SUSPECT TO BE RETRIED FOR MURDER
Taj Green will be recharged in the September 2011 shooting that killed a man and seriously injured his brother in Ridgeley. Evidence has been received that have led the Mineral County Sheriff's Department to believe Green was the one who fatally shot Ryan Henry, and seriously injured his brother, Richard. Green, along with Tavon Kearney and Rasjahnon Roberts were initially indicted in September of 2012 in connection with the incident.
ACTIONS TAKEN BY ANIMAL SHELTER BOARD
The Allegany County Animal Shelter Foundation has instituted a number of measures involving animal control, following the dog abandonment case on McGill Drive. Becky McClarren of the Shelter Foundation says that actions include the creation of a second telephone line, dedicated to animal control calls only; management will also review the previous day's phone log to guarantee all animal control issues have been addressed. The Shelter has, according to a statement read by Ms. McClarran, are accepting responsibility for the role in which the speed of the team's response played in the severity of the tragedy.
COMPTROLLER OPENS CUMBERLAND OFFICE
Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot has opened a Cumberland branch office in the Allegany County Museum building. An official ribbon cutting was held yesterday, even though the office has been open since July 1st. It offiers a broad range of services so taxpayers don't have to travel to the agency's primary offices in Annapolis and Baltimore. On hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony, including state, local and city officials. Former Maryland Speaker of the House Cas Taylor, who served with Franchot in the General Assembly, was also on hand for the ribbon cutting.
MCDA DISCUSSES CARPENDALE PROJECT
The Mineral County Development Authority is moving forward on establishing a bridge from Carpendale to Bowling Green. Two West Virginia state legislators have contacted Sam's Club about locating in the Carpendale area, and there has been some interest in establishing a boat launch in the area as well. The town is also looking toward a back-up water system; the request is among the Top 15 projects in the Region VIII Planning and Development Council's list of projects.
MAN ARRESTED ON SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGE
A Cumberland resident has been charged with second-degree assault and fourth degree sexual contact, following an alleged incident in mid-July. Paul Harman allegedly approached a female acquaintance while she was asleep and touched her without consent. He was released pending trial at Allegany County District Court. The victim did not require medical attention.
MAN ARRESTED ON THEFT CHARGES
Twenty-three year old Dustin Edwards was arrested by Cumberland City Police, in connection with two theft incidents in the first week of August. Edwards was accused of stealing a car battery from a vehicle in the 500-block of Cumberland Street; he is also accused of stealing electronic items from the 300-block of Cumberland Street. He was charged with theft of less than $1,000, along with theft of less than $100. He was released, pending trial in District Court.
TWO HOME INVASIONS REPORTED IN SOMERSET
Somerset Borough Police are investigating two home invasions that happened just hours apart. In the first, an intruder went to a home on Sanner Street where a woman and 82-year old were held at gunpoint, with the suspect demanding money. The man attacked the intruder with a stool, and he left. In the second, a masked man went into a home on Rosina Avenue, and forced an 82-year old woman to drive to an ATM, to get money. Surveillance video is being reviewed for any additional leads.
SOMERSET MAN FALLS FROM ROOF
A worker with Beckett and Sons contracting fell from a roof, while working at a home on Seneca Trail. It had been raining at the time, and the worker was putting sheeting on the roof to prevent rain from getting inside the home, when he fell. He suffered a head injury and was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for treatment.
"GREEN SCHOOLS" TOUR CONCLUDES TODAY
The U.S. Department of Education concludes its "Green Ribbon Schools Program" in West Virginia today. Earlier this week, the tour made a stop at Petersburg Elementary School. The program recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, and feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces.
MAN SENTENCED FOR SELLING HEROIN
Twenty-three year old Alexander Chase Rayner has been sentenced to 15 months in jail, after pleading guilty to distribution of heroin. Rayner sold the heroin to a man who later died of an overdose. He had originally been sentenced to seven years, but all but 15 months.
TICKS LOVE CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change is connected to all kinds of "critters," with a new National Wildlife Federation report detailing how those changes are affecting the outdoor experience in Maryland. N.W.F. senior scientist Doug Inkley emphasizes that hunters, anglers, bird-watchers and hikers have long known they have to cover up and watch for stinging and biting insects, but the risks are multiplying as seasons arrive earlier and later.
WOMAN HELD ON $500,000 BOND
Twenty-eight year old Jessyca Kimble is being held on $500,000 bond, in connection with the stabbing death of her husband, Edward, late Tuesday afternoon. She is being charged with second-degree murder and related counts, after the two had an argument, which turned physical. Edward Kimble was stabbed in the upper left chest area, and he was pronounced dead at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center early Tuesday evening.
ALLEGANY, GARRETT RECEIVE WATER FUNDING
Allegany County will receive the bulk of funding for water projects, as announced by Maryland United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin. Locally, nearly $4 million in loans and $762,000 in grants are being obtained through the U.S. Department of Agriculture rural Development Water and Wastewater Disposal Program. Much of that funding will be used to replace the Wright's Crossing pump station, which is in danger of failing and presents a public health risk. LaVale will receive a loan to install a water tank, and Oakland is being granted $30,000 to help fund the cost of a preliminary engineering report and environmental report to make improvements to its water facilities.
MAPLEHURST AUCTION ON HOLD AGAIN
A planned auction of the Maplehurst Country Club and golf course was canceled yesterday, so that a new loan contract could be finalized. The lien holder, First United Bank and Trust, foreclosed on the club due to two unpaid debts. An auction was canceled last month when an unnamed Frostburg businessman was given time to consider purchasing the mortgage. The club is still open for business.
HOPE REMAINS FOR FROSTBURG CINEMAS
There is hope for re-opening the Frostburg Cinemas 1-2-3, as the former R/C Theatres are trying to affiliate with California-based Movie Heroes. The first thing residents need to do, is to log on to the site at "moviesheroes.com/frostburg," and sign up for a $19.95 per month subscription service. There are other rates for couples and families. Once the theatre re-opens, subscribers could see as many movies as they would like, without additional charges.
MCDA DELAYS AUTOCROSS LETTER
The Mineral County Development Authority has decided to delay sending a letter, supporting the Autocross event at the airport, until legal issues are resolved with the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey has ruled that the airport authority should follow that state's open meetings law, not Maryland law, and that should be included in the by-laws.
FAILURE TO APPEAR WARRANT ISSUED
A Cumberland man, Edgar David Johnson, was arrested on a failure to appear warrant in Allegany County District Court. Johnson allegedly threatened to burn down a property on Altamont Terrace in May of this year. He was taken to District Court and held on $3,000 bond.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL CONVOCATION HELD
The 5th annual Back-to-School Convocation was held this week at Fort Hill High School. The Fort Hill show choir, The Sentinel Sounds, sang the National Anthem; the Fort Hill Marching Band provided the pre-program entertainment. One of the highlights of this years' program featured a memorial tribute video to former ACPS Teacher of the Year, Lee Ann Zlomek, who recently lost her battle with cancer. The winners of the 2014 "You Raise Me Up" awards were Susan Sommers, instructional assistant at Mountain Ridge High School, and Olin Perkins, recently retired physical education teacher at Cash Valley and West Side Elementary Schools.
PENNSYLVANIA TO UPGRADE AIRPORT FACILITIES
The Bedford County airport will benefit from a $3.4 million statewide investment, as announced by Governor Tom Corbett. Bedford will receive $187,500 to expand public parking at the facility. The statewide upgrades will provide more than 8400 jobs at 20 Pennsylvania airports. The state funding comes from the state's jet fuel tzx, and leverages $1.5 million in local matching funds.
COAL MARKET IN PENNSYLVANIA DISCUSSED
The Pennsylvania Coal Alliance recently held a summit in Somerset County to talk about coal production potential, and its future sustainability. The local economy in Somerset could take a huge hit, if the local mines idle for good. PBS Coals has laid off 255 workers since 2012; and, just last year, 134 more were out of work. Coal executives have noted that coal's biggest opponent is the federal government.
BERKELEY SPRINGS MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia resident Wesley Andrew McCoy has been arrested and charged with murder, following the stabbing death of Justin Harold Buell of Great Cacapon. McCoy and his girlfriend had been arguing inside a residence on Route 522; Buell and at least three other mane arrived at the home, where McCoy and Buell began to scuffle. Buell ran, and McCoy chased him, and allegedly stabbed him in the neck. McCoy is being held without bond.
AUDIT FINIDS FAULT WITH STATE MEDICAL EXAMINER'S OFFICE
The Maryland Department of Legislative Services Office of Legislative Audits has found that the Office of the State Medical Examiner failed to comply with regulations, requiring competitive bidding in procuring medical supplies. The OCME says it will make the changes, to make sure state rules are followed. The Chief Medical Examiner's Office also says it will conduct an internal audit of all corporate purchasing card expenditures.
BINGE DRINKING REPORT RELEASED
The Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems has found that nearly half of Maryland's college students engaged in binge drinking during the past month. While the study shows Maryland campuses or no better or worse than other colleges, officials are determined to be better. University of Maryland Professor Amelia Arria says existing strategies are being refined as a result of the latest data received.
WOMAN CHARGED WITH 2ND DEGREE MURDER
Twenty-eight year old Jessyca Laine Kimble has been charged with second-degree murder, after stabbing her husband, Edward Allen Kimble at their Broad Street residence in Midland. They had been involved in an argument, when Ms. Kimble allegedly stabbed him in the upper left chest area, with a steak knife. Mr. Kimble went to a neighbor's house, but collapsed on the porch. His body will be taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. Ms. Kimble received an initial appearance before the District Court Commissioner, and the investigation is continuing.
LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST DOCTOR
A lawsuit has been filed against former MedExpress Doctor William Dando. In the suit, a Keyser woman is alleging Dando fondled her during an examination for a fall she suffered in September of last year. She contends MedExpress knew, or should have known, about Dando's 1987 conviction and incarceration for raping a woman at gunpoint in her home near Orlando, Florida. His license has been suspended and a trial for allegedly molesting another woman is set for September 3rd.
ACCIDENT VICTIM IDENTIFIED
A Virginia man has been identified as the person killed on Saturday evening in Oldtown. Fifty-three year old George Offerman suffered fatal injuries, when he fell from the tailgate of a pickup truck, operated by Peter Fred Hart of Sterling, Virginia. Two others, who were injured in the accident, were not identified. Hart was charged with driving under the influence, but no criminal charges were filed in connection with the death of Offerman.
MAN CHARGED WITH FELONY CHILD ABUSE
Thirty-five year old Andrew Christopher Conner is being charged with felony child abuse, resulting in injury, in connection with an incident where a one-year old child was impaled by scissors last week. The mother of the child and Conner were arguing at the Pine Wood apartments, when Conner became upset and hurled the scissors across the room, striking the child in the temple. The scissors lodged about two inches deep in the child's head. He underwent surgery in Morgantown. Conner is being held on $5,000 bond.
TWO HOMELESS AFTER FIRE
Two people were left homeless after a fire on Church Street in Deer Park late Monday. Homeowner Joseph Harper and a child were displaced by the fire. Nobody was home at the time. Damages are estimated at approximately $185,000, and the victims were assisted by the American Red Cross.
KEYSER HIRING NEW OFFICERS
The Keyser City Police Department is hiring two more officers to replace a pair who are departing. One officer recently left, to follow his wife to Petersburg, where she had been hired for a better paying job. The other officer went to the Mineral County Sheriff's Office. The city police force includes 11 sworn officers, but because of attrition, it is often undermanned.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SHERIFF WARN OF SCAMS
Both Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins and Sheriff Charwin Reichelderfer are warning against scams seeking the immediate payment of money. In the most recent scheme, a caller, with a Middle Eastern accent, identifies himself as a sheriff's deputy, calling from the Detention Center. The caller demands a sum of money to avoid arrest. In another, the caller claims to need bail money immediately, and banking information is given to the caller. Both incidents are scams, according to the District Attorney and Sheriff.
