Two Arrested in Daytime Burglary
Two Cumberland men were arrested in connection with a daytime burglary, which occurred on Monday around 4 p.m. at a Mason Road residence. Taken into custody were Antonio Robert Muir and 28-year old Brandon Horwath. The two are accused of stealing jewelry, electronics and a semi-automatic handgun, with a total loss valued at $4200. Muir remains in the Allegany County Detention Center on $35,000 bond, while Horwath’s bail was set at $50,000. They were arrested by the Allegany County Sheriff’s Department.
Chamber Favors Addition to School Construction Budget
The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has written a letter to Commissioner Mike McKay and Board of Education President Michael Llewellyn, supporting the addition of new school construction to the Allegany County Capital Improvement Program. Part of the county’s economic development plan, as stated in the letter, must include education, in addition to site availability, infrastructure, transportation, incentive offerings and numerous other factors, in order to attract new business to the area. County staffers are recommending that three school projects-Allegany High School, along with Washington and Braddock Middle School-be added to the county’s capital improvements program. While not mentioning a new Allegany High School specifically, the letter, signed by Chairman Mark Widmyer and Executive Director Stu Czapski, notes the current 93/7 funding split is favorable to assist in new school construction, and something that cannot be ignored.
Luke Mill Not For Sale
The NewPage corporation facility at Luke is not for sale, and would remain open, even if the company files for bankruptcy. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is seeking out special loan arrangements, giving the company enough cash to continue operations during bankruptcy proceedings. The company has closed a plant in Nova Scotia, laying off about 600 people, and 400 who were employed in related jobs.
Sheriff’s Office Investigates Single-Vehicle Crash
Officials were on the scene of a single vehicle crash on Route 51 at Collier Run Road for over three hours Monday night into Tuesday morning. A tractor-trailer, driven by Harlow Phillip Plew overturned onto the Jersey barrier. He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries. Route 51 was closed while the vehicle was removed from the scene. Plew was charged with traveling at a speed greater than reasonable.
Monday Fire Ruled Accidental
Monday afternoon’s fire on Bedford Street at the home of Dustin and Judy Davis was caused by “wire arcings” and shorted out wiring. A fire was discovered in the basement of the home in the 1900-block of Bedford Street. Damages totaled $60,000. The home was unoccupied at the time of the fire and the Davis’ had insurance. They are now staying with relatives. There were no injuries in the fire, reported around 3:43 p.m.
Woman Arrested for Brandishing Sword, Threatening Residents
Cumberland resident Tia Marie Jones was arrested Monday night, following an incident in the 600-block of Maryland Avenue. She is accused of arguing over rent money. During the argument, she allegedly picked up a sword, which was in a sheath, and threatened two other people. She was taken to Police Headquarters and held on $5,000 bond, following a hearing in Allegany County District Court.
Two Sentenced to Prison Terms
A Cumberland man and one from Bedford have been sentenced to prison, after being convicted on drug distribution charges in Bedford County. Twenty-five year old Devin James of Cumberland was sentenced to two to four years, while Bedford resident Aaron Mance Poole was sentenced to three to six years. The convictions stemmed from a five month investigation, begun in August of last year, involving three separate drug transactions. The last transaction took place on January 18th of this year.
FSU Presents “Eleven Days of September”
Frostburg State University, led by United Campus Ministry and Catholic Campus Ministries will hold an observance of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Entitled, “Eleven Days of September” will be held from September 1st through the 11th. The event is being highlighted by a Campus and Commuitywide 9/11 Remembrance Program, “The Wall,” where individuals can post their memories, prayers, pictures and other information, and a flag display for the 9/11 casualties.
No Trash Collection on Labor Day
There will be no trash collection in the City of Cumberland on Monday, September 5th, which is the Labor Day holiday. Residents of the areas affected by the change should put their trash out on the next regularly scheduled collection day. Anyone with questions should contact the public works department at (301)-759-6620.
Error In ACPS School Calendar
The 2011-2012 Allegany County Public Schools calendar handbook went to print with an error in the number of credits needed to graduate from high school. On the page which lists college information and graduation requirements, under the section on graduation requirements, parents and students should note that the correct number of minimum credits necessary for students entering grade nine should be 22.
FSU Player Who Collapsed Dies
A Frostburg State University football player, Derek Sheely, who collapsed during practice last Monday has died. Sheely was the starting fullback for the Bobcats. He was escorted from the field, and eventually taken to Baltimore’s R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. He was a senior history and political science major. Information about funeral arrangements and an on-campus memorial will be released at a later date.
Man Arrested on Numerous Charges
A Mount Savage man is being held on $5,000 bond, following an incident on Cobblestone Road Sunday evening. Eighteen year old Ronald Davis got into an argument with a neighbor, and at one point, picked up a kitten and killed it. When officers tried to arrest him, he resisted and punched one of the officers in the face. He was taken into custody, and faces charges including assault on police, animal cruelty, resisting arrest and destruction of property. He is currently lodged in the Allegany County Detention Center.
Bedford Street Fire Reported
Firefighters were on the scene of a blaze in the 1900-block of Bedford Street yesterday afternoon. The fire reportedly originated in the basement area of the two-story brick structure, which is located at the intersection with Edwards Avenue. There were no reported injuries, and firefighters remained on the scene for about three hours, following the initial report at 3:45 p.m.
Burglary at North Mechanic Street Business
Police are seeking information on a burglary that occurred Sunday in the 100-block of North Mechanic Street. A person or persons entered a business there, and broke several coin operated machines removing the change. They then entered a locked office and damaged equipment in the office, causing nearly $30,000 in damage. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600, C3I at (301)-777-0326, or Allegany County’s CrimeSolvers program at (301)-722-4300.
Garrett County Fire Caused by Blue Gun
Sunday’s fire along Swanton Hill Road was caused by a heat gun that ignited woodwork, when left near a wall. . The residence was home to Kevin Lipscomb, and caused a total of $45,000 in damage. The fire originated in the kitchen. It is not known who owns the property. About 40 firefighters took 20 minutes to control the blaze.
Scrap Thieves Stealing Manhole Covers
Thieves have been stealing manhole covers in Keyser, and selling them for scrap metal, and police are asking the public to report the thefts. There have been at least15 manhole covers and storm drain grates taken; the thefts create a serious safety hazard for pedestrians, motorists and others. About half of the grates and covers were found at Faulk’s scrap yard and returned to the city. They are working with others to find the rest.
O’Brien Leaving for Post in Rome
Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien has been chosen to lead a Catholic order of knights, based in Rome. This will most likely move him closer to becoming a cardinal. Pope Benedict has appointed O’Brien to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, charged with supporting the Christian community and sacred rites of the Holy Land. He will continue as Archbishop until his successor is named.
O’Malley Plans Trip to India
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is planning an economic development trip to India, but it is unclear when it will take place. O’Malley led a trip to Asia earlier this year, and is mentioning India as another country he would like to visit to promote Maryland as a good place for countries to set up business.
WorkForce West Virginia Recovers Fraudulent Payments
WorkForce West Virginia’s Unemployment Compensation Division has recovered over $80,000 in fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits during the second quarter of this year. Fraud was found in claims filed by 257 individuals. Warrants were requested on 106 of those cases, with some residents of nearby Mineral and Preston counties affected.
Aftermath of Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene came and went over the weekend, with little wind damage to the state of Maryland. Ocean City was evacuated over the weekend, and the town is now preparing for the Labor Day weekend. More than 800,000 residents of the state are without power, and that could be the case for days to come. Locally, the only effect from the Category One storm was isolated heavy showers on Saturday. In other areas of the state, there was rain and winds of up to 73 miles-per-hour. No outages or injuries were reported locally.
Sheriff Says Crime Increase Due to Economy
Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson says an 11 per cent increase in Allegany County crime was due, in part, to a tough economy. Allegany County showed a 10.7 per cent increase in crime, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report. An increase in robberies and thefts have contributed to the increase. Sheriff Robertson adds that with three prisons, an influx of people moving to the county from larger, metropolitan areas, has also contributed to an increase in the crime rate. On a more positive note, there was a 3.4 per cent decrease in violent crimes, according to the report.
Home Destroyed by Fire in Garrett County
A home along Swanton Road was destroyed yesterday afternoon, and there were no injuries. The blaze was reported to the Garrett County Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. The investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing.
DUI Patrol Stops 27 Vehicles
A DUI saturation patrol by the Maryland State Police resulted in 27 stops on Friday and Saturday. No arrests were made, but troopers issued five citations, 29 warnings and two orders for equipment repairs at the checkpoint, on Route 40 near Frostburg.
Man Arrested for Assault
Twenty-three year old Cumberland resident Travis Cecil was charged with assault, following an incident early Thursday morning on South Waverly Terrace. Cecil allegedly assault another person, with the victim sustaining visible injuries to the facial area; Cumberland Fire Department was called to treat the victim. He was charged with second-degree assault and held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Underaged Drinking Party Results in Arrest
A Grand Avenue resident was arrested, following a loud party in the 300-block of Grand Avenue. Colby Nestor is charged with supplying individuals under the age of 21 with alcoholic beverages while inside his residence. He also faces a number of other charges, including obstructing and hindering, possession of marijuana, and maintaining a disorderly house. He was taken to the Allegany County Detention Center and held on $3,000 bond.
Fort Hill Hall of Fame Planned
The “We Are Fort Hill” Committee is in the process of establishing a Fort Hill High School Hall of Fame. This hall will honor Fort Hill graduates who have made remarkable accomplishments in academics, athletics, or have achieved significant lifetime endeavors. The committee will honor the first group of inductees, prior to the start of the first home football game on Friday. The group of inductees will be the Class of 1937-Fort Hill’s first graduating class. For more information, visit the Fort Hill website at https://forthillhs.com.
Small Business Workshops Set in Keyser
Two small business workshops are set for Thursday, September 15th in Keyser. The workshops “Business Fundamentals” and “Sustainable Growth” are part of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center new training and business coaching program to help small business owners received the right information at the right time. To register, call (304)-530-4964.
Tomblin Leads Opponent by 14 Points
With less than six weeks until the special election for Governor, acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin leads Republican challenger Bill Maloney by 14 points. The poll, from the Mellman Group, shows Tomblin with an overall 47 to 33 per cent lead, with a fifth of West Virginia voters undecided. Maloney overcame a 30-point deficit in the primary to become the Republican nominee; it has also been reported that Maloney has outspent Tomblin on TV campaign advertisements.
