printable, mail-in registration form is also available from the official event website, "runthequeencity.com." Early bird registration runs through December 31st, and is $60. The fee increases to $70 on January 1st.

 

CONEMAUGH HEALTH SYSTEM SOLD TO DUKE LIFEPOINT

The Conemaugh Health System is now owned by Duke LifePoint health care, which says it plans to pump about $400 million into the local economy with new facilities in Richland and Ebensburg. No employee layoffs are expected. A county judge approved the sale last week.

 

AMENDMENT PLACED ON STATE BALLOT

 Voters will consider a state constitutional amendment in November, which will limit when the Governor and Legislature can take money from the state's Transportation Trust Fund. Ragina Cooper-Averella, Triple "A" Atlantic's manager of public and governmental affairs, says the now-certified language deals with how the funds are spent.

 

MARYLAND TO SHARE IN SETTLEMENT

The state of Maryland is expected to see a portion of a settlement between U.S. regulators and Bank of America. The financial institution was accused of misleading investors into buying toxic, mortgage-backed securities. The agreement was for $17 million, and is the biggest settlement of any one company in U.S. history. Predatory lending and practices, such as "robo-signing" of foreclosure notices may have led to the housing collapse the fueled the Great Recession.

 

WEST VIRGINIA ACT SCORES UNCHANGED

A.C.T. college entrance exam scores remained virtually unchanged in West Virginia for the fourth straight year. Scores averaged 20.6 on the exam, but slight improvement was shown in reading scores. But they were unchanged in the science and math categories. English scores dipped slightly. Nationally, the average overall A.C.T. scores increased slightly to 21.0. 

LOCAL NEWS - UPDATE


MISSING MAN FOUND SAFE

 

Eighty-nine year old Lester John Hershberger was found safe this morning in Grantsville. He was reported missing Saturday night, and had left his residence by crawling out of a bedroom window on Hemlock Drive. The Maryland State Police say he had been suffering from dementia. However, he was found safe just after 7 a.m. this morning.

 

 

ANIMAL CRUELTY SUSPECT ARRESTED

 

Twenty-eight year old Christopher Adam Preston was arrested  Saturday, in connection with an animal cruelty case in which nine dogs died at an abandoned residence on McGill Drive. In all, he was arrested on eight counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, and related charges. He was ordered held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $8500 bond. The dogs had been abandoned in the home for about 6 to 8 weeks. The three surviving dogs were taken to the veterinarian for treatment of dehydration, starvation and anemia, due to flea infestation. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

 

 

 

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IN ALLEGANY COUNTY

 

Today is the first day of school in Allegany County for the 2014-2015 year. Drivers are being reminded to be extra cautious for students walking to school, and to stop for school buses, either picking up or dropping off students during the morning and afternoon. Dr. David Cox, Allegany County School Superintendent will be riding along with Bus #36, which begins its run in the Shade's Lane area. The bus will travel to the Allegany County Career Center and onto Bel Air.

 

 

PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT AIRLIFTED FOLLOWING FIRE

 

An Artemas, Pennsylvania resident suffered second and third-degree burns and was airlifted to the hospital, following a Friday afternoon fire. The blaze, which destroyed three structures at 139 Memory Lane, appears to be accidental in nature. About 40 hay bales in a building ignited, and sparked the fire. The hay fire rekindled early Saturday morning. The initial call involved about 40 firefighters from three states. The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

 

 

WATER SERVICE INTERRUPTED IN NORTH END

 

An emergency shutdown of water service in North End was ordered Saturday night, when an 8-inch water main ruptured on Ashland Avenue at Holland Street. A spokesperson for the Allegany County Office of Emergency Services says areas affected included Ashland Avenue, Piedmont Avenue and Holland Street at Roethe Avenue. At the time of the shutdown, there was little or no water service in the area, or at the Allegany County Nursing Home, as well as the North End area. Services have since been restored, but portions of Ashland Avenue will need repaving as a result of the water main break.

 

 

PENN AVENUE FIRE INVESTIGATED

 

Fire companies from Cumberland, Bowling Green and Ridgeley responded to a fire at 325 Pennsylvania Avenue Friday evening. The fire was reported at 7:58 p.m., and no injuries were reported. The cause of that fire remains under investigation.