MARYLAND PSC APPROVES SURCHARGE
The Maryland Public Service Commission has approved a request by Columbia Gas of Maryland, to impose a $2.00 monthly surcharge on residential customers. The utility says this will help pay for nearly $50 million in gas supply-line improvements. The PSC has determined that the request meets the requirements of a state law that allows utility companies to institute a surcharge to help finance infrastructure improvements.
BEDFORD COUNTY ROAD CLOSURE
Beginning today, a portion of Route 31 near the intersection of Powell Road in Harrison Township (Bedford County) will be temporarily closed. The closure is necessary to replace a failing pipe. The roadway is expected to be closed through Friday afternoon. Traffic will be detoured, using Route 30, Route 160, and Route 31.
WOMAN SENTENCED TO STATE PRISON
Twenty-four year old Clear Spring resident Brittany Michelle Ice has been sentenced to four years in prison. Ms. Ice, who was pregnant at the time of her arrest, entered Alford pleas to charges of second-degree assault and transporting a handgun in a vehicle. She also entered a similar plea to possession of marijuana.
APPALCHIAN MOUNTAIN I.R.T. CONTINUES THROUGH TOMORROW
The Appalachian Regional Training exercise, or I.R.T., is continuing through tomorrow at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. Free services are being offered to area residents in the medical, dental, and optical fields, and spay/neutering and rabies shot for pets through the HRDC, Allegany County Health Department, Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Western Maryland Health System. The work is being done by the Navy and Army Reserve's 48th Combat Support Hospital. Lt. Col. Janice Baker, of Fayetteville, North Carolina-working in veterinary services-says one of the goals is to ensure the health of animals in the area.
FRACKING STUDY INCONCLUSIVE FOR TOURISM
A study of the impact of gas drilling in the westernmost part of the state has proven inconclusive. How fracturing would affect tourism in Garrett County was part of a discussion yesterday at Frostburg State University. To be included in a final report will be an admission on the committee's lack of information on the tourism impact, along with the lack of a cost analysis of a potential disaster, such as widespread contamination of drinking water.
BRIDGE WORK TO BE FINISHED NEXT YEAR
Work on the Crosstown bridge and other portions of Interstate 68 should be finished by the spring of next year. Workers are currently blast cleaning and painting the bridge in the vicinity of Centre Street. They are also repairing concrete in the area near Canal Place and the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. There will be at least one more closure of Centre Street sometime next month.
WINIFRED ROAD REPAIRS CONTINUE THORUGH TOMORROW
Repairs to a sewer main in the Winifred Road right-of-way will be extended through tomorrow. The project will replace 80 feet of 10-inch sewer main. The repairs were to have been finished yesterday, but additional work was necessary to finish the repair. Winifred Road will be closed between Oldtown Road and Michigan Avenue.
ROUTE 219 BRIDGE OPENED
The Maryland State Highway Administration has re-opened the Route 219 (Garrett Highway) Bridge over Cherry Creek near Oakland. It has been closed since mid-June, and is re-opening earlier than expected. Crews removed the old bridge, and built a new one, in time for the start of the new school year. The original bridge was built in 1922.
WATER OFF IN PORTIONS OF WESTERNPORT
Water will be off for about four hours today, in certain areas of Westernport. The water will be shut off in the 300 and 400-block of Vine Street, Division Street, from Vine to Walnut and the 300-block of Rock Street.
PHONE OUTAGE FOR MINERAL COUNTY
Repairs will be taking place on the phone communication lines in Mineral County Thursday evening, beginning at about 10 p.m. The outage will last about 8 hours. Frontier Communications says residents in the Keyser, New Creek, and Fountain areas, who are on the "788" phone exchange will be affected by the work. For those customers, there will be no dial tone during the 8 hour time frame. The Mineral County "911" Center has been notified of the outage.
MAN HELD ON $50,000 BOND
Twenty-seven year old Demond Scott is being held on $50,000 bond, following a domestic assault incident in the 300-block of Springdale Street. Scott got into an argument with his live-in girlfriend, and as she tried to leave, he is accused of repeatedly kicking her, pushing her against a wall, and trying to strangle her. He also allegedly assaulted the victim's six-year old daughter. The victims did not require medical attention, but Scott was ordered held at the Allegany County Detention Center.
VIOLATION OF EX-PARTE ORDER
Cumberland resident Joseph Wolfe was held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following two alleged violations of ex-parte orders. Wolfe violated the order by arguing with two individuals at a Park Street business; each had previously filed separate protective orders against him. He fled the area, but was arrested on Sunday, and taken to the District Court Commissioners' office for a bond review. He has been charged with two counts each of failure to comply with a peace order and disturbing the peace. He was also charged with violation of an ex-parte order.
AREA NATIVE BEGINS DUTIES SEPTEMBER 15TH
A native of this area, Michael Martirano will begin his duties as the superintendent of West Virginia schools on September 15th. Martirano had been the superintendent of the St. Mary's public schools here in Maryland. He was contractually obligated there until September. He will earn an annual salary of $230,000. The State Board of Education had lobbied the legislature to remove the $175,000 salary cap for the position.
KEYSER POLICE LOOKING FOR BREAK-IN SUSPECT
The Keyser City Police are looking for 23-year old Thomas Wright, who is wanted on five outstanding warrants, charging him with two counts of concealing stolen property, once count of fleeing from an officer, and two counts of shoplifting. A recent traffic stop revealed various items, similar to property that had been stolen from parked vehicles. However, no report had been filed on the items found, so he was not arrested. Two days later a resident reported some stolen items; they were similar to what Wright had in his property, and police continue to search for him.
WINNING PA. LOTTERY TICKET SOLD IN SCHELLSBURG
A "Cash 5" Pennsylvania lottery ticket, worth $225,000, was sold at the Shawnee Country Market in Schellsburg. The store will receive a $500 bonus for selling the winning ticket, with the winner facing a 25 per cent federal withholding. The winner should contact lottery officials or visit one of the seven offices across the Commonwealth.
GAS PRICES DROP; CUMBERLAND STILL HIGHEST
Gas prices dropped four cents at the pump last week, to $3.44 for a gallon for regular, unleaded gas. Cumberland, however, still has the highest gas prices in the state at $3.53. Hagerstown reports $3.38, while Salisbury was quoted at $3.35. The national average is $3.47, which is three cents more than the state average.
HIGHWAY USER FUNDS DISCUSSED
One of the major topics during the MACo summer conference was the continuing loss of highway user funds. Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay says that both gubernatorial candidates-Larry Hogan and Anthony Brown-have pledged to return highway user funds to the counties. Allegany County has lost 4 to 5 million dollars each year, and that affects the local budget tremendously.
ONE KILLED IN SINGLE-VEHICLE ACCIDENT
One person was killed in a single-vehicle accident on Reckley Lane in the Oldtown area Saturday night. The accident happened as three passengers were on the tailgate of a pickup truck; they fell from the tailgate, with one passenger dying at the scene. The two others were taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The investigation is being handled by the Maryland State Police. Identities of the victims are not being released yet.
AURORA WOMAN KILLED IN CRASH
Aurora, West Virginia resident Saunya Regina Sines was killed in a two vehicle accident late last week on Route 7. She was pronounced dead after her car was struck by a Dodge Ram pickup truck. Terra Alta resident Jerold Lee Sisler was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. The West Virginia State Police continue their investigation.
COMMISSION TO REVIEW SHALE ISSUE
The Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission is meeting today at Frostburg State University, to examine how to best manage shale drilling, should it be permitted. The Commission will meet from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Dunkle Building, Room 218. The commission was created by Governor Martin O'Malley, through an executive order, issued in 2011.
CLINICS CONTINUE THROUGH THURSDAY
Free health clinics, from the Appalachian Mountain Innovative Readiness Training program are open to the public through Thursday. Appointment openings are available for vision care, eye glasses, medical assessment, dental cleanings and rabies vaccinations for pets. All services are offered free of charge, and are provided by trained medical, dental and veterinary professionals. For an appointment, or availability, call (301)-783-1775.
ONE INJURED IN BIKE ACCIDENT
One person was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, following a weekend accident on Fifteen Mile Creek Road. Fire and ambulance units from Flintstone and Orleans volunteer fire departments responded to the accident that reportedly involved a motorcycle. The crash occurred about a half-mile from Interstate 68.
CUMBERLAND MAN CHARGED IN STUDENT DEATH
Thirty-three year old Robert Hernandez, of Cumberland, is being held without bond in the North Central Regional Jail, after he allegedly stabbed a West Virginia University student to death late last week. Hernandez is accused of killing Devonte Waites at a Morgantown bar. Waites was later pronounced dead at Ruby Memorial Hospital. Video surveillance of the incident led to Hernandez' arrest, which was made during a traffic stop.
STATE'S ATTORNEY TO INVESTIGATE DOG DEATHS
Allegany County State's Attorney Michael Twigg says his office is looking into the matter of the deaths of nine dogs, found inside a foreclosed home on McGill Drive in Bel Air late last week. Twelve dogs were found inside the home, which was owned by Christopher and Rachael Preston; the home entered into foreclosure in early December. A total of 12 dogs were found, with only three still alive. The three were taken to Mountainview Veterinary Services in Keyser, for care.
MAN HELD ON $8500 BOND
Cumberland resident David Kesler faces assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct charges in connection with an incident that happened Friday in the 200-block of Baltimore Avenue. Kesler had been screaming and acting in a disorderly manner. He approached an officer with a clenched fist and tried to reach for the officer's gunbelt. He was placed in the cruiser, and head-butted the window and cracked the glass. He also allegedly punched through a glass door at a nearby apartment building. He was additionally charged with malicious destruction of property and held on $8500 bond.
MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING FEMALE
Twenty-nine year old Eric Plummer of Cumberland was arrested Saturday for assaulting a woman in the 300-block of Baltimore Avenue. Plummer allegedly pushed her against a wall, and elbowed her in the face. While the victim did not require medical attention, Plumer was taken to a bond review hearing at District Court, and released on personal recognizance, pending trial.
GROUNDBREAKING FOR WINCHESTER COURT IN THE FALL
Groundbreaking on the Winchester Court shopping mall, along Winchester Road, will take place this fall. The space, according to Ted Donald of PennTex Venutres in Greensburg, is 98 per cent committed, but the tenants have yet to be announced. The mall is scheduled to open next summer.
LETTER TO BE DELIVERED TO TOMBLIN
Delegate Gary Howell is personally delivering a letter from Piedmont officials to West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, asking for assistance on the removal of almost an entire block of buildings that were destroyed by fire in early January. The correspondence was sent with six photos of the area, and includes a request for emergency funding to remove the remains of the buildings.
WATER TEMPORARILY OFF IN WESTERNPORT
Water will be off for about four hours today in a portion of Westernport. Service will be interrupted around 10 a.m., and will include Spruce Street from Johnson Street, to the end of Division Street.
BICYCLE LANE MEETING SET
A public meeting for the proposed Frederick Street Bicycle Lane Plan has been set for Thursday at 5 p.m. The meeting will take place at Cornerstone Baptist Church. The city of Cumberland is encouraging residents of the area to attend the public meeting, which will include city representatives, and those form the State Highway Administration.
GAMBLING REVENUES UP FROM A YEAR AGO
The Maryland Lottery and four casinos saw an increase of 2.4 per cent over last year. Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency , acknowledges a decrease in lottery sales is attributable to growth in the casino industry. Revenues from Powerball, for example, are down $12 million in the state. The Horseshoe Casino, scheduled to open this month in Baltimore, will also have an effect on lottery sales. Martino says that over a billion dollars in winnings were paid last year; players receive 60-cents on every dollar spent. One casino that is not showing good numbers is the Perryville, Maryland casino. Martino denied that the location was not "working out."
