MAN INDICTED IN ALLEGANY HIGH INCIDENT
Cumberland resident Brandon Simpson has been indicted in connection with an incident at Allegany High School earlier this month. Simpson disrupted band practice there by yelling and cursing, and, at one point brandishing a knife. Staff members directed the band to exit the athletic field, and one of the staff took a picture of the suspect. It was determined the staff members were placed in danger by his actions. He faces numerous charges, including assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.
"SAFE STREETS OPERATION" NETS 28 ARRESTS
The arrest warrant initiative, known as "Operation Safe Streets," has resulted in 28 arrests over a week. Several of those were taken into custody for failure to appear in court, violation of probation, failure to pay child support. There was one suspect, who was a fugitive from Pennsylvania, who was arrested for violation of probation. The operation was conducted by the Cumberland City Police and members of the Allegany County Sheriff's Department.
OUTAGE AFFECTS 2,000 CUSTOMERS
A power outage yesterday morning affected about 2,000 customers in lower LaVale. The outage, reported around 8:15, brought out Potomac Edison personnel, and disrupted power at Parkside Elementary and Cash Valley Elementary Schools. Power was restored about an hour later. Customers in the lower LaVale area and parts of the Haystack Mountain area were affected.
BASIN AT CANAL PLACE EMPTIED BY PUMP FAILURE
Two pumps have failed at Canal Place, causing the basin to drain, with vegetation taking over the water that is still there. The National Park Service and Canal Place officials are evaluating the situation, and will check the pumps and pipes for leaks, in an effort to restore the attraction. It may take some time to repair the pumps and pipes.
CASINO COMPANY LOOKS AT OPTIONS
Lakes Entertainment, owner of Rocky Gap Casino Resort, has hired a financial advisor on what they are calling "strategic alternatives." Macquarie Capital, based in Australia, will help the owners look at a variety of options for the company's future, including "potential acquisitions, joint ventures, and recapitalization." And, while that may sound vague, that is all the company is willing to say about future intentions.
ROUTE 219 EXPANSION PROJECT CONTINUES
It's been a year since ground was broken for the Route 219 expansion project in Somerset County. The project is making major headway, in that about four million cubic yards of earth has been moved; of the $110 million set aside for the project, about $41 million has been spent. The project will result in the paving of another 11-1/2 miles from Route 219 in Somerset to the Meyersdale bypass. The project should be completed by October of 2017.
ROOFER DIES AS THE RESULT OF HEAD INJURIES
An Everett, Pennsylvania man who had fallen off of a roof in Somerset County earlier this month, has died. Thirty-year old Gregory Beckett died as the result of a severe head injury. He had been working on a roof in Davidsville, when he lost his footing and fell to the ground. He was taken to the Somerset County Memorial Medical Center.
WOMAN ARRESTED IN DOMESTIC ASSAULT INCIDENT
Thirty-nine year old Cumberland resident Arika McMillan was charged with a count of second-degree assault, following an incident in the 200-block of Gay Street Wednesday evening. She had been arguing with a resident there, when it then turned physical. The victim sustained minor injuries that did not require medical attention, but she was arrested and taken for an initial appearance in District Court. She was released on personal recognizance.
HEARING ON KEYSER ANNEXATION SET
The Mineral County Commission has scheduled a public meeting on annexing just over 90 acres of land in the south end of town. The meeting will be held on September 23rd at 6:30 p.m. A West Virginia state regulation states the county may approve "minor boundary adjustments" without the city taking the proposal to the public for a vote. Commissioner Richard Lechliter says the city of Keyser's petition was "deficient in two areas," but did not say what those were. Additonal information should be submitted on the annexation by next Friday.
DEPUTY ARRESTS SUSPENDED DRIVER
The Allegany County Sheriff's Department arrested a driver, whose license was suspended. A traffic stop on McMullen Highway resulted in the arrest of Charles Trent Thomas of LaVale. He was taken to a District Court Commissioner and later released on his own recognizance.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION MAY MISS DEADLINE
The final regulations from Maryland's Medical Marijuana Commission are due in less than three weeks, but a public hearing held this week in Annapolis, was the group's first. Panel members were told the proposed rules are too burdensome and too vague for the program to work; advocates for medical marijuana say the rules and regulations could cause months of setbacks to a program that has already been delayed.
CONSERVATION CORPS BEGINS WORK
Thirty-two young people began work this week, volunteering for a year under the 2015 Chesapeake Conservation Corps program. More than 100 had applied for the position, where they will work with organizations on environmental projects that benefit the Chesapeake Bay. The trust's executive director Jana Davis says the experience is coveted, whether participants recently graduated from high school or college.
JUVENILE JUSTICE STUDY UNDERWAY
While West Virginia nearly doubled the rate at which youths were sent to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, there have been decreases, nationwide, in that practice. The West Virginia Intergovernmental Task Force is working with Pew Charitable Trusts to recommend improvements to the juvenile justice system, and will issue a report by December. The panel will draw from best practices from other states.
POSSIBLE FRAUD UNCOVERED BY AUDIT
"Additional instances of possible fraud or abuse" have been found during the final 18 months of former state Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass' tenure. The Department of Agriculture released an audit, which included questionable spending of nearly $662,000 of federal stimulus money in June of 2011 to install new refrigeration units at the Inwood Farmer's Market in Berkeley County. Auditors say it was a bad investment, in that the market lost an average of $100,000 per year for six years in a row.