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GO 106 News Archives for 2013-11

Local News


Safe Streets Warrant Initiative Concludes
Nearly three dozen individuals were arrested during last week's Arrest Warrant Initiative, conducted by the Cumberland Police Department's Safe Streets Program. charges ranged from failure to appear, probation violations, drug charges, and burglary and theft counts. The goal of the program is to make our streets safer through the reduction of backlogged arrest warrants. The Safe Streets Operation sought citizen help in locating and apprehending individuals on open arrest warrants. Also participating in the operation were members of the Allegany County Sheriff's Department.

Opposition to Backbone Mountain Project Voiced
The Maryland Public Service Commission has received numerous emails, opposing the Fair Wind Power Partners, LLC application to build up to 15 wind turbines on Backbone Mountain. Many inferred the project would simply be an extension of the Criterion Wind Project, which is the deadliest industrial project in North America for bats and birds, according to an article in the Cumberland Times-News. Criterion conducted a study last year, that indicated 28 birds, representing 12 species, and 82 bats, representing five species had been found in the vicinity of the project.

Kauffman Announces Candidacy
Cumberland City Councilman David Kauffman has announced he will seek re-election. He is currently serving his first term, and wants to help continue moving Cumberland forward into a stronger financial position in the region. Citing his past involvement in several projects, Kauffman says he want to see the city concentrate on its population base during his next term. The primary election is June 24th, with the general election set for November 4th of next year.

Tree Lighting, Open Houses Set
The city of Cumberland's annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Open Houses will be Friday evening. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. Due to the large number of citizens in attendance, and for their safety, no parking will be allowed on Centre and Liberty Streets after 5 p.m. The municipal parking lot will be open for the public to use. The Santa Parade will take place on Centre Street, with the participants lining up on Frederick Street to Butler Alley, if needed.

Former Frostburg Council Member Passes Away
A former, long-time member of the Frostburg City Council has passed away at the age of 71. Robert Connor passed away earlier this week at his home. Connor served on the Frostburg City Council for 18 years, and was a member of the Maryland Municipal League, Frostburg Area Ambulance Service and a lifetime member of the Frostburg Fire Department. Family and friends will be received at the Durst Funeral Home on Friday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Saturday at St.Michael's Catholic Church. Interment will be in the Frostburg Memorial Park.

Keyser Man Arrested in Building Damage Incident
Fifty-two year old Keyser resident Craig Allen Carr has been arrested in connection with an incident earlier in the month, in which the New Creek Water Association Building was heavily damaged. Carr missed a curve on Route 972 and crashed through the north end of the building. Carr is accused of fleeing the scene, and with the cooperation of the Grant County Sheriff's Office, he was apprehended near the Mineral-Grant county line. He was charged with DUI, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, failure to maintain control, driving left of center and possession of CDS.

Woman Fails to Appear in Somerset Court
Thirty-two year old Mandy Lee Klinkner, who had been freed on $25,000 unsecured bond, failed to appear this week in Somerset County Court. Ms. Klinkner was charged with holding a fraudulent fundraiser for a 4-year old cancer patient. Specific counts filed against her included theft by deception, theft, and receiving stolen property.

Berlin Man Charged
Berlin resident Jonathan Lee Swank faces ten charges involving home improvement fraud and theft by deception. Swank is accused of receiving advance payment for building projects and not performing the work or returning the money. One of the incidents involved bad checks.

Student Receives Letter From Mandela's Group
Flintstone student Ariana Spear recently received a letter from a group, representing former South African President Nelson Mandela. Her class had been studying Mandela, and-according to Board of Education Public Information Officer Mia Perlozzo-Cross-the students were intrigued by the fact that, even though Mandela had been imprisoned, he eventually became the country's president. Ms. Spear wrote and sent a get-well note to Mandela, who has experienced several health problems.

Wisp Opening Friday for the Season
Thanks to an early snowstorm, the Wisp Ski Resort-Maryland's only ski resort-will be opening on Friday. Last year, skiers had to wait until December 15th. The Wisp made snow this week, and is able to open early because of additional snow received.

Small Business Saturday This Weekend
Saturday is "Small Business Saturday." and Becky McClarran, a small business owner says the idea was initiated by American Express. She says the company recognizes that small businesses are the heart of any community. And, in downtown Cumberland, there are several unique stores. When you shop locally, more of the dollars spent, stay in the community. Online, the Maryland Main Street Program has special offers for shoppers. The website address to click on, and print the coupons is www.mainstreetmaryland.org.

Flu Cases on the Rise in Maryland
Flu cases are on the rise in Maryland, and for people including the very old, the very young and pregnant women, the flu could be fatal. The number of elderly Americans hospitalized last year was on the rise. The first flu case in the state was reported on October 3rd, more than two weeks earlier than last year. The best defense against the flu is a flu shot. Although many resist, more than 36,000 Americans die every year from preventable illnesses.

Two Die in Ocean City Church Fire
Two people died in a fire at St. Paul's By The Sea Episcopal Church in Ocean City. The pastor, the Reverend David Dingwall and a church member who was in the rectory were both killed. The cause is being investigated, but it is known that man who was on fire, ran into the basement of the rectory, igniting it. The rectory had been used for various programs, including homeless ministry. The sanctuary of the church itself was not heavily damaged.

Maryland Gas Prices Above Average
The average for a gallon of regular gas in the state is 15 cents a gallon higher than the current national average. The $3.42 price tag is the highest it's been in months after hitting a two-year low just a couple of weeks ago. Gas rose 12-cents in just one week and is about the same price now as it was a year ago for the Thanksgiving holiday period. The lowest price is at a Costco store in Glen Burnie at $3.04. The highest price is at a Bethesda Exxon at $4.49 a gallon.

Men's Warehouse Tries to Buy Bank Clothiers
Less than two weeks after Joseph A. Bank Clothiers withdrew a bid to buy Men's Warehouse for $2.3 billion, Men's Warehouse has offered $55 a share for Bank. Men's Warehouse said it wouldn't rebrand Joseph A. Bank if a deal goes through. Shares of both companies climbed in pre-market trading.

Man Drowns in New River
An unnamed man drowned in New River while trying to retrieve a canoe. The victim and his teenage stepsons were dumped out of a flat-bottomed canoe. The teens were taken to the hospital. The accident occurred Monday night near Meadow Creek.

Local News


Safe Streets Warrant Initiative Concludes
Nearly three dozen individuals were arrested during last week's Arrest Warrant Initiative, conducted by the Cumberland Police Department's Safe Streets Program. charges ranged from failure to appear, probation violations, drug charges, and burglary and theft counts. The goal of the program is to make our streets safer through the reduction of backlogged arrest warrants. The Safe Streets Operation sought citizen help in locating and apprehending individuals on open arrest warrants. Also participating in the operation were members of the Allegany County Sheriff's Department.

Opposition to Backbone Mountain Project Voiced
The Maryland Public Service Commission has received numerous emails, opposing the Fair Wind Power Partners, LLC application to build up to 15 wind turbines on Backbone Mountain. Many inferred the project would simply be an extension of the Criterion Wind Project, which is the deadliest industrial project in North America for bats and birds, according to an article in the Cumberland Times-News. Criterion conducted a study last year, that indicated 28 birds, representing 12 species, and 82 bats, representing five species had been found in the vicinity of the project.

Kauffman Announces Candidacy
Cumberland City Councilman David Kauffman has announced he will seek re-election. He is currently serving his first term, and wants to help continue moving Cumberland forward into a stronger financial position in the region. Citing his past involvement in several projects, Kauffman says he want to see the city concentrate on its population base during his next term. The primary election is June 24th, with the general election set for November 4th of next year.

Tree Lighting, Open Houses Set
The city of Cumberland's annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Open Houses will be Friday evening. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. Due to the large number of citizens in attendance, and for their safety, no parking will be allowed on Centre and Liberty Streets after 5 p.m. The municipal parking lot will be open for the public to use. The Santa Parade will take place on Centre Street, with the participants lining up on Frederick Street to Butler Alley, if needed.

Former Frostburg Council Member Passes Away
A former, long-time member of the Frostburg City Council has passed away at the age of 71. Robert Connor passed away earlier this week at his home. Connor served on the Frostburg City Council for 18 years, and was a member of the Maryland Municipal League, Frostburg Area Ambulance Service and a lifetime member of the Frostburg Fire Department. Family and friends will be received at the Durst Funeral Home on Friday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Saturday at St.Michael's Catholic Church. Interment will be in the Frostburg Memorial Park.

Keyser Man Arrested in Building Damage Incident
Fifty-two year old Keyser resident Craig Allen Carr has been arrested in connection with an incident earlier in the month, in which the New Creek Water Association Building was heavily damaged. Carr missed a curve on Route 972 and crashed through the north end of the building. Carr is accused of fleeing the scene, and with the cooperation of the Grant County Sheriff's Office, he was apprehended near the Mineral-Grant county line. He was charged with DUI, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, failure to maintain control, driving left of center and possession of CDS.

Woman Fails to Appear in Somerset Court
Thirty-two year old Mandy Lee Klinkner, who had been freed on $25,000 unsecured bond, failed to appear this week in Somerset County Court. Ms. Klinkner was charged with holding a fraudulent fundraiser for a 4-year old cancer patient. Specific counts filed against her included theft by deception, theft, and receiving stolen property.

Berlin Man Charged
Berlin resident Jonathan Lee Swank faces ten charges involving home improvement fraud and theft by deception. Swank is accused of receiving advance payment for building projects and not performing the work or returning the money. One of the incidents involved bad checks.

Student Receives Letter From Mandela's Group
Flintstone student Ariana Spear recently received a letter from a group, representing former South African President Nelson Mandela. Her class had been studying Mandela, and-according to Board of Education Public Information Officer Mia Perlozzo-Cross-the students were intrigued by the fact that, even though Mandela had been imprisoned, he eventually became the country's president. Ms. Spear wrote and sent a get-well note to Mandela, who has experienced several health problems.

Wisp Opening Friday for the Season
Thanks to an early snowstorm, the Wisp Ski Resort-Maryland's only ski resort-will be opening on Friday. Last year, skiers had to wait until December 15th. The Wisp made snow this week, and is able to open early because of additional snow received.

Small Business Saturday This Weekend
Saturday is "Small Business Saturday." and Becky McClarran, a small business owner says the idea was initiated by American Express. She says the company recognizes that small businesses are the heart of any community. And, in downtown Cumberland, there are several unique stores. When you shop locally, more of the dollars spent, stay in the community. Online, the Maryland Main Street Program has special offers for shoppers. The website address to click on, and print the coupons is www.mainstreetmaryland.org.

Flu Cases on the Rise in Maryland
Flu cases are on the rise in Maryland, and for people including the very old, the very young and pregnant women, the flu could be fatal. The number of elderly Americans hospitalized last year was on the rise. The first flu case in the state was reported on October 3rd, more than two weeks earlier than last year. The best defense against the flu is a flu shot. Although many resist, more than 36,000 Americans die every year from preventable illnesses.

Two Die in Ocean City Church Fire
Two people died in a fire at St. Paul's By The Sea Episcopal Church in Ocean City. The pastor, the Reverend David Dingwall and a church member who was in the rectory were both killed. The cause is being investigated, but it is known that man who was on fire, ran into the basement of the rectory, igniting it. The rectory had been used for various programs, including homeless ministry. The sanctuary of the church itself was not heavily damaged.

Maryland Gas Prices Above Average
The average for a gallon of regular gas in the state is 15 cents a gallon higher than the current national average. The $3.42 price tag is the highest it's been in months after hitting a two-year low just a couple of weeks ago. Gas rose 12-cents in just one week and is about the same price now as it was a year ago for the Thanksgiving holiday period. The lowest price is at a Costco store in Glen Burnie at $3.04. The highest price is at a Bethesda Exxon at $4.49 a gallon.

Men's Warehouse Tries to Buy Bank Clothiers
Less than two weeks after Joseph A. Bank Clothiers withdrew a bid to buy Men's Warehouse for $2.3 billion, Men's Warehouse has offered $55 a share for Bank. Men's Warehouse said it wouldn't rebrand Joseph A. Bank if a deal goes through. Shares of both companies climbed in pre-market trading.

Man Drowns in New River
An unnamed man drowned in New River while trying to retrieve a canoe. The victim and his teenage stepsons were dumped out of a flat-bottomed canoe. The teens were taken to the hospital. The accident occurred Monday night near Meadow Creek.

Local News


Man To Serve 24 Years in Murder Case

Meyersdale resident Jonathan Beal will serve 10 to 24 years in prison, in connection with the death of 19-year old Justine Marie Jackson in September of 2012. Beal pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Ms. Jackson, formerly of this area, was found in November of 2012 near the Great Allegheny Passage Hiking and Biking Trail in Meyersdale. While in this area, Ms. Jackson attended Mountain Ridge High School and the Allegany County Center for Career and Technical Education.

 

Hunter Injured in Fall

Ridgeley resident Trent Bradshaw was suffered a broken neck as he was getting ready for the opening of deer season. Bradshaw was hanging his tree stand and fell approximately 9 feet. Initially taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, he was later transferred to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, and was listed in critical condition.

 

D.C. Drug Dealer Sentenced in Garrett County

A Washington, D.C. drug dealer who had escaped from the Garrett County Jail in 2011 has been sentenced to 15 years in a federal prison. Deandre Kelly pleaded guilty in 2009 to conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute PCP and cocaine. He escaped police custody in January of 2011, but was later recaptured in May of that year in Bedford, Virginia.