WEST VIRGINIA ANNOUNCES "EBT SHOPPER" APP
West Virginia's Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Nutrition Services has announced a mobile phone app to make shopping easier. The "E.B.T. Shopper" app will enable WIC participants to verify the eligibility of foot items while shopping. The goal of the app is to use technology and innovation to ensure WIC benefits are easy to use, and to promote health food choices during grocery shopping. More than 45,000 West Virginians receive WIC benefits each month.
GAS PIPELINE PROJECT PUT ON HOLD
A natural gas pipeline, that would have spanned five states, including Western Maryland, has been put on hold for the moment. Spectra Energy says it is suspending development work on the $4 billion project, but will continue to evaluate opportunities in the region. The line would have begun in Bedford, crossing into Allegany County, just west of Flintstone, via Route 220. The terminus of the project would have been in North Carolina. Had the project gone forward, survey work would have begun this month.
FROSTBURG CINEMAS TO CLOSE SUNDAY
Eight employees will be affected by the closure of the Frostburg Cinemas 1-2-3 on Sunday. The decision was made by R/C Theatres of Reisterstown. A petition has been started to keep the theatres open. The facility underwent a renovation as recently as 2012. Frostburg City Administrator John Kirby says the city has not been provided with any information on the closure.
MAN CHARGED WITH CHILD ABUSE
Twenty-six year old Timothy Rayne Bohn has been charged with second-degree child abuse, among other counts, as the result of an incident earlier this month on Arch Street. Bohn and the mother of the child had been in an argument, and he handled the child aggressively, while putting the youngster in a car seat. He was not arrested then, but was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for an evaluation. Charges were later filed, and he was released pending trial in District Court.
SERVICE CENTER TO RELOCATE FOR ONE DAY
Although the state of Maryland announced it would operate an essential service center for seven days for those affected by the June 12th flooding, it will relocate for only one day-this Saturday. The Essential Service Center will be at the Calvary Christian Academy Gymnasium parking lot from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Essential Service Center will return to the Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department on Sunday. All Allegany County residents impacted by the storm are strongly encouraged to visit the Essential Service Center.
GREENE STREET WORK ANNOUNCED
The city of Cumberland has announced that, beginning Monday, milling and patching work will take place on Greene Street, in the area between the Dingle and Lee Street. Work will last for about six days, and has been scheduled from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday through Thursday, weather permitting. Parking will be restricted nightly in the areas of the work. Signs will be posted in advance for the affected areas. Flaggers will be present, and drivers should expect delays during working hours.
FRANKLIN STREET CROSSING CLOSED
The Cumberland Engineering Department and CSX are participating in crossing improvements at Franklin Street. The crossing will be closed today through Tuesday, depending on the weather. The City Street Department will assist in road repairs so the work can be completed in a timely manner.
TWO INJURED IN SEPARATE ACCIDENTS
Two pedestrians were hurt in separate accidents, about a half-hour apart, in downtown Cumberland. In the first, at about 1:40 p.m., a pedestrian was injured at Baltimore Street and Queen City Drive. The second happened about 2:15 p.m. at South Mechanic Street, just past Pershing Street. One of those injured was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The pedestrian in the Baltimore Street area accident refused to be taken to the hospital.
I.R.T. APPOINTMENTS STILL AVAILABLE
Appointments are still available for the Innovative Readiness Training Program, happening at the Allegany County Fairgrounds through next Thursday. The hotline number is (301)-783-1775, and there are still openings available. Courtney Thomas, of the HRDC says that, presently, general medical screening appointments are available, along with vision and pain management sessions. Dental services are full, but with a waiting list. Spaying/neutering for cats and dogs also has a waiting list. But, rabies vaccinations are still available with no appointment necessary.
MOVIE CREW FILMS "MOUNTAIN THUNDER"
A movie crew was in Cumberland yesterday, filming "Mountain Thunder" for scenes for a movie, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The locomotive will be featured in the beginning of the World War II movie, "Ithaca." The movie is based on a 1943 novel," The Human Comedy," and reunites Ryan with her co-star in "Sleepless in Seattle." The movie is scheduled for release next year.
TWO INCIDENTS LEAD TO THREE ARRESTS
Two domestic incidents resulted in three Keyser arrests recently. In the first, 23-year old Ethan Barbe was charged with domestic battery involving his girlfriend. In the second, both Kevin Sassaman and Joletta Rebobich were charged with domestic battery and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. That incident happened in the 100-block of Argyle Street. Mineral County Sheriff's deputies responded to that incident.
MAN HELD ON $10,000 BOND
Twenty-three year old Dustin Edwards was arrested earlier this week, in connection with two separate cases. In the first, he violated an ex-parte order, when he was at a residence in the 100-block of West First Street. He was also arrested in connection with a breaking and entering incident on Hill Street earlier in the day. He is accused of entering the residence and stealing some miscellaneous household items. He was held on $10,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
WOMAN ARRESTED ON FORGERY CHARGES
Frostburg resident Angela Passman faces numerous forgery charges, after having forged a narcotics prescription at a medical office on Willowbrook Road. She was charged with forgery, possessing a forged prescription, and attempting to obtain CDS by altering a prescription. She was released, pending trial in District Court.
ROAD WORK SCHEDULED NEXT WEEK
Sewer main repairs are scheduled for next week on Winifred Road. Beginning Monday at 7 a.m., repair work will take place between Oldtown Road and Michigan Avenue. The repairs should only take a day. Questions or comments should be directed to the Department of Utilities at (301)-759-6644.
SERVICE OUTAGE SET FOR KEYSER
Potomac Edison has scheduled a service interruption for Keyser next Wednesday. The outage will occur between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., and will include much of the downtown Keyser area, Route 46, from Water Street to Knobley Mountain, and the Keyser Industrial Park. The work at three different locations will be done simultaneously, which will reduce the number of customers affected, as well as the duration of the outage. In case of bad weather, the outage will be scheduled for the next day.
RATE INCREASE HEARING SET
Columbia Gas has scheduled a hearing in the Cumberland area on a proposed rate adjustment. The increase will help fund an improved infrastructure. The hearing will be held on August 26th at 7 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in downtown Cumberland.
PARENTS ASKED TO PURCHASE MINIMAL SUPPLIES
The Allegany County Public School System is providing what they are terming "the most essential supplies" for students, when school opens on August 25th. Parents of elementary students are asked to buy items such as number-2 pencils, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, hard pencil cases, folders and book bags. Teachers will provide students with a list of required items during the first week of school. Parents of middle and high school students should purchase items such as pencils, loose-leaf paper, book covers, folders and book bags. Teachers will also provide a list of needed items during the first week of school.
AMERICA'S 9-1-1 RIDE TRAVELING THROUGH CUMBERLAND
"America's 9-1-1 ride will be coming through Cumberland tomorrow morning, between 8 and 9 a.m. Local coordinator Harlan Smith says the "America's 9-1-1 Foundation" is based in Leesburg, Virginia. In August of 2002, motorcycle riders began traveling to the three sites, raising money for a scholarship program for the children of first responders.
The riders will be traveling down South Mechanic Street on their way to Rocky Gap State Park, for a rest stop. Area residents can meet the riders there. The Bowling Green and Cresaptown Fire Departments will also be at Rocky Gap. In Cumberland, there will be a merchandise truck at the Cumberland Fire Station.Cumberland City Police say traffic will be temporarily stopped on the main route and all intersecting routes through the downtown area, while the riders pass through the area.
ASSAULT RIFLE BAN UPHELD
Maryland's new ban on assault rifles has been ruled constitutional by a federal judge. Assault rifles are defined as those having more than 10 rounds of ammunition. A collection of gun owners, stores and industry groups had sued the state, saying the ban violated their Second Amendment rights. Gun rights advocates say they plan to keep fighting.
WEST VIRGINIA PROSECUTOR WANTS TRIAL
A West Virginia prosecutor is asking to go on trial on charges of misdemeanor domestic violence charges, instead of participating in an intervention program. Mark Plants has been charged with domestic battery of his 11-year old son, with prosecutors saying he hit the boy more than 10 times with a leather belt in late February of this year. He is also charged with violating a domestic violence protection order, in which he must stay away from his ex-wife and their sons.
COMMISSIONERS ATTENDING MACO CONFERENCE
The Allegany County Commissioners are attending the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference, through Saturday in Ocean City. Two thousand individuals are expected at the conference. Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine serves on two MACo Committees, legislative and education. The theme of the conference is "Ideas and Innovations," and the keynote speaker will be Mark Friedman, of the Fiscal Policy Studies Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Maryland Rural Counties Coalition will also meet during the conference.
CUMBERLAND MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED THEFT
Cumberland resident Dustin Edwards was held on $5,000 bail at the Allegany County Detention Center, after he allegedly tried to steal a lawnmower from a private residence on South Street. He had been seen hiding in a carport at the home, and was arrested there. He was charged with attempted theft of less than $1,000, obstructing and hindering and disorderly conduct.
CSX WORK DELAYED
Work, on the Franklin Street railroad crossing has been delayed. The work was to have begun today, through Friday. However, a scheduling conflict with CSX has prevented that work from being done now. The city of Cumberland and CSX will notify the public when the work will be done.
FSU NAMED ECO-FRIENDLY COLLEGE
Frostburg State University has been listed as number seven of 50 in Best Choice Schools' ranking of the nation's Eco-Friendly colleges, a salute to schools that have unique structures or lifestyle characteristics that make them leaders in sustainability. The online service reviewed more than 300 universities, and only 50 higher education institutions were judged to be the very best eco-friendly schools, under $25,000 a year.
TASK FORCE SEEKING FUGITIVE
The Mountain State Fugitive Task Force is looking for a man wanted on a number of warrants. Elan Bell-Veney is wanted on warrants charging him in the June 27th stabbings of five people at the Shipwrecked Bar and Grill near Martinsburg. He also has a federal warrant for violating his federal probation on a charge of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. He was released from federal prison in May of this year. He was previously convicted in the July, 2008 shooting death of the former owner of a club near Martinsburg. He is considered a dangerous, violent offender.
METRO AREA RECOGNIZED AS "RECOVERY LEADER"
The Hagerstown-Washington County and the Martinsburg area are being recognized as a "Rapid Recovery Leader by an online business publication, "Business Facilities." The honors are due to what are being called "impressive surges" in job creation, wages and salaries in the past year.
ALLEGIANT AIR CURTAILS FLIGHTS
Allegiant Air, out of Hagerstown has begun its yearly seasonal shutdown, effective through October 30th. Allegiant flights, from Hagerstown to Orlando-Sanford International airport will resume on Friday, October 31st.
ARTICLE RECAPS O'MALLEY'S VISIT
An article in "Business Insider" magazine has recapped last week's visit by Governor Martin O'Malley, and the preventive health care initiative taken by the state, and in particular, the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. The article touched on O'Malley's acknowledgement of the failed health care website, but credited the WMRMC with being the catalyst for changing how hospitals do business.
PUSH FOR MEALS FOR MORE LOW-INCOME KIDS
Anti-hunger groups want next summer to be the best yet for low-income kids. They're backing the new Summer Meals Act of 2014, which would expand access to nutritious meals in high-poverty areas. Maryland Hunger Solutions' Michael J.Wilson says while the summer education gap is addressed with reading programs, learning camps, and take-home study kits, that's not the only need for children when school isn't in session.
Wilson says the bill has bipartisan support, and hopes the state's congressional delegation will be co-sponsors of the legislation.
ROMNEY CAMPAIGNING FOR G.O.P. CANDIDATES
Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be in West Virginia next week, campaigning for Shelley Moore Capito, Alex Mooney, and Evan Jenkins. On Tuesday, Romney will be at a fundraiser in Charleston and a jobs rally in Beckley. Romney won all 55 counties in the 2012 election.
