NEW LAWS TAKE EFFECT TOMORROW
Several new laws approved by the General Assembly, will take effect tomorrow. One is the decriminalization of marijuana; the possession of less than 10 grams will become a civil offense, rather than a criminal one. Another bill will raise the maximum penalty for smuggling in a cell phone to a correctional facility to five years imprisonment, and a fine of $3,000. Another law will require motorists to move into an open lane, away from tow trucks, attending to roadside emergencies, or to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe, just as they are required to do when approaching police and other emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road.
FIREFIGHTERS, CITY DISAGREE ON REDUCTIONS
A new contract was approved recently, and there is already a dispute over staffing at the Cumberland Fire Department. Union President Ken McKenzie says reducing the per shift staffing from 13 to 12 could be a safety issue. Fire Chief Donald Dunn says the reduction is not new, and is needed because of budget considerations, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
STUDY PLANNED FOR GREENE STREET
A contract with a Baltimore firm, Alta Planning and Design, will improve the street and add features for both bicycles and pedestrians. The plan will establish more efficient transportation along the street from the Baltimore Street bridge to the Interstate 68 interchange. Some aspects of the plan include reviews of on-street parking, transit services, accommodations for bicycles and a "streetscape environment," according to the request for proposals.
MAN GUILTY OF COOKING "METH"
Oakland resident Jeffrey Vincent Corby has been found guilty of manufacturing methamphetamine and other charges. He was sentenced to eight years in prison with two years suspended, and an additional four years for each of the other charges. The conviction was the result of a raid at a residence in Mountain Lake Park last November. He will be on probation for five years, following his release from prison.
WEST VIRGINIA MAN CHARGED WITH RAPE
Elk Garden resident Paul Edgar Wilhelm has been charged with rape by the Maryland State Police. The alleged rape happened in the 200-block of Main Street in Kitzmiller on Friday. The West Virginia and Maryland State Police arrested Wilhelm at his residence and he was taken to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, for extradition to Maryland.
NBCI INMATE INURED IN FIGHT
A 37-year old inmate at the North Branch Correctional Institution, who was serving a life sentence for murder and robbery, suffered non-life threatening injuries in a fight with his cellmate Monday. The altercation happened just before 1 p.m. yesterday, and the victim was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment.
WARRANT SERVED ON CUMBERLAND MAN
An arrest warrant was served on Javon Nafaise Murphy of Cumberland over the weekend. The warrant stems from a private citizen applying for charges against him in District Court. He was charged with violating a protective order, harassment, obstructing justice, and attempting to solicit and intimidate a juror. Murphy was served and was held without bond.
MAN ARRESTED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION
Cumberland resident Tyler Dewain Nimmons of Cumberland was served an arrest warrant over the weekend for violating the conditions of his probation. He was held on $1,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
BRIDGE RENAMED FOR TROOPER
A bridge in Windber, Pennsylvania was renamed in honor of a local trooper who was killed in the line of duty in November of 2002. The "Trooper Joseph Sepp Memorial Bridge" was the former 17th street bridge. Sepp died on November 10, 2002, after being shot by a suspect in a high-speed chase in Ebensburg.
SOMERSET BURGLARIES INVESTIGATED
The Pennsylvania State Police at Somerset are currently investigating several burglaries at businesses at businesses in and around the area. Burglaries were reported at the Pennsylvania State Elks Association, Vitamin World, and the Prodigy Dialysis/Kidney Center. Once inside that location, they stole needles, drugs and other items. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at (814)-445-4104.
QUESTIONS RAISED ON FISCAL PROCEDURES
An audit from the Department of Legislative Services says the state of Maryland's Mental Hygiene Adminstration didn't have adequate procedures to ensure consumers who were given care, were actually eligible. The funds in question total $16.4 million. The audit also found that reviews weren't done in a timely manner by an accounting firm, hired to monitor some of the agency's fiscal functions. The Mental Hygiene Administration has since merged with the state's substance abuse arm, to create a behavior health unit.
CHANCES ARE "STRONGER THAN NOT" CARSON WILL RUN FOR PRESIDENT
Chances are "stronger than not" former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson will run for President in 2016. He says he will decide, based upon the results of the mid-term elections in November. Dr. Carson says government works only if the people are informed as voters. He says he is looking for a substantial shift, resulting in Republican control of the Senate. Dr. Carson says this will be necessary, "to get things done."
INFANT MORTALITY RISES SLIGHTLY
While Maryland's infant mortality rate dropped by 15 per cent in the past decade, it rose slightly last year. The rate increased to 6.6 per 1,000 live births last year, up from 6.3 per 1,000 in 2012. No single cause was identified, but some of those include low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, and congenital abnormalities. Governor O'Malley has set a goal of reducing the infant mortality rate by another ten per cent, by the year 2017.
NEARLY 100,000 W. VA. KIDS LIVE IN POVERTY
A report from the Census Bureau says that one in four children in West Virginia lives in poverty; that's about 100,000 children. One in three, under the age of five, lives in poverty. The numbers are the highest they've been in the past five years. Overall, one in five West Virginians, or 18.5 per cent, lives in poverty. For a family of four, the poverty line in 2013 was about $23,000.
FOURTH SUSPECT ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH MURDER
Hagerstown resident Jonta Bishop, along with 45-year old Kimberlee Forbes and her son Nickolas, of Buffalo Mills have been charged in connection with a murder and burning of a body Thursday night near Hyndman. A fourth person, Domenick Gillespie, also of Buffalo Mills, was arrested yesterday. Bishop claimed the victim tried to rob him, and he shot him. The body, which has been identifed as that of James Edward Deneen, was placed in the trunk of a Volkswagon Beetle and it was later set on fire. Bishop has been charged with the murder, while the Forbes' and Gillespie have been charged with related counts.
MAN ARRESTED IN ARMED ASSAULT
Thirty-two year old Daniel Miller was arrested Saturday evening, after he allegedly entered a Miner's Avenue residence, in Midland, and assaulted two occupants at gunpoint. Miller was arrested shortly after, in the vicinity of the area where the incident happened. He faces numerous charges, and is being held without bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
TWO ARRESTED IN ASSAULT INCIDENT
Both 22-year old James William Hendershot and 20-year old Kelsey Dawn Jenkins were arrested Friday, following a mutual assault incident in the 100-block of Pennsylvania Avenue. A verbal argument turned physical; neither required medical treatment. They were both released on personal recognizance by a District Court Commissioner.
MAN ARRESTED ON DURG CHARGES, OUTSTANDING WARRANT
What began as a shoplifting incident at the Virginia Avenue Sheetz store, led to the arrest of a Cumberland man on drug charges and an outstanding warrant from Howard County. Forty-seven year old Douglas Wayne Black had several controlled prescription pills and drug paraphernalia on him, when he was being arrested for shoplifting. It was also discovered he had been wanted on an outstanding warrant from Howard County. He was held at the Detention Center while waiting to be taken to Howard County.
KENTUCKY MEN ARRESTED IN GINSENG THEFT
Terry Wayne Blankenship of Dewitt, Kentucky and Daniel Jerimiah Warren of Cannon, Kentucky were arrested by troopers from the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police Saturday. The two were seen digging up a large amount of ginseng, which weighed over 10 pounds and had an estimated value of over $5,000. The arrest was made on the Friendsville Road, and they were charged with felony theft and trespassing.
STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING SET
A public presentation will be provided by RKG and Associates at the Allegany Museum on Pershing Street. The meeting has been set for Wednesday, October 15th at 5:30 p.m. The presentation will include the Draft Economic Development Strategic Plan, with an opportunity for public discussion to be provided. The public is encouraged to attend and participate in the meeting.
TWO RESIDENTS INVOLVED IN MULTI-VEHICLE CRASH
Two Garrett, Pennsylvania residents-58-year old Ronald Marteney and 55-year old Darlene Marteney-were involved in a chain reaction crash on Interstate 70, at the 35-mile marker late Friday morning. A total of five vehicles were involved. Both Ronald and Darlene Marteney were taken to Meritus Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. I-70, in the area of Route 66 was closed for a little over an hour, and the investigation into the multi-vehicle accident is continuing.
PRIEST FACING FEDERAL EXPLOITATION CHARGES
Father Joseph Maurizio, a priest at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Central City, Pennsylvania, has been arrested on federal charges of child exploitation, with allegations that he sexually abused children on mission trips to foreign countries, dating back to at least 2001. Maurizio had run a non-profit organization known as Humanitarian Interfaith Ministries, traveling to impoverished Central American countries. It was on these trips, it is alleged, that he took advantage of the children-mostly boys-by offering them gifts in exchange for nude photos, and sexual acts performed either in front of, or with, him.
COMPTROLLER OFFERS REMARKS AT OPEN HOUSE
Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot commented on what he says has become a lucrative business in the area-cigarette smuggling. He claims the practice is more lucrative than smuggling heroin, and is part of the bigger picture of organized crime in Western Maryland. Franchot says smuggling cigarettes used to carry less severe penalties.
Franchot was in town for the Open House at the new Sheriff's Department headquarters on Kelly Road. He said this new building is "near and dear to his heart."Franchot noted it was a public/private partnership, an innovative appraoch to construction and the recycling of materials.
FSU ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM RATED "BEST BUY"
Frostburg State University's online Master of Education with a Special Education concentration, has been ranked as a "Best Buy" by GetEducated.com, the consumer guide to online colleges, in its independent review of online mater's in the education and special education areas. FSU's program ranked 21st on the special education rankings among all competing options nationwide. The Master of Education, Special Education concentration, like FSU's other teacher preparation programs, is accredited by NCATE, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
SENATORS, CONGRESSMAN LAUD D.O.T. WAIVER
Maryland United States Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski and U.S. Congressman John Delaney have praised the U.S. Department of Transportation's decision to approve a waiver, that will allow the Hagerstown Regional Airport to remain part of the Essential Air Service program. The FAA had planned to cut Hagerstown from the program as part of the FAA Modernization Act of 2012. In order to maintain federal subsidies, the act required communities to maintain an average of 10 enplanements or more per service day. Hagerstown has averaged more than that for most of the last decade with Cape Air providing service.
THIRD GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE SET
A third, televised debate between Maryland Gubernatorial candidates Larry Hogan and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown has been set for Saturday, October 18th. The debate will be hosted by WBAL-TV and will air on WBAL NewsRadio 1090, and statewide on Maryland Public Television. The first of the three debates will take place October 7th in Baltimore, along with a second one, on the morning of October 13th in the Washington area.
