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THE TRI-STATE'S CLASSIC ROCK STATION
GO 106 News Archives for 2013-01

Local News


Three City Employees Suspected in Thefts

The C3I unit is currently investigating allegations of theft from the city of Cumberland Public Works Department garage. Three city employees have been implicated in the thefts and appropriate administrative action has been taken, in accordance with the city's policies and procedures, pending the outcome of the investigation, which is ongoing. The allegations surfaced after a review of invoices for purchases made for the city garage; several discrepancies were discovered, and that is when the investigation began.

 

Body Found Near Historical Society Grounds

The Pennsylvania State Police aren't releasing many details, but it is known a body was recently found on the grounds of the Bedford County Historical Society. It is known the man was found at the base of a nearby silo, and that he had been carrying a Greyhound bus ticket for Ohio. Police are speculating the man may have been an out-of-state visitor to President Obama's second inauguration last week in Washington. He apparently jumped or fell from the top of the silo, and investigators say the bus ticket will likely lead the investigation to Ohio.

 

Man Pleads Guilty to Robberies

Fifty-year old Cumberland resident John Allen Talerico has pleaded guilty to three bank robberies on Industrial Boulevard in 2011. Talerico had been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with two robberies at the M & T Bank Branch and one at the Susquehanna Bank branch on Industrial Boulevard. The maximum sentence for each of the offenses is 25 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and up to five years supervised release.

 

Additonal Charges Filed in Copper Thefts

Forty-five year old Matthew Jay Iman will face additional charges in connection with the theft of copper from private residences. He was arrested yesterday and charged with the theft of the material from an unoccupied residence on Columbia Avenue, and one on Independence Street. Also arrested in connection with the latter incident was 24-year old Angela May Dennison. Iman was taken to District Court, and was held on $50,000 bond, pending his next court appearance.

 

Guns Stolen From Bedford County Business; Suspects Apprehended

Two Bedford County men are in custody in Baltimore, charged with stealing several handguns from a Saxton, Pennsylvania business. Michael Joshua Faircloth and Garrett Sherlock, both 25 years of age, allegedly used a car to smash in the front of Saxton Outdoor and Supply store. It is speculated that the two were in Baltimore to either sell the guns outright, or to trade them for drugs. They both now face a long list of federal gun charges.

 

Wiley Ford Man Jailed After Traffic Stop

A Wiley Ford, West Virginia man was jailed on $1900 bond, following a traffic stop in Keyser. Twenty-four year old Joseph Field is accused of becoming belligerent during the stop, and "head-butting" wall signs, while he was being processed at the Keyser Police station. Field was one of two passengers in a car that was pulled over for failure to stop at a stop sign. The other two-21 year old Burlington resident Kenneth Whetzel and Andrew Bishop of Keyser-were also charged, in connection with the traffic stop.

 

Cumberland Man Arrested on Assault, Endangerment Charges

A twenty-four year old Cumberland man has been charged with second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, following an incident on South Lee Street earlier this month. Somers McKinley is accused of assaulting a female victim, grabbing her by the throat. He left the residence after the incident took place, but was later arrested. He was released on personal recognizance, pending trial.

 

Cookman To Be Sworn In

Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit Judge Donald Cookman will be sworn in as a West Virginia Senator today. The ceremony will take place in the Senate Chamber in Charleston, and the oath will be administered by his brother-in-law, 26th Judicial Circuit Judge Thomas Keadle, who is retiring today. Cookman, who is a graduate of Romney High School, West Virginia University, and West Virginia University College of Law, will fill the seat vacated by Senator Walt Helmick, who was elected West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner in November.

 

Delegate Seeks to Clarify Law

Washington County Delegate Neil Parrott is looking to clarify a ruling, regarding fleeing or eluding an unmarked police vehicle. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled in 2011 that a driver could not be charged with that count, if the officer was in an unmarked car with lights or sirens. The bill makes the provision for those uncomfortable with an unmarked car; they could go to a "well lighted" area where they could pull over, or drive to the nearest police station.

Local News


Three City Employees Suspected in Thefts

The C3I unit is currently investigating allegations of theft from the city of Cumberland Public Works Department garage. Three city employees have been implicated in the thefts and appropriate administrative action has been taken, in accordance with the city's policies and procedures, pending the outcome of the investigation, which is ongoing. The allegations surfaced after a review of invoices for purchases made for the city garage; several discrepancies were discovered, and that is when the investigation began.

 

Body Found Near Historical Society Grounds

The Pennsylvania State Police aren't releasing many details, but it is known a body was recently found on the grounds of the Bedford County Historical Society. It is known the man was found at the base of a nearby silo, and that he had been carrying a Greyhound bus ticket for Ohio. Police are speculating the man may have been an out-of-state visitor to President Obama's second inauguration last week in Washington. He apparently jumped or fell from the top of the silo, and investigators say the bus ticket will likely lead the investigation to Ohio.

 

Man Pleads Guilty to Robberies

Fifty-year old Cumberland resident John Allen Talerico has pleaded guilty to three bank robberies on Industrial Boulevard in 2011. Talerico had been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with two robberies at the M & T Bank Branch and one at the Susquehanna Bank branch on Industrial Boulevard. The maximum sentence for each of the offenses is 25 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and up to five years supervised release.

 

Additonal Charges Filed in Copper Thefts

Forty-five year old Matthew Jay Iman will face additional charges in connection with the theft of copper from private residences. He was arrested yesterday and charged with the theft of the material from an unoccupied residence on Columbia Avenue, and one on Independence Street. Also arrested in connection with the latter incident was 24-year old Angela May Dennison. Iman was taken to District Court, and was held on $50,000 bond, pending his next court appearance.

 

Guns Stolen From Bedford County Business; Suspects Apprehended

Two Bedford County men are in custody in Baltimore, charged with stealing several handguns from a Saxton, Pennsylvania business. Michael Joshua Faircloth and Garrett Sherlock, both 25 years of age, allegedly used a car to smash in the front of Saxton Outdoor and Supply store. It is speculated that the two were in Baltimore to either sell the guns outright, or to trade them for drugs. They both now face a long list of federal gun charges.

 

Wiley Ford Man Jailed After Traffic Stop

A Wiley Ford, West Virginia man was jailed on $1900 bond, following a traffic stop in Keyser. Twenty-four year old Joseph Field is accused of becoming belligerent during the stop, and "head-butting" wall signs, while he was being processed at the Keyser Police station. Field was one of two passengers in a car that was pulled over for failure to stop at a stop sign. The other two-21 year old Burlington resident Kenneth Whetzel and Andrew Bishop of Keyser-were also charged, in connection with the traffic stop.

 

Cumberland Man Arrested on Assault, Endangerment Charges

A twenty-four year old Cumberland man has been charged with second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, following an incident on South Lee Street earlier this month. Somers McKinley is accused of assaulting a female victim, grabbing her by the throat. He left the residence after the incident took place, but was later arrested. He was released on personal recognizance, pending trial.

 

Cookman To Be Sworn In

Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit Judge Donald Cookman will be sworn in as a West Virginia Senator today. The ceremony will take place in the Senate Chamber in Charleston, and the oath will be administered by his brother-in-law, 26th Judicial Circuit Judge Thomas Keadle, who is retiring today. Cookman, who is a graduate of Romney High School, West Virginia University, and West Virginia University College of Law, will fill the seat vacated by Senator Walt Helmick, who was elected West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner in November.

 

Delegate Seeks to Clarify Law

Washington County Delegate Neil Parrott is looking to clarify a ruling, regarding fleeing or eluding an unmarked police vehicle. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled in 2011 that a driver could not be charged with that count, if the officer was in an unmarked car with lights or sirens. The bill makes the provision for those uncomfortable with an unmarked car; they could go to a "well lighted" area where they could pull over, or drive to the nearest police station.

Local News


Pair Rescued From Deep Creek Lake

The Maryland Natural Resources Police rescued two men from Deep Creek Lake yesterday afternoon. Dunbar, Pennsylvania resident Thomas Soberdash and Robert Ebbert of Fairfield, Iowa were ice fishing on Deep Creek Lake, when they reportedly fell through the ice in  the vicinity of Rock Lodge Road. They were rescued and taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital; they were listed in stable condition. The victims were in the lake for about 20 minutes, before being rescued.

 

State Board To Meet on WVSDB

Later this month, the West Virginia State Board of Education will meet to discuss costs associated with whether to relocate the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Romney, rather than renovate the campus. The Board will meet on February 13th and 14th in Charleston. The same firm that has been involved in the renovation of the Romney campus, has been hired to determine the cost to build new schools in another location. WVSDB has about 120 students from 30 counties across the state. The school is the second largest employer in Hampshire County.

 

Cable Rates to Increase, Despite Mayor's Efforts

Atlantic Broadband intends to raise its rates for basic cable services, despite a letter from Mayor Brian Grim. For its part, Atlantic Broadband says it will hold to increased fees, because of increased costs in programming and operating expenses. Prices will go up approximately 2 to 5 per cent.

 

Man Charged with Abuse of Corpse

Somerset County resident Michael Moore has been charged with abuse of a corpse, tampering with, or fabricating evidence, along with terroristic threats and intimidation of victims. The body of 53-year old Friedens resident Frankie Allen Sass was moved from Moore's apartment to the Somerset Borough location where he was found. The Pennsylvania State Police say Sass was a known drug user, who had disappeared in the past. A person contacted police Sunday, to say Moore and his girlfriend needed his help to move Sass out of their apartment; he was also told Sass was drunk and unconscious. A preliminary hearing for Moore has been set for next Tuesday.

 

Authorities Seek Man for Probation Violation

The Mineral County Sheriff's Office is looking for a 25-year old man, who is wanted for violation of probation. Allegany County authorities are also looking for Ahmed Shakeem Barmore, for failure to appear. He is known to have ties to the Allegany County, Keyser, Piedmont and Baltimore areas. Anyone with information is asked to contact (304)-788-0441. Callers may remain anonymous.

 

Second Warrant Initiative Launched

The Cumberland Police Department's Safe Streets Program launched a second warrant initiative last week, to apprehend numerous individuals, wanted throughout the tri-state area. The mission and partnership between the Cumberland City Police Department and deputies with the Allegany County Sheriff's Department resulted in the arrest of 25 individuals and 43 arrest warrants served within a five-day period. The objective of the Safe Streets program is to reduce crime and criminal activity within the city of Cumberland and surrounding areas.

 

Theft of Wallet Investigated

A wallet was stolen from the Star Lite Skating Rink earlier in the month, and a bank card from the wallet was used the next day at WalMart in LaVale. Anyone with information on the theft is asked to contact TFC Thomas at the LaVale barrack. The number is (301)-729-2101.

 

Man Arrested in Disturbance

Cumberland City Police are investigating a reported disturbance on Maryland Avenue yesterday, and arrested 46-year old Mark Smith. He was one of the parties involved in the incident, and police are also investigating whether an assault took place. As officers tried to speak with him, he became uncooperative and refused to speak with them, and tried to run from them at one point. He was apprehended and eventually released pending trial in Allegany County District Court. He was charged with one count of failure to obey a lawful order.

 

Ski Theft Reported at Wisp

The Maryland State Police Barrack at McHenry is investigating the theft of a pair of skis from the Wisp resort on Sunday. The skis are multi-colored Volkl Ledge skis, which were taken from the main lodge ski rack. Anyone who witnessed the crime or has any information is asked to contact TFC Nelson at the McHenry barrack; that number is (301)-387-1101. A reward may be offered for the return of the skis.

 

Governor to Deliver "State of the State" Address

Governor Martin O'Malley will deliver the "State of the State" address today, to a joint session of the legislature, and is expected to address gun control, wind energy, and an effort to repeal the death penalty. Another issue is increasing transportation revenue, either through an increased gasoline tax, or a sales tax on gasoline.   

Local News


Fire in North End

 

Firefighters were on the scene of a fire early yesterday morning, at 466 Columbia Street. The blaze was reported at 5:24 a.m. Living in the home were Trista Poole and her children. There were no injuries, but the blaze also damaged adjacent dwellings at 464 and 468 Columbia Street. The building is owned by Richard Hernandez.  Firefighters remained on the scene for several hours. Damages were placed at $70,000 to the structure and $25,000 to the contents.  The Maryland State Fire Marshal is on the scene, investigating the cause.

 

 

Fire Victim Identified

 

The man killed in last weekend's fire on Horseshoe Lane has been identified as 37-year old Roger Reckart of Oakland. His body was located in the burned remains of the 16-foot camper-trailer at 10 Horseshoe Lane. The cause of death has been listed as thermal burn injuries received during the fire. He was the sole occupant of the trailer. There were no working smoke alarms in the trailer. Damages were placed at $1500.

 

 

Governor Rescinds Appointment

 

Governor Martin O'Malley says he is removing Brad Frantz as the emergency management director in Garrett County. Frantz had held the position for 35 years, retired in July, but came back on the job as a contractual employee when Superstorm Sandy moved through the area in late October. For his part, Frantz says he has heard no specifics about the Governor's dissatisfaction with his post-storm response.