Virginia Avenue Revitalization Funding Announced
The City of Cumberland has received a $30,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant to revitalize the Virginia Avenue Corridor. The funding is expected to attract two businesses to the Corridor and improve the City’s overall economic health. The grant, announced by United States Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, will help implement the Virginia Avenue Corridor Redevelopment Plan, a multi-year redevelopment initiative for the South Cumberland historic business district.
Owners May Sell Wisp Resort
The owners of the Wisp resort in Garrett County are considering the sale of the property to solve financial problems. Selling the Wisp is a last option the D.C. Development would pursue to repay more than $23 million to BB&T Corporation of North Carolina. The group borrowed money about four years ago to build the Lodestone golf course community, but a slump in the housing market caused only about 20 of the 197 planned home sites to be sold. A spokesperson says the Wisp is profitable and is in no danger of closing, but all options are “on the table” if the loan can’t be repaid.
State Will Deny Fibred Permit
The state of Maryland does not plan to renew a permit that allows Mexico Farms LLC to dispose of wastewater into the North Branch of the Potomac River and into groundwaters. Its permit is up for renewal, and it’s unclear how Fibred would treat or dispose of its wastewater, should the permit be denied. Mexico Farms LLC is challenging an enforcement action from the state; a motion hearing is set for September 9th. The limited liability corporation filed for bankruptcy on January 28th in the District Court of Maryland.
Two Arrested in Scrap Metal Theft
Belinda Davis of Keyser and James Growden of Cumberland have been arrested for stealing scrap metal from an old barn along Route 220, across from the American Woodmark facility. The two were arrested at the scene around 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Both were jailed on bonds of $20,000, pending a bail review hearing. 0
School Buildings Checked for Structural Safety
In light of Tuesday’s earthquake, there have been a number of inquiries regarding the structural safety of Allegany County’s school buildings. The Director of Facilities for the public school system Vince Montana says that while administrators reported suspicious cracks, it has been determined they predated this week’s earthquake. There will be follow-up inspections, although in each case, the buildings were deemed safe for staff and students.
Accident Closes I-68 for Wednesday
An accident on Interstate 68 westbound Wednesday, blocked the roadway for about three hours. There were no serious injuries in the crash, which occurred when Michigan resident Brian Oneil lost control of the rig, and slid into the westbound lane. The truck had been carrying sugar, and the debris struck a pickup truck, driven by Richard Greene of Severn, Maryland. Also struck by the debris was a car, driven by Deer Park resident Jessica Helton. Oneil was cited for negligent driving. All westbound lanes, and one eastbound lane was closed for about three hours, while officials cleared the scene.
Somerset County Girl Killed by Falling Tree
Ten-year old Somerset County resident Kayla Wolk was killed yesterday morning, when a tree crashed through her bedroom and landed on her shortly before 7 a.m. The incident happened during a severe thunderstorm. Kayla Wolk lived on Stepping Stones Road in Somerset County.
Man Arrested on Several Outstanding Warrants
Cumberland resident Daniel Erwin Smith was arrested on several outstanding warrants Wednesday, as police were investigating a breaking and entering at a residence on South Waverly Terrace. Smith had originally given officers a false name, but it was later determined there were several warrants out for his arrest. The charges include violation of probation, fraud, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance and possession of marijuana. He was held on a $23,500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Flanagan Death Investigated
The death of 1979 Cy Young Award Winner Mike Flanagan is being investigated. Flanagan’s body was found Wednesday afternoon on his property in Monkton, Maryland. Flanagan, who had later worked as a broadcaster and executive for the Orioles, returned last year as a color analyst for the team-owned Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Flanagan was drafted by the Orioles in 1973, and won the Cy Young Award in 1979, which was his best year in baseball; he had an overall record of 23-9 that year.
More Quake Aftershocks Felt
Five, possibly six, aftershocks have been felt since Tuesday’s earthquake in Mineral, Virginia. They ranged from 2.2 to 4.2 on the Richter Scale, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The number of aftershocks has been termed “remarkably low.” The larger the quake, the longer and greater extent of the aftershock. There still may be more aftershocks on the way.
Gas Prices Lower For Labor Day Weekend
Gas prices are dropping, just in time for the Labor Day weekend, but are still nearly one-dollar per gallon more, than they were a year ago. According to the Mid-Atlantic Triple-A, prices are averaging around $3.54; last year at this time, gas was $2.62 per gallon. Today’s prices are averaging 52-cents less than the all time high of $4.11, set in July of 2008. About 31.5 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the Labor Day weekend, a drop of 2.4 per cent.
McKay Says Luke Mill Will Remain Operational
Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay says he is confident the Luke Mill will remain open, even if NewPage Corporation files for bankruptcy. He adds, for a number of reasons, the plant could be purchased by another paper-making company. Allegany County paid about $700,000 in property taxes last year, and that figure doesn’t include income taxes and spending in the county by employees of NewPage.
Potomac State Reports Record Enrollment
Potomac State College of West Virginia University has announced a record-breaking, first time freshman class of 752 students, a 2.17 per cent increase from last year. Overall enrollment was 1,815 students, the second highest in the college’s history. As of the first day of classes, more than 40 per cent of the courses were filled.
Burglary, Theft, Related Charges Lodged Against Cumberland Man
Cumberland resident Frederick Walter Hamilton IV is being held on $700,000 bond, following his arrest Monday. Hamilton’s arrest was the result of a joint investigation by the C3I unit and Cumberland City Police, into a burglary and theft, which took place on August 5th at a Frederick Street residence. Checks, taken from the residence, were forged and passed at several local businesses, in an amount exceeding $6500. At the time of his arrest, Cumberland police were responding to a residence on Greene Street for a reported burglary. Jewelry, medication/credit and debit cards, a gift card and cash were taken. The total loss there was $4700. Hamilton was charged with that theft as well. He is being charged with numerous counts of burglary, theft, and related charges.
Man Tries to Jump Train, Arrested for Trespassing
An 18-year old Cumberland man was arrested Monday night, after Cumberland City Police responded to a report that a person had been struck by a train. Carrington Schmoyer, in fact, had tried to jump onto a slow-moving train, when he slipped and fell to the ground, receiving minor injuries. He was issued a criminal citation, charging him with trespassing on posted property. He was released from the scene.
Police Seeking Information on Sears Burglary
The Garrett County Sheriff’s Department is looking for information on the breaking, entering and theft from the Sears Store in Oakland, sometime Tuesday night or early yesterday morning. Appliances and other items were taken from the store on Pleasant Hills Drive, south of Oakland. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s office at (301)-334-1911.
Bedford County Considering Jail Closure
Because of operating costs and ongoing maintenance programs, the Bedford County commissioners are considering the possibility of closing the county jail. Bedford County could save anywhere from $500,000 top $1.5 million if they sent county-sentenced inmates to other facilities. There are several logistical problems to be worked out, including transporting inmates, work-release provisions and what to do with the jail, if it were closed.
Eight Attend “814” Area Code Meeting
Only eight residents were present at this week’s meeting to discuss the future of the “814” area code. The hearing was conducted by the Pennsylvania Utility Commission on affecting an area code relief plan, and what effect it would have on Bedford County. The Commission must decide before all the numbers are exhausted-probably in early 2015-whether to overlay a new code for new customers or to divide the “814” area code, which means everyone in a portion of the area could get a new area code.
Missing Woman Sought in Somerset County
An Addison Township woman, who may be suffering from dementia, is missing, and police are on the lookout for her. Seventy-two year old Suzanne Katherine Radosevich was last seen Tuesday morning at her cabin on Summit View Lane. She reportedly drives a 1994 Mazda Navajo, with a Pennsylvania registration of “DDP-5420.” Anyone with information is asked to contact the Someret barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-445-4104.
Escaped Inmate Captured
An inmate from the Maryland Correctional Training Center who walked away from an “unsupervised location” this week has been captured. Christopher Randolph had been serving a 13-year sentence for robbery with a deadly weapon was due to be released in December, but will now serve additional time for escape. Randolph was the second inmate to escape this summer, and had been working at a downtown Hagerstown business in the food service industry.
West Virginia Eliminating Food Tax
Legislation was signed this week that will eventually eliminate a sales tax on food in West Virginia by July of 2013. Food tax will be lowered from 3-cents to 2-cents starting January 1st of next year. According to House Speaker Rick Thompson, the food tax is extremely high, but the drop will keep the state’s Rainy Day Fund at a healthy level.
No Major Damage From Earthquake
No major damage was reported locally from yesterday’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the East Coast. The epicenter of the tremor was near Mineral Virginia, and took place six-tenths of a mile underground. The U.S. Geological Service reports that aftershocks were felt as far north as New York City, and as far south as South Carolina. A spokesperson from the Maryland State Police says that the McHenry barrack felt the effects of the quake, to the west. In Washington, D.C., the Pentagon and Capitol buildings were evacuated, and three spires at the National Cathedral were damaged. There was a problem locally with cell phone service, due to the number of calls being placed following the quake.
Athey’s Exxon Destroyed by Fire
A fire at Athey’s Exxon in LaVale destroyed the business yesterday afternoon. The fire caused an estimated $150,000 in damage to the structure and an additional $100,000 to the contents of the building. Deputy State Fire Marshals determined the fire was accidental and originated in one of the automobile repair bays. Gasoline ignited during the removal process from the vehicle’s gas tank while on a repair lift. About 50 firefighters from several area fire companies had the blaze under control in about 45 minutes. Those responding to the 2:45 p.m. fire were LaVale, Bowling Green, Clarysville, Frostburg, Corriganville, Ellerslie, Cresaptown and Bedford Road.
Judge Denies Orleans Injunction
Allegany County Circuit Court Judge Gary Leasure has ruled in favor of the Allegany County Board of Education, in the case of Orleans parents who want to send their children to Washington County Schools. Judge Leasure says that while he is “sympathetic” to parents who are concerned about long bus rides into Cumberland, but “this does not constitute irreparable injury,” as had been stated in the complaint. In essence, this means that if Little Orleans residents want to send their middle school children to Washington County middle schools, they’ll be paying their own tuition. Dr. David Cox, Allegany County Superintendent of Schools says that he is pleased the court ruled in favor of the board, and that they will now not have to amend the Fiscal Year 2012 budget to allow for the tuition payment to Washington County.