MAN REMAINS IN JAIL
Fifty-seven year old Michael Wayne Myers remains in jail without bond, accused of fatally shooting his wife Wednesday night at their Barnum Road residence in Mineral County. He was taken into custody, after he called emergency personnel around 10:35 p.m. Her name has not yet been disclosed, and the shooting remains under investigation by the Mineral County Sheriff's Office.
BEDFORD COUNTY SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED
Forty-six year old Bedford resident Larry Showalter has been sentenced to 60 to 120 years in state prison after being convicted on 23 counts of sexual offenses earlier this summer. Offenses included rape of a child and incest, involving his biological daughter. The victim was between 9 and 11 years old at the time of the incidents, which occurred over ten years ago. Only recently did she disclose what had happened during that time.
COMMITTEE SUBMITS ANIMAL SHELTER REPORT
A review committee has reported by the Allegany County Animal Shelter failed to respond "in a timely fashion" to phone calls regarding a situation which eventually led to the discovery of nine dead dogs in a Bel Air home this past summer. In response, the foundation has identified a number of failed policies and procedures, and has taken steps to address the issues. Some of those steps include a new phone system and policies regarding calls, and follow up on areas such as customer service, quality assurance, and complainant input.
JUDGE TO DECIDE AIRPORT ISSUE
A federal judge will decide whether the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority will follow West Virginia or Maryland law. The vote by the authority was 5 to 1, and a decision will guide them in whether either state's law applies, or if the authority can choose.
KEYSER MAN ARRESTED IN MAIN STREET ROBBERY
Keyser resident Eric Thomas Johnson was arrested Wednesday, after he allegedly robbed a Keyser woman at knifepoint on North Main Street. Johnson remains jailed in lieu of $4700 bond. He was arrested a couple of blocks from the scene, but cash, allegedly stolen from the victim, was not recovered. The knife, however, was recovered and entered into evidence.
NEW EVIDENCE REVEALED IN CASE AGAINST SEVERANCE
Video surveillance helped authorities link a former Cumberland resident, Charles Serverance, to the killings of three people in the northern Virginia area. A recently unsealed search warrant links Severance with the killings of Nancy Dunning, Ronald Kirby and music teacher Ruthanne Lodato. The murders took place over the course of the last eleven years. Severance has been indicted in the murders. The gun used in the killings has not been found.
KEYSER MAN ARRESTED FOR DOMESTIC BATTERY
Keyser resident David Llewellyn was charged last weekend for domestic battery, after dragging his niece and her dog across the pavement in the 100-block of Potomac Drive. Llewellyn became upset after the leashed dog urinated on a fire hydrant. The girl suffered injuries to her shoulder, stomach, hip and ankle. He was released after posting $850 bond.
MAN ARRESTED FOR DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY
Twenty-three year old Patrick Kneisley was arrested on two counts of destruction or property early yesterday morning. One person contacted police to say that his windshield was damaged by a rock, thrown by an unknown person. Later, police received a complaint that some had thrown a rock through the window of an apartment on Queen City Pavement. A disturbance in the first block of Ascension Street led police to Kneisley, as he matched a description given by witnesses. He was released pending trial in District Court.
DIGNITARIES ON HAND FOR OPEN HOUSE
Dignitaries and law enforcement personnel from Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties were on hand for this week's Open House at the new Sheriff's headquarters on Kelly Road. The new building will be occupied by the end of November. Sheriff Craig Robertson noted the first Sheriff's Department, built on the site of the present Allegany County library in 1793, cost $3,062. And, he notes, the prices have since gone up. State Comptroller Peter Franchot recognized two people in the audience, and commented on the positive family values in Allegany County. Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay pointed out that a considerable amount of taxpayer money was saved in the building of the facility.
ALCHOL BELIEVED TO BE FACTOR IN CRASH
An accident last Friday on Upperman Road in Kitzmiller may have involved alcohol, although the investigation is continuing. Twenty-three year old David Lee Armstrong of Elk Garden was following a pickup truck, driven by Brandon Scott Burns of Oakland. Armstrong collided with the rear portion of Burns' vehicle. Armstrong was transported to the hospital by Trooper Five for treatment of serious injuries. The Maryland State Police say charges are pending in the crash.
FATAL SHOOTING IN ELK GARDEN
There's been a fatal shooting in Elk Garden, West Virginia. The Mineral County Sheriff's Office says Michael Myers turned himself in to police, after he said he shot a woman twice. He has been charged with first-degree murder, and is being held at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail. The shooting took place late last night, around 10:30 p.m.
TWO STABBED ON MARYLAND AVENUE
Cumberland City Police are investigating an incident where two people were robbed and stabbed early Tuesday morning on Maryland Avenue. The victims were a 30-year old man and 27-year old woman, and were treated at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for minor injuries. No further information was available from Cumberland City Police.
ANNEXATION VOTE SET FOR MID-OCTOBER
The Mineral County Commission will decide whether or not to annex nearly 92 acres of land at its October 14th meeting. More than 100 residents attended a meeting this week with the Mayor and Council on the issue, with most voicing concerns about the move. If the tract is annexed, that would help cover a $200,000 deficit the city faces, as the result of several large construction projects in the city, such as the Memorial Bridge, Keyser Primary School, and upgrades to its water plant. The Council decided to petition the Commission for a minor boundary adjustment, extending from the Airport Addition to the base of the mountain, which would include an undeveloped street.
CUMBERLAND WOMAN HELD ON $3,000 BOND
Cumberland resident Kathryn Ann Colon has been charged in September 20th incident on Grand Avenue, in which her boyfriend had previously been charged. They had an argument that escalated into both of them getting into cars; they began to crash the vehicles together. She was hurt when she got out of the car, and was hit by her boyfriend's car door. She faces a number of motor vehicle counts, along with one of second-degree assault.
WOMAN CHARGED WITH PRESCRIPTION PILL THEFT
Forty-five year old Cumberland resident Sue Ellen Lilly was issued a criminal summons this week, stemming from a breaking and entering complaint originally reported on September 18th. Ms. Lilly told police she had been given permission to enter a home in the 400-block of Independence Street, to retrieve some pain medication. The owner was contacted, and she, in fact did not, have permission to do so. Several prescription pills were found on her. She was issued a criminal summons, and will have to appear in District Court at a later date.
FSU OPENS TECHNOLOGY BUILDING
A "virtual ribbon cutting ceremony" was held yesterday, to usher in a new $71 million center for Communications and Information Technology on the campus of Frostburg State University. The Center is on the site of the former Tawes Hall, and includes 10 classrooms, 16 computer labs, and 21 conference rooms. The CCIT also contains also has a multi-media learning center and a planetarium.
PA. STATE POLICE INVESTIGATE GUN THEFT
The Bedford detachment of the Pennsylvania State Police is investigating a gun theft in the 100-block of Briar Valley Road. The burglar reportedly crawled through a window and stole a .40-calilbre Sig Sauer handgun. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bedford barrack.
FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES PLANS PRESENTATION
The Allegany County Family Support Services is sponsoring a presentation, entitled, "Stress and How it Affects Our Health," next Wednesday at the Cash Valley Elementary School. The presentation is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and will be moderated by Lisa Moran, a community health advocate with Priority Partners and Johns Hopkins Healthcare. All attendees will receive a free stress ball, and be entered to win door prizes. Interested parties should RSVP by Tuesday. The number to make reservations is 240-920-6829.
DR. DONALD ALEXANDER REMEMBERED
Funeral services are scheduled for tomorrow at 10 a.m. for former Allegany College of Maryland President, Dr. Donald Alexander. He passed away last Thursday at the age of 72. Shauna McQuade, the director of public relations and marketing at the college, says Dr. Alexander was a very important person in her life, as well as anyone who was a part of the college. She remembers him for his compassion for people. She says Dr. Alexander helped establish the ACM satellite campuses in both Somerset and Bedford, Pennsylvania. Ms. McQuade called him a "visionary," and made the college a regional institution. Allegany College is no longer limited to its Willowbrook Road location. She says he was always thinking about how to expand and grow enrollment.
SEARCH FOR CHILDREN EXPANDED
The search for two missing Montgomery County children is expanding into parts of Frederick and Baltimore, as law enforcement authorities are tracking down possible tips. Three-year old Sarah and 2-year old Jacob Hoggle have now been missing for over 16 days, while their mother, 27-year old Catherine Hoggle remains in jail, refusing to tell police where the children are. A reward fund has now reached the $20,000 mark, for information that would lead to the safe return of the children.
MARYLAND N.O.W. PAC ENDORSES BROWN
The Maryland branch of the National Organization for Women's political action committee has given its unqualified endorsement to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown. Republican candidate Larry Hogan had declined to answer questions on abortion rights and contraception. Libertarian candidate Shawn Quinn also declined to answer. Brown had enacted a strategy of portraying Hogan as out of step with Marylanders' views on social issues. Hogan continues to focus his message to voters on economic issues.
FRONTIER NAMES MID-ATLANTIC PRESIDENT
The former president of Frontier Communications' Illinois operations, Michael C. Flynn, has been named the president of its newly formed Mid-Atlantic region of Ohio and West Virginia. Flynn will be based in Charleston, and succeeds Ken Arndt, who has been named president of the company's East region.
STABBING SUSPECT ARRESTED IN CUMBERLAND
A man, wanted in connection with a stabbing at a Ridgeley bar last December, was captured by the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force in Cumberland. Louis Harris, Jr., also known as "Louie 39" was taken into custody in the 100-block of South Allegany Street. Charges against him stem from the incident in December of 2013, where he and Dominique Weeden chased a victim out of the bar, and Harris was seen on a video surveillance system stabbing the victim several times. He has been charged with the Cumberland Police as being a fugitive from justice and will be returned to West Virginia to face the charges lodged against him.
PROSECUTOR TO SEEK DEATH PENALTY
The Somerset County, Pennsylvania prosecutor will seek the death penalty against Windber resident Denver Blough, who remains jailed on charges he killed his pregnant girlfriend and her baby. Twenty-three year old Caressa Kovalcik died after police say Blough shot her on May 31st. She was 8-1/2 months pregnant at the time, and the baby was delivered shortly before she died. The baby died on June 20th, as the coroner ruled the baby suffered from a lack of oxygenated blood.
FISH KILLED BY MALFUNCTIONING SYSTEM
About 23,000 fish were killed in the Blackwater River in Tucker County, as an automated pollution control system dumped too much hydrated lime into the water. The lime is added to reduce acid pollution. An investigation into what went wrong is underway. The kill involved primarily smaller species of fish, but also some trout and smallmouth bass were killed.
RAMP TO BE OPENED BY THANKSGIVING
The Paca Street approach ramp to Interstate 68 westbound should be opened shortly after Thanksgiving, according to the State Highway Administration. Paving and finishing work will take place next spring.