 

Man Arrested for Theft

Cumberland resident Samuel Crock was being held on $2500 bond, after attempting to take several items from the Fastenal Store on West Industrial Boulevard. Crock took a cordless screw driver and what he thought was a DeWalt hammer drill. He told officers he discarded the hammer drill, when he realized the case contained only a battery, and not the drill. He was charged with theft of less than $1,000. He received a bond hearing, and later taken to the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Commissioners Approve Industrial Park Improvements

The Allegany County Commissioners recently approved several improvements at the county's three industrial parks. At the North Branch location, the commissioners approved the acquisition of a four-acre parcel, which is considered to be a strategic piece of property. In Frostburg, the commissioners accepted a proposal for civil and site engineering work for the access road there. And, the county-in cooperation with the Maryland Economic Development Corporation-has been actively marketing the Barton Business Park for the past several years.

 

Pennsylvania Authorities Warn of Scam

There's another telephone scam going on, and one person lost nearly $500. A caller tells the victim they have won a sweepstakes, but they will have to send $499 to process the prize. District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser says residents should ask for a call back number, a person's name, and/or question how they picked you. Then, she says, contact the local or state police.

 

Mineral County Looking for Committee Volunteers

The Mineral County Commissioners are looking for residents, who may want to volunteer to serve on the Mineral County Board of Health, the Planning Commission or Development  Authority. If you are interested, the commissioners ask that you send a letter of interest by December 6th to the Mineral County Commission, 150 Armstrong Street, Keyser, West Virginia 26726.

 

Student Receives Letter from Mandela's Group

A Flintstone student, Ariana Spear, recently received a letter from a group, representing former South African President Nelson Mandela. Her class had been studying Mandela, and-according to Mia Perlozzo-Cross, public information officer for the Board of Education-they were intrigued by the fact that even though Mandela had been imprisoned, he eventually became the country's president. Ms. Spear wrote, and sent, a get-well note to the ailing Mandela.

 

Graduation Rates Increase, Dropouts Decrease

Allegany County has made some notable progress on increasing the graduation rate, according to public information officer Mia Perlozzo-Cross. According to Ms. Cross, more students are graduating and fewer are dropping out of high school.

 

Cause and Manner of Triple Fatal Shooting Released

One week ago, Benyam Asefa shot his wife and their three month old son, but their five year old daughter escaped. The investigation into the Frederick shooting has been completed, and revealed that Asefa and his wife, Barbara Giomarelli had been arguing. Asefa shot his wife as she was holding her son, and the bullet exited her and hit the infant. Asefa then turned the gun on himself.

 

Corbett Signs Transportation Bill

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has signed a $2.3 billion transportation bill, funded by higher gas taxes and motorist fees. He says there is "barely a spot in Pennsylvania" that won't benefit from the bill. The bill will benefit the Keystone State's highways, bridges and mass-transit systems. The Governor commented that the economic impact is far outweighed by the jobs included in the legislation, in addition to improving public safety on the state's highways.

Local News


Man To Serve 24 Years in Murder Case

Meyersdale resident Jonathan Beal will serve 10 to 24 years in prison, in connection with the death of 19-year old Justine Marie Jackson in September of 2012. Beal pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Ms. Jackson, formerly of this area, was found in November of 2012 near the Great Allegheny Passage Hiking and Biking Trail in Meyersdale. While in this area, Ms. Jackson attended Mountain Ridge High School and the Allegany County Center for Career and Technical Education.

 

Hunter Injured in Fall

Ridgeley resident Trent Bradshaw was suffered a broken neck as he was getting ready for the opening of deer season. Bradshaw was hanging his tree stand and fell approximately 9 feet. Initially taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, he was later transferred to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, and was listed in critical condition.

 

D.C. Drug Dealer Sentenced in Garrett County

A Washington, D.C. drug dealer who had escaped from the Garrett County Jail in 2011 has been sentenced to 15 years in a federal prison. Deandre Kelly pleaded guilty in 2009 to conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute PCP and cocaine. He escaped police custody in January of 2011, but was later recaptured in May of that year in Bedford, Virginia.

 

Man Arrested for Theft

Cumberland resident Samuel Crock was being held on $2500 bond, after attempting to take several items from the Fastenal Store on West Industrial Boulevard. Crock took a cordless screw driver and what he thought was a DeWalt hammer drill. He told officers he discarded the hammer drill, when he realized the case contained only a battery, and not the drill. He was charged with theft of less than $1,000. He received a bond hearing, and later taken to the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Commissioners Approve Industrial Park Improvements

The Allegany County Commissioners recently approved several improvements at the county's three industrial parks. At the North Branch location, the commissioners approved the acquisition of a four-acre parcel, which is considered to be a strategic piece of property. In Frostburg, the commissioners accepted a proposal for civil and site engineering work for the access road there. And, the county-in cooperation with the Maryland Economic Development Corporation-has been actively marketing the Barton Business Park for the past several years.

 

Pennsylvania Authorities Warn of Scam

There's another telephone scam going on, and one person lost nearly $500. A caller tells the victim they have won a sweepstakes, but they will have to send $499 to process the prize. District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser says residents should ask for a call back number, a person's name, and/or question how they picked you. Then, she says, contact the local or state police.

 

Mineral County Looking for Committee Volunteers

The Mineral County Commissioners are looking for residents, who may want to volunteer to serve on the Mineral County Board of Health, the Planning Commission or Development  Authority. If you are interested, the commissioners ask that you send a letter of interest by December 6th to the Mineral County Commission, 150 Armstrong Street, Keyser, West Virginia 26726.

 

Student Receives Letter from Mandela's Group

A Flintstone student, Ariana Spear, recently received a letter from a group, representing former South African President Nelson Mandela. Her class had been studying Mandela, and-according to Mia Perlozzo-Cross, public information officer for the Board of Education-they were intrigued by the fact that even though Mandela had been imprisoned, he eventually became the country's president. Ms. Spear wrote, and sent, a get-well note to the ailing Mandela.

 

Graduation Rates Increase, Dropouts Decrease

Allegany County has made some notable progress on increasing the graduation rate, according to public information officer Mia Perlozzo-Cross. According to Ms. Cross, more students are graduating and fewer are dropping out of high school.

 

Cause and Manner of Triple Fatal Shooting Released

One week ago, Benyam Asefa shot his wife and their three month old son, but their five year old daughter escaped. The investigation into the Frederick shooting has been completed, and revealed that Asefa and his wife, Barbara Giomarelli had been arguing. Asefa shot his wife as she was holding her son, and the bullet exited her and hit the infant. Asefa then turned the gun on himself.

 

Corbett Signs Transportation Bill

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has signed a $2.3 billion transportation bill, funded by higher gas taxes and motorist fees. He says there is "barely a spot in Pennsylvania" that won't benefit from the bill. The bill will benefit the Keystone State's highways, bridges and mass-transit systems. The Governor commented that the economic impact is far outweighed by the jobs included in the legislation, in addition to improving public safety on the state's highways.

Local News


Possible Remains of Cumberland Woman Found

The probable remains of murder victim Lisa Ann Simmons have been located in a Winchester, Virginia Industrial Park. Members of local law enforcement agencies assisted in locating and recovering her body. The suspect in the case, Stephen George Schleuniger of Cumberland, led authorities to the body. He was charged with her murder in September, despite law enforcement not having located the body of Ms. Simmons. Schleuniger has a court appearance scheduled for Allegany County Circuit Court next week. The remains were sent to the Virginia State Medical Examiner's Office.

 

Fire Destroys Westernport Home

A Saturday evening fire completely destroyed a home on Koon Hollow Road in Westernport. The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office says the blaze, at the home-owned by Marty Jewel and Mamie Lambert, and occupied by Linda and Robert Braithwaite-was caused by an electrical malfunction near the entertainment center. The total estimated loss to the home and its contents was $30,000. There were no injuries and the family is being assisted by the American Red Cross.

 

Smoke Hole Fire "Contained"

The fire in the Smoke Hole area of the Monongahela National Forest has been contained and the closure was lifted over the weekend. The fire started on November 10th, and the emergency closure was put into effect three days later. There are still ongoing monitoring and fire patrol efforts; several crews, fire engines and a helicopter continue to work in the area.

 

Canal Place Audit Finds Three Issues

The Maryland Office of Legislative Audits has returned a relatively clean audit of Canal Place. Only three areas of concern were found in the report. The areas of concern dealt with the method of processing invoices for janitorial services, obtaining hotel/motel tax revenue supporting documentation and problems with the annual fiscal audits not being finished in a timely manner. Many of the practices found to be at fault had been in place under prior administrators of Canal Place.

 

West Side Elementary Evacuated

West Side Elementary School was evacuated yesterday, after a fire alarm was triggered. The fire department responded and determined the cause was an overheated oven in the school. The building was cleared and all staff and students returned to the building.

 

Bedford County Man Killed in Farming Accident

A yet-to-be-identified Bedford County man was killed in a faming accident over this past weekend. The man drove the tractor out of his barn in Colerain Township, made a left turn, and hit the building, throwing him from the tractor. It then ran over him. The Pennsylvania State Police continue to investigated the accident.

 

Man Arrested in Domestic Incident

Cumberland resident Anthony Torres has been charged with domestic assault, in connection with an incident that happened earlier in the month. Torres is accused of assaulting his wife in the 700-block of Elm Street. He was issued a summons through District Court.

 

Two Injured in Somerset Mishap

Two people, including a Conemaugh Township police officer, were injured in a two-vehicle accident in Somerset County. Sgt. James McKnight was driving through Boswell, when 61-year old Rodney Kensinger pulled into his path. Sgt. McKnight and a passenger, 26-yera old Daniel Beeman, were injured and taken to the hospital to be evaluated. Kensinger was not injured. It is not known if any charges were filed in the incident.

 

Legislation Would Limit Immigration Policing

The American Civil Liberties Union has announced a legislative effort to limit local police involvement in immigration enforcement. An attorney for the ACLU, Sirine Shebaya says that presently, getting police involved in immigration enforcement undermines public safety in Maryland. On the flip-side, Brad Botwin, director of the pro-immigration enforcement group, Help Save Maryland, says says illegal immigrants have received "perks" such as in-state tuition, which he calls a "misuse of tax dollars, with no input from the community at large. Botwin commented on the ACLU contention that having local police handling the immigration issue detracts from dealing with crime.

 

Six Charged With Wildlife Violations

Six residents of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia have been charged with illegal deer sales and several other violations. Search warrants were issued in Hedgesville when officials suspected that deer were being killed and processed illegally, including the sale of deer meat across state lines. Three of the six suspects lived in Hedgesville, and three were from other communities.

 

West Virginia Considers Marijuana Bill

West Virginia will consider a bill, allowing the use of medical marijuana, during its upcoming legislative session. Twenty states and the District of Columbia now allow the use of medical marijuana, although it is still prohibited under federal law. One aspect of the bill is that people with certain illnesses, such as cancer and glaucoma could possess up to six ounces of marijuana. Registered patients would also be allowed to have a limited number of 12 marijuana plants.

Local News


Passenger Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident

 

Forty-two year old Frostburg resident William Volk was killed in a single-vehicle accident Saturday night on Route 40, east of the Finzel Road. He was a passenger in a car, driven by Veryl Rafferty, Jr. The car went off the road struck a utility pole and overturned. There were severe wind and snow conditions at the time of the 11:03 p.m. crash. Others in the car, 36-year old Edward McAteer and 42-year old Phillip Krauss, refused medical treatment at the scene of the accident. The accident remains under investigation by the McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police.

 

 

Two Garrett County Men Charged

 

Friendsville resident Dana Russell Stallard and Vincent Corby of Mountain Lake Park have been charged with allegedly manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine. Four searches were conducted at residences in those two towns, and they led to the discovery of meth, and materials used to produce it . Additional charges are pending, but they have posted $25,000 bond for their pretrial release from the Garrett County Detention Center.

 

 

Fire Reported on Stoney Run Road

 

A working fire in an unoccupied building on Stoney Run Road in Westernport was reported over the weekend. No further information was available from the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office.

 

Baltimore Street Crossing Open

 

The Baltimore Street railroad crossing opened late last week. It had been closed for several weeks by CSX Corporation, which was taking care of some improvements to the crossing.

 

 

Woman Arrested in Saturday Assault Incident

 

Twenty-year old Carrie Virginia James was arrested Saturday evening at a home in the 200-block of Virginia Avenue. A man stated he was assaulted by James for wanting to go out with friends. When he returned, James allegedly assaulted him, but he didn't require medical treatment. She was taken to Police Headquarters, processed and released on personal recognizance by a District Court Commissioner.

 

 

Mother, Son Arrested for Assault

 

Thirty-seven year old Jennifer Lynn Rhodes was arrested by Cumberland City Police over the weekend, and charged with assaulting her son in the 700-block of Fayette Street. She claimed the son became argumentative with her, and assaulted her. And,  the son claimed he was assaulted by his mother. Ms. Rhodes was arrested and her son was also charged with second-degree assault, and the case is pending further action by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

 

 

Mount Savage Water System Nearly Complete

 

The $8 million Mount Savage Water project is 75 per cent complete, and the project should be entirely finished by the spring of next year. About 150 residents have been notified they can now hook up to the system. Due to the initial phase of construction, about 80 residents must connect to the new system by December 31st, as a portion of the old system will be shut down. The county's Department of Public Works is asking that all residents who live on the East side of New School Road, complete the process of connecting to the new water line. Hookup assistance is available to residents who meet income guidelines.

