INFECTED NURSE TRANSFERRED TO N.I.H.
Nina Pham, one of two nurses infected with the Ebola virus while caring for a patient in Dallas, was flown into the Frederick Municipal Airport last night, and later transferred to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda. She was taken to a special biocontainment unit, only one of four in the United States. Pham came down with Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died of the disease.
COMPLAINTS LEAD TO FIVE ARRESTS
Citizen complaints and police calls to several Maryland Avenue residences led to the arrest of five people on Wednesday evening. A three month investigation into the sales and distribution of various narcotics, including heroin and crack cocaine being sold, led to the arrests of Thomas Shannon Stevens, Amanda Lynn Lewis, Jon Pierre Lopez, Shannon Nicol Grapes, and Robert Wayne Burkett. The raid was conducted by units from the Cumberland Police Department, the Garrett County Special Response Team, and the Maryland State Police "STATE" team. The Allegany County Department of Social Services also assisted on the scene, with the placement of three children, all under the age of six. The investigation is continuing with additional arrests anticipated.
COMMISSIONERS SUSPEND AUTHORITY MEMBERS
The Mineral County Commissioners are notifying its representatives on the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority that they are officially suspended from service until the ongoing disagreement over state jurisdiction is settled. The PHAA oversees the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport, and has been involved in a controversy over which state's Open Meetings Law to observe. The members of the Authority-Bill Smith, Monroe Johnson, and Leon Hinkle-will not participate in the meetings until the issue is resolved.
INVESTIGATION INTO ACCIDENT CONTINUES
The McHenry Barrack of the Maryland State Police is investigating a Wednesday evening accident on Route 495 at Dry Run Road. A 2001 Subaru, driven by 45-year old Bruce G. Vanwagner of McHenry, traveled off the road and struck a mailbox, before coming to rest. Responding were the Bittinger Fire Department, Northern Garrett Rescue Squad, and Trooper Five; the investigation is continuing.
BOND SET AT $17,500 IN ARREST
Cumberland resident Tracy Rae is being held on a total of $17,500 bond following her arrest at the corner of South and Second Street on Wednesday. She was arrested on an outstanding warrant for theft and related charges; also found on her were a crack cocaine smoking device, a syringe, one baggie of suspected heroin and two baggies of suspected crack cocaine. She is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center.
KENNEL CLUB TO HOST SHOW
The Upper Potomac Valley Kennel Club is holding its 61st annual dog show, today through Sunday at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. Becky Rephan, with the kennel club, says the Cumberland show is a precursor to shows such as the nationally-known Westminster dog show. About 120 breeds will be represented, with about 600-700 dogs on hand for the show. There is a minimal $3.00 parking fee for the show, which will include performance groups. These include obedience training, and what is known as "Rally." During the weekend show, a service dog from the area will be honored. "Blue" Dieterle responded to a woman who came to participate in the show several years ago.
NINE CHARGED WITH DRUG TRAFFICKING
Nine members of a Baltimore-based drug trafficking enterprise have been indicted by a federal grand jury. The group has ties to Virginia, New York, and Texas, and prosecutors say they are linked to the 2012 murder of Baltimore resident John Moore in Baltimore. Police seized 30 kilos of cocaine from Moore, and his murder has been tied to the cocaine seizure.
"SUN" POLL SHOWS LITTLE SUPPORT FOR O'MALLEY PRESIDENTIAL RUN
The Baltimore Sun says support for a Martin O'Malley presidential run is "conspicuously low," and what little support he has, may be slipping. Nearly 6 in ten voters say they would not support O'Malley, if he decides to seek the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016. Nine per cent of voters say they would like to see who else will run before committing to any one candidate. This most recent poll was conducted October 1st through the 8th, and is based on interviews with 800 likely Maryland voters.
WEST VIRGINIA S.A.T. SCORES SHOW IMPROVEMENT
West Virginia school students showed improvement in core subject areas of reading, writing and math on the S.A.T., when compared to the previous year's test results. More than 42 per cent of West Virginia's S.A.T. takers met benchmarks for college and career preps while the number was 39 per cent nationally.
DEVELOPMENT PLAN PRESENTED TO CITY
A new economic development strategic plan, from RKG Associates of Alexandria, Virginia was presented at City Hall yesterday. It is hoped the plan will become a more targeted economic development effort in the future. The over $54,000 plan was funded by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Short, to long term goals, include the use of the former Memorial Hospital site, further development of Canal Place, Rolling Mill and the Willowbrook Road area, and the development of a Cumberland Shopping Plaza in South End.
MISSING TEEN SOUGHT
Bruce Bickling, a 16-year old Fort Hill student, has been missing since September 11th, and police are seeking the public's help in locating him. He has short, blond hair, blue eyes, and a thin build. He was last seen at the school and was wearing a white tee shirt, faded denim shorts and white tennis shoes. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cumberland City Police.
PRIEST REMAINS JAILED IN SOMERSET COUNTY
Father Joseph Maurizio remains jailed in Somerset County, accused of sexually abusing young boys while on mission trips to Honduras. This week, his finances were discussed, with his bank accounts indicating he had hundreds of thousands of dollars the government says he could use to escape the country. The money came from what were called "smart investments," and some are tied to the church and do not technically belong to him. Bond, if any, will be determined within the next ten days or so.
TGCC HOSTS COALITION MEETING
The Greater Cumberland Committee recently hosted its fourth annual North/South Appalachian Highway Coalition meeting at the Bedford Springs resort. The goal of the group is to advance economic development efforts in the region, and includes business, civic organizations, elected officials and government entities. It was learned at the meeting that about eight miles remain in completing the section of Route 219, from Meyersdale, Pennsylvania to the I-68 interchange.
INTERSTATE 68 TRAFFIC UPDATE
There are several traffic changes to be aware of, on Interstate 68 eastbound over the next several weeks. Beginning next Monday, and lasting through Friday, October 24th, the eastbound right lane of I-68 will be closed. The Exit 43B ramp to Industrial Boulevard may be detoured as well. On Monday, October 27th through Friday, October 31st, the eastbound I-68 right lane will remain closed; the exit 43C ramp to Queen City Drive may be detoured; and, the eastbound ramp from downtown may be detoured. Motorists should be prepared for possible delays during peak hours.
FAIRHOPE BATTERY THEFTS INVESTIGATED
About $1600 worth of vehicle batteries were taken from the area along West Street in Fairhope earlier in the month. The person or persons also tried to enter one of the township sheds, causing about $200 in damage. The investigation is continuing.
SCHOOLS ON TWO-HOUR DELAY TODAY
A reminder that Allegany County Public Schools are operating on a two-hour delay for today. There will be no morning kindergarten classes. This time is being used for staff professional development.
STATE POLICE UNVEIL NEW HELICOPTER
About 140,000 patients have been flown on Maryland State Police Medevac helicopters since the program began in 1970. Yesterday, a new, "state of the art" aircraft, the 'AW-139" was unveiled at the Greater Cumberland Municipal airport. Lieutenant Walter Kerr commander of the Helicopter Medical Operations division noted that Allegany County is the 6th of 7 regions to receive the new chopper. The technology it contains is mandated by the both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.
COMMISSION TO MEET ON OCTOBER 27TH
The Cumberland Neighborhood Advisory Commission will meet on Monday, October 27th, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. Meetings are held on a monthly basis and are open to the public. For more information, contact City Hall at (301)-759-6424.
BISHOP WALSH TO HOST PROGRAM ON DYSLEXIA
Bishop Walsh School's Pratt Program will be hosting Paula Moraine, the president of the Maryland Branch of the International Dyslexia Association on Saturday, October 25th at 10 a.m. the program will be held in the school auditorium. The topic will be "Learning and the Impact of ADHD, Dyslexia, and Executive Function. This is a free event. For more information, contact Stephanie Pratt at (301)-724-5360, extension 218.