DR. GIRBRALTER DELIVERS CONVOCATION
The President of Frostburg State University, Dr. Jonathan Gibralter, delivered the fall convocation yesterday in the Univerity's Lane Center, noting that FSU has had a 3.1 per cent increase over last year. He also touched on behavioral problems at the school, such as binge drinking. The university's methods of addressing the problem has resulted in national attention. Transfer student enrollment has also increased, and the university is adding new academic programs, while planning for new buildings and renovations.
MAN ARRESTED ON TWO WARRANTS
Twenty-four year old Daniel Lamar Wagstaff was arrested on two outstanding arrest warrants, after police investigated a suspicious vehicle in Constitution Park. He allegedly gave the officer a false name, but it was later discovered he was wanted on warrants for two previous assaults. He was also charged with hindering and obstructing, and using a false identity to avoid prosecution. Wagstaff was released after posting $5,000 bond.
BOARD NOW HAS WEBSITE
The Allegany County Animal Control Advisory Board now has a website, that should improve the public's accessibility of information and to establish that it is a county entity, and not part of the animal shelter. The website will also serve to improve communication with the public. The address is "www.acb.allconet.org."
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT HOLDS "OPEN HOUSE"
The new Allegany County Sheriff's Office on Kelly Road should be ready for occupancy by the end of November, according to Sheriff Craig Robertson. He says the office will contain about $25,000-$30,000 worth of furniture that was donated from such locations as Fort Meade, Maryland. Sheriff Robertson says the shell building was constructed by a contractor. Even the blacktop was done by county staff, as well, resulting in even more cost savings. This building has many features the present office does not have, including a file room, conference room, and evidence room and a garage.
TGCC TO HOST COALITION MEETING
The Greater Cumberland Committee will host the fourth annual North/South Appalachian Highway Coalition meeting on Friday, October 3rd. The meeting will take place at the Bedford Springs Resort. West Virginia Highway Engineer Marvin Murphy will provide an update on plans for the Tier II study, which is the next step in the process of connecting Route 220 in West Virginia and Maryland to Interstate 68.
SANDY BELL HONORED WITH AWARD
Sandy Bell, the director of Cindy's Fund, is the 2014 recipient of the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award in Garrett County. Cindy's Fund assists Garrett County residents who have cancer. Her twin sister, Cindy Hanks Kutchman, died in 2003 from ovarian cancer. More than $200,000 has been given directly to cancer patients, with Cindy's Fund helping residents with gas cards, Ensure, and payment of hotel stays and medical insurance.
SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING CHILDREN
It's been two weeks, and police are still searching for two missing children from Montgomery County. The children's mother, 27-year old Catherine Hoggle, is in jail, with police continuing to build a homicide case against her. While police believe the children are dead, their father, Troy Turner-who has family in Frostburg-does not. Catherine Hoggle has been diagnosed with paranoid-schizophrenia. Her lawyer, David Felsen-while not commenting on the specifics of the case, says it involves "profound mental health issues."
STATE TO BEING COLLECTING ONLINE SALES TAXES
If you're going to do any online shopping in Maryland, make sure you do it before October 1st. Amazon says it will begin collecting Maryland's 6-per cent sales tax on all online orders, beginning on that date. State law requires online retailers to collect the sales tax, only if they have a physical warehouse or store in the state, and one will soon be opening in the Baltimore area. Sales tax revenue from Amazon alone, will give the state an additional $50 million annually.
KEYSER MAN ARRESTED FOR BURGLARIES
Keyser resident Kurtis Edward Braithwaite has been accused of stealing more than $1200 from TS Cellular/Radio Shack, off Route 220. He is accused of going into the store after hours and taking money from the cash drawer. There was no forced entry, and Braithwaite got into the store, using a key from a TS Cellular employee. He is being held at the Potomac Highlands Jail on $6200 bond.
RENEWAL REQUESTED FOR AUTOCROSS EVENT
Because of new information received, there may be autocross events at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport next year. Members of the National Road Autosport LLC are asking that a renewal for the event be placed on the October agenda of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority. Delegate Gary Howell says Maryland U.S. Senator Ben Cardin has instructed the regional FAA office to work with the authority to prepare a plan for a non-aeronautical event to be held at the airport.
MCDA DISCUSSES TECHNOLOGY PARK
The Fort Ashby Business and Technology Park is being considered by "an organization or entity." MCDA members were tight-lipped about purchase of the park, because of confidentiality in the early portion of the purchase procedure. The acreage, plus the shell building would have to be sold for market value, as per the Federal Economic Development Agency rules. A suggestion was also made to contact state development officials for forgiveness of the loan for the building.
TWO ARRESTED FOR BURGLARY
Two people were arrested Sunday night on Emily Street, and charged with fourth-degree burglary and destruction of property. Queen City Drive residents James Anthony Moore and Carla Marie Gilmore were taken into custody. Both told police there were two other people in the home, but left prior to the arrival of police. They were taken for a bond hearing, and released on personal recognizance.
B-52 DOCUMENTARY BEING PRODUCED
A documentary film on the 1964 crash of a B-52 bomber in the Grantsville area is being prepared by the grandson of the pilot of the jet. Matt McCormick was in the Grantsville area for the 50th anniversary observance of the event in July, and is producing a film, which should be finished by next year or early 2016. A "Kickstarter" social media campaign has been started, to help Matt finish the film. So far, it has raised nearly $4,000 or the $25,000 needed. A preview of the film and directions on how to contribute to Kickstarter campaign can be found at "https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mattmccormick.buzz-one-four."
ANNEXATION HEARING SET FOR TONIGHT
The city of Keyser will make their case on annexing 92 acres south and west of the city line before the Mineral County Commissioners tonight. A hearing last week drew few residents, but tonight's outcome will determine if the city will make a "minor boundary adjustment," and annex the land. Mayor Randy Amtower says the move is "critical to the future financial health of the city of Keyser," according to the Mineral News-Tribune.
SENATORS, CONGRESSMAN ANNOUNCE BEL AIR FUNDING
Maryland United States Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, along with U.S. Congressman John Delaney has announced that the Allegany County Board of Education has received a grant of over $34,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission, to fund the extension of fiber optic cable at the Bel Air Elementary School, as announced last week. Bel Air is the only school in the county without fiber optic connectivity.
BROWN, HOGAN ACCUSE EACH OTHER OF LYING
Maryland's gubernatorial candidates are accusing one another of lying, as the campaign for the State House heats up. Even though Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan says that was not the case in primaries, the Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown's camp has come out with 4 attack ads. And, Hogan claims that Brown's campaign has violated one aspect of election laws. Hogan says one of Brown's ads claimed he (Hogan) was going to take $300 million out of funding for pre-K, and give it to wealthy corporations. Hogan claims the O'Malley/Brown administration has instituted 40 consecutive tax hikes, that have resulted in an increase of $10 billion.
GAS PRICES DECREASING
You may have noticed lower gas prices in the area, as Triple-A, Mid-Atlantic says the switch to a winter blend has driven the price to an average of $3.32 per gallon. A decrease in the price of gas this time of year is not unusual, with projections showing a 10 to 20 cent drop in the coming months.
ARRESTS MADE IN ILLEGAL GINSENG HARVESTING
Eleven arrests and 190 pounds of dry ginseng were seized in West Virginia. The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources estimates the market value at $180,000; also seized in the arrests were stolen guns, illegal drugs and $30,000 in cash. The ginseng digging season began September 1st and ends November 30th. The ginseng seized was harvested before the season began.
FLOOD RELIEF DEADLINE APPROACHING
Allegany and Washington County residents affected by the flooding of June 12th have until the end of the month-September 29th-to apply for state and federal disaster relief aid. More than 100 individuals and families have already applied. Impacted residents could receive up to $5,000 in assistance to pay expenses for temporary housing, medical needs, moving and storage, personal property, and vehicle damage. Residents may also be eligible for federal aid through the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan program. A Department of Human Resources case manager will be available this Tuesday through Thursday at the Allegany County Department of Social Services from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Residents should bring paperwork to document their storm expenses.
TWO PROMINENT COMMUNITY MEMBERS PASS
The former president of Allegany College of Maryland, Dr. Donald Alexander passed away Thursday in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he had been living since his 2008 retirement. He was 72. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. in his hometown of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. And, Steve Hospodavis, the former owner of Steve's Pharmacy, also passed away last Thursday. He had owed the pharmacy for 47 years until his retirement in 2008. Visitation will be held today from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Scarpelli Funeral Home in Cresaptown. Services are scheduled for Tuesday.
WOMAN KILLED IN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Fifty-six year old Brenda Wilt, of New Creek, was killed Saturday afternoon in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident on Route 50 near Junction. Her motorcycle went off the right edge of the road, and hit a guardrail around 1:15 p.m. She was ejected from the bike, and was pronounced dead of the scene. The crash remains under investigation.
FORMER KEYSER RESIDENT FACES 100 FELONY CHARGES
Keyser native Dr. Tressie Duffy is facing 100 felony counts, after she was indicted on federal charges that she prescribed prescription painkillers outside the scope of her professional practice. She is accused of signing blank prescription orders and allowing her employees to issue the prescriptions without being seen by a physician. She, along with two of her employees at the Martinsburg-based "West Virginia Weight and Wellness, Incorporated" business, were indicted. They each face up to 20 years in prison on each count, along with a fine of up to a million dollars.
FIVE MORE WEEKS OF ROADWORK
Beginning today, motorists should be prepared for five weeks of extended lane and ramp closures on I-68. Today through Friday, the left lane of westbound Interstate 68 will be closed. This weekend, the right lane of I-68 westbound will be closed, and the Exit43-C ramp from Westbound I-68 to downtown/Harrison Street may be detoured. The work is expected to last through Friday, October 31st.
SENTENCE AFFIRMED FOR BEDFORD COUNTY MAN
The Bedford County State's Attorney's Office has received word that an 80-year prison sentence for a convicted sex offender has been affirmed by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. Fifty-three year old Kerry Charles Smith of Everett was convicted of 69 counts of sexual misconduct, including five counts of the rape of a then 7 year old child.
CAPON BRIDGE MAN SENTENCED IN SHOOTING SPREE
Capon Bridge resident Chris Fleming, who went on a shooting spree on Labor Day of 2012, was sentenced to four to 20 years on several counts, and an additional eight years. He had been found guilty of attempted murder, 12 counts of wanton endangerment and one count of fleeing in reckless indifference to the safety of others. Fleming's attorneys had argued that he had post traumatic stress syndrome from serving in Iraq, and didn't remember what had happened.