 

 

Three Arrested by Task Force

 

Two people in the Bedford area are accused of being drug dealers, following their arrest this past week. Several more arrests are expected in the coming weeks. Coatesville, Pennsylvania resident Frank James Pugh and Marsha Mills were taken into custody, following a controlled drug buy at the Dollar General Store in Bedford. There was a third individual whose name is being withheld, as no charges have been filed against her at this time. Another person, 30-year old Bedford resident Shawn Bowser was arrested over the weekend, and he was found to be in possession of 35 packets of heroin and a small quantity of marijuana.

 

 

Police Investigating Converter Thefts

 

The Cumberland City Police Department is investigating a series of thefts from vehicles that have occurred on the West Side of town. Suspects are removing catalytic converters from the exhaust systems of vehicles parked in the area. They may be using portable saws to remove them from the vehicles. Citizens are urged to contact the police if they have any information regarding the thefts, or if they observe suspicious activity. They can also contact the Allegany/Mineral County CrimeSolvers group at (301)-722-4300.

 

 

Domestic Incident Reported

 

Deputies from the Allegany County Sheriff's Office arrested a Mexico Farms man, in connection with a domestic incident Sunday evening. Thirty-nine year old William Joseph Spraggs was charged with one count each of first and second degree assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. He was taken to District Court and held on $30,000 bond.

 

 

Missing Somerset County Man Found Dead

 

A Friedens, Pennsylvania man who went missing last week, was found dead inside of his pickup truck. Frankie Sass was first reported missing last Wednesday. Police are continuing to investigate his death and are not releasing any more information at this time.

 

 

Preston County Man Arrested on Drug Charges

 

 

Preston County resident Daniel Shawn Dewitt was taken into custody, following his arrest on drug charges last week. Dewitt was charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. Bottles of Subutex pills were found in his residents, and law enforcement authorities say they believe Dewitt was selling the pills. The also found substances and containers of seeds consistent with that of marijuana, according to a press release from the Preston County Sheriff's Department.

 

 

Gas Prices Could Be Lower This Year

 

Some analysts say the price of gas could ease up later this year. Triple "A" says the prices could drop to the low-to-mid three-dollar range during the first half of the summer. In Maryland, gas is, on average, costing $3.34. That's slightly above the national average of $3.38.

Local News


Fire in North End

 

Firefighters were on the scene of another fire early this morning, at 466 Columbia Street. The blaze was reported at 5:24 a.m. There were no injuries. Firefighters remained on the scene for several hours. Crews cleared the scene after several hours. The Maryland State Fire Marshal is on the scene, investigating the cause.

 

 

Fatal Fire in Garrett County

 

The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a fire at 10 Horseshoe Lane in Oakland, which killed an unidentified Garrett County man. A joint investigation with the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office revealed there were no working smoke alarms in the 16-foot tow behind trailer located on the property. The cause remains under investigation. The identity of the victim is being withheld until an autopsy is conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.

 

 

Corriganville Woman Charged in Theft Scheme

 

Sixty-one year old Corriganville resident Carol Lee Myers has been indicted by an Allegany County Grand Jury, charging her with a single count of theft scheme, between $10,000 and $100,000. She is alleged to have stolen $15,900 from the Mountain Ridge Band Parents Association’s athletic events, which were held as a fundraiser for the band. The band director there discovered several discrepancies while reviewing the financial records and reported his findings to law enforcement authorities. The alleged incidents occurred between September through December of 2011. She has been freed, pending her next court appearance.

 

 

Delegation Appeals to Federal Government

 

The Maryland Congressional delegation is appealing to the Obama administration, regarding the federal government’s decision to deny federal disaster aid to Garrett County, which was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy in October. Repressentative John Delaney, along with U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin noted in the letter that the weather system cut the power to homes in Garrett County for a week, and damaged 23 homes. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley sent the request for federal aid on December 12th, but it was denied two days later.

 

 

Edwards’ Legislation Would Increase Interstate Speed

 

State Senator George Edwards has introduced legislation that would increase the present speed limit on Interstate 68 to 70 miles-per-hour. Senator Edwards wants the speed limit to be raised by transportation officials, and notes that the speed limit in nearby West Virginia is 70 miles-per-hour on the interstate, and remains constant for that portion of I-68.

 

 

Delaney Meets with Delegation

 

Sixth District Congressman John Delaney met with the Western Maryland delegation to the General Assembly late last week, and one of his top priorities is making sure people in Western Maryland are able to find work. Several other topcs were discussed, including gun control, drilling for natural gas, and immigration reform. Delaney is supportive of President Barack Obama’s proposals to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips for guns.

 

 

Portion of Street to be Closed

 

A portion of South Centre Street, from Harrison to Union Street, will be closed until 5 p.m. today, so that gas service lines can be installed. Northern Pipeline and Columbia Gas are working on the project. Any questions or concerns should be directed to “Mike” with Northern Pipeline at (443)-271-7498.

 

 

Cardin Honored by Association

 

Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin was honored at Friday’s Mountain Maryland PACE Reception breakfast in Annapolis. He received the honor, from the Development District Association of Appalachia, for his strong advocacy of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s mission to help bring the region into socioeconomic parity with the nation. The award is presented each year to a member of Congress for outstanding service to the people of Appalachia and support of the work of the local development districts and the ARC.

 

 

Knights of Columbus Donates Coats

 

For the third consecutive year, the Knights of Columbus has donated coats to elementary school students in the Allegany County Public School System as part of their Coats for Kids Program. The students received 64 winter coats from the K of C this year. The Coats for Kids initiative was part of the Order’s Help a Child in Need campaign, which began in 2006 with a nationwide television appeal for donations to charities that support the needs of children. After an overwhelming need for warm winter coats, the Coats for Kids initiative was implemented.

 

 

Miller Proposes Local Gasoline Taxes

 

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller is proposing legislation which would allow county governments to raise gasoline taxes up to five cents for local transportation projects. The state now levies 23.5 cents per gallon on gas, and that hasn’t been increased since 1992. Miller expects to introduce the bill this week in Annapolis.

 

 

West Virginia Meth Labs Increase 400 Per Cent

 

The number of reported meth labs in West Virginia has jumped more than 400 per cent since 2008. The drug is now more easily manufactured, as the process once took several days; it now takes only about an hour. Just last year, 271 meth labs were reported in the state, up from 50 in 2008, and there has been a steady increase each year in the number of meth labs.

Local News Update


Fire in North End

 

Firefighters were on the scene of another fire early this morning, at 466 Columbia Street. The blaze was reported at 5:24 a.m. There were no injuries. Firefighters remained on the scene for several hours. Crews cleared the scene after several hours. The Maryland State Fire Marshal is on the scene, investigating the cause.

 

 

Fatal Fire in Garrett County

 

The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a fire at 10 Horseshoe Lane in Oakland, which killed an unidentified Garrett County man. A joint investigation with the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office revealed there were no working smoke alarms in the 16-foot tow behind trailer located on the property. The cause remains under investigation. The identity of the victim is being withheld until an autopsy is conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.

 

 

Corriganville Woman Charged in Theft Scheme

 

Sixty-one year old Corriganville resident Carol Lee Myers has been indicted by an Allegany County Grand Jury, charging her with a single count of theft scheme, between $10,000 and $100,000. She is alleged to have stolen $15,900 from the Mountain Ridge Band Parents Association’s athletic events, which were held as a fundraiser for the band. The band director there discovered several discrepancies while reviewing the financial records and reported his findings to law enforcement authorities. The alleged incidents occurred between September through December of 2011. She has been freed, pending her next court appearance.

 

 

Delegation Appeals to Federal Government

 

The Maryland Congressional delegation is appealing to the Obama administration, regarding the federal government’s decision to deny federal disaster aid to Garrett County, which was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy in October. Repressentative John Delaney, along with U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin noted in the letter that the weather system cut the power to homes in Garrett County for a week, and damaged 23 homes. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley sent the request for federal aid on December 12th, but it was denied two days later.

 

 

Edwards’ Legislation Would Increase Interstate Speed

 

State Senator George Edwards has introduced legislation that would increase the present speed limit on Interstate 68 to 70 miles-per-hour. Senator Edwards wants the speed limit to be raised by transportation officials, and notes that the speed limit in nearby West Virginia is 70 miles-per-hour on the interstate, and remains constant for that portion of I-68.

 

 

Delaney Meets with Delegation

 

Sixth District Congressman John Delaney met with the Western Maryland delegation to the General Assembly late last week, and one of his top priorities is making sure people in Western Maryland are able to find work. Several other topcs were discussed, including gun control, drilling for natural gas, and immigration reform. Delaney is supportive of President Barack Obama’s proposals to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips for guns.

 

 

Portion of Street to be Closed

 

A portion of South Centre Street, from Harrison to Union Street, will be closed until 5 p.m. today, so that gas service lines can be installed. Northern Pipeline and Columbia Gas are working on the project. Any questions or concerns should be directed to “Mike” with Northern Pipeline at (443)-271-7498.

 

 

Cardin Honored by Association

 

Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin was honored at Friday’s Mountain Maryland PACE Reception breakfast in Annapolis. He received the honor, from the Development District Association of Appalachia, for his strong advocacy of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s mission to help bring the region into socioeconomic parity with the nation. The award is presented each year to a member of Congress for outstanding service to the people of Appalachia and support of the work of the local development districts and the ARC.

 

 

Knights of Columbus Donates Coats

 

For the third consecutive year, the Knights of Columbus has donated coats to elementary school students in the Allegany County Public School System as part of their Coats for Kids Program. The students received 64 winter coats from the K of C this year. The Coats for Kids initiative was part of the Order’s Help a Child in Need campaign, which began in 2006 with a nationwide television appeal for donations to charities that support the needs of children. After an overwhelming need for warm winter coats, the Coats for Kids initiative was implemented.

 

 

Miller Proposes Local Gasoline Taxes

 

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller is proposing legislation which would allow county governments to raise gasoline taxes up to five cents for local transportation projects. The state now levies 23.5 cents per gallon on gas, and that hasn’t been increased since 1992. Miller expects to introduce the bill this week in Annapolis.

 

 

West Virginia Meth Labs Increase 400 Per Cent

 

The number of reported meth labs in West Virginia has jumped more than 400 per cent since 2008. The drug is now more easily manufactured, as the process once took several days; it now takes only about an hour. Just last year, 271 meth labs were reported in the state, up from 50 in 2008, and there has been a steady increase each year in the number of meth labs.

Local News


Fatal Fire in Garrett County

 

The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a fire at 10 Horseshoe Lane in Oakland, which killed an unidentified Garrett County man. A joint investigation with the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office revealed there were no working smoke alarms in the 16-foot tow behind trailer located on the property. The cause remains under investigation. The identity of the victim is being withheld until an autopsy is conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.

 

 

Corriganville Woman Charged in Theft Scheme

 

Sixty-one year old Corriganville resident Carol Lee Myers has been indicted by an Allegany County Grand Jury, charging her with a single count of theft scheme, between $10,000 and $100,000. She is alleged to have stolen $15,900 from the Mountain Ridge Band Parents Association’s athletic events, which were held as a fundraiser for the band. The band director there discovered several discrepancies while reviewing the financial records and reported his findings to law enforcement authorities. The alleged incidents occurred between September through December of 2011. She has been freed, pending her next court appearance.

 

 

Delegation Appeals to Federal Government

 

The Maryland Congressional delegation is appealing to the Obama administration, regarding the federal government’s decision to deny federal disaster aid to Garrett County, which was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy in October. Repressentative John Delaney, along with U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin noted in the letter that the weather system cut the power to homes in Garrett County for a week, and damaged 23 homes. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley sent the request for federal aid on December 12th, but it was denied two days later.

 

 

Edwards’ Legislation Would Increase Interstate Speed

 

State Senator George Edwards has introduced legislation that would increase the present speed limit on Interstate 68 to 70 miles-per-hour. Senator Edwards wants the speed limit to be raised by transportation officials, and notes that the speed limit in nearby West Virginia is 70 miles-per-hour on the interstate, and remains constant for that portion of I-68.

 

 

Delaney Meets with Delegation

 

Sixth District Congressman John Delaney met with the Western Maryland delegation to the General Assembly late last week, and one of his top priorities is making sure people in Western Maryland are able to find work. Several other topcs were discussed, including gun control, drilling for natural gas, and immigration reform. Delaney is supportive of President Barack Obama’s proposals to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips for guns.

 

 

Portion of Street to be Closed

 

A portion of South Centre Street, from Harrison to Union Street, will be closed until 5 p.m. today, so that gas service lines can be installed. Northern Pipeline and Columbia Gas are working on the project. Any questions or concerns should be directed to “Mike” with Northern Pipeline at (443)-271-7498.

 

 

Cardin Honored by Association

 

Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin was honored at Friday’s Mountain Maryland PACE Reception breakfast in Annapolis. He received the honor, from the Development District Association of Appalachia, for his strong advocacy of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s mission to help bring the region into socioeconomic parity with the nation. The award is presented each year to a member of Congress for outstanding service to the people of Appalachia and support of the work of the local development districts and the ARC.

 

 

Knights of Columbus Donates Coats

 

For the third consecutive year, the Knights of Columbus has donated coats to elementary school students in the Allegany County Public School System as part of their Coats for Kids Program. The students received 64 winter coats from the K of C this year. The Coats for Kids initiative was part of the Order’s Help a Child in Need campaign, which began in 2006 with a nationwide television appeal for donations to charities that support the needs of children. After an overwhelming need for warm winter coats, the Coats for Kids initiative was implemented.