 

 

COUNTY FINANCE DEPARTMENT WINS NATIONAL AWARD

 

The Allegany County Finance Department has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 22nd consecutive year. The certificate is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. The award is given by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for Allegany County's Fiscal Year 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

 

 

MAN ARRESTED FOR 2013 INCIDENT

 

Thirty-three year old Jamaine Johnson has been arrested in connection with an assault incident, that allegedly happened in December of last year. Cumberland City Police officers had responded to an incident in the 100-block of Potomac Street, in which the victim claimed Johnson had choked them. He fled the residence, and Johnson was arrested on Friday. He was charged with one count of second-degree assault and later released on personal recognizance.

 

 

BELLEVUE STREET CLOSED FOR REPAIRS

 

Bellevue Street, between Baltimore Avenue and Fulton Street is closed today for emergency sewer repairs. The City of Cumberland apologizes in advances for any inconvenience. Questions should be directed to the City of Cumberland Engineering Department at (301)-759-6600.

 

 

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY INVESTIGATED

 

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a destruction of property incident at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. Sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning, an unknown person or persons broke a window at one of the buildings there. Anyone with information is asked to contact Master Trooper DeLauter at (301)-387-1101.

 

 

OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED

 

The first Allegany County Opportunity Scholarships have been awarded to students attending Allegany College of Maryland or Frostburg State University. Classes begin today for ACM students, and will start on September 2nd at Frostburg. Funding for the scholarships is made possible through the county's share of revenues generated by video lottery machines at Rocky Gap Casino Resort.

 

 

NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETS

 

The Neighborhood Advisory Committee is meeting today at City Hall from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The special guest is Lieutenant Biser of the Cumberland City Police Department, who will be speaking about gangs and gang activity in the area.

 

 

FIRST "CITY STAR" AWARD WINNER ANNOUNCED

 

The Mayor and City Council presented the first "City Star Award" to Virginia "Ginny" Decker during the August 5th meeting. The award program has been initiated to recognize the unsung heroes in our community who have stepped up to do what's right and what's needed, and have made a positive impact on our lives, our neighborhoods and our community. Ms. Decker was recognized for her involvement in the "Let's Beautify Cumberland" program, of which she has been a member for 15 years.

 

 

OFFICIALS COMMENT ON FRACHOT'S INVOLVEMENT IN W. MD.

 

During last week's visit to Cumberland by Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot, several elected officials had the opportunity to publicly comment on his contributions to the office, and to the area. Maryland State Senator George Edwards noted that Franchot had given the William Donald Shaffer Award to Sandy Bell of Garrett County, who founded "Cindy's Fund."

 

 

MAN, DOG ATTACKED BY BEAR IN HARDY COUNTY

 

A Staunton,Virginia man, 59-year old Steven Krichbaum,  and his dog were injured, after being attacked by a black bear in the George Washington National Forest in Hardy County late last week. The man and the dog were walking in the woods, when they came upon a black bear and her cubs; the bear attacked and Krichbaum hit the bear with a rock to scare her off. Both he and the dog were able to escape; he was taken to the Winchester Medical Center for treatment, while the dog was taken to a local emergency animal hospital.

 

 

MAN CHARGED IN SOMERSET HOME INVASION

 

Twenty-six year old Somerset County, Pennsylvania resident William Albert Thompson has been charged with a home invasion, and has admitted to the crime. Thompson broke into a house and demanded money from an elderly woman at gunpoint. He made her drive to several banks to use the ATM to withdraw money. Video surveillance led to his arrest. He is a suspect in another home invasion in the area. For now, he is being held on $500,000 bond.

 

 

ALMANAC CALLS FOR "SUPER COLD" WINTER

 

The "Old Farmer's Almanac" is calling for a "super cold" winter for the eastern two-thirds of the United States this year, with above normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be in late December and early and mid-January, along with early to mid-February. It also predicts and warmer and drier than normal summer next year. The Almanac does have an 80 per cent accuracy rate, but its prediction for a very hot summer this year didn't quite come true.