WEST VIRGINIA CONSUMER SPENDING HIGHER
Consumer spending in the Mountain State is higher than it was before the Great Recession, but is lagging behind the nation in spending growth. Per capita consumer spending grew 3.2 per cent in 2012, when compared to 2011. As a whole, the nation grew 3.3 per cent. Each resident, on average, spent $30,642 on consumer goods and services, as compared to nationwide per capita spending of $35,498.
MAPLEHURST GOING UP FOR AUCTION
A public auction of the Maplehurst Country Club in Frostburg has been scheduled for next Wednesday, August 20th. A previous auction was canceled, when an unnamed Frostburg businessman was given the chance to buy the property. At this point, the club has debts of over a half-million dollars with First United Bank and Trust. Next Wednesday's sale will take place at 11 a.m. at the Allegany County Courthouse.
CUMBERLAND BENEFITS FROM FINANCING PROGRAM
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is selling more than $41 million in bonds through the Local Government Infrastructure Financing Program. That means, for Cumberland, an influx of about $7 million in cash, to provide much-needed resources for items such as vehicle equipment, ambulance service, and street, water, and sewer system improvements. The DHCD issues bonds on behalf of counties, cities or the agencies, to finance projects that serve the community at large.
FIRE IN FROSTBURG QUICKLY CONTAINED
A fire in the basement of a Tisdale Street home was quickly contained late yesterday afternoon. The fire was first reported around 5:15 p.m. Crews said light smoke was coming from the one-story structure. The occupants were out of the home when firefighters arrived; they took about 10 minutes to control it.
RESIDENT SENTENCED ON METH CHARGES
Dana Russell Stallard of Friendsville was sentenced to 11 years in prison, after having been found guilty on several drug charges in June. Stallard was accused of operating a meth lab in a residence where he was staying. He was arrested last November by the Garrett County Narcotics Task Force, with help from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
BEDFORD COUNTY COUPLE DIES IN CRASH
Everett residents William and Margaret Reyan died in a Sunday morning crash in McConnellsburg. They were traveling on the Lincoln Highway on a motorcycle, when they struck the front end of a Chevrolet pickup truck. They lost control and crossed into the opposite lane. William Reyan was pronounced dead at the scene, while Margaret Reyan died shortly after the crash. The truck driver was not injured.
ASSAULT, MARIJUANA CHARGES FILED AGAINST MAN
Twenty-seven year old William Alexander Atkinson was arrested after police were called back to a residence on Independence Street Sunday. A woman had reported that Atkinson allegedly assaulted her; he fled the residence, but was later located in the yard. Officers also found a clear plastic baggie of suspected marijuana on him. He was arrested, processed, and received a hearing before a District Court Commissioner. He was ordered held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $4,000 bond.
KEYSER PARK UNDERGOES INSPECTION
North End Park in Keyser recently underwent an inspection from the Mineral County Health Department, and, contrary to social media reports, the park was not closed. Admittedly, there are rotted posts in a pavilion at the park, but they do not pose a threat to its structural integrity. Right now, the plan is to replace the lower portions of the rotted posts, which will not require the upper roof assembly to be rebuilt.
HILLSHIRE, PINNACLE MERGER OFF
A proposed merger between Hillshire Brands and Pinnacle Foods-the parent company of Snyder's of Berlin-is off. The merger was announced in mid-May, but terminated in June. A new deal, expected to close next month, appears to be the reason for the canceled merger between the two.
SOMERSET ADDS SNOW DAYS TO 2014-2015 YEAR
Instead of using holidays and vacation days throughout the school year, the Somerset Area School District will have days added to the end of the school year. The announcement was made by Superintendent Krista Mathias.
FRANCHOT WANTS TO DELAY SCHOOL OPENING
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is launching a petition drive to delay the opening of Maryland's public schools until after Labor Day. His campaign is entitled, "Let Summer Be Summer," with his goal of collecting 10,000 signatures before the General Assembly reconvenes in January. Franchot believes that starting school after Labor Day would be good for the state's economy, and allow families to spend more time together. A state task force has voted in favor of requiring the state's 24 school systems to push back their start date to September.
TAX-FREE SHOPPING WEEK UNDERWAY
Maryland's annual tax-free week is underway, with certain clothing and footwear items, valued at $100 or less, exempt from the state's 6 per cent sales tax. Patrick Donoho, president of the Maryland Retailers Association, says the tax-free week helps to increase traffic. Donoho says the average amount spent on apparel and shoes is $339.52. He adds back to school sales started earlier this year; with its apparent popularity, Donohue commented on expanding the scope of tax-free week.
MOTORISTS PAYING LESS FOR GAS, MORE IN CUMBERLAND
On average, Maryland motorists are paying five cents less, per gallon of gas. However, Cumberland remains at the top of the list for the highest cost in the state. Triple "A" Mid-Atlantic says the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas is $3.48, down from $3.53 a week ago. In Cumberland, however, the price was quoted at $3.59, 11-cents higher. A year ago, the average price per gallon in the state was $3.62.
FLOOD RELIEF GRANTS AVAILABLE
Disaster relief grants of up to $5,000, are now being made available to residents of Allegany and Washington Counties, as the result of damage from flooding on June 12th. While flood damage amounted to several million dollars, it did not reach the $8 million threshold required for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance. A center to help residents has been opened locally at the Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department, and will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., through next Sunday. Residents should bring copies of receipts or other documentation, detailing damage to their homes or personal property.
GARRETT COUNTY DEVELOPER PLEADS GUILTY
Garrett County developer Lewis Strosnider has pleaded guilty in a bank fraud conspiracy case. Strosnider faces up to 30 years in prison in connection to the scheme, involving three properties in Western Maryland and West Virginia. He acknowledged his role in the fraudulent transactions, which caused three banks to lose more than a million dollars. He could face up to 30 years in prison, when sentenced on November 19th.
MAYSVILLE MAN DIES IN CRASH
Twenty-two year old Maysville resident William VanMeter died in a Sunday morning crash on Route 42. The preliminary investigation showed that VanMeter, for an unknown reason, crossed the highway and hit a heavy-duty pickup truck, head-on. The two people in the truck were not identified. The accident remains under investigation by the Grant County Sheriff's Office.
I-68 WESTBOUND ONE LANE THIS WEEK
A reminder to avoid traveling on Interstate 68 westbound this week, as the road will be a single lane, at least through Friday. Depending on the weather, State Highway Administration crews will be working in that area, pouring concrete for the final sections of the new bridge deck, Patterson Avenue will be closed at the I-68 overpass between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. tonight and tomorrow. The project began last summer and should be completed by late November of this year, weather permitting.
FRANKLIN STREET CROSSING TO CLOSE
The Franklin Street Crossing, over CSX tracks will be closed this Wednesday through Friday, weather permitting. The closure is necessary to complete repairs, before school starts. The City Street Department will assist CSX with road repairs, so the work can be completed in a timely manner.
FLEETWOOD DRIVE MATTER CONSIDERED CLOSED
A dump site on Fleetwood Drive is not a violation of county law. The Allegany County Commissioners addressed the matter at last week's meeting. The site is owned by a county employee who works in code enforcement, and leases the property to a construction firm. However, Delegate Kevin Kelly is questioning the findings of the report, in that none of the neighbors was consulted during the investigation.
DELEGATE CHALLENGES AIRPORT INFORMATION
West Virginia Delegate Gary Howell says there is a "fair amount of incorrect information," regarding the use of the Cumberland Regional Airport in Wiley Ford. In a letter to Dr. Gregg Wolff, incoming chair of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, Delegate Howell questioned why non-aeronautical events at the airport would jeopardize FAA funding. And, there is the question of whether the airport is considered a Cumberland entity, or one from West Virginia. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's opinion is that, as far as open meetings laws are concerned, they apply to the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, the governing organization of the airport. The next meeting of the Airport Authority will be August 28th.
MAN CHARGED WITH 2ND DEGREE ASSAULT
Twenty-two year old Charles Ace Casey was arrested Saturday at a Maryland Avenue residence, and charged with the second-degree assault of a female victim. Casey was accused of hitting the woman in the back of the head during an argument. He was arrested and taken to Cumberland Police Headquarters. He was later held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $3500 bond.
STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING SWANTON THEFTS
The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating the theft of two golf carts and a self-propelled lawnmower from two sheds located on Beckman's Peninsula Road in Swanton. One of the golf carts is described as a white, electric powered "Easy Go" cart with a white fiberglass roof; the other displayed various Pittsburgh Steeler decals. The mower is a a gray, Honda self-propelled lawnmower with a bagger. Anyone with information is asked to contact the McHenry barrack at (301)-387-1101.
IRT PROGRAM BEGINS WEDNESDAY
The Innovative Readiness Training Program will begin Wednesday at the Allegany County Fairgrounds, and run through August 21st. The program, sponsored by the Allegany County Health Department and HRDC, will address restorative and preventive dental care, pain management, and endocrinology services. Veterinary care will also be offered to pets. The program is open to anyone, regardless of income.
HOSPITAL CENTER FINED FOR DEFICIENCIES
The Western Maryland Hospital Center in Hagerstown has been fined $150,000 for 43 state and federal deficiencies in the state-run residential care facility. The report from the Maryland Office of Health Care cited numerous deficiencies due to poor executive leadership and management practices, as well as safeguarding medication. Since that report, Meritus Health has taken over interim management at the hospital center.
O'MALLEY TALKS HEALH EXCHANGE, IMMIGRATION
During his visit to Western Maryland last week, Governor Martin O'Malley acknowledged the state did not do a good job in administering the health care exchange website. He does, however, have more confidence in the current I.T. staff, which is working on the new website when enrollment opens in November. He would prefer, at this point, for people to talk about the health information exchange. He also addressed a Department of Homeland Security request to move 50 immigrant children to Salem Children's Group in eastern Garrett County; the request was turned down. Citing a lack of transparency on the issue, Governor O'Malley says he believes congregate living sites are not the way to go for the children. He notes there is a difference between federal foster care and state foster care.
CONTRACTOR COMMENTS ON TEMPORARY TRUST FUND BILL
The West Virginia Contractor's Association Executive Director Mike Clowser believes the federal government should have passed a six-year federal highway bill instead of a "stop-gap" measure to continue the Federal Highway Trust Fund program through May of next year. Clowser says that without a multi-year deal, West Virginia and other states may be hesitant to start major road projects, in fear funding will run out before they complete them.
CASINO REVENUES TOP $4 MILLION IN JULY
Casino revenues at the Rocky Gap Casino Resort topped the $4 million mark in July, up 19.7 per cent from July of last year. Local shares of the revenue for Allegany County have been projected at $700,000 annually; for July, that number was just over $100,600. Much of the money now goes to a scholarship fund for Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University. But the local funding use could change, and may be spent for infrastructure improvements, economic and community development, public services and improvements, among other items.
MURDER SUSPECT SURRENDERS IN LA VALE
A North Carolina man, who is wanted in connection with a murder there, turned himself in to the Maryland State Police in LaVale earlier this week. Twenty-six year old Brandon Jawon Pompey of Greensboro was arrested at the local barrack. He is wanted on first-degree murder charges, stemming from a July 11th shooting in which Clarence Eugene Toran was killed, and 22-year old Terrance Allen Toran was wounded. Pompey was in Maryland because he has family ties here.
DEALER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS
Baltimore resident Daniel McQueen was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison on drug possession and distribution charges, and for assaulting a Cumberland Police officer. McQ ueen was arrested when officers discovered some evidence of drug trafficking. During the arrest, one officer was assaulted.
FLOOD STUDY OF BOWLING GREEN TO BE DONE
Delegate Kevin Kelly has request a study of flooding problems in Bowling Green, and the State Highway Administration will look at the water runoff situation over the next several months. The study will begin in about a month, and should be completed by the end of t the year.