VALLEY ROAD MAINTENANCE SCHEDULED
Street repairs will be done on Valley Road, at Old Valley Road, beginning today. The work involves about 1.3 miles from Henderson Avenue. It will continue through Wednesday, weather permitting. During the work, Valley Road will be one-lane traffic at the construction site.
MAN CHARGED IN ASSAULT...BY CAR
Thirty-seven year old Michael Ford was held on $3,000 bail, following a Saturday evening incident in the 400-block of Grand Avenue. He and a female got into a verbal argument; they both got into separate vehicles, and began running them into each other. The woman got out of her car, and was struck by the door of a car, operated by Ford. She was knocked to the ground, and later taken to the hospital for treatment. Ford fled the scene, but later returned and was arrested. The investigation is continuing and further charges may be pending.
ICF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS CONCLUDE
While the 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships concluded at the ASCI facility in Garrett County yesterday, the eyes of the world could once again be on Garrett County in 2024, as the Washington, D.C. area is hoping to host the Olympics then. Connie Yingling, of the Maryland Office of Tourism says during this past weekend, Garrett County was the center of adventure sports activities. Sara Duck, the director of tourism for Garrett County, says the championships have had a tremendously positive economic impact for the area. And, the people have a lot to do with its success. She commented on how involved the community has been.
AMTRAK EXHIBIT TRAIN DUE IN CUMBERLAND
An Amtrak exhibit train is due in Cumberland next Saturday and Sunday. A specially painted locomotive, celebrating veterans and showcasing the past, present and future of America's Railroads, the train will be open for tours during the Steel Wheels Festival at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad on Canal Street. Visitors are welcome to board for free tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
ONE OF "MOST WANTED" CAPTURED IN D.C.
Elan Bell-Veney of Martinsburg, one of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force's "Most Wanted" was capture late last week, hiding out in an apartment in Washington, D.C. Bell-Veney was wanted for malicious wounding, from an incident that occurred at the Shipwrecked Bar in Martinsburg in June. An investigation showed that he had been assisted by family and friends to remain on the run. When arrested, he gave police a false name. He will be returned to West Virginia to answer charges lodged against him.
TWO PROMINENT COMMUNITY MEMBERS PASS
The former president of Allegany College of Maryland, Dr. Don Alexander has passed away. He had been at the college for 35 years, and President of the institution for 28. Dr. Alexander retired in 2008. Funeral arrangements have not been announced. And, the former owner of Steve's Pharmacy in Bel Air, Steve Hospodavis passed away Thursday at the age of 72. The Scarpelli Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements, which are incomplete at this time.
NUMEROUS CHARGES FILED AGAINST FSU STUDENT
A total of 16 charges have been filed against Frostburg State University student Zakiyy Asi Jacobs, following a knife incident during a party in Frostburg last Sunday. Jacobs is accused of cutting a 21-year old Cumberland man, causing minor injuries. The party took place in the 100-block of Bowery Street. He was charged, and jailed until Wednesday of this week, when he posted $20,000 for his pretrial release. The incident was investigated by Frostburg Police.
HAGERSTOWN MAN ARRESTED IN SOUTH CUMBERLAND
Hagerstown resident Antonio Rodney was held on $2500 bond, following his arrest in the 300-block of Arch Street Wednesday. Rodney's vehicle was stopped, and officers discovered there were problems with the registration. A search of his car yielded suspected crack cocaine, and a pipe. He was charged with one count each of possession of CDS and paraphernalia. He was to have had a bond review yesterday.
THREE ENTER PLEAS IN GARRETT COUNTY COURT
An Oakland man, and two from out of the area, have entered guilty pleas on various charges in Garrett County. Pocomoke resident Kavon Candre Rowley was sentenced to three years, with all but 30 days suspended for second-degree burglary. Oakland resident Jeffrey Corby pleaded guilty to various drug charges, and sentencing was postponed to a later date. And, Richard Cunningham of Virginia Beach pleaded guilty to possession of alprazolam and was sentenced to a one-year suspended sentence, and placed on two years probation.
PIEDMONT STREET REOPENED
Second Street in Piedmont has been re-opened, eight months after a fire which destroyed several buildings there. The buildings continued to collapse after the fire, aided by high winds this past spring. Some of those buildings were leveled this past weekend, after Piedmont resident Joe Amoroso did some demolition work. Town officials are still looking for money to continue demolishing the buildings.
WHEELS FOR HAPPINESS RESCHEDULED
The new date for the annual Wheels for Happiness event will be Saturday, September 27th from10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the event is being held at the Festival Grounds at Canal Place. Anything on wheels is eligible to participate in the show. There'll be an awards presentation, where over a dozen participants will be recognized. Loudon Baker will be recognized as the "Rodder of the Year," based on his perseverance in overcoming physical obstacles to enjoy his chosen activity.
LEADERSHIP SERIES TO BE PRESENTED
"The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Leadership Team" will be presented by the Greater Cumberland Committee next Wednesday, September 24th at Garrett College. Presenting the introductory session will be Jeannette Rudy Fitzwater, a registered corporate coach and human resources director. Following the 12 noon presentation, there will be a luncheon, along with an overview of Deep Creek 2014. The event will be held in Room 205 of the Continuing Education Building.
ASCI COULD HOST OLYMPIC EVENTS
The Adventure Sports Institute in Garrett County could host a portion of the 2024 Olympics. Connie Yingling of the Maryland Office of Tourism says the District of Columbia is putting in a bid to host the event in 2024. Some Olympic officials will be on hand today, to "scout" the location, should the District be approved to host the games.
PICKETING AT NEW PRESTON HOSPITAL
There is an ongoing picket at the site of the new Preston Memorial Hospital, with members of a carpenter's union claiming a subcontractor is not paying the prevailing wage. The private project is exempt from the prevailing wage law, and the general contractor can hire workers from anywhere and pay any rate. However, the West Virginia Division of Labor is trying to determine whether the prevailing wage is applicable in this situation.
RESIDENT REQUESTS SAFER BUS STOP
Mineral County resident Brenda Keating has requested the Board of Education take action on moving a bus stop in the Potomac Heights area to what she feels would be a safer location. She is asking the board to move the stop to Ridge Street, where there is more room for the children to wait for the bus. There are no sidewalks and very little room to get around at the present stop.
MARIJUANA COMMISSION WORKING ON REGULATIONS
A Maryland commission, dealing with medical marijuana regulations will meet again on Tuesday, even though there had been a Monday deadline to finish drafting regulations for review by state officials. One of the issues is to decide how many dispensaries will be allowed under the law.
HEIGHTENED AWARENESS FOR STATE POLICE
The Pennsylvania State Police in Somerset are in a heightened state of awareness since the recent shooting at the Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania barracks that left one trooper dead, and one hospitalized. All of the barracks in the Blooming Grove region have tightened security, and in Somerset, police say their thoughts and prayers are with their brothers and sisters in northeastern Pennsylvania.
SOMERSET PRIEST PUT ON LEAVE
Father Joseph Maurizio of Somerset County has agreed to step away from his parish duties, after a search was conducted at Our Lady, Queen of Angels rectory. Federal investigators would not say what they were there for, but acknowledged it was part of an ongoing investigation. The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese says it wasn't aware of the search, and is not aware if any charges have been filed.
INMATE DEATH RULED HOMICIDE
Western Correctional Institution inmate John Wyatt died last Friday, and investigators are saying the death is a homicide. Wyatt, who had been serving a 20-year sentence for sexual assault charges, was found dead in his cell around 9 a.m.; it was first thought he had died from natural causes. The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, along with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services are investigating. One of those to be interviewed will be Wyatt's cellmate.
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS AT AN IMPASSE
Current contract negotiations between the city and the Cumberland Police Department have been declared at an impasse. While the city and union are currently in the middle of a three-year contract, which expires next June 30th, it does allow for a "reopener" clause whereby wages and other benefits can be discussed this fall. According to a representative for the union, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994, the officers have not had a raise in four years, and are working with a minimum staff.
RKG ASSOCIATES PRESENTS MORE FINDINGS
RKG Associates have determined that targeting the development of small business in Cumberland may be the key to economic revival for the city of Cumberland. The group says that attracting numerous small businesses, rather than one major employer, could be a better use of the city's efforts. Small business and home-based businesses could be a part of the solution.
MISSING KIDS CASE HAS LOCAL CONNECTION
As police begin to build a homicide case against Catherine Hoggle, whose children have gone missing in Montgomery County, the children's aunt-Robyn Turner of Frostburg-is holding out hope the children can be found and returned safely. Ms. Turner is the sister of the children's father, Troy Turner. Ms. Hoggle remains in police custody, and has so far continued to, as police describe it, "obstruct and hinder the investigation."
KEYSER WASTEWATER SUPERVISOR RESIGNS
Keyser wastewater treatment plant supervisor Mike Kesecker has resigned, the second staff member to resign recently. City Clerk Carol Kiggins has left that position as well. Kesecker had been a key employee in the day-to-day operations of the plant, as Keyser prepares to begin construction on a new, $30 million wastewater treatment plant; it is due to go online next year, but the resignation may mean the project could be delayed for up to a year. Kesecker has accepted a position in the private sector, and his resignation is effective at the end of the month.
CUMBERLAND MAN HELD ON TRAFFIC, DRUG CHARGES
Cumberland resident John Stanford Rickenberg was being held on $4,000 bond, after he was arrested on Virginia Avenue late Monday afternoon. A traffic stop, and check of his license revealed he had been driving on a suspended driver's license. A K-9 scan of his car yielded a positive alert for narcotics, and a small amount of marijuana and prescription pills were found. Following a bond hearing at District Court, he was taken to the Allegany County Detention Center.
POLICE SEARCH FOR VEHICLE OWNER
The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is asking for the public's help in finding the owner of a 2007 Ford Fusion, which was found on the Squire Fike Road this past weekend. The car has Pennsylvania registration and was seen along the road between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at (301)-387-1101.
ADVISORY COMMISSION TO MEET
The Cumberland Neighborhood Advisory Commission will meet on Monday, September 29th, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The meeting, which is held on a monthly basis, will be held at City Hall. It is open to the public. For more information, call City Hall at (301)-759-6424.
PRESTON COUNTY MAN SENTENCED FOR ARSON
Preston County, West Virginia resident David Allen Ridenour has been sentenced to ten years in prison for an October, 2012 arson fire in Terra Alta. The fire destroyed an outbuilding and damaged the side of a mobile home. He had been indicted on two arson charges, and pleaded guilty to one, while the other was dismissed. Ridenour also will have to pay court costs and restitution for each of the two properties he set on fire.