 

 

Miller Proposes Local Gasoline Taxes

 

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller is proposing legislation which would allow county governments to raise gasoline taxes up to five cents for local transportation projects. The state now levies 23.5 cents per gallon on gas, and that hasn’t been increased since 1992. Miller expects to introduce the bill this week in Annapolis.

 

 

West Virginia Meth Labs Increase 400 Per Cent

 

The number of reported meth labs in West Virginia has jumped more than 400 per cent since 2008. The drug is now more easily manufactured, as the process once took several days; it now takes only about an hour. Just last year, 271 meth labs were reported in the state, up from 50 in 2008, and there has been a steady increase each year in the number of meth labs.

Local News


Health Systems To Discuss Collaboration

Representatives of  the Western Maryland Health System, Meritus Health, and the Frederick Regional Health System have signed a memorandum of understanding to enter into strategic discussions of collaboration and affiliation. The Chief Executive Officer of each respective system and their boards of directors have agreed to study and discuss opportunities that will allow each organization to enjoy continued success in meeting the challenges of the current and future health care environment. The group will undertake a feasibility study with the Berkeley Research Group, that will explore the merits of affiliation and collaboration of the three health systems. It is expected to take several months to receive a final recommendation.


Fire Termed Accidental in Nature

A fire early yesterday morning, in the 23,000-block of Oldtown Road, has been termed accidental in nature. A one-story, single family dwelling, owned by Jerry Crabtree, sustained $15,000 in damage to the structure, and $5,000 to the contents. There were no smoke detectors in the home. The fire was discovered by the occupants, and originated in a wood stove that overheated and extended into the structure. Six fire companies responded to the blaze.


Fourmile Project in "Sensitive" Area

The proposed Fourmile Ridge project has been determined to be in a "sensitive area by the state. About 75 per cent of the proposed wind farm is in areas designated as having rare, threatened, and endangered species, and it is unclear as to whether the project would need a federal permit, when the project would likely result in the death of those threatened or endangered species. The review process could take up to two years. The project involves up to 30 turbines, to be built near Frostburg.


Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Assault

A Somerset County man has pleaded guilty to secually assaulting an Everett woman last May. Thirty-four year old Brian Scott Artis accepted a plea agreement, in which he would be sentenced from 6 to 23 months in the county jail. Sentencing is set for March 22nd. Artis will also be required to register his address as a for the next 15 years. The Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Assessment Board will determine if Artis is a sexually violent predator.


Man Arrested in Connection with Assault

Forty-four year old William Webster Cook was released on personal recognizance, after being arrested in connection with an assault that took place in the 100-block of Columbia Street on January 19th. He allegedly assaulted another adult male, by striking him several times in the face, briefly rendering him unconscious for a short time. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Cook was charged with second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.


Cookman to Replace Helmick

Judge Donald Cookman has been appointed to represent West Virginia's 15th Senatorial District, filling the vacancy created when former Senator Walt Helmick resigned to serve as Agriculture Commissioner. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin made the appointment; Judge Cookman was one of three candidates named last week by an 18-member Democratic Party Search Committee.


Man to Stand Trial in Alleged Ponzi Scheme

Former Somerset, Pennsylvania resident Brian Dinning will go to trial in May, on charges he orchestrated a $2 million Ponzi scheme, facing 25 charges of wire fraud. Dinning allegedly recruited nearly two dozen individuals to invest in numerous corporations he established. He falsely advised those investors that they would receive significant financial gains from several South African projects. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.


Preston County Man Faces Additional Charges

A Preston County man, arrested earlier this month on arson charges, now faces more counts. Forty-nine year old David Allen Ridenour was additionally charged with intentionally setting a fire that badly damaged an unoccupied home in the Corenth area of Preston County, near the Maryland border, last October. Ridenour had been free on $50,000 bond, but authorities are now searching for him, to serve the second warrant.


Maryland Eliminates Paper Checks for Child Support

The state of Maryland is now sending all child support payments electronically, a move the Maryland Department of Human Resources says will save $1.4 million. The new option favors direct deposit and a new Electronic Payment Issuance Card. The state of Maryland is collecting record amounts of child support, disbursing $544.4 million in the last fiscal year, or just over $25 million than the year before.

Local News


Three Hurt in Area Fires

There were three separate fires in the region yesterday, resulting in three injuries. One was reported in the 12,000-block of Bowling Street, which resulted in one firefighter being taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. The second, at 138 East Elder Street, sent two of the occupants to the hospital for the same reason. The third fire was reported on Cedar Knoll Lane, in a vacant two-story, wood-framed single-family dwelling. All three fires are being investigated by the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. 

 

Woman Waives Hearing in Meth Case

An eighteen-year old Somerset County woman waived her right to a preliminary hearing this week in county court. Samantha McKenzie faces numerous charges in connection with a methamphetamine lab, which was discovered there last week. Her co-defendant, 21-year old Justin Dale Carr, was granted a continuance this week. A trooper from the Pennsylvania State Police says items recovered from the South Vincent Avenue home included lithium, fuel, kerosene, cold medication and other volatile substances. Ms. McKenzie will remain free on an unmodified $50,000 unsecured bond, while Carr remains incarcerated on $100,000 bond.

 

Cardin To Address PACE Breakfast

Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin will address the Mountain Maryland PACE breakfast tomorrow morning, to discuss economic development and energy. During the breakfast, he will receive the 2012 Congressional Award from the Development District of Appalachia for his strong support of regional  economic development in Western Maryland. The annual PACE reception is being held tonight at the Loew's/Annapolis hotel tonight.

 

Man Arrested on Warrant

Fifty-three year old Cumberland resident Mario Alexander Caperna was arrested on a warrant from District Court. He was charged with two counts of failure to comply with a Peace Order, telephone misuse, and harassment. He was taken to Allegany County District Court for an initial appearance, where he was released on a $3500 unsecured bond.

 

Dennis Road Home Destroyed by Fire

A fire destroyed a home on Dennis Road, off of Route 51, Tuesday afternoon. Fire officials are still looking into the cause. The fire was first reported around 2:54 p.m. at 16800 Dennis Road. The Red Cross is assisting the family, and no injuries were reported.

 

Rock Slide Closes Tow Path

A rock slide, which happened last weekend, has blocked a 100-foot section of the tow path, near the eastern end of the Paw Paw Tunnel. The tunnel and that section of the towpath are currently closed, and will remain so until a full assessment of the area can be made to safely conduct repairs. A detour route has been established on the Paw Paw Tunnel Hill trail. For additional information, contact the Cumberland Visitor Center at (301)-722-8226.

 

Meeting to Discuss Neighborhood Advisory Commission

The Cumberland Mayor and City Council will hold a public meeting for interested citizens of Cumberland on Tuesday, February 5th in the City Hall Council Chambers. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss reorganization of the Neighborhood Advisory Commission. The Mayor and Council are seeking input from the public, so that the concerns and needs of the citizens can be heard. The meeting is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

 

Howell to Serve as Committee Minority Chair

Delegate Gary Howell of Keyser has been elected minority chair of the Government Organization Committee, one of the five standing committees in the West Virginia House of Delegates. The Mineral News-Tribune notes that Delegate Howell will be working with 11
Republicans and 13 Democrats on the committee, which is charged with overseeing the makeup of government itself. The next committee meeting is set for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. the terminal meeting room at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport in Wiley Ford.

 

Park Officials Still Looking for Somerset Man

Ohiopyle State Park officials are now monitoring the Youghiogheny River for a Somerset man, who went missing on New Year's Eve. Twenty-nine year old Jeremy Walker's car was found at the park on January 2nd, and a search began. There have been no new leads, and authorities are not ruling out the possibility the he is not in the park, and simply left his car there.

 

Legislation Would Increase Minimum Wage

Legislation in Annapolis could increase the minimum wage in Maryland to $10 an hour by the year 2015. The proposal would also raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from 50 to 70 per cent, and adjust the minimum wage annually with the cost of living. Nineteen other states and the District of Columbia have a higher minimum wage than Maryland, which hasn't raised its minimum wage since 2005.

 

 

Local News


Moore's Hollow Road Fire Determined to be Arson

A Sunday night fire on Moore's Hollow Road in Cumberland has been determined to be incendiary in nature, and originated in the back of the house. The one-story, vacant single-family dwelling sustained $5,000 in damage, but was unoccupied at the time. It is unknown who owns the building. At least eight fire departments responded to the 10:42 p.m. fire, and it was controlled within 20 minutes of its discovery by a neighbor. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal at (301)-766-3888.

 

Two Arrested in Weekend Assault

Two Cumberland men were arrested in connection with an assault that happened on Monday. Forty-nine year old McClave Cleland Combs and 26-year old Shane Christopher Combs were taken into custody, after a woman reported she was assaulted by McClave Combs at a Columbia Street party on Saturday. A second assault occurred when Shane Combs assaulted a man, who sustained injuries to the side of his head. While McClave Combs was released on personal recognizance, Shane Combs was held on $5,000 bond. He posted bond, and was also later released.

 

Cause of Garrett County Fire Remains Under Investigation

The cause of a Sunday morning fire on Maryland Highway in Deer Park remains under investigation. It was first reported at the home of Joe and Ellen Ingram. The 1-1/2 story, log style, single family dwelling sustained $175,000 in damage to the structure, and $30,000 in losses to the contents. It is known the fire originated on the first floor of the home, just after 4 a.m. Sunday. Six fire companies responded the fire, which took about 45 minutes to extinguish.  

 

Two Taken to Hospital Following Sideling Accident

Firefighters from Little Orleans and Hancock responded to an accident Sunday afternoon on Interstate 68 at Sideling Hill. Two people were taken to the hospital, after a pickup truck ran under the trailer portion of a tractor-trailer traveling eastbound. The slow lane of Interstate 68 was closed briefly following the accident, and about five dogs in the truck were recovered by the Humane Society of Washington County. Neither person taken to the hospital was believed to have life-threatening injuries.

 

Meyersdale Opens School Registration

The Meyersdale Area Elementary School has opening registration for children who will be eligible to attend kindergarten next year. If you have a child who will be five years of age before September 1st, and wish to send him or her to kindergarten in the fall,  please call the elementary school office at (814)-634-8313. Meyersdale Elementary School's Kindergarten Screenikng will be held on Friday, May 3rd, and a Kindergarten Readiness Orientation has been set for Thursday, February 28th at 6:30 p.m.

 

O'Malley Proposes Expanded Early Voting

The O'Malley administration is proposing that voters register and vote on the same day as those designated for early voting. While many support the idea, the Maryland Republican Party says the proposed changes invite voter fraud, and last year, a voter identification watchdog group reported thousands of questionable votes.

 

Acting WV DMV Commissioner Named

The acting commissioner of West Virginia's Division of Motor Vehicles is now in charge of the agency, following last week's retirement of Commissioner Joe Miller. Steve Dale has been with the DMV for several years, and now oversees 23 regional offices, with another in Summersville opening soon. One of his priorities is to upgrade the technology which Miller put in place.

 

Historic Preservation Grants Available

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History has about $500,000 available in historic preservation grants. Eligible projects include restoration, rehabilitation or archaeological development of historic sites, listen in the National Register of Historic Places. The deadline to apply for funds is April 1st.

Local News


Week Three of General Assembly Session Underway

Offshore wind energy legislation, school construction and renovation funding, and sex offender legislation are all on the agenda during this third week of the Maryland General Assembly. Governor Martin O'Malley is holding a rally today for his offshore wind energy bill, which would build wind turbines ten miles off the coast of Ocean City. School officials from around the state will be in Annapolis tomorrow, to outline construction and renovation projects they want the state to fund. And, the House Judiciary Committee will consider one bill involving sex offenders. The bill would include coaches in the law that penalizes school employees who have sex with students. Violators of the law face up to three years in prison.

 

Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide

An Oakland man, previously charged with DUI, in connection with a December crash that killed his passenger, has now been charged with three counts of homicide by motor vehicle. Twenty-four year old Bryson Dixon faces the counts in connection with the death of 21-year old Samantha Gibson, also of Oakland. The crash occurred on December 9th on George Washington Highway. Gibson lost control of his vehicle and hit an embankment, causing Ms. Gibson to be ejected.

 

Imler Man Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident

An eighty-two year old Imler man was killed in a single vehicle crash Sunday afternoon on Interstate 99 southbound at mile marker 12. Orville Ickes was traveling at a high rate of speed and driving erratically. He had passed two vehicles along the west berm of the road, before losing control of the 2005 Chevy Cobalt. He hit an embankment head on in the median; the car then rolled end over end, and rolled on its side. Ickes was ejected from the vehicle, and pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Investigation into Early Monday Fire

The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a fire at a vacant, two story single family dwelling at 106 East Roberts Street. The home, was owned by Steven Robertson, and had been vacant for two years after a fire caused the owner to relocate. The loss to the structure and its contents was placed at $10,000. It was initially reported at 3:15 a.m. by a neighbor; it is known the area of origin was on the first floor of the home. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Western Maryland Regional Office of the State Fire Marshal at (301)-766-3888.

 

Vermont Man Arrested for Drug Possession

Vermont resident Robert Lee Buehler was arrested in Garrett County on Sunday on possession of suspected marijuana and CDS paraphernalia. Buehler was initially stopped for a speeding violation. A probable cause search was conducted. The suspected drugs and paraphernalia were found and Buehler was placed under arrest. He was processed at the McHenry Barrack, and later taken before a District Court Commissioner.