PHAA NOT IN DANGER OF LOSING FUNDS
The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority is not in danger of losing airport development funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, if approved by the agency. The FAA has the ultimate say on whether to permit non-aeronautical events on airport property. It had been decided earlier this summer to allow autocross races outside of the fence at the airport, but National Road Autosport members say there isn't a place to hold the races, outside of the fence.
MINERAL BOARD CONSIDERS LINE OF CREDIT
The Mineral County Board of Education is considering a line of credit, in the amount of $16,000 for the Keyser Primary School to install play equipment for the second, third and fourth grade sections of the school. Two pieces of equipment have already been constructed, with that money coming from fundraising efforts by the PTO and the school itself. Boy Scout Nicholas Miller, is currently building some sandboxes at the school, as part of his Eagle Scout project.
NEARLY 4,000 CASES FILED IN MINERAL COUNTY IN 2013
According to the West Virginia State Supreme Court of Appeals, over 500 cases were filed in Mineral County Circuit Court last year. Along with that, 3490 cases were filed in Magistrate Court during the same time period. The majority of cases filed in Circuit Court were civil cases; of the criminal cases filed, 135 were felony cases.
TRESPASSING NEAR WASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS
A Cumberland resident, 48-year old Nicky Lee Linn, was arrested Wednesday for trespassing at George Washington's Headquarters on Greene Street. Linn attracted the attention of a passerby, due to his acting in a disorderly manner. He was placed under arrest, issued two criminal citations, and released pending trial in District Court.
FORMER FIRE CHIEF FILES TO WITHDRAW PLEAS
The former administrator and chief of the Halfway Volunteer Fire Company in Washington County has filed a motion to withdraw Alford pleas on two counts of misdemeanor theft. This latest development came after Jeffrey Ringer had been sentenced to a year in jail for misusing department funds. His attorney says that the Alford plea would never have been entered had he known Judge Dana Moylan Wright had a "policy" to incarcerate all prople convicted of theft from a non-profit organization. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but acknowledgement that the prosecution had sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.
HOGAN COMMENTS ON IMMIGRATION, ECONOMY
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan believes Governor Martin O'Malley is "way off base" in dealing with the current immigration crisis, involving children. Hogan says that the state can't even take care of its own children, and that there is a difference in being here legally and breaking the law. He termed the situation, "total anarchy."
HOGAN ADDRESSES MARYLAND BUSINESS CLIMATE
Many have said the climate is not conducive for business, and Hogan cited the Beretta gun manufacturing operation as a prime example. He calls Beretta the "latest victim of the O'Malley-Brown" policies. Hogan himself has met with Beretta leadership. Hogan says Governor O'Malley's attitude about the company moving its manufacturing operation elsewhere was "flippant," and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown-Hogan's opponent-said he was glad they were leaving. Hogan notes that he has heard that nearly half of the residents in the state said they would leave...if they could.
HOPKINS PREPARES TO MANAGE EBOLA RISK
Johns Hopkins Hospital is taking the necessary steps to manage the risk of Ebola. There is a growing concern that it could spread to the United States, and while the possibility, no matter how remote, still exists. The fatality rate of the virus is 90 per cent, and can be spread through bodily fluids. The likelihood of an Ebola patient coming to Hopkins is nearly impossible, but they want to make sure they are ready.
UTILITY REQUESTING RATE INCREASE IN PA.
First Energy Corporation, the parent company of Potomac Edison in Maryland, is requesting an increase in Pennsylvania, to help pay for infrastructure improvements. In a request filed Monday, First Energy is requesting an 8.6 per cent increase, translating into revenues of $119.8 million. For example, a customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month, would see his or her bill increase $19.58, or a total of just over $140 per month.
W.VA. REVENUE COLLECTIONS BELOW PROJECTIONS
The West Virginia Department of Revenue says collections are more than $17 million below estimates for July, the first month of the fiscal year. To balance the budget, the state's economy needs to grow by about 4 per cent. The two largest sources of revenue, consumer sales tax and personal income taxes both came in below estimates.
MAN ARRESTED FOR DISRUPTING BAND PRACTICE
Cumberland resident Brandon Simpson was charged with disturbing a school operation and disorderly conduct, after an incident at Allegany High School Tuesday evening. Simpson walked onto the baseball field, where the band was practicing, and began yelling and cursing. He also displayed a pocket knife. The students were evacuated to the school. Simpson fled, but was later served with a criminal summons, as well as a "No Trespassing" letter issued by the Board of Education. He was released, pending trial.
WOMAN ARRESTED ON WARRANT
Forty-three year old Christina Marie Driver faces charges in connection with an incident that happened Sunday on Washington Street. She was charged with second-degree assault and disturbing the peace. She was also served for failing to follow conditions of her probation in connection to a separate incident. She was taken to the Allegany County Detention Center and held on a bond of $307.50.
BENCH WARRANT SERVED
Frostburg resident Travis Dixon was served a bench warrant for failure to appear in Allegany County District Court in late July. He had been charged with driving an uninsured vehicle. Dixon was eventually released on personal recognizance, pending trial in District Court.
FORMER MAYOR ATHEY DEAD AT 78
As was reported yesterday, former Cumberland Mayor Ed Athey passed away Tuesday at the Western Maryland Health Center. He served as Mayor from 1992 to 2000. One of his biggest accomplishments, according to the Cumberland Times-News, was convincing Allegany and Mineral Counties to share in the cost of operating the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport. He also spearheaded the Let's Beautify Cumberland Campaign. Funeral services will be private, and handled through the Scarpelli Funeral Home on Virginia Avenue.
PENNSYLVANIA MAN FACING DRUG CHARGES
Springs, Pennsylvania resident Shane Wisseman was arrested on Route 40 near Grantsville Monday afternoon. A traffic stop led to a probable cause search of his car. Found in the vehicle was marijuana, along with CDS paraphernalia. He was charged on a criminal citation and released from the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police.
DRIVER REMAINS HOSPITALIZED
The driver of a truck hauling trash that overturned in Pennsylvania, a mile from the Maryland State Line, remains hospitalized at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. Forty-six year old Claysburg resident Eric Weyandt was injured when the truck overturned while negotiating a curve on Route 220. He was charged with driving at an unsafe speed. Trash was strewn over a large area, and the road was closed for about five hours on Monday.
NO PASSPORT SERVICE AT MINERAL COUNTY COURTHOUSE
A proposal to share duties when processing passports at the Mineral County courthouse has been denied by the U.S. State Department. The county's license to issue passports has expired, and the State Department says the circuit clerk's office was the only location in the courthouse that would be eligible to be re-activated. As a consequence, the same employees who handle passport applications cannot handle other vital records, such as birth certificates.
"9/11" RIDE RETURNS TO CUMBERLAND NEXT WEEK
The "9/11" Memorial Ride will be coming through Cumberland next Friday morning, August 15th. The riders should arrive in Cumberland around 8 a.m., and travel down Mechanic Street on their way to Rocky Gap State Park. Cresaptown and Bowling Green Volunteer Fire Departments will provide the Bucket Fire Truck with a large garrison flag. A truck will arrive at the Cumberland Fire Station around 7 a.m., offering memorabilia. The 9/11 Foundation funds a scholarship program for the children of active first responders. The ride is held in August to respect each site and the survivors, allowing them to mourn during September. The motorcyclists will then travel to Washington, to visit the Pentagon site, and then on to Ground Zero in New York.
O'MALLEY VISITS WMRMC
Governor Martin O'Malley has set a goal of improving the health of Maryland citizens by changing the way health care is provided, through preventable hospitalizations. During a tour of the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center yesterday, the Governor talked about bringing about wellness, while driving down the cost of health care. He noted that other hospital Chief Executive Officers come here to learn from the Western Maryland Health System business model.
LAWMAKERS OPPOSE PRESIDENT'S OIL STANCE
Eight members of the Maryland Congressional delegation have sent a letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to reconsider the use of seismic air guns to explore for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean. They says the technology is "incredibly harmful" to marine life, and that Maryland depends on the ocean for seafood and ocean-based tourism. For its part, oil lobbyists say drilling for oil and natural gas could generate $195 billion in investment and spending between 2017 and 2035.
FAMILY SUING DAUGHTER'S KILLERS AND THEIR MOTHERS
The family of Skyler Neese is suing the convicted killers of their daughter and their mothers. Dave and Mary Neese say in the suit their daughter's death caused both sorrow and anguish, and the loss of reasonably expected income, and they are also asking for reimbursement for funeral and burial expenses. The counts name Sheila Eddy, her mother, Tara Clendenen, Rachel Shoaf and her mother, Patricia Shoaf. Other counts in the suit are for negligence, reckless concealment and negligent supervision entrustment.
CSX TO HIRE HUNDREDS, POSSIBLY THOUSANDS
CSX Transportation has announced plans to hire hundreds, perhaps thousands of workers to fill jobs at the railroad. A spokesperson for the railroad says it's not possible to speculate on whether those jobs will be coming to the Cumberland area specifically, or to Maryland in general. Currently, the local operation employs about 750 people.
MEXICO FARMS MAN FOUND DEAD
Mexico Farms resident Frederick Neef was found dead late yesterday afternoon, the victim of an ATV crash along the C & O Canal towpath. An intense search had been mounted for Neef, who left his home Sunday morning. Investigators believe he was traveling at a high rate of speed and lost control of the vehicle. The C3I unit assisted in the investigation.
O'MALLEY VISITING WESTERN MARYLAND
Governor Martin O'Malley will be at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center today, from 11 a.m. to noon. The visit is part of his "Governing for Results" series and will also include Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They will share new programs that have helped improve the health of the state, and drive down unnecessary hospital visits for Maryland residents.
WESTERNPORT MAN CHARGED WITH ARSON
Eighteen year old Westernport resident Joseph Broadwater has been charged with the arson of a property at 118 Kolberg Drive in Westernport. No injuries were reported in the fire, but it was determined it was deliberately set, using combustibles and a liquid accelerant. Damages were set at $35,000. Broadwater has admitted to starting the fire. He was charged and later released from the Allegany County Detention Center.
GREENE STREET HOUSE PURCHASED BY CITY
The property at 661 Greene Street, where the "Lucky 33" dogs were rescued in mid-June, has been purchased by the city. Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim expressed gratitude that the city could purchase what has become a symbol of animal abuse in the city. The home will be demolished. The building was determined to be in "deplorable" condition and was purchased for $2,000 from Rickie and Barbara Ciccanti.
I-68 REDUCED TO ONE LANE NEXT WEEK
Westbound Interstate 68 will temporarily become a single lane in Cumberland, beginning Saturday; the lane reduction will last a week, until next Friday. The lane closure will allow crews to pour concrete for the final sections of the new bridge decks, as part of a Maryland State Highway Administration project to rehabilitate the two bridges. In addition, Patterson Avenue will be closed at the I-68 overpass between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. next Monday and Tuesday nights.
FORMER MAYOR PASSES AT 78
Former Cumberland Mayor Ed Athey passed away yesterday at the age of 78. The Scarpelli Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, which are incomplete at this time.
MAN CHARGED WITH DUI NEAR POTOMAC STATE
Twenty-five year old Colton Courtney was charged with aggravated DUI near Potomac State College. He was also charged with striking an unattended vehicle, and driving with an expired license. After hitting a car on Valley View Avenue, the car was found parked outside of "D" and White Streets. He was found in a nearby residence, and arrested. He aggravated DUI stems from the fact that his Blood Alcohol Content exceeded the threshold for a standard DUI charge.