POLICE LOOKING FOR PICKU P TRUCK IN FATAL ACCIDENT
Hagerstown City Police are looking for a white "older model" pickup truck that may have been involved in a fatal vehicle-motorcycle collision this past weekend at the intersection of West Wilson Boulevard and Virginia Avenue. Eyewitnesses say the truck is a 1980's or early 1990's truck, either a Ford or Chevrolet full-sized pickup.
HEALTH EXCHANGE WEBSITE HITTING TARGET DATES
Following last year's crash of the Maryland Health Exchange website, a new one will be online as an "anonymous browsing tool" on November 9th. Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, says residents will be able to be able to browse policies, without having to actually enroll. The Secretary of the Department of Information Technology, Isabel FitzGerald, is saying the project is hitting its target dates, according to Dr. Sharfstein. Combinations of many different scenarios are being considered, according to Dr. Sharfstein."User testing" is going on now, and the initial development is complete. On November 9th, users will be able to investigate new policies.
W. VA. LEADS NATION IN SMOKING DURING PREGNANCY
Twenty-six per cent of West Virginia's expectant mothers smoke, and that statistic leads the country. A survey by West Virginia Kids Count released a report this week that nearly one in four continue to smoke, even after learning they are expecting, and that statistic hasn't changed that much in the past 20 years. Some of the adverse effects of smoking during pregnancy include sudden infant death syndrome, low birth rate, premature births, asthma, and attention deficit disorder.
CPPDA NAMES DEVELOPER
The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority has named Michael Joy of Washington, D.C., as the exclusive developer of the Footer Dye Works building. The contract was announced during the CPPDA meeting yesterday. Plans are for the structure to be developed into a multi-use building. Along with Joy, there will be two equal partners in the development of the building, including Bruce Firlie of Cumberland, and Eric Wishneff , of Brian and Wishneff Associates, a tax credit specialist in Arlington, Virginia.
FIREFIGHTERS CONTRACT RATIFIED
The Cumberland Mayor and City Council voted unanimously last night, to ratify a new, three-year contract with firefighters. The vote ends two years of negotiations with the International Association of Firefighters, Local 1715. The contract, between the city and 61 members of the paid fire department, was ratified by the union last week.
DRUG CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST SOME RESIDENTS
Charges against five people, indicted earlier this year in connection with a drug distribution ring in Keyser have been dropped. Four people have pleaded guilty to taking part in the operation, while Samaria Alice Clifford and Dixie Cherylann Layman of Keyser, Tequila Smith, of Ranson, West Virginia, Sheena Collins of Oakland and Travis Sinclair Howard of Florida had charges dismissed. A total of 73 indictments were handed down in March, and of the 13 persons in the area who were charged, four have so far entered guilty pleas, and are awaiting sentencing.
LOAN SECURED FOR MAPLEHURST
A new loan has been secured by Maplehurst Country Club, which provides for the payment of all back taxes and the delinquent mortgage. DLR Southwest Investments of Las Vegas will finance the loans and taxes. First United Bank and Trust had foreclosed on the club , but public auctions in both July and August were postponed, in order to secure a new loan.
CANAL BASIN TESTED
A rented pump has been placed in the Canal Place basin, to test it for leaks that have happened in recent months. One of the pumps has been sent to Hancock for repairs, but it was necessary to refill the basin to study where the leaks are occurring. During a visit to the area earlier this month, Senator Ben Cardin said he was concerned about the leaks; a total of $30,000 in grants was secured to fund the canal basin repairs.
PLEA WITHDRAWL DENIED FOR GERHOLT
John Lewis Gerholt of Bedford County, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife in 2008, has had a request to withdraw his guilty plea, denied. He had maintained he did not understand the terms of a plea agreement. Gerholt had entered a no contest plea to first-degree murder, in exchange for having the death penalty "taken off the table." The court denied the plea change near the end of August, and State's Attorney Bill Higgins says he has no doubt Gerholt will appeal that decision.
MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT
Twenty-four year old Daniel Penrod is being charged with second-degree assault, following an incident in the 500-block of Warren Street Monday evening. He is accused of waking a female victim, arguing with her, and grabbing her by the neck, attempting to choke her. The victim's injuries did not require medical attention. After an initial appearance in District Court, he was released on personal recognizance.
CUMBERLAND MAN HELD ON $45,000 BOND
Cumberland resident Chad Izat was held on $45,000 bond, after he was accused of assaulting another person with a baseball bat. He also is accused of throwing a vacuum, striking a juvenile in the shoulder area. The alleged assault took place on South Waverly Terrace, and Izat was found a short distance away. He faces various assault charges and a count of reckless endangerment. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment; the juvenile did not require treatment.
ROUTE 219 INFORMATIONAL WORKSHOP SCHEDULED
The Maryland State Highway Administration, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is holding an informational workshop for the U.S. 219 Project Planning Study. The meeting will be held next Tuesday, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. No formal presentation will be given, and you may arrive at any time during workshop hours. The workshop is being held at the Grantsville Elementary School Cafeteria on Grant Street.
MOTORCYCLIST IN FATAL COLLISION IDENTIFIED
Police have identified 33-year old Darren Reeder as the victim of Sunday's fatal hit and run crash on Wilson Boulevard at Virginia Avenue. Reeder was pronounced dead at Meritus Medical Center shortly after the 11:37 p.m. accident, which involved another vehicle that did not remain at the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (301)-790-3700.
MISSING MONTGOMERY COUNTY KIDS BELIEVED DEAD
Police are pursuing a double-homicide case against Catherine Hoggle, who still is refusing to tell them where her children are. Montgomery County law enforcement authorities are searching parks and wooded areas for 3-year old Sarah and 2-year old Jacob Hoggle, who were last seen September 7th. An unusual plea has been made for homeowners to search their properties for any sign of the children's bodies.
STATE OFFERING HELP FOR THOSE REPRESENTING THEMSELVES
The Maryland Judiciary is helping those who want to represent themselves in court. Pam Ortiz, the head of the Access to Justice Department says the program is aimed at civil cases, where often, people represent themselves. When navigating the court system, Ms. Ortiz says people may need to know what first steps they should take.Some of the resources are already in place; she says you should go to the Maryland Court System website for that information.
POLITICAL ATTACK ADS ON THE RISE
The top campaign priority for Governor is voter turnout, but attack ads seem to be the order of the day as Election Day gets closer. An Anthony Brown ad claims that Larry Hogan is "the wrong direction for Maryland," while Hogan counters with "Anthony Brown: just not ready to be Governor." One of Hogan's ads discredits Brown's leadership, using the health care rollout as an example. And, a Brown ad accuses Hogan of putting corporations before kids. One survey shows that attack ads claim to be less effective, but are used to "muddy the water" in advance of the election.
COMPLAINT FILED IN ALLEGED ASSAULT
Two Cumberland men have been arrested in connection with an alleged assault incident on August 18th. Both Michael Paul Wigfield and Roger Russell Miller are accused of assaulting another person, resulting in severe facial and head injuries, which required treatment. Both were charged with two counts of second-degree assault. They were processed and released on $10,000 unsecured bonds.
EVERETT TEEN CHARGED WITH DESECRATION
In a case that has garnered national attention, a 14-year old Everett boy has been charged by police, with desecrating a statue of Jesus, then posting pictures online in July. While he has been charged, the American Civil Liberties Union has expressed interest in the case, stating he was expressing his freedom of speech. The owner of the statue, "Love in the Name of Christ Ministry Center," has not pressed charges; however, they told District Attorney Bill Higgins they would welcome the idea of him performing community service at the center.
SEVERANCE FACES THREE MURDER COUNTS
In a story reported last week, former Cumberland resident Charles Severance was indicted on three murder charges, stemming from a series of murders in northern Virgina. He is being charged with the 2003 murder of Nancy Dunning, wife of then-Sheriff James Dunning; the fatal shooting of transportation planner Ronald Kirby last November; and, the February, 2014 shooting of music teacher Ruthanne Lodato. Two of the three murders carry a potential death sentence, but prosecutors have indicated they won't seek his execution.
ANIMAL DEATHS REPORTED IN HAMPSHIRE COUNTY AREA
Two animal deaths over the weekend, with one of the cases resulting in charges. In the first, a Yorkshire Terrier was killed by another dog in the Whipporwill Drive area. No charges have been brought against the owner of the dog that attached the 11-year old Yorkie. In the second incident, Robert Davis was charged with animal cruelty, after he killed a cat in the parking lot of the Romney Rite-Aid./ Davis was released on $2500 bond on Saturday.
"PUSH POLLS" DRAW COOKMAN COMPLAINT
Donald Cookman of Romney, who is running as the Democratic candidate for the 15th District State Senate seat, is filing a complaint with West Virginia Secretary of State. The complaint alleges that his opponent, Berkeley Springs lawyer Charles Trump, or the state Republican party arranged for so-called "push polls," which are illegal in West Virginia. The poll supposedly gathers information, but asks questions in a way that persuades those receiving the calls, to deliver an opinion, usually negative.
MARTIRANO OFFICIALLY W. VA. SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
Michael Martirano, formerly of this area, officially became the 30th West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools yesterday. He came to Charleston from St. Mary's County, Maryland, and it is generally felt that Martirano will have a positive impact on the state and its students. According to the most recent figures, 79.3 per cent of high school seniors graduated during the 2013-2014 school year, up from 70.8 per cent in 2008-2009. Martirano was sworn in during ceremonies held yesterday at the state Culture Center.
CHILD SAFETY SEAT INSPECTION THIS WEEK
An event this Thursday will address the correct installation of child safety seats. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Allegany County Board of Education, says the safety check will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Frostburg State University parking lot, across from Beall Elementary School. The event is being done through the cooperation of the Judy Center, United Way, and the Family Junction.
SCHOLARSHIP ESTABLISHED BY AREA RESIDENT
Area resident Dennis Bittinger has established a scholarship in honor of his late brother, Corporal Robert Bittinger. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Allegany County Board of Education, says Corporal Bittinger was an Army veteran, having served in the Vietnam War. He passed away in April of this year.
FATAL MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT MAY HAVE BEEN HIT AND RUN
An unidentified motorcyclist was killed late Sunday evening at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown. Police say his motorcycle may have made contact with a second, unknown vehicle that did not remain on the scene. The victim was taken to Meritus Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival. Anyone with information on the crash should contact Hagerstown Police at (301)-790-3700 or visit the website, "www.hagerstownmd.org."
DERECHO HEARINGS HELD BY P.S.C.