Somerset County Man Wants to Withdraw Guilty Plea in Rape
Salisbury resident Rodney Lee Thomas wants to withdraw his guilty plea in connection with charges he raped a nine-month old baby. The court has continued the proceedings to allow time for a written motion for the withdrawl of the May 5th guilty plea. Thomas entered an Alford plea in May, which does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the prosecution could likely prove the charges. If eventually found guilty, Thomas faces anywhere from 70 to 212 years in prison.
Black Bear Applications Being Accepted by Phone
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now accepting phone-in applications from hunters wishing to participate in this year’s black bear hunting permit lottery. Applications are being accepted over the phone through Friday only. Applicants may call 1-888-579-6768 to apply. This year’s black bear hunting season is scheduled for October 24th through the 29th in both Garrett and Allegany counties.
Elk Reintroduction Being Discussed
The Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are announcing the formation of a partnership to determine the viability of elk reintroduction to Western Maryland. The biological, social and economic feasibility assessments will require a minimum of 12 months to complete and will be thoroughly evaluated before any decision is made.
Delays Expected for Memorial Bridge Traffic
Traffic delays are expected for the next three to four weeks at Keyser’s Memorial Bridge, while steel beams are being off-loaded for the new structure. Beams will be off-loaded between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Tuedays and Fridays, with the exception of the week of September 5th. Unloading will only take place on Wednesday of that week.
Firearm Theft Investigated
The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating the theft of two funds from a Bloomington residence. The guns, taken from 90 Hampshire Avenue, include a Mossberg 20-gauge shotgun and either a T.C. Hunter or Encore Muzzle Loader with a stainless steel barrel and camo stock. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at (301)-387-1101.
No Parking on Portions of Washington Street Today
The City of Cumberland Engineering Department, along with contractor Betizel Corporation, is notifying residents that parking will not be permitted on Washington Street, as marked, between Prospect Square and Allegany Street today. Staining of the newly-installed curb will be taking place. If there are any questions, please contact the City of Cumberland Engineering Department at (301)-759-6600.
Earthquake Near Richmond; Aftershocks Felt in Western Maryland
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the East Coast Tuesday afternoon, with the epicenter near Richmond, Virginia. The U.S. Geological Service reports that aftershocks were being felt as far north as New York, and as far south as South Carolina. Callers from the Western Maryland area also reported feeling the aftershocks shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday. A spokesperson for the Maryland State Police says that no damage has been reported locally, but even the McHenry barrack in Garrett County felt the effects of the quake.
Fire Reported at Athey’s Exxon
A fire was reported around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday at Athey’s Exxon in the 1200-block of National Highway in LaVale. According to the Cumberland Times-News, the service bays were engulfed in flames. Fire and police units from around the area were on the scene. Traffic was being controlled in the area, and the incident was being referred to as a “working business fire.”
Taxes May Be on Special Session Agenda
The special session of the legislature in October may include discussion on more taxes. The General Assembly is being called into special session to approve a new congressional district map for the state, but the state is facing a $1 billion shortfall, and talk of additional taxes may be added to the agenda. While some say a special session may not be the best venue for talk of additional taxes, Senate President Mike Miller says that while there is a need for new revenue, he would rather focus the special session on creating jobs.
Decision on Little Orleans Students Could Come Today
A decision on the lawsuit filed by about 20 Little Orleans residents, whose children attend Washington County Middle Schools, against the Allegany County Board of Education should come today. The local board is phasing out the Washington County School Choice Program, because of budget constraints, and wants the students to attend Washington Middle School in Cumberland.
Organization Says Allegany County Children Have High Poverty Rate
The national organization, Kids Count, says the poverty rate among children living in Allegany County is among the highest in the state, but statistics for those children are, in many cases, equal or better than the state averages. The county rate is at more than 20 per cent; statewide, Maryland had the lowest incidence of child poverty in the nation. One positive aspect of the report is health care, available for children in Allegany County.
CDBG Will Benefit Five Local Projects
Several projects in the area will benefit from over $6.2 million in Community Development Block Grant Funding. The projects are located in Frostburg, Mount Savage, Lonaconing, Midland and Accident. Frostburg received a half-million for the separation of combined sanitary and storm water lines. Other funding will be used to repair sewer lines in Mount Savage, and money for the installation of emergency gernerators at Lonaconing’s water treatment plants.
Pyles Elected President of West Virginia County Commission Association
Mineral County Commissioner Cindy Pyles is the new President of the West Virginia County Commissioners’ Association, and will remain in that position until next August. She was nominated by the commissioners from Boone County, and the opposition ceded to her unanimous election. Commissioner Pyles says she is very honored to have the opportunity to serve such a diverse and hard-working group of elected officials, according to the Mineral News-Tribune.
“Mission of Mercy” Set for October 28-29 at Fairgrounds
The Western Maryland Mission of Mercy is a two-day free dental clinic, providing free services to people who could not otherwise afford dental care. This year, the event will be held on October 28th and 29th at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. The Western Maryland Mission of Mercy is in the running for up to $50,000 in funding as part of Tom’s of Maine’s 50 States for Good Program. A public vote, at the website, www.50statesforgood.comwill determine 6 winners. Five will receive $20,000 in funding and the organization with the most votes will received $50,000. Residents are urged to go online and vote for the Mission of Mercy event.
Transportation Forum To Be Held in September
“Cumberland by Road, Rail, and Water” will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 10th at the Allegany Museum on Pershing Street. The C & O National Historical Park, along with several co-sponsors are planning a special transportation forum, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Cumberland Road, also known as the National Road. There is a registration fee for the event; for additional program information and to register, go online to www.cumberlandtranspo.org,or call (301)-722-8226.
Solar Farm Proposed for MCI at Hagerstown
The Maryland State Public Service Commission is considering plans for a solar farm, which would be the state’s largest. It is being proposed for state prison land, near the Maryland Correctional Institution near Hagerstown. Developers are seeking certification for a 20-megawatt solar-panel array on 250 acres. The Board of Public Works had previously agreed to lease the land to the company. The project would create about 125 construction jobs and would boost the state’s effort to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas.
One Dead in Westminster Domestic Incident
The investigation is continuing into a weekend incident in which a Carroll County man stabbed his estranged wife, and then himself. Police say Lisa Harvey of Westminster is in critical condition, and that her husband, 50-year old Douglas Harvey died from self-inflicted stab wounds. The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is the lead investigator in this case.
NewPage Facing Debt Issues
Miamisburg, Ohio-based NewPage Corporation, which operates the Luke paper mill, experienced a $132 million net loss in the second quarter of this year, and may be “exploring various restructuring alternatives,” and Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection has been mentioned in documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Standard and Poor’s has lowered the company’s credit rating from “CCC” to “CCC-plus,” and has placed the company on a watch list for the remainder of 2011. A NewPage spokesperson says that operations will remain “business as usual before, during, or after any restructuring.”
Midland Man Arrested After Saturday Incident
Midland resident Harold Nicol faces numerous charges, after he hit several vehicles on Maryland Avenue Saturday evening; two of the vehicles were Cumberland City Police cruisers. Nicol’s vehicle left the roadway and struck the back of a police unit, which pushed it into another. It also struck a 1998 GMC truck, traveling in the opposite direction. He was arrested on driving while impaired charges, along with several motor vehicle violations. Following his arrest, he was released pending trial.
Bowling Green Man Turns Himself In on Burglary, Theft Charges
A Bowling Green man, 26-year old Timothy Walker King, has turned himself into Cumberland City Police, in connection with the burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property of Walter N. Yoder and Sons. The incident happened on the morning of August 5th, when a person broke into the business and stole a large amount of copper wire and copper fittings. King was identified through surveillance video. He was held on $30,000 bond, pending his next court appearance.
Cumberland Man Arrested on Two Warrants
Nineteen year old David Robert Evans of Cumberland is being held on $8500 bail, following his arrest over the weekend. He was charged with burglary and misdemeanor theft, in connection with an incident from earlier in the month. A second warrant charges him with misdemeanor assault, trespassing, reckless endangerment and disturbing the peace, in connection with a June incident, where he reportedly entered a yard and caused a disturbance and assaulted the tenants. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner, where bail was set.
Trash Service in Keyser To Be Discussed
The city of Keyser will hold a special meeting on Monday, August 29th, to consider a mandatory, uniform trash-collection throughout the city. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at City Hall; Mayor Randy Amtower is looking at instituting the service as a way to help clean up the community and save residents money on their trash bills. Modeled on a plan from nearby Westernport, Keyser would hire a private contractor to provide service, then collect payments from residents.
Police Called to WMHSRMC
A Grantsville man was arrested at the Western Maryland Health System Regional Medical Center early Friday morning. Fifty-one year old John Norman Merrbach of Grantsville was accused of causing a disturbance in the emergency department, and was asked several times to leave. As officers tried to escort him from the building, he began pushing and assaulting them. He faces numerous charges, and was to have received a hearing in Allegany County District Court.
Odell Leaving Provost Post in June, 2012
Kerry Odell has announced he will be leaving the campus provost position at Potomac State College in June of next year. Under his direction, enrollment at the college has grown by 38 per cent over the past nine years. Odell also served as the College’s interim president from 2003 through 2005, and led the transition of Potomac State to a fully integrated division of West Virginia University. A search for the next campus provost will begin this fall.
Pennsylvania Utility Commission to Hold Area Code Hearing
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission will conduct a public input hearing on Tuesday, to gather information on what is known as an area code relief plan, or what to do when an area runs out of telephone numbers. The meeting will be held in the Keystone Room of the Quality Inn along Route 220, near the turnpike interchange. It is set for 6 p.m. The project date when the “814” area code will run out of numbers is the first quarter of 2015. Because the date has been pushed back, the commission will be able to hold further hearings and suspend the timeline to implement the relief plan.
America’s 911 Ride Arrives at 8 a.m.
Today’s 911 Ride through Cumberland could include a 14-mile span of motorcycles, and the route is being changed to accommodate that. Riders are expected around 8 a.m. From the Narrows, they will travel on Mechanic Street; from there, they will turn left onto Frederick Street, to Nave’s Crossroads. Riders will continue on Route 144, entering Interstate 68 near Rocky Gap State Park. The route will be closed to through traffic; citizens who live and work in Cumberland should expect street closures and delays in traveling throughout parts of the city.
Cause of Rose Hill Avenue Fire Determined
The cause of a fire on Rose Hill Avenue Wednesday has been traced to improperly discarded smoking material. The fire damaged a three-unit apartment building, owned by Thomas Mattingly and occupied by James Whittington and Sherry Perkins. Damages were estimated at $5,000 to the building itself and $500 to the contents. The fire originated on a second-floor deck, and there was no damage to the interior of the building.
