VERSO RECEIVES CREDIT DOWNGRADE
The Verso Paper Corporation has received a credit downgrade from Moody's credit rating firm, which could affect the proposed merger between it and the New Page Corporation. The companies will merge if regulators approve the deal. Verso is the smaller of the two companies, and both are considered to be financially troubled.
PRIMARY ELECTION DAY IN MARYLAND
Today is Primary Election Day in Maryland. Voters will be going to the polls, to vote for candidates at the state and local level. Among the races that will set the stage for the November general election will be the gubernatorial contest, Maryland House of Delegates, Allegany County Commissioners, Cumberland City Council, and Board of Education. polls will be open until 8 p.m.
BEDFORD COUNTY PEDESTRIAN STRUCK, KILLED
Everett resident Donald Batholow was struck and killed by a vehicle on the Lincoln Highway in West Providence Township. The Pennsylvania State Police say he was hit by a vehicle driven by Rick Heidorn also of Everett, as he crossed both lanes of the highway Friday morning. The Pennsylvania State Police are continuing the investigation.
ALCOHOL, SPEED FACTORS IN ACCIDENT
The Garrett County Sheriff's Office says that alcohol and speed played a part in a crash early Sunday on Upperman Road. Jeremy Hinebaugh suffered non-life threatening injuries in the single-vehicle crash. He lost control of his car, which was traveling at a high rate of speed. The car crossed the center line, hit a utility pole, which caused it to fall. Electrical lines blocked the roadway for about three hours. He was treated at Garrett Memorial Hospital.
NO INJURIES IN BALTIMORE PIKE FIRE
Several volunteer fire and ambulance companies responded to a working fire in the 14,000-block of Baltimore Pike late yesterday morning. The Allegany County 911 Emergency Center dispatched engine companies, tankers and ambulance personnel. No injuries were reported.
RIG OVERTURNS ON ROUTE 220
A tractor trailer driver was uninjured in an accident yesterday, when his rig traveled out of control and overturned on Route 220 near the State Line. The truck came to rest along the side of the road, and traffic was unaffected by the accident. Several units from both Bedford County, Pennsylvania and Allegany County, Maryland were dispatched to the scene.
INMATE REMAINS JAILED ON WEAPONS CHARGE
Bedford County jail inmate Jeffrey Gilliam remains in that facility, after he was caught trying to make a knife from a plastic shampoo bottle. Gilliam had previous burglary charges dismissed against him, but now will face weapons charges during a preliminary hearing on July 2nd.
GRANT FOR KEYSER PARK PUT ON HOLD
The city of Keyser has deferred putting up new play equipment at the North End playground for a year. A grant, from a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, would have provided up to $20,000, but the city ran out of time to meet the criteria for the "Kaboom!" grant. The city would have matched that $20,000 grant with a similar amount of donated labor, materials, and equipment.
UPDATE ON DOGS REMOVED FROM RESIDENCE
The "Lucky 33" dogs that were removed from a Greene Street residence earlier in the month could now be called the "Lucky 39-plus," as one of the dogs had 6 more puppies since they were taken to the Animal Shelter. And, according to Becky McClarren, more are on the way. She notes the dogs have not been put up for adoption for several reasons, including the fact they have had no socialization skills. The animals have some health issues, including skin and eye conditions, but-when found-they were not starving. She commended the staff and volunteers at the Animal Shelter, but said Friday, June 13th was a "horrible" day.
SCHOOL STUDENTS SERVE ON STATE STAFF
For the first time in the Allegany County Association of Student Council's history, the organization will have two of its members serving on the Maryland Association of Student Councils' staff. Thorne Lindsey and Jenna Puffinburger, incoming juniors at Allegany High School, will serve MASC as the Evaluations Coordinator and the State Charity Coordinator, respectively.
ACM SCHOLARSHIP ANNOUNCED
Dennis Bittinger, a resident of Cumberland and 1976 graduate of Allegany College of Maryland's Forest Technology program, recently established a scholarship to assist forestry students who graduate from his Alma Mater, Fort Hill High School. He founded the scholarship in the name of his late brother, Robert Lee Bittinger, a 1967 graduate of Fort Hill and a U.S. Army combat veteran, who died in Vietnam in 1969. Dennis Bittinger is the chair of the Cumberland Shade Tree Commission.
TEACHER PREP PROGRAMS RATED AMONG BEST
Two of Maryland's teacher preparation programs were ranked among the best in the country. McDaniel College had the 19th best program in the country; Johns Hopkins University came in 22nd. The National Council on Teacher Quality ranked 836 institutions and more than 1,000 graduate and undergraduate programs at institutions of higher education.
SCHOOL GRADING SYSTEM POLICY TO BE IMPLEMENTED
A policy, first proposed during Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's State of the State address earlier this year, will soon be implemented in West Virginia. The Governor has proposed letter grades, "A" through "F" for all public elementary, middle and high schools, giving communities an idea of how well a school is doing. Schools that continue to perform poorly or when the county does not provide needed support, will be subject to intervention by the state.