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Local News

Inmate Death Ruled Homicide

An inmate at the North Branch Correctional Institution has died, and a suspect has been identified in the crime. Fifty-three year old Michael Armstead was severely beaten on November 27th of last year at the facility, and died last week at Bon Secours Hospital in the Baltimore area. The suspect in the murder is also an inmate at the prison, who is serving a life sentence. Armstead died from a severe head injury.


Wind Power Developers Hope to Begin Construction Soon

Fourmile Wind Energy, LLC hopes to begin construction this spring on 30 turbines, to be built along Fourmile Ridge and the western slope of Big Savage Mountain. In a filing with the Maryland Public Service Commission, Fourmile hopes to produce wind power by the end of the year. The company is a subsidiary of Annapolis-based Synergics, which also constructed the Backbone Mountain wind farm. They are seeking an exemption from a lengthy review process, originally designed for traditional electric power plants.


New Hearing for Gerholt Within 40 Days

Convicted killer John Gerholt will receive a second hearing within 40 days on whether he can withdraw his plea he entered in August of last year. Gerholt was convicted of killing his wife in the parking lot of the Everett McDonald's in 2008. Earlier this week, Gerholt fired his attorneys, alleging they misled him into a no-contest plea. Gerholt is also under the impression that the district attorney's office, and the judge in the case are conspiring against him, and that the former Bedford County Jail warden Donald Orr threatened and assaulted him. Now that he is requesting to withdraw his plea and seek a new trial, District Attorney Bill Higgins says the death penalty punishment is "back on the table."


Virginia Man Dies in Single-Vehicle Accident

An eighteen-year old Virginia man died in a single-vehicle crash in Hampshire County earlier this week. Hunter Crane was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Smokey Hollow Road. He was northbound, when the vehicle traveled out of control, struck a utility pole and rolled several times. The car then hit a tree. He was ejected from the vehicle. Crane was a resident of Whitacre, Virginia.


Howard Street Lot to Close

Beginning Monday, the Howard Street parking lot will be closed. The contractor will begin preliminary work to rehabilitate the Interstate 68 Crosstown Bridge on Tuesday. The closure could last up to three months. The work is part of the State Highway Administration's two-year, $14 million project that includes repairs, painting and other improvements to the Crosstown Bridge and the Maryland 51 bridge over CSX Railroad and the Canal Parkway. As was previously announced, an informational meeting about the project will be held on Thursday, February 7th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Allegany Museum on Pershing Street in Cumberland.


Man Sentenced Twice in Same Case

Former Berlin resident Jason Charles Foy was resentenced to prison earlier this week in Somerset County, because the first time, he was sentenced before the wrong judge. Foy is accused of breaking into Bowlby's Lawn Service in February of 2010. An employee of the business was assaulted by Foy, who was armed with a hatchet. Foy was scheduled to be sentenced by a judge in 2011, but the sentencing was cancelled. Since Foy did not waive his right to be sentenced by the same judge who accepted his guilty plea. Since he did not waive the right, his sentencing before another judge was invalid.


Seven Springs Denies Interest

Seven Springs Resort is not interested in purchasing nearby Hidden Valley Resort in Somerset County. A report, citing anonymous sources, was posted on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper website earlier in the week, and was denied by Seven Springs officials.  Seven Springs works closely with Hidden Valley on such items as season pass exchanges, shared golf packages, and a joint billboard along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.


Bath Salts Overdoses on the Decline in West Virginia

West Virginia has seen a decline in the number of overdoses from so-called "bath salts," since a law, making the drug's ingredients illegal, went into effect last year. Only 43 cases were reported in 2012, down from 250 in 2011. Two stores that were major suppliers of bath salts were shut down in April of last year.


Portion of Interstate 81 to Be Completed in September

A five-mile section of Interstate 81 in the Martinsburg area is expected to be finished by September of this year. The project, which is more than one-third complete, includes adding a third lane on the north and southbound sides, along with concrete median barriers. The work began in April of last year.

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