Scenic Byways Funding Includes Western Maryland
The United States Department of Transportation has awarded several grants to the Maryland Department of Transportation to help preserve and enhance historic scenic byways in the state under the National Scenic Byways program. Also included in the funding is just over $485,000 to help implement the National Road corridor management plan in Western Maryland. The gran will help finance the acquisition of a 277-acre conservation easement and implement additional resource protection along the corridor.
Commission Improves Terms for Slots License Bidders
The state slots commission has improved the terms for bidding for slots licenses in Baltimore and at Rocky Gap State Park. At Rocky Gap, the commission agreed to reduce the financial commitment for wastewater treatment upgrades for the proposed casino there. Instead of paying out $4 million, the developer would pay around $1.8 million, to cover the estimated impact of the operation on the existing system. Bids are due September 23rd for the last two of the five slots sites authorized by voters.
State Crime Rate Down; Local Rate Increases
Maryland’s crime rate decreased to 6.3 per cent last year, but Allegany County’s rate actually rose, with a 10.7 per cent increase. The violent crime rate is more than double the figures from 1975, and is the highest crime rate ever. Many smaller counties are seeing increases, but a criminology expert says it is NOT due to the economic downturn. The state had the highest rate of violent crimes in 2009, with 590 per 100,000 people, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program.
Somerset County Man Dies in Explosion
A fifty-year old Hooversville resident has died in an explosion at a Somerset County facility. George Rininger died at UPMC Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh. Rininger, an 18-year employee of Kantner Iron and Steel, was cutting the lock from a large steel box, which contained between 50 and 100 pounds of black powder, which exploded. The box was not marked as containing explosives, and came from a farm near Meyersdale last week. Several agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police, OSHA, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, are investigating.
Man Sentenced Second Time In Connection with Fatal Crash
Fairhope resident Jack Jarosz has been sentenced to anywhere from 48 months to 15 years in connection with a fatal accident in 2008. A new trial had been granted by the State Superior Court in 2009, because he said errors were made in the case. He was found guilty earlier this summer during a jury trial, in the death of 64-year old Burt Reany of Chambersburg. The crash occurred on Route 31, at the intersection with Route 96 in Harrison Township. Jarosz had been driving with a suspended license from a prior drunk driving conviction at the time of the accident.
Giordano Had Insurance Policy on Companion
Gary Giordano, the U.S. tourist being detained in Aruba in connection with the case of a missing Frederick woman, had taken out an insurance policy on her, and had tried to cash it in. Giordano had mentioned the policy while being questioned in connection to the disappearance of 35-year old Robyn Gardner by Aruban authorities. A judge has ruled there is sufficient evidence to hold Giordano for 16 more days in connection to Ms. Gardner’s disappearance.
Allegany County Students May Attend Washington County Schools
On the heels of a lawsuit, filed by Orleans residents against the Allegany County Board of Education, comes word that Washington County has approved a memorandum of understanding that allows some Allegany County high school students to continue using Washington County Schools. So far, 18 students will be included in the agreement; sixteen will go to Hancock Middle-Senior High School in the coming school year. One will attend the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts and one will attend Washington County Technical High School. Allegany County will provide bus transportation, and will reimburse Washington County fo the cost of educational services.
Traffic Advisory Issued by Maryland State Police
The Maryland State Police are warning motorists who are traveling tomorrow morning during “America’s 911 Ride,” which will run through Allegany and Washington Counties. From 7:30 a.m. to about 3 p.m. and 6:45 a.m. until approximately 12:30 p.m., motorists can expect delays. A group of about 2500 motorcyclists will be making the trek from Somerset County, through Allegany County, to Washington County. The riders are expected to arrive in Cumberland between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Those traveling eastbound on I-68 or eastbound I-70 should strongly consider avoiding those routes.
Charges Filed Against Bouncers
Charges have been filed against two men who were hired as bouncers, in connection with an assault incident that occurred in April at the Legz Gold Club in Ridgeley. Both Tim Bohn of Cumberland and Jeff Meyers of Ridgeley are being charged. The alleged victim in the incident was ordered out of the club; after he didn’t leave willingly, the two are shown on video, striking and kicking the victim. Statements were taken after the incident, because, at the time, the victim and two other witnesses were too intoxicated to obtain any information.
One Man Hospitalized, Another In Jail After Moorefield Stabbing
An incident on Monday in Moorefield has left one man in the hospital, and has landed the other in jail. According to reports, Mohamad Hassoni allegedly stabbed Omar Abbas with a piece of glass broken during a fight. Abbas was treated at Grant Memorial Hospital, and later transported to Winchester, Virginia Medical Center. Hassoni was treated and released from the hospital, and was being held on $50,000 bond at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.
Cumberland Third Best Place to Live Cheaply
Forbes Magazine has come out with a list of the “Top 10 Places to Live Cheaply” in the U.S., and Cumberland was in that Top 10. Cumberland came in third. The article cited a median income of $52,500, and a median housing price of $81,000. The article states the city has an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, and a crime rate of 480 per 100,000 incidents. Other cities in the top 10 included Kokomo, Indiana; Bay City, Michigan; and, Wheeling West Virginia.
New Public Safety Commissioner Appointed in Frostburg
Walter Mackay has been appointed to the position of public safety commissioner in Frostburg, pending approval of the City Council. Mackay, who had been the sole proprietor of Shupe’s Pharmacy in Frostburg for 26 years, will fill the position vacated by Robert Flanigan, who was appointed Mayor of Frostburg recently. Flanigan assumed that position by the July 5th retirement of former Mayor Arthur Bond.
League for Crippled Children to Change Name
The League for Crippled Children is changing its name, effective September 1st. The new name will be “The League-A Children’s Place.” The organization’s mission continues to be to provide free care to children with disabilities, and will soon add occupational therapy to their wide range of services. The League for Crippled Children held its first clinic in November of 1926 at the home of Miss Ann Sloan in Lonaconing, and incorporated in May, 1934 as the Allegany County, Maryland League for Crippled Children, Incorporated.
Somerset Man Bound Over for Trial
Nineteen-year old Somerset resident Zachery Allen Koval will face arson charges in Somerset County court. Koval has admitted to intentionally setting fire to a mobile home on Cherry Lane, because the previous tenant had made inappropriate comments about his sister. He is now being held on $25,000 unsecured bail.
Three Arrested in Connection with Washington County Burglary
Three Washington County residents have been arrested in connection with the burglary of the Home Care Pharmacy on Jefferson Boulevard in Smithsburg. Twenty-year old Michael Mann, Smithsburg resident Brett Toms, also 20, and 24-year old Brittany Swetizer have been taken into custody. The suspects tried to enter the pharmacy through an adjacent office, then tried to gain entry through a door from Smithsburg Family Practice. They also tried to get in through the drive-thru window and the rear entrance of the pharmacy. The investigation is continuing.
Parents File Suit Against Board
A group of Little Orleans parents has filed suit against the Allegany County Board of Education, in an effort to keep their children in Washington County Schools. The suit asks that the court stop the board from requiring middle school students to attend Allegany County public schools, and allowing them to remain at Hancock Middle/Senior High School. No date for the hearing has been set.
Mayor and Council Receive Update on Ridgecrest, Perkins Restaurant
The Cumberland Mayor and City Council received updates last night on the former Memorial Hospital and the Perkin’s Restaurant, which is still planned for Canal Place. John Laughlin of Ridgecrest says that all projects in conjunction with the building are still moving ahead; Perkins restaurant is expected to exercise its lease option within the next few weeks, before the Labor Day holiday weekend. The Perkins and Marie Callendar’s Incorporated bankruptcy does not affect the Cumberland project at Canal Place.
Garrett County Man Disarmed During Tuesday Incident
A Garrett County man was taken into custody without incident yesterday, after he confronted sheriff’s deputies outside of his Grantsville home. Twenty-seven year old Jason Beitzel was taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital, following his arrest yesterday. Beitzel, who was armed, exited the home early yesterday morning, refusing to drop the rifle he was carrying. Instead, he loaded it and moved toward the deputies in an aggressive manner. Minimal force was used to take him into custody.
Commissioners Attending MACO Conference
The Allegany County Commissioners are attending the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference this week in Ocean City. The goal of the conference is to provide county decision makers and other participants with a clearer perspective of the challenges facing counties and to provide strategies for addressing and solving those challenges. The theme for the conference is, “New Energy, New Outcomes.”
Drug Testing Possible for Keyser Employees
The city of Keyser may be instituting a drug testing policy for anyone driving a city vehicle, or who operates equipment. The Mayor and Council there are waiting for word on the costs, and the City Attorney John Athey is still looking at the language of a proposed policy, and how it would agree with state and federal law. The new policy, when adopted, would be added to the city employee’s handbook.
More Details in Death of Somerset County Baby
More details are being released on the death of a 17-month old baby in Somerset County on August 5th. Twenty-six year old Cody Schartiger had been charged in connection with the death of a 3-year old boy last year in Ursina. That case is still under investigation, but Schartiger is again in custody and his $75,000 bail has been revoked. It is not clear whether there is a connection between the two cases. Some in the area said the child had been very sick and had been in the hospital in five days. The child also allegedly had an appointment scheduled at Children’s Hospital.
Vehicle Theft Investigated
The Maryland State Police at McHenry are investigating the theft of keys and loose change from a car along Pysell Road in the Mountain Village West apartment complex. The Maryland State Police are reminding everyone to keep their cars locked, valuables out of sight, and to not leave the car keys in the vehicle. Anyone with information or if suspicious activity is observed, is asked to contact the McHenry barrack at (301)-387-1101 or the LaVale barrack at (301)-729-2101.
Pennsylvania Man Sentenced on Drug Charges
Saxton, Pennsylvania resident Gene Baker has been sentenced from 15 to 30 years in a state correctional facility. The 69-year old man had been considered a major heroin and crack cocaine supplier in the Saxton-Broad Top-Heopwell areas. A search of his home turned up drug paraphernalia, as well as a sawed-off shotgun. He was convicted by a jury in late April, on seven counts each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, along with other drug counts.
John Humbird Offers School Choice Option
John Humbird Elementary School will be offering the Title I School Choice Option to families during the upcoming school year. This is being done in compliance with No Child Left Behnd guidelines, and as a result of John Humbird not achieving Adequate Yearly Progress for two consecutive years. Parents will have the choice to transfer their children to either Northeast or South Penn Elementary Schools, or to remain at John Humbird. The school system will provide transportation to students choosing to transfer.
