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THE TRI-STATE'S CLASSIC ROCK STATION
GO 106 News Archives for 2013-02

Local News


Local Sorting Facility Moving to Baltimore

The local Post Office sorting facility is moving to Baltimore, as the United States Postal Service is working toward consolidating operations to save money. Short term, it will not affect employment here, but could eventually threaten at least five mail handlers, six maintenance technicians, and 23 clerical positions. According to the Cumberland Times-News, all types of mail and package handling will be moved out of the area by May of next year.

 

Former Sheriff May Have Misused Funds

The results of an auditor from West Virginia has told the Mineral County commissioner there are some alleged discrepancies in a sheriff's office account administered by former Sheriff Craig Fraley. Sally Martin told the commissioners that the account may have been misused and in violation of the West Virginia Ethics Commission guidelines. The auditor alleges the sheriff's office concealed weapons fund expenditures were utilized for improper purchases and there were expenditures without proper documentation. For example, there is evidence the sheriff's office catered Christmas party was paid for with expenditures from the account.

 

Two Killed in Hardy County Crash

Two Moorefield area men were killed late Tuesday, when their car went out of  control and crashed off of Old Fields Road. Twenty-four year old Jordan Michael Miller and Brian Michael Wratchford, who was 26, were pronounced dead at the scene. Two passersby, who were also traveling on the road, discovered the accident around 11 p.m. Neither occupant was wearing a seatbelt; the investigation is continuing.

 

Alleged Meth Manufacturer Arrested

A Finzel resident has been arrested by the Garrett County Narcotics Task Force, for the alleged manufacturing of methamphetamine. The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police received a call, in reference to the alleged production of methamphetamine at a Finzel residence. A search of the home yielded materials commonly used to manufacture the drug, along with a small amount of it, and marijuana. Charles Edward Johnson III was taken into custody. He was also found to have an outstanding warrant. Charges are pending against two other individuals at the residence.

 

Virginia Beach Man Sentenced

Thirty-one year old Virginia Beach resident Kevin Lee Sear has been sentenced to three years in the Maryland Department of Corrections, following his conviction on felony theft charges. He received an additional two years suspended sentence, subject to several probationary conditions. Sear was convicted after stolen items were found in his apartment.

 

Woman Sentenced in Theft Scheme

A Cumberland woman was sentenced to four years in prison, but will be required to serve only one, following her conviction as the result of an employee theft scheme. Forty-four year old Kimberli Ann Shewbridge was convicted of a theft scheme, occurring between January of 2010 and March of last year at a local medical office. She will also be required to make restitution to the victim.

 

Drug Arrest at Garrett College

Nineteen-year old Baltimore resident Richard Woodson was arrested on the campus of Garrett College on Tuesday. Woodson was found with a quantity of marijuana and a smoking device at Garrett Hall. He was arrested and is being held on bond at the Garrett County Detention Center.

 

Two Charged in Keyser Altercation

Two men were arrested this past weekend, following an incident in Keyser. Thirty-seven year old Michael Bell was arrested on a battery charge, following a reported assault in an apartment building on North Main Street. While investigating, Keyser police spoke with a friend of Bell's, who allegedly interfered with the officers and refused to comply with repeated orders to be quiet and return to his apartment, across the hall. Forty-six year old Cumberland resident Roger Miller was then taken into custody during the incident, which was reported at 2:33 a.m.

 

Chessie Donates to School System

Chessie Federal Credit Union recently donated $100 to the Allegany County Public School System, as a result of the school system ATM card program. A portion of money is donated back to the school system, whenever a credit transaction is made using an ACPS card. To purchase a school system card, contact Chessie at (301)-722-9053.

 

Two Injured in Three-Vehicle Collision

The Hagerstown barrack of the Maryland State Police investigated an accident Tuesday, involving two vehicles and a school bus on Maryland Route 68 at Lock Tender Lane. A pickup truck, driven by Michael J. Adams was stopped behind the school bus, when it was hit from behind by a car, hitting the schools bus. That vehicle was driven by Morris Charles Fleming. Both were taken to Meritus Medical Center. The passengers in the school bus, ages 11 to 14, were not injured in the collision. Fleming was charged with failure to control speed to avoid a collision.

 

Reynolds Participates in Special Olympics Maryland Winter Games

Cumberland's Jake Reynolds was on hand for the 28th Special Olympics Maryland 2013 Winter Games at Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania this week. Reynolds won a gold medal at the 2013 World Winter Special Olympics in South Korea less than a month ago. About 350 people participated in the games this year. The event began Monday at noon, and concluded yesterday.

 

Helicopters Begin to Arrive in Maryland

Two newly-purchased medevac helicopters arrived this week at the aviation command of the Maryland State Police. Four more are expected to be delivered this week, somewhat behind schedules for their arrival, as they were originally scheduled for delivery in April of last year.  A total of ten choppers were purchased by the state for $121.7 million, and they are expected to arrive soon.

Local News


Woman Sentenced in Negligent Homicide Case

Twenty-year old Jocelyn Gordon of Cumberland has been sentenced to four years in prison on a conviction of negligent homicide by motor vehicle. She was found to have been traveling at an extremely high rate of speed, when she struck a vehicle, driven by 23-year old Melanie Epperly of Cumberland. Ms. Epperly died as a result of her injuries. Ms. Gordon's blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit in the state of Maryland. She will be required to serve 18 months of the sentence in the Allegany County Detention Center, with the balance of the sentence suspended with certain probationary conditions.

 

Two Teens Charged for Detonating "Soda Bottle Bombs"

Two 15-year old Flintstone boys have been referred to the Allegany County Department of Juvenile Services for making and detonating improvised explosive devices in the front yard of the family residence. The incident happened Monday evening in the 21000-block of National Pike in Flintstone. An investigation revealed they learned how to make the bombs from the internet. They face felony charges, and were released to their parents, pending further legal action.

 

Commission Seeks Two New Members

The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority is seeking two board members, following the resignation of Chairman Max White and board member Terry Malone. The Mineral County contingent is appointed by the county commissioners there, and interested individuals should submit a brief letter of interest to 150 Armstrong Street in Keyser. Letters should be postmarked by next Friday, March 8th.

 

Addison Man Arrested for Traffic Violations

Addison, Pennsylvania resident Peter Augustine faces numerous traffic charges, following a Monday incident, which began on Industrial Boulevard. The 28-year old was observed driving erratically on Industrial Boulevard; when efforts were made to stop him, he fled onto Queen City Drive and then Interstate 68. A high speed pursuit was initiated, and Augustine was taken into custody and released pending trial in District Court. He was charged with driving on a suspended, out-of-state license, negligent driving, attempting to elude police, reckless driving, and driving in excess of reasonable and prudent speed on the highway.

 

Commissioners Considering Revised Employee Handbook

The Mineral County Commissioners are considering making the courthouse a tobacco-free environment, which would now include the use of smokeless tobacco. The courthouse and all county property has been smoke free since 2006. They also discussed a compromise the would declare the courthouse itself tobacco free, but keeping any other property around the courthouse, smoke-free.

 

First United Endows $25,000 Scholarship Fund at FSU

First United Bank and Trust has fully endowed a $25,000 scholarship fund at Frostburg State University to benefit academically gifted students with financial need. The First United Bank and Trust Scholarship Fund will be managed by the FSU Foundation, Incorporated. The gift was received by Dr. Rosemary M. Thomas, FSU vice-president for University Advancement and executive director of the FSU Foundation, and Alicia White, FSUF director of Administration and Finance.

 

Preston County Man Arrested for Possession of Firearm

Sixty-nine year old Preston County resident James Metz was in court this week, for possession of a firearm by a felon. He allegedly left two boys alone in his home earlier this week, when one of them dropped a gun, and it discharged, hitting the other. Metz is a registered sex offender, from a 1980 incident, involving a female family member. The Prosecuting Attorney says probable cause to charge Metz was found, but that the case would be turned over to a grand jury for consideration.

 

Martinsburg VA to Hold Quarterly Memorial Service

The Martinsburg VA Medical Center Chaplain Service will hold its quarterly memorial service today at 1 p.m. in the 2nd floor Chapel. The services allow family members, friends and staff members to honor patients who have died at the medical center during the past three months.

 

Smoking Now Prohibited at Camden Yards

The Maryland Stadium Authority has prohibited smoking inside the stadiums at Camden Yards, effective March 4th. The ban also applies to M & T Bank Stadium. Previously, there had been designated smoking areas in both stadiums. However, the Ravens and Orioles are expected to announce that patrons will be allowed to leave the stadium, smoke in a designated area, and go back inside.

 

WVU Healthcare Interviewing for Positions

West Virginia University Healthcare will be conducting interviews on Thursday for about 350 positions. The open interviews will take place from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 4. Those interested should fill out an online job application prior to the interview session. The website for the applications is "www.wvuhealthcare.com." WVU Healthcare is expected to add up to 800 jobs between a new outpatient facility at University Town Centre and through expansion at Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Local News


Additional Charges Filed Against Mt. Savage Man

Mount Savage resident Cole Michael McCormick faces an additional 68 charges, as a result of an indictment handed down by an Allegany County Grand Jury. McCormick's counts involve a series of night time residential burglaries, in addition to thefts from vehicles in the Frostburg and Mount Savage areas. In another matter, 32-year old Frostburg resident Randall James Kelley II was charged in another series of thefts from vehicles. Both investigations are continuing and additional charges are anticipated.

 

Cumberland Woman Injured in Accident

Seventy-six year old Virginia Brooks was injured in a two-vehicle accident on West Industrial Boulevard at Pennsylvania Avenue late yesterday morning. Ms. Brooks pulled out in front of a tractor trailer and was hit. She was treated at the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Both vehicles suffered heavy damage. No citations were issued, but the investigation is ongoing by the Cumberland Police Department.