ATTORNEY WANTS CHARGES DROPPED
An attorney for Catherine Hoggle, the Montgomery County mother whose children remain missing, says he wants charges against her dropped, because he says detectives improperly interrogated her inside a state psychiatric hospital this month. Detectives spoke with her for at least 12 hours, trying to find out where the children were, and what she might have done with them. Since the case began in early September, she has refused to cooperate with police.
GAS PRICES AT LOWEST POINT OF THE YEAR
The national average price for regular gas is $3.18 per gallon, which is down 20-cents from less than a month ago, and 15-cents from a year ago. Virginia has the least expensive gas, with an average of $3.00 per gallon; Maryland is at $3.17, Pennsylvania at $3.31, and West Virginia at $3.33. The highest national average is in California, where drivers there are paying upwards of $3.60 per gallon.
DRUG BUST IN FROSTBURG
Thirty-six year old Baltimore resident Corey James Douglas, and 26-year old Tiffany Dawn Resh were arrested by the Frostburg Police Department Monday on drug charges. The C3I Narcotics Unit, the Allegany County Sheriff's Department, and the Cumberland City Police assisted in executing a search warrant in the 200-block of Main Street. Cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin were seized, with an estimated value of over $21,000. Douglas was held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $300,000 bond, while Ms. Resh was held on $25,000 bond.
CONSERVATION GROUP URGES FRACKING BAN
Trout, Unlimited is urging the state of Maryland to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas in the Savage River watershed. The group has added the area to its list of 10 places it says are threatened by fracking. Maryland officials are deciding whether to allow the "fracking" technique, which uses water mixed with sand and chemicals to break up rock deep underground, and release natural gas. For its part, Maryland Environmental regulators have said there is a moderate risk, which may harm aquatic life.
STORAGE UNIT FIRE RULED ARSON
The Maryland State Fire Marshal says a fire at Legacy Moving and Storage on Clement Street was intentionally set. It originated in a wooden storage unit on site, and spread to ten other wooden storage units nearby. Losses were set at $2500. The fire was discovered by a neighbor, and the Cumberland Fire Department extinguished the fire in about ten minutes.
TROOPER SAVES CHILD ALONG I-68
Trooper First Class Matthew Schoenadel is being credited for saving the life of an infant along Interstate 68 yesterday morning. Maryland State Police received a panic call from a woman, who said her grandson was not breathing. Trooper Schoenadel stopped the car, turned the baby on his stomach to clear his airway. The infant responded and began to breathe. He was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment. Trooper Schoeandel is a nine year veteran of the Maryland State Police.
ALLEGANY UPDATE GIVEN AT MEETING
An update on the demolition work at the site of the new Allegany High School was given during last night's Board of Education meeting. The interior of the building is nearly complete, with the medical office building completely demolished. The total estimated cost of the school is $40 million, and officials say they are on track to open in 2017.
CDS, PARAPHERNALIA CHARGES FILED
Cumberland City Police arrested two area men on drug-related charges Monday evening, following a traffic stop on Interstate 68 eastbound. Both Ronald Browning of Ellerslie and Kenneth Wilson III or Cumberland were taken into custody. Browning was charged with possession of CDS paraphernalia, while Wilson was charged with possession of CDS, and three counts of possession of paraphernalia. Police recovered illegally obtained prescription medication and paraphernalia from the car. Both were eventually released from custody.
SPRINGDALE STREET INCIDENT PROMPTS INVESTIGATION
Social media reports of the fatal stabbing of a dog in South Cumberland may be false. Cumberland City Police say Allegany County Animal Control is investigating a Monday evening incident, in which a dog suffered some type of injury. Reports from Cumberland City Police say it didn't look as if the dog was injured by an intruder, but the matter is still under investigation.
DEMOLITION OF MANSION DELAYED
The Keyser Mayor and City Council may, or may not, demolish the historic Alkire Mansion at Mill Meadow Park. The hope is that grants can be obtained to restore the 18th century structure, which has deteriorated over the years. Developing the building into a residence or business location has drawn only limited interest. Now, city officials are going to wait for about three months, to see if there are any viable grant options available.
"MAKING STRIDES" EVENT SATURDAY
The "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" event is this Saturday, beginning and ending on the Canal Place Festival Grounds. Breast cancer survivor Debbie Fornwalt says this is the first time she'll actually be participating in the walk. She says we are approaching the time when the disease will be eradicated. Ms. Fornwalt is a 3-1/2 year survivor, and advises that, although it is a difficult diagnosis and journey through treatment, the diagnosis should not be feared. Pre-walk activities begin at 10 a.m.; registration will begin at 9 a.m. She says she's had so much support from the cancer society, friends, and family...and that is a remarkable thing.
TWO-HOUR DELAY TOMORROW
Allegany County Public Schools will operate on a two-hour delay tomorrow. There will be no morning pre-kindergarten classes. The time is being used for staff professional development.
SOME HEALTH INSURANCE RATES MAY DROP
Some small businesses in the state may see a small drop in health insurance premiums next year; others may pay as much as 11 per cent more. New rates, which will go into effect in January, affect small firms with up to 50 employees, and not to large or self-insured firms or individuals buying coverage on the state's health insurance exchange. Evergreen Health Cooperative did not seek an increase, because it pledged to small businesses that signed on with the new provider that it would give them a two-year premium guarantee.
MARYLAND PERSONAL INCOME GROWTH SLOWS
Personal income in the state grew an estimated one per cent in the second quarter of 2014, compared to 2.5 per cent in the United States as a whole. Maryland's showing was the fifth worst of all states, and it follows four years of statewide incomes lagging behind the rest of the country. The average household income in the state was just over $96,000 last year, down about 3 per cent since 2007. Median household income dropped more than 5 per cent in real terms, to $72,483.
HANDS-FREE TECHNOLOGY MAY INCREASE DISTRACTED DRIVING
A study by Triple-A Atlantic says that hands-free technology in cars may actually increase the possibility of being involved in a crash. Once several states made it a primary offense to talk or text on your cell phone, car companies began installing hands-free systems. Triple A says that whether you are using a handheld or hands-free device, the actual risk of being involved in a crash quadruples, because utilizing cognitive skills can be more distracting than it would otherwise be.
VERSO CLOSING MAINE PAPER MILL
Verso Paper Corporation, which plans to purchase New Page, is closing a mill in Bucksport, Maine. The closure will happen before the end of the year, reducing the company's coated groundwood paper production capacity by approximately 350,000 tons and its specialty paper production capacity by about 55,000 tons. The facility is closing due to ongoing non-profitability. Verso says it will work with union officials and salaried employees on severance benefits and other assistance.
UTILITY WORKERS WANT NEW CONTRACT
Potomac Edison and West Penn Power employees want a new contract, and have been working without one since May 1st. System Local 102 recently rejected contract offers from First Energy Corporation. At issue are staffing levels, and post-retirement medical benefits. Efforts are underway to schedule more negotiations with First Energy.
TWO CHARGED ON OUTSTANDING WARRANTS
Two people were arrested late Sunday morning on Virginia Avenue, and charged with marijuana possession. Thirty-two year old Robert Hess and 25-year old Stephanie Barb were stopped for a traffic violation; it was discovered that both had outstanding bench warrants for failure to appear for trial earlier in the month. They were both charged, but released on personal recognizance, pending trial in District Court.
GROUNDBREAKING HELD FOR NEW SCHOOL
A groundbreaking ceremony was recently held for a new Burlington United Methodist Family Services School. Adjacent to the campus gymnasium, the new school will feature seven classrooms, a dining area and administrative offices. Senator Donald Cookman remarked during the ceremonies that although the staff deserves better, most importantly, the students deserve better.
THREE COMMENDED IN SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Three Allegany County Public School Students were recently named Commended Students in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. Allegany students Ethan Greist and Kristin Ratliff, along with Makea Luzader of Mountain Ridge placed among the top five per cent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The three students were among the nearly 34,000 students throughout the nation being honored as Commended Students for their exceptional academic promise.
