October Safe Streets Warrant Initiative Conducted
The October Safe Streets Warrant Initiative was conducted last Monday through Friday, resulting in 37 arrests being made on 47 warrants being served. The operation was termed a success, with the cooperation of the Allegany County Sheriff's Department, the Cumberland City Police and warrant fugitive officers. Charges against those taken into custody include probation violations, failure to appear, domestic assault, motor vehicle violations, animal cruelty, and drug violations.
Girl Shot With BB Gun
Police are seeking information on who may have shot a 12-year old Frostburg girl in the head with a BB gun Tuesday afternoon. The incident happened hear her Spring Street home at around 3:40 p.m. She was taken to the hospital, and later had the BB removed at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.
Backbone Mountain Wind Project Planned
A public hearing will be held later in November on a planned, 15-turbine wind farm on Backbone Mountain, six miles south of Oakland. The company, Fair Wind Power Partners, filed an application on August 19th, according to the Cumberland Times-News. The company is exempted from the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, according to the Maryland Public Service Commission.
Mullaney Honored on Retirement
Downtown Cumberland manager Ed Mullaney was honored at a retirement reception last night at the Saville Gallery. Business owners, state, city and county government representatives were on hand. Yesterday was Mullaney's last official day on the job. Mayor Brian Grim presented a proclamation, designating October 30th as "Ed Mullaney Day" in the city.
Drug Dealer Sentenced to Prison
A Coatesville, Pennsylvania man-Frank "Pops" Pugh-was sentenced to four to eight years in state prison, after entering a guilty plea to 3 counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in Bedford County. Officers from the Bedford County Drug Task Force made purchases of heroin and cocaine from a confidential informant in January of this year. Following his arrest, he was remanded to the Bedford County Jail on $600,000 bond. He will be transferred to a State Correctional Institution within the next several weeks.
FSU, Allegany College Included in Council
Frostburg State University and Allegany College of Maryland are included on a governance council to reduce college drinking and related problems. The collaborative effort is hosted by the University System of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and has produced a report and interactive website on the issue. The report indicates that Maryland college students drink at levels similar to the national average. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provided seed funding to establish the collaborative effort and its initial activities.
Man Served with Arrest Warrant
A Cumberland man was picked up on an outstanding warrant by Cumberland City Police. Twenty-three year old Dennis Leo Landis, Jr., was served in connection with an assault that took place last week at 302 Bedford Street. Landis was charged with second-degree assault. He was ordered held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $5,000 bond.
Man Arrested for Non-Payment of Child Support
Twenty-two year old Cumberland resident Derek Christian Thomas was served with an arrest warrant, charging him with failure to appear for child support contempt from earlier this month. He was processed and taken to the Allegany County Detention Center, where he was held without bail.
"Freshman Choice Program" Announced at FSU
Frostburg State University has created a way for first year students to complete their first semester online, through an initiative called the "Freshman Choice Program." All course materials, excluding textbooks when appropriate, and activities are published and executed online, through the use of FSU's Blackboard course management system. Those interested in enrolling in the program must fill out an online form and they must come to the FSU campus for placement testing. For more information, call (301)-687-4102. The Voice Relay Operator number is 1-800-735-2258.
Financial Aid Program Coming to MPT
Maryland Public Television is featuring a program, entitled, "You Can Afford College." The program will air on Monday, November 25th at 8 p.m., and is a co-production of MPT and the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The host will explain the FAFSA form, along with public and private grants and scholarships, tax forms and other loan applications. Viewers will also be able to talk to a financial aid advisor.
Man Pleads Guilty to Murder of Hagerstown Woman
Jeffrey Eldon Miles, Sr., of State Line, Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty to the 2010 murder of 29-year old Kristy Dawn Hoke of Hagerstown. A trial had been scheduled, and prosecutors had sought the death penalty, but that was removed following Miles' admission of guilt. Hoke's body was found in April of 2010. He is also charged with criminal homicide in the 1995 bludgeoning of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania teenager Angie Lynn Daley. A trial in that case has not been scheduled.
Boonsboro Town Manager Resigns
Debra Smith, the Boonsboro town manager since 2006 has resigned, saying she and the town had different goals. Her resignation was accepted earlier this week, and is effective immediately. She cited her accomplishments, such as new developments. She also pointed out a nearly $8 million debt for the town's sewer plant.
Amazon To Collect Sales Tax in Maryland
With the Amazon distribution center opening in Baltimore, the debate has begun on collecting the sales tax on internet sales. Comptroller Peter Franchot says it's not a question of "if," but "when." Amazon has not collected the sales tax due on items sold to Maryland residents. Franchot says it will be happening system-wide, and says it's a question of "fairness."As for the "fairness" of Amazon collecting the tax, Franchot says local store owners are required to collect the 6 per cent tax. Franchot says that while nobody likes to pay taxes, Amazon realizes they will be obligated to do so. At this point, he says the state has chosen not to enforce the tax on internet sales.
Memorial Demolition Meeting Held
A meeting between the contractors involved in the demolition of the former Memorial Hospital and citizens of the area was held last night, with about 40 residents attending. It was announced the demolition work will begin on November 18th, and will not entail the use of explosives, wrecking balls or on-street parking by the demolition crews from Ritter and Paratore and its trucks. The demolition work will be done in four phases.
Man Arrested for Breaking and Entering
Gordon J.W. Whitfield, of Cumberland, was charged with breaking and entering at Archway Station on North Centre Street on Monday. Whitfield knocked on the door of the facility, and demanded to speak to someone inside the building. He was told to wait outside and not to enter the building. He shoved his way through the door and entered. He also began yelling and becoming disruptive. He is also accused of punching a hole in the wall as he was leaving. He was charged, but released on personal recognizance, following a District Court hearing.
Pennsylvania Man Sentenced in Domestic Incident
A Buffalo Mills resident, Leonard Forbes, was sentenced to serve five to ten years in state prison, in connection with an incident involving his ex-wife and her boyfriend. Forbes was charged last June, after he forced his way into his ex-wife's residence, and threatened to kill her and her boyfriend. He fired a shotgun into a wooded area, where he believed the boyfriend had retreated. He also threatened to kill himself in front of his children. The plea was entered before the case was to have gone to trial.
Man Arrested for Failure to Appear
Fifty-one year old Cumberland resident Robert Jay Toey has been arrested on an outstanding warrant. He was wanted for failure to appear in court on October 24th, for a previous drug paraphernalia arrest. He received a District Court Commissioners' hearing, but later released on his own recognizance.
Blasting Begins on Route 219 Project
Blasting has begun on the Route 219 construction project, near Garrett, Pennsylvania. This week's portion of the project is being done in the area of Fogeltown Road, and will then move to the area between the existing Route 219 and Crossroad School road. Crews are stopping traffic in a radius of 800 to 1,000 feet around the blast site to make sure nobody gets too close to the blasting, due to flying debris. Bid openings for the next two phases will happen over the course of the next several years. PennDOT anticipates the road will be open in 2018.
Vandalism Reported in Berlin Over the Weekend
The "trick" part of Halloween "trick or treating" took place this past weekend in Berlin, Pennsylvania, as at least 20 dozen eggs were thrown at several vehicles and homes in the area. Some of the vandalism was near businesses, where police say there are surveillance cameras. They are currently reviewing the videos for additional leads. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (814)-445-1525.
Kindergarten Report Cards to be Delayed
Allegany County Public School kindergarten report cards will once again be on a delayed distribution schedule for the first nine-week period of the 2013-2014 school year. Report cards will be sent home on Monday, November 25th.
Home Sales Down in September
Higher mortgage rates and home prices have caused a drop in sales. The National Association of Realtors say the seasonally adjusted pending home sales index dropped 5.6 per cent last month, pushing the index below its year-ago level. This is the first time that has happened in nearly 2-1/2 years. The drop also suggests final sales will decline in the coming months. Mortgage rates reached a two-year high over the summer, in response to speculation the Federal Reserve would reduce its stimulus later this year.
State Senator Proposes Abolishing "Rain Tax"
Howard and Carroll County State Senator Allan Kittleman is pre-filing legislation to repeal the so-called "rain tax" in Baltimore City and nine counties in the state. Kittleman, a Republican, says that some counties have enacted their own legislation, and there has been no "backlash" for not adopting the state mandate. Kittleman says, for example, Howard County has not done a good job with storm water remediation, which he says is "overly burdensome on businesses." And, he acknowledges that businesses have borne the brunt of the cost of stormwater management.
West Virginia Fatality Reported
While there were two fatal accidents reported over the weekend in West Virginia, another claimed the life of a Petersburg man. Fifty-two year old resident Jeffrey Swick was killed as he was riding in a car on Smoke Hole Road in Pendleton County. State Police say two others, including the driver, were seriously injured. They add that alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.
Elkins Fire Kills Two Children
A fire, which may have started on the porch of an Elkins home, took the life of two children and hospitalized five more people. Most of the injuries were from smoke inhalation, but some did suffer burns. Firefighters knew people were trapped in the home, on Central Street. Both of the front doors of the home were blocked with fire, and the victims could not get through the living room, because fire had spread from the porch to the living room. the cause is under investigation. It's also not known if there were any smoke detectors in the home.
Layoffs at Casino Tied to Competition
Fewer than 50 employees are being laid off at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town races. The reason? General Manager Al Britton says the layoffs are due to the nation's sluggish economy, and growing competition from neighboring states, such as Pennsylvania and Maryland . Revenues at Charles Town have dropped more than 15 per cent. The West Virginia facility is owned by Pennsylvania-based Penn National Gaming, Incorporated.
Woman Charged With Bank Robbery
A 60-year old Hedgesville woman, Linda Marie Terry, was taken into custody shortly after police say she robbed the CNB Bank in Martinsburg. Investigators found a bag of money, and socks over her hands when they found her. Notes that she allegedly handed the teller were also found on her. Ms. Terry is being charged with one count of bank robbery.
Frostburg Man Charged With Forgery, Theft, Fraud
Sixty-year old Frostburg resident Arthur William Siemann has been charged with several counts including forgery, theft, fraud and possessing or using a false government ID. He allegedly obtained several forms of identification and other documents in the name of an Oregon man. Siemann allegedly obtained fund that were meant for the Oregon man. He was released on $35,000 bond, pending his next court appearance.
Man Charged in Double-Stabbing
Cumberland resident Dajon Antonio Lopez remains in the Allegany County Detention Center on $825,000 bond, following a double-stabbing early yesterday on Fairview Avenue in Cumberland. Lopez is accused of stabbing two men, after coming to their residence to see his ex-girlfriend. Lopez is also accused of repeatedly calling and texting the 17-year old girl. Lopez turned himself into Cumberland Police after his family was contacted. Along with charges of attempted second-degree murder, assault and burglary, he is charged in connection with repeatedly texting and calling the teen.
Keyser Fees To Increase
Some Keyser residents may see their sewer charges double, as the Mayor and Council is proposing a fee schedule that would take effect by the end of 2015. The price tag on a new treatment facility is about $25 million, and is part of a regional effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. The brunt of the cost will be borne by the residents of New Creek and McCoole, Maryland.
Former Mayor Meets with Current Mayor and Council
The current Ridgeley Mayor and Council met with former Mayor Jim Twigg recently. Twigg had entered a guilty plea to four misdemeanor charges of failure to perform his duties as mayor. He had originally been charged with eight felony counts of fraudulent or unauthorized use of a purchasing card during his tenure as mayor. The purpose of the meeting was to establish what is best for the town and its residents, and move forward with that.
Chlorine Leak Reported at Seven Springs
A leak from a 100-gallon chlorine tank at the Seven Springs water treatment plant was contained Sunday morning. The plant operator, who had complained of dizziness, was taken to Somerset hospital. The resort was not affected, as the treatment plant is about two miles from the main entrance to Seven Springs. There were no serious injuries.
Somerset Holds Job Fair
Somerset County's unemployment rate rose to 9.1 per cent in August, and a job fair was held last week, to help companies who are seeking new employees in the fall. One of those employers, Seven Springs resort, is looking to fill around 1,000 positions for the coming ski season. Seven Springs recently bought the Hidden Valley Resort. Nearly all of the companies required a high school diploma from potential employees, and there were some that required additional education, either a bachelor's of associate's degree, in order to be considered. Another job fair is scheduled for April in Somerset County.
NSA Seeks Students for Summer Program
The National Security Agency is seeking students for its gifted and talented program. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Board of Education, says the NSA is now accepting applications for the Summer 2014 STEM program for high school seniors. She says the NSA is seeking students who have an aptitude for Math, Science, and Engineering are being sought. She says it is an invaluable experience in those areas. Applications are being accepted through the middle of November; the program entails a 40-hour work week for 10 to 12 weeks during the summer, following the senior year of high school.
Officer Identified as Murder-Suicide Suspect
A Baltimore City police officer, a city firefighter and a woman were involved in a murder-suicide this past weekend. Police say 37-year old Christopher Robinson, a member of the Baltimore City Police Department shot both Andrew Scott Hoffman and 26-year old Marie Leanne Edith Hartman before turning the gun on himself.
West Virginia Truancy Plan Working
The West Virginia Supreme Court Justice who headed up a program to crack down on school truancy in the state is pleased that there has been an 8.5 per cent jump in attendance in the last five years. While the program is showing signs of success Justice Robin Davis next would like to examine the counties in which the program is working, and determine why it's not working in other counties.
Some Westernport Water Off Today
The Westernport Water Department has turned off water to residents in the 100 and 200 blocks of Maryland Avenue today, in order to repair a leak in that area. It's not known how long the water will be off.