 

Man Held on $20,000 Bond

A Cumberland man faces first and second-degree assault, and other counts, following a Sunday incident on Maryland Avenue. Twenty-two year old Antonio Maurice Smith was in the front seat of a car, when he began arguing with the operator. He allegedly grabbed the steering wheel, and turned it, causing the car to crash into an unoccupied vehicle in the 900-block of Maryland Avenue. The operator and a female juvenile in the vehicle were uninjured. Smith was also charged with manipulating a vehicle with malicious intent. He was held on $20,000 at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Men Jailed in Friday Assault

Two Cumberland men were jailed, following an assault incident at an apartment complex on West Oldtown Road last Friday. Twenty-two year old Jasmond Metheny and 19-year old Marley Zaire Powell entered a person's residence without permission and told him to come outside. Metheny allegedly grabbed him, ripping his shirt off; he then punched him several times in the head. Both face numerous charges; Metheny is being held on $100,000 bond, while Powell's bail was set at $50,000.

 

Addison Woman Robbed

The Pennsylvania State Police are looking for two armed men who robbed an Addison woman of money and prescription medication late last week. The two, who wore dark-hooded jackets and ski masks, forced their way into the home, pushed the woman onto a couch and stole the items. They fled in a dark-colored sport utility vehicle. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Somerset Barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-445-4104.

 

 

Local News


Man Dies in Skiing Accident

 

A Rockville, Maryland man was killed Saturday morning, while skiing at the Wisp Resort in Garrett County. Forty-year old James Jung-Jin Park was skiing on an advanced-level trail, but lost control and crashed into a tree line. He was taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The accident happened around 8:30 a.m.

 

 

Delegation to Submit Emergency Legislation

 

The Western Maryland Delegation to the General Assembly is drafting emergency legislation, to request a liquor license for the Rocky Gap casino, slated to open later this year. In a delegation meeting on Friday, the annual fees for the license were discussed. One of the licenses involved will cost $15,000 annually, with the fees to be paid on May 1st of each year. The bill will be cross-filed in Annapolis to provide for the license.

 

 

Chamber Addresses Further Use of Footer Funds

 

The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has written a letter to Andy Vick, chair of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority regarding the renovation of the Footer Dye Works Building. The Chamber is urging alternatives to the use of additional public funds to renovate the exterior of the Footer Dye Works building. The letter concedes a need for public and private funds for the building's renovation, but believes additional public funds should not be used if a viable developer cannot be secured in a reasonable amount of time. Should the Authority secure a viable developer, additional public funds should not be released without a strict contractual and financial commitment from the developer.

 

 

Sheriff Warns of Scam

 

The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to be on the alert for scams, following an incident on Friday. An elderly Lonaconing resident reported that a man called her, telling her that her grandson had been arrested in Haiti, and that she should wire $2,000 to have him released. She checked, and found that her grandson was safe, and in the United States. The investigation into that incident is continuing.

 

 

Man Charged with Drug Distribution

 

Twenty-two year old Ridgeley resident Thomas Hunt turned himself into police early yesterday, and now faces charges of drug distribution. Another person is expected to be arrested this week on the same charges. Several homes and a business in the Furnace Acres area were searched in connection with the case. The ongoing investigation involves the delivery of marijuana and prescription medication.

 

 

Positive, Negative Impacts of Fracking Discussed

 

While there are potential environmental concerns about the impact of natural gas drilling, or "fracking," the industry could generate as many as 1800 jobs by 2025 and the area could produce $300 million worth of natural gas annual in that time frame. The Maryland Secretary of the Department of the Environment, Robert Summers, spoke at a House Environmental Matters Committee meeting on Thursday. Some legislators are urging fewer restrictions. With too many, energy companies may be driven to other states.

 

 

Fire Destroys Garrett County Home

 

A fire, early yesterday morning, destroyed the Pysell Cut Road home of Joe and Mary Ellen Ingram in Garrett County. The residence was unoccupied at the time. The fire reportedly broke out in the office area of the dwelling. The call was initially received around 4:14 a.m., and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

 

 

Destruction of Property Incidents Reported

 

The Cumberland City Police are investigating two destruction of property reports in the West Side area. They responded to the 500-block of Patterson Avenue for a report of a window, broken out of a vehicle. A purse was removed. In the second, they went to the 800-block of Gephart Drive, where an unknown suspect or suspects broke a rear window of a car parked on the street. Nothing was taken from the vehicle. There are no suspects in either case, and it is not known if they are related.

 

 

Sexual Assault Case in Somerset County

 

An Ohio man entered a plea in Somerset County Court, just days before his trial was to have begun, on charges he sexually assaulted a young girl about a decade ago. Fifty-seven year old William Walters entered an Alford plea, which means a defendant does not admit guilt, but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convict the defendant. He was living in Somerset borough, when he assaulted the girl between 2001 and 2004.

 

 

Hampshire Superintendent to be Appointed

 

The Hampshire County Board of Education intends to offer the position of Superintendent to Marianna Leone tomorrow night. The hire is effective on July 1st, at an annual salary of $90,000. She has been serving as interim superintendent, since her predecessor, Robin Lewis took a job in Beckley, West Virginia. Board president Gerald Mathias says he expects the motion to pass unanimously.

 

Three Considered for Senatorial Appointment

 

During a meeting of the 15th Senatorial District Democratic Executive Committee in Romney, three names were chosen to be considered to replace former Senator Walt Helmick. Hampshire County Judge Donald Cookman, Upshur County resident Mike Ross and Tom Hawes of Hardy County will be submitted to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for his consideration. Whoever is chosen, will have to run for re-election every two years.

 

 

Windber Hospital Closing Obstetrics Program

 

Windber Medical Center has announced it is closing its obstetrician wing by the end of March. Woman who had expected to deliver their babies there will now have to find an alternative plan. Two of the hospital's doctors are leaving and two others have asked to shift the focus of their practice. With those moves, the hospital decided it wanted to focus on gynecological care and not offer obstetrician services.

 

 

Man Held on Larceny Charges

 

A Monogalia County man is being held on $75,000 bond, after being arrested on larceny charges, stemming from Preston County. Thirty-one year old Chad Ringer is accused of burglarizing a Bruceton Mills home in December, and stole several items, including cash, a laptop and a crossbow. He is being held in the North Central Regional Jail.

 

 

Local News


Two Taken To Hospital After Fire

Two people, Steven Markle and his wife, Rebecca, were taken to Potomac Valley Hospital, after fire broke out at a McCoole Drive residence early yesterday morning. The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the blaze, to which the McCoole, Keyser, Piedmont, Potomac, and Fountain fire departments responded. Nobody was entrapped by the fire, which was confined to an outside porch. The Markles were released after being treated for smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire has been traced to smoking materials, which ignited a mattress. The mattress was moved to the front porch area of the home.  The American Red Cross and Potomac Edison were notified of the incident.

 

Driver Unhurt as Rig Overturns

A St. Louis, Missouri tractor trailer driver, James Blumer, was uninjured in an accident yesterday morning on Interstate 68 Eastbound, near the Finzel scale house. Although the Allegany County Hazardous Incident Response Team was notified, the rig was carrying packaged goods. Interstate 68 Eastbound was closed for a time, with traffic being routed through the scale house entrance and exit ramps. There was no further information on what may have caused the accident and any factors that may have contributed to it. Blumer refused medical treatment at the scene.

 

Delegate Reacts to FY 2014 Buddget

Governor Martin O'Malley's FY 2014 budget was released earlier this week, and it includes a million dollar FY 2013 deficiency appropriation for Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction studies. The studies will allow the agency to carry out provisions of the Governor's Executive Order, establishing the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling initiative. Delegate Wendell Beitzel observed that the budget will be much easier to complete the objective of eliminating the structural deficit, while also seeking to restore highway user revenue to local jurisdictions and to prevent further loss of education funding for our schools.

 

Chamber Addresses  Coal Tax Credit Issue

The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has written to Delegate Sheila Hixson, chair of the state House Ways and Means Committee, asking for the preservation of the tax credit for Maryland-mined coal. The letter is signed by Bill DuVall, chair of the Chamber's legislative committee, and Stu Czapski, executive director of the Chamber. In explaining the ramifications of a coal tax repeal, the letter noted that if local companies cannot absorb the losses from tax credit repeal, then jobs will be eliminated, with "harsh economic consequences" for the farthest reaching counties in the state.

 

Man Served with Three Warrants

The Cumberland City Police served 29-year old Cumberland resident Timothy Winkler with three warrants yesterday. The first involved an assault incident in August of last year at a Maryland Avenue residence. The second, also occurring in August of last year, involved the burglary and trespassing of a home on Maryland Avenue. The third warrant was for failure to appear on an original charge of disorderly conduct. For all three, the total bail amount was $12,500.

 

Mineral Assessor Answering State Questions

Mineral County assessor Rose Ann Maine is among six of her colleagues, answering questions before the Property Valuation Training and Procedures Committee in Flatwoods, West Virginia. In the Mineral County case, she is being questioned about alleged non-compliance with state regulations regarding property valuations in the business area, south of town. Forty-six of the Mountain State's 55 counties were cited for one type of violation in regard to sales, valuations and other issues. This marks the first time Maine's office has been called before the West Virginia PVC Board.

Possible Stiffer Penalties for Cell Phone Use in Car

 

Talking on a cell phone, while driving is now considered a secondary offense in the state of Maryland, but if a Frederick County delegate has his way, it will be "bumped up" to a primary offense. Delegate Galen Claggett says it is irresponsible to be driving, especially at higher speeds, while talking on a cell phone, and that more crashes are being blamed on using the cell phone while driving. The proposed bill is also expected to include points on a driver's license and increased penalties. Talking on a cell phone while driving is illegal in ten states.

 

Gubernatorial Race Already Underway

The State Board of Elections has released 2012 finance reports that show there is a virtual three-way-tie for the top Democrats who are mostly likely to run for Governor. They include Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler, and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. They have each raised around a million dollars each, to this point. Polls indicate that most voters are not committed to any of the candidates as of yet.

 

WV Supreme Court Won't Hear Marple Case

The West Virginia Supreme Court has declined to hear an emergency petition for a case, involving former State Superintendent Jorea Marple. Ms. Marple was fired by the State Board of Education in December of last year. She had notified the Board that she planned to sue. Attorneys for Ms. Marple have not yet made a decision on how to proceed in the case.

 

Local News


Inmate Death Ruled Homicide

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

 

Wind Power Developers Hope to Begin Construction Soon

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

 

New Hearing for Gerholt Within 40 Days

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

 

Virginia Man Dies in Single-Vehicle Accident

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

 

Howard Street Lot to Close

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

 

Man Sentenced Twice in Same Case

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

 

Seven Springs Denies Interest

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

 

Bath Salts Overdoses on the Decline in West Virginia

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

 

Portion of Interstate 81 to Be Completed in September

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

Local News


Man Held in Stabbing Incident

A Keyser man is being held on $2,000 bond, after stabbing another at a residence on East Piedmont Street. Sixty-year old Harold Bosley reportedly stabbed a 48-year old Keyser man, and the victim was found lying on a couch inside the residence. Bosley had refused several orders by police to show his hands; he initially refused, but later police found that he showed a knife with a four-inch blade in a sheath on his belt. While Bosley was taken into custody, the victim was treated at Potomac Valley Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

 

Garrett County Residents Arrested for Heroin Possession

The Garrett County Sheriff's Office arrested two Oakland residents for possession of heroin, and other drug counts. They had received complaints about a suspicious vehicle in the area of Bethlehem Road. Taken into custody were Roger Lee Strawser and Terry Lynn Nobles. Following their arrest, both were taken to the Garrett County Detention Center.

 

Meth Lab Discovered in Somerset Apartment

A suspected meth lab was discovered in a Somerset Borough apartment earlier this week, and two people now face felony drug charges. Twenty-one year old Justin Carr and 18-year old Samantha McKenzie were arrested Monday afternoon at a Vincent Avenue apartment by the Pennsylvania State Police. The agency's Clandestine Lab Response Team confiscated several items from the apartment. The investigation into the incident is continuing.

 

Man Arrested in Assault of Ridgeley Woman

An arrest has been made in the case of  a 37-year old Moorefield, West Virginia man, Scott Merrill,  who is accused of assaulting a 38-year old Ridgeley, West Virginia woman, and ramming his vehicle into another, pushing it over an embankment. The incident happened early Sunday, just off of Shaw Mine Road, and Merrill was arrested on a warrant from the state of Pennsylvania by the Cumberland City Police. The victim said Scott Merrill hit her several times in the face and pushed her out of his truck. Another man heard her screams, picked her up, and Merrill is accused of ramming his truck into the other man's truck. Merrill then drove away. Merrill is being held without bail at the Allegany County Detention Center, pending his extradition to the state of Pennsylvania.

 

Gas Leak Causes B.W. Evacuation

A temporary evacuation of students and staff took place at Bishop Walsh School early yesterday morning, as a strong odor of gas was detected. The evacuation took place just before 8 a.m. Tuesday, and a gas leak was located in the kitchen area of the school. Personnel from Columbia Gas responded, as well as the Cumberland Fire Department. Students and staff were allowed to return to the building around 8:16 a.m. to resume their normal schedule.