FSU NAMED "MILITARY FRIENDLY" FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT YEAR
Frostburg State University has been named a "Military Friendly School" for the fourth year in a row. The Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 per cent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America's military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.
FROST NAMED "BLUE RIBBON" SCHOOL
Frost Elementary School was recently recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. Mia Perlozzo Cross, of the Allegany County Board of Education, says the school met rigorous state and national requirements, and was only one of six schools in the state to earn the designation. Ms. Cross noted that Frost also serves some of the county's economically disadvantaged students.
CVS EMPLOYEE SAVES ELDERLY WOMAN FROM SCAM
An employee of the CVS Pharmacy in Somerset is being credited with saving an elderly woman thousands of dollars. The 90-year old woman went into the store to buy several money orders, totaling around $3,000, when she was told her grandson had been arrested, and that he needed money for attorney fees and the like. The employee recognized it as a scam. Police are saying that if you receive a similar call, you can call police to verify if an arrest was made.
MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT, OTHER CHARGES
A man police say is homeless, was arrested in Somerset County Sunday, after he was accused of breaking into a woman's home and physically assaulting her. Forty-five year old David Fazenbaker was quickly arrested, after officers received information on his whereabouts. He will be charged with assault and related charges. He had been wanted on an outstanding warrant for stalking, harassment, and prowling.
ARREST MADE IN THREATS AGAINST SCHOOL
The FBI and West Virginia State Police have arrested 21-year old Justin Light, a former student at Musselman High School for making an online threat against Musselman High School. The threats were made on social media, through the compromised Twitter account of a former student. There was a strong police presence on the Musselman high school campus yesterday, and attendance was down over 50 per cent. Light is being held in the Eastern Regional Jail.
GAP BETWEEN CANDIDATES NARROWING
"The Baltimore Sun" released a poll on Sunday, showing the gap between gubernatorial candidates Larry Hogan and Anthony Brown is narrowing. The poll indicates Brown is leading Hogan by seven points, but many voters are undecided, and there is a 3-1/2 per cent margin of error. Election Day is three weeks from today.
W.VA. RECEIVES GRANT FOR METH LAB FIGHT
The West Virginia State Police will receive a million in federal funding to fight meth lab production. The two-year grant was announced, in part, by Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito. The State Police will use the funds to hire and train law enforcement personnel to investigate "meth" production and distribution; additionally, the money will be used for meth lab cleanup.
LOCAL CONTROL TO GRANT COUNTY SCHOOLS
The West Virginia State Board of Education returned local control to the Grant County School System last week. Five years ago, a reported cited "serious deficiencies" in the system, including a breakdown in leadership, a lack of advanced placement and honors classes, as well as individual schools failing to meet Adequate Yearly Progress five years in a row. The State Board could take over the school system in the future, if any of the original problems come up again, within the next five years.
WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN DRUG CASE
Thirty-year old Swanton resident Rebecca Lee Smith has pleaded guilty to distributing morphine to a woman, who later died. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered by Judge J. Frederick Sharer; she remains in the Garrett County Jail. Smith had been with the woman prior to her death; she later admitted to taking morphine pills to her home, offering them to the woman, and taking some of the pills herself.
KEYSER RESIDENTS SENTENCED
Two Keyser men were among four people who were recently sentenced in U.S. District Court on cocaine-related charges. Thirty-one year old Troy Wilt was sentenced to ten months in prison for cocaine distribution; thirty-five year old Paul Ellis was sentenced to five years probation, for money laundering, involving about $1500 in proceeds from the cocaine sales. Both pleaded guilty, following an investigation by the Potomac Highlands Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.
WOMAN ARRESTED IN LAPTOP THEFT
Cumberland resident Bridget Brianne Michael was arrested over the weekend, and charged with the theft of a laptop computer from a Frederick Street residence, while the occupants were asleep. The victim identified a possible suspect and officers confirmed it during the investigation. She was charged with theft of less than $1,000. Ms. Michael was released pending trial in District Court.
MAN SERVED SUMMONS, RELEASED
A Cumberland man was released pending trial, following an incident in the parking area of the Cumberland City Police Department on Saturday. Sixty-two year old Ronald Diggs was allegedly being verbally disruptive, and acting in an unusual manner. Diggs ran into the garage door, bounced off, and allegedly assaulted an officer, before being placed into custody. He was charged with two counts of second-degree assault.
NEW ROMNEY PLANT TO BE OPERATIONAL BY SPRING
A new sewage treatment plant could be "under roof" by November, and operational by May of next year. Construction began in February of this year, and will serve not only the city, but also the high school, middle school, the hospital and the nursing home there. Rates will increase for customers of the system, from the current minimum rate of $24.82 to $29.50. Over a thousand homes will benefit from the new treatment plant.
PLANS IN THE WORKS FOR GREENE STREET
Alta Planning and Development is under contract to develop a complete street plan for historic Greene Street, and will be concerned with the overall historical character of the street and surrounding environment. Public input is being taken. To be included with all upcoming project meetings, contact Siera Wigfield at email@example.com,or call (301)-722-6360. The plan is being developed at the request of the Cumberland Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the first project meeting is expected to be held early next year.
"WE ARE FORT HILL" GROUP INDUCTS H.O.F. MEMBERS
The We Are Fort Hill organization recently inducted four new members in to the school's Hall of Fame, including Dr. John "Jack" Hamilton, Jr., Dr. Donald S. McCoy, Dr. John Millar and Dr. Linda Weber Dunbar. The recognition luncheon was held at the school on September 27th. Nominations for next year's Hall of Fame are being accepted through January 31st of next year. Nominees must have graduated from Fort Hill fifteen or more years ago, and should be based on significant achievements in lifetime endeavors. Nomination forms are available at "www.forthillhs.com."
S.A.T. SCORES DROP, TEST TAKERS INCREASE
More students are taking the S.A.T. in Maryland, but average scores on the college readiness exam dropped significantly, falling below the national average for the first time in years. Policy changes in Baltimore and Prince George's counties have contributed to the overall drop. Those systems allowed every high school junior to be given the test. Statewide, the average score dropped five points in reading, math, and writing.
'HUNGER FREE" OPTION RECEIVES SCHOOL KUDOS
Breakfast and lunch in school at no charge...it's a new program in place for all public schools in Somerset County, Maryland, and about a dozen schools in Washington County. The idea behind the "Community Eligibility Provision" is that if schools are located in high-poverty areas, most of the students already qualify for free or reduced-price school meals-so why not ditch the paperwork and offer the meals to all students? Dr. John Gaddis, of the Somerset County school system, says it's working out better than he thought it would. Pam Christoffel of the Washington County Hunger Group, says the program brings relief to families facing economic struggles.
Michael J. Wilson, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, is encouraged to hear about the success in implementing the program in all Somerset County Public Schools, and there are hundreds of other eligible schools in the state. Wilson says the program not only reduces childhood hunger, but administrators appreciate the reduction in paperwork.
MORE DETAILS ON HYNDMAN HOMICIDE CASE
Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins says it is very clear that drugs were involved in the murder of James Deneen, Jr., on September 25th near Hyndman. Charged with the murder is Jonta Bishop of Hagerstown, who Higgins says has changed his story several times. Bishop claims the shooting was in self-defense, but Higgins points out that Mr. Deneen was shot "execution-style," in the back of the head. Bishop will now stand trial on charges of criminal homicide and related counts. Deneen's body was placed in the trunk of a car, and it was set on fire. Three others face related charges in the case-Domenick Gillespie, along with Kimberlee and Nickolas Forbes.