Teen Killed in Friday Accident
Seventeen-year old Moorefield High School Senior Autym Wolfe was killed Friday morning, in a three vehicle crash on Route 220,near Purgittsville, West Virginia. Her car and a tractor trailer sideswiped each other; Ms. Wolfe's car went out of control, where it was hit by a second tractor trailer. Neither of the truck drivers was injured, but Ms. Wolfe was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation is continuing.
Burlington Man Killed in Crash
Eighteen year old Burlington, West Virginia resident Brandon Sites was killed in a single-vehicle crash late Friday on Knobley Road, south of U.S. Route 40. He was a passenger in a truck, driven by Nicholas Shoemaker and also occupied by his brother, Lucas Shoemaker. The truck veered off the highway, hit an embankment, and overturned. The Shoemaker brothers were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center in Cumberland, where they were treated and released.
Sunday Fire on Seymour Street
Investigators are looking into the cause of a fire yesterday afternoon. The fire was reported around 2:40 p.m. at 422 Seymour Street. This is the second fire incident at the same location since October 21st. The fire originated in the living room area, and smoke damage was reported throughout the building, which is owned by David Swisher. The fire was brought under control by about 4 p.m. and there were no injuries.
Garrett Sheriff's Office Investigating Burglaries
The Garrett County Sheriff's Office is investigating several burglaries at its government facilities in the southern portion of the county. The burglaries occurred between September 29th and October 24th. Four buildings were entered and about $500 worth of tools and cash were taken. A reward may be offered to anyone who can provide information, regarding the incidents. Callers to the Sheriff's Office or to the Garrett County Crimesolvers group can remain anonymous.
Man Held on $250,000 Bond
A Cumberland man is being held on several arson charges, and other counts, following an argument at an Altamont Terrace residence Saturday morning. Thirty-seven year old James Flohr is being held on a quarter-million dollars bond. Flohr and a woman were arguing, and the fight became physically abusive. He allegedly tried to set her mattress on fire. The Cumberland Fire Department was on the scene to clear the residence. The victim was taken to the hospital, and Flohr was jailed.
Black Bear Hunt Closed for 2013
The black bear hunting season for 2013 is now closed. As of 9 p.m. Saturday, there were 94 bears taken; of that number, 70 were from Garrett County and 24 from Allegany County. The season lasted for six days in Allegany and Garrett Counties. Seventy per cent of the bears were taken on private land, and about 748 hunters participated.
Blasting for Route 219 to Begin Today
Blasting is scheduled for today in Somerset county, to make way for the four-lane Route 219 project from Somerset to Meyersdale. Flag crews will be monitoring roadways near the blast sites, to keep motorists clear of the work. The total project includes construction of about 11 miles of new road.
Bedford Civil Lawsuit to Proceed
A federal district judge has cleared the way to allow a civil lawsuit against Bedford County and its Sheriff, Charwin Reichelderfer. Two deputies who opposed the sheriff's re-election two years ago, were fired two days after his re-election. Deputy Charles Stuby had run against Reichelderfer, while Deputy Lukas Berkey supported Stuby's bid. The former deputies are asking to be reinstated, and for a court order, barring further discrimination; they are also asking for an undetermined amount of money damages.
Health Department Plans Forum
The Allegany County Health Planning Coalition is seeking community input, and will hold a public forum on Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room on the ground floor of the Willowbrook Office Complex. The public is invited to participate in the forum to discuss the health needs of Allegany County residents and to help identify actions to address those needs. For more information, call 240-964-8422 or 301-759-5015.
Tournament of Bands Held
Congratulations to the Allegany High School and Mountain Ridge Marching bands, who recently won in their respective categories and group size at the recent Tournament of Bands Championships. Allegany defended its Group 2 Open title, and will compete in the Group 2 Open Championships on November 4th. Mountain Ridge earned its first Chapter Championship in Group 2A, and will perform at the Atlantic Coast Championship this Saturday.
Wagoner Receives Jaycee Award
Cumberland City Council member Nicole Wagoner received the Jaycees' Outstanding Young Professional award at last week's Allegany County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner. One of the activities for which she was cited, was her recent bike trip, to raise awareness of the Great Allegheny Trail. She says she met people from all over, and asked them about their spending habits on the trail-an indication of the economic development potential it could bring to the region.
Graduation Rates Increase in West Virginia
West Virginia high school graduation rates have improved over the past five years. Last school year data shows that over 79 per cent of high school seniors graduated, up from 2008-2009 numbers, which showed a rate of nearly 71 per cent. Improved numbers are being attributed to retention and alternative education programs in the schools, as well as an anti-truancy initiative from the State Supreme Court last year.
Martinsburg VA Medical Center Sets Open House
The Martinsburg VA Medical Center is holding its seventh annual Hospice Open House next Wednesday, November 6th from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Veterans, families and members of the community are invited to attend. Hospice care focuses on improving the quality of life for patients with serious, life-limiting illnesses. The open house event will also include a grand rounds presentation that begins at noon.
Baltimore Street Crossing To Be Closed
The Baltimore Street/Baltimore Avenue railroad crossing will be closed on Monday, for about six weeks. The crossing is being closed to allow for crossing improvements, and the length of time it will be closed, depends on the weather. Detour routes will be posted. The new crossing will provide for better traveling conditions for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. During the closure, pedestrians will be able to use the underpass; however, handicapped travelers will have to use the McMullen Bridge over Queen City Drive and Henderson Avenue.
Business Recognition Dinner Honors Four
The annual Allegany County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Recognition Dinner was held last night at Frostburg State University's Lane Center. The 2013 Community Service Award went to James "Snake" Robertson, while the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award went to Bennett, Brewer & Associates, LLC of Frostburg. Care Ventures, Incorporated was cited as the Business of the Year, and the Outstanding Young Professional Award went to Cumberland City Council member Nicole L. Wagoner.
Water Main Break Repaired
A 20-inch water main was accidentally broken by contractors working on the U-About on Route 220 yesterday morning. Service was restored several hours later. The incident happened overnight Thursday, and disrupted service to the Bowling Greene and Cresaptown areas, including the prison area. Repairs were completed by about 8:30 yesterday morning.
Pennsylvania Man Arrested on Marijuana Charge
Thirty-four year old Washington, Pennsylvania resident Daniel Bernard White was released on his own recognizance, following a traffic stop early Wednesday morning in the area of Willowbrook Road and Interstate 68 Westbound. White's license had been suspended in Pennsylvania, and he was found to have a small quantity of marijuana. He was charged with driving while suspended and possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.
Keyser Eyes Sewage Fee Increases
The city of Keyser is looking toward increasing sewage fees. The eventual increases will be related to system improvement work planned for the city in the Hawthorne Heights area. The increases will take effect next year, when a substantial portion of the improvements are finished.
NSA Accepting Applications for STEM Program
The National Security Agency's Gifted and Talented Program for high school seniors is accepting applications for the summer, 2014 STEM Program. The Gifted and Talented Program is designed for high school students who have demonstrated an aptitude for Engineering, Math and Science, and provides participants with an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the area of STEM. For more information about the Gifted and Talented Program, visit the NSA website at "www.nsa.gov/careers," or call 1-866-NSA-HIRE.
"Caravan of Reconciliation" To Stop In Cumberland
"We Are One Community: A Caravan of Religious Leaders for Reconciliation" has left Annapolis, and will travel throughout the state over the next ten days. Sponsored by Clergy Without Borders, which trains clergy in conflict resolution, the caravan will be in Cumberland tomorrow evening. An 8 p.m. dinner with local interfaith leaders has been scheduled. The group will remain in town on Sunday, for an interfaith sermon at First Presbyterian Church, and a town hall forum at Allegany College of Maryland, beginning at 12:30 p.m. The group will then travel to Rockville, to attend an interfaith program with the Unitarian Universalist Community of Rockville.
Jenner Township Victim Identified
The man involved in a fatal, single vehicle accident this week in Somerset County has been identified. Sixty-seven year old James Kimmel of Boswell died of natural causes; Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said Kimmel had died before his truck wrecked into a stream and caught fire.
Fatal Crash in Washington County
One man was killed, and three others injured in a three-vehicle accident on Route 40A at Tom's Road in Washington County on Wednesday. The road was closed for almost three hours. The crash occurred when 71-year old Robert William Semler was waiting to make a turn. Keedysville, Maryland resident Korey Scott McCarthy hit the rear of the Semler vehicle, which was forced into the oncoming traffic lane. It was then struck by a vehicle, driven by Eldon Bowman Keller of Boonsboro. Semler was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, 65-year old Deborah Semler was flown to Shock Trauma via the Maryland State Police helicopter. The other two involved in the accident were treated at the Meritus Medical Center.
Maryland Eighth Graders Don't Fare Well in Report
Maryland may have held the top spot in a publication's annual ranking of the nation's schools for five years in a row, but it is far from the top of a new report that compares 8th graders in the United States and 38 countries. Massachusetts was the only state to reach the highest score in math in the study from the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics. In math, Maryland's average score was 514, with a range of 466 for Alabama and 561 for Massachusetts. Maryland is transitioning to what are called Common Core Standards, which is a more rigorous academic standard.
Possible Tie Between Hagerstown, Cumberland Murders
Washington County authorities are taking a closer look at a 2010 death investigation, which may or may not have a local tie. The cause of death for Tammy Myerly has never been determined, but she had been dating Stephen Schleuniger right before her death. Schlueniger is a suspect in the disappearance and apparent murder of Cumberland resident Lisa Simmons. A month before she was found dead, Ms. Myerly filed a protective order against Schleuniger. Lieutenant Jim Hurd of the Hagerstown Police Department says the Myerly case has been reactivated following Schleuniger's arrest, earlier this month.
Homecoming Bonfire Discussed
The Cumberland Mayor and City Council heard from a member of the Fort Hill Mothers' Club, regarding a planned Homecoming Bonfire, to be held November 8th at Constitution Park. Club member Tara Arigo, club member, was informed that a permit would be required, along with a special events insurance policy. Some of the costs, including police to direct traffic, would be incurred by the city. City officials say they will provide Ms. Arigo with a list of requirements for obtaining special events insurance, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
Unidentified Man Dies in Crash
An unidentified man was killed in Somerset County early Tuesday afternoon. Officials are still trying to identify the victim, who drove off Keysertown Road, and landed in Beaver Dam Run. His Ford F-150 truck burst into flames, as it overturned in the run. The road was closed into the early evening on Tuesday.
Police Seeking to Recover Stolen Vehicle
The Maryland State Police are looking to recover a vehicle that was stolen from Main Street in Accident on Tuesday. The 2008 Hyundai Sonata was stolen sometime between September 7th and September 28th of this year. The car had Ohio registration plate of FYR-9224. Anyone with information is asked to contact the McHenry barrack at (301)-387-1101.
Man Arrested in Disturbance
A Cumberland man was arrested for creating a disturbance in the 200-block of Baltimore Street on Tuesday. Fifty-one year old Anthony Orlando Taylor was taken into custody, after he allegedly stood in the middle of the street, swinging a large butcher knife, and threatening to stab people. He was initially combative with police, and would not let officers check for weapons. He was eventually taken to a District Court Commissioner, and released on personal recognizance.
Students, Teachers Participate in Genetics Update
Several weeks ago, a number of students and teachers had the opportunity to participate in the 2013 Genetic Update Conference. The guest speaker was Dr. Sam Rhine, a graduate of the Harvard Medical School and Indiana University. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the board of education, says the students who participated came from biology and advanced placement biology classes.
Three Named Commended Students
Three Mountain Ridge students have been named "Commended Students" by the National Merit Scholarship Program. Mia Perlozzo-Cross of the board, notes the students are Georgia Grace Edwards, Madison Offstein, and Claire Romaine.
Moorefield Residents Named in Indictments
Several Moorefield, West Virginia residents have been named in a federal indictment, following an investigation conducted by the Greater Harrison Drug & Violent Crime Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Timothy Allen Hawks, Elizabeth Sampsell, Courtney Lee Knight, and Cynthia Marie Taylor were named in a 14-count indictment in relation to the distribution of methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine. Also Jose Francisco Ramirez was named in a nine-count indictment on meth charges, and one count of re-entry of a previously deported alien. Twenty-seven year old Traci Lynn Wilson was named in a one-count indictment, charging her with distributing meth within 1,000-feet of Moorefield Middle School.
TGCC to Co-Host Regional Energy Forum
The Greater Cumberland Committee, along with AES Warrior Run, FirstEnergy, Beitzel Corporation and the Tri-County Council will host a regional energy forum at the Pine Lodge Steakhouse. The meeting will take place, beginning at 11 a.m. next Friday, November 1st. Topics to be covered include an update on the energy landscape and a discussion on legislation that may be introduced in the upcoming sessions of both the Maryland and West Virginia legislatures.
Amazon To Open "Fulfillment Center" in Baltimore
Maryland orders for Amazon.com may take even less time, now that the company has announced it will build a "fulfillment center" in southeast Baltimore, at the site of the former General Motors Assembly plant. About 1,000 full time jobs will be created. Workers there will pack and ship books, electronics and other consumer goods offered by Amazon. Fulfillment Center jobs pay an average of 30-per cent more than traditional jobs, and include benefits such as health care, stock awards and 401(K) plans.
Man Held in Death of Child
Twenty-two year old Cory Orndorff of Green Spring, West Virginia is being charged with child abuse, resulting in death, and two counts of child abuse resulting in injury. The West Virginia State Police are investigating the suspicious death of an 18-month old female juvenile; an autopsy resulted in the abuse findings. Orndorff was arraigned, and is being held in lieu of $150,000 bond at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail. The incident remains under investigation by the West Virginia State Police.