A hearing on the response time of the 2012 derecho weather event was held by the state Public Service Commission. Officials from several power companies testified on what steps they have taken to improve the way service is restored after severe storms. The PSC wants power restored faster, as some customers were without power for as long as two weeks. The commission will use information gathered from the hearings to come up with new standards for utilities to restore power.
MOTHER REFUSES TO COOPERATE WITH AUTHORITIES
A Montgomery County woman, who was missing for a time last week, is refusing to tell police where her children are, and police believe the children may be dead. Catherine Hoggle has been arrested in connection with the case, while the search for three-year old Sarah, and two-year old Jacob Hoggle is continuing. Catherine Hoggle was found in Germantown, and so far, has been charged with child neglect; police are continuing to build a murder case against her.
GAS PRICES SHOULD DROP THIS MONTH
Switching to less expensive, winter-blend gasoline should drive the prices down sometime this month. Ahead of the change-over, the national average for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.41, as of late last week. Prices traditionally decline after the Labor Day holiday, as the summer driving season ends. The average price in the state of Maryland last week was $3.37.
RESIDENT REMAINS JAILED WITHOUT BOND
Cumberland resident Jakeenan Corderay Jennings of Memorial Avenue remains jailed without bond on a charge of attempted second-degree murder, following an early Saturday morning incident at a North Mechanic Street business. Jennings is accused of stabbing another person, who was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Jennings fled the scene, but was later located on Henderson Avenue. Police found a knife on him. Information was received that further evidence could be found at a residence on Bond Street. As police arrived, they could smell a strong odor of marijuana. Taken into custody in that case was Devin Montem Griffin of Baltimore, who also interfered with the officers' investigation. He was later release on his own recognizance.
ONE ARRESTED IN BURGLARY ASSAULT
Twenty-seven year old Shane Christopher Combs was arrested early yesterday evening, following a burglary and assault incident on Grand Avenue. Combs and another person are accused of forcing their way into a residence, armed with a knife, making threats, and demanding property. While Combs was arrested, the second suspect became the subject of a search by city police and the Trooper Five helicopter. He was not located, but similar charges against him and Combs are pending in District Court. Combs was charged with burglary, malcious destruction of property, and assault.
SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING TEEN
A search is underway for a missing 17-year old girl, who ran away from the Burlington United Family Services Children's' Home Friday. Sadie Kendall is described as a white female, 5-feet, 2-inches tall, weighing 120 pounds. She has brown hair, green eyes, and wearing black, wire-framed glasses. She also has two streaks shaved into her hair on the right side, near her ear. She left the home early Friday evening, and is believed to have family in the Allegany County, Maryland area, and in Monongalia County, West Virginia.
CUMBERLAND WOMAN ARRESTED FOR BURGLARY
Cumberland resident Candice Marie Hockman was arrested Friday for burglarizing a home on Dogwood Hill Road in Barton. Deputies say a person breaking into an unoccupied residence there; as she was attempting to leave, she was stopped by deputies from the Allegany County Sheriff's Department. Money, along with other evidence related to the crime was found. She was ordered held without bail, and additional charges are pending against other individuals.
KEYSER "MYSTERY MAN" FOUND
A man, who had been yelling for help in the woods near Keyser, has been found. The man, who is originally from Connecticut, is homeless and had been living in a tent on New Creek Mountain. He does have money, and would come down from the mountain to patronize the local restaurants. He had been camping on private property, and will be moved to a local shelter in Cumberland, when space becomes available.
SOUTH END ROAD WORK CONTINUES THIS WEEK
Milling and patching work will be continuing today through Thursday, weather permitting, in the areas of Louisiana Avenue, from Kent Avenue to Oldtown Road and on Winifred Road, from Oldtown Road to White Avenue. Work will take place nightly from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. Flaggers will be on the scene, and drivers are urged to use caution when traveling in those areas.
WOMAN ARRESTED FOR CDS POSSESSION
Fifty-two year old Shelva Shipley was arrested Saturday evening in the 300-block of Pennsylvania Avenue. Ms. Shipley had been going door to door of different homes for unknown reasons. An active bench warrant was found for failing to follow probation conditions. Police also found a quantity of Oxycodone on her. She was taken to the Cumberland City Police Department, where she was processed and served.
MAN HELD ON $10,000 BOND
Corriganville resident Joshua Aaron Pifer was arrested over the weekend, first on an outstanding warrant, and then for various drug charges. Police found large quantities of prescription medication on him, along with suspected heroin, needles and assorted drug paraphernalia. He was held on a $10,000 bond for the CDS related charges, and $5,000 bond for the warrant.
A.R.C. AWARDS GRANT TO BOARD OF EDUCAITON
The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced a grant of $34,375 to the Allegany County Board of Education for the Bel Air Fiber Extension project. The grant will help fund the extension of fiber optic cable for internet access to the Bel Air Elementary School. In addition to the ARC funds, the Allegany County Commissioners are providing over $17,000; the Board of Education is providing the same amount, bringing total amount to $68,750.
"PITCH ACROS MARYLAND" TO MAKE LOCAL STOP
Startup Maryland's annual "Pitch Across Maryland project will make a stop in Cumberland next Monday, September 22nd. From 9 to 11, entrepreneurs who hope to start or expand a business in Allegany County will be able to record a 2 to 3 minute "pitch" that will be posted on www. startupmaryland.org, as a means to expose those residents to venture capitalists and angel investors. For more information on the project, contact Shawn Hershberger, Economic Development Coordinator at (301)-722-4156.
FORT HILL CITED FOR "BEATING THE ODDS"
Fort Hill High School was recently ranked 438th out of 500 schools in the "Beating the Odds" category of Newsweek magazine's edition of top high schools. This year, Newsweek sought to recognize schools that beat the odds, performing better than statistically expected for their level of poverty. Fort Hill was listed in a category that ranked schools on how well they prepare their students for college, taking students' socio-economic background into account. More than 14,000 schools were considered for the rankings.
CARDIN, MIKULSKI PROMOTE STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING
Maryland's United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin visited two universities in the state last week, to listen to concerns about the federal student loan program. Senator Mikulski says she is surprised how complicated the government makes the process for Pell grants, student loans and certain debt forgiveness programs. Senator Mikulski called for the reform of the Pell grant programs to enable the ability to refinance student loans they have with the government. She says she receives calls daily, from constituents, asking about college affordability. Senator Mikulski claims this will be one of the most significant issues of the upcoming election.
BALTIMORE MAN HELD ON DRUG CHARGES
Baltimore resident Dario Darnell Thornton is in the Allegany County Detention Center on $10,000 bond, following an incident on Gulf War Memorial Drive late Wednesday afternoon. Thornton had tried to maneuver around a parked police cruiser, and strruck it. He fled the scene, but was stopped. A clear plastic baggie, containing two individually wrapped baggies of heroin and two, containing crack cocaine were found in the car. Also, Cumberland resident Megan Bone was found to be in possession of heroin and paraphernalia. Both were arrested. Ms. Bone, of Frostburg, was released on personal recognizance.
FIREFIGHTERS RATIFY CONTRACT
The International Association of Firefighters, Local 1715, ratified their contract this week, after nearly two years of negotiations. Two stipulations of the contract are that there may be possible use of part-time and volunteer help in the department; the fire chief will also decide how many employees will work each shift. All fire department workers will be retained, including those hired in 2010 through a grant. The department has an annual budget, totaling nearly $5 million annually.
STUDENT APPREHENDED IN BOMB THREAT
A threatening message on a bathroom wall at Fort Hill High School yesterday, led to the arrest of a 10th grade student there. The investigation concluded the message was not a credible threat, before evacuation procedures began. The student will be charged with making a bomb threat and related counts, and will also be disciplined in accordance with school board policy.
POSSIBLE WATER PROJECT TO BE DISCUSSED
The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting on a possible future water project for the Barrelville/Sunnyside area of the county. That meeting will be held Wednesday, September 24th at 7 p.m. at the Barrelville Presbyterian Church. Residents of the area, and all citizens, are encouraged to attend. The meeting will include Department of Public Works officials, who will be on hand to discuss details and answer questions about the project.
THREE REGIONAL EMPLOYERS MAKE LIST
WorkForce West Virginia has relased its llist of the 100 largest private employers in the state, and three regional companies are on it. Pilgrim's Pride ranked number 18 on the list. B.B. & T Bank is at 35, and Alliant TechSystems came in at 37. The number one private employer in the Mountain State is WalMart, and has held that title since 1998. The list ranks companies by numbers of employees and contains businesses with both single and multiple locations.
WHEELS FOR HAPPINESS SHOW TOMORROW
The 2014 Wheels for Happiness Auto Show will be held tomorrow at Canal Place, and will honor Loudon Baker of Bowling Green as its "Rodder of the Year." Green has overcome a number of obstacles, while participating in his automotive hobby. The show begins at 10 a.m. on the festival grounds at Canal Place. The entry fee for participants and spectators is either $5.00, or a new, unwrapped toy or gift for a young boy or girl up to age 15.
BISHOP WALSH SEEKING ALUMNI MEMBERS
Bishop Walsh is seeking graduates from its school, as well as alumni from LaSalle, St. Peter's, St. Mary's, Ursuline Academy, and Girls' Central Catholic High Schools, who would be interested in participating in alumni activities. An organizational meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 30th at 5:30 p.m. in the Bishop Walsh school cafeteria. Any graduate who is interested in serving on a committee is invited to attend and share their thoughts. For more information, contact the BW Director of Development Wendy Herker at (301)-724-5360, extension 107.
FIRST ENERGY HELPING TO SPONSOR SLALOM CHAMPIONSHIPS
The First Energy Foundation has donated $10,000 to help sponsor the 2014 International Canoe Federation's Canoe Slalom World Championships, to be held next week on a unique, manmade whitewater course in McHenry, Maryland. The Championships will be held September 17th through the 21st, and is expected to draw up to 8,000 spectators and competitors from 45 countries. "Deep Creek 2014" anticipates the event will generate millions of dollars in economic impact for Garrett County and western Maryland. It is also expected to attract an international television audience of more than 21 million viewers.
FATHER OF SLAIN CHILDREN TRIED TO GET CUSTODY
The father of two children, found murdered this week, had fought for visitation and custody of the children. Three year old Kayla Renee Thompson and one year old Ayden Jonathan Spoon are dead, and their mother, Sonya Spoon, has admitted to killing them. She is being held without bond, and the children's father has not been named. According to Spoon's mother, she told police her daughter had suicidal thoughts, and had said she wanted to kill her daughter. Police say since there was no abuse or neglect, and just a verbal comment, Ms. Spoon was allowed to return home to her children.