BENCH WARRANTS SERVED
Twenty-two year old Cumberland resident Charles William Michael, III was served a bench warrant for failure to appear in District Court on a charge of possession of marijuana. He was released, pending trial in District Court. Forty-three year old Joseph Lee Wolfe was served a bench warrant for a probation violation, on an original charge of second degree assault. He, too, was released on person recognizance, pending trial in District Court.
CONVICTED MURDERER DIES IN PRISON
An Iranian immigrant, Brian Yasipour, Sr., who had been serving time for stabbing his four year old daughter to death in 2001, has died in prison. Yasipour died of natural causes at the SCI-Laurel Highlands facility. He had been serving a 21 to 47 year sentence for stabbing his daughter to death, saying he feared his wife planned to take the girl back to their native country. He was eventually found guilty, but mentally ill, of third-degree murder and lesser charges.
HOUSING MARKET RECOVERING
The housing market in Washington County is improving with a 19 per-cent jump in overall sales from January to June of this year. The average price of a home increased 4 per cent there, but the future of housing could be driving primarily by mortgage interest rates. A rise in interest rates would cause some prospective home buyers to jump into the market, because they fear even higher rates.
STATE HOLDS "EBOLA DRILL"
Because of "real world events," Governor Martin O'Malley held an Ebola-specific exercise this week, to test the state's ability to respond to the deadly virus. No cases have been reported in the state, and there is a low likelihood that there would be an outbreak here. The current outbreak in three West African nations has sickened more than 1300 people and killed at least 800.
RUPPESBERGER SAYS CONGRESS SHOULD HALT VACATION
Maryland's Second District Congressman Dutch Ruppesberger believes Congress should be called back from vacation to vote on a budget for next fiscal year, and pass an immigration reform bill. He notes that Congressional approval is at an all-time low; despite that, incumbents have experienced a 90 per cent re-election rate. He noted that Congress came back after an immigration bill was withdrawn. Ruppesberger noted that the most recent government shutdown lasted over 20 days and cost $24 billion. Another one remains a real possibility.
TENTATIVE AGREEMENT FOR CWA, FRONTIER
The Communications Workers of America and Frontier Communications have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract. The old contract expired in August of last year, and the new agreement was reached early Monday morning. There aren't many details about the tentative contract, but health care had been a roadblock during negotiations. The agreement is retroactive to last August, and if ratified, would run through August of 2017.
FIRE DETERMINED "ACCIDENTAL"
A fire on Aaron's Run Road in Westernport has been determined to be accidental in nature, caused by the spontaneous combustion of stored hay on the porch. The Saturday morning fire at the home of Ronnie Bittinger caused a total of $120,000 in damage to the building and its contents. The fire was discovered by a neighbor. Nine fire companies from both Maryland and West Virginia responded to the call at about 9:20 a.m.
GARRETT COMMISSIONERS TO VOTE ON AGREEMENT
Although there is not a physical location for American Woodmark in Garrett County, the commissioners there will vote on extending the terms of an agreement during a meeting today. The agreement, according to the Cumberland Times-News, includes the loan repayment terms in connection with construction and job creation. Extending the terms of an agreement, coupled with an improving economy, could provide for future opportunities.
AXE ASSAULT INVESTIGATED
The Cumberland City Police investigated an assault, involving an axe, in the 300-block of Cecilia Street. Cumberland resident Jacob Lee Haines allegedly assaulted another person by kicking and punching him, then grabbed and axe and swung it at the victim. The victim grabbed Haines and took the axe away from him. Haines fled the area, but he was later arrested on a warrant. He was charged, but released on personal recognizance by a District Court Commissioner.
BRADY SERVED AS PARADE MARSHAL
The death of former White House Press Secretary James Brady brought back memories from 1989, when he served as the honorary marshal of the city of Cumberland's bicentennial parade. Following performing duties as the honorary marshal, Brady received dinner and a ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, a ride on a Cumberland fire engine, and he attended the Drumfest event at the Greenway Avenue stadium.
WOMAN ARRESTED IN DISTURBANCE
Cumberland resident Latoya Joinielle Mundy was issued a criminal citation, following a disturbance in the parking lot of the Sheetz store on Virginia Avenue. She failed to comply with the officers' request to calm down and was placed under arrest. She was later released, pending further action in District Court.
TRUCK ACCIDENT SNARLS ROUTE 220 TRAFFIC
A tractor-trailer accident yesterday afternoon closed Route 220, just north of the Maryland line in Pennsylvania. The truck, registered to J.H. Russell, Incorporated was carrying trash, and overturned; garbage was strewn several hundred feet. The accident happened around 5 p.m. There were apparently no injuries.
FLOOD RELIEF LOANS AVAILABLE TODAY
A help center through the U.S. Small Business Administration is opening today at the Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department; the center will be open through August 14th, but will be closed on Sunday. The center was opened to help those affected by the flooding of June 12th, the most serious of which affected the Cresaptown Fire Department and Calvary Christian Academy, along Route 220. The filing deadline for physical property damage is September 29th, while the deadline for economic injury to businesses is April 30th of next year.
CANAL PLACE FEATURES "SHREK"
Canal Place will be hosting another "Movie Under the Stars" event this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on the festival grounds. This weekend, the movie "Shrek" will be featured on a giant, inflatable screen. More details about the event, and any cancellations will be posted on "www.downtowncumberland.com," or the Downtown Cumberland Facebook and Twitter pages.
SUMMER SCHOOL GRADUATES HONORED
Fourteen summer school students, members of the 2014 graduating class, were recently honored by the Allegany County Board of Education. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Board, says remarks were given by school board president Laurie Marchini; Kim Green, chief academic officer; and Superintendent of Schools, Dr. David Cox. Ms. Cross says they delivered compelling messages to the students.
SCHOOL BEGINS AUGUST 25TH
Several back-to-school nights have been planned, with some before the start of school on August 25th, and some after the 2014-2015 year begins. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Allegany County Board of Education, says that with the late August opening, nearly 6000 students will be riding buses to and from school each day.
CREDIT CARD THEFT INVESTIGATED
Police are asking for the public's help in identifying and apprehending a suspect who stole three credit cards from an SUV at the rail-trail park-and-ride lot in Hancock. The victim parked his car there, to go biking on the trail, only to return to find the driver's side door pried open. The suspect was seen on video footage, and had charged $1700 at Best Buy in Hagerstown. A second attempt to charge $1500 at Target in Hagerstown filed, because by that time, the cards had been deactivated.
MARYLAND TAX FREE WEEK AUGUST 10-16
The "Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week" is next week in Maryland, offering a break for back-to-school shoppers, and anyone in the state. No sales tax will be levied on any single qualifying article of clothing and shoes, priced at $100 or less, regardless of how many items are purchased. Several other, non-school tax exempt items include dry cleaning services, along with bridal gowns and dresses.
FRIDENS MAN KILLED IN COLLISION
Twenty-two year old Friedens resident Austin Coddington was killed in a two-vehicle crash Saturday evening. State Police say his dirt bike collided, head-on, with a van in the 1,000-block of Geiger Road. Coddington traveled into the opposite lane as he negotiated a curve in the road, and hit the van. The driver of that vehicle, who was not identified, was taken to the hospital. The Pennsylvania State Police are continuing the investigation.
LOVE'S PLANS EARLY 2015 OPENING
It was supposed to have opened this fall, but Love's Travel Center near the Ali Ghan Road has pushed back the date until early next year. The permitting process seems to be the major stumbling block. A meeting was held early in June with local legislators and other officials met with State Highway Administration representatives to streamline communications between the SHA and developers of the project.
MAN SENTENCED IN INVESTMENT SCAM
Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania resident Robert Bard has been sentenced to nearly 22 years in jail, and ordered to pay $4.2 million in restitution, after being convicted of 21 counts of securities fraud, mail fraud, and other counts. Bard was accused of defrauding 66 investors by, among other things, misrepresenting the value and makeup of their investment portfolios. Following his release from prison, he will be placed on two year's supervised release.
NEW SCHOOL BECOMING REALITY
A half-million dollars has been raised so far, to build a new school on the campus of Burlington United Methodist Family Services, which will replace a cottage where students who cannot attend public school are taught. The West Virginia School Building Authority provided a $600,000 grant as three per cent of its cost; the group has been holding fundraisers, receiving various donations from churches to match the grant. The cost of the new school has been set at $1.7 million.
NOISE COMPLAINT RESULTS IN ARREST
Forty-nine year old Cumberland resident Michael McKnew, Sr., was arrested around 10 p.m. Saturday, following a noise complaint on Boone Street. Police had been called to the residence earlier; when they arrived for the second call, McKnew was on his porch, playing music very loud, creating a disturbance for the neighbors. He allegedly told police to arrest him and take him to jail, which they did. Following a District Court hearing, he was released, pending further action in District Court.
"BOIL WATER" ADVISORY LIFTED
The Fountain Public Service District has lifted its "boil water" ban. Residents of the area were notified late last month that there was a problem with their drinking water, and were told to boil it, before using it. Less than a week later, that ban has now been lifted.
MAN ARRESTED FOR THEFT OF CELL PHONE
A criminal summons was served on Michael Shawn Hite, stemming from a theft investigation from April. He was accused of stealing a cell phone from a woman in the 100-block of Arch Street. He was served with a summons, and released, pending further action in District Court.
LOCAL SHELTER PLACES SECOND IN CONTEST
It was "touch and go" for a while, and in the end, the Allegany County Animal Shelter came in second in the national Wahl Home Products "Dirty Dog" contest. Voting took place on social media for "Howard," one of the "Lucky 33" dogs rescued from a Greene Street residence in June. Becky McClarren, of the Animal Shelter, says there is but one word for the local effort to win a $5,000 prize-"phenomenal."The fact that the local shelter will receive $1,000 shows that everyone in the community cares for animals. A message was received from an Iowa resident, where the Animal Welfare Society there won the top prize. An added note: Howard has been adopted and Becky says he is living a wonderful life.
POTOMAC STATE HOLDING INFORMATIONAL SESSION
If you are an adult, and are thinking of returning to college, Potomac State College of West Virginia University is holding an informational session this Thursday from 12 noon to 6 p.m. The Office of Enrollment Services is offering the session to learn more about Potomac State; admissions and financial aid counselors will be available. For more information, you can call (304)-788-6820, or toll-free, (800)-262-7332.
FUNDING FOR PRE-K EXPANSION AVAILABLE
Garrett, Washington, and Frederick counties are among 24 providers in the state the will receive funding to increase the number of children entering kindergarten, fully ready to learn. The Governor's Office Pre-kindergarten Expansion Act of 2014 partners with local providers and school systems to expand high-quality full and half-day pre-K to nearly 1500 children.
HEALTH EXCHANGE ENROLLMENT UP FROM JUNE
More than 411,000 people signed up for health insurance, as of last week, and that's up more than 38,000 from June. The next enrollment period begins November 15th, but those who have lost coverage, gotten married, or who have had another "life-event" are still eligible to sign up. Also, those who qualify for Medicaid are allowed to sign up year round. Officials also say the newly revamped website is on schedule to be launched when the former one is shut down in the fall.
GAS PRICES SEE DIP
Gas prices in Cumberland seem to be the highest in the state, despite the fact that, overall, the price dipped four cents from a week ago. Triple "A" Mid-Atlantic reports that the price of a gallon of unleaded, regular gas in Maryland was $3.53, while in Cumberland, the price was quoted at $3.64. Hagerstown reports $3.55. Still, the price of gas in the state
is a penny above the national average of $3.52.
COUNTY PARAMEDICS NOW UNIONIZED
Eight full time paramedics in Allegany County have been included in the International Association of Firefighters, Local 1715. The IAFF approved a local chapter that would represent two different career positions, working for different employers. The move was not that unusual, in that the IAFF has other locals that represent different employees and branches.