 

 

Kingwood Chiropractor Faces Sex Charges

 

Preston County chiropractor Stephen Dwight Herto has been indicted by a grand jury there, for allegedly trying to initiate a sexual relationship with a 16-year old patient. He faces 13 total charges, including sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian, or a person in a position of trust. He is accused of contacting the girl through emails between October of 2010 and February of 2011 with inappropriate requests. He also allegedly grabbed the girl in his office and asked when they were going to get together.

 

 

Keyser Native Named State Director

 

Keyser native Mara Boggs has been named the state director for United States Senator Joe Manchin. She will be returning to West Virginia from Capitol Hill, where she had served as Senator Manchin's chief of operations and a senior policy advisor for defense. Both she and her husband had served in had served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ms. Boggs is a graduate of Keyser High School and West Virginia University. She will begin her new duties immediately, and will move back to the Mountain State on January 1st.

 

 

FSU Named One of Best Colleges for Veterans

 

Frostburg State University has been named one of the top ranked schools in the 2014 edition of U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges for Veterans. The rankings recognize schools that participate in federal initiatives, helping veterans and active service members apply, pay for, and complete their degrees. The 234 schools in the new list scored well in terms of graduation rate, faculty resources, reputation and other markers of academic quality.

 

 

Deer Season Begins Saturday

 

The two-week firearms deer season begins Saturday and runs through December 14th. Hunters who possess a valid hunting license may use guns to hunt white-tailed deer and sika during the season. Complete bag limits and other information can be found on the Department of Natural Resources website. Deer hunters are also encouraged to donate any extra deer they may harvest to the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry Program.

 

Another Portion of Corridor H Open

 

A new, nearly five mile section of Corridor H opened on Friday, this one between Scherr and Bismark. Work is already underway on another 16.2 mile section of roadway near Davis, West Virginia. That portion could open by 2015, and at that point Corridor H wi9ll be around 80 per cent complete.

 

 

COOL Targeted by Foreign Countries

 

"Country Origin Labeling" is requiring labels on meat sold in the United States to clearly state where that meat comes from; Joe Maxwell, of the Humane Society of the U.S. says his group has helped form a coalition to try to keep the law in place, as it is being opposed by some foreign countries, along with groups in the U.S. Maxwell says this should be a major concern for consumers and farmers alike, as some countries do not have health and safety rules for raising animals, and meat processing standards are lower. Those working to overturn "COOL" include Canada and U.S. groups, including the National Pork Producers Council and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. He adds the push for cheap meat has come at a heavy price for animal welfare and for small farmers.

 

 

Local News


International Beauty School Remains Open

The International Beauty Schools in Cumberland and Winchester, Virginia remain open, despite a raid Wednesday morning by officials from the FBI and the Department of Education. Federal officials were assisted by the Cumberland City Police, but there is very little information as to why the operation was conducted. Agents were seen carrying cardboard boxes from the Winchester location on Berryville Avenue. Some of the students were questioned when trying to enter the Winchester location Wednesday morning.

 

Burlington Resident Indicted

Burlington resident Marvin Junior Thompson has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Martinsburg on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Thompson has a 300-caliber bolt-action rifle, and faces up to ten years in prison, if convicted. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

 

Technology Park Has New Tenant

The Capon Bridge Technology Park has a new tenant in DirectAnswer, Incorporated, which specializes in database management and other business solutions meant to maximize growth. The company has its headquarters in Oxon Hill, Maryland; it has signed an agreement for a 15-year lease, with a three-year opt-out policy.

 

Body From 1986 Murder Identified

A 1986 murder victim, whose body was found in Little Orleans, has been identified as Carl Bughoo. He was in his late 30's at the time of the murder. Authorities say he was born in Trinidad, and also went by the names of Carlos Fernandez and Cali Cruz. His body was found on a farm in Little Orleans, near the West Virginia border; it was estimated the body had been there for several months.

 

Man Held In Domestic Incident

An argument over $20 has led to Cumberland resident Michael Thomas Sharon being jailed in lieu of $5,000 bond. The victim-his girlfriend-told police Sharon became angry over $20, and the argument became physical. He also grabbed her 2-1/2 week old son and tried to leave the Arch Street residence with him. He put the child down in an aggressive manner. When police arrived, he ran out the back door of the residence. He was located several blocks away, but denied assaulting the victim.

 

Police Seeking Sex Trafficker

The West Virginia State Police are looking for a Baltimore man, who is wanted on a charge of sex trafficking of minors. William Quandre Waters has been spotted in the Berkeley Springs area, and is also known as Brew, Drew, Andrew and Sam. Along with the sex trafficking indictment, Waters also allegedly has distributed heroin in the Baltimore area. Anyone with information is asked to contact West Virginia State Police or the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force.

 

Couple Identified in Blaze 

The identities of the couple who died in a fire at their home in Maugansville have been identified. Eighty-three year old Donald Keith Alt and his 72-year old wife, Betty June, died of smoke inhalation early Wednesday morning. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No smoke alarms were found in the home, and damages have been estimated at $18,000.

 

Jewelry Heist Thwarted in Hagerstown

Two men are being sought for robbing Bruce Carson Jewelers in Hagerstown Tuesday afternoon. Although they got away with some jewelry, described as a "smash and grab" operation,  an employee-armed with a handgun-challenged them, and fire a single warning shot. The two came into the store, on Shank Farm Way, and smashed the display cases with a hammer. The two ran, and a K-9 track was unsuccessful. Anyone with information is asked to contact Hagerstown City Police at (301)-790-3700, extension 234.

 

Three Dead in Apparent Murder/Suicide

Three people are dead in an apparent murder/suicide in the New Market area of Frederick. An infant boy, an adult male and female are all dead. They have been identified as 40-year old Benyam Asefa, 40-year old Barbara Giomarelli and 3-month old Samuel Asefa.  A five year old girl made it out of the house, near Wood's Court, and went to a neighbor's house for help. Child Protective Services were also called to the scene.

 

More Maryland Kids Getting Health Insurance

Maryland is among the top ten states in the nation, when it comes to making sure children have health insurance, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. Executive Director Joan Alker says even through the poverty rates are increasing, Maryland has been successful in making sure children stay insured through programs such as Medicaid and CHIP. Health policy expert Leigh Cobb with Advocates for Children and Youth in Maryland, agrees, and hopes the success of those joint federal-state programs will inspire optimism about the future of the Affordable Care Act.

 

Deputy Chief of Staff Leaving O'Malley Administration

Governor Martin O'Malley's deputy chief of staff, Catherine Motz, is leaving that post to become executive director of the College Bound Foundation in Baltimore. She has been with the O'Malley administration for seven years, and will start her new job in January. Several top aides have left the administration in anticipation of O'Malley's term ending in January of 2015.

 

West Virginia Unemployment Rate Unchanged

The unemployment rate in West Virginia remained unchanged from September to October at 6.2 per cent. West Virginians without a job fell by 100 in September to 49,400, but climbed up 200 to49,600 in October. The highest gains were in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors, while mining and logging experienced the largest losses at 600. The national unemployment rate decreased to 7.2 per cent in September, but rose slightly to 7.3 per cent in October.

Local News


Market Robbed Overnight

An unknown amount of cash was taken from the Fair Price Market, on Route 135 in Westernport early this morning. The Allegany County Sheriff's Office says a person entered the business with a handgun and demanded cash. An unspecified amount of money was taken from the cash register, and the gunman fled on foot. He was described as a white male, 5'3" to 5'4" with a thin build and a dark colored coat, and a tobggan. His face was covered by a black and white bandana. The Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Maryland State Police, the Mineral County Sheriff's Office and K-9 Unit, and the C3I unit. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office or the C3I unit.

 

International Beauty Schools Shut Down

The International Beauty Schools, in both Cumberland and Winchester, Virginia, were shut down early yesterday, following a raid by the FBI and representatives of the Department of Education. The federal groups were assisted by the Cumberland City Police.  There is no word on why the action took place, but agents were seen carrying out cardboard boxes from the Winchester school, located on Berryville Avenue. Some students were questioned when trying to enter the facility in Winchester. There is no word on the nature of the federal investigation.

 

Teen Hit By Car on Greene Street

A 13-year old girl was hit by a car in the area of 64 Greene Street late Tuesday afternoon but the injuries were not life-threatening. The girls' mother had dropped her off for a dental appointment, and two witnesses said they saw her run into the path of a vehicle, driven by resident Kevin Cookerly. He said he didn't have time to brake, and the child was hit by the left front bumper of the car. The juvenile was found to be at fault, and no citations were issued.

 

Burlington Man Sentenced on Drug Charges

Burlington, West Virginia resident Donald Tillotson has been sentenced to a total of 8 years in federal prison, for possession of pseudoephedrine, a drug which is used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. He was also ordered to make restitution of over $1,000 for expenses incurred by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for the cleanup of the meth lab. A U.S. Marshal placed him in custody, pending designation to a federal correctional institution.

 

Garrett County Looking to State for Funding

The Garrett County Commissioners may be looking to the state of Maryland for funding to keep three schools open there. Commissioner Robert Gatto made a motion to designate $2.2 million to the board for FY 2015 with the amount to be reduced, should the state grant funding to the school system. The motion died for the lack of a second. Commissioner Jim Raley says he would like to provide the board with a funding number on December 17th.

 

Police Seek Information on Stolen Vehicle 

The Cumberland City Police Department is investigating the theft of a 2000 Nissan Altima from Footer Place on Monday. The license plate number is "5BC6772," and anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police at (301)-777-1600.

 

Mineral County Seeks to Improve Communication

A new communications tower on Patterson Creek Ridge would greatly improve wireless and radio communications in the northern end of the county. That's why officials there are looking to erect a 340-foot tower, which has the potential to reach into Hampshire and Morgan counties. Mineral County's share of an 80/20 matching grant has been estimated at $107,000. The county would also be liable for the cost of radios, repeaters, antennas and installation.

 

Wildfire Nearly Contained

Most of the wildfire in Pendleton County has been contained. The U.S. Forest Service estimates it is about 70 per cent under control. The fire, in the Smoke Hole area of the Monongahela National Forest, has been burning since November 10th. No structural damage has been reported, but an emergency order, prohibiting public access to lands in an approximately 3-square-mile area around the fire, remains in effect.

 

Garrett School Advisory Applications Available

As has been reported, Garrett County Public School officials are moving ahead with plans to close three of its schools. School Advisory Committees will be developed to consider the impact of student enrollment trends, age or condition of the buildings, transportation and other areas of concern. Committee applications can be found on the Garrett County Public Schools' website, at www.garrettcountyschools.org." All applications should be received by November 26th.

 

Single Vehicle Accident Injures Washington State Man

Twenty-six tons of steel coils were strewn over a connector ramp from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Exchange to Route 30 west in Breezewood. Twenty-six year old Oleg Stratan of Mountlake, Washington-the driver of the truck carrying the coils-was cited for speeding. He suffered minor injuries. One lane of Route 30 and the ramp were partially blocked while crews worked to upright the truck. His truck was the only vehicle involved in the crash.

 

Friedens Man Faces Further Charges

A Friedens man has been charged by the Pennsylvania State Police with a total of 31 commercial burglaries and attempted break-ins. Twenty-two year old Roy T. Penrose faced several initial charges last week, and all of the cases have been consolidated and will be heard next Tuesday at 10:15 a.m.

 

School Evacuated Due to Propane Odor

Chestnut Ridge High School was evacuated on Monday, after a propane gas odor spread through the building. The school had received a propane delivery earlier in the morning, and some of the fumes apparently entered the school's ventilation system. The students were evacuated to the football field; at least two teachers and six students were examined by medical personnel. Two of the students were taken to the hospital. Everyone was back in the building by 11 a.m., and the school day continued as normal.

 

 

Double Fatal Blaze in Washington County

The State Fire Marshal's Office, along with the Maryland State Police and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner are investigating a fire, early yesterday morning, that resulted in two deaths. The fire was reported on Village Mill Drive in Maugansville. An unidentified adult male was found on the first floor of the home, and an adult female was found inside a bedroom. Both were taken to EMS personnel, but pronounced dead on the scene. The fire originated in the kitchen/dining room area of the first floor. No smoke alarms were located in the home.

 

Board Considers Discipline Changes

The Maryland State Board of Education is considering changes in its discipline policy to reduce the number of suspensions, eliminate disparities in how out-of-school punishments are handed out to African American children and student with disabilities. Advocates for Children and Youth Education Policy Director David Beard says students suspended for non-violent offenses such as insubordination should be able to keep up with their coursework. Beard says he believes children should be kept in school whenever possible, and advocates for methods that are appropriate for the behavior displayed. He notes one Maryland high school has instituted a school service day.

 

Policies Can Be Renewed

Maryland Insurance Commissioner Therese Goldsmith says individual policies that don't comply with the federal health care overhaul can be extended through the end of the year. She has sent a memo to insurers, stating they can renew such policies for the coming year, as long as the renewals take effect before January 1st. About 73,000 Marylanders are losing their policies because of the new health care law.

Local News


Somerset County Man Dies in Collision

New Alexandria, Pennsylvania resident James Harris was killed Monday in a crash in Somerset County that involved three trucks. One of the vehicles was a coal truck that caught fire and spilled coal on Route 30. Harris was a passenger in a box truck, with the driver of both the coal truck and box truck flown to area hospitals. A third truck driver was also hospitalized. An accident reconstruction team is investigating.