DEMOCRATS FILE COMPLAINT AGAINST HOGAN
The Maryland Democratic Party has filed a complaint against Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan, says Hogan improperly paid for his campaign bus, and tried to "go around" public financing rules. Democrats say Hogan cut himself a deal, when he bought a recreational vehicle with personal funds, and then leased it back to the campaign for less than $700 a month. They say it violates campaign finance laws, because Hogan charged the campaign less than fair market value for the bus, and that he did not report the purchase as a contribution to his campaign.
WHAT TEENS MAY NOT LEARN IN DRIVER'S ED CLASS
Auto accidents are the number one cause of teen deaths, and of 2.2 million total accidents each year among inexperienced drivers, 12 per cent can be attributed to low tire pressure and insufficient tread. Stephanie Tarbet, a spokesperson for Michelin tires, says that only 23 of 50 states actually require any classroom time for driver education. Ms. Tarbet says Maryland is one state that does not inlcude any instruction on tire pressure. Fifty-two per cent of teens do not check tire pressure, at least monthly; 27 per cent never check tire pressure. Checking tire pressure and tread wear are simple steps to saving lives; 38 per cent of parents consider themselves knowledgeable about tire maintenance.
For further information, visit Michelin's companion site, "Beyond the Driving Test-dot-com."
CAUSE OF GARRETT COUNTY FIRE DETERMINED
The cause of a 12:57 a.m. fire yesterday on Table Rock Road has been traced to an overheated dryer vent. The home, which is now uninhabitable, is owned by Zackariah and Jennifer Stemple. The fire caused an estimated $100,000 damage. Smoke detectors were present and activated at the time of the fire. The Stemple family is being assisted by the American Red Cross.
KEYSER MAN REMAINS JAILED
Keyser resident Gregory Denton remains in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, after he was accused of assaulting two city police officers there. Denton suffered facial injuries after being tazered by officers. City Police there say there were reports of an altercation among four men; as they tried to intervene, Denton assaulted both officers, striking one in the head, and pushing the second one back. He was initially taken to Potomac Valley Hospital, then to Ruby Memorial. Following his release, he was taken to the jail, and held on $2500 bond.
CUMBERLAND MAN ARRESTED IN HAGERSTOWN
Cumberland resident Ernest Mack, along with Lowell Tolliver of Washington, D.C.,were arrested early yesterday morning, and charged with having over 100 grams of marijuana in their vehicle. Tolliver's car was initially stopped in Washington County, for speeding on I-70, near Route 66. Both were taken before a Washington County District Court Commissioner.
MAN CHARGED WITH SECOND-DEGREE ASSAULT
A Cumberland man is being held on $20,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following an assault incident on West Oldtown Road Tuesday. Javon Murphy allegedly pinned his victim against a wall, and had choked her. A friend intervened to stop the attack. He was charged with second-degree assault. The victim didn't require medical attention.
STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETINGS SET
The Cumberland Mayor and City Council will participate in an economic development strategic planning meeting on Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. in the second-floor conference room at City Hall. The meeting will be held by consultant, RKG and Associates. That same evening, two separate public presentations will be provided by RKG and Associates, one beginning at 5:30 p.m. and one beginning at 7 p.m. at the Allegany County Museum on Pershing Street. Each presentation will detail the next steps in the strategic planning process.
CHAMBER ANNOUNCES BUSINESS WINNERS
The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of the 27th annual Business Recognition Dinner, which will be held on October 2nd at Frostburg State University. The Business of the Year is Hunter-Douglas Fabrication; the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award winner is Barbara Buehl; and, the Community Service Award winners are Dr. Matthew and Kelli Allaway. The dinner will begin at 7 p.m.
FROSTBURG RECEIVES SAFE ROUTES GRANT
The city of Frostburg has received a grant of over $61,000, as part of a larger grant to the state for the Safe Routes to School Program. Frostburg will use its portion to complete ADA compliant sidewalks, ramps, and crossings. The Safe Routes to School Program is managed by the Maryland State Highway Administration, utilizing federal Transportation Alternatives Program funds.
PARK SERVICE WANTS TO EXPAND ANTIETAM
The National Park Service wants to expand the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg to include about 500 acres in nearby West Virginia, where the Battle of Shepherdstown was fought. A meeting will be held Tuesday to consider the proposal, which would require Congressional approval. The Battle of Sharpsburg was fought September 19th and 20th of 1862, resulting in more than 675 casualties.
STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM DEADLINE APPROACHING
Time is running out for some Maryland farmers who want to continue receiving federal assistance to improve soil, water, air, and habitat quality on their land. Sophia Kruszewski with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition says the Conservation Stewardship Program is unique in that it isn't about helping farmers avoid environmental harm, but rather enhancing and improving what conservation-minded farmers are already doing.
WORKFORCE W.VA. WARNS OF SCAM
WorkForce West Virginia is alerting employers in the Mountain State about a potential scam, where people claim to represent the agency and ask for financial information. An email sent to an employer, from a private email address, had asked for canceled checks for unemployment tax contributions. The agency notes that electronic correspondence is sent only from a "wv.gov" address. Employers who may be suspicious should contact WorkForce West Virginia.
CHARGES AGAINST OFFICER PLACED ON STET DOCKET
Charges against a former Frostburg State University police officer, Jarrett Warnick, have been placed on the stet docket, and no further action will be taken in the case. Warnick had been charged with various sex offenses with a then-18 year old student, but pleaded not guilty at a hearing this summer. The student has since graduated. Warnick has agreed to participate in a state police investigation of possible misconduct by another FSU officer. He resigned from the FSU police force yesterday afternoon.
CUMBERLAND MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS
Cumberland resident David Sines has been sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison for two separate criminal acts, one involving the abduction of a child under 12, and a second degree sex offense. The mandatory sentence will be served without the possibility of parole. He will also be on five years supervised probation, with conditions that he register as a sex offender for life, complete a sexual offender treatment evaluation, and several other stipulations. Sines was accused of trying to abduct two small children from Oldtown Manor; during questioning, Sines also admitted that he had sexually assaulted an infant in the past.
WESTERNPORT WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO COCAINE CHARGE
Thirty-four year old Patrice Dominique Stephens of Westernport has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg. She was indicted in March as part of what authorities called a large drug trafficking organization, operating out of Keyser. Several area residents were also implicated. The lead defendant in the case is Cedrick Malachi Jones of Palm Coast, Florida. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
MAN SENTENCED FOR HEROIN DISTRIBUTION
Twenty-eight year old Cumberland resident Erik Baker has been sentenced to a net total of seven years in prison, after pleading guilty to a charge of possession with intent to distribute heroin. Seven years of a 14-year sentence were suspended. Upon his release from prison, Baker will be on three years supervised probation.
TEN TICKETED FOR ILLEGALLY OPERATING ATV's
A total of ten people, from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, were ticketed this past Saturday for illegally operating ATV's in the Youghiogheny Natural Resources Management area. The maximum fine for the violation is $500, and all of those ticketed are scheduled to appear in Garrett District Court on December 11th.
FORMER RESIDENT INDICTED ON MURDER CHARGES
Former Cumberland resident Charles Severance, who is in Loudon County, Virginia jail, awaiting trial on a gun possession charge, has been indicted for three high-profile murder cases in Alexandria, Virginia. Severance, who had resided on Browning Street, had several brushes with local law enforcement in 2003 and 2005, on various charges ranging from assault to a fourth degree sex offense, to indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. All of those cases were placed on the stet docket. Severance had been represented by local attorney G.V. McKinley. In the murder cases, the state does not intend to seek the death penalty. The maximum sentence, should he be convicted on any of the murder charges, is life in prison.
TRAILER FIRE UNDER INVESTIGATION
A trailer, on Marsh Manor Court in Westernport, sustained $1500 worth of damage in an early Tuesday morning fire. The cause of the 3:10 a.m. fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office. A neighbor awoke to notice the fire in the home, occupied by Steven Baker, who used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. It was out by the time fire departments arrived. The blaze was confined to the exterior of the building. Smoke detectors were present and activated.
WARRANTS SERVED ON CUMBERLAND RESIDENTS
Two bench warrants were served on Cumberland residents on Monday. In the first case, Kerrie Bohrer was served a warrant for failure to appear in court for a previous theft arrest. In the second, 21-year old Demetrius Taylor was also served a warrant for failure to appear on a previous CDS charge. Both were released on personal recognizance, pending trial.
THEFT SUMMONS SERVED
Twenty-four year old Cody Feaster was served with a criminal summons Monday, as the result of a theft investigation that occurred at a Park Street business on August 15th. He allegedly stole some store-owned merchandise and left without paying. He was served and released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
GREEN SPRING UNDER BOIL WATER ADVISORY
Residents of Green Spring have been under a boil water advisory since Monday, when a water leak was discovered in the Arnold Stickley Road and Route 28 areas. The general manager of the Central Hampshire Public Service District, Jim Hoffman, says water testing may take some time, but residents will be notified when the advisory is lifted.
SOMERSET AUTHORITIES SEARCH FOR MISSING MAN
Somerset County authorities are looking for a Holsopple man, who went into the woods Sunday night, but never returned. Dan Thomas was checking trail cams for hunting, but never came back. Both dogs and sheriff's deputies on horseback searched for Thomas in the area of Route 601, near Paint Township. About 75 volunteers on ATV's searched a three-mile radius in the area on Monday.
WVU BAND TO MAKE LOCAL STOP
"The Pride of West Virginia," the Mountaineer Marching Band, will make a stop Friday, on their way to College Park for Saturday's game against the Maryland Terrapins. The 375-member band will perform for students at Frankfort High School and Frankfort Middle School, as well as music students from Keyser Middle School and Hampshire High School. Four Frankfort graduates help make up the Mountaineer Band. The band will perform at Frankfort Stadium at 1 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.
CAMPAIGN MIXES WATER WITH WINE
A bi-coastal partnership is mixing water with fine wines to benefit projects to restore the Chesapeake Bay. B.V. Wine, from California's coastal region, is donating a portion of profits from sales in Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. to the non-profit Chesapeake Bay Trust, which funds about five million dollars in projects and programs to improve the bay each year. Trust spokesperson Molly Mullins says everyone wins in this kind of partnership.
MORE STUDENTS TRANSFERRING TO MD. UNIVERSITIES
Four year colleges in Maryland are experiencing a surge in transfer students from community colleges. Three years ago, Frostburg State University, for example, began offering scholarships for graduates of any community college in the state who earns a GPA of 3.0. FSU officials say they enrolled their largest transfer class ever last fall. Maryland's four-year schools are working more closely with community colleges, and establishing pipelines to allow students to transfer more easily.