DRUG RING PARTICIPANTS INDICTED
A federal grand jury indictment accuses three Petersburg residents, who are accused of being involved in a conspiracy to distribute heroin. Fourteen defendants have been implicated in the drug ring. Baltimore resident Tavon Darrell Moore is the alleged ringleader of the operation, while the three Petersburg residents-Melissa Bailey, Kimberly Michelle Bailey and Pamela Jean Bailey-have also been indicted. Authorities are still looking for 29-year old Tony Calvin Collins.
KEYSER RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR THEFT
Twenty-one year old Leah Jean Aronholt is accused of breaking into a vehicle last month, and stealing a credit card. She then tried to use the card at five different locations, but didn't have the "PIN" number. In total, she was charged with 13 offenses in the incident, which happened in the 1400-block of Ludwick Street.
TEEN ARRESTED IN LOCAL VEHICLE THEFT
Sixteen-year old Leandro Ovalles has been arrested in Montgomery County, and is being charged in connection with a local vehicle theft in Allegany County. Ovalles had been involved in an accident on eastbound I-70 earlier in the month; the vehicle he was driving was later reported missing from Allegany County. Ovalles is being charged as a juvenile in connection with a series of crimes committed earlier in July in Allegany, Washington and Montgomery counties. He was turned over to juvenile services and will remain in their custody, pending the disposition of charges of theft and burglary.
BUDGET REVISIONS RESULT IN DISTRIBUTIONS
The city of Keyser has approved a budget revision, which means some $40,000 in carry-over funds from last year will benefit the town's library, parks and playgrounds and the police department, among other entities. The library will receive $500 extra, while the police department and playgrounds will receive $11,000 each. The city is also looking toward receiving money with regard to ongoing litigation over the Keyser House on Main Street.
KEYSER POLICE TO RECEIVE EXTRA FUNDS
In addition to $11,000 in carry-over funds from the city of Keyser, the police department there will benefit from an additional $5220, resulting from the sale of seized property, which was placed up for auction. The city opened seven sealed bids for a motorcycle trailer that had been seized during a local drug raid. The money will be used for training and equipment for the police department.
POLICE INVESTIGATE VANDALISM INCIDENTS
The Cumberland City Police are investigating an incident in the 200-block of Washington Street, in which a person or persons had attempted to set an unoccupied, parked vehicle on fire by igniting the gas tank. The attempt was unsuccessful. In a second incident, two garbage cans and their contents were set on fire, in the area of Baltimore Street and the first block of Washington Street. The Cumberland Fire Department responded, with the State Fire Marshal's Office investigating. Anyone with information on either incident should contact the police department.
POTOMAC EDISON PLANS SERVICE OUTAGES
Potomac Edison has planned outages for next Thursday in two specific areas of Mineral County. A short, momentary outage will take place between 10 and 10:30 a.m., and will affect about 585 customers in the Wiley Ford area. The second outage will occur from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and will affect about 4,000 customers in the Fort Ashby, Furnace Acres and Short Gap areas. Specifically, that will be from Zim's Tire, Route 28 South, to Ed Oats Road off of Route 46 from the Hampshire county border to Waxler Road at the Pinnacle subdivision.
MAYOR COMMENTS ON ONGOING ISSUES
Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim says the Baltimore Avenue project is nearing completion. The Mayor says every day, is another day closer to being finished. There have been significant infrastructure improvements. On another subject, he says more residents are recycling;Mayor Grim says the mere fact that more people are utilizing their recycling bins, has caused others to begin participating. As for the ongoing combined sewer overflow issue, Mayor Grim says there have been no official meetings to date.
STIFFER PENALTIES FOR PASSING SCHOOL BUSES
The start of the new school year is still several weeks away, but drivers should know there are more severe penalties in place for passing a stopped school bus when is has its "stop arm" activated when transporting students. The fine is now $570 and three points on your driving record. In just one day last spring, nearly 3400 violations were recorded across the state. Fifty-three agencies in 22 jurisdictions will be receiving a total of nearly $541,000 from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention to help make the trip to and from school safer.
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS WITH FRONTIER ONGOING
The Communications Workers of America are attempting to negotiate a contract with Frontier Communications. Its employees have been working without a contract for nearly a year, and both sides have agreed to more than a half-dozen contract extensions over that time. The union says it wants a new contract, something that was promised by Frontier when it bought out Verizon in 2010. The CWA represents 1500 Frontier workers across the state.
TWO HOUSING AUTHORITY EMPLOYEES CHARGED
Two employees of the Cumberland Housing Authority have been charged with felony theft by the C3I unit. Fifty-eight year old Leroy Francis Bennett of Oldtown and 50-year old William Joseph Beechie of Frostburg are charged with stealing two large flat screen televisions, from a Klotz Mill apartment, after the tenant had passed away. Procedure requires that the next of kin be notified in order to make arrangements concerning property left behind. The two were charged and released pending their next scheduled court appearances.
DEAL REACHED WITH FIREFIGHTERS
Fire Fighters Local 1715 and the city of Cumberland have reached a tentative deal on a new contract. The agreement caps more than a year of negotiations, and was reached after the two parties met with a federal mediator over the past several months. While details were not made public, the union will meet on August 18th to discuss the potential new deal.
RAILROADS SUE M.D.E. OVER DISCLOSURES
Both CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway have filed suit against the Maryland Department of the Environment, over a May ruling which requires the disclosure of crude oil, being transported through the state. There have been several rail accidents involving the fuel, but the railroads maintain the release of that information would pose a security threat and compromise commercially sensitive information. For its part, the state will withhold the records until a ruling from the courts is made.
BOARD WANTS CRIMINAL CHECKS FOR DOCTORS
The Maryland Board of Physicians says it is seeking the authority to conduct criminal investigations for medical license applicants in the state of Maryland. The move comes after Dr. William Dando of Allegany County was convicted, and served time in prison for raping a woman at gunpoint in Florida in 1987. Details of his past came to light in May, when he was charged with molesting a patient at a walk-in clinic in LaVale.
AUTHORITY ADDRESSES AUTOCROSS AGAIN
The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority will send a letter to Maryland State Senator George Edwards, to clarify its position on the National Autocross Race. Interim Chairman Leon Hinkle presented a letter this week that stated, in part, that "after careful review, the decision was not to prohibit the event, but to not permit the event in the aircraft operational area of the airport." The Federal Aviation Administration has stated that hosting such an event may threaten funding for a new runway project at the facility.
NOTICE ISSUED FROM FOUNTAIN PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT
There was an 8-inch water line break in the area of Route 46 yesterday, disrupting service from Windy Hill Drive to the end of the line on Route 46. This includes all of the Fountainhead subdivision. A "Boil Water" notice has been issued for that area; the Fountain Public Service District is working to repair the break; residents will be notified when the advisory is lifted.
TWO ARRESTED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION
Two women were arrested in separate incidents, for probation violations. In the first, 31-year old Elizabeth Mae Price was taken into custody at Jane Frazier Village around 2 a.m. yesterday. She was held on $500 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. In the second, 30-year old Taryn Denise Hartley was arrested, also for a probation violation. She was held in the Allegany County Detention Center on a $57.50 bond.
VANDALS OPEN HYDRANT IN BEDFORD
Vandals hit an area of the Bedford County Business Park, opening a fire hydrant, releasing about 200,000 gallons of water. The hydrant was opened for about three hours, before it was noticed by a person who lives near the park. Water levels in the tank had dropped about two-and-one-half feet, which jeopardized water pressure. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police in Bedford.
LIBRARY RENOVATIONS PLANNED
Renovations at the South Cumberland Library could begin as soon as next year, thanks to a combination of state and county funding. Changes to make the library more computer friendly, along with making it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act are two major renovations planned. The building's roof was recently replaced, and the work was finished last month.
FATAL VEHICLE COLLISION IN HAGERSTOWN
A 23-year old Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania man, Zachery Swope, was involved in a fatal collision with a pedestrian in westbound Route 40 early this morning. Swope had been driving along the road, when he hit 32-year old Robert Matthew Owen of Hagerstown, who was walking in the right turn lane of the road. Owen was taken to Meritus Medical Center and later pronounced dead. The initial investigation is being conducted by State Police. The road was closed for about three hours.
HAGERSTOWN ADDS MORE FLIGHTS
Beginning in December, Allegiant Airlines in Hagerstown will be flying to Orlando more than ten times per month, more than the current twice a week schedule. Between December 15th and January 1st, Allegiant will fly to Orlando ten times alone. And, beginning in January, a spokesperson for the airport says there will be even more bigger and better changes.
"GREEN TIMES THREE" GENERATES MILLIONS IN GRANTS
"Greening the Streets" makes communities more attractive, and new plants and grasses along roads and waterways also help filter out contaminants that eventually end up in the Chesapeake Bay. Three-point-seven million dollars are on the way to local non-profits, towns and schools to carry out projects for the "Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns" partnership. The Chesapeake Bay Trust, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the EPA announced funding recently. EPA Administrator Shawn Garvin comments. Garvin says the projects carry value beyond each neighborhood.
BEDFORD TEEN FATALLY INJURED
Sixteen-year old Bedford resident Colton Warren Tew was killed in a single-vehicle crash yesterday morning in Cumberland Valley Township. He failed to negotiate a right-hand curve on White Church Lane, and hit a tree alongside the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
POTOMAC CENTER HEARING SET AUGUST 26TH
There will be a hearing in Hampshire County Circuit Court on August 26th, regarding alleged abuse against a Potomac Center resident. The suit has been filed on behalf of "R.M," a 17-year old former resident, and names the Potomac Center and 12 employees there. The case is not a single-action case, but rather a class action case with "R.M." serving as a representative of all the victims of the abuse and neglect that is alleged at the Potomac Center.
BALTIMORE DRUG DEALER SENTENCED
Baltimore resident Daniel McQueen has been sentenced on charges of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and second-degree assault. Police were called to a Cumberland residence, where evidence of drug trafficking was seen; McQueen also assaulted a Cumberland City Police officer at the home. In total, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison-12 years on the drug charge; for the assault he was sentenced to three years, which will run consecutively to the other.
CORRIDOR "H" RESOLUTION SENT TO CONGRESS
The Robert C. Byrd Corridor "H" Authority has sent a resolution which will be sent to the House and Senate, urging them to get through their stalled negotiations on the transportation bill, so all states can plan their transportation infrastructure improvements. The Authority pointed out that as long as Congress continues to work on a year-to-year basis, there won't be enough federal funds available to complete the corridor by 2020.
FORT ASHBY RESIDENTS TO RECEIVE NEW ADDRESSES
Sometime within the next month, Fort Ashby residents will receive new addresses from the U.S. Postal Service. Postcards with the addresses where there are the least amount of homes will be sent out, and will finish in Keyser. The project will also allow emergency personnel to be able to identify residences.
CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES GRANT
The Cumberland City Police Department is receiving a $2700 grant to help purchase protective body armor. The Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention announced the grants, totaling just over $49,000 to eight local police departments in seven counties. Other departments receiving grants include Montgomery County, Prince George's, and Salisbury.
ASSAULT INCIDENT INVESTIGATED
Cumberland resident Antoinette Marie Washington is charged with fourth-degree burglary, assault and other counts, following an incident at a residence in the 600-block of Centre Street early Friday evening. She is accused of entering her ex-boyfriend's home, and assaulting him. She also damaged some items in the residence, and took his cell phone. She was taken into custody on Monday, charged, and released pending trial in District Court.
ROADS CLOSED FOR HILL CLIMB
Portions of Route 144 will be closed this Saturday and Sunday for the Polish Mountain Hill Climb. Road closures will take place between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., and will affect State Route 144, from its intersection with Town Creek road to the intersection with National Pike; additionally, it will be closed from the intersection with Town Creek Road to the intersection with Gilpin Road. Signs will be in place during the events.