 

Keyser Looking to Upgrade Apartment Building

The city of Keyser is hopeful the facility, known as Keyser House, will receive a multi-million dollar renovation in the future. Keyser was named in a lawsuit over the failure of the original developer to maintain payments on the 44-unit apartment building; nearly 25 per cent of those apartments are now vacant. It could, however, soon be sold to an Ohio-based group that has experience in turning around HUD properties; if that happens, Keyser House could see a $2 to $3 million renovation.

 

Teen to Face Murder Charges as Adult

A boy, accused of fatally stabbing 17-year old Dustin White before a Tygarts Valley High School football game, will be tried as an adult. Thomas Chevy Vas is accused of killing White in October of last year, and the case was transferred from the juvenile docket to the adult docket, after a ruling by a Randolph County Circuit Court Judge.

 

Sheriff Resigns, Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation

Former Jefferson County Sheriff  Robert "Bobby" Shirley resigned Friday, and pleaded guilty Monday to violating the civil rights of a bank robbery suspect in December of 2010. Shirley's resignation was part of the plea bargain agreement. Shirley could face a maximum of ten years on the charge, be fined up to $250,000 and be ordered to serve three years of supervised release, following any jail time. Shirley was accused of assaulting Mark Daniel Haines in December of 2010;  a civil lawsuit, filed by Haines against Shirley and several other officers who responded to the pursuit, is still pending.

Local News


O'Malley Reveals Budget Tomorrow

Governor Martin O'Malley will unveil his fiscal 2014 budget tomorrow, and it is not certain if he plans to increase transportation funding. During last year's session, the Governor introduced a plan to impose a sales tax on gasoline, a plan that never made it out of committee. A bill that will receive a hearing this week includes a measure to prohibit election officials from releasing the names and addresses of people who sign petitions to get laws passed by the General Assembly on the ballot.

 

Man Turns Self Into Police

Frostburg resident Matthew Douglas Borror turned himself in to authorities last week, following an investigation by Frostburg Police and the C3I unit. Borror is accused of breaking into a Chestnut Street home and taking numerous items, including electronic equipment, jewelry, and prescription medication. Several of those items have been recovered, and Borror has been charged with first and third-degree burglary, felony theft and related charges. He was released on personal recognizance pending his next court appearance.

 

Restoration Project Begins Next Week

Renovation of the Interstate 68 bridge, over Cumberland and in the vicinity of Canal Place, begins next week. The two-year project spans the area at the western boundary at the tracks of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and extends eastward across South Mechanic Street to the municipal parking lots beneath the bridge. This is the first of a seven-phase project, to improve the Crosstown Bridge.  A public meeting to discuss details of the project will take place on February 7th, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Allegany Museum. The total cost of the project will be $14 million.

 

Convicted Murderer Wants Plea Overturned

A man who was convicted of shooting and killing his estranged wife in the parking lot of the Everett McDonald's, wants his plea tossed out of court. Forty-two year old John Gerholt claims his no contest plea should be overturned, because he says he was unaware he would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Gerholt's attorney and Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins both dispute his claim, noting that Gerholt knew the implications of his plea.

 

Cumberland Man Faces Felony Charges in Keyser

Cumberland resident Leo Rodenhauser was among more than three dozen people, indicted by the Mineral County Grand Jury last week. The Mineral News-Tribune reports that Rodenhauser led police on a chase through Keyser last October, that resulted in an accident in which two law enforcement officers were injured; one of the two remains on leave, recovering from his injuries. Rodenhauser, who was later arrested by Cumberland City Police, faces three felony and two misdemeanor charges. No court date has been set.

 

Traffic Notification for Today, Tomorrow

The City of Cumberland is notifying the public that Union Street will be closed from the South Centre Street intersection to the alley at the Center City Parking Garage exit. Traffic will still be able to exit into the alley from the parking garage, but will have to make a right turn onto Union Street when exiting. The pattern will be in effect both today and tomorrow, so that a new gas main and service lines can be installed.

 

Minor Fire Investigated

It took about five minutes to control a minor fire at 1012 Ella Avenue Sunday afternoon. The fire, at a vacant home owned by Michael Marriott, caused about $50 damage to combustible storage items that were kept in the basement. The fire was discovered by a neighbor, and the preliminary cause of the fire remains under investigation.

 

Cumberland Man Arrested for Violating Protective Order

Thirty-six year old Cumberland resident Ryan O'Toole  is being held without bail at the Allegany County Detention Center, following two weekend incidents. The victim, who had an Open Protective Order against O'Toole, alleges he assaulted her both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. She indicated she was going to take herself to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for evaluation, after officers observed minor injuries. O'Toole was charged with two counts each of second-degree assault and violation of a protective order.

 

Pennsylvania Counties Included in Federal Declaration

Bedford and Somerset Counties are among 16 counties eligible for federal funds, as a result of damage from Superstorm Sandy. Federal funding is now available to state and local governments and some private non-profit organizations for emergency work and repairing or replacing facilities damaged or destroyed by the storm. Federal money is also available for certain storm-related hazard mitigation efforts across the state. FEMA adds that more disaster relief could be approved in the future, if ongoing damage assessments show it's needed.

 

Parent Conferences Set for February

Allegany County Public Schools will hold parent conferences on Thursday, February 7, 2013. This year's conferences will also be a combined professional development day for staff. Parents of middle and high school students may request a conference appointment by e-mailing or sending a note to their child's teacher. Walk-ins will also be welcomed for parents not previously scheduled by appointment.

 

Audit Shows Billing Not Properly Investigated

The Office of Legislative Audits shows the Health Services Cost Review Commission did not adequately investigate the impact of hospital overbilling at four Maryland hospitals. The commission also did not discover the extent of prior year overcharges or the patients or payers that may have been overcharged. Overcharges of at least $13.2 million have been found at the four institutions. Auditors examined the results of procedure reviews for all hospitals for fiscal year 2009.

 

Rockefeller Will Not Run in 2014

West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller will not seek reelection to that post in 2014, capping nearly 50 years of public service in the Mountain State. Rockefeller made the announcement last week. He first came to West Virginia in 1964 as a VISTA worker, and has since served as a member of the state House of Delegates, Secretary of State, President of West Virginia Wesleyan College, Governor and United States Senator.

 

Jefferson County Sheriff Resigns

Jefferson County Sheriff Robert "Bobby" Shirley has resigned that post. The Sheriff was indicted by a federal grand jury in June on one count of violating the civil rights of suspect Mark Daniel Haines in December of 2010, and falsifying a document with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. He had been scheduled to go on trial next week in Martinsburg's U.S. District Court. Shirley had pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing last June.

Local News


Missing Man Found Dead in Mineral County

 

A Cash Valley Road man, who had first been reported missing on Thursday, was found dead with his vehicle that had caught fire. Eighty-six year old Billie Eugene Smith was pronounced dead, after he was found by two hunters along Schell Road, off of U.S. Route 50. No foul play is suspected, although certain aspects of the case are currently under investigation, along with an autopsy that will determine the cause of death.

 

 

Man Arrested for Kidnapping, Assault

 

Cumberland resident Brian Russell Price is being held on a quarter-million dollars bond, following a Friday incident in which he is accused of assaulting a former girlfriend, holding a knife to her throat, and forcing her to drive around in her vehicle. She was able to escape at a gas station and call 911. Price was arrested about 8 p.m. And taken to a District Court Commissioner. He faces numerous charges including kidnapping, carjacking, using a dangerous weapon with intent to injure and reckless endangerment.

 

Suspicious Device Investigated

 

Cumberland City Police responded to the First Presbyterian Church late Friday morning, for a report of a suspicious item. Church employees found a small item, with wires attached to it, outside of the church. The Cumberland Fire Marshal and the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office determined  that it was not an explosive device, and did not contain any harmful substances. The purpose of the item could not be determined and it did not appear to have been related to any criminal activity. The investigation into the incident has been closed.

 

 

Siren Icon on ACHD Page

 

The Allegany County Health Department has posted a red “siren” icon on the main page of its site, with links to important information about the current flue season. There has been a sharp increase, both locally and nationwide, since December, in the number of flu cases, with many experiencing more severe symptoms this season. It is urgent that anyone who has not received a vaccination, to get their flu vaccine while supplies are available.

 

 

Downtown Assault Investigated

 

A 28-year old Cumberland woman was arrested for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend in the vicinity of Baltimore Street and Henderson Avenue. Ashley Nichole Scardina caused minor injuries to her boyfriend in the attack. He did not require medical assistance. After being arrested and processed, she received a hearing before a District Court Commissioner. Ms. Scardina was released on personal recognizance, pending trial.

 

 

Four Arrested for CDS During Traffic Stop

 

A total of four people-two each from Cumberland and Wiley Ford-were arrested following a traffic stop in the area of Virginia Avenue, near River Avenue. While Cumberland City Police were trying to assist with a safety seat, they noticed saw the front seat passenger remove a pocket knife from his pocket. Also, they noticed a quantity of marijuana in the passenger compartment. Taken into custody were Wiley Ford residents Parry Nelson Hamilton and Amanda Catherine Smith, along with Cumberland residents Rhonda Lynn Fazenbaker and William Forsythe Wagner. All were charged with CDS possession and possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana. After processing, they were all released pending trial.

 

 

 

Westernport Gets Green Light to Sell Water to NewPage

 

The town of Westernport will now be able to sell about 2.2 million gallons of "raw" water from the Savage River Reservoir to NewPage Corporation. In turn, the company will pump about $100,000 annually to the town's coffers. Westernport has been given permission, after six years, from the Maryland Department of the Environment to sell the water to NewPage. For its part the new revenue for Westernport will be able to replace aging water lines in the community, and will help offset water rate increases for its residents.

 

 

DNR Releases Geological Map

 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has created a new geological map for Garrett, Allegany, and Western Washington counties that will provide information on the region's geology, and will guide decisions about the wise use of its landscape and natural resources. With the potential for the Marcellus shale to serve as a natural gas resource, the updated map will serve as a land management tool, helping decision-makers balance the impact of human activity with the preservation of natural resources.

 

 

WVSDB Given Go-Ahead for Proposed Plan

 

The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind have been given the go-ahead by the State Board of Education to buy more property and to expand services. The model program would emphasize independent living skills for young adults with hearing and vision problems who have graduated from high school. While $3.4 is needed for the full restoration project, the School Building Authority granted WVSDB a million dollars in a 3 per cent statewide grant to update facilities at the Romney campus.

 

 

Public School Rankings Released

 

The annual rankings of public schools has been released by Education Week, and Maryland is at the top of the list, with a "B-plus" grade, rating the state at 87.5 per cent. No state received an "A" grade. The next highest state was Massachusetts with a "B" grade. Evaluations were done in several areas, including K to 12 achievement, standards assessments and accountability. Rounding out the top five was New York, along with Virginia and Arkansas.

 

 

Bill Would Create Fines for Open Meetings Violations

 

A Maryland State Delegate, Dan Morhaim, is planning to introduce legislation that would put some "teeth" into the regulatory powers of the Open Meetings Compliance Board, allowing it to fine public bodies for illegally closing meetings. Civil penalties could be up to $1,000 for the first offense and up to $10,000 for a third offense. Even if the board opts to not impose the fines, the members of any public body violating the act would have to personally sign an acknowledgement that the Open Meetings Board had ruled against them. The findings could then be admitted as evidence in any subsequent lawsuits.

 

Local News


Rocky Gap Plans Discussed

The Rocky Gap Casino is tentatively set for a June 1st opening, but the opening of new meeting space at the Lodge and Golf Resort won't probably happen until the fourth quarter of this year. During a conference call from Annapolis yesterday, the Western Maryland delegation to the General Assembly and representatives from Lakes Entertainment discussed the next step of the process in developing Rocky Gap into a gaming facility, conference center, and hotel. The gaming facility will open in the present meeting space at Rocky Gap, but there are plans to construct an addition to the lodge with even larger rooms for gatherings. Several job fairs are planned in late winter and early spring; the workforce will then more than double. When the issue of using local contractors was raised by Delegate Kevin Kelly, a Lakes Entertainment representative noted that about 50 workers will be on site at any one time, when construction of the meeting facilities begins.

 

Senate President Believes Death Penalty Repeal Will Pass

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller believes there will be an appeal of the death penalty in the state. He is a supporter of capital punishment, but, if Governor Martin O'Malley gets enough votes for it, Miller will find a way to get the bill to the full Senate. O'Malley says he believes he is within two votes of banning the death penalty; Miller believes it will pass both the Senate and House of Delegates, but proponents of capital punishment may try to bring the issue to referendum.

 

State Police Seek Missing Adult

The Maryland State Police are looking for a man who has been missing since yesterday afternoon. Eighty-six year old Billie Eugene Smith, of Cash Valley Road, was supposed to have picked up a family member at the Country Club Mall. Police were notified when he did not arrive as scheduled. It is unknown where he might have gone, possibly to gather firewood. Possible locations include Green Ridge State Forest, Artemas, Pennsylvania or Springs, Pennsylvania. He is 5 feet, 11 inches tall, and was last seen wearing a blue windbreaker jacket. If you have any information, please contact the LaVale barrack at (301)-729-2101.