Three Held in Animal Abuse Cases
Three people-25-year old Christopher Allen Fazenbaker, 19-year old Jamie Wayne Villa of Frostburg and a 17-year old juvenile have been charged with animal cruelty. The Allegany County Sheriff's Office says they three were shooting darts at cats, using blow dart guns in the George's Creek area. One of the cats received a 4-inch dart to its neck area. Fazenbaker is being held on $3500 bond, while Villa is being held on $5,000 bond. The juvenile was refereed to the Department of Juvenile Services.
Overnight Detours Begin Tonight
Overnight detours are scheduled, beginning tonight, on Route 220, because of construction in the area. Detours will be in place between 8 p.m. this evening and 5 a.m. tomorrow, through Friday. Tonight, northbound Route 220 traffic will be detoured. Thursday and Friday nights, both north and southbound traffic will be detoured. If the weather is bad, the closure will be rescheduled. The work is being done in connection to the new, partial roundabout, nearing completion on Rote 220 at Interstate 68.
Man Arrested for Impersonating Officer
A Frostburg man is under arrest for impersonating a police officer and creating a disturbance inside a Queen City Drive restaurant early yesterday morning. Police say Michael Francis Robeson struggled with a police officer before being placed under arrest. One victim reported that Robeson demanded that he empty his pockets. He also went behind the counter, and was told to leave the store. He was arrested and held on $3,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Resident Arrested for Indecent Exposure, Disorderly Conduct
A Cumberland resident was held on $7500 bond, following an incident Monday afternoon. Forty-one year old Neil Anthony Griffith, who police say was intoxicated, was creating a disturbance in the area of Queen City Pavement. He was stumbling around and yelling profanities at people in the area. His pants fell down several times, exposing himself. He was jailed, following an initial appearance at Allegany County District Court.
Man Allegedly Threatens Woman With Gun
Levi Thomas Reedy of Somerset County is in the county jail on $30,000 bond, following his arrest over the weekend. He is accused of threatening to shoot a woman at his Husband Road residence. He, at first, struck the woman in the face and grabbed her around the neck, causing scratches and redness. He also allegedly hit her in the head with a liquor bottle. Reedy was arrested without incident.
West Virginia Delegates Meet with Virginia Officials
Several West Virginia representatives, including Mineral County Delegate Gary Howell, recently met with Virginia officials, to discuss how that state was handling its highway funding issues. Delegate Howell pointed out that The West Virginia Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways failed to look at waste in the system, but Virginia did. West Virginia's goal was to take the best practices in Virginia, and implement them in the Mountain State.
Parks Department Schedules Halloween Party
The Cumberland Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor its annual "Halloween at Constitution Park" program Sunday, starting at 2 p.m. The parades takes place then, followed by costume judging. A decorated "Haunted House" will be open for touring following the costume contest. There is no admission fee for the annual event. For more information, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (301)-759-6636.
Common Core Session Scheduled
Allegany and Garrett counties will host an informational session on Common Core Educational Standards at Frostburg State University on Thursday, November 14th. The session will be held in Room 226 of the Compton Science Center, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The evening will include remarks from Dr. Lillian Lowery, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools and Dr. David Cox, Allegany County School Superintendent. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to hear a teacher's perspective on Maryland's new academic standards. The public forum is one in a series of forums being sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland PTA.
Medical Diagnostic Firm Raided
The Owings Mills offices of Alpha Diagnostics were raided by the FBI Friday, as part of a health care fraud case. Several boxes of documents were removed. Agents also raided the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania offices as well. The FBI says the two raids were related, but would provide no further details on the raid nor the investigation. The company has clients in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
No Increases in Premiums for PEIA Customers
Those state and public school employees covered by West Virginia's public employee insurance plan will likely see no increases in their health insurance premiums next year. The Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board has tentatively approved a 20124-2015 plan; if it wins final approval, it will mark the third straight year that premiums would not be increased. A final vote on the plan will be taken in December.
Minor School Bus Accident
An Allegany County Public School Bus, leaving Fort Hill High School, en route to Washington Middle School, was involved in a minor accident with a passenger vehicle. The car was backing out of a driveway, and hit the side of bus number 16. There were no injuries, and no replacement bus was necessary.
Bear Season Opens
The tenth black bear season began yesterday. The Maryland Wildlife and Heritage Service set a harvest quota of 95 to 130 bears for the six day season. It will end earlier than Saturday, if the level is reached before then. As of last night, there were 41 bears checked in, with seven from Allegany County alone.
Couple Charged With Coupon Fraud
Two Barton residents are being charged with false pretense, after cashing in fraudulent discount promotions at area grocery stores. Twenty-Four year old Justin Linn and 26-year old Cassie Miller are accused of passing fraudulent refund material at Martin's Grocery in Keyser last April. Police say they had done the same thing at other area stores. Police contacted them, and told them if they didn't turn themselves in, they would be arrested. They then came to the Keyser Police station to face the charges.
Bedford Woman Dies in Accident
Clearville resident Marsha Ryan was killed in a single-vehicle accident Friday afternoon. The crash happened on State Route 326, when her SUV went off the roadway and struck a tree on the drivers' side of the car. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and the investigation is continuing.
Residents Warned of Scam
Area residents are being warned about a scam, in which a caller advises the victim they would be charged with a federal crime, and should pay fines to avoid being arrested. The caller is able to disguise the true phone number from which he is calling, and substitute a working number for area law enforcement agencies. Sheriff Jeremy Taylor of Mineral County was investigating a complaint recently, and took a phone call from the scammer. The caller ID indicated it was coming from the number for the Keyser Police Department. After identifying himself as the Mineral County Sheriff, the caller hung up. Sheriff Taylor says that police would never solicit such a payment and the calls are a scam.
Memorial Demolition Meeting Set
The City of Cumberland Engineering Department, along with Ritter and Paratore Contracting have set a meeting for residents of the Memorial Hospital Campus area for next Tuesday, October 29th. The meeting will be held at the Fort Hill High School Auditorium at 7 p.m. The contractors will be at the meeting to answer questions and concerns about the demolition process. If you are unable to attend the meeting, but have a question about the process, call (301)-759-6600, and your question or concern will be added to the list for the night.
Garrett County Schools Launch Website
Garrett County Public Schools recently launched a new website. The address is "www.garrettcountyschools.org," and features an updated look, with better menu options, and an easy-to-use navigation bar, located at the top of the home page. The new site also features popular web links under the Resources section, located on the left hand side of the home page, and a rotating slideshow of pictures, featuring Garrett County Public School students, staff, and events. The website will still be used as a primary notification tool, when any charges in the school schedule occur.
Hampshire Courthouse Undergoing Renovations
The Hampshire County Court House has eight items that need to be repaired, at a cost of nearly $350,000, the majority of which is for the dome of the courthouse. The courthouse has experienced some water damage, and a portion of the project addresses downspout, flashing and repairing or replacing the existing cornice on the building. The dome itself will be replaced , and a fire suppression system and several water heaters will be installed.
Trespasser Arrested at Downtown Store
A 41-year old man, with no fixed address, was arrested after trespassing at Rose's Department Store in downtown Cumberland. Neil Anthony Griffith refused to leave the store when told to do so. He did leave, just before police arrived. He had been served with a "no trespassing" letter and admitted that he knew he wasn't supposed to be in the store. He was taken for a bond hearing and released on personal recognizance.
West Virginia PSC Approves Rates
West Virginia natural gas customers will see minimal increases and drops, based ontheir provider. The state Public Service Commission recently approved interim winter rates, which are based on a number of factors, including the current cost the companies are paying for natural gas on the wholesale market. Mountaineer Gas, which has the most customers in the state, will receive a three per cent increase. The average bill will rise from 489.47 to $93.30. The PSC will finalize the winter rates in February. The costs could change if we have a very cold winter.
Slain Sheriff Was Under Investigation
Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was reportedly under investigation on a suspicion of money laundering in the weeks before his death. Crum was under investigation by the FBI for allegedly arranging to buy campaign signs with cash from a doctor, convicted of running a "pill mill." The FBI was also investigating whether Crum committed mail fraud by submitting fake campaign disclosure forms by mail, whether he possessed illegal drugs, and whether he intended to distribute those drugs.
Safe Streets Warrant Initiative Announced
The "October Safe Streets Warrant Initiative" is being conducted this week, through Friday. The Cumberland Police Department is asking citizens and residents of surrounding communities to assist in the apprehension of several individuals, wanted for various crimes. The Safe Streets Operation is looking for 16 individuals on open arrest warrants, ranging from charges of CDS violations, theft, violation of probation, failure to appear, assault and violation of a protective order.
Man Arrested in Dozens of Break-Ins
The Pennsylvania State Police at Somerset have arrested a man they say is responsible for dozens of break-ins at area businesses in the past several months. Roy Penrose III is not only facing burglary charges, but dozens of other counts, which will be filed against him in the next several days. Police received an anonymous tip, and search Penrose's home. They found about $500 cash, 115 packets of heroin, a gun and most of the items that were reported stolen from businesses across the county. He has admitted to the burglaries, and remains in jail on $75,000 bond.
Charges Pending Against Man in Accident
Charges are pending against 18-year old Trantin Hendrickson, following a two-vehicle accident on National Highway near Clarysville early Friday morning. Police are also saying alcohol was a factor and charges are pending against him. Hendrickson was traveling at a high rate of speed, eastbound, and tried to pass a vehicle in a no-passing zone. He crossed over and hit a car, operated by 51-year old Virginia Lattea, who was traveling westbound. Both were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Mount Savage Man Arrested on White Oaks Avenue
Twenty-three year old Christopher James Tabler was arrested early Saturday morning on White Oaks Avenue. He was originally stopped for an equipment violation, but police discovered a baggie of marijuana, containing four individually wrapped packages, they say were intended for sale. It was also discovered that Tabler had an active arrest warrant for failure to appear. He was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond onthe drug charges, and released on his own recognizance for the failure to appear count.
Stolen Vehicle Burned in State Park
A 2008 Jeep Liberty, which had been stolen from Pennsylvania, was found burned in the Savage River State Park by a Natural Resources Police Officer. The vehicle, whose owner was Tammy Ayeres, sustained $5,000 damage. The cause is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office. Anyone with information is asked to call them at (301)-766-3888.
Burglary at Garrett County Business
Two men have been arrested and two others are being sought in connection with the burglary of the Outdoor Element Store at the Wisp. Four black males broke into the store and stole approximately $2200 in clothing and store merchandise. While Kavon C'Andre Rowley and Brandon Niamke Bishop were arrested, police are still looking for Jusu Jalarue and Marck Levi Washington. The Criminal Enforcement Division of the Maryland State Police executed several search warrants in Garrett County and recovered various clothing and store merchandise. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jalarue and Washington is asked to contact State Police at (301)-387-1101.
Mineral Enrollment Drops for Current Year
Mineral County has 42 fewer students than last year. A total of 4,253 were reported for the 2013-2014 school year. The second-month figures are used by county school systems to qualify for state aid, and are more reliable than first-month figures. Also, the Mineral County Head Start Program is undergoing its federal review this week. The review is done every three years to help determine whether the program is adequately serving the children of Mineral County.
Reminder of Water Project Meeting
The Allegany County Commissioners are holding a meeting tomorrow, on proposed water projects for the Rawlings/Route 220 area. The meeting takes place at the Rawlings United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. Community members and interested individuals are invited and encouraged to attend. County Public Works Engineers will be on hand at the meeting, which will address the initiation of water service for the area, and the connection to the public water system.
Nearly 2400 State Residents Buy Health Insurance
Nearly 2400 Maryland residents have bought health insurance in the first 17 days, according to new data, released by Maryland Health Connection. There had been some delays and technical problems with the website, but officials say the issues are being addressed. There have been more than 261,000 visitors to the website and more than 25,000 calls to the Maryland Health Connection Centers. The state is reporting that more than 23,100 will receive subsidies to buy health insurance.
West Virginia Considering "Epi-Pens"
West Virginia's Department of Education is considering allowing teachers to give emergency injections of epinephrine to any student having a severe allergic reaction. Teachers, secretaries and other aides could receive training from nurses to administer the so-called "EpiPens" in public schools. Current policy prohibits a student from receiving an injection if he or she doesn't have a prescription or prior diagnosis.
Five Killed in Motorcycle, SUV Collision
Five people, including four motorcyclists and a passenger in an SUV, were killed Saturday afternoon in an accident in Washington County, Pennsylvania. The identities are being withheld, pending notification of next of kin. The accident happened as two motorcycles collided head-on with the SUV, on Route 16 in Blue Ridge Summit. The road was closed for about five hours. One person was taken to Meritus Medical Center, east of Hagerstown.
Mineral Board Approves Projects
The Mineral County Board of Education has approved refurbishing the tennis Courts at three separate locations; it has also given the go-ahead to installing three-phase electrical service to machinist equipment at Keyser High School. The cost of the tennis court work is just over $100,000, and will be done by Carl Belt, Incorporated; a second contract, for $47,000 was awarded for some of the work. The cost of installing electrical service for the machinist equipment was $21,500, and was awarded to S & S Electric.
Keyser Woman Charged with Battery
Fifty-three year old Keyser resident Darlene Blankenship is being held on a $700 bond, for a charge of domestic battery. Keyser City Police responded to a disturbance in the 20-block of Porter Street, and saw evidence of an assault on an adult male victim. They had been at the same address the day before, for a similar incident. No charges were filed then, because there was no evidence of an assault.
Lane Closures Set for I-68 Next Week
The State Highway Administration will perform routine inspections on the I-68 bridges over Maryland Route 55, the Vale Summit Road near Frostburg next week. Motorists should expect single-lane closures on eastbound I-68 on Monday and Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and on westbound I-68 on Wednesday and Thursday, during those same hours.