STABBING INCIDENT LEADS TO CHARGES
A stabbing incident in the 500-block of Maryland Avenue last night has led to attempted murder charges against Cumberland resident Jonthan Edward Hariss. Cumberland City Police and the Sheriff's Department were called to a large fight in the street; a review of video surveillance and interviews with witnesses led to Hariss' arrest. During the altercation, he allegedly stabbed a 22-year old victim with a knife, and punched a 24-year old male victim in the face. Hariss was taken to a District Court Commissioner for a hearing, and the investigation is continuing.
OAKLAND RESIDENT ARRESTED ON SEX CHARGES
Twenty-seven year old Oakland resident Paul Christian Tippen has been arrested in the Mountain Lake Park area on sex charges, following a month-long investigation. Tippen is accused of offenses against a 14-year old girl. He will be charged with two counts of third-degree sex offense, sodomy, prostitution under the age of 16, human trafficking and other related charges. He was taken to the Garrett County Jail to await a bond hearing.
FOREFEITURES SOUGHT IN CASE AGAINST PHYSICIAN
If Keyser native Tressie Montene Duffy is found guilty of drug charges lodged against her, then federal authorities will seize both property and cash from her. The amount in question includes at least $30,000 in cash. Dr. Duffy, who practiced in Martinsburg, is accused of writing blank prescriptions and allowing her staff to write them for Xanax, Oxycodone, Valuium and other drugs. Less than a month ago, she was charged in federal court with 100 counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
SOMERSET COUNTY PRIEST INDICTED ON FEDERAL CHARGES
Father Joseph Maurizio has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of illicit sexual conduct and child pornography. The priest, from Central City, is accused of taking advantage of impoverished children, allegedly offering them money, toys and candy, in exchange for sexual acts , which happened during mission trips to Central American countries. His attorney says Father Maurizio adamantly maintains his innocence.
TWO WOMEN CONVICTED OF HEROIN TRAFFICKING
Two Grant County residents face up to 20-years in prison and fines of up to a million dollars, after they were convicted of heroin trafficking in federal court this week. Thirty-two year old Kimberly Michelle Bailey and 34-year old Brenda Michelle Sams both pleaded guilty to charges brought against them. Federal and local investigations involving the FBI and the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force led to their convictions.
MAN ARRESTED IN DOMESTIC INCIDENT
Cumberland resident Kamal Shiv Datta was charged with second-degree assault, following a Wednesday incident at an East Gate court residence. He and his wife began arguing, when the argument became physical. He struck her in the back of the head and in the face. She didn't require medical treatment. He was taken to a District Court Commissioner and later released on personal recognizance.
SLALOM CHAMPIONSHIPS ON NBC NEXT WEEK
A recap of the Deep Creek 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships will air on the NBC Sports Network this Sunday at 7 p.m. It will also be broadcast on Saturday, October 18th, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and Sunday the 19th from 2:30 to 3 p.m. Deep Creek 2014 expressed its gratitude to all those involved, including the 42 teams, ICF, USA, and most of all, the volunteers.
TRI-STATE COLLEGE NIGHT SET
Allegany College of Maryland is hosting the annual Tri-State College night this Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Allegany College of Maryland gymnasium. The event is sponsored by the Allegany County Guidance Counselors Association, in partnership with ACM and its Advancement Office staff. The goal of the event is to help high school students make educated decisions about post-secondary plans. Dozens of colleges, universities, and career and technical schools will have representatives on hand for the event. A total of $1400 in scholarships will be awarded to two high school juniors and seniors attending the event.
FIRST DATA CUTS JOBS
Job-cutting has begun at First Data Corporation in Hagerstown. A number of employees have lost their jobs, but the company has declined to say how many. First Data performs payment transactions for businesses and financial institutions. A spokesperson says job cuts began Wednesday, and will continue for the rest of the week; the company is re-evaluating its workforce worldwide. A year ago, about 550 workers lost their jobs at the Denver location.
SETTLEMENT ANNOUNCED IN "CRAMMING" CASE
If you are an AT&T customer, you may be entitled to a refund. Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, along with the attorneys-general of 49 other states and the District of Columbia announced a $105 million settlement in a so-called "cramming" case. Customers were allegedly charged by third party companies for services they never asked to receive, such as horoscopes or flirting tips. Gansler noted that the state worked with the Federal Trade Commision and Federal Communications Commission to resolve the issue. The complaint alleged that AT&T kept at least 35 per cent of the unauthorized charges it imposed on customers. The goal of the agreement, according to Gansler, was to accomplish two things.
TEACHER FIRED IN WAKE OF ALLEGATIONS
Hedgesville, West Virginia teacher Erin Steve Thomas has been fired, amid allegations of third-degree sexual assault charges and two misdemeanor counts of computer harassment. A preliminary hearing has been set for October 22nd. He is accused of having a relationship with one of his female students, eventually leading to sexual contact. The girl wanted to end the relationship, after Thomas' wife found out about them meeting at the school.
INDECENT EXPOSURE CHARGES FILED
Calvert County resident Rocco Pianpiano turned himself in to authorities there yesterday morning, after being accused in an indecent exposure incident in late September at a Garrett County service station. A woman was putting gas in her van at the station, when the man, who tried to make conversation with her, eventually exposed himself to her. She got the license plate number of the vehicle and called police. Pianpiano, of Chesapeake Beach, was jailed at the Calvert County Detention Center, awaiting a bond hearing.
"JUNKYARD PROPERTIES" TARGETED
While the city has targeted the removal of blighted properties, the Mayor and Council are now turning their attention to so-called "junkyard properties" that have unusable items, such as appliances, indoor furniture, and other items outside their properties. They are looking to adopt an ordinance that would tighten restrictions on that practice. The new ordinance, which is an updated, and more specific version, of an older one the city now has in place. The first reading of the ordinance was held this week.
BRIDGE WORK NEARLY COMPLETE
Work on the bridges that span Kelly Boulevard and Patterson Avenue on Interstate 68 is nearly complete. Later this month, the project will enter its fourth and final stage. Renovations are expected to be finished in December, with crews returning next spring to do the final surface paving.
WOMAN JAILED AFTER TRYING TO FLEE
Keyser resident Shirley Phares remains jailed in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, after she tried to flee from police who had stopped her for suspicion of public intoxication. During questioning, Ms. Phares reportedly became combative and attempted to flee the scene on East Piedmont Street. She was eventually charged with public intoxication, obstructing a police officer and fleeing on foot.
TEEN FOUND SAFE IN MARTINSBURG
The 17-year old girl who fled from the Burlington United Family Services Children's Home in September has been found. Sadie Kendall was found unharmed in Martinsburg. There are no further details on why she fled the home, or information on how she was found.
INFORMATION SOUGHT ON HIT AND RUN
Cumberland City Police are looking for leads in a hit and run accident Tuesday night, that injured the driver of a mini-van on westbound Interstate 68. Police say it appeared a car, traveling with a Ford Super Duty pickup truck struck the mini-van, pushing it into the concrete median. The driver of the car stopped to check his own vehicle, then continued westbound, followed by the pickup truck. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Maryland State Police at (301)-729-2101.
BATHROOM FIRE DISPLACES FAMILY
One person inside a home on Seeview Lane in Corriganville, was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation Tuesday afternoon. Several fire companies were called to the home of Russell and Melissa Sword, when fire was found in the bathroom. The cause has been traced to an unattended candle there. Smoke detectors were present in the mobile home, but were not working. A total of $3,000 damage was done; the Sword family is staying with friends and family until repairs are made.
MEYERSDALE MAN ARRESTED ON GUN CHARGE
Thirty-one year old Meyersdale resident Jay Bittinger has been charged with theft, after he allegedly stole a .22 rifle from a truck he had been repairing. Bittinger had been working on a truck, owned by Kenneth Ray Housel, at Housel's Salisbury residence. He is accused of taking the gun from the truck. The gun was recovered during an investigation of the incident.