 

Death Penalty Repeal, Gun Control To Be Debated

This is week eight of the Maryland General Assembly Session, and the full Senate will discuss issues of gun control and repeal of the death penalty in the state. A full vote on the repeal of the death penalty could come as early as tomorrow, with a gun control voted expected by Friday. On gun control, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted in favor of the bill late last week, with an amendment that prohibits people from owning a gun if they have been involuntarily committed for any duration. Meanwhile, even though senators who support the death penalty say they don't believe the issue can draw enough signatures to get on the ballot, that won't stop death penalty supporters from trying.

 

West Virginia Man Held on $5,000 Bond

A Bunker Hill, West Virginia man is being held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, after being stopped on Interstate 68 Westbound on Sunday. Collin Kelly Brand was initially stopped for speeding; a scan of his car yielded a quantity of suspected heroin and drug paraphernalia. He received a hearing in Allegany County District Court, before being remanded to the Detention Center.

 

Fairhope Man Arrested for Rape

Fairhope, Pennsylvania resident Paul Bonus, Jr., has been arrested on rape charges. The Pennsylvania State Police say a 15-year old girl is accusing him of sexually assaulting her last Friday morning. More charges are expected to be filed; Bonus is in the Somerset County jail on $100,000 bond.

 

Three Face Charges After Robbery and Pursuit

Three people are facing charges, following an armed robbery and pursuit over marijuana, according to the Pennsylvania State Police. Brian Pope and Ashley Nail are in jail, after Pope allegedly pointed a gun at three men on Riverview Road in Bedford County. One of the men stayed in the car, which led Pope and Nail on a pursuit. One of the victims will be facing drug charges, as both drugs and a gun were found in the car.

 

Bait and Tackle Shop Destroyed in Fire

The cause of a fire that destroyed the "Reel Deal" Bait and Tackle store Hancock is being investigated. The two-story 30-by-60 foot wood framed historic structure is owned by Thomas Palacorolla, and suffered a reported $300,000 in damage to the structure and contents. The fire was reported at 2:56 a.m. yesterday, calling out several regional fire companies, including Hancock, Berkeley Springs and Great Cacapon. Two structures adjacent to the shop suffered exterior heat damage. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal at (301)-766-3888.

 

Maryland Bans Sky Lanterns

The state of Maryland has expanded the ban on the use of aerial luminaries, known as "sky lanterns." The devices are typically constructed with oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame; they are released into the atmosphere after a candle or fuel cell is ignited, causing the trapped air inside to become heated. However, they can return to earth, often before the flame is fully extinguished. Sky lanterns are in the same category as aerial fireworks, which are also illegal in Maryland.

Local News


Additional Charges Filed Against Mt. Savage Man

Mount Savage resident Cole Michael McCormick faces an additional 68 charges, as a result of an indictment handed down by an Allegany County Grand Jury. McCormick's counts involve a series of night time residential burglaries, in addition to thefts from vehicles in the Frostburg and Mount Savage areas. In another matter, 32-year old Frostburg resident Randall James Kelley II was charged in another series of thefts from vehicles. Both investigations are continuing and additional charges are anticipated.

 

Cumberland Woman Injured in Accident

Seventy-six year old Virginia Brooks was injured in a two-vehicle accident on West Industrial Boulevard at Pennsylvania Avenue late yesterday morning. Ms. Brooks pulled out in front of a tractor trailer and was hit. She was treated at the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Both vehicles suffered heavy damage. No citations were issued, but the investigation is ongoing by the Cumberland Police Department.

 

Death Penalty Repeal, Gun Control To Be Debated

This is week eight of the Maryland General Assembly Session, and the full Senate will discuss issues of gun control and repeal of the death penalty in the state. A full vote on the repeal of the death penalty could come as early as tomorrow, with a gun control voted expected by Friday. On gun control, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted in favor of the bill late last week, with an amendment that prohibits people from owning a gun if they have been involuntarily committed for any duration. Meanwhile, even though senators who support the death penalty say they don't believe the issue can draw enough signatures to get on the ballot, that won't stop death penalty supporters from trying.

 

West Virginia Man Held on $5,000 Bond

A Bunker Hill, West Virginia man is being held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, after being stopped on Interstate 68 Westbound on Sunday. Collin Kelly Brand was initially stopped for speeding; a scan of his car yielded a quantity of suspected heroin and drug paraphernalia. He received a hearing in Allegany County District Court, before being remanded to the Detention Center.

 

Fairhope Man Arrested for Rape

Fairhope, Pennsylvania resident Paul Bonus, Jr., has been arrested on rape charges. The Pennsylvania State Police say a 15-year old girl is accusing him of sexually assaulting her last Friday morning. More charges are expected to be filed; Bonus is in the Somerset County jail on $100,000 bond.

 

Three Face Charges After Robbery and Pursuit

Three people are facing charges, following an armed robbery and pursuit over marijuana, according to the Pennsylvania State Police. Brian Pope and Ashley Nail are in jail, after Pope allegedly pointed a gun at three men on Riverview Road in Bedford County. One of the men stayed in the car, which led Pope and Nail on a pursuit. One of the victims will be facing drug charges, as both drugs and a gun were found in the car.

 

Bait and Tackle Shop Destroyed in Fire

The cause of a fire that destroyed the "Reel Deal" Bait and Tackle store Hancock is being investigated. The two-story 30-by-60 foot wood framed historic structure is owned by Thomas Palacorolla, and suffered a reported $300,000 in damage to the structure and contents. The fire was reported at 2:56 a.m. yesterday, calling out several regional fire companies, including Hancock, Berkeley Springs and Great Cacapon. Two structures adjacent to the shop suffered exterior heat damage. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal at (301)-766-3888.

 

Maryland Bans Sky Lanterns

The state of Maryland has expanded the ban on the use of aerial luminaries, known as "sky lanterns." The devices are typically constructed with oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame; they are released into the atmosphere after a candle or fuel cell is ignited, causing the trapped air inside to become heated. However, they can return to earth, often before the flame is fully extinguished. Sky lanterns are in the same category as aerial fireworks, which are also illegal in Maryland.

Local News


Frostburg Woman Killed in Route 956 Crash

 

Thirty-six year old Frostburg resident Kelly Dent died Friday afternoon at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, following a three-vehicle crash on Route 956, east of Waxler Road. Fort Ashby resident Brian Haddix swerved out of control and then back onto the highway, where it struck a vehicle driven by Ms. Dent. Haddix then struck another vehicle, driven by 32 year old James Ott of Ridgeley. Ms. Dent's vehicle traveled down a small embankment and struck a tree. Haddix,  Ott, and 27-year old Ryan Morgan of Cumberland were all taken to the hospital. The accident remains under investigation by the Mineral County Sheriff's Office.

 

 

Keyser Man Accused of Arson

 

Keyser, West Virginia resident Robert Lee Suter is in jail without bond, after being accused of setting fire to his home; the fire spread to an adjacent garage and a neighboring residence in the Sunnydale Additon. A Keyser Fire Department ladder truck was also damaged as an access bridge to the property collapsed. The Mineral County Sheriff's Office and the West Virginia State Police had been at the Suter residence to investigate a domestic complaint about an hour before the fire was reported. The fire originated in the garage, and total damages wer set at $200,000; there were no injuries.

 

 

Safe Streets Initiative This Week

 

A new warrant initiative is being undertaken this week, in conjunction with the Cumberland Safe Streets Program and citizen cooperation. The initiative begins today, and will conclude on Friday. There are 16 individuals wanted, on open arrest warrants. Charges range from assault to robbery, fraud and theft, and violation of probation. Citizens are urged to contact their local law enforcement agency or Allegany/Mineral County Crimesolvers.

 

 

Additonal Arrests in Bomb Threat

 

Three male, eighth grade students have been arrested in connection with the February 12th bomb threat at Northern Middle School. After conducting interviews with Northern faculty and students, the three were taken to the McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police and released to the custody of their parents. During the February 12th incident, students and faculty were evacuated to Northern High School, while a search of the school was conducted. No explosive device was found.

 

 

Woman Accused of Robbery

 

A Cumberland woman faces charges of robbery, assault and resisting arrest, following an early Friday morning incident in the area of South Street and Industrial Boulevard. Twenty-four year old Whitney Nicole Hollingsworth took a bag of money from a taxi driver; she ran into a residence on West Industrial Boulevard. A resident there led police to a room where Hollingsworth was, and the money bag was found under the mattress. The money, however, was not found. She was placed under arrest, but she resisted, and had attempted to kick the windows out of the patrol car. She received a bond hearing in Allegany County District Court.

 

 

Woman Charged in DUI Accident

 

A Pennsylvania woman was charged with being under the influence of heroin and Ecstasy, following a single-vehicle crash on Route 30 Friday afternoon. Twenty-seven year old Tracie Riley struck a guardrail and spun around in the roadway. Her passenger, 36-year old Fred Dixon was taken to Conemaugh Hospital in Johnstown in serious condition. She was taken to Bedford Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, and later jailed on $25,000 bond.

 

 

 

Man Waives Hearing in Arson Incident

 

A Somerset County man will stand trial on charges he started a Thanksgiving night fire in Johnstown that destroyed three buildings. James McDonald, of Windber, has waived his preliminary hearing on 40 criminal counts. The charges are related to a November 22nd blaze in the 600 block of Coleman Avenue in the city's Moxham neighborhood. A criminal complaint said McDonald admitted to setting the blaze to get back at his girlfriend's husband.

 

 

 

Penelec Reduces Customer Rates

 

Those who are customers of Penelec will see another decrease in their price of electricity, beginning on Friday. The residential rate for electricity will go from 7.07 cents per kilowatt hour to 6.98 cents, a 1.6 per cent decrease. The rate has dropped in four of the past five quarters. Penelec serves some 600,000 customers in 31 western Pennsylvania counties, and is a subsidiary of First Energy Corporation.

 

 

Prosecutor Promises Thorough Investigation

 

The Frederick County prosecutor is promising a thorough investigation into the death of a 26-year old man with Down Syndrome on January 12th. Robert Ethan Saylor died of asphyxiation at a Frederick County movie theatre; deputies tried to forcibly remove him from the theatre and the death has been ruled a homicide. The State Attorney's office will conduct its own investigation, before deciding whether to bring criminal charges against the officers, or whether to present evidence to a grand jury.

