MISSING MAN FOUND SAFE
Eighty-nine year old Lester John Hershberger was found safe this morning in Grantsville. He was reported missing Saturday night, and had left his residence by crawling out of a bedroom window on Hemlock Drive. The Maryland State Police say he had been suffering from dementia. However, he was found safe just after 7 a.m. this morning.
ANIMAL CRUELTY SUSPECT ARRESTED
Twenty-eight year old Christopher Adam Preston was arrested Saturday, in connection with an animal cruelty case in which nine dogs died at an abandoned residence on McGill Drive. In all, he was arrested on eight counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, and related charges. He was ordered held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $8500 bond. The dogs had been abandoned in the home for about 6 to 8 weeks. The three surviving dogs were taken to the veterinarian for treatment of dehydration, starvation and anemia, due to flea infestation. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IN ALLEGANY COUNTY
Today is the first day of school in Allegany County for the 2014-2015 year. Drivers are being reminded to be extra cautious for students walking to school, and to stop for school buses, either picking up or dropping off students during the morning and afternoon. Dr. David Cox, Allegany County School Superintendent will be riding along with Bus #36, which begins its run in the Shade's Lane area. The bus will travel to the Allegany County Career Center and onto Bel Air.
PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT AIRLIFTED FOLLOWING FIRE
An Artemas, Pennsylvania resident suffered second and third-degree burns and was airlifted to the hospital, following a Friday afternoon fire. The blaze, which destroyed three structures at 139 Memory Lane, appears to be accidental in nature. About 40 hay bales in a building ignited, and sparked the fire. The hay fire rekindled early Saturday morning. The initial call involved about 40 firefighters from three states. The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the cause of the fire.
WATER SERVICE INTERRUPTED IN NORTH END
An emergency shutdown of water service in North End was ordered Saturday night, when an 8-inch water main ruptured on Ashland Avenue at Holland Street. A spokesperson for the Allegany County Office of Emergency Services says areas affected included Ashland Avenue, Piedmont Avenue and Holland Street at Roethe Avenue. At the time of the shutdown, there was little or no water service in the area, or at the Allegany County Nursing Home, as well as the North End area. Services have since been restored, but portions of Ashland Avenue will need repaving as a result of the water main break.
PENN AVENUE FIRE INVESTIGATED
Fire companies from Cumberland, Bowling Green and Ridgeley responded to a fire at 325 Pennsylvania Avenue Friday evening. The fire was reported at 7:58 p.m., and no injuries were reported. The cause of that fire remains under investigation.
COUNTY FINANCE DEPARTMENT WINS NATIONAL AWARD
The Allegany County Finance Department has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 22nd consecutive year. The certificate is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. The award is given by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for Allegany County's Fiscal Year 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
MAN ARRESTED FOR 2013 INCIDENT
Thirty-three year old Jamaine Johnson has been arrested in connection with an assault incident, that allegedly happened in December of last year. Cumberland City Police officers had responded to an incident in the 100-block of Potomac Street, in which the victim claimed Johnson had choked them. He fled the residence, and Johnson was arrested on Friday. He was charged with one count of second-degree assault and later released on personal recognizance.
BELLEVUE STREET CLOSED FOR REPAIRS
Bellevue Street, between Baltimore Avenue and Fulton Street is closed today for emergency sewer repairs. The City of Cumberland apologizes in advances for any inconvenience. Questions should be directed to the City of Cumberland Engineering Department at (301)-759-6600.
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY INVESTIGATED
The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a destruction of property incident at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. Sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning, an unknown person or persons broke a window at one of the buildings there. Anyone with information is asked to contact Master Trooper DeLauter at (301)-387-1101.
OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
The first Allegany County Opportunity Scholarships have been awarded to students attending Allegany College of Maryland or Frostburg State University. Classes begin today for ACM students, and will start on September 2nd at Frostburg. Funding for the scholarships is made possible through the county's share of revenues generated by video lottery machines at Rocky Gap Casino Resort.
NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETS
The Neighborhood Advisory Committee is meeting today at City Hall from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The special guest is Lieutenant Biser of the Cumberland City Police Department, who will be speaking about gangs and gang activity in the area.
FIRST "CITY STAR" AWARD WINNER ANNOUNCED
The Mayor and City Council presented the first "City Star Award" to Virginia "Ginny" Decker during the August 5th meeting. The award program has been initiated to recognize the unsung heroes in our community who have stepped up to do what's right and what's needed, and have made a positive impact on our lives, our neighborhoods and our community. Ms. Decker was recognized for her involvement in the "Let's Beautify Cumberland" program, of which she has been a member for 15 years.
OFFICIALS COMMENT ON FRACHOT'S INVOLVEMENT IN W. MD.
During last week's visit to Cumberland by Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot, several elected officials had the opportunity to publicly comment on his contributions to the office, and to the area. Maryland State Senator George Edwards noted that Franchot had given the William Donald Shaffer Award to Sandy Bell of Garrett County, who founded "Cindy's Fund."
MAN, DOG ATTACKED BY BEAR IN HARDY COUNTY
A Staunton,Virginia man, 59-year old Steven Krichbaum, and his dog were injured, after being attacked by a black bear in the George Washington National Forest in Hardy County late last week. The man and the dog were walking in the woods, when they came upon a black bear and her cubs; the bear attacked and Krichbaum hit the bear with a rock to scare her off. Both he and the dog were able to escape; he was taken to the Winchester Medical Center for treatment, while the dog was taken to a local emergency animal hospital.
MAN CHARGED IN SOMERSET HOME INVASION
Twenty-six year old Somerset County, Pennsylvania resident William Albert Thompson has been charged with a home invasion, and has admitted to the crime. Thompson broke into a house and demanded money from an elderly woman at gunpoint. He made her drive to several banks to use the ATM to withdraw money. Video surveillance led to his arrest. He is a suspect in another home invasion in the area. For now, he is being held on $500,000 bond.
ALMANAC CALLS FOR "SUPER COLD" WINTER
The "Old Farmer's Almanac" is calling for a "super cold" winter for the eastern two-thirds of the United States this year, with above normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be in late December and early and mid-January, along with early to mid-February. It also predicts and warmer and drier than normal summer next year. The Almanac does have an 80 per cent accuracy rate, but its prediction for a very hot summer this year didn't quite come true.
NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR HYDROCODONE DRUGS
New restrictions on painkiller hydrocodone drugs will have an effect on how they are stored, stocked, transported, prescribed and dispensed. In West Virginia, drugs like Lortab and Vicodin are the number one prescribed controlled substance. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration is moving such drugs from Schedule III to a more restrictive Schedule II. The West Virginia legislature has passed a bill that limits hydrocodone drugs to no more than a 30-day supply and no more than two refills. That law, along with the federal guidelines, will both remain in effect.