COMMUNITY MEETING ON ALLEGANY SET
The Allegany County Public School System will hold a community meeting next Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Grace Memorial Community Church on Bishop Walsh Road. The meeting will be held to update the public on the progress of the Allegany High School Replacement Project, and specifically the demolition of the former Sacred Heart Hospital. The meeting will include an audio-visual presentation by Grimm & Parker Architects and Total Wrecking and Environmental. The public will have the opportunity to make comments and ask questions.
STATE POLICE WARN OF TELEPHONE SCAM
The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is warning residents about a new telephone scam. Callers ask residents for personal information; the number showing up on caller ID is similar to the person who is being contacted. The numbers are being "spoofed," and are false numbers. The State Police urge you to not provide any personal information. There are websites available, to keep you aware of current scams and complaints. They are "IC3.gov," and FCC.gov.
DOLLAR TREE BUYING FAMILY DOLLAR
Dollar Tree has announced it is buying Family Dollar, in an $8.5 billion deal. Family Dollar had attempted to increase sales by lowering prices on almost 1,000 items. As a result of the deal, Dollar Tree will have more than 13,000 stores in the United States and Canada, nearly three times as many stores as Walmart.
DELEGATE ADDRESSES IMMIGRATION ISSUE
Republican Baltimore County Delegate Pat McDonough is proposing what he calls "common sense" legislation that protects the citizens of Maryland, when dealing with housing illegal immigrant children coming into the state. McDonough says there should be a "full disclosure" website that states how many children are coming in, and how state funds are being used for programs and care. He also suggests building a "tent city" at the Mexican border. He points out that Catholic Charities has applied for a federal grant to house 50 children at the St. Vincent Villa in Timonium. McDonough says none of this is acceptable. He says that some of the children are not unaccompanied minors, and are coming across the border with adult relatives. Attorney General Doug Gansler says the Governor has the authority to exercise all aspects of McDonough's plan, but has not done so, to this point.
WOMAN TRANSFERRED TO ADULT PRISON
Eighteen year old Rachel Shoaf has been transferred to an adult prison, following her 18th birthday. She is now housed in the Lakin Correctional Facility in West Columbia. She was convicted of the second-degree murder of Star City teenager Skylar Neese. Her co-defendant in the case, Sheila Eddy, is serving her first-degree murder sentence at the same facility. Shoaf has a projected release date of April, 2028.
RESTORATION PROJECT ANNOUNCED
Allegany County officials are beginning a $60,000 restoration project, to repair damaged caused by recent flooding in the Braddock Run area, near the LaVale Lions Club field. Excavating Associates of Ellerslie will complete the project of repairing about 125 feet of the stream.
"DIRTY COAL" SENT ABROAD
President Barack Obama has initiated a strategy for reducing gases blamed for climate change, but the United States is shipping so-called "dirty coal" to other countries, thereby shifting the blame for cleaning up the environment on them. By doing that, it makes the United States appear to be making more progress than it is on the global warming issue. Locally, Western Maryland produced 2.2 tons of coal last year. There are 14 surface mines in Allegany County, and 13 in Garrett. The state's westernmost county also claims four deep mines, which produced over 933,000 tons in 2013.
RECYCLING POSSIBLE FOR HAMPSHIRE COUNTY
A Hampshire County group says they have enough signatures to put the recycling issue on the November ballot. The Hampshire County Recycling Co-Op says more than 560 signatures, well above the 395 required, have been turned into the Hampshire County Clerk's office. Ninety-per cent of the signatures on the petition are those of registered voters.
SUSPECT WAIVES PRELIMINARY HEARING
A Somerset County man, who is charged with killing his girlfriend and their infant child, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Denver Blough is charged with two counts of criminal homicide, aggravated assault and simple assault, along with one count of attempted homicide and reckless endangerment.
MAN SERVED WITH SUMMONS FOR DOMESTIC ASSAULT
Thirty-year old Jeremy Combs was served with a criminal summons, in connection with a domestic incident in Cumberland last week. A female victim claimed she had been assaulted by Combs, and suffered minor injuries. Combs was not located then, but was later served with the summons and released, pending trial in District Court.
MAN REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION
Oakland resident John Tucker remains in critical condition at Ruby Memorial Hospital, after his motorcycle struck an SUV in Garrett County Saturday evening. A 2013 Mercedes SUV, driven by John Hanna of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, turned into the path of Tucker's motorcycle on Route 219, ejecting him from the bike. Hanna, who suffered minor injuries, was determined to be at fault, although no charges have been filed, pending consultation with the Garrett County State's Attorney's office.
MINOR INJURIES IN HAMPSHIRE COUNTY CRASH
An Augusta man suffered minor injuries when his car collided with a flagpole outside of the front entrance of the Augusta Bank of Romney entrance. Police say mechanical issues may have contributed to the crash. Some of the bank's shrubbery and the outside of the building suffered minor damage. The case remains under investigation by the West Virginia State Police.
WESTMAR STUDENTS HOLD FOOD DRIVE
Westmar Middle School once again exceeded its goal for the "Hunger is No Game" food drive. The project is part of Sheila Riggleman's Math Service Learning Project. The group's annual goal is 500 items, and collections took place twice a week, from April 15th through May 30th. Sharee Pensyl's homeroom won this year's drive, with students donating more than 600 items. In total, 1,198 items were donated to the George's Creek Food Bank in June of this year.
FRESH AIR FUND WELCOMES GROUP
The Fresh Air Fund is welcoming 14 children from New York City tomorrow. The children will arrive at the Hampton Inn in Frostburg, and will be spending one or two weeks with volunteer host families in Oakland, Cumberland, Ridgeley, La Vale, Swanton and other cities in the region. Arrival is expected at 3 p.m. The Fresh Air Fund has hosted more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877.
FORMER CHIEF SENTENCED FOR EMBEZZLEMENT
The former chief of the Halfway Volunteer Fire Company has been sentenced for stealing money from the department. Fifty-four year old Jeffrey Ringer was sentenced to 18 months for one count of theft of less than $500, and 18 months for one count of theft scheme for less than $500. Six months were suspended from each sentence, meaning he will spend a year in the Washington County Detention Center.
O'MALLEY TO MEET WITH RELIGIOUS LEADERS
Governor Martin O'Malley met yesterday with religious leaders to discuss potential housing for thousands of children who have come to the U.S. illegally from Central America. Republican Baltimore County State Delegate Wade Kach says the administration is encouraging the situation, and is using the Archdiocese of Baltimore to further its agenda. Kach says the situation is unacceptable.
PARK SERVICE ASSESSES ECONOMIC IMPACT
The West Virginia National Park Service is assessing the number of visitors to the state's scenic attractions, in an effect to see how many dollars they drive to local communities. The report looked at 2013 attendance at three different attractions, with total attendance topping 1.2 million visitors. They spent more than $51 million and helped to support 673 jobs in the state. Overall, there were about 1.5 million visitors to national park sites, and they spent $63 million.
STATE MAY RESUBMIT FLOODING INFORMATION
Congressman John Delaney is encouraging Maryland to submit new information on the local flooding of June 12th, when requesting federal aid. The damage threshold is just over $8 million when filing for federal aid, but Delaney says there are additional factors that can be considered by FEMA for disaster assistance. Meanwhile, a study may be done on flooding in the Bowling Greene area, and the damage incurred throughout the Route 220 corridor last month.
MIDLOTHIAN POSTAL MEETING SET FOR TODAY
A decision on the future of the Midlothian Post Office is imminent, and a meeting on a consolidation plan is set for today at the Trinity Assembly of God Church. Several options have been suggested, including reducing the hours at the facility, to subcontracting of services, to closing the facility completely. That meeting is set for 3 p.m. today.
RESTAURANT CLOSING FOR JULY, AUGUST
An aging air conditioning system, which sometime drove the indoor temperatures to over 80 degrees, has forced the temporary closing of the Culinaire Cafe in downtown Cumberland. The cafe is an educational facility and restaurant opened by Allegany College of Maryland in 2002. According to program director of the hospitality management and culinary arts program, the facility was closed each August, but, because of the latest developments, it was decided to close it in July as well.
CUMBERLAND MAN FACES EX PARTE, DRUG CHARGES
Cumberland resident Timothy Winkler faces numerous charges, including failure to comply with a court order and CDS counts, following a Saturday incident in the 100-block of Seymour Street. Winkler allegedly entered a victim's home, assaulted the victim, and fled. There was a protective order in place, which prohibited him from being at the residence. He was later found and arrested, and found to be in possession of prescription drugs and paraphernalia. He was taken to District Court and remanded to the Allegany County Detention Center, pending a hearing.
MISSING BOY RETURNED HOME
A 15-year old boy, who had been reported missing since last Tuesday, was found Friday and returned home. Logan James Litton, of Prince Georges Street, left his parents a note, stating he was running away. He was found Friday around 5 p.m. in Cumberland by a family member. He was taken to Cumberland City Police Headquarters and later released to his father.
LEGION TOWN HALL MEETING SET
The Mountain District American Legion is having a Town Hall meeting next Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Allegany College of Maryland. The meeting is for all veterans to share their experiences, both good and bad, with the Maryland Veterans Affairs Health Care System and facilities. The event will be videotaped and sent to the American Legion National Headquarters. Representatives of the VA will not be present at the meeting. For more information, contact Mike Wade at (301)-876-3123.
APPOINTMENTS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR CLINIC
A free clinic, in partnership with the Department of Defense, The Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Allegany County HRDC is planned for August 13th through the 21st at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. Appointments are being scheduled by calling (301)-783-1775, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. At the clinic, general health, dental, and vision screenings will be done. There are no residency or income restrictions. Veterinary clinic appointments for spaying and neutering have been filled, but the staff is maintaining a waiting list, if there are cancellations.
P.E. PLANS W.VA. SERVICE INTERRUPTION
Potomac Edison is planning a service outage in the Augusta area of Hampshire County next Monday, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Upgrade work will be done in the area, and the outage is expected to affect about 1330 customers in the area of Route 50,just east of East View Estates subdivision to Dillon's Run Road. In case of bad weather, the work will rescheduled for the next day. Customers with questions can call Potomac Edison's Customer Service line at 1-800-686-0011.
VEHICLE CRASH ON ROUTE 219
Greensburg, Pennsylvania resident John Hanna was determined to be at fault in a vehicle/motorcycle collision on Saturday evening in front of Archie's BBQ on Route 219 in McHenry. Hanna, driving a Mercedes SUV, pulled into the path of a motorcyclist, and he was ejected from the bike. The motorcycle operator, who has not been identified, was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. No formal charges have been filed, but the Garrett County State's Attorney will determine if there will be charges filed against Hanna.
UPDATE ON ALLEGANY HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT
As had been announced, Total Wrecking and Environmental of Buffalo, New York has been selected to do the demolition work at the site of the new Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Allegany County Board of Education, says the cost of the project, taken from the 2012 Request for Proposals, was set at $36 million. At the time, three items were removed from the project, including an auditorium, a bay of classrooms and playing fields. The savings realized from the demolition work will help in adding the auditorium back into the building plan.
SOME HEALTH INSURANCE REFUNDS DUE
Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell have announce that over 200,000 consumers in the state will benefit from $17.2 million in refunds from insurance companies this summer, averaging about $140 per family, because of the Affordable Care Act. The "80/20 Rule, " also known as the Medical Loss Ration rule, requires health insurers to spend at least 80 per cent of premium dollars on patient care and quality improvement activities. If insurers spend more than 20 per cent on profits, marketing and salaries, they owe a refund to consumers.
COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST HOGAN
The Maryland Democratic Party has filed a complaint against Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan, but his campaign says the allegation is "groundless." The charge alleges the campaign violated election law through a grassroots group called "Change Maryland," that Hogan formed. Hogan later bought the group to use for his campaign. Change Maryland conducted a September poll for $10,000 but it was not mentioned on a list of assets purchased by the campaign.