 

Fire Investigation Underway

Monday's fire on Darrows Lane, across from Calvary Christian Academy remains under investigation. The Adam Siefarth family had just moved back into the home on Sunday; seven family members were displaced,  and are being assisted by the local Red Cross. The fire did a total of $70,000 in damage. Spotted by a passerby, the fire began under the exterior porch of the home. The fire reignited around 5 p.m. Monday, and fire units were called back. Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Fire Marshal's Office at (301)-729-5021.

 

Baltimore Man Sentenced on Drug Charges

Twenty-eight year old Baltimore resident William Moye III has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on a conviction of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. He had been convicted of multiple drug offenses and was part of a larger investigation by law enforcement of narcotics coming into the community via Baltimore City. The first ten years of the sentence will be served without the possibility of parole, since it represented a subsequent narcotics conviction against him. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State's Attorney Sam Lane.

 

Garrett County May Close Schools

Garrett County is going ahead with the process of closing three schools, including Crellin, Friendsville and Route 40 elementary schools. The school system is facing an over $2 million deficit for next school year. A study suggested closing two schools in the northern end of Garrett County, and one in the southern portion, and reconfiguring all grades in the northern schools, along with adjusting school boundary lines.

 

City to Buy Computer System

The city of Cumberland is considering several vendors, and is purchasing a new computer system, at a cost of over a half-million dollars. The current system has been used since 1996, and several city employees and staff members have been looking product demonstrations from various vendors. A new system will be user friendly and would allow residents to access their utility bills and tax records 24 hours a day.

 

Suit Filed Against Pinnacle Wind Farm, LLC

Mike Haywood, a Keyser businessman, has filed a lawsuit against the  Pinnacle Wind Farm, LLC, which owns the Green Mountain Turbines. In the suit, Haywood claims noise and vibration are harming his efforts to sell houses, and are thwarting an effort to  construct a proposed housing development less than 2 miles away from the site. Haywood's suit is one of 32 filed against Pinnacle within the past 60 days.

 

Dollar Store Considers Two New Locations

Dollar General Stores is considering locating two new facilities in Allegany County. Preliminary locations have been considered, with one on Mount Savage Road and the other at Nave's Crossroads. Dollar General says the new stores would not be relocations of existing stores, nor are any of the present locations closing. The company says it is doing "due diligence," which means it is interested in putting stores in those locations, but have not committed to doing so.

 

Man Arrested in Middle School Disturbance

Forty-six year old Cumberland resident Darnell Powell turned himself in to Cumberland City Police Monday night, after allegedly causing a disturbance at Washington Middle School earlier in the day. In a meeting with his child's teachers, he allegedly used profane language toward the teachers. He continued to curse at them after the meeting was stopped. He also threw a desk to the floor. He also stated several times that if his child has any further problems with the teachers that he would burn down the school. A warrant for his arrest was issued; he turned himself in around 11 p.m. He was later held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Woman Arrested for Trespassing at Parklet

A Cumberland woman, Janice Lee Youmans, was arrested Monday evening, for trespassing at the Liberty Street parklet. The area is closed from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily. A Cumberland Police Officer told her she would be arrested if she didn't leave, and she stated she would prefer being arrested. The officer also offered to find her a place to stay, and again said she would rather be arrested. She was held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $500.00 bond.

 

Man Charged With Assaulting Girlfriend

A Cumberland man was released on personal recognizance, after being charged with assaulting his girlfriend in September. Twenty-eight year old Darrell Soules allegedly assaulted her, after being accused of being unfaithful to her. The woman is currently pregnant with his child. He allegedly slapped her in the face, and told her he would tell police she was the primary aggressor. At the hospital, the victim went to a nurses' station for help after being assaulted. Soules fled the hospital before police arrived. He was taken into custody on an arrest warrant Monday.

 

Toys for Happiness Underway

The Toys for Happiness campaign held its annual press conference at the Country Club Mall yesterday morning. This is the 32nd year, and chairman Chuck Koelker says, that as in years past, the gift wrapping area will be just outside of J.C. Penney. Jody Oliver says the area will be open, for gift wrapping and donations,  on Black Friday morning. Donations will help anywhere from 2100 to 2200 area children, and that cash donations are very much appreciated.

Local News


House Fire in Cresaptown

About 10 fire companies were on the scene of a working house fire yesterday afternoon in the 14,000 block of McMullen Highway, across from Calvary Christian Academy. The Allegany County Office of Emergency Services received a call around 1:50 yesterday afternoon, and alerted several companies to the fire. The fire rekindled about 5 p.m. Allegany County Fire Police were also on the scene to control traffic on Route 220.  Several companies responded, including Cresaptown, Bowling Greene and Corriganville. The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause.

 

Weekend Fire Investigated

The Maryland State Fire Marshal continues to investigate a weekend fire on Mount Fairview Road, southeast of Cumberland. A dog and three cats perished in the fire, and losses are estimated to be around $30,000. The home is owned by Sol Cohen, and was discovered by a neighbor. It took about 50 firefighters about 30-miniutes to control the blaze.

 

ACM Students Receive Millions in Financial Aid

The Allegany College of Maryland Board of Trustees announced during yesterday's meeting that students had received over $21 million in financial aid during fiscal year 2013. Assistance was given through over 4400 awards from 80 different programs. A majority of the students, about 84 per cent, received some type of financial aid.

 

Sheriff's Office Seeking Information

The Allegany County Sheriff's Office is looking for information in identifying a vehicle that hit a parked Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle along National Highway Sunday afternoon. The vehicle was parked in the 300-block when an unknown vehicle, traveling west, struck the driver's door. There was a large volume of traffic at the time and someone may have seen the creash. The suspect vehicle is a Ford that is missing its passenger side mirror. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Allegany County Sheriff's Office at (301)-777-5959, or Deputy I.S. Sibley at (240)-580-0907.

 

WIC Program Changes Vouchers

The federal Women's, Infants and Children program has made some changes. Instead of paper vouchers, participants will have benefits loaded onto an Electronic Benefit Transfer card, which will be called the "eWIC" card. It will allow the purchase of authorized foods, comparable to the "SNAP" card or a debit card, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

 

Residents Oppose Sewer Rate Hike

It may be over two years away, but Keyser area residents are already opposing sewer rate increases near 96 per cent, to help pay for a new treatment plant. This, on top of another 15 per cent hike from the West Virginia Public Service Commission that will be applied late next year. Not only are Keyser residents being affected, so will those living in New Creek and McCoole, Maryland.

 

Piedmont Discusses Use of "P-Cards"

The town of Piedmont is considering the use of so-called "P-Cards" for town business. A representative from the state auditor's office told the town council that one benefit of using the card is the fact that Piedmont could actually get back just over one percent of the money spent. The card is secure, and the town must also agree to pay off the account balance within 57 days. However, no further action was taken on the suggestion. The next town council meeting is set for next Monday at 6 p.m.

 

Man Receives Prison Sentence on Drug Charges

Burlington, West Virginia resident Donald Tillotson was sentenced to eight years in prison for possession of pseudoephedrine, used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. He was among 8 people who were sentenced in U.S. District Court recently. Tillotson was also ordered to make restitution of over $1,000 to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for the cleanup of the operation.

 

Charges Filed Against Cumberland Man

A Cumberland man was arrested, following a hit-and-run accident in the area of Valley Street, near Henderson Boulevard. An unoccupied, parked vehicle was struck by a white vehicle, with Wisconsin registration. Twenty-nine year old Timothy Perdew of Cumberland was issued a Maryland Traffic Citation for failure to remain at the scene of a property damage motor vehicle accident. Both the Cumberland City Police and the Allegany County Sheriff's Office were involved in the investigation, and additional related traffic charges are pending through the Sheriff's Office.

 

More Maryland Kids Living in Low-Income Households

More Maryland kids under the age of 9 are living in low-income households. It's ironic, with Maryland considered one of the wealthiest states in the nation. There has been a double-digit increase in the percentage of kids living in poverty over the last seven years. Al Passarella with the group, Maryland Advocates for Children and Youth, says most of those kids are not in pre-school, and are not prepared for kindergarten. The report, form the Annie E. Casey Foundation, says there are almost a quarter-million kids under the age of nine, growing up in low income households in Maryland. Passarella says for many of them, both parents are working.

 

West Virginia Legislators Hold Interim Meetings

West Virginia state lawmakers are in the middle of monthly interim committee meetings, which are also scheduled for December and January, just before the beginning of the 60-day legislative session. Several topics are being considered, including the consideration of pay increases for county elected officials, an update on the WVU College of Law, and the issue of funding county boards of education.

 

Gas Prices Continue to Fall

Gas prices are falling across the country, and in West Virginia they're off more than 5-cents a gallon in the past week. The average price of a gallon of regular, unleaded gas is $3.26, 28 cents cheaper than the same time last year. Nationally, gas prices are at their lowest since February of 2011, averaging $3.18 per gallon.

Local News - UPDATE


House Fire in Cresaptown
About 10 fire companies are on the scene of a working house fire in the 14,000 block of McMullen Highway, across from Calvary Christian Academy. The Allegany County Office of Emergency Services received a call around 1:50 this afternoon, and alerted several companies to the fire. Several companies responded, including Cresaptown, Bowling Greene and Corriganville.

Local News


Safe Streets Initiative Underway

 

Another Safe Streets warrant initiative is underway, and will conclude on Friday. The Safe Streets Program is asking citizens and residents of the surrounding communities to help in the arrest of several individuals, wanted for various crimes. Seventeen people are wanted on a variety of charges, including drug charges, assault, failure to appear and violation of probation.

 

 

Berlin Man Killed in Two-Car Accident

 

A Berlin man was killed late last week, after his car struck a school van and went into a nearby field in Stonycreek Township. Forty-eight year old Dean Blough had been involved in another accident about ten minutes before the fatal crash. The second accident occurred as Blough was driving north on Lambertsville Road, at an apparent high rate of speed. His car struck a minivan, driven by Lynn Frazier of Central City. Blough lost control of the car, ran off the road and flipped several times before coming to rest. He and his passenger, Georgiann Ruschak were ejected, as neither was wearing a seat belt. The investigation is continuing.

 

 

Museum Requests State Funding

 

Allegany County Museum officials have sent a letter to Governor Martin O'Malley, requesting $2.75 million in funding to complete the renovations to the Pershing Street building. The funding request to the Governor is to "complete the restoration work and make the museum a national heritage attraction, " according to the Cumberland Times-News. State Senator George Edwards has a copy of the letter; however Delegate Kevin Kelly says he was not aware of the letter until three weeks after it was sent. A meeting with the Western Maryland delegation has been set for December 4th to discuss the funding plan.

 

 

Residents Back Garrett County  Wind Power Project

 

Garrett County is in need of the revenue a wind power project would generate, so the majority of those testifying on the Fair Wind project spoke in favor of it last week at Garrett College. On the opposing side, some feel the project would change the wealth formula on receiving funding for the state. Fair Wind has filed for an application with the Public Service Commission for 12 wind turbines along the top of Backbone Mountain. It would begin in the spring of next year and be operational by 2015.

 

 

Smoke Hole Fire Burns for a Week

 

Some weekend rain helped, but the fire that has been burning in the Monongahela National Forest near Petersburg has been burning now for a week. The fire is considered to be about 40 per cent contained. A cause for the fire has not been determined, but an outdoor burning ban remains in effect.

 

 

Police Investigate Firearm Incident

 

Both the Keyser and Romney detachments of the West Virginia State Police investigated an incident last week, where a man allegedly brandished a firearm at an off-duty Hampshire County Sheriff's Deputy. The incident happened along Route 28 in Springfield, across from the Country Store, at the Wayne Skipper residence. The case remains under investigation by the Romney detachment.

 

 

Money Found in Flea Market Item

 

A local couple found a large amount of money in a mantle fireplace they bought at the Queen City Flea Market recently. Carol and David Hall found at least $35,000 in $100 bills in the piece; the Halls thought the container was a shaving kit. There was additional money, in stacks of $50 and $20 bills, and it is believed there was a total of about $50,000. The honest couple called the owner and returned the money; meanwhile, the mantle is still at the flea market, and still for sale.

 

 

Fort Hill Wins State Championship\

 

If you were wondering what all the sirens and noise were Saturday night, it was an escort into town for the Fort Hill Girls' volleyball team, as they won the Class 1-A state championship at the University of Maryland. Fort Hill defeated the Carver A & T Wildcats, and the Lady Sentinels finished the season with a perfect 19-0 record. They won the first state volleyball title in school history. Their coach is Joe Brewer.

 

 

Man Assaults Officer at Hospital

 

A Cumberland man, Dustin Bennett, who had been a patient at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, is now a resident of the Allegany County Detention Center. Bennett was at the hospital, became unruly and argumentative, and hit a Cumberland City Police officer in the face, with a closed fist. He was arrested and charged, and held on $10,000 bail.

 

 

Possible Recreational Opportunities for Potomac River

 

The city of Cumberland is exploring options for developing the Potomac River near the Blue Bridge, for recreational opportunities such as boating and kayaking. Cumberland City Council member Dave Kauffman says he would be interested in seeing how shared ownership of the river, between Maryland and West Virginia is handled, along with the determination of toxins under the dam itself. Kauffman says he also has fiscal concerns about the project. He also says he wants to make sure the nature of the investment warrants the return on investment, and adds there have been some preliminary conversations with West Virginia representatives.

 

 

Commissioners to Meet in Barton Thursday

 

The Allegany County Commissioners will hold a public business meeting in Barton this Thursday. The meeting will be held, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Barton Town Hall. Community members and all interested individuals are invited to attend.