 

 

West Virginia Grand Jury Returns Indictments

 

Six indictments were recently returned by a federal grand jury in Elkins, West Virginia. Among those named in the indictments was 47-year old Barbara Ann Spiva of Elkins, who faces 10-counts, in connection with the manufacturing of methamphetamine at various times last year. If convicted, she faces 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on the first count; and, 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for counts three to ten.

 

Local News


Death Penalty Repeal Clears Committee

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee has approved Governor Martin O'Malley's bill to repeal the death penalty in Maryland. The vote was 6 to 5. The bill will now move on in the General Assembly. . The vote on Governor O'Malley's gun control bill, which faces a number of amendments, could be delayed. That legislation contains an assault weapons ban, and increased licensing requirements on handgun purchases.

 

Former Guard Found Guilty

A former Bedford County Correctional Officer has been found guilty of harassment in connection with an incident from August of last year. Twenty-six year old Schellsburg resident Ryan Clapper is accused of placing a set of handcuffs and shackles on a female inmate that had been stored in a freezer for nearly an hour. Clapper was sentenced to serve 45 days in jail, but will be afforded a period of 30 days to file an appeal with the Court of Common Pleas.

 

Car Crashes Into Business

An elderly driver crashed the rear of his car into Gianni's Restaurant in Frostburg last night, causing a partial collapse of the building. The driver told police he was attempting to parallel park, when he suddenly accelerated backward, in to the building. A structure collapse team was called in to evaluate the integrity of the building.

 

Ramp Closure This Weekend

The Westbound Interstate 68 ramp (Industrial Boulevard) will be closed tomorrow and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the Crosstown Bridge Rehabilitation Project. The closure will allow crews to install a construction platform over the ramp. The construction platform will be suspended from the bridge and will be used while crews sandblast and paint the underside of the bridge. Motorists should follow the posted detour; eastbound I-68, exit 43B ramp will remain open this weekend.

 

Traffic Stop Results in Arrests

A traffic stop Wednesday morning by an Allegany County Sheriff's Deputy, resulted in the arrest of two men. The driver of the car, 33-year old Keith Franklin Douglass, was driving on a suspended and revoked license. Douglass' passenger, 21-year old William Robinette of Lonaconing, was taken into custody on an outstanding bench warrant. Both were taken to District Court, and Douglass was held on $7500 bond. Robinette's bail was set at $500.

 

Man Released Following Domestic Incident

A Cumberland man was released on personal recognizance, after being accused of assaulting his girlfriend at a residence in the 200-block of East Union Street earlier in the month. Forty-one year old Charles Robert Bauman II, is accusing of hitting her two or three times in the face, causing her to have a bloody lip. She did not require any medical treatment for her injuries. and Bauman fled the area before police arrived. He was served with the warrant, then taken to District Court, where he was charged with second-degree assault and disturbing the peace.

 

Somerset Man Faces Sexual Assault Charges

Twenty-eight year old Jordan Deflori of Somerset County is facing trial on sexual assault charges. A woman claims Deflori gave her a ride home from a Boswell-area bar in December, and that he sexually assaulted her on a back road. Deflori is being charged with aggravated indecent assault and unlawful restraint. He is currently free on bond.

 

Mineral Commissioners Discuss Dam Funding

Flood control was addressed by the West Virginia Conservation Agency, in a recent meeting with the Mineral County Commissioners. Twenty-nine of the Mountain State's 170 flood control dams are in Mineral County, and Brandon Day of the agency is hoping the commissioners grant them at least $11,000 in the 2013-2014 budget to maintain those facilities. That amount is matched, dollar-for-dollar, by the state. However the Conservation Agency spent $37,000 on maintenance last year.

 

Fundraiser Held to Benefit Cystic Fibrosis

The students and staff at Beall Elementary School recently participated in the Great Strides Walk/Mini March to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The walk was dedicated to the memory of Beall student, Mya Harris, who lost her battle with the disease. The staff and students were successful in collecting $5,250 throughout the week to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The money will be used to help raise awareness and fund research and treatments needed to cure Cystic Fibrosis.

 

Pit Bull Ruling Closer to Passage

The Maryland House of Delegates is closer to passing legislation, reversing the designation of pit bull dogs as "inherently dangerous." Last year, Maryland's highest court ruled that pit bull owners and landlords would be held to strict liability standards for dog bites, without previous evidence that a dog was dangerous. The new measure increases protection for dog bite victims, presuming that all dog owners, regardless of breed, are assumed liable for attacks. A dog owner who is in court, following a dog bite incident, will have the chance to try to prove the dog was not dangerous.

 

Auditor Wants Cities to Pay for Audits

West Virginia State Auditor says more and more cities there are refusing to pay for state-mandated financial audits. Glen Gainer wants some action taken, concerning uncollectable debt. The law caps the cost of an audit at $4,000 for Class III and Class IV cities, but the bills are being ignored. Because municipalities are not paying, the debt has risen to about $1 million. Additionally, Gainer has reported that his fraud unit has uncovered about $1.6 million in fraud, and that there have been a number of convictions connected with people stealing public money.

Local News


Man Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Homicide

Twenty-three year old Cory Childers of Bedford has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, in connection with an April 29th crash that killed a five-year old Hagerstown boy. In addition to that charge, Childers will be sentenced for aggravated assault by DUI, vehicular homicide and drunken driving. A dozen other charges were dropped. Each of the most serious convictions could lead to a maximum 10-year sentence and a $25,000 fine. The accident happened on Business Route 220; State Police say Childers' erratic driving was due to drug use and a blood alcohol level of around 0.2 per cent.

 

"Operation Safe Streets" Arrest Warrant Initiative

During the month of February, a new Warrant Initiative is being conducted  in cooperation with the Cumberland Safe Streets Program and citizen cooperation. The initiative will begin this coming Monday, and run through Friday, March 1st. The Safe Streets operation is seeking the public's help in locating 16 individuals on open arrest warrants. The charges range from assault, violation of probation counts, failure to appear, assault, and sex offender warrants. If you have any information, contact any of the local law enforcement agencies.

 

Capital Funds Request Cancelled

A request for state funding to rehabilitate and develop the Footer Dye Works Building has formally been withdrawn. The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority had requested $2.5 million in capital funds for the project. Citing a lack of bidders interested in developing the property, the Authority's Executive Director, Dee Dee Ritchie, withdrew the request via letter to members of the Western Maryland delegation and to Governor Martin O'Malley.

 

Chair, Board Member Resign

The chairman of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, Max White and board member Terry Malone have resigned, following what is being termed a "heated exchange" during Wednesday's executive session. The disagreement resulted from a discussion on possibly contaminated jet fuel, as Malone felt it was dangerous to utilize fuel that was 10 years old. Malone went as far as threatening criminal charges against airport manager Ryan Malone for various allegations; the board has appointed Creade Brodie, Jr., as chairman and will find two other members from Mineral County.

 

Harassment Complaint Leads to Drug Arrest

Cumberland resident Jessica Kristen Ball faces CDS possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, after Cumberland City Police were initially called to investigate a harassment complaint. When they contacted her, they detected a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from her residence in the 500-block of Bedford Street. She gave them a pipe, that was used to smoke marijuana. She was issued criminal citations and later released from custody.

 

Woman Arrested in Connection with January Incident

A Cumberland woman was arrested in connection with an incident that happened last month at the Circle "K" convenience store on Oldtown Road. Forty-one year old Traci Ruth Bender is accused of assaulting an 11-year old boy, who had been in a fight with her son. She faces several charges in connection with the incident, which allegedly involved several youngsters. She was initially taken to Allegany County District Court and posted $8500 bond.

 

Two Arrested in "Drug Running" Operation

Two people, one of whom was a 91-year old man, were arrested in Hampshire County after police acted on a tip they were bringing heroin into the area from Baltimore County. Ninety-one year old Kenneth Hirst, Sr., and 42-year old Carl Wolford were found to have 32 capsules of heroin, valued at more than $1200, when they were stopped on Route 50, near Cooper Mountain; needles and syringes were also found in the car. Wolford remained jail as of yesterday, on $25,000 bond.

 

Senator Edwards Seeks C & O Park Funding

Maryland State Senator George Edwards has introduced a bond bill, seeking $175,000 from the state for improvements to Lock 44, Lockhouse 44 and the Maryland Railroad Lift Bridge, as part of improvements to the C & O Canal National Historical Park in Williamsport. He had introduced a similar bill last year, seeking $320,000, but received only $175,000 of that funding request. The improvements are far from being funded, as restoration of the lift bridge  alone is expected to be approximately $2.2 million.

 

Three Deputies On Administrative Leave

Three Frederick County Sheriff's deputies are on administrative leave, after a 26-year old man with Down Syndrome died while in their custody. The death was ruled a homicide, in the case of Robert Saylor. Guards tried to remove him from a Maryland movie theatre, where he had finished watching a movie and refused to leave. He was handcuffed, but before leaving, Saylor began having what the Sheriff's Office said was a medical emergency. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died. The State Medical Examiner's Office say he died from asphyxia. Results of the investigation will be forwarded to the State's Attorney's Office, which will then decide on how to proceed.

 

Miller Addresses Transportation Revenue Hikes

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller is pushing for a three per cent sales tax on a gallon of gas, but House Republicans say the state needs better management of transportation revenue, not more taxes. Miller responded by calling them, "Neanerthals, in terms of their thinking," and obstructionists who are putting their political careers ahead of the needs of the state. Miller's plan will be heard by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee today.

Local News


Luke Mill to Reduce Work Force

About 44 employees will lose their jobs at the New Page Luke Mill, due to a corporate wide initiative; both salaried and hourly workers are affected by the move. The company had about 874 employees as of the end of last year. All workforce reductions should be completed by the end of March. New Page successfully emerged from bankruptcy recently, and due to declining demand in the industry, the company says it must take additional steps to ensure that it is "sustainable in the long term."