 

Pennsylvania Man Charged With Failure to Yield

An Easton, Pennsylvania man was charged with failure to yield right of way, following a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of National Highway and Winchester Road yesterday morning. Fifty-one year old Robert Howell turned left into the path of a vehicle driven by William Weimer of Lonaconing. Weimer and his wife Delores were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The LaVale Fire Department responded to the 7 a.m. accident.

 

Foreman To Stand Trial

Piedmont Town Foreman John Shingler will stand trial on March 19th in U.S. District Court on six charges of embezzlement of federal stolen property. The counts stem from the alleged illegal purchase of six FEMA trailers through the town of Piedmont. The trailers were to have been used by the town at least a year or 18 months, before they could be transferred to any other entity. The transfer of the property was to have been approved by the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property. Former Piedmont Mayor and council member Pat Amoroso noted that he had not seen the trailers used by the city for any purpose.

 

Keyser Man Faces a Host of Charges

A 20-year old Keyser man faces numerous charges following an altercation on the Memorial Bridge. Dustin Loy was arrested, following an incident on the Keyser end of the bridge. Loy allegedly had stolen a bottle of liquor from the CVS Pharmacy there. Loy also was found to have a switchblade knife and a syringe, containing an unknown substance, which later found to be suboxone, an opiate similar to heroin. He was held at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, in lieu of $3,000 bond.

 

Alley To Be Closed Through Tuesday

Beginning today through Tuesday, the alley between West Union Street and the exit of the Center City Parking Garage will be closed. When exiting the parking garage, traffic should turn left and exit onto West Harrison Street during this time. The alley should reopen after 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The change in the traffic pattern and closure will allow a new gas main to be installed in the alley.

 

Bedford Food Pantries Feel Effect of Financial Struggle

Six food banks in Bedford County have taken in more than 100 tons of food from two primary food providers. However, because of the county's financial struggle, the suppliers have not been paid for several months. The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and the Bedford-based Blackburn-Russell have extended credit to the food banks say they won't cut off the food bank's supply. The food bank owes around $25,000, with just one $12,000 check delivered in December. Slow state payments and higher-level bureaucracy are being blamed for the lapse in payments.

 

Preston County Man Arrested on Arson Charges

A Preston County, West Virginia man has been jailed on $50,000 bond, charged with first-degree arson. Forty-nine year old David Ridenour is accused of setting a mobile home on fire last October, and additional charges are pending in connection with other fires in Preston County that occurred in 2011 and 2012. The investigation is ongoing and involves several law enforcement agencies in Preston County. Ridenour is in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.

Local News


O'Malley to Propose Gas Tax

As the General Assembly session begins, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley says he will propose a sales tax on gasoline, similar to the one he introduced last year; he says the state needs to find another way to make a $700 million to $800 million investment in transportation. Governor O'Malley also says he is confident the state Senate is within two votes of supporting a repeal of capital punishment in Maryland. He believes it is "very possible" that there are two more senators who would vote to repeal the capital punishment this year.

 

Commission Continues to Study "Fracking"

A state commission studying the issue of "fracking" for natural gas wants lawmakers to impose a moratorium on the practice until the issue has been fully analyzed. Three bills will be recommended to legislators this session, addressing the issue of the hydraulic fracturing drilling method, and including a proposed state "severance tax" on any gas extracted to help pay for the effects on nearby communities. More than 160,000 acres in Western Maryland have been leased, and some landowners have complained that they signed away permission to drill on their property without being made aware of concerns about fracking's environmental impact.

 

Threat Received at Allegany High School

Allegany High School was placed on lockdown yesterday, after a threatening message was found written on a wall at Allegany High School on Monday. The message stated that a bomb threat would occur today. The Cumberland Police Department had planned to do a complete sweep of the building, and will remain today at the school, which will remain in lock down mode. Students who take backpacks or large bags to the school will be subject to searches.

 

Business Owners Among 40 Indicted by Mineral Grand Jury

Two Mineral County residents are among 40 who have been indicted by its Grand Jury. John and Tonya Cozatt, owners of Earth Zone, are being charged with various counts involving controlled dangerous substances. Samples of synthetic marijuana were found to have a controlled dangerous substance in them. Earth Zone has two locations, one in Keyser and the other in Short Gap.

 

Judge Orders Conference for Bedford County Representatives

The chief judge of Pennsylvania's second-highest civil court has ordered a conference with the Bedford County commissioners and Judge Thomas Ling, the President Judge there. Ling and the commissioners have been in an ongoing dispute over county funds, with Ling seizing control of money the commissioners insist is outside of his authority. The root of the disagreement is over canceled bonus payments to probation officers, who operate under the court's authority. The meeting should be held within the next ten days, with a final ruling on the matter coming after that.

 

Sheriff Investigates Terra Alta Shooting

A Preston County man has been arrested, after admitting to shooting and killing his father. Robert Dale Tasker is accused of shooting him, shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday. He had gone to his father's house, with the intent of killing him. The weapon was recovered and the younger Tasker was arrested at the scene. He has been charged with first-degree murder and remains held without bond. 

 

Man Tries to Burn Apartment Building

Cumberland City Police responded to a call early yesterday morning on Virginia Avenue, for a report of a distraught man who wouldn't open his apartment door. Officers saw flames coming from the apartment, and discovered several small fires, burning in an obvious attempt to burn the structure. He was taken into custody and the fires were extinguished by the Cumberland Fire Department. The man was later taken to the hospital by officers. The matter is being investigated by Cumberland City Police.

 

Teachers Recertify with National Board

Two Allegany High School teachers, Kay Sheehe and Lori Brown and Jennifer Knotts of Washington Middle School, were all recently  recertified with the National Board and are among the school system's 23 teachers who have earned National Board Certification. Sheehe teaches social studies/history at Allegany, and Brown teaches English/language arts. Knotts is a science teacher at Washington.

 

Trial Delayed for Jefferson County Sheriff

The judge in the civil rights trial of Jefferson County Sheriff Robert Shirley has postponed the start of the proceedings, giving his defense lawyers time to survey potential jurors and decide whether pre-trial publicity justifies a change-of-venue request. Sheriff Shirley is accused of kicking and stomping Mark Daniel Haines after a December, 2010 police chase; he is also accused of falsifying records during a subsequent investigation.

Local News


O'Malley Proposes $336 Million for School Construction

Governor Martin O'Malley proposes spending $336 million across the state on school construction aid next year. The Governor made the announcement Monday, as part of a series of announcements he will make this week to unveil plans for the General Assembly session which begins today. The amount allocated for next year is less than the $396 million devoted to school construction this year-the second highest amount on record.

 

Rocky Gap Gains More Financing

In a deal that was closed in mid-December, the owners of Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort will now be able to finance a portion of the conversion of the property into a casino, by using the property, fixtures and furniture as collateral. An additional $17.5 million credit line will be established as a second mortgage on the property, owned by Lakes Entertainment. The loan will help to convert the existing convention space into a gaming facility.

 

Mayor Restricted From Traveling While Investigation Continues

Ridgeley Mayor Jim Twigg has been ordered to pay his own travel expenses, with no reimbursement, after he had requested the town clerk to book him a room and sign him up for a class. The Mayor is currently under investigation for the misuse of a government-issued credit card, known as a "P-Card." So far, the town audit has not been completed; when it is, it will be provided to the town and posted online.

 

Two Rhode Island Men Arrested in Garrett County

Two Rhode Island men were arrested yesterday by Troopers from the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Team on Interstate 68 in the Friendsville area. Eighteen year old Edwin Estevez and Javier Leonardo, also 18, were charged with possession of marijuana and possession of CDS paraphernalia. Their vehicle was initially stopped for a traffic violation; the odor of marijuana was coming from the car, and a search of the vehicle was conducted.

 

Log Home A Total Loss

A fire in Hampshire County completely destroyed a log home yesterday morning in the 1700 block of Core Road. The call was received around 8:42 a.m., which brought out at least five fire companies. Losses were placed at $350,000, and nobody was home at the time of the fire. The cause and origin of the fire is not known, and there were no injuries.

 

State Conducts Investigation at Shade-Central City School

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has conducted an investigation at the Shade-Central Elementary School in response to parental complaints. The department will issue a report on its findings within 60 days. Allegations include the disregard of individualized education programs, misconduct, inappropriate comments and aggressive and threatening behavior directed at students. A spokesperson for the school system says it will comply with departmental recommendations in response to the findings.

 

River Search for Somerset County Man

Search crews are looking at the Youghiogheny River, as they began a sixth day of searching for 29-year old Jeremy Walker of Somerset. He has not been heard from since New Year's Eve Crews began the search at Ohiopyle State Park, after his car was found there a week ago. A dog traced Walker's scene from his car to a bridge on the river.

 

Man Arrested for Marijuana Possession

A Greenway Avenue resident was issued a criminal citation for possession of marijuana, and charged with several motor vehicle violations, following a traffic stop Monday night. Fifty-two year old Leonard Yenchenko was observed, making an unsafe lane change. After being stopped, the officer noticed Yenchenko's eyes were bloodshot and glassy, with his speech being slurred. A strong odor of alcohol was also detected. And, a small bag of marijuana was found in his coat pocket. Along with DUI, DWI, and driving on a suspended license, he was also charged with possession of under 10 grams of marijuana.

 

Disaster Spending Taps Road Fund

The West Virginia State Road Fund was given a $6.5 million cash infusion last month, after three costly and unforseen disasters took much of its cash. The State Department of Transportation spent a lot of money on the June 29th derecho, Superstorm Sandy and a powerful natural gas explosion near Sissonville last month. The cost of the storms has totaled $30 million, while the final tab for repaving I-77 following the explosion has yet to be calculated. Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow said officials were able to make an early transfer to help offset the department's emergency costs, and the state is expecting some reimbursements from the federal government.

 

Former Superintendent Plans to Sue

Former West Virginia School Superintendent Jorea Marple is planning to sue the state Board of Education over her termination in November. She has sent a letter to the board, which was received after four prominent attorneys notified them she planned to sue over her firing. The letter demands she be returned to her job, along with an undisclosed amount of money, and a finding by the board that it acted inappropriately when it fired her.

Local News


Convicted Sex Offender Arrested

The C3I Warrant/Fugitive Unit has arrested 32-year old Clint Kane Hill, after a warrant was issued for violations of the sex offender registration laws. Law enforcement officials were advised by school officials that Hill, a registered sex offender, had been on a local elementary school property for the purpose of transporting children to the facility; he had done so, however, without first receiving written permission from the Allegany County Board of Education. It was also learned he was not residing at the address he provided to law enforcement authorities, had lied about his residence address, and failed to make proper notification of an address change, as required by law. Following his arrest, he was held at the Allegany County Detention Center on a quarter-million dollars bond, pending his next court appearance.

 

New Council Members Sworn In

New Cumberland City Council members Nicole Wagoner and David Caporale were sworn into office yesterday at City Hall. Master of Ceremonies for the event was Judge J. Frederick Sharer and the invocation was given by Father Bernard Finerty of Our Lady of the Moutains Parish. Caporale and Wagoner won those council seats in November. Former Council members Harold "Butch" Hendershot and Mary Beth Pirolozzi chose not to run for another term.

 

Foreman Indicted in FEMA Trailer Embezzlement

Piedmont Town Foreman John Shingler has been indicted on six felony counts of embezzlement, involving the purchase of six trailers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2009. He is the sole defendant in the case, and surrendered to authorities, but was later released on bond. Commissioner Ray Hall provided West Virginia State Police with a recorded tape of an executive session, where the FEMA trailers were discussed. Shingler's trial will take place on March 19th in Martinsburg.

 

Woman Arrested in Stabbing

Accident resident Amanda Darlene Garlitz has been arrested for stabbing 35-year old Chester Dale Burgess on Sunday at a Clover Lane residence. The two got into an argument, and Ms. Garlitz allegedly threw a knife, with a 3-inch blade, at Burgess. The knife penetrated his chest cavity by about two inches. He was taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital for treatment. She is being held on $2500 bond at the Garrett County Detention Center.

 

"Person of Interest" In Assault of Elderly Woman

The investigation into the severe beating of an 86-year old New Creek woman remains under investigation by the West Virginia State Police. A "person of interest," who is currently under investigation, may prove to be the assailant. Police believe more than one individual was involved in the crime, which took place at a home off of Route 220, near WalMart. They promise an arrest will be made soon.

 

Contract Awarded for Rocky Gap

A Silver Spring, Maryland company-Watek Engineering Corporation-has been awarded a contract, worth nearly $392,000 for an essential wastewater treatment plant at Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort and at the adjacent state park. The award was made at last week's meeting of the Maryland Board of Public Works in Annapolis. Construction will get underway when the state secures the funding for the project. The expanded capacity treatment plant will most likely be relocated to the other side of Lake Habeeb.

 

Man Charged with Theft

A Westernport resident is being charged, in connection with a series of thefts from the Pit-N-Go gas station on Lower George's Creek Road. Twenty-three year old Joseph Alan Sweitzer is alleged to have charged over $560 worth of fuel from the business, by charging it to various accounts of local volunteer fire companies and governments. Sweitzer, who faces various theft charges and driving on a suspended license, was held on a $3500 bond.