Board Addresses Alternative Education Programming
The transition to Common Core state standards have inspired changes in the Allegany County school system. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, public information officer for the board, says previously, alternative school settings had different methodologies and processes, which were followed. The ideas created some issues when alternative school students returned to their home schools.
Open Registration for Women in Engineering Program
Enrollment is now underway for the Women in Engineering Program, to be held at the University of Maryland on November 16th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program, a science and technology mentoring program for female students aged 11 to 13, provides the opportunity to work alongside undergraduate engineering students to complete a variety of engineering activities. For more information, contact Vanessa Medley at (301)-405-0315. Her email address is email@example.com.
FSU Vice-President Named to Cancer Society Leadership Team
Dr. Rosemary Thomas, Frostburg State University's vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the FSU Foundation, Inc., has been appointed as the South Atlantic Division Liaison for the American Cancer Society's Nationwide Leadership Training Team. National trainers help spread the ACS messages at the national, divisional and regional levels.
Hagerstown Man Held Without Bond
Shakeem Tradwell Miles of Hagerstown is being held without bond on first degree murder charges. He is accused of stabbing 18-year old Jalonte Thomas-Leach early Sunday morning. Miles was on parole and probation for drug charges at the time of the stabbing. A disturbance, that began as a fight among a group of women, led to the stabbing. Thomas Leach was stabbed around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, and later died at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown.
Family of Developmentally Disabled Man Sues
The family of Robert "Ethan" Saylor, a developmentally disabled man who died after being handcuffed at a Frederick County movie theater have sued Regal Cinemas and Frederick County. The lawsuit also names the county sheriff's office, three deputies and the theater's property management company as defendants. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, and found that Saylor had died of asphyxia. A grand jury has since declined to indict the sheriff's deputies.
Unemployment Tax To Drop By 70 Per Cent
About half of Maryland's employers will see their unemployment insurance tax drop by about 70 per cent next year. The state plans to drop rates to the lowest of five possible brackets under Maryland's jobless tax system. This is the second year the rates have fallen. As an example, a top-rated employer with 100 workers that paid $18,700 in 2012, will pay only $2550 in 2014. Maryland employers paid some of the highest rates in the country during the three years after the economic collapse of 2008-2009.
O'Malley Approval Rating Drops to 48 Per Cent
Governor Martin O'Malley's approval rating has dropped to 48 per cent, down from 54 per cent in January of this year. The survey was conducted by Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies from October 1st through the 14th. About 819 registered voters were surveyed; the margin of error in the poll is a plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. A majority of those polled approved of the gun control laws that were passed and just under half approved of the death penalty repeal. Only about a fifth of the voters approved of the gas tax passed this year, with 59 per cent saying they strongly "disapproved" of it.
Bail Denied for Morgantown Girl
Bail has been denied for a 17-year old Morgantown girl, who is charged with the pre-meditated murder of her former best friend. Sheila Eddy will remain in jail as her case moves to trial, now set for the week of February 11th. Her defense attorney is asking for a change-of-venue and he also wants to suppress the confession of her alleged co-conspirator, Rachel Shoaf, in the death of Skylar Neese. Eddy is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy, while Ms. Shoaf pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case.
Former Bedford Executive Faces Charges
A former executive for Bun Air Corporation in Bedford County is facing more than 100 felony charges. Thirty-eight year old Frank Gottshall is accused of logging into airline systems and altering flight information after his firing. The Pennsylvania State Police say he repeatedly accessed the system between July 27th and August 18th, changing flight data and schedules. For his part, Gotshall says he is being unfairly targeted for working to start a competing charter line. He has been released on $75,000 unsecured bail, with a preliminary hearing set for next Wednesday.
WVSDB In Need of Renovations
Now that it's been decided that the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind will remain in Romney, officials there are looking to renovate and upgrade the facilities, some of which are more than 140 years old. Some of the buildings need new roofs, ceilings and walls, and they are looking to construct new buildings. Dr. Lynn Boyer, Superintendent, says that as part of the modernization plan, they are looking to buy new technology for the students. Renovations will hopefully get underway in two years.
Car Hit By Train; No Injuries Reported
A car was "clipped" by an Amtrak train last night at a closed crossing at CSX Drive near Industrial Boulevard. The train was headed westbound, toward Cumberland when the accident occurred. None of the passengers in the car were hurt. Responding to the scene were fire department personnel, along with Cumberland City Police and CSX officials. No further details are available.
Man Arrested for DUI Tuesday Morning
A man was arrested at the intersection of Henderson Avenue and Valley Street late yesterday morning. Fifty-eight year old Robert Burkett failed to stop at the intersection, and hit another vehicle that had already stopped for a red light. Burkett, who admitted to drinking one beer, failed all of the field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest. He was processed, charged and released pending trial in District Court. Along with the DUI charge, Burkett also faces a driving on a revoked license.
Woman Hit by Car in Garrett County
A woman was hit by a car in Garrett County late Tuesday night, and was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown for treatment. Shavon Lynn Holliday was hit in the 400-block of Cove Road in Accident. Her condition is unknown. The Maryland State Police at McHenry are investigating.
Bedford Man Sentenced to Five Months in Jail
A Bedford man, Christopher Graeff, was sentenced to five to 23 months in jail, in connection with a domestic violence incident in August of this year. He must also wear a "SCRAM" ankle bracelet to monitor his use of alcohol, once he is paroled. His live-in girlfriend went to the Bedford Police Department, and had visible injuries to her neck and face. She and Graeff had been drinking, and began to argue when they returned home. The argument turned physical, resulting in the charges.
Open House Set
The Mt. Haven Wellness and Recovery Center in Garrett County is having an Open House tomorrow, beginning at 11 a.m. The center serves mental illness and substance abuse matters. The coordinator of the center is Jason McCowan, and the number is (301)-334-1314. Expected to be on hand for the Open House are Miss Maryland and Miss Delaware International. The center is located at 315 Dawson Avenue, off of Memorial Drive, just past Garrett Memorial Hospital. The public is invited to attend the open house event tomorrow.
Potomac State To Add Programs, Upgrade Stayman Field
Potomac State College of West Virginia University has announced that it will add four new athletic programs at the school, and will begin a fundraising effort to upgrade Stayman Field. Sports to be added include both men's and women's lacrosse and men's and women's cross country. Stayman Field is hoping to add artificial turf and lights and to renovate the field house there to better support the new sports programs. Golden Park, where the baseball team hosts home games, will also see public restrooms, a concession stand and locker rooms, as well as a press box and grandstands.
First People's Opening Second Somerset Location
First People's Community Federal Credit Union is adding a second location in Somerset County. The former Verizon building on North Center Avenue will be the new location, with a grand opening set for October 25th and 26th. The new building-which includes new landscaping, a new parking lot and additional drive-through lanes-will employ eight more people.
Trail Grant To Benefit Friendsville
A total of $1.21 million dollars in grants have been given for the Recreational Trails Program in Maryland. As part of the "Cycle Maryland Initiative," the town of Friendsville will receive a $40,000 grant to build a trail, between the town and a trailhead for the Youghiogheny Water Trail. Other recipients of the awards include Catonsville and Sykesville, Maryland. The work is being done through a total of 52 projects, which includes constructing new trails, maintaining existing trails and purchasing equipment and signage.
Finance Department Wins National Award
The Allegany County Finance Department has won a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. Specifically, the award cites the county's FY 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Receiving the award represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management, and this is the 21st consecutive year that the award has been received by the Allegany County Finance Department.
Student Volunteers Recognized
The Allegany County Student Volunteers of the Month have been recognized by the school system. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the school board, says students are recognized at the middle and high school level, and are nominated by teachers for outstanding service to their schools or the community. The Volunteers of the Month will be highlighted in the public schools and on the school system's website.
School Board Receives Preservation Award
The Allegany County Board of Education has received the Mary Susan Cerutti Historic Preservation Award. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the board, says the award was given for work done on the restoration of the Central Offices on Washington Street. The Central Office was built in 1866 by William Walsh, and has been occupied by the Board of Education since 1931.
Hagerstown Administrator Retiring
Hagerstown City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman is retiring in June of 2015. He was first appointed by the Mayor and Council in 1994, and Zimmerman says he has mixed emotions on retiring. A one-year contract extension for Zimmerman is expected to be approved at the end of the month.
Public Hearings Set on FirstEnergy Billing
West Virginia will hold public hearings next week in Fairmont, on customer complaints about Mon Power and Potomac Edison's billing and meter-reading practices. As an example, a Jefferson County woman received a bill for $3,000; her meter was read only twice in 2012, instead of the typical six times per year. The hearings have been scheduled for October 25th and October 26th.
Supreme Court Won't Review Gun Law
The United States Supreme Court has declined to review a decision, upholding Maryland's law, requiring handgun applicants to demonstrate a "good and substantial reason" for carrying a weapon outside their own home or business. The High Court refused to hear the case, from Raymond Wollard and the Second Amendment Foundation, who say the law violates the Second Amendment. Wollard obtained a permit after a home invasion 11 years ago, but was denied a renewal for that permit in 2009. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law, which the Supreme Court refused to review.
Fire Reported on Roberts Street
A fire in a garage on Roberts Street is the latest in a series of what the Cumberland Fire Department is terming "suspicious" in nature. The fire was reported early yesterday morning in the first block of Roberts Street. The garage, a 24-by-12 foot structure was owned by Ralph Layman. Several fires have occurred in the same section of town over the last several months.
Bedford County Woman Struck, Killed
An Everett woman was struck and killed along Business Route 220 in Bedford Township Monday. Fifty-seven year old Glenda Riley entered the roadway to slow traffic after a deer was hit. She was struck by a pickup truck, driven by Timothy Baumgardner of Manns Choice. Ms. Riley was pronounced dead at the scene of the 11:08 p.m. incident. The investigation is continuing.
Former Mayor Pleads Guilty
Former Ridgeley Mayor Jim Twigg has pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor counts of failure to perform his duties. The charges involve the misuse of a government-issued purchase card. Twigg will have to pay $100 for each count, and to serve 100 hours of community service by July of next year.
Canal Place Addressing Shortfall
The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority is anticipating a shortfall of $125,000 by 2015. The group is exploring other funding options, as were discussed during a meeting earlier this month. Senator George Edwards has suggested they look into the availability of $1.5 million in capital funds, and requesting the governor place a line item in the budget for Canal Place
Hidden Valley Resort Sold to Seven Springs
Seven Springs Mountain Resort has purchased Hidden Valley Resort for just over $7.5 million. The Buncher Company sold the resort, according to five property transfers, filed in Somerset County. Buncher bought Hidden Valley for $12.4 million in 2007. Hidden Valley Resort includes 1200 acres, 29 ski slopes and trails, as well as an 18-hole golf course. The two properties are about 13 miles apart.
Shell Building Repairs, Work Plan Discussed
The Mineral County Development Authority approved repairing the shell building at the Fort Ashby Business and Technical Park and a work prioritization plan for its executive director during yesterday morning's meeting. Along with those two items, the MCDA sent a letter of support for the Mineral County Substance Abuse Treatment Center, and heard reports from towns and municipalities that make up the Authority.
Domestic Assault Suspect Held on $20,000 Bond
A Bond Street man is being held on $20,000 bond, after assaulting his wife early Sunday morning. The victim stated she had been locked out of the house by her husband, Joshua Wratchford. She was assaulted as she tried to get into the house. Police officers saw injuries to her arms, consistent with what had happened. He was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.
Genetic Update Conference Held
The 2013 Genetic Update Conference was recently held at Frostburg State University. The conference featured internationally known lecturer, Dr. Sam Rhine, and was held to teach the latest in genetics advances and active research areas. Teachers, and students who are being taught in Biology, and A.P. Biology classes. Many students who have completed their Life Science classes also attended. Dr. Rhine is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and Indiana University's School of Medicine.
Program Offers Free Meals for More Maryland Children
All students who live in communities with high poverty could get their meals at school for free-with no application and no worry. The program, the Community Eligibility Option, or CEO, is a federal initiative, with a goal of reducing hunger and eliminate the stigma associated with students being singled out to participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program. The director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, Michael J. Wilson, says it's been a tremendous success in some Maryland communities, and he wants more school systems to participate. Madeleine Levin with the Food Research and Action Center says the program has been relatively easy to implement. She describes those tasks as improving meal quality and providing nutrition education to staff and students.
Missing Hagerstown Woman Found Dead
A Hagerstown woman who was last seen Thursday driving away from Skye Court, has been found dead. The body of 25-year old Mellissa Wetzel was found in the Four Locks area, but Washington County Sheriff's Deputies say there was no evidence of foul play.
Hearing Delayed for Man Accused of Murder
A pretrial hearing for Tennis Maynard, charged with killing Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was postponed from yesterday, and has been rescheduled for November 6th. Contributing to the delay was a change in prosecutors. The original prosecutor, Michael Sparks had been part of a conspiracy to help protect the reputation of Sheriff Crum in a drug case. Sparks, named in a federal charge last week, resigned and the State Supreme Court revoked his law license. A trial for Maynard has been set for December 9th.
Truck Driver Identified in Fatal Crash
The driver of a logging truck that collided with a passenger train last weekend atop Cheat Mountain, has been identified. The truck driver was identified as Frank, West Virginia resident Danny Lee Kimble, Sr. The train had been carrying 63 sightseers and four crew members, and had embarked on a fall foliage trip. At Davis Memorial Hospital, 23 people were treated for injuries and 42 were examined and found to be unharmed. Kimble was pronounced dead at the scene.