Tri-Towns Homefest Meeting Set
The Tri-Towns Homefest Planners will meet at the Westernport City Building on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. to coordinate a community celebration for September 9th through the 11th. If there are any questions, contact Jim Mertz at (301)-268-2895.
Companies Respond to Baltimore Avenue Fire
The Cumberland, Ridgeley, and Bowling Green Fire Departments responded to a fire early Saturday morning at 332 Baltimore Avenue in Cumberland. Property damage was set at $15,000 and content damage was placed at $1,000. There were no injuries. The structure is owned by Greg and Denise Stup, and was occupied by Christina Blowe, Gregory Lincoln and their four children. The cause has been traced to wires arcing in a void space in the back of the residence.
Three Arrested In Everett Area Drug Sting
Two Everett, Pennsylvania residents and one from Hopewell have been arrested on drug charges, stemming from an investigation that began in April of this year. Taken into custody were 27-year old Timothy Lee Hall and 31-year old Earl John Harding of Everett, along with 24-year old Travis Donaldson of Hopewell. They were arrested Friday, when they returned from Baltimore, presumably to purchase heroin for resale in Bedford County. All three are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Bedford County Court.
Water Advisory Posted for Broadford Park
The Garrett County Health Department is warning of a concentration of a blue-green algae, alled Microcystitis have been reported at Broadford Park bathing beach. Swimmers and water skiers are being advised to avoid areas with the algae. It can cause skin irritation, nausea and other effects if swallowed or with prolonged contac t. The Garrett County Health Department is advising that if you come in contact with the algae, to wash it off with fresh water as soon as possible. Don’t drink the water, and if any skin irritation persists, see a physician or health care provider.
Keyser Man Charged With Auto Theft, DUI and Other Traffic Offenses
A Keyser, West Virginia man, Timothy Franklin Brooks, was arrested over the weekend in Garrett County. The traffic stop took place on Route 135, east of Route 560 in Oakland. A Maryland State Police trooper detected a strong odor of alcohol, and Brooks was placed under arrest for DUI. It was further discovered that the car-a 2005 Hyundai-had been stolen. He was further charged with auto theft and several other traffic offenses.
Meeting Set for South Penn Construction
Construction crews are working to keep South Penn School’s classroom addition project on schedule for the opening of the 2011-2012 school year. The school will become home to two new pre-kindergarten classrooms, as well as an expanded parking lot. There will be a public meeting on the progress of the project on Wednesday, August 17th at 5 p.m. in the gymnasium, in an effort to answer questions and address concerns that parents or community members may have regarding the project. A Cumberland City Police Officer will also be in attendance at the meeting.
Virginia Avenue Repairs Set for Wednesday
The Cumberland Street Department will perform a street repair on southbound Virginia Avenue at Queen Street Wednesday. Work will begin at 8:30 a.m., weather permitting. Virginia Avenue, from East Industrial Boulevard to Bowen Street, will be one-lane for approximately three hours. Traffic will be controlled by flaggers and directed through the northbound side of the Virginia Avenue underpass.
FBI Enters Case of Missing Frederick Woman
The FBI is entering the case of a missing Frederick woman in Aruba. The Bureau is working with Aruban authorities in the investigation. Her companion, Gary Giordano is being held for questioning there. He claims the woman went missing while the two were snorkeling.
Tax Free Week Underway
Maryland’s tax-free shopping week is underway, where the 6 per cent sales tax will be waived on most clothing and shoes, priced $100 or less. The week is designed to help retailers during the Back To School Shopping season. The annual week costs the state $19 million in tax revenue; Maryland also holds a tax free shopping weekend in February, during the President’s Day Weekend, exempting the sales tax on energy efficient appliances.
Maryland 511 Helps State Residents Navigate Daily Commutes, Road Trips, Special Events
The new Maryland 511 system will provide free, one-stop shopping for travel information on state maintained roadways, including travel times, incident or work zone lane closures, weather reports and connections to transit, airport and tourism information. By calling “511, commuters and visitors are offered more predictable travel in Maryland. Drivers can save time, fuel costs and the frustration that often breeds aggressive and unsafe driving. The website, which provides the same type of information, can be accessed at www.MD511.org.
West Virginia Special Session Begins Thursday
West Virginia’s Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, is calling state lawmakers back into special session this Thursday at noon. He is vetoing the redistricting bill passed by members of the House earlier in the month. In that plan, some voting precincts ended up in two districts and one area didn’t have a delegate district. How long the special session will last is open to speculation.
Mistrial Declared in Somerset Drug Case
A mistrial has been declared in the case of a 28-year old Somerset man, chargred with dealing drugs. The mistrial was declared just before closing arguments in the case against 28-year old Alon Whitehead, Jr, who is accused of dealing crack cocaine from his car. The issues that lead to the mistrial are under investigation and the defense attorney was unavailable for comment.
O’Malley Says Tax Hikes Possible
Governor Martin O’Malley is not ruling out tax proposals during this fall’s special session of the General Assembly, dealing with legislative redistricting. The coming fiscal year may bring a deficit of about a billion dollars. O’Malley will further address the budget deficit during the Maryland Association of Counties meeting next weekend in Ocean City. A previous special session of the General Assembly produced an increase in the sales tax, as well as an income tax increase on Marylanders earning more than a half-million dollars a year.
Man Held on $100,000 on Sexual Assault Charges
Forty-four year old Duane Montaque-Bey is being held on $100,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, after being charged with multiple sexual assault counts. A 14-year old female told police that she had been pulled to the side of a building in the 200-block of Baltimore Avenue and was assaulted. Montaque-Bey gave a false name to the officer, and was placed under arrest. He was taken to Allegany County District Court for an initial appearance.
Officer Assaulted by Inmate
An officer at the Western Correctional Institution suffered minor injuries, after being struck in the face by an inmate, during yesterday morning’s medication distribution. The officer was removed from the prison by co-workers, and was treated and released at the hospital. A suspect has been identified and investigators will pursue criminal charges. The officer will be able to return to work in a couple of days.
Oldtown Road Work Set for Monday
The Cumberland Street Department will be repairing Oldtown Road, between Pennsylvania Avenue and Race Street on Monday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting. Oldtown Road will be closed from South Street to Grand Avenue for about eight hours, and traffic will be detoured onto South Street, Grand Avenue and East First Street.
City Market Hopes for Spring, 2012 Opening
The City Market Group is hoping for a spring, 2012 opening. During a conference call yesterday, members of the market group learned they could not apply for an Appalachian Regional Commission grant until October 1st; they are in the process of filling out the grant application, because it needs to be more specific about vendors. The Cumberland City Market, located in the former G. C. Murphy Building, is expected to attract 25 vendors and will include food, retail and service-oriented programs.
Making Strides Event Holds Kickoff Dinner
The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer kickoff dinner was held last night at Windsor Hall, with over 100 supporters in attendance, including sponsors and team captains. Annette Wolford served as emcee for the program and dinner which marks the start for the Walk, to be held at Canal Place on Saturday, October 8th. Last year, over $54,000 was raised and the goal this year has been set at a much higher level. Over 500 walkers participated in the 2010 teams, and new teams are forming for 2011. October 1st through the 8th is “Paint the Town Pink” Week to raise awareness for the event. For details, contact Lindsay Wilson at the American Cancer Society.
Somerset County Child’s Death “Suspicious” In Nature
The death of a 17-month old child in Somerset County is being termed “suspicious” by Pennsylvania State Police. The child died on August 5th, at about 3:50 a.m. in Ursina Borough, Somerset County. Authorities have not released the gender, nor the name of the child. The Somerset County Cororner is working with State Police in the investigation, and it will be several weeks to determine if charges will be filed.
Shuster Opposes Route 219 Bill
In a move that could further complicate the completion of Route 219, U.S. Representative Bill Shuster is opposing a Senate-introduced Appalachian Development Highway System Act of 2011. The bill could allow states with limited fund balances, such as West Virginia, to rescind or borrow federal funds from states like Pennsylvania that are not spending money. About $35 million is still needed to finance the project, which was funded primarily through the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Lake Closed Due to Bacterial Outbreak
The 42-acre lake at Cowan’s Gap State Park was closed because of an outbreak of bacterial infections, that included a Maryland child. There have been six confirmed cases of E.coli infection and three other probable infections among people who swam there. There was no evidence the park’s drinking water was contaminated. More intensive water testing is being done at the lake.
Active Search for Frederick Woman Called Off
The active search for Robyn Gardner of Frederick, who went missing while swimming in Aruba, has been called off. Her companion Gary Giordano remained in jail, after being questioned in conjunction with the case. The two had gone snorkeling, and Giordano says Ms. Gardner was not with him when they swam back to sea. Aruban officials, however, are questioning Giordano’s account of the August 2nd events.
Maryland Maintains AAA Rating
The state of Maryland has maintained its Triple-A rating. Standard and Poor’s downgraded the federal government’s rating to Double-A-plus last week, but has not altered Maryland’s rating. There is a strong investor demand for the state’s general obligation bonds in a sale last month; the true interest cost on the bond sale was among the lowest since 1988.
Two Die In Pendleton County Murder-Suicide
What may have started as a domestic incident has resulted in the deaths of two men in Pendleton County Tuesday afternoon. Burlington resident Delmus Dye shot and killed Tony Sites of Riverton, then turned the gun on himself. Police believe Sites may have been an innocent bystander, and Dye was, in fact, trying to shoot his girlfriend in the parking lot of Hinkle Trucking. The investigation into the incident is continuing by the West Virginia State Police.
Board Establishing Gift Policy
The Allegany County Board of Education is adopting a gift policy, which is being considered because of financial tests that are performed on fixed assets by auditors. The Cumberland Times News states that there was no mention of two controversial George Washington portraits, donated by the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization. The group’s logo is on the portrait. It contained a cross, which was covered up by board staff.
Price Tag for Repair, Main Set at Over $100,000
The two water main breaks in the vicinity of Bedford Street and Henderson Avenue could cost the city upwards of $100,000. One valve alone cost $8,000; that valve was used to fix the most recent water main break on Monday. The exact cause of the ruptures remains under investigation.
Bill Has Senate Support in Two States
Pennsylvania United States Senator Pat Toomey is co-sponsoring a bill, which would repeal a ban on states using toll credits as matching funds for Appalachian Development Highway System projects. This brings Senatorial support for Senate Bill 950 to four, including fellow Pennsylvania Senator Robert Casey, as well as Maryland United States Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski. A companion bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives, and it currently has ten sponsors.