 

Barton Man Held on $3500 Bond

A fifty-five year old Barton man was arrested, following an assault incident early Saturday evening on Lower George's Creek Road in Barton. John Boore was charged with second-degree assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult. The victim was held on a $20,000 bond, and the victim was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

 

Cumberland Man Arrested Following Sunday Incident

A nineteen-year old Cumberland man was arrested, and later released on his own recognizance, following an incident on Fayette Street on Sunday. Dalijah Paige was allegedly yelling profanities and acting in an aggressive manner to other individuals at a residence there. When told to leave, he failed to comply with the officer's request and he attempted to punch one of the individuals. He was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

 

Search Underway for Somerset Man

The search is underway at Ohiopyle State Park for a missing Somerset, Pennsylvania man. The search for 29-year old Jeremy Walker began last week, when he was initially reported missing. A K-9 unit tracked Walker from his car, to the first bridge on the river at Ohiopyle; the area near the falls was searched over the weekend.

 

Pennsylvania Turnpike Tolls Rise

With the start of the New Year, tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike rose 10 per cent for all cash customers who use the thoroughfare. Rates also rose two per-cent for those who have EZ-Pass. The Turnpike Commission hopes to realize about $25 million this year. The money is needed to pay for the transportation funding shortfall.

Local News


Gun Control, Death Penalty Highlights of Session

 

Gun control and the death penalty will be two major issues during the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly, which gets underway Wednesday. General Assembly members also consider the reduction of the structural deficit by $200 million, “manageable” during this session. There are no major tax increases anticipated this year, except possibly for transportation. While the Governor would like more money for transportation, he is expected to receive fierce opposition to raising the gas or sales tax.

 

 

Beal Due in Court on February 1st

 

Twenty-three year old Jonathan William Beal is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on February 1st, in connection with the death of Justine Marie Jackson, a former Mountain Ridge student and a graduate of the Allegany County Center for Career and Technical Education. Beal is accused of murdering Ms. Jackson, and burying her body near the Great Allegheny Passage hiking and biking trail in Somerset County. He fled the area, but was arrested near New Orleans, Louisiana in November. He waived extradition and was returned to Somerset County to face homicide charges.

 

 

Bedford County Man Held on Rape Charges

 

Sixty-one year old Gary Weyant of New Paris, Pennsylvania has been arrested on rape charges, stemming from ten years ago. The incident allegedly happened between 2003 and 2004 at a residence in Napier Township. The alleged victim, who is now 17, first reported the case to police in March of last year. Following arraignment, Weyant was held in the Bedford County jail on $150,000 bail.

 

 

Destruction of Property/Theft in Midland

 

The Maryland State Police barrack is investigating the breaking and entering and theft from a vehicle in the 14,000-block of Paradise Street in Midland Friday morning. A Ford van had its passenger side window broken, and a purse, containing various cards and a Nintendo DS system were taken. If you have any information about this incident, please call the LaVale barrack at (301)-729-2101.

 

 

Man Faces Assault, Drug Charges

 

Twenty-three year old Cumberland resident Kevin McKenzie has been jailed on $7500 bond, on connection with a Saturday incident on Grand Avenue. McKenzie is accused of assaulting a man, repeatedly hitting him in the face with a closed fist. He fled the area, but was later apprehended in the parking lot of an Industrial Boulevard business. Police also found 22 Suboxone packets, a quantity of suspected marijuana, along with a digital scale and other CDS paraphernalia. He was processed at police headquarters, received a District Court hearing, and is now lodged in the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

Report Cards Delayed in Allegany County

 

Report card distribution for all Allegany County Public Schools will be delayed one day this marking period. Report Cards will now be distributed on Tuesday, January 29th, instead of Monday, January 28, 2013.

 

 

Janice LaRue New MineraL County Commission President

 

Janice LaRue, who is serving her second term as a Mineral County Commissioner, has been elected to serve as President of the group. Incoming Commissioner Jerry Whisner will take her place on the Mineral County Development Authority and Planning Commission. Fellow Commissioner Richard Lechliter will serve on the Region 7 Workforce Development Council. The next regularly scheduled commissioners’ meeting is tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

 

 

Man Charged with Bringing Gun Into School

 

Charles V. King II, a well known chiropractor in the Somerset County area, has been charged with bringing a gun on to Turkeyfoot Valley School last month. King has also had his concealed weapons permit revoked, and has been banned from school property. King had come to the school to pick up a student on December 14th, when an office staff member noticed the gun in his back pocket. Authorities believe King meant no harm, but that the incident occurred just hours after the Newtown massacre on December 14th.

 

 

Flu Cases Top 10,000 in West Virginia

 

There are more than 10,000 confirmed cases of the flu in West Virginia, as of mid-December, the highest total for the period in five years. There were over 6600 cases in December of 2011. The Centers for Disease Control says West Virginia is among 31 states reporting widespread flu activity, and the number of confirmed cases in the Mountain State has steadily increased for five consecutive weeks.

Local News


Gun Control, Death Penalty Highlights of Session

 

Gun control and the death penalty will be two major issues during the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly, which gets underway Wednesday. General Assembly members also consider the reduction of the structural deficit by $200 million, “manageable” during this session. There are no major tax increases anticipated this year, except possibly for transportation. While the Governor would like more money for transportation, he is expected to receive fierce opposition to raising the gas or sales tax.

 

 

Beal Due in Court on February 1st

 

Twenty-three year old Jonathan William Beal is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on February 1st, in connection with the death of Justine Marie Jackson, a former Mountain Ridge student and a graduate of the Allegany County Center for Career and Technical Education. Beal is accused of murdering Ms. Jackson, and burying her body near the Great Allegheny Passage hiking and biking trail in Somerset County. He fled the area, but was arrested near New Orleans, Louisiana in November. He waived extradition and was returned to Somerset County to face homicide charges.

 

 

Bedford County Man Held on Rape Charges

 

Sixty-one year old Gary Weyant of New Paris, Pennsylvania has been arrested on rape charges, stemming from ten years ago. The incident allegedly happened between 2003 and 2004 at a residence in Napier Township. The alleged victim, who is now 17, first reported the case to police in March of last year. Following arraignment, Weyant was held in the Bedford County jail on $150,000 bail.

 

 

Destruction of Property/Theft in Midland

 

The Maryland State Police barrack is investigating the breaking and entering and theft from a vehicle in the 14,000-block of Paradise Street in Midland Friday morning. A Ford van had its passenger side window broken, and a purse, containing various cards and a Nintendo DS system were taken. If you have any information about this incident, please call the LaVale barrack at (301)-729-2101.

 

 

Man Faces Assault, Drug Charges

 

Twenty-three year old Cumberland resident Kevin McKenzie has been jailed on $7500 bond, on connection with a Saturday incident on Grand Avenue. McKenzie is accused of assaulting a man, repeatedly hitting him in the face with a closed fist. He fled the area, but was later apprehended in the parking lot of an Industrial Boulevard business. Police also found 22 Suboxone packets, a quantity of suspected marijuana, along with a digital scale and other CDS paraphernalia. He was processed at police headquarters, received a District Court hearing, and is now lodged in the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

Report Cards Delayed in Allegany County

 

Report card distribution for all Allegany County Public Schools will be delayed one day this marking period. Report Cards will now be distributed on Tuesday, January 29th, instead of Monday, January 28, 2013.

 

 

Janice LaRue New MineraL County Commission President

 

Janice LaRue, who is serving her second term as a Mineral County Commissioner, has been elected to serve as President of the group. Incoming Commissioner Jerry Whisner will take her place on the Mineral County Development Authority and Planning Commission. Fellow Commissioner Richard Lechliter will serve on the Region 7 Workforce Development Council. The next regularly scheduled commissioners’ meeting is tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

 

 

Man Charged with Bringing Gun Into School

 

Charles V. King II, a well known chiropractor in the Somerset County area, has been charged with bringing a gun on to Turkeyfoot Valley School last month. King has also had his concealed weapons permit revoked, and has been banned from school property. King had come to the school to pick up a student on December 14th, when an office staff member noticed the gun in his back pocket. Authorities believe King meant no harm, but that the incident occurred just hours after the Newtown massacre on December 14th.

 

 

Flu Cases Top 10,000 in West Virginia

 

There are more than 10,000 confirmed cases of the flu in West Virginia, as of mid-December, the highest total for the period in five years. There were over 6600 cases in December of 2011. The Centers for Disease Control says West Virginia is among 31 states reporting widespread flu activity, and the number of confirmed cases in the Mountain State has steadily increased for five consecutive weeks.

Local News


Mineral County Attorney Accused of Misconduct

Mineral County attorney Chad B. Cissel has been cited by the West Virginia Lawyer Disciplinary Board, for allegedly not communicating with his clients on numerous occasions. He has also been administratively suspended from practicing law for either failing to pay his annual Bar dues, or disclosing if he has malpractice insurance. A statement of seven charges alleges that Cissel kept four clients in the dark about their cases, including a Mineral County man, accused of robbing a Fort Ashby bank, and another accused of murder in the death of an infant girl. An ethics investigation is underway.

 

Injuries Reported in Corriganville Crash

Several people were hurt in a traffic accident yesterday afternoon at the Mount Savage and Ellerslie Roads. Three people were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Corriganville Fire and Rescue units, along with a Cumberland Fire Department ambulance responded to the scene. There were reports of an overturned vehicle, as the result of the accident. There is no word on the identity, nor the conditions, of those involved.

 

Domestic Assault Results in Arrest

A McHenry man was jailed on $2500 bond, following a domestic incident on Pysell Road Wednesday morning. Justin Alan Sines is accused of entering the bedroom in which his girlfriend was sleeping, and hit her in the head several times. She sustained minor injuries, and Sines was charged with one count of misdemeanor assault. The Maryland State Police responded to the incident, which occurred, just after 5 a.m.

 

Allegany, Garrett Counties to Benefit from POS Funding

Allegany and Garrett counties will benefit from the latest round of Program Open Space funding. The city of Cumberland will receive $3,150 to replace signage at Washington Headquarters/Riverside Park to include custom artwork embedded in fiberglass, and finished with a waterproof topcoat. In Garrett County, the town of Loch Lynn Heights will receive over $25,000 to pave the existing gravel and compacted dust walking trail at the Loch Lynn Heights Athletic Complex. The trail is about 2,640 feet long by 4-feet wide, and provides ADA access to the softball fields, soccer fields, and the concession/restroom building.

 

Man Charged With Killing Bear Out of Season

LaVale resident Charles Frederick Evans is being charged with killing bears out of season, in an incident where one was killed, and another shot, but not recovered. The Cumberland Times-News states that a court appearance for Evans has been set for February 28th at 1 p.m. The incident took place on November 24th, the opening day of the Maryland deer firearms season, at the Green Ridge State Forest, near Daily Road.

 

Pennsylvania Man Held on Drug Charges

Schellsburg, Pennsylvania resident Alex  Gerald Morris was held on $3500 bond, following his arrest Wednesday afternoon in the 400-block of Maryland Avenue. He was originally issued a warning for a traffic violation, but during a consent search of his car, a Cumberland City Police officer discovered various items of CDS paraphernalia and suspected heroin. He is being held in the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Westernport Works To Repair Sewer Line

The town of Westernport will be working on a sewer line on Greene Street this coming Monday. That street, from Central Avenue south, will be blocked intermittently throughout the day. An alternate route will be on Ross Street. the work will begin at about 7:30 a.m. Monday.

 

Health Department Urges Flu Vaccination

The Allegany County Health Department, noting increasing flu activity throughout the state and locally, is urging residents to get a flu shot. All area residents, 6 months of age and older, are urged to get the vaccine, and supplies are limited. The Health Department administers the flu shot every Wednesday from 1 to 4, in the Physical Health clinic area on the main floor of the Willowbrook Office Complex. No appointment is necessary.

 

Woman Wanted in Hit and Run Incident Turns Herself In

A St. Albans, West Virginia woman, who struck and injured a West Virginia State Police Trooper with her car earlier in the week, has turned herself in to authorities. Jennifer Garretson is in custody; the West Virginia State Police say Sgt. Aaron Nichols, who was off duty and out of uniform, but chased Ms. Garretson, who was suspected of shoplifting from a Goody's store. Sgt. Nichols sustained a serious head injury. Her vehicle was initially recovered shortly after the incident. She is on parole for two fraud convictions in 2011 in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

Local News


Ridgeley Fire Displaces Seven

Firefighters responded to a home on Knobley Road extended early New Year's morning. Fire destroyed a mobile home there, and seven occupants have been displaced by the fire. One Ridgeley firefighter was injured as he fell from a porch, while fighting the blaze. The firefighter was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment. Nobody was home at the time of the fire, and the property loss was estimated at $25,000 to the home itself, and $5,000 to its contents. There was no word on the identity of the victims, but the Red Cross responded, to offer assistance.

 

Cumberland Water Projects Approved

The city of Cumberland has been approved for a million-and-a-half dollars in funding for water supply projects. The bond issue has been approved by the state. The water projects include valve replacements at the Fort Hill reservoir, and various updates at the water treatment plant at Lake Gordon in Bedford County. Some of the other projects included in the funding are water line replacements on Michigan, Lafayette, and Kentucky Avenues.

 

Train Fire Reported in Hyndman

A fire was reported in a locomotive yesterday afternoon, on the CSX tracks at Fairhope, outside of Hyndman. The fire was reported at around 3:50 p.m., and assistance was given by the Ellerslie Volunteer Fire Department.