Employee Stabbed at Finan Center
A Hagerstown man has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, following a stabbing incident yesterday morning at the Finan Center. Fifty-year old Craig Harris Zello is accused of stabbing an employee there with a seven-inch galvanized spike that remained lodged in his head. Zello was taken into custody, after a confrontation with Maryland State Police troopers. Zello is being held without bond, while the investigation by the Maryland State Police, the C3I unit, and the Allegany County Sheriff's Office. One aspect they want to determine is how Zello was able to get the weapon used in the attack.
Fire Reported on Seymour Street
Cumberland firefighters controlled an attic blaze on Seymour Street yesterday afternoon in about ten minutes. There were no injuries when fire broke out at 422 Seymour, at a home occupied by David Swisher and his children. The cause has been narrowed to wires in the attic, which overheated, and ignited ceiling rafters and combustibles. Losses were placed at $6,000 to the structure and its contents. The property is insured, but the occupants reportedly did not have insurance.
City Foreman Position in Question
Several Piedmont citizens expressed their opinion against town foreman John Shingler retaining his employment, when he prison term is completed in December. Shingler was sentenced last summer to three months in a federal prison, after pleading guilty to one count of embezzlement of federal property. That federal property included three FEMA trailers that were allegedly illegally purchased by the town in 2009. No decision was made, but the subject of allowing Shingler to return to work was debated during the meeting.
Mission of Mercy To Be Held This Month
This is the fourth year for the Western Maryland Mission of Mercy, which provides oral care for those who can't afford to go to a dentist. The event is scheduled for October 25th and 26th, beginning at 6 a.m. each day, at the Allegany County Fairgrounds' Multi-Purpose Building. The event still needs about 400 to 500 volunteers. Over the years, patients have come from 22 counties in seven states; a total of 850 people are served each year. For more information, the web address is "www.western-mdmom.com."
Woman Held on $10,000 Bond
Cumberland resident Paige Shingler was held on $10,000 bond, after failing to appear for trial in August on a disorderly conduct charge. Following the service of the bench warrant, she was taken to the Allegany County Distinct Court Commissioners' Office for a bond hearing. Then, she was remanded to the Allegany County Detention Center.
Woman Released After Theft Arrest
Cumberland resident Ashlie Rhodes was released, pending trial, following her arrest on theft charges. A Park Street business reported that Ms. Rhodes was observed by store personnel, taking items and concealing them in her clothing. She was charged with theft of less than $100.
City To Begin Leaf Collection
The city of Cumberland will start leaf collection at the end of the month. Beginning on October 28th through November 1st, leaves will be collected in the Seton Drive area, followed by the Upper West Side, North End, Mapleside, and South End in subsequent weeks. Residents can bag leaves and place them at the curb on their regular trash days. Advanced Disposal Services will collect up to eight bags of trash, including leaves. The schedule is posted on the City of Cumberland website, "www.ci.cumberland.md.us."
Edwards Appointed to Special Committees
Maryland Senator George Edwards has been appointed to the Special Joint Commission on Public Safety and Security in State and Local Correctional Facilities. The commission is conducting a comprehensive study of laws, regulations, policies and practices that affect safety and security in correctional institutions. One area of concern is the use of cell phones within the prison and jail walls. Senator Edwards says the commission is working on a way to "jam" cell phone signals, and cited the Baltimore City Detention Center as one area of concern. Senator Edwards says cell phone use in prisons and jails is a problem throughout the state.
Delayed Open for Schools on Thursday
There will be a two-hour delayed opening for students on Thursday for professional development. The change in this year's school calendar is one of three, two-hour delayed openings for the school system. The other two are scheduled for November 14th and January 30th.
Young Females Show Most Interest in Maryland Health Connection
More young people are showing increased interest in buying insurance through Maryland Health Connection, and the majority of the 25 to 34 age group are female. Despite persistent technical difficulties with the website, about 25,000 people have created profiles there. Governor O'Malley expressed confidence that the state can overcome the technical problems the website, MarylandHealthConnection.gov, have created.
Man Faces Felony Charges in DUI Death
A West Virginia man is in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, after a charge of DUI causing death with reckless disregard, has been upgraded to a felony charge. Thirty-three year old Ronnie Landis is charged in connection with the accident that killed his girlfriend, Nicole Currence earlier this month. The accident happened on Old Elkins Road, near Ellamore.
Counties Have More Flexibility with Calendar
West Virginia schools would have more leeway in scheduling 180 days of instruction per school year. A proposed policy from the State Board of Education changes the present guidelines, and would require counties to guarantee 180 days of instruction, no matter the weather. School officials could then decide what schedule works best for their schools.
Hershberger Appointed DPCSC Executive Director
Gregg Hershberger, most recently the warden at the Roxbury Correctional Institution near Hagerstown, has been appointed executive director of the North Region of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. He replaces John Galley, who is retiring November 1st, after 46 years of service. The North Region includes Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick, Montgomery, Carroll, Howard and Harford counties. He will begin his new position on Wednesday.
Edwards Receives Awards
Maryland Senator George Edwards has been named the 2013 Outstanding Rural Legislator by the Rural Maryland Council and Maryland Rural Health Association. Senator Edwards was cited for his dedication to helping rural communities in Western Maryland and across the state. The awards ceremony and dinner will take place Thursday at Ripken Stadium. Senator Edwards was also named the Maryland Salem Children's Trust person of the year for 2013 for his loyalty and support of their organization, which provides residential care to children in need.
Edwards Appointed to Special Committees
Maryland Senator George Edwards has been appointed to the Local and Regional Transportation Funding Task Force. The committee is charged with the task of finding means to raise funds for local and regional transportation systems. He has also been appointed to the Special Joint Commission on Public Safety and Security in State and Local Correctional Facilities. The commission is conducting a comprehensive study of laws, regulations, policies and practices that affect safety and security in correctional institutions. And, it will make recommendations for budgetary and legislative changes that address issues facing the state's correctional system.
McKay Offers to Intervene in Loan Denial
Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay has offered to "make a call" to a local credit union, to intervene in a loan denial dispute between the credit union and an employee of the Federal Correctional Institution. McKay responded to a citizen, who explained the loan was denied to a member of her union because of the federal government shutdown. Sommer Roy, legislative coordinator of Local 410 of AFSCME explained that some federal employees aren't getting paid, even though they are required to report for work. McKay offered to make a call, but did not say to whom.
Man Arrested for Attempted Burglary
Twenty-six year old Sykesville resident Jonathan Hutslar was arrested early Saturday morning, for trying to break into two different homes in the 200-block of Pennsylvania Avenue. He had been banging on the doors of two different homes, with significant damage to both doors. He received a bond hearing in District Court, and was ordered held on $20,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Accident Results in Additional Charges
Cumberland resident Robert Hernanadez faces a number of charges, following a single-vehicle accident on Park Street Saturday evening. He hit a parked vehicle on the street, and was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. A quantity of marijuana and a set of brass knuckles were also found. Following a hearing, he was released on personal recognizance.
Woman Arrested for Furnishing Alcohol to Minors
Forty-year old Cumberland resident Rosemary Hazard was arrested late Saturday night, and charged with furnishing alcohol to minors. Cumberland City Police arrived at a home on Independence Street, and found beer cans throughout the home. Several individuals at the residence were under the age of 21. She also became unruly and spat in the direction of one officer. She now faces assault and disorderly conduct charges, as well as counts of providing alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
Bill's Marine victim of Burglary
The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a burglary at Bill's Marine on Harvey's Peninsula Road in Swanton. A person or persons broke a window at the business, gained entry, and removed about $400.00 in cash. If anyone has any information on the case, they are urged to contact the Maryland State Police at (301)-387-1101.
Garrett County To Hear Results of Survey
Short and long-term education facility plans for Garrett County Schools will be discussed at a meeting, to be held on October 28th at the Community Aquatic and Recreational Complex at Garrett College. The doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the presentation starts at 7:00 p.m. Facility Engineering Associates has done a study on elementary school facility needs assessment and a master plan for Garrett County schools, in light of projected losses of $1.5 million for Fiscal Year 2015. Additionally, the school system will not have available $700,000 it received from a Legislative "Hold Harmless" initiative used to balance the current year's budget.
Improved Signage Program to Support Tourism
The Maryland State Highway Administration, along with the Department of Business and Economic Development, and local communities, are improving tourism with highway signs, featuring significant local destinations. Known as Tourist Area and Corridor signing, the program provides a network of guide signs to qualifying attractions along designated corridors. The TAC program is now new, but the SHA has improved it, and awarded a multi-year statewide contract to review existing attraction and tourism signing. Nearly $650,000 is allocated to implement the TAC program in Allegany, Caroline, Cecil, and Harford Counties.
Somerset and Conemaugh Discuss Collaboration
Somerset Hospital and Conemaugh Health System have announced they have signed a letter of intent to develop a collaborative relationship. Neither hospital is purchasing the other, nor are they merging. Two of the larger aspects of the collaboration are shared ownership of physician practices, followed by electronic health record sharing. No employees will be furloughed, as a direct result of the agreement.
Task Force Arrests "Most Wanted"
Sierran Banks, who had been on the Eastern Panhandle's Most Wanted List since September, was arrested Friday in Frederick, Maryland. Banks had been wanted on multiple warrants, charging him with distribution of crack cocaine, distribution of marijuana and assault. He will be extradited back to West Virginia to face the charges. The arrest was the result of a cooperative effort from the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force, the Shepherdstown Police Department, the Maryland State Police, Frederick County's Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement agency.
Two Arrested On Burglary, CDS Charges
Aaron Michael Thrasher of Omara Avenue in Midland was arrested by the Allegany County Sheriff's Office, in connection with a burglary on Paradise Street in August. Thrasher is accused of entering a residence through a kitchen window, and stealing several items. He was uncooperative when being placed under arrest and kicked a large fan, causing it to strike a deputy in the leg. He is being held on a total $40,000 bond. Another person at the home, 25-year old Christin Ann Keating was also arrested and charged with CDS violations. A search warrant was executed and additional CDS was recovered. Charges are now pending against both Keating and Thrasher for the items located during the search warrant.
Fibred May Soon Have New Owners
Fibred Corporation will most likely have new owners. The company was founded by the late Lewis J. Ort. The probable sale was announced during yesterday's Allegany County Commissioners meeting. The county is involved, because it held an option to purchase water treatment lagoons from Mexico Farms, LLC. The commissioners voted to release the option, clearing the way for a potential change of hands. The unnamed buyer is an organization that plans to invest millions of dollars in the facilities at Mexico Farms.
WVSDB To Remain in Romney
The West Virginia Board of Education has decided that the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind will remain in Romney. The release stated in part that the "community of Romney is the right place for the schools and students." There had been some question as to whether the school would remain in Hampshire County, and initially, the State Board had tabled the matter until its meeting in January of next year.
Code Officer Hired
Hyndman resident Donald Orr has been hired as a code officer for the downtown Cumberland Mall. Orr, a retired corrections supervisor, will replace Larry Bascelli, who resigned his position.
Acropolis Closing Tomorrow
The Acropolis Restaurant in Frostburg is closing tomorrow. The owner of the restaurant Bill Diamond says he is closing because of health reasons, and the fact that business has been slow. The restaurant, which served Greek and American cuisine, recently had its seating capacity limited by the State Fire Marshal, because of alleged violations of the fire code.
Man Arrested for Indecent Exposure
A 42-year old Cumberland man, Charles Orville Butler was arrested for indecent exposure Wednesday in the vicinity of the Allegany Highlands Trail near Market Street. Butler, who police say was intoxicated, was seen walking away from three people. The three were confronted by Butler, who exposed himself to them. He was taken to the Allegany County District Court Commissioners' Office, where he was ordered held on $5,000 bond at the Detention Center.
Chamber Dinner on October 24
The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce will hold its 2013 Outstanding Business Recognition Awards dinner on October 24th at Frostburg State University's Lane Center. The dinner begins at 7 p.m. This year's award winners include Care Ventures, Incorporated, the Business of the Year. Bennett, Brewer and Associates, will be recognized for its Entrepreneurial Spirit, and James R. "Snake" Robertson is the honoree for Community Service. The 2013 Western Maryland Jaycee's Outstanding Young Professional will also be recognized at the event.
Mission of Mercy To Be Held This Month
The Western Maryland Mission of Mercy is being held once again this year, on October 25th and 26th, starting at 6 a.m. each day. The Mission of Mercy provides free dental services to people 19 years or older, who cannot afford dental care. It will be, as it has been, at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in the multi-purpose building. Services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, to volunteer, or to donate, please call (301)-722-2700. The website for the event is "www.westernmdmom.com."
Fire at Abandoned Home Ruled Arson
A fire at an abandoned home in Jenner Township has been ruled arson. Fire companies were called to the scene around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, and remained there until early Wednesday morning. This is the second arson fire at the home, having been called there the first time in June of last year. Nobody was injured in the second fire, but anyone with information about the arson incident is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-445-4104.
MSP Conducting Drug Take Back Day
The Maryland State Police, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, is conducting a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 26th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the state police barracks. State Police barracks across the state are participating in the event. In Washington County, the event is being held at the Maryland State Police Barrack on Colonel H.K. Douglas Drive in Hagerstown. During the last initiative, troopers collected over 1200 pounds of prescription drugs. The previous five events yielded more than 2.8 million pounds of prescription medications.
Heating Bills Expected to Rise this Winter
The government predicts heating bills will be on the rise this winter, for those who use natural gas, electricity and propane; those who use heating oil may not be hit as hard, although the price can fluctuate. The state of Maryland, however, may not be hit as hard as other locations. The best way to save money on heating is to turn down the thermostat, and turn off all electrical appliances.