Gas Station Garage Struck; No Injuries
A vehicle struck the garage of the Valero service station on East Main Street in Frostburg late yesterday morning; there were no injuries. Both hazmat and collapse teams were alerted to the collision, but were later cancelled. The Frostburg and Shaft fire departments responded to the scene, and a private contractor was called to secure the building.
Keyser Man Charged with Several Burglaries
Keyser resident Joshua Aaron Roy has been charged with several burglaries in the Short Gap area. Roy is charged with the theft of two, 42-inch flat screen televisions, a computer monitor, a Nintendo Wii, and a large assortment of jewelry. Roy is also alleged to have stolen a vehicle in Keyser. All of the stolen items were recovered from the car. He is being held in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail. Burglary carries with it a possible sentence of one to fifteen years, while grand larceny carries a sentence of one to ten years. Roy faces not only three counts of burglary, but three counts of grand larceny.
Former Tourism Director Passes at 86
The former director of tourism for Allegany County, Josephine Beynon, passed away Tuesday at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Ms. Beynon was instrumental in establishing Heritage Days, the official Allegany County festival. Friends are being received at the Scarpelli Funeral Home on Virginia Avenue tomorrow from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Services are set for Saturday at 1 p.m.
Governor Asked to Veto Redistricting Bill
West Virginia Delegate Gary Howell has asked Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to veto a bill that would split the town of Piedmont between Delegate Howell and Delegate Allen Evans. The town is presently included, in its entirety in Evans’ 48th District, according to the Mineral News-Tribune Review.
Cumberland Man Charged with Burglary
A twenty-seven year old Cumberland man faces various burglary charges, along with malicious destruction of property and theft. A man was seen leaving a residence in the 100-block of Decatur Street, carrying a television set. Officers followed a blood trail to a nearby apartment building and located the suspect with the stolen property. Taken into custody was Keith August Palmisano. The alleged theft occurred Tuesday evening, and Palmisano had been awaiting an initial appearance at Allegany County District Court.
Animal Abuse Case Investigated in Bedford County
The Bedford County Barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police is investigating what is being called an act of animal abuse. An 11-year old quarter horse, owned by Joni Allen, was allegedly shot with BB pellets several times. The incident happened between 7 a.m. and noon on Briar Valley Road in Bedford Township. Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Police at (814)-623-6133.
Direct Air Ending Hagerstown Service
Direct Air will be ending its service out of Hagerstown Regional Airport on August 21st, but may return next year. At this point, Cape Air will be the only regional carrier out of the Hub City. Hagerstown has been determined by Direct Air to be a good “seasonal market,” and the company hopes to return to service next spring. Direct Air had been flying twice a week from Hagerstown to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Lakeland, Florida.
Allegany Decision Next Month
The Allegany County Commissioners will decide as soon as next month, whether to build a new Allegany High School. Commission President Mike McKay believes, that with 93 per cent of the funding for the school coming from the state, there is no better time to move forward with the project. The Allegany County Board of Education and the Commissioners met yesterday in a public work session to discuss the issue; county approval is needed to move forward on the project. There is still no decision on where the school would be built, should the project be approved.
No Buildings Damaged in Water Main Break
Unlike last month’s water main break, Monday’s rupture did not affect any buildings in the Bedford and Independence Street areas. This break is only 50 feet from the last one, and repairs were to have been finished by now, and the McMullen Bridge has since been re-opened to traffic. There are no estimates as to how much water was lost from Monday’s incident. In July, a 24-inch main burst in the same area, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the Adams Family Funeral Home.
Minor Grease Fire Affects Denny’s
An accidental grease fire caused only about $100 damage to Denny’s Restaurant on National Highway yesterday morning. The fire was out by the time the LaVale Fire Department arrived on the scene. The incident was reported around 5:42 a.m.
Bedford Man Arrested In Domestic Incident
A Bedford man has been arrested in connection with an alleged domestic assault in the 600-block of North Mechanic Street on Monday, August 1st. A female victim said she had been in an argument with 22-year old Charles Douglas Cobak. Officers observed physical injury to the victim’s arms, chest, and face. Police applied for charges at Allegany County District Court. Cobak was released on personal recognizance, following an initial appearance at Allegany County District Court.
Tri-Towns Meeeting Set
The Tri-Towns Homefest Planners will meet at the Westernport City Building this evening at 7 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to coordinate a community celebration for the weekend of September 9th through the 11th. If you have any questions, contact Jim Mertz at (301)-268-2895.
Bedford Jobless Rate Rises
The unemployment rate in Bedford County rose a half-percentage point from May to June. Even with seasonal adjustments, the rate went from 9.5 in May to 9.9 in June. About two-thirds of those entering the labor force in June found jobs, according to the Department of Labor and Industry.
Fatal Accident on I-70
One woman was killed Monday afternoon, when she stepped outside of a tractor-trailer to make an adjustment on the rig. The crash occurred along Interstate 70, near the Frederick County line. The unidentified woman was thrown into a guardrail, when the trailer was struck from behind by a tow truck. She was pronounced dead at Meritus Medical Center. Her co-driver was not injured.
O’Malley Urged to Not Back Gay Marriage
Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien privately urged Governor Martin O’Malley to not support gay marriage, saying it was a “goal that so deeply conflicts with your faith.” However, soon after that meeting, O’Malley said he would introduce legislation next year to allow gay couples to marry. The Governor, who is Catholic, opposed same-sex marriage when he first ran for the office in 2006.
Man Charged With Lying to Investigators
Anthony Lambert, who is charged with lying to investigators and hiding a fugitive is expected to plead guilty in the case. In February of this year, Charles Smith shot and killed Elkins native Derek Hotsinpiller, a deputy marshal who was serving a search warrant. Smith was also killed; his wife, Sherry, is accused of hiding her husband and lying to authorities. Lambert is her daughter’s boyfriend. He could be sentenced to five years in prison.
Unclaimed Property Online Auction Continues
An online unclaimed property auction is underway until August 18th. West Virginia State Treasurer, John Perdue, is encouraging West Virginians to check out the latest items available. Dozens of jewelry, watches, coins and other collectible items found in expired safe deposit boxes are available online for public bid. To view the auction items, go to www.westvirginiaunclaimedproperty.org.
Water Main Break in Bedford Street Area
The second water main break, in the area of Bedford Street, Independence Street and Henderson Avenue occurred yesterday afternoon. A 24-inch main burst, sending water through the area and flooding some structures. Water service in the North End area was disrupted for several hours last night. In the first break, on July 6th, flooded some businesses in the area, including the Adams Family Funeral home, and that caused over $300,000 in damage.
New Trial Requested in Infant Death
A new trial date of November 9th and 10th has been granted for Joseph Bennett of Augusta, who is accused of suffocating his girlfriend’s infant daughter in their Burlington home. He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 12-month old Alexis May Harbaugh. Bennett requested a new attorney at the last minute, and the jury trial was then postponed. The Mineral News-Tribune reports that Bennett remains incarcerated in the Potomac Highlands Jail.
Former Teacher Competent for Trial
Denise Fitch, the former Mineral County teacher accused of engaging in illegal sexual conduct with three teenage boys, has been deemed competent to stand trial. The incidents allegedly occurred in the fall of 2010, and the investigation in the case began after Fitch confessed to a psychologist and then her husband. Since being charged, it was reported she is going through a divorce, lost her job with the Mineral County Board of Education, was forced to sell her home and has filed for bankruptcy. Her next hearing will be on Monday, August 29th at 1 p.m.
Man Arrested in Domestic Incident
A domestic assault incident has landed a 52-year old Montgomery Avenue man in the Allegany County Detention Center on $25,000 bond. Steven Morozek is alleged to have pointed a gun at his wife; she ran from the residence and called the police. He left the residence as officers were positioned outside. The loaded gun was found under a couch in the home. He was charged with both first and second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment. He is being held on $25,000 bond.
First People’s Opens 10th Community Branch
First People’s Community Federal Credit Union has opened its newest branch in Accident, Maryland on Main Street. This is the tenth branch for the credit union. Codi Powell has been named branch manager, and Stephanie Beitzel is the assistant manager. The Accident branch will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, except holidays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Slanesville Residents Allegedly Part of Drug Sting
Slanesville residents John Malcolm and his wife Jill have been arrested as part of a multi-county drug sting in West Virginia. Both have been arraigned in Hampshire County on charges of conspiracy and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Bond was set at $75,000 each; both have posted bond and have been released from the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail near Augusta. The operation focused on several individuals allegedly distributing Oxycodone and Suboxone.
Funding Continued for Hagerstown Airport
President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday that continues funding for Cape Air, that flies out of Washington County Airport. The funding had been in doubt, but the subsidy is now guaranteed through the end of the year; Hagerstown can then apply for more funding into next year.
Vehicle Sought in I-70 Crash
A white or silver car is being sought in a Sunday night crash, which injured five people on Interstate 70 in Eastern Washington County. The car hit a vehicle, driven by Frederick resident Penny Marie Shiflett causing her to lose control, go off the right side of the roadway and overturn. She, along with three juvenile passengers were taken to Meritus Medical Center. Another adult passenger, Erin Lorraine Benjamin of Harrisburg was flown to Baltimore with serious inures. The vehicle that hit Ms. Shiflett should be a Pontiac or GM car, light in color with damaged to the right front of the vehicle. It should also have a broken headlight.
DEP Wants More Gas Well Inspectors
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection want to add more inspectors, with the anticipated increase in gas well sites across the state. To have the inspection program up to speed would cost an additional $2 million per year, and the DEP believes it can generate that kind of funding with new fees on drilling permits. There are 17 field inspectors for gas wells in the state; four are in southern West Virginia, with the balance in the northern areas, where the Marcellus Shale Development is happening.
Mass Schedules Announced, Leaders Chosen for New Parish
Five local churches, which are being consolidated into one, known as “Our Lady of the Mountains,” have announced a new Mass schedule and leadership. Father Gregory Chervenak will be the pastor of the new parish; it was also announced that Saints Peter and Paul Church will no longer have a Sunday mass, but will celebrate during the week, and on Saturday, along with St. Mary’s and St. Ambrose. Both St. Patrick parishes in Cumberland and Mount Savage will have Mass on Sunday. The new schedule will take effect the weekend of September 10th and 11th.