THREE PRESTON COUNTY RESIDENTS ARRESTED
Three people have been arrested in connection with a fraud scheme. Charged were Troy Rhodes and Thomas Frankhouser of Bruceton Mills, along with Tunnelton resident Beth Ann Spencer. Rhodes allegedly tried to deposit a financial aid check twice, at two different banks. Frankhouser was charged with forgery and uttering, after he signed a check made payable to another man. And, Spencer was charged with the forgery of an official document from the West Virginia Department of Human Resources. Rhodes was the only one of the three to post bond, and was released.
DATES ANNOUNCED FOR PACE RECEPTION
The 39th annual PACE reception will be held January 22, 2015, and once again at the Loew's Annapolis hotel. The PACE breakfast will be held the next day. The chairs for this year's reception are J. Robert Smith of Allegany County and Garrett County's Nicole Christian. The reception is held annually to showcase and advance "Mountain Maryland," and to educate state legislators around Allegany and Garrett Counties. Local perspectives and issues are also presented.
VOTER DEADLINE APPROACHING
The deadline to vote in the November general election is next Tuesday, October 14th. Residents are urged to check their voter registration information to make sure it is up to date. If you have a Maryland driver's license or a state-issued ID card, you can register to vote online at the State Board of Elections website. And, early voting begins two days earlier than usual, beginning on October 23rd. Early voting runs through the 30th.
CANDIDATES COMMENT FOLLOWING DEBATE
The first gubernatorial debate was held Tuesday at WJZ-TV in Baltimore; several issues, including gun control, taxes, and abortion rights were discussed Although Lt. Governor Anthony Brown did not comment following the debate, but his running mate, Ken Ullman, referred to Hogan as a "political insider." Ullman further commented that Hogan has fought to make guns more available on the street, and has an extreme pro-life stance. Ullman says there is no way of knowing what the next four years will bring. Hogan says Maryland taxes are going to double without any further action, because of the O'Malley/Brown administration.
SUPREME COURT TO HEAR TAX CASE
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case, involving a Maryland couple who believe their out-of-state income should not be taxed by their state of residence. Howard County residents Brian and Karen Wynne contend they should not be taxed by Maryland, if they pay the income taxes in other states. Brian Wynne is a partial owner of Maxim Healthcare Services, Incorporated.
BON-TON CLOSING TWO STORES
The Bon-Ton has announced it is closing a store in Beckley, West Virginia and one in the Clearview Mall in Butler, Pennsylvania. A total of 77 workers are affected by the closures; they will be eligible to interview for available positions at other Bon-Ton or Elder-Beerman stores. They also have the option of receiving severance and other career transition benefits. The company decided to close the stores following performance reviews.
CASINOS REPORT SEPTEMBER EARNINGS
The newly-opened Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore has had an effect on other casinos across the state. Maryland Live! in Anne Arundel County, revenues dropped almost five-million dollars in September, as compared to the same month, in the previous year. Rocky Gap Generated about $3.6 million from slot machines and table games, which is an increase of about 16 per cent from September of last year. Yet another casino in Maryland is planned for 2016 in Prince Georges County, including 3600 slot machines and 140 table games.
HOTEL/MOTEL TAX DISTRIBUTED
Sixteen non-profit organizations will share in about $59,000 in hotel/motel revenue for 2014. Of those 16, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad received about $15,200; Canal Place was designated to receive $14,920; and, the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament will receive $3,750. The Mayor and Council also voted to transfer $50,000 from Cumberland's general fund to supplement the Downtown Development Commission.
WOMAN RELEASED FOLLOWING ASSAULT INCIDENT
A Cumberland woman, Ashley Tilson, was released, following an alleged assault incident on Spring Street in September. Ms. Tilson is accused of assaulting another woman, but left the area before police arrived. She was served a second summons, as the result of an incident, also in September, where she, along with two others assaulted a man by kicking him to the ground, destroying his clothing and breaking a jewelry item. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment to his face and ribs. She was charged with two counts of second degree assault, affray, and disorderly conduct.
CUMBERLAND MAN CHARGED IN DOMESTIC INCIDENT
Cumberland resident Richard Sachetti was given a criminal summons, in connection with a domestic incident that allegedly happened on Monday. Sachetti and his wife began arguing at their Milten Street residence; the argument escalated, and he allegedly assaulted her. A family friend tried to intervene and was assaulted as well. Both had visible injuries. He was served and released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
VIETNAM VETERAN DIES AT 83
Retired Navy Captain James Bell, a former resident of the area and Vietnam veteran, died September 30th at the age of 83. Captain Bell had been a prisoner of war for 7-1/2 years in Hanoi, during the Vietnam War. He was a 1948 graduate of Allegany High School, and had been living in a nursing facility in Alexandria, Virginia at the time of his death. His parents were Ted and Miriam Bell. Burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
PLANT FUNDING TOPS COUNCIL AGENDA
The top item on today's agenda for the Keyser Mayor and City Council is the approval of a grant agreement, needed for the construction of the new sewage treatment plant. The grant agreement, from the state of West Virginia, would provide about $10 million of the $30 million cost of the new plant, which should be operational by 2016.
"Y" NAMES DIRECTOR OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS
The Cumberland YMCA has named Ricky Deligny, a native of Saint Lucia, as its Senior Director of Health and Wellness. Deligny comes to Cumberland from the YMCA of Metro Detroit, Bally Total Fitness of Metro Detroit, and the government of Saint Lucia. He has a bachelor's degree in exercise from Eastern Michigan University and a master's degree in Sports Administration from Wayne State University in Detroit. He is certified as a personal trainer and in the Silver Sneakers program for older adults. He began work on September 22nd.
POLL SHOWS BROWN-HOGAN GAP WIDENING
Maryland's Gubernatorial candidates, Anthony Brown and Larry Hogan held their first debate on Tuesday. Topics covered included gun control, education, abortion, and crime. A new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll shows Brown is leading his Republican opponent, Larry Hogan, by 9 percentage points. Even more telling is another poll that shows a sizable number of Marylanders don't know enough about the major party candidates for Governor, in order to form a favorable or unfavorable opinion. Dr. Mileah Kromer of Goucher College says the institution did its own poll, which found there is a high level of "don't know" about the candidates.
SEARCH FOR MISSING CHILDREN CONTINUES
The search is continuing for two Montgomery County children, who have been missing since September 7th. Their father, Troy Turner has family in this area, and has pleaded with authorities to issue an Amber Alert for the safe return of his children, 3-year old Sarah Hoggle, and 2-year old Jacob. Their mother, Catherine, has been in police custody for a month, and has so far, refused to cooperate with authorities in telling them where the children are.
AIR QUALITY PROPOSALS ADVANCE
The Air Quality Control Advisory Council has formally recommended the approval of protections against smog pollution as proposed by the Maryland Department of the Environment. All coal plants that currently lack state-of-the-art pollution control technology to include the new technology by 2020, must retire the facilities or retrofit them. The proposal still need to be reviewed by a panel of lawmakers and go through a public comment period.
COUPLE ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES
A Westernport couple was arrested on drug charges, after their children came to school smelling of marijuana. A search warrant was executed at the Westernport home of Donald Cosner and Amanda Perry on Main Street. A total of over 668 grams of marijuana were seized, along with a mature marijuana plant, along with numerous hypodermic needles, containing residue of suspected heroin. Child Protective Services was called to the home, for the 4, 5, and 7 year old children. Both Cosner and Ms. Perry were taken to District Court, and were awaiting their initial appearance.
ARSON, FOUL PLAY RULED OUT IN FIRE
It may be several weeks before the definitive cause of the fire at the Flight 93 Memorial is determined. Foul play and arson, however, have been ruled out. The National Park Service has begun the process of salvaging materials from the buildings that were destroyed on Friday.