 

Elderly Woman Beaten, Robbed in New Creek

An 86-year old New Creek woman was beaten and robbed Saturday night, and the incident remains under investigation. No suspects had been developed, but it is known a male suspect knocked on her door, to tell the victim there was a gas leak which he needed to check. She initially denied him entry, but he forced open the door. She was tied and beaten, and was forced to show the suspect the location of her money and jewelry. Anyone with information is asked to contact the West Virginia State Police at (304)-788-1101.

 

Family Homeless After Fire

A Fulton County, Pennsylvania family of five is homeless, following a recent fire, and the American Red Cross is aiding them.  The blaze was located in the 4400-block of Buck Valley Road; an addition to the home was destroyed and the main section was gutted by flames. Another small structure and a pickup truck were damaged as well. The home was insured, although there is no estimate on the dollar amount; there has been no word on what caused the fire.

 

Charges Filed in Snowmobile Accident

Charges have been filed in connection with a snowmobile crash in Oakland Saturday evening. Injured in the accident was Randall Skeweris. He was operating a snowmobile, when he struck an embankment along Mason Road, and was ejected. He was struck by a second snowmobile, operated by Steven Wotring of Oakland. Wotring was arrested for driving under the influence, and operating an unregistered vehicle on a roadway. Charges are also pending against Skeweris.

 

Cumberland Man Arrested in Disturbance

A fifty-two year old Cumberland man was arrested on New Year's Day, for creating a disturbance in his neighborhood. Raymond Washington was reportedly inside the residence, kicking the floors and yelling obscenities at his neighbors. He then came outside and did the same, but was repeatedly told to go inside his residence, and to comply with the officer's orders. He was later arrested and charged. Washington received a hearing before a District Court Commissioner and was released on his own recognizance.

 

Hyndman Woman Arrested on Several Charges

A twenty-seven year old Hyndman woman, Sarah Diehl, was arrested Tuesday in the 200-block of North Centre Street. Police were originally called for a loud noise disturbance. A check revealed that she had an active bench warrant for failure to appear in court on a theft charge. A search was conducted, and police found two hypodermic syringes and other controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia. She was ordered held on a total of $15,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Former Warden Requests Accelerated Rehab Program

Former Bedford County jail warden Donald Orr and his wife have requested entry to an accelerated rehabilitation program that would keep the case out of their criminal records. The two have been charged with theft, for allegedly stealing more than $10,000 from Donald Orr's parents. The Orrs, from Hyndman, allegedly signed checks out of Donald Orr's parents' bank account, over which he had power of attorney. A hearing to determine their edibility for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program is set for January 22nd.

 

Law Gives Incentive to Offenders

A new law that went into effect this year gives an incentive for offenders to stay on the right track. Two Washington County representatives co-sponsored the legislation, giving people on parole or probation credit for good behavior. It is hoped the new law will encourage non-violent offenders to stay out of trouble, and become a productive member of society. About 70,000 people are on either parole or probation in the state.

 

Maryland Set to Ban Crib Bumper Pads

A new law, effective  June 21st of this year, will ban the use of crib bumper pads. After an 18-month investigation, Maryland State Officials have decided to ban the pads, for fear of strangulation. Some daycare officials say that children over one year should not be in cribs; they could use the bumper pads to climb out and fall. By the time he or she is 12 months old, they are ready for a toddler bed at home, or a cot in a child care center.

 

Pennsylvania Could Privatize Lottery

The state of Pennsylvania is considering a $34 billion offer by a British-based liability company to take over and run its lottery. An extended negotiation period is underway with Camelot Global Services to assume operations; the company has proposed putting keno in bars and restaurants, increasing the number of retailers and changing the marketing strategies to boost participation. In the most recent fiscal year, the Pennsylvania lottery earned $35 billion.Ridgeley

Local News


Fire Marshal Investigating Blaze

 

The Maryland State Fire Marshal has yet to determine the cause of a Sunday evening fire that destroyed 842 Greene Street in Cumberland. Several fire companies responded to the fire, first reported around 10:44 p.m. Sunday. Units were on the scene overnight and cleared the scene just before 5 a.m. Monday. Cumberland Fire Marshal Lt. Shannon Adams was trying to establish ownership of the building and the names of renters, but it is known that Chestnut Flats manages the property. The building experienced partial collapses, which made the investigation more difficult. There were no injuries, and the home is a total loss.

 

 

Boy Found Dead at Hidden Valley Identified

 

Eleven year old Conner Patrick Williams of New Philadelphia, Ohio was found dead Sunday morning at a Hiden Valley Resort condominium. It appears the boy died of natural causes, and although the death is not considered suspicious, the investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police is continuing. Investigators do not believe the death is connected to anything that happened to the child at the resort. Autopsy results are pending results of laboratory tests.

 

 

Criminal Summons for Cumberland Woman

 

A Cumberland woman is being accused of stealing $440.00 from another person, while at the victim’s Maryland Avenue residence on December 3rd of last year. Twenty-seven year old Gina Howard was recently served a criminal summons on a theft charge. The victim was in another room, when the alleged incident took place. She was released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.

 

 

Man Accused of Theft of Medication

 

A Cumberland man has been arrested for allegedly stealing medication from a trauma room at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center last Saturday. Twenty-seven year old Joesph Staples was taken into custody, after allegedly taking a quantity of medication while visiting a patient. He was released on personal recognizance, pending trial in District Court.

 

 

Man Arrested on Assault Charge

 

A Cumberland man was held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, after being accused of assault, having a handgun in his vehicle, and a marijuana possession charge. Forty-nine year old Gary Pfadenhauer was initially accused of assaulting a woman at a residence on Maryland Avenue. He left the scene, but was found in his car, which was parked at a Park Street business. A baggie of marijuana and a loaded handgun was found. He received a bond hearing at District Court, and the assault victim did not require medical attention.

 

 

Commissioners Participate in MACO Conference

 

The Allegany County Commissioners are participating in the Maryland Association of Counties’ Annual Winter Conference, through Friday in Cambridge, Maryland. The goal of the conference is to provide county decision makers and other participants with a clearer perspective of the challenges facing counties. One of the highlights of the conference is a Public Service Award, which will be presented to former county commissioner Robert Hutcheson. He will receive the award at the awards banquet tomorrow evening.

 

 

West Virginia Appeals FEMA Decision

 

The state of West Virginia is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reconsider the damage the state sustained in Superstorm Sandy. FEMA has denied assistance to a number of counties including Preston and Tucker Counties. Public assistance has been approved, however for several others, including Pendleton County.

 

 

Armed Robbery Reported in Hagerstown; Suspect Apprehended

 

A trail of blood and a K-9 search led to the apprehension of a man, who is accused of robbing a gas station on the Dual Highway in Hagerstown. Police say Kiley Dusza entered the BP station, armed with a knife; a struggle between him and the clerk ensued, and Dusza suffered a laceration to his hand. He then fled, but was quickly located. He was taken to Meritus Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The incident happened early Monday morning.

 

 

Two Board Members Resign Over Firing

 

Two members of the West Virginia Board of Education made good on a promise to resign over the recent firing of the state schools superintendent. Jenny Phillips and Priscilla Haden submitted letters of resignation late last week to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. The State Board voted last month to fire Jorea Marple, and in her letter, Ms. Phillips called the firing “an illegal action.” Haden’s term was to have expired this year, while Phillips term would have ended in 2016.

 

Local News


Fire Marshal Investigating Blaze The Maryland State Fire Marshal has yet to determine the cause of a Sunday evening fire that destroyed 842 Greene Street in Cumberland. Several fire companies responded to the fire, first reported around 10:44 p.m. Sunday. Units were on the scene overnight and cleared the scene just before 5 a.m. Monday. Cumberland Fire Marshal Lt. Shannon Adams was trying to establish ownership of the building and the names of renters, but it is known that Chestnut Flats manages the property. The building experienced partial collapses, which made the investigation more difficult. There were no injuries, and the home is a total loss. Boy Found Dead at Hidden Valley Identified Eleven year old Conner Patrick Williams of New Philadelphia, Ohio was found dead Sunday morning at a Hiden Valley Resort condominium. It appears the boy died of natural causes, and although the death is not considered suspicious, the investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police is continuing. Investigators do not believe the death is connected to anything that happened to the child at the resort. Autopsy results are pending results of laboratory tests. Criminal Summons for Cumberland Woman A Cumberland woman is being accused of stealing $440.00 from another person, while at the victim's Maryland Avenue residence on December 3rd of last year. Twenty-seven year old Gina Howard was recently served a criminal summons on a theft charge. The victim was in another room, when the alleged incident took place. She was released pending trial in Allegany County District Court. Man Accused of Theft of Medication A Cumberland man has been arrested for allegedly stealing medication from a trauma room at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center last Saturday. Twenty-seven year old Joesph Staples was taken into custody, after allegedly taking a quantity of medication while visiting a patient. He was released on personal recognizance, pending trial in District Court. Man Arrested on Assault Charge A Cumberland man was held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, after being accused of assault, having a handgun in his vehicle, and a marijuana possession charge. Forty-nine year old Gary Pfadenhauer was initially accused of assaulting a woman at a residence on Maryland Avenue. He left the scene, but was found in his car, which was parked at a Park Street business. A baggie of marijuana and a loaded handgun was found. He received a bond hearing at District Court, and the assault victim did not require medical attention. Commissioners Participate in MACO Conference The Allegany County Commissioners are participating in the Maryland Association of Counties' Annual Winter Conference, through Friday in Cambridge, Maryland. The goal of the conference is to provide county decision makers and other participants with a clearer perspective of the challenges facing counties. One of the highlights of the conference is a Public Service Award, which will be presented to former county commissioner Robert Hutcheson. He will receive the award at the awards banquet tomorrow evening. West Virginia Appeals FEMA Decision The state of West Virginia is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reconsider the damage the state sustained in Superstorm Sandy. FEMA has denied assistance to a number of counties including Preston and Tucker Counties. Public assistance has been approved, however for several others, including Pendleton County. Armed Robbery Reported in Hagerstown; Suspect Apprehended A trail of blood and a K-9 search led to the apprehension of a man, who is accused of robbing a gas station on the Dual Highway in Hagerstown. Police say Kiley Dusza entered the BP station, armed with a knife; a struggle between him and the clerk ensued, and Dusza suffered a laceration to his hand. He then fled, but was quickly located. He was taken to Meritus Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The incident happened early Monday morning. Two Board Members Resign Over Firing Two members of the West Virginia Board of Education made good on a promise to resign over the recent firing of the state schools superintendent. Jenny Phillips and Priscilla Haden submitted letters of resignation late last week to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. The State Board voted last month to fire Jorea Marple, and in her letter, Ms. Phillips called the firing "an illegal action." Haden's term was to have expired this year, while Phillips term would have ended in 2016.

Local News


Sunday Fire Reported on Greene Street
About eight fire companies were on the scene of a fire on Greene Street Sunday night. The fire, at 842 Greene Street, was initially reported around 10:45 P.M. There were no injuries, and crews cleared the scene around 2 a.m. yesterday. There was no word on the cause of the fire, nor how many people were displaced. The Maryland State Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate.

Death at Hidden Valley Resort Investigated
The Pennsylvania State Police in Somerset are investigating a death at the Hidden Valley Ski Resort. A younger person was involved, but the death is not suspicious, and autopsy results are being awaited. There is also no word on whether the person was from the region, or from out of the area.

Man Arrested for Destruction of Property
A twenty-eight year old Cumberland man was arrested in connection with a December 19th incident, where he allegedly slashed the tires of a vehicle in the 200-block of Decatur Street. David Earl Troutman was charged with both destruction of property and willful motor vehicle damaging. After being taken to District Cout for a hearing, he was released on personal recognizance.

PACE Tickets Available to Public
Tickets are available for the annual PACE reception in Annapolis, but after today, the price rises to $150 per person. The price includes the Thursday, January 24th reception and the legislative breakfast the next day. Checks should be made payable to PACE and mailed to Post Office Box 3273, LaVale, Maryland, 21504-3273.

No ACT Service on Friday
Allegany County Transit personnel will participate in employee in-service training day on Friday, and there will be no public transportation service offered; neither fixed route bus service, nor All Tans will operate. The county reviews the many aspects of safety twice a year as part o the ongoing safety program. All employees will have an eight hour training session on Friday, which will take place at the ACT office in Cumberland.

Judge Retires From Bench
A former Hampshire County attorney, who is now a circuit court judge, is retiring after 28 years on the bench. Judge Thomas Keadle  plans to step down at the end of the month, and it will be up to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to appoint a successor. Judge Keadle hopes to do some work as a senior status judge, according to the Hampshire Review.

Five Arrested for Manufacturing Meth
Five people in the Elkins area have been arrested in connection with trying to operate a methamphetamine lab in that area. Each is being held on $50,000 bond in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.  The suspects range in age from 28 to 51 years of age. Police entered a home with a warrant, and noticed materials used to manufacture meth once they entered the house.

Wine Shipment Legislation a Success
Maryland's law that allows the direct shipment of wine to consumers is a success, according the Maryland State Comptroller's Office. Consumer access to the world's top rated wines increased by about 30 per cent. Of the Top 100 wines, as lised by "Wine Spectator" magazine, 40 were available through state-licensed wholesalers, and another 13 domestic wines were added to the direct wine shipment program.

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