 

 

Bedford County Plans WWII Memorial

 

Bedford County is planning a memorial for World War II veterans, at a cost of about $200,000, and the Monument Committee is taking donations until Christmas Eve. The statue will contain the finger and thumb prints of surviving World War II veterans in Bedford County. After donations are collected, plans for the monument will be sent to a foundry in Montana by the end of the year.

 

 

Woman Sentenced for Embezzlement

 

A Berkeley County woman was sentenced to more than two years in prison, and ordered to make restitution of more than a million dollars for embezzling from Collaborative Systems Group. forty-one year old Bunker Hill resident Melissa Trenary Grove had secretly added a relative to the company's payroll and used some of the money to start a spa business, which ultimately failed. She is accused of wiring funds, writing checks from company accounts, and using a company credit card for her personal use. She will report to prison in January.

 

 

More Health Insurance Assistants to be Hired

 

The state of West Virginia will hire about 100 more workers to help people enroll in the state's health insurance marketplace and expanded Medicaid program. Federal funding for the workers will go to the West Virginia Primary Care Association, Community Care of West Virginia, Partners in Health Network, Incorporated, and the Valley Health Systems. Open enrollment in the state's expanded Medicaid program will continue through March 31st.

Local News


Home Destroyed by Fire in Garrett County

A Garrett County home with a value of nearly $400,000, was destroyed by fire early yesterday morning. Owned by Annalea Catulle, the fire was caused by the accidental discarding of ashes from a wood stove, outside of the home, which was located on Eden's Ridge Road in Oakland. The structure itself was valued at $270,000 and the contents, at $125,000. The family is assisted by the American Red Cross.

 

Closure in Smoke Hole Fire Zone

The United States Forest Service has closed an area around the Smoke Hole Fire, which is still burning in the Potomac Highlands area of West Virginia. The fire has been burning since Sunday, and the latest action was taken to ensure the safety of the public and firefighters battling the blaze. The closure order is in effect for up to 120 days, unless it is lifted by the Forest Supervisor.

 

Board To Apply For Funding

The Allegany County Board of Education is applying for, and hoping to receive, nearly $15 million in "Race To The Top" funding from the federal government. The Board announced this week it would apply for its portion, which makes funds available to eligible states. The board has several projects in mind for the funding, including extending broadband access to seven schools, and upgrading middle school science labs, equipment and technology.

 

Man Convicted on Felony Sex Charges

A Delray, West Virginia man, Harry Wright, Jr., has pleaded guilty in Hampshire County Circuit Court, to eight counts of sexual abuse involving a minor. Six other charges, which would have meant larger sentences, were dismissed without prejudice. All of the charges were felonies. Wright will be sentenced after a complete diagnostic and mental examination, which is expected to be finished early next year.

 

Police Investigate City Burglary

The Cumberland City Police are investigating a burglary in the 200 block of Cumberland Street, that happened sometime between October 31st and November 7th. A person or persons entered the home through an unlocked front door, and stole two bottles of prescription medication, and about $60 in coins. Anyone with information should contact City Police or the Allegany/Mineral County CrimeSolvers group.

 

Man Issued Citation in Hit and Run

Cumberland resident James Frazier was cited by Cumberland City Police earlier this week, after he allegedly hit a parked vehicle in the parking lot of the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Frazier hit the car as he backed out of a parking space, and is accused of leaving the area without making notification of the incident. He was found at his home, and issued a traffic citation. He was released, pending trial in Allegany County District Court.

 

WMHS Opens Center for Clinical Resources

The Western Maryland Health System has opened its Center for Clinical Resources, which offers support services that can help control patients' symptoms, so they can live life to the fullest. The Center will help patients manage their diabetes, heart failure, respiratory issues and anticoagulation medications. The new Center for Clinical Resources is located in Suite 300 of the Western Maryland Medical Arts Center. For more information, patients can speak with their primary care provider, or call 240-964-8787.

 

Commissioners Discuss MCDA Resignations

At least two former members of the Mineral County Development Authority-Steven Davis and Robert Cole-say the authority's lack of interest in better broadband communications was the main reason for their resignations. The Commissioners and authority member Jerry Whisner says the issue of improved broadband communication is being pursued but not at the price level that had once been proposed. The authority will meet again on Tuesday.

 

Toys For Happiness Sets Fundraisers

The Toys for Happiness campaign has several major fundraisers in the next two weeks. Jody Oliver, of the campaign, says there will be a spirit night at Roy Rogers' Restaurant this Thursday. There is a band bash at Woodchux Saturday, and of course, the Harvest Skate, which takes place the night before Thanksgiving at the Star-Lite Roller Rink on National Highway. Ms. Oliver says the wrapping area at the Country Club Mall will be open on Black Friday morning. On Friday, December 13th, there is the "Stuff The Truck" campaign at Ollie's parking lot in LaVale.

 

Changes Planned for Sheetz ATM Machines

Sheetz, Incorporated has announced it has reached an agreement with PNC Bank to provide in-store ATMs to more than 480 stores in six states, and the machines will be surcharge-free. The agreement includes more than 40 machines with DepositEasySM capabilities-offered by PNC-that allow customers to cash checks and deposit cash or checks without an envelope at any time. The ATMs will be installed during January and February of next year.

 

Additional Money Committed to Energy Initiative

FirstEnergy Corporation has announced it will invest an additional $2.8 billion over four years to expand its previously announced "Energizing the Future" transmission initiative. The main focus of the initial construction effort will be transmission power lines and substations in the Ohio and Penn Power areas. Work on the new "Energizing the Future" projects will begin next year and continue through 2017. The projects are designed to increase FirstEnergy's load serving capability in areas where future economic growth is anticipated.

 

Aide Convicted of Some Sexual Abuse Counts

A former aide at the Maryland School for the Deaf has been convicted of several counts of sexually abusing two of seven middle school girls who said he touched them inappropriately over a three year program. Clarence Taylor III was convicted of one count of child sexual abuse, but was unable to reach a verdict on four other counts. A retrial on those charges has been set for May 12th. He faces up to 50 years in prison at his sentencing on January 31st.

 

WVU Begins Search for  President

West Virginia University has begun the search for both an interim president and a permanent one. James Clements was named the 15th president of Clemson University this week. The Board of Governors will look for someone to advance the goals and have the same vision as Clements. WVU will undergo a reaccreditation process next year, with the last accreditation in 2003-2004.     

Local News


Trooper Strikes, Kills Pedestrian

State  Police continue to investigate an accident Tuesday night, involving a pedestrian, who was struck in the roadway by a Maryland State trooper, travelling on Interstate 68, at the Chestnut Ridge Road overpass. Truck driver,  Lamont Scaife, of Orlando, Florida was struck on the roadway, as he was retrieving a paper that had blown out of the truck. Trooper First Class Scott Bell, assigned to the McHenry barrack, struck Scaife in the roadway. Trooper Bell immediately called for help and began CPR on Scaife. He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, where he died of his injuries. The Maryland State Police CRASH team is conducting a complete reconstruction of the incident, as the investigation is continuing.

 

Man Sentenced on Drug Counts

Frostburg resident Brendan Patrick Orr will be spending the next 11-1/2 years in prison, following his sentencing this week in Allegany County Circuit Court. Orr, 25 years old, was found guilty last month of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, possession of heroin and possession of controlled paraphernalia. Judge Tim Finan sentenced Orr to the term, as part of a larger suspended sentence. When released, Orr will be on three years of supervised probation. 

 

ATK Awarded Contract

ATK has been awarded a production contract with the U.S. Air Force, with an initial value of $22.8 million. The local facility will manufacture a Proximity Sensor to determine the correct height above a target and for maximum effect. Delivery on the sensors will begin in 2015. There are options in the Air Force contract for four additional order periods, totaling up to $84 million.

 

Firefighters Battle Blaze in Pendleton County

More than 80 foresters and firefighters are battling a fire in the Monongahela National Forest in Pendleton County, West Virginia. As of yesterday, the Smoke Hole blaze was about 20 per cent contained, after having damaged nearly 730 acres. Firefighters from six states and West Virginia are on the scene of the ongoing fire. High humidity is keeping the flames from spreading any faster, but firefighters said precipitation in the area would greatly help in controlling the fire.

 

Resignations Accepted by Commission

The Mineral County Commissioners dealt with three letters of resignation from the county's Development Authority. Members Bob Cole and Steven Davis, along with president Dave Boden had already announced their resignations; the commissioners are just now considering the letters, because of the timing of their meetings. They will now have to find replacements for all three, to bring the authority's number back up to the required 15 members.

 

Petition Calls for Removal of Commissioners

A petition that has been circulating in Hardy County over the past two weeks seeking to remove two Hardy County Commissioners. The petition to remove J. Michael Teets and William "JR" Keplinger, Jr., from the commission, is related to the recently passed Ambulance Service Fee Ordinance, and the purchase of a building by the commissioners. The petition contains over 750 signatures, asking the Superior Court of West Virginia to look at specific violations of the law by the two commissioners.

 

Meyersdale Man Charged with Burglary of Sister's House

Cumberland Highway resident Ronald Eugene Lepley is being charged with attempting to burglarize his sister's home in Southampton Township. Lepley was caught on video, trying to enter her home, during the time he was working on her property. Lepley, currently on parole, has a hearing scheduled for next week in Meyersdale. Until then, he is being held in the Somerset County Jail.

 

Maryland College Students More Likely to Drink

As reported last week, a new study finds that underage college students in Maryland are significantly more likely to drink alcohol than those in other parts of the country. Dr. David Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, says that binge drinking is about average. Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University are part of the study. Dr. Jernigan says that data for Maryland was taken from a national study, and Hopkins then looked at what colleges are doing across the state. Major progress has been made with high school students in pointing out who should be addressing the problem, whether it be the students themselves, parents, or the colleges.

 

"Common Core" Session Set for Tonight

Allegany and Garrett County's Boards of Education have scheduled an informational session on Common Core Standards this evening. The session will be held at the Frostburg State University Compton Science Center in Room 226, beginning at 7 p.m. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, public information specialist with the Allegany County Board of Education, says that, on hand for the session will be Maryland State School Superintendent Dr. Lillian Lowery; Allegany County School Superintendent Dr. David Cox; and, Ray Leone, the Maryland State PTA President.

 

Republicans Choose Topper for Election

Bedford County Republicans have chosen minister Jesse Topper as the party's "almost certain" candidate for a January State House special election. Topper will be running in the 78th District Race, to replace state Representative Dick Hess, who passed away in September from surgical complications.

 

Fugitive Captured in Maryland

A man wanted on grand larceny charges in Front Royal, Virginia, was taken into custody on Tuesday. Anthony Wayne Williams was arrested in Anne Arundel County, Maryland on active warrants from another jurisdiction. He was charged earlier this month, after allegedly selling a car police say didn't belong to him. He is also wanted in Prince George's County on a felony larceny charge obtained in October. Two men who were with Williams were also arrested.

 

Sixth Victim of Elkins Fire Dies

An Elkins mother who lost four children in an October 28th fire, has also died. Jennifer Chamberlain died at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh, and is the sixth victim of the fire. The fire at the Central Street home, began on the side porch, where a couch was located. An official with the West Virginia Fire Marshal's Office says some of the family members had been on the porch, smoking, the night before. Arson and electrical malfunctions have been ruled out as possible causes. Fundraising efforts are continuing for Ms. Chamberlain; over $50,000 was raised last week during an event in Mill Creek.

Local News - UPDATE


Trooper Strikes, Kills Pedestrian

The Maryland State Police continue to investigate an accident last night, involving a pedestrian, who was struck in the roadway by a trooper, travelling on Interstate 68. Truck driver Lamont Scaife of Orlando, Florida was struck on the roadway, as he was retrieving a paper that had blown out of the truck. Trooper First Class Scott Bell, assigned to the McHenry barrack, struck Scaife in the roadway. Trooper Bell immediately called for help and began CPR on Scaife. He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.

Local News


Police Investigating Church Breaking and Entering

Cumberland City Police are investigating the breaking and entering, theft, and vandalism at the White House Church of God Prophecy on Wallace Street. Entry was gained to the church sometime after the service on Sunday. Several items were stolen, and the inside the of the church was vandalized. The total value of the stolen items is approximately $2650.000. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cumberland City Police or PFC. Ashley Athey at (301)-7771600.

 

School Board Asks for Security Funding

The Allegany County Board of Education will be asking the state of Maryland to consider establishing a fund to help pay for increased security in area schools. The Board has hired three retired Maryland State Police officers for full-time school safety duties. The annual cost is about $150,000 annually. The request for assistance in funding is one of several priorities the board has announced as legislative priorities for the District 1 delegation, when they meet next month.

 

County Tourism Numbers on the Rise

If the county's hotel/motel tax is any indication, tourism in Allegany County continues to grow. Barbara Buehl, executive director of tourism, says more people are staying overnight in the county. To date, the hotel/motel taxes are nearly $976,000, not including the Rocky Gap facility. Comparatively, in 2011, the total for the year were $980,911, according to the Cumberland Times-News.

 

Woman Charged with Disturbing the Peace

Twenty-seven year old Krystle Rose Gallen of Queen City Pavement has been charged with disturbing the peace, following an incident at a Williams Street residence on Monday afternoon. Although she was warned to stop creating a disturbance under the threat of arrest, she continued to yell and curse at one of the people in the house. She was arrested, charged on a criminal citation, processed and released pending trial in District Court.