MAN WAIVES PRELIMINARY HEARING
Mineral County resident Michael Myers, charged with killing his wife, Valerie Kay Myers late last month, has waived a preliminary hearing in Mineral County Magistrate Court. The case will be considered by a grand jury, which convenes in January. Myers is being held in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail without bond.
BOAT LAUNCH SITES EXAMINED
One boat launch site along the Potomac River has emerged as the most attractive option to a group which toured the area yesterday. Dee Dee Ritchie, executive director of Canal Place, Council member Nick Scarpelli, city engineer John DiFonzo and several others walked the area that runs along the north branch of the Potomac River. The consensus was access that includes paddling southeast across the existing portion of the rewatered canal, and pulling out at the maintenance road that leads to the crest.
TWO ARRESTED ON BURGLARY, DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY CHARGES
An unnamed 26-year old man and 17-year old juvenile have been arrested for the breaking and entering of the Cumberland Flea Market at One Bennett Lane in the north end of Cumberland. About $3600 worth of merchandise was missing from the market's vendors, most of which was recovered. The adult was held on $5,000 bond, and the 17-year old was released to family on house arrest by order of the Department of Juvenile Services. They were charged with burglary, theft, and destruction of property.
STATE POLICE RECEIVE NEW HELICOPTER
The new Maryland State Police helicopter will be unveiled one week from tomorrow at the Cumberland aviation section hangar at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport. An open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony takes place next Wednesday at 1 p.m. for dignitaries and the general public, to see the new state-of-the art Agusta Westland AW 139 aircraft.
ALLEGANY PROJECT DISCUSSED
The architects for the new Allegany High School project recently met with representatives from the instructional areas in the school system. The meeting was held to review plans for respective classrooms; comments taken from staff members resulted in some changes, according to Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Board of Education. Ms. Cross says the architects are finalizing the drawings for submission to the Interagency for School Construction, for its review.
MPT TRAINS EDUCATORS DURING AMBASSADORS PROGRAM
Two representatives from Maryland Public Television recently trained two Allegany County Public School educators enrolled in the Allegany Ambassadors program, made possible by a grant through MPT and funded by local residents Doug and Betsey Schwab. Through the grant, the educators will receive resources, training and professional development. Various Maryland College and Career Ready resources for literacy, available on the "ThinkPort.org" website, will provide them with flexible opportunities for use and are broken down by grade level as well as the incorporation of STEM.
NEW YORK MAN ARRESTED IN PRESTON COUNTY
Thirty-four year old New York resident Michael Hernandez was arrested in Preston County, and charged with the distribution of marijuana. A search warrant was executed last week on Alexandria Drive in Reedsville. Seized in the raid were firearms, marijuana, and several thousands of dollars in cash. Bond was set at $100,000.
AVERAGE COST FOR GAS IS $3.30 PER GALLON
While Marylanders may be paying 2-cents per gallon less at the pump, the prices in Cumberland remain the highest in the state. The average price across Maryland is $3.30 per gallon for regular, unleaded gas. In Cumberland, that price was quoted at $3.38 by Triple "A"/Mid-Atlantic. Drivers are paying 4 cents less than at this time last year, when the average price was $3.34 per gallon.
MARYLAND ENROLLS 22,000 IN MEDICAID
The state enrolled about 22,000 new people in the Medicaid program last month. A report, released recently, showed that 376,850 people have gained coverage under the federal-state program for the low-income since the exchange launched last year. Another 2,425 people bought private insurance plans last month. Browsing for plans begins again on November 9th.
FROSTBURG TRUCKER KILLED IN BEDFORD COUNTY
Fifty-eight year old Frostburg resident Gregory Arnold was killed Friday afternoon, when the tractor-trailer he was driving left the highway and struck several trees in Bedford County. Arnold's vehicle left Interstate 99 in northern Bedford County, continued into a grass median strip, and then into a wooded area, where it hit several trees before stopping. Arnold was extricated from the damaged truck cab, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
FLAG, OTHER ITEMS DESTROYED AT FLIGHT 93 SITE
A fire on Friday at the Flight 93 administrative buildings in Somerset County destroyed a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol on September 11th, along with personal items, donated by the families of the victims of the crash. Three buildings, about 2 miles from the Memorial Plaza, which included offices and conference rooms, were destroyed by the fire. While a cause has not been determined, early reports indicate smoke was seen in a walkway, near the kitchen of one of the buildings.
REGULATORS SEE LITTLE WATER RISK FROM FRACKING
A draft report, released Friday, indicates little to moderate risk of water contamination from hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," in Western Maryland. State regulations, they say, are sufficient to protect drinking water supplies, but there is an elevated risk of harm to aquatic life under certain conditions during times of drought. One of the larger risks posed by fracking include traffic congestion, accidents and road damage. The report is open for public comment through November 3rd.
POLICE STILL LOOKING FOR MISSING GIRL
It will soon be a month since Sadie Kidwell went missing from the Burlington United Family Services Children's Home. But, West Virginia State Police are still looking for the 17-year old. She apparently ran away from the home on September 12th. She was last seen wearing black yoga pants and a black shirt with the word "witness," written on it in red. Anyone with information should contact the Keyser detachment of the West Virginia State Police at (304)-788-1101.
MAN ARRESTED IN THEFT
Fifty-seven year old Cumberland resident Tyrone David Lavender was arrested Friday, and charged with theft from another person. The victim told police that Lavender allegedly fled with over $500. He was arrested in the area of the Family Dollar Store. POlice found a total of $588inside his pocket and wallet. He was held in the Allegany County Detention Center on a temporary commitment.
MAN FOUND ASLEEP IN STORE, CHARGED WITH THEFT
Cumberland resident Gary Smith was charged with theft by Cumberland City Police on Saturday, when he was found asleep in the cafe area of Martin's Market on Park Street.
A store manager told police Smith had taken two containers of food from the buffet/salad bar area and had eaten it in the cafe without paying. He had fallen asleep there, and police found him to be intoxicated. He was issued a criminal citation and released pending trial in District Court.
GARRETT COUNTY STORE BURGLARIZED
The Stomper's Shoe Store in Garrett County was burglarized sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning. The Maryland State Police say the store was forcibly entered and property was taken from the building. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Garrett County Sheriff's Office at (301)-334-1911.
FORMER MANAGER TAKING CASE TO SUPREME COURT
The former manager of the Cumberland Regional Airport, Terry Malone, is taking his lawsuit against the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. Malone was barred from airport property after his contract was not renewed in 2012; his contention is he cannot be barred from public property, and is seeking damages he says were caused by his inability to access the airport, except by prior written consent.
"SOLAR SATURDAY" EVENT IN FROSTBURG
The city of Frostburg is hosting a "Solar Saturday" event on October 18th from 9 a.m. to noon at City Place. The event is designed to promote the growing use of Solar Photovoltaic Panels in the Frostburg area, with a primary focus on residential use and additional perspectives from commercial and other users. The event will include information from those who have used PV panels; local vendors and contractors; and, City Hall staff, outlining the permit and inspection processes.
BEDFORD CVS FRAUD VICTIM
The Bedford CVS was recently "scammed" out of about $16,000. The Bedford County detachment of the Pennsylvania State Police say the business received a series of calls on September 23rd, asking for monetary information about the store. The manager gave money and card information to a person, claiming to be from the company's headquarters. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police in Bedford.
TEEN BANNED FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
A 14-year old Bedford County boy, who had been charged with desecrating a statue of Jesus at the Love in the Name of Christ Church in Everett, has been banned from social media, and will have to perform 350 hours of community service. He had taken pictures of himself desecrating the statue, and posting it on social media. Along with the social media and community service orders, he must obey a 10 p.m. curfew, no use alcoholor other controlled substances, and he must stay in school.