West Virginians Urged to Complete G.E.D. Test
The West Virginia State Department of Education is urging more than 13,000 of its residents to complete their GED for two reasons: upcoming changes in the test, and the fact there will be a $120 charge, when the electronic version of the test debuts in January 2nd. The new version will align with the national Common Core Standards. Those who haven't completed the existing test by December 31st will have to start over. The Department of Education is looking for another company that can offer the equivalency degree at around the original 50-dollar price.
Safe Streets Initiative Announced
A total of 32 arrests were made, with a total of 36 arrest warrants served during an Operation Safe Streets Warrant Initiative the last week of September. The goal of the program is to make streets safer through the reduction of backlogged arrest warrants. A variety of charges were lodged against those who were arrested. Warrant fugitive officers, along with members of the Cumberland City Police and Allegany County Sheriff's Department conducted the operation.
Crossing to be Repaired
CSX has announced it is currently repairing the Pear Street railroad crossing in North End . The crossing is now closed to traffic during the repairs. CSX is also planning major improvements to the Baltimore Street crossing. That work will require an extensive closing of the crossing.
Route 220 Work Planned for Weekend
The Maryland State Highway Administration has announced that the ramp from U.S. Route 220 (Greene Street) to eastbound Interstate 68 will be closed this Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, due to construction. A detour is being posted. In the event of bad weather, the closure may be rescheduled. The closure is related to the construction of a new partial roundabout on Route 220 at Interstate 68.
Man Arrested for Ex-Parte Violation
A Cumberland man has been arrested for violating an ex parte order and for second degree assault. Fifty-one year old Roger Davis was found on the front porch of a house on Bond Street. The victim alleged that Davis got into an argument with her; he allegedly threatened bodily harm, and threw a cell phone at her. After being charged and receiving a District Court hearing, Davis was held on $3,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
Hyndman Man Arrested for Assault
Hyndman, Pennsylvania resident Dustin Shoemaker has been charged with second degree assault, following an incident earlier this week on Bedford Street. He allegedly pushed and threw a woman to the ground at the home. The victim did not require medical attention. Shoemaker was released pending trial in District Court.
Fatal Logging Accident in Tucker County
A contractor, working for a logging company, was killed Tuesday in Tucker County. The victim, 59-year old William Skinner, was working on the ground at a logging site near St. George, when a tree fell on him. Several agencies, including the West Virginia Forestry Service, responded to the scene.
Update on AP Participation
The number of students participating in AP classes is on the rise in Maryland. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Allegany County Board of Education, says Maryland students overall, continue to show improvement in AP classes. Even with the increase in those taking the classes, Ms. Cross says the number of student test scores reaching a level of high achievement, has also increased.
Maryland Receives Grant for Pre-K Assessments
The United States Department of Education has given a $4.9 million grant to a Maryland-led project. It is designed to build a new generation of Pre-K assessments. The grant is one of three advanced assessment grants announced by the U.S. Education Secretary. The latest grant will help expand educational efforts within a 7-state consortium.
Animal Shelter Partners in Spay/Neuter Program
The Allegany County Animal Shelter is partnering with "Spay Today," and the Thomas Beath Veterinary Hospital of Fredericksburg, Virginia to take a bite out of pet overpopulation, by providing the community and animal welfare organizations with affordable, high quality spay and neuter surgery. Anyone interested in taking advantage of the program should contact Spay Today program at (304)-728-8330 to purchase a voucher for surgery. The veterinary hospital will pick up pets at the Animal Shelter next Wednesday; they will be taken to the hospital for surgery and will stay overnight to recover. Pets will return to the shelter the next day. For more information, contact the Animal Shelter at (301)-777-5930.
Meyersdale Residents Speak Out on Community Center
Two people were escorted from the Meyersdale Borough Council meeting this week, when speaking on the town's community center. The center, which was built in 1937 and once housed Meyersdale High School, has been experiencing mold and sewage residue problems. The community center is also home to the police department and a day care center. The council adjourned into executive session. However, no decision was made on what to do to alleviate the problems in the building.
Maryland Processing Federal Unemployment Claims
Over 16,000 unemployment claims have been filed by furloughed federal workers; of that number, about one-fourth of those workers call Maryland home. Federal workers are eligible to collect unemployment benefits, they are required to pay the money back, if they receive back pay after the shutdown ends. Federal workers who live in Maryland can apply for benefits online at "mdunemployment.com," or they can call, toll-free, at 1-877-293-4125.
West Virginia Tops Drug Overdose Deaths
The state of West Virginia has the highest drug overdose rate in the country, and the rate has quadrupled over the last ten years. A report from the Trust for America's Health the overdose rate in the Mountain State was 28.9 per 100,000 residents. Comparatively, North Dakota has the lowest rate at 3.4 overdoses per 100,000 residents. the study also shows that more people die of a drug overdose, than are killed in auto accidents. The drugs of choice include Oxycontin, hydrocodone, Vicodin, Xanax and Ritalin.
Maryland Has 326 Enrolled in Health Exchange
Even though it claims thousands are interested in buying health insurance in Maryland, only 326 have actually enrolled. The "Wall Street Journal" says the HealthCare.gov exchange has been plagued with design and software problems. Maryland is one of 14 states running its own exchange. While 13,532 accounts with verified identity were created as of Sunday, only 326 people have actually enrolled in the new health-insurance plans. Maryland has about 600,000 without health insurance. Open enrollment continues until March 31st of next year.
Three Bound Over for Grand Jury Action
There is probable cause to hold three people who have been charged in connection with the September 26th murder of Michael O'Hara of Hampshire County. Mandy Lee O'Hara and John Steven Shoemaker have been charged with first-degree murder. Twenty-one year old Gabriella Elisa Clutter, who lived with the two, has been charged with concealment of a body. It has been confirmed that Clutter gave birth to a daughter this past Sunday. The suspects will remain at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail until the grand jury convenes on January 7th.
City Approves Grant Proposal
The city of Cumberland has given its support to a forest management plan for its watershed. A grant application for federal money has a deadline of October 15th, or until such time as the government emerges from its shutdown. The plan, according to Nature Conservancy representative Donnelle Keech, was essential to protect the source of the city's water supply.
Former Mineral Sheriff Dies at 69
Former Mineral County Sheriff Jerry Detrick has passed away at the age of 69. He was a graduate of Ridgeley High School and Allegany College of Maryland. He had also been employed as a railroad police officer for the Western Maryland Regional and CSX Railroad. Friends will be received at the Upchurch Funeral Home on Greene Street tomorrow from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral service has been set for Friday at 11 a.m.
Two Taken To Hospital
Two people were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, following an accident on Industrial Boulevard, in the vicinity of the Outdoor Club. The accident was reported at 12:43 p.m. yesterday. One car pulled from Lamont Street into the westbound lane, and was struck by a second vehicle. Charges are pending in connection with the crash. The Cumberland Fire Department and Ambulance were on the scene to transport the victims to the hospital. There is no word on the identity of the drivers, but their injuries were termed "minor." There will be further details as they become available.
Sobriety Checkpoint Set in Allegany County
The Allegany County Sheriff's Office is conducting a sobriety checkpoint at an undisclosed location this week, to promote awareness and reduce the number of alcohol-impaired drivers on the roads. The operation is part of the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign and is funded in part by a grant from the Maryland Highway Safety Office. Last year, the Allegany County Sheriff's Office investigated 183 crashes, resulting in 134 injuries and 3 fatalities. The checkpoint will be clearly marked with signs, lights and uniformed officers. Both marked and unmarked vehicles will be used.
Woman Charged with Taking Fundraising Money
A Somerset woman is charged with taking funds she claimed were for a four-year old girl fighting cancer. Thirty-two year old Mandy Lee Klinkner allegedly obtained 200 fundraising booklets from Sheetz, and sold the booklets in Somerset County as a fundraiser. She failed to reimburse Sheetz and failed to give a portion of the proceeds to the child. Ms. Klinkner is free on a $25,000 unsecured bond. Her preliminary hearing is set for October 28th at 11 a.m.
Bench Warrant Issued for Cumberland Man
Thirty-six year old Ryan O'Toole is being held on a $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, after being served a bench warrant on Monday. He was cited for failure to obey a court order from August, which included violation of an ex parte order. Another warrant charged him with violating conditions of his probation set forth in May. He was remanded to the jail, after receiving a hearing in Allegany County District Court.
Assault Charge Lodged Against Woman
Cumberland resident Rhonda Walker was charged with second-degree assault, following an alleged incident on Memorial Avenue on October 2nd. Ms. Walker is accused of walking up to another woman on Memorial Avenue, and hitting her for no apparent reason. The victim suffered minor facial injuries in the incident. Charges were then filed against her. She was served and released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
Guest Speaker At Bishop Walsh
The Pratt Center at Bishop Walsh School is hosting an evening with Dr. Vincent Culotta, author of the book, "School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders." Culotta, a renowned psychologist, will help present helpful hints for parents and educators of unique learners struggling with issues such as ADHD, Dyslexia and organization. The event is also for mental health professionals. The event will be held Monday, October 26th at 6 p.m. in the Bishop Walsh auditorium. For more information, call (301)-724-5360, extension 218.
Lawmaker's Wages Garnished in Suit
Berkeley County Delegate Larry Faircloth is accused of not paying more than $48,000 in legal fees and damages, plus interest. And now, the money will come out of his paycheck. Faircloth was ordered, six years ago, to pay a $29,000 judgement to Mark Mulligan and David Haarberg, claiming he defrauded them by failing to report termite damage while inspecting a home. Lawmakers earn $20,000 annually, and can receive pay for special legislative sessions.
Affordable Care Act Newest Tool in Breast Cancer Fight
This is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this year's event marks a major shift in women being able to access the health care they need. Matt Schafer works for the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network. He says under the Affordable Care Act, women cannot be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition such as breast cancer. Schafer says, that for an organization like the American Cancer Society that's focused on finding a cure for this disease, nothing can be better. More improvements are expected as more women are able to access affordable health care and get in for regular check-ups and treatment if needed.
West Virginia Leads in Deer Collisions
Even though the rate has dropped about 4.3 per cent, West Virginia remains the most likely state in which you'll hit a deer while driving. The national average is about one in 174, but in West Virginia the chances of hitting a deer are one in 41. West Virginia has been first in State Farm Insurance's annual survey for the past seven years. Other states rounding out the top five are Montana, Iowa, South Dakota and Pennsylvania.
Boil Water Advisory in Effect
This reminder: the Dowden's Addition in Fort Ashby is on a "Boil Water" notice until further notice. There has been a water main break.
Three Receive Preliminary Hearing
Three Hampshire County residents, who are accused in the murder of Michael O'Hara, received a preliminary hearing yesterday. Thirty-six year old Mandy O'Hara, 21-year old John Shoemaker and Gabriella Clutter are accused of breaking into Michael O'Hara's house, and killing him; they then allegedly tied his body to a car, and then dragged it to the Cacapon River. While O'Hara and Shoemaker are charged with the actual murder, Ms. Clutter is charged with conspiracy. The O'Haras were involved in a custody battle over their five children.
Traffic Changes on Route 220 Tonight
The Maryland State Highway Administration's Route 220 construction project will cause some traffic changes, starting tonight. Traffic will be shifted beginning tonight, into tomorrow morning. Route 220 northbound will be closed prior to Interstate 68, from 8 p.m. this evening through 6 a.m. tomorrow. Motorists should follow the posted detour, which will use northbound Maryland Route 53, the Winchester Road, in Cresaptown to U.S. 40 and I-68 in LaVale. This is the final phase of this particular project.
Slight Revenue Decline at Rocky Gap
There was a slight decline in revenue at the Rocky Gap casino from August to September. The Cumberland Times-News reports that the conference rooms are still due to open next month, with Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine noting that funding is being added to the commissioners' scholarship fund at Allegany College of Maryland, and that with the revenue from hotel room rentals, the county's hotel/motel tax will help retire the debt service on the Rocky Gap loans. Poker tables at the facility recently opened, and those numbers weren't available for the month of October.
Jewelry Thief Sentenced to Prison
A Bloomington resident, who pleaded guilty to stealing jewelry after entering a home through a window, has been sentenced to eight years in prison, with four suspended. Thirty-year old Ryan Andrew Butler pleaded guilty in circuit court in June. Butler will be on probation following his release, and will be required to pay over $500 in restitution. Most of the stolen property was recovered.
Man Arrested for Trespassing, Disorderly Conduct
Thirty-seven year old Cumberland resident James Kenneth Flohr, Jr., was arrested Sunday in the vicinity of Harrison and South George Streets. Flohr, who had trespassed on CSX property, was allegedly yelling at several people who were standing near the train station. He then ran from officers, but was later apprehended. He was issued two citations for trespassing on posted property and disorderly conduct. Flohr was released pending trial in District Court.
Man Held on $15,000 Bond
Forty-four year old Cumberland resident Thomas Evix was held on $15,000 bond, following an incident on South Chase Street Sunday. Evix had allegedly been drinking, and arguing with his girlfriend's children. One of the children was grabbed by the arm; another victim was allegedly choked; and, hot wax was thrown over all the children. Following a hearing in Allegany County District Court, Evix was taken to the Allegany County Detention Center. He was charged with four counts of second degree assault and one count of reckless endangerment.