Industry Reps Urge for Accelerated Marcellus Shale Timeline
A committee of energy industry representatives recently met at Rocky Gap State Park to discuss a three-year timeline to study the benefits and risks of natural-gas drilling for Marcellus Shale in the region. Many feel that a study of over three years is not needed, does not require an executive order from the Governor, and would consider an environmental baseline study in return for an accelerated timeline. Drilling production is already underway in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Man Charged with Filing False Police Report
A 34-year old Cumberland man has been charged with allegedly filing a false report of an assault on Davidson Street, which he said took place on August 1st. Lawrence Scroggins is also charged with making a false ambulance report, making false statements to police and obstructing an hindering. He is being held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $8500 bond.
Disturbance at Greene Street Store
A Cumberland man was arrested in the 200-block of Greene last Thursday, after he created a disturbance. Charles Robison II is accused of becoming irate at a store clerk, and began to scream obscenities. He is further accused of throwing items from the counter onto the floor. He was taken to Police Headquarters and issued a criminal citation for disorderly conduct.
Breaking and Entering at Pepsi Plant
Cumberland City Police are looking for information on the breaking and entering of the Pepsi Cola Bottling Works Warehouse on Paca Street over the weekend. A person or persons entered the building, ransacked the office area, and stole the video surveillance recording system, along with a small amount of cash. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police or Allegany County CrimeSolvers at (301)-722-4300.
Keyser Pre-Construction Studies Nearly Finished
Preparation for the construction of the new Keyser Primary School was to have started in June of this year, but the completion date is still set for the fall of 2013. An archaeological study has shown that there are no significant artifacts that would have prevented digging at the site. A flood plain study is due to be completed next week.
Westernport Man Arrested in Connection with Assault
Westernport resident Eric Wayne Whetstone is being held on $20,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, after he was served an arrest warrant and protective order. The arrest stems from a domestic assault that had taken place earlier. Whetstone received a bond hearing at the Allegany County District Court Commissioners’ Office.
Students Enrolling in Hyndman Charter School
A total of 297 students have signed up to attend the HOPE for Hyndman Charter School, with just over 20 days until classes begin. That number is somewhat short of the 320 who filled out preliminary forms to attend, and Principal Malynda Maurer is urging parents to complete enrollment documents, or risk being placed on a waiting list for filled classes. Of the 297 registered, 101 are signed up for elementary school and 196 are for the high school.
Another Possible Special Session for West Virginia
West Virginia is hoping to finalize a bill that would implement comprehensive regulations for natural gas drilling in Marcellus Shale areas. The Senate Finance Committee, which is overseeing the issue, has only one more meeting. Lawmakers are laying the groundwork for future permanent regulations.
Tourism Funding Announced
The City of Cumberland has received a $40,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant for the Canal Place Heritage Area Plan Update project. The goal is to improve the economic climate within the heritage area of Allegany County. In addition to the ARC funding, other groups will provide funding, including the National Park Service, along with state and local resources for a total of just over $220,000.
Hazmat Team Sent To Home
Hazmat responders were sent to a Fort Avenue home yesterday, when concern was raised about a letter, containing an unknown powder substance. The woman was decontaminated at the scene and was not injured. As the post office uses two screening procedures, officials felt that the white, powdery substance was simply glue from the letter itself.
Over Two Dozen Arrested in Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley Counties
Approximately 25 arrests have been made in Morgan, Hampshire and Berkeley counties, tied to the alleged distribution of prescription drugs in those areas. Two residents of Hampshire and two in Morgan County were taken into custody on felony drug charges. The investigation has focused on several people, who were allegedly distributing Oxycodone and Suboxone in all three counties. Along with currency, prescription drugs, vehicles, tools, and electronics were seized.
County Disavows Tie to Elite Publishing
It has been brought to the attention of the Allegany County Office of Tourism that Elite Publishing and Design, Incorporated, with a post office box in Mossville, Illinois is contacting stakeholders in the area, claiming to represent “The Mountainside of Maryland,” the official visitor guide of Allegany County. The office has no connection to Elite Publishing, and they are not acting on behalf of the tourism office. The Allegany County Office of Tourism will continue to publish “The Mountainside of Maryland,” and will continue to contact stakeholders personally.
No Stopover On 911 Ride
The America’s 911 Ride will not include a stopover in Allegany County, as has been the case in past years, and there will be a new route through the city. The stop is now scheduled for the Prime Outlets in Hagerstown. The motorcyclists will arrive in Cumberland at about 8 a.m. on Friday, August 19th. The route will be from Route 36, through the Narrows, and continue south on Mechanic Street. The route changes when they turn left and travel Frederick Street, until they reach Nave’s Crossroads. They will eventually travel onto Interstate 68 Eastbound, via Ali Ghan Road.
Part of Valley Road Closed Next Week
The Cumberland Street Department is performing a street repair on Valley Road, approximately a half-mile from Henderson Avenue. Weather permitting, the work will take place next Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Valley Road, from Independence Street to Forest Avenue, will be closed to thru traffic during the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. period. Valley Road will open to one-lane traffic at the construction site after 3 p.m.
Man Arrested in Disturbance
A Ridgeley man was arrested, after creating a disturbance at a Baltimore Street business on Wednesday afternoon. Curtis Coover is accused of yelling and throwing items onto the ground. He allegedly refused to cooperate with officers and continued to cause a disturbance. He is charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a law enforcement officer and disturbing the peace.
Committee Forming for World Language Pipeline Project
The Allegany County Public School System has been approved to participate collaboratively with the Maryland State Department of Education’s World Language specialists in Chinese in the West Side Elementary World Language Pipeline. The school system is currently in the process of forming a steering committee to work together to review, evaluate and make recommendations to the Superintendent on this pilot project. Anyone interested in serving on the steering committee should contact Molly Stewart at the West Side Elementary School at (301)-724-0340.
Man Died Before Fire Destroyed House
A man, whose remains were found in the debris of a burned house in Clear Spring, died before the fire on Fairview Road. Harry McMullen died as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It had been determined he had given away money and other property before his death. However, it’s not clear how the fire started. He and his estranged wife had were separating, and she had leased the house. Robin McMullen had been in Iowa for job training at the time of the incident.
Trial Date Set for Couple Accused of Embezzling
Two senior managers of the Hagerstown Hotel and Convention Center will go on trial in October. Hassan Mohammad and his wife Yasamane Rowhani, who are husband and wife, are accused of stealing about $17,000 from employees during an insurance scam. The approximately 19 employees were under the impression the money was being put into an account to pay for insurance.
Legislators Study Sales Tax Extension
Members of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee received a briefing last week, on extending the sales tax on 16 different services. Proposals were presented that would impose a 2- per cent sales tax. Some that may included are engineering services, employment placement agencies, cable television, health and fitness centers, golf courses and taxis. The committee is not considering legislation to expand the sales tax in the special session, set for this fall.
Former Resident Killed By Police Cruiser
A former Cumberland resident was killed and his wife was severely injured when they were hit by a police cruiser, responding to a call of shots fired in Mobile, Alabama last Friday. Sixty-three year old Michael Bragg and his wife Mary were on their way to visit relatives in Florida; they had lived in Kansas City, Missouri. The Braggs had graduated from Allegany High School, and lived in LaVale, when Michael Bragg was employed by Kelly-Springfield Tire Company. They had two children and four grandchildren.
Man Faces Pending Drug, Firearms Charges
What began as Cumberland City Police checking on the welfare of a child, resulted in an Elder Street man being arrested, and he now faces drug and firearms charges. Thirty-year old Kaseem Jahann Whitmyer created a disturbance after officers arrived. They also observed illegal drugs in plain view. As a result of a search, officers found nearly five pounds of suspected marijuana, along with an illegal firearm. Whitmyer faces failure to obey charges, along with obstructing and hindering and resisting arrest. The drug and firearms charges are pending. He is being held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Mineral Board Discusses Student Drug Testing
The inconsistency of student drug testing was discussed at this week’s work session of the Mineral County Board of Education. There has been a drug testing policy for student-athletes for several years, but principals are not notifying coaches, athletic directors or organization supervisors when a student tests positively. One board member suggested that coaches should have the authority to punish students, in conjunction with board punishment implemented by the policy.
Keyser Athletic Complex Cleared for Use
The improvements have been made and the Keyser Athletic Complex has been cleared for use by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office. Minor changes to the facility have been made, including the installation of handrails and sealing some gaps. The Fire Marshal will re-inspect on August 15th. Also, during Tuesday’s meeting the Mineral County Board of Education appointed Susan Ray to the newly created position of assistant director of curriculum and instruction. She had been the Frankfort Middle School principal.
Three Bedford Post Offices Slated for Possible Closure
Three Bedford County post offices are slated for closure: Artemas, Defiance and Riddlesburg, and other, adjacent facilities are being studied. The next step in the process would be to look at retail business at the post offices and how much it has fallen off. No decisions will be made before December; if a specific office is chosen for individual review, customers will be notified and given 60 days to comment on the issue.
Hyndman Health Director Chosen for National Position
The current director of the Hyndman Health Center, Major Stuart Hickey, has been selected to head the national veterans’ group, American Veterans, or AMVETS. Hickey will be leaving the Hyndman Health position as he assumes his new role. The board of directors at the health center are looking at resumes and are searching for the right candidate to fill the position.
President, Vice-President to Attend September 11th Ceremonies
Vice-President Joe Biden will be in Shanksville on Saturday, September 10th to help dedicate the Flight 93 Memorial. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Somerset County for the 10th anniversary observance of the attacks, and will also travel to the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Arlington. Somerset County Commissioner Jim Marker and other officials says their attendance is a fitting tribute and speaks volumes to the importance of the passenger’s and crews actions on September 11, 2001.
Easement Approved for Great Allegheny Passage
The Somerset County Commissioners have agreed to an easement, sought by wind farm developer, Big Savage LLC, to run power transmission lines over the Great Allegheny Passage at Big Savage Tunnel. Big Savage, LLC wants to build a 60-turbine wind facility on 8500 acres is Southampton, Northampton, Larimer and Greenville townships. The company is paying about $10,000 for the easement.
Juveniles Arrested in Break-In, Theft
Two juveniles, ages 13 and 14, have been arrested in connection with the weekend break in and theft at the South Penn Elementary School. Surveillance video showed the two running through the school, entering several areas and removing items. About $800.00 worth of electronic equipment and other items were stolen. A search warrant was obtained for two separate residences on Grand Avenue in Cumberland. The two are being charged as delinquents with breaking and entering, theft and other charges. They have been turned over to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice, pending further legal action.