 

DNR Awarded Funds for Accessibility Improvements

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has been granted over $541,000 to create more accessible campsites and pathways at Rocky Gap State Park. The money is from the Maryland Department of Disabilities, through its Access Maryland Program. Funding will be used, in part to repave and expand nine loops of pathways to connect accessible cabins, campsites and shower buildings; to repave and improve curb-cuts and pathways; and, to add accessible features to four cabin facilities.

 

Hampshire Won't Hire Third Prosecuting Attorney

The Hampshire County Commissioners have denied the hiring of a third prosecuting attorney, citing low revenue. After receiving financial information, the commissioners decided against the move. County Prosecutor Dan James says his office is being inundated with the number of cases there. The Commissioners will revisit the idea, when a new fiscal budget is set.  

 

Work Continues on Three West Virginia Roads Projects

Ten more miles of the east-west, four-lane highway across West Virginia, known as Corridor H is being constructed near Davis in Tucker County. That highway is designed to link Interstate 81 in Virginia, directly to Interstate 79 in Lewis County. Corridor H is moving slowly but surely, with about $40 million being made available each year for the project.

 

Maryland Judiciary Produces Video on Courtroom Behavior

The Maryland Judiciary has produced a series on online videos to help those who represent themselves in court, to know what to expect and how to prepare for their day in court. One of the videos is entitled, "Tips for Your Day in Court," and offers common sense advice, including dressing appropriately and professionally. The videos and other self-help materials can be viewed by going to the Maryland Judiciary website, which is "http://mdcourts.gov" and clicking on the Video Library tab.

 

Groups Commit to Teaching STEM in High Schools

More than two dozen businesses, government organizations and universities, including Frostburg State University, are sending specialists into 49 high schools to help teach science, technology, engineering and math, or "STEM" classes. Jane Streckfus, executive director of the Maryland Business Roundtable says specialists will be "co-teaching" STEM classes in those 49 early adapter schools. Schools have been identified in each district, with businesses looking to inform students what is out there, and what kind of work is available in Maryland's workplace. Ms. Streckfus says it is interesting to see who has signed up to help facilitate the classes, including everything from small to large businesses, from individuals to huge companies.

 

WVU President to Clemson

Jim Clements, who has been the President of West Virginia University since 2009, is now the President of Clemson University in South Carolina. He is replacing outgoing Clemson President James Barker, who had held that post since 1999. Clements has received praise for his role in WVU fundraising, and promised to help Clemson meet its capital campaign goal. AS WVU President, Clements has chaired the boards of the West Virginia United Health System, the WVU Hospitals and the WVU Research Corporation.

Local News


Woman Killed in Single Vehicle Accident

Thirty-one year old Boswell, Pennsylvania resident Tiffany Wiedemann was killed this past weekend in a single-vehicle accident in Ligonier County. She was driving eastbound on Route 30, when the vehicle went off the road and overturned; she was ejected from the vehicle. She was taken to a Latrobe-area hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Cell phone use is believed to be a factor in the accident, and she was not wearing a seatbelt.

 

Truck Damages Bridge in Ridgeley

The underpass in Ridgeley was closed for several hours yesterday morning, as a truck became wedged, while trying to travel under it. There were no injuries, and traffic was diverted for a time. The truck was off-loaded, and later removed.

 

Teen Hit by Cruiser Dies

A 16-year old boy, who was hit by a state police cruiser in Berlin, Pennsylvania Friday night has died. Tymeir Dennis and his brother, Tyheym Brown walked into the path of the car, driven by Trooper Nicholas Hager, and were struck. Dennis was taken to the local hospital, where he died. His brother was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma for treatment. Trooper Hager, a Frostburg native, was also taken to the hospital for treatment.

 

Hershberger Named Executive Director

Gregg Hershberger, a 31-year veteran of law enforcement, has been named the executive director of the North Region for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections. He most recently served as the warden of the Roxbury Correctional Institution near Hagerstown.

 

Somerset Man Arrested in Weekend Incident

Eighty-two year old Somerset County resident Richard Livengood was arrested near a residence in Elk Lick Township Saturday morning. Livengood was charged with the discharge of a firearm in an occupied structure, aggravated assault, and other counts. He is accused of trying to enter a residence along Shade Hollow Road. He kicked the front door open, and pointed the rifle through a kitchen window; he then fired a round through the glass portion of the front door area. He was being held in lieu of $150,000 bond.

 

Man Charged With More Break-Ins

A Friedens man has been charged with additional break ins at several Somerset County businesses. Twenty-two year old Roy Thomas Penrose was arrested in mid-October, with numerous items stolen from about 30 businesses were recovered. Penrose is expected to be charged with ten more counts over the next week. He is in the Somerset County jail, in lieu of $75,000 bond, set in the first case.

 

Woman Charged With Assault

A 33-year old Cumberland woman has been charged with assault, following an incident last Wednesday on Bedford Street. Rhonda Walker is accused of trying to stab a man with a kitchen knife. He ran to a room, and locked the door. She was served with a criminal summons and released pending trial in District Court. The victim was not injured.

 

Criminal Summons Served on Man

A criminal summons was served on 29-year old John Davis of Cumberland. The complaint was filed by a private citizen who accused him of assaulting him at a Braddock Road residence on Friday. Davis was served and released pending trial in District Court and the victim did not require medical attention.

 

Brush Fire Reported in Bedford County

High winds were blamed for spreading a brush fire in Bedford County on Sunday. The fire was contained to the area of Shuman Road in West Providence Township. The fire department called for more manpower; the fire had been contained, but kept picking back up because of the high winds. Nearby homes were not considered to be at risk.

 

Health Exchange Website Needs Improvement

While there is tremendous interest in the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange website, it can still use some improvement. Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Maryland Health Secretary and chair of the exchange, says there is a primary adult care program-with a minimum benefit package-for those who participate in the Medicaid Benefits Program. Dr. Sharfstein says some may qualify for the Medicaid benefits program, when it starts next year. And, while some are able to use the website easily, others are experiencing problems.

 

Sex Trafficking Suspect Sought

Law enforcement officials are looking for the public's help in locating a man, wanted for the alleged sex trafficking of minors. Twenty-one year old William Quandre Waters, who was indicted by a federal grand jury, is thought to be in the Berkeley County, West Virginia. He is described as being 5-feet, 10-inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds. He has several aliases, including "Brew," "Drew," "Andrew," and "Sam." Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the West Virginia State Police, or the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force.

 

First United Announces Earnings

First United Corporation, parent company of First United Bank and Trust, has announced consolidated net income of $4.3 million available to common shareholders for the first nine months of the year, compared to $.6 million for the same period last year. Basic and diluted net income per common share for the first nine months of this year was $.69, compared to basic and diluted net income per common share of $.10 for the same period of 2012.

 

Small Business Workshop Set

A workshop on "Business Fundamentals" is set for this Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Hampshire County. The workshop will be held at the Bank of Romney Community Center, and is part of The West Virginia Small Business Development Center's training and business coaching program. Registration is required by today. To register, call (304)-530-4964.

Local News


Truck Strikes Bridge; Roadway Closed

 

A tractor-trailer, which had been traveling into Ridgeley through the underpass, became wedged under the bridge this morning, and traffic is being diverted past the storage sheds. There is no word on the extent of damage to the bridge, but the truck is being off-loaded to it can be removed.

 

 

Saturday Fire Determined to be Accidental

 

A fire, that began on Broadway Street and extended to a residence on Cromwell Terrace has been ruled accidental in nature. The fire displaced three members of the John Melvin family, and they're being assisted by the American Red Cross. The fire spread from  an unoccupied home at 434 Broadway to the Melvin's home on Cromwell Terrace. Four Cumberland City firefighters suffered minor injuries, and were treated at the scene.  The fire was caused by an overheated extension cord, where power tools had been plugged in; ceiling joists in the basement then caught on fire. Fire units had cleared the scene by 1 p.m.

 

 

Several Regional Fires Reported

 

Several brush and structure fires were reported throughout the area yesterday, including a brush fire in Hampshire County, and a house fire. The structure fire was reported on Gage's Lane, off of Route 28 at the Hampshire County line. There were no injuries, and the Red Cross was on the scene to assist the displaced family.

 

 

Man Accused of Child Abuse Applies for Marriage License to Mother

 

Cory Orndorff of Green Spring, West Virginia,  who is accused with child abuse resulting in death, has applied for a marriage license with the child's mother. Orndorff's bail remains at $150,000; he was arrested in October and charged in connection with the death of 18-month old Leah Grace Barnes. He and Brooklyn Barnes, the mother of the child, applied for a marriage license last Thursday. A review on the case is scheduled for January 7th.

 

 

Man Charged with Allowing Prostitution

 

A Manns Choice, Pennsylvania resident is being charged with allowing prostitution at a Martinsburg, West Virginia residence he owned in 2011. Sixty-three year old Charles Michael Gerver of Manns Choice is accused of using the West Virginia home as a house of prostitution from February to March of 2011. Six men, who were stopped after driving away from the residence, said they found contact information for an escort service on the internet. Each paid between $100 and $200 for various services.

 

 

Nurse Sentenced in Theft

 

Former Keyser nurse Tonya Lenae Poland has been sentenced on grand larceny charges; she had previously pleaded guilty to stealing several rings from a man who died at Potomac Valley Hospital. Ms. Poland was sentenced to three years probation and 100 hours of community service. She is also required to pay a $130 appraisal fee for the rings, which were valued at more than $1,000. She told police she had intended to sell the rings. She could have been sentenced to one to ten years in prison.

 

 

Memorial Demolition to Begin Next Week

 

The demolition of the former Memorial Hospital is set to begin a week from today. Cumberland City Council member Dave Kauffman says that, at a meeting in October, various concerns from residents of the area were addressed. They included a concern about blasting and the use of wrecking balls. Kauffman says the city has worked as hard as possible to minimize the impact of the operation on the neighborhood. It's uncertain what will happen to the property itself.  The city estimated that the demolition would cost between 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 million dollars, when in fact the winning bid came in at under 2-million. Kauffman says the savings realized will be used to infrastructure improvements in the city including water and sewer improvements and roads.

 

 

 

Man Arrested After Violating Florida Court Order

 

Cumberland resident Jordan Garlitz was arrested over the weekend, following a traffic stop on Franklin Street in Cumberland. Garlitz was initially stopped for a registration violation, but it was also discovered that he was in violation of a Florida court order by being in contact with passenger in the vehicle. He was charged with that count, along with driving an uninsured vehicle, and displaying expired registration plats. He was released on personal recognizance pending trial.

 

 

Woman Driving on Suspended License, Hits Child

 

Cumberland resident Nicole Bright, who had been driving on a suspended license, hit a child early Friday evening at the corner of Arch Street and East Oldtown Road. The child sustained a foot injury and was taken to the hospital for treatment. She was issued a traffic citation and released pending trial in Allegany County District Court. The vehicle was released to a valid driver.

 

 

Roundabout Officially Opens Tomorrow

 

Drivers will now have easier access to Interstate 68 Eastbound, when the new, partial roundabout on Route 220  officially opens tomorrow. The roundabout, which has been under construction since the spring of last year, provides a safe way for southbound traffic on Route 220 to turn around to access the ramp to Eastbound I-68. Before, the ramp was only accessible to northbound Route 220 traffic.

 

 

Focus On The Future Event Set

 

The Allegany County Public School System will host the 8th annual Focus on the Future Showcase at the Allegany County Fairgrounds tomorrow and Wednesday. The event will be held in the multi-purpose building. The showcase targets all seventh grade students and strives to raise public awareness on the importance of career preparedness. Focus on the Future also promotes economic growth in the county by keeping graduates locally employed with the necessary expertise to enter the job market.

 

 

Bomb Squad Detonates Package in Washington County

 

What was termed a "suspicious package" was safely detonated over the weekend at the Hagerstown Reproductive Health Services building on Washington Street in Hagerstown. The State Fire Marshal's Office Bomb Squad performed a controlled detonation. The building was evacuated and several streets were sealed off during the investigation, which is ongoing.

 

 

Washington County Awarded Federal Funding

 

Washington County has been chosen to receive over $62,000 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. The selection was made by a National Board that is chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, and consists of several agencies. The local board was charged with distributing funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in areas of high need, across the country.

 

 

Former Boswell Man, Fiancee Killed in Shooting

 

A former Boswell, Pennsylvania man who had safely completed a military tour in Afghanistan, and his fiancée, were shot and killed by a neighbor last week in Hempfield Township, located in Westmoreland County. Thirty-year old Timothy Reffner and his fiancée, Christina White were shot and killed by neighbor Phillip Cancilla, who later turned the gun on himself. The couple and Cancilla had argued about in the past about loud music and other noise. Both had complained to the manager of the apartment where they lived. Cancilla shot Reffner six times, while Ms. White was shot five times in the head and back.

Local News


 

Suspect Remains In Hospital

 

Everett, Pennsylvania resident Joseph "Corey"  Clingerman remains at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center after being injured early yesterday morning, while fleeing from the police. Clingerman, who had been driving a 2001 Dodge truck without the owners' permission, wrecked the truck he was driving on Route 220, near the Pennsylvania State Line. The Allegany County Sheriff's Office and the Maryland State Police were pursuing the truck, and successfully deployed tire deflation devices. The Maryland State Police Medevac helicopter also responded to the incident.