 

Man Jailed on $10,000 Bond

A Keyser man remains in jail, on $10,000 bond, after striking a woman with an ax handle and aiming a loaded shotgun at a second woman, along with a mother and daughter on Keys Street. Sixty-one year old Richard Newcomb is being held at the Potomac Highlands Jail, following the alleged incidents late last week. He is charged with brandishing a firearm, three counts of assault for pointing the weapon at the three individuals on Keys Street, and battery for striking the first victim with the ax handle.

 

Woman Charged with Burglary, Assault, and Reckless Endangerment

A Cumberland woman has been charged with various burglary, assault and reckless endangerment counts, following an incident at the Fort Cumberland Homes on Monday. Twenty-year old Savannah Renee Moreland went into a home there, looking for the father of her child; she allegedly threatened another person with a piece of black metal. The male victim told police that Moreland attempted to hit him with the piece of metal, and he fled downstairs away from her. She was taken to District Court for an initial appearance, and later released on $25,000 unsecured bond.

 

Man Faces CDS Counts And Eluding Police

A Morgantown man, Alexander Mark Herbst, has been charged with CDS Possession and eluding police, following a traffic stop for speeding on westbound Interstate 68 and Lower New Germany Road. He allegedly attempted to elude police, but stopped in the vicinity of the Grantsville Plaza.  A search of his vehicle yielded both marijuana and CDS paraphernalia.

 

Attempted Break In Reported

The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating an attempted break in of a private residence in the 700-block of Bear Creek Road, about 1/2 mile east of Friendsville. A person or persons cut two window screens of the residence, and pried open one of the windows. As it opened, it made a loud noise, which alerted the homeowner, and caused the dogs to bark. They then left and the homeowner contacted police. Anyone with information related to the case, or who observes suspicious activity, is asked to contact the barrack at (301)-387-1101.

 

Priest Who Established Flight 93 Chapel Dies

The Reverend Alphonse Mascherino, a priest who left the Catholic Church who founded a nondenominational chapel to honor the victims of hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, died last Friday in Somerset. Mascherino bought a former Lutheran church and converted it into the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel; he later formed the North American Old Roman Catholic Church. At the time, Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Joseph Adamec said his work was commendable, but not compatible with his Catholic priesthood. Mascherino, who was 69 years of age, died at a Somerset hospice last Friday.

 

Pennsylvania Man Killed in Maryland Crash

New Holland, Pennsylvania resident Dallas Lee Miller was pronounced dead at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 70 yesterday morning. Miller, 22 years of age, passed two other motorists on Interstate 70 near the 10-mile marker; his vehicle skidded off the road and into the center median, where it struck a tree and partially ejected him from the vehicle. His car caught fire, but after Miller had been ejected from it. Road conditions and speed were cited as factors in the crash.

 

Maryland, Virginia, D.C. Most Vulnerable to Budget Cuts

Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are the most vulnerable to looming and widespread budget cuts, according to a Wells Fargo report. Without a bipartisan deal, about $85 billion in cuts are expected by March 1st, affecting among other areas, defense cuts. There are many defense agencies and contractors in the region. Federal cuts could affect everything from biomedical research to homeland security.

 

Gas Prices on the Rise Throughout Maryland

Gas prices have increased every day for 32 consecutive days in the state of Maryland. Other states are averaging more than $4 per gallon. The national average for a gallon of regular gas is $3.73 per gallon, 43-cents more than the average cost of gas just a month ago. Triple "A" says switching to the summer fuel blend should reduce prices, but that is not expected until next month.

 

Legislators Upset Over Pay Raise Bill

Several Republicans in the West Virginia House of Delegates are upset with the Democratic leadership for making a move that would keep a magistrate pay raise bill from going before the House Finance Committee. The bill would give magistrates in 23 counties a nearly $6,000 raise. Originally scheduled to go to the Finance Committee, it will now be up for a vote before the entire House. Those in the 23 largest counties are paid $57,500 a year, and those in the 23 smallest counties are paid $51,125. The same bill passed the House last year, but didn't make it out of the Senate Finance Committee.

 

Manchin to Senate Mining Panel

West Virginia United States Senator Joe Manchin will chair a subcommittee that oversees national mining policy and mining education and research. Manchin's appointment to the Senate Energy Subcommittee was announced late last week, meaning he will have a say in many issues of importance to state residence. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon selected Senator Manchin as the subcommittee's chair.

 

 

Local News


Train Derails in Bloomington

 

Seventy-six coal cars derailed on CSX tracks, north of Bloomington early yesterday. The derailment occurred about three miles north of the town. Two engines remained standing on the track, and there were no injuries. Another derailment happened near there in January of 2000; that incident destroyed a nearby occupied residents and killed a 15-yerar old boy. Four other members of the family of Eddie Lee Rogers were injured in that incident.

 

 

 

Police Seek Information on Wisp Assault

 

The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating an assault incident at the Wisp Tubing Park. Police say a black male, between 25 and 30 years of age, wearing ski clothing, assaulted two employees at the Wisp Tubing Park. He was said to be with a large group of people and fled the area after the assault. No injuries were reported. Anyone who witnessed the assault or is able to identify the unknown male is asked to contact the McHenry barrack at (301)-387-1101.

 

 

 

Man Charged with Theft

 

A Cumberland man faces two charges, following an incident on Pine Avenue late last week. A vehicle, driven by James Aaron Twigg, was stopped for a vehicle violation. It was learned the registration sticker was reported as stolen. The officer determined the sticker had been taped on the registration plate. He was issued two traffic citations, charging him with the registration violation and he was issued a criminal citation for theft. He was released, pending trial in District Court.

 

 

 

Woman Arrested in Assault Incident

 

Forty-five year old Elizabeth Anne Bonner is accused of striking her boyfriend five to six times with a metal baseball bat. The incident allegedly occurred Sunday in the 700-block of North Mechanic Street. The victim reported he had been hit in the head and back with the bat. He refused further medical treatment, but was checked out by the Cumberland Fire Department ambulance crew. Bonner was taken to District Court and ordered held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center on charges of first and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

 

 

 

Keyser Schedules Meeting Time Changes

 

The city of Keyser has reached an agreement on meeting times. Council passed a measure last week, setting the time for the first meeting of the month for 4:30 p.m., and the second monthly meeting at 6 p.m. The meeting times are not “set in stone,” and the 6 p.m. time was established to allow more citizens to attend meetings.

 

 

 

Lawsuits Filed Against Lawyers

 

The Berkeley County Circuit Court Clerk has filed lawsuits against two attorneys-one from Maryland and one from West Virginia-in an attempt to collect hundreds of dollars in fees they were charged upon obtaining copies of court documents from her office. The suits were filed against Amanda Lewis of Martinsburg and Kenneth Ford of Middle River, Maryland. They allegedly owe nearly $1300 between the two of them, although Ford’s license to practice law in West Virginia has been annulled. For her part, Ms. Lewis has made arrangements to pay the bill by the end of March.

 

 

 

Man Arrested After Stabbing and Stand-Off in Hagerstown

 

Thirty-eight year old Jenerette Dixon has been arrested, following a weekend standoff with police in Hagerstown. Dixon allegedly stabbed a teenager, then kept police at bay, following the incident. He has been charged with attempted murder, reckless endangerment, and a weapons offense. The victim was hospitalized with “very serious injuries.” Dixon surrendered to authorities around 6:35 p.m. Saturday evening.

 

 

 

One Injured in I-68 Accident

 

One person was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital, following a two vehicle accident Sunday on Interstate 68, near mile marker 12 in Monongalia County. The accident happened as a man lost control of his truck and hit a guard rail. The vehicle bounced back into traffic and collided with a tractor trailer. The passenger in the truck was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

 

 

 

Former Superintendent Sues State Board

 

Former West Virginia State School Superintendent Jorea Marple is suing the State Board over her firing. Her attorney believes the decision was done in secret, and brought to a close a nine-month effort by school board President Wade Linger to get rid of her. He says she was denied the due process guaranteed her in the both the U.S. and West Virginia Constitutions. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, a full hearing to establish the exact grounds for her firing, and a jury trial where applicable.

 

Local News


 

Facilities Plan Moved to Next Year

 

The facilities plan for the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind has been taken off the state Board of Education’s agenda until January of next year. WVSDB Superintendent Lynn Boyer made the recommendation, after sharing information on the cost of implementing the facilities’ design on the Romney campus and at undetermined sites in the Morgantown and Charleston areas. Information and recommendations will be gathered and presented in January of 2014.

 

 

Three Charged in Burglary

 

Three West Virginia residents face burglary and drug charges, following a Saturday incident in McHenry. Charles Edmond of Mabie, West Virginia,  Patrick Odell of Elkins,

And 27 year old Angela Sharp of Mabie were arrested after burglarizing a home there. A search of the vehicle, which was found in the Burger King parking lot in McHenry, yielded a stolen .357-magnum handgun, along with drug paraphernalia, hydrocodone and

alprazolam. Each was held on bond, ranging from $10,000 to $15,000.

 

 

Lawmakers Look to Ban Synthetic Marijuana

 

Western Maryland Delegate Kevin Kelly is one of several legislators looking to make the manufacture, possession, or distribution of synthetic marijuana illegal.  Delegate Kelly's legislation, which is expected to receive a favorable report with amendments, would order synthetic marijuana to the state's list of controlled dangerous substances. At least 41 states and Puerto Rico have legislatively banned synthetic cannabinoids in recent years.

 

 

Domestic Incident Results in One Arrest

 

Twenty-one year old Cumberland resident Tiffany Nicole Dayson was arrested following an assault incident in the 400-block of Arch Street yesterday. She is accused of arguing with her sister and biting her on the hand and thigh. Although her injuries did not require medical attention, Ms. Dayson was arrested and held on $7500 at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

Man Attetmpts to Run from Police Following Disturbance

 

A thirty-nine year old Cumberland man was arrested after jumping from the roof and running from police following a disturbance on Saturday. Donald Lee Michaels lept from the roof of a home in the 300-block of Grand Avenue, and ran; he then tried to enter another residence by climbing through a window. It was discovered he was also wanted on a parole retake warrant through the Maryland Department of Corrections for violating parole. He was charged with several counts, including fourth-degree burglary, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He was also detained on Department of Corrections warrant. Additionally, bond was set at $7500 at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

WVU Student from Frederick Killed in Crash

 

A Frederick, Maryland student at West Virginia University was killed on northbound Interstate 79 in Washington County. Twenty-year old Sarah Marie Graham was a passenger in a car, when the driver lost control and hit a guardrail, before slamming into a tractor-trailer. The driver was taken to a Pittsburgh-area hospital.

 

 

Route 219 Expansion Work Underway

 

Work on expanding Route 219 to a four-lane highway from Somerset to Meyersdale began last Friday, with crews cutting down trees along the route. Two tree service companies will clear 250 acres of trees, and that work is expected to be completed by the end of next month. The $300 million expansion of an 11-mile stretch of the highway will start this summer and should be completed within five years.

 

 

Pennsylvania Suspends Breathalyzer Machines

 

Pennsylvania State Police have suspended the use of a certain model of breathalyzer, after a judge determined the unit was unreliable. Since that court ruling, several cases have been dismissed, and now State Police say they will be measuring blood/alcohol levels at the hospital, so that future cases won't be compromised. While the use of the Intoxilyzer 5000EN breathalyzer has been suspended, police are still using the hand-held breathalyzer. While those results are immediate, blood tests could take a few weeks to come back.

 

 

Local News


 

Facilities Plan Moved to Next Year

 

The facilities plan for the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind has been taken off the state Board of Education’s agenda until January of next year. WVSDB Superintendent Lynn Boyer made the recommendation, after sharing information on the cost of implementing the facilities’ design on the Romney campus and at undetermined sites in the Morgantown and Charleston areas. Information and recommendations will be gathered and presented in January of 2014.

 

 

Three Charged in Burglary

 

Three West Virginia residents face burglary and drug charges, following a Saturday incident in McHenry. Charles Edmond of Mabie, West Virginia,  Patrick Odell of Elkins,

And 27 year old Angela Sharp of Mabie were arrested after burglarizing a home there. A search of the vehicle, which was found in the Burger King parking lot in McHenry, yielded a stolen .357-magnum handgun, along with drug paraphernalia, hydrocodone and

alprazolam. Each was held on bond, ranging from $10,000 to $15,000.

 

 

Lawmakers Look to Ban Synthetic Marijuana

 

Western Maryland Delegate Kevin Kelly is one of several legislators looking to make the manufacture, possession, or distribution of synthetic marijuana illegal.  Delegate Kelly's legislation, which is expected to receive a favorable report with amendments, would order synthetic marijuana to the state's list of controlled dangerous substances. At least 41 states and Puerto Rico have legislatively banned synthetic cannabinoids in recent years.

 

 

Domestic Incident Results in One Arrest

 

Twenty-one year old Cumberland resident Tiffany Nicole Dayson was arrested following an assault incident in the 400-block of Arch Street yesterday. She is accused of arguing with her sister and biting her on the hand and thigh. Although her injuries did not require medical attention, Ms. Dayson was arrested and held on $7500 at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

Man Attetmpts to Run from Police Following Disturbance

 

A thirty-nine year old Cumberland man was arrested after jumping from the roof and running from police following a disturbance on Saturday. Donald Lee Michaels lept from the roof of a home in the 300-block of Grand Avenue, and ran; he then tried to enter another residence by climbing through a window. It was discovered he was also wanted on a parole retake warrant through the Maryland Department of Corrections for violating parole. He was charged with several counts, including fourth-degree burglary, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He was also detained on Department of Corrections warrant. Additionally, bond was set at $7500 at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

WVU Student from Frederick Killed in Crash

 

A Frederick, Maryland student at West Virginia University was killed on northbound Interstate 79 in Washington County. Twenty-year old Sarah Marie Graham was a passenger in a car, when the driver lost control and hit a guardrail, before slamming into a tractor-trailer. The driver was taken to a Pittsburgh-area hospital.

 

 

Route 219 Expansion Work Underway

 

Work on expanding Route 219 to a four-lane highway from Somerset to Meyersdale began last Friday, with crews cutting down trees along the route. Two tree service companies will clear 250 acres of trees, and that work is expected to be completed by the end of next month. The $300 million expansion of an 11-mile stretch of the highway will start this summer and should be completed within five years.

 

 

Pennsylvania Suspends Breathalyzer Machines

 

Pennsylvania State Police have suspended the use of a certain model of breathalyzer, after a judge determined the unit was unreliable. Since that court ruling, several cases have been dismissed, and now State Police say they will be measuring blood/alcohol levels at the hospital, so that future cases won't be compromised. While the use of the Intoxilyzer 5000EN breathalyzer has been suspended, police are still using the hand-held breathalyzer. While those results are immediate, blood tests could take a few weeks to come back. 

Jim Van


 

Student Ignites Explosive Device at School

 

A 17-year old Fort Hill High School student from Oldtown, made his initial appearance in Juvenile Court, after being arrested yesterday morning. He is accused of bringing an explosive device to school, on the bus, and igniting it when he arrived at the school. Parts of the device were recovered. He has been charged with knowingly manufacturing, transporting, possessing controlling, storing and using a destructive device. The school board will be handling the school discipline in the matter. A Cumberland City School Resource Officer assisted in the case.

 

 

Deal Awarded to ATK

 

Alliant Techsystems Allegany Ballistics Laboratory has been awarded a $17 million contract to produce rocket engines for “Sidewinder” missiles. The contract runs through July of 2015. The U.S. Air Force at Hill Air Force Base in Utah issued the award. ATK manufactured more than 30,000 of the motors at the Rocket Center location between 1978 and 1990.

 

 

Moorefield Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

 

A Moorefield, West Virginia man has entered a guilty plea to a count of “Transmitting Threatening Communications in Interstate Commerce.” Forty-six year old Patrick Crites faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, because the threat was made to the White House. Crites’ guilty plea was entered February 7th in U.S. District Court in Elkins.

 

 

Fairhope Man Charged in Incident

 

A Fairhope, Pennsylvania man was arrested following what is being termed a “road rage” incident on Route 35 just before the Maryland line. Thirty-five year old James Deneen allegedly passed a vehicle in a no-passing zone, and displayed a handgun. Deneen was stopped on Route 40 in the Narrows; a 9-mm handgun was found in his jacket. He was charged with possession of a handgun in a motor vehicle and wearing and carrying a handgun. He was arrested and held on $5,000 bond, following a hearing in District Court.

 

 

New York Man Sentenced for Drug Dealing

 

New York resident Michael Rodriguez was sentenced to seven years in prison, and ordered to pay over $500 in court costs, after pleading guilty to a drug distribution charge in Garrett County this week. He also forfeits more than $7,000 in cash, along with several items of personal property. He was arrested following the execution of a search and seizure warrant at a house in Kitzmiller he was renting. He was found to have a large quantity of cocaine, packaged for sale, along with a small quantity of drug paraphernalia and cash.

 

 

Man Arrested for Protective Order Violation

 

A 37-year old Cumberland man was arrested for violating an ex parte/protective order Wednesday morning on Virginia Avenue. Isreal Kreger was found in a parking lot behind the home of the person who filed the complaint. She had been granted a protective order against Kreger. He was taken to Police Headquarters, processed, and received a hearing before a District Court Commissioner, where his bond was placed at $5,000.

 

 

Rocky Gap Job Fair Set

 

Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort will hold a job fair for potential new casino employees on February 23rd at Allegany College of Maryland. The event is being held in Room 8 of the Continuing Education building. About 250 full and part-time jobs are available, and the casino is expected to open in the second quarter of this year. Positions are available in several areas including food and beverage, casino gaming, marketing, and surveillance.

 

 

Fort Hill/Martin’s Markets Partnering

 

The Fort Hill Scholarship Fund is partnering with Martin’s Food Stores to sell “Cash for Causes” Cards. The Fort Hill Scholarship Fund will receive $5.00 for every $100 of groceries sold. The cards may be used at any Martin’s Food store in the region. To purchase a “Cash for Causes” card, visit the main office at Fort Hill during regular school hours, or contact Jim Combs at (240)-522-2997.

 

 

Business Fundamentals Workshop Set

 

A workshop on Business Fundamentals is set for 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 26th in Moorefield, West Virginia. The workshop is part of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center training and business coaching program. “Three Step Jump Start” helps small business owners receive the right information at the right time. The workshop will be held at the Hardy County Rural Development Authority Building on North Main Street. Registration is required by Thursday, February 21st. To register, call (304)-530-4964. 

Local News


 

Fire Department Under Investigation

 

The Ridgeley Volunteer Fire Department is under investigation by the West Virginia State Police, for money missing during a five-year period. President of the company, Robbie Pollock, made the announcement at this week’s town council meeting. State Police will pass along information to Mineral County Prosecuting Attorney Jay Courier for action. That information should be available within the next couple of weeks.

 

 

Ridgeley Man Sentenced for Drug Distribution

 

Thirty-eight year old Ridgeley resident Rusty Mark Edwards has been sentenced to five years in prison, followed by four years of probation, following his August, 2012 guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Edwards was accused of distributing over 200 grams of the drug in Ridgeley. He is currently free on bond, but is to report to a designated federal institution on March 12th. The sentencing was carried out in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg.

 

 

Frostburg Residents Arrested

 

The Frostburg City Police, along with the Frostburg State University Police, and the C3I unit arrested two people there. A person had reported someone had broken into his vehicle and stolen some property there. Thirty-two year old Randall James Kelley II was developed as a suspect. He was charged with theft of less than $1,000, possession of burglar’s tools and with being a rogue and vagabond. Additionally, a female occupant of Kelley’s residence, 26-year old Stephanie Lynn Wright was charged with two counts of possession of controlled dangerous substances, and one count of theft of less than $1,000. Both were to have received an initial appearance before a District Court commissioner.

 

 

Heroin Discovered in Vehicle

 

Two people were arrested following a vehicle stop on Interstate 68, near Rocky Gap State Park. Nineteen year old Anthony Calloway and passenger Desiree Sharron Sanders were found to have about 130 baggies of suspected heroin in their vehicle. The were placed under arrest and transported back to the LaVale barrack for processing.

 

 

Fridens Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft

 

Thirty-nine year old Friedens resident Lorrie Fisher has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $4,000 from the Somerset County Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans. Members claim she wrote checks to herself from the chapter’s account when she served as a bookkeeper in 2010. The charge carries a seven-year prison sentence. Ms. Fisher is an Air Force veteran.

 

 

Arrest Made in Bomb Threat

 

An arrest has been made in connection to a bomb threat at Northern High School earlier in the week. A 14-year old male, eighth grade student was charged with making a false statement of a destructive device, which is a felony. Students and faculty were evacuated from the school on Tuesday, and no evidence of a destructive device was found. The case has been referred to juvenile authorities; penalties could range from probation, up to and including commitment to a Juvenile Services detention facility.

 

 

Man Charged with Assault

 

A Cumberland man has been charged with assault and disturbing the peace, following an incident in the 500-block of Sheridan Place on Tuesday. He allegedly assaulted a female there; she then applied for the charges in District Court. He was served with the warrant, taken to District Court and held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $5,000 bond.

 

 

Oldtown Road Project to be Discussed

 

The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting, regarding the Oldtown Road area of Cumberland. Staff from the Allegany County Department of Public Works will discuss proposed sewer rates. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 19th  at 7 p.m. at the Allegany County Office Building, in Room 100.

 

 

Inmate Murders Increase

 

With the latest news of an inmate homicide earlier in the week, and the investigation into one last November, officials from Maryland’s prison agency are reporting a spike in the number of inmate-on-inmate homicides last year. With an average of four per year since 2001, the number spiked to seven in 2012. A spokesman says the killings were isolated incidents and do not reflect a drop in security. 

Local News


 

Several Items Discussed During Board Meeting

 

The Allegany County Board of Education discussed a number of topics at last night’s meeting, including recent audit findings from the Maryland Office of Legislative Audits to County Commission President Mike McKay’s wish to dissolve his seat on the board. Also, Superintendent David Cox had his contract renewed for another four years. The terms of a new contract will be negotiated by June 30th.

 

 

Woman Charged Following Accident

 

A Midlothian woman was charged, following an accident on Route 36, south of Legislative Road Monday evening. A car, driven by Cailah Harris was traveling northbound, when she crossed the center line, striking another vehicle in the southbound lane, and driven by Barton resident Sally Muir. The two drivers and three children were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Health System for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

 

 

Victim, Cause of Death Revealed

 

The man, whose body was found on the grounds of the Bedford County Historical Society’s farm, has been identified and a cause of death has been determined. Twenty-seven year old Milo JaJuan Owens either jumped or fell from a farm silo, pulling down phone lines as he fell. Owens had possibly been a visitor to President Barack Obama’s inauguration. He had been from the Detroit area, and his funeral was held on February 3rd.

 

 

Domestic Assault Investigated

 

A 32-year old Cumberland woman was being held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $2500 bond, following an incident Monday, in which she allegedly assaulted her sister. Brandi Barger and her sister had been arguing about money, when she allegedly pushed her over a front porch railing, causing her to fall; her injuries were minor, and did not require medical treatment. Barger was charged with second-degree assault, and received a hearing in Allegany County District Court.

 

 

Woman Charged with Violating Protective Order

 

Thirty-six year old Cumberland resident Khristina Anna Bettis has been charged with violating a protective order, following an incident on Monday in the vicinity of Boone Street and Virginia Avenue. Ms. Bettis allegedly yelled at a male subject, after she had been court-ordered to stay away from him. She refused to lower her voice, even after being advised to do so by Cumberland City Police. She was arrested, and received a hearing in Allegany County District Court. She was ordered held on $1,000 bond at the Detention Center.

 

 

Commissioners Set Jennings Run Hearing

 

The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting on the upcoming sewer projects in the Jennings Run Sanitary District. Staff from the Department of Public Works will discuss the projects and proposed sewer rates. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 12th at 7 p.m. at the Allegany County Office Building on Kelly Road. The meeting will be held in Room 100 of the building.

 

 

Task Force Seeks Public’s Help

 

The Mountain State Fugitive Task Force is looking for a man who is wanted not only in West Virginia, but also Virginia and Maryland. Police say one of Ronald Linaburg’s alleged crimes is breaking into a Berkeley Springs home in November of last year along with another suspect. The victims were sleeping and became trapped in their bedrooms while their home was being looted. Linaburg also has committed multiple property crimes, in order to obtain money and drugs. Police believe he is still in the area and is being assisted by family members. If you have any information, you are asked to contact the West Virginia State Police or the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

 

 

Man Jailed in Lieu of $2 Million Bond

 

A Morgantown man, who allegedly kidnapped a two-year old girl and led police on a chase from Preston County to Pittsburgh, faces charges in both West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Timothy Adam White kidnapped the child Friday afternoon; he was later arrested near Pittsburgh and the child was found unharmed. White is being held on $2 million bail in Pittsburgh. White “had a relationship” with the family, but the extent of that relationship is unknown. He has a court hearing on February 20th in Pittsburgh.

 

 

Local News


Prison Murder Remains Under Investigation

 

The Maryland State Police continue the investigation into the murder of an inmate who died from injuries sustained in an assault last November at the Western Correctional Institution. The victim has been identified as 19-year old Jerod Pridget; he was assaulted in his cell on November 26th and died two days later at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. A suspect, who is an inmate at WCI, has been identified and charges are pending against him, pending a presentation to an Allegany County Grand Jury.

 

 

 

C3I Attempting to Contact Theft Victims

 

As part of the continuing investigation into a rash of recent burglaries in the Frostburg area, C3I investigators are attempting to contact victims and have them identify stolen property that has been recovered. Twenty-year old Cole Michael McCormick of Mount Savage, along with three 17-year old juveniles-all from the Frostburg area-have been arrested. Investigators are urging victims, if they have not already been contacted, to call the C3I unit to make arrangements to recover their property. The number is (301)-777-0326.

 

 

 

Man Flees Police, But Later Captured

 

Oldtown Road resident Brandon McMillen was arrested late Sunday night, after fleeing from police. McMillen continued through a red light at the intersection of Baltimore and Front Street, and attempted to speed away from the officer. The driver then got out of the car and fled the area on foot. He was captured after a brief foot chase. McMillen was charged with driving while his license was suspended, fleeing and eluding on foot, and failure to stop at a light. He was released after posting $1,000 bond.

 

 

 

Bond Revoked for Frostburg Man

 

Bond has been revoked for a Frostburg man, who is charged in Garrett County with drug distribution. Thirty-three year old Anthony Racic has already pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, clonazepam and to possession of heroin. Sentencing has been postponed, but Racic’s Bond has been revoked.

 

 

 

Firefighter Suffers Smoke Inhalation

 

A Pennsylvania firefighter suffered smoke inhalation during a fire in Somerset County over the weekend. Robert Wain, Sr. was treated at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center and was released Sunday night. The home, in Hooversville, was completed destroyed by the fire. The family in the house escaped safely, but lost everything in the fire. The cause is under investigation, but is not suspicious in nature.

 

 

 

Welcome Home for Jake Reynolds

 

A special “Welcome Home” celebration is planned this evening for Jake Reynolds, winner of the gold medal in the Alpine SkiingSuper Giant Slalom category of the 2013 World Winter Special Olympics in South Korea. It will begin at 5 p.m. at the Liberty Street Stage in Downtown Cumberland. Jake lives with his mother, Pam and is a participant in the Allegany County Special Olympics.

 

 

 

First Energy Warns of Scam

 

First Energy is warning its customers of the latest scam, in which a telephone caller, posing as an electric utility company employee, threatens to shut off power, unless an immediate payment is made using a prepaid debit card, such as a Green Dot card. Those cards are prepaid debit cards, and some use them to pay bills or add money to online accounts. Green Dot cards are not officially sanctioned by First Energy as a bill-payment method.

 

 

O’Malley To Testify on Wind Energy, Death Penalty

 

Governor Martin O’Malley will testify this week on off-shore wind energy turbines off the coast of Ocean City. On Thursday, he will appear before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, which is considering his bill to repeal the death penalty. The committee, however, is also considering a bill that would impose the death penalty on those who commit murder on the grounds of a school or child care center. Governor O’Malley has been a vocal opponent of the death penalty.

 

 

 

Judge Grants Motion on Maryland/Virginia Border

 

A judge recently ruled that Maryland’s border ends, and Virginia’s begins, at the water’s edge on the south side of the Potomac River. A motion by river-ride operators of Rail and Trail Outfitters of Knoxville, Maryland and River riders of Harper’s Ferry to dismiss a lawsuit by Potomac Shores, Incorporated, which owns a section of the river bottom was granted. Potomac Shores claimed that river-rafting operators were using land on the Virginia shore that was within the boundary of Maryland, due to changes in the river’s level and course over the years. That dry land would, therefore, belong to Potomac Shores.

Local News


Firefighters Suspected in Other Blazes

The two men who were charged with arson in connection with a January fire on Moores Hollow Road are volunteer firefighters, and are also suspected for their possible involvement in at least three other fires at vacant city homes. Kevin VanMeter and Zachary Plummer have been granted pretrial release after posting bond. Three other fires are being investigated, one each on Ella Avenue, East Roberts Street and at 944 Glenwood Street. VanMeter is a member of the Rawlings Volunteer Fire Department, while Plummer is with District 16.

 

No Injuries in Henderson Avenue Fire

There were no injuries early yesterday morning, as six people escaped a fire at 217 Henderson Avenue. The fire department responded to the blaze around 4:42 a.m., at the home of John and Theresa Snyder. Property damage was set at $5,000 to the dwelling and $1,000 to the contents. The cause of the fire has been attributed to wiring in the attic, which ignited floor joists and insulation. The home reportedly did not have smoke detectors.

 

Man Arrested for Attempted Robbery

An eighteen year old Cumberland man is being accused of attempting to rob a taxi driver in the vicinity of Grand Avenue last weekend. Devin Tashan Smith allegedly entered a taxi there, and demanded money. He was also armed with what the cab driver thought was a knife. A struggle ensued and the suspect got out in the area of North Centre Street. Smith told Cumberland City  Police that it was a misunderstanding, and that he never intended to rob anyone. He was taken to District Court for a bond hearing and held on $45,000 bond.

 

Man Sentenced to Prison for Probation Violation

Mineral County resident Timothy Douglas Imperio was sentenced to six months in jail, after his supervised probation was revoked in U.S. District Court. Imperio's incarceration will be followed by 30 months of supervised release for failure to file reports with his probation officer, failure to maintain employment, and being untruthful to a probation officer, among other counts. Imperio had originally been sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release for perjury.

 

Mineral Make Up Days Discussed

If there are no more snow days in Mineral County this year, students there will only have to make up three days. Now, those make up days will be at the end of March and beginning of April, cutting short the Easter break. Students could still have a four day Easter weekend, but the state  is very stringent about make-up days and compliance.

 

Discipline Policy Criticized

The Meyersdale School System has a policy the requires student-athletes who have up to five infractions miss up to an entire game. Some parents, teachers and coaches spoke about the procedure, noting that those participating in extracurricular activities are held to a higher standard, and that punishments are inconsistent, and that students who are benched from sports are punished twice. Despite the hearing, no changes were announced.

 

Theft in Grantsville Investigated

The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating the theft of a snow plow pump and lights from a pick-up truck in the 12000 block of National Pike in Grantsville. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the barrack at (301)-387-1101.

 

Program Awarded First Place

The Allegany County Adult Education Program recently won first place and a literacy grant for its submission of a ten-minute video, showcasing a collaborative effort with the YMCA Family Center. The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and the Adult Education and Literacy System offered family literacy activity grants to all adult education programs inthe state of Maryland in an effort to enhance existing family literacy programs. The grants will be used to provide a professional development opportunity in the form of a trip to the National Conference on Family Literacy in Kentucky in April.

 

Cell Phone Tracking Bill Considered

The Maryland House Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would allow law enforcement officials to obtain location records from mobile devices without a search warrant. Supporters of the bill says it will provide a uniform standard across the state for obtaining real time location information of an individual involved in an investigation. The ACLU opposes the bill, in that logging a person's whereabouts can deny the  Fourth Amendment right to privacy.

Local News


Two Arrested in Moore's Hollow Road Arson

 

Two area men have been arrested in connection with the arson fire on Moore's Hollow Road late last month. Twenty-four year old Kevin Vanmeter and Zachary Plummer were arrested. During the investigation, it is known that two suspects were involved in setting a fire in the kitchen of the vacant home at 12216 Moore's Hollow Road. The small fire was quickly extinguished when a neighbor extinguished the fire. Damage was placed at $750.000. Vanmeter was released on $10,000 bond, while Plummer's bond was set at $5,000. He  also was released.

 

 

Paper Mills Benefit From Energy Law

 

The New Page paper mill and several others in the region have collected millions of dollars over the past 8 years by taking advantage of an obscure provision in a state law. The provision is supposed to encourage the development of wind, solar and other renewable energy projects. The “Baltimore Sun” is reporting that some lawmakers are hoping to close what they contend is this major loophole in Maryland’s efforts to promote the growth of renewable energy production in the state.

 

 

Bail Reduced in Corpse Abuse Case

 

The bail for a Somerset, Pennsylvania man charged with moving a deceased man’s body out of his apartment, has had his bond amount reduced. Michael Moore of Stoystown Road is accused of moving the body of Frankie Allen Sass, following his death. Sass, who police say was a known drug user, was reported missing on January 23rd. Moore’s bail is not set at $30,000.

 

 

Animal Control Officer Indicted

 

A Hampshire County Animal Control Officer has been indicted by a grand jury there on three counts of obtaining possession of a controlled substance through misrepresentation. Debra Kay Shamburg has been arraigned, and has waived her right to a speedy trial. That indictment was one of 10 presented to the grand jury. She was arrested in July and held at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $10,500 bond; she is no longer listed as an inmate there.

 

 

Four Hurt in Vehicle Crash

 

A Lonaconing woman suffered serious injuries in a two-vehicle crash earlier this week on Route 135 in Westernport. Jessie Green was a passenger in a car, operated by 18-year old Anthony Ashby of Oakland; his vehicle hit a patch of ice and collided with another, driven by Jerry Loar of Barton. In the Loar vehicle was 54-year old Ronnie Loar. The accident happened near the New Page finished products warehouse. Both vehicles sustained extensive damage in the crash, which was weather-related.

 

Man Held on $10,000 Bond in Assault Case

 

Cumberland resident Aaron Soules was charged with second-degree assault and held on $10,000 bond, following an incident Tuesday on Decatur Street. Soules is accused of assaulting a female victim during an argument. The victim told officers Soules had punched and choked her during the altercation. He was located back at the apartment building, and was taken into custody. He received a hearing in Allegany County District Court.

 

 

Officials Hope for Flooding Solution

 

An illegally constructed driveway may be to blame for a drainage and flooding problem in the town of Fairhope, Pennsylvania. Supervisors there are looking for an amicable solution tothe problem, and say the drainage problem is impacting almost half of the properties in town. Supervisor Rick Tunstall says he believes property owners at the top of a hill there may have blocked off drainage in a culvert.

 

 

Bill Would Broaden Scope of Protective Order

 

Senator Christopher Shank of Washington County is re-introducing a version of a bill that would broaden the scope of a protective order, to better protect those in or formerly in, intimate relationships. Protective orders are currently restricted, among others, to married couples, those who have a child together, or those who are living together. Shank’s bill has the support of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Last year, the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, testified in support of the bill.

 

 

Teen Killed in Stabbing

 

A teenager was killed earlier this week, following a stabbing during the Baltimore Ravens’ victory celebration. The stabbing occurred just after fans were exiting M & T Bank Stadium. The teen died, after being taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital. Two other teens were stabbed, with one listed in critical condition and the other in serious condition.

 

 

Local News


Audit Recommends Improvements

The Office of Legislative Audits is recommending to the Allegany County School System that it improve internal controls, adopt more cost-effective processes, and to enhance policy direction. The examination, conducted between August of 2011 and March of last year, is not based on generally accepted accounting principles, but rather on government auditing guidelines. The review does not look at instructional or curriculum-based procedures.

 

Cause and Origin of Fire Determined

Deputy State Fire Marshals have determined the cause for the 7:18 a.m., six alarm fire on Monday that destroyed a three-story building in Williamsport. Firefighters from Allegany County, as well as companies from Washington, Frederick, and Montgomery County, Maryland and those from Morgan and Berkeley County, West Virginia battled the blaze at the building, known as "Wolf's On The Square." The fire originated inside an outbuilding housing an oil burning furnace that provided heat to the building. There was a mechanical failure, which ignited structural members of a porch roof of the building and traveled throughout the remaining structure. No injuries were reported during the incident.

 

Woman Arrested on Outstanding Warrant

An arrest warrant has been served on a Cumberland woman for failure to appear on an initial charge of being in possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Forty-year old Melissa Vanmeter was taken to District Court for an initial appearance. She was released on her own recognizance, pending trial.

 

Competition for Gambling Dollars in Region

A West Virginia website is acknowledging there will be more competition for gambling dollars, once the new casino at Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort opens in late May or early June. An article on the "WV Metro News" site notes that Lakes Entertainment-owner of Rocky Gap-recently held a job fair, and plans to hire about 100 people for jobs associated with table games. For those jobs, over 400 people were in attendance. The article further states that Rocky Gap will be unique, in that it will also offer a hotel, spa, gift shop, a golf course and other amenities.

 

Company Develops Non-Toxic Fracking Fluids

Some environmental groups say they welcome a possible new development in the fracking process, but others still have questions. Houston-based Halliburton has developed a product, called CleanStim, which is a non-toxic fluid used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Fracking is seen as a way to extract natural gas, in a rock-encased gas formation, known as Marcellus Shale. There is a portion of the shale running under the ground in Allegany County, but even more in Garrett County. At this point, it isn't known if it is feasible to have fluids for fracking that are totally non-toxic.

 

Gas Prices Continue to Rise

A gallon of regular gas has risen as much as 20-cents a gallon in the last couple of weeks in some areas of the region. Triple A says the reason includes violence in North African oil-producing countries and oil refinery problems in the United States. An upswing in the U.S. economy has also led to higher prices. They add that many companies will be switching over to summer-blend gasoline soon; even though it is more environmentally friendly, it is also more expensive.

Local News


BPW Approves Partial Funding for Allegany

The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved partial funding for the Allegany High School project, as well as partial funding for the roof replacement project at Westmar Middle School and total funding for fifteen lighting retrofit projects. In mid to late April of this year, the Interagency for School Construction will recommend additional projects for funding to the Board of Public Works,  based on appeals made in January and on the final funding level passed by the General Assembly among other considerations. Members of the Board of Public Works spoke in favor of the school system's request during the appeal hearing. The school system remains confident that the remaining projects will be recommended for funding by the IAC and approved by the BPW.

 

Commissioners Adopt Five-Year Transit Plan

Increased hours and Saturday service are being proposed by the Allegany County commissioners as part of a five-year transportation plan. The plan, adopted last week by the commissioners, may also include all-day passes and online payments for those who utilize the service. Changes in the plan include streamlining bus routes to key service areas, such as the Country Club Mall and the Western Maryland Health System.

 

Railroad Searching for Manager

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is looking for a new manager, because of the retirement of Frank Fowler. For his part, Fowler says he will stay on until a new manager is hired and the transition is complete. The railroad will start up again in May, and reservations are starting to come in now. Fowler has been superintendent for seven years.

 

Man Held in Assault, Robbery

Thirty-year old Antonio Jerome Rodney is being held on a $20,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following an incident on Arch Street. He is accused of assaulting his roommate; the suspect then took money and a cell phone from the victim. Rodney was charged with one count each of robbery, second-degree assault, and malicious destruction of property.

 

Moving School Would Cost More Than Renovation

Relocating the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind could cost nearly $100 million, which is about $18 million more than it would cost to renovate or replace the existing facilities in Romney. The Mineral News Tribune states that a representative with ZMM Architects and Engineers is recommending that the school remain in Romney. The schools have been in the town since 1870, and some of the buildings are original structures.

 

Olympian Wins Gold in South Korea

Congratulations to Jake Reynolds of Cumberland, who won a gold medal in the 2013 World Winter Special Olympics in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. Jake participates in Special Olympics locally, the annual Autism Walk and the Hooley Plunge. He learned how to snow ski at the Wisp resort in Garrett County. Jake, and his mother Pam, moved to the Cumberland area from Los Angeles,  California in 2007. She owns the Bruce House Inn B & B.

 

Authorities Still Working on Identification of Body

Bedford County authorities are still trying to positively identify a frozen body found outside of the Bedford County Historical Society. Police are still investigating the incident, and may be trying to link the deceased man to reports that he asked to be released from a Virginia to Michigan Greyhound bus route. A bus ticket and political buttons were found on his body, suggesting he may have attended the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.

 

Firefighters Battle Washington County Blaze

Fire companies from Washington, Allegany, Frederick, and Montgomery counties, with assistance from Morgan and Berkeley County, West Virginia battled a five alarm blaze yesterday morning at 110 North Conococheague Street in Williamsport. The State Fire Marshal's Office is currently investigating the cause of the fire in the building which contained the L & J discount liquor store and one occupied apartment on the first floor, along with four vacant apartments on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The occupant of the first floor apartment escaped without injury and is being assisted by the American Red Cross. Nearly 100 firefighters were on the scene. A preliminary value loss for the structure, originally built in 1900, is estimated at $500,000.

 

New Paid Sick Leave Bill Introduced

The Earned Sick and Safe Time Act may face some opposition from business interests, but it is being introduced in this year's General Assembly. Those in favor say it will eliminate what many say is an "impossible choice" that thousands of mostly low-wage employees are forced to make-preserving their health or their jobs. Under the Act, workers would earn one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours worked. The Maryland Chamber of Commerce will also likely oppose the bill.

 

Lawmaker Wants to Lift Gun Restrictions

Eastern Shore lawmaker Mike McDermott says he has introduced two bills, which would lift restrictions on who can carry guns on school grounds. One would give school boards and superintendents the option to designate teachers, staff or administrators who would be eligible for a concealed carry permit. The other would allow off-duty or retired police officers who are still qualified under the Law Enforcement Safety Act to carry weapons on school grounds. McDermott commented to an Eastern Shore newspaper that he was trying to "think outside the box" for ideas on protecting students.

Local News


Plan for Rocky Gap Updated

 

The new Rocky Gap casino will have 558 slot machines and 10 table games, and is slated to open in late May. Construction of new meeting space should be completed by late fall. Tim Cope, president of Evitts Resort LLC-Rocky Gap’s owner-says construction on the new meeting space will begin about the time the casino opens. There will be slightly more meeting space at the facility, and the casino itself is licensed for up to 850 machines.

 

 

Two Arrested in Credit Card Theft

 

Twenty-six year old Brandon Allen Matthew Rotruck and 24-year old Brandi Diane Mathis of Cumberland have been arrested by the C3I unit and charged with several counts of fraud in connection with the use of a stolen credit card at the LaVale WalMart. The card was taken from a person at the Star Lite Roller Rink in LaVale. After it was learned the card had been used, surveillance video was obtained from WalMart, and Rotruck and Mathis were developed as suspects. A search warrant was obtained for a residence on Memorial Avenue; a large amount of items were found at the home. Rotruck was held on $8500 bond, while Ms. Mathis was held on $5,000 bond. Both are currently incarcerated at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

 

Prosecutor To Determine Legal Action

 

Mineral County Prosecutor Jay Courrier has 60 days to determine whether legal action is warranted against Ridgeley Mayor Jim Twigg. The audit report has been delivered to the prosecutor’s office, and it is known the “review discloses the existence of certain potential instances of malfeasance.” For his part, Mayor Twigg has reimbursed the town, and has issued an order that all charges and receipts be reconciled.

 

 

Chamber Requests Unfavorable Report on Fracking Prohibition

 

The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has written to Maggie McIntosh, the chair of the House Environmental Matters Committee, requesting an unfavorable report to House Bill 337, entitled, “Natural Gas-Hydraulic Fracking-Prohibition.” The letter, signed by Legislative Committee Chair Bill DuVall and Executive Director Stu Czapski, urges the Maryland Legislature to allow the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission to complete its work as scheduled by August 1st of next year, and to present its findings and recommendations before proceeding with applicable legislation.

 

 

Man Arrested on Outstanding Warrant

A 25-year old District of Columbia man was arrested on an outsanding warrant from Virginia over the weekend on Interstate 68 near Finzel. Brandon Akira Yoshimura was initially stopped for a traffic violation. A “wanted check” revealed that he was, in fact, wanted on an extraditable warrant from Virginia. A search also produced a quantity of marijuana. He was arrested and received a bond hearing at District Court.

 

 

Giant Recalls Crab Spread

 

Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Markets have voluntarily recalled Gold Coast Fresh Crab Spread, due to possible contamination by lysteria. The Gold Coast Fresh Crab Spread is in the eight ounce container; customers should throw away the spread and bring their purchase receipt back to the store where they bought it, to receive a refund. So far, there have been no illnesses reported.

 

 

Nearly Half of West Virginians Lack Needed Savings

 

Nearly half of the residents in the Mountain State have almost no savings to carry them through crises such as the loss of a job or a serious health problem. The Corporation for Enterprise Development says about 47 per cent of West Virginians have no financial cushion, including a majority  of residents who live below the federal poverty level of just over $23,000 for a family of four. On average, a family of four needs$5,762 in savings to meet basic needs for three months. West Virginia was ranked 23rd among the states and the District of Columbia for residents’ ability to become financially secure.

Local News


Murder Hearing Delayed

A preliminary hearing for Jonathan William Beal of Meyersdale has been postponed from today, until March 8th. Beal is accused of murdering Justine Marie Jackson, and burying her body in a shallow grave along the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail. He is charged with homicide, abuse of a corpse and aggravated assault, in connection with her death. According to a court affidavit, Beal made numerous statements that he had killed Ms. Jackson near the trail. A hiker found her body in a shallow grave along the trail on November 11th of last year.

 

Additional Charges Filed in Copper Thefts

Additional charges have been filed against 24-year old Angela May Dennison in connection with the theft of copper from private residences. She was arrested on Wednesday, along with 45-year old Matthew Jay Iman inside a residence on Independence Street, as they were allegedly cutting and removing copper pipe from the unoccupied home. Ms. Dennison was released on personal recognizance, pending her next court appearance.

 

Suspect in Pharmacy Break In Questioned

A suspect in the burglary and theft at Deep Creek Pharmacy has been questioned, and charges are pending the results of physical evidence recovered from the scene. The business was burglarized in the early morning hours of January 22nd. A suspicious vehicle, which was later determined to be a silver 2007 Nissan Sentra was later positively identified as being at the scene. Although a suspect has been identified, the case is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police at (301)-387-1101.

 

Snowmobiler Found Alive

Fifty year old Bruce Mast, who had been reported missing while snowmobiling in Somerset County, has been found alive in the area of Seven Springs ski resort. Investigators were led to Maust through surveillance video at an ATM on the property. Maust was found by trees, close to a pond where his snowmobile was submerged. Police speculate he crawled out of the pond, found shelter and stayed there for three days. He was treated and released from Somerset Hospital.

 

Two Arrested on Bench Warrants

The Cumberland City Police continue their sweep of outstanding warrants, arresting two more  people this week. Fifty-year old Anthony Orlando Taylor was originally charged with second degree assault and resisting arrest. The bench warrant charged him with failing to follow conditions of probation. The second warrant was served on Richard Allen Marsh of Baltimore. He was wanted in connection with a Maryland Avenue disturbance call. While Taylor was held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $15,000 bond, Marsh had been awaiting an initial appearance in District Court.

 

Council Pondering Sale of Dam

Keyser Mayor Randy Amtower is proposing the sale of the 22 acres that comprise the Limestone Dam. The sale was not on the agenda for the most recent meeting, and the suggestion caught some of the council members off guard. The Council has not yet scheduled a meeting to discuss the issue. The next scheduled meeting will be on Wednesday, February 13th, with a start time of 4:30 p.m.

 

Former Correctional Officer Faces Five Years Imprisonment

Former Roxbury Correctional Institution Correctional Officer Ryan Lohr is facing five years in prison when he is sentenced on June 18th. Lohr is charged with conspiring to obstruct justice and destroy evidence in the beating of an inmate. He has pleaded guilty to the charges. He is accused of opening the door of a cell on March 9, 2009, to allow other officers in, to assault an inmate. Court documents say Lohr and other officers agreed to cover up the assault.

 

Delegate Introduces Shelter Tax Credit Legislation

A Maryland delegate is sponsoring House Bill 371, which would give Maryland citizens who adopt a cat or dog from an animal shelter, a $100 tax credit. Delegate Glen Glass expects the bill to be heard in committee on February 26th. Forty-five delegates are co-sponsoring the legislation. About five to seven million shelter animals are euthanized across the country every year.

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