Payments to be Made on Time
Social Security payments for today will be made on time, as will the payments for August 10th, 17th, and 24th. Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue notes there will be no delay in the payment of Social Security benefits, since Congress and the President were able to formulate an agreement on the debt ceiling and spending. If you still receive a paper check each month, you’re encouraged to sign up for direct deposit. All current beneficiaries will be required to switch to electronic payments by March of 2013.
Six Express Interest in Safety Commissioner Position
Six candidates have submitted letters of interest in the position of Frostburg’s Public Safety Commissioner. The selection will be announced at a later date, during a work session or at a City Council meeting, according to Frostburg City Administrator John Kirby. Walter Mackay, William Evans, Jr., Michael R. Wade, Richard Michael Harris, Richard Weimer and David Knepper are interested in the position, which was vacated by the retirement of Arthur Bond, and the appointment of council member Robert Flanigan to the position of Mayor.
Council Member Wants Meetings Open to the Public
Cumberland City Council member Butch Hendershot is urging that meetings of the city traffic group be opened to the public. The traffic group gathers periodically to discuss traffic issues within the city and makes recommendations to the city based on those discussions. Hendershot asked that this aspect of city business be made more transparent, to allow citizens to get involed in the decision-making process.
Former Commissioner Linda Golden Passes Away
Former teacher, lawyer and Allegany County Commissioner Linda Golden passed away Sunday at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center at the age of 63. She had most recently practiced law with the firm of Peter Angelos, and later became an Administrative Law Judge with the State of Maryland. After retirement, she continued to conduct legal hearings for the state. Friends are being received today at the Scarpelli Funeral Home on Virginia Avenue from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Services are being conducted there tomorrow at 11 a.m. Internment will be in Hillcrest Burial Park.
Two Men Arrested in Assault Incident
Two Cumberland residents were arrested in connection with an assault, which took place in early July. Josue Elias Delvalle and Jose David Delvalle are accused of assaulting a female. Josue Delvalle was held on $25,000 and Jose Delvalle was held on $10,000 bond in the Allegany County Detention Center.
Black Bear Lottery Continues to Accept Applications
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications to participate in this year’s lottery for black bear hunting permits. Successful applicants will receive a permit for the black bear hunting season, scheduled to take place October 24th through the 29th. Online applications are being accepted until September 2nd at http://blackbear.dnr.state.md.us.Phone applications are being accepted at (888)-579-6768 between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on August 22nd through the 26th only.
Fire Marshal Investigates Frostburg Incident
The Maryland State Fire Marshal is investigating a small fire outside of a Frostburg apartment building, where a fatal fire took place in December. The structure is located at 82 East Main Street, and is owned by Paul Fiorita. The fire was outside of the building, and is being termed accidental in nature. Improperly discarded smoking materials were said to be the cause. The fire did about $50 damage to the exterior of the building.
Gun Theft Investigated
The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating the theft of a gun from a vehicle, parked at a private residence on Hillcrest Drive in Deer Park. The theft occurred last weekend, and the gun is described as a Smith and Wesson .38-calibre handgun. Anyone with information is asked to contact the McHenry Barrack at (301)-387-1101.
Parent Literacy Classes Being Held
Allegany County’s Adult Education Program, in collaboration with the YMCA Family Center, County United Way and Judy P. Hoyer Centers, is offering Parent Literacy classes, as part of the Barbara Bush Foundation Literacy Foundation. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in engaging activities and lessons that help parents understand why literacy is a vital part of the children’s educational success. The first class is being held Wednesday or Thursday at 11 a.m. at the YMCA Family Center. Classes will be held every other week at the downtown YMCA. For more information, call (301)-687-8025.
Tax-Free Week Slated August 14th Through The 21st
Clothing and footwear for Back To School are exempt from Maryland’s six per cent tax during the week of August 14th through the 21st. The Maryland Comptroller’s Office says the tax breaks will apply for clothing and footwear items under $100. The tax-free week will apply to any business that sells apparel. And, with some larger families spending several thousand dollars, the lack of sales tax can result in significant savings.
Family Rescued From Fire in Keyser
A Keyser family escaped a fire at their Willow Street home early yesterday morning, and the fire is being termed “suspicious” by authorities. Four members of the Linda Pezzanite family, including a six year old child were awakened by police officers, and were escorted from the home. The West Virginia State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, which originated on the front porch of the house. Damage estimates were set at $100,000 for the structure and its contents. The home is not habitable, and the victims are staying with friends and family.
Bicyclist Killed in Bedford County
A Manns Choice resident was killed Sunday afternoon, while riding his bike near the Buffalo Mills Post Office. Fifty-two year old Gary T. Latterner died when he was hit by a car, driven by Daniel Joseph Hyatt of Bedford on Route 96. Latterner was thrown from the bicycle, and struck a culvert on the east side of the road. He was taken to UPMC, Bedford, where he was pronounced dead. Neither Hyatt, nor his passenger, Matthew Wade Pokryfke, was injured.
Somerset County Correctional Officers Assaulted
Charges are pending against a Somerset County, Pennsylvania inmate who is accused of assaulting two correctional officers on Sunday. Jermaine King was later placed in the SCI restricted housing unit. An unidentified sergeant was knocked unconscious, and a lieutenant suffered a severe laceration, after his head was struck against a brick wall. King was then detained without further incident.
Mineral Board Pays More On Athletic Complex
The Mineral County Board of Education was able to pay more on the Keyser High School Athletic Complex than last year. The school paid $75,000 and the board picked up the remaining $204,000 on the annual payment. And, an additional $20,000 donation was made to the complex. It has been suggested that Keyser Principal Charles Wimer attend an upcoming meeting to brief the board on the plan to meet future goals in paying for the facility.
Man Charged with Reckless Endangerment
A Cumberland man has been served an arrest warrant, charged with one count of reckless endangerment. Brian Price is accused of leaving his three-year-old son unattended during the Allegany County Fair. He was released on $5,000 bond. The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Cumberland City Police and the Maryland State Police K9 unit. He was taken into custody without incident on Dectaur Street.
Golden Named Interim Dean of FSU College of Education
Dr. Clarence Golden has been named interim dean of Frostburg State University’s College of Education, effective July 1st by Provost Stephen Simpson. Golden will replace Dr. Kenneth Witmer, who has accepted a position at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.
Man’s Death Ruled a Homicide
An Imler man, who was found dead in early June, was murdered, according to the Blair County coroner. Bedford County officials say the findings in Irving Hengst’s death were no surprise-that Hengst died of blunt-force trauma. The killer remains at large. The investigation is continuing, and Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins is advising residents to be careful. There are no suspects yet in the homicide.
Jury Trial Set for Berkeley Springs Man
A jury trial has been set for December for Randy McPeak, who is accused in the June shooting death of Heather Harris. Mc Peak faces first-degree murder charges. Preliminary evidence introduced shows McPeak called Harris’ cell phone at least 15 times between 6:06 a.m. and 11:27 a.m. Police were held at bay for several hours after McPeak allegedly shot Harris; she was allegedly shot before noon, but the Washington County Special Response Team weren’t able to remove her until about 7:30 p.m.
South Penn Burglarized
A person or persons entered the South Penn Elementary School over the weekend and stole several laptop computers and other electronic equipment. City Police, assisted by the Maryland State Police K-9 unit, were unable to find any suspects inside the building. Anyone with information is asked to contact the C3I Criminal Unit at (301)-777-0326, Cumberland City Police or the Allegany County CrimeSolvers unit at (301)-722-4300.
Man Arrested in Break-Ins
Frostburg resident Kenneth Allen Blubaugh has been arrested and charged with several offenses related to a series of burglaries there over the past several months. The entries occurred at P.S. hair Design, Touch of Class hair salon, Traingle Printing, the Bond Home Center, Frostburg Rental and Sales and Mario’s Italian Eatery. The businesses were entered after they were closed and an undisclosed amount of cash was taken in each instance. Blubaugh faces 10 counts of burglary and nine counts of theft. He was held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $75,000 bond, pending his next court appearance.
Meyersdale Man Dies While Crossing Tracks
Fifty-five year old Meyersdale, Pennsylvania resident James Roy Livengood was killed early yesterday morning, when he apparently lost his balance and fell underneath a train when it began to move. Livengood was walking home alone on Main Street, and tried to cross the tracks by going between two of the stationary cars; the train began to move; he lost his balance and fell underneath the train, where he was trapped.
Teen Hurt in ATV Accident
A 15-year old boy suffered minor injuries, following an ATV accident in the Savage River State Forest yesterday afternoon. He was not wearing a helmet. The crash occurred in the area of Bowman Hill Road, according to the Garrett County Department of Public Safety. He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center.
Cumberland Man Arrested in Break In
Twenty-two year old Cumberland resident Justin Dorsey faces two burglary and one theft count, in connection with an incident in North End. He is accused of forcing his way into a residence on Columbia Street. Once inside, he broke a window. He then fled the area on a bicycle, belonging to the victim. Dorsey was held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Stahlman Recognized by Commissioners
Allegany County Fairgrounds manager Glenn Stahlman was recently honored by the Allegany County Commissioners for his work in promoting the Multi-Purpose Building during the annual fair. The plaque he received will be permanently displayed in the Multi-Purpose Building, now celebrating its tenth year of operation at the fairgrounds.
Keyser Takes On Blighted Properties
Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower is making the repair or demolishing of blighted properties a priority by re-establishing a long-dormant Housing Commission. The Mayor says the city will no longer allow properties that have gone uninhabited for ten years or more to continue to exist. Ron Mathias has been hired as the new city building inspector, replacing Earl Perrine, who is no longer employed by the city.
Commissioners Set Mount Savage Meeting
The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting, regarding the Mount Savage Water Distribution System. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 31st at 7 p.m. at the Mount Savage Volunteer Fire Company. Public Works Department engineers will make a presentation and answer questions.
New Mineral County Assistant Superintendent Named
David Albani has been named the new assistant superintendent of the Mineral County School System. He was chosen from seven applicants; Albani has been, for the most part, involved in the Mineral County School System. He was formerly the director of early childhood education/Title I. The Board voted unanimously to abolish that position and create the “assistant director of curriculum and instruction.”
One-Year old Drowns in Jefferson County
An autopsy is being conducted on a one-year old child who drowned in Jefferson County. According to the child’s father, he was left along with his twin brother and another toddler for about four minutes. The water in the above-ground pool was about four feet deep. The drowning occurred at a home on Pond Road, in the Avon Bend subdivision. Emergency crews tried to revive the toddler with CPR; he was taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
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