POLL SHOWS HOGAN GAINING GROUND ON BROWN
A new Gonzalez poll shows that Republican Larry Hogan is gaining ground on his opponent, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown in the gubernatorial race. At this point, Brown is leading Hogan by 47 to 43 per cent, with a plus or minus 3.5 per cent margin of error. Political analyst Blair Lee says that, not surprisingly, the most important issue to Marylanders is the economy and jobs. Another aspect of the poll determined whether the state is moving in the right or wrong direction. Lee says the momentum and desire to go to the polls in November seems to favor Republicans. Lt. Governor Brown is going on the offensive, utilizing what he called "negative" ads. The Democratic Governor's Association, for example, wouldn't normally spend any money in Maryland for the election.
CARDIN INTRODUCES RACIAL PROFILING BILL
Calling it "un-American" and a "waste of police resources," Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin has introduced a bill that would prohibit police departments from targeting people, based on race. It's not know how successful Cardin will be in getting his bill through a divided Congress.
BERKELEY COUNTY NAMED "HIGH DRUG TRAFFICKING AREA"
Berkeley County, West Virginia has been named as one of 26 new cities and counties in the U.S. as a 'High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area," which make it eligible for more federal resources to combat the problem. The program's goal is to disrupt drug trafficking through specific initiatives to reduce the production, transportation, distribution and chronic use of drugs. Several counties Maryland and the Washington, D.C. areas were labeled as high intensity areas, including Baltimore, Montgomery, and Prince George's Counties in Maryland, as well as Loudon County in Virginia.
ROCKY GAP CONTRACT APPROVED
Several improvements at Rocky Gap State Park were approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works Wednesday. A nearly $860,000 contract was awarded to Lashley Construction of Frostburg, for work on an asphalt parking lot, lighting, sidewalk improvements, drainage and other upgrades. Garrett County's Cooperative Ministry and the HART for Animals groups each were awarded $100,000 for projects. Broadford Park in Garrett County also received $20,000 in state funding for improvements.
FLU CLINIC PLANNED AT HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The Allegany County Health Department has scheduled a flu vaccination clinic for next Wednesday, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional clinics will be held each Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Willowbrook Office Complex in Cumberland. The Health Department now has vaccines available, including the High Dose vaccine for those ages 65 and older, and the Quadrivalent flu vaccine which provides protection against an additional strain of influenza "B." The cost is $30 for the regular flu vaccine, $53 for high dose for those 65 and older, and $86 for pneumococcal vaccine.
REQUEST TO EXTEND TERRAPIN RUN DEADLINE
While the state wants to buy Terrapin Run, a planned community east of Cumberland, a further extension of an agreement, resolving the court case may allow more time for a possible sale of the property. If a current postponement of the agreement were allowed to expire, litigation over the development could have begun again. The project, which would consist of 920 homes, was called a "needed economic development project," by the attorney for developer Michael Carnock, Robert Paye.
PLAN TO BE PRESENTED OCTOBER 15TH
What is being called a "road map for Cumberland's future plans," will be presented to the Cumberland Mayor and City Council on October 15th. The study, by RKG Associates of Arlington, Virginia, shows the results of information gathered on Cumberland since early spring, and will offer recommendations for branding and promoting the city. The study will be presented at the Allegany County Museum, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
CHAMBER HOLDS RECOGNITION DINNER
The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce held its 27th annual Outstanding Business Recognition Dinner last night at Frostburg State University. Executive Director of the Chamber, Stu Czapski, commented on the importance of this annual event.Award winners included Dr. Matthew and Kelli Allway, Barbara Buehl, Hunter-Douglas Fabrication, and the Jaycees Honoree as the Outstanding Young Professional was Courtney Thomas, Executive Director of HRDC.
FIRE DETERMINED TO BE ELECTRICAL IN NATURE
Wednesday evening's fire at 105 Decatur Street has been determined to be electrical in nature, caused by old wiring in the home. The owners of the building Jeff and Bonnie Matthews, called the fire department when they saw smoke coming from the kitchen wall. There were no injuries, but the fire caused about $5,000 in damage. Units were on the scene for about an hour. The Matthews family is being assisted by family members.
POLICE RELEASE SURVEILLANCE VIDEO
The Meyersdale Police Department has released a surveillance video of at least two people of interest in an arson fire in June, which resulted in the loss of the former "Slammerz" building there. There is a $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. The fire was started when someone ignited a mattress that caught the rest of the building on fire. If you have any information, you are asked to call the Somerset County non-emergency line.
PHILADELPHIA MAN ARRESTED ON BENCH WARRANTS
Philadelphia resident Curtis Tyrell McAllister was arrested by Cumberland City Police on Wednesday. Two bench warrants were served, charging McAllister with failure to appear for two separate court dates. After he was taken to District Court, he was released on personal recognizance.
MARYLAND RECEIVES FOSTER GRANTS
Maryland will receive a $750 million grant that will give officials more flexibility to run the state's foster care program. The grant will also help reduce the number of children entering the system. The grant, through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded grants to about 20 states so far. Maryland will now be available to help struggling families to avoid having their children turned over to foster care.
WEST VIRGINIA WORKFORCE TRAINING FUNDED
Three community and technical colleges have been awarded more than $9 million in federal funding for a workforce training initiative, to hire or train new instructors to offer in-demand courses and certifications, develop online learning, and other programs. Institutions awarded funding include Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg, Mountwest Community and Technical College, and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Shamrock.
GRAND JURY TO HEAR SEX OFFENSE CASE
A Mineral County grand jury will hear the case against Alex McDonald, who is accused of first-degree sexual abuse and sexual abuse by a custodian. McDonald had been the director of the Apple Alley players. Offenses allegedly occurred late last year, and involved a 14-year old girl. Mc Donald is on pre-trial release, after posting $10,000 bond. He is being represented by Keyser attorney Dan James.
SOMERSET COUNTY MAN ARRESTED AT B.W.I.
An unnamed Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania man was taken into custody Monday at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, when a .40-calibre semi-automatic handgun was found inside his carry-on bag. The gun was loaded with eight rounds of ammunition. He was arrested on a state weapons charge, and could face up to $11,000 in fines. The Transportation Security Administration has detected more than 1400 firearms at checkpoints nationwide this calendar year alone. During all of 2013, officers found 1,813 guns at airport checkpoints.
ESCAPEE HAD BEEN AWAITING BURGLARY TRIAL
A Bedford County jail escapee, Jeremiah Moser was captured early yesterday morning at the Wal Mart store near Everett. State Police say he escaped Tuesday, by climbing a prison wall, making his way to the roof. He then jumped into an unsecured outside yard, and fled into the woods. He is accused of breaking into the Brite Stop Pizza near Everett in late July. There are few details on his capture, which took place around 6:30 a.m.
OBJECTION HEARD IN HYNDMAN MURDER CASE
The prosecution in the Bedford County murder case involving a Hagerstown man and three area representatives has objected to one defense attorney representing two of the defendants. Hearings could now be heard next Wednesday in Bedford County Central Court. A hearing will be held on an objection by District Attorney Bill Higgins, asking that an attorney for two of the defendants, Thomas Crawford of Pittsburgh, not be allowed to represent both. Eighteen year old Hagerstown resident Jonta Bishop is actually charged with the murder, with three other Bedford County residents charged in connection with the slaying of James Deneen.
KEYSER TO ADOPT SICK LEAVE TRANSFER POLICY
The city of Keyser is developing a policy that would allow its employees to transfer sick time to fellow workers. At one point, a city worker had exhausted all of his sick time, and the Mayor and Council granted a transfer request on a one-time basis. The issue was then put on the meeting agenda to develop a formal policy. Any such policy would have strict limits on how many hours could be transferred.
WOMAN ARRESTED FOR RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT OF A CHILD
Child Protective Services was called Tuesday to the vicinity of the Pit-N-Go store on Frederick Street, when Cumberland City Police officers saw a child standing alone on the sidewalk. The child also tried to walk into the travel portion of the road. The child's aunt and caregiver, Cheryl Lynn Jenkins, was found to be extremely intoxicated, having trouble keeping her balance. The child was placed in the custody of CPS and Ms. Jenkins was charged with reckless endangerment. She was ordered held on $2600 bond.