Toys for Happiness Dinner Kicks off 32nd Year
The Toys for Happiness campaign is entering its 32nd year with a kick-off dinner held last night at the Bedford Road Volunteer Fire Department. This year , there will be a new website, from which residents can directly submit applications for the annual campaign. Several events have already been scheduled, including the annual Harvest Skate, which takes place the night before Thanksgiving. Chairman Chuck Koelker noted that time was of the essence this year, as Thanksgiving is in late November; the campaign will be running the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
C & O Canal Towpath is Closed
The government shut-down is hitting close to home. The National Park Service has announced that visitor traffic on the C & O Canal Towpath is now prohibited; bicyclists planning rides from
Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. on the Great Allegheny Passage and C & O Canal should plan to turn back at Cumberland. All visitors' centers are closed. There are several other restrictions, including one where volunteer events and those requiring special use permits will not be able to take place. And, volunteers should cease those activities immediately, and they should not enter the parks until after the restrictions are lifted.
Keyser Police To Enforce Speed on Richmond Street
The City of Keyser will be paying more attention to motorists on Richmond Street, following a citizen complaint at last week's council meeting. It was decided to place a digital sign to display vehicle speeds, and police will be stepping up speed enforcement in the area. The complaint was raised, in part, because children often play on and around the street.
Two Taken To Hospital Following Accident
Two Somerset County residents were taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, following a single vehicle crash on Route 281 in Milford Township early Sunday morning. Twenty-six year old Somerset resident Jennifer Jury and 22-year old Mason Ansell, of Rockwood were both thrown from the vehicle. Ansell, the driver, missed a turn in the road and lost control; the truck eventually came to rest in a corn field and caught fire. The investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police is continuing.
Trooper Remains in Serious Condition
A Maryland State Police officer remains in serious condition at Baltimore's Shock Trauma Unit, after being hit by a car over the weekend. Trooper Jacqueline Kline was struck on Route 100 in Anne Arundel County. She had stopped a suspected drunk driver, but was hit by a car, driven by 21-year old Enrique Guzman of Pasadena. No charges have yet been filed against him. Trooper Kline suffered head injuries, a broken arm, and various cuts and bruises.
West Virginia Signing Up for Medicaid
About 45,000 West Virginia residents have signed up for automatic enrollment in Medicaid over the past two weeks. The Department of Health and Human Resources has sent out 118,000 letters, informing families they automatically qualify, under the federal Affordable Care Act. The exchange is designed to give uninsured people an affordable way to purchase coverage by pooling the buying power of individuals and businesses. There have been no major technical glitches reported with the new online system.
Man Jailed for Allegedly Shooting at Hunter
Berkeley Springs resident William Dixon is in jail, on $100,000 bond, after allegedly firing shots at a hunter Saturday evening on State Route 144. The victim shot a deer and was waiting for friends to arrive, to help collect the deer. Shots were fired and the group fled the scene. Dixon was taken into custody shortly after that. There were no injuries, but police confiscated several firearms from Dixon.
Mor For Less Closing at White Oaks
The Mor for Less Food Store is closing its White Oaks Location. The announcement was made by owner and President of Queen City MFL, Incorporated, Barry McGinnis. The store, based in Franklin, Pennsylvania, has been a part of the Cumberland region for over ten years. According to McGinnis, the decision was personal in nature, in that he wanted to spend more time with his family, and to pursue other business opportunities in northern Pennsylvania. Mor for Less announced the closure of its Queen City Plaza store in July of this year. The lease at White Oaks ends this month.
"Retirement Community" Planned for Cumberland
The Allegany County Commissioners have opted to develop a parcel of property, adjacent to Furnace Street, for possible development of an "Active Lifestyles" retirement community in Cumberland. The owners of Allegany Health Nursing and Rehabilitation have expressed interest in completing a feasibility study for the venture. The community would feature a spectrum of retirement services, including independent, as well as assisted living, and would be focused on the middle-income, 55-plus population. Residents would have access to golf, social events, interest groups, a fitness center with classes, gardening, swimming and the like.
Garrett County Schools Could Close Without Action
At least four Garrett County schools could close next fall, if Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley doesn't provide emergency action to help alleviate the dire financial situation there. Maryland State Senator George Edwards has written to the Governor, asking him to hold counties harmless, from losing any money, until the state's wealth formula is complete, according to the Cumberland Times-News. The letter requests an administration bill, and for the support of one that Edwards would request on the issue. Allegany, Garrett, and other counties have seen decreases, and will continue to see cuts in funding.
Inmate Found Guilty of Escape, Carjacking
Former Western Correctional inmate Larry Jerome Johnson was found guilty on numerous charges surrounding an escape and carjacking incident in September of last year. Johnson was working on a road crew, mowing grass along Interstate 68 near Grantsville, when he stabbed a correctional officer with pliers, and stole and Division of Corrections van. He also flagged down and attacked a passing motorist, stabbed him as well, and stole his car. He was arrested in the Sky Valley/Thousand Acres area. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered by Garrett County Judge Jim Sherbin. Johnson has since been transferred to Jessup Correctional Institution.
Rocky Gap Offers Poker
The Rocky Gap Casino has received approval from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission to offer poker. There are now three tables, with eight seats each, in the hotel lobby, offering Texas Hold 'Em with both Limit and NO Limit stakes. A controlled demonstration was held late last week. All proceeds from the demonstration were donated to the Volunteer Team, Incorporated, the non-profit organization that supports Rocky Gap State Park.
Three Routes Considered for 219 Upgrade
There are three possible routes for the Route 219 project between Grantsville and the Pennsylvania State Line. Representatives of Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia were updated Friday, during a a meeting of the North-South Highway Coalition at its annual meeting Friday at Frostburg State University. That road is part of a bigger picture to create a major highway from Somerset to the North, to Scherr, West Virginia to the South, using Route 219, Interstate 68 and U.S. Route 220. A timeline has not been developed on the route selection, but an environmental impact statement could take up to two years.
Construction Begins on Baltimore Avenue Project
Baltimore Avenue is now one-way, from downtown Cumberland to Willowbrook Road for the duration of the improvement project there. Construction begins today, and caution is urged when driving in that area. There will also be traffic control devices in the area of the project. Any questions should be directed to the City of Cumberland Engineering Department, at (301)-759-6600.
Cumberland Man Faces Assault Charge
Cumberland resident Joseph Lee Wolfe has been charged with second degree assault, following an incident Saturday on Valley Street. Wolfe allegedly assaulted a woman, pushing her and kicking her while she was on the ground. He received an initial appearance at District Court, and was held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $20,000 bond.
Man Jailed in North End Assault
Sylvan Avenue resident David Lee Weimar is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $10,000 bond, after being accused of assaulting a woman at their residence. Weimer and the victim had argued over leaving the lights on inside a vehicle. Weimer is accused of straddling the victim and punching her in the face. Officers noticed a small amount of swelling on her upper lip and what appeared to be a small amount of dried blood. Weimer was charged with second-degree assault.
Rawlings Water Project Meeting Scheduled
The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting on proposed water projects for the Rawlings/Route 220 area. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 22nd at 7 p.m., at the Rawlings United Methodist Church. The initiation of water service and the connection to the public water system will be discussed, as well as the termination of service by the Rawlings Water Company System. Questions and comments will be taken at the meeting.
Scrap Tire Drop Off Day
The Allegany County Commissioners are encouraging county residents to take advantage of the upcoming opportunity to recycle unwanted tires. The Drop Off Day has been set for this Saturday at the Allegany County Fairgrounds, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event is restricted to Allegany County residents, as proof of residency, such as a valid driver's license or current utility bill will be required. A maximum of ten tires will be accepted from each resident.
Woman Sues Pinnacle Wind Farm LLC
A Mineral County woman is suing Pinnacle Wind Farms, LLC, and its parent company, Edison Mission Group of Rosemead, California. Anna Bell Saville, who lives about a half-mile from the site, says the wind turbines have caused her physical and mental suffering from the 23 turbines on Green Mountain. She is asking for an injunction to shut down the turbines, and is also asking reimbursement for lost wages and medical expenses. The total amount was not disclosed.
Hedgesville Man Sought by Task Force
Hedgesville, West Virginia resident Kevin Burrows is being sought by the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force for possessing thousands of images of child pornography. The 62-year old Burrows had been working for a fertilizer company in the Petersburg, Virginia area, but abandoned his employment and family, after he learned a warrant for his arrest had been issued. Police say he may have returned to West Virginia, or may be anywhere in the United States. He also may have returned to Australia, where he was born.
Circleville Man Accused of Killing Father
Pendleton County resident John William Smith is in the Potomac Highlands Jail, accused of killing his father over the weekend. Police received a call on Saturday for shots fired at a home in Circleville. When they arrived, they found John Conway Smith dead from a gunshot wound. His son, who was at the home, was arrested and charged with murder.
Meeting Between CPPDA, Delegation Held
There were no firm commitments made during yesterday's meeting between members of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority and members of the Western Maryland delegation to the General Assembly. However, the delegation would support the pursuit of funding efforts from the state and other potential sources. Canal Place is expected to face deficits of as much as $125,000 by Fiscal Year 2015. The state has spent more than $22 million on the tourism center, since it was established in the mid-1990's. Until recently, Canal Place had been the beneficiary of the county's hotel/motel tax, despite an agreement that expired several years ago.
Murder Suspect Viewed in 2010 Death
Stephen Schleuniger, who is accused of the murder of Lisa Simmons of Cumberland, is also being viewed in connection with the 2010 death of a Hagerstown woman, Tammy Myerly. A spokesman for the Hagerstown Police Department says that investigation remains open and active, in light of the Cumberland case. Schleuniger was arrested Tuesday in Berkeley County, West Virginia, in connection with the disappearance of Ms. Simmons. Her body has not been found, but police found enough evidence to charge him.
Union Sues City
The International Association of Firefighters, Local 1715, has filed suit against the city over contract negotiations. Cumberland and the union have not been able to reach an agreement on several issues, including the city's wish to make a change in health care coverage for employees. The purpose of the suit is to force the city into mediation, due to the impasse.
Keyser Man Arrested After Chase
Twenty-four year old Keyser resident James Simone, who was originally accused of shoplifting, was also cited for having 1.3 grams of marijuana. Simone allegedly took some items from the CVS Pharmacy in downtown Keyser; when police questioned him about the theft, he was found to be carrying 1.3 grams of marijuana. Simone was cited and released.
Cancer Fundraising Booklets Stolen in Somerset
The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating an incident where 200 fundraising booklets for a 4-year old cancer patient, were stolen. Rory Auman of Somerset has an aggressive form of kidney cancer. The booklets were taken from the Somerset Sheetz store, sold, and the money was never given to the family, which was unaware of the fundraiser. Anyone who may have purchased one of the booklets is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-445-4104.
Man Accused of Violating Protection Order
A Cumberland man was served with a summons, charging he allegedly violated a protective order, originally filed in Pennsylvania. Forty-one year old Wayne Simms is accused of following a woman, who had a protective order against him, on Virginia Avenue. She filed charges in District Court. He was issued the citation and released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
Mineral County Looking to Refurbish Tennis Courts
There are three Mineral County tennis courts that are in need of repair and/or resurfacing. The board of education there is moving to seek bids for the work at Frankfort High School, Keyser Primary-Middle School and at the South End Park in Keyser. The courts are used for instruction and matches in the county. At least three bids will be received before a decision is made. The tennis court issue is on the agenda for the next board meeting on October 15th at 6 p.m.
MCTC Inmate Hangs Self in Cell
An unidentified inmate, serving a life sentence for murder at the Maryland Correctional Training Center has hanged himself in his cell. Despite life-saving efforts by five correctional officers, and subsequent treatment from medical personnel, the inmate passed away. Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman Mark Vernarelli says the department has tried to reduce the number of suicides among inmates. There were 16 incidents in 2007; that number was reduced to five in 2012.
Health Website Experiencing Delays
The Maryland Health Connection website for federal healthcare exchanges went "live" ealier this week and almost immediately experienced problems. The Health Connection website, in a message to visitors, noted a connectivity issue, even though several of the other links were working.
Maryland Begins Cyber-Bullying Pilot Program
The state of Maryland has become the only state in the country, where educators will have access to a special channel on Facebook, to contact Facebook officials to remove posts that amount to cyberbullying of students. Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler says the Educator Escalation Channel will provide educators with a direct connection to Facebook to prevent bullying. Gansler says bullying may be subjective; what may be bullying to one, may not be to another. Many young people, however, are exploring other social media, because their parents are on Facebook.
West Virginia Third Grade Reading Levels Below Average
Slightly more than seven in ten children can't read proficiently by the end of the third grade in West Virginia schools, and the West Virginia KIDS COUNT organization says the odds are slim they'll ever catch up. Seventy-three per cent of children is five percentage points worse than the national average. The highest proficiency levels were in Clay and Putnam counties, where more than 60 per cent of the children were reading at grade. Only six counties had rates of 50 per cent or higher; in 18 counties, fewer than 40 per cent of the fourth graders were proficient. Among the worst-performing counties were Hardy and Grant, where fewer than 3 in 10 students could read at grade level.
W. Va. Revenue Collections Off By $2 Million
State tax collections were off by two million dollars in West Virginia for the month of September. The state brought in $406 million during that period. Estimates have been off by a total of $34 million for the first quarter of FY '14. Revenues are expected to improve in the months to come, and there are signs of an improving economy according to State Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow. The coal industry continues to struggle, but the rate of decline in production has slowed. Exports of metallurgical coal are also down.
Child Custody Motive for Murder
An ongoing child custody issue was the motive for last week's murder of Slanesville-area resident Michael O'Hara. Investigators believe he was killed by his estranged wife, Mandy, and John Shoemaker. Contrary to rumors, the murder was not related to alleged drug activity, and Chief Deputy Nathan Sions is asking the public to respect the family, with regard to online postings and comments. The cause of Michael O'Hara's death was a stab wound to the neck.