 

 

Bill To Strengthen Tourism, Economic Opportunities

 

United States Senators from both Maryland and West Virginia have introduced legislation that would strengthen tourism in those states by securing federal funding for a new National Heritage area in Mountain Maryland, and extend existing National Heritage areas in Wheeling and southern West Virginia. The West Virginia National Heritage Area Act of 2013 supports continued National Park Service funding and technical assistance for the Wheeling National Heritage Area and the National Coal Heritage area. The new region would encompass 16 counties in West Virginia, and Allegany and Garrett Counties in Maryland.

 

 

Man Wanted Locally Arrested in Keyser

 

Moorefield resident Brandon Kausky has been arrested in Keyser after trying to elude police. Officers were investigating an alarm at Clancy's Pub, when they saw him pull onto Old Waxler Road, and then turn around and drive away at a high rate of speed. He was eventually stopped on Armstrong Street. Kausky faces several motor vehicle charges, and he was wanted here in Allegany County for failure to appear in court.

 

 

Two Somerset Residents Charged With Insurance Fraud

 

Sixty-year old Boswell resident Evan Blair and Patricia Mock of Stoystown have been charged with providing false information on an auto insurance claim to obtain money to replace a missing laptop computer. Mock said that her boyfriend, Blair, had observed damage to her vehicle and that some personal items had been taken. However, an insurance appraiser concluded that the damage in question had been there for some time. Blair eventually admitted that the insurance money was to have been used to replace the missing computer.

 

 

Missing Terra Alta Girl Found Unharmed

 

A  14-year old Terra Alta girl, who had gone missing a week ago, was found unharmed in Bessemer, Alabama. The man with Betty Jo Price, 39-year old Kenneth Forsythe of Dunbar, Pennsylvania was taken into custody there and is awaiting extradition to West Virginia. The girl was found, as the result of a joint investigation between the West Virginia and Alabama State Police. Forsythe will face charges of concealing a minor. The investigation into the case is continuing.

 

 

Slanesville Store Damaged By Fire

 

The Slanesville General Store was partially damaged, when a motorcycle outside caught fire. A BMW bike, owned by a person living above the store, was left running while the renter went inside to get his cell phone. He returned to find the bike fully engulfed in flames, which caught the front half of the store on fire. The bike was destroyed, and the top rafter, a door frame, and door were burned.

 

 

Man Hurt in Tree-Cutting Accident

 

An unidentified man was injured Tuesday in Morgan County while chopping wood. A tree limb landed on him and fell on his head. He was taken to the Winchester Medical Center for treatment. Officials are reminding people to be careful when chopping wood, by wearing the appropriate safety gear, working in a group, and being aware of the surroundings.

 

 

Gas Prices At Lowest Point of the Year

 

Maryland gas prices are at their lowest point of the year, and should decline through the end of 2013, according to Greg Laskowski of Mdgasprices.com. He says that, at one service station downstate, the gas price was quoted at $3.05 per gallon. Although prices will continue to go down through next month, all good things must come to an end. Laskowski says he expects prices to rise in the first quarter of 2014. The prices are low now, because of "winter blend" gas coming into the market.

 

 

New Restrictions on GPS Use

 

The Third Circuit Court in Philadelphia has established new restrictions on police who use GPS tracking devices to catch suspected criminals. An expanded opinion on the practice now requires police to get a warrant before attaching a GPS device on a suspect's vehicle. The court agreed that it amounts to a violation of Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches. For its part, the American Civil Liberties Union says it would be easy for police to abuse the practice, because GPS devices are so cheap.

 

 

Jury Seated in Child's Death Case

 

A trial is underway in Berkeley County in connection with the death of a 3-year old boy, who died on New Year's Day, 2012. Jasmine Dawkins is one of two people accused in the abuse death of Kaiwon Connelley. While Dawkins is not the child's biological mother, 21 year old James Mauldin is, and he will face trial in January. Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely says the two had severely beaten the boy; evidence at the trial includes text messages, that indicate Dawkins had encouraged Mauldin to abuse the child after she had beaten him. The two are also accused of lying about how the child became injured. Kaiwon died at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, after being flown there from the Berkeley Medical Center.

Local News


Maryland Casinos Generate $67 Million in October
Maryland's four casinos generated $67 million in revenue in October, including $3.4 million from Rocky Gap, which recently added table games. In comparison, total revenue for September was $65 million. Gaming officials will be deciding in the next couple of weeks which company will win the sixth casino license, which has been designated for Prince George's County. Another casino is currently being constructed in Baltimore City.

Man Arrested for Assault
Twenty-seven year old Cumberland resident Tracy Williams has been released, pending trial, following an assault incident earlier this week. Williams is accused of assaulting a person on Cecilia Street. When another person tried to intervene, he allegedly pushed her down the steps of the residence. The first victim did not require medical attention, while the female victim was taken to the hospital for treatment of a minor head injury. Williams left the area, but was later served with a criminal summons. He was released, pending trial in District Court.

Man Assaults Live-In Girlfriend
Thirty-four year old Levi Norris has been charged with second-degree assault, in connection with an incident on Greene Street earlier this week. Norris allegedly struck a woman, and pushed her into a wall. Norris received a bond hearing and was ordered held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. The victim did not require medical attention.

Garrett Raises Water Rates
Garrett, Pennsylvania is the latest town in our region to raise water rates. The borough council voted to hike the flat monthly water rates by $5.00. Some of the residents expressed a concern about inconsistent quality of the water. The rate increase will help pay off a half-million dollar debt from previous water projects, and complete another quarter-million dollar water improvement project.

Runaway Girl Being Sought
The West Virginia State Police are looking to locate a 14-year old runaway, who was last seen in the Terra Alta area. Betty Jo Price was last seen at a home on Afton Road last Friday, November 1st. She may be with a man, named Kenneth Forsythe, who drives a black 1995 Ford Ranger with purple stripes. The vehicle has Pennsylvania registration. Any information should be passed on to Trooper C. J. Eastridge at the Kingwood detachment of the West Virginia State Police at (304)-329-1101.

December Sentencing for Jefferson County Psychiatrist
Sentencing has been set on December 9th for Jefferson County psychiatrist Joseph Anthony Jurand, who has been convicted of misdemeanor sexual abuse. He had pleaded guilty in September to third-degree sexual abuse. With a proposed plea agreement, Jurand would receive a 90-day suspended sentence and five years probation. Jurand had been charged with having inappropriate sexual contact with a 15-yera old girl in April of last year.

"Tribute to Ed Mullaney" on Saturday
The area will be paying tribute and publicly thanking downtown Cumberland Mall manager Ed Mullaney Saturday evening at Windsor Castle. Becky McClarran, one of the organizers of the event, says Ed was either solely, or partly responsible for many innovative activities in downtown Cumberland, including Friday After Five, the New Year's Ball Drop, and the Community Christmas Tree Lighting. "Forty West" will be providing the music, which gets underway at 7 p.m. Saturday.


Man Given Suspended Sentence for Distribution
A Hagerstown man was given a five-year suspended sentence for providing a woman he later married with painkillers, that nearly led to her death. Twenty-eight year old Christopher Alan Boden was accused of providing the woman with Percocet. Boden bought six tablets from a dealer, and each had swallowed one and snorted two of them. The woman had also taken several other drugs, including Xanax and cocaine. Boden was also sentenced to supervised probation for three years.
Berkeley Teachers Support Salary Increase
West Virginia currently ranks 48th in teacher salaries, and dozens of educators turned out in Berkeley County this week to support a petition, asking school board officials to sign a resolution in support of a salary increase. The average teacher in the Mountain State earns about $45,000 per year, while in Maryland and Pennsylvania the figure is closer to $60,000. A decision to increase salaries could keep the state from losing skilled teachers to other, higher-paying states.

Local News


Woman Sentenced in Pharmacy Robbery

Westernport resident Sandra Duckworth has been sentenced to ten years in prison for the robbery of the Tri-Towns Pharmacy in August of this year. She entered the pharmacy and pepper-sprayed the employees, then proceeded to take various prescription pills. She was taken into custody shortly after that. In addition to the sentence, she was sentenced to an additional four years, which were suspended; she will also have two years supervised probation on her release from prison. The case was prosecuted by State's Attorney Michael Twigg in Allegany County Circuit Court. Michael Stankan from the Public Defender's Office represented Ms. Duckworth.

 

Two Charged with Identity Theft

Two Cumberland women have been charged with identity theft, following an incident on Monday at a Somerville Avenue residence. Both 24-year old Jakela Watkins and 22-year old Bianca Murphy are accused of stealing another person's wallet, which contained both currency and a credit card. Both were seen on video utilizing the stolen credit card for purchases. Both Ms. Watkins and Ms. Murphy were held on a $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Litigation May Go To Trial in May

The case between the city of Cumberland and the firefighters union may go to trial in May. City Administrator Jeff Rhodes was deposed for almost four hours yesterday at the Allegany County Courthouse on Washington Street. At issue is a switch in the employee health care provider from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to CIGNA insurance. The move would save the city nearly $400,000 annually. The IAFF local has so far refused, because it wants a part of the savings to be used to address department concerns, such as increased staff levels.

 

Inmate Hurt in Attack

The Allegany County 911 Center dispatched an ambulance yesterday, to transport an inmate at the Western Correctional Institution to the hospital. The inmate had been injured in a fight with his cellmate. The victim suffered non-life threatening injuries.

 

Waverly Terrace to Close on Friday

Waverly Terrace, from Baltimore Street to Ridgeway Terrace, will be closed to all traffic, beginning on Friday. The closure will also happen next Tuesday and Wednesday for milling and paving. On those dates, all vehicles must be off the street from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Vehicles not moved will be towed. No parking signs will be posted on the street, in advance of the work. During the street improvement work, traffic will be detoured onto Ridgeway Terrace. The schedule will be adjusted because of the weather, if necessary.

 

Frostburg Eagles Closed as Investigation Continues

The Frostburg Eagles Club has been closed since May, and when it will reopen remains unclear. There is an ongoing investigation by the Allegany County States' Attorney's Office into missing funds; an officer in the organization is currently a person of interest in the ongoing investigation.

 

Delegate Myers Announces Candidacy for County Commission

Current Western Maryland Delegate Leroy Myers has announced he will run for a seat on the Washington County Board of Commissioners next year. He had previously announced he would not seek re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates. Myers announced 12 years ago he would run for a seat in the House of Delegates, which led to the defeat of former Speaker of the House, Casper Taylor.

 

Commissioners' Meeting Cancelled

The Allegany County Commissioners will not have a public business meeting this week. The next public business meeting is set for next Thursday, November 14th at 5 p.m., at the Allegany County Office Building on Kelly Road.

 

SHA Ready for Winter

The Maryland State Highway Administration is ready for another Western Maryland winter. Tony Crawford, District Six Engineer, says the SHA's goals while keeping the roads safe, are to reduce salt use, and protect the environment. Crawford says the spring of 2014 will see the reconstruction of the Keyser's Ridge SHA facility. In order to reduce salt use, Crawford says the SHA uses a technique called "sensible salting," by calculating pounds per inch, per land-mile. And, Crawford commented on a pilot program at the District 7 facility in Frederick County, in which crews used a 20 per cent beet juice mixture to pre-treat roads. The beet juice/brine combination had a freezing point of below zero. There were drawbacks to using that solution, and Crawford says the SHA uses a mixture of salt, brine and anti-skid aggregate on the roads.

 

Maryland Carriers To Drop 73,000 Members

The Maryland Insurance Administration says carriers have told the state they plan to discontinue non-grandfathered individual health benefit plans, affecting more than 73,000 members in Maryland next year. Individual health insurance policies are being canceled for millions of people nationwide; some are being discontinued because they don't meet the higher benefit requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Some of the companies canceling policies include CareFirst of Maryland; Aetna Life Insurance Company; and, the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Incorporated.

 

Rite Aid Pulls Certain Cold Medications

Rite Aid has pulled several cold medications that contain only pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine. The company will continue to sell medications that contain a combination of pseudo and other ingredients. The Rite Aid chain in West Virginia is among the top sellers of medicines containing pseudoephedrine; there are more than 100 Rite Aid stores in West Virginia.

Local News


Two Robberies Being Investigated

The Allegany County C3I unit is investigating two robberies in the area this past weekend. On Saturday night, two armed men tried to rob the Cozy Inn in Bel Air. Two men entered the bar, and demanded money from the cash register. They fled the scene, when the victim pepper-sprayed one of the two would-be robbers. Late Sunday evening, one person robbed Powell's Grocery along Route 36 in Lonaconing. The suspect did not actually display a gun, but had his hand in his pocket, as if he had one. He left the store with an unknown amount of cash. Any information on the robberies should be forwarded to either the C3I unit, or the Allegany County Sheriff's Office.

 

Officer Charged With CDS Counts

A newly hired correctional officer at the Detention Center has been charged with CDS counts, after he allegedly bought oxycodone from an undercover officer. Twenty-six year old William Eugene Smith was arrested following a buy at the Sheetz store in Cresaptown last Thursday morning. Sheriff Craig Robertson had contacted the C3I Narcotics Unit and asked for their assistance in determining if information regarding a newly hired officer was correct. Smith was arrested when the sale was completed.

 

Ridgeley May Look at Water Rate Increase

The city of Keyser has begun the process of raising water and sewer rates, and now the town of Ridgeley is looking at increasing its water rates. The town has incurred several major expenses since the beginning of the current fiscal year, and has also experienced several water leaks. Ridgeley gets its water from the city of Cumberland and the monthly bill is based on the highest monthly usage for the previous year.