FIRE DESTROYS ARCHWAY VEHICLE
A vehicle, owned by Archway Station, was completely destroyed by fire early yesterday morning, while parked in the 300-block of North Centre Street. The cause of the fire in a 2004 Subaru is being investigated. The Cumberland City Fire Department responded to the fire just after 2 a.m.
POTOMAC STATE SEES INCREASE IN ENROLLMENT
Although the numbers aren't official, it looks as if total enrollment at Potomac State College of West Virginia University is at 1,541 students. Enrollment figures will be submitted to the Higher Education Policy Commission. The over 1500 students represents a 4 per cent increase in first-time, full-time freshmen, along with an increase of in-state students. The National Center for Education Statistics indicates Potomac State ranks well nationally, as one of the most affordable institutions in the country.
BOARD TO RECEIVE AWARD TOMORROW
The Allegany County Board of Education will be receiving an award from the Maryland Association of Boards of Education in Ocean City tomorrow. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Board, noted that a one to two year program of self-assessment was undertaken; it set a series of goals for its role as governors of the school system. The Board hosted a regional conference on the legal implications and the use of social media. Goals set by the local board included a comprehensive policy review, development of a handbook, and a communications plan. The Maryland Association of Boards of Education hosts its annual conference in Ocean City about this time each year.
FUNDING ANNOUNCED FOR CYBER JOB TRAINING
The United States Department of Labor has announced nearly $15 million in funding to fourteen Maryland community colleges as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Initiative. The program will allow such institutions as Allegany College of Maryland and Garrett College to expand their ability to provide quality education and job training programs in two years or less.
FORECAST CALLS FOR W.VA. GROWTH
The state of West Virginia has had five months of very consistent and healthy growth, and the Mountain State Business Index says economic activity increased a half-percentage point, when compared with July. The index, which takes into account several economic indicators, was up 2.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2013. It has risen 4.7 per cent on an annualized basis in just the last six months.
MORE INFORMATION ON HYNDMAN HOMICIDE
Investigators say 36-year old Bedford County resident James Deneen died from a gunshot wound to the head, before he was loaded into the trunk of a car, and it was set on fire. Bedford County State's Attorney Bill Higgins says 18-year old Hagerstown resident Jonta Bishop shot Deneen in Buffalo Mills, before setting on the car on fire nine miles away, near Hyndman last Thursday night. Bishop says Deneen was trying to rob him. Bishop, along with Kimberlee and Nicholas Forbes are scheduled to be in court today for a preliminary hearing. Domenick Gillespie is also being charged in connection with the incident. Bishop is being held without bond.
TWO AREA SCHOOLS RECEIVE NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON
Northern High School in Garrett County and Allegany County's Frost Elementary School have received the prestigious National Blue Ribbon Awards from the U.S. Department of Education. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.
BEDFORD MOTORCYCLIST KILLED
Forty-year old Bedford County resident Ryan Habinyak was killed Monday afternoon, when his motorcycle hit a tractor-trailer nearly head-on. The crash occurred on business Route 220. The driver of the rig, 44-year old Alum Bank resident Bryan Baldinger was not injured. For an unknown reason, the bike crossed into the northbound lane of the road, just south of Belden Road. Habinyak was not wearing a helmet, and died of massive head trauma.
COUNTY JOINING INVESTMENT PROGRAM
Allegany County has joined a new investment fund, created by the Maryland Association of Counties, which will, hopefully, gain a higher return on money to be used to pay for providing retiree health insurance benefits. County Finance Director Jason Bennett will be the county's representative on the fund's board of directors.
INMATE ESCAPES FROM BEDFORD JAIL
Not many details are available, but an inmate at the Bedford County jail escaped late yesterday morning. Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins said the escapee was Jeremiah Moser. The escape happened sometime after 10 a.m.
FIRE DESTROYS MOBILE HOME
A fire, early yesterday morning, destroyed a mobile home at 11718 Oak Tree Road, Southeast, near the Old Williams Road. The family residing there, was left homeless as a result of the fire. There were no injuries, but firefighters were on the scene for nearly eight hours. The cause and origin of the fire remain under investigation. The Red Cross is providing emergency assistance to the family, displaced by the blaze.
SUPPORT SHOWN FOR SOMERSET COUNTY PRIEST
More than 50 people were in a courtroom this week, to show support for Central City priest, Father Joseph Maurizio, who has been jailed on charges of child exploitation and pornography. Many of those who testified at a detention hearing supported Maurizio; his defense attorney says the allegations are old, have been investigated and deemed unfounded five years ago. He will remain jailed until his defense can provide more information on his finances, which could indicate whether he is a flight risk.
CUMBERLAND MAN ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION
Cumberland resident William Wesley Blacker was taken into custody Monday for possession of drug paraphernalia and having an open container of alcohol on public property. A Cumberland City Police officer, at first, spoke with Blacker about having the open container; in patting down Blacker, a silver pipe used to smoke marijuana, was found. He was issued a criminal citation for possession of drug paraphernalia, and a civil citation for the open container. He was later released from custody.
BURGLARY REPORTED IN SOMERSET COUNTY
The Pennsylvania State Police in Somerset County are investigating the breaking and entering of the home of an 85-year old man. The break-in and robbery took place sometime between September 7th and last Saturday along Boy Scout Road in Jenner Township. The burglar broke into the home and stole about $1,000 worth of items, including a 42-inch television.
WOMAN SCAMMED OUT OF $2500
A Bedford County woman lost a total of $2500 in a "scamming" incident recently. The 71-year old was told her granddaughter had been arrested and needed $4500. She eventually realized it wasn't true. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Bedford County barrack at (814)-623-6133.
TRIAL OF DENTIST POSTPONED IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
Former Hagerstown dentist Dr. Vagar Choudry, of Germantown, has had his case postponed in Washington County Circuit Court. Choudry could face up to three trials early next year on charges of sexual solicitation of a minor, indecent exposure, and the sexual abuse of a minor. He has two criminal cases pending in circuit court. The delay on Monday was granted , following a joint motion by the prosecution and defense.
AMAZON SALES TAX BEGINS TODAY
If you're buying something on Amazon.com today, be prepared to add Maryland's 6 per cent sales tax. Beginning today, all Maryland purchases are subject to the tax. Amazon is opening a fulfillment center in Baltimore next spring, but the tax is in effect today. The Maryland Board of Revenue estimates in December, the sales tax collected from Amazon will bring in about $50 million in new revenue annually.
FATHER PLEADS FOR AMBER ALERT
Troy Turner, the father of two missing Montgomery County children, has appealed directly to Governor Martin O'Malley to issue an Amber Alert for his kids, even though it's been three weeks. Turner-who has a sister in Frostburg-feels it is not too late for an Amber Alert, which is usually issued soon after a missing person is reported. The children's mother, Catherine Hoggle, disappeared with the children, and still refuses to say what she die with them.
ATTORNEY GENERAL TO REVIEW FACEBOOK, OKCUPID
Be careful of the websites you visit or join, as they could be manipulating data, as part of company research. Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler says he will be investigating both Facebook and the OKCupid websites. Leslie Meltzer Henry, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Maryland and faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, says they are not trying to stop companies from doing research, but want it done ethically and legally. She says these two websites in particular, failed to get the informed consent of those participating.
OHIO MAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO MURDER
Racine, Ohio resident Ernest Roach has pleaded not guilty to six criminal charges, including the alleged murder of 16-year old Ericka Brown of Cross Lanes,West Virginia. Roach is charged with one count of murder, two of compelling prostitution, two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of the gross abuse of a corpse. Roach says he met Brown through an ad on Craigslist. Bail has been set at a million dollars, and Roach will go to trial on December 1st.
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.