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No Salary Increases at Hospital; Two Executive Positions Eliminated

The Western Maryland Health System is not planning any salary increases, and will be eliminating two executive positions, including that of chief operating officer and vice-president of human resources. Those two positions alone will save the facility over a half-million dollars. Those responsibilities will be assumed by other members of the senior management team. Last month the health system announced that 44 employees were being displaced from their current positions, with about half of those employees being offered other opportunities in the system.


Washington Street Bridge Partially Reopened

Temporary repairs have been finished on the Washington Street Bridge by CSX Corporation, and it was reopened to one-lane traffic, with a four-ton weight restriction on Wednesday. the west bound lane was opened, with east bound traffic yielding to oncoming traffic before crossing the bridge. Drivers are asked to use caution while crossing over the bridge in both directions. The city is working with CSX for permanent repairs to be made.


Rural Coalition Grows to Nine Counties

The Maryland Rural Counties Coalition has now expanded to nine counties, and Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay was elected chairman of the organization earlier this week.  On Tuesday, Caroline County's commissioners voted to join the coalition. The coalition now consists of Allegany, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Somerset, Washington and Wicomico counties, representing nearly 920,000 rural Maryland counties. The coalition was formed in December of last year, with the purpose of strengthening the counties' policy-related standing in the halls of Annapolis. Since then, five additional counties have become members of the coalition.


Board Receives Academic Performance Update

The Allegany County Board of Education received an annual academic performance update at the October work session. SAT scores fell to 1478 on a 2400 point scale. Allegany County students scored a 497 in critical reading, which is down six points. A 495 score, down five points, was registered in math; and, writing was at 486, which is down 8 points. As compared to state scores, Allegany County students scored the same as students across the state in reading, and slightly lower in math and writing.


Four Injured in Crash

Four people were injured in a head on crash Wednesday,  on route 956, near the ATK facility; all were taken to the hospital for treatment. None was determined to have life-threatening injuries. West Virginia State Police investigated the 8 p.m. crash. Other regional fire and rescue units responded to the scene.


Frankfort Again Gains Exemplary Status

Frankfort High School has again met the criteria for Exemplary Accreditation status during a recent audit from the West Virginia Board of Education. Frankfort High School was only one of seven high schools that received Exemplary status. This is the sixth time the school has achieved this honor, by meeting several criteria, including attendance, graduation, and the percentage of graduates who declare their intent to enroll in college and other post-secondary education.


Keyser Hit by Burglaries

The Keyser City Police are investigating the burglaries of two residences earlier this week. In one, a person or persons entered a residence on "C" Street, and stole a laptop computer and prescription narcotics, a total of $800. In the second a break-in was reported in the first block of south Water Street, where a flat screen television and accessories, with a total value of $600 were stolen. Anyone with information is asked to contact Keyser City Police at (301)-788-1311.


Man Held on $150,000 Bond

Twenty-five year old Hagerstown resident David Michael Malekar is being held on $150,000 bond, after being accused of fracturing the skull of his girlfriend's 13-month old  child. He is being charged with first and second-degree child abuse, first and second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment. The child was initially taken to Meritus Medical Center, then to Children's National Medical Center. The child has since been released from the hospital, but doctor's don't know what kind of affect the injuries may have on the child.


O'Malley Receives "D" for Growth

The Cato Institute has named the best and worst governors for economic growth, and Governor Martin O'Malley has received a "D" grade; five Governor's have received an "F" from the group. O'Malley was cited for presiding over what was called "a bevy of tax increases." Four Governors received an "A" grade, including Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. On the positive side, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently ranked Maryland number-one for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Barry McKay
Barry McKay
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