 

YMCA Holds Ribbon Cutting for Field House

The Riverside YMCA held a ribbon-cutting yesterday for its newly renovated field house for indoor soccer. Shelly Minnigh, membership director at the "Y" says the former hockey rink had been used as an all purpose area, until there was a need for an indoor soccer facility. Immediately after the ribbon cutting, the indoor soccer season began.

 

Somerset County Man Dies in Single-Vehicle Accident

A Hooversville man, who was involved in a single-vehicle accident late last week, has died of his injuries. Twenty-one year old Cody Jerin lost control of his vehicle, and hit a guardrail, sending his vehicle into the air. The car hit a dirt embankment and the car rolled over several times. Jerin was ejected, and was thrown about 100 feet. Jerin hit a house on Patrick Road. Jerin died at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center.

 

Fort Ashby Man Charged with Possession

Twenty-six year old Fort Ashby resident Joshua Ours was cited for possession of less than ten grams of marijuana, following a traffic stop on Virginia Avenue Sunday. He was taken to the Cumberland City Police station and charged with possession. He was processed and issued a Maryland Criminal Citation and released pending trial.

 

Flu Vaccination Could Decrease Cardiac Event

The Journal of the American Medical Association is reporting that people with a history of heart disease, and who received the flu vaccination, had their risk of suffering a major cardiac event reduced by an average of 36 per cent. Those people were also less likely to die from cardiac-related causes, and persons who obtained a more potent high-dose vaccine reduced their risk of a major cardiac event by an additional 30 per cent over those who were given the regular seasonal vaccine.

 

All County Chorus to Perform

The 2013 All County Junior and Senior Choruses will perform next Wednesday, November 13th, beginning at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Fort Hill High School. Admission is free and open to the public. The choral festival is the first in a series to be held during the 2013-2014 school year. Kyle Weary, the lead vocal teacher for the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown, will lead the senior chorus, consisting of 80 singers, representing the three county high schools.

 

Woman Charged in Death of Daughter

A Washington County woman is being charged with the death of her 2-month old daughter. Twenty-two year old Yadina Morales of Hagerstown was allegedly intoxicated, and passed out while breast-feeding her daughter. When she awakened, the child was underneath her and unresponsive. The baby was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Ms. Morales was also treated at the hospital, where she was booked and charged.

Local News - UPDATE


Weekend Robberies, Car Fire Investigated

The Allegany County Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies are seeking information on two robberies over the weekend. The first was reported Saturday night at the Cozy Inn in Bel Air, while the second was reported last night at Powell's Grocery in Lonaconing. Any information should be forwarded to the Sheriff's Office or the C3I unit. Also, a car fire was reported last night around 9 p.m. The fire happened on I-68 eastbound near Rocky Gap State Park. No further details are available.

Local News


New I-68 Traffic Patterns to Begin Tomorrow

 

The State Highway Administration is moving to rehabilitate the I-68 bridges over Kelly Boulevard and Patterson Avenue. The eastbound lanes of I-68 will be shifted, beginning tomorrow, and lasting through Thursday. During this time, there will be only one lane on eastbound Interstate 68. Crews will move barrier walls and pave the bridge approaches. Those traveling on westbound Interstate 68 can expect single-lane closures, so crews can safely move the barrier wall.

 

 

Dam Ownership to be Determined

 

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler is assembling a team, to determine who owns the dam under the Cumberland/Ridgeley bridge. There has been interest in developing the area for boat and kayak use, a riverwalk, or a whitewater park. Determining ownership of the dam will help development plans move forward. Other issues that need to be addressed is the quality of the water in that area, and the amount and type of contaminants under the dam itself.

 

 

Assault Case Investigated

 

The Allegany County Sheriff's Department is continuing its investigation into a Halloween night assault that occurred in Bel Air. A truck, with West Virginia tags, was in the area of Greenfield Crescent. It was pulling a trailer with about 10 people in the bed, including adults, but mostly children. A volunteer spoke to the driver about the safety of the children, at which time, he got out and struck the volunteer in the chest. He fled the scene and the volunteer suffered minor injuries. The driver was described  as a white male, about 40 years old, with a brown or black full beard and mustache. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Allegany County Sheriff's Department.

 

 

NAACP Holds Annual Dinner

 

The Allegany County Branch of the NAACP held its annual Freedom Fund Dinner yesterday at the downtown Cumberland Holiday Inn. The theme of this year's dinner was "Making A Difference." The guest speaker was Cumberland resident William Peck, one of three who were the first African American students to graduate from Fort Hill High School. A special recognition was given to the late Bernard Wynder from Frostburg State University. Mr. Wynder was president of the local NAACP chapter until his death in June of this year.

 

 

Executive Director Announces Retirement

 

Mona Ridder, the executive director of the Mineral County Development Authority, has announced her retirement, as of January 1st. This follows closely, the resignation of Authority President Dave Boden. His resignation was the third from the board in the past month. Ms. Ridder's email was sent to authority members and all three MIneral County Commissioners. The next meeting of the authority is scheduled for November 19th.

 

 

Man Arrested Near Church

 

Kelly Brian Swick, of Cumberland, was arrested by Cumberland City Police over the weekend, after causing a disturbance in the area of St. John's Evangelic Church at 400 Arch Street. He is accused of kicking and banging on the patio side door of the church. He was yelling and cursing. When police arrived, he was found lying in the grass, under the patio's side window. He was disorderly with police as well. He was charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the public peace. Swick was released, pending trial in District Court.

 

 

Health Department Plans Flu Clinic

 

The Allegany County Health Department is holding a mass flu vaccination clinic this Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Allegany County Fairgrounds multi-purpose building. The cost this year is $30 for the regular flu vaccine, $50 for the high-dose for those 65 and older, and $82 for the pneumococcal vaccine. Payment will be required on Thursday, but nobody will be denied service for the inability to pay. The Health Department can bill both Medicare and Maryland Physician's Care.

 

 

Dates Announced for PACE Reception

 

The Cumberland/Allegany County Industrial Foundation and the Garrett County Development Corporation have announced plans for the 38th annual PACE Reception and Breakfast in Annapolis in January. The theme for the event is "Energizing Maryland," and will be held Thursday, January 24th from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Loew's Annapolis Hotel. The breakfast will be held the next day, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. All PACE questions should be directed to Kim Shirer of the Allegany County Tourism Department at (301)-777-5134.

 

 

"You Can Afford College" Set for MPT

 

Maryland Public Television and the Maryland Higher Education Commission have scheduled a financial aid program, entitled "You Can Afford College." The show will air on Monday, November 25th at 8 p.m. on MPT. Mia Perlozzo Cross, public information specialist with the Allegany County Board of Education, explains the program will be interactive during the time it is on the air. 

 

 

Commissioners To Meet in Barton This Month

The Allegany County Commissioners have announced their weekly public business meeting will be held in Barton this month. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 21, at 5 p.m. at the Barton Town Hall on Legislative Road. Community members and all interested individuals are invited to attend.

 

 

ACM Sets Veteran's Open House

 

Allegany College of Maryland is welcoming veterans to campus this Wednesday, to explore their education options and the resources that can assist them. Veterans will be provided with opportunities in career and transfer credit programs, and are eligible for door prizes and tuition vouchers. The open house will begin at 2 p.m. in the College Center, and will finish by 5 p.m. For more details, contact the ACM Information Center at (301)-784-5005, or visit the college website at www.allegany.edu.

 

 

Petition to Oust Two Commissioners

 

A group of Hardy County residents are attempting to remove two Hardy County Commissioners from office. The petition to remove J. Michael Teets and William Keplinger was sparked by the passage of a special emergency ambulance service fee ordinance of $120 per year; and, the purchase of an over one-million building to house the ambulance/rescue squads. Those filing the petition feel the commissioners acted without public input and public approval.

 

 

Food Stamp Cuts Became Effective Friday

 

Because the federal government has failed to reach agreement on a wide-ranging farm bill, more than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps are seeing their benefits decline. One in 7 Americans receive benefits, based on food prices, inflation and income; however, that number has risen in recent years, as the economy has struggled. Negotiations on the Farm Bill didn't get underway until Wednesday of last week.

 

 

Eleven Hydroelectric Plants Being Sold

 

Eleven hydroelectric plants in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia are being sold by subsidiaries of First Energy Corporation. The application to sell the plants was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in September. One of the plants for sale is in Berkeley County, and is the last commercial plant in the U.S. to use rope-driven turbines. Other locations on the market include one on the Cheat River in West Virginia, three on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania, and four in Virginia on the Shenandoah River.

Local News


Reminder to set clocks BACK one hour tomorrow evening before going to bed. Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday morning at 2 a.m. Also, remember when you change your clocks, change the battery in your smoke detector.

 

Dropout Rates Decline in Allegany County

Data released from the Allegany County Board of Education shows continued progress, and rising graduation rates locally. The graduation rate increased from 87.21 per cent in 2010 to 89.84 per cent in 2012, well over two percentage points. All graduation rates surpass the state's rates by 5.24 per cent in 2010 to 6.27 per cent in 2012. The dropout rate is currently at 6.88 per cent, down from 10.36 in 2010, and 9.46 per cent in 2011.

 

Volunteer Charged with Felony Counts

A volunteer at the Frostburg Village Assisted Living Center, Matthew Scott Boore, is being charged with 21 felony counts and three misdemeanor counts. Boore is accused of obtaining a resident's debit card and pin number, withdrawing a total of $4900 from the victim's account. He also made several fraudulent charges of approximately $600. In all, Boore is accused of stealing about $5500 between the months of March and October. He is being held in lieu of $10,000 bond, and is currently in the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Growth Predicted for Eastern Panhandle

Economic projections indicate the future of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia is bright. An annual report from the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics notes the area's economy has rebounded from the recession; employment is up, with nearly 4300 jobs added over the last three years, a ten per cent increase. Over the past two decades, the population has increased by 58 per cent. And, unemployment is at its lowest rate in five years.

 

Boden Resigns from Authority

The President of the Mineral County Development Authority, Dave Boden, has resigned. The action took place during a Tuesday meeting, in which the authority discussed the strategic plan. He is the third person to resign from the authority. Boden handed in his resignation letter and emailed it to the Mineral County Commissioners and other authority members who did not attend the meeting. The board will, most likely, nominate vice president Tom Braithwaite as the new president and take a vote later this month.

 

Keyser to Relocate Christmas Tree

The city of Keyser hasn't decided where to place the city's Christmas tree, but it will be at a location where electricity is readily available. Last year, the tree remained unlit, because the location-near the former Reed's Drug Store-electrical service was not adequate to keep it lit. A number of complaints about the unlit tree has caused the Mayor and Council to consider relocating the display.

 

Dome Work in Somerset Nearly Finished

Repairs to a stained glass window that fell from the dome of the Somerset County courthouse and shattered are nearly finished. The contractor, who was making repairs to the structure, accidentally broke the historic stained glass when caulking around the round windows of the dome, when the glass came loose. The contractor, C. J. Diirner and Sons of Ephrata, made the repairs. The funding for the repairs came from the 2013 county budget, and were issued from a maintenance fund and the general reserve fund.

 

Men Charged With Burglaries

Two Johnstown men have been charged in connection with two separate burglaries in Windber on October 11th and 14th. Michaelson Phillip Ferdinand and Shawn Raymond Everetts are being held on bond in the Somerset County jail. They are accused of numerous items from a home in October, including a chain saw, valued at $300.00. The second burglary involved the theft of numerous tools, valued at nearly $1,000. The two are also charged with thefts that occurred in Conemaugh Township in August of this year.

 

Man Indicted on DUI Causing Death Charges

A Dailey, West Virginia man has been indicted by a Randolph County grand jury on charges of DUI, causing death. Nineteen year old Cole Edmond was allegedly driving drunk last June 20th, when he lost control of his car on Route 219 near Tygarts Valley High School. Fifteen year old Bo Hornick of Mill Creek was killed in the accident. Edmond is to be arraigned on the charges next week.

 

Mullaney Honored for Service, Dedication

Retiring Downtown Cumberland Mall manager Ed Mullaney was honored at a retirement reception this week at the Saville Gallery. Business owners, along with state, county, and city government representatives were on hand. Cumberland City Council member Dave Kauffman credited Mullaney with starting the summer event, "Friday After Five," as one of his many accomplishments. Councilman Kauffman said that when he and his wife moved to Cumberland in 2000, he believes they saw what was the first Friday After Five event.

 

Bench Warrant, Summons Issued

The Cumberland City Police arrested 36-year old Cumberland resident Daryl Lemar Powell on a bench warrant for failure to appear. Following a hearing in District Court, he was released on personal recognizance. A criminal summons for disturbing the peace was served on Krista Lynn Collins. A private citizen applied for the charges.

 

Salad Kits Recalled

Taylor Farms Maryland, Inc., in Jessup and Taylor Farms Texas are recalling nearly 23,000 pounds of broccoli salad kit products, due to possible Listeria contamination. The Food and Drug Administration has recalled the salad, shipped to distributors and retail locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania and several other states. The company is recalling these products in addition to over 5,000 pounds of similar products that were recalled on October 25, 2013. No reports of  illnesses have been reported.

 

Flood Insurance Hikes Delayed

Potentially skyrocketing flood insurance premiums have been delayed for now in West Virginia.  A bipartisan deal has been reached to delay the implementation of what is called the "Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act" for four years. The National Flood Insurance Program is in debt to the tune of about $25 billion. In one West Virginia county,  for example, residents' flood insurance could have gone from $1200 per year to $12,000.

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