 

 

NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR HYDROCODONE DRUGS

 

New restrictions on painkiller hydrocodone drugs will have an effect on how they are stored, stocked, transported, prescribed and dispensed. In West Virginia, drugs like Lortab and Vicodin are the number one prescribed controlled substance. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration is moving such drugs from Schedule III to a more restrictive Schedule II. The West Virginia legislature has passed a bill that limits hydrocodone drugs to no more than a 30-day supply and no more than two refills. That law, along with the federal guidelines, will both remain in effect.

LOCAL NEWS


ANIMAL CRUELTY SUSPECT ARRESTED

 

Twenty-eight year old Christopher Adam Preston was arrested  Saturday, in connection with an animal cruelty case in which nine dogs died at an abandoned residence on McGill Drive. In all, he was arrested on eight counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, and related charges. He was ordered held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $8500 bond. The dogs had been abandoned in the home for about 6 to 8 weeks. The three surviving dogs were taken to the veterinarian for treatment of dehydration, starvation and anemia, due to flea infestation. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

 

 

SOMERSET MAN KILLED IN SINGLE-VEHICLE ACCIDENT

 

Somerset County resident Christopher Edward Maddy was killed in a single-vehicle accident Saturday on Monument Road. His car left the road and hit a utility pole. The vehicle then overturned. That accident remains under investigation.

 

 

GARRETT MAN REPORTED MISSING

 

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is seeking information on a missing elderly man. Lester John Hershberger of Hemlock Drive in Grantsville left his residence by crawling out of a bedroom window. He was last seen Saturday evening around 8 p.m. Anyone with information should contact the barrack at (301)-387-1101. He may suffer from demential and is known to have family in Ohio.

 

 

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IN ALLEGANY COUNTY

 

Today is the first day of school in Allegany County for the 2014-2015 year. Drivers are being reminded to be extra cautious for students walking to school, and to stop for school buses, either picking up or dropping off students during the morning and afternoon. Dr. David Cox, Allegany County School Superintendent will be riding along with Bus #36, which begins its run in the Shade's Lane area. The bus will travel to the Allegany County Career Center and onto Bel Air.

 

 

PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT AIRLIFTED FOLLOWING FIRE

 

An Artemas, Pennsylvania resident suffered second and third-degree burns and was airlifted to the hospital, following a Friday afternoon fire. The blaze, which destroyed three structures at 139 Memory Lane, appears to be accidental in nature. About 40 hay bales in a building ignited, and sparked the fire. The hay fire rekindled early Saturday morning. The initial call involved about 40 firefighters from three states. The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

 

 

WATER SERVICE INTERRUPTED IN NORTH END

 

An emergency shutdown of water service in North End was ordered Saturday night, when an 8-inch water main ruptured on Ashland Avenue at Holland Street. A spokesperson for the Allegany County Office of Emergency Services says areas affected included Ashland Avenue, Piedmont Avenue and Holland Street at Roethe Avenue. At the time of the shutdown, there was little or no water service in the area, or at the Allegany County Nursing Home, as well as the North End area. Services have since been restored, but portions of Ashland Avenue will need repaving as a result of the water main break.

 

 

PENN AVENUE FIRE INVESTIGATED

 

Fire companies from Cumberland, Bowling Green and Ridgeley responded to a fire at 325 Pennsylvania Avenue Friday evening. The fire was reported at 7:58 p.m., and no injuries were reported. The cause of that fire remains under investigation.

 

 

COUNTY FINANCE DEPARTMENT WINS NATIONAL AWARD

 

The Allegany County Finance Department has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 22nd consecutive year. The certificate is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. The award is given by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for Allegany County's Fiscal Year 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

 

 

MAN ARRESTED FOR 2013 INCIDENT

 

Thirty-three year old Jamaine Johnson has been arrested in connection with an assault incident, that allegedly happened in December of last year. Cumberland City Police officers had responded to an incident in the 100-block of Potomac Street, in which the victim claimed Johnson had choked them. He fled the residence, and Johnson was arrested on Friday. He was charged with one count of second-degree assault and later released on personal recognizance.

 

 

BELLEVUE STREET CLOSED FOR REPAIRS

 

Bellevue Street, between Baltimore Avenue and Fulton Street is closed today for emergency sewer repairs. The City of Cumberland apologizes in advances for any inconvenience. Questions should be directed to the City of Cumberland Engineering Department at (301)-759-6600.

 

 

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY INVESTIGATED

 

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a destruction of property incident at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. Sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning, an unknown person or persons broke a window at one of the buildings there. Anyone with information is asked to contact Master Trooper DeLauter at (301)-387-1101.

 

 

OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED

 

The first Allegany County Opportunity Scholarships have been awarded to students attending Allegany College of Maryland or Frostburg State University. Classes begin today for ACM students, and will start on September 2nd at Frostburg. Funding for the scholarships is made possible through the county's share of revenues generated by video lottery machines at Rocky Gap Casino Resort.

 

 

NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETS

 

The Neighborhood Advisory Committee is meeting today at City Hall from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The special guest is Lieutenant Biser of the Cumberland City Police Department, who will be speaking about gangs and gang activity in the area.

 

 

FIRST "CITY STAR" AWARD WINNER ANNOUNCED

 

The Mayor and City Council presented the first "City Star Award" to Virginia "Ginny" Decker during the August 5th meeting. The award program has been initiated to recognize the unsung heroes in our community who have stepped up to do what's right and what's needed, and have made a positive impact on our lives, our neighborhoods and our community. Ms. Decker was recognized for her involvement in the "Let's Beautify Cumberland" program, of which she has been a member for 15 years.

 

 

OFFICIALS COMMENT ON FRACHOT'S INVOLVEMENT IN W. MD.

 

During last week's visit to Cumberland by Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot, several elected officials had the opportunity to publicly comment on his contributions to the office, and to the area. Maryland State Senator George Edwards noted that Franchot had given the William Donald Shaffer Award to Sandy Bell of Garrett County, who founded "Cindy's Fund."

 

 

MAN, DOG ATTACKED BY BEAR IN HARDY COUNTY

 

A Staunton,Virginia man, 59-year old Steven Krichbaum,  and his dog were injured, after being attacked by a black bear in the George Washington National Forest in Hardy County late last week. The man and the dog were walking in the woods, when they came upon a black bear and her cubs; the bear attacked and Krichbaum hit the bear with a rock to scare her off. Both he and the dog were able to escape; he was taken to the Winchester Medical Center for treatment, while the dog was taken to a local emergency animal hospital.

 

 

MAN CHARGED IN SOMERSET HOME INVASION

 

Twenty-six year old Somerset County, Pennsylvania resident William Albert Thompson has been charged with a home invasion, and has admitted to the crime. Thompson broke into a house and demanded money from an elderly woman at gunpoint. He made her drive to several banks to use the ATM to withdraw money. Video surveillance led to his arrest. He is a suspect in another home invasion in the area. For now, he is being held on $500,000 bond.

 

 

ALMANAC CALLS FOR "SUPER COLD" WINTER

 

The "Old Farmer's Almanac" is calling for a "super cold" winter for the eastern two-thirds of the United States this year, with above normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be in late December and early and mid-January, along with early to mid-February. It also predicts and warmer and drier than normal summer next year. The Almanac does have an 80 per cent accuracy rate, but its prediction for a very hot summer this year didn't quite come true.

 

 

NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR HYDROCODONE DRUGS

 

New restrictions on painkiller hydrocodone drugs will have an effect on how they are stored, stocked, transported, prescribed and dispensed. In West Virginia, drugs like Lortab and Vicodin are the number one prescribed controlled substance. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration is moving such drugs from Schedule III to a more restrictive Schedule II. The West Virginia legislature has passed a bill that limits hydrocodone drugs to no more than a 30-day supply and no more than two refills. That law, along with the federal guidelines, will both remain in effect.

LOCAL NEWS


SUSPECT TO BE RETRIED FOR MURDER

Taj Green will be recharged in the September 2011 shooting that killed a man and seriously injured his brother in Ridgeley. Evidence has been received that have led the Mineral County Sheriff's Department to believe Green was the one who fatally shot Ryan Henry, and seriously injured his brother, Richard. Green, along with Tavon Kearney and Rasjahnon Roberts were initially indicted in September of 2012 in connection with the incident.

 

ACTIONS TAKEN BY ANIMAL SHELTER BOARD

The Allegany County Animal Shelter Foundation has instituted a number of measures involving animal control, following the dog abandonment case on McGill Drive. Becky McClarren of the Shelter Foundation says that actions include the creation of a second telephone line, dedicated to animal control calls only; management will also review the previous day's phone log to guarantee all animal control issues have been addressed. The Shelter has, according to a statement read by Ms. McClarran, are accepting responsibility for the role in which the speed of the team's response played in the severity of the tragedy.

 

COMPTROLLER OPENS CUMBERLAND OFFICE

Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot has opened a Cumberland branch office in the Allegany County Museum building. An official ribbon cutting was held yesterday, even though the office has been open since July 1st. It offiers a broad range of services so taxpayers don't have to travel to the agency's primary offices in Annapolis and Baltimore. On hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony, including state, local and city officials. Former Maryland Speaker of the House Cas Taylor, who served with Franchot in the General Assembly, was also on hand for the ribbon cutting.

 

MCDA DISCUSSES CARPENDALE PROJECT

The Mineral County Development Authority is moving forward on establishing a bridge from Carpendale to Bowling Green. Two West Virginia state legislators have contacted Sam's Club about locating in the Carpendale area, and there has been some interest in establishing a boat launch in the area as well. The town is also looking toward a back-up water system; the request is among the Top 15 projects in the Region VIII Planning and Development Council's list of projects.

 

MAN ARRESTED ON SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGE

A Cumberland resident has been charged with second-degree assault and fourth degree sexual contact, following an alleged incident in mid-July. Paul Harman allegedly approached a female acquaintance while she was asleep and touched her without consent. He was released pending trial at Allegany County District Court. The victim did not require medical attention.

 

MAN ARRESTED ON THEFT CHARGES

Twenty-three year old Dustin Edwards was arrested by Cumberland City Police, in connection with two theft incidents in the first week of August. Edwards was accused of stealing a car battery from a vehicle in the 500-block of Cumberland Street; he is also accused of stealing electronic items from the 300-block of Cumberland Street. He was charged with theft of less than $1,000, along with theft of less than $100. He was released, pending trial in District Court.

 

TWO HOME INVASIONS REPORTED IN SOMERSET

Somerset Borough Police are investigating two home invasions that happened just hours apart. In the first, an intruder went to a home on Sanner Street where a woman and 82-year old were held at gunpoint, with the suspect demanding money. The man attacked the intruder with a stool, and he left. In the second, a masked man went into a home on Rosina Avenue, and forced an 82-year old woman to drive to an ATM, to get money. Surveillance video is being reviewed for any additional leads.

 

SOMERSET MAN FALLS FROM ROOF

A worker with Beckett and Sons contracting fell from a roof, while working at a home on Seneca Trail. It had been raining at the time, and the worker was putting sheeting on the roof to prevent rain from getting inside the home, when he fell. He suffered a head injury and was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for treatment.

 

"GREEN SCHOOLS" TOUR CONCLUDES TODAY

The U.S. Department of Education concludes its "Green Ribbon Schools Program" in West Virginia today. Earlier this week, the tour made a stop at Petersburg Elementary School. The program recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, and feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces.

 

MAN SENTENCED FOR SELLING HEROIN

Twenty-three year old Alexander Chase Rayner has been sentenced to 15 months in jail, after pleading guilty to distribution of heroin. Rayner sold the heroin to a man who later died of an overdose. He had originally been sentenced to seven years, but all but 15 months.

 

TICKS LOVE CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change is connected to all kinds of "critters," with a new National Wildlife Federation report detailing how those changes are affecting the outdoor experience in Maryland. N.W.F. senior scientist Doug Inkley emphasizes that hunters, anglers, bird-watchers and hikers have long known they have to cover up and watch for stinging and biting insects, but the risks are multiplying as seasons arrive earlier and later.

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