PRISON PLANNED FOR CRESAPTOWN
Maryland Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Gregg Hershberger, is asking for support from local legislators, in planning a 140-bed minimum security prison in Cresaptown, between the current NBCI and WCI facilities. Hershberger says the prison is expected to cost $15 million, and would eliminate a problem, he says, of minimum security inmates going in and out of the maximum security facility at WCI, when working on road and other public works projects. Such a proposal would need approval from the Maryland General Assembly.
BEDFORD WOMAN STRUCK, KILLED BY TRACTOR TRAILER
Bedford resident Tracy Bishop was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer, when she tried to cross Route 30 at Mile Level early yesterday morning. She was pronounced dead at UPMC Bedford Memorial Hospital. The driver of the truck was identified as 57-year old Russell Wayne Oldham of New Paris, Pennsylvania, according to State Police there.
SEARCH SUSPENDED FOR MAN
The search for a man who had been heard yelling in the woods near the Mineral County Health Department has been suspended. The man was heard cursing and yelling the word, "hey," but he wasn't located. The Mineral County Sheriff's Department determined he wasn't in great need, because he was mobile. A further search was conducted yesterday morning, before being suspended. The man reportedly had been yelling for three days. Law enforcement authorities advise that if he becomes stationary or sounds distressed, residents should call 911.
DEPARTMENT CHECKS NATURAL GAS ODOR
There were no injuries Sunday night, when the Cumberland Fire Department responded to an odor of natural gas at 112 North Allegany Street. Two fire engines and an ambulance stood by as the situation was investigated. The call was received before 9 p.m. Sunday, and units remained on the scene until about 9:10 p.m.
GATTO FILES AS WRITE-IN CANDIDATE
Garrett County Commissioner Robert Gatto, who was defeated in the primary election this past June, has filed as a write-in candidate for the District 3 Commissioners' seat. Three other residents-Dave Beard, Dan Duggan and Paul McIntyre-have filed as write-in candidates for the Orphan's Court judicial position.
RALEY APPOINTED DIRECTOR
Garrett County Commissioner Jim Raley, who recently lost to Paul Edwards in the primary election, has been appointed the executive director of the Office of Consumer Advocates. The non-profit organization has locations in Hagerstown, Cumberland, and Oakland, and provides mental health and wellness programs, and has recently partnered with the Maryland Food Bank to provide food distribution services.
SCHELLSBURG MAN BEATEN, ROBBED
A Schellsburg man says he was assaulted and robbed in late August, while walking along Route 30. Thirty-five year old Justin Suffecool says he was walking between the Schellsburg VFW and Route 96, when four men got out of a dark pickup truck, held him to the ground and kicked him in the head. He was robbed of $300. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bedford barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-623-6133.
CUMBERLAND 9TH BEST TO RAISE A FAMILY
Cumberland ranks 9 out of the Top Ten cities in Maryland, in which to raise a family, according to the website, "Credit Donkey.com." The survey took a number of factors into consideration, including education, commute time, household type, residency and housing costs. Cumberland has an 87.5 per cent or higher graduation rate, with an average commute time of 16.4 minutes. The comments noted that kids can soak up the local history at places like the Allegany Museum or get an up-close view of the birds at Rocky Gap State Park. And, one of the most eye-catching natural attractions is the Narrows. The top city in which to raise a family, according to the article is Bowie.
HUNDREDS VISIT FLIGHT 93 MEMORIAL
Hundreds of people have visited the Flight 93 Memorial this past weekend, in advance of the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks this Thursday. Crews are continuing to add to the site, as the Flight 93 Visitor and Learning Center and Wetland Bridge is slated to open next year.
WOMAN CITED FOR HARASSMENT
A criminal summons was served on 34-year old Tammy Lynn Porter, charging her with harassment, telephone misuse, and electronic mail harassment. The charges stemmed from an incident on Virginia Avenue that took place early in September. She was served with the criminal summons and released, pending trial.
GRIM COMMENTS ON CITY IMPROVEMENTS
A number of street improvements are being done in the city this week. Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim says there are additional infrastructure improvements planned for the city. On the subject of the 19 Frederick Street property, businessman Philip Walter Smith presented a proposal last week to buy the property. If accepted, the "Liberty Trail Inn" hopes to be open by next spring. Plans call for 18 rooms, and a two room suite. The Inn would pay approximately $57,000 annually, and provide 8 full time jobs. Discussions are in the preliminary stages at this point, according to Mayor Grim.
MARIJUANA-RELATED BILL IN EFFECT OCTOBER 1ST
A bill, decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, will go into effect on October 1st. The bill would make the possession of less than 10 grams of the drug a civil offense, punishable by a fine of up to $100. For a second offense, the fine would be $250.00. Governor O'Malley signed the bill on April 7th.
TWO CHILDREN DEAD IN CHEVERLY
Two young children were killed in a home, just two blocks from the town's police headquarters, and their mother, 24-year old Sonya Spoon, has been identified as the suspect. Police were called to the home on Forest Road, just after 2 a.m. Sunday. The children, ages 3 and one, were taken to Children's Hospital in Washington, where they died. The children were identified as Kayla Thompson and Ayden Spoon. Investigators are still investigating the motive for the murders.
WVU SURPASSES FUNDRAISING GOAL BY $22 MILLION
West Virginia University's Foundation has announced their "A State of Minds" campaign, which goes toward student scholarships as well as upgrades to the facilities at the school, surpassed it original goal by $22 million. The largest chunk of the money has come from individuals looking to help and give back to the university.
METH LAB BUSTED IN SHAFT
Fifty-two year old James McMillian, of no fixed address, was arrested over the weekend, after the C3I Narcotics Unit, the Allegany County Sheriff's Office, and Maryland State Police executed a search warrant on a property in Shaft. What was discovered were ingredients used to make methamphetamine, housed in a number of tents on the site. Although more arrests are anticipated, McMillian was held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. The agencies involved are encouraging citizens to continue to contact them with drug tips; the information can remain anonymous.
TEACHER'S BOND SET AT $20,000
Mountain Ridge High School teacher, Bart Alan Mazer's bond was set at $20,000, following his arrest at the school on Friday. Mazer is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact last October and November with a then-17 year old student at the school. The alleged incidents occurred at Mazer's home, and none of the sexual contact happened at Mountain Ridge. The investigation is continuing with the cooperation of the school board and the administration at the school. For its part, the school board issued a statement, which noted the "very serious allegations," and that Mazer has been placed on leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
CUMBERLAND MAN INDICTED IN WVU STUDENT DEATH
Cumberland resident Robert Hernandez has been indicted by a Monongalia County grand jury, in connection with the death of WVU student Devante Waites. Hernandez is being held without bail, and will be arraigned in the next few days. Hernandez is accused of stabbing Waites outside a bar, near the WVU downtown campus on August 14th.
TRIAL DATE SET FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE
Twenty-eight year old Christopher Adam Preston will go on trial October 24th, in connection with the deaths of nine dogs in a Bel Air home. He is facing 18 animal cruelty charges, with penalties including a jail term of up to 90 days and a fine not to exceed $1,000. Psychological counseling may be ordered for an offender, and they could be banned from owning an animal in the future. His wife, Rachael, has not been charged in the case.
PUBLIC WORKS APPROVES PROJECTS
The Maryland Board of Public Works approved two local projects during its most recent meeting. The Board approved a $4.3 million contract to Carl Belt, Incorporated to do water treatment work at Rocky Gap State Park. Also approved was a separate loan for a new tanker for the Bedford Road Volunteer Fire Department.
FOUNDATION ADDRESSING ANIMAL CONTROL ISSUES
The Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation continues to address issues, such as the neglect, and ultimate death, of nine dogs in Bel Air last month. Becky McClarran, president of the Foundation, says they have taken responsbility for what happened, and are conducting a review to improve animal control issues. One of the first items addressed was the phone system; a new one has now been ordered. The Allegany County Commissioners have allocated approximately $360,000 for animal control. Ms. McClarran notes that amount is less than has been provided in the past. According to a summary from the Foundation, Huber-Michaels' accounting firm provided accounting and control services for the shelter operating account, at a cost of $8400. McClarran and Williams provided graphic design, event development and coordination, web site content management, and brochure and literature production supporting adoption, foster, spay/neuter and public education programs at a cost of $8100.
MILLING AND PATCHING PROJECTS ANNOUNCED
Milling and patching work will take place on Greene Street, in the area of the Dingle. On Thursday, work starts on Beall Street, from Lee Street to Allegany Street. No parking will be permitted on Beall Street, during working hours, which will be from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., weather permitting. Please use caution, but expect delays during those hours. Flaggers will be in place. For questions, contact the city's Engineering Department at (301)-759-6600.
SOMERSET WOMAN INJURED IN OXYGEN-RELATED FIRE
A Somerset County woman was burned when she lit a cigarette, near an oxygen tank, causing a fire at her Catherine Street home. The un-named 80-year old woman was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center with burn injuries.
APPALACHIAN FESTIVAL SCHEDULED THIS MONTH
Frostburg State University will host its annual Appalachian Festival September 18th through the 20th. The festival kicks off on Thursday evening, September 18th with the screening of "Triple Divide," a film about fracking in Pennsylvania. The festival continues with various activities Friday and Saturday.
O'MALLEY TO ADDRESS N.C. DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley will address a gathering of the North Carolina Democratic Party on Saturday, October 18th in Asheville. This will mark the 11th state where O'Malley has given a keynote address. His term ends in January, and he says he has given serious consideration to a Presidential run in 2016. In advance of the North Carolina date, O'Malley will address the Portsmouth City, New Hampshire Democrats on September 26th.
CVS PHARMACY PULLS TOBACCO PRODUCTS
CVS Pharmacies nationwide have stopped selling cigarettes and other tobacco-related products, affecting 7700 retail outlets. And, even though some have said smokers will just find another place to buy cigarettes and tobacco products, statistics show that in Boston and San Francisco, there has been a 13 per cent decrease in overall tobacco utilization. CVS has also launched a nationwide cessation program for smokers. In West Virginia, there are 47 stores in 24 different counties.
TEACHER ARRESTED AT MOUNTAIN RIDGE
The Allegany County C3I unit has arrested Mountain Ridge High School teacher Bart Alan Mazer of Frostburg. Mazer is being accused of two counts of 4th degree sex offense, and was the result of an investigation into allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact last October and November with a then-17 year old female, who was a student at the school. The alleged incidents occurred at Mazer's home, and none of the sexual contact occurred at the school. The student has since graduated. He is currently being held on $20,000 bond. The investigation is continuing with the cooperation of the school board and the administration at Mountain Ridge High School.