Hospitals Sign Letter of Intent
Frederick Regional Health System, Meritus Health, and the Western Maryland Health System have announced that a letter of intent has been signed among the three organizations, in which the parties agree to explore new initiatives for cooperation and mutual support that will advance key components of healthcare reform. These include better care, reduced cost, and a focus on population health management for the Western Maryland region. A feasibility study was conducted in June, that evaluated the merits of a possible affiliation. There will be further updates on the possible collaboration of the three health care systems.
Coalition to Hear Transportation Officials
Updates to the Route 219 and Route 220 projects will be heard during the regular monthly meeting of the North-South Appalachian Highway Coalition tomorrow. The Greater Cumberland Committee will hold its annual meeting in the Atkinson room of the Frostburg State University Lane Center. Representatives from Maryland and Pennsylvania will talk about project updates. As a total corridor, the Route 219 and Route 220 projects will create 10,000 permanent and 20,000 construction and construction-related jobs in the region.
Teens Confess to Setting Fires
Two teenagers have admitted to starting three separate fires on Little Cacapon Road Tuesday. One of those fires destroyed a house. Nineteen year old Colton Clower and a 17-year old juvenile were charged in connection to the incidents. The juvenile was released to the custody of his parents. The house was declared a total loss, and there were 22 hay bales destroyed. The investigation is continuing.
Special Meeting Held Between Maryland, West Virginia Officials
A meeting between Maryland and West Virginia officials was held at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport. The Potomac Highlands Regional Airport Authority discussed what authority chair Creade Brodie termed "some big things coming down the road," including a runway renovation project. Frostburg State University President Dr. Jonathan Gibralter has expressed an interest in serving on the airport authority. Current member Nick Scarpelli offered to give up his seat so Dr. Gibralter could serve.
City Man Arrested on Drug Charges
Fifty-four year old Cumberland resident Joseph Wilson Butler was arrested Tuesday, and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. A CDS complaint led officers to the area of Baltimore Avenue; Butler was allegedly found smoking marijuana behind the Brunswick Bar. He was taken into custody, and released after his was issued the two criminal citations.
Man Held on $5,000 Bond for Assault, False Imprisonment
A Cumberland man is being held on $5,000 bond, in connection with an alleged assault and false imprisonment incident from mid-September. Darrell Thomas Soules is accused of hitting a female victim in the face and stomach, and for keeping her from leaving a North Mechanic Street residence. Soules was charged, following a hearing at the District Court commissioners' office. He was then taken to the Allegany County Detention Center.
Tri-State College Night Set for Next Week
Tri-State College Night is set for next Tuesday, October 8th. The 46th annual event will take place at Allegany College of Maryland's Bob Kirk Arena, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tri-State College Night is sponsored by the Allegany County Guidance Counselor's Association, and gives students the opportunity to make decisions about furthering their education. And, on an added note, Ms. Cross says parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for today. The elementary conferences are being held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from noon to 3:30 p.m.
Man Waives Hearing on ATV Assault Charges
Friedens resident Derek Kyle Maust has been charged with a number of assault charges and reckless endangerment, after he was accused of running over a man with an ATV in Shade Township. The incident allegedly occurred on June 19th on School Road in Shade Township.
The victim suffered several injuries. Maust then crashed the ATV along old state Route 30 and Cemetery road in Stonycreek Township.
Westernport Sets Meeting, Closings, Parade Plans
The Westernport Mayor and Commissioners will hold a council meeting this Monday at 7 p.m. It was also announced the City Building will be closed on October 14th, in observance of Columbus Day. Town officials say Westernport's Halloween Parade will be held on Saturday, October 26th at 1:00 p.m. Line-up will be at the Piedmont American Legion at 12:30 p.m. Finally, Trick-or-Treating will be held on October 31st, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Suns May Move To Virginia by 2015
The Hagerstown Suns minor league baseball team, has formally applied to relocate to Fredericksburg, Virginia in time for the start of the 2015 baseball season. The application will be formally reviewed by baseball officials. Fredericksburg is working to finalize plans for a proposed stadium, which is expected to cost $29 million.
Man Charged With First Degree Murder
Stephen George Schluniger,the live-in boyfriend of Lisa Ann Simmons, was arrested in Berkeley County, West Virginia and charged with first-degree murder. He waived extradition and was immediately returned to Allegany County. Schleuniger is being held without bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. Ms. Simmons had been missing since September 5th; evidence found at her Browning Street home led investigators to file charges against Schleuniger. Although her body has not been found, all possible means of locating her have been exhausted. Authorities believe she is dead, and have since charged Schleuniger. The investigation is continuing by the Cumberland City Police and the C3I unit. A candlelight vigil for Ms. Simmons is planned for tonight at the Liberty Street stage at 7 p.m. The vigil will be held by former employees of the Brandenberg Center, where Ms. Simmons had once been employed.
Mall Manager Announces Retirement
Downtown Cumberland Mall manager Ed Mullaney has announced his retirement from that position to take care of some personal and family matters. Mullaney says he's met many wonderful people over the course of the last 15 years, but with the conclusion of the "Summer in the City" series and "Friday After Five," he has decided to "take some time off." Mullaney says the Mall is in good hands with Jennifer Light, his current co-manager. His former partner, the late Sue Cerutti, passed away unexpectedly several years ago. Mullaney noted it was a great opportunity to work with her, and that her legacy will live on. The effective date of his retirement is October 31st. Mullaney says he has made the decision, and will now move forward.
Delegation, CPPDA to Meet Tomorrow
The Western Maryland delegation to the General Assembly will meet tomorrow with members of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay, a member of the CPPDA board, says the contract, which in part, provided funding from the hotel/motel tax for Canal Place, expired three years ago, but had been renewed for the past two. Commissioner McKay says that it may be time to revisit management and the whole purpose of Canal Place. McKay says CPPDA members have known for some time that funding was eventually going to "dry up." It has had plenty of time to achieve self-sufficiency. He compared it to a similar situation at Rocky Gap; once it transitioned to private hands, its mission was reviewed and it is now thrivin
Single Vehicle Accident in Garrett County
The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police investigated an accident Monday on Route 42 off of Bishoff Road. A 2005 Honda Element, driven by Oakland resident Stuart Hamill, traveled off of Route 42, after he fell asleep. The car crossed into the northbound lane. It then struck an embankment and overturned. The Northern Garrett Rescue Squad and Deep Creek Fire Department responded to the scene.
Former Commissioner Killed in Wreck
A former Grant County, West Virginia Commissioner, Lester Carr, Jr., was killed in a single-vehicle crash Monday on Route 42 near Maysville. Carr was driving on the road, when his vehicle struck a tree. He was taken to Grant Memorial Hospital, where he passed away following the accident, which was reported around 1 p.m.
Sentencing Delayed for Woman Accused of Series of Arsons
Nineteen-year old Pennsylvania resident Brandy Sneider-Koontz has pleaded guilty to setting a number of fires in the Washington County area. She becomes the fourth person to enter a plea in the cases. As part of a plea agreement, she will have to perform 300 hours of community service, pay restitution, and testify truthfully in any other criminal proceedings involving her co-defendants. Sentencing has been delayed until December 17, and she is being held without bond until that date.
Flying Fortress, B-24 Coming to Hagerstown Airport
In honor of World War II veterans, the Collings Foundation's Wings of Freedom Tour is coming to the Washington County Airport October 9th through the 11th. The non-profit organization is bringing its B-17 Flying Fortress, a Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American P-51 Mustang to the Hagerstown Regional Airport. The planes will arrive about 2 p.m. onj October 9th,and will depart at noon on October 11th.
Judge Refuses to Block Gun Law
A federal judge has refused to block the implementation of Maryland's new gun law, partially because of the late date of the challenge. The judge also noted that it posed no imminent threat to core Second Amendment rights. Another lawsuit, according to the Associated Press, challenged a provision requiring prospective gun owners to submit fingerprints and to get gun safety training.
Maryland Food Bank Results Announced
The Maryland State Police and the State Highway Administration have announced the total food collected during Hunger Action Month in September. The drive was supported by donations from the public and the Maryland Department of Transportation headquarters and sister agencies, including the Maryland Transit Administration. Nearly 35,500 pounds of food, equal to 29,583 meals were collected from locations around the state, including over 3400 pounds of food collected in Hagerstown.
Fall Forest Fire Season Began Yesterday
West Virginia's fall forest fire season began yesterday, and will run through the end of the year. During this time, daytime burning is prohibited between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Outdoor burning is permitted only between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. State law requires a ring or safety strip around outdoor fires to keep it from spreading into the woods. Fines for violating the policy range from $100 to $1,000. An additional civil penalty of $200 will also be assessed. For more information, the West Virginia Division of Forestry's website is "www.wvforestry.com."
Man Charged With First Degree Murder
The live-in boyfriend of Lisa Ann Simmons has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Forty-four year old Stephen George Schleuniger is being held without bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. Ms. Simmons had been missing since September 5th; evidence found at her Browning Street home led investigators to file charges against Schleuniger. Although her body has not been found, all possible means of locating her have been exhausted. Authorities believe she is dead, and have since charged Schleuniger. The investigation is continuing by the Cumberland City Police and the C3I unit.
Changes to Cell Phone, Seatbelt Laws Now in Effect
Maryland's ban on cell phone use while driving is now in effect; another law affects drivers and passengers who don't wear seatbelts. Tickets will be issued to drivers and front-seat passengers, even if an officer observes no other violation. Back-seat passengers who aren't buckled up will be cited for a secondary violation. The fine is $50. And, the driver will be cited if passengers younger than 16 violate the seat belt law, according to the Motor Vehicle Administration.
No City, County Funding for Canal Place
Both the city and county have refused further funding for Canal Place. The Allegany County Commissioners have written a letter to the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority that agrees while it "plays a significant tourism role," Canal Place should be self-sustaining. Both the city and county have phased out hotel/motel tax funding for Canal Place.
Man Receives 70 Year Sentence for Rape, Sex Offense
Fifty-one year old Oakland resident James Leroy House has been sentenced to 70 years in the prison, following his conviction on charges of first-degree rape and sexual offense. In a June jury trial, House was also found guilty of sodomy, perverted sexual practice and false imprisonment. He was initially charged in October of 2011.
Man Found Not Guilty in Circuit Court
Forty-year old Cumberland resident Brian Russell Price was found not guilty of allegedly assaulting his former girlfriend at knife point and kidnapping her. He pleaded not guilty to 14 counts against him; five charges were dismissed.
Partial Closure of Baltimore Avenue
A portion of Baltimore Avenue continues to be closed through tomorrow, weather permitting. The street, from Goethe Street to Marion will be closed during working hours, but will be open to traffic nightly and on the weekend. The closure will allow for necessary pole relocation. The one-way traffic pattern will be delayed, due to the closure. Drivers are asked to obey all traffic control devices that are in place.
Bedford Man Cited for Negligent Driving
A single-vehicle accident at Industrial Boulevard and Lamont Street resulted in Bedford resident Michael Kovach being cited for negligent driving. Kovach, who was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, told police he lost control of his car, which struck the median island and several signs, and eventually came to rest on the curb on Lamont Street. He was issued the citation and released.
Woman Arrested for DUI
A Confluence, Pennsylvania woman was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol, following a single-vehicle accident in Grantsville Sunday night. Thirty-eight year old Kelli Arrich crashed her 2008 Pontiac into the curb, disabling the vehicle on Main Street. The accident was reported around 8 p.m.
"Rolling Out The Future" FSU Marketing Identity
Frostburg State University experienced a 9.5 per cent increase in its freshman class this year, and President Jonathan Gibralter noted the importance of student retention during his annual Fall Convocation last week. FSU has a strategic plan to meet that goal. Dr. Gibralter says it is now a static plan, but one which is updated annually, and one on which progress is reported annually. In his remarks, Dr. Gibralter said the future offers greater opportunities at FSU; he adds that many programs offered experienced "explosive numbers" in enrollment. In order to attract more students, FSU is seeking to increase is Presidential Merit Scholarships by $2.5 million.
KKK Rally Planned for Sunday
Park officials have granted a permit to the Ku Klux Klan to hold an event this Saturday at the Gettysburg National Military Park. The afternoon event will be held on the lawn area, north of General George Meade's headquarters. A membership rally was held earlier in September at the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg.
Casinos Fined for Underage Gambling
There have been 30 known violations of underage gambling at Maryland's casinos this year, and operators have been fined tens of thousands of dollars for those violations. None occurred at the newly opened Rocky Gap casino, but there have been four incidents at the Maryland Live casino, costing $20,000 in fines. The Hollywood Casino in Perryville was fined $10,000 for two similar incidents. The state can impose up to a $5,000 fine per incident.
West Virginia Residents Involved in Pennsylvania Standoff
Pennsylvania resident Donald Ray Brown is dead and Jessica Lynn Phillips is in police custody, following a chase and standoff that began at Ohiopyle State Park. After being discovered at Ohiopyle possibly manufacturing methamphetamine, they fled in a truck to North Union Township. The truck crashed into a house, and the standoff began. Phillips gave herself up to authorities, but Brown was found with a gunshot wound. It is not known whether it was self-inflicted. Ms. Phillips is being held on a million dollars bond.
WVEA Calls for Competitive Salaries
The West Virginia Education Association is calling for higher pay for its teachers, that is competitive with surrounding states. The average teacher salary in the Mountain State is about $45,000, which ranks it 48th in the nation. The national average is about $55,000. The union didn't state what it believes is a competitive salary, but it is known salaries range from $49,000 in Virginia to about $64,000 in Pennsylvania. Each $1,000 salary increase for teachers in West Virginia would cost the state